Category Archives: stuff without bike wrecks

I need a real-estate agent

It’s beginning to look like I will need to relocate to Canada. That means I will need to sell Casa de El Poeta here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. If there are any real estate agents reading this I need to buy a house in Canada after I sell mine in TX.

SOS, Opus the Unkillable Badass

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What happened yesterday and the State Fair trip today

When I left off yesterday I was barely succeeding at preventing a face plant into my laptop. I went to bed right after posting and slept until about 1000 this morning. I had my coffee and a warm poptart from the replacement toaster that showed up yesterday. I much prefer my poptarts to be warmed inside and slightly crisp from the toaster outside, rather than the cold from the package ones I have been having since Mrs. the Poet killed the old toaster. The reason we have a replacement toaster is the one I got the beginning of the month came with a defective timing mechanism that would not hold the bread-lifter down to toast. The heating elements would get power and start to warm things up but I had to hold the bread lifter down myself until the poptart or toast was done, not a practical thing to do when you are almost asleep and the coffee hasn’t kicked in because it’s still in the pot.

So anyway, yesterday. I went to bed about 0230, tossed and turned until maybe 0400, got up 0610, and stumbled through taking a shower until 0650. Unfortunately in order to get to the LRK in time I had to leave the house at 0645 and be fully dressed. That wasn’t happening. I finally got dressed at 0710 and got ready to catch the next bus and hope to salvage something of the day. I got to the LRK about 1015 for a 0930 appointment. Fortunately there was an opening in the schedule because someone(me) had missed an earlier appt. and they moved everyone else up because they were early. Then the fun started (again, pt. 2). My blood work from the previous visit had something that was out of limit for the study and hours were spent on the phone discussing it. In the meantime my blood sugar was dropping like the proverbial stone, because I had been up since 6-ish with nothing to eat or drink except the tiny swallow of water I used to take my antidepressant. The upshot is I’m going to have to go back Tuesday for more tests and I may have to miss my religious retreat/camping trip next week. Then I had to stop along the way to pick up something I bought earlier, then wait an hour for the next bus home and get bread and by the time I got done with that it was after 1700 and I was dragging tail. After dinner I tried to post to this blog and well you saw how well that turned out…

That brings us to Fair Day!😆😈 Time to look at cars, eat anything deep-fried, look at the quilts and other fine crafts, and walk ourselves to death. I had less of a problem because Mrs. the Poet doesn’t like to try the cars on like I have to. There were some of the cars that I had a much easier time getting in than getting out and vice versa. The thing was there was a lot of time I wasn’t on my feet that Mrs. the Poet was standing outside the cars, not good for her problem with her back. If anyone is interested Mrs. the Poet wants a red Corvette, a dark blue Camaro, a white Mustang, or a gunmetal Challenger. Add a black Fiat 500 Abarth to that list for me, on the costs-are-no-limit list. On the other list we had several compact hatchbacks with gas mileage in excess of 35 combined and still-spritely performance. We had nachos, deep-fried cookie strips, lemonade and Dr. Pepper ice cream for our fair food. There was a lot of stuff we wanted to try but that was the limit of our food budget ($20), and we had come on a day that had cheap food.

Looking at the crafts I learned there is an adult scale model class. I also learned that the Mini Sprint-T would qualify, which means that if I get to building I might be able to enter the finished model next year.

And it’s about time for bed again…

billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet.

