Tag Archives: waiting for Godot to show with the ambulance

Waiting for the call from Social Security

As I’m composing this I am literally waiting for Social Security to call about starting my checks, because I will be 62 in 11 days. This will nearly double our before-tax income here at Casa de El Poeta. The plan is to figure out our big single-chunk payments and put that money into the firewalled account at the credit union every month. Whatever is left over is my spending money for things like meds, massages, clothing, and books and food.

Notice I put books and food in the same phrase. There is a reason for that, I consider them both as essential to maintaining my life. I don’t think I need to explain why I need to eat, but I also need to have mental stimulation on the regular. Usually I get that from the Web these days, but there are times when I want to unplug, literally, and read a dead tree. I have magazine subscriptions but there is just something about holding a book and turning the pages that makes that a completely different experience from reading on the web, or from my Kindle app. Also we sometimes lose power and internet (and phone too, but that’s not pertinent to reading) so I need something that doesn’t require anything more than a light source to read. Books and magazines cover that need nicely.

One thing I’m looking forward to is having the funds to get a weekly massage. Now I don’t absolutely need to get a massage every week, but things would work much better if I did. As previously reported, I have a bunch of old injuries that massage is good for relieving the pain and stiffness without resorting to chemical enhancements. And massage is a good adjunct to those chemicals, making them work better at making me move. Plus massage is good for other needs that are theraputic, but not for my body. Massage is also good for my skin hunger needs, my physical need to be touched by another human being. I have found through bitter experience that bad things happen if I don’t tend to things like skin hunger properly. But that won’t be a problem now that I have the money to get frequent and regular massage.

OK just got done with the call from SS, and I’m getting my first check the fourth Wednesday of November, Woo!! I get paid for October in November because I don’t get paid until the first of the month after I qualify, and the check is sent the fourth Wednesday because my birthday is the 22nd, which is technically the first day of the fourth week. So I have to wait 2 months for my first check because reasons. Ah, well, we have survived this long without it, another 2 months ain’t going to kill us.

Now this isn’t enough money to build the Sprint-T, at least not all at once. But it does expand the budget a bit. Not by much, but enough that there is a possibility I will be able to drive it when it’s finished.

Speaking of the Sprint-T I mentioned building a carbon fiber intake manifold earlier, so I think I should explain that in a bit of detail. The fabricated aluminum manifold I mentioned way back requires use of forming bucks to provide a shape to beat the aluminum around. Thing is those can also be used as molds for laying woven fibers saturated with resin around and trimming to size after curing, instead of beating aluminum into shape and trimming to size after forming. The thing is the CF is much lighter than aluminum, making for a manifold that weighs a few pounds, like 3 or 4, instead of one that weighs more than 10-15 pounds. This is not a lot, but it is about 10 pounds plus or minus, and 10 pounds is a significant percentage of the race weight, about half of the fuel in the race tank.

This is one reason why I agonize over the weight of wheels and tires, because they are weight that is part of the total, and more importantly because they are unspring weight that hampers ride and handling. Unsprung weight and rotating weight are the two types of weight that have the most negative impact on performance, and tire and wheels are both of those. Hence the figurative hair pulling when making decisions about them on a build like the Sprint-T that has so little total weight the unsprung-to-sprung weight ratio is going to be bad pretty much no matter what I do. I mean the weight of the car and driver with a full race tank of fuel is pushing 1800 pounds (818 Kg), that is light by almost any standards.

And this looks like a good spot to put this post to bed before I go off on a tangent. To summarise, I will have a stable source of income for the first time in over a decade, things are good.

