Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Waffle and kvetch

Rubbery confession
I'm back in treatment for recurring bouts of distress. When I have these moments I've been forgetting where I am and what is happening to me—nor caring if I do not stop. 

I have OCPD which means picking at my body. I chose a part of my face and it got nasty. I cried to my doctor and he upped my head dose and prescribed a cream. So far the cream is holding against the urge to pick it but I had one last crack at ripping the scar from my face before applying. 

Last night I dreamed I tore a hole my face—like I'd taken a crossbow bolt through the cheek. 

I told him how I used to just have at my feet—limping to work in bloodied socks—but I got too big and old to reach them. I've had to go to meetings with band-aids on my face. 

If I was a dog they'd make me wear the cone. 

Manhole taken at speed
I was riding the BYB downhill towards a manhole—the concrete circle jutting with alarm up from the path.

I've always slowed for it but I was sucked into a "fuck it" and took it at speed. I yelled, loud and proud "YEE-HAA" like I was in a chase movie and I'd taken an out bridge at max acceleration to clear a river.

In the glide   I considered the gendered use of manhole and its possible reverse—but a ladyhole taken at speed with a trilling yell is just not nice, for the hole or the lady.

Stacked it and cracked it
Again with the turning and forgetting I've three wheels and not two. It was at a usual suspect, a crossroads with two steep bits. I circled left then turned to go right but the slope felled me to the grass. 

The fall scraped my leg and the Kirk-shoulder roll I effected left me rattled and battered.

The throttle control split and I thought the bits lost—they'd slid down to the base of the handle and the throttle turned on with a hint of provocation. 

I parked the bike on a different slope and dismounted to look for the parts I then thought lost.

That's when the bike took off—at full speed with no passenger to hold it. It circled round me like a bull then whizzed up the slope for parts unknown I grabbed the basket and held it as the front wheel lathed a gouge in the grass. 

This pulled the basket off its brackets and the front of the basket is where the eight kilo battery lives. 

So it came to be that I counter-weighted with what I could find and in a t-shirt on a chilly Canberra afternoon I held a basket up with one hand as I throttled home with the other.

It's a reminder—thanks, physics and biology both—that tricycles are for paths that are level, not not-paths that are not. Each time I've stacked a slope's been the cause of my fate. 

Sausages used to be my Sideshow Bob rake but now it's any form of non-level thoroughfare. 

theWife did her magic to jury-rig it together again so I'll see how I go when I next give it a go. 

I earned the next day off for impact of the impact, my back a solid mass of ouch and regret. 

I was tasked with getting some frozen veg. "I was sent on a mission to give peas a chance," I said, pushing the packet across to the young counter girl, "... that's all I'm saying."

(... crickets...)

Illness and injury afflict relationships
I've had depression since ten then copped an injury at age but while the former was managed the latter made it sicker and afflicted those I live with. 

theboy was angry and wanted to be alone but I couldn't leave him without him knowing he was loved and I made it worse. My judgement is clouded when conditions are high. I added to his acute distress.

The worst is the managing. He manages me—he sees a look on my face and backs off with concern at stressing me out. It kills me he does it but I love that he does; because he worries about me. 

PTSD is contagion. The people who love you cop the crap of your sick; they react to sudden noise like you because they fear your response—your trigger, their trigger, PTSD inflicts PTSD.

Then I remember the injury would not have happened were I not ill. My OCPD makes me give a shit; I worry about others as I worry at my face. 

Balance, karma, the yin and the yang—my illness makes me strong as it cripples me weak. 

Getting up
Getting up from the stacked bike was easy; getting up from the relapse is hard. 

But I keep getting up because getting the fuck up is what the fuck I do.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ping into the dark

A bunch of crappy crap landed and I had 48 hours of acute distress with all the trimmings—howling despair, physical pain and Mr Logic not being at home. The latter is the hardest one because when you fall into the void then reason falls away. You think things and feel things that are not true but in the moment of wrenching grief they are true—and the only truth you've ever known.

I should have munged Valium when it happened—and my back-up doc chided me for resisting using medication that is designed to address the symptoms I experienced—but I was so far down the dark hole that it seemed pointless. Why take the edge off darkness when it's all dark?

I came out of it—eventually. I still have an echo of that deep trauma. And it didn't help I had a raging ear infection from having poured a shower into the canal some days before so was caked in additional pain to the business as usual.

But it was once of the worst fits yet—I've not gone 48 hours in acute raging despair with bouts of recurring hysteria before. It was frightening. I couldn't summon the Mikey at the back of the head that says soothing words like "this is just a moment" and "you're having a reaction; what you're thinking is not normal". 

So what to do? Well I need to get the fuck back up. I've done it a half-dozen times now so I know I can keep doing it. 

As part of that I sent a ping into the dark. Like all the others it will likely be swallowed without a trace but, you never know—besides, to not to ping is to never get a bounce back. 

I fell over but I'm getting up—and I'll keep doing that until I am dead because that is what the fuck I do.


UPDATE: I sent a second ping—it's a pincer move! 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Monster keyboard

Having chewed through yet another cheapie from K-Mart I rode into town on my tricycle and bought a heavy duty gaming mechanical keyboard. It throbs with an unearthly green light. 

So far the keys have held up to my rapid pounding and they don't feel like they're going to lose their characters after but a week of use. It seems and feels robust.

Finally a keyboard that suits my typing style of furious, frenetic and a lot of backspacing.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Same bat-time; not the same bat-channel

theboy is the age I was when I got pulled out of a public school and thrust into an all boys private schoolwhich is great for people whose bodies work swell and who are tall; it's not so good for the little, non-sporty guy. Not only did I suffer the first onset of depression I got sent to the school recommended psych for treatment who then promptly molested me during hypnotherapy. 

Maybe it's some sort of genetic thing in all of us but when I see a younger self, a child, headed for a period of life that was mostly pain I get angry. I get angry at the acute parental and institutional failures that pushed me down the slide of self-abnegation; that made me feel for most of my life that I had let the team down with my assigned physicality. 

I look back and even with the benefit of hindsight fail to understand how any thinking, decent person would have engendered that to happen and or then fail to acknowledge their failure.

Now I get that we have the internet so we know a lot more about parenting and how to positively support a child to maximise their desire to push themselves in a direction of interest and passion. And the idea of raising a child with kindness, love and practical wisdom with avoiding the trap of domineering, self-satisfied "I know best" parenting of anger and punishment is now the norm, not an aberration. 

But, fuck me if I am not bitterly, furiously angry at the fucking shit my younger self went through at the same age my child is now. I weep for that child even as I know the strengths he'll draw from his adversity and that the path he went down was atheistically angelic.

At least I've learned one lesson from the past; if you don't want an angry, bullying or sneering household then don't be angry, bullying or sneering when you have one of your own.

I think there's something in that for all of us.

UPDATE: Who am I to judge? I told him to fuck off and I meant it. Then stayed angry. Only I could piously intone how great I am and then void it with an angry shout. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Earful of water

One of the many fails of my body, and curiously right from near start of life, is my propensity for middle ear infections. Without antibiotics I'd have been dead from multiple infections as a child.

I have stents in my ear drums to let out discharge from the middle ear but it's a two-way street and I have to keep water out of my ears lest it enter the middle ear then pool with intent. In then shower, when I roll my head beneath the pour, I fold over my ears to protect the canal. 

Today I didn't. I tilted my head and then a seeming fuckton of water poured straight into the middle ear. I yelped in agony, flailed about in the man rain and ended the experience naked on the mat with my head tilted and my finger jammed in trying to create a suction so the water would come back out when I removed the finger.

It's a basic reminder that I can't risk normal activity like a normal person without taking steps to look after my un-normal self. 

But then without multiple exposure to near-death events I wouldn't be the savvy cat that I am—and normality is over rated.


UPDATE: I put in ear drops in to dry out the water but I didn't read the label—it said not to if you have the stents (grommets). 

It may have been the single most painful 20 seconds of my life.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Teasing phlegm from a laptop keyboard

I have a weird body that does unusual things; one is the production and expulsion of "lung lollies", a combo of mucus, phlegm and lung-muck that I can (and do) cough from within.

Though I use a plug-in keyboard for the laptop, I hate the fiddly little keys and the weird position your wrists rest in when using the one in the machine, my lolly was expelled some distance and went deep into the crevices of my laptop's keys that lay behind the plug in. 

I head to tease the phlegm out with a McDonald's napkin—I keep the ones they give me for home use like this—and it's not easy when you have trembling hands from meds and injury.

I can see in the ruddy glow of the heater I did not get it all—there are snail trails on the V and M keys alone where the volleys of yesterday landed from the lung fire. 

It's just yet another piece of the me puzzle—disgusting oddities of balding-yet-neck-hair, missing toenails, more hair, short, bandy legs, fat, failing knees, mechanical hip and assorted other fails. And that's just physical; it's a yellow pages on the mental side. 

If I was a game I chose a hard setting. If this is reincarnation and I had a say all I can say is fuck you, me.

But better lung lolly volleys than dead in the dirt—or ash in the armchair (1)—as they say.

(1) My urn fell off the mantelpiece.

A Rescue Bots battle anthem

"Can Fly" as sung by Dani and Blades.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Giant's Bag Contents Table

Blood pressure rising
My blood pressure is way up and it's because I traded laborious intensive SoTPC exercise bike riding for glorious, not-laborious outside bike riding. At least that's the only thing that's different so I am on meds and back to riding the exercise bike. I'll still get BYB time but that's pure fun, not exercise (it is; it's just my body needs more just to keep even).

It is what it is; a trite expression but tight and apt. My body has to battle to stay within normal; I'm still fucking here, that's the main thing. To stay here I have to do unwanted maintenance; le sigh.

Back again
I read a deeply upsetting article that caused anger, hurt and angst to boil up as I fell into acute introspection. I kvetched to a friend and he said to watch something to take my mind off it. 

I chose the dragons' burning of the galley scene from GoT. 

Dragons; always there to ease the pain.

Broke it < a week
I got given a kewl tool which I immediately started using. Only I used it too much and I stripped the thread in the middle and ruined it.

That's why I shouldn't have nice things.

Dead patch in the mint zone
I had to change my outside wee spot from the side of the shed near the door because that's where the pen gate is. So I chose the wooden frame with the mint plants in it. I've killed all the mint in a clear half-circle.

The mint is the spawn of the plant foisted on me by a mysterious old woman outside a local shopping centre.

So I'm expecting a curse.  

All aboard!
I have to ride the SoTPC. I don't want to, but as noted, I have to. Exercise; a must do just to stay even.

Le Sigh II, the Sighening.

Friday, June 09, 2017

A black swan moment

It came charging out of the lake shallows at me. I had to swerve to miss its assault.

I got attacked by a theory.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Doorknockers evaded

There were a pair of them; they'd come through the gate that is almost always locked. 

I was in the shed and the new placement of the desk affords a concealed look through the small bird bush to the gate and door of the house.

One of them was looking at me but I didn't know if she could actually see me given the small bird bush. So I kept my head still and watched as she watched and eventually they went away.

It's a typical universe thing to throw at you; doorknockers to come just when you have the lock off. But my shed-based concealment and willingness to suspend embarrassment at potentially staring a stranger in the face with none of that concealment business having worked saved the day. I did not have to appear and I did not have to converse with randos. 

Don't get me wrong; randos are important. It's just I don't like people coming into my yard to kindly shake me down for cash.

It could have been worse; it could have been frozen peas lady who once drunkenly knocked on our door to badger us for a loan of some peas (frozen). But she died or she was hustled on from squatting in the dead alcoholic's house. We've not seen her again. 

I also remember that time in a storm she came around and asked I could go up on her roof and fix her TV aerial; I wouldn't (and couldn't) even do that for us—and I'm me!

Anyway, the shed. I can see out but they can't see in (in theory; I'm going to test it now). But the whole doorknocker business is another reminder that if you don't want randos invading your yard then lock the yard.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Helmets good

I thought he was sitting down but he was standing so when I took off he fell out of the back from four feet up and landed with a crack on the concrete. The helmet wasn't clipped on but it stayed on and protected his head. Without it he could be dead.

The accident was my fault---I have should have checked before heading off he was safely seated---and he didn't want to get back in. But I explained it was me and not the bike at fault and we got back home okay.

The helmet is fucked but it did its job. I nearly lost him to a dumb accident that was carelessness. Hooray for the helmet taking that blow.

Probs that was close. I'm still aghast. Safety gear; a must to save you when you're rendered unsafe.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Necklace of missiles---type II

Nearly creamed self on an another lamppost (2d6)
I went off the path in an overshoot and just missed a smack into a lamppost. Am I drawn to them as a moth to a flame? Or is this just a natural cluster of near lampposting which happens to all cyclists?

I once rode into a bike path divider---hit it centre on with the front tyre and bounced back.

Maybe I'm just shit at riding bikes?

I'm my own Rank Organisation (2d6)
The movie company The Rank Organisation features a man striking a large gong. The pedal bin lid when it hits the oven sounds like the Rank d-o-o-i-i-n-g gong noise. I loved the Rank film-logo; I'd hope it meant it was Bugsy Malone.

Black cat collared (4d6)
After several escapes outside the black cat has a collar. I'm not used to it; it makes me feel old because now she looks like a proper cat and no longer a kitten. Stupid getting older.

Dogs V cats (4d6)
I got asked if I liked both, and I do, but confessed I liked cats more. Why? The bending. With a dog you're looking at multiple bending incidents a day; the lead, patting, bowls, literally picking up their shit. Cats? Maybe a bend, once a day, if needed. As a man who cannot bend with ease and for who squatting is a shrieking nightmare then it's clear cats are a winner for the unphysically inclined. Of course I don't have litter patrol---because of the bending---and cat litter duty is the worst part of cat duty.

Heh, I said "duty".

Sore (6d6)
I'm sore all over. It's just is what it is which is my body. I used to hate it until I realised it was self-defeating and dumb. I do what I can within the limits of what I can do and I can do far more than most people who cannot do much. Perspective is important. 

I get mad at the past for treating me ill then sigh and remember this is now; perspective!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fell into a lamppost

There was construction by the side of the bike path and the now detoured path turned from level tar to sloped, rugged grass. Good for pedestrians and two-wheeled bikes; bad for three wheels. 

I tried to keep on the right side of the cones but the trike had other ideas and down the slope I went. I was tipping as I came close to the lamppost and me and the BYB fell into it. I was mashed up against the new metal pole and spent a while pushing myself and the trike away from said pole to then throttle onto the bike path—cones be damned. 

There was a footpath just past the end of the detour so I committed to taking that way on the way back to avoid the construction. It was a monster of a hill, a heart pounder, and an extreme effort on a full stomach. As irony would have it I couldn't found a legit path back and had to rattle across cross country to re-intersect the way home.

Riding into the lamppost was embarrassing—it happened in front of manly men doing manly things; something no one has ever accused me of being or doing. But I'm comfortable in my body and the mere fact I was outside doing exercise was a miracle in itself. So as I tooled off the embarrassment fled to be replaced with musing of how if the post had not been there I would have tipped over. 

The BYB; now comes with minor risk of collision with industrial illumination.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Maryk was right

I’ve just finished The Caine Mutiny after being inspired to read it by Richard Cohen of The Washington Post who likened Trump to the World War Two novel’s key antagonist, Captain Queeg.

There is a court martial and though Maryk was found not guilty of mutiny for taking command in the middle of a typhoon when Captain Queeg was deemed to have suffered a momentary psychological paralysis the author and characters in the book support the notion that the result was unjust. That there is but one captain at a time and they are the Lord. That unless a captain had a psychotic break, as opposed to entering a disassociated state, they are in command even if their action could destroy a ship and kill its crew.

All of Queeg’s actions up until that point, from both a personnel manager and operator of a vessel, had shown his unfitness for command and duty. Then, in the middle of a crisis, the clearly more experienced seaman Maryk, the executive officer, relieves Queeg after he deems Queeg’s decision to go the turn the way as more likely to flounder the vessel. Queeg, until that point, having been paralyzed with indecision and Maryk effectively commanding the vessel.

The ship did not have a doctor. Maryk, a fisherman in real life who was a reservist who was called to duty on outbreak of war, kept a journal noting Queeg’s failures in command and mental normality which was used in evidence in Maryk’s trial. As the executive officer, on a ship without a doctor, this makes complete sense.

As a novel’s ending it was satisfying in that it was unsatisfying. The lawyer who defended Meryl admits he didn’t believe in the case and curses at his former client and his friend for their action in relieving Queeg. But you, as a reader, are convinced—because you were there, in the bridge, the moment it happened—that Maryk was right and Queeg had damned the ship.

Then the system—who needs Queegs to be obeyed and not questioned—kicks into gear and the other officer who was facing a court martial in supporting the mutiny is instead formally reprimanded; the best the system could do to condemn the decision given the mutiny was disproved.

There are 10 000 years of war distilled in us in listening to the chief, even when he is nuts, then getting killed as a result. The idea being that you need to follow the one in charge even if the one in charge is incapable of being in charge because otherwise the system breaks down.

Maryk was right. The captain was in that moment unable to effectively command the vessel. As the executive officer, superior seaman and, in that moment, the person best able to assess the captain’s mental state he had a duty to relieve his commander. The only reason a court martial could have been held was because the mutiny had occurred. The system had broken down in that it allowed Queeg to be in charge without redress and the individual, Maryk, stepped in to save everyone in spite of it.

The Caine Mutiny is a deeply engrossing, irritating and divinely written work. The book was written in 1951 and Incredibly the author Herman Wouk, a former executive officer on a destroyer minesweeper like the Caine, is still alive.

Herman, if you’re self-googling, my hat is tipped.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manchester united

The Manchester blast was Vs little women. Because, you know, it's their fault. 

What doesn't astound me in the aftermath of these events is the stories of the people lost and the people saved; and those who went into the chaos to help

Manchester united, like Paris did and like places across the world do, opening their doors to strangers brutalised by another stranger. 

A man-made tragedy but an entirely human response. You can't defeat that, no matter how many bombs you blow.

(First raised for a Manchester united).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

BYB re-stacked

The bitter irony was that not 24 hours beforehand I'd bragged about how me and the BYB were in sync like me as a 12-year-old in sync with my then bike.

I grew up in a town that you could get anywhere to on a bike within 40 minutes and it was the '80s so you and your bike would vanish during the day then appear again around darkness. No contact; presumed okay.

You'd fly down the steepest of hills with only a pedal brake to protect you; you'd ride a long way out of town, kays down dusty roads, into the fucking bush sometimes just because you could.

You and your bike were as one.

Me and this bike are not yet as one. I thought we were but we’re not. The BYB is a trike, which has many advantages but also plenty of disads; with three wheels comes added complication.

I was tooling along a footpath when it happened—because the footpath was subsumed by a driveway that went at forty-five degrees to the entry road. The BYB, being wheels of three, meant one wheel went up the incline.

I made nearly all the way across but the bins were in the way on the path and even though I counter tipped I still tipped—nice and slow—forward into the road from the pavement. It was a blind curve and because it was a settled McMansion suburb of Canberra then the typical car that would likely come along to squish me would be a giant not-needed-in-the-capital SUV and one capable of not seeing even me.

I banged up my shoulder, forearm, lower leg and got grazed through my jumper along my elbow. My helmet and gloves protected me from worse. 

It took seeming forever to get from under the bike then crawl to my feet. No car came along to hit me but also no one stopped to help—but I’m not sure if I was seen. Then it was the limping and the wheeling of the bike until I got around the blind curve and could safely mount to cross.

I was not in sync with my bike—or rather, trike. And that was the problem—that extra wheel. It still takes getting some used to.

Even now I still bash into the fence or plinth on the gap path into my street because I’ve gone a fraction too one direction to compensate for my bigger bike bum of two wheels and a tray.

I recognise that outside riding with motion, cars and roads is a risk but it’s a risk accepted. Riding a bike outside, going the distance and going with speed is insanely great compared to the laborious slog of the SoTPC.

I had a day off to heal and it’s back on the BYB on the morrow. So I nearly died again—big whoop; add it to the fucking list of the nearly done me ins.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sullied, cats and the dead Pringle

I'd put on a tight blue shirt, not that tight, but it was nice. My nose was dripping though and I looked down to see a fat dribble of snot had soiled it. Total wearing time < 30 seconds.

I think that's a record.

Sneaky cat
I heard the distant light clunk of the screen door close and knowing I was the only one home I investigated. The black cat was out and under the BYB. I grabbed her and hustled her back in. The door should close shut but it doesn't and the cat takes advantage of that. Sneaky fucker. 

Outside cats do not live long in Canberra. 

Dead Pringle
I had occasion to prong my second ever Pringle from a tree. I'd left it there from a previous Pringle throw but it had lodged in the leaves and not come down. Unlike last time I went "meh" and decided to let nature (i.e. the wind) bring it down for me.

Two days later I saw it had not. There was a piece of old fencing so I used that to prong the Pringle down. In its 48 hour seclusion in the tree the Pringle had curled in on itself, like a dropped leaf, the ends almost touching. Down it fell and the delighted trio of browns fell upon it and wrested shards of curled Pringle back and forth until gobbled. It was exciting for them and perhaps because it fell from heaven I am now their gawd. 

Not the gawd; a gawd. A chicken gawd. 

Here endeth the lesson.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Tissue in the wash

Tissue in the wash
I checked every fucking pocket, I swear, every single one. But I must have missed one because I opened the lid and saw the results. There's the good result where a tissue stays in shape—I found one that went through the wash and dryer and separated into three intact dried sheets on three separate garments—and the bad one where it shreds and pulps through your clothes.

It was the bad one. I yelled as I shook the shards free, snowing the laundry with their crud. I have PTSD and dodgy hands so naturally my hands flew open more than once on a shake and I had to bend to get the clothes off the floor with my failing knees and hip screaming at me.  Then re-shake them because they'd been re-dusted with bits.

Then I used a tall-handled dustpan to sweep up the shards. I know it's a first world whine to moan about a tissue in the wash but, fuck me, that is a prime domestic fail annoyance. 

There's still little bits I cannot get, reminding me of my failure. 

BYB top gear
I went for a ride where I stayed in top gear in spite of hills and slopes. Didn't change down once in a 30 minute hurtle. I even did an overpass in third. 

Area man is enjoying the ride.

BYB scary moments
The BYB has industrial thick tyres—but already holed once from a thumbtack—and its frame is rugged and strong. So you can go off road. 

Off road and going down a slope, however, is terrifying. You cannot turn the wheel too sharply or you'll tip so if you're on a rugged slope so you're basically going in that direction until the slope gives out. So there you are, gripping on with grim hope, face rattling as you scream down a slope and just hoping said face doesn't get mashed to a pulp.

UPDATE: I was going up on one side wheel and more-than-likely headed into a lamppost when I gave up on keeping the turn and went thudding into the grass instead. It was a split second choice or smooshed me. Eep.  

Bird stare
I can see small birds in a bush outside my window. I get a "tee-hee!" reaction each time I see them. I'll be typing and at the top of my eye I'll register a leaf twitch look up and see either a titchy bird or the afterglow of its branch bounce. 

Area man is enjoying the nature.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

De-shanked my mid-tine

It's not often you get to write a string of seeming nonsensical words that actually make sense but that's exactly what I did; I de-shanked my mid-tine.

The jagged stump of the mostly-missing middle finger, or tine, of the back scratcher protruded and risked scarring my flesh so I used pliers to snap the plastic back until it was just a nub, ruining the shank effect the broken tine offered in a set to involving crappy weapons.

All I need is a file to pare away the rough edges and make it neat but I've exhausted my knowledge of tools-that-we-have. But that's just cosmetic—the aid is back at 80 per cent and ready to screap.

... you really have to wonder at the mentality that would desecrate a helpless puma

With thanks to The Simpsons.

In the great shed clan up of '17 the skeleton hand back scratcher was presumed tossed so I relocated the better of the two inside BS's for sweaty, hairy back shed-based action.

It's glorious, with five finger tines that are sharp enough to give a decent scratch but not enough to hurt yourself if you go nuts. 

Well, was glorious and is no longer five-gingered; the middle one has been snapped off. It wasn't me and I don't know how or why it could have happened. I'll have whittle back the stump because it's raggedy with a point and it will hurt to deploy. 

My poor helpless island-themed desecrated now four-fingered back scratcher. Here's hoping I can re-shape you back to 80 per cent use.


Lost with a hint of near dual-lane mash

I got lost on the BYB when retracing my route, only discovering so when the bike path ended in the middle of a long stretch of dual-lane.  As I crossed the road a car had to slow and tooted. It was fair enough; if he'd not slowed he'd have clipped me and sent a fat hairy whirlwind of flesh, rubber and steel into oncoming traffic. 

I retraced my pedals and found the under pass I had passed and went back through.

Each day I try to ride somewhere new and getting lost is just part of the fun. Besides you're never really lost if you have active Apple Maps.

But less of the near creaming of me risks taken next time. I love me and I don't want me further damaged. Not after getting the bliss of mobility back.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


A shart is always a surprise; I doubt anyone has consciously birthed one unless impaired in some fashion.

I caught most of it twixt cheeks but it was still ghastly and I showered as soon as I was clean enough to risk movement. 

That's my IBS for me; it can be bearable and then suddenly ARRGH, I JUST SHAT MYSELF!

Damn you, abdominal business. 

I do feel oddly better. 

It's sleeping with undies time just in case round two comes at me. It might; the IBS, it does not play fair.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Bike-scared some geezers

Atop the BYB I gain about two inches and thanks to it being a trike—three wheels for greater stability and strength—I can simply sit when I come to a stop to do things like find out on my phone where the fuck I am. I'm like a bikeder—a bicycle drider with the latter the half-Drow, half-spiders from D&D; three wheels for eight legs.

The bike-added height along with increased breadth of a lower-half now phat tricycle makes for a more intimidating presence and I presume it's more so when I'm in a oldster's blind spot.

I didn't mean to follow the old lady right up to the doors of Coles—the bike rack was to the left of those doors—but yes, follow her I did, in her geriatric blind spot but with enough of a presence that she could still sense me. I followed with just the electric motor on, the bike ticking with light menace, and I could see her spin her head back a few times to see what the fuck was behind her.

Later, on the way back, it was an old dude's turn. I was behind him on a path between bays and he kept swiveling  to check my looming presence.

The bitter irony is I am middle-aged with a body that is in parts literally geriatricmy remaining hip is like that of an 80-year-old. I look older than I am; I am a geezer. 

But on the bike I'm half-geezer, half-bike and that all makes me fully awesome.

(ting! ting!)

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Feedback loop

Anxiety is self-fulfilling.

I was dropping things—more than usual—and it was frustrating. Then it was anxiety-inducing because it reminded me of the injury and that made me anxious. The more anxious I got the more my hands trembled and more my hands trembled the more anxious I got.

I wanted to try and put the replacement bell on the bike but I dropped the screwdriver three times. In the end I walked away because it was too frustrating.

That’s life with a psychological injury—you suffer a symptom which gives you anxiety and your anxiety makes that symptom worse.

But it’s better dread than dead and I should be dead.

Oddly, that does not make me anxious.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A Galaxy Quest moment

I was aboard the BYB and had stopped dead at the base of an arched overpass when I attempted to ride forward. The slope was steep enough that the bike slid backward if the brake was not on.

I'm not meant to rise in the saddle---my right hip is degraded and rising in the saddle also sends stress into the bike chain---but I had to grind down with as much force as I could to turn the pedal to avoid a backwards slide into a car-blocking plinth.

I needed something to get me through and that's when out it came; "Never give up! Never surrender!"

It worked, too. The pedal turned and I had enough momentum to keep turning.

Next time I may have to try chanting the Mak'Tar chant of strength.

UPDATE: I went to ride and got about 10 metres out when I discovered the flat tyre. I was worried I'd popped it during my GQ moment but it turned out to have been a thumbtack.

It's 2017; who the fuck still uses thumbtacks?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

As seen from the BYB

It's a rainy Anzac day in the nation's capital and not fit for outside riding. So it's exercise bike time which, as it turns out, is not that fun. The saving grace is I watch tellie on the laptop.

Getting outside on a nice day on the BYB is deeply cathartic; you feel stress and fear blown from your body as you sail through the air. 

Occasionally you see some kewl things. 

I have seen:

The autumnal leaves cascading from trees as I rode ala the third act of Excalibur

A shorter, stouter Seth Rogan; and

Julian Assange.

The last one was a shock given his purported self-imprisonment in the embassy of Ecuador but there you have it, walking fancy free in Canberra. 

I hope he doesn't get droned while he's here. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Epic Cook Off

I had an Epic Cook Off—in title case so I can intialise to ECO. It was sparked by a casual mention of a topic and it cut straight through my ego defence and I lost it; I had fight AND flight. I ended up crying in the street and it took about an hour to come down from it. 

Fully ghastly. I had to have a couple of drinks and a shower to take the edge off; my top was soaked from rage and scare sweat.  

I loathe that I had an ECO—it's been a while since I had one. But treatment brought up a whole bunch of the sads and the topic lanced through me like one of my sperm splitting an ovum

I'm going to be better about dealing with it and am thinking of ways to meaningfully resolve it. 

Fucking childhood horrors. WHAM! All of a sudden you're back the fuck in it.

Unwellness for no win.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pringle fights back

A shard slipped between my top front teeth and sliced into the webbing of my gum. It fucking hurt. I had to douse the shard in pepsi to remove it.

I don't like food that fights back.

Did not freak

I have PTSD and one of my triggers is loud and unpleasant noises.

There's tree lopping happening. The noise is monstrous. I stood outside the shed and bathed in it, getting used to it, until I'd had enough then calmly got earphones and distanced myself. My tolerance for this audio shit has increased; it is not forcing me to flee. I have protection on but can still discern it but the discernment is not causing the trigger to pull.

I am astounded at what I can cope with now. Past me would have fled gibbering up the street. Now me is having coffee and is about to eat some hot cross buns.

Recovery progress for the win.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Big helicopter

Me---"I may be a big person with big problems but at least I have a big helicopter!"

theboy---"You don't have a helicopter."


Monday, April 17, 2017

BYB to the outer limits

thewife fixed the gears so I took the BYB for a super ride. I went to a part of town I've never been to and followed a path to see where it ended; puffing lightly as the bike and I forged up a hill.

The path ended at the literal edge of town, in a paddock with the freeway a short way away. I furtled back, zipping through yet more streets I have never been in before. 

Then I got some Pringles for the chickens. Because I love them and I love feeding them Pringles.

The BYB; exercise now featuring actual fun.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

BYB goes deep

The BYB is mostly good---save for the gear chain slipping---and I've been riding it out and about my neighborhood. Today I went out farther than I've been and zipped about places I've only experienced walking or driving.

It was zen; the riding, the breath, the wind and the speed.

BYB is a pleasure machine.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Inside and out

I'm suffering abdominal spasms. I can see my stomach ripple ... then moments later my guts ripple as well. 

It is eye watering.

I don't think I had dairy but it's similar to that kind of discomfort.

Rippling guts, inside and out, make it hard to sleep. So I'm distracting myself with a biography of Charles Manson.

He was full of shit and wind, too.

Yet another early morn in bloat land, population me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

BYB pending

BYB got fixed but has a knock and needs a tweak. So I had to ride the exercise bike. It sucked. There's been a reorg in the shed and there was a white plastic bag with Christmas lights where one of the battery operated strands was on. I kept riding as I sorted through the bag to find which strand was operated by what pack. It took 700 metres and one and a half sessions clicking switches until I found the right one.

Some of the lights had snow crystal surrounds of hard pointy plastic. They dug through the bag and into my chest. 

It was both painful and a little weird.

Come back, BYB.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

BYB de-rezzed

I de-rezzed it by snapping the chain again. This after having had the chain come off five times. 

But, after it snapped, the electric motor still worked and I zipped along at a tasty clip and thrilled at the journey. I got more shout outs from people I passed who were excited to see the BYB.

And why not? It's most exciting. 

Hopefully the BYB will be re-rezzed and off I'll go at a tasty clip. At one point I got about a kay and a bit before the chain came off and it was a glorious kay and a bit; heart pumping, legs pumping, wind thumping. 

The BYB will be back and I will get the fuck back on it.

My mother was confined to a scooter—never a trolley—for the last decade plus of her life. But it had a decent speed to it. She scared people when she was in the old arcade, which had a down slope about a 120 metres long with a light dog leg, as she'd fire down there at max speed as she barked "coming through" in clipped British.

I get the appeal. To go from no legs to mobility, even if artificial, is sensuous; you delight in experiences you'd thought lost. Riding a bike in the open air on a nice day is insanely great. And now I've tasted it I want it again and again and again.

All those years of tormented bike riding in a shed muscled up my legs for getting mobility back with the BYB. I'll still use the exercise bike on those days I can't ride or when the BYB is out of action. But if the weather is clement and the BYB is free then the BYB for exercise it will be.

Outdoor cycling; after near twenty years of not doing it I'm back and this time with electro-mechanical assist.

Technology enhancing quality of life for the win.

Friday, April 07, 2017

BYB is rezzed

The BYB was fixed. I watched it happen from the back of a decaying wooden rocking horse out in the carport. The chain was a link too long so the new one was shorter. The frame of the bike had to be lengthened a tad to make it nice and tight.

The repair dude was dressed in typical nothing-to-imagine biking Lycra so that answered the "do they wear it when not biking?" question. He turned out to be a fellow hippie, those whose hips are now half or all machine, and we swapped battle stories of suffering then recovery.

I took the BYB for another test run and ended up in a place I've never been in the near ten years in this part of town. It was beyond my walking range from when I walked so off I went up a mild hill into places unknown. The path ended at a mighty tunnel with a bush trail beyond.

Battery low from wielding my form I furtled home. Only once did the chain slip and I got it back on with the first attempt.

It is insanely great to experience my surrounds in relative comfort and at speed. Before when I walked I was always in pain. On the bike it hurts now and then, but only a bit and not for long. Slow and yuck has given way to nimble and not.


Pocket litter

I ate an eyelash
It fell into my cereal. It was either eat it or fish it out. I don't have the dexterity to fossick for follicles so I ate it. But I swallowed it without biting so I don't know what it tastes like. Chicken hair?

Killed the chain on the BYB
The chain kept slipping off and eventually snapped. I had the bike on its side then back up multiple times in attempting to get the chain on but failed. Then the snapping happened. I was frustrated and had a light yell but then got over it. At least the electric motor still worked and I was able to get back home. The BYB is so much more fun than riding an exercise bike; that's pure drudgery.

Hooray for capability gain! Boo for capability loss.

I played Lego
I helped build a kewl base for criminals who reused blocks from a police station set. Now that's sticking it to the (plastic) man!

In our house the police are the "p'po".

Trump gives me the dumps
The whole Trump thing makes me sad. Each day when I wake I hope I'll swipe on to see he's resigned. The job is beyond him; he's had his fun winning office but he doesn't seem to be enjoying the doing part---and neither is anyone else enjoying his doing. He either doesn't do it right or doesn't do it at all. 

My suspicions were aroused of his lackadaisical attitude to actual governance by the solicitation by Trump from Fabio on the romance novel portrait model's view who would make a good Secretary of State.

And that happened before he took office; before!

This wrong trouser of time sucks hairy balls. Hey, if balls are your thing then go (those) nuts; but I am presuming it's the hair that's the core of the issue what with pubes itching at the uvula.

Trump's presidency is big hairy ball sucking for everyone; everyone---even him.

And I am betting his nasty manky man carpet in no way matches the gilded, combed over drapes.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Born to be mild

I took the BYB out for a ride---wearing tracksuits pants and thus using them for actual exercise.

I went along the paths I used to tread years before when I walked for exercise before shredding my hip ... from walking for exercise.

I know; what a fucked thing.

But there I was on paths trod before and instead of painful walking I was zipping along on the bike in comfort and blissed out on the rush of wind on my face. I ended up at the top part of the suburb then onto a bike path for the shops, cruising at 30 kph from the slope and gentle terrain. 

That's when the gear chain slipped off.

The electro-mechanical chain was still on and still got to the shops. Then after shopping I crouched low to fix the chain. The squatting was deeply awful and my tremble-hands added to the challenge but I was able to actually do it---me with minimal dexterity and agility both.

With glee I glided home, with downhill taking me a third of the way without power or pedal applied.

Later the gear chain slipped again and a tradie with his two kids stopped to give me a hand, dropping to his stomach on the ground to get at the problem.

I took theboy for a ride to a playground for spaceships and aliens then zipped home again. A couple of kids were encountered there and back who called out love for the BYB.

In every computer game I've played having a power or item that gave you speed was always a prime desire; speed gives you an edge and in combat games is a force-multiplier. 

I force-multiplied my life with the BYB.


Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Anchorman sadness

We've been introducing comedy movies we love to theboy. On Sunday I showed him Anchorman.

He loved it---right up to the part where Baxter the dog gets punted off the bridge

He cried for the rest of the movie. I told him Baxter was okay and returns to save the day but he was on a jag and couldn't help himself. He still found the movie hilarious---he loved Brick the most---but he'd be laughing, stop, then cry again.

I have PTSD. The sound of a child crying is a reaction trigger.

But I was committed to the movie and him seeing it so I steeled myself through it and experienced the almost same journey of happy--sad--happy--sad.

That's life with a psychological injury; life still happens and you have to deal with its impact on your injury.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Various things

BYB is grouse
Apart from the gears not quite gripping if you stop pedaling in third the BYB is going great guns.  I took theboy to school in the back cargo basket and we zoomed along. His weight makes the ride more stable. Later I took it for a ride up paths in the hills then enjoyed speeding down said hills---something I have not done in a decade or more. You get up a sweat and it can be grueling on hills but so far I've not had to rise in the saddle---something I cannot do with a decaying right hip.

I've gone from limited mobility to lots and it's most awesome---the to school ride was a peak experience.

The challenge 
It was Sunday and I laid down a challenge of sing talking until thewife got home. A beat after accepting the challenge he yelled, and not sing talking it, "I'M OUT!" ala Kramer in the masturbation challenge in Seinfeld. I laughed long and loud.

Rattled awake
I was on deck in the morning and got woken up by a rapid series of taps. It was startling. "You're supposed to be looking after me." I'd set an alarm but was brutally woken 38 minutes early. Afterwards I had to wait for my cleaned pajamas to dry before heading back to sleep for two hours at noon. I dreamed about Hemingway. 

It was quite the day.