Monthly Archives: February 2022

Gracious! I have neglected my blog

Long story short, I have been busy doing things and haven’t had the spoons or time to write about it, but I really wanted to. Weather has been “Texas winter” as in bouncing between extremes of cold and heat from low 80s Tuesday to low 20s with freezing drizzle Wednesday, the day I had an appointment with my brain doctor. So the doctor’s office was closed but I had a televisit over the phone, and the doctor is disturbed about my depression, which we can’t do anything about until I go on Medicare and can see a therapist, and my electrolytes which requires an in-person visit to draw blood to test my levels. We know I need to supplement my magnesium, but how much we don’t know without testing. Also I need to take the nerve meds at dinner to deal with leg twitching before I go to bed at night. Leg twitches are annoying but not dangerous in themselves, but more of a warning that other things may not be operating within tolerances. I’m basically going from 300 mg to 600 mg of the Gabapentin per day, and the pharmacy has been sent prescriptions for a 6 month supply, basically 360 pills.

In other news the race at Daytona was excellent, some equipment and parts failures that were concerning due to the lack of experience with the Gen 7 (or is that Gen7?) including wheel failures either from the lug nut not being tight enough, or the wheel not seating firmly against the hub even though the nut was TIGHT. The Penske cars have been cleaning up the wheel machining to seat square against the hub, but NASCAR confiscated 2 sets of wheels to see if Penske exceeded safety margins (and rule limits) during the “cleanup”. From what I took from the press release they took a few thousandths of an inch out of the socket for the drive pins and the ID of the pilot hole that centers everything on the hub, plus all the coatings in the area of the hub seat so that there was nothing between the metal of the wheel and the metals of the hub.

My car is also not proceeding as planned, and the lack of progress is starting to make me angry as in “Mad Scientist” angry. Reminder if you want to see progress on the Sprint-T there is a link to my Ko-Fi account on the front page of the blog and I promise to use the money to buy more parts for the car and not waste it on medical bills or food.😌No guarantees about not buying copious amounts of gourmet-quality dark chocolate which (for me) is both food and medicine. More on that later. Anywho, I still need an engine and transmission that I need to know the weight of within a few pounds to know how far to the right I need to mount them for balance as opposed to how far to the right to mount them so my feet fit between the bellhousing and the inside of the body. Hopefully the “room for feet” distance is less than the “balance left to right” distance, or I’ll have other problems down the line.

Back to the dark chocolate. Back a little over a decade ago I was part of a study on the effects of really dark (basically the stuff they use in baking without the sugar) chocolate on the body, and let me tell you if it was a drug it would be a miracle drug: it lowers systolic BP 5-10 points, it reduced the effects of stress beyond blood pressure, it’s an effective antidepressant. Any kind of real, botanical (as opposed to synthetic flavoring) chocolate can do that, but the closer to pure unsweetened chocolate liquor you get, the greater the effects and fewer the side effects like zits and weight gain. I weighed about 210 pounds back then so my dose was about 3 ounces a day of bitter chocolate or I think 6 ounces of milk chocolate, fortunately I like the bitter chocolate. If there was any drawback to using dark chocolate as a drug it’s the dose needed to see results, usually drugs are prescribed in milligrams, not ounces, and are taken in tiny pills, not in huge blocks. On the other hand the overdose limit is in the tens of pounds range , and it’s in the GRAS list of substances you can put in your body as food. I’ll leave it for the reader to calculate how much chocolate they would need to die happy, but let me just say a toxic amount of chocolate would make you so sick to your stomach that you would not “die happy”.

One more reminder that I have a Ko-Fi account you can donate through at the bottom of the sidebar to the right and I’ll put this one to bed.


Happy Valentine’s Day

And congrats to all the Rams fans for winning the Superb Owl, who will now fly around your heads for a year.

Game group went well as our assault on the McKinney Omega Mart got under way, with my initial assault against the building with an HE grenade from the launcher having literally no effect because the building was not entirely in the Material plain when my turn came up in the initiative. I did get to blow up some shelves and demonic merch next time through. Our Technomancer did get the building out of the Matrix by crashing the part of the building that was a server, now it’s just partially in the Astral and Material plains, so I still can’t use my grenade launcher against the building yet. And that’s where we had to leave off after several hours of RP and intense virtual dice rolling. I like our rolling bot in Discord, I’m getting combat rolls that I could never manage physically with real dice, my unbuffed grenade launcher roll is 18 d6, with buffs I can go as high as 24. And our Technomancer has some rolls that are in the low 30s of d6, can you imagine holding 30 d6 in your hand? No don’t imagine that it’s impossible.

Other stuff, I’m on pins and needles waiting on the Daytona 500, and all the pandemonium leading up to it. The qualifying is Wednesday, the Duels are on Thursday there are Truck, ARCA, and Xfinity series races Friday and Saturday, and the Cup race is on Sunday at 1430 ET, 1330 here. Because the Gen7 cars are in such short supply the winning car this year will not go to the Museum like all the previous winners, a show car body on a partial chassis without a drivetrain will get a wrap in the winner’s livery complete with printed confetti. Basically they are hanging a Gen7 body over a Gen6 frame and hoping that will be “Good Enough” for a year, when they will go back to the winning car spending a year in the Museum. I wonder how they are going to do the wheels and tires, the 15″ steel rims and 10″ wide tire of the Gen6 car or the 18″ aluminum wheels and 12″ wide tire of the Gen7? We’ll find out Monday.

I’m running out of things to say

Basically I have exhausted almost everything I have to say about almost everything after over 3600 posts since November of 2008. I don’t want to talk about politics, I don’t want to talk about bicycle infrastructure because then I have to talk about why we need bicycle infrastructure. Which then takes me back to why I stopped covering bicycle wrecks.

The tl;dr version of that story is after years of writing about the same three wrecks with different names and addresses attached to them I finally couldn’t take it any more and went into a more-depressed-than usual funk, and had to take a permanent break from writing bike stories. Everyone has a limit and I reached mine in either March or April of 2016, because there are no wreck stories after April of 2016, but there were wreck links through March of that year. So basically not quite 8 years of death and destruction before I lost my mind. I even did a page dedicated to how most bike wrecks happen, the link is the Spelling It Out link in the list of pages at the top of the blog.

And it has been more than 24 hours since I started and I still haven’t thought of anything more to say so it’s time to put this to bed.

Been out of sorts lately

I’ve basically been hurting pretty much everywhere and it has disturbed my circadian rhythms among other things. All my joints are reminding me I have arthritis, and every severe muscle injury reminds me of what I did. Now since I’m old and lived an active life I have several severe muscle injuries to be reminded of.

Basically my hips and shoulders are reminding me as Mrs. the Poet likes to say I’ve been ridden hard and put away wet, but I’m not here to complain (much). I’m here to talk about Grandpa chasers on dating aps. I get people (women) talking to me on these aps because of the silver in my hair and the snow in my beard, but they don’t ask me for money so maybe these aren’t running a scam. Some do ask if I’m looking for a wife and ghost me when I tell them about Mrs. the Poet, so wedding scams. But there are a very few that don’t disappear when I tell them I’m looking for a cuddle buddy without sex. I’m not sure what to do about them.

I think a big part of my problems is the weather bouncing back and forth between the deep freeze and Mediterranean early spring. We have had lows in the 20s and the high teens, and highs in the high 60s and low 70s a few days later. The forecast for tomorrow is for 72°F, flirting with a record high for the date. Friday is even higher at 78°F and lows about 45 both days. Texas weather can’t make up its mind this time of year. We are between the Continental weather area and the Coastal weather area so some times we get weather like we are in the middle of the continent, and sometimes like we are against the water on the coast.

Interesting thing happened, Mrs. the Poet was invited to a virtual party over the weekend and the microphone is working with my laptop now since the forced update from W10 to 11. Turns out I just needed a better driver than any of the ones I had in 10. Speaking of which I’m getting another update notice that I need to restart my computer so this looks like a good place to put this post to bed. I’ll get back online after I do the update thing, but I’ll see you guys later.

Still cold, hands still not working right

And we may not be going shopping if the roads refreeze tonight. The roads got better during the day because they were in mostly full sun until sundown, but the temperatures dropped like a rock in a still pond as soon as the sun set and as I compose this post it’s 25°F a full 10° colder than the high for the day. (For my SI readers that is -3.9°C and 5.5°C).

The window next to my desk where I compose these posts is leaking cold air over my feet and also my hands so I’m freezing now. The thermometer on my desk says it’s 63°F up there by the wall, but the softdrink under my desk says it’s significantly cooler than that. The soda is significantly cooler than my mouth and cooler than the room temp on top of my desk. In fact I’m thinking about putting socks on inside my slippers to keep my feet a little less cold. BRB. That’s better, not toasty, but less cold.

I’m still trying to find the right transmission for the Sprint-T. I have to keep my budget in mind, as well as the output of my most-likely engine, and also trying to maximize the result of M=f*a by reducing the value of “M” and increasing the value of “f” to get the largest possible value of “a”. And at the same time getting the highest possible final drive (lowest absolute value) for best fuel mileage on the highway, and a first gear ratio that tops out at 40 MPH in first gear. That’s a lot of conflicting values that have to be juggled. I’m still finding different transmissions that will bolt to an LS engine.

And I’m starting to get tired and ready for bed, because sleepy, so I think this is a good place to put this post to bed, then me.

The weather looks like a mess

The local temperature is bouncing between 32° and 33° F (0 and .4° C) and it’s raining. That combines to make it miserable to be outside. It could get worse if it drops another couple of degrees F, which is in the forecast. If I was to go outside I would be wet and miserable right now, instead I’m sitting at my desk in a fairly warm house with a few drafts across my desk, that make my fingers hurt.

In other news I found a transmission with a 0.68 top gear that has a 500 ft-pound rating and only weighs 99 pounds and costs $2200± depending on the exchange rate that day.TKO 5 speed RWD transmission Not as light as a GeForce T5, but thou$and$ less in price. Tradeoffs must be made in the pursuit of performance on a budget.

And the freezing rain has been making small chunks of ice fall off the branches outside my office window randomly, which make me jump when it happens. I’m not real sure of how that happens, but it does. As I understand freezing rain a supercooled drop of water changes state to frozen when it hits the surface of an object, which should mean it’s frozen to the object and incapable of falling off until it melts, but it seems we are getting freezing on top of molten water that remains unfrozen because Texas weather is weird, and then when it gets heavy enough it falls off the surface it froze on. This was happening fairly frequently when I started composing this post, but the temperature has dropped several degrees since I started and the rain has changed to sleet and the small falling things haven’t been falling lately, or at least not loud enough for me to notice. It’s now 29°F, 3-4 degrees F cooler than at the time I started composing this post, and when the furnace fan isn’t running I can only hear the delicate pitter-patter of sleet on the ground.

Been having problems getting it together to write

Basically I’ve been too distracted to write. The racing season just started with the 24 Hours of Daytona and the hype preceding it, the RPG group is assaulting an eldritch horror disguised as a convenience store, and my card was blocked because Fraud Detection flagged a project on Kickstarter, but the operator had a thick accent that basically removed the letter “r” from her vocabulary so she pronounced it “kickstop” and I didn’t know what the heck that was (and the project was Australian so that’s the country they flagged so I was very confused and also several hours away from normal waking up which added to the confusion).

Going in chronological order we start out with the Fraud Protection waking me up shortly after sunrise Saturday when I had only been asleep a little over an hour because of annoying aches and pains from my damaged nerves feeling like I was getting stabbed with burning knives (I forgot to mention neuropathy has been getting worse since the start of the year), so I wasn’t really “with it” to begin with, and then it bothered me so much I didn’t get to sleep the rest of the day. So I did the grocery shopping also in a daze because Saturday. I remembered to get most of the stuff on the list plus the spaghetti sauce and the green pepper. Then I watched the first part of the 24 mostly catching the action, then fell into bed.

I slept for about 10 hours and woke up to catch the last 2 hours of the 24 to see Helio Castroneves drive the last stint to win the race with a wreck behind him on the last lap. Then I had another cup of tea and fired up the electronics for the RPG game, which my character spent most of this session plugged into the car waiting to go Pink Mohawk as we tried to infiltrate the Omega Mart in McKinney that was Physically Too Big on the inside, was also a Matrix Server, and had some weirdness on the Astral Plane so it was spooking a number of magic users, hackers, and other people who had just enough resonance to pick up the weirdness but not know what it was. My character does not fall in any of those categories so he doesn’t feel a thing beyond his normal out-of-phase with reality getting killed 16 (or 26 or 36) times has gotten him to. Everything feels “off” to him, but somehow he muddles through it. When we had to quit because of time we had just rolled for initiative getting ready to fight something we didn’t know what it was because it was different on the material plane, the astral, and the Matrix. And we had been hired to destroy the convenience store anyway because people had been spooked and didn’t want it near them and Zoning couldn’t do anything because zoning laws are toothless in the Shadowverse. Anywho when we left off I had just jacked out of the van and threw a magazine of HE into the grenade launcher because I was supposed to take out things on the Material Plane and let other team members worry about the Matrix and Astral Plane.