On World Mental Health Day

I recently started to get treatment for my depression and PTSD after suffering more than 40 years with it. As many posting to Twitter have mentioned about their depression, mine was initially dismissed as teenaged angst, then as “just they way you are” and “being serious for a change”. There was also the problem that more than 40 years ago when this mess started 1) there was no such diagnosis as PTSD 2) even if there was nobody would believe you could get it by changing schools several times at the wrong point in your life. I think that started some time in the ’90s when the DOD noticed that adults who had been military dependents as children had suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism rates almost identical to combat veterans from Vietnam. I never went through any suicide attempts and couldn’t afford drugs or booze, I think that was the only reason I didn’t join that statistic. There was also the mistaken belief that young people couldn’t get depressed, mainly because at the time nobody knew that depression can happen to people not actually in serious conditions because it is a disease, a disease that manifests as an emotional state, not just “being real sad” all the time. To give an idea about how much I changed from before to after depression I got a “Motormouth Award” at scout camp for being lively and talkative and joking all the time. That was the Real Me (Not Depressed), in the 7th grade. By my senior year in HS, less than 5 years later, I had already had one major and countless minor bouts of depression.

So, several things here: 1) Mental Illness is a category of real illnesses, like heart disease or kidney failure. 2) Anyone can get Mental Illness at any age. Seriously, it’s like childhood cancers or Type 1 diabetes. 3) Having Mental Illness does not mean you have a weak mind or are morally deficient or any other negative stereotype, it means your brain is not functioning within design tolerances. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please share this with your friends.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet.

Time is getting short, are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote is bearing down in many states, have you registered to vote? Remember that many transportation projects depend on local elected officials’ support, and those elections are decided by just a few votes. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for because I really don’t know for most elections, you will have to educate yourself through your local media and social media.

Just get registered, and get out there to vote like your life depended on it, because it very well might.

PSA, Opus the Poet

It’s amazing what can happen when you’re not depressed

I went for a walk today to get some cat food from the store and to max out the captures on the phone game I play that pays me money to play, then I sat down with my wife and had a conversation. Pre-medication I might have been able to do the first, but I probably would not have been able to do the second, and doing both in the same day, much less one right after the other, would have been a miracle. That’s the difference between mild depression and none. Mild depression I can go to the doctor, or cook dinner, or sit down and have a conversation, but not all on the same day. Without depression I can walk two miles to the store in the heat, have a long conversation with my wife, and cook all of dinner all on the same day without feeling like I was drowning, or some other overwhelming feeling.

Mrs. the Poet was like “Who are you and where did you put my husband?” over the difference. She has never known me from before I was depressed. I’m not sure but I think she likes the non-depressed person better. I know I do.

PSA, Opus

Trip to the Lab Rat Keeper, and something strange and wonderful on my YT Music channel

I’ll start with the strange and wonderful. I did a search on YTM a few months ago for “Personal Jesus” looking for the DePeche Mode song but also saying I wanted all versions, and one cover I found was by The Man In Black. No not Dale Earnhardt Sr. the other man in black, Johnny Cash. And it was 100% serious, Christian music done by someone who doesn’t just mouth the words and then go do something else. It was strange and wonderful, and I was truly moved listening to it. You can find it by using the search string “Johnny cash personal jesus” at YouTube.

Now the visit to the Lab Rat Keeper. My BP came up a tiny bit in the week I was off Bystolic, but not much. I’m all the way up to 120/86. One of the ways I know the Bystolic is not yet out of my system is I still have a pulse that just barely gets to 50 in spite of the fact I haven’t been able to ride anything but a stationary bike in two years now. And I get deadly bored on a stationary bike after just a few minutes so I quit. I lost another 3 pounds to get to 206.6 which still leaves me with a BMI in the “obese” range. I swear that people will be able to see my ribs and I will have a BMI at or near 30, the bottom of the obese range.

I’m still working on the Mini Sprint-T even as the parts are slowly wending their way to Casa de El Poeta. The thing I’m working on now is making a driveshaft that looks like a driveshaft. I have the raw stock but I completely lack any way to make the U-joints that look like the real thing only smaller. I could go with the “lincoln logs” method to make a master to pull a mold from and cast my own simulated U-joint ends and then sell them to other builders, as I understand this is a common problem. Is this a problem for you? Leave a comment.

