The Digger D-3 is the most recent addition to my own personal list of robots not to stand in front of. It's a mine-clearing robot, and not the sort of mine-clearing robot that pokes around with a metal detector. Instead, it's the sort of mine-clearing robot that just sucks it up and tells the landmines to bring it.
At the front of the D-3 is a giant spinning metal pulverizer-thing-of-death, which has tungsten hammers that beat down almost a foot into the ground, turning everything they touch into mulch. This includes landmines, and although the mines do tend to blow up before getting shredded, the robot hardly seems to notice.
An operator commands this beast from a safe distance using a remote control unit. The hull of the robot is made up of hardened steel plates in a "V" shape to help limit any damage from antitank mines and unexploded shells of sizes up to 3 inches, and the D-3 has been able to successfully ingest mines containing as much as 17.6 pounds of explosive, which is nothing to sneeze at. The only potentially vulnerable spots are the air intakes, which are themselves protected from flying shrapnel by special grates. At full throttle, the D-3 can reliably clear a comforting 100 percent of landmines from the ground at a rate of 10,763 square feet per hour, while also divesting the land of any unwanted shrubbery and unlucky mole colonies.
Despite all the protection, machines do break down on occasion, and Digger has taken the somewhat unusual step of making the robot as easy as possible for other people to repair. The guts of the robot are straightforward to access, the armor has been designed to be easy to weld, and Digger even provides plans so that if you have the means, you can build your own spare parts. The reason for doing this is that Digger wants the D-3 to be able to make a difference in far-flung communities crippled by the threat of landmines, and to do that, you need an extremely reliable robot.
The future for the D-3 likely lies in some form of limited autonomy, but don't worry: The people who actually end up using this thing don't like the idea of it being fully autonomous any more than you do. Expect it to eventually be able to obey pretty specific instructions like "go here," as opposed to commands like "hey, why don't you find a spot where you think there might be landmines, beat it into a pulp, and come back when you're done."
I woke early, I thought I smelled coffee. I didn't, I thought I smelled distant wild-fires. I was not alone in smelling that.
That smell was so strong last night that I had to totally close my window. The oxygen machine produces some heat, so it got warm in here. I feel ok despite all that. Even waking up feeling very stiff, I still can feel some strength coming back. I still am taking it easy. I don't want to push myself and have a set-back.
Well today was a hair rougher. Speaking of hair, I did my hair and because it is long, and I don't feel so hot, it was a workout. I rested when I was done, and then had a rather long terrible coughing fit. Damn near threw up. So I did the first thing I learned in the hospital which is sit up if that happens. Then I went and got coffee, even though after 12:00 pm I don't usually drink coffee. It helped, first by being hot and second by being coffee.. The coughing fit went a good 20 minutes. I had a couple lemon drops. Frankly some nice maraskino would have been wonderful just then. Alas unobtainable in the Yakima Gulag! So lemon drops it was. This coughing spoiled my appetite, so, I had kefir, and later, the last of my lemon jello. I have to take my night pills. I will have more kefir. It usually is worse at night. I am not sure why I was coughing so much. Oh well.
The stupid nonsense over the debt ceiling and messing with people's Social Security, Medicare and Medicade enrages me. Mostly I am angry with this being a pawn. No one has any moral right to do that. I pray for them to all pull their heads out of their @$$3$. failing that, I hope God will do justice. Not on the poor and have - nots but on those Hell bent on ruining the United States.
Physically I am a bit better. One positive part of this whole ordeal is I lost some real weight. I am down to a 35 inch waist. I have not been that trim in years. I certainly don't want the weight back. I plan to be careful not to over do food.
I am doing the worst of my laundry today. There's things from the worst part of my illness that no one else should have to deal with. It's taken awhile to even get strong enough to do this. I also washed the filter for the oxygen machine. Surprisingly, I found an animal hair. I don't have an animal, but there it was. You have to wash the filter weekly. I feel noticeably better on oxygen. I still hope this is not long-term. I want to feel good breathing on my own.
I am feeling a little better today. My appetite is better. I lost ten pounds while I have been sick. Those ten pounds needed to go away anyway. How they went I don't recommend. I would have preferred lots of nice walks. I sleep a lot. I eat soup mostly and V-8 juice. The low sodium kind.
The worst part was the diarrhea. That was humiliating. I am so glad that is over with. Some dumb-ass at the hospital thought I needed stool softeners! Who the Hell gives someone with non-stop diarrhea a stool softener? I sure didn't need that!
I have had pneumonia, as noted earlier. I am still on oxygen and will be for awhile. The worst part so far is I wake up coughing. I don't bring much of anything up. I have very little energy. As well I don't have a normal appetite. Things that taste good to me normally are almost unbearable.
I can't endure cake for example. My daughter is a fantastic baker, and this hurts her feelings. It just doesn't taste good.
Sodas I normally love taste so bitter, I thought they'd given me diet soda. Of course it doesn't help if you find yourself passing the green and blue dyes. That is outright scary!
I find some foods just too intense right now. Chili, a favorite, forget it not happening.
I do handle V-8 juice and chicken soup though. That makes a difference. I feel better with those. And lemon drops to try and calm the coughing.
The worst is I probably need to get a home health aide.
I have been used to walking a lot. It will be nearly winter before I can do that. I will be missing Folklife this year due to my sheer lack of energy. I did not go see the fireworks. I was too weak.
All the same the fact I did walk so much is probably helping me now. It will take some time but I should recover. It just won't be an overnight bounce-back.
I was in hospital 5 days which for America is a long time. They almost sent me to a nursing home. Thank God that was not needed!
So all things considered I am making decent progress. Thank God!
I also owe my daughter a HUGE thanks for three trips to the ER and for bringing the grandbabies to see me. And for bringing V-8 juice which the hospital did not have.
I owe the many good nurses and doctors at Regional thanks as well.
Location: Yakima Gulag, Soviet of Washington, United States
No Work Element living in The Yakima Gulag, Soviet of Washington. In the year 2007 I went to live in Sarajevo, BiH. I had a terrific time, but a series of Unfortunate Events made it necessary to return to captivity.