Category Archives: rant

Thinking about ditching the land line

We get about 20 or more calls a day on the land line but very seldom are they from actual people. Yes I know this isn’t about building the Sprint-T, or building bicycles, or about getting hit while riding a bicycle. It is about an annoyance plaguing these times: the robocaller.

Seriously, our landline costs us $19.99/month and every time it rings (multiple times a day) I have to hear Mrs. the Poet complain loudly about not wanting to buy the product or support the charity. The noise from Mrs. the Poet is almost worse than the robocalls she complains about.

Now to dump the landline would require some changes, we have had the same phone number since 1996 when they changed us from 214 to 972 but the same 7 digit number since we moved to Garland. So many discount services are tied to that number that would have to change to one or the other of our cell phones.

But thing is both Mrs. the Poet and me have cells, her since she can’t remember when, at least since 2012 when she gave it to me to take on my trip to take care of my Dad after his wreck, and she had had it for over a year or maybe two before then. So, despite her almost never turning it on, she’s had it for ages.

My cell dates from 2012 when I took over the burner phone my elder daughter left behind after visiting from Scotland just before my Dad died. I kept that number until late 2013 when I had to replace that phone and didn’t have the documentation to keep the number on the new phone and ended up with the number I have now which is about to go to its third carrier.

But anywho, it’s not like we don’t have established long-term places of contact, so just changing the numbers our discount accounts are linked to and we save $20 every month. Plus we don’t get multiple robocalls every day. We just need to call a few people we still want to talk to about the change and we’re set.

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.

Happy Juneteenth!

Not much to say today, just noticing today is the 156th anniversary of the slaves on Galveston Island being told they are (were) free. Happy Juneteenth! Now go vote and do other things free people do. And I just noticed that I never tagged my previous Juneteenth posts, which I will have to do l8r, dudes!

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.

Not feeling particularly wordy

But I also feel like I owe you a post. It’s not your fault my depression is “Should I get out of bed?” level or that I really don’t have much to write about. But I feel like you should know I’m not suicidal or anything like that, I just barely have the spoons to function.

I did do something that contributes to my functionality. I bought the epoxy that I need to repair my Cossie Mug that I got from Hoonigans that Mrs. the Poet broke after I only had one cup of tea from it.

Broken Cossie mug

The product I bought is a food-safe epoxy resin system, specified for repairing ceramics and protecting wooden vessels from food or hot beverages. It is supposed to be food safe when cured, but highly toxic before curing meaning I have to get nitrile gloves before I use the product. That means a trip to Harbor Freight because I forgot to get some in my Amazon order. Yeah, I forgot something, what else is new?

Seriously I’m strongly looking forward to getting this mug functional once more. I would show the “stainless” cup I’m getting my nightly cuppa from, but as it is a deep, deep, brown I don’t think that would be appropriate. And that’s just from drinking tea out of it. Can you imagine how it and my other mugs would look if I couldn’t run them through the dishwasher after coffee with milk and sugar?

On another topic than my crusty tea mug, I have been redesigning the frame for the Sprint-T so that I can haul my decrepit body in and out of it while still keeping it torsionally stiff. Basically I’m eliminating the top of the front hoop so I can get in and out of the car. Or I could just move the diagonal braces to under the top lip of the body and have a bar to park my butt on while I swing my legs in and out while keeping the head protection and rigidity of the full cage. I have mixed feelings about this. The car looks really good with the shorter front hoop that is just tall enough to hold the back of the hood up and the rear diagonals to the back of the car and nothing in front of the rear hoop above the upper lip of the body, making getting in and out much easier. The lip is about 21″ from the bottom of the body on the side, 27″ across the back, and 24″ at the base of the windshield where the back of the hood goes. Well technically the back of the hood is level with the base of the windshield and even with the firewall to allow hot air to exit from around the engine, but close enough for this description. The front hoop still goes in front of the firewall as before, but only goes to the bottom of the windshield instead of over my head when seated. And there will be dzus tabs welded to the top to retain the back of the hood. The hood also fits over the nose center section and under the downforce generators at the edges. This is something I have to cut and fit when I do the front end.

Something I haven’t mentioned up to this point is that the body will drop in place on the frame since there isn’t the bracing to stiffen up the hole in the frame in the way. How I plan to restore the lost stiffness from this is something I still haven’t figured out. I plan on bracing the sides and front and back to the greatest extent physically possible, but that still won’t completely make up for the loss from the hole. While typing the sentence I contemplated bracing over the cockpit with some kind of bolt-in brace that still lets me carry a passenger so the car remains Goodguy’s legal, and a second brace that doesn’t allow passenger access for the SCCA events that don’t require a usable passenger seat. I can eke out a bit more stiffness by blocking the passenger side of the car.

Minimum wage is way too low

And I can prove it. Using information from 1968 and 2018 if the minimum wage had increased at the same rate as the differential between worker and CEO pay from 1968 through 2020 the minimum wage would be $249.94/hour, more or less. I’m having difficulty in finding the ratio between worker and CEO pay for 1968, but I did find an article saying that since 1978 the ratio of worker to CEO pay has jumped 940% or about 9.4 times, and that worker pay went up 12% in that period which when everything is multiplied out that comes to CEO pay going up 112.8 times worker and an astounding 1007 times as much as the minimum wage, and my data stops 3 years before the pandemic which saw 0% increases in the minimum wage and trillions of dollars increases for a privileged few.

And people wonder why the very rich are hated.

I’m the luckiest guy passing a kidney stone in the whole world

Just a quick note about kidney stones. I was told that because of the condition I have that makes my bones and ligaments super strong against blunt force trauma I have a high chance of developing kidney stones. I mentioned when they checked my bone density as a part of broken hip protocol many moons ago I was accused of slipping in a chunk of concrete for the test because my bones are basically biologic portland cement and I have a metric buttload of calcium in my metabolism. Well one of the co-morbidities of this condition besides having bones that wear out the usual surgical tools and require the use of power tools, I also have a higher than normal risk of developing kidney stones.

Well about noon today I passed a stone. I know this because it made a noise from hitting the toilet, not because I felt anything. I am sorry to all those people out there passing kidney stones who aren’t me because I read that the closest thing to passing a stone is having a baby, and somehow I not only don’t have massive pains like everyone else, I don’t have ANY sensation of the stone moving through my body. I didn’t put a hand in the toilet to fish the stone out, but it looked almost polished in the bowl, like a river rock. Maybe I have another condition that produces very smooth kidney stones? Is there such a thing? I know the guy that told me about this condition mentioned kidney stones, maybe having very smooth stones is a collateral part of having this super power.

Another quick note, my joint problems are flaring up like a MF, maybe as a pennance for passing painless kidney stones? My right shoulder is almost frozen from the pain/inflammation. I’m increasing my daily anti-inflammatory meds that I take OTC, because they are cheap to free (my grocery/pharmacy has a customer app that sometimes has free stuff, and recently they put my Ibuprofen on the “get this free” list for the month, one one-hundred-count free bottle) but to minimal effect as of yet. I mean who get shoulder pain from moving their head? Besides me, I mean.

Oh, and the thought occurs that IRL me is the basis for my character in Shadowrun, and we have a data point for establishing my Body stat, the wreck where I died from getting hit with the truck going ~100 km/hr. I know I did this once before but I can’t find the stuff for figuring out how much Body a character needs to just barely get killed from this. There used to be a link for this, but Google can’t find it anymore. I think the last time I figured this I got the answer that I’m a dragon in human form because it was some ridiculously high number in the double digits that would make me bulletproof without armor. My damage track would require a second page to fill out before I passed out, or a ridiculous high soak before taking damage. But that is the game and I’m real (I think). Previous data points include two walk away wrecks at 30-35 MPH from how far I got tossed from the wrecks. I was as they say “scuffed up” and had some bruises and torn clothes, but basically unharmed. Our GM after consulting with his various game manuals while I compose this says that I would need a 7 Body and “huge DR” for the 30-35 MPH wrecks, and the only thing that makes the 2001 wreck survivable in game is “cursed with immortality” along with the previous DR and my in-game Body. IOW I need more than human stats and to be cursed to survive what I survived IRL in-game.

I am getting so tired of this

Seriously, it happened again. I tried to catch a bus that never came again, which I think makes at least 4 times so far this year. I was there 10 minutes early, waited until the Lyft got there almost 20 minutes after the bus was scheduled to be there. Seriously, I was eyes on the stop by 1801 on a 1811 schedule and summoned the Lyft at 1816, and it got there about 1828. The time I hit the “Summon” button was when the bus was officially “late” by being five or more minutes behind schedule.

Seriously, this s#!+ has got to stop. If I can’t depend on the bus being there after a certain time of night even when scheduled then I’m stuck at home after dark.

This one is going to be on a complete tangent

I have been reading a few old posts and I know that after I had my break because too many dead people and too much blood and dismembered body parts, the tone of the blog has been somewhat disconnected. Well aside from there usually being something about the T-Bucket somewhere in the post, whether it is the Mid-T, or the Sprint-T, or some other mutation.

But this post is about something I have barely discussed in any posts, Fixing What’s Wrong With LEO. And nobody can deny that there is a crap-ton wrong with LEO in this country. The point has been amply made repeatedly during the last year or so, and less frequently before that.

It is a sad commentary that we need some form of feedback loop to make people act like they have sense and compassion. One need merely look at the state of behavior on the roads that have for the most part zero enforcement of rules and norms, where murder by motor vehicle gets the perpetrator a pat of solace for the damages to their vehicle. Surviving victims are pretty much told to pound sand for the most part and even sometimes forced to pay to repair the tools of their assault. There is essentially no laws enforced in this realm. Laws are treated as suggestions as long as you don’t get too far away from the letter of the laws.

So, LEO is necessary, but “not as currently constituted”. We have too many people who are using the system to enforce their current prejudices instead of the laws. And that is true on many levels. I find many LEO unwilling to accept the fact that the laws give cyclists and pedestrians an actual right to use the streets and roads. And there hare many LEO making up rules about where BIPOC are allowed to exist, or if they are allowed to exist. And the problem was that it was nearly impossible to prevent people like that from becoming a LEO. That is no longer the truth. It is very easy now to test for the personality traits that resulted in people like Derrik Chauvin, and also the hundreds of police like him but who don’t kill BIPOC repeatedly, they just make BIPOC lives hell. The thing is we just have to do it.

First step is assume anyone currently in LEO is corrupt and fire everyone because nobody is turning in the Chauvins et al. If they did this problem would be much smaller than it is currently. So all are guilty of the current situation, and the answer is all must be fired and prevented from employment as LEO. Replacements must pass rigorous testing to weed out racists, sociopaths, and people doing it for the thrill of controlling others. Obviously I would never pass these tests, and that’s because I know I have sociopathic tendencies. Because I know this I can keep them under control, but I must never be in a situation where these tendencies could get out of control, hence no badge and gun for me. I have those tendencies under tight control now, but I haven’t always. But the thing is had testing been available when I was young I could have avoided some very bad situations and hurting people who didn’t deserve it, likewise hurting people who most certainly did deserve it, but for whom it really wasn’t my choice. But my spotted history ignored, we need to clean up the police. As an aside, I really think that it would get rid of most if not all of the problem applicants if it was made public that failing the screening tests would result in a very public execution alongside the ones who passed. Line them all up post testing and execute the ones who failed on live TV and uploaded to many streaming services. Did I mention that I know I have some sociopathic tendencies? That’s one of them, an antipathy to those who abuse authority.

OK maybe a death penalty for wanting to unleash your sociopathic desires and racism on people while hiding behind a badge is a LITTLE BIT over the top. Tiny bit over the top. Just a smidgen. But you have to admit, knowing that if you weren’t within a small percentile of perfect when applying for work as a LEO you might end up dead would get rid of most of the ones who would get executed on stage in front of the world. And most sociopaths can be useful members of society as long as they aren’t in positions of authority, like CEOs or LEOs. Which is unfortunately where too many end up. The high-functioning ones end up as financial industry giants, mid-functioning ones as LEO of some kind, and the rest are criminals pretty much from the get-go. And can’t we pretty much say, that all racists are sociopaths to some degree? Because racism says that some people are not fully people, kind of the definition of sociopathy.

Well I could write more, but at this point I think I pretty much covered the topic. Cliff’s notes version, fire the police, test the new ones for racism and sociopathy, find someplace safe to put the ones who fail the tests, kill the ones that can’t be put someplace safe.

It happened again, but I managed to get something done

We didn’t have bus service again this evening, this time just after 1800. I only traveled a bit over a mile to get my toes done and a haircut, but I was also supposed to deposit a check and get some cash to pay the lawn guy, which I could have done if the bus had come so I could use the ATM at the bank. Now my toes are great, and my hairs are cut, but I had to walk almost a mile to get home because I walked for almost 40 minutes just to get to the bus stop I would have gotten off at. This was about 2/3 of a mile from the nail place and barbershop and another 0.4 mile from home. This makes either 2 or 3 times I tried to catch the 513 after 1800 and no bus. And also no bus coming for the next schedule, because I would have seen it coming before I got off the main road for the 0.4 mile trip to the house.

And I should say that by the time this gets posted “this evening” will be “last evening”.