All posts by jasonc


This page will serve a couple of functions. Of all the cars I’ve owned before (sorry, Willy), I’ve had more Volvos than anything else. The reason I picked this particular Volvo up (an ’81 245 GLT not-turbo) is that around where I live, Southeast Oklahoma, you can drive 65 MPH on an undivided highway… just a double yellow line. Meaning you can really kill the shit out of yourself on the roads around here. I wanted to surround myself with something I can trust will give me a chance over things I can’t control like road-crazies.

My previous Volvos were both ’75s – first a 245 and then a 242 with parts from the wagon. I’ve always leaned towards wagons… they’re just more utilitarian to my needs, and those Swedes make a sweet one. 1975 was the first year of the 200 series and they made a lot of changes in 1976. I didn’t know this when I bought that 245 but I learned quickly, I had really wanted a Volvo at the time for their legendary ability to last for hundreds of thousands of miles. But like any used automotive pursuit, you need to start with good stock – and the ’75 200s are only for those that love them. I tried but eventually drove the 242 into the ground by blowing the rear main seal on the Mass Turnpike heading back to Belchertown. Out of the combined two I might have gotten 80k miles out of them.

The dogsled is actually the wagon I wanted when I was driving the ’75 254. I have a real fond memory of driving up to New Hampshire to meet some friends and go skiing. My friend Jeff was at the time, dating a girl named Heather and she drove her Mom’s ’81 245 GLT. Once we all met up, we used her Volvo to go out on the town and to the mountain the following day. I remember thinking at the time how plush it seemed compared to my ’75… how much better it rode – great power with four people in it, and great handling up and down the mountains.

Well, now I have one, and it has also been a handful. Granted I picked it up for $600 but it immediately needed $1000 worth of work to make it road worthy and it soon needed more… turns out certain year Volvo 200s (and some 700s too) had portions of their wiring harness (mostly the engine harness) made with a biodegradeable isulator on the wires. I say biodegradeable, but it’s likely a number of environmental factors of which heat is a large contributor that turn the harness slowly into a nest of raw strands of copper wire and insulation-dust.

Luckily, this can all be fixed… but it takes time, patience, and a good supply of parts. That is certainly one place where the ’81 is a blessing over the ’75. The single-year nature of the ’75 200s means they have a fair helping of unique-to-that-year parts. My ’81 shares parts with most of the rest of the 200 line although there are some peculiarities for the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection.

Sometimes, I lie… ok, a lot

Saw this picture somewhere the other day and had to say, yup… that about sums it up. 1920153_10152939226837990_3278239885480747170_n

Point is, people I chat with these days are making a lot of noise about their dissatisfaction with their lives; not making enough money, not dating the right person, and really just normal things that make life what it is; simply being experienced by those people for a first time.

Once you’ve been on the planet for a while though, you realize that mostly there are things which seem important and there are things that are important. That line is different for everyone, but I’d trade at this moment all the heartache of lost love, because in the end, that’s just a thing that happens to most everyone, and generally, much in the way one “grows up, gets old, and dies” many “get married, have kids, maybe they divorce (chances still 50%) and then they die”. So… those to me are, while possibly fulfilling, just another rake in the shed. In other words, normal life; I’d wouldn’t mind some semblance of it.

Chronic pain, is something no one signs up for. It slowly wears you down and slowly erodes portions of your life you once thought were foundational. I had to take anti-anxiety meds yesterday just so I could get an epidural just so I can sleep mostly normal. When friends and family ask how that went – and they ask from a genuine place of caring and most would would like to help if they could – I don’t think I’ve told the truth once. But that’s only because human nature makes them say things, like “Wow, that’s unfortunate, have you tried acupuncture?” You can substitute just about anything in there for that except crystals and spirit alignment, but in all truth that shit didn’t help because the doctors barely can.

I would love to tell everyone that, wow, today is the best I’ve felt in many years, but it isn’t. I’ll take the medications that don’t scoop my brain out, and get through the working day, come home, and then slowly vegetable as the meds I couldn’t take for work begin to soak in.

To say that these are dark times, is really just admitting there may only be one set of batteries left for the flashlight. After that, one cannot know what’s next because, well, you’ve got no way to illuminate your path. My doctor makes positive and negative sounds, and as time passes, we just continue to “try things”. The human nervous system is both well and poorly understood, and at this time there just aren’t any silver bullets or really anything close. So, one tries it all and hope that one of those things works.

I understand now much better why cancer patients take chemotherapy but I’ll be honest, if I was faced with that now (or something equally delightful like dialysis) I’d skip it and just eat my fate. I have always made honesty a central part of the character I’m constantly trying to improve on. Too many times in my life I’ve suffered because other people have lied to me and so I do everything in my power to not return that favor. However, in this one instance, I’m going to beg your forgiveness in advance:

If you ask me how I’m feeling, and I say “Ok”, don’t ask for details, agreed?

Analog Kid

A hot and windy august afternoon
Has the trees in constant motion
With a flash of silver leaves
As they’re rocking in the breeze

The boy lies in the grass with one blade
Stuck between his teeth
A vague sensation quickens
In his young and restless heart
And a bright and nameless vision
Has him longing to depart

You move me —
You move me —
With your buildings and your eyes
Autumn woods and winter skies
You move me —
You move me —
Open sea and city lights
Busy streets and dizzy heights
You call me —
You call me —

The fawn-eyed girl with sun-browned legs
Dances on the edge of his dream
And her voice rings in his ears
Like the music of the spheres

The boy lies in the grass, unmoving
Staring at the sky
His mother starts to call him
As a hawk goes soaring by
The boy pulls down his baseball cap
And covers up his eyes

Too many hands on my time
Too many feelings —
Too many things on my mind
When I leave I don’t know
What I’m hoping to find
When I leave I don’t know
What I’m leaving behind…

Lyrics by Neil Peart

I got spammed by Orly Taitz

This is probably the case in my life when more than any other time, res ipsa loquitor. I get spammed by crazy people all the time, I’ve had the domain since… ’96 was it? Anyway, at the time Internic, which went on to become NetSol, required a NIC, which was registered to your email address. At the time I was working full time in the budding ISP business and as a result several hundred domains were registered with my NIC as the technical contact. When I left that company, I of course updated my NIC… which, well… I get a lot of spam.

So, Orly, I won’t be contacting you on this. I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

You can see the email here in the form of a PDF. Thanks for making my Holiday, Orly.

Red Barchetta

So… when I was a kid in high school (a southern christian one to boot), I didn’t listen to much rock n’ roll. My first real introduction, or rather the one that put the first real bug in my ear was Moving Pictures, by Rush. Until then nothing had really spoken to me, it was just music and the words were just words. That all changed on my first listen. Suddenly there were lyrics that I could identify with, along with complicated musicianship, and of course… those crazy, crazy drums.

The two songs that spoke to me most were Witch Hunt and Red Barchetta. While I still enjoy them both, Red Barchetta still scratches the same itch for me that it always did – a story in a song, along with music that conveyed the story into something more than a raw reading. Every time I hear this song I get the same rush (pun intended, perhaps?), imagining myself in some far flung future, racing an old gasser trying to escape those alloy air cars.

Anyway, to not draw this out too far, with the advent of the Twitters, I can now follow Neil Peart, as much as that probably creeps him out, and in today’s tweet he linked the original story that he based Red Barchetta on. Give it a read… it’s short and another imagination grabber.


Fun at the Veterinarian

So… everyone has been asking, how’s Stella? Answer today is pretty well. You can see by this X-ray (they call them radiographs now I guess) that the bone hasn’t completely healed so there’s still some quiet time to come. Still, for the most part, we’re done spending money on this adventure. We’ll have one more visit with the therapist and from there some more quiet times followed by blowing out the other knee.


Anyway, good view of the hardware and the way they’ve surgically changed the geometry of the knee. Science! Whodathunkit.

Bionic Dog
Want to spend $3200? Ask me how!!!

What’s Good

Life’s like a mayonnaise soda
And life’s like space without room
And life’s like bacon and ice cream
That’s what life’s like without you

Life’s like forever becoming
But life’s forever dealing in hurt
Now life’s like death without living
That’s what life’s like without you

Life’s like Sanskrit read to a pony
I see you in my mind’s eye strangling on your tongue
What good is knowing such devotion
I’ve been around – I know what makes things run

What good is seeing eye chocolate
What good’s a computerized nose
And what good was cancer in April
Why no good – no good at all

What good’s a war without killing
What good is rain that falls up
What good’s a disease that won’t hurt you
Why no good, I guess, no good at all

What good are these thoughts that I’m thinking
It must be better not to be thinking at all
A styrofoam lover with emotions of concrete
No not much, not much at all

What’s good is life without living
What good’s this lion that barks
You loved a life others throw away nightly
It’s not fair, not fair at all

What’s good ?
Not much at all

What’s good ?
Life’s good –
But not fair at all

— Lou Reed

This is the Life

In another life
You might have been a genius
In another life
You might have been a star
In another life
Your face might have been perfect
In another life
You’d drive a better car

In another life
All your jokes are funny
In another life
Your heart is free from fear
In another life
You make a lot of money
In this other life
Everything is clear

In another life
You’re always the hero
In another life
You always win the game
In another life
No one ever cheats you
In another life
You never have to change

In another life
Your friends never desert you
In another life
You never have to cry
In another life
No one ever hurts you
In this other life
Your loved-ones never die

But this is the life you have
This is the life you have
This is the life you have
This is the life

In another life
You’re always the victim
In another life
You’re always the thief
In another life
You are always lonely
In this other life
There is no relief

In your real life
Treat it like it’s special
In your real life
Try to be more kind
In your real life
Think of those that love you
In this real life
Try to be less blind

— Vernon Reid