It’s Friday only one last blog post before my day off, and the Feed

I love all you guys out there, but my personal life this week has been such that I’m looking forward to being able to just NOT MULTITASK for 18 hours this weekend. I have been dealing with house guests all week for one reason or another, nothing malicious on anyone’s part just people staying the night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT this week, and maybe I will have a night alone tonight while I blog and sleep late Saturday. Like I wrote earlier I love my readers, and I love the people who were forced to spend the night, but I love being alone more. I don’t know what it is but if there’s someone in the house while I’m trying to work I MUST INTERACT WITH THEM. I think I know the source of this, from when I was a kid and my undiagnosed Aspie tendencies would show when other kids would come over and I would retreat to my room to cool off from excessive interactions during my normal decompressing and alone time. But my mother would force me out of my room to “be with my friends” when other people came over and interact with them (even when I was forced to be in a dark room because I had sunburned my retinas from being at altitude in a mountain range in North Africa and just wanted to not talk to anybody). But to get back to it I went from needing to be alone to being compelled to interact with people because they are there, usually both at the same time. I like people when I can deal with them at a time of my choosing. And then hole up in my office until the next time I choose to be with people. That was one of the nice things about riding my bike, I was alone but I was out of the house and “doing things” so Mrs. the Poet was not on my back about sitting inside and “doing nothing”. And now you know way too much about my early life.

Bikeyface captures the insanity that keeps some people from cycling to work. Fear of Sweat I love how she made the second panel the cover art for her blog.

Our Daily Ted, because I need to clear out space and Ted’s BikinginLA blog was like the second thing in the queue. Morning Links: LA River bike path gets greener, more on Gardena shooting, and analysis of York Blvd bike wrecks

And just a few miles from WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, another TX driver drives off with the victim embedded in the windshield. Man Hits Bicyclist, Keeps Driving With Him Stuck in Windshield: DPD Now you see why I say I live and work in a suburb of Hell. As I wrote, this is not the first time this has happened near WoaB World HQ. Motorist given 50 year-sentence in windshield murder trial I don’t know what it is about TX and drivers, but we raise some mean ones. And I didn’t even mention the guy that tried to kill me…

More on the victim of that driver that had a “seizure” and went speeding up the wrong side of a NYC street. UPDATE: Brooklyn Cyclist Killed by SUV Identified as Alejandro Moran-Marin The driver stopped when he ran into the concrete-filled steel bollards protecting the pedestrian plaza in front of the Barclay’s Centre. If those bollards were placed between the bike lane and the motor vehicle lane then there would have been a wrecked SUV and a live but frightened cyclist.

More on the WI cyclist killed training for RAGBRAI. First-time RAGBRAI cyclist killed by car during training RAGBRAI is on my bucket list, but not this way. More Eighth Bicyclist of Year Killed by Motorists

One of the big problems across the country is not taking away a driver’s license when there is a clear need to do so. Repeat Hit-And-Run Driver Has Killed Two, But Judge Won’t Permanently Revoke License How high does the body count have to get before they take this guy off the roads permanently?

And yet they arrested this guy. [UPDATE] Truck Driver Who Fatally Struck 78-Year-Old Man On Canal Street Was Taken Into Custody Apparently it is more who you know than who you killed.

This NE judge knows what’s what. Hickman man goes to prison for Lincoln cyclist’s death More than twice the legal limit two hours after the wreck means absolutely blitzed at the time of the wreck. Twelve to 16 years seems about right, a little light for killing a man, but harsh for killing a man with a car. We need to work on getting killing a person treated the same regardless of the weapon.

I suspect the news outlet that published this has an agenda. Two crashes, including fatality, involve drivers who admit marijuana use One driver was obviously on something other than pot when he killed a cyclist, and the other driver admitted he was drunk. I mean “One officer said that Hargrave kept pressing down on the gas even after he crashed, causing his truck tires to dig a trench in the grass. As they continued to spin, the tires were ripped off the wheels” is not a person on pot, that’s a person on some kind of hallucinogen, or some other drug that impairs perception. Still this was another one of those wrecks that could only be prevented by some kind of barrier like those bollards that stopped that NYC driver having a “seizure”.

First of two links out of FL. MIAMI BIKE CRASHES ALMOST DOUBLED FROM 2005 TO 2013, ANALYSIS FINDS Usually you get a safety in numbers thing, but I am suspecting this is more due to getting numbers because of decent infrasructure that makes cyclists feel safe to ride.

And second link shows how to get that decent infrastructure. Miami Designers Counter Florida DOT With Their Own Plan for Little Havana Corridor First of all you fire the DoT and replace them with the DoM, the Department of Mobility. Get rid of all the “highway builders” who have overrun cities with miniature Interstates with wide lanes and gradual curves, and replace them with people who understand the needs to build spaces for people and a way to get there without destroying the spaces for people elsewhere. If they insist that they need a manual give them a CROW manual for €90 each.

Or you could hire this guy, I have a sneaky feeling he’s going to be needing a job soon. IOWA DOT CHIEF: THE SYSTEM IS GOING TO SHRINK Looking at the stats it does look like IA has become the most overbuilt highway system with one mile for every 27 people. Unless you get a lot more 1%ers living there and somehow convince them to pay their fair share of taxes as a percentage of wealth there is just no financial base to support that kind of system. We gotta lotta extremely rich people and corporations in TX and we can barely sustain our current highway system with current tax revenues.

People are finally starting to figure out that cars are the problem, and the answer to that problem is not to let more cars in an area but to force more out. Traffic trouble: Neighborhood concerned after family pet death, cyclist injured At this point about the only thing that would work immediately they haven’t done yet is to start towing cars.

The first link out of several from BikePortland concerns crosswalk safety. 58 traffic stops in four hours at latest PBOT crosswalk enforcement action That works ou to be about 15 tickets per hour, not good. Maybe if they didn’t announce the day before on the evening TV news where the enforcement action was going to be, or put up signs on the sidewalk warning drivers to watch where they were going and pay attention to the crosswalks, then they would actually act as a deterrent to crosswalk violations.

Some infrastructure improvements coming to a busy bit of bikeway? TriMet announces big changes to SW Moody cycletrack Sorta, they have straightened out the lanes and cyclists and pedestrians no longer have to mix at either end of the path.

Eventually they are going to install this as a permanent feature, or maybe put in a sidewalk and forbid putting barriers across the sidewalk during festivals. Better Naito is back: Bike/walk path will return for Brewfest

Horrifying news out of the Great White North. Driver charged after two children injured in crash between car, bicycles and Ottawa driver charged after 2 kids, mother hit on bikes The bicycles involved were a regular adult cruiser with a tagalong trailer bike, and a child-sized cruiser bike. The weapon vehicle was some kind of motor vehicle driven by a homicidal maniac running a stop sign. To see if your lane has to yield to the oncoming lane look to your left and check for the back of a stop sign. If there is no stop sign then crossing traffic does not stop.

As if to back the previous paragraph up we have this link from a nearby city. MEAN STREETS This is as thorough a indictment of crappy infrastructure in North America as I have read.

UK infrastructure news. MPs tackle Prime Minister over recent deaths of cyclists [slacker]Hey dude, you have like really bad infrastructure that’s getting a lot of little dudes and especially the dudettes killed, and you should have already fixed it with the money we gave you ages ago. What’s the deal man?[/slacker]

And just what might be the consequences of not spending enough to build working bicycle infrastructure? Bristol law firm sees 200% rise in injured cyclist enquiries

Meanwhile over in Ireland. Cyclist hit by car waits over an hour for an ambulance This is being investigated because nobody should have to lay on the road waiting an hour for transport from a wreck.

Another useless magic foam hat, with turn signals. Could the high-tech Lumos helmet help reduce the number of cyclist deaths on Britain’s roads? Could publicly executing drivers that kill reduce the number of cyclist deaths? My way tackles the source of the problem, drivers who “don’t see” cyclists because they aren’t looking and “I didn’t see him” is allowed as a defense to preclude even getting charged. Instead hitting a cyclist could get one shot in the public square and your body left to rot. Now which do you think would be more effective at getting drivers to stop hitting cyclists? A magic foam hat with flashy lights, or the knowledge that one’s corpse would be left as food for the local feral dog and cat population? As an alternative to public executions, I would allow executing the car instead, by shredding.

And at least he didn’t get killed. Cyclist cops abuse from truck driver for being on a narrow country road Noted in the article was that this is a popular cycling route, has been for years, and that recently sprawl has increased the amount of traffic on this route.

This looks like a great cycling destination. Abandoned States: Pennsylvania’s Abandoned Turnpike Pavement’s a little deteriorated after more than 40 years of disuse and having been laid in the 1930s, but it’s not too bad really, any touring bike that you would use on a gravel trail would work just fine.

He’s almost there! Injured veteran defies the odds to take part in cross-country bike ride (PHOTOS and VIDEO) This was the guy that started in San Diego back at the start of the summer and he’s in Joisey now. Kinda out of the way to go to NJ to get to VA from CA.

Last link is like a huge DUH!!! from me. Mental, physical ailments linger for cyclists injured in crashes The blogger with brain damage from a 2001 wreck concurs.

And now I’m going to get something to drink that isn’t caffeinated, and go get some sleep. I’m also thinking that an allergy pill might be in the offing because my nose is getting stuffy.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the tired Poet

On a Friday dark and dreary as I pondered weak and weary, and the Feed

Don’t worry, there are no talking ravens or any other birds speaking to me here at Casa de El Poeta in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. It’s just a chill and grey day here. I’m actually wearing a shirt with my usual shorts and socks to fend off the chill, and I had to turn on the lights in the office/bedroom where I work. That’s how chill and grey the day is. The “weak and weary” part is up for speculation, but I submit for your consideration the lump on the back of my neck and the Rice Krispies noises coming from the muscles in the close vicinity of that lump. I’m getting tired of having my neck sounding like someone punching out a bowl of potato chips nearly every time I move it, does that fit the “weak and weary” part of the rhyme?

Up first, Y’all can stop sending me the links to this video now. Cyclist’s Camera Catches The Moment He Was Hit by a Deer and WATCH: Cyclist collides with deer during ride in California Also CHRISTMAS CONFLICT I have seen the links and the video. You know because I have posted them here. Stop sending me links to this video. PLEASE!

From the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike, why that is so in two articles. Collier County staffer suspended after threat to plow cyclist off road and Punishment issued for staffer who threatened cyclists The “staffer” basically threatened a cyclist with murder, so she got a paid vacation (leave with pay) before getting a few days off without pay and no jail time… And that’s another reason why FL is the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bicycle.

To go along with the threatened violence in FL, a teen convicted of attempting to assault a cyclist in OR is arrested in conjunction with shooting up a school in the same state. Teen involved in throwing bricks at bike riders implicated in high school shooting Violence against cyclists is not just “road rage”, it is violence, assault or attempted murder. And violence against cyclists that goes lightly punished or completely unpunished leads to violence elsewhere.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Arrest made in Anaheim hit-and-run; saddle up for Selle’s Christmas party in San Diego

One of the links mentioned in Ted’s post also showed up in the Feed. Opinion L.A.’s cyclists should need a special ‘info’ license in order to ride How about drivers should need a special license to drive in LA? Incidentally Gigi would love the comments section, the Stupid is strong with this bunch, except for Bill from SD…

Speaking of Stoopid… EFR tells riders to strive for helmet hair How about drivers should strive to not hit other road users? That would save about 30K people a year if 100% effective.

A driver right hooks a cyclist and complains about the traffic ticket? Halifax councillor fights traffic ticket The driver right hooks the cyclist she just passed and then leaves the scene and she’s fighting the ticket? I could give her 3 tickets and a felony charge if I was on the scene. She got off lucky.

Infrastructure! news from America’s Amsterdam. With or without Vision Zero, a safer Barbur might be an economic win What is the $value of a human life? Because they kill an average of 2 people a year on this stretch of road, reducing that by half would save the $value of that life in addition to the economic benefits.

It happened again. Cyclist left waiting over two hours for an ambulance after crash in central London Last time was about an hour and a half, so things are deteriorating for cyclists. Eventually they are going to be so late that a cyclist that would have lived dies from something that could have been caught had they gotten medical attention sooner.

FB page to a cargo HPV. Johanson3 SA

Another “safety” innovation that depends on you having the right kind of cell phone to work. Volvo to Demonstrate In-Car Cyclist Alert System at CES I’m sorry, but I can’t get behind or otherwise in favor of “safety” developments that are dependent on my having the right kind of ceel phone to protect me from a light armored vehicle.

E-assist fat bike for when you want to ride in snow or across loose sand. iGO Electric FatBike I never rode a fat bike, but they tell me they’re fun in the conditions I mentioned at the start of the paragraph.

And I seem to have run out of links again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet