Category Archives: rant

Interesting perspectives

Today is Day 2 of my anti-depressant med and I have had an epiphany. When I thought I was happy before, I was just Not Depressed as much. Seriously, compared to last week this feels positively giddy. WTF?!? I could have been nearly happy all these years if I had been on the right meds? Forty-some years of my life wasted being depressed because I couldn’t take that damned pill? Because seriously, this is what I used to call “happy”. I am so (bummed, angry, pissed) or I would be if I wasn’t so damned “happy” right now.

Another thing is I’m sitting in my office in front of the AC and sweating like a pig doesn’t. Pigs can’t sweat, did you know that? Anyway AC is blowing directly on me and I’m damp all over. Ambient temp outside the direct blast of the AC is 83°F in the office so that might have something to do with it.

I’m still trying to figure out how to get the body on the Sprint-T around the diagonal braces that run through the cockpit from the top of the rear hoop to the bottom of the front hoop. Every other part of the frame is outside of the body except those two braces and the body would just plop right in without them, but because they are the required (by the SCCA) diagonal braces for the roll over structure, and because leaving them out would compromise the torsional stiffness of the entire frame which is kinda the reason for the entire project (T-Bucket made for handling). I was thinking of cutting the body apart and using flanges and screws to hold it together to get the body around the braces, but that would be ugly if I used enough screws to make it rigid. Not to mention a pain to mock up and install. Especially the mocking up part. That would be at least two installs and removes before paint and powdercoat with at least one installing every screw to make sure all the holes line up. I have also considered using a bolt-in brace instead of welding it in…

And of course this also applies to the Mini Sprint-T only more so, the body I’m using can’t be cut apart because the kerf from the cut leaves a huge gap in the body after it’s installed, unless I use a crap ton of body filler before painting. But I have to install the body after painting, to prevent overspray on the interior and the frame (which are a different color from each other, and from the body) because the frame goes over the body except for those braces I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Anywho it’s like one of those puzzles with the marble inside the carved wooden cage that can supposedly be removed and replaced even though it’s bigger than the holes in the cage and the cage is all one piece of wood. If I had a vacuum-forming machine and a way to make an accurate mold then I could make multiple bodies and cut them apart so the seams would overlap and be invisible, but I no longer have access to that equipment.

Well it looks like I’m starting to ramble around a bunch of different subjects, so Imma put this baby to bed now.

PSA, Opus

Want to be a serial killer with no negative repercussions?

Well, you have to use the right weapon.

This was inspired by a report of a driver on his third conviction for misdemeanor manslaughter for hitting cyclists and pedestrians.

PSA, Opus

My church is a Pokestop and other nonsense

It has been a while since the last post, what with all the extrajudicial executions performed by LEO who should know better, and the run-and-gun sniper in Dallas shooting the good cops. That is one thing that Dallas has been good at, when they find out they have a bad cop not only do they fire him they try to get his LEO license removed so they don’t just set up the next town over and do it again, so shooting Dallas cops is not going to get the bad cops that kill with impunity. Long story short, Asshole Sniper picked the wrong city to ambush cops if he wanted to get one that was responsible for giving brown people a bad time.

PSA Opus

Goddamn that Asshole

I had a cute little blog post getting ready to be written yesterday about my kids taking me out early for Father’s Day because most of them had to work next Sunday, complete with a picture of my presents. Then I started getting Twitter notifications that something had blow up in the Twitterverse and there were lots of people I follow making lots of posts. Then I started reading…

What I think I know at the moment about the shooter in Orlando (who I will refer to as Asshole) is Asshole was a lapsed Muslim, who saw two men kissing and went out to buy an AR-15 and a large-caliber handgun, both of which he was licensed to carry in his job as an armed security guard. From what I understand from people in the business having personal weapons is not that unusual, so it did not attract attention when he also bought several large capacity magazines for both weapons as well as a large amount of ammunition for both. Again this is not unusual for someone in Asshole’s line of work. At some point between buying the guns and shooting up Pulse Orlando Asshole also got some range time in on both weapons to sight them in. Again, standard practices, nothing to draw attention. Then Saturday night he went to the club and shot between 103 and 110 people, depending on the report you’re reading. Then the police showed up and shot Asshole.

His church leader (because this is not an Islamic issue, Asshole was an asshole) said he was not a very good Muslim and was extremely homophobic. The rest of the reports I see on the imam are contradictory about Asshole. Some said he was quiet and gentle, others not so much (but how one can be a “quiet and gentle” homophobic I dunno). I’m not going to blame this on his religion, I’m going to blame this on the media with the right wing drumbeat of “homos taking over and raping your kids in the bathroom” meme that has been going on for what, 3 years or more now? The transgender thing was something added recently, literally making a mountain out of not a molehill but a grain of sand.

Now I’m gonna do that post I was going to do yesterday before Asshole so rudely interrupted me.

PSA, Opus

I didn’t ride in silence tonight

As much as I wanted to I still was not able to participate in my local Ride of Silence, the Mother Ride. I still lack the ability to hold my head up enough to ride the 10 miles of the Mother Ride, and that’s not counting the additional 12 miles to get to the ride. I feel like I have let Larry Schwarz down, and I never even met the guy.

Next year for sure.

PSA, Opus

Doing the Sunday post early because, reasons

OK, these are dangerous times. I mean really dangerous times, I have been THINKING!!!

I have been contemplating 2 seemingly unrelated problems that could be solved by combining them.

The first problem one that this blog mentions way too often, is drivers killing without repercussion, literally getting away with murder after running over a cyclist or pedestrian, sometimes leaving the scene and sometimes staying and claiming blindness as an excuse for killing.

The second problem is LEO shooting people in the streets for imaginary assaults.

What I’m proposing is that we use the second problem to solve the first problem. We have people in light armored vehicles literally using them as weapons against cyclists and pedestrians with no way of fighting back. Well we have a bunch of trigger-happy cops out there too, that could really use something they could usefully shoot at. My proposal is to give the cops semi-auto carbines chambered in .50 cal AP, sit them in sniper nests at intersections, and tell them they can shoot cars or trucks that endanger pedestrians or cut off cyclists. All they need to do is use a video recorder to prove the perp had it coming before they start shooting. I mean there doesn’t seem to be any way to keep these guys from shooting up the towns, why not have it put to good use? Have them shoot something that is an actual danger to real people out in the streets.

Of course you will still get the occasional nutcase shooting people for no good reason, but knowing that they will get stuck up away from people with nothing except a big gun and a camera that has to be turned on and recording all the time they have any ammo in their station will put a damper on the more bloody-minded of the bunch. And they will have the satisfaction of knowing they will be doing actual good protecting unarmed civilians against light armored vehicles. That’s why I specified the .50 AP ammunition for the carbines, that’s simultaneously the largest man-portable round that could be fired and the lightest single-shot kill against a motor vehicle.

While I’m making this proposal in somewhat of a jesting mode. I’m thinking that it might do some good if really enacted. Instant karma against dangerous drivers, and an outlet for shoot first and question the corpse LEO. The problem is there is never a cop around when you need one even when they are stationed over intersections, because you know that would be the one intersection in the city where drivers drive like they had sense.

On other fronts, Mrs. the Poet is trying to get Clint and Clyde to behave by being logical with them. Might I remind you that C&C are 11 weeks old at this point, and have no logic to appeal to? And besides, they are tiny kittens. Anywho it’s amusing to listen to her berate the kittens for getting into things and calling them “bad children” for not listening to her. And also for fighting, she’s yelling about them fighting each other especially the “chewing on heads” part of kitten-fighting. She’s either having fun, or losing it. I don’t have enough evidence for either conclusion.

Well, I have to get my stuff together for the Patron Pageant tomorrow evening so this breathless prose has to end.

Early PSA, Opus

Reflecting on my mortality on my Death Day

No wrecks today except for a first-person (with supplements from other witnesses) account of a hit-and-run. Long-time readers of this blog know which wreck I am referring to, but as we have a bunch of new readers since then I’ll just open with the tl;dr version: At 0119 on 31/08/2001 I was killed by a hit-and-run driver. I stayed dead about 2 minutes, less than 5 for sure, and woke up to a world of pain.

The long version goes like this more or less. I was riding home from my second-shift job as a Windows help desk operator, and having to dodge thunderstorms along the route. My ride home was 15.2 miles from Farmer’s Branch to the northeast side of Garland, mostly along arterials because there was no connected grid of streets between the 4 cities I had to traverse to get home. In 3 of the cities I was mostly protected by LEO “not on quotas” following me to catch the crazy drivers that seemed to be attracted to me like moths to a flame, or as one LEO put it I was an idiot magnet and they could get a month’s worth of tickets just following me for a week. Except for Garland, my police shadow stopped when I crossed into my home city.

Any way, I had just crossed into Garland proper when some idiot driving a white pickup that might have been a late ’90s Chevy (I had rain on my glasses) stuck his head out the window to bellow, “Get off the fucking road!” As there was no place to get off the road and still continue to get home I ignored him and continued to ride. This infuriated the driver so much that the driver went to the next available cut-through in the median separating us to make a u-turn to get on my side of the road. Yes he was horribly upset that I was riding all alone on the opposite side of the street with 2 other unoccupied lanes of travel that he had to stop what he was doing to reverse direction and get on my side of the street. Did I mention he was presumed to be drunk at the time?

Location What it looks like now, there was a steakhouse where the mosque is now and no sidewalks

Anyway, after getting on my side of the street and about a quarter mile behind me at this point and driving on wet streets (rain) he basically floored the go pedal on the truck and got up to about 60 MPH (the guy that did the reconstruction put the speed as “between 45 and 65 MPH with highest confidence on 60 MPH”) I heard a noise behind me and started to turn to look over my left shoulder and heard “Get off the fucking road!” again just before everything went black. This is where what I remember about the wreck and what I was told about the wreck diverges sharply, because the people not in my body were watching a different channel than I was.

Location In the far right lane, notice how many lanes of travel there were

Watching from the outside people saw my body bounce off the windshield of the truck, crushing the roof, and then flipping and spinning violently on all 3 axis at the same time to land about 50 feet later on my face. My bike was crushed up to the seat post and went flying about a quarter-mile away to rest against a bus stop sign that is still there today.

My LZ Right in front of the camera car

And the bike’s LZ That sign! Still the same post, but the signs were different in 2001

Outside channel saw what appeared to be a broken corpse only oozing blood in the middle of the street as they called 911. The woman passenger in the car that was behind me and the weapon vehicle actually had enough time to grab her cell when she saw the driver make the u-turn in front of that vehicle and hit 9 and 1 between seeing me come over the top of the truck and landing on the street.

At this point the inside channel was being tuned to a new program. I didn’t get the “life flashing before your eyes” or the “light at the end of a tunnel” program, I got “welcome home, you get to become one with the Universe”. The only problem with that program is learning to use the zoom function, because from where they (whoever or whatever “they” was) left me all I saw was a bunch of dots that were galaxies on a dark background and no way to tell which one was the Milky Way from all the rest of the galaxies, much less find Earth and watch what was going on there (here). At this point I said something along the lines of “this is stupid and I still have things to do” and decided to be not-dead.

Inside channel and outside channels converge about this time as someone tried to move me and I told them I had “broken the upper end of my femur!” several times then I passed out again. Shortly after this I woke up in the back of the ambulance saying, “Did anyone get the number of that truck?” and wondering why it was so dark in there. I could see the cop asking if I saw the truck that hit me but only just barely, and I told him that it was a joke, that I said “truck” because it was already too late to be a bus. Yep, the second thing I said after coming back from the dead was a corny joke.

On that blindness, I should have been freaking out about not being able to see, but I was very calm about the situation and just decided they had the lights down low for my benefit. Obviously I was going blind from all the blood pooling in my head from the flipping compressing the optic nerve, similar to what happens to sprint car drivers after a violent flip. But I didn’t know that at the time. And I could see normally after about 3 days recovery. Well as normally as I could after losing my glasses in the wreck.

I have done the inventory before, but there have been many new readers since the last time so from the bottom: I had some abrasions to the top of my left foot from where my shoe came off in the initial impact, there are still a few scars left but you have to know where to look. The front of my lower leg blew apart from the impact to the back of my leg, exposing both the gastrocnemius and the soleus as well as the tibialis anterior and part of the extensor digitorum. All of those muscles had scarring and reduced mobility in some degree with the gastrocnemius taking the brunt of the scarring and reduced function. I can only raise the front of my foot slightly beyond level now. There was also much nerve damage that healed, for lack of a better description, “cross circuited”, I have numb areas and areas that touching one part will feel like another part of the leg or foot. I also broke the tibia and fibula, but the tib reset while I was flipping and the break wasn’t detected until after it had healed when they did the MRI of my knee. The swelling of the damaged muscles effectively splinted the leg until the bone knitted.

Moving up I lost some skin off the knee and tore both cruciate ligaments and the meniscus of the knee, both of which were not discovered initially because of other damage preventing the diagnosis. The internal damage I mean, the skin was quite easy to see. Above that I also broke my femur somewhere and broke the hip off the end of the femur, which was the only injury I felt at the scene. Since the treatment for the broken hip also took care of the other break nobody bothered to show me where that one was, but I got to see a lot of X-rays of my hip because that was the one they were afraid wouldn’t heal. I was also told that this one was a major pain in the tuckus because of how dense my bones were, requiring the use of power tool that had been only used for carpentry at that point…

I also lost skin off my hands where the gloves were not covering them, a large patch of my left forearm, and part of my face was detached when I landed face first on the street and had to be sewn back on. That one was the most annoying injury in hospital because it felt like ants were crawling on my face while it healed. And that segues (not Segways) into the other major life-altering injury, the TBI that didn’t get spotted because they didn’t know to look or how to look for it back then. I have what is now called Diffuse Axonal Injury, what was back then called severe concussion. I had 2 seizures, one in the ambulance and the other in the ER, that should have tipped someone off, but like I wrote they didn’t know what to look for or how to look for it back then. These days there are two ways to find the injury, one is with an MRI that can see the damage in the first hour or two after the injury, the second is to have a baseline CAT scan for comparison to spot the brain swelling that accompanies the DAI. These are required for F1 drivers and I think IndyCar, but AFAIK they are the only ones who do this. The NFL were considering this, but I don’t know what became of the consideration.

Anyway, the rest is history, my left leg got much shorter, my TBI caused me to lose some cognitive functions and a huge chunk of my vocabulary and foreign languages, and I went on long bike rides because I couldn’t get a job after the wreck because of very little overlap in what I could still do physically and mentally. Basically riding a bike and this blog plus basic life support are about all I can manage since the wreck. Other stuff could be done but not at a level of proficiency that would get me paid for it.

And that’s my 14th anniversary of the day I died. I will have a small party tonight, and then I get to do a massive blog post tomorrow with the links that have been accumulating since Saturday.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet.