Category Archives: getting to know me

Laptop was down

And I was annoyed, mainly because I used to be a Windows help desk operator and I had no idea of how to fix it, my training and experience ending with the introduction of XP, back in 2002, following hard on the heels of the disaster of ME and totally disrupting all the diagnostic and repair tools that had been in use since 98. So there I was a trained computer expert with years of experience and I am no better off than your garden variety N00B since my computer came minus documentation. I had no idea of how to get to Safe Mode, or if Safe Mode was still a thing in 10.

Basically what happened was while I was working and reading e-mail the bottom shelf disappeared, and when I ended the web browser I had a blank screen where the desktop should be. And when I restarted the computer I had a blank screen after the log-in screen. And since keyboard shortcuts I learned are not valid with 10 I couldn’t get anything running, or maybe they are valid but that was something else that wasn’t working. And because I don’t have any documentation I have no way of knowing if keyboard shortcuts are a thing anymore.

Anywho, as you can probably tell, I got the laptop fixed, but dang if I know how. The only thing I could find said to hold the shift key down to activate “sticky keys” and then hold F8 and reboot. After the third (or so) try I had a normal reboot and all my icons back. So here I am.

Other news, Clyde has learned to knock to be let in, we think. Story short, I heard what sounded like knocking at the front door a few minutes after I went to bed this morning, but when I got up to check there was nobody there, except Clyde sitting on the window AC unit. Clyde is not the kind of cat to hang around when people come to the door, even people he knows, so by process or elimination Clyde managed to knock on the window to get let in, or Clyde banged against the window whilst scratching an itch and got let in anyway. And as you might have guessed I didn’t win the $1 billion jackpot, but I’m buying a ticket for the $1.6 billion jackpot. Because, how can I not risk $2 for a chance at a billion dollars after taxes? The cash option is almost a billion tonight ($904 million) and will probably bust a billion by the draw on Tuesday. Not that I’m going for the cash option, I want every cent I can get because I could do so much good with that much money. And going by last week’s sales, we could see a $2 billion jackpot by the draw date. Even at 304 million to one odds I can’t pass that up. I mean look at what I have already lived through that I shouldn’t have, I must have some luck left over to win a little money, right?

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I’m feeling my age plus a little

I’m sure by now you know I have taken a few knocks along the way, some harder than others. Well the weather has been going through some drastic changes as we have passed the Equinox. And as the weather changes my old injuries are complaining painfully. My left knee and right hip are making the most noise, with the left hip and calf also making their grievances known, and both feet occasionally throwing their $0.02 into the conversation. And yesterday everybody was talking at once, with the metaphorical cacophony lasting into the afternoon today, in spite of the fact that the weather is worse today than yesterday. I still hurt but it’s subsided to a level I can sit down at a desk or table and get some writing (typing on the computer) done.

I’m periodically reminded all those injuries happened and I’m stupid for doing the things I was doing when I got injured. Everybody knows what I did to make all the parts on my left leg hurt, that event is the precipitating cause for this blog in all of its many permutations. The other injuries are more obscure. The right hip was from chi gong class, something I was doing to try to maintain flexibility so I could ride my bike better that ended up making it so I couldn’t get on the bike at all. Both knees are from a series of mishaps starting when I was about 16 that as was discovered later tore my cruciate ligaments, but not all the way through, resulting in floppy knees that caused cartilage damage and arthritis as I got older. My feet are repetitive and cumulative stress from all that walking on concrete and pavement I did, tens of thousands of miles over the years. I also used to run until my knees forced me to quit that. That was the point I started riding my bike again.

So I spent most of the day yesterday and into the afternoon today in bed trying to not move or roll over on the old injuries so they would not hurt as bad. Fortunately I had both phones charged up for doing the internet things I need to do that don’t involve massive amounts of typing, so it wasn’t completely wasted time. There were lots of things I should have been doing but didn’t because I can’t or won’t do them on a phone, but everything that could be done on the phone was done. And everything I needed to say today has been typed into the computer to broadcast over the internets, so I thin we are probably done for today. I did think about building the Sprint-T again but it is all stuff that would be technobabble straight outta Star Trek to most of my loyal readers and basically would be a rehash of stuff I wrote earlier in excruciating detail, concerning tuning for unleaded regular and E85. It’s not a secret but if I told you you might want to kill yourself 😈 Seriously, unless you’re doing this stuff it’s boring as Hell to read about, and even if you are doing it it is not exactly riveting reading.

That was weird

OK when I was transcribing that poem, I started getting into the mindset I was in when I wrote it, the same feelings of loss and grief over discovering I couldn’t fly anymore.

I don’t always think about building cars, or bicycle safety, or…

I think about lots of things, most of which don’t wind up here because I try to keep this blog PG(language). But there are things I think about that are not in any way PG but are things I need to say. There are things about relationships I need to have some place to express.

Well this blog actually started on an adult web service before I even knew about things like Critical Mass or bicycle safety, as a place where I could let my muse wander hither and yon. And I chose the adult web service because I was using a computer running a linux-based OS called Lindows, and every other blog service I tried either crashed my browser, or crashed my whole computer. Then I went to Myspace, but my news blog was tagged as spam for having too many links in each entry. And finally ended up here, mainly because I needed to be able to make posts with lots of links, and I was still using the Linux computer but had moved to Ubuntu by then, which Blogger didn’t like to the point of crashing trying to sign in to create a page.

And while I was out catching some last-minute Christmas gifts and mostly riding the train and bus I had some time to think about things like sex and how women are constantly offered more than they want or even could reasonably use (there are only so many hour in a day, for one thing) while most of the men I know are always asking, never offered. Again I should say that nobody is obliged to provide anyone with sexual activity, I just find it odd that one side is always asking while the other gets more offers than they can use. It’s almost like there was a massive difference in desire between the sides that nobody has been able to reconcile.

And I’ll just leave it at that.

Things have been difficult adjusting to my meds

I accidentally took my meds twice night before last and spent more than 12 hours having really strange dreams.

Seriously, very strange dreams, but nothing resembling a nightmare, which is a minor blessing in and of itself. I haven’t had a nightmare since I started taking the new med, which is fantastic, since I have been dealing with nightmares almost every night for more than 3 decades to go along with my PTSD. Getting a change in my nightly mental programming from horror to farce takes some getting used to. The good part is the new med works at keeping me from being depressed, I’m almost completely non-depressed now.

But the bad thing is my sleep schedule has been majorly disrupted by being unconscious for 12-14 hours and waking up around 1700 yesterday. So I’m doing another all-nighter and staying up all day to get back on a normal schedule. Seriously, I’ll be clunking along semi-conscious all day today until my normal 0100 bed time Tuesday morning. And I’ll be using the down time to just kinda do a random write post overnight. I’m also watching YouTube videos of people building cars of various types, including a guy putting an OHV head on a vintage Briggs and Cleetus trying to put an engine into a side-by-side designed to use a FWD engine turned sideways so the wheel diffs are 1:1 and the reduction is in the gearbox of the donor engine.

On the TGS2 I’m still looking for street tires for getting to and from the track on wheels that don’t break the budget. Seriously the tires that would balance the car require wheels that run $250 and up each meaning we are looking at about a $3000 budget just to get wheels and tires for the street, with the race wheels costing maybe $500 for all 4 and another $1000 for tires. Whoever heard of a dual purpose car where the street budget had consumables more than 3 times as much as the race budget? That’s insane.

While I was prowling YouTube I was thinking about how badly I was hamstringing this build by using the T-bucket instead of making a decent body around the frame to streamline the car and generate downforce, especially since I’m building what’s called a monoposto or center seater. I could make the car a lot shorter without the Bucket body also, but I wouldn’t be able to run Goodguys like that. Goodguys doesn’t really want sports racers running their autocrosses, and there is a class the TGS2 fits as long as I use the bucket body and pickup box (Truck). I could make it street-legal without the bucket body, but all that would get me would be I wouldn’t have to trailer it to get to the next race. I would be faster in A-Mod but at the cost of not being legal for Goodguys.

Also I have still been thinking about sitting on the normal driver’s side even though the car would be a single seater, just to make it a bit more “normal” going down the road. The frame would be slightly more complicated, but mounting the top separately from the rest of the frame as a bolt-on takes most of that out of the situation. Making the rear hoop part of the bolt-on part of the frame makes putting the driver on the left less complicated than trying to wiggle the body around the full cage less the fore and aft braces when it has to be offset to protect the driver in a roll-over wreck. Making both hoops bolt-on also would have made building the Sprint-T a simpler task as the frame would have bolted together around the body instead of trying to finagle the body around the frame, but I never got the drivetrain to build a Sprint-T full scale.

I just got a reminder call I have an appointment with the lab rat keeper tomorrow. I will have to get up early to catch the bus for a 2+ hour trip across town because DART still doesn’t understand what “frequent headway” means. I’m only spending a little over an hour on the bus, the rest of the time is walking to and from the bus stops and waiting for the next bus. I live about as far from a bus stop as I can and still consider the bus as a viable means of transportation, but still the next-largest chunk of time is waiting for the next bus to show up.

Short post, nothing got done, I’m going to bed

Headline said it all, both Mrs. the Poet and I are laid up, I don’t have enough cash to pay for either thing I have to pay for but the phone bill would take her debit card no sweat if I could walk to the store. And I have been without depression meds for 3 weeks now and really starting to feel the add-on effects of depression, the lethargy and over-reaction to minor pains. And insomnia, I’m exhausted but I can’t get to sleep because my stupid brain won’t shut down and let me sleep. If it was running something useful I would just channel it to do something with it, but no it’s just running like a hamster on a wheel getting nowhere and doing nothing except not letting me sleep. It’s now 0300 and I’m about to drop physically, but the mind won’t stop racing through thoughts to let me sleep. I can still use the keyboard to record waht’s happeneing more or less but rational thought prosesses ARE off line ATM. Stream of prtial concsiousness complete with typos and ransom spelling errors coming through.

I have my personal YTM channel going on my phoind b ut I’m not looking at the screen for the vide just listening to the music. Every so often I get something slightly soothing like Solsbury hill by Peter Gabriel. i’m sp tired but I can’t sleep. I can barely see the keyboard rith now because my eyes have gotten all goopy from lack of sleep so im not sure I’m hitting the right keyes I’m just touchtyping ATM and I know I’m not hitting all the right keyes because I can feeel I’m hitting more than one key at a time and some words are too long some by several letters.

I’m giving up on trying to blog.

Feeling better but not my best

Things have been up and down physically for me this week, but after spending 11 hours in bed (not necessarily sleeping, just in bed) my back is feeling pretty good. Good as in no pain sitting or walking, and just a tiny pain transitioning between sitting and standing. All in all I call that good.

Last night my brain wouldn’t shut down (again) as I kept on thinking about using the engine/trans from the donor car as a SCCA A/Mod Solo race car. It wouldn’t work from a weight standpoint, as the 620 pound engine and transmission only leaves about 80 pounds for the entire rest of the car, but would work great as far as fitting in the allowed minimum wheelbase without anything hanging out too far or having to add between the wheels. There would even be enough room to put a three gallon fuel cell between the engine and the driver without having my feet hang out past the front axle.

Contemplating the A/Mod car came from thinking about the packaging of the TGS2 fuel cell and electronics as the 32 gallon cell takes up a big hunk of real estate inside the car. There is lots of space on the outside of the frame rails but inside the body for the battery and electronics, so the balance left to right can be maintained while keeping the polar moment as low as possible. Polar moment is extremely important for an autocross car because much of autocross is change of direction from left to right and vice-versa, and polar moment is the measurement of resistance to change of direction. A lower polar moment is better which is why competitors try to get things as close to the center of the car as possible. Autocross is not just grip but the ability to transition from left to right and vice-versa. Interestingly enough engine power is not a major consideration in the equation as cars do not spend much time at speed or accelerating between turns, which is why lawnmower-engine go karts are frequent contenders for low time of the day.

Can anyone tell I’m really getting frustrated with the lack of progress on the TGS2? Not having $$ for parts and raw stock is not helping things any. Not having a viable method to obtain $$ is also not helping things any, PayPal is telling me that so far this year I made less than $10 in donations from the link at the bottom of the page. If you want stuff to read I need to have stuff to write about, and I’m just about out of things that don’t cost money to do. At this point I’m really close to writing about the dreams I have the night before just to have something to write about, and believe me you don’t want that. 😀 Everybody stay safe out there on this long weekend and avoid the drunk drivers.

No post tomorrow, guess why?

Something happened 16 years ago at 0119 so I’m not doing a post tomorrow. Yep tomorrow is my Death Day. I’m celebrating all day long, not because I died, but because I’m too stubborn to stay dead. I have a flipping frequent customer card for the ferry to Hades with 3 check marks on it already. It makes me wonder if other people have cards like that and can we see each other’s cards? Anywho, it’s going to be as much of a party as I can stand at Casa de El Poeta tomorrow. I’m out of anti-depressants so I can drink as much as I want (not that I’m a big drinker). Probably no more than 2 beers tops.

I’m not going to kid you that the last 16 years were a walk in the park. Between the loss of income and the ongoing medical costs it has been a struggle even with the lab rat gig. And when Mrs. the Poet retired it got even worse, because she kicked out all the people renting rooms so we lost about $400 a month from the rental and another $300 from going from her paycheck to her pension. That was a serious financial hit. And besides the poverty there were also medical issues not covered by the lab rat gig. Like the fact that the injured leg is shorter than the other leg, like the brain damage, like the depression, like the back pain from the short leg, like… The list is endless but the brain damage keeps me from being able to remember everything at the moment.

So after beating the odds big time I’m taking the day off to do something not related to bicycle safety or anything else related to what put me in this situation. Maybe I’m going to work on the front axle of the TGS2, maybe I’m going to make a pie. I don’t know yet. I’m going to read web comics first, maybe pop a beer.

See y’all in two days.

It’s a good thing I checked in

I called the Lab Rat Keeper to verify my appointment and it was a good thing I did. Somehow my appointment was deleted from the book which was why I wasn’t called. Now instead of going to the Dr.’s office I will be paying bills and getting my toes done tomorrow.
You can see why I need my toes done
Ugly, ain’t it? That’s what happens when I let them go too long between getting them done, now I’m going to lose that one again. It happened back in the mid-1980s and it took most of a year for the new one to grow back, and it was terribly uncomfortable until it did.

So anyway I’m going to do tomorrow, or later today, what I was planning on doing Monday or Tuesday, but couldn’t because I was waiting for the Lab Rat Keeper’ office to confirm my appointment. I’m also still cutting floors for the scale mockup of the TGS2 with smaller rear wheel cutouts, but for some reason I haven’t been able to get the front ones square. And that plastic sheet from ADT is almost impossible to cut.

I woke up around 0500 what is now yesterday and I have been having problems all night long with falling asleep on my phone or at the keyboard, so I’m going to pop a sleep aid and try to grab some Zs.

Sometimes it is hard to stop thinking about a subject

But I manage anyway. 😀 Anyway while I was out for my walk I started thinking about if I wasn’t trying to make a T-Bucket what else could I do with the engine and transmission out of a FWD minivan, and of course I started thinking AWD autocross racer because hey, turn it sideways (back to longitudinal instead of transverse) and you have a permanent transfer case with driveshafts front and rear. Or AWD T-Bucket (except the driveshafts would eliminate even the possibility of a passenger seat). One real good reason not to is weight, the extra differentials would seriously jack the weight up to about 1900 pounds for the Bucket and not far from that for the autocross racer. The other reason was how hard it would be to get a reasonable final drive with so much reduction to the driveshafts from the transmission. But it was interesting to think about.

I also thought about using different length axle shafts to make a single-seat mid-engine A-Mod autocross car. Put a 3 gallon fuel cell between the engine and driver’s seat and it could be just about the right length and balance. The trick then becomes left to right balance, getting the CG of the engine on the CL of the vehicle, and then finding or making drive shafts to fit. The wheels and tires wouldn’t be as bad because there are lots of race cars with severe rear weight bias and tire sizes to compensate for that. The closest thing to difficulty with that would be getting wheels to fit the bolt pattern of my hubs.

Anyway, I think about stuff when I walk, and that was what I was thinking about Saturday on my walk.

Opus the Unkillable