For those of you wondering where yesterday’s blog post went, so do I. I clicked “preview” to make sure the links went where they were supposed to go and the only thing happened was all the text disappeared, but since I back up I figured there were some bugs in the preview function and just went back to the previous save and clicked “publish”. And you see what happened next, the only thing that got published was the category and the tags. That was using the text version of the composing screen, I use that because I can hand code a link faster than I can use the link tool to create one since I make so many links every day. I don’t even have to think about it when I do it I just <a href=”url” target=”_blank”>title</a> except this time I used the codes for the < and > chars instead of typing the actual symbols to create a link.
Anyway I should say again that yesterday’s visit to the Lab Rat Keeper turned out mostly well, I managed to lose all the weight I gained from vacation plus another 3 pounds, from 213 in May down to 210 now, and my BP was 84/51, which was light years from where it was back in 2004-5 when I signed up for this gig. Back then I would get readings of up to 245 systolic and as high as 145 diastolic, which is way too high no matter how you look at it. Back then I was under a lot of stress trying to build my bike business, worried about getting long term employment and health insurance and knowing I was another wreck away from losing my home for medical expenses. Today I’m sitting pretty with Obamacare making sure my total OOP for any wreck is never more than $500, and I don’t have either an annual limit or a lifetime limit on how much can be spent to keep me kicking. I have access to money as a result of the trust transferring to me after my Dad died so that stress is gone too. I won’t lose my home anyway. You can’t know how big a stress that removed when it finally sank in that I won’t have to deal with the mortgage any more.
Pretty much all the links I have in this abbreviated post are from a single source and about NYC, but until I know I can make a post and have it still exist after I publish it I’m not going to do a lot of finding links on the web.
http://gothamist.com/2014/08/14/cyclist_kills_jogger.php Oh [$DIETY] we still haven’t heard the last about the previous pedestrian killed by a cyclist back in 2009, this one looks like the cyclist had to take an evasive maneuver to avoid another vehicle in the bike lane. And you know how you can tell for certain the cyclist was not at fault? He’s not in jail and did not even get a ticket for NYPD. Given that NYPD will invent laws to write a bicycle ticket for (the famous “not wearing a helment” ticket from a couple years ago ring a bell?) the fact that they didn’t give the kid even a ticket screams “not his fault”.
A NYC cyclist left-crosses himself.http://gothamist.com/2014/08/13/cyclist_killed_by_ambulance_driver.php The ambulance was just on a normal transport run with no lights or siren when the cyclist turned in front of it. So intersection protocols to avoid and get the infrastructure “up to Dutch” to prevent.
Update on a hit-and-run wreck in CA. http://bikinginla.com/2014/08/13/riverside-hit-and-run-victim-dies-after-being-taken-off-life-support/
Bike lanes are the new sidewalks for NYPD and City Hall bigwigs to park in, got it?http://gothamist.com/2014/08/14/nypd_loves_bike_lane_parking.php#photo-1
And the NYPD crackdown in response to the recent bicycle-pedestrian fatal wreck has no sense, whodathunkit?http://gothamist.com/2014/08/13/cyclist_crackdown_cops.php The most recent fatality was a not-at-fault wreck in Central Park. So where has the crackdown been taking place?
Our Daily Ted http://bikinginla.com/2014/08/13/morning-links-popular-la-cyclist-seriously-injured-update-on-the-san-diego-crash-that-injured-8-riders/
OK let’s see if this posts.
BIlled @€1 (for dealing with the added aggravation), Opus
Yesterday was the last day for a veggie restaurant owned by a friend of the family as the building was sold out from under them and they lost their lease. They had an all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet to close things down and I did my best to make sure they didn’t have any leftovers. After I waddled out of the restaurant I went to the RPG where I had to level up Jr. for the quest for the scepter game. Sparrow Jr. is now a 7th level Warlock with the ability to see normally in total darkness as well as see invisible creatures (unless they are using Greater Invisibility). With the gold he has found in this quest he purchased a Chasuble of Fell Power that adds 2d6 to his Eldrich Blast and Eldrich Spear, during the restock run in the major city after leveling up. This means that he has the firepower of a 9th level Warlock or several archers with strength bonuses on their bows (and Sparrow is much more likely to hit as the Eldrich Blast and Spear are both ranged touch attacks).
That item buff and tactics came in handy in yesterday’s encounter as we finally hacked our way to the center of the lost city and found the statue we have been looking for since we started this quest to lead us to the next clue to find the scepter that could destroy the world in the wrong hands. All we can find out about this scepter is that it is currently lost, but we are racing a litch to get to it. The kicker is that the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment, which categorically excludes all litches.
When we got to the statue we found what at first seemed like a magic ritual, but after observation turned out to be a religious service to an evil god. Among the “faithful” were 6 Mind Flayers. Since we couldn’t get to the statue with the people worshipping an evil god there we busted up the service. There were two problems here. Some of the Mind Flayers have Spell Resistance so we magic users were up the proverbial creek battling them, but there were enough of the ones without Spell Resistance that we still could get a few hits in. And by a “few hits” I really mean “hitting with enough damage that they go so negative in hit points they explode”. I made one blow up and one of the other magic users did the same thing to another. And one of our melee fighters did the same to one of the ones that had Spell Resistance. Others were taken out with somewhat less spectacular ends, but none of them were able to get any of their attacks off because one of our magic users managed to get a web spell off against the human worshippers that effectively took them out of the battle, and then another one of our spell-casters used other area-effect spells to keep the humans “otherwise occupied” than with us.
After the battle we found the statue we had been looking for, but could not figure out how to read the clue because the clue was under the knee of the kneeling statue until my character walked up to ask if he could help. The statue stood up and recited the clue to my character. It turns out Sparrow Jr. is the only good-aligned member of the party, and the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment. The rest of the crew did the usual loot and then burn the bodies to dispose of them. Since my character has detect magic at will all items were run by me to separate magic items from mere baubles but we had to end the session before we could find out what we had won from the battle.
So, it was a good Saturday for me, and then I got a whole bunch of things taken care of after morning services before I came home. I paid the $0.04 monthly premium on my Obamacare insurance after I picked up the weekly transit pass for Mrs. the Poet to make it to her last week of school at her job taking the flavor out of the kids’ food. Add to the really great service at church this morning (not worshiping an evil god 😉 ) and my Sunday has been really good. And there were lots of races today, IndyCar from Belle Isle Detroit, Sprint Cup from Dover, and NHRA Summernationals from Englishtown NJ. That’s a lot of racing. And the drag racers are still at it.
I’m going to end this post now, because I’m really enjoying what a great weekend I have been having.
OK, here is what is going down. I have a gig/vacation coming up next week with zero Internet access from Monday on to next Sunday. I’ll try to get a post out Monday before getting packed, and I’ll be loading up early Tuesday for an extended camping trip. While I’m at the camp out I will be helping man a vending booth that will pay for my trip there. I will also be using Francis/es to demonstrate how a fleet of cargo bikes can replace a fleet of aging golf carts for moving “stuff” around 100 acres of camp grounds. I would like to also have a passenger box bike/trike to show how they can move people and cargo, but since my intentions were strictly cargo when I bought Francis/es I bought the cargo-only bed.
Good News! Thanks to the ACA (AKA Obamacare) I now have a BCBS insurance card in my wallet, and Mrs. the Poet has a nearly identical one with her name added as co-insured in her wallet. The difference in costs and coverage between the policy she had through her job and what I got both of us via the ACA is astounding. First Mrs. the Poet’s insurance, which had a $2K deductible and OOP and moderate levels of coverage that cost her $70/month after the payment from her employer. Now the ACA policy, which has a deductible and OOP of $500 per person, has many more treatments covered, and will cost me $17/month after subsidy. This policy did not exist prior to March 1 (that they are telling me) and was created as a reaction to the number of people that Gov. Goodhair dumped in the ditch when he rejected expanding Medicaid for TX. The fact that so many people are qualified for the expanded Medicaid and didn’t get it says something about wages and employment in TX. As in both of them pretty much suck especially if you have a less-than-perfect job history.
Since the Sprint Cup race was on last night while my Warlock was wreaking havoc on nasty plant creatures in an overgrown temperate rain forest, I have been watching the Indy Car race from Long Beach, and the NHRA Four Wide Nationals from Charlotte NC. The Indy Car race was pretty much a case of follow the leader except for a rare pass in the turns that didn’t result in a wreck, but those wrecks determined the outcome of the race, except for Scott Dixon running out of E85 three laps from the finish. Congrats to Ed Carpenter racing for getting the win with their street race/road course ringer from the World Endurance Championship over in Europe.
In other news, here’s the mayor of Dallas examining Francis/es.
The weather for this event and photo shoot was great, today’s is not so great. I walked to church from the transit station in a light rain, and back from the store sprinkling and windy. All that means is it is spring in North Texas. We have been switching back and forth between heat and AC at least three times in the last 4 weeks, but now we are pretty much set on either AC or nothing. The big thing that causes the AC to come on is running the dryer after doing the laundry, because that makes the inside humidity go way up and get way uncomfortable for Mrs. the Poet.
The broadcast for the drag race is still going on, but I’m cutting the post here because I don’t have anything else to say.
I try not to descend into politics outside transportation issues here at WoaB, but things have come to a head here in the Big PX over how we should deliver medical care to our citizens. On one side you have people who believe everyone deserves access to health care as a matter of right regardless of ability to pay, and the other side who believe that if you ain’t rich you don’t deserve anything. The rich side has medical insurance that costs more per year than half of American households make in income before taxes, so let’s just say their perspective is somewhat skewed by their circumstance.
The person I was referring to in the previous paragraph was my US Senator, Ted (I’m not a Canadian) Cruz. He’s covered by his wife’s insurance from Goldman Sachs (which is a whole ‘nother rant) which costs in the neighborhood of $40k-45k per year, which is a neighborhood that is about 3 times the annual income here at WoaB. So while he was reading Dr. Seuss and getting it wrong, he was covered by two Cadillac health plans, his Congressional plan and the gold-plated coverage from his wife’s plan.
And now that they have found they can’t stop the Affordable Care Act, so they want to shut the government down unless they can delay it for a year. Oh yeah and they want to strip abortion and contraceptives out of the act as well. So that’s a big extended middle finger to everyone who lacks a Y chromosome. Last time I checked testicle-owning Americans did not need either of those two services.
What really gets me about this is the Affordable Care Act is a Republican plan from the end of the 20th Century that was passed in MA as Romneycare (you remember, that goofus that lost the last presidential election?). So what was good 15 years ago is terrible now? I guess because poor people are more evil now than they were 15 years ago, or most probably because the people leading the GOP now have little contact with and no empathy for the vast majority of Americans who don’t pump hundreds of millions of dollars into their campaign war chests. They have made the conscious choice to place all their resources at the behest of the rich and to the detriment of the vast majority. I’m purposely trying to avoid that 1%-99% rhetoric here.
OK, enough of that, things have gotten strange again here at Casa de El Poeta. Yesterday afternoon our neighbor’s fence became part of our yard after the soil was saturated by an extended thunderstorm. Unlike when that section of the fence was ours there was no high winds or mini-tornado this time to bring the fence down just lots of rain. So now we have about 12-14 feet of fence sitting on the ground in the back yard.
Then last night while I was on the road to the Sumer celebration one of the cabinets holding our dishes fell off the wall. I was looking at the remains this morning and it was amazing it held together this long as it was constructed from particle board and glorified cardboard. That has been hanging on the wall since 1985. The sides and bottom separated from the back which remained attached to the wall and had to be removed by taking out the 3 screws that held it to the wall. This is on top of replacing the water heater and AC and having to remove the fence. So we will have to replace the cabinets as well. Whoopie! So far my 56th year is not getting off to a good start.