I think the solution to the game’s handling time and weird flatness issues is, as with most things, Otherkind dice. Injecting an additional degree of player choice into the mix makes the math a little flighty, so more playtesting is in order. It will definitely be more fun to shuffle the dice around, and decide whether to slam down more patent medicine or leave it alone. Here’s a mockup of the character sheet, just for fun.

Cowboys With Big Otherkind Hearts