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.

Waiting to exhale, Chauvin found guilty and it’s 4/20

Nothing going on much with me, but lots going on in the world.

I think everyone has heard a certain monster has been found guilty of the murder he performed on camera with his hands in his pockets. If he hadn’t been found guilty I would have joined in the riots. This transcends race, this transcends class. I hope he gets the maximum sentence for everything, and they are served consecutively.

On the other topic of the day, I can’t partake any more because TBI and THC combine to just give me a headache. But I’m firmly on the side of legalization, because seriously WTF?? Basically pot was made illegal because POC really liked it, and hemp was competing with Big Cotton.

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.

Another day, another mass shooting

As I was going to bed last night/this morning I got a notification there was another mass shooting, this time in Indianapolis. The shooter was reported at one time using an AR-style rifle with at least one large capacity magazine. This was after I had put my last post to bed.

This happens so frequently that at least one web site has a boilerplate article that changes as the location and body count differs, but is otherwise static and has had the same headline since the Obama administration. They have already run several articles with that headline this year.

At this point reports on casualties are still coming in since some people were injured as a byproduct of panic but were not shot, and other people were not critically injured by getting shot and did not know they had been shot until they started to get undressed after the shooting. To use an old joke their fracas was injured.

And some people got the news indirectly (yes I know it’s from The Onion and probably not real) after getting questions about the incident from constituents.

And at this point we are still getting reports that I won’t link to that the shooter had a sub-machinegun, or other kind of automatic weapon. So lots of bullets sprayed all over, maybe? And since the shooter is dead presumably LEO have the weapon in evidence, so since it is important to the debate release at least a description of the weapon? Even just the type of weapon would be of use in the debate on which kind of gun to ban since we don’t seem to be doing anything useful to prevent these atrocities from being committed.

Still, one has to question how this would happen if say semi-auto longguns with removeable magazines were banned and confiscated, or you had to have a special license to own one, like machine guns. There have been a few mass shootings done with semi-auto pistols, but the body count was much lower in all of those shootings especially when compared to ones with longguns. And compared to mass murders by a single swordsman there have been none in over a century. Texans just recently had the right to carry melee weapons restored after someone pointed out the 2nd did not specify firearms, but “arms” which included clubs, spears, swords and other weapons which had lost favor as the only worked in melee or ranged weapons that required much more training and practice or upper body strength to use as compared to firearms.

As has been pointed out numerous times, more than can be linked in this blog post, when the Second Amendment was written to shoot multiple people you had to have a loaded weapon for every person you wanted to shoot because the cyclic rate was measured in rounds per hour, not per second. You had to use a barrel and chamber scraper right after firing to remove possibly burning remnants from the previous round, measure out the powder, pour it into the barrel, ram in a wad to hold the powder, wrap a patch around the ball and ram the patch and ball in, and either put priming powder in the pan, or set a cap on the chamber and then cock the hammer, aim and shoot. A skilled rifleman could do that in about 45 seconds if at a stationary firing position, or about a minute while moving from one firing position to another. In the same time a skilled rifleman today could fire 30 times, remove and replace the magazine, and fire another 15 rounds. Precise aim would be superfluous since that many bullets flying downrange in the general direction of the target would hit something important in the general vicinity. And that wasn’t a joke. When you had one bullet per minute aim was important, but one or more a second makes “spray and pray” a viable tactic. And when there’s nobody to shoot back…

And enough of this rant.

Still feels like I’m getting punched in the face

Like, seriously, I wish the trees would keep their sexual activity to themselves. If there are any genetic engineers out there reading this, could you genetically engineer a less-messy reproduction process for the trees I’m allergic to? Seriously, trees, keep it private.

Also, showing my age here, but am I the only person getting Fireball XL5 vibes off the SpaceX Starship?Golden Age sci-fi anyone?
Serious golden age vibes here
Seriously I know it’s not exactly the same, and the XL5 launched horizontally from a track while the Starship launches vertically, but I’m catching a serious XL5 vibe from the Starship. Or maybe just some of those paperback book covers from the ’60s, but old school SF.

And while I’m doing a lot of pictures, here is a picture of the front of a truck LS architecture engine with the picture of my proposed belt routing underneath so you can get a better idea of where things go.
A better look at the impediments for the belt routing
The trick is to keep the belt out of the thermostat mount

Today was a bad allergy day so I have been thinking

I have been having bad eyes all day along with a runny nose, so I have been doing a lot of thinking about making the Sprint-T harder to steal. Before I started I had “removeable steering wheel” and “hidden start switch” on the list. Now I have “install shifter backwards” and “24 bit binary password” on the list.

Actually the “install shifter backwards” wasn’t intended as an anti-theft measure, I was trying to get the shifter to function like a sequential shifter for a manual transmission. Those function with a pull back to go to a higher gear, but without major mechanical modification having PRN1234 ain’t gonna happen, but 1234NRP is there with just turning the shifter backwards and running the cable through a 180° loop so the cable moves in the right direction even with the shifter in backwards. So, pull the trigger and push the shifter the wrong way until the transmission is in first, then pull back to get to a higher gear. So, people who are familiar with cars would be unable to get the car in gear for at least a few seconds.

Now the other “24 bit binary password” is basically a bunch switches connected so that when the switches are arranged in the correct order it makes a series circuit. I’m thinking I should use the ASCII binary code for R, U, N, 😁 or G, O, !😁 Anyway I need to have a sequence I can remember. The other way to do it is connect the switches to a microcontroller and have it turn on the ECU. Now this can be bypassed by hot wiring, but that requires much longer than what it takes to get police there by cellphone.

And that’s about all I have to say today, so I’ll end this here.

I think I gave my music app a stroke

First of all I’m feeling a bit better after yesterday’s debacle trying to get my second Moderna shot and having to bail for home when my Lyft fare got close to what I had in my bank account. I was stuck in the line of cars outside Fair Park for almost an hour before I decided to cut my losses and leave.

So, anywho, I called up my Supermix because I needed some tunes, and this is the first page listing: Clap Your Hands by Parov Stellar, The Pusher by Steppenwolf, Aqualung by Jethro Tull, I Am a Soul by Nibana, Sing Sing Sing by the Benny Goodman band, Tom Sawyer by Rush, Green-Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf, Still… You Turn Me On by ELP, and last song on the first page White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.
Lots of Classic Rock, some Electro Swing, some Swing, and one Trance. And there are other genres on other pages, but I don’t feel like listing them out right now.

I’m on day three of trying to daywalk, and I even got up before noon today. That’s something that doesn’t happen often, that I get up without using an alarm before noon. I woke up before 0900 even and after I decided that I wasn’t going to get any more sleep I got up. I had my alarm set for 1100, but I was already sitting behind my computer reading web comics and organizing my thoughts for today’s blog post when it went off and I had to go turn it off.

And they just played the Benny Goodman. Impossible to be sad-sad when Sing Sing Sing plays, depressed sure, but not sad-sad. As in I felt a little better until the end of the music.

Now, thoughts, I had a train of thought going before the Goodman squirrel wandered by, but that got completely derailed. Daywalking, I was trying to get a train of thought going on trying to fit in to a diurnal society when you’re mostly nocturnal by habit and employment. I notice that I tend to get a second wind from about 0100-0500 if I don’t force myself to go to bed by 2300 and get to sleep immediately. This was way before I did the cleanup writing thing, dating back to all-nighters in college back in the ’70s. Which I know was before some of you were born, I can’t help when I was born and what was going on back then.

Speaking of which, there is a meme for us Boomers: What were you doing the day JFK was shot? And alternatively Kent State? For some Kent State is a “Huh?” and for some of us it’s when we lost our innocence, when we discovered our government wasn’t protecting us anymore, if it ever had. For me I wasn’t tied into that culture because I wasn’t tied into any culture except what I saw on TV.

That was brought home to me sophomore year in High School when we had a test in social studies about local and national trademarks, and since I had only moved to the area about a month previous to the start of school I had no knowledge of any of the local stuff. But national brands I aced because that was what military brats zoned in on, stuff that was consistent from one duty station to another. Local brands were what we looked for after finding the things we knew to be good, or at least not-bad. I can’t speak for the rest, but I looked for something that was familiar and known good and then immediately went looking for local favorites after that, sometimes finding something good, like the restaurant in the strip mall at the end of the street we lived on when I was in the last part of 8th grade (4th school).

And this has meandered all over the place as I chased down metaphorical squirrels from wherever they come from to wherever they have to go once I start chasing them. In case you don’t know where the “Squirrel!” meme comes from “Squirrel!”

I screwed up and cost myself money and time

I was going to get my second Moderna shot today, but I screwed up and forgot my shot card from the first one. So I couldn’t get my second shot and have to reschedule. I have a pretty good window to do this, but because of traffic around the vaccine site I ended up spending a ton of money on Lyft because of getting caught in the traffic. Basically I spent $130 to stand in lines in the car and didn’t even get my shot.

I’m still so flustered I can’t even think straight, because of all the BS I went through to try to get to the vaccination site. I saw the gate to get in, but on the other side of the median from where I was in line, and I had been in line over an hour at that point. That is when I discovered I didn’t have my card with me because I had removed it from my bag for safe-keeping, and not put it back in. No card, no second shot and since I was scheduled to get my second shot…

And I still can’t think well enough to form a coherent sentence. I think at least part of this is because even though I went to bed early I still didn’t get to sleep until my normal 0600 and got up at 1100, I have been yawning all day and about half asleep most of the time. And this was after waking up yesterday at 1100 to watch the Xfinity race and then the Cup race, so I’m in sleep deprivation Purgatory. All I can think straight about is how I can’t think straight, everything else is like cotton balls inside my head. Well at least I retain a modicum of vocabulary, I can’t think, but at least I have good words to use in describing it. Other than that it’s “Head not feel right, can’t think.” And also the ringing in my ears has changed to less high-pitched whine and more like white noise with a side of high-pitched whine. So rather than torture myself about not being able to write, I’ll end this one now.

I get my second Moderna shot tomorrow

And after I do I will be 14 days from 99% immunity to COVID19.

Not a whole lot to write about tonight, I saw both races from Martinsburg VA today. Good races, both of them. Really exciting last stages especially the Cup race, lots of beating and banging around and at one point the track was completely blocked by wrecked cars. Lots of good drivers knocked out of the race while running close to the front because of short track racing.

And it is about 0230 and I’m still waiting to get my confirmation e-mail. I’m officially worried.