Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Monday, July 31, 2023


Basler BT-67 and Twin Otter at Kugaaruk CYBB (formerly known as Pelly Bay) in Nunavut

I occasionally hear about airliners landing in the frozen when the encounter problems flying from Europe or Japan. I've read about ski planes in Alaska and I've posted a couple of pictures of airplanes flying into Antarctica, but this is the first time I've seen an airplane up here.

A Basler-BT67 is essentially a DC-3 equipped with turboprop engines.

Nakurmiik - Hooké Film

Kugaaruk has an airfield and North Warning System Radar station nearby.

Kugaaruk, NU, Canada
Area shown is roughly 2,500 miles across and 1,500 miles north to south

Last time we were in this area we were reading The Terror about Franklin's disastrous voyage to find the Northwest Passage back in 1845, and we were a hundred miles to the west on the other side of the penninsula.

Update January 2024 corrected video id.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

The Witcher: Blood Origin | Official Trailer | Netflix

More tales from the Witcher universe. Costumes, sets and action are great. Plot is pretty straightforward, dialog is not bad. Some of it is clever, some of it is clumsy. Cute girls, manly men, and bizarre eye makeup on the empress.


30 year old cardboard box full of stuff

My wife wanted to take down some hooks in the bathroom so I gave her a screwdriver. She takes down the hooks, but then she pulls out the toilet paper holder and she notices something blue inside the wall. She drops the screwdriver on its head and the black button on the end of the handle pops out. She puts the button back in, but then she notices the spring that came out with the button. She brings this to me out on the patio. I set about trying to take the button mechanism apart so as to reinsert the spring. I am having no luck, the booger does not want to come out. So I unscrew the whole mechanism from the handle. Now I am able to disassemble the whole thing and restore the spring. However, in all the fussing and fighting I have managed to lose the tiny bits of the actual switch, so while the button is now spring loaded, the switch is gone. It was a stupid idea anyway. It has two LED lights shining along the shaft which are great, but it uses tiny AAA batteries instead of the more gooder AA batteries. Triple A's are only good for things that use a very tiny amount of power. Or maybe for things you hardly ever use. Except batteries still go dead and leak if they are forgotten for a very long time. I might have had better luck just dropping the screwdriver on the ground, but my mind doesn't work like that.

Magic Screwdriver

The screwdriver is reassembled, the light doesn't work, but it didn't work before because there were no batteries in it, so no real change. Now my wife tells me about the blue thing in the wall, so I go upstairs upstairs to take a look. There is something in there, what is it? A crumpled up cardboard box. I take it back downstairs to show my wife. Then I look at the pile of tools and what not I have dragged out to work on the flashlight and I think maybe this box can be used to carry all this back into the house, and it does.

They Cloned Tyrone | Official Trailer | Netflix

The first half was very funny. Eventually it morphs into an action movie but we go through some strange days getting there.

P. S. It starts off with people being rude and vulgar, but after the initial conflict is dealt with, although the language doesn't markedly change, the attitude does and you realize that this is just everyday polite conversation.

Credit card thief :-(

Stu posted about a credit card problem, which prompted me to relate what happened to me over the last couple of weeks.

I got snookered by a bogus Harbor Freight survey. Take the survey and we'll give you a free tool kit,  they said, all you have to do is pay the $8 shipping. It seemed to be too good to be true, but many of tools at Harbor Freight are unbelievably cheap, so maybe this is legit. Besides it's only $8.

A few days later I got an email from Chase telling me about a $70 charge they found suspicious. They were correct, it was bogus, so I confirmed their suspicions via their website, where upon they canceled my card and sent me a new one which showed up a week later.

When my monthly statement arrived (via snail mail), I noticed that the tag on the $8 shipping charge was the same as the one on the bogus $70 charge. I don't think I'm getting a free tool kit. I tried calling Chase but got nowhere, so I went to their website again, disputed the $8 charge and they credited my account immediately.

This is the second time I have had my card yanked out from under me because of some turd trying to steal my money, so I figured maybe I should get a second card. I had another card that I got from Citi a couple of years ago. I quit using it because they irritated me, but being irritated by a credit card company is like being irritated by the sun - neither one gives a shit about your irritation, they just shine on. Anyway, called them up to activate the card and they said sure, no problem, but when I tried to use it a couple of days later it didn't work, so I called them again. Oh, they tell me, that account was closed a long time ago, you'll need to apply for a new one.

The voice connection with Citi was horrible, it sounded like someone was strangling cats in the background. When I asked the operator about it she told me she was working in the office and that was just normal office noise. Yeah, maybe in a cat-strangling factory that might be normal but I've never heard anything like that in an office, or anywhere else really, except maybe when fax machines are trying to establish a connection.

1712 Poltava

Putin reviews the fleet on Navy Day

I'm watching a video on RT and Putin cruises by a big, old square-rigged sailing ship. I am a sucker for such ships, so I go digging around and find that the ship is the Poltava, a replica of a ship built by Peter the Great in 1712. The replica was launched in 2018.

Elaborate Stern

If you are going to talk about old sailing ships, you really need a picture of the ship with all sails set,  bowling along through the raging sea. I go looking. I find all kinds of pictures of the ship, but they are mostly just pictures of the ship sitting in the harbor with no sails showing at all. But I did find some others.



Digital Model

All Sails Set

Friday, July 28, 2023

A Big Raise for Congressmen?

My theory is that the entire Federal Congress and the administration are totally corrupt. They are passing these enormous spending bills solely for the purpose of getting kickbacks from the benefactors of this spending. And who can blame them? They are in charge of one of the biggest economies in the world and they are getting salaries comparable to what any mid-level manager in the private sector is getting. Congressmen should be getting salaries like $10 million a year, something comparable to what CEO's of large corporations make. If we combined that with a serious anti-corruption campaign, things might improve.After all, these days Congressmen have to spend government money to get a kickback, but if they get the kickback up front (whether they spend government money or not) it might lead to some better decisions for the country.

Update July 30, revised the last couple of sentences to make them clear.

Belinda Dream

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago, probably right around the time I got the second surgery on my hip.

I've been having some vivid dreams this week, probably due to the drugs I've been given. Those dreams haven't been very coherent until this morning. 

I am staying at a low-rent motel just outside of town. The buildings are white, the parking lot is asphalt, there aren't too many cars there but there isn't any trash either. It's like all business. It's situated by the side of a four lane asphalt highway and has its own traffic light. The bulk of the property is about a quarter mile long and is separated from the highway by a field of grass about a hundred yards wide. There is a road with an office that connects the main area with the highway at the traffic light. I need to go into town which means turning left onto the highway, but evidently I don't want to wait for the light or maybe I got a wild hair to do a little exploring, so I drive my pickup truck across the field of grass. The grass is like straw and about a foot or two tall, so it's tall enough to cover any small bumps or holes. I drive slowly and it is a little bumpy, but not too bad. I pull up at the highway and there isn't much traffic, so I pull out and head into town.

A little while later I do it again, or maybe my recorder just replayed the earlier sequence. Then some things happen and I interact with some people and now I need to head into town again but this time I'm driving a little dark colored car. As I am driving across the parking lot I see a woman riding a bicycle. It's an old fashioned girls bike. She's wearing black and white clothes with white tennis shoes. There's some pink in there as well, maybe a scarf or maybe the bike.

I take the same route across the field, only it's not bumpy, but maybe this car has magic suspension - it rides like a dream, man. It's later in the day and traffic is much heavier, so it might take a while before there is an opening in the traffic that will allow me to pull out. Long before that happens a couple of cars have come to a stop with their left turn signals on. They are halfway off of the road. I'm thinking they want to pull in to where I am sitting, which is kind of weird because it's not like I am sitting any place special, they could turn in anywhere. At least I don't think it's anyplace special, maybe it is the only place where you can turn off the highway, so I turn right onto the shoulder so I will be out of their way. This doesn't improve the situation. The other two cars don't turn in and they don't pull off the road, rather they keep pace with me. I'm on the shoulder and they are still halfway on the highway.

I don't recall this situation being resolved. The next thing I know I'm driving down the highway into town and what do you know? I pass the woman on the bicycle.

In town, presumably, I am inside an old shopping mall. The first place I see is like an intersection between three or so wings. Most of the places look closed up, lots of blue walls, but its well kept, no trash to speak of, the floors are reasonably clean and the lights all work. I go into a section where there are a series of booths, like you might see in other countries, nothing like the fortress of commerce that fill our malls here. I go to a donut shop and buy a couple giant chocolate bars. They're big, twice as long, wide and thick as the ones you get at 7-11.

On my way out I go through the same intersection I came through on the way in. This time I stopped at a shelf that held a pile of mail. I picked up a handful of the mail and looked though it and found a letter addressed to Belinda. I put the pile of mail back down. Obviously Belinda is the name of the girl on the bicycle.

Real Talk About Nicotine

Hrayr Karagueuzian on radioactive particles in cigarettes

Handwaving Freakoutery has a post up about cigarettes, nicotine and the evil CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a branch of the evil Federal government. It's great stuff, but he left out my favorite theory about lung cancer: 

It's the radioactive lead in the fertilizer that is used on tobacco plants in the field. Some dude did a study many moons ago and found that lung cancer lungs were full of radioactive lead.

Google found a bunch of links that apparently confirm my theory.

The post had a couple of terms that I had to look up:

  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of drugs that inhibit the activity of one or both monoamine oxidase enzymes: monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B). They are best known as effective antidepressants, especially for treatment-resistant depression and atypical depression.[1] They are also used to treat panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, Parkinson's disease, and several other disorders.
  • Nootropics, also known as “smart drugs” are a diverse group of medicinal substances whose action improves human thinking, learning, and memory, especially in cases where these functions are impaired.

The impossible truth about Afghanistan

Liza Anvary, an Afghan refugee (Ximena Borrazas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In “The Impossible Fact”, the 20th-century German poet Christian Morgenstern tells the story of an academic who undergoes a traumatising experience. He staggers home, wraps damp cloths around his forehead and collapses into his armchair to process what has happened. In the end, he comforts himself by concluding that he must have imagined the whole thing, because if something “shouldn’t be true, it can’t be true”.
She goes on to liken our western foreign policy experts to this academic because what is happening in Afghanistan is not what they expected, therefor it must not be true. She points out the discrepencies between what our western experts say must be happening and what has actually happened in Afghanistan. I like it because it reinforces my opinion that the people in charge of our foreign policy are a pack of raving hyenas that have no idea what they are doing.

She does dabble in women's rights, but I think that is pretty much wishful thinking. Hill people steeped in Islam are not going to be inclined to change their ways, especially on the advice of raving hyenas.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Jain - Makeba (Official Video)

Jain - Makeba (Official Video)

Heard this tune on the radio coming home from the show in Portland Wednesday evening. Saw the giant chimney (at the 2:28 mark) and wondered where it was. South Africa someplace. Trying to figure that out led me to this explanation of the name.

This is the story behind Makeba

I dunno about the chimney. Wikipedia has a list of tall structures, but none of the chimneys seem to be anywhere near a big city, so it's probably just an illusion.

Map of Tall Chimneys in South Africa 

The Densest City on Earth

A complete history of Kowloon Walled City from the beginning, through the Opium Wars up until the end in the 1990's. Plenty of things I had heard of but only in isolation. This video ties it all together.


‌‌Winter Sonata

You probably want to put this on a big screen. The scene is just perfect. As far as I know, no one ever shows up. It's nice to look at for a couple of minutes, but I'm not going to sit watching this for an hour.

SIX The Musical | Tony Awards Performance

SIX The Musical | Tony Awards Performance

Six women telling their stories as wives of Henry VIII, King of England back in the 1500's. Well, that's what it was supposed to be, but I had a difficult time figuring out the words. I think I was only  able to pick out one word out of a dozen. I blame the operatic production - loud music and loud singing - not the kind of sound you get from pop music where you can actually hear the words. Sub-titles would have helped. There wasn't much of a story, just a sequence of songs supposedly telling us something. All Musicals has the  lyrics, if you are interested.

Wives and Lives of Henry VIII

Wednesday, July 26, 2023



Just the sexiest girl I've seen in a while. The music is ghastly, but I don't think it's what shes dancing to. Too bad we don't get the original sound.

Patrice Lumumba

Propaganda poster by Viktor Koretsky. First prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo Patrice Lumumba, who was killed in 1961. Inscription reads: “He carried Africa in his heart.”

RT has collection of Soviet era propaganda posters depicting the Soviet Union as a friend of Africa.

Patrice Lumumba was executed by the Belgians who were loath to relinquish their hold over the Congo.

Sixty years later and Africa is still a mess. All the aid the west has poured into that continent seems to have gone down the drain or into secret Swiss bank accounts. Now the Chinese and the Russians are making advances there. Maybe if we hadn't let dunderheads run things Africa might not be such a mess. Yeah, well, if wishes were horses and all that. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Suburban Life

I don't know why we decided to remodel the kitchen while we both recovering from joint replacement surgery. It was my wife's idea, but I went along with it. I mean it sounds insane, but do you want to be inconvenienced by three separate disasters, each of which is going to consume two months of your time, or do you schedule them all for the same time and so get all your suffering compressed into two months of extra-strength suffering? We are both getting around pretty good, I would not be afraid of trying to walk from the parking lot all the way to the back of Home Depot, something I wouldn't even consider before my surgery. I was in pretty bad shape then.

So why am I telling you all this? Well, I will get to it, I hope. So after months of planning and discussion, the actual hammer-hits-the-nail remodeling will begin in a week. We wanted to clear out all the furniture from the upper two floors. We did this for two reasons, one it gets the stuff out of the way of the mechanics who are going to be doing the work, and we don't have to worry about it being damaged while the remodeling operation is going on. (Damage I can live with, it's the endless recriminations that I don't want).

So when you empty two floors of your house, where do you put all the furniture and stuff? Do not underestimate the amount of stuff. We've been here 30 years, more or less, and boy oh boy, do we have stuff.

What we did is we hired a moving company to shift the furniture in the house. All the stuff on the main floor goes to the basement, all the stuff in the top floor goes to the main floor. The upstairs remodel isn't externsive, paint and carpet mostly if I recall. It should be done in a week. Then the stuff on the main floor can be moved back to the top floor, leaving the main floor clear for the remodel.

So the movers came today and shift everything down one floor and now the basement is cosy, to put it mildly.

Since the last surgery I have been sitting in an office chair to watch TV. It's not nearly as comfortable as the recliner I usually use, but I was trying to be a good boy and follow the doc's instructions and don't bend my hips more than 90 degrees and getting out of a recliner usually means going into a crouch when you rock forward to get out of the chair.

How-so-some-ever, when the boys shifted the furniture, the office chair I had been using to watch TV got shuffled off somewhere (who knows? how did we get so much stuff?) so when I went to look at the TV in its new location and contemplate having to connect all the cables, I bethinks to have a seat while I mutilate on this job and I plop down into the recliner. When I realize what I have done I immediately think 'bad boy' followed instantly by 'this seat is pretty damn comfortable'. Later on I found myself at my desk with no memory of how I got here. Blame that on not getting any sleep last night.

Anyway, while I was reclining I also thought about how one could get out of this chair without bending more than 90 degrees. You might be able to do it by just getting up in the normal manner, I should try it. The other way I thought of would be to slide to the floor and then roll onto your hands and knees, crawl across the floor until you reach something you can use to pull yourself up. I have used that method before I had surgery. That hip wasn't good for much.

Blast from the Past

Pink Shoelaces - Dodie Stevens Live 1959

It was a big hit in 1959 when I was only eight years old. I guess young minds are impressionable. It's a social media craze today.

World War 2 Ice Cream of the US NAVY

Just imagine: a barge full of ice cream.

Monday, July 24, 2023

People Just Like To Argue

The flapjack king and the archaeologist and his army. Photo: Stefan Ruiz

Older son turned me on to this story about a New York restaurant mogul's eight year war with a volunteer outfit in Fishkill New York. The fight is over a plot of land that may, or may not, be a revolution era graveyard for soldiers. It doesn't sound like anyone cared about the land until the mogul announced plan's to build an IHOP restaurant there. Of course, in a backwoods like Fishkill they might have thought they had all the time in world to work on their plans and it wasn't until Mr. Mogul came up with his plan that they got motivated to do something about it. Or maybe they were just nursing a grudge against the world because their dream of a historic national monument had not come to fruition and Mr. Mogul just provided a target for their pent up rage. The whole thing sounds stupid, a whole like the war of words being fought by the Democrats and Republicans. The issues don't matter so much as they want someone to argue with. People suck.

Reading this story I came across a couple bits of information.

I-84 East, Fishkill is dead center

I-84 West

  • President Trump was born in Queens.
  • Catskills looks a lot like Fishkill, I mean they both contain the name of an animal and the word 'kill'. Are the Catskills where they killed cats? Kill is Dutch for creek so it's more likely it was derived from Kat's creek, Kat being some Dutch dude.

Computer Security

U.S. Cyber Trust Mark

Borepatch has a post up about some new government standards for the Internet-Of-Things (IOT). His post inspired Landroll to comment:

Ah yes! Excellent. Just had a valuable lesson on the Internet of Things. Decided to quit HP Instant Ink program. Printer is now locked up with ink cartridge carrier in home position. Can not get old ink cartridge out to install new HP cartridge. PO'd much? why yes. Glad you asked.

Also bestirred me enough to comment: 

Typical. Industry charges on with their haphazard methods of building new widgets, blindly oblivious to the side-effects their new whiz bang gizmos create. This goes on until enough people get fed up and start making a fuss. Eventually the government gets involved and we get a new bureaucracy and a big fricking pile of new regulations. Well, what you gonna do? That's modern life in the USA.

I've had an idea kicking around for awhile that maybe what we need are some sealed modules for communication, modules that were tested and 'certified' to be secure. Problem is that people are very good at counterfeiting, so how would you know whether the module you hold in your hand is legit or not? Well, where did you get it? And do you trust them? It all comes down to personal trust.

Direct from Kazakhstan

Ayumi - Hey-La

When I come across a music video in my internet surfing I will usually just add it to Watch Later and skip it. I don't visit my Watch Later list very often, but this morning I opened it up and scrolled down a ways and picked this one to start. What a happy surprise. Problem with the Watch Later list is there is no indication of when I added it or where I found it. So if you posted this tune, thank you.

The Drone Industry has been infected by the Transformer Disease

NEW Type of Drone is GAME-CHANGING!
Tech Planet

A lot of these drones look like they might be too complicated for their own good, but mostly they are experimental. Some of this stuff may end up being useful.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Pembleton Motorcar

The Pembleton T24 Exclusive Review - The LIGHTEST New car you've never heard of
The Late Brake Show

This is just the coolest thing, though how he gets it licensed without any modern safety features escapes me. Maybe the low weight gives him some leeway. It's a rich man's play pretty, though you don't have to be a zillionaire, they cost about $42K.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Computational Tom Foolery

Harder Drive: Hard drives we didn't want or need

This is an entertaining bit of nonsense. He looks at three unusual methods of storing data, none of them are practical or efficient, but he does take us down some strange byways. 

He makes a couple of stupid remarks about political stuff but not everyone is aware of how much bullshit there is in the narrative, so I'm willing to overlook these minor faults. Also, the video is a year old. His opinion may have changed.

Sleeping Dog - Trailer (Official) | Season 1 | Netflix [English]

The missus and I seem to have recovered enough from respective ordeals that we can resume our two hours of Netflix each evening. This one is pretty good. We've got a very good sample of most every urban social problem. We have gay Muslims, homeless people, a suspended cop with mental problems estranged from his wife and daughter. We've got a murder and a cover up, an annoyingly strict boss lady, a black young woman who has just joined a squad of detectives, a cute young white woman who works for the nasty boss lady. So it's mostly about life among the rubbish. There's a plot that creeps onto the screen in bits and pieces, just enough to keep you hooked, but not enough to reveal or even suggest the answer. It's darn near perfect. Or maybe it's just been so long since I've been able to sit through two hours of Netflix.

Notes on 'The Commodore' by Patrick O'Brian

Chapter 1

Broad bottomed bottle

Captain Aubrey and his friend Captain Dundas are heading home after long voyages. They are  drinking port from a broad bottomed bottle somewhere between Ushant and the Scilly Isles and are on the point of parting company. Dundas is heading for Portsmouth, Aubrey for Shelmerston and Dr. Maturin is headed for London.

Dundas confesses he is almost certainly going to arrested for debt once he lands at Portsmouth, and asks Aubrey if he could loan him 1,000 guineas. Aubrey, flush with loot from a very successful voyage, readily agrees as he has several hundred pounds of gold and silver on board.

So how much does 1,000 guineas of gold wiegh? Back in 1800 a Guinea was another term for an English pound sterling, one pound was worth $4.44 American and one ounce of gold was worth $20.

One thousand guineas would be worth $4,440, divide that $20 per ounce and we have 222 ounces. Divide that by 16 ounces per pound and we have 13 and 7/8 pounds, which is just shy of one stone (14 pounds). So it's something a man can carry, but you are going to notice the weight.

Given that gold is now somewhere around $2,000 an ounce, one stone of gold would be worth just shy of half a million dollars.

Ushant, the Scilly Isles & The English Channel
Key to Above Map

Just the first few places mentioned in Chapter 1. No matter how many islands I learn about, there is always a new one popping up. I've come across Ushant before (probably in another one of Patrick O'Brian's novels), but I never realized it was an island.

Aches and Pains

Just some observations on my life in the recuperation lane.

Every since my surgery last Friday little aches and pains have been showing up in various places. This may have been happening since my first surgery just over three weeks ago, but my memory of that time has been lost in an anesthetic haze.

Sometimes half of my hand or foot will fall asleep. My hand or foot will be divided by a line that runs between the third and fourth digits - i.e. the outer most two digits and that side of the appendage will fall asleep and I'll get that tingling sensation you get when an arm or leg falls asleep. Diligent flexing of the affected appendage will generally wake it up and the tingling will go away.

Occasionally I will get a cramp in my legs. Before my first surgery cramps in my calves were  becoming more frequent. Since then they have diminished considerably. Now and again I will get a mild one in the back of my left thigh, the one that didn't cut into.

Last night I got a muscle spasm around my right hip joint. This was almost in the same place as when my hip dislocated itself a week and a half ago. That was a bit concerning. The pain hung around for an hour or so but this morning it's gone.

Yesterday I got a pain in my right shoulder. That was weird, why should I be getting a pain there?

Cramps are more intense versions of muscle spasms. Neither one is under conscious control, but cramps are intense, painful and will get my full attention. Muscle spasms are more like little curiousities - huh, look at that. Cramps can generally be cleared by stretching the affected muscle, though sometimes it takes a lot of work. Muscle spasms generally go away by themselves after a few seconds.

Friday, July 21, 2023

NASCAR at LeMans

Garage 56 Camaro at LeMans - Chris Graythen

Seeing a stock American car at LeMans makes me happy. It didn't win, but it did finish and it did make a respectable showing. I'm not up on how LeMans is run. Near as I can tell there were two classes of cars running, fast and superfast. The Camaro couldn't keep up with the superfast ones but had no problem with the fast cars. Road & Track has the story.

Arseny Avraamov - Symphony Of Factory Sirens

Arseny Avraamov - Symphony Of Factory Sirens (Public Event, Baku 1922)
Miguel Negrón Oyarzo

This tune, if you can call it that, is just nuts. The BBC has a story about the Arseny and his symphony.

New York Post Editor Emma Jo Morris

Former New York Post Editor Laughs When Detailing Censorship Of Bombshell Hunter Biden Laptop Story
Forbes Breaking News

The title Forbes gave the video is idiotic, but maybe that's how fancy-pants media outlets get eyeballs on their videos. A better title is:

Well, those are some damning accusations, but is anything going to happen, like arrests, trials, convictions or prison? One can hope, but as slimy as politicians are I won't be surprised if they all skate free.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


It's been five days since I've had a shower and my wife tells me I'm getting a little ripe, so we're going to try and get rid of some of the stink this afternoon. I've had very little energy which is not surprising given the second round of surgery, but I also haven't been getting much sleep. Pain is negligible, but sleep is elusive. Two nights I tried going without an oxycodone, but it didn't work. I finally gave up around 3 AM and took one of these prescription opioids. That allowed me to sleep but I wonder what's going on. Am I getting hooked on this stuff? Insidious is what it is.

I suppose I'll need to keep taking it until my hip has healed properly just so I can get enough sleep. Then maybe I'll be able to tolerate going without sleep for a couple of days until I relearn how to sleep without it.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Revisit Hospital

Went in for surgery Friday afternoon to correct the misaligned hip joint. Is misaligned the right word? Seems appropriate. Didn't go to the Operating Room till around 4PM. Last time I was here they sedated me as well as given me a spinal block. I remember a whole lot more about the pre-op and post-op this time. For instance, I remember scooting off of the gurney and onto the operating table, and then sitting there while they started sticking a needle in my back. That was it until I woke up in post-op.

KCI's Prevena Incision Management System
$4,000 - Disposable

Saturday I was pretty much in limbo, just kind of lying there, dozing now and again. Since I only spent one night here the first time I expected the same this time. All was fine until we get to the occupational therapy (last step before discharge) and we notice the incision is bleeding, not gushing, but more than a couple of spots. They apply pressure with a big fat elastic bandage but that doesn't quite do the trick, so they hooked me up with a portable vacuum pump to suck the excess blood away and call it good.

Well, good enough. Here it is two days later and there is no sign of blood in the tubing, but this electronic leech is supposed to stay attached to my hip for a week. I would have been better off spending another night in the hospital.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Emergency Room Visit

Two weeks ago I had surgery to replace my worn out hip joint. Wednesday morning I was supposed to visit the doctor for a routine follow up visit, see if everything is progressing okay. At 4:30 AM Wednesday morning I felt a muscle spasm around my new hip joint and a clunk-a-bunk sound and all of a sudden I couldn't move. Well, I could move my hands and feet but that right leg wasn't going anywhere. What do I do? I could holler for my wife, but she's sleeping, she's had a rough couple of days with her own problems, and I am loathe to disturb her. I can scoot down the bed until my lower legs are hanging over the edge, but that's as far as I can get.

About 5:30 AM I hear rustling noises so I know the boss is awake and I start hollering. Eventually I get her attention and we start figuring out what to go. I call the clinic and talk to the on-call doc and he advises me to call 911 and get an ambulance ride to the hospital, so we put that in motion.

Ambulance and fire truck arrive about 6:30 AM. I always wondered why they always seem to send a fire truck along with an ambulance, now I know. It's for the man power. For the ambulance crew to be able to deal with the patient, first they need to extricate them from wherever they are. In my case you wouldn't think it would be too bad, but they still had to get 240 pound dead weight out of bed and down the stairs. The six of them carried me in some kind of blanket. It was a bit snug going down the stairs, but we all got down without incident.

The ride to the hospital was uneventful though a bit bumpy. I always thought ambulances would have a soft, cushy ride, but they don't. They must have rocks for springs. I felt every bump in the road. It wasn't painful, just annoying. The ride on the stretcher into the Emergency Room wasn't much better. I think the hospital must get the wheels for their gurneys at the scratch and dent sale. Bump, bump, bump, bump all the way down the all. It would all be tolerable except that all the floors in the hospital are glass smooth. You'd think with all the pristine floor they could spend an extra quarter on getting some ROUND wheels.

Once they got me ensconced in the ER they hooked me up with an IV (Intra-Venous line) and gave me a dose of dilaudid, also know as hydromorphone. That gave the whole ER thing a warm, fuzzy glow.

Clay from the clinic came by and introduced himself. He was there to assist Dr. Wang with getting my hip joint back together. That was the last I saw of him. A bit later I'm wondering when they are going to get going and the nurse tells me they're getting ready to take another X-ray to make sure the joint was back together, and I'm like what? When did they do that? While I was knocked out, apparently.

My wife drove me home. We stopped and picked up a couple of cheeseburgers on the way and were home by 2:30 PM.

My surgeon was a bit distraught over this turn of events, but evidently thinks she has identified the problem, so I will be going in for surgery again tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

Hip joints becoming dislocated is a rare but not unknown event, but usually when these rare events happen, the ball part of the joint goes backwards. In my case it went forwards which makes it double rare. My wife wants to know why. I tell her it's because I'm a Martian and we're just weird.

P. S. I hoped to include a video of me being carried down the stairs, but it hasn't been dropped into my grubby little hands yet, so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Cougar Dream

Ashland Cougar

I have just arrived at an old house. There are two or three other people there already. The place is a little scruffy, but habitable, kind of like a house rented out to students near a college campus. It's getting late so I go to bed. I sleep for a couple of hours but now I need to use the bathroom. (That much is realistic.) One of the other people is wearing a bathrobe and is slumped across a desk. Seems everyone is asleep. All the lights are on in the kitchen so I set about turning them off. If I turn them all off, it will be completely dark, but there is one that is blocked from shining directly into the other rooms, so I turn it on. It's like a candle lamp with a vertical glass tube about a foot tall and two inches in diameter. But it's not a candle. There are two pull chains hanging from the side of the tube, one near the bottom and another about halfway up. I pull the first one and something in the tube starts rising from the bottom. When it gets about halfway up I pull the second chain and it continues stopping a couple inches short of the top. The light is now on.

I head to the bathroom. I have to go through another room to get there. When I get there, there is what looks like a body wrapped up in a blanket propped up on the toilet. It's not a body, it's a dude who is feeling poorly. He offers to move, but I tell him not to bother. He looks miserable and I am not going to contribute to his misery. Back in the previous room I notice there is a young woman wrapped in a blanket and curled up in an overstuffed armchair. I realize this must be the couple that we were expecting. She too offers to make the toilet available, but I decline, I tell her I'll go water the shrubbery in the backyard.

I head out the backdoor. It's light enough to see, it's either a full moon or street lights, in any case nothing like my real pitch-black backyard. There isn't as much shrubbery as I expected, and the neighboring houses are maybe a couple dozen yards away, so I start walking across the yard. The house in back of ours is adjacent to an empty lot. I start walking across the lot. The lot fronts on a road and there is a slight embankment there. There is a tree by the road. I walk up to the tree and look across the road and that's when I see three cougars (mountain lions) prowling the hillside on the other side of the road. One of them notices me and starts walking in my direction. He's about as far from me as I am from my back door. I look for something I could use as a weapon and find a couple of rocks about the size of a billiard ball. Do I scream? Call 911? Throw a rock? Run? Instead of making a decision I wake up.

Note about the picture. In my dream, the cougars were in black and white. Ask Google for photos of cougars at night' and all the pics are either in full color or have glowing devil eyes.

Nick Goes Fishing

My nephew somewhere between Anchorage and Seattle

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Chain Ferry

Plan for the French chain boat, La Vill de Sens (1850)
Click image to embiggenate
Note driving wheels in the center and the path of the chain over the deck.
From the looks of things, it may have a two speed transmission.

In season 3, episode 4, of The Witcher, our band of heroes catches a ride on a chain ferry. That's a new one on me. I've ridden the Canby cable ferry and I've heard of big chains being stretched across rivers or harbor entrances to keep enemy ships out, but I haven't come across a chain ferry. There undoubtabedly were some in the bad old days, but the ones that are still around have all been converted to using steel cables and nobody seems to have preserved any of the old stuff. I did find one drawing of a chain boat (above) which was used for traveling up and down rivers, not just across them. They followed a chain that lay on the river bed. They picked up the chain at the bow, passed it down the length of the boat and dropping it off the back end. In the middle of the boat they had a couple of wheels driven by a steam engine that engaged the chain and propelled the boat along.

The ferry in the show crosses the north sea, a pretty fair distance since you can't see the far shore. You might think, like me, that this is unlikely, but the ancients dig all kinds of amazing things. It might not have been a good idea, but there isn't any reason it couldn't have been done, especially since this is a fairy tale. Oh, and there's no sign of an engine and there isn't much in the way of payload, but you know, maybe it's the off season. All in all an impressive prop for such a brief appearance.

Screen shots from the show on Netflix:

The ferry at the dock. No sign of the far side.

A closer view of the ferry at the dock

A view down the length of the boat. You can see the big idler wheel in the center with Ciri sitting dangerously close by.

The drive and idler wheels and the chain. Ciri and Geralt in the background.

A close up view of the ferry.

A close up of the monster's tail that has just been severed by the chain wheel. Monster bleeds green blood.

Ed Teaches The Team Old Tricks! Bombi Build

Matt of Matt's Offroad Recovery is rebuilding his snow cat pretty much from the ground up. After stripping it down to the bare chassis, one of the first things they want to do is mount some new idler wheels. The brand new tires need to be mounted on the brand new wheels. There are eight of them, so they decide to hold a competition to see who can spoon a tire onto a rim the fastest. They are doing this by hand using just a couple of tire irons, no fancy tire mounting machine. It's kind of like a lumberjack competition where they chop down a tree using an ax. The competition starts at 12:27.


TaNix Bluetooth Audio Adapter for Home Stereo

I'm expanding my Bluetooth horizons. I bought two gadgets from Amazon so I can get tunes more places. They cost about $20 each, are very small and don't require any batteries. The TaNix does require power, just another cable to add to the home stereo snarl.

IMDEN Bluetooth 5.0 FM Transmitter for Car

We moved our antique home stereo to the basement in preparation for the big kitchen remodeling project, so I use it when I'm riding the Peloton. Using my smartphone with the Bluetooth gadget lets me control the volume and change the tune without having to get off the bike. I put the IMDEN unit in my wife's car. Looking for empty space on the FM radio dial, I was surprised how full it is.

Getting connected, 'paired' in Bluetooth parlance, sometimes requires some fiddling, but I think I've worked out a protocol. So now I've got five Bluetooth receivers that I can use: these two plus the my office speaker, the built in one in my truck, and a pair of fancy headphones. Six if you count the one in my daughter's Mazda. I've got enough playlists built up on YouTube Music to keep me pretty well entertained.

The only problem with IMDEN is that the CONNECTING announcement is rather loud.

I also bought a bracket to hold my smartphone on the Peloton handlebars, also less than $20. The clamp that holds it to the handlebar is tough enough, but the clamp that holds the phone is weak, adequate, but weak. I'd get something tougher next time.

The Swingsationals - Sing Sing Sing

The Swingsationals - Sing Sing Sing
Swingin' in the Rennes

Dancing girls, upbeat music, just my speed.