Yesterday I was depositing checks and picking up my pulls from the comic shop and basically melting in the sun as the temperature again approached the triple digits. I also got my toes done as I was snagging the sheets again when I didn’t wear socks to bed, then walked the 0.9 mile from the nail salon to Casa de El Poeta for a full limit on my Sweatcoin collecting. Speaking of Sweatcoin, I still don’t have enough to cash out any, but I’m getting there, almost $15 right now. I need to get a bunch more to have enough to cash out at $50.
One thing that is hard for me to get used to is the thought of actually having money to spend on days I’m not doing the lab rat thing. My mentality has been when I’m out and not visiting the LRK I don’t have any money unless this is a trip to actually spend money on something specific. And that I wouldn’t have a couple of bucks to spend on a cold drink and a snack if the urge took me. So I stopped at Jack in the Box and got a Cherry Coke Zero Sugar™ and a slice of half-price cheesecake one because I needed it and the other because I could. Well I didn’t need the Cherry Coke Zero Sugar™ specifically, just something cold and wet, but the cheesecake was definitely because I could.
Now today it was much cooler as the first of two cold fronts passed through leaving temperatures in the mid-80s most of the day. It’s only 91° as I get ready to get the lottery with the $15.25 million jackpot. Back from the store. And just for giggles I also bought a ticket for the Powerball $223 million jackpot, which the first year payout will have more than enough money for us to live on the rest of our lives. I suppose we could move to a small town without internet and set them up with Gigabit internet just because we want it and letting everyone else have access just makes sense. Seriously, I have so little experience spending money in large sums that after setting up a retirement account to take care of my financial needs for the rest of my life I have no idea what to do with the rest of the first year payment.
Well if tomorrow’s post doesn’t make much sense, I’m still drunk from celebrating winning.
Yesterday after falling asleep on the toilet and then faceplanting into the keyboard I went straight to bed to stare at the wall waiting to sleep. Yep, in spite of literally falling asleep in one of the most uncomfortable places in the house just minutes earlier I was wide awake in the bed. No, I can’t explain it either.
Well something that might explain it is my ant bites/stings are both healing and starting to get infected, both of which lead to discomfort from itching. Some are healing up, some are getting infected, and I think the difference is which are bites and which are stings. I can’t tell the difference which was which now, because of inflammation and infection, but before that set in bites had two punctures from the mandibles, while stings were just a single puncture, from the stinger naturally.
Anywho, I spent several hours thinking of nothing and counting my breaths to try to relax and get to sleep, and sometime before sunrise which was 0643 this morning. I count breaths instead of sheep because I keep trying to write stories about the stupid sheep, why are they there and why are they jumping over that stupid fence and where do they go after they jump over the fence. And then I interview the sheep as to what’s happening, if they are running from anything or to anything, and I can’t find my notepad, and somewhere along the line I’m having a nightmare about what the sheep are running from and why they are so orderly about it but at least I’m asleep. When I count my breaths I avoid the nightmares about persecuted sheep. With as many PTSD triggers as I have I really don’t need more nightmares.
And speaking of my favorite mental illness… I think Trump tweets have become a new anxiety trigger, especially when he starts tweeting about wars. I can’t verify this hypothesis because I unfollowed @realDonaldTrump from my twitter so I don’t see most of his trash, but the ones I do see cause me a case of the willies, even the ones where he’s not on about the Russians and Fake News. Those are the worst, followed by Trade Wars, but even the twitter fights about LeBron James are upsetting for some reason. I would rather have the dreams about the sheep than read Trump Tweets. Maybe it’s because I spent so much of my youth scared to death about a crazy old man with his finger on The Button, afraid he would snap and put us all in the end scene of Planet of the Apes or Them!. Trump is old enough to remember that shit, but took too many drugs in his teens and twenties to remember much of anything.
And I’m melting in the office whie my laptopis acting crazy and only intermittently recognizind keypresses and I can’t see the kyboard clearly anyway, Office topped out at 90°F this afternoon.
Little steps, I have moved the unit next to the window it’s going to be installed in. And I need to get it installed quickly, the outside temperature is currently 85°F while the office is a frigid 90°. That’s right, it is cooler outside than inside an air-conditioned house with the AC running. But on the good side, I am basically doing a cleanse every day, sweating the toxins out of my body constantly. If you believe that kind of thing I should have a toxin-free body by the time I get to my next appointment with the Lab Rat Keeper. Of course that also means I smell like I just finished riding the century course at the HHH and just barely cleared Hell’s Gate before they cut off the full course so I got the full effect of the sun and any humidity. TBH I reek of sweat.
And while the subject is my body, the good news is the deep-tissue massage I got on Thursday did a beneficial number on my wrecked leg. My foot did not swell up either Friday or today, and was free from cramping since the massage. I even managed to bypass the ibuprofen and still get to sleep at a decent time last night.
And I found out why my BP meds got changed, the base medication is Valsartan, and most of the world supply was contaminated a few months back with a known carcinogen, so since I can sort of control my BP with other meds, I got moved to other meds. The other meds aren’t as good at controlling my BP as the Valsartan, so my systolic has jumped to 135-140 where it had been 112-120 depending on how much news I had been reading. If I need to get my systolic up all I need to do is read the @realDonaldTrump twitter feed. And also on that subject I got another letter from the nice people running the SPRINT study I was involved in, their data showed keeping the systolic pressure below 120 reduced the incidence of a precursor to Alzheimer’s called MCI or Mild Cognitive Impairment. Not everybody who has MCI gets Alzheimer’s, but everybody who gets Alzheimer’s had MCI, first. And according to their tests I don’t have MCI, yet.
And I have a RPG group tomorrow, where I’m going to get more explanation of my (character’s) immortality. As it stands now my character has been killed at least 3 times, once with the truck and the idiot that I went through, once with my character catching a grenade during the Battle of Central Expressway that wiped everyone else in the machine gun nest, and the most recent with the KillDeer incident. I’m in deep conversation with Kokopelli about the how and why, as well as questions about why my customer loyalty card for Charon’s Ferry has 6 round trips punched when I can’t remember dying that many times. And will I have to stay dead to get my spa day at the Elysian Fields Resort? Or just stay dead long enough to get my treatments at the spa? And why am I the only one who can see the card? Does it have something to do with resurrecting without external assistance, while other people who died and come back had medical intervention from trained professionals to revive them. I have to say I love being able to see the reactions on people’s faces when I say “Ow, was I dead again?” when I resurrect. I couldn’t do that with the first two times I died, because I didn’t stay dead long enough the first time, I came back before the medics arrived for the second one, but I was definitively dead and about to get buried this last time, so I had an audience when I came ashore from Charon’s ferry.
And I really need to put this to bed and take a shower and put myself to bed, so write you later.
It was warm again out on the road today, and Mrs. the Poet did not want to go out in the heat to deposit checks from NY at the credit union, so I went instead, and basically melted in the sun. I also got a massage, then sweated some more. My legs feel great now, we will see how long that lasts.
The evolution of the Sprint-T, by the pound: original kit car with 350/350 engine and transmission and iron and steel 9″ Ford, 1700 pounds with 8 gallons of gas and no driver. First iteration of the space frame with same powertrain 1650 pounds. Second iteration of the frame with SCCA legal roll hoops, back to 1700 pounds. Fourth iteration of the frame with improved bracing for better stiffness, 1725 pounds. Sixth iteration with redundant bits removed, back to 1700. Changing from the 9″ to a quick-change rear with magnesium center and bells and aluminum tubes, 1675. changing from the 350/350 to the Pentastar V6 and OEM 8-speed automatic, 1450, going to the T5 transmission gets to 1375. Changing to the Subaru EJ257 and the T5 and adding a 1 gallon tank for E85 on race day with a storage tank in the tire trailer for holding the low-octane transit gas while the car is racing reduces the race weight to 1285 without driver. Add my 225 in race gear and helmet and we are looking at a 1510 pound combination with 300-325 HP depending on if we get the turbo from the wagon, or from the WRX-STI, and how we tune the cam timing VVT. This is still 5% better power to weight than the most powerful Corvette engine in the lightest Corvette, without a driver or gas in the tank.
And the weather report says it hit 103°F while I was out and about and waiting for the bus.
forecast high for today is was “only” 103 104°F getting down to 75° in the AM. And to welcome Mrs. the Poet back Tuesday the forecast high is just 99°. Mrs. the Poet is strongly considering staying in Upstate NY, except that her ticket is only transferable if her flight is cancelled. I know the cats will be glad to see her, they wander the house calling for her like they expect her to appear from the air or something. And I’m missing her, too.
On the Sprint-t project I have simplified the body mount somewhat. Instead of welding a box structure with a complex flange and dozens of holes in the top that would allow water intrusion, I moved the face between the floor and the filler over to the other side of the mounting nuts with a simple bend to carry the flange up close to the nuts through the cowl pinch which won’t affect the mount stiffness since there won’t be any bolts except next to the firewall. This would have almost the same effective stiffness as the more complex mount with all the fiddly out-of-position welds I would need to do standing on my head. Most of the welds I could do outside the car on a bench, but there would still be some yoga welding in the car, only about a third as much as the other design. This design leaves the nuts and bolts inside the body and exposed for maintenance. And there would literally be a line of bedliner caulking the bottom of the body outside in the joint between the body and the frame.
Like I posted earlier the design is getting to the fiddly bits like body mounts and making sure the floor doesn’t oilcan when I get in and out of the car, without disturbing the smoothness of the belly pan that is the other side of the floor. This excludes running beads on the floor because that also is either a bump or a depression on the belly pan. This leaves welding light angle sections or just vertical flanges on top of the floor like for the body mount. And I forgot to reiterate the floor/belly pan is a structural part of the center bay to prevent distortion of the roll cage in a wreck and also act as a transmission mount. I decided the trans/driveshaft tunnel will be removable from the inside of the car for installation and maintenance of the drivetrain. This solves a ton of issues with keeping water out of the interior and also keeping the belly pan smooth, and makes the floor a better structural component for the frame. Otherwise I would have to figure out how to route the shear loads around the hole in the floor to get the transmission in and out, and make a removable cover for the hole. This would be a weak point in the frame that would be a bear to fix without adding a bunch of extra weight.
And I have to get the clean sheets out of the dryer and put them on the bed. I had some bug bites that bled a little on the sheets, plus there was the matter of sweating making the bottom sheet dingy looking, so I got some bleach at the store and tried to whiten them. And it doesn’t matter if I succeeded or not, they go on the bed tonight so Mrs. the Poet has a clean place to sleep tomorrow night.
And I screwed up in yesterday’s post confusing the heat index with the wet bulb temperature. The actual wet bulb was 62°F when the heat index was 110. Mea culpa. The current temperature and wet bulb are 108° and 57° respectively for a heat index of 109.
Anywho, the forecast was for triple digits with two 1s, and the GM decided I couldn’t take the bus because of over a mile walking in hundred degree plus temperatures. While I appreciate her concerns, I know how to live in TX even when temperatures climb over the century mark. I mean I finished the HHH twice, and could have finished more except for equipment failure on 2 attempts and a non-heat injury at my first. I really needed more seat padding on my first attempt in 2002, as my tailbone crashed into the fiberglass bucket seat as my antique Stratus crossed the railroad track where the 100 mile and 100 km courses separated. She wanted the other in-person players to pick me up but Casa de El Poeta is only convenient for one player on the way in and nobody on the way back, so I was fine with taking the bus back in the late evening. The GM was not, so she cancelled the game.
On a similar note I have been keeping the cats inside in the AC instead of letting them go back out into the heat, because I’m the human and the adult who knows how hot it is. They didn’t even come in until almost 1400 and it wasn’t easy convincing either one to come in even though it was already over 100° by then. It’s pushing 90° inside because we don’t have enough AC to handle the heat, so the cats get lots of fresh water and so do I. The cats are wandering around trying to find someplace comfortable to take their naps while I have the fan from the expired AC in my office blowing on me. And I’m planning on a long cool rinse to bring down my core temperature before I go to bed tonight.
Well the AC fan in the office runs out above my knees so I’m retiring to the bedroom which has a working ceiling fan. The rest of you take care, particularly if it’s hot where you are.
The heat here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell has been, well like Hell. As I compose this the local dry bulb temperature is 108°F (42°C), but the air is so dry that the wet bulb is only 110F. The best the poor AC units can do is pull the inside of the house down to 90°F. Other good news, Clint finally made it home, safe and noisy. He has been elsewhere pretty much as long as the Internet was out. He wasn’t eating going by how hard he hit the food dish, but he found water someplace because he’s not exhibiting any signs of heat injury, and also not attacking his water. But he does like to sit in the direct blast from the AC unit so proving he’s no dummy.
One of the things I’m doing to beat the heat has reminded me of another way of removing water from alcohol called cryo distillation. How I was reminded is I bought store brand frozen pops, the kind that comes in the clear plastic tubes you put in the freezer until they freeze solid like the brand name Otter Pops. One of the methods of cryo distilling is to put the mixed liquid in long, thin tubes with a spigot at the bottom to drain off the desired fluid after freezing out most of the water, which is kinda what you get when you freeze the pops vertically. Most of the sugar syrup and flavor ends up at the bottom of the tube, but you get a nice air space at the top to cut open the tube without spilling anything. This was one of the ways they used to make an apple liqueur known as Apple Jack. And yes, that’s where they got the name for the cereal. Legend has it the first apple jack was made when a keg of hard cider was left on the porch during a hard freeze and split the keg, leaving a center of concentrated alcohol and flavor near the bottom of the keg. Apple cider had been heat distilled before to make apple brandy, but that’s a distinctly different beverage than apple jack which retains much more of the original fruit flavor than apple brandy, or so I’m told as I have never sampled either one. But if you wanna make your own now you know how, and PVC pipe and fixtures are not that expensive if you live on a place where extended periods of sub-freezing weather are common. If you don’t, you can dedicate an upright freezer to the cause and go small scale.
I mentioned I had determined a new way to mount the body for the version of the wide frame that did not have rails just for mounting the body, and it’s lighter (by a bit) than using the rails welded to the top of the floor. Basically it takes the filler between the main rails and the body intended to keep water out of the interior and makes it structural by replacing the tube with a shaped sheer web, and drilling the holes for the mounting bolts and welding nuts to the filler piece instead of the second frame rail. This eliminates 3 of the 4 walls of the rail to save weight at no loss in rigidity for the final structure, but it will be kinda floppy until all the edges are at least tack welded together. This cavity would be a prime place to get a dose of Boshield tube protectant to prevent rusting out. And the joint between the frame and the body will get a shot of bed liner spray to seal it from the inside and prevent road spray from collecting in the floor. Actually I’m thinking about masking off the part that goes outside the body before mounting the body and putting the body on while the spray is still wet to seal the bolts from allowing water inside.
And I’m starting to get hungry and dinner won’t cook itself like it does when Mrs. the Poet is here 😇.
And there are a plethora of them. Office temperature is about the same as before, peaking at 86°F right after sundown every night. And every day I have to “fight” with the cat about keeping stuff that belongs on my desk actually on my desk. He really wants to get on my lap, but there just isn’t enough room for a cat on my lap while I work on the computer, so he goes behind the monitor/laptop screen and ends up pushing everything off the desk trying to get comfy. So I yell at him and he pouts, then walks across the keyboard as soon as my back is turned.
Anywho, just got back from an argument with Mrs. the Poet about spending money. Not that I’m spending it unwisely, but according to her I’m not spending enough. The reason we even have window units is because way back before Dad died our central AC died first, and the reason it died was the wiring in the house has gone bad. I had an electrician look at the situation back then and part of the problem is our breaker box is no longer up to code and before any other work can be done that has to be replaced at about $1K then troubleshooting or replacing the bad wiring may commence. In today’s $ we are looking at $3-8K total repairs before fixing the AC can even start. And the reason we are looking at these costs is the wiring may or may not have been up to code when the house was built in 1985, there was some shady business with building inspection back then.
Another reason for the argument is I have been working from faulty data on our finances. My data says we have about 8 years left before we have to sell the house to cover taxes, but according to Mrs. the Poet I was only informed about one of 3 accounts and we really have a lot more than that, more than twice as much. I’m not used to working like that. But either way we are looking at between $5K and $9k to repair the central AC compared to $130 to replace the window unit in the office. We got the window units about 10 years ago, and the three little ones all failed last summer pretty much at the same time, so to get everything back to status quo would be about $400. Now the real problem is our heat tolerance differences. I’m good to about 85 for sleeping under a ceiling fan, Mrs. the Poet really needs something cooler. Going the other way I can sleep comfortably under a heavy quilt as cool as 50 with a pair of wool socks on, where Mrs. the Poet starts complaining under 60. Part of that is I spent two winters in my grandmother’s house that only had a wood-burning stove for heat and the bedrooms would get near freezing in the winter and only got a small window unit for AC after Dad got back from Vietnam, and we moved out before the AC went in. The other part is I spent years riding as much as 200 miles a day out in the heat so just hanging around in the same heat is nothing, barely even uncomfortable.
Bottom line, I want Mrs. the Poet happy and comfortable, but not at the cost of not having a place to live shortly after that. That’s why the T-bucket project stalled, so that we would still have a roof over our heads.
Our last window unit seems to be dying and not cooling and I’m suffering in an 86°F(30°C) office. I’m pretty much covered in sweat and somewhat smelly or maybe more than just somewhat smelly. I am seriously lacking energy from all the heat, but there is an up side to this: my back is not hurting much while the muscle is nice and warm. I was able to get to sleep without using pain relievers last night. I made the mistake of also not taking the diphenhydramine I use to shut the brain down so I can sleep, so I basically didn’t get to sleep for anything more than a catnap and woke up again around noon. I’m bobbing and weaving in my chair so I think I will be able to get to sleep early.
And I think I will take that trip to bed shortly.
I was out in the heat again today paying bills and I really cut it close this time. I had to pay the phone bill after getting to the office just after they closed yesterday, so I was out during the day in the sun and the heat. Well I didn’t get any water or hydrate before I left and I started getting nauseous walking around. I didn’t check what the temperature was, but it was over 90 and it felt muggy when I opened the door.
I think I might have saved enough money from various gigs to get that brake hone and install those spindles this week. I have 2 trips to the lab rat keeper and another trip to take movies of my heart beating. This time I’m getting driven to the echocardiogram so I don’t have to spend more than 7 hours on the roads to get a 20 minute procedure done. I have to wear that infernal Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor and carry a jug of my urine around again, but maybe by the end of the week I’ll have a mockup installation of the spindles on the axle.
And I was just taking a “think break” to let my mind put more words together and putting the kingpins in the axle bosses where they are supposed to go, and as the instructions warned they don’t fit. First installation in a new tubular axle and both bosses are out of round by a few thousandths, just enough to keep the pins from dropping in unhindered. Enough that I had to get a hammer and drift to get them back out. And the instructions also say that the only way to fix this is with the brake hone… Before anyone says anything, yes I had the grub screws all the way out before trying to install the pins.
I’m trying a different strategy on sleeping, going to bed early before I’m tired and just letting the brain do its thing until I fall asleep. I was up by 0800 today waking up all on my own. It really looks like the longer I wait to hit the bed the longer it takes to turn off my brain. I was asleep in under an hour last night and the night before and woke up before my alarm yesterday and this morning. It’s weird being up that early. My usual M.O. is to wait until I feel sleepy, then get in bed, and have the brain go crazy trying to solve all the problems I didn’t get to during the day. Then several hours later I finally fall asleep only to get awakened from REM sleep by my alarm. If I turn the alarm off and get back to sleep I drop immediately back into REM and either continue the dream I woke up from or move into another one. One recurring theme I have been having lately in my dreams is mountain freeways replaced by multilane fiberglass slides that go for miles. Everyone gets out of their cars and slides down the mountain to meet their car at the bottom of the slide. This says something, but I’m not sure what it is yet. It is loads of fun sliding down the mountain, especially at night. But anyway that doesn’t happen when I go to bed before I get sleepy.
And I was writing a paragraph about sleeping and guess what happened? Yep, faceplanted right into the keyboard. Can’t sleep when I want to but when I’m doing something and need to stay awake? ZONK!
And now I really need to leave and fill out my bag limit of check-ins on my mobile game so I can get what I can out of it before it goes belly up.