Clone Wars!

November 2008:

Clone wars!

At last back amongst the surviving packets on the grand isobaric terrain of the intArweb.  In my travels I have seen many lonely deserted packets, dropped needlessly from their groups… 8, 32, thousands… why do they not care for the feelings of a single packet, leaving them to separate into fragments of bits at our very feet.  But behold, I have before me packets folded to my bidding.  Networks staged on the very air over my living establishment are now mine, MINE, at my very bidding… my beckoned call to bow upon my every whim and desire.

Oh yes… I have internet access now.  Clandestinely perhaps, but I never claimed to be a Greenpeace activist.  I’m not armed enough for that role, yet.

June 2010:

Time progresses and this blog consists of things I have ran across and/or learned within the last 2 years.  In some cases, simply being a documentation for me to refer to later, along with sharing to the rest of the world.  I forget more than I ever type, sadly.
No longer am I clandestinely pirating airwaves to gain ‘net access.  I find my own connection to be far more sound.  That, and I can afford it now ;)

Sound Control Greyed Out/Unusable in OS X for Internal Speakers

I figured I’d mention this since it was something I recently ran into.
Running OS X Yosemite on my Macbook Pro (Late-2011), the sound icon on the top bar was greyed out and the sound controls on the keyboard were disabled for internal speakers. If I selected any other sound device other than internal speakers, it activated.

I found that if I plugged a set of earbud headphones into the port for a little, it reset the sound control somehow and when I unplugged it was active for the internal speaker.

New Motorcycle: 2012 Yamaha Stratoliner S

With small issues creeping up on my old 2007 Honda VTX1300C, I figured it was time to cut bait while I could get money of that bike. Small things such as the home-made fairing (that I took off), bad fairing wiring, dangling exhaust tip, and other things were making me not want to ride the bike. Not something good since it’s a toy.

I went over to RideNow powersports (a motorcycle, offroad, & water toy store) with my VTX1300C and played my cards slow. After a while, an older salesman came by and started chatting about things, and we got to business after a couple of minutes. After examining my VTX, they gave me an amount and I decided I’d use it as a down payment.

Talk about timing. They were “cleaning house” of the older motorcycle models, and had a few Yamaha Roadliner & Yamaha Stratoliner on clearance. I was looking at the Roadliner because of it’s 113 cubic inch engine before, and was interested in it. I never knew about the Stratoliner which was basically the roadliner except with key-lockable/removable windshield, hard bags, & passenger backrest. That really makes for a different bike look, and I’ve been wanting to update to a windshield for a while now. The price was significantly less than new value, and these were with no road miles on them.

unnamed (1)

After waiting for paperwork and everything to be complete, everything was set!  I have 3 years maintenance & warrantee,  along with a lowering suspension wishbone that will be installed next weekend to lower the bike 1 1/2 inches.

I took the bike for a spin (80 or so miles) around Phoenix, and it handles nicely.  The bike is more suited for highway use than residential road use, it feels like.  At 70 MPH, the engine is at about 3,300 RPM, with a top out redline of about 5,500.  The energy the motor has is amazing, as with just a little twitch of the wrist when traveling at 70, you accelerate to 80 and beyond before you even realize it.  I am still getting used to the tires Yamaha put onto this bike, though.  It feels like the center is very high, almost a tall center.  When going into a corner, it scan scare the hell out of you since the bike needs to fall quite a bit before engaging into cornering.  I’m hoping this changes with break-in.


Here’s to the ride!


Home was robbed

After returning home from work today, I noticed my front door was unlocked and everything inside of my house was in shambles. It appears that somebody beside it my house would be a good one to break into and take literally everything of importance. This literally included every computer I own. The only computer I have a brown is my iPhone which isn’t mine anyway since it’s paid for by work.  Times like these I realize that things are not really important.  I’m actually assessing what I will do with life now, even though my life was not wrapped around my computers. I just can’t trust anyone.  Even when I’m asking people I know for a shoulder, it’s been short and terse, with talk more about themselves.  I’m tired of people, and this shows the reason why.

New Finished Prosthesis!

After going through several weeks of walking in a temporary sizing socket for my prosthesis, I finally have a brand new carbon fiber sleeve with Ossur Re-flex shock system.  The system takes heel pressure to open the pump and rolls forward to the front to close it as you walk/run.  I tested it while I was at the clinic, jumping around, running for a short (5-7 step) sprint.  I could tell immediately I’ve been stagnant too long – The muscle tendon on the heel of my good foot pulled a bit as I was jumping around.  That’s alright, that will heal in a day or two.  Now, I can change things.


The dimensions of the new sleeve is different than my old one.  The old one was a simple matter of following the dimensions of the leg, while this one encloses a button system that I press when putting my leg into it.  This evacuates air, and I let it go.  BAM, ready.  It also holds the hose in a cavity within the carbon fiber as it flows down.  Quite a nice feature, cosmetically.

My favorite feature:
IMG_0777On the right-hand side notice the bow-like metal bar.  This is a flexible metal suspension bar, which actually bows as weight is placed on the sleeve.  This is to absorb the downward force and allow a free flow while running.


The entire unit, including my tennis shoe, only weighs 5.4 lbs.
Thankfully, my insurance company is very good.  I have Blue Cross Blue Shield, which covered about 75% of the total cost. (80%+deductible)  The total cost of this puppy is the cost of a small car, ~$18,000.  Compared to most prosthetics I’ve seen, which range from $30,000+, this is a steal.

The plus side is if I really want to, and I have $6,000 I can just fritter away, I can unbolt this re-flex shock foot system and bolt on a blade running system like this (which is not mine, this is a woman’s legs):
ossur-flex-run (1)

New Prosthetic socket technology available

I found this article about a new prosthetic socket technology available that makes it easy to regulate the socket size around your limb depending upon needs. The human limb can swell and shrink depending upon many variables (salt, sugar, humidity, blood pressure, etc etc) and with normal sockets the rigid design means using socks around the limb to compensate. This doesn’t create a hard & fast hold most of time, and leaves room where blisters & sores can be formed. On a limb in a socket, a blister/sore can be a very bad thing since the limb sits in an enclosed (most of the time air-tight) environment constantly.


Sure, it’s not cutting edge like I want it to be.  I’d really love to have my leg opened up on the operating table, and have a fusion device around my bone with the tissue fused to the fusion interface.  (likes of fuse and fusion! :) )  This can be done, it just hasn’t been.

A Week with My 2012 Chevy Camaro LS

After having an uninterrupted week with my 2012 Chevy Camaro LS, I now have a real feel for how the car is as a commuter. My work is about 20 miles away from home, mostly over city roads. I picked up the LS automatic because honestly I’d be doing nothing more than killing my good leg with constantly pumping the clutch in city traffic. The V8 would have used too much fuel for commuting, also.

I’ll admit, it feels nice. The suspension is firm, but not overly tight. I’m able to take a corner without a worry of lots of lateral yaw, and at the same time the suspension absorbs road noise…. mostly. It’s not a cadillac, which is nice. The engine’s nearly constant low RPM is a comforting feeling, usually sitting below 2,000 RPM. The exhaust is really quiet for a pony car, though. While idling it’s actually super quiet, and inside the cockpit the exhaust isn’t easily heard unless you’re gunning it. That doesn’t mean it’s low poer, there’s lots of get-up-and-go to this 6-cylinder. Stock it has 323 horsepower, and the power arc seems fairly uniform. The fact that the rear-wheel drive isn’t limit-slip differential is nice for me. I’ve always enjoyed having the mechanics working as they should :-)

After owning the car for a week, I’ve decided on the modifications I’ll do to the car over the next year.

  • Sunroof – This roof needs a sunroof, badly.
  • X-Pipe exhaust with MRTv2 muffler – This car needs to be opened up to sound better
  • Make it more industrial – All the happy happy shiney chevy/GM logos need to go
  • Vertical opening doors – ONLY if I ever find myself not being able to get out without whacking the door on everything. (Remember, I’m disabled)

I took a look at the turbocharger & supercharger packages sold for this engine, but for some reason I just can not see myself spending $6,000+ on ~100 horsepower addition, when I’m not racing anyone and I’ll be driving as a commuter.



New Car, torn up knee

The last day or two has been very active, both in a good way and bad.
The outcome of my car accident was a complete total of the Prius, with an estimated $20K pay off of the Toyota loan. The rest is covered by the gap coverage which I purchased during the financial negotiations. I can’t praise gap coverage enough, it truly is a great C.Y.A. in case your 2 year old car gets destroyed, and you owe 10K more than the vehicle is worth.
The replacement of the Prius is completely different. I figured I’d try a different style of car since I don’t travel between states as often any longer. Due to the price of most cars, I figured why not go used and let that first year or two of depreciation go on someone else? I looked at some of the Scion models (FRS & TC) but the whole ‘fast and the furious’ wanna-be look was a bit of a turn-off for me. Not to mention after test-driving them, the suspension was nearly impossible to stand on roads that have irregular surface wear.
The two I was really choosing between was Dodge Charger, and Chevrolet Camaro. The Charger was very nice, with an 8 speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and the engine had a scary amount of power. The body style for me though was too docile compared to it’s competition. The interior was geared more towards a family vehicle, which is something I’m not going for since I don’t have a family… and the car is for me.
The Camaro took me back to the cars of the 70’s, and how they felt while riding in them. It has a firm suspension, but is more sedan-feeling during those road irregularities. The dash height and wide emptiness really did remind me of my Dad’s car back when I was 6. The plastic spanning across the doors and some other places is a little unnerving, but it’s a small thing. The torque delivery is very uniform, which makes it easy to judge how the car will react. The stock exhaust is rather quiet, though. The one I was looking at was the 6-cylinder LS model.IMG_0296

It was a tough choice, but since I have to look at my choice for many years, I went with the Chevy Camaro. Not because it beat the Charger, but because it gave me nostalgia and a sedan feel with a muscle car body. It also corners like it’s on rails, amazingly. The tires are wide enough to not have any issues, but knowing just how to steer the car takes a little getting used to.

As much as I hate to admit it, it definitely draws attention.  To make me happier, the exhaust is definitely going to be changed to something with a little more growl, since the stock version is very pacified and you only hear a hint of the growl while at more than 3/4 throttle.



Aaaaannnd to talk about the knee.
The salesman was nice enough to drive the car to my place for me since I was on motorcycle.  As he was following me, we came to a traffic light that went from green -> yellow -> red in less than 1 second.  I hit the brakes, and some oil (or some other slippery liquid) made the front wheel dive out to the right.  Without thinking, I pushed my left leg down towards the ground hard, and pogo’ed the bike back up and stabilized it.  Now, the bike is near 800 lbs, and I am near 200 lbs, so nearly 1000 lbs was projected upward by my left leg.

Searing pain and throbbing throughout the entire leg immediately, so I could tell things weren’t going to work out well.  The next day, the knee area was swollen double the size, and the leg unable to bend.  The entire day was horrid so my doc took me in on an emergency appointment, and we have some powerful pain killers and anti-inflammatories in place to get rid of the swelling, which needs to happen before anything can be done.  Since the area isn’t blue, the thought is there’s no detrimental damage to the tissue/bone, but the internal knee nerves (which hav names but I can’t think of them) may still be ripped/torn.  I sure hope no surgery is necessary…. until then, hobbling and walking 1/10 speed is what I will be doing.  I’ll probably be using my arm crutches just to keep the speed from being so ridiculously torturous.  I am glad I didn’t go with the 6-speed transmission options for the car, since pushing a clutch right now is right up there with altering time/space by thought…. even getting into the car right now takes 5 minutes of maneuvering and pain.


On a side-note, I took hydrocodone about 1 1/2 hours ago, and right now it’s kicking in hard with jumpy vision.  I’m closing this article.  Thanks for reading.