Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ankle Update

Saw the surgeon.  The swelling didn't go down.  Or not enough.  Surgery was going to be tomorrow.  Reschduled to a week from tomorrow if the swelling goes down, which will be checked wednesday next week.

(This is a, "FUCK! Fuck, fuck, fuckity fucking fuck.  Fuck," situation.)

I have not been enough of a couch potato.  I've been ordered, not in these words, to be a constant one with elevated ankle.

This makes the fact that I just got a PS4 in the mail as a gift from my wishlist thing a very good thing.  Laptops are difficult when supine, controllers are just fine.  (Plus computer that can play games well is out for repair with no ETA.)

Here's the thing, as of right now I have one game for it.  A game with a "4" at the end of the title (Uncharted 4).

Help me follow the doctor's orders and be a couch potato with an elevated ankle, by getting me more games for the PS4, I really have wanted Gravity Rush forever (if the fact only electronic thing is a decent price is a problem {not sure how that works with wishlist gifting}, you could tell me, send me the money, and have me buy it myself) and I made sure to put the first three Uncharted games (all packed together in UNCHARTED: The Nathan Drake Collection) near the top.

So, here's what you do, you go to my "Oh My Fucking God, I broke my ankle in THREE places!" wishlist (not actually called that) and you see games I put on there.  If a 3DS is still at the top it means I don't have one, so don't buy a game for that unless the system itself is off the list.

You pick something for PS4 (unless the 3DS is off the list in which case you pick anything) and you get it for me.  Here's what I've been told about the process from a very reliable source:
It works! People need to make sure they have "Chris Witham's Gift Registry Address" checked when they go through the payment process, but it worked like a charm. :)
The reason"It works" is an exclamation is that when I fist set it up it didn't work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ways you can help me

Totally not trying to take eyes away from the Kim Possible piece labeled "Massive Anticlimax" or the thing before that about surviving Ragnarok by being dead at the time and sitting out the final battle.  But there are things to say and I'm going to try to get the in depth post about my thrice broken ankle up today anyway so:

If you want to help me there are things you can do.  This is broken into sections so you can completely skip something that isn't of interest to you:

short version:
  • my email: cpw [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com.  If you need my home address, email me.
  • One time donation: donate button at upper right side of page, or use my email with paypal
  • Monthly donation: my patreon account 
  • Amazon wishlist related to me using video games to keep mind off pain, probably best not to get a 3DS game if the 3DS is still on the list
  • Want list that has a mix of actual stuff you could get and me being silly.
  • If enough people sent me their old gaming PC parts I might be able to Frankenstein something together and That.  Would.  Be.  AWESOME!
  • For the love of god if there's something (a march, a demonstration) to make the world/country/thing a better place, please stand up and be counted.  I was going to go to my first march in years and then I broke my ankle two days before.  So I can't stand up and be counted, but someone has to.
* * *


On the straight up money front one time donations are through Paypal.  There's a donate button in the upper right corner or you can use my email: cpw [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com.

Monthly things, which wouldn't be about me being broken since I plan on healing, are best done through my patreon account because paypal always fucks up every attempt to do monthly things.

You probably already knew that.

* * *

I am very not-mobile.  This means that for the first time since high school a stationary computer is something that's not just "I should probably get one at some point, given the limitations on laptops" but instead, "That really makes more sense than a laptop."

Here's the problem, a gaming PC costs in the range of one to ten thousand dollars.  I'd never expect that of anyone, but one of the key features of gaming PCs is that they can be upgraded, so maybe people have stuff laying around that they don't need because they replaced it during upgrading, like say an old video card, an old this, an old that,  If enough people sent their cast offs I could Frankenstein something together.  If you do have a cast off and are willing to pay shipping, to get my shipping info email me: cpw [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com.

* * *

Ana Mardoll suggested I create an Amazon wishlist so that people could directly buy things I'm interested in and have Amazon send them to me.  It was at this time that I notice that one can buy about three consoles for the cost of a low end gaming desktop.  I'd never expect someone to get me a gaming desktop because of the price, but consoles are more reasonable than I would have expected.

I've always wanted to play gravity rush, though I note that the decent price on it (well, the HD remaster) is for the electronic version and I'm not sure if it can be gifted in the same way.  Anyway.  That means PS4.  For other reasons a 3DS would be of interest.

I've made a wishlist that includes both the consoles themselves and some games for them, though I don't know much about console games because my usual response to learning something is a console game has been, "It doesn't have a PC version?  Well fuck."

So if you want to buy me stuff, that exists.

* * *

Before I broke myself I made a want list that varied from serious to silly never expecting anyone would do anything in response to it.

Then someone got me a gift certificate for socks.  Not the kind of socks I would buy myself.  Really nice socks.  Really, really nice socks.  I only got a chance to wear one of the pairs I spent the gift certificate on before I broke myself, but they were fucking awesome.

So, yeah, if you see something on the list you think you can help with, by all means. If it's reasonable.  As an example of something not-reasonable: as much as I want a donkey (I really do) there is no way in fucking hell I could care for one at this stage in my life (even before the broken ankle), and South Portland probably has some ordinance against keeping them in the city.

* * *

For the first time in years I was going to go to a demonstration.  A march.  I was going to do it on Saturday.  I broke my ankle two days (though less than 48 full hours) before the march.

The political situation in the US right now is bad, likewise in certain other countries, people need to stand up and be counted and make it known that intolerance, hate, callous disregard for human lives and human rights, and all of the other evils that have taken root in our power structures is not something that can be allowed to continue.

I can't stand for more than a few minutes.  I can't march.  I haven't left the fucking house since I got back from the emergency room (trying to make it down the porch stairs is a very risky endevor.)  I can't stand up and be counted.

Please stand for me.  Whenever you take a stand your doing it not just for yourself, but for others who can't.  Let me be one of those others.  Stand the fuck up, march, demonstrate, tell your city council to let in refugees, welcome the stranger rather than slamming the door, hold a sign with a compassionate slogan, oppose any attempts to take anything (food, healthcare, a place to stay, legal protections, so forth) away from the least of these.

What we are seeing now is a push to undo decades of progress and replace love with fear and hate.  It is an abomination unto morality, it is the worst of humanity being the loudest and most powerful, it is wrong, it is evil.

I can't stand up and be counted as one of those who is against this.  Someone has to.  Please, I beg you, stand against that which is wrong and stand for that which is right.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

HHII: "I couldn't tell you this when I was evil..." -or- Massive Anticlimax

Ok, trying to get a decent post about what happened with my ankle (which I indicated I'd give four days ago) will have to wait another day because I still haven't gotten a picture of the porch.  Why a picture of the porch?  You ask.  You said you broke it inside.  Yup.

After the pain lessened to the point I could move I crawled to the matress to wait for the pain to lessen more.  It didn't.  I crawled upstairs to the phone and called my dad to give me a ride to somewhere medical, didn't much care where.

He suggested maybe we should call an ambulance, I said not to.  His car wasn't quite within spitting distance, but definitely within a distance of two solid spits.  I thought I could make it.  It wasn't the ice.  I didn't slip.  I failed to keep my left foot from touching anything.  It was only the lightest graze but the pain was so great it overpowered everything else including but not limited to my sense of balance and control over my body.  I fell backward and broke the porch.  My dad said something like, "This is what I mean about an ambulance" or "I rest my case" or some such.

Thus I need a picture of the porch.  Until then, have random Kim Possible:

-

I was trying to get this on fanfiction dot net, but they like more meat on their dialog.  I seriously can't ever post Snarky Twilight there without breaking the rules because it's in script form.

So here's the context, in season 4 (the one after the show ended and a fan movement got it revived) there was an episode that was made to kind of throw a bone to the Kigo shippers in the audience.  Within the constraints they had (Kim/Ron is the OTP even if the chemistry isn't there, Disney doesn't acknowledge the existence of non-straight people, so on, so forth.)

So they had Shego zapped good and end up hanging out with Kim where they're instant best friends and . . . so forth.  Shortly before the episode ended they invoked the rule that Schrodinger's secret is more cool than any given state the waveform can collapse into and had this:
Kim: It was good to be on the same side.
Shego: Yeah.  Kimmie, I couldn’t tell you this while I was evil, but—
*Shego is zapped back to evil (which is her normal)*
A lot of people have made way too much of this line, though the comic that invoked Sailor Moon censorship and had it be "I want to be cousins," was admittedly hilarious.

Here's my stab at it, taking place well after the show is over.

It may be useful to know that the Wego twins have the power of multiplying themselves.  Or not.  You probably could figure that out from context.


As Kim looked contentedly up at the ceiling a thought took root in her mind: finally, at long last, she could get an answer.

"Hey," she said.

The response was somewhere between a groan and an "Mmmmph?"

"Hey," she said again, this time accompanying it with a gentle shoulder shake.

"Let me sleep, Princess," Shego said.

"I have a question," Kim said.

"I have a desire to sleep."

"There's something I've been wondering for ages."

"I don't care; give me sleep."

Kim propped herself up on an elbow so she could look directly at Shego.

"Come on, I've seriously wanted to know for years," Kim said.

Shego made a show of rolling so she was facing away from Kim.

"Just one question."

"Let. Me. Sleep."

"It'll only take a moment to answer."

"I liked you more when we were on opposite sides," Shego said. "Let's go back in time, prevent Dr. D from rapping, thus stopping the Lorwardians from ever coming here, and making it so you aren't keeping me from sleeping now."

Kim laughed.

"That kind of effort doesn't sound very much like you," Kim said while trying not to crack up again.

"Leave me alone."

"No."

"I could kill you."

"If you haven't killed your brothers yet-"

"We don't talk about Theego," Shego said, though she failed at pretending to be serious, "that doesn't mean it didn't happen."

"I think I'm safe," Kim said.

"Go away."

"I've been wondering about this for years," Kim said, "and now I'm finally in a position to-"

"Away."

"No."

This was the longest silence there had been so far, just before Kim took action to make sure Shego hadn't managed to go back to sleep without her permission, Shego spoke:

"Coffee."

"That, I will do," Kim said.


Shego finally acknowledged that Kim existed and was sitting across the table from her half way though her second cup. Two thirds of the way through the second cup she asked, "So what's more important than letting me sleep?"

"Remember the whole Reverse-Polarizer sitch?" Kim asked.

"As a rule I try not to remember times I was mind-controlled," Shego said.

"Right before Ron zapped you back-"

"As I recall," Shego said, "you and the buffoon thought me being freed was a bad thing-"

"That is manifestly unfair," Kim said, "we were caught up in the moment and-"

"Would have zapped me back into a mind-controlled state had I not been saved by the timely intervention of a streetlight-hoverpod collision," Shego said.

"I don't deny that," Kim said, "but we came to our senses and turned Electronique back to her real self less than 12 hours later and we would have done the same for you."

"Sure you would've."

Kim wasn't sure if Shego really believed Kim would have left her under the influence of the Reverse-Polarizer or was doing it to get a rise out of her.  If it was the first it was a horrible accusation, if it was the second it had worked.  She tried to think of how best to explain, then decided to just plow forward and hope she said the right thing.

"People were swapping from good to evil and back again so much that it just sort of lost . . ." Kim fumbled and couldn't find the words.

"Lost what?"

"It didn't seem like a big deal anymore," Kim said. "It just took Ron and I a little while to go from fifteen people swa-"

"You don't get to count every Wego instance," Shego said.

"That many people swapping from good to evil in less than two seconds made it seem jejune," Kim said.

"Have you been using a word a day calendar?"

"Don't smirk," Kim said. "You're right that switching Electronique and not wanting to make you you again was wrong; you deserve an explanation."

"I deserve more coffee," Shego said.

While Kim was getting Shego another cup, she said, "It just took us a while to go from the mindset we had during the fight to the reality that rewiring someone is horrific to the point that our language lacks appropriate words to describe it."

"It's got them," Shego said; "you just don't use them because you worry about setting a bad example."

Kim handed Shego her coffee.

"I can think of no profanity that conveys the wrongness of mind-control," Kim said as she sat down.

Shego took a sip of her coffee.

"So what is so important that you'll go through all this trouble just to ask?"

"When you were zapped you were midway through a sentence," Kim said.

"That was a while ago," Shego said. "And my brain was being rewired."

"You said that there was something you couldn't tell me when you were evil, but . . . something," Kim said. "That's when you were cut off. Right before you reached the actual point."

Shego thought for a moment, then she burst into laughter.

"Um . . ." Kim offered.

Shego just kept laughing.

"What's so funny?"

"You've been wondering about that for years?" Shego asked.

"Well, yeah," Kim said. "It's not often that your arch foe gets cut off just before making a dramatic confession."

"Not very dramatic," Shego said. "You're going to be let down."

"I've been wondering forever."

"It's not forever, Kimmie," Shego said; "but it might be better for you if it becomes forever. Less disappointment."

"I have to know," Kim said.

"Well, on the topic of forever," Shego said, "I was going to say, 'I've always . . .'"

Shego looked Kim over.

"Ok," Shego said, "you're looking at me like you're a small child and I'm the present that's going to make this the best Christmas ever."  She paused a moment and mulled over the sound of her own words. "It sounds kind of flattering when I put it that way, but the truth is it's actually rather disturbing."

Kim hadn't realized she'd been leaning forward, or how she'd been looking at Shego, but now that she noticed she tried to sit back in her chair and have a more neutral expression.  At least she succeeded on the first count.

She offered, "It's been bugging me since I was a senior in high school," by way of explanation.

"You really shouldn't have let one little sentence get to you like that," Shego said. "Even if it were something truly profound, it would be bound to fall short of your expectations after so much build up."

"You're switching into child development mode," Kim said.

"Am I?" Shego asked.

"You know you are."

"I guess it means I've had enough coffee."

"Then tell me already."

"I'm telling you," Shego said, "it won't live up to the hype. Just make up something interesting and believe that."

"I already did," Kim said.

For once Shego was the one at a disadvantage, if her, "Wha?" was anything to go by.

"Very articulate," Kim said.

"You're the one who said not to smirk."

This time Kim succeeded in returning her expression more neutral, but still quipped, "Couldn't help myself."

"What did you make up?"

Kim looked away. She blushed slightly.

"Well, it was after we met again when I was in college," Kim said, "I was thinking maybe-"

"Whoa!" Shego said. "Stop right there. No-no-no, no, no. No."

"Well shatter my hopes and dreams, why don't you?" Kim said playfully.

"I said, 'always', Princess," Shego said. "I said that I'd always, and our 'always' started when you were fifteen. You were just some kid."

"So it really is something you've been keeping from me since we first met," Kim said.

"Again with the blowing out of proportion, I still can't believe you've been waiting all this time on that one sentence," Shego said.

"So get it over with, already."

"Ok," Shego said. "Talk about an anti-climax. I was going to say that I've always liked you. Actual 'liked', not a euphemism for something more."

"You always liked me?" Kim asked.

"Ever since you 'for lunch'ed Dr. D while he had you over his shark enclosure," Shego said.

"Oh God," Kim said. "I'd forgotten about that. 'My pets are famished,'" she said doing a Drakken impression, "'perhaps you two could . . .'"

"I even liked Stoppable a bit when he got in on the action," Shego said.

"You're right," Kim said. "Massive anticlimax."

"Told you."

"Don't start."


⁂ ⁂

The members of Team Go, the team formed by Shego and her brothers after they were origin-storied into having super powers all have names of the form [English pronoun ending in "e"]go.  With "He", "She", "Me", and "We" already taken they'd really have very few options for additional names "Theego" is the only one I can think of.

The scene referenced, which is indeed the first time Kim and Shego meet, goes like this:
[Kim and Ron are on a small platform in the middle of a shark pool, Drakken and Shego are standing off to the side of the pool, Drakken has the thingy that can drop them in the tank in his hands]

Drakken: Enough chitchat! My pets are famished.  Perhaps you two could stay...
Kim: For lunch?
Drakken: I wasn't going to say that.
Ron: Oh dude, you were so 'for lunch'.
Drakken: Argh, yes! Then, stay for lunch!
*Drakken pushes the button that dumps them into a shark tank*

The non-vengful will inherit the universe - My thoughts on Helheim and surviving Ragnarok

Greek myth is hard enough.  It isn't well preserved and we need to do a lot of filling in the blanks and attempts at reconstruction and reading things as if the smallest connotation of every word is intensely meaningful because there's little else we can do if we want to have the story, the whole story.

Reconstruction is hard.

Compared to just about everything else, Greek and Roman mythology is the gold standard of preserved that all others strive for but fall short of.  Even Christian Myth has a kind crap preservation status (because of attempts to stamp out heresy) and that's the dominant culture's myth.

So with Norse Myth we're left with a lot of questions and a lot of trying to infer things from limited material.

And Ragnarok is very much an example of this.  It comes to us almost entirely through the two big Eddas which are later compilations of earlier traditions, one of which (the prose one) shows clear signs of a Christian author trying to get shit past Christian censors via painful editing.

So the thing is, Ragnarok is the reckoning, the end of the old order, the end of the nine realms, the end of Yggdrasil itself.  But not the end of all things.

A new earth and a new . . . --well it isn't called Asgard anymore what with it being swept mostly clean of most everything-- arise from the waters and a new sun has been born to the sky.  Things start again,

On earth two people survive, in former-Asgard four gods survive, and these people don't interest me much.  What interests me is that Baldr and Höðr show up to join the surviving gods.

Baldr and Höðr survived, if you want to put it that way, by being dead at the time.  They were in Hel and, like Hel herself (apparently) declined to go off and fight the last battle.  This could be a simple conflict of interest, as Hel's subjects they'd be part of Loki's army fighting against he Aesir, as Aesir they'd be . . . well, guess.

Or it could be something else.

They were dead at the time.  They are absolute proof that not everyone in Helheim followed Loki into battle.  They are the only evidence we have of what happened to the people who stayed in Helhiem for Ragnarok.  And what happened?  They got to leave the afterlife and live in the new world.

It's not clear if this is a one time thing that lasts through Ragnarok into the aftermath, or if Hel's gates are now permanently open, but either way it seems like you can get out now leaving the new world to the forgotten, abandoned, mythless dead.

Everyone who didn't go off to fight in Ragnarok.  Remember, almost everyone who lives goes to Helhiem when they die.  If you're not taken to Fólkvangr or Valhalla after a noble death in battle, you go to Helheim.  (Don't worry, there is a prison there, Nifelhelheim, so evil people won't be fucking up your afterlife.)  Many of them go off to fight in Ragnarok, but clearly not all.

So what happens to the non-militant dead?  Well our only example, the thing from which we must extrapolate and draw conclusions, is Baldr and Höðr.  They live.  They go free.  The inherit the new universe which, hopefully, will be less fucked up than the old universe.

Don't get me wrong, it'll be fucked up, but hopefully less so.  It'll be fucked up because god or mortal we're all flawed.  We fuck things up.  It's what we do.  But we also strive to make things less fucked up than when we found them.  So we'd try to make the new world better than the old.

And so the old order is completely upended.  The abandoned forgotten discounted dead rise to inherit what remains.  And that's probably a good thing.  Baldr and Hel between them could craft a better universe.

Odin and Loki were wise and cunning, but also assholes.  Baldr is basically distilled goodness, Hel is someone who has spent her while life being a host to all comers (she set up luxury accommodations for Baldr.)  Thus the new world appears to be set up to run on new rules.  Rules that won't be made by cheaters and tricksters but by people who might not be the wise, but make up for it in compassion.

The ones who live through Ragnarok are a hodgepodge.  The ones who live after it, though, are in my reading the ones who were dead in Helheim and decided not to fight under Loki in Ragnarok.  The non-vengeful dead.

Monday, February 20, 2017

If you find yourself suddenly unable to walk, don't fuck up like I did

Cue story that I'm not sure if it's embarrassing, degrading, humiliating, disgusting, or something else.

(icky content note: urine)

-

Light makes it really hard for me to sleep.  When I sleep in daylight I'm usually sick or exhausted beyond all reasonable limits.  My anti-depressant, which I cannot stress enough is the only one that works,* makes this so god damned much worse.  In fact I won't sleep at all without a separate sleep med which is no good because sleep deprivation is dangerous and has very similar symptoms to depression anyway.  Even with sleep med I tend to need dark, with exceptions (other than sickness and prior sleep deprivation) following no pattern and thus being entirely unpredictable.

In search of dark I moved down stairs.  The downstairs windows are small since the downstairs is mostly below ground level.  Think the height of a bog standard porch, subtract the distance between a floor and the ceiling below, and you've discovered how far above ground the downstairs ceiling is.  Result: they can be blacked out by a well placed towel.

Downstairs is also largely lacking in electronics so none of those lights from microwaves, stoves, VCRs/DVD players/Blu-Ray players/other shit that insist on telling the time.  (And who in fuck came up with the idea of adding "off" lights to things.  We know it's off because it isn't working.)  No router lights.  So on, so forth.

Plus, for reasons unknown to me, there was a matress there.  Combine this with the fact that boxspring the matress in my room is on happens to be fucked up beyond all recognition, and it was a smart move.

Going down stairs with crutches is Hell.  Upstairs is decent but you have to get them down first and it never really occurred to me to to just toss them from the top of the stairs.  Going downstairs is a butt-sliding expedition.  As much as I dislike butt-sliding myself, I'll have you know that that my mother once (or was it twice? we did it twice, but I'm only convinced once involved butt-sliding) traversed the knife edge at Katahdin via butt-sliding, or I suppose you could call it butt-scooting.  Doing the knife edge is a mark of great . . . um, something.  It's epic is the point.  So clearly butt-sliding/scooting is nothing to be scoffed at.

Around now we come to the point.  At this stage I have five jobs.  I was originally going to say three so . . . No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! I need to eat, hydrate, sleep, not get injured again, and try to keep my broken ankle elevated in spite of not having enough pillows to put in a solid effort.

From the injury to the end of the first day, through into more than an hour of the second day, everything was about getting to the ER, waiting in the ER, having stuff done in the ER, and waiting in the ER.

On the second day I shoved things that might have been easily cleaned into heaps that will be very difficult to clean in order to create crutch safe paths through the points I need to reach in my house.

On the third day, my dad got me some microwavable food, so eat is covered for the moment.

Sleep hasn't really been a problem.

Not injuring myself is a moment to moment thing.  The lack of pillows to stack under my ankle makes elevation more of something I do my meaningless best at.

Hydration is the problem.  I've talked about it before.  My body is badly calibrated.  The amount of water my body will hold is lower than the amount of water it takes for me to be well hydrated.  If I want to be hydrated (and as a rule, I do) I have to put up with going to the bathroom a lot.

Crutches are a mode of transportation with decent speed, it's been annoying more than a real problem.  Until I woke up a bit after midnight this morning with a very powerful need to pee.  I think you can see where this is going.  It isn't exactly sanitary.

By the time I normally would have been done and heading back downstairs, I was still crawling up the stairs.  Good news: totally not a failure and it all comes out at once situation.  Bad news, crawling around (without knee pads) while your ankle yelps in pain and your bladder keeps on causing spurts is the exact opposite of fun.

When I got to the crutches there was no way in hell I could use them.  Do you know how you move on crutches?  Call it a hop, call it a bound, call it a vault, call it what you will, but for our purposes the important thing is you move by fucking bouncing up and down.

So the crawl, which is slower than crutching, continued until I reached the bathroom and my ordeal wasn't over.

See, I don't have one of those shower seats, even if I did I don't have "Use this plastic bag and duct tape to keep your splint and wrappings from getting wet, and a bath was right out.  Try giving yourself a sponge bath when you don't have a sponge and you can't get your left lower leg wet but you do have to clean right up to the edge of it because motherfucking urine.

* * *

So if you should find yourself suddenly unable to walk, make god damned sure you're sleeping on a floor with a bathroom.  Moral of the story.

I somewhat wonder if I just drove away half of my readers.

For those that are sticking with me through the Ankle Chronicles and the disgusting anecdote, I swear I'll try to get something story-like at some point.

* * *

* Since it's so expensive my insurance forced me to try out one that uses almost exactly the same principles on the grounds that given the extreme similarity to the one that works it should have worked too.  It was Hell.  My depression was back in full force rather fast, they made me stay on might-as-well-be-a-placebo (less the placebo effect) for a full month, it was difficult to get out of the depression again both in terms of time and dose.  We had to double my dose which now has me at maximum allowable dose, your doctor will periodically have to write to the state (or maybe insurance company, but for me that is the state) saying, "No my patient is not a drug dealer, yes she really needs that much, fuck off."

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sickness and Wheelchairs

I'm sick today.  Not "I'm gonna die" sick or "Keep away contageous sick" just my digestive system being pissed off sick.  It's actually overdue.

I get sick when my sleep is significantly disrupted and since I rise with dawn on account of the cursed day star flooding the world with too much light for my sleep to endure, I have to go to bed early.  Small children whose age is measured in single digits stay up later than me.

I got out of the ER at about 1:20-1:30 AM, which was naturally on the day after I got in because getting out of the ER isn't something you can do in an hour and a half.  Likely the reason I wasn't sick immediately after was that I was basically empty (remember, it's a digestive system thing) on account of it being very difficult to prepare food with a recently broken ankle.  I'm still trying to get the hang of this.  I still have spectacular failures.

We'll get back to spectacular failures in a paragraph, but first what changed is that yesterday my dad bought and brought me a bunch of microwavable stuff so that I could deal with the food preparation problem the easy way.  No longer -- a few days isn't enough to call it starving, I've been starving and I know what it feels like.  What do you call it?  I'll go with "fasting".  No longer fasting myself, have stuff in me and am eating like someone who can afford microwavable food.

Yesterday I was positioning myself to get on the couch when I lost my balance, dropped at least one of my crutches, and landed pretty much exactly where I'd wanted to end up, but with way too much force.  My ankle was jarred like "OH MY FUCKING GOD!  KILLER DEATH PAIN!  IT GODDAMN HURTS," but the story doesn't end there because the crutch that I know for sure I dropped managed to hit the couch before me, my butt landed right on top of it, leverage and what not made the other end shoot straight up into my broken ankle which was still in all-caps mode from the force with which I'd landed.

Good fucking God is this harder than a sprain.

So that's not fun.  But I said, "and Wheelchairs" so it's time for a topic change.

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The absolutely essential areas of my house are now crutch-safe because of the massive amounts of work I did on Friday.  (After I'd caught a few hours sleep.)  They are not remotely wheelchair accessible.

I want a narrow gauge wheelchair.  I could build a narrow gauge wheelchair if not for the fact that I have a broken ankle.  (I.e. if I didn't need it, I could make it.)  It would be simple.  Take your basic no-nonsense no-frills minimalist dining chair (seat just barely big enough to hold a butt, legs go straight down from there, no arm rests for they add width and everyone puts their elbows on the table anyway) and add a basic swivel wheel to the bottom of each leg.

The lack of connection between wheels and arms makes this a specialty device, but I could power and steer it with my good foot or pole it along using crutches.  The small size would allow it to move in smaller places than a standard wheelchair, and being swivel wheels would give a certain maneuverability.

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When all this is over and I no longer have use for one, I'm going to build a full size wheelchair to the specifications I've always wanted.

Why not do it now when it would be useful?  I cannot sit cross legged, I cannot get off the ground easily.  I cannot pace.  I cannot wander like someone whose muse is coming and going faster and more often than a cat at an open door.

Also I'm broke until next month (use the donation button, become my patron; wow that was a shameless "give me money" plug) and in no shape to deal with construction materials.  It'll probably involve walking to home depot, buying materials (likely wood because I don't have the equipment to work with metal) and . . . wait.

It'll probably involve walking to Toys Я Us, buying a fucking wagon, walking back, waiting until I have more money, walking to Home Depot (anti-union bastards; did you know they force their employees to watch anti-union indoctrination films?), buying construction materials, putting them in the wagon, and walking home.

A that point there will be sitting, standing, cutting, doubt, despair, despondency, giving up, restarting, and so forth.

Hopefully at the end of it all I get a wheelchair with these properties:

Via the cunning use of gears, the push-pull dynamic is reversed.  Whenever I'm using a wheelchair I want it to be the pull that moves me forward because the pull in question comes more naturally to me (and with more strength and endurance) than the push in question.

Linking - I want to be able to use it one handed.  This requires an axle that can be made to engage and disengage.  When engaged turning either wheel turns both wheels, when disengaged the wheels are independent like normal.

Reversed linking - With the wheels linked as above it is impossible to turn the chair.  The addition of a single gear on one of the wheel's axle engagement point changes this so that when one wheel goes forward the other goes backwards thus turning the chair.

One could expand this to allow speeds of turns by having gears of various sizes be the enagement points (steal them from a bike) thus having gradations between "straight forward" and "turn in place" but that is not something for a prototype and would likely be a luxury item.

That almost entirely covers one handed use.  The last thing for one handed:

Break linking - I'm sure this already exists, but it didn't on one of the chairs I was in at the ER which caused me to wonder why I was moving when the break was supposed to be on.  Turned out that only one of the breaks had engaged properly.

Foot rest angling - This never would have occurred to me, but before my ankle was splinted the only position that didn't cause unendurable pain was with the foot pointed straight down in line with the leg.  You can't tilt the foot rest to accommodate that.  At least not on the chairs they had at the hospital.  The foot rest is 90 degrees or swiveled out of the way.  The solution we had to use was get the thing out of the way (leaving my injury unsupported) and count on the leg rest to keep it elevated.  This seems sub-optimal.

I've probably had other ideas, but they don't come to mind.

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While I was in the hospital I imagined a tread chair that could climb stairs.  But I want to make a wheel chair so that invitation to disaster isn't going to happen.  Much of what I'm thinking comes from a certain comfort with gears gained as a result of being on the South Portland High School Robotics Team (Riot Crew).

The FIRST Robotics competition in which we participated was founded by Dean Kamen.  He invented a wheelchair that can go up stairs (all terrain in fact) using the same balancing technology to be found on the Segway (the Segway was actually more of an afterthought along the lines of "what else can we do with this tech?"), but it was just way too expensive.  And was only on the market for six years.

The idea is great: Yes, places should be wheelchair accessible by default, but that doesn't change the fact that some aren't yet and (I'm guessing this based on the "all terrain" bit) some can't be.  Those who need chairs shouldn't be limited by the inability (or bigoted refusal) of others to make places accessible.

The problem is that while being able to use stairs, traverse difficult curbs, travel sand, gravel, three foot deep water, and even psuedo-stand (it can make rider 'round about six feet tall, where in that range depends on the distance from the rider's butt to their head; it can't climb stairs in this mode, but it can go anywhere a normal wheelchair can go) it's not worth the price tag given that people are not, on the whole, rich.

On May 21st of last the Toyota announced that it's going to partner with his company to produce a new version of said chair.  One hopes it will be cheaper.  Even if it is, and even if insurance covers it, human powered chairs have a lot of advantages: they don't need a charge, they're not as heavy as a machine, they give you a feeling of control (in my opinion equal to walking), they're much cheaper, they're a lot smaller, so on, so forth.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Four good videogames, free to good home.

Today, for the first time in ages I was going to walk from South Portland to Portland (not a first time in ages thing) and join a march (yes a first time in ages thing).  I was going to be politically involved.  I was going to stand up and be counted.

Then ankle.  So not doing that.  So when I found out about a Humble Bundle where 100% of the proceeds go to charities of importance, and saw it had good stuff, I decided to buy it and thus feel a little bit better about myself (and get good stuff) for a mere $30 increase in my credit card debt.

So, here's the thing, some of this stuff I already own.  Thus I'm looking to give away the excess on a first come first served basis to whoever wants it.

If you want one, contact me via email: cpw [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com

Day of the Tentacle - An adventure game, a classic, one of the best in its genre.  Guide people through three points in time in an effort to stop the world from being conquered by an evil tentacle.  Like I said, one of the best of its genre.  Even if you have no interest in games whatsoever, you're supposed to be familiar with it for cultural reasons.

This is the remastered version so no dealing with pixelated crap unless you want to (you can switch between original mode and remastered mode at will.)

World of Goo - one of the 25 best puzzle games of all time, no I'm not going to look up its exact ranking.  Build structure out of sticks with the goo as the adhesive, motors, and (basically) everything else, watch as they crumble to the ground because you didn't have enough structural support, repeat until you can get the goo to go into the level's goal.  Be fucking amazed that a game with such a simple premise could be so incredibly awesome.

System Shock Pack - Includes the enhanced edition of the first game, and System Shock 2.  These games have massive historical significance for the work they did blending FPS and RPG and various other things.  The greatest game of all time had as head of development a System Shock Almunus.

Bioshock and Deus Ex are often considered spiritual successors which puts them as the originators of the lineages of a diverse set of games (for example, Dishonored.)

So what are they?  Horror games set on space stations.  In the first game a hacker is hired by a corrupt executive to disable the ethics programming on an AI.  Corrupt executive didn't think this through, the AI, now without a conscience, had plans that are way beyond helping corrupt executive.  By the time the game starts she's taken over the space station she calls home, killed a lot of the crew, and converted the rest into deadly cyborgs she controls.

Horror FPS RPG.  Seminal work.  Set new standards for video games.  So on, so forth.

Also, as a side note, any time the first code you encounter is 0451 it's either a reference to the System Shock (2 I think) reference to Fahrenheit 451 or a reference to one of the many games referencing that reference.

Whoa that's a lot of words.

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Huh, I thought there were more than that.  Better change the title.  Original title was:

Games for free, games for free, games for fucking free, seriously, contact me on this because games for free.

I might end up adding to this list because some of the games that I don't have are ones  think I decided weren't for me in the past, but determining if that still holds true when I've already paid for them takes longer than just checking what games I already have.