Monthly Archives: January 2020

I’m doing it again, staying up 1.5 times around the clock

This time it’s because I need to deposit checks and pay my phone bill.

One of the checks I need to deposit is for a lawsuit about an online ad broker that ripped off people who were supposed to be getting paid for watching ads, and not paying them as much as the advertisers were getting told they were paying us. Essentially this was a scheme to get people to watch the ads by bribing people to watch them in mobile apps. There was supposed to be so much paid per ad watched, and the company skimmed most of that off for themselves leaving the people watching with much less than the people paying were paying. It was a convoluted scheme that the advertisers were pissed off about because the idea was to generate good will and also get their message out, and much less good will was generated than the advertisers paid for. (ETA, I looked up the case and my memory was faulty, and you can read the FAQ here) Anywho, I have a $14 check to deposit from that one, enough for Mrs. the Poet and me to get a fancy hamburger and fries apiece from Whataburger.

I have other checks to deposit from other sources that have to be hand-deposited instead of automatic deposit because reasons I don’t understand, something about not being set up to deposit amounts that small or something, or one-time-only payments. Anywho again, not my circus, not my monkeys. I just have to make the deposits, including the check to pay for the new roof. This is the second new roof we are getting since we moved in in 1994, which is pretty good on average, but we had the roof replaced in 2012 if my memory is right (Edit to add, it wasn’t. We got the insurance claim in right before we paid the house off in 2013) because I recall it being right before we paid the house off and the first time we made an insurance claim ever. But we had that tornado back in October that went by the house and just over the house and so, new roof because wind and debris damage.

OK now I’m buzzed on how much caffeine I have in my system so I don’t fall asleep depositing the checks, and Mrs. the Poet is out of bed, so this is a good time to wrap this up.

OK we have a date

Mrs. the Poet has a really bad back, but it’s something that can be fixed with an operation. But she also doesn’t like hospitals and she really doesn’t like operations. Even just thinking about them causes her distress, the closer the person is to her the worse the distress gets, so you can imagine what it’s like when the person getting the operation is her.

Well now she has a date for/with a spinal fusion. She is getting three vertebrae turned into one, and then as soon as that heals she is getting physical therapy to strengthen the muscles on either side of the fusion to keep it stable. I think I mentioned at some point her main problem is stenosis compressing her spinal nerves because she has scoliosis from repeated insult to her back. And no, not because I was making fun of her, the other kind of insult, repeated minor injury to her back, in this case her back muscles. As she got injured the injured muscles got tight, making them more susceptible to further injury, which made them tighter and led to a vicious circle that wound up with Mrs. the Poet unable to get to the bus stop, even with a cane, because the scoliosis causes the top and bottom of the stenosis to compress the nerves in her spine causing numbness and paralysis.

And now March 3 2020 that’s going to get fixed so that her legs and feet will work normally, again. That means I have to cook and clean the house, and basically act like I do when she’s not here except I have to take care of her as well. Now what I’m told is she will be eating at the table, or at least capable of that, before she gets out of the hospital. And it might only take 3 days for her to get out of the hospital. All we need to do is get stuff I can fix to feed her with, that we can get a bit at a time so we don’t have to spend the money all at once the end of February.

The pre-op synopsis is that Mrs. the Poet should be walking as normally as she ever will be by the end of March because that’s how little surgical insult there is with this operation. Basically there will be no tendons, ligaments or muscles damaged that will be still allowed to move after the surgery fuses the vertebrae (or vertebras if you insist on anglicized plurals) so the recovery time is essentially just the time needed to heal the incision enough to not bleed every time she moves her back. This is entirely unlike when my hip was repaired 18 years ago because there were 3 major muscles that had to be cut to get the hardware in and then back out 18 months later. As I understand it there will only be one small incision that they work/look through and instead of cutting through muscles they will be spreading apart the muscle fibers to get things out, which has a much better end result than cutting through the muscles.

Anyway, when I know more about it, and Mrs. the Poet approves of me posting it, I’ll tell you more. As for me I find it fascinating in a mechanical sense, because we are all just organic machines moving around and breaking down and either self-repairing or getting repaired. Machines that can repair themselves has been either a dream or a nightmare, depending on how you feel about getting replaced by a machine. But since we are all machines already (Calcium is a metal according to the periodic table, between Potassium and Scandium) just using a different mode of using energy than electricity or steam. We aren’t getting replaced so much as making way for the newest models.

I’m going to survive and my BP meds are getting adjusted

Part of the laundry list Mrs. the Poet wanted me to talk about with the doctor was my foot on the injured leg changing colors from what it was like before to more shades of blue now, and I also wanted to share what I had learned from the guy studying Superpowers IRL, of which surviving getting hit by cars 3 times is a primary example. My super dense bones are the result of wonky calcium metabolism and I have grown calcite crystals during bone rebuilding after a break. Well part of my wonky metabolism is an overactive calcium channel which makes my blood pressure high. Now that we know that my meds include a generic Calcium Channel Blocker amlodipine, to go with the diuretic which doesn’t help much with my BP but I do need to prevent kidney stones.

Now all I got for the Smurf-colored foot was a suggestion I go to the local clinic for Parkland Health Systems to have them figure out what has changed since I got killed and came back. Before when I had problems with the foot it was shades of red, not blue, which was expected and I was told to watch for. Now I don’t know what happened, but I can pinpoint the day it happened. Remember the DVT scare a couple of years ago? Before that day my foot was shades of red, after that day shades of blue-red from lavender to dark purple to I Stepped On A Smurf. But I have to go to the local clinic for Parkland and see what they have to say.

Other news, I gave away most of the expensive bikes that people have given me over the years. I kept the ones I bought or built including Frances(is) or however I used to spell it. They were non-binary anyway and swapped the vowel depending on how they felt. Anyway, I gave away the Stratus, the Blue Fusion, and the Zenetic 700 to a guy that drove all the way from Springfield MO and brought 2 cans of Beaver Nuggets, the Dark chocolate covered ones this time instead of the milk chocolate ones my daughter gave me. Anyway, the combined retail value when new was almost $4k, but since I can’t even get my leg over the two crank forward bikes they only have sentimental value to me. I still have a garage full of bikes, just 3 fewer than I did yesterday.

And how was your week?

I’m staying up all night and day again

As I begin composing this post I just passed 24 hours since I got out of bed, and I have about 9 hours more to go. Why do I do this at over 60 years old? I have a doctor’s appointment that requires I leave the house to catch a bus about 2/3 of the way through my normal sleep cycle. I normally hit the sack about 0400-0500 and get up 7-8 hours later. Well I have a 1130 appointment, and I have to leave the house at 0915 to make sure I catch the bus. As you can imagine getting up in time to leave at 0915 along with eating and showering when you just got to bed at 0500 is sub-optimal to say the least. I mean I’m still fuzzy around the edges of my mind when I get a full 8 hours of shuteye. So you can imagine how functional I would be after less than 3 hours of sleep, because it takes some time to get to sleep after I get to bed. Mrs. the Poet has commented that my tossing and turning has kept her awake for more than an hour after I get in the bed. And I’m actually less sub-optimal after being awake over 24 hours without sleep than I am on only about 2-3 hours of sleep no matter how long I was awake before.

“Less sub-optimal” does not mean anything approaching good, mind you. let’s say it’s the difference between walking into a wall and breaking my glasses, and not walking into a wall and stumbling over the pattern in the floor. And yes I have tripped on the pattern of the vinyl floor when I was tired enough. And I’m well past the point of Tired Enough, the text on the composition page is swimming as I type it…😝 And I’m desperately trying to remain conscious while I do this. I can’t afford to buy another computer to replace this one. And I already faceplanted into the keyboard more than once, but not today. So I’m trying to stay awake and not break my laptop today.

I’ll post how the doctor visit went on Friday if I can manage.

Still here, still nothing much to report, except a shocking picture of a sick cat (CW)

Basically the most newsworthy thing this entire week was my son is taking a long weekend in San Antonio so no grocery run Saturday, and my feet hurt too much to take the bus to the store and backpack the groceries home. Yay, news!

On other fronts one of the people I follow on Twitter turned out to be a scam artist from Ghana, asking me for money after a long conversation by DM. Fortunately my BS detector started going off well before the request for money for her mother and babies. And no it isn’t because I want her mother and babies to starve, it’s because I don’t believe those are her mother and babies in the pictures she sent and put in her account. I might be cynical (YA THINK?!?) but I’m also experienced in getting scammed, having been scammed many times in the 61 years I’ve been crawling around this planet. Actually most of the time when people try to scam me I didn’t have any money to get scammed out of.

On the Sprint-T front, currently the best option is the junkyard 5.3L iron block LS engine and a 4l80e transmission which will give me a 1800 lb. car with 300 HP at the wheels if I just leave everything stock, or 400 HP with a cam swap and headers. Since I have to build headers to get the exhaust out of the firewall anyway, spending the extra $200 for the extra 100 HP seems like a decent trade off, since I’ll have to tune the computer setup either way.

Now what would be cool is if the engine comes with the VVT cam drive which would let me tune the cam timing for best low end and high end power, if I also get the ECU and harness that originally came with the engine, which kinda supposes I get the engine from the vehicle it came in. But I have been reading articles about tuning the VVT and compared to fixed cam timing it can be worth as much as 50 lb-ft of torque below 3000 RPM compared to running a fixed timing setup for high RPM power. This means I can get more dig out of tight corners when racing and still have power at high RPM. It also means I can squeeze the last MPG out of the engine for the transit from one race to another, as getting more power at low speed means I don’t need to burn as much fuel to get the same speed as power required doesn’t change.

Other things dancing around my brain included seeing cars at the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals that had either the right or left halves of Chevy or Mopar V8s in front of the driver and thinking “Throw an LS3 engine and a clutch in that and you would have a killer A-Mod autocross car.” Sure I would need to run a larger radiator to cool 376 cubic inches of gas powered V8 than 166 cubic inches of alcohol powered 4 cylinder, but it would be a practical race car with a high power to weight ratio. The cars running half V8 engines were rules-limited to iron block and heads, so there wouldn’t even be that much increase in weight to go to the all-aluminum LS engine, and the radiator could go to the rear of the car right behind the driver to keep the balance the same front to rear balance and a 3 gallon fuel cell would be enough to run all day if I stayed with pump gas, so no heavy fuel tank hanging off the back. I could even take a wrecked sprint car and chop most of the front end off, keep the cage and rear suspension, and rebuild the front to the 72″ minimum wheelbase for A-Mod and get pretty much the same thing as there is very little difference between the two types of racer behind the firewall. There are wrecked sprint cars locally but they tend to be scrapped out pretty quick, so I would have to have $$ in reserve to buy the wreck practically at the track. Mind is still trying to solve the problem of not having a race car even though I have no way of getting the race car to the races. I don’t know why, besides I want a race car that I can race.

In other news I finally got Clyde to sit still for a minute so I could take a picture of how he looks now. Image not suggested for sensitive viewers.
Clyde has a mess and we can't put the medicine he have on it.
Yes that is blood oozing from those cracks in his skin, and that’s also the reason why we can’t use the medicine we have to make the itching stop. It has a big black box warning in the instructions to not apply to open injuries or sores, and will make him very sick if we do. So we have medicine to stop his itching we can’t use because he scratches until it’s raw and bleeding, and he still has itches he scratches until they are raw and bleeding 😿. Poor kitty! We might have to take him to the vet again.

No RPG this week and other stuff

There is a standing joke that the most difficult part of running an adult RPG group is getting everyone there at the same time a.k.a. scheduling. And we have one member of the group participating in a 3 day Magic the Gathering tournament who just happens to be the GM who’s running things… So no game today. Actually we would be playing this evening because one of the other members has a Sunday morning shift for some reason (he works for a bank?) and another member uses the morning and early afternoon to be with their Significant Other.

This is the game that my character is an AU version of myself, or as close as the game mechanics will let me, because some of the stuff I have done IRL would break the game mechanics. The specific instance I’m referring to is when I got hit with the truck. Now there is the possibility my character could survive that, but the player’s guide puts it outside human limits, not just by a little but a lot given the speed the truck was going when I was hit. I would have to be something with the Body stat of a Dragon but looked like a Human, and I’m not sure that exists in game. Or it could be that I have Natural Armor of some kind in the game. See my backstory page (link at top of this page).

Since we weren’t going to be playing I decided that maybe this would be a good day to go back to church since they don’t start until 1300, but when I got out of bed that idea was quickly vetoed by sharp pains in the bottoms of my feet, as I evidently Did Something my feet didn’t like. I have no idea what that might have been, but I have no doubts I Did It, because the evidence is there. It must have been something I did before I put my shoes on, which means it could have been almost anything. Or it could be just accumulated wear and tear coming back to bite me. See the previous paragraph for an example of “wear and tear” I have accumulated. And speaking of painful feet mine are getting cold and I need to lie down and get my feet under a blanket, so I think I should do that now.7

Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

Yep, looks like *45 has placed our collective butts firmly in a Hell-bound handbasket. I don’t like posting politics to this blog, but this is pretty serious. Our *president has committed an act of war without formally declaring war, making us Japan in 1941. Only this time we lack the excuse of not having a typist to type the declaration of war to deliver to the president, like the Japanese ambassador in 1941. Our *president was perfectly capable of sending a Tweet to Iran telling them we are going to start shooting, but he didn’t even do that.

As I posted to twitter the only thing I’m thankful for is none of mine are eligible for the meatgrinder for reasons of age or already in a critical LEO position. The only one close to being in the grinder is my ex-Marine son-in-law, but he’s also the one in a critical LEO position. But still I’m worried about the people who are subject to the meatgrinder.

On other subjects Mrs. the Poet is still waffling about the date for her operation because, I dunno? She’s afraid the operation will leave her like her sister? There is a slight chance it won’t work and will leave her in worse shape than she is now, but TBH there is only one way she’s in worse shape and still alive, because she’s all but bedridden now. Also I’m getting tired of her complaining when there is a paid for option to mostly fix her problems, but it can’t fix everything and every delay means more permanent damage that will last after the recovery from the operation. Kinda like what happened to me except swap “Physical Therapy” for the operation. And “SOOL” for “paid for option”. But she has Medicare which means she has at least some access to getting things fixed. And her waffling about getting her problem fixed when I’ve been living with the pain for years just sets me off, especially when she complains several times a day about her symptoms that will go mostly or completely away after she gets her operation.

Anyway, “Agent Orange” bad, war with Iran bad, people getting killed unnecessarily bad, flushing billions of dollars down yet another Middle East War toilet bad, Mrs. the Poet not getting her back fixed, super bad from my perspective because I don’t know all those other people and I have to listen to Mrs. the Poet complain several times a day.

Happy New Year!

It’s now officially twenty years after the year The Jetsons promised us pollution-free manufacturing, robots, and flying cars, and we still don’t have any. We are now 21 years past when we were promised Moonbase Alpha. We are more than 35 years past when we were promised protection from alien invasion from space kitties by UFO. We’re working on 19 years since I was killed by a drunk driving a city pickup truck. That one actually has nothing to do with the other 3, I just though I would throw that one in. We are 19 years past a promised orbital hotel/transfer point in 2001: A Space Odyssey which also had a moonbase of some kind under construction. And I lost my deposit for the shuttle when Pan Am folded .

The point of this post is we are in The Future, and the future doesn’t look like anything Hollywood has been telling us it should be. So while we need to imagine a New Future minus a bunch of things we had been promised in the Old Future, we have a bunch of things Hollywood missed back then, but overall we are decades behind what was expected in the sci-fi media I was consuming growing up.

I accept some of the blame for this because it was my generation that should have been doing these things, but older generations also dropped the ball when the Moon program was halted in the early ’70s. It was as if Columbus hadn’t found any natives in his first voyage, and nobody came back to America. We seriously dropped the ball on making The Good Future, and got stuck with the Dystopia Lite we’re living in today. I mean seriously, almost nobody wanted this mess except for the 1% making bank off of it. And as they are the ones who had the power to create this mess, and are systematically dismantling the means of winding it back, I think we all know who are mostly responsible for all the neat things we were promised but don’t have now.

And I think I’m going to end on that note to keep this from becoming a rant against the 1%.