Tag Archives: lab rat keeper

Pushed my limits a bit today

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.

Apologies for the radio silence

This has been A Week. Excuse me this has been A Week. I spent all day Monday on DART or DCTA buses or trains to do that echocardiogram thing. But I did see an interesting car.
I think this was a NASA (other NASA) event car

I got to watch my heart beating again while they did the echo, which was cool.

Tuesday was go to the lab rat and get the 24 hour BP monitor and the jug to collect my urine for the next 24 hours, and also I got hit by a huge blast of grass pollen, so bad that when my allergy pill took effect I fell out of my chair trying to do a post which I discarded because it made even less sense than that post I did while dehydrated and tipsy. And how can I tell you how much fun it is to tote a jug of your own urine around? Next paragraph. Anyway I didn’t hit anything valuable or breakable on the way down out of the chair, so I counted my lucky stars and decided to sleep it off in bed for the next 2 hours, which didn’t prevent me from falling asleep early that night

Wednesday was get rid of the half-full gallon jug of urine, and the damnable blood pressure monitor that was squeezing my arm to death. The jug got a lot of stares on the bus with the biohazard sticker and the “Danger Acid” sticker. Then it took 2 tries to draw blood. I think the needle went through the vein because no blood would come out with the needle in and when they took the needle out it wouldn’t stop bleeding. Then I got stabbed in the other arm. After lunch I went to a place that does a 45 minute leg and foot massage with a 15 minute back massage for $30. I felt much better after that than I usually do after the full hour on a full body massage. Then I was going to get a haircut, but there was a wreck on the Tollway that made a normal 20 minute bus ride almost twice as long, which made me miss my connecting bus which got me to the stylist after my stylist already left for home. So my head is still shaggy. “How shaggy?” you ask. Well my back hairs go all the way up my neck and the only way to tell head and back hair apart is the back hair is going white already, and slightly more wavy than my head hair. And my character in Shadowrun just integrates the back hair into his regular hair style, flattop all the way back and down like a horse’s mane.

And during down time I did some more research and changed the race tires again, for a set of Formula Atlantic tires. Good grip for a car about the same size and weight as the Mid-Bucket and I can find wheels that fit the tires and the bolt circle of my car. Amazingly it is way easier to find 15 X 14 wheels with a 5 X 4.5 bolt circle than 16 X 12 wheels. So the front wheels will be 15 X 10, the rears 15 X 14 and I may be able to get the car balanced without adding an antiroll bar.

And it is almost dinner time and I need to get cleaned up.

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