Tag Archives: cell phone follies

Still struggling with getting the meds and my sleep cycle right

OK as I begin this entry it is 0451 and I have been up since 2130 yesterday. My sleep cycle has gone totally bonkers and the cats and I are trying to get it settled out. The problem is I need to take my antidepressant about 2200 or so so I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I missed taking it Tuesday and didn’t get sleepy until 1300 or so Wednesday, took the pill and went to bed and woke up 2130 or so. I’m hoping I can stay awake until at least 2200 and get myself back on a normal sleep schedule.

And I have this sense of deja vu like I have posted the previous paragraph before, probably because I did less than a month ago. I wish I knew why I’m having so much trouble keeping aligned with the rotation of the sun and how everybody else fits their lives to that rotation. I think it might be related to my depression, because I started having problems with my sleep about the same time my depression started.

Another problem I’m having is cats sleeping on my lap keep me from getting close enough to my computer to type with it on the desk and keep me from moving my laptop to my lap to type with it from there. I don’t see this as a real problem-problem and more of an annoyance. And the lap cats have suddenly decided the warm carpeted floor that doesn’t move around while they sleep is preferable to my lap. Since I can’t think of an Olympic god in charge of cats I will send gratitude to Freya who uses them to draw her chariot and somehow manages to get where she wants to go instead of where her cats want to go.

Now, on the hot rod front no progress has been made since Monday. The body still sits in a cage with bolt-on ends that are changed depending on the drivetrain. I can’t improve on that so I’ll quit trying. I’m sure there is some genius who could make it better without knowing which drivetrain they were designing for, the Sheldon Cooper of hot rodding, but I’m not at that level of genius. At this point the things I don’t know are more than the things I do know about this car because of not knowing the drivetrain. The drivetrain will change the front suspension, the rear suspension (especially if the RWD donor vehicle has independent rear suspension), the fuel tank size and location, battery location, and everything else, except the front and rear roll hoops. And the only reason those don’t change is because “I said so.” Literally those don’t move because I’m designing the car and I decided that they don’t get changed.

And just now I discovered that my semi-new phone doesn’t work. The entire audio side of the phone has gone dead, nobody can hear me if I talk, and I can’t use any function of the phone that requires audio output, so no alarms, no music, and no ringtones to let me know someone is calling. My phone has been rendered mute. Which makes me wonder what you call a phone that has no telephonic capability but still has other uses that work? I can still send and receive texts, Tweets, Facebook messages, and pictures. I think I’ll just quit now and stew a while so I don’t post anything I might regret later.

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Mrs. the Poet is on her way, and the Feed

Mrs. the Poet is on her way to help take care of grandnephews in NY as things get destabilized for our niece. The farm she has been living on got sold out from underneath her and she needs childcare while she works. Mrs. the Poet will be spending about 36 hours on the Dawgbus to get there, and another 18 hours to recover.

In other news around Casa de El Poeta, we got the Explanation of Benefits on my surgery from BCBS. The total costs were in the neighborhood of $28K, my costs after my cash co-pay I provided the day of surgery, $0. When you reach your max out-of-pocket for the year with this policy, that is it, except for office visits to your PCP to see if something else needs fixing. So it took more than a year of running around and significant transportation issues to get there and back, but the lump on the back of my neck is gone and I don’t owe any more money for the procedure.

Up first, condolences on this Daily Ted. Suspected DUI driver kills adult trike rider and her dog in Garden Grove And the weapon vehicle will be crushed …?

Another link to that lawsuit where a bike rider was tased while riding his bike. Cops Beat, Tase Man for Riding Bike With No Headlight, Failing to ID Themselves, Lawsuit Claims More information, this article makes the claim the LEO failed to tell the victim he was being stopped for not having a headlight before tasing him while he was riding. As I pointed out yesterday this makes as much sense as tasing the driver of a car while the car is still moving, which nobody in their right mind would ever do because of the danger.

And a cyclist gets right crossed because a driver didn’t look so they give the cyclist a ticket for riding on the sidewalk? Elmira teen seriously injured in bike-car crash Monday TANJ!

There are two huge stories in the UK today. This is the one that makes me slightly more angry. Gran died after reckless cyclist ploughed into her on BMX bike he pulled from skip and Cyclist, 21, who knocked down and killed grandmother, 73, while riding BMX bike he pulled out of a skip is jailed Why does this one make me angry? Because the cyclist is going to be spending a year in jail longer than most drivers get for killing pedestrians or cyclists.

This is the other story that makes me almost as angry. Pictured: Newly-married cyclist killed in London lorry crash and Cyclist, 26, killed in Bank tipper truck crash was newly married Oxford graduate also Cyclist killed at ‘hectic’ seven-way Bank junction in London also this Why are female cyclists more vulnerable to London’s lorries?

In a different but related story. Widow of cyclist killed by Crossrail lorry calls for road safety improvements Another cyclist killed because of HGV having restricted visibility out the front and to the passenger side, which is exactly where the “bike lanes” of the UK put them. This cyclist apparently could not see the light had changed because there were trucks pulled in front of them, and one of those trucks ran him over.

From Canuckistan pay attention to cyclists while driving, the life you save could be your neighbor or the kid down the block. Cyclists deserve attention

A proposed change in the legal infrastructure of Oz. Cyclists face on-the-spot fines for using their phones, VicRoads report recommends Besides the phone thing cyclists would be assumed to have right of way in all intersections.

OH considers changing the law for the worse. Should bike helmets be the law? Considering the rather limited energy window that helmets work in, I would say making them mandatory would be a crime.

Memorial ride for a cyclist killed on a bike trail when a motorcycle went off the parallel road at high speed. Memory of bicyclist killed on Seaford bike path inspires fundraising bike ride

And an update on the Marine riding a hand-cycle from CA to VA. Combat-injured vet bicycling through Chanute Needless to say WoaB would be sending $$ to this if we had the $$ to send.

And I’m out of links again. Good thing because I have to make dinner and then clean up after.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Did some maintenance on the blogger, and the Feed

I went out and had my toes done this afternoon because I ruined 2 pair of socks in 3 days this week and I can’t keep doing that. One of the things that happened as a result of my wreck was a lot of nerve damage in the wrecked leg and when I try to cut my toenails the last two toes on the wrecked leg tuck under and out of reach. As a result I have to either try to con Mrs. the Poet into cutting those two toenails or pay for a pedicure. I almost always end up getting a pedicure and since they don’t reduce the fee for not doing things I get some stuff that for a guy might seem a bit strange, like putting color on my toenails. I got a lovely blue metalflake this time 😉 Then this evening I went to a chant workshop put on once a month by my church which also ate up a large chunk of time.

Up first because they attacked a secondary cause rather than the primary cause of the wreck. Distracted driver who caused deadly crash banned from using phone The driver was depositing a check via his cell phone banking app while driving between jobs, but instead of taking the vehicle away they took the phone away. Now the cyclist did not die because he got hit with a phone, he died because he got hit with a truck, that was being driven by a guy using a phone. So they are not restricting him from the deadly thing that was not properly used and killed the cyclist, but merely a contributing factor.

And continuing in the same concept, here is another convicted distracted driver. National guardsman who killed Minnesota cyclist warns others of distracted driving and Man who killed cyclist warns of distracted driving Again, distracted driving was only the trigger, the gun is the motor vehicle, which our former soldier still has unfettered access to after he completes his initial sentence.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: San Bernardino police unfairly blame victim; bike commuter dares Sepulveda Pass sans spandex The exchange with the cop sounds like he was being deliberately obtuse, ignoring statute that was permissive for the deceased cyclist and ignoring statute that was prohibitive for the killer driver.

Local (almost) to WoaB is this protest ride. DENTON TOUR DE FRACK – SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 7:00 AM, MCKENNA PARK And no, that is not a BSG reference, this ride is to protest the TX state law that just overturned the Denton TX law prohibiting fracking within city limits.

Remember those two cyclists hit in the same intersection in Portland? Crosswalk enforcement action uncovers rampant law-breaking on SE Powell Turns out they were writing tickets as fast as they could get the motorcycle cops back to the intersection after writing the tickets. Suggestion: don’t let the motorcycle cops write the tickets just stop the cars until another LEO can get there to do the ticket and then get back at the intersection to pull someone else over. Station the ticket writers about 100-200 feet down from the crosswalk and let them know by radio what violations the initial stop was for and let them take care of secondary tickets like no license or insurance. Put a sniper there with a car-stopper of a gun like the Barrett 0.50 caliber to get the ones that don’t stop immediately.

How do make change with something as entrenched in society as automobilism? My opinion: Protests, politics, and progress? Two cyclists left hooked in the same intersection in a single month and massive protests resulted in left turn signals that will be installed in less than 6 months, because those signals had already been approved and budgeted years ago but placed way down on the priority list until the two wrecks in quick succession. And the problem here is that this is the wrong way to roll out projects where it is an entire street that is the problem, not just one or two intersections that happened to roll craps.

And then you get $&(% like this. Six days after man dies crossing SE Chavez, his ghost bike memorial is mangled too (UPDATED) And a late comment seems to show it was a semi cutting the corner. Which is even worse when you think about it, because there could have been someone waiting to cross the street there instead of a Ghost Bike.

And our last link from BP, a comprehensive look at changing bad infrastructure to somewhat-less-crappy. Fixing Southeast: Three achievable proposals from a fast-rising advocate

A BOLO for a total douchebag driver in the Windy City. Police release photo of car in hit-and-run that injured bicyclist

Hey, let’s make cyclists as distracted as other road users with GPS. This High-Tech Helmet Shows Cyclists the Best Bike Route in a City Not saying this wouldn’t be useful, just that it would be a distraction, just like having GPS on your handlebars would be a distraction. Putting the information directly in your line of sight with the HUD would make it potentially more distracting, but also make it possible to read the information and redirect attention back to the outside environment much faster than the same information on a handlebar display. Still a distraction though.

While we are back to that subject here’s another distracted driver in the UK. Julie Watson killed cyclist after using phone while driving What is shocking here is the judge remanded the driver over to jail to await an inevitable prison sentence. Two years ago this would have been maybe a year in gaol or a few hundred hours of community service on weekends, this time it was go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 (Monopoly game reference).

Infrastructure news from the IL town where a woman riding USBR 36 was killed by a car driving in the bike lane. Bicycle, roadway safety in wake of cyclist death

Infrastructure news from far West Canuckistan. Editorial — Cyclists, take care Gee, one would think cyclists did not know that getting hit by/with a motor vehicle is painful and potentially deadly every time it happens. And that more times than not there was nothing the cyclist could have done to prevent it.

Final link about that Workmen’s Comp protest ride in the Great White North. Riders seeking financial justice for injured workers

Lifestyle in Wales as cyclists raise money for an injured rugby player with paralysis. Father of injured Blues player Owen Williams among those heading off on Cardiff to Paris bike ride

Another “greatest thing” battery chemistry for e-assist bikes and EV. Next Generation Battery Technology

And I’m outta links and patience, fortunately links ran out first.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Tired

I’m having back issues on Grocery Day, and the Feed

One of the problems I have been dealing with besides the thing growing on my neck has been walking around with both shoes the same, like a person who doesn’t have 17mm missing from one leg. Well that didn’t work after the wreck, and it doesn’t work now. I can withstand not having the lifted left shoe for a few days, but we are coming up on a couple of months since I ruined my old shoes coming back from the property hearing on Blue. The results are quite predictable, I have been walking around with a sever pelvic tilt and the part of my back on the up side of the tilt had been trying to go into spasm more and more frequently, and it gets worse on days I spend more time walking or standing, standing being much worse than walking. I have had to take several breaks today from filtering the Feed to lie down and let the spasms settle down a bit, then get back to work. In fact I should probably take a break right now as my back does not take kindly to sitting hunched over the laptop either.

Up first is a memorial for a cyclist killed down in Austin. Multiple communities mourn cyclist’s death Another left-cross with idiot LEO dilly-dallying about filing charges. This is another reason why I don’t do wreck analysis these days, because stuff like this just raises my blood pressure to no good ends.

Next because this has been burning up the Internets, multiple links to the Russian cyclist sideswiped by a tanker truck making an illegal pass. Unbelievable helmet cam footage shows the moment a Russian cyclist is struck by a 40ft lorry and LIVES and Cyclist riding down middle of road wiped out by truck very misleading headline, that, and Watch moment cyclist is thrown from bike in horrifying motorway crash with lorry The driver in this wreck was driving in the exit-only lane as the cyclists rode in the furthest right through lane, then the truck drove straight through passing on the right after crossing the “do not drive here” markings for the exit-only lane.The cyclists (all of them) are very lucky to have survived this one.

Great minds think alike? Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them. How many times have I posted exactly the same words here in my blog? I have lost count.

And to top that off, the VERY next link in the feed is about the glow-in-the-dark spray paint mentioned in the WP link. Volvo launches Life Paint initiative to improve cyclist safety in the UK This is like mandating women wear ever stronger chastity belts to prevent rape without ever prosecuting rapists. Except chastity belts have a finite chance of actually working to prevent rapes, making cyclists more visible won’t work unless there is someone looking for a cyclist out the front of the car in the direction the car is going. That would require LEO to file charges and prosecutors to actually prosecute them. More on the reaction from Oz. Volvo LifePaint: cycling safety trial product causes controversy

Some good news from NYC for a change. 2014 Was The Most Popular Year For Bicycling In NYC Now to do something about the door-zone bike lanes before they kill again?

And this little tidbit makes my heart all a-flutter. Bike Theft On The Rise In NYC Palpations are the same as “all a-flutter”, right? Anywho, the proposed enhanced fines for stealing bikes are a step in the right distraction. And yes, I spelled that right… My take is remotely detonated bike frames keyed to the owner’s cell phone. Pull up the app, enter the detonate code and the bike frame turns into a pipe bomb.

And rare unanimity between cyclists and the NYPD. Cyclists & NYPD Agree: A Cell Phone Bike Ban Is Dumb Aside from last year’s statistical outlier of 2 fatal bike/ped wrecks bicycles are very safe around pedestrians, and even if all you went by was last year they are still very safe around pedestrians, by a ratio of 50:1 in favor of cyclists. Best line from the article: “There isn’t a mandatory class for motorists who kill and maim New Yorkers. Why should we start with cyclists? It’s motorists who need a reeducation.” Amen.

I was not the only person who thought this sentence was grossly out of whack. Prosecutor appeals sentence in fatal cyclist crash Kudos to the prosecutor.

Why does the driver waste everyone’s time by pleading not guilty? Grief follows cyclist’s death as suspect charged They pulled him from the weapon vehicle with the victim’s blood still on it, and his BAC was 0.108 81 minutes after the wreck. You’re guilty dude, admit it and take your punishment.

Another ad for on-board video recorders for bicycles. Man seriously injured, but sheriff’s office doesn’t know how “They just didn’t think he would have all those skull fractures just by crashing his bike” Apparently the injuries were in a part of the head that would be hard to injure in a fall-off-the-bike wreck?

Another ad for getting better reports on bike wrecks. Make This Woman’s Cracked Bicycle Helmet Count The broken helmet was enough property damage to trigger the report, but how many wrecks don’t get reported? The one where I knocked the mirror off the truck with my elbow sure as hell didn’t. It would have been nice to have a name to put to that driver and compare it to the name of the guy that sold Blue to the pawn shop.

Here’s yesterday’s Daily Ted. Morning Links: Driver arraigned in death of Matt Liechty; ribbon cutting planned for bike-friendly PCH in the ‘Bu There is a link to one of the people working the second edition of Finish the Ride that is really inspiring.

And here is today’s Daily Ted. Morning Links: El Monte rider victim of vicious attack, hit-and-run rewards passed, and why sharrows don’t work Sharrows are the abstinence-only sex ed of bicycle infrastructure, never proven to work, but they still keep getting thrown out there like they do.

And still in CA a little lifestyle as a bridge is named for a cyclist. Humble Cyclist Memorialized

This monstrosity is from the son of the man who gave us the C5 and the doorstop computer. Crispin Sinclair Innovation Launches World’s Safest Bicycle, the Babel Bike I would say this bike is lacking a few things, but the steel tube cage would be a handy place to mount a coroplast body and a string of Christmas tree lights. People I know who have crashed a coroplast faired bike tell me the bodywork goes a long way in preventing injury when sliding over pavement and spreads out impact somewhat, especially compared to Spandex shorts and a jersey.

The UK’s professional traffic engineers are starting to revolt over bad infrastructure. Profession reacts: make London safer for cyclists I still think that the people who back in 2012 voted down fixing the intersection where the cyclist was killed this year need to be charged in the death.

And I’m out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Mrs. the Poet’s retirement has made for her keeping me from working, and the Feed

I love my wife, I really do. BUUUT (very long “uh” sound there) she refuses to acknowledge what I do as “work” and is constantly telling me to stop “playing on the computer” and do what she wants me to do, basically denying the validity of what I do. I do not know what to say about this, especially at the time she says it because of my aphasia not leaving me with the vocabulary to respond. Sure I sound all glib and insightful in the blog, because I have the time to stop and think about it, lower my stress levels by meditating, and allow the words to flow out of my fingers bypassing my mouth. The process in and of itself is much less stressful than trying to actually speak with my wife making a rejoinder to a comment she made. As a result I’m frequently unable to respond with anything more cogent to her “playing on the computer” remarks with anything more than “Go away, I’m working here!”

Up first, the lowlife scum that hit a Miami cyclist with his vehicle so hard that the roof was collapsed around the driver’s head and then left claiming he “didn’t know” he had hit anyone violated his parole. Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash on the Rickenbacker Causeway Heading to Prison After Probation Violation and Driver Guilty In Cyclist’s Death Sentenced To Prison For Probation Violation When I saw one link I was thinking they were really looking to violate this guy, but then I read another link that said he had been checking in with Foursquare at bars and clubs, places he was not supposed to be and in violation of his parole, so he basically violated himself on this one. I hope he has a life-affirming moment in prison and never drives again. I was going to type something else, but then I stopped to think “Is what I want vengeance against this one idiot, or do I want a cultural change that keeps idiots like this from being able to hurt people because they lack the means to hurt people?” And I have to say that while vengeance against that idiot would make me feel better for a little while, making it so that idiots like him can’t hurt people would make me feel a lot better in the long run.

Next a little lifestyle from a little south of the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Round Rock memorial bike ride honors avid cyclist Killed in a wreck very much like mine in many respects, just trying to get where he was going and make a living.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Awkward cycle track in Marina, PCH closed at Point Magu, fight North Fig parking at City Hall

Trying to change the legal infrastructure in the land of the automobile. California Bicycle Coalition Announces Its 2015 Legislative Agenda

CA riders remember a fellow rider killed on an epic ride in OR. Riders finish avid cyclist’s last journey

Still in CA, I would love to see drivers held to the same standards as cyclists when motor vehicle infrastructure is discussed. Dick Spotswood: Marin bike lobby’s political clout is slipping Really, not another freeway or even a pothole filled until drivers stop speeding, running red lights, turning right on red through crowded crosswalks, driving on sidewalks to get around people stopped a red lights…

So, what about people who don’t have smart phones, like me? Tech solution for “dead red” lights

Bicycle advocacy in America’s Amsterdam. Guest Article: Four things BikeLoudPDX has learned in their campaign for SE Clinton

They’re starting to learn lessons from the Netherlands. Cycling reduces the death toll on our roads…

OK I don’t know if you will be able to read this or not, but if you can’t copy and paste the headline into a Google search and read it from there. There is at least one city determined to not kill it’s citizens. A Plan to Limit Cars in Paris Collides With French Politics

Another e-assist article. Bultaco Brinco Is a Really Interesting E-Bike, but Not Exactly Cheap I used to have a ‘taco motor in my shifter kart… I don’t think this one would work the same. I like that the pedelec mode has a 100 km range, but I’m thinking there isn’t much assist in that mode. I built a bike with a lot smaller battery that had almost that range but used a constant pedal cadence mode and powered cranks. It is somewhere in the garage which means archeologists will be the next people to see it. At least I hope it’s in the garage. If it isn’t that means I had another bike stolen and I won’t even be able to give the police an exact year, much less a time of day…

And those were all the links I could find today, enjoy!

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

All alone with the crazy people, and the Feed

Mrs. the Poet is gone to NY to meddle visit with her family while I stay here in TX and keep the roommates from killing each other, or at least be on hand to hide the bodies if they do. So far everybody has fought with everybody else (except me) at least once, and in some cases they are on their second or third go-around. I really need to win the lottery so I can give them all a nice check or bag of $$, pat them on the head and wave bye-bye. Individually I manage to not do too badly interacting with them, but the homophobe just is not physically capable of interacting with either of the two transgenders without eventually going into blasphemy mode, and the transgenders’ sexual orientations are changing as they transition, so their relationship is getting a bit rocky as well. I can generally get along with just about anybody, but 2 of the 3 are starting to get on my nerves, and one got on my nerves a long time ago.

In better news I got some more parts for the Sprint T yesterday after I had already put the post to bed, a steering wheel and the brackets that attach the windshield frame to the body of the car.
parts!

The silver color of the wheel is because it is clear anodized aluminum at about 1/3 the weight of the same size steel wheel, and the other 2 parts are made from cast stainless steel, because that was the only metal that part was offered in. The vertical windshield posts are only offered in cast brass with or without chrome plating, so it’s not like there was any lighter alternative. And as I pointed out in an earlier post, the 30° layback of the posts I bought combined with windwings will lead to a relatively draft-free cockpit.

Up first, an OR rider discovers that sometimes the trees are your allies, and sometimes they are your enemies. Falling tree hits car, woman riding bike in downtown Portland More Cyclist struck by falling tree in downtown Portland From looking at the pictures, and not being any kind of horticulturist or anything but a half-trained structural engineer, it looks like something killed the root structure of the tree, because there is almost nothing attached to the tree below ground level.

Infrastructure! news from NYC. NYPD: 1,236 Pedestrians and Cyclists Injured, 14 Killed in September Vision Zero, or zero vision? That’s 13 dead pedestrians and one cyclist in just one average month…

Still in NYC… Treyger’s Texting-and-Biking Bill — a Big Distraction From Vision Zero Read the previous paragraph and see how many cyclists killed or injured someone while using a cell phone.

Some people can’t understand riding a bicycle in anything less than perfect weather, hence this drivel. Bike lanes in winter a waste of space Imagine banning cars in the winter because they take up too much space and people don’t know how to drive.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: SaMo approves bike share, SMPD targets bike & ped safety, and a blast from the BikinginLA past good links again today.

Why ride alone? Why cycle alone, when you can do it together? Well aside from the fact that I’m as likely to see another cyclist here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell going the same direction as I am as I am to see Bigfoot again (and he or she will probably be on a bicycle going the other direction).

Oz weighs in on the infrastructure question. Cycling injuries prompt calls for councils to boost road safety When an area with as small a population as NSW has an average of one cyclist hit hard enough to go to one particular hospital every other day on average, then you have an infrastructure problem. And as pointed out in the article, they have no real way of determining the safety of the built environment other than tracking ER admissions.

A bit of LifeStyle from PA. Memorial ride to honor bicycle enthusiast who was killed in hit-and-run And yes I know my feed is still rather heavy on the guts-and-gore I had with the old Feed, plus it takes way longer to filter out the chaff. But it still has less dead and injured cyclists than the old Feed.

A local UK bike ride raises money for bicycle charities after raising lots of money for the survivors of a drunk driver the first time. Charity bike ride in memory of Sheffield cyclist killed by drink driver set to return Isn’t that what I just said?

Last link, I’m not sure that this is a bicycle despite what the caption says. Watch this rocket-powered bike outrun a Ferrari F430 Scuderia Well it’s from Fox, and the bike does appear to have working pedals (and brakes!)

And that’s all the stuff that didn’t raise my BP or anything.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

My Warlock is starting over on a Wreck-Free Sunday

After a disastrous game session last time, it was decided that we had too many new players who did not know how to play their characters and we needed to start over with a new quest and level 1 characters. Since I had the only remaining character that had survived the entire 3 years the previous campaign had been going on I was allowed to reset my character to zero and raise my worst stat to maximum. Since my low Wisdom stat (9) had nearly gotten my character killed in several encounters because I was constantly blowing spot, listen, and search checks I took the opportunity to buff out my character a bit. I also rebalanced my skills points to enhance my spellcraft and use magic device rolls with the idea of eventually getting really good at making magical items when I hit a high enough level to do so. My character class can make magical items that cast spells if I get a high enough score on a “use magical item” roll even if I can’t do the spell myself (as an invocation), which means I will be able to heal party members as well as blow shit up.

Anywho, the story on my new character is he’s the son of my old character after he got really high-level and set up a Warlock’s Keep and married better than himself. After discovering that his only son (out of a number of daughters) was also afflicted with the Mark of DisNee and a warlock of humor Sparrow trains him somewhat and sends him to an outlying village to protect it from monsters. By using the range effect of the Eldritch Blast he manages to not get killed while keeping monsters at bay or outright killing some. This gets him noticed, and the local monarch decides to recruit him to a quest… Unlike his father who could summon noisy items when it was funny this Minion of DisNee can summon oversized mallets to hit people over the head when they are stupid and it’s funny to do so. This causes no more injury than an open-handed slap and is just a way of pointing out that a fellow party member is acting stupid. It can also be used to startle enemies when the party has initiative, or to deliver the final blow as an enemy is dispatched.

On another front I mentioned yesterday I was going to have to get a new cell phone. Unfortunately I was unable to get my contacts transferred from the old phone to the new one, and couldn’t remember the PIN to keep my old number when I bought the new phone, so now I have a new phone and a new number and none of my old contacts. Bummer, dudes! 😉

And I’m getting tired of looking at this computer now.

PSA, Opus

I have activated my electronic leash for an entire year, Wreck-Free Sunday

I have come into the 21st Century, a little late, by giving myself an electronic leash aka a cell phone. My daughter could not stand being out of contact for even a month while she visited from Scotland and bought a cheap cell to use for a month with the intention of just throwing it away when she left, but I prevailed on her to let me have it and keep it active. I bought topup cards for enough time that the phone will stay active for an entire year with the minutes rolling over from one month to the next. I bought 15000 minutes which I suppose means I will have enough talk time for most if not all the conversations I have over the phone. Since I have aphasia when I talk, but not when I write I do most of my communicating via computers and text, but not by texting. At least I won’t be doing much texting from this phone since it lacks a keyboard and I hate entering data via the 12-key phone keypad.

I really don’t know what I would do with the phone other than making voice calls with it. It has Internet, but most of the sites I visit don’t have mobile interfaces so they look bloody awful and unreadable on a phone. Mostly it’s so I can call when things go pear-shaped and I need to let someone know I’m going to be late getting to where I was going.

Seriously, I don’t understand this compulsion people have to be in contact with everyone 24 hours of the day. One of the things I like about riding a bike is that I’m away from talking to people, except for the stupid people on the roads. And even stupid people on the roads leave me be most of the time. I guess I will leave the phone on so I can be contacted by people that need to contact me, the ones that I give my number to. This will ensure that I don’t get a lot of unnecessary phone calls and texts. If you think you should be on that list, send me a PM with good reasons why you should be able to call me when I’m riding my bike… 😉 I’ll probably tell you why you’re wrong and what orifice to place it in, but there is the off chance that I will give you my number. There is also the off chance that I will divulge the secrets to personal flying without aircraft or wings, which do you think is more likely?

I wanted to put something about the shooting in CT in today’s post, but this is not the right time nor place.

PSA, Opus

More dead and injured cyclists, plus a little stupidity for your enjoyment

Well I guess it was too good to last, we had a batch of dead and/or injured cyclists in the Feed this morning. There were also a large number of safety related stories that didn’t involve dead or injured cyclists, which is a good thing I guess. Improved safety that doesn’t involve killing or injuring cyclists first is always a good thing, improved safety that doesn’t involve killing or injuring anybody is even better but our human inability to exercise foresight is the issue there.

One of those safety articles that is not cyclist-specific but was cyclist inspired is this one from Colorado. Cyclists want phones out of cars This is an issue that affects everyone on the roads, but since it appears that cyclists are getting the brunt of the deaths and injuries from this condition we have been the vanguard of the movement. For those who have not been regular watchers of the show MythBusters it has been proven by repeated studies (and TV shows) that you actually drive better when legally drunk than while talking on a cell phone Killer Brace Position the cell phone experiment was considered secondary to whether or not the brace position will kill you in an airplane crash. A listing of other studies can be found in Wikipedia Mobile phones and driving safety What is surprising was in the comments to the initial article how many people were resistant to calls for restricting cell phone use while driving, saying that they had used a cell phone while driving and nobody had been hurt, as if their experience would cover the entire population.

In PA there was another hit-and-run against a cyclist. Bicyclist Injured in Hit and Run I’m going to make one of my predictions here, that the car was a 1969 or ’70 Ford Falcon driven by a white male around 30 YO. If we get any followup on this story I’ll let you know how close I was to getting it right. So far I’m batting about .500 on my predictions where the crime has been solved, which is well above what I would get by pure chance. As far as the mental state of the driver prior to the crash I’m getting a blank, which may have been the state of the driver, mentally blank. To avoid this the best you can do is keep the old head on a swivel, and keep one eye peeled on your six o’clock. Rear view mirrors help considerably.

Unless you can outrun a bullet I don’t see any way to avoid becoming involved in a situation like this one. West Palm Beach: Bike rider, 24, shot and killed Yeah, when the shooting starts it’s already too late for a cyclist to do anything except dive for cover, and maybe return fire if you have the capacity.

From Jolly Olde another cyclist is hit by a semi, or as they call it an HGV. Cyclist injured in HGV crash I keep saying this because it’s true, give as wide a berth as you can to semis and other large vehicles like buses. They have huge blind spots that can hide whole fleets of bicycles, small buildings, low flying aircraft… and their sheer mass makes them dangerous to vehicles smaller than them. No kidding one of my truck driving friends knocked down a small out building, and never knew it until he was asked about what happened. He was loaded to just under the max weight limit of 80,000 pounds at the time, so his vehicle out weighed the building by about 2-1, and he never felt a thing.

Also in the UK was this wreck at rush hour. Cyclist seriously injured in rush hour crash What is fortunate in both these wrecks was the cyclist was not killed.

Finally (and not a moment too soon for me) in the African country of Tanzania is a police blotter report of a killed cyclist. Home News The initial report states this wreck was the cyclist’s fault, but the driver leaving the scene has me questioning that.

And that’s all I have for you today. I hope this was an enlightening post for you.

Billed @$.02, Opus