Well the headline pretty much covers the actual news, but there were things I learned during the process that are also useful. First thing is that even though it doesn’t feel hot a heat index of 95°F is still dangerously warm. As in hydrate or die dangerous.
Second thing I learned is that I need to go for a walk, like at least every other day, so my back feels better. I walked about a mile and a quarter yesterday and once I got going nary a twinge out of my back. Getting going had lots of twinges and worse, but once I got the muscles moving and warm, I was pain-free. Like taking a hydrocodone pain free. I think finding time for a daily mile walk, maybe early in the morning before the heat gets as bad, is my best idea for keeping moving.
And speaking of keeping moving, we are fast approaching my Death Day, the anniversary of the thing that walked like a man trying to murder me for riding my bike on an empty 6 lane road on the other side of the median from him. Aside from his being a raging (literally) asshole I have no idea why he tried to kill me as I was riding home from work, he just did.
Now the bigger question is what can I do about it?
I try to not get too political in this space, I save that for my Twitter (@opusthepoet, yes I snagged that one first, too), but I do get into politics frequently out in meatspace. I was watching Biden accept the nomination for the Democratic Party, and in spite of his speech impediment he still has better cadence and vocabulary than That Other Guy. From what I understand he’s a regular bike rider as well as a Car Guy, meaning we share common ground in transportation issues. I’m still not hep to his opinions on M4A to replace the ACA, but I’m sure the GOP will be happy to tell me how much of a “socialist” he is…
Anyways, wanted to get that off my chest hairs, and also let you know I finally got through to the SSA to set up my Social Security payments. My appointment is 9/11 at 1405, so I have to somehow stay awake or be awake when they call. I’m hopeful I can get things running by October or November.
And I need to shower and change to get my toes done now, so this is it for a while.
Yep, I’m still sleeping mostly at night, and awake, more or less, all day. I discovered I really, really need to get my toes done, so in the morning, after I get up and shower, I need to go to the nail spa. I did my fingernails myself in the morning, but toes remain out of my reach. Particularly now that I have the scar tissue on the surgical repairs getting tight and even deep tissue massage won’t loosen them up. I can get almost folded up enough to do my own nails, but not enough to get all of them done. I can barely get the piggy that had roast beef, but not any more piggies, and the nails are all jagged and catch on my socks and the sheets in the bed because I can’t get a good angle on them with the clippers.
Also I didn’t get to the Lowe’s on the way home from the massage because of the deep tissue massage. It makes things work better the next day, but boy howdy does it make things not work right after (except my neck, it worked perfectly). I had to take a day to rest and recover because I am apparently old now. Also speaking of my neck, the deep tissue massage showed how much damage Chris Christie caused me. No, not the politician, the other useless lump of ugly fat that was taken off my neck a little over 5 years ago. Well there are muscles that are still borked from that trauma and I can feel that during the massage, particularly the deep tissue work. The fiber bunches in the muscle have gotten, I don’t know how to describe it but “bunchy” is the best word to use. The part that isn’t damaged has everything homogeneous, but the damaged muscle is all stringy and things move in clumps instead of smoothly. And I can feel those clumps sliding by each other during the massage and if I try to move too fast or too far after the massage. But for a couple of days after the massage my range of motion is way up, and my neck pain is way down. This is day two after the massage and I can still gaze lovingly at the pictures of my grandson above and to the left of my desk.
Well, anyway, the plan is I leave a little before noon to catch the bus to the nail spa, get my toes done, and walk back because why not, it’s only a mile from the house if I take the long way, just over 0.9 miles if I take the short way. Mrs. the Poet needs some help with her back in the shower, so this is a good time to put this to bed, and then Mrs. the Poet and me.
I had to get some things for the house today, nothing I couldn’t carry myself, so I thought I would get my toes done as part of the trip and also grab a late lunch/early dinner. As I pointed out in an earlier post, all of this is just a mile away one way plus the walking between the various stops came to a logged 2.1 miles on my fitness app and about 7100 steps on my step counter app for the day.
As for what I needed to walk all that way in 91°F (94° index) temperatures? Well we needed a new toilet brush as the old one shuffled off this mortal coil a while back and I couldn’t stand the state of the toilet even with the self-cleaning chemicals in the tank, and skin contact with those chemicals is not recommended. And also I needed something I could put on the cereal as the last of the milk didn’t exactly smell “right”. So I decided to wrap this trip with a lot of things I needed to get done, like my toes and something to eat.
And I get to do a similar trip in another direction as my new glasses are ready to pick up at the store over a week early, so I’m also grabbing a gift card to a fast food joint near the glasses shop.
And even though I no longer have the same number of page views as I used to, I like this mission of the blog much more than the first one where I chronicled dead and wounded cyclists, a calling I shared with Ted Rogers over at BikinginLA, in fact I pretty much outsourced all my SoCal bike wrecks to his blog under the tag “Daily Ted”. Well Ted needs some help as their beloved Corgi is in the end stages of fighting Cancer while Ted is fighting insurance companies over medication for his diabetic neuropathy. Send whatever good energy/vibes/prayers you can for Ted and the pupper, they need them.
And it would have been less hot and not as long had I not been using DART. OK it was still nearly 100°F no matter what mode of transportation I was using to get around and I would have been just as hot outside of an air-conditioned space, but my exposure time would have been a lot less if DART had decent headways.
The sad part is I never got more than a mile away from Casa de El Poeta all day. If the temperature had been a little less I would have spent less time getting from A to B and been more comfortable doing it, except that over 2 mile slog from the phone store to the nail salon. Today’s itinerary was walk to the phone store, catch the bus after paying my mobile bill and ride to the nail place to get my toes done, then catch the bus back to the stop closest to home. Where it began to go south was missing the bus by a few minutes at the phone store, resulting in over 40 minutes waiting in the heat for the next bus, and watching the bus go by as I left the nail salon, resulting in almost a mile walk back to the house. I maxed out Sweatcoin collection, but I also maxed out sweat in the heat.
Now for those wondering why I don’t cut my own toenails, part of the annoying cocktail of nerve and muscle damage I got from the wreck is the piggies that had no roast beef and went “Wee, wee” all the way home curl up under my foot when I need to trim them. I can’t stay in the position needed to pull them out from under my foot and hold them where I can cut the nails before I pass out from lack of oxygen. I’m literally laying out against my thigh with my knee under my chin to be able to get hands where they need to be to get hold of the toes and get the clippers on the nails, which compresses my abdomen such that I can’t draw breath. So rather than struggle against hypoxia I pay to get my toes done by a professional, about every 3 months. And I think I write a similar sentence every time I write about having to get my toes done.
It’s really annoying to need to get my toes done, because I can’t see it before I feel it. The first I know my toes need doing is when I feel the pain of the nail catching the inside of my shoe. Ultimately I need to get slightly larger shoes before too long, but these shoes are not wearing out as fast as the cheap shoes I used to buy. The wear is literally proportional to how much I spent on them, the almost $60 per pair shoes are showing about twice the longevity of the $30 shoes.
My Sweatcoin mining is proceeding apace. I have more than 40 Sweatcoins in my “wallet”, currently valued at $0.05 each. Yeah that is “not rich” by any measure, but I got out of the house and I did get something out of it. The only downside is as explained in the first paragraph, if my shoes don’t fit right there is a price that has to be paid in pain.
I have a trip to the Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow, so no post. I have to get up about 0700 so I can eat, get caffeinated, and shower and dress and get out the door. I finally get to use my Reduced Fare ID. Sorry I don’t have more to write about, but nothing much has been going on around Casa de El Poeta. I have been following the Uber wreck with a cyclist in AZ, but they still haven’t decided if the person was riding the bike or pushing it, or even which side of the street she came from. The only upside is because this was a test vehicle everything was supposed to be recorded and preserved showing why an autonomous vehicle was unable to avoid an adult cyclist or pedestrian. Obviously corners have been cut because AV are supposed to be able to easily avoid people in the street, in fact the Google implementation can be stymied by a cyclist doing a track stand at a stop sign because of the slight movements made to remain upright. So the evidence points to some non-action on the hazard-identifying function for small vehicles in adjoining lanes.
And since I need to get up early tomorrow, and I still need to do my e-mail, I’m done with this post now.
I called the Lab Rat Keeper to verify my appointment and it was a good thing I did. Somehow my appointment was deleted from the book which was why I wasn’t called. Now instead of going to the Dr.’s office I will be paying bills and getting my toes done tomorrow.
Ugly, ain’t it? That’s what happens when I let them go too long between getting them done, now I’m going to lose that one again. It happened back in the mid-1980s and it took most of a year for the new one to grow back, and it was terribly uncomfortable until it did.
So anyway I’m going to do tomorrow, or later today, what I was planning on doing Monday or Tuesday, but couldn’t because I was waiting for the Lab Rat Keeper’ office to confirm my appointment. I’m also still cutting floors for the scale mockup of the TGS2 with smaller rear wheel cutouts, but for some reason I haven’t been able to get the front ones square. And that plastic sheet from ADT is almost impossible to cut.
I woke up around 0500 what is now yesterday and I have been having problems all night long with falling asleep on my phone or at the keyboard, so I’m going to pop a sleep aid and try to grab some Zs.
Well I had my toes “did” this evening. The nails are now shortened so they don’t extend past the end of the toe they occupy, and dulled so they don’t catch and tear anything like the sheets or Mrs. the Poet. This only happened once, I went to bed without socks because it was warm and toenails got caught in the sheets, rendering them hors d’ combat. Fortunately Mrs. the Poet was not in the bed at the time as she was doing her summer visit with her mother in Upstate NY.
Moving on, moving the driver to just behind the front axle causes many changes to the rest of the car. Not the least of which is what used to be the roll cage and is now just another part of the frame. Except the former front hoop is now moved back a few inches to become the rear hoop and front center bulkhead. The former mount for the front springs is now the front hoop and (still) front bulkhead, what was the rear hoop is now the rear center bulkhead, and the rear bulkhead is still the rear bulkhead. That’s a whole three tubes unchanged from the previous design😈🎉 Everything else is different. Since most of the front of the bucket has to be removed for the center cockpit the only part of the frame that still has to be “bolt-in” is the inside structure of the rear center bulkhead. A few pounds are added to the frame, but the torsional stiffness will be considerably enhanced. Not that the previous version was any slacker in that department, just the new one will be “more so”. And I’m thinking about making the floorpan thicker under the driver (me) to protect my tender nether regions from “stuff” on the road coming up through the floor. Going to 0.25″ thick will add 86 pounds to the empty weight, but the arm will be so short that it will move the empty CG forward considerably. It might even be enough to get the rear percentage out of the 60’s. Which gets me back to (more) equal wheel and tire sizes when the ugly lump (me) is added to the driver’s seat.
And as the changes cascade down the line I’m once again looking at the spring mounts on the frame and rear axle and using the same size wheels and tires on every corner. That drastically opens my choices for tires (and makes the front wheels slightly more expensive). It also improves the overall grip because I no longer have to reduce the available grip at the front to keep the back end chasing the front through a corner (good) instead of the front chasing the rear (very, very bad). I can also go back to mounting the rear springs outboard on the uprights instead of near the middle of the de Dion tube. I’m still going to stay with the single 3″ tube instead of the truss mainly because it will be way faster to build than the truss. I mean we are talking about carefully lining up some tack welds and then 2 major finishing welds after everything is straight compared to 40 or so finishing welds and additional straightening on the heat distorted structure, after 2 or 3 tack welds per finishing weld and straightening that out before the finishing welds. Yeah, 5 pounds more for about 160 welds less, plus less after-weld work sounds like an equitable change.
Getting back to the floor, I don’t think adding that 86 pound plate to the front will change the weight at all, just move it forward. That’s because I don’t have to put anything under the bucket except the HDPE bellypan instead of a metal or wooden floor, and the space the new floor occupies was previously HDPE. The new floor is less than half the size but 3 times thicker than the old floor, so maybe a slight increase in weight? Anyway, I would feel a lot better out on the road with a quarter-inch of steel under and in front of me than I would just over a sixteenth and some thick milk jug plastic.
And it is tending towards time to go to bed. This has been a long and emotionally-draining day.