Monthly Archives: August 2021

This is hard to write

This post is hard to write every year, but this year I’m starting early, like Friday early before the Tuesday anniversary of my death. Yeah this is why I’ve been radio silent over the weekend and more.

I have previously posted a page about what I could dredge from my damaged brain, so I really don’t have much to add to that story. Over the years I have also recounted the emotions of the event, not just the facts and timeline. But even after 20 years it’s still like an open wound emotionally. I mean there has been some healing going on, there has to be otherwise I couldn’t function in society. If I had remained like I was the first month after the wreck, I would be dead. That’s no joke. I was almost catatonic that first couple of months, partly from the emotional damage, and partly because I was dealing with a broken body. Not just a little broken, barely-together broken and missed some broken bones fixed. Not that I blame anyone, a lot of my brokenness was harder than F to find. Like they knew about the fibula, but the tibia had reduced the fracture while I was flipping and flopping like a rag doll so hard that swelling around the optic nerves made me temp blind, as in who turned out the lights blind. And to give an idea of how messed up emotionally I was I just thought the lights were out so I could sleep, not that I was blind. But anyway the forces on my leg from tumbling on all three axis lined it up good enough that I only have a small-but-still-painful bone scar on my tibia.

I still have a problem with bending and turning, not this bad, but close. I have to make written plans for getting off the floor when I look under the bed for lost character sheets because I’m old and things don’t work like they used to. Part of that is from the wreck.

Another thing I have is flinching when a car comes from behind while I’m walking. Since it has been 20 years after the wreck I’m assuming that is pretty much a permanent thing now, and going to happen every time now. The really bad thing about that is sometimes I flinch so hard I hurt myself from the sudden jerk. The old muscles just aren’t what they used to be.

On days like this I spend a lot of time dwelling on mortality, mine and the people around me. Deep down I know I will reach my “sell by date” and expire. But my experiences tell me I’m going to suffer a lot before I get there. And that’s what really scares me, suffering for no good reason.

Got the former tenant up to speed on her unemployment

And it looks like I won’t have to do it much longer. Her benefits run out after 9/11 (ironic) so we have two more visits to log in for her benefits and then she has to come up with a new excuse to hang out with us. She is coming over next Tuesday for my Death Day celebration. If you haven’t been paying attention this is a celebration of not being dead after I was dead, so not as morbid as some people are saying.

And somehow when I clicked the save button it posted instead. What can I say, I’ve been here since 2008, so there are more than a few ghosts in the machine.

Still entering for the new drawing for the giveaway engine from POWERNATION. It’s still the GenIII Hemi™ they were giving away a few days ago, so don’t get too excited. You can still click and win or help me win. Just don’t forget to come back and read the rest of the post. I’m also still researching the different transmissions I can use with it and the best alternative seems to be the NAG1 with the 3.59:1 first gear and 0.82 overdrive.

And weirdness continues, I was scrolling back and forth to make sure I don’t repeat myself and it acted like I was trying to go to another page and asked if I wanted to stay. Since I was just trying to read what I already wrote, no I didn’t want to leave.

Wanting to make a change but stymied by sunk costs

I’m looking at the front suspension for the Sprint-T and I’m thinking I really need to go with an independent suspension for more grip on bumpy tracks, but I’m dealing with over a thousand dollars in sunk costs, just in brakes that couldn’t be put on a different front end.

I think I could do better with Pinto/MII spindles and aluminum a-arms, but the only thing I could transfer would be the rotors and maybe the calipers. Everything else would have to be a new purchase. If Wilwood makes a kit that uses the same size rotors and the same calipers for the Pinto/MII spindles then the brackets, hubs, and everything else is sunk cost. And that’s just brakes, there is also the spindles, axle, axle brackets, and frame brackets that have to be discarded or replaced. If I was independently wealthy that would be a different story, but I’m on a very small pension and Social Security, so every penny counts and comes dearly. I basically don’t have disposable income these days, everything comes at a cost of something else I can’t get.

Actually the 2″ drop version of the Pinto/MII spindle would work better than the standard because it centers the spindle better in the wheel for more angle and more travel without hitting the A-arms, not that there was any danger of there being enough travel to cause the arms to hit the wheels. Angle, maybe, but travel never. That’s one place where the solid axle shines in comparison to the independent suspension, there’s a huge amount of clearance for angle. That and camber control through body roll, solid axles don’t change camber, like ever. There is some communication from one side to the other as pavement imperfections are encountered, but aside from that the camber doesn’t change. The axle holds the camber constant, which is why building the right angles in in the first place is so important.

Anyway, IFS would be a bit better in bumpy conditions, especially with really wide tires, but because I made that decision years ago and purchased accordingly I’m stuck with a solid front suspension. In this kind of competition the tires are a much bigger variable than solid or independent suspension. And it so happens I have some really sticky rubber picked out, and the slicks for SCCA competition are specifically designed for solid axles.

And this has no bearing to the rest of the post, but I have the non-ap browser version of Youtube Music running on the laptop and it’s really nice to not have to deal with ads in the middle of pieces like the phone version. And I still have access to my mixes and lists like the phone ap. The main difference is the browser version on my computer doesn’t use up my phone battery and I can leave it running in a tab while I edit a post in another tab or window. The phone ap is a little more portable because it uses cellular data that my laptop doesn’t have so I can listen on the bus or while riding in the car. Horses for courses, sometimes one device is better, sometimes it’s a different device.

Another doctor visit today

I had to get up at 0700 after not being able to sleep until 0200. And I had to spend about a half hour getting a car through Lyft because there’s no bus stops within 3/4 of a mile of the Dr.’s office. The appointment as for 0940, but I got there way early at about 0915.

During the visit I reported the diminishing of the noise in my head right after waking up, the lack of kicking Mrs. the Poet out of the bed when my legs didn’t twitch at night, which was a good report for the medications. But the doctor was also concerned about my weight being too high. He said I needed to lose about 10 pounds from my 191 this morning.

After doing the Dr.’s visit I decided to go get a massage with the money I had set aside but didn’t spend last week. It wasn’t anything to write home about, as the tech wasn’t very good this time. The time I went before the tech was tiny but very skilled, this time the tech was regular-size but only so-so at giving massage. My hip didn’t get as much attention this time, and my lower leg was practically ignored, but the trapezius muscle that was damaged by the tumor removed in 2015 got lots of attention and felt pretty good. I could turn my head almost normally after the massage. Speaking of my head, my neck and head got a large portion of the attention during this massage, which was definitely needed as I was carrying a lot of my tension there. Not even joking here as I can definitely tell the difference before and after. Because of the damage from the tumor normally I only have a limited range of motion in my neck before it just doesn’t go any further, it doesn’t quit because it hurts, it just won’t go any further. But after my massage I had several degrees more rotation before it stopped.

Well I’m about written out of things to say, so I guess this is where I’ll stop writing.

Short post before I go to the doctor

I’m going to see my brain doctor tomorrow. Basically it’s a followup to check how things are going and adjust the dosage, probably up since it seems to be reducing the squeal in my head that keeps me from understanding speech, particularly if there is some other kind of noise nearby.

The main reason I’m on the gabapentin is it reduces the nerve pain in my leg that sometimes triggers a reflex reaction that makes my legs twitch at night. I hope to reduce that and not wake Mrs. the Poet because I just kicked her out of the bed. And I mean that literally, my leg will twitch sometimes hard enough to put her out of the bed.

I’m hoping someday I might be able to do something about my feet hurting, but it doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon.

Am I under a Geas?

For those not into fantasy RPG a Geas is a compulsion spell that forces the victim to do something. I have to write even though I don’t actually have anything to write about. This is kinda what a Geas is like.

Since I’m trying to win a GenIII Hemi™ engine, I thought I would see what that does to my weight-and-balance for the Sprint-T. To put it succinctly, nothing good. The GenIII Hemi™ is physically larger and also has a cast iron block, so it adds over 170 pounds to the front end of the car, 415 pounds for the LS compared to roughly 580-590 for the Hemi™, and a similar situation for transmissions I could use.

I still have the “no room for 3 pedals” situation so I still have to use an automatic, even though I’m not going to be shifting much if at all when I race, and very little when I’m driving on the streets and highways. The Goodguys’ racing is all in first gear, and SCCA is first and second but mostly first. There are almost limitless models of transmissions, between the old Chrysler 3 speed and more recent 4, 5, 6, and 8 speed transmissions for sedans, SUVs, and trucks. There are also kits to bolt up transmissions from LS engines. This just gives more options.
3.6l Pentastar but the 360 pattern overlayed is also the GenIII Hemi

Basically any Mopar/FSA transmission built for a V8 engine works for a GenIII Hemi™ including some weird ones like the NAG1. The 545RFE weighs 238 pounds, the NAG1 has a listed dry weight of 125 pounds without the converter, fluids and a torque converter add weight of course. Other transmissions will bolt up, but those two have the widest ranges and the tallest overdrives for highway driving. They also have torque ratings that even a built GenIII won’t exceed.

And I’m starting to fade, so I’ma put this baby to bed and me shortly after.

Tired, poopy and a little angry

Stomach is giving me problems, I’m not sleeping right. I’m having muscle pains.
I’m angry because of all three of those.

Other than that, I really don’t have a lot to share. I’m out of sorts and there’s not much I can do about it.

Had the burger, but missed the massage

Well the visit to the Lab Rat Keeper to renew my prescriptions went well. The trip there not so much as I went through three Uber drivers trying to get the ride to my Dr. I don’t know why it was so hard to get a driver to the office, but it was and I got charged extra after I got home, but it was still way a little less than the Lyft. For some reason that was about twice as much as the Uber. Sedans were running about $50-70 on Lyft and SUVs were over $110 but the posted price on the Uber app was only about $30 at first but went up considerably by the time I finally got a driver to almost $40, and then there was a surcharge of almost $9 making the Uber price about the same as the Lyft price. And to add insult to injury I got there about 30 minutes late in spite of putting out a request about an hour before, and then another surcharge of $7 after I got home making the trip cost more than if I had taken the Lyft.

When I finally got to see the Dr. I got a (mostly) clean bill of health, with a BP of 130/80 and a weight of 191.8 pounds (87 Kg). That’s up slightly, but just a smidge and since the appointment was for 1600 I was carrying some extra food and fluid over a couple of months ago when I only had a light breakfast before weighing in. I got all my prescriptions renewed and set for a while.

After the appointment I went to Red Robin to spend the last of my pay from my gig doing QC for the USPS. As I mentioned earlier we got paid in gift cards that could only be used in a limited number of stores so we wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the pittance we got paid to scan in our mail and log the test mails we got. Anywho I got the Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger, and a Coke Zero to go with my half-pound of meat and cheese, and veggies in a bun. As is typical for Red Robin it was pretty quick, and delicious. I was done by 2000.

My next plan was to get a massage from the new place I found last month, but that was thwarted by someone getting there ahead of me and scheduling a 90 minute massage right before I got there. which would have meant I wouldn’t get done until well after closing if I picked anything except a 30 minute massage, which wouldn’t have been enough for the hip problems I was having. Basically I have been getting discomfort and a restriction of movement in all the surgical scars around my left hip, of which there were many from when they put me back together and then took out all the metal pieces that had been holding me together while the bones healed. The bones in my hip are stronger than ever, but the muscles not so much. And also that made my glutes uncomfortable, or less clinically, my butt hurt. And since I couldn’t get a massage yesterday it still hurts. I have another appointment with the brain Dr. on Monday, so I’m trying again after that. Hopefully going mid-day will be better than late-ish night.

Didn’t go to the Dr.’s office today

My appointment has been pushed back a bunch from 1400 today to 1600 tomorrow. I don’t know why, but it meshes perfectly with stopping by Red Robin for an early dinner with the last bit of pay I got from doing QC for the USPS for years.

In case you were wondering about that, we got paid in gift cards that had limited places they could be spent. That way we didn’t have to pay taxes on the pittance we got helping track letters and international packages (some of the test mails were huge). But when deJoy came in as Postmaster our group got the old heave-ho. That last gift card has about enough balance to buy one burger, drink, and dessert at Red Robin, which is one of the few eating places supported by the gift cards.

My stomach is still a bit dicey, so I’m hoping nothing goes wrong tomorrow. Also we currently have a thunderstorm making the yard into a swamp. Just thought I should mention it, because Mrs. the Poet was commenting on it and she usually ignores the weather.

And I’m currently running on 4 hours sleep and getting woozy, so I’ll put this post and myself to bed.

Wild, dramatic race today and no game

Getting the personal stuff out of the way first, we were missing the GM again and had a player out because of family stuff, so we couldn’t play today. Still waiting to find out what my stats are and how much downtime we had to take in-game to get those stats. That information resides with the GM and he did not feel up to joining the group today. I don’t know if he was just under the weather, or not wanting to be social because of work, or not wanting to be part of the group anymore.

Now to the race, there was a Cup race on the road course at Indy and it was a barn burner. It was a good race until the steel curbs marking the edges of the track where it crossed the streets inside the oval started coming up there were several caution flags to repair the curb at turn 6 and eventually a red flag to stop the race completely to remove the curb from the corner after it wrecked a bunch of cars. The first few cars in line the drivers could see the problem and avoid it but further back than 3rd in line of a pack the drivers couldn’t see the damaged curbing at all and the damage basically ripped bodywork and suspension parts clear off the cars. I’m hoping the replacements for next year are something that doesn’t stick up and wreck the cars when it gets damaged by repeatedly getting run over or is tall enough that running it over causes the cars to get upset enough to discourage curb jumping so it doesn’t get damaged. What would be best would be concrete and make it so that people drive in the street and not on the track when there’s not a road course race going on. The temporary curbs also caused problems with both of yesterday’s races, but not to the extent they did today.

Speaking of yesterday’s races the Xfinity race had a bigtime problem with an outside curb because on restarts they were still 2 wide coming through that corner and cars were getting forced wide and over the curb and crashing out. That curb was removed before today’s Cup race which was good because the same thing would have happened if they hadn’t removed the curb because they were 2 or 3 wide coming through the same corner on every restart with the Cup cars. Also yesterday during the Indycar race there was a bit of drama as the points leader for the series had what looked like the connecting rods trying to escape the engine, complete with an oil fire in the back of the car as the oil escaped through the same holes in the engine the connecting rods went through. This is the second engine in two weeks this guy has had problems with, but not to the same extent as yesterday.

Speaking of running over curbs, that’s something the Sprint-T should be good at particularly the kind they have at permanent road courses like they had yesterday and today. Regular curbs not so much, but still unless it hits at a bad angle and damages the tie rod it could drive over regular curbs also.