Tag Archives: lab rat keeper

I survived the trip to the Lab Rat Keeper

I had a hard time getting out of the house for the trip to the LRK because Clint was “helping” me get dressed and out the door then decided he wanted back in right after I locked the door on my way out. I was on the wrong side of the street when the bus went by while I was trying to get across. That led to me walking about a mile and a half to catch the crosstown bus I wanted to catch at the station, after it was already en route. I got there in time and I even managed to check in to a bonus check-in 4 times while I was going to and from the LRK and breakfast.

So anyway, I was supposed to catch the bus that went by the main road at 0658 so I got up at 0600 to shower and dress and leave in time to catch the bus, but between Clint “helping” me get dressed and his deciding to turn around right after I locked the door I got going 5 minutes later than planned, resulting in my watching the bus go by from the wrong side of the street instead of riding it to the transit station for the crosstown bus. So I hoofed it to the bus stop where the crosstown bus turned on Beltline about another mile and a half from that stop. Then I sat and waited a few minutes for the bus and for my left foot to stop hurting. Part of the reason I missed the bus is my normal bed time is 0400 or so, usually later rather than earlier, and I get up about 1200 or 1300 instead of 0600. This meant I was running on very little sleep which means I was running slow, and still am. I have caffeinated to the limits, but I’m still having problems putting two coherent sentnces together in a row.

I’m gonna take that as a sign to hang it up and hit the sack.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

How big a gas tank

Yesterday I did some measuring and calculating to figure out how much fuel capacity I could have and still clear everything. Turns out it is quite a lot.

The space between the front firewall of the body and the back of the nose is a straight continuation of the firewall. This will make constructing the covers of this area much easier, and makes things like steering and the gas tank much easier to fit. Anyway I know the steering box is just under 4.5″ wide from the mounting flange that fits on the inside of the frame rail, and I want the outflow air from the radiator to exit on both sides of the tank so we have a maximum width of 27″ (firewall edge) minus 3 (two frame rails) minus 9 (steering box on left and symmetrical space on the right) for a total width of 15″. The front axle is 25″ from the firewall, minus 7.5″ for steering linkage rounded to 8 for the slight shortening of the wheelbase caused by travel from the design ride height so 17″ long. The firewall is 22″ tall in the center but only 19″ at the point the top panel of the hood joins the sides so 19″ tall. Multiplying all this out gives me 4845 cubic inches of fuel or 21 gallons.

The donor minivan would make a roughly 300 mile trip on about 16 gallons so 21 will still give adequate range even with the change to e85. This is not even considering the difference in drag between the minivan and the hot rod, the hot rod being narrower, about 2 feet shorter, and much less bluff than the minivan. And also not forgetting the difference in weight for going up hills, the hot rod will be about 1500 pounds empty compared to the advertised 3900 empty weight of the minivan, so the hot rod should have much better fuel economy than the donor minivan.

In other news I have a trip to the lab rat keeper in the morning, so no food until after the visit (because for some reason they are tracking my cholesterol on this trial). And I’ll get the latest Squirrel Girl on the way back and pay my phone and the storage unit, so lots of walking and time on the bus to go with starvation.😜

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I have my cat back!♥

While I was out walking and looking for Clint Sunday night I heard him answer back from inside the neighbors’ fence. Unfortunately they were asleep at the time so I couldn’t ask to open the gate and let him out, and then it started raining. It wasn’t until I got back from my walk yesterday evening that I was able to get someone next door to talk to me and open the gate. When they finally did get the gate open Clint burst out of where he had been hiding and out the gate and didn’t quit until he got to the front door. I spent the next several hours being loved on and repeatedly invoking the “no claws clause” because Clint was just ecstatic about being back with me and back inside where it didn’t rain and wasn’t muddy. It took until this afternoon for him to finish getting the mud out of his fur, but he’s clean(-ish) now.

On the lab-rat front, I’m working again on a new study. This time I’ll be taking an approved drug to see if it works for another condition. I have hypertension combined with left atrial hypertrophy, or in simpler terms an enlarged heart. Mine is benign because I got it from extended periods of moderate aerobic exercise (I rode my bike a lot). Anywho it means that I can sell plasma while I’m on the study since this time they are testing an approved drug. That means I will be able to buy some parts for the hot rod, probably the Watt’s link since it’s one of the cheaper parts and it doesn’t have to be custom ordered to fit the car. When I get a good measurement on the face-to-face distance of the minivan suspension in its stock form I will be able to order the right width front axle since custom widths are only $25 more than in-stock. I can’t say any more about the study because of the NDA.

And I just lost about 20 minutes writing time because of the cat on my lap giving me kisses (with tongue! 😛 ). I am still his Most Favorite Person In The Whole World, even more now that I rescued him from the neighbor’s back yard and their cat-proof fence. And it is nice having someonething to cuddle with for a while.

After the cuddle break and dinner I decided I needed some time to work on something, anything, and I had a flat file and some too-wide wheel halves for the Mini Sprint-T. Turns out the file works just as well as the sandpaper I was thinking about using to narrow the rim half and get the width right for the street wheels. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to get the bead of the tire out to the bead seat of the wheel. I have lots of insulin-dependant friends who go through tons of syringes with hair-fine needles in a month, that would be great for moving a tire out on a rim by inflation until the glue dries enough to hold them in place. [Evil Thought] Or I could get some expand-in-place foam and squirt the precise volume of chemicals needed to fill the tire cavity to push the bead out and keep it out. [/Evil Thought] Anyway a few minutes of work gave me a wheel that is the right width for the street version of the Mini Sprint-T, but I have to be careful because of how easy it is to go overboard with the file and take off too much material. Fortunately I have some extra wheel front halves because I’m just going to use the centers from them on some much wider shells.

Time to go take care of other things.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

What’s two steps past “pissed” on the angry scale?

I went for the big points on my walk again today, only to be foiled by a reset in point values after I got to the first big point check-in. There were two 30 point check-ins at the WalMart. I checked into the first and got the 30 points, but the app reset and all the rest of the check-ins were back at 5 points with no bonuses. That means instead of getting 100 points on those 3 check-ins I got 40 and next time they will only be worth 15 points. I can walk a lot less and still get the 25 check-in bag limit at 5 points per check-in. Just making the loop around the neighborhood is 3.74 miles and lets me bypass one check-in and still hit my limit. The route I took today was 4.64 miles which would have been worth it if I had gotten the 85 extra points, but for 25 points more? That’s a whole extra penny in real money, not worth the extra effort and wear and tear on my shoes.

No don’t get me wrong, I made $107 last year by being ruthless in check-ins and hunting down prize boxes on the map. That’s $107 more than I would have without the game. I’m just feeling like I was bait-and-switched since I started playing the game as the points have gone way down, but the point costs for the prizes has stayed the same. Just FYI in 2015 I made almost $100 in 7 months of playing intermittently, in 2016 I attacked the game almost every day I had service for the entire year and made $9 more.

The other thing that’s bothering me is my last check from the secret shopper gig was mailed out Saturday. I hope we got the bonus this quarter because we won’t have another chance to get it. This was another gig that paid out about $100 +/- a year for basically hanging out on the internet and shopping with someone else’s credit cards only I never got to get any of the stuff I bought. Everything went to the billing address for the card, never to me. Most of the stuff I ordered I wouldn’t take if you paid me for it, but that’s what the gig called for, buying what I would consider crap on the internet for someone I wasn’t even sure was a real human. Whatever they were trying to find out they found out and now that gig is ghostville, vanished.

Now I get to start my new gig selling blood plasma. Plusses include making $400/mo at a single gig, minuses are having to go to the donation center and get stabbed in the arm several times a month. Neutral to plus is I don’t have to quit my lab rat gig, but I might have to give up the plasma gig for some medications on the lab rat gig. At any rate the lab rat gig is currently primary unless things change and I no longer get maintenance meds for free. Then I don’t know what will happen.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass

Happy Samhain (SOW-when)

I hope everyone got an adequate amount of candy this evening, and had a pleasant communion with those who have passed before.

I had another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper today. No candy but I did get 2 bandaids to cover the three holes in my arm from when they tried to raw some blood for testing. Apparently my vitamin K levels are just fine as my blood was clotting in the needle while they were trying to get enough for the various tests I have to take. At least I had time to study for my blood test (ba-dunk-KISH).

Happy Halloween!

Another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper

Well I spent what felt like most of the month on the DART bus again today. They had to take a fasting blood draw, so after just 2 hours of sleep I began to wend my way to the LRK lair without access to the life-giving elixir from Caffiena. I never actually fell asleep, but I did stop moving a couple of times, so I missed the bus that would have gotten me there way early, and almost missed the next bus that got me there way late. I almost passed my stop because I was zoning out. And I’m still zoning out. so let’s end this one now before I face-plant into my keyboard and try again tomorrow after I go eat unhealthy fried foods at the State Fair of Texas.

PSA, Opus the Zombie…

I have been in excessively firm contact with the ground too often the past two weeks

First of all, nothing is broken except the integrity of my dermis. Blood has been shed but not in any great quantity. I have bruises and things don’t work well at the moment but really, I’m fine. The swelling is mostly gone and I can type again.

As I wrote in my last post, I got tangled in the top tube of my new bike and fell over and injured my left shoulder which is still recovering. but last week on the way to the Lab Rat Keeper I was in a rush to get to the C-store to break a $10 bill by buying a lottery ticket. Well in my rush I allowed my center of gravity to get too far forward and when I tried to stop (to open the door to the C-store) I bounced off the door and hit the concrete in front of the store. I bruised a lot of stuff, scraped my knuckles and my elbow, bled profusely, and scared the nurses at the doctor’s office coming in covered in drying blood. They insisted on cleaning and putting band aids on my wounds before letting me leave.

The thing that worries me is the problem I had is indicative of a worsening of my brain damage, similar to Parkinson’s but without the muscle tremors. If this is what’s happening then there is also a much higher chance that I will develop dementia as time goes on, and that scares me. I caught myself doing this a couple of times before I fell but I as able to get my feet back under my body and get slowed down without falling. What happens is I start leaning forward and then lose control over how far I’m leaning until I’m almost running trying to not fall on my face and unable to stand up straight and stop. This condition is usually associated with Parkinson’s but is also indicative of brain damage, and to say I’m none too happy about the situation is an understatement. The good part is the best treatment for the condition is riding a bike. The bad part is riding a bike slows the progression of the disease, it doesn’t cure it. So I can stave off losing my mind and my mobility but I can’t prevent either.

And on that joyful note, I’ll let you go.

PSA, Opus

About to move to therapeutic levels of the test med, finally

Five weeks after I started on the program I finally get to a level of dosage that might have an effect on my BP. Four weeks of getting rid of the medication used in the SPRINT trial to get my metabolism back to base level, one week of reduced dosage of the BP med to see if I get any adverse reactions, and today (when I get back up after putting the post and myself to bed) I go to full dosage for someone with my body mass. I’m not gonna lie, I was doing fantastic on the amlodipine as my primary BP med except for the leg swelling, which has pretty much gone away during the washout phase of the new trial. The only adverse effect I have noticed with the new med is an increased tendency for pollen to get to me and goop up my eyes and congest my nose. We will see what happens after I up the dose to the next level.

PSA, Opus

My BP meds are getting cut in half because reasons, and the Feed

What a day! First the cat tries to apologize for clawing huge gashes in my hand and arm by waking me up after only 1 hour of sleep and crawling into the bed to purr loudly at me, then I spent all day getting to and from the Lab Rat Keeper, then I find out my meds are getting cut because my BP is a bit on the low side, like 100/60. For a guy whose pressures topped out at 200/145 10 years ago this could lead to dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. None of that is especially good. The good news is if my pressures come back up with lower dosages I get to participate in another side-effect study before the end of this year.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Reminder to expect the unexpected on bike trails; Feds decide bike/ped safety matters, too

Still in CA. Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana hit-and-run identified

From my neck of the woods. How tracking police data by race can make unfair laws look like the cops’ fault Among other things this article identifies one of the main problems of the Metroplex: People don’t work where they live nor live where they work in the main. When only 5% of drivers stopped in a town are residents of that town, you have a problem with sprawl, and auto-centrism because everyone drives even if they don’t want to. So much of this area is a transit desert where if you don’t have a car you are trapped.

Remember that girl driving drunk and backwards when she ran over a cyclist in AK? Anchorage woman will finish college semester before going to jail for cyclist’s death Really? Let her finish school before a summer (maybe) in jail?!? Oh the ignominy. Have to finish college before prison…

Do you feel like you are not welcome among other bike riders? Project highlights stories of people who feel like outsiders in bike scene

Infrastructure in America’s Copenhagen. Active Transportation Summit dispatch: Vision Zero and the myth of freight Except for a tiny few places that are import centers like Long Beach or Houston or Corpus Christie truck traffic just is not that vital to the economy. And even Houston is trying to make more of its street network bike friendly.

If you don’t know where you’re coming from how can you know where you’re going? Unearthed: 1975 City of Portland “From here to there by bicycle” map

More infrastructure news from NYC. Prospect Park West Bike Lane War Continues: “New York City Is Not Amsterdam” and IT’S ALIVE: Judge Revives 5-Year-Old Prospect Park Bike Lane Lawsuit They LOVE bike lanes, just not the one in front of their building, which has raised the value of the units in said building substantially. Maybe that’s the problem, their taxes went up with the rise in property values…

Another dead pedestrian in NYC. Woman Fatally Struck By Sanitation Truck Driver On Upper East Side And for all those wondering why I have so many links from Gothamist and Bike Portland,it’s because I visit those web sites pretty much daily. Anywho, this was another blind driver just proceeding into space that was already occupied, and killing said occupant. And the Universal Get Out of Jail Free card shall be used, “I didn’t see her” and all will be forgiven.

More on the MA hit-and-run killing of a cyclist. Man charged with DUI in hit-and-run that injured cyclist

PA infrastructure story. Holly residents drill council for answers over roundabouts Seriously, you can’t figure out how to use a roundabout?

Another link to the guy looking to ride from BC to Panama getting taken out 2/3 of the way through WA. Cyclist on B.C. to Panama ride injured in crash Interesting picture they used for the “touring bike”.

More on the CO man getting prison for killing a cyclist. Man gets 10 years for DUI crash that killed bicyclist And I hope he has to do every day of it.

It’s just better reporting on the wrecks, honest! Alan Solot: Tucson bike vs. car crashes aren’t increasing

It’s not really good news, it is a symptom of austerity. Fall in road offences due to reduction in traffic police says Transport Committee

And while we are on the site. Barbed wire booby trap found on Kent cycle trail Either some farmer is missing a section of fence, or all they need to do is ask who bought barbed wire recently at nearby farm supply stores.

And I got this video sent to me by several people from many different sources. Video: How to teach bus drivers to give cyclists space I thought the ones where the “riders” clothes wer actually ruffled by contact with the bus were good, unless the driver was not actually trying to get that close in which case they were fucking terrifying.

Speaking of close passing, this was also terrifying over on the Emerald Isle. Cyclist was thrown over the bonnet of car Cold they have gotten any closer without actually killing the cyclist? I think not.

Another link to the guy who killed a well-liked cyclist going to jail. JAILED: Driver who mowed down Oxford graduate cyclist in head-on-crash

[Facepalm]Cyclists maimed and killed by blind driver, but it’s OK because a cyclist ran a stop sign once.[/Facepalm] Pontevedra cycling tragedy raises concerns over elderly drivers

More on the Ozzie drunk driver killing a cyclist. Cyclist killed by allegedly drunk driver and Qld cyclist killed by intoxicated driver

A really ugly wreck in Oz, more than one link. Port Pirie cyclist killed when truck and riders collide near city and Truck crashes into three cyclists on Germein Rd at Solomontown near Port Pirie You can see the impact site on the passenger side of the truck bumper where the bumper was bent.

And this was just wrong. Holiday blues after woman arrives home from overseas trip to find a parking ticket because her street was rezoned while she was away There were no permits available before leaving, and tickets papering the car when she got back. I mean they hadn’t even decided on the date it was to be implemented when she left…

And have you heard the latest scandal in the pro peloton? Professional cycling’s latest scandal: unshaved legs I used to shave my legs back before I rode a bike with fenders.

And it’s 0430, I have been up 19 hours now on 1 hour of sleep. I’m going to bed, and the cat is staying in the bathroom with his food and litterbox until I get up.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

No post tonight, the visit to the Lab Rat Keeper drained me

I just wish that was not quite so literal as it turned out to be.

First is the lack of sleep issue. Last night’s post did not get finished until about 0230 or so, after 0200 at any rate. I was tired, but the brain refused to shut down and let me sleep, so I was awake until sometime close to 0400. Then the alarm went off at 0715. So I have been semi-functional all day on maybe as much as 4 hours of sleep.

The comes the dehydration. The relative humidity has been very low and the temperature has been high by “normal” standards, low by “Texas” standards, about 97-99°F. That just sucks the fluids right out of your skin. I compounded that by only having one cup of coffee with breakfast and then forgetting to drink water during the day until lunch. Lunch was a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, small fries, and the biggest Diet Coke they sold. That helped for a little while until I had to sit in the sun waiting for the bus that was about 20 minutes late arriving. I was a bit thirsty when we got to the transit center, but not enough time to grab a drink before the bus home.

Then there was the actual visit with the Lab Rat Keeper. This visit was “torture day”. First the usual weigh-in and BP testing. Then the stuff that was not a part of the routine get more meds and go visit, the blood draw(s, I only got stuck the once but there were at least a half-dozen Vacutainers that had to be filled), the EKG (which only took one small patch of chest hairs off 😛 ), and then the mental acuity tests. First the good news, my memory impairment seems to only be relative to my previous standards, compared to other guys my age I’m a memory giant. The one that impressed the lady doing the test was the repeating back 8 digit numbers backwards. I missed one and got the other one which was a “pass” and would have allowed me to go on to the next level, except that was where the test maxed out. Remembering stories I didn’t do so well. I kept forgetting details like the names of the characters. Names have never been my strong point, just ask Mrs. the Poet how many times she gets called “Bob”.

So, when I got home I was tired. Run down. Vaguely thirsty. Sweaty and slightly stinky. And not really thinking all that clearly. So this is all the blog post you are getting tonight.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet