I went out to get a massage today, but when I stopped at the ATM to get the money instead of a $150 balance we were $165 in the hole. Somewhere along the way about $280 left our account before the overdraft charge. I didn’t do it, and Mrs. the Poet doesn’t recall doing it, which leaves either an authorized automatic withdrawal that was much larger than budgeted, or an unauthorized withdrawal. Mrs. the Poet plans on calling the bank for a transaction record to see where the money went, I can’t do it because technically it’s her account. I’m on the account, so I can write checks and make deposits, but stuff like this requires Mrs. the Poet to initiate the process.
I wouldn’t be so peeved except I was already out the cost of bus fare when I found out we were at a negative balance and had been on the road for over an hour. So basically I spent $2.50 and 3½ hours of travel time to do nothing. Had I been able to get my massage I would have been in the rush hour headway for the trip back eliminating the long wait for a bus back home, but I had an hour between return buses after I discovered I had no money to pay for my massage, and another half-hour at the transit center waiting for the next bus home.
The good part is all the walking I did came close to maxing out my Sweatcoin collecting. Almost the full 5 Sweatcoins I can get at this level of membership. Not the same as I was doing when M+Points was at its heyday, but about the same as I could get near the end. I was down to $1 a week at the end, about what I’m making now. If I walk really far I could collect $0.25/day, which if I could do that every day would be great, even more than I made collecting M+Points. You already know the bad part. I also did some more thinking about the Sprint-T but did not come to any new conclusions.
Now I have to find the exchange rate for Sweatcoin to $. If I’m reading the app right at my current level of membership I made about $0.30 walking to the store and can’t collect the additional $0.18 I earned until tomorrow unless I upgrade my membership. But since I don’t walk 2 miles every day I can just collect my $0.30 and roll with it. I will still collect all the Sweatcoins I earn, just not on the same day as I earn them. As I was saying to Mrs. the Poet, this is still $0.30 a day more than I had before for just doing what I naturally do, walking to and from places and bus stops. $0.30 a day comes to $109.50 a year, just for living my life and keeping my phone charged and with me as I do my thing outside. That’s similar to what I have been making on the one side gig I have a NDA for. I get $100 about every 18 months from that gig. Anywho I earned 8 sweatcoins out walking and I can collect 5 per day, and the current exchange rate is $0.06/coin but it fluctuates rapidly between 0.06 and 0.05 during the day.
I’m not going to be buying many Pentastars with Sweatcoins this year, but I will figure it out somehow. I’m thinking that if I take advantage of the short length of the Pentastar and mount it a bit forward of the rear of the block flush with the firewall I will be fighting for footroom with the transmission instead of the bellhousing which will free up another inch or so of space between the inside of the body and the mechanicals for my feet. If I imitate the installation from the forum article of myduster360 linked yesterday I get even more space, but I would need it because this is for a manual transmission installation and I would need a clutch pedal. This might leave enough room to actually install a clutch pedal in the Sprint-T. I have been looking at pedal units from OBP but I’m still worried about having enough lateral room to mount the unit. The spec sheet lists total width at 245 mm (9.65″) which will be jammed right up against the inside wall on the left and the transmission tunnel to the right if as they say in the UK I got my sums right . I need the DBW throttle pedal to match the DBW throttle body on the engines.
Getting back to Sweatcoin for a min, with the 5 coin max and about 4 coins a mile if I can plot a mile and a quarter loop I can max out in about 40 minutes taking it easy. It depends on how much gets loaded up tomorrow.
I have a bunch of gigs that I do to get money, but it’s all intermittent and slow in coming. Also never very much when it does come, which can get annoying. I mean it’s like a dollar from this gig every 3 weeks, 5 from this gig every 4 months, a hundred from this other gig every 18 months… And to make matters worse most of the money is not fungible, I can only spend it in certain places but not others. F’rinstance one gig only lets me spend online through their “mall” with inflated prices. Another pays me in gift cards to certain stores. Another only pays me in Amazon money. Sure I can get almost anything except meat and fresh produce from Amazon, but that’s not the point. The point is I need to make more money I can spend in any place I feel like spending it.
The other point is I need a job, but there are not many jobs I can do these days with what’s left of my body and brain. Most of the jobs I can do have been outsourced overseas, or automated out of existence. And it’s only going to get worse as my body ages and automation spreads, leaving me with fewer jobs I can physically do and fewer jobs that aren’t done by robots or some kind of autonomous machine. Add a little age discrimination in there, and I get sitting in a
coldhot room typing nonsense on an ancient laptop as the sum total of my existence. Which is a gig that hasn’t made me any money in a couple of years at least.
I used to make relatively good money doing this, between ad sales and donations, but ad sales died about 3 years ago, and donations tapered off about a year after that. Most of my readers aren’t any better off financially than I am, and the concept of “disposable income” has become a fantasy for me. Mrs. the Poet harbors the fantasy of going to the grocery and buying all the food she wants of whatever brand she wants, without any thoughts of how much it will cost. Talk about a poor person’s fantasy… And my dreams and financial fantasies are a constant fodder for creating posts in my post murder-report blog. By some standards I’m a rich person, I have a house to live in, and a few gadgets to entertain myself, and I’m relatively food secure. It hasn’t always been this way, there were periods of my life where we were not food secure, when making rent was a constant worry. Those days are gone now, but their scars still remain.
So objectively I’m in decent shape as far as survival is concerned, but what I’m looking for exceeds mere survival. I want to live rather than survive. I know that sounds selfish and I guess it is to an extent. But that is the nature of the beast, moving on to improve things once survival has been ensured. And if you’re feeling in a donating mood the link to my PayPal account is over by the bottom right corner of the page. Look for “Send Me Money”.
That app on my phone that pays me money is glitching big time the last couple of days. I have only been able to get one prize box since Thursday and haven’t been able to check in to a check-in location in that time. I can sometimes sneak in a sweeps entry for the “make an entry a day for 20 days and get a dollar” contest but I missed yesterday. And it isn’t looking good for today either. To make matters worse, some other apps I downloaded because they provided points for the other app no longer pay out at all and one of them stranded several days’ worth of points before the app stopped paying points. IOW I was still earning points and getting told I was earning points but not getting connected to the points server to collect the points, then they dumped everything about points without paying me my earned points.
Since things on other fronts have been floating along like the proverbial lead balloon, I bought some lottery tickets today. To be precise I bought a Megamillions, Powerball, and Texas Lotto ticket with annuitized payments payout. I win any of them and we have enough to live off of for our expected lifespans (well maybe not MY expected lifespan, but I should have enough by then to live off the interest).
I had to stop working on the remaining toaster because the pliers I have been using wore a hole on the top of my pinky finger from using it to open the pliers back up to make another grab at the stubborn screws. I have to admit the manufacturer had an insanely simple anti-tamper method, buy screws so cheap and soft that they strip the heads installing them so there is nothing to grab hold of with a screwdriver to remove them. Problem is from looking at the rest of the device I don’t think anti-tamper was even on the first 2 pages of reasons to buy cheap, soft screws.
On the Mini Sprint-T I was getting ready to mock up a full wheel to check for fit and my mock-up adhesive that I just bought seems to have gone walkabout. I’ve torn the room apart and can’t find it anywhere. That’s $5 down the tubes and no progress until I can get another tube of Goop™.
And I really need to wrap this up and get to bed. I have a busy day of role-playing games ahead.
billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
I need to go to the hardware and get a file or 3 to fix the steering arms so they fit the spindles, but right now my foot still hurts, so I’m sitting tight and just chilling and reading Twitter and web comics on separate devices. I prefer to use my phone for Twitter, and my laptop for webcomics, so until just now I was bouncing back and forth between the two like some kind of screen addict. Now I just have the laptop active while I do the blog post. The weather forecast is that tomorrow and Wednesday will be much warmer so I’ll do my walk then and get the files. Actually I’ll probably go to Harbor Freight on the bus and get a whole set of files. And I can also use these to make the Mini Sprint-T, files are useful tools.
So I just finished my walk to get the $$ for tomorrow’s shopping trip and it was about the same temp outside as it was in my office when I left, but now my foot hurts again. Tomorrow should be better.
As I sit typing this we have snow falling and on the ground, 23°F free air temp and 9°F wind chill. A few days ago it was 82°F with a heat index(!) of 84. The office temp is 59°F so I actually had to put a shirt on to keep from getting too cold. Texas weather is highly variable at this latitude.
I used some of my gift card balance to order a bicycle pump so I can ride my bike(s). It looked like a good one on the web page, but then so did the toaster before it came. Anywho, the head screws onto the valve and the Presta adapter, which screws onto the Presta valve. This should prevent the situation of the pump head blowing off the valve that caused the demise of the previous pump.
I have been watching my phone game that pays me money to see if there are any bonus check-ins and as of this morning there were not. This loss of bonus check-ins happened last year, but only for a day or two, not this late into the year. This even affected places that have always been bonuses, like WalMart. I have also not been able to collect earned points from affiliated apps like Weather Dot Com. I have a bunch of points accumulated from just my normal activity with that app that I can’t collect. I am becoming concerned about the viability of this program as it was one of the better-paying side gigs I had especially when you consider I didn’t need to get punctured to get money. Maybe I should get into Bit-coin mining? I hear that is a good job for those of us who spend a lot of time at a computer.
Anyway, getting back to the opening paragraph, the weather is getting extremely cold for those of us accustomed to triple digit summer weather and winter lows in the high 40s. My really cold weather clothes are still in the laundry from yesterday’s walk, so I’m probably not going for my walk this evening so I’m giving up 125 points plus however many points I would have gotten from prize boxes I liberated. I used to have more than one cold weather outfit, but they gradually all wore out or didn’t fit, and now I only have the one. And to be completely honest, that one outfit was not the warmest one in the closet. Current conditions would be pushing the limits of what that outfit could protect me against, so I might have gone for a walk tonight, but probably no.
Y’all stay warm or cool as the climate dictates, Opus the Unkillable Poet
My neck was feeling good, my hip would let me get a leg over the top bar of the frame of the new bike, but the tires were low. So I hooked the pump up only to watch the head get blown off the valve repeatedly every time I tried to pump up the tires. So my 12 YO bike pump has gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds and I still have a garage full of flat tires and nothing to ride.😤😱 Presta or Schrader it didn’t matter, that pump head was not staying put on the valve. So it appears my next purchase will be new bicycle pump.
Speaking of purchases one made it home yesterday. There was a pair of steering arms for my spindles in the Garage Sale section of speedway.com. The posted regular price led me to believe they were just the regular mild steel steering arms, and the discounted price was very reasonable for that. But when the parts arrived I discovered that there was an error in my favor. I thought the parts seemed rather shiny to be mild steel, and closer examination revealed them to be stainless steel instead, which have a normal catalog price more than twice what was charged in the Garage Sale.
Needless to say I’m moderately happy with the purchase. I’m not outrageously happy because of why the parts were returned in the first place: they don’t quite fit as they came from the warehouse. This appears to be a tolerance issue on the machining of the arms where they bolt to the spindles. You might be able to see recesses machined into the back of the spindle around the hex nuts and under the steering arm. This was done to give a flat place for the steering arm to register against. But as you can probably see on the bottom of the second picture that is not quite the case with these parts, they are sitting against the unmachined back of the spindle because the part that was supposed to fit inside the machined reliefs was left oversized. Therefore I will be forced to hand-fit these steering arms to my spindles in order to save 50% off the retail cost. Oh, the horrors! 😂 I will have to perform fabrication to use these reduced-cost no-return parts! 😈 However shall I manage!
I’ll break it off here because I need to take a walk and get more points. Those gift cards aren’t going to jump into my Amazon account on their own, y’know?
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Poet
I just got sent another Amazon Gift Card from this game I play on my phone when I’m out running around, like I was today going to the Lab Rat Keeper. I did a balance check and found that since 01/01/2016 I have collected $28 from this game, which is $28 more than I made last year from this blog. Seriously my take from the blog went from roughly $3K in 2013 to nothing in the last 2 quarters of 2014 and all of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.
Seriously, if you have an Android phone you need to start playing mPLUS Places, particularly if you are getting around by not driving. I can hit my capture limit on places on a long walk around my neighborhood (roughly 3.5 miles, that can be broken up with rest stops in places), or by taking a bus ride and only capturing the high point places. Given the costs of a bus pass I don’t do this every day (I can take that walk instead), but when I have to take a trip across town I can really rake in the points. This week I have made more than twice the points I spent on that $1 gift card I bought last Friday night. That means that as I get the discounted $1 cards I’m also accumulating points for higher value cards that I will eventually buy and add to my Amazon balance.
About the trip to the Lab Rat Keeper, their scale says I lost a pound since last visit, but I weigh about 8 pounds more on their scale than the certified scale in the Tom Thumb store. Also my BP has gone down to 90/60 on the second test, 108/72 on the first test. Since I don’t get to take a second test at the Tom Thumb and the first test was within a few points of what I got at TT, I would say their machine is accurate. Still blows my BMI all to hell. Since I didn’t get enough salty snacks today, and also came up short on the yogurt, I will have to make a run to the store by myself to get some things. Pretzel stix are on sale for $2.50/lb, and there is a sale on 32 oz. yogurt as well.
And eventually I will use that balance to get stuff, and help drive the economy just that little bit more.