Tag Archives: lab rat

Yesterday was physically and emotionally exhausting

Yesterday I had to get up about 4 hours earlier than my normal rising time. That was just the start of a seriously shitty day. I had to leave before I finished my coffee, and barely had time to eat an envelope of PopTarts before throwing my raincoat on and heading out the door.

To pass the time enroute I opened my Twitter app on my phone, and was greeted by videos of a mass shooter making his way through a FL high school. Wonderful, another school shooting with a double-digit body count . Close to Over 2 dozen injured or killed yesterday. And that makes 19 times this year that a firearm has been discharged on school property…

So anyway, about that rain coat. Basically it’s vinyl windbreaker with no ventilation held closed with Velcro and held together with vinyl tape after as many years as I have had it. That means it’s a sweat generator, and the hook part of the front closure snagging on everything in range, and that hook part dangling loose after Mrs. the Poet borrowed it without understanding it was delicate because of the tape. So hot and basically catching on every fabric surface in a half-meter radius, because there was a misting rain and fog when I left the house that ended before I even got to the transit center to catch my second bus. I carry my wallet in a drawstring bag I throw over one shoulder, so I stuffed the jacket into the bag and had it under my arm the rest of the day.

This brings me to the visit with the Lab Rat Keeper. It seems that stopping the anti-depressants was a Bad Idea from a blood pressure point of view, as I have been asked to augment my current med (Byvalson) with the diuretic HCTZ to get back to the numbers I had when I was taking the anti-depressants. In case you didn’t know or forgot, I stopped the anti-depressants because I can’t live with the side effects of no sex life or sleeping all day and night. Whodathunkit? Depression is bad for your blood pressure.

And getting back to the school shooting, the shooter was 19 and legally bought his assault weapon after learning to shoot and maintain it as a cadet in JROTC. As a graduate of the Navy version of this program more than 40 years ago, I can say that wasn’t the cause, but it probably did teach him how to use the rifle. And since it’s more than likely his instructors were combat veterans he likely picked up the “run and gun” protocol he used from one of them. But how does a 19YO with documented mental health issues get that much firepower with multiple magazines and a brick of 1000 rounds of ammunition? I mean that’s the Mass Shooting Starter Kit, did nobody at the gun store contact the police?

And that’s all my stomach can handle.

Advertisements

I’m detoxing, posts might get weird for a while

I’m eliminating all the brain drugs because the side effects are worse than the disease. I was taking anti-depressants because untreated PTSD from when I was a kid turned into depression, so I took SSRIs which helped the depression for a while until the side effect of destroying my ability to have sex kicked in. I managed to get most of a year in without depression, and I had a positive attitude and everything. I was even cheerful and talked with my wife regularly. That was great while it lasted. but eventually side effects kinda blew that out of the water.

So, then I changed meds in an attempt to find one without sexual side-effects, with the first attempt getting the side effects in full effect before the intended effect of reducing depression even started. Which brings me to the current med, that uses a chemical strategy that does not even affect my depression. Well my soon-to-be-previous-med, that takes as long to wean off of as it required other meds to be clear from my system. It will be about 2 weeks to detox enough to switch to an SSRI. Then at least another 2 weeks to get back up to speed on the SSRI as I mourn the death of my sex life, or not. I might decide to just save the money and live in a dull, grey world, and retain something of my sex life.

In other news I was going to get my toes done Tuesday, but we are experiencing the southern end of an arctic cold front that dropped the temperature about 40°F overnight, from a high of 57° to a forecast low of 20 tomorrow morning, with wind chills expected to be in the single digits. That’s chilly. We had to fight to get the cats to come in and stay in because they want to be out in what is still pretty warm, and now they are pacing the hall yelling to be let out.

There are no words

There are no words to describe how bad I feel right now. First of all I spent about 2.5 miles on my feet today running around and generally getting nothing done. I was supposed to get my kidneys imaged for the surgery next week, but when I got there none of the paperwork had been sent. I found out that over the weekend the study had been defunded, and I would have to go back on daily meds to control my hypertension. The few people who got their operations done are doing great with normal blood pressure.

All that running around has given me a headache and also aggravated my back. I’m thinking the headache is from the problems with the study, my cell getting shut off because I didn’t pay the bill on time, and Mrs the Poet injuring her face and knee tripping over stuff in the dark after deciding to not come to bed when I told her I was turning off the lights and she would probably be more comfortable in bed than on the couch. She took a big hit to the knee in the fall but her face looks worse than her knee. She says the looks are deceiving, her knee is the worse hit. Anyway, we are both in some degree of pain tonight.

I have to go get my new anti-depressants tomorrow. The big problem was finding one that had a low incidence of sexual side effects but was available as a discounted generic and wasn’t too similar to the one that had just quit working on my depression. I don’t know what I’m getting yet, but I was asked about how that Zoloft trial went several years back when they were looking for interactions between anti-depressants and a certain BP med.

I have been checking and my 3.8l engine was one that had a 10 cc dish in the piston and roughly a 9.8:1 compression ratio. That means I have a stock combustion chamber of roughly 55 ccs and don’t need to take too much off the heads to get the ~45 cc combustion chamber I need for the 14:1 ratio for running E85 at best efficiency. I have been repeating the mantra for getting best efficiency out of E85: high compression but remove all possible sources of preignition by removing sharp edges and polishing the combustion chamber.

And I feel like cold excrement (fancy words to slip by censors) so I’m taking more pain pills and going to bed now.

It has been rough

My back pain has gone from piccolos and violins screeching to cellos and tubas throbbing. I don’t know how well this translates for the non-musical reader, but for you a different imagery. Instead of the sharp but intermittent pain from before I now have a less intense but more constant pain. I can deal with the amount of pain I have now pretty well, and from previous experience I can tell that this particular injury has turned the corner to recovery.

Yesterday we celebrated my grandson’s 5th birthday with presents, and cupcakes and ice cream. I got him a book, naturally, a Little Golden Book of his favorite superhero, Ironman. But his favorite present that got the most play was some Beyblade tops. Books are more of a quiet time thing and the party was anything but quiet. I’m sure he will get around to reading it or getting it read to him soon.

Tomorrow I’m going to get a cat scan and sonogram of my kidneys for the lab rat gig. I’m really excited about this because it represents a massive step forward in the treatment of hypertension, a cure rather than daily medication. I know that my contribution won’t even merit a footnote aside from “volunteer participants in study” but still this is exciting damnit!

No progress on the TGS2 in any way, too much running around and grocery shopping the last two days. And I really don’t have anything else to write about for the same reason. I was on the road and nothing really happened except cars went by. And I have serious doubts about describing passing traffic as entertainment. That would rate up there with a dramatic reading of the phonebook residential pages.

I’m currently in a washout for new antidepressants, and I’m not doing well emotionally. I’m having problems corralling my thoughts which makes writing somewhat difficult. It’s almost like being depressed makes my ADHD worse. When you consider that the normal treatment for ADHD is meth, being depressed making ADHD worse makes sense. And that makes me think that maybe ADHD is a side effect of being depressed, or depression is a side effect of ADHD? Anyway having one makes the other worse especially when both are untreated. This is another potential point of study that could be explored by someone in the future, and I won’t even ask to be mentioned in the credits 😀 .

Taking a break, sorta

Today was kind of a recovery day for me after running around yesterday on empty with my second fasting blood draw day in a row. I was not thinking well when I got home as I wasn’t able to get much coherent on the blog edit page. Almost all of yesterday’s post was deleted after I tried to read it, “tried” being the operative word here. The post made absolutely no sense whatsoever, and had tons of typos.

Today I tried to get caught up on web comics and e-mail and everything. There were a few new tweets that I didn’t feel like responding to, and some web comics I hadn’t had a chance to read. I have been watching engine overhaul videos as inspiration for the TGS2 engine build. One thing I have to be extra careful about since I’m going to E85 and jacking the compression sky high is getting the piston ring gap right because combining E85 and high compression will result in high combustion temperatures and would close up the gap and destroy the pistons if the gap was too tight, or burn massive amounts of oil if I get it too big.

And I’m stopping this because I need to go to bed now and I’m having to delete too much for typos and just not making sense any more. I really need to get caught up on my sleep and do something about my back.

Super tired right now

This was day 2 of fasting blood draws for the new trial I’m in with a 25 hour ambulatory blood pressure monitor between the draws. That means I went almost 20 hours with nothing but water and a torture device squeezing my arm every 15 minutes. And when I say torture device I mean that because of stress and pain from my back my BP was about 170/100, and the amount of pressure needed to get those readings was very painful. In fact I have a large bruise on my arm from the pressure, but interestingly it’s not where the measuring cuff was placed but right below the edge of the cuff on the inside of my elbow.

Something else interesting is I was looking at a bad cylinder head the other day when I got an image that showed a spark plug with 5 or 6 exposed threads sticking up in the combustion chamber and the tip extending past the surface of the head.

Good cylinder head

This one has the plug tip just slightly below the surface of the head and no exposed threads on the spark plug. I would need to angle mill a small amount from this head to get the combustion chamber CCs right but I should just be able to get a slightly cooler heat range for the plug to make it work on E85. I spent a lot of time thinking about that last night to distract myself from the blood pressure monitor squeezing the life out of my arm.

I was listening to the Peter Gabriel channel on YTM and while some of those videos look ridiculous now some are still avant guard even in 2017. They aged incredibly well even in the face of enormous changes in the state of the art for video.

Well I really need to shower and get to bed, I’m not even making sense to myself right now.

Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow

I get to go out and about with nothing but water until lunchtime tomorrow because I have a visit to the Lab Rat Keeper about the new study. I have been medication-free (including antidepressants) for about 2 weeks. My BP meds I have been out of since the end of July, and I have to be fasting since midnight when they take my blood.

I have been feeling a little better in my back since yesterday’s little walk to get the pain pills. I can actually bend over and tie my shoes without spasms. I think part of that is from staying in bed until 1500 and managing to get in a comfortable position early after going to bed. Also this particular brand of ibuprofen works better for me than the pills we just ran out of. As I have posted earlier this particular pain in the back is highly dependant on how tired that particular muscle is. Better rest means way less pain.

I looked up tomorrow’s payout for the TX Lottery after taxes, then sat down with Mrs. the Poet to discuss exactly what we wanted to do with it. She doesn’t want to move, not surprising, but she does want to travel some. She wants the house fixed but not torn down and replaced. She wants the AC fixed, the floors done, the bathrooms completely redone, the kitchen plumbing fixed… And she wants a new bed. I want a Japanese style bathtub, basically a hot tub without jets, done in tile with a bench inside to soak on. And a place to build things, I want to have for my place to retreat to what is basically a garage with a bedroom and bathroom attached to it within walking distance of a place to eat. And a place on the beach at Waikiki for wintering over, because Hawaii is wonderful if you have enough money, having lived there for three years. Of course I was only 4 when we moved there and 7 when we left, so a lot of what I remember is colored by the perceptions of a child. So we will be spending most of our time here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell even after winning the lottery. We are just so exciting as a couple, aren’t we? The big thing for me is I would have the resources to actually make things instead of just thinking about making things. That would be so strange to actually be able to pay for materials and tools and skilled artisans to make things.

What brought this on is Mrs. the Poet got her statement from SSA about what she’s going to make when she starts getting Social Security. It’s not the same as winning the Lottery, but it is a huge jump up from what we make now as a couple. My pension doesn’t start for another 7 years, so until then we get to live on what she’s earned. Unless we win the lottery. Then we start to live like people who don’t have to worry about money.

Now, about the things I’m supposed to be writing about. I’m afraid I don’t have anything about that because of laying in bed for my back, and talking about pensions, Social Security, and Lottery jackpots, with Mrs. the Poet, and getting ready for going to the Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow. I haven’t even had time to check Twitter yet and … Oh My Gawds he fucking did it. Trump just deported almost a million people whose only crime was being brought here without proper papers. Who have been paying taxes, serving in our military, paying an extra fee on top of that just to stay here legally.

Excuse me I have to find something to beat on that won’t cost me anything to destroy, because Trump just got rid of DACA.

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