I Am A Flight Simmer. Sort Of. X-Plane Mostly, But …

Really thinking of  getting back in to Microsoft Flight Sim. My friend back East swears by it and, about some things, is usually not too bad in his thoughts. And I had MSFSX (still do actually) and I did enjoy it.

But I’ve been into X-Plane for the past 4 versions or so because it runs on Linux, which I really like, and I do have a fair amount of money invested in planes and scenery. And I just tonight bought X-Plane 12.1.

And I really hate Windows. So much so that I have no Windows computers in the house. Even that Mini-PC that came with Windows 10 has been converted to Linux. But, MSFS runs only on Windows. Worse yet: only on Windows 10 or higher.

Which means a computer upgrade also. Nothing I have in the house meets even the minimum requirements. Looking at a HP EliteDesk 800 G3 SFF Desktop Intel i7-7700 UP to 4.20GHz 32GB DDR4 New 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD Built in WiFi BT Dual Monitor Wireless Keyboard & Mouse Support Win10 Pro (Renewed) for $250 and a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics Card, 6GB GDDR6 192bit Video Card for Gaming GPU PCIe 3.0 x16 DP HDMI DVI 1080P 2K Game PC Card 1660ti 4K 8K Display (GTX 1660 Ti – Red) for another $190. Both of which will handle Windows and MSFS 2020. May have to upgrade the power supply though; which is easy if you can find one that fits. Both Bing & Bard say this’ll work fine.

Then I’d have to buy MSFS 2020 (which ain’t cheap but not out of reach) and start adding planes again. Doubt my MSFSX planes would work.

So, about $500+ to “play” with another flight sim. And it’s not like YouTube won’t continue taking down my video’s of me strafing the White House or anything anyway even if I do switch to MSFS.

BUT, I should be able to attach the Oculus and do MSFX in VR. Which is what I want to do with X-Plane and will continue to play with that until it works and why I bought the Oculus in the first place.

If ONLY it would run in one of my Windows 7 Virtual Machines.

This EliteDesk SFF desktop I’ve been using the past 4-5 years has a motherboard made in 1998. But, I could upgrade the video card and make a dual boot and only run Windows when I want to use MSFS. What a pain though.

At least all my monitors have multiple inputs so I wouldn’t have to buy new. I could mount a new computer under the desk and just switch the inputs to it when I wanted to fly. That’ll leave my working computer up and running.

Hmmm …

Next project: Get one of the Linux laptops completely set up to run my Ham Radio, do some digital communications, and keep my log book. I went through the trouble of getting my ticket and expense of a couple of radio’s (857d & 991) and need to get back into that. I don’t do Ham Radio as often as I did. Always seem to be busy doing something else.

PT today was a joy. Not. Been trying not to depend on the walker as much and leap out on my own. So far it’s worked if I go slow.

SWMBO bought me dinner afterwards. First time going to DQ in a couple of years. Their chicken strips have improved over what they were serving last time I stopped there. Thank goodness.

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WA State Is Run By Democrats. I Do Not Trust Them To NOT Just Throw My Ballot Away.

Since we are REQUIRED, supposedly for this election ONLY, to check our Party affiliation on the outside of the voting envelope. Makes it WAY easy for some Democrat dickhead to see and just throw away. I do NOT like this and will not be surprised when “whichever dickhead democrat” wins the State.
But I cast my vote anyway just in case.
Not a lot going on. Still working my way up to near “normal.” I can walk a few steps away from the walker and my gait is getting more “normal” so, that’s good. I use “normal” a lot but the past 5 years or so my walking hasn’t been anywhere near “normal.” Gonna be a new experience for me.
The Tuesday after the surgery I was doing okay. Reading the post-op you do this or you die pages they sent me home with it mentioned that I need  to walk at least 200 steps a day. Easy peasy, I just walked to the end of the driveway and back. About 180 feet total. Felt rather well when I sat back down. For about an hour. Plenty of time for the injected local anesthesia to finally wear off.
Then the pain hit. OMG. Started about 1300 and by 1600 I’d swear I could feel my nearest neighbor, the one over 200 feet away, walk across his living room. The World Vibrates and all of it concentrated in my left leg/knee. Couldn’t eat. Couldn’t sleep. Refused to just fookin’ die.
With only a couple of small breaks, and a quick run to Gig Harbor for a dressing change, by 1600 Thursday I was at the “GOD JUST TAKE ME! PLEASE! stage.
Damned Oxycodon didn’t do a thing but make me nauseous and dry my mouth out so much the Mojave Desert called and offered something to drink. Also made me light headed and forgetful. I finally quit taking it Saturday and felt much better, but a bit more in pain, by noon or so. Way difference.
Then, Thursday evening I finally gave up trying to rest and came in to sit at my computer. Propped my leg up on the ottoman and suddenly, miraculously, the pain totally went away. No place on or in my body hurt. I froze. Did not want to fuck that up by moving. Stayed that way for almost 40 minutes but had to get up and go pee. Still didn’t much more than ache.
Friday was the first day of PT. We will not go there.
Between Sunday evening before surgery and the next Sunday I had a few nibbles of different things and a whole Safeway chicken breast to eat. Lots to drink though.
Had pooped only once all week; and that really wasn’t pretty and I will try to skip any vivid descriptions. When I started eating again that Sunday I had a good meal Sunday & Monday & Tuesday but still hadn’t pooped. So, Tuesday evening I took a couple of stool softeners, a couple of Dulcolax laxatives.
When I still hadn’t pooped Wednesday morning I downed a half bottle of that Magnesium Citrate stuff they have you drink before a colonoscopy. That worked. Within 2 minutes I got all diaphoretic (sweaty) and my gut started rumbling and within 5 minutes hit the toilet, pooped everything I’d eaten in the past month or so, then started working on what I am going to eat over the next week.
So, Thursday when they took the staples out and asked how I was doing and if I’d pooped yet. Yep.
Next appointment with the surgeon is the end of next month unless something goes seriously wrong. Which I doubt IF I take care. Which I will. Mostly.
Hard to believe that tomorrow will be the 2 week mark. I’m getting around pretty good and, honestly, not in too much pain. At least I can take the USMC Miracle Cure Ibuprofen! 400 mg q 6-8 h works just fine. As it always has.
So, mixed reviews about this whole total knee replacement thing. Surgery went very well and I didn’t notice a thing until the injected anesthesia wore off. Couple of really hurt days not much mitigated by the narcotics (which also made me loopy and sick feeling). Since quitting the narcs and sticking to Ibuprofen AND that damned PT I’m getting better daily. And, luckily, remembered pain is not the same as the experience.
Not bad for an old guy.

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Surgery Went Well. Gotta Say I’m Disappointed In The Robot Though…

First: My apologies. I started this post about 0200 the morning after surgery with the full intent of making a daily post of my recovery. Even if no one is/was really interested, because, well, my Blog and all. However, about 1300 the day after surgery the injected anesthesia wore off and the pain hit bad enough to drive me to actually take the Oxycodon, which never really caught up with the pain, but did mess with my mind enough that I lost time. One second I’m trying to read my e-mail and the next second I’m half way through a show on tv. 

The onset of the pain was my fault by over-extending myself walking to the end of the driveway and back (you have to walk at least 200 step a day!) and even with the walker it wasn’t that easy. Was doing pretty good though.

So, here we go:


Showed up at the hospital half an hour early. Because. Got checked in and told to wait. Got really checked in and sent to the 2nd floor to wait. Got checked in again then spent nearly an hour verifying EVERYTHING in my health record and all my personal information. Here’s a robe so get naked while we get the stuff we’ll need to examine you out of the fridge. Now let’s look at everything. Again. Hey, your heart sounds pretty good for an old guy…

Surgery was delayed because my surgeon was still surgeonafying his first patient of the morning, but eventually he and the anesthesiologist and head nurse stopped by “to talk.” BTW, we can do this one of two ways, Mr. King. We can totally knock you out with General Anesthesia, OR, we can do a Spinal Block and put you into a light sleep. Actually, the Block sounded the best so I went with that. But I did warn them that if they didn’t put me to sleep, and a good sleep, they wouldn’t be able to shut me up. (Just ask my nose surgeon and gall bladder surgeon both of which I shrugged off anesthesia and started talking to them.) Apparently, under anesthesia, I think I’m a pretty funny guy. So …

Surgery was, from my point of view, one second the nurse has me sitting on the edge of the operating table adjusting my gown when the anesthesiologist says “This’ll be cold.” and spread something on my lower spine (it was very cold!) then, like 2 seconds later, someone is telling me to wake up.

That’s the kind of surgery I like. (If I have to have surgery in the first place; that is.)

Turned out though that they had to give me a general anyway. Because of my sleep apnea, every time they put me on my back I quit breathing. Can you say intubation? Yeah, I knew you could. Which they have to do a general anesthesia for.

After I woke up they wasted no time getting me fitted for a walker and onto my feet up and down the halls. Surgeon stopped by a couple of times to tell me how well the surgery went and how perfect the replacement is.

Couple of hours later they told me I could go home; But I had to pee for them first. No pressure. Literally. Because of the spinal I couldn’t feel anything “down there.” Even with things “in hand” (and looking to be sure) I couldn’t feel a thing. Literally the definition of “numb nuts.” So bladder couldn’t tell it was full and needed to empty itself.

How did I know it was full? They did a ultrasound (neat little device) that said there was 411 cc of urine just waiting. (400 cc is quite a bit actually.) They wanted to cath me but I convinced them to let me try some more. So, almost an hour later: success!

Survived my lovely-young-bride’s driving home. Hit the easy chair. Propped everything up. Crashed until about 0200 Tuesday.

So, why am I disappointed in the robot? Because it doesn’t actually DO any surgery. It acts more as a guide with various implements to guide the surgeon’s cuts. Which is fantastic on it’s own and the surgeon praised it’s assistance and programming and all, but, it doesn’t quite meet the mental image of the robot itself doing the shaping of the bone and drilling the holes and slapping the replacement parts in place then ‘letting’ the surgeon close up.

I’m thinking: if the robot knows where the cuts are to be made (in fact, through programming, planned where the cuts should be made), then slap a drill/router bit on the fucker and let ‘er rip. Guess I read too many of the “I, Robot” series growing up. (All of them in fact.)

Anywho, back to real time: Not doing too bad. Woke up at 0330 this AM with my leg hurting a bit so couldn’t get back to sleep. What a way to start a Saturday.

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