October 15th, 2014


Huh? Now Explain THIS, Genius!

So... Tuesday I got gas in Allendale. Regular was $2.85.9/gallon, midgrade was $3.00.9/gal, and I didn't even have a coupon. That was at 7:40am.

Coming home around 6pm -- and gas everywhere was $3.25.9/gal.

That's a 40¢/gallon rise just during the work day.



What caused this? I turned on my radio, to catch either NPR news or MarketPlace on NPR. Alas, it's been raining lately and I have a ground problem with my radio, similar to the 1985 Blazer, and so the radio isn't working right now.

So later on after I was home, there were two news stories that "might" be connected, but as per usual, who the hell knows?

One -- the stock market, aka the Dow Jones Industrial Average of an indexed basket of reasonable stocks which changes over time, dropped 450 points. I haven't had a working radio for a couple of weeks, with the weather, but I'm pretty sure that last I heard the DJ was around 17,000 still. But whether 16,000 or 17,000, a drop of 450 is under 3% -- not 14%.

Unless you're sure that this volatility presages the sudden and utter collapse of the U.S. economic system, in which case $3.25.9/gal is way too low.

Two -- a Federal court said that yeah, Texas can implement their Not My Kind Of Right Thinking Voter Suppression Law, on the basis that it's too close to the election to consider allowing a free and fair election. In which case, perhaps the oil companies -- big in Texas -- decided that maybe they didn't have to sweeten the price of gasoline to discourage voters from voting in pols who might be antithetical to Big Business after all. Which had been my own personal crackpot theory of gas prices the last couple of election cycles.

There are gasoline price pundits out there, of course, but what fun would that be to hear what they had to say?

These gasoline blog entries are as much place markers for me as anything, so I can look back at October 2014 and remember.

I'm sure these posts and political side comments are just sterling stuff that my two or three readers can't wait to get their electrons wrapped around another edition.

And they say blogging in general and LiveJournal in particular are dead.

Dr. Phil

Progress Report #713596

A year ago I was counting down the days til being released from the Fuller Street facility and the 5th Floor rehabilitation unit. It has been an interesting and busy year.

Currently, the number one main wound on my heel is looking pretty good. Not much in the way of drainage, the foot surgeon trimmed off some hypergranulated tissue so it doesn't interfere with the nice granular tissue filling in underneath. It's satellite, which opened up connected to a previously known tunnel, is also healing -- after the second-to-disappear/first-to-emerge wayward piece of hydroferra blue got free. The outside edge heel wound, from which appeared the first-to-disappear/second-to-emerge wayward piece of hydroferra blue after several months and some 4" of travel inside my heel, is also looking pretty nice.

Of course, we always have excitement here. The NEW new site is on the inside edge of the heel. There was some callous tissue which had gotten very hard and we'd been treating it with a urea cream to soften it. Well, it softened enough that -- and this is my speculation -- that with the extra bandaging on the outside, it must have been irritated in the AFO foot brace, so that it blistered and formed a blood blister underneath.

Last night the blood let loose, which I had been expecting. So the bandage was bloody -- on the outside edge, cause it followed the bandaging around, since I sleep on my left side and gravity works DOWN.

As for the infected heel bone, no information. Still have another almost two months of oral antibiotics to go, and then go off those. In December we'll evaluate once again with everyone, and they'll figure out when I should get a repeat MRI. Probably some more bloodwork. See if I have any infection.

Can't make a real decision as to whether we keep the left foot, but so far no news ain't bad news. Infectious Diseases figures one can have an infected heel bone for a long time and manage. So no rush? Fine by me.

Last night got on the cellphone and reordered almost all of my prescriptions -- #'s 2, 7, 9, 11, 20.2 and 12, plus 6 -- everything but #8 since that comes in 90 day supplies and not 30. What, you think I'm gonna call all these things by their trade names?

So on any given day there's low grade excitement, otherwise we admire the absolutely gorgeous bandaging jobs that Mrs. Dr. Phil does. Better than the nurses and assistants do. Seriously.

I'm improving my stair climbing times, especially in the big lecture hall, 1104 Rood, which has the big shallow steps. Will probably soon try the basement steps in the house. After all, it's fall. And we talked about getting a new trio of kittens this fall to replace the last set we wore out. (mew!)

Dr. Phil

Not A NaNoWriMo Project

So back on 9 September, just over a month ago, I started in on a novel. It's a story I've worked on before, including the last year, but I changed things.

But after I'd written some 6000 words, I realized that this was the "nice" version of the story. I needed to be meaner to my characters if this was going to work. Because otherwise, it was just... schlock.

So I set the A novel aside and started the B novel on the 12th. After about 15,000 words, I decided that I was putting back in too many "nice" features. That things weren't hard enough. Also the characters needed to be edgier.

So I set the B novel aside and started the C novel on the 24th. After about... oh yeah, you can see this coming... after about 3000 words, I felt that while the characters were edgier -- and to some extent fun -- they were TOO cocky. These people needed to have suffered. And still living with it. No fairy tale endings. No Prince in shining armor or worsted wool.

So... since I hadn't gotten too far, I set the C novel aside and started the D novel on 27 September 2014. I think maybe I've got the mix right. Still haven't decided if this is YA or not. Technically it is neither SF or Fantasy -- call it alternative history -- and quite unlike anything I've ever written before, yet parallel to some of the stuff in my 29th century SF. Go figure.

I'm just about one-third of the way to my initial target length, so I might as well pull out the word meters and officially put this super-secret novel project on notice to the world.

The Lost Kingdom Project D Novel

Whether this thing will ever see the light of day, who knows? But I am having fun with it, from figuring out the business class seating of an Airbus A330-300 (and I loathe Airbus -- grin) to discovering that of all the Scandinavian countries -- Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland -- the only one on the euro is Finland. The rest use the kroner, only it's not the same kroner, and at least one of them is pegged to the euro and one of them has ditched the less-than-one krona coins, much like Finland ditched the 1- and 2-eurocent coins, except for collectors, so all prices are to the nearest €0.05. We knew that last fact, because we were in Helsinki and Tampere in 2003... Also had to research which countries in Europe had left-side-drive/right-side-steering at one time.

Anyway, I will probably make reference to this in the future. And I thought I'd get this out there before November dawns and all those 50,000 word NaNoWriMo novel counters start showing up.

For those who care about technical details, given the current mix of computers, I am NOT writing this novel in Word 95 like almost all my other writing, but in Word 97 / 2003 / 2010, because they allow one to use the mouse wheel for scrolling around. Word 97 has almost the same icon toolbars as Word 95. Word 2003... I have to beat it around some. And Word 2010? Gah... ribbons. What a waste of screen real estate and unnecessary having to farble around between tabs. On the other hand, Wendy's old laptop that I call ZEPPELIN has a big screen, which makes for easier editing, so Word 2010 it is.

Dr. Phil