Category Archives: rant

Allergies and PTSD kept me from having the energy to write

Short post to explain the sudden lack of posts. The headline pretty much explains everything, but for the record trees and grass have been been having an orgy and my head is caught in the cross-fire. I can breathe, but at the cost of not having energy to do much else beyond that. Part of that is allergies, part of that is the deep funk I fell into after Chauvin was convicted of the murder we all watched repeatedly on TV and social media most of last year after every protest against a cop killing a BIPOC which seemed like every other day. I mean nonchalantly kneeling on the neck of a Black man with his hands in his pockets like this was a normal thing for him to be doing, murdering a Black man in the street with dozens of people filming it and recording the sounds of it as Floyd’s life left his body.

I get that he is going to prison and unless he spends the rest of his life in solitary the rest of his life will be short and violent. But this still does not feel like a victory. The closest thing I can compare it to was that one hill in Vietnam we “won” like 3 times, only to abandon it and the VC were back on it firing on our troops in a couple of weeks at most. To “win” this one we have to eliminate White Supremacists from all branches and forms of LEO and make ever being a part of any racist organization disqualifying for having a firearm and from working for law enforcement. We not only have to “take the hill” of each individual LEO who kills a BIPOC, we have to “win the war” against White Supremacy. And that looks like a very long and costly battle.

I have had PTSD longer than PTSD existed as a diagnosis, and for most of my life it has been untreated, even after I was diagnosed. It is now known that untreated PTSD results in depression that is extremely hard to treat, because after a while depression becomes less like a mental problem and more like a personality trait. It burrows down into your soul, and takes up permanent residence there. And while I can live with it like this since I don’t seem to have the option of suicide, I would prefer to be actually happy sometimes, instead of just “almost not depressed” which is what passes for “happiness” for me. And to understand what depression as a personality trait looks like, I present Eeyore. Eeyore is so depressed suicide is too much of a bother because it will put others out cleaning up the mess. I passed that milestone decades ago. And the recent circus about the White Supremacist who murdered a man with his hands in his pockets did my depression no favors. I’m still not in any way suicidal because I don’t want to make anyone have to clean up the mess. And I still haven’t forgotten what may have been the hallucination of getting put inside a body bag, so suicide is right out.

Today was just the worst

Today was multiple DART SNAFU scenarios, repeated. Pretty much all from the same route, there were three missing buses on the 513. The first one is the usual The First Bus Is A Lie where the bus I wanted to catch was a fantasy. I did manage to catch the next one, and cash the check that was the primary reason for the trip. That went well, then I summoned a Lyft to get to my favorite massage place and got a really good massage that relaxed me so much I couldn’t move for a few minutes. Seriously that good.

Then a small victory, I caught the bus back to Garland after only a few minutes’ wait the bus was there. I basically walked up to the stop and into the bus, just like that. And when I got to the transfer station what appeared to be another small victory, the next bus home was due in about 15 minutes, but no bus came in the 15 minutes to the next schedule. The next schedule after was about 45 minutes away, and there wasn’t anything to do except wait for it. And almost exactly an hour after I got to the transfer center, no bus.

So, I had used a Lyft already that day I figured I could use it again because I still had 20% charge on my phone, but somehow that 20% charge was 0 about the time I hit the “summon” button on the phone. I tried doing the “leave it off for a bit for the battery to recover” trick. And I got enough charge recovery to complete my summons, but not enough to get the make of car picking me up. So I’m walking up and down the passenger pickup queue on the other side of the bus queue and a car with a lighted Lyft sign pulls up and asks if I’m (realname), and I say I am, but I need to get a breath of charge on my phone so I can pay him. Fortunately he had a charge cord that fit my phone so I could pay him when I got home, yay! day saved.

And now I have a sore butt from the benches at the bus station, so bed for me.

Good racing today, good game yesterday

There were two races at the same time on TV today, the Cup race from Richmond, and the Indycar race from Barber Motorsports Park. There was a lot of good, close racing from both. Likewise there was a lot of driving around in circles from both. You have to take the bad with the good. I was happy to see the 48 win again in Cup, not so happy that Bowman won. Never was a big fan of Bowman. Scott Dixon I’m more ambivalent about. Good driver, but he wins too much. I know that’s the point, but I’m enjoying the parity in NASCAR too much, 9 races and 8 winners.

