Tag Archives: camping

OUCH! and other comments after visiting the Lab Rat Keeper

It seems I have a pain problem. When I do something stupid and injure myself I don’t always hardly ever feel it at the time, like when I messed up the bottom of my foot at the beginning of the month. Well I had places to go on the way back from the Lab Rat Keeper and I had to do a lot of standing around to do those things and then stand around waiting on the bus for almost an hour after each time I stopped for an errand. I was a little uncomfortable yesterday, but this morning I woke up practically unable to move. And it was mostly my right leg, not the one that got all mangled in the wreck, that hurt.

Going back to the LRK visit, I had to change my BP meds again. The ones prescribed at the last visit were too strong and took my pressure down too low, which is worse than too high. Too high can kill in a couple of years, too low can kill you, like this afternoon. So I’m back on the meds I was on before the trial on the experimental med. That one takes me down right to the upper limit of hypotension using the smallest dose, leaving me room for temporary BP increases due to exercise. It’s kinda annoying in a way, because the med I was on that was lowering my BP too much would have been free for the rest of my life because I was on the human trials that got it approved. I can’t just cut the pill in half because it is a mix of two meds and not uniform throughout the pill. I could get a full dose of the BP med and none of the med that controls the side effects, or just the side effect drug and nothing to reduce BP. Both of those would be bad for different reasons.

As for what I needed to do after the visit to the LRK, well I had a coupon for a moving quilt at Harbor Frieght for only $6, and I needed to get my pulls at the comic shop. I used the generic plural term, but I only get one comic, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. You gotta love a hero who can single-handedly take out all the heros and all the villains of the Marvel Universe at the age of 19 and still has her head on straight. Seriously, when she’s not trying to take over the world to keep squirrels from getting killed (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe graphic novel, still available from your local independant comic shop) she doesn’t so much beat up the bad guys as try to understand what they need and then come up with a mutually beneficial way of meeting their needs without hurting anyone. And the reason I can say she did all of this at 19 YO is this issue was her canon 20th birthday (and 25th anniversary of her first appearance).

And I didn’t get the moving quilt because I need to pad some fine furniture while I move it. I got it because it makes a warm but not too warm, nearly indestructible blanket for camping. Seriously, this is the best camping blanket I ever bought. The only thing I have against it as a blanket is the color choices. They couldn’t make this in a nice neutral brown or sage green? Blue is not bad but greens and browns are better for camping. Also machine washable and dryable, water resistant to keep condensation from breathing in the tent off of people but still allow water vapor from perspiration out… Seriously why isn’t someone marketing these as camping blankets?

And now I’m starting to hurt again so I had better end this and get horizontal again. Seriously, the bad leg looks like I’m smuggling volleyballs and the “good” leg feels like the second time I got hit by the truck back in the ’70s. Not as bad as the third time but still pretty uncomfortable.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Long time no blog.

I know I haven’t written anything in a while. There are reasons for that. First of all there has been a slow-motion train wreck going on in my Twitter feed because of the fuzzy Jack-o’-Lantern pretending to run for President. Second I got a bit behind in my e-mail and even doing more than 300 a day I’m still looking at nearly 1000 unread messages. Do you know how long it takes to get through 300 new emails in one day? And to compound that I have to stop and leave the house for a couple of hours every day so that I can maximize my returns on my phone game that pays me money, because it’s a lot more work now than it used to be. I’m still making the same amount of money every week, but I have to get out every day and max my checkins to do it.

Also on the “leave the house” list was grocery shopping, twice. Once was our regular day and again yesterday as one of my side gigs paid off $100 for several months’ of “a few seconds a day” work. The kicker on this one is I have to get paid in the form of a gift card that can only be used in a few places, otherwise it becomes taxable income that I would lose a major chunk of in the form of SS taxes. So there is only one store that sells food on the approved list…

And today I spent some time away from the house playing someone else’s character in a Shadowrun game. This time I was playing a 5’2″ 90 lb. Chinese girl decker and the character sheet said she was abrasive and cold with a chip on her shoulder. We were on a Zombie hunt, and also had to kill a vampire and rescue a werewolf from the corporate lab that created the zombies in an effort to have slaves that did not need to be paid because they were legally dead. Unfortunately zombies are unable to follow even simple directions so the project was in the process of getting shut down when the zombies and the vampire they were using to create them escaped into the lab. They managed to get the doors to the outside locked, but only had until sundown to clean things up before the vampire could let himself and the zombies out. Our Street Samurai took out most of the zombies, my decker took out a few, and the technomancer managed to get into the weapons side of the security system and take out the vampire and the rest of the zombies. We rescued the scientist/werewolf we were also supposed to rescue. My character disdained the males in the party to make a pass on the lady werewolf…

It was a good thing I have a Shadowrun dice roller on my phone because I would have needed a bucket to bring the d6 I would have had to have to make some of my attack and saving rolls. My dice app goes to 99 d6.

Last week we went on a 5 day camping trip in Southeastern TX, near Flatonia. This was memorable for two reasons: Mrs. the Poet went camping with me, and we both tripped and fell down a lot in the dark. I dislocated the other collarbone and bruised my other hip from the previous fall off the bicycle, and Mrs. the Poet skinned her knees and hands again. We also had about 9 times as much meat at meals as we are used to eating as “p'” people (too impoverished to buy a vowel). One of the big problems we both had was getting off the ground after getting out of “bed”. Another bed-related problem was Mrs. the Poet did not believe me when I told her to pack lots of blankets for sleeping and just packed the one that did not even cover us completely that we use to keep our feet warm in the winter. We still had a great time anyway.

Off on another tangent, my full-scale T-bucket project just took a major change in direction. I had the engine and transmission from a running Chrysler minivan practically dumped in my lap for barely over scrap value. Plusses: we are talking really cheap engine and transmission for less than the core charge for a transmission on the previous version, this will take almost 200 pounds off the total weight of the car, moving engine behind passenger compartment leaves a flat floor with plenty of foot room, computer controlled transmission simplifies setting up mechanical portions of the controls; just a floor lever with 4 detents and two paddle switches on the steering wheel. Minuses: Engine makes 160 HP in stock form, both the engine and transmission are on the far side of 200K miles, both are computer controlled and need aftermarket computers to make them work in the T-bucket, most of the car needs to be redesigned to make a FWD engine and transaxle work driving the rear wheels behind the passenger compartment, FWD brakes don’t have e-brakes so e-brakes need to be adapted to one end or the other, almost all of the car weight will be on back wheels making sorting braking and handling dicey.

The prospect of going mid-engine on my T-bucket has really got me inspired again, ditto the prospect of getting the project moving towards completion some time before I die. The Mini Sprint-T project has all the parts I can’t make on my own and will continue as it was before with the SBC and the LS7 engines.

And that kinda gets you somewhat caught up on activities at Casa de El Poeta.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet.

I need a recovery day from my vacation

Short post to bring everyone up to date and then early bed for this witch. I went to a pagan gathering in SE TX southeast of Bastrop last week and weekend. One of the things we celebrated was paying off the mortgage, so that we own the land outright now. The ritual for that was both moving and exhausting. I had to leave early from the post ritual revels because of nerve pain from my leg caused by the massive damage from 2001. If the driver hadn’t died in 2003 or ‘4 I would cheerfully strangle him with his own intestines over this single issue. I was hit over 13 years ago and it still flipping hurts when I try to do fun things.

Speaking of that some good news from the gathering, the guy that took care of me after I got out of the hospital (including wiping my butt until I got flexible enough to do it myself) got handfasted during the gathering. That was something I could not miss out on… Dan Grim, may you have a long and happy marriage.

The main reason why I came home from my vacation in worse shape than when I left was the rules changed for the campgrounds we lease from the organization that runs the gathering, and we had to construct a fenced area to hold our stuff between campouts. We used to just pile everything into the covered kitchen area and lash tarps over it, but we have to get things out of sight and our cook insists that our kitchen area be open sided. This meant we had to put in a fenced in storage area with a locked gate to put the stuff that used to go under the canopy over the kitchen. This resulted in our working until 1800 when we normally get packed up and off land by 1500 at the latest. Combine that with carrying several people’s stuff back from the site in the communal trailer and I didn’t get to bed until 0200. I didn’t sleep well and as a result I’m still in pain from my vacation.

“But aside from that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln.” Yep, one of those vacations.

PSA, Opus

Getting ready to leave for a while, no Feed

Every so often I have to completely disconnect from modern life and spend some time closer to nature than our modern hyper-connected world. I know that reads like a cliché, but clichés start as truths that get repeated so often they lose their meaning. So I’m going to spend the next 5 days at a clothing-optional campout with about 700 like-minded people, celebrating the change of the season and the Celtic New Year. We traditionally have a consecrated camp fire that we bless at the start of the camp and do not extinguish until the last thing before we leave. Our fire pit at that point is so heat-soaked that the water we put on the fire boils for up to 10 minutes after the fire is out. I put a picture of the fire pit full of boiling water from the spring edition of the campout with the report I made from that camp.

fire pit full of boiling water and no fire

I will not be taking Francis/es this trip, although I had planned to. Unfortunately the growth on the back of my neck makes riding Francis/es impossible at the moment. I find this deeply annoying, to say the least, and the hoops my insurance is making me jump through to get this thing removed are even more annoying. I have to make an appointment with my PCP to get a referral to a surgeon in my network, then get an appointment with the surgeon, then get the surgery signed off as “necessary”, then schedule a day for the surgery… Of those steps more than half are just for the insurance company, the PCP has to agree with the Lab Rat Keeper, the surgeon has to be “in network”, and then some bureaucrat has to agree with the LRK, the PCP, and the surgeon, that I need to get this thing off my neck so I can finish a cup of coffee and see where I’m riding my bike. Stuff like this is why the US needs single-payer health care like the rest of the civilized world. If we had single-payer then this thing would have been removed from my neck shortly after starting to interfere with my everyday life.

One thing I like about this particular camping trip is we pay for someone to shop and cook for the group, and she does a fantastic job of preparing gourmet-quality food in primitive conditions. I’m not sure of the menu this trip but I have heard rumors about crab legs, boudin sausage, and all kinds of snacky goodies. Our cook has Carnivore, Omnivore, and Vegan options for every meal, and they are always delicious. Being a cyclist with the definition of a cyclist being “eating machine on two wheels” I take a little from column A and a little from column C and a bunch from column B.

I bought a new tent for the fall this year but I’m also taking the old tent in case there’s something wrong with the new one that can’t be fixed at the campout. I’m also taking the air mattress that is the main reason for buying the new tent and fervently hoping the old tent stays packed in the car. I have been accused of packing “Party Central” this year as the new tent has space to put two queen-size beds and still leave room to stand between them. This is so Mrs. the Poet can camp with us next spring, although I’m still trying to figure out how to pack the bed frame to go with the queen-size air mattress I’m buying…

Packing for this event is… interesting. While the entire event is clothing-optional there are certain gatherings that are not, in that some types of clothing are NOT allowed. One that I plan on attending does not allow bifurcated lower garments, i.e. no pants allowed. Males are allowed to attend only when they wear a skirt. I have a long skirt (mid-calf) to wear specifically at this meeting, red with blue mimosa blossoms on it. The skirt really accentuates my farmer tan from wearing shorts all summer with usually ankle-high socks so I have “socks” showing whether I wear any or not. Also there is such a temperature swing at this time of the year, some times you need long pants and sleeves with heavy socks and gloves, other times you need sunscreen… and maybe some wicking garments if you are wearing anything at all. I have attended gatherings this time of year that had temperature swings from high 50s F to low 90s all in the same gathering, sometimes in the same day. Needless to say packing for that involves a lot of clothes that never get worn but forget to pack them and… The forecast is 50s in the morning/late at night with low 80s during the day which means layers or lots of wicking clothing. And spandex shorts for moving around in.

And I have to stop typing and get packed so I guess this means I’m ending the post now.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet