Monday, February 19, 2024

Still Here, Just Busy, Busy, Busy......

 Doing mostly home owner stuff. Cabinet hinges, hanging things for SLW, and trying to knock out a bunch of "little things", like mount the toilet paper holders with better wall anchors so they don't keep coming loose, and installing a new porch light fixture to replace the ancient, crusty, rusty one.

The recent storm that went through only gave us a few inches of nice, fluffy snow, which was gone 24 hours later. They got hit with 9" out in Greeley where my son lives! Melted pretty quickly, and he kept working right through it. What a trooper!

So more to come, and with pictures, too!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Griswold faces crushing defeat to ban Trump from ballot

 Griswold is our Secretary of State here in Colorado, and she's so blue you wonder if she's getting enough Oxygen.

Most of us thought she was NUTZ in banning Trump from the ballot for the upcoming elections, and it looks like the USSC is going to smack her down. Even the libtard justices think she's bat-shit crazy to suggest such a thing.

Read all about it here, on Colorado Peak Politics, a site I visit daily, along with Complete Colorado.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

What's Up NOW, Doc?

 Been home about 10 days, and feeling much, much better.

So what happened, or more accurately, what did I let happen this time?

Well.....I have an aversion to Dentists. It probably comes from the Dentist I had from "first teeth" until he retired. He was the brother of our Family Doctor (good old "GP"), and was a Navy Dentist. He didn't use any local numbing, so I had to sit there for cleanings and cavities. Sometimes it felt like that scene from "Marathon Man".

So, I just "let it go". BIG mistake. All four molars (18, 19, 29, and 21) in my lower left jaw went nuclear overnight. I woke up that day, looked in the mirror, and my eyes got about as big as dinner plates. I was having problems swallowing, and my neck under my jaw looked like I had a muffin on one side, and a biscuit on the other. So I got cleaned up, hit the "MAYDAY!" button, and had SLW take me to the ER. A dentist wouldn't have touched me, Urgent Care would have told me to scoot off the ER, so we saved some time and went straight there.

SLW dropped me off at the ER at 1100 local, and went on to one of her Doctor's appointments. I was checked-in, and seeing a Doctor in about 20 minutes. A staff person came in, and started two IV lines, and then sent me down the hall for a CT Scan of my jaw area. Then it was off to a room in the ICU where I gowned up and  waited for the Surgical Team to assemble.

The Doctors were quite concerned they wouldn't be able to get an airway into me for breathing gas, and they went through the procedure for a Tracheotomy with me. They would prefer NOT to do so, as it adds another layer of required medical care. I told them to do what they had to do, and gave them my consent, signed a form (by now I was getting really out of it due to the infection), and told them they had my complete trust, which seemed to break the ice, and we moved forward.

They put the mask on, I took some deep breaths, the Fentanyl came next, and it was lights out. The operation was completed by 1900 local, and I was out all night. I barely remember SLW being there, but I was drifting in and out of consciousness. And I was pretty out of it the next day, too. At least they were able to get an airway in, so I didn't need any holes put in me. I could barely talk the next two days, and was using a dry erase paddle to communicate. I told SLW I should have helped her get her Morse Code speed up past 5 words-per-minute so we could converse, and she cracked up.

The Oral Surgeon said he'd never seen FOUR teeth abscessed so bad. He said it was more of an "excavation" than an extraction, and he was amazed at the amount of "stuff" that was suctioned out.

I was getting a vial of Ampicillin every 3 hours, and an injection of Prednisolone (a powerful anti-inflammatory corticosteroid) about every 6 hours, along with so many blood draws and finger sticks that I lost count. I was on a liquid only diet for four days, as the swelling was so bad that my epiglottis wasn't working properly, and there was concern I'd get some food in my lungs that I couldn't expel. Then I was on a "Minced and Moist" (pureed, actually) for a couple of days, and then the "Soft and Bite Sized" diet for the last two days. Just about back to a normal diet, but still haven't tried certain foods. Plenty of pasta, rice, meat sauce, Jimmy Dean sausage, scrambled eggs (SLW makes killer eggs!), and a couple of 30g protein shakes a day. I have to mix the protein drink with about 40% milk to be able to comfortably get it down as it's a bit too "Clingy and Coating" for my taste. The mixture also makes very good soft-serve from our little ice cream machine.

So far now, "That's All, Folks", and I'm feeling a couple of orders of magnitude better than when I went in.

And I'm getting pretty good at finding things in my little Bible........

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Doing Fine, AAR To Follow....

 Pain down ~90%, swelling down ~90%, no jaw pain, swallowing ability significantly improved. Lymph nodes mostly back to normal, indicating we've got the infection about beat-down, and mobility returning. Leg muscles are stiff and sore, and I'm looking forward to working with the OT/PT staff. I feel confident that the Speech Pathology staff will be pleased with my progress, and clear me to the next Diet Level. I'm still eating conservatively, and following their guidelines, but boy....does it feel good to be able to eat Mac-and-Cheese in a normal manner, and be able to swallow it without any difficulty.

I have to dig up the #1 CT Scan when they brought me in, compared to the #2 CT Scan taken several days later.

Peace, have a Blessed Sunday, and be aware of your six.....

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Home Again, Home Again, Jig Jiggedy Jig!

 Released at 1500 Local, and back home again by 1600.

 The swelling and inflammation have dropped significantly, my "Cerivcal Lymph Nodes" have pretty much returned to their preincident condition, no more pain when swallowing, and the area of my jaw where they "excavated" the four abscessed molars has transitioned to being "just a gum line" again. There's still a few small fragments that will have to be addressed, but nothing like when I went in.

Still have to be on a semi-soft diet until the Speech Pathology people clear me to resume a normal diet, and the PT/OT people want me in a few times to make sure nothing else went South besides the teeth.

So now I'm "In Search Of....." a good Dentist, after which it'll be open the wallet, let the moths out, and pay the man. I need some other Dental work too, so I'm pretty sure we'll burn through our Dental Allowance at an astonishing rate.

The hospital food was OK, considering it was all pureed, but the coffee was #1 or #2 on my list of "Worst Coffee In America". First thing I did after I got home and got things squared away was make a decent cuppa, and sat down to enjoy it.

Thank you all for the encouragement and support. Infected/impacted teeth have killed many people in the past, and will continue to do so. SLW was told by the Doctor that I was in "serious trouble", which I don't remember her saying before tonight. Considering that they did the surgery several hours after I checked-in, I'd have to say "Yep".

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Brrrrrrr! It's COLD Outside!

 First major winter storm heading in tonight. It's currently about SIX degrees, and it'll be -10* or colder at night during the coming week.

It's supposed to bring ~3" of snow, which is a pittance compared to what we've had in the previous years since we moved here. My electrically heated gloves are charging, I finally have a good stocking cap, and I serviced the snow blower last year in between hospital stays.

If you live here I don't have to tell you to watch out while you're out-and-about, and to pack an emergency box sufficient to keep you alive for (minimum) 48 hours. I really feel for the ranchers, farmers, and everybody else who has to work outdoors in this weather. I've done it decades ago, and it was brutal. I remember having my flashlight die out in my hand because the batteries froze. I had to keep it in my jacket, but I didn't want to open my jacket!

Anywhoo.....Keep your head on a swivel, and watch out for frostbite!

Monday, January 8, 2024

What's Up, Doc?

 Not much other than the progression of days....and work!

My "work" is mostly stuff I enjoy doing, along with the usual household chores, house upkeep, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I finally have all the parts I need (belts, idler tires, and capstan pressure rollers) to finish the #2 Nakamichi BX-300, so that will consume some time. The mechanical and electrical alignment take a fair amount of time to do, so this one is in sick bay for another several weeks.

The previous BX-30 I rebuilt is now in it's new home, and the new owner is quite happy.

Got this old Heathkit IG-37 "FM Stereo Generator" out of here to a new home and the guy really wanted it, warts and all.

And two people are very interested in the Heathkit "Harmonic Distortion Analyzer", and the Heathkit "IM Distortion Analyzer", both of which have been rebuilt and meet all Heathkit Specifications.

The "Audio Generator" I'm keeping, as it's an excellent piece of gear for doing what it does. Excellent frequency stability, and the distortion is well under .1%.

And I'm accumulating a YUUUUGE pile of clean, refurbished Toyota parts for the Supra. This is about 1/4 of what I've cleaned up this Winter.

Both sections of the Intake Manifold and all the Fuel Injection parts are (finally) off the car, and waiting their turn at "Dr. Jim's Health Spa for Decrepit Automobiles". I'll have to drag them into the basement shower to scrub them. Since I'm doing the cleaning work inside the house, the use of solvents is verboten, and I've been using Simple Green to scrub them with. It's not as fast as using mineral spirits, but it does the job, is low odor, and won't ignite. I also have some "Secret Sauce" I mixed up for cleaning things that I use.

And since it's been such a mild Winter (so far...), I've been able to work out in the garage on the car without freezing my tail off. The main thing I'm working on now is removing the bolt that holds the Harmonic Damper/ Balancer to the Crankshaft. It's a big bolt, it's in there with 169 ft-lbs of torque, and it hasn't moved in 40 years. Using my impact with fresh batteries only resulted in the crank during about 10* CCW, so I stopped. I needed a way to hold just the hub of the balancer while I let my impact worry away on it. You cannot apply any differential torque to the balancer, as in twisting the center while holding the outside. It will over-stress the bonded rubber layer between the two pieces, and lead to separation of the pieces. Trust me, you do NOT want your Harmonic Damper to come apart and exit the car while doing 6500RPM. I've seen it happen, and it ain't pretty. Not as bad or as violent as a clutch explosion, but it will most likely ruin your day. Or engine. Toyota had a 3-piece set of "Special Service Tools" to hold the hub, but good luck finding them. You can see in this shot, that the harmonic balancer has tapped holes in it. The SST attached to the bolts in the hub, had an 18" handle on it, and kept the hub from rotating while you wailed away on getting the blasted bolt loose.

I'll clean out the tapped holes with a .30 cal bore brush, as it fits perfectly, and then run a re-threading tap through them to get the stubborn stuff out.

 Seeing as the Special Service Tool is "Just a plate with two holes and a handle", I'm going to fabricate one. With a bit of clever design, I'll also be able to use it to hold/rotate the camshaft sprockets. too. No, I don't know if they were made by Spacely. There's a "scrap metal" place not far from here where I can get the stock, and I have enough tools to build it build with one exception.

If I'm going to fab metal, I need one of these:

Yes, it uses flux-cored wire which can make messy welds if you're not careful, but I've been welding off-and-on for over 40 years, so I think I can figure it out.

Be nice to have a welder in the family!

I'm well on my way to "Decrapifying" the driver's front corner of the engine bay. Since I had to dissect the wiring harnesses and move them out of the way, I had room to get into there and scrub some of the crud out. It's slow going, but I'll spend 15~20 minutes per night scrubbing away on it. I'll still have to sandblast and paint the areas with the surface rust, but it looks like that damage is highly contained to the area immediately under the battery tray. 

So that's "What's Up, Doc?" for the last week or so. Gonna get down to sub-zero temps over the coming weekend, and while there's snow in the forecast, I doubt we'll get much accumulation.

Be good to each other, and stay in Condition Yellow outside the home.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy New Year!

 Here's hoping '24 will be better than '23. I really don't need any additional Hospital Time.

Winter's been a big bust so far. There's been a decent amount of snow in the mountains (still below normal), but nothing down here in the foothills. We have no snow on the ground, and it's hasn't rained in quite a while. The yard plants are desiccated, and without a snow cover, things around here just look all dried-out , desolate, and dead.

So here's my best wishes for all my friends to have a Happy New Year. Keep your head on a swivel, be vigilant, and may you all Live Long and Prosper.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Failed to Publish. Try Again Later... Say, What?

 Huhhhhh....Can't reply to comments in my previous post. It just belches out the reply in the title.

Wonder if I can make a new post? Good Gravy, it's freakin' WINDY tonight. The weather station is reporting pretty steady ~20MPH winds, with gusts to ~35MPH. Sorry guys, can't do it in knots. The weather station only gives me MPH and KPH, although with a bit of code editing, I could add that feature pretty easily to the software used to get it on the network. Gotta love Open Source.

Here we go....bonna pull the pin and lob this with the "Publish" button.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas

 All the kids and the littles will be over this evening to have our Traditional Christmas Dinner of Sloppy Joes, French Fries, and other things to nibble on.

Wishing you all the best for Christmas and the coming New Year.

I just hope the road's a bit smoother this coming year!

Peace to All Men of Good Will.....

Monday, December 18, 2023

How Do You Guys (and gals) Manage Your Blogging?

 I just don't understand how people who blog can be so prolific, and on a continuous basis. There are times I posted daily, like when I rebuilt the suspension on the Supra, or on various other projects, and during our move here, but it seems like I just run out of steam at times.

I stick to techie and humor stuff, things I know well, and stay away from politics, which others know far better. Besides, I have to watch my blood pressure, and discussing politics gives me heartburn!

So here it is, a week from Christmas. We have *some* snow still laying around, the streams and drainage ditches are full of frozen water, and the damn geese are all over the place, but it doesn't feel like "Winter" this year. Houses are decorated, and our neighbor at the end of the street collaborated with his next door neighbor, and have "crossover" decorations. One of which is the Grinch and Sam, in neighbor #1's yard, pulling down the lights from neighbor #2's eaves. Funny and creative, and I'll bust out my tripod so I can get some decent 'available light' pix of it. NWS is saying there's a "Chance of Snow" for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and the Denver and Front Range Weather guy on Fakebook says it might be nothing, and we might get clobbered, as there's TWO systems which will converge this weekend.

So have a good week, stay observant, and always remember....

Still Here, Just Busy, Busy, Busy......

 Doing mostly home owner stuff. Cabinet hinges, hanging things for SLW, and trying to knock out a bunch of "little things", like m...