Category Archives: getting to know me

Happy Independence Day (observed)

Another day of weird sleep patterns, waking up before the buttcrack of dawn. Seriously getting tired of waking up the chickens to remind the rooster to crow. The good news is because I have all the ingredients to a safe and effective sleepytime cocktail I can pretty much decide when I want to go to bed now, and be able to shut my brain down to get some decent sleep. Decent sleep with weird dreams, but I’ll take weird dreams as the price of getting decent sleep.

On my music streaming app right now is Stranglehold by Ted Nugent. He’s pretty much an asshole now but he was a good musician then. And the back-and-forth between the guitar and the bass and swiping the theme from Bolero is what makes Stranglehold Classic Rock. The lyrics, not so much, but given the ratio between lyrics and instrumental passages we can pretty much ignore the lyrics as just something to break up the instrumentals. And while I was writing the critique of Stranglehold we moved on to Tom Sawyer, a song that demands you pay attention to the lyrics. And Imma stop writing about music now.

My son has purchased a home ice cream maker, and he brought over samples when he came over to do his laundry on the washer and drier he bought. Make no mistake, they stay here, but he paid for them so he has a place to do his laundry, and also an excuse to check up on his parents every week. But anywho, ice cream. He made some regular ice cream to test out the machine and have experience with how it works, but the main reason he bought it was to make sugar-free ice cream so he can have ice cream even though he has diabetes. He brought a small sample of the sugar-free recipe, and larger samples of the regular recipes. Part of what he has learned is sugar controls the formation of ice crystals in the finished product, and his first attempt at sugar-free had some crystal formation that was larger than he wanted, and the technique to reduce the crystals was churning the whee out of the ice cream before letting it set up. Basically it takes about twice as long to churn the sugar-free stuff as it does to make regular ice cream. And this machine does a heck of a job with the regular recipes.

Also, my son is a culinary genius who delights in sharing his creations with others. He made a coffee ice cream that was heavenly, because he steeped the coffee beans in the custard while it was cooking. He also made a peanut butter ice cream that was so smooth and creamy because the peanut oils synergized with the milk fat to make something impossible. The TL;DR for this is basically one word: yummy.

On the Sprint-T front, I’m beginning to think the fan shroud I got was in the wrong box, because it is nowhere near as big as the part description in the catalog. That’s why the 14″ fans had so much overlap when I checked how they would fit. Now I have to see if I can get an exchange for the right parts.

And I think I am about out of words I can put in the right order, as there is a lady on Messenger wanting to know about how I got killed in ’01. >sigh<

Time for word barf

y that I mean I am compelled to write something, but I have no clue as to subject. So basically I’m just throwing up words from my mind through my fingers. It isn’t helping that I’m listening to my trance channel on my music app, shortest piece just over 3 minutes, longest piece just under 2 hours. This music is ideal for writing when I have a topic, because I can just turn my mind loose and words will fall out of my fingers practically by themselves. But when I don’t have a topic, subject, or prompt I can’t even hit the right keys for the words I don’t know. It’s like my mind is running around screaming and can’t find anything to say. That is a very disconcerting feeling.

Part of the problem is I’m solving a non-verbal problems with the Sprint-T re-do to make it so I can get in and out without resorting to a hoist. I’m working with 2 scenarios on this one. The first is to reduce the height of the front hoop so that I can get in and out by climbing over the side but still have SCCA legal rollover protection. Basically that one calls for everything between the rear hoop and the front bulkhead inclusive to get tweaked if not completely redone.

The other scenario is to raise the tops of both hoops enough that I can get out the side, which looks bad and raises the center of gravity, but only changes the rest of the car slightly and retains all the torsional rigidity from the first concept. A third possibility is to just ignore the loss of rigidity caused by the unbraced hole in the top of the cage and add grab bars to the halo structure so I can get in and out, while leaving the hole basically big enough to drop the body through and the roll hoops just high enough to pass SCCA tech. This is one of the better-looking alternatives that leaves the car with a low profile and decent rigidity. I could brace the hole in the top around the outside in this one, but it would be rehllyy yuhgly (misspelled on purpose, pronounce it like it’s spelled) to have tubes hanging off the top of the cage, and after reviewing it doesn’t help the ingress/egress problem.

Another problem is there has to be another bay that is unbraced across the to because the bracing obstructs forward vision. The top of the front bay behind the front bulkhead is basically the forward vision path, so to remain street-legal no bracing is allowed. So I have two out of three bays with no bracing across the top, even though they are completely braced sides and bottom and partially braced between them on the front hoop up as far as the base of the windshield. The open tops are something that can be dealt with somehow, I’ll figure it out.

This computer has become painfully slow, but that’s not what I came here to say

OK when I sat down for the express purpose of writing a blog post it was 0219:19. It is now 0225:55 and all I did was open Chrome and select this page from Bookmarks. That’s almost 7 minutes to boot and open a specific web page. But that’s not what I came here to say.

I’m sitting here because some people (using the term as loosely as possible) in the TX Legislature think other people are not actually people. You know with inalienable rights and whatnot. People like women, BIPOC, and transgendered people are not really people in their eyes, they are property to be controlled. I don’t think I have to mention this is fundamentally wrong, but apparently I’m wrong because I need to mention (strange way to spell scream in their faces, but I’ll go with it) it to these people. These are real people that you are causing real harm to. Remember there is a corollary to the Golden Rule: Others will treat you as you treat them. Do GOP members of the TX Legislature really want to have their ID rejected at the polls and be refused access to a ballot? Or do they want to be forced to submit to a genital search to be allowed to use a toilet? Or do they want to be forced to donate organs because they no longer have bodily autonomy? Because this is what they require from BIPOC, transgendered people, and women in that order.

I mentioned this in a FB post, but the legislators who voted in favor of the Heartbeat Bill should all have to roll a d20 once a year every year for life, and if they roll a 20 then nothing happens to them that year, a 19 through 2 they donate one kidney to a matching person on the transplant list, and a Nat 1 means they donate both kidneys. I know what you’re going to say, “What if they already lost a kidney?” “What if they can’t live on dialysis for the rest of their lives when they lose both kidneys?” Well for some women not having the choice of an abortion is exactly the same as donating both kidneys to an unmatched donor. She dies, they die, and nobody profits. For a small, but growing, number of pregnancies the choice is a living mother who might be able to carry a different baby to term, or nothing. No mother, no baby, just the remains of a family destroyed for no good reason except to control women, consequences be damned.

Now if it wasn’t painfully obvious before I am a tree-hugging, freedom-loving Liberal Democratic Socialist. I believe in Capitalism With Limits as the means by which can be achieved the Greater Good, and the odd capitalization is on purpose. What we are seeing in this country is unrestrained capitalism and wealth hoarding, which is literally killing the Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs of the economy. The way the economy is set up money is made when people buy things, which creates money flow to other people who make and buy things and so on and so on, with the money flowing to the next guy, and some coming out in taxes so that some people get money to spend even though they don’t have jobs for one reason or another, but still have a place to live and food to eat because that also makes the economy move. But the problem is some people act like all the money is their money and refuse to let any go to other people, but don’t or can’t spend the money a fast as letting other people spend it, and because of that the economy slows down, and the people who don’t spend don’t make as much, but still want it all so they take more money out of the economy from the other people only this time they are taking it away from the people who do have jobs, meaning there is even less money to run the economy.

So what we need to do is arrest and execute all of the worst offenders reform the tax code and employment laws so that living wages are paid to people who have jobs, and a fair share is taken in taxes from the people hoarding the wealth. The people hoarding the wealth will not feel any privation or even be denied a $300 million dollar superyacht (partially tax-deductible if none of your workers or any of the yacht-maker’s workers are below say 300% of the poverty line), but the people getting the money will also be lifted from poverty and need. Want may still exist, but if done right nobody will lack a place to sleep or food to eat. They might not have the best place to sleep, but it will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and have broadband access, and they will be able to cook in the kitchen.

And to end the post, a list of Flying Spaghetti Monster religious holidays for June:
June 1st Go Barefoot Day
June 2nd Laugh Like a Bad Guy Day
June 3rd Mushroom Sauce Day
June 4th Cougar Day
June 5th Doughnut Day
June 6th Adopt a New Phobia day
June 7th Capt. Jack Sparrow Impersonation Day
June 8th Be Annoyingly Cheerful Day
June 9th Bathe in Marinara Day
June 10th Flirting Day
June 11th Fish Day
June 12th Be Paranoid Day
June 13th Gin Day
June 14th Bourbon Day
June 15th Bad Joke Day
June 16th World Meat-free Day
June 17th Contact an Old Friend Day
June 18th Now Panic Day
June 19th Martini Day
June 20th World Juggling Day
June 21st World Humanist Day
June 22nd Marinara Sauce Day
June 23rd Parrot Pondering Day
June 24th Sexual Fantasy Day
June 25th Seafarer Day
June 26th Carbonara Day
June 27th Blue-Footed Booby Day
June 28th Tickle Day
June 29th Knitting Day
June 30th Just Another Day Day

I think I like the 5th, the 11th, and the 16th the best but not in that order.

Happy Pride Month

I’m a little late because of the circumstances recounted in the previous two posts, but happy Pride Month. I’m your basic cis-het male ally, lost count of the gay/trans/lesbian people we rescued off the streets, but still trying to get a handle on how I can help more people. About the only orientation/sexuality we haven’t put up for a night or a month has been Ace/aro, because for some reason people who don’t have sex with anyone don’t get tossed out of their homes by their parents. We also put up a few pagan people who got told to leave their homes for many reasons. There was a lot of crossover between Pagan and the LGBTQA community sleeping in our house.

Which is why we take people in and give them a place to sleep and get a bath/shower and a bite to eat. Many times they show up on our doorstep with only the clothes on their backs and a toothbrush, sometimes without even the toothbrush. But we take them in anyway, because we do what we can. Unless they are violent or otherwise disrespectful to other members of the house they have a place to stay. This is how we celebrate Pride in this house.

I hope you have a pleasant Memorial Day

And a reminder, Memorial Day is for the dead who served, Veteran’s Day is for the ones no longer serving but still among us, and Armed Forces Day is for those currently serving. And when I was a kid with a military parent I loved Armed Forces Day, because I got to apply all the good stuff I learned from the next door neighbor who was an Armorer (or Armorer’s Mate, it was like the mid-60s and I’ve been hit in the head several times since then) who would give me the comic books they used to teach stuff back then. I literally learned how to field-strip a machine gun from reading DoD published comic books, then applied said knowledge to the displays at Schofield Barracks. There is a picture of me somewhere in the archives of the Army Times of me aiming the machine gun I had just assembled from the display they had set out disassembled. As I was just 7 YO I didn’t have the hand strength to take it apart, but the requirements to put this one together are much less strenuous than taking one apart and I suspect this one was on display because it was worn out too far to use for anything other than “take apart and put together” displays. So my 7 YO hands were up to the task of putting it back together.

I watched the Coca-Cola “World 600” (I’m sorry but it will always be the “World 600” to me no matter who sponsors it) as it happened, but I recorded the Indy 500 and will watch that tomorrow. I already know Helio Castroneves won (thanks Fox Sports) but there is a huge gulf between knowing the winner and knowing what happened in the race. Kinda like the difference between knowing Kyle Larson won and knowing how many cautions there were and how many red flags and how many cars were on the lead lap at the end, etc. I’m sure there will be a synopsis posted on YouTube if there isn’t already, so I’ll steer you toward those and not spoil anything for you in this post. No promises about tomorrow’s post if there is one, I may have to go do stuff Tuesday.

One of the things that troubles me about surviving my wreck is the accelerated rate things go bad with my body. My doctor who put me back together warned me that I would age faster as a result of the damages that killed me in the wreck, which as I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog were extensive. Let’s just say that for the purposes of this post the fact that I died was not in doubt, the fact that I came back was somehow still in doubt if I wasn’t still breathing in front of you. As I posted, there is a full recounting of my injuries in a separate page listed at the top of the blog, you’ll figure out which one from the titles. Anywho what is bothering me this week is an injury I got after the wreck because of an injury I got during the wreck. I was doing a Chinese exercise and stretching class and over-stretched my right hip when I lost my balance doing a pose. Didn’t even hurt for several days after I fell, but a few weeks later I could barely move the leg and had to have help putting my socks on. This was when I was supposed to be taking care of my dad after his wreck that broke his shoulder (and his spirit) and not being able to move my foot where I could put my sock on made that difficult when we had to transport Dad to the hospital for treatment after I botched caring for him and his kidneys started to fail because I forgot to force him to drink water when he didn’t want to drink any water. Let’s just say I’m a terrible son and leave it go at that.

Anywho, that old injury is acting up again in a different way and I’m having issues with walking around. Basically one of the muscles that moves the hip and stabilizes me when I walk has decided that it no longer wants to work the hours I work and tries to take the rest of the day off before I’m done with it. This results in one of two things, I find a place to sit until this muscle recovers, or I fall on my face, or through a plate glass window, or the front storm door (that was a funny one, ha ha, still sweeping up the mess from that one) or basically whatever is least convenient personally or closest to me. Usually it is on my face. Makes taking walks for my health somewhat iffy as usually there is not enough warning that my leg is about to dump me on my face to do anything about it unless there are a number of things nearby to lean against and rest my leg. I mention this because I want to take walks for my health again and guess what, there are not many things to lean against or sit on in my neighborhood, because homeless people might use them? We have bus stops that should have benches because you might have to wait 60 minutes if you get there just as the bus goes by and there’s no driver for the other bus on the route. Anywho, I can walk about a quarter-mile at a go before my leg says time for a break, but the nearest leaning tree or post is 0.4 miles from the house, next to the bus stop going to the mall.

And, that is enough literally breathless prose for the day. Remember those who served the US until they couldn’t serve any more, and celebrate their service and sacrifice. And have a hamburger or hot dog in their honor, or sip a cold beer. Just don’t forget like the Republicans in Congress did about the Capitol Police who were killed or injured during the 1/6 insurrection everybody saw on TV.

Today was a struggle

And I’m not exaggerating (much). All I wanted to do was get rid of my winter fur. What I got was multiple hours of travel and standing around waiting for buses that never showed.

First thing I did was remove the beard and wash my hair. Well after drinking my coffee and eating breakfast. Then I grabbed my clippers and mowed off the longest parts of the face fur.
After shaving, before the shower.
After the clippers and a shave I showered and washed the mop for the last time until winter. Then I set out on what was later to turn out to be a major trek.

Seriously, the trip from the house to the barbershop and back home took hours, each way. The first stumble was when I got to the stop a few minutes before the scheduled arrival, only to not see the bus. Seriously I had eyes on the stop for more than 4 minutes before the scheduled time, and never saw a bus. I got there and paused my fitness tracker, opened my bus app and activated my afternoon pass right at the time the bus was scheduled, and didn’t get on the bus until 35 minutes later. I was on time, the bus was either way early or never showed.

When I got to the transit center the bus was a minute or two late leaving, but on time when I got to the barbershop. Well, as on time as missing a bus can get me. Shearing the rest of the fur took some time, but 2 hours after I left the house I had a decent haircut, that complemented the shape of my head. So I walked across the street to catch the next scheduled bus 20 minutes later, and leaned against the signpost facing traffic to make sure I didn’t miss the bus this time. And I waited, and I waited until the scheduled time for the bus had passed, but no bus did. I waited some more, until the scheduled time for the next bus. No bus, until 15 minutes after it was supposed to be there and 10 minutes after I was supposed to be home I got on the bus. Because of the way the schedule worked for the bus from the transit center to the stop closest to the house I was about an hour late from the first Google maps estimated arrival. But I looked good when I got home.
Nice haircut!

And I could still smile, because I looked goooood!

I’ve been dealing with health issues

That’s about all I’m gonna say about my hiatus from the blog. Health. Issues.

In other news I’m taking Mrs. the Poet to get her first Moderna shot tomorrow. I have to go because she has no idea on how to use the Lyft app, and because there has to be someone with her to keep an eye on her in case she has a reaction to something in the vaccine. I make frequent jokes about Mrs. the Poet being a Luddite, but she really is “challenged” by technology. Witness that her phone has no apps that were not pre-installed from the factory. And she has no interest in learning how to use my Lyft app to get around even when all the rides are paid for by me. So if she needs to get someplace she can’t go by bus, she has to get me to take her on my Lyft, or talk someone else over the phone into taking her.

On other fronts I got out and got a full massage for the first time in weeks. The weather and fallout from it has kept me almost house-bound since the Snowpockalypse as places recover from the damage of the cold and from the electrical blackout that came with it. And also walking around paying my phone bill showed I was really close to having to call 911 for help because of my balance when I just walked from the house to the bus, from the bus to the phone store, store to bus, bus to house, and collapse in the house. Those last few steps from the mailbox to the house were hard, especially for balance. And no, these are not part of the health issues that have been keeping me off the blog. I’m also thinking about using the parts and tools I bought to get some work done on the front axle of the Sprint-T.

I know what to do, I’m just having problems getting to the garage and doing it. A big part of the problem is navigating the obstacle course between the house and the garage, because I have to move the garbage can and the roll-around in order to get to the door, the navigate the garage to get too my tools which also got moved to places I can’t find them. If I didn’t know better I would swear my stuff got moved to the places it was hardest for me to get to on purpose…

So, anywho, what I need to do is mock up the axle brackets with the heim joints I’ll be using so the spacing is correct, set them on the garage floor 31″ apart outside-to-outside, then set the axle down centered on the brackets and rotated so the kingpin bosses are inclined 7°±0.5 positive caster then use my oxy-acetylene torch to heat the tips of the brackets and where they rest on the axle cherry red to pre-heat the joint before laying a tack from my flux-core welder. I have to do that because even at its highest setting my poor welder can’t handle the thickness of the brackets and the axle. The brackets are 5/16” and the axle is 1/4” wall thickness, and the max rating for the welder is 3/16” wall or bracket. And that’s probably more information than you wanted to know. Yep my cheap Harbor Freight welder can’t handle the biggest joint on the car, but if I do it right I can get a good tack weld so it can be welded by someone with a bigger welder.

And that seems like a good place to end this.

Well, I’m better

I can say I’m better, but not recovered.

After about 14 hours in bed most of which I was asleep, I can move better, walk almost normally (for me), headache is mostly gone, and I don’t fall down trying to pee. Sleep schedule is still borked, but I will try to power through the day until I can sleep at night again. I pretty much “lost” Saturday and I’m trying to not lose Sunday as well, but it’s feeling like a losing battle .

Also I think not getting good sleep was a major part of why I was having problems. That hypothesis was brought on by the fact I spent the majority of Saturday in bed, mostly sleeping. And verified by the headache coming back first as I get tired again.

This is another post cut short by health issues.

Having balance issues again

Seriously having balance issues after yesterday’s trip to pay the phone bill. As in trying to urinate in the toilet and falling backwards spraying a large part of the bathroom floor. I think I’m having another flareup of that issue I was having at the beginning of the year where the connection between my eyes nd my inner ear was bolluxed up, as in ear saying one thing but eyes are reporting something about 30° or so different. And I’m getting it even when I’m sitting in my chair.

Like I wrote the worst thing is it sometimes hits me when I’m trying to use the bathroom, which results in bad aim. And floors that need cleaning. Another bad thing is it’s giving me a headache. And I’m trying to fall out of my chair at the computer, so there is lots of bad news to go around tonight.

Rather than try to fight it I’m just going to go ahead and call it a night and hit the sheets.

Evolution of a taste

A few years ago I didn’t know Electro Swing was a genre, now it’s one of my favorite forms of music. My first exposure was the video “Derpy Groove”, then I found out what the looped sample was from, and who by, and then YouTubeMusic made suggestions, and now I spend time listening to Parov Stelar, Jaime Berry, Postmodern Juke Box, Infected Mushroom which TBH is a little trance and some electro swing, and Caravan Palace, and some other bands like Electric Swing Circus.

Of course I still listen to Classic Rock, Arena Rock, Jazz-Rock Fusion, Boogy Blues, Rock Blues (think Yardbirds and early Deep Purple), and a bunch of stuff I have no idea what genre it belongs to besides “music”. I used to watch “Hee Haw” when I was younger and we only had one channel on the Tee Vee, so I appreciate the good parts of country music like Roy Clark and Buck Owens guitar and banjo duets, and also genre-busting instrumentals like Mason Williams’ Classical Gas. Trivial aside, Mason Williams was the musical director for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour when he wrote Classical Gas. But as I put it when I was in high school, I have a very catholic (small “c”) taste in music. I listen to many of the classical greats, I had both editions of “Switched On Bach”, had a few Beethoven pieces in my record collection, and also had “The Stripper and other family Tunes” in the stack.

My YTM Supermix is practically schizophrenic, today’s first page of artists are: Led Zeppelin, The Electric Swing Orchestra, Vertical Mode & Astrix, Infected Mushroom, Joe Walsh, Alpha Portal, Kraftwerk, Delta Heavy, and Billy Thorpe. That first cut is off Zep 1, which is basically the last record from the Yardbirds recorded under their new name, and while some of the pieces are from this century, there are many from the middle of the previous century. The point being I like lots of different music.

One thing I have noticed is a heavy preference for percussion heavy instrumental tracks like some Trance and House, and also the works of Blue Man Group. There is a jam session that has about 20 minutes of continual music by the Blue Men, and a traditional Japanese Tyco drums group, and it ROCKS!

I’ve been blissing out to the long version of “Autobahn” while thinking about what to write next when it occurred that I should write that I can bliss out on pieces such as that. Seriously, before I knew what meditation was, I meditated to things like “Autobahn” “Tubular Bells” and the long cuts of stuff from Yes and Rick Wakefield. For a long time my favorite album was “Welcome Back My Friends to The Show that Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen Emerson Lake and Palmer” And if that’s not the longest album title ever it’s certainly the longest in the Rock Era.

Seriously, I can get completely lost in Karnevil 9, or the first side of “Tubular Bells” or the aforementioned title track from the breakout Kraftwerk album. The saving grace of Blue Man Group for me is their pieces only last about 7 minutes, otherwise the texture of their music would likewise take me away.