Category Archives: getting to know me

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.

I still have all my fingers and toes, and thoughts on how to make it true for everyone

The near-zero °F weather hasn’t been all that dangerous because I never get far from the house for long enough to get hurt. I went to check the mail twice just to make sure it didn’t run (hasn’t for 3 days so far), and that’s all the time I spent outside. So far we had one extended power outage caused by lack of natural gas to the co-op generator that hasn’t happened again. We still have good water pressure and safe water to drink, and the water heater is still online.

In other news as of today Mrs. the Poet has been married to me 43 years. Yeah I know, I don’t know how she did it either. I am NOT the easiest person to live with, but neither am I the worst person to live with. I have my problems, and so does Mrs. the Poet. We manage to not kill each other somehow and are still together in spite of all the people betting against us. How that happened I’m not really sure, but I think it means we were made for each other. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m glad it did.

Back to the weather and the problems caused by it, the causes have been isolated. Basically it comes down to a system designed to run on the ragged edge because profits, which when the Spam hit the fan basically fell apart because there was no reserve capacity for abnormal conditions like there would be if it was regulated by people who put reliability over profits. The system has enough capacity to handle the load if the weather is above freezing, but as the temperatures dropped near or below 0°F the equipment wasn’t built to take it and went offline. The controls at natural gas wellheads literally froze up and wouldn’t allow more gas to flow in spite of demand. The wind turbines were not equipped with deicing equipment and froze up and couldn’t turn at full speed, because it was cheaper to not equip them, and nobody to force them to install the equipment. This is why electrical power systems need to be regulated because making the system work in good weather is not good enough, making the system work in really hot weather isn’t good enough because it gets hot every summer, but the system has to be built for when weather gets really bad once in a blue moon. And the last time it got this cold was winter of 1989-90.

There are only 2 ways to fix this. Either make everybody build to the standard that will work at -10°F, or pay operators to be emergency capacity and have wind turbines that will work at -40°F and wells that still work at -40°F just to make sure they will work in spite of anything that comes down from Canada on the jet stream. Personally I think making everyone build to the same standard works better than paying some to build to be ready for anything. If you can’t (won’t) build to standards that exceed record bad weather then you don’t get paid as much for your electricity when the weather is good. If you build for all weather then your turbine gets a bonus to keep it that way when weather is good. This recognizes that building and maintaining systems that only get used once or twice a decade is an added expense and compensating operators that build to that standard. Since TX is so afraid of “regulations”, make them “incentives” instead. I don’t know what way would be best to do it, whether paying more per KWatt/hour, or by paying a flat rate per month for fully winterized systems. The only other way to do it and be fair is to require winterized systems for every provider.

And in case you wonder about that tag.The Flintstone Happy anniversary song full clip How Barney manages to sing and play piano with his head facing the wrong direction I’ll never understand beyond “cartoon logic”.

Trying to do something different

I keep having to change the URL I use to access the page to put something down to add to the blog, and this was a test to see if it works as a single-step method of getting to the composition page. Spoiler alert it works.

The other thing I wanted to write about was a test of the motorsports as sleep aid hypothesis, and so far for the one test subject this study has it works pretty good. It helps that there is a channel in my cable package that has old races on about the time I should be going to bed Monday-Thursday. Old races are the best for getting to sleep, because they have the engine noises from the race, and they are at least a year old so I have no investment in finding out who won. Any long-term repercussions expired in December if not sooner as all the championships have been long decided. So it’s just a noise machine that makes noises that make me fall asleep at this point.

So as I wrote, the noise and lack of connection to the outcome lets me shut my brain off, which lets me relax and fall asleep. This is a good thing as I have trouble staying on a diurnal sleep schedule, and being able to pick a time to fall asleep without massive amounts of chemical assistance. I’m wondering if this also works for other people who have difficulty getting their brains to shut down so they can sleep. Do you have some kind of activity you like to watch that combines a droning sound with activity that is innocuous and lets your brain shut down? Please leave a comment if you do, I won’t judge. Other people leaving comments might, but I will delete those comments as soon as I get the notice about them.

Not been feeling well

It started Saturday afternoon when I had a dizzy and nauseous spell while shopping. I did manage to get home and unloaded the groceries, but shortly after dinner I started getting dizzy and really tired and went to bed about 2000 Saturday.