PSA, Opus

Sorry I haven’t written…

OK catching back up, I’m on antidepressants long enough to have them adjusted twice now, and I’m “officially” not depressed, and the side effects are easing off. This particular med has some side effects that are distinctly unpleasant if you have had a UTI and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I took several days off right when Mrs. the Poet got back from NY to go to my 40th HS reunion. I found out my face hasn’t changed much since I graduated based on the number of people who recognized me at the pub during the pre-reunion meet and greet. I also found that there were a number of girls wanting to go out with me if I had just asked, but since I didn’t…

I’m finally getting enough parts to start building the Mini Sprint-T. The order for the wheels, hubs, brakes and rear axles goes out tomorrow. I’m building two versions, so I’m getting the running gear for both in the same order. The main difference is one car I will have to narrow the wheels for, the other I will have to widen them. One will have 10″ street tires on 8″ rims, the other will have 14″ race slicks on 14″ rims. One car will have the LS7 and the other will have the SBC backed by a 700r4 automatic transmission. Both will have EFI, it’s just that the one on the SBC looks like a 4bbl carburetor with an extra fuel line and electrical cables.

I have found the steering box I’m going to use Classic Performance Products VEGA-PSB Power Steering Box. This box has almost the same ratio as the $600 Sweet 800 box for a lot less money and is a lot easier to integrate into the front end. The Vega box is much smaller than the 800 box and fits the same mount as the Vega manual box. I went to the manufacturer’s web site and downloaded the dimensions so I will be able to accurately model it.

And that’s pretty much everything I didn’t mention last time I posted. Opus

I just tweeted this but anyway

The anti-depressant works at keeping me from being depressed. What it doesn’t do is keep me awake, like at all. I have zero energy and can barely keep my eyes open, I’m yawning constantly and also keep doing that “wake up stretch” my body does when I’m fighting off sleep to get something done late at night. Except it is 1630 not 2330. I think my body is reacting to my efforts to put me back on a diurnal schedule rather than a nocturnal one. I keep getting up earlier each day but still end up staying awake until 0300 or 0400, even when I get up at 0800 or 0900 the day before. It’s just not fair, now that I’m not depressed I want to sleep like I am worse depressed than before I started taking the med…

Now I’m gonna force myself to take care of things around the house including myself and the cats. Write to you later.

PSA, Opus

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

Open Carry and Free Beer, let’s really fix the RNC in Cleveland, and do we need a “No Drive” list?

LEO in Cleveland have been asking (pleading, begging, weeping) for a temporary reprieve from OH’s open carry law because it’s impossible to tell the “good guy with a gun” from the deranged maniac out to shoot up the convention. Not wanting to be accused of being anti-gun I have a suggestion: Keep open carry, and set up free beer stations on every corner. The ones not wanting to shoot up the convention will grab a pint or 12, and get happy. The ones wanting massive mayhem and body counts will eschew the alcohol while continuing to carry.

Obviously I don’t want to see someone shoot up the convention. After all those people have families that love them just like the rest of us. I’m just taking things to their logical conclusion. If more guns make us safer then making sure everyone has one means that everyone is perfectly safe, right? And if local (and Federal) LEO want to prevent open carry on the grounds of safety, how can those two statements be reconciled? I mean it’s almost as if more guns don’t make us safer.

I just want to know in the wake of the Nice terror truck attack when the US will adopt a “No Drive” list. Last report I read stated more than 50 of the 84 victims died from getting hit by the truck, and that most of those shot are expected to survive.This attack puts the Orlando Some Asshole to shame, much higher body count over a much larger area (more than a mile!). I mean seriously, how long will people be able to just walk up and put down a credit card and walk away with a WMD with significant room for explosives when you run out of steam from just running people over? I mean it’s like a 2-for-one murder weapon sale. Run over as many as you can, then detonate the massive shrapnel disperser in the back and go out in a literal blaze of glory destroying as many infidels as remain in the blast radius. Of course you will not be around to personally assess the damage…

PSA, Opus