In the Shadowrun game we finished the rescue of the troll girl who may have been turning into a technomage, and despite our best efforts the building is still standing and mostly usable. Actually things went pear-shaped when one of the technicians with the troll girl recognized our mage, and the code phrase “pink mohawk” went out which was my cue to get active and I got my MGL12 grenade launcher in use. We needed to get through the front (and only) door and I hit the limits of the weapon on my roll and then hit the limits of the amount of damage my grenade could do, and then the door wasn’t there anymore.

Our mages did battle on the etherial plane against Bound Spirits protecting the facility, while our hackers blocked communication with the outside while making it look like everything was totally “normal”. It was a good thing that I packed a shit ton of HE grenades because the guards were wearing tank-like armor and I needed at least one and sometimes two grenades to take them out of the fight. until I got slammed by an air spirit throwing air boulders at me. Not the actual term, but I was attacked around midnight our time (1500 or so in-game) so my memory of actual terminology is a little vague. But anyway I was pounding the guards inside the building with grenade after grenade and whittling down their numbers one by one after I found out I needed to score a direct hit to cause damage even with a HE grenade set to explode on impact. Fortunately I have extremely high ranks in all kinds of firearms up to and including light field artillery so hitting my targets has become almost a given unless I roll a glitch, which is the Shadowrun version of a Natural 1 on the D20. So I was getting rid of the guards on almost every shot even with distractions like -4 on all rolls because of injury from the Air Spirit (and incidentally one of our mages cast a spell that let the rest of us do damage to the spirits, so I popped a couple of grenades at the Air Spirit so that it would leave me alone). Eventually we defeated the guards and freed the troll girl from the equipment that they were trying to figure out if she was really becoming a technomage. We looted the lab of some of the more interesting and portable equipment, took the troll girl back to our Mr. Johnson, got our money and Karma, and will not have another session until after the local Faire season is over first week of June.

And a pork-based counterpart to the FSM, the United Church of Bacon. Time for bed, this has been an exciting day.

It’s that time of year again

Yes, tree bukkake strikes again.😰 Almost feels like a caffeine withdrawal headache at first, then the eyes start watering, and the nose starts itching, and I can’t leave the house without someone with me to keep me from getting arrested for public intoxication, because with the brain damage and the one leg shorter than the other and allergy symptoms, I can’t pass a field sobriety test to save my life. Hence, I have to have a keeper when I leave the house.

At least this time I didn’t have to pry my eyes open with my fingers to be able to see, but judging by the amount of discharge I’m having that will be Monday.

Speaking (writing?) about Monday, that’s when I’ll be watching the dirt Cup race from Bristol. I even got up early to check the pre-race show, but the pits and vendor areas were covered by just under a foot of water (looked like more on my phone, but those Easy-ups could have been collapsed to keep from blowing away). Anywho, the trucks are supposed to roll 1100 CDT and the Cup cars at 1500 CDT. We will see if there is any dirt left to race on. It has been raining pretty hard in the mountains of East Tennessee.

On another front I might have mentioned I got an updated quote for the quick change rear axle with 1° cambered axle tubes and hubs and everything except the spur gears and it is about $2100 plus shipping, which considering the $1900 Ford 9″ housing and centersection doesn’t have the 1° camber option is a screaming deal. Apples to apples, the QC without the camber is less than the Ford, especially when you consider the price to have spare rear end ratios is $1k for the Ford and $55 for the QC. And a complete change of differential oil for the Ford compared to maybe a quart for the QC. Basically except for initial purchase price and a few model-specific consumables, the QC beats the pants off the Ford 9″ as far as economics of operation are concerned. Especially now that junkyard 9″ axles cost as much to make useful as buying new, and that’s not even factoring in the cost of labor.

I was listening to my YTM Supermix while composing the previous para, and checking the lyrics to the ELP song “Jeremy Bender”, and whaddayouknow Ol’ Jer’ is genderfluid, in 1971. If I hadn’t checked the lyrics I never would have known. I mean after you read the lyrics it’s as obvious as the nose on your face, hid for years in an abbey of nuns but had been presenting as male for years, but if you didn’t think about it too hard or if you couldn’t pick the lyrics out of the rest of the music you would have definitely missed it, or dismissed it as just babbling words to make a rhyme. But if they weren’t just babbling, yep, Jer’ was non-binary genderfluid.