Well, I didn’t sleep real good and after a night (and most of a day) of strange dreams I finally woke up about 1500 Sunday and then napped on and off until 1700 still having weird dreams about Escherian houses and walking paths with stretches of deep sand. You know Escher, the guy that drew impossible buildings and especially those staircases that never end? Well he could be the architect of some of the houses I see in my dreams. Seriously, the rooms and staircases in these dreams lack exterior walls and don’t always line up, because they follow “dream logic”. This is a thing, that you can Google, where dreams follow an internal consistency that is not shared by the waking world, but that seems to be shared between people in the dreaming world. Thus we get buildings with internal walls and doors, but that are open to the outside and people just walk in and out and have conversations like there is a difference between inside and out.

The fact that I have more dreams like this when I’m not feeling well might have something to do with how my brain works (or doesn’t) when I’m sick. Also there doesn’t seem to be any consistency about if I do or don’t take my sleep aids before bed.

And I was reading web comics while composing this post and this comic reminded me of several wrecks where I was first or almost first on scene and people died or were horribly mutilated, like when the guy rolled the SUV with his harm hanging out the window, or the guy who drove his Chevette under the flatbed trailer until it hit him in the face, and he kept trying to rub his face, or the convertible full of kids that hit the guy wire on a telephone poll and did a half roll at speed and landed back in the road upside down. That one actually had a survivor as there was one girl giving a guy in the back seat oral sex which put her entirely below the bottom of the windows and safely above the pavement. Or the motorcycle sideswiped by a truck and the rider lost his leg in several pieces that I sincerely hope came off in one piece and got chopped up after he lost it.

I think I might have mentioned seeing the guy lose his arm in this blog a few years back when he rolled a Ford Exploder on its side while hanging said arm out the window, but I can’t find it in the archives. Oh, here it is.

And now I’m going to have a lie-down because I have another headache…

I found another Opus!

I was watching the closing credits on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and one of the writers was named Opus. That’s it, that’s all I have to say. I used to run into people with my deadname all the time, first and last, but this is the first time I saw someone named Opus. My deadname was John, my dad was John (different middle name), and I had an uncle and a great-uncle named John. But I’m more flabbergasted at finding another Opus!

I’ve been having strange dreams

Strange but not disturbing dreams. Dreams about flying cars, cars I almost owned, dreams about flying bikes, dreams about just flying. Before the wreck I used to fly, things. Mostly airplanes, some hang gliders, some ultralights, a helicopter for about 5 seconds before I gave the stick back to the guy really flying it. Helicopters are not flying machines, they are contraptions that somehow remain airborne. And this was about how the dream went, flitting from one scene to another, taking in a red Honda Civic for an oil change, flying a car over a bridge to an island that was extremely urban with lots of tall buildings (not the red Honda, it was dark silver) I was just sitting in the car someone else was flying, just flying between the buildings of the city without the car no segue, just went from flying in the car to just me by myself without anything except some insulated jumpsuit and harness and maybe a helmet? Then I was flying a bicycle somehow that hovered while I was looking for a place to park, and was just a regular crank-forward bicycle when it wasn’t flying.

I woke up about 0445 because Mrs. the Poet was pushing me out of the bed. I should have taken a picture where she was in the bed when I got out. Her head was barely on her pillows and the rest of her body was angled towards my side of the bed so that her feet were almost sticking out of the covers on my side. I also woke up because my bladder was full, and standing over the toilet was almost like the scene in “A League of Their Own” where Tom Hanks drained the main vein for over a minute of screen time. Yay visuals!

Somehow we seem to have a pantry full of ants again, and we lost a full, new box of crackers to the pesky beasts. Not the small box, the “family size” box of Cheezeits that we had just bought and Mrs. the Poet didn’t get to eat even one of them. She was very mad about throwing away food we had just bought yesterday. She was hollering about the “stupiDANTS” and that was exactly how she pronounced it, with the “d” appended to the “ants” and emphasized “DANTS”, making it all one word. When I look at it from an emotional distance it’s funny, but I know it isn’t funny for her. “StupiDANTS!”

We have come to grips with the fact that the kittens have either died or just ran away. We last saw Clint in late July when he stopped coming back after we changed food in an attempt to do something about his digestive issues, and Clyde left a couple weeks later when Mrs. the Poet declared him “feline non grata” for his digestive issues leaving little poops everywhere and we had to move his food and water dishes outside. After we moved the dishes outside he refused to come back in for petting, even though he really wanted to be petted. So we are looking for another cat, older and calmer that doesn’t scratch the furniture that has its shots and already neutered. Mrs. the Poet says this time we need to start with all new cat stuff, not leftover from 2 previous generations of cats. She thinks this might result in a cat that’s more comfortable with where it lives and doesn’t need to mark everything as “mine”.