Saturday, February 29, 2020

Been Busy.....

My son came out for a week, so we've been pretty busy just doing stuff.

Ran the blue "Bonneville" R/C car a bunch and got it up to 70MPH, but we need a bigger area to go any faster. The Electronic Speed Control/Motor I bought "on a budget" doesn't have very good brakes, so that will have to be swapped out. The motor is robust, but it was a "budget" ESC, and it's not very adjustable. I have a high-end one, but I'll have to fabricate some cables to connect it to the motor.



The hip isn't bothering me quite as much. I've been taking 600mg of Naproxen twice a day, and between that and the Tramadol, I can manage pretty well. Still waiting on the referral to the Orthopedics people to go through, and for them to call me.

Be back in a couple. The Little Guy's 3rd Birthday Party is tomorrow, and I'm sure a splendid time will be had by all.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Moving Day(s) for Our Neighbor

This actually goes back a couple of weeks ago. We noticed the Pouder Fire Authority truck across the street, and wonder what was going on. 15 minutes or so later, the Paramedics pull up in an Ambulance, and disappear inside. Some time after that, they open the garage door, move a car out of the garage, and back the ambulance up to the garage door. Sometime after that we see them loading a gurney, closing up the ambulance, and motoring away no lights, no siren.

In my limited experience, any time the medical personnel just gently motor away, it's not usually a Good Thing, so we feared the worst, that dear old guy who lived there with his wife had passed away.

Fast forward a few days, and I saw my other "Old Guy" neighbor and flagged him down. Turns out the elderly (he's in his late 80's) guy had fallen, and his wife, and my neighbor, couldn't get him up, so they called 911, The responding firefighters couldn't get him on his feet either, so they called the Paramedics.

Since he wasn't otherwise injured, it wound up being a "transport" run, so no lights and siren, or if they lit up, it was out of our sleepy little area.

Well, the family gathered and decided it wasn't the best thing for them to be living in a three-story house, so they're moving into a "Over 65" retirement community with all one-level facilities.

The house will be going up for sale soon, and the family is getting it cleaned out.


The really sad thing is that they're just dumping the entire contents of the house! The full red "big" dumpster is the third they filled and emptied, and the smaller green one is the second one that size they filled and emptied. The stake-bed was filled up three times, and the contents taken elsewhere. The week before the filled and emptied the front porch three times, and in this pic it's filled up again.

They were like ants on a candy bar, streaming in and out of the house with items, tossing them in the dumpster, and streaming back into the house.

My SLW was greatly saddened by all this, saying "They're getting rid of their whole lives", which brought sadness to me, too.

This house, and the neighbor's houses on each side of us, are still occupied by their original owners, having been purchased new in 1977 when this subdivision was built.

The house immediately to the left of this is is also empty, the absentee landlord deciding he didn't want to renew the lease with his renters. The people who were in it bought a house about a block and a half away, so we still see them, and we don't know if the house will be sold, or rented again. I think the tenants said he wanted to sell, but wasn't open to offers from them.

Spring is still a couple of months away, and I think it will bring some changes here to our little corner of town.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

You Bought A WHAT?

Plastic model airplane kit.

Or two, as the case may be.....


The Handley Page "Victor" bomber was a British Cold War era bomber. It, along with the Vickers "Valiant", and the Avro "Vulcan", made up the primary nuclear strike force of the RAF in the 1950's through the 1990's, and the three bombers were collectively known as the "V Bombers".

Many people might recognize the Avro "Vulcan" as having a plot role in the James Bond movie "Thunderball".



I always thought that the "Victor" had the most futuristic look, and seeing as I've never built one, I thought it was time to fill in that blank.




These are very simple, older kits, that lack much detail. This generally makes them easier and faster to build. The Matchbox kit is 1/72nd scale, and the Lindberg kit standing up behind it is 1/96th scale. I'll start with the Lindberg kit. It's already molded in white plastic, which makes painting it in the "Anti-Flash White" scheme is a no-brainer.



Quite an interesting looking aircraft.





Brings back memories of witching John Steed and Emma Peel battle evil-doers for God and Country.

In black and white, of course.....

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Meanwhile, Back In The World

It's snowing again.

NWS said "up to 1/2" of new accumulation", but we've gotten several inches of pretty, white, fluffy stuff, and it's still coming down lightly. But it's predicted for the middle 30's tomorrow, and 50-plus on Friday and Saturday, so the new stuff won't be here very long.

And the windshield in the Jeep finally gave up the ghost and split almost completely from side-to-side a couple of inches below that massive rock hit it took a few months ago on the way back from DIA. I'll have to shop around some auto glass places here, but I'm tempted to go with Safelite. The guy across the street had them come out and replace the windshield in his big Ford pick-up, and they were her, done, and gone in under an hour. This time of year it might require a trip to their nice HEATED shop to get it done.

And since every little boy needs some Green Army Men in his life, I procured a small unit for him to train with.

Here's Grandma explaining the proper construction of Field Improvised Fortifications.


I asked him why he "buried" the soldier (see green legs protruding from purple sand...), and it took him a while to get it it out, but then he said "He's a SNIPER!".

I have no idea who taught him that. Really....I don't ever recall even saying the word "sniper" around him.

Looks good!


I can see some mechanized units in his future.....or at least a bigger AO.....probably both!

And I missed the return call from the Doctor's office, and when I called back, she and her Nurse were out-of-the-office after lunch today, but the staff told me they WILL call back tomorrow.

I think I see a new hip creeping over the horizon.....

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

MRI Reults Are In.....

And while it doesn't appear "serious", it turns out I have some hip issues.

Duh.....!

Anyway....

From the report:

1. Right hip: Acetabular over coverage with moderate-severe chondrosis and joint space narrowing anteriorly and superiorly-lateral. Labrum is diminutive with diffuse tearing anteriorly and superiorly. No paralabral cyst.

2. Left hip: Limited images also show acetabular over coverage with moderate superior-lateral joint space narrowing. Probable diminutive labrum with tearing superiorly.


I don't have any apparent problems in the left hip, but it was on the image, so they reported on it.

Further reporting.....

RIGHT HIP:

Joint space: There is acetabular over coverage with center-edge angle of 48 degrees. Moderate-severe thinning of the articular cartilage especially anteriorly and superiorly-laterally with mild bone marrow edema within the adjacent segment of acetabulum. Mild-moderate thinning of the articular cartilage superiorly.

Bone marrow: No evidence of fracture, stress reaction or AVN.

Labrum: Labrum is diminutive with diffuse tearing of the remaining labrum anteriorly and superiorly. No para labral cyst.

Effusion: None

Other findings: None significant


Bony pelvis: Normal

Pubic symphysis and SI joints: Normal

Myotendinous structures: Foci of fluid and edema at the right hamstring origin likely secondary to chronic tendinosis. Mild bilateral gluteus medius tendinosis, left greater than right.

Soft tissues: Normal

Intrapelvic and lower abdominal findings: None significant

Visualized spine: Normal

Other findings: None significant


My Doctor's office called earlier, but calling them back dumps me into the hold/transfer/transfer/hold pattern.

My Doctor had mentioned she thought I had some "Labrum Damage" caused by arthritis, and this looks to confirm it, or some other problem.

It still hurts like H-E-double hockey sticks at times, usually in the morning, and I've just about burned through the "30 day" supply of Tramadol she gave me. I'm going to talk with her ASAP about trying a different pain killer, as the Tramadol mikes me kind of spaced-out if I take enough to knock the pain completely out, so I've been cutting the pills in half to give me a more granular dose that I can control easier.

Ibuprofen doesn't do much, and the Meloxicam I have from another Doctor does zip. Meloxicam is also NOT recommended for cardiac patients, so I should probably flush it down the toilet or otherwise safely dispose of it so I'm not tempted to use it.

Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) seems a better choice, but we don't have any, so I'll have to grab some when I pick up my other meds and give it a try.

So, now the ball is back in the Doctor's court, and we'll see what she recommends.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

MRI Experience

Was 99% what I expected it to be. Get checked in, change into some scrubs, lay down on the table, get the "Radio Frequency Coil Assembly" (30~50MHz) strapped on, and  the get inserted into the maws of The Mighty MAGNETOM!


I had foam earplugs in, a big rubber bulb "Panic Button", and a "Pneumatic" headset on to listen to music while the big machine cranked through it's routine. The headset was similar to what I'd seen on commercial airliners years ago, where a little "speaker" in the armrest was sealed to a plastic port that your "headphones" plugged into. The "headphones" were just plastic tubing that carried the sound from the armrest mounted speaker to your ears. Very clever, lightweight, and CHEAP. And they consist of nothing conductive, or magnetic, and important consideration when the person wearing them is enclosed by a very powerful, pulsed magnetic field. No long run of wire that could get a voltage induced in it. Same with the squeeze-bulb Panic Button.

Look, Ma...NO Wires!

I didn't think it was all that loud, but then my hearing is shot, I knew what it was doing, and loud "industrial" noises like that don't usually faze me. And seeing as both ends are open, I don't get the "claustrophobic" part of it, but I guess it could be pretty intimidating.

The worst part? It was cold in the room, followed by what they called "Classic Rock" in my music selection wasn't what I'd call Classic Rock. Yeah, I know, a real "First World" problem. The Tech who ran the test gave me a heated blanket, better than 1st class on an overseas flight, and that kept me nice and snug.

Now in a Past Life, I was a Components Engineer for a company called "Searle Diagnostics", formerly "Nuclear Chicago", and they produced Radiological Imaging Units (aka "Gamma Cameras"), and Radiological Immunoassay Units for what used to be called "Nuclear Chemistry" back in the day. And one of our departments was building their first "CAT Scanner", a soon-to-be product line.

Alas for them, they hit some development snags, GE was first-to-market, and the project folded. Searle wound up selling that operation lock-stock-and-barrel to Siemens, who rechristened it "Siemens Gammasonics", the new name indicating they were now into Ultrasound as well as staying in the Nuclear Medicine business.

Where's this going? The mighty MAGNETOM was made by Siemens, and would be the great-great-great-grandchild of the things I watched being built for the first time.

It's kind of like being a Technician for Marconi, and living long enough to see communications satellites in daily use for mundane things.

Or going from points-and-coil ignition and carburetors to  electronic sequential fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition.

We truly live in amazing times.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sea Launch to Relocate to Eastern Russia in February, 2020

It's official.

The ship's will be leaving for Slavyenka on February 22nd.


And I just heard that they're going to tow the Launch Platform.

Through the North Pacific.

In the winter.

Gee, what could go wrong with that?

More (minimal) details here.

Turns out the Launch Platform will be towed out to sea about 9 miles, and then loaded  on to a carrier ship (something like the Mighty Servant), and then be transported to it's new port.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hip Problems, X-Rays, MRI's and Other Stuff

I'll be the first to admit I haven't been running at 100% the last week or so. My right hip has flared up, and it hasn't been much "fun".

So, I went to the Doctor's office last Tuesday and she checked things out, asked a bunch of questions, did the rotation/extension/flexion stuff, and sent me down to the walk-in clinic for X-Rays of the hip and lumbar region. The results indicate some arthritis in the hip (no surprise there), and some minor "Bone Spurs" in the lumbar region.

As usual, the X-Rays were just to check that the basic structure is OK, and I'm going in for an MRI on Friday afternoon. And of course, they're going to run me through the Physical Therapy routine, although every time I've had PT it hasn't done much.

In the meantime, it's 400mg of Ibuprofen every 4~6 hours, along with half a Tramadol tablet. The Ibuprofen helps knock down any inflamation, and Tramadol relieves most of the pain. A full Tramadol knocks the pain to zero, but also knocks me into an alternative reality for a couple of hours.

No thanks, I'm wacky enough as is!

And what happened to the spell check function on Blogger? Mine's gone AWOL.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

SOTU

We didn't watch it tonight because we were busy watching something else.


Cold, clear night, so we made a fire, had macaroni and cheese along with some lentil soup, and played with "Kinetic Sand" and one of my favorites, Play-Doh, seen here In Action! Yes, Pebbles was down in the den with us, just slightly out-of-frame to the right, always watching TLG, and in Condition Yellow. Woe betide somebody who makes a threatening move while she's On Duty. I'm sure she'd go full berserker mode to defend us.

Anyway, from what I've read, "Madame" Speaker displayed some interesting behavior that would have gotten her dragged out back and disappeared in a lot of places. I'm sure I'll get to see replays, but for Real Time viewing, this was far more important.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Warm Before The Storm.....

Yow....it's Seventy-Two Degrees here today! Strong winds from the SW, averaging 10MPH with gusts to around 30MPH. It's a beautiful day, and even with the wind, it feels warm. Pebbles did her first session of roll-around-in-the-yard for the year, coming back in the house pretty well covered in dead grass and leaves! Took a few minutes to brush her off, but it was fun watching her enjoy this little bit of "Spring Preview". And she even ignored all the squirrels running along the top of the fence between their tree, and the front of our house where the maple tree still has a bountiful crop of seeds. Guess the squirrels are stocking up for the next few days.

BUT.....the temps are going to start dropping tonight, and rain turning to snow is expected on Monday with a high of 24*. Snow accumulation of 1"~3" is expected during the day, with another 2"~4" predicted overnight.

Monday night will drop into the single-digits, and Tuesday night is expected to get down to about -2*.

TLG will be staying here Tuesday/Wednesday, so I forecast lots of game-playing, R/C Car Action down in the den, and a nice fire going later in the day. I have a bunch of crab apple wood that came from some large branches that broke off the tree last year, and they dried out very nicely over the summer before I cut them up and stacked them. I don't know if crab apple wood burns well, but I'll try some small pieces to see how it works.

Been kind of off-line the last few days. Having some problems with my right hip acting up, and I'm not getting much sleep at night. So, I'll call my Doctor's office tomorrow and see if she has time to see me. Otherwise, I'll be headed down to the urgent care clinic. Something's not quite right, and I need to tend to it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and no, I'm not watching the Stupid Bowl.....