Well that was unexpected…

catplayLeaving work this evening I ran into construction on one way out of downtown, an accident on another, and I don’t even know what was going on the third way I tried.

So…I created a 4th way…and ended up in the arts district…in traffic…again.

Just when I was certain the entire city should be written off, mumbling to myself, “I vote we take off and nuke the site from orbit…it’s the only way to be sure”…well…the unexpected occurred.

Random cat girl got on my bike with me.

That’s not a misprint.

Random cat girl.

And not just any random cat girl…one of the young, hormone carbonating big-tittied variety…in a blue thong bikini…(made of dental floss as best as I can tell)…

Fluffy, electrically articulated cat ears…big fluffy tail and all (the tail hiding far more than the bikini)…she jumped on the bike at an intersection, pressed her…ur…assets hard into my back, hugged me tight, gave me a big kiss (bite?) on the side of my neck, and said, “Let’s get out of here” or something like that…(carbonated hormones can seriously impact hearing).

I hesitated…for a couple reasons…those pesky carbonating hormones again…the traffic…and frankly…because this seasoned biker…this experienced man of the world…had absolutely no idea what to do.

None. Nada. Zero. Zip. Complete short circuit.

I mean…I’m pretty sure the wife wouldn’t want be to bring home just any uh…stray cat…

Apparently I stiffened (hah! see what I did there?)

In one fluid movement she leaped off the bike saying “OHMYGODYOU’RENOTNASH” (or bash, stache, or whoever she had thought I was when she leaped ON the bike)…and blushed clean to her nipples. I would have thought any hormone carbonator that would go out in that getup would be beyond blushing, but…well…it was cute.

I stared.
Her ears twitched.
I grinned.
She smiled and waved sheepishly. “Well, bye!”

Her tail swished as she turned and fled.

The guy in the pickup next to me gave me a thumbs up.

I decided I should probably breathe again.

I had been having a pretty sucky day. This moment simply turned that around. With a smile on my face and a shake of my head I headed out of town.

Accosted by a random cat girl and it just absolutely made my day. Maybe my week! Yeah, I’m a guy. Get over it.

And maybe Dallas isn’t such a total loss after all….and I’ve a new favorite route out of town.

Now…if you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some things to “discuss” with my own hormone carbonator. (“C’mere wife!”)

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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If nothing else…I can say I lived.

One of my friends…that *knows* what a “very good” audio system is…better strain said system to the limits playing this and about three other songs at my wake…yanno…when that day comes that I miss a step in this perilous dance we call “life”.

I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The sink…

An update to this post is at the bottom:

Four or five weeks ago the sink in our office break-room was stopped up…and some guy came to work on it for a couple hours. The result was it was taken apart and left that way.

Weeks. To fix a sink drain.

Rightly fearing that a company that can’t manage to hire the right guy to fix a sink could have other issues, our staff has been somewhat concerned.

Since we’re tech types…and the offending sink is in a tech building…what follows was probably inevitable.

*cough*I’veNoIdeaHowThatHappened*cough*

Inspired by THIS event…

The Sink:

on_sink

The posts:

am_I_the_only

hump-day-meme

I_will_find_you

its_a_trap

nobody_got_time

onedoesnot

portal

sean-bean-winter-is-coming_new

shutitoff

there_may_come

what_if

Y-U-No

An update on this:
Within a couple hours the memes had been removed.
Within 4 hours there was a plumber here.
Within 6 hours we had an email saying it was fixed (it wasn’t).
Two days later it was fixed.

I wonder where else we can apply this great power?
CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Which today?

The most powerful things…and every day…the same question:

Creation? Destruction? A little of both?

creation_or_destruction

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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The Cage…Verdict is in…CVT means “Zoom Zoom”!

Regular readers might recall a few months ago that the wife’s ride was beginning to misbehave and needed some repair. Fourteen years, two major “smacks”, 180-something thousand enthusiastic miles, and many adventures (and misadventures) across the nation had begun to take their toll.

So I repaired it…I do believe it underestimated the depths of my resolve on this matter.

Well, we’ve now had the time and miles (including two emergency trips to the east coast) to put the new ride through its paces…and the verdict is in.

Short of it is…the car rocks. Powerful. Comfortable. Extremely competent handling (active stability controls)…and it gets 35-40 mpg depending on the mix of driving for that tank of fuel.

What I want to mention though…is the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) that attaches the ride’s 182 horsepower to the ground.
da_altima
What CVT means is “no gears”. Many folks are leery of this concept. They shouldn’t be.

If you want to jam some gears…buy a Peterbuilt. If you want maximum performance, CVT is the future.

Here’s why:
You jam the pedal to the metal and the transmission lets the engine hit its EXACT rpm for peak torque and horsepower and then smoothly varies its ratio to keep that rpm where it is as the car accelerates…no pauses for shifts…no over-revving…from the second you hit the petal to when you let off it you get the full 182 horsepower on the ground.

The effect is awe inspiring…and will frankly and firmly spank anything in this weight class and horsepower range. There is no better way to get the power to the ground.

Once you’re through screaming, “MORE POWER SCOTTY” and let off the gas…the tranny then smoothly varies the ratio to the ideal economy range for the engine at the power output needed to hold the speed you want. That gets you an average 35-38mpg on this mid-sized sedan. Downright impressive and fun to boot.

There’s also a thumb button on the shifter for “sport” mode…which essentially just tells the transmission to maintain the correct ratio for peak horsepower/torque no matter what you are doing. You can use this when you “know” you are going to be aggressive for that more “firm” response when you first tromp on it…or to decelerate on long slowdowns or hills or such.

Paired with active stability controls it is an amazing machine…

…all in a mid-sized sedan.

The wife grins evilly and says, “Ooooo…mama likessssss…”

I may have unleashed a monster.

We’ll see you on the road!

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I’m shoveling…something alright…

Bleary eyed and idly sipping my coffee…I stood there eyeballing the news. It was grim. Folks all over the country were shoveling their way out of extreme weather.

I sighed. Gonna be one of those days is it?

Following the example of those on the news I finished my coffee early so I could clear the driveway in time to leave for work.

Our extreme, shirt-sleeve riding weather was literally covering up…well…everything. I couldn’t avoid it.

Clearing the driveway of the sunshine and 55 degrees (at 9am)…I think it’s working.

I think it's working!

I think it’s working!

Seriously…why do I even have this thing?

Seriously...why do I even have this thing?

Seriously…why do I even have this thing?

And lest you think I’m being completely silly (instead of just evil), this sort of weather DOES stand a very real chance of making me late for work…or even causing me not to make it there at all!

Zoom. Zoom.

I’ll see you on the road.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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There’s a reason…

The focus…the drive…the intensity…the passioSQUIRREL!

Ur…what? Oh, yeah.

Arriving home from her trip she crawled into bed with me. I wasn’t feeling well, but when a warm, willing woman crawls into bed with me I ur…NOTICE…or I’m already stone-cold-dead.

I rolled over and embraced her and promptly dropped off again. I’m sure that was her first clue. VERY unlike me.
Shortly she says, “You’re shaking.”
“Sorry.” I mumbled.
“Seriously! Are you okay?”
“I’m okay. Just not feeling well. It’s been a tough few days.”
Work. Fasting for Doc’s appointments. A procedure there that made me intensely nauseous. A friend in crisis. More pain. A quick road-trip. Personal projects. Lack of sleep. Massive commutes. Passion. More demands for my attention. Anti-biotics upsetting my stomach…and appetite. Frustration.
“What did you have for dinner?”
I tried to remember but the thoughts wouldn’t organize. “……I don’t know.”
“WHEN did you eat?”
“Uh…” I really had to think…”What day is it?”

Before I knew what was happening she’d booted me out of bed, made me soup, and served it with saltines. It was a good choice, as I doubt I could have kept anything more substantial down for very long.

Normally quite capable of “fending for myself”…my focus had been intensely elsewhere…for days. Combined with the pain and nausea from the drugs and doctors visit…it just never got pointed back in the right direction.

There’s a reason us males…the “pointers” (as opposed to the “setters”) live longer when we are paired up with one of the fairer sex.

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Expectation…

expectationReputation/expectation:

A couple days ago the rain had tapered off to merely a drizzle and the temperature had climbed out of the teens to the balmy range of the freezing mark.

For the first time in days the streets were mostly dry but with the mist, ice would still form on the windshield and on the untraveled areas on bridges and overpasses.

I just wasn’t up to the challenge. I took Little Rivet…the little Chevy runabout…for the commute to work instead of the Valk.

Walked in without any gear and coworker looks at me in surprise and asks, “What’s wrong with the motorbike?”

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I’m condemned to what now?

I stood there dripping…

“I have no words…” said the truck-stop duty manager as we watched his (not very effective) security guy chase the woman around the parking lot. I was watching the spectacle and reflecting that less donuts would be advisable if the security dude wants to continue in his chosen career.

Moments before the woman had doused me in ‘holy water’ and screamed, “I CONDEMN YOU TO HELL SPAWN OF SATAN! BE GONE!” and then sprinted across the parking lot, security guy in not-so-hot pursuit.

It must have been an off brand…the ‘holy water’…or beyond it’s expiration date. It was quite cold…but hardly burned at all. I didn’t seem to be melting. The bottle had said, “Ozarka”. I resisted the urge to scream, “I’m melting!” and fall to the ground like the wicked witch out of “The Wizard of Oz” and settled for a grimace instead.

Now she was removing and tossing articles of clothing and screaming bible verses as she ran. Proverbs…I think…accompanied the sight of her panties flying through the air.

“Hell and destruction are never full! The eyes of man are never satisfied!”

She got that last part right I suppose.

There were perhaps 50 people milling around the store and gas pumps. She had their full attention. She’d have been cute…with a bit less crazy.

It was time for me to ride. She only had socks left and she was screaming what sounded like Dante now.

Lots of folks mix that up…somehow assigning religious significance to the writings of a mad 14th-century poet.

I’m not a big fan of mad 14th-century poets.

A somewhat confused middle-aged woman had picked up the spectacle’s bra and was holding it out in front of her as she sort of followed the chase at a walking pace. I could imagine her saying something like, “Here dear. You need this if you’re going to run like that. You might put your eye out.”

I shook my head and stuck my hand out to the manager. “I’ve gotta ride. No hard feelings.” He looked at it like it might burst into flames at any second. It was still dripping. After an awkward pause he finally shook it.

“Can I get you a towel?”

“Heh…no. I’ll dry soon enough.”

“But…your jacket?”

I glanced downward at the massive seasoned leather jacket and laughed. I’ve been wearing that thing for more than 30 years. If it wasn’t covered in blood or on fire I was having a good day.

“It’s seen MUCH worse.”

A last glance at the entertainment in the parking lot and I mounted the big cruiser and thumbed the start button.

The powerful motor rumbled to life and the sound and feel washed all the distractions from my mind. Yep. It was time to ride.

I twisted the throttle and hit 80 before I cleared the lights.

I’ll see you on the road. Or in Hell. Some days it’s hard to tell the difference…at least…if mad 14th century poets are to be believed.

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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Imagine…

I watched a man suffer yesterday…a working man, fallen ill. A strong man that needs to work, reduced to a shivering, coughing, weak-kneed mass.

…and I felt his pain.

Imagine you are lying in bed…and I’m kneeling hard on your chest…and stuffing a pillow over your face with all my strength.

Imagine the struggle to simply get a breath…imagine the longing…imagine the fear.

THAT…is pretty close to what an asthma attack feels like.

I’ve fought it all my life…I was born with it…and know something about it.

It’s life threatening and debilitating. It has nothing to do with weight…or lifestyle…or any of the other things people like to blame you for when you get sick.

It’s a disease. It requires treatment. Without it you’ll lose strength, and begin to cough…often so hard and long you end up throwing up…and you still can’t breathe.

If you’re lucky it passes…if you’re not, it will kill you. Without medicines the odds are not in your favor.

Here’s an important fact: As a percentage of sufferers, asthma has a higher mortality rate than breast cancer!

“What does not kill me makes me stronger”, yes? No. Not this time. Even if you survive…or have mild attacks…the symptoms of an attack are caused by inflammation of the lungs…which is causing long-term, cumulative damage. Untreated asthma will result in debilitating COPD later in life and will most likely be the cause of death.

This shouldn’t be an issue today. We have very safe and effective drugs to combat this…and if kept treated an asthma sufferer may never have another attack.

“So what’s the problem?” you say.

Rescue

Albuterol Inhaler. Used to be cheap. Not so anymore.

Albuterol Inhaler. Used to be cheap. Not so anymore.

Let’s start with treating the immediate symptoms. Albuterol is the go-to rescue inhaler. Safe, remarkably effective, NOT abusable, and portable…the problem? It used to be cheap. The feds fixed that.

See, it’s been around so long it was generic…and an inhaler (enough for a typical sufferer to last a month) cost about $4. Yep. Four dollars. There’s no reason any sufferer shouldn’t have one in his pocket, car, desk, and basically, scattered around the place.

Except the EPA made them change the propellant. Not for medical reasons…rather…because it was a CFC gas. So…a drug company reformulated it…and presto! New propellant! Marketed as “ProAire HFA” by Teva Respiratory. Also, and this is the important part…they now have exclusive right to produce and sell it for the next bunch of years (a generic may be available after 2023).

So…of course…the $4 inhaler now costs over $55. The working man I’m talking about here…can’t afford it…at least…not very often. When his inhaler is empty…he just tries to cope…and survive.

It’s also just for rescue…treatment of sudden onset of symptoms. Treating an attack still leaves behind the accumulating long-term damage.

There is a cheap version of albuterol…CAN be had for under 10 dollars…but it is NOT portable…it requires an expensive machine (nebulizer) to dispense and can’t really be done “on the fly” somewhere. (I find myself wondering if it would work in a “Vape” electronic cigarette)

Preventatives

Symbicort Inhaler

Symbicort Inhaler

And then there’s the preventative treatments. In recent years some VERY safe and effective daily treatments have come out that can all but eliminate attacks. Symbicort and Advair are two of the most effective. They are reasonably new, and thus, again proprietary, and expensive.

Used daily, an asthma sufferer need rarely have any symptoms at all!

So what’s the problem? Expense again…many working folks simply can’t afford it.

“BUT BUT…” sputters the mis-informed. “Insurance! Obamacare! On Dancer! On Prancer! On Comet! On Vixen!”

Let’s talk about that. MY insurance…which I’ve been paying for 30 years and rarely even met a deductible, quit covering Advair (my preventative), informing me that I should just use the Albuterol. See…if I DO that, it’s cheaper for them…and by the time I’m in the throes of COPD I’m older and retired, and NOT their problem (on medicare). Fortunately, they still will cover Symbicort…but NOT well…between deductibles and “co-insurance” I’m not even sure what else…I have to spend $4500 before they pay for much of anything.

As a user of preventatives, I’ve not had a serious asthma symptom in two years. I could probably have NO asthma symptoms…but since even with insurance I have trouble affording it…I use HALF the recommended dose just so I can.

Now…on to the working man.

He can’t afford insurance. He couldn’t before ACA (Obamacare), and still can’t. What ACA did was raise MY insurance to where I can’t afford to use it (24% in just two years and $4500 deductibles), and fines HIM (via tax return/IRS) for not buying insurance that he couldn’t afford to use either.

So…no medicine for him…except when he manages to break out a few extra dollars. He can’t afford the “save my life now” rescue inhaler…what do you think the chances are he can afford to spring for the preventative?

So…he fights through…and tries to survive…just tries to make it through so he can make another day’s work…and possibly make things better for himself and his wife. He often loses a day’s pay though…when he has to be off sick for this.

This time I happened to be there…these attacks are dramatic…sudden, unannounced, and they will take you from robust and active to lying in bed struggling to breath (and NOT throw up) in minutes…I was there. I handed him my inhaler. I ‘forgot’ to get it back. Hopefully I won’t need it as I can’t refill my ‘scrip till next month.

It’s probably good for 20 days or so. (disclaimer: Unless the reader here happens to be an insurance slug or law enforcement type…then of course…I would never do anything like violating federal law by giving a dying man a lifesaving drug…I am making this entire thing up in a drunken stupor…or perhaps a dream…or a sleep-deprived hallucination…).

Of course, this doesn’t address preventatives…and reducing the cost of his future care…and what they’re gonna do NEXT month…but, well, I’m sure fining them even more next year and raising my rates some more will take care of it, yes?

I’ll see you on the road.

Posted in Lunacy | 1 Comment