Print Story So, I'm exceeding bored while sitting here soaking my feet
By lm (Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 08:10:53 AM EST) (all tags)
I started the day like usual, escorted my wife down to the lobby of the apartment where she waits for the local paratransit service to pick her up and take her to work, walked out the back of the building, kicked off my sandals, and started running.

I got about ten yards before I started to feel the tingling pain from the center of my foot letting me know I had a splinter. I managed another ten yards before I decided that the pain was increasing rather than decreasing and that I wasn't going to be able to manage to run. So I turned around and walked back to the apartment where I'm now soaking my feet in epsom salt. Hopefully, this will coax the splinter out far enough for me to extract.

Blather follows.

This past weekend was fairly irritating. Nothing horrible happened, but lot's of minor (and not so minor) irritations occurred. My pocket watch broke. My van broke (and requires a $1000 repair.) My wife's mood is swinging into a trough. (If she doesn't have bi-polar disorder proper, she certainly has bi-polar tendencies.) I did a proper analysis of cashflow and balance sheets and determined that, financially speaking, we're doomed. I spent my Sunday driving 500 miles or so to get my girls and a friend to summer camp.

It could be worse. I could be watching my children starve to death in front of my eyes because there isn't enough food to go around.

:: :: :: :: ::

On the van thing, it's probably time to start looking for another one. The last one we found via the Internet back in 2000 or 2001. Back then it was actually easier to find used vans adapted for use by people in wheelchairs. Or, perhaps I should say, easier to find reasonably priced used vans adapted for use by people in wheelchairs.

On the plus side, automobile reliability greatly improved in the 2000s. So a ten year old van purchased today will likely be far more reliable than a ten year old van purchased in the early 2000s. On the down side, programs like "cash for clunkers" cleared quite a bit of used inventory off the market. This decreased supply at a time when it seems that demand is surging. More people with disabilities are getting jobs these days than back in the early 2000s.

So the current strategy is to have this repair done and hope it lasts six months or so, giving us time to find another van at a good price.

In commencing the new search, I've found some silly things. For example: the most absurd adapted vehicle system I've ever seen.

What I'm hoping to find is something closer to a Toyota Sienna fitted with a wheelchair ramp. The price on that one actually is pretty decent. But it's also out of our price range.

:: :: :: ::

I've been meaning to write up the weekend we spent in Baltimore at a conference for the scholarship program my youngest daughter is in. There were some pretty interesting things going on there. Perhaps the most interesting of these was meeting this guy from the Dakotas that lives off the grid. He has no electricity. He does have a generator that he runs once a week to operate their washing machine. Him and his family generally watch movies then. The rest of the week, no power. So no cold storage. No electic lights. No internet.

A good deal of their food, his family gets by foraging. He was pretty knowledgable about the local flora and described to me how to find and dry all sorts of roots and what not. They also grow some maize which they dry for the winter. For meat, they take down a buffalo or antelope and dry it out. Most of the winter they survive on stews made from rehydrated meat and root vegetables.

:: :: ::

Three weeks ago, I was finally starting to get my mojo back after being sick. I was back up to running four or five miles each day after almost two months of effort. I could do three full circuits on the weight machines. Then I got sick again. This time, it was only a minor ailment that passed in just a few days. But being full of snot and having a headache demotivated me from running, so I didn't.  This set me back a few weeks. I'm back up to four miles per day. Or was, until this splinter.

I get splinters in my feet all the time. Most of them I don't even notice. They either come out on their own or get absorbed into my body. But about once a month or so, I get one that hurts enough that I notice and need to extract. This is one of those.

:: ::

So today's the day I celebrate having been alive for four decades. I find it odd in some ways. As a teenager, I never really imagined surviving to adulthood. As a young man, married at the age of 19 (almost exactly one month before my 20th birthday), I've never imagined reaching a point where I've been married for half of my life.

I don't have any special  plans for celebrating. After an irritating weekend, I'm in kind of morose mood.


After an hour of soaking my feet in epsom salts, the splinter took one look at my trusty razor blade and practically leapt out of my foot.

Huzzah. Huzzah.

< staying in tonight | global boredom quotient >
So, I'm exceeding bored while sitting here soaking my feet | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden)
happy birthday by tierrasimbolica (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 09:04:16 AM EST
 a hug

Happy birthday by ana (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 09:26:57 AM EST
and anniversary. Here's to more decades!

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

Darn that nanny state government by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #3 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 09:31:34 AM EST
first, forcing businesses to make accomadations for those with disabilities, and then taking clunkers off the road.

I miss the freedom of old cars and beggars.

If we can get to August, our financial doomsday clock with have a few minutes added to it.

I'm rooting for you to get through to August by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:48:14 AM EST
Hopefully, you mean August of this year.

In news of minor victories, our van repair came in at about $150 under the estimate. I'm shocked and awed.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Typo? by Herring (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:44:07 AM EST
Did you mean:
"alive for ... for decades"
"alive for four decades"?

Either works and happy birthday. Don't let them tell it you it's all downhill from here - it was all downhill from about 30.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

FTFY by lm (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:17:51 PM EST


Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Also, 60 is the marker for heading downhill by lm (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 09:43:51 PM EST
So far as I can tell, most people peak (brain wise) about 50 or so. By sixty years of age, mental and physical decay set in.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
how do you regularly get splinters in your feet ? by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 11:04:09 AM EST
The only thing I can come up with is walking on old wood decks, a lot, barefoot, and shuffling your feet.

Kicking down doors, by Herring (4.00 / 4) #6 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 11:34:56 AM EST
fighting crime - that sort of thing.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Shush, you! by lm (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:13:39 PM EST
You're going to blow my cover.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I run barefoot by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:13:15 PM EST
Presently, four miles per outing, five outings per week. Between asphalt and all the trees here in the People's Republic of Montgomery County, I get quite a few things stuck in my feet. Fortunately, it's rarely been glass.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
$19,000? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 12:28:25 PM EST
You could almost get a brand new one for that much. Well, a little more:

I'm amazed it's so expensive in the US.

Part of it's the conversion. by lm (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:15:52 PM EST
Adding the gear to get the wheelchair in the van and, if it's a mini-van, modifications to raise the roof or lower the floor, add quite a bit to the price.

If all we needed was another used vehicle, we could swing that no problem. It's that we need a particular type of used vehicle with specific and expensive modifications.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
That was a link to a converted vehicle. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:27:35 PM EST
I'm not sure how appropriate, but it definitely fits a wheelchair.

[ Parent ]
I noticed after I posted by lm (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:00:21 PM EST
Another thing is, outside of full sized vans, most vans in the US have to have massive work done on them. One of the reasons that VW vans were popular with the adapted vehicle community in the US was that it was one of the few makes of small vans that had a tall enough door to fit an adult sitting in a wheelchair. Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Chrysler minivans all needed to have the door enlarged and the root raised (or the floor lowered).

Were I in Europe, I'd get look for a used Transporter and find someone to move the present lift over to the new vehicle. But in the US Transporter parts are hard to come by because VW hasn't sold them since 2003 or so and when they did, they didn't sell that well.

The problem with full sized vans is mostly parking. Out this way, they don't fit into most public parking garages. Back in Ohio, there was also the problem of our friends being afraid of driving such a large vehicle. But since my wife steadfastly refuses to make new friends out this way, that's not a problem.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Hopefully the Transit Connect starts selling by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:35:09 PM EST
That's a pretty good base for a small van conversion, and should get prices down to sensible levels. I have no idea why the US van market in general is so bad: it's at the technological sophistication of 1970s era Detroit.

[ Parent ]
Uh, that's one ugly van by lm (2.00 / 0) #19 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 07:32:31 PM EST
It'll never take off in the states. Vans in the US may be stuck in the seventies tech wise, but that thing has all the lines of a 1970s sci-fi film. Just add wings and you've got original Galactica viper. Just add a top sale and you've got an imperial shuttle.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Happy birthday! by clock (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 12:42:55 PM EST
Keep kicking mortality in the ass!

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

Off the grid does not have to mean low-tech. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 01:32:38 PM EST
Dad knows some people in Utah who are off the grid. Solar power (with Big Battery Shed of Doom) +well+satellite TV+cell phone. Not sure how they do the intarwebs.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Yeah, I understand that by lm (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:19:13 PM EST
But in this guy's case, it means no electricity. I do know that there are ways to make electricity without hooking into the grid. This guy doesn't believe in doing so on a regular basis.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
PBS does shows about people like that. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:47:46 AM EST
Or did, back in the 90's.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
last year by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 05:42:13 PM EST
I coulda hooked ya up with a a guy who had a van that was all conversion ready.

Happy birthday! by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:31:50 AM EST

Happy Birthday Sir! /nt by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 09:56:01 AM EST

"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
Wow four decades by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 08:52:09 PM EST
Yer old. 

I however get to be 39 for approximately another four weeks.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
Happy Birthday by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #25 Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 07:37:12 PM EST

So, I'm exceeding bored while sitting here soaking my feet | 26 comments (26 topical, 0 hidden)