Also while looking for the new age version of prog rock I found a group called Elder, who are a worthy heir to the mantle. In some pieces they are a rockier Pink Floyd, or Yes. And B4 you say it, yes I wander around the back catalogs in YTM a lot. I also Google the shit outta things that make me wonder. I mean if Swing music can evolve but still stay the same, why not progressive rock? It can and it did.

And there are about six hours of music in this catalog, I’m going to quit writing and lay down with my phone plugged into the charger and listen until my ears bleed.

We got Mrs. the Poet to her shot, and other stuff

Well, one of us here at Casa de El Poeta has their first COVID 19 vaccination. For some reason I’m still not eligible in my county for the shot, but Mrs. the Poet was, and our son in the neighboring county was. But I’m not old enough or have bad enough co-morbidities to qualify for the shot in my county. Apparently our governor is literally that small-minded that he is allocating the vaccines based on how the county voted for President during the 2020 election, because red counties are already into the general population, while blue counties just finished EMTs and critical care nurses and are moving to senior citizens.

So far all Mrs. the Poet has in the way of side effects are a little stiffness and some discomfort a little more than 24 hours out. She’s basically in a good mood and disposition. I’ll keep tracking her condition, because SCIENCE!!! and, I love her, too.

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.

This was a bad day

Combination of needing to beat bad weather and bad memory turned this into an “Ugh!” day.

OK it started out with looking at the weather forecast and deciding if I wanted to get my phone paid for before it got shut down I needed to do it today. But after buying a bus pass on my phone and activating it so it had to be used today (Thursday 2021-02-25) or lost forever.

For some reason I keep forgetting to bring my mask when I leave the house by myself, which means I can’t ride the bus. I realized this before I got to the bus so I had time to go home and catch the next bus but not before the rain hit. That’s when I rediscovered that the rain hood was designed to work with a brimmed hat like a baseball cap or similar, because the hood would droop until my face was covered while my mask rose until it covered my eyes. I could do something about the mask because I was used to dealing with rising mask syndrome from everyday use. But the hood covering my face at the same time at a faster rate than the mask crept up threw me off. I finally decided to just let my head get wet rather than constantly fidget with the hood and the mask.

Then I got to the phone store and did the thing with the new debit card. I was all tired out when I got there because I walked as fast as I could which actually uses more energy than running but is still slower than running because I can’t run. Seriously if I could have run I would have, but I haven’t been able to run since the wreck. But I did the thing with the new debit card, so “Yay!” for me.

I managed to get to the bus stop by the phone store in time to catch the next bus, which was good because by this time my head was soaked. I managed to get home without problems that I was already dealing with getting any worse. I even managed to get my step tracker and fitness tracker working for the trip from the bus stop to the house.

When I got home things got weird. I had been carrying around my phone in the pocket of the raincoat and when I took my phone out there was something else in the pocket, my old debit card that I lost. I wouldn’t have had to report the missing card if I had checked the pocket of the raincoat, which would have prevented having to “borrow” Mrs. the Poet’s card to pay a couple of online payments that came due before the new card came in.

So, that was my day Thursday. How was your day?

We had a high of seventy degrees today, TX weather is skitzo

An I know I didn’t spell it right, nor use it right. I used a colloquialism to express how insane the weather is in TX after enduring a Not In Recorded History cold spell we go right back to Warmer Than Normal For This Time Of Year. And I just tried to see exactly what that was and the almanac has been disabled on Weather dot com so I can’t tell you exactly. But as I understand the weather because of climate change we will continue to have warmer winters, except when the unstable Jet Stream dumps arctic air on us again when we all turn blue.

In other news I got the liner and curtain rings for the new shower, so we can pick up the towels we laid down to catch the back spray from using the shower without a way to contain what comes back off of us. Mrs. the Poet is especially happy that the liner holds the heat from the hot shower. And also that since the hole in the wall has been plugged with a new wall there is less cold air that needs to be kept out. So better than what we had before. Also the new faucet for the shower doesn’t leak, but it takes a long time to purge the cold water from the hot water feed line.

Still in other news but a repeating motif, my sleep schedule has slipped again to Mostly Vampire. I went to bed about 0515, and it was after 0600 that I finally shut down and went to sleep, and I finally woke for the final time today about 1630. And yes it takes me 11 hours± to get an adequate amount of sleep that most people get in 8 hours. And yes, that does annoy me.

Another thing that annoys me since we are on the subject, is I can’t find tools that let me miter the joints in the frame for the Mini Sprint-T. I mean I can use a triangular rat tail file to cut the rods to fit close enough, but what I really want is to have some kind of reamer that machines an exact fit that I can then dab a tiny amount of solvent cement over and it looks like a scale TIG weld. I know these tools exist but I keep coming up short of actually finding any for sale. I know that 0.060″ reamers exist that would allow me to use them as side mills to fish mouth the rods, or I could cheat a little and use a 0.0625″ (1/16th”) diameter of the same tool. I found some on the internets in the 0.0625″ size, but at $28 before tax, plus shipping. That’s too much for one bit to make a few cuts to do something I can almost do as well with hand tools. It just looks like I used a stick welder and made a bunch of cold booger welds instead of a more scale-like condition with better quality welding, which is why I’m still thinking about it.

While we are on the subject I’m having all kinds of difficulty bending the rods that make the hoop structures of the frame. It’s not that I can’t bend them, I can’t bend them right. The problem is I need to make 4 bends in exactly the right place that need to be exactly 90° and all in the same plane. What I keep coming up with is either too much or not enough bend, not in the same plane, or in the wrong place and frequently all of the above. I finally learned how to make the bends the right radius and stay the same diameter and not stretch the sprue into a smaller diameter. I need more practice doing all the other things to get it right, I just lack the patience and materials to practice on. I guess a few more dollars’ worth of raw stock would be a good investment if I want to make this model look IRL like I see it in my mind. And if I don’t make it look like I see it in my mind, why even bother to make it?

And this seems like a good place to end this rant, as there is little productive that can be gleaned from it.

It’s still freezing, and 13 hours without power to boot

I’m taking advantage of having internet while I can, as we had a 13 hour blackout of everything except cell phone service. Basically from 0800 to 2100 here at Casa de El Poeta there was no electricity which means anything that requires line current to work, didn’t. That includes cable, internet, and because we have VOIP no phone service either.

Basically Texas lost a bunch of their generating capacity because deregulation and the free market don’t actually take care of everything. Since nobody made them install deicing equipment on the wind turbines, the wind turbines froze over and stopped generating electricity. Since nobody made the well operators prepare for extended near-zero conditions, there wasn’t any natural gas to run the natural gas powered generators. And other things down the line, kinda like when I was denied disability because they only looked at my case one issue at a time, nobody paying attention to the fact that stuff I could still do with one problem I couldn’t do because I had multiple problems, and even though I could do some things for short periods of time I couldn’t do them day in and day out because of other problems.

So I spent as long as I could under the covers where it was warm because I put a lot of blankets on the bed. Basically I would be warm still if the house got below freezing, which I know because in my Gran’s house the back bedroom was too far away from the wood stove to get much if any heat and I did the quilts and blankets the same as we did back then. On the really cold nights a glass of water on the nightstand would freeze in the back bedroom. But we didn’t, so everything was good until we had to get out of bed and stick our bare feet on the freezing floor.

As soon as we got power back I made some microwave noodles so I had something hot to eat. Mrs. the Poet had a chicken lunch meat sandwich because she just wanted food and cold or hot didn’t matter and she made the same sandwich for lunch. Now I’m dealing with a headache because not eating earlier but it’s going away because I’m eating now. And I mentioned it was cold in the house, but not really that cold because it was still above 50° when the power came back on, so we’re all good now at 64°F

I’m going to do other things because it’s looking like we have power for the near future.

We have sneaux in the Suburbs of Hell

If you follow weather news you might have heard we got some Sneaux in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Well by the standards Mrs. the Poet and I grew up with we got a light dusting. But considering the last time we had snow visible on the ground I had a flip phone, this is a LOT of snow for around here.
Out the bedroom window at the neighbor's house
Looking out my back door
Front door view across the cul de sac

The temperature has never gotten above 20°F today with wind chills hovering around and below zero°. Like I wrote earlier the last time it snowed I was using a flip phone for pictures.
Back door from 2015

We have about 2″ accumulation as I post this, with more on the way.