What happened yesterday and the State Fair trip today

When I left off yesterday I was barely succeeding at preventing a face plant into my laptop. I went to bed right after posting and slept until about 1000 this morning. I had my coffee and a warm poptart from the replacement toaster that showed up yesterday. I much prefer my poptarts to be warmed inside and slightly crisp from the toaster outside, rather than the cold from the package ones I have been having since Mrs. the Poet killed the old toaster. The reason we have a replacement toaster is the one I got the beginning of the month came with a defective timing mechanism that would not hold the bread-lifter down to toast. The heating elements would get power and start to warm things up but I had to hold the bread lifter down myself until the poptart or toast was done, not a practical thing to do when you are almost asleep and the coffee hasn’t kicked in because it’s still in the pot.

So anyway, yesterday. I went to bed about 0230, tossed and turned until maybe 0400, got up 0610, and stumbled through taking a shower until 0650. Unfortunately in order to get to the LRK in time I had to leave the house at 0645 and be fully dressed. That wasn’t happening. I finally got dressed at 0710 and got ready to catch the next bus and hope to salvage something of the day. I got to the LRK about 1015 for a 0930 appointment. Fortunately there was an opening in the schedule because someone(me) had missed an earlier appt. and they moved everyone else up because they were early. Then the fun started (again, pt. 2). My blood work from the previous visit had something that was out of limit for the study and hours were spent on the phone discussing it. In the meantime my blood sugar was dropping like the proverbial stone, because I had been up since 6-ish with nothing to eat or drink except the tiny swallow of water I used to take my antidepressant. The upshot is I’m going to have to go back Tuesday for more tests and I may have to miss my religious retreat/camping trip next week. Then I had to stop along the way to pick up something I bought earlier, then wait an hour for the next bus home and get bread and by the time I got done with that it was after 1700 and I was dragging tail. After dinner I tried to post to this blog and well you saw how well that turned out…

That brings us to Fair Day!😆😈 Time to look at cars, eat anything deep-fried, look at the quilts and other fine crafts, and walk ourselves to death. I had less of a problem because Mrs. the Poet doesn’t like to try the cars on like I have to. There were some of the cars that I had a much easier time getting in than getting out and vice versa. The thing was there was a lot of time I wasn’t on my feet that Mrs. the Poet was standing outside the cars, not good for her problem with her back. If anyone is interested Mrs. the Poet wants a red Corvette, a dark blue Camaro, a white Mustang, or a gunmetal Challenger. Add a black Fiat 500 Abarth to that list for me, on the costs-are-no-limit list. On the other list we had several compact hatchbacks with gas mileage in excess of 35 combined and still-spritely performance. We had nachos, deep-fried cookie strips, lemonade and Dr. Pepper ice cream for our fair food. There was a lot of stuff we wanted to try but that was the limit of our food budget ($20), and we had come on a day that had cheap food.

Looking at the crafts I learned there is an adult scale model class. I also learned that the Mini Sprint-T would qualify, which means that if I get to building I might be able to enter the finished model next year.

And it’s about time for bed again…

billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet.

Another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper

Well I spent what felt like most of the month on the DART bus again today. They had to take a fasting blood draw, so after just 2 hours of sleep I began to wend my way to the LRK lair without access to the life-giving elixir from Caffiena. I never actually fell asleep, but I did stop moving a couple of times, so I missed the bus that would have gotten me there way early, and almost missed the next bus that got me there way late. I almost passed my stop because I was zoning out. And I’m still zoning out. so let’s end this one now before I face-plant into my keyboard and try again tomorrow after I go eat unhealthy fried foods at the State Fair of Texas.

PSA, Opus the Zombie…

On World Mental Health Day

I recently started to get treatment for my depression and PTSD after suffering more than 40 years with it. As many posting to Twitter have mentioned about their depression, mine was initially dismissed as teenaged angst, then as “just they way you are” and “being serious for a change”. There was also the problem that more than 40 years ago when this mess started 1) there was no such diagnosis as PTSD 2) even if there was nobody would believe you could get it by changing schools several times at the wrong point in your life. I think that started some time in the ’90s when the DOD noticed that adults who had been military dependents as children had suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism rates almost identical to combat veterans from Vietnam. I never went through any suicide attempts and couldn’t afford drugs or booze, I think that was the only reason I didn’t join that statistic. There was also the mistaken belief that young people couldn’t get depressed, mainly because at the time nobody knew that depression can happen to people not actually in serious conditions because it is a disease, a disease that manifests as an emotional state, not just “being real sad” all the time. To give an idea about how much I changed from before to after depression I got a “Motormouth Award” at scout camp for being lively and talkative and joking all the time. That was the Real Me (Not Depressed), in the 7th grade. By my senior year in HS, less than 5 years later, I had already had one major and countless minor bouts of depression.

So, several things here: 1) Mental Illness is a category of real illnesses, like heart disease or kidney failure. 2) Anyone can get Mental Illness at any age. Seriously, it’s like childhood cancers or Type 1 diabetes. 3) Having Mental Illness does not mean you have a weak mind or are morally deficient or any other negative stereotype, it means your brain is not functioning within design tolerances. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please share this with your friends.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet.

Time is getting short, are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote is bearing down in many states, have you registered to vote? Remember that many transportation projects depend on local elected officials’ support, and those elections are decided by just a few votes. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for because I really don’t know for most elections, you will have to educate yourself through your local media and social media.

Just get registered, and get out there to vote like your life depended on it, because it very well might.

PSA, Opus the Poet

I have been in excessively firm contact with the ground too often the past two weeks

First of all, nothing is broken except the integrity of my dermis. Blood has been shed but not in any great quantity. I have bruises and things don’t work well at the moment but really, I’m fine. The swelling is mostly gone and I can type again.

As I wrote in my last post, I got tangled in the top tube of my new bike and fell over and injured my left shoulder which is still recovering. but last week on the way to the Lab Rat Keeper I was in a rush to get to the C-store to break a $10 bill by buying a lottery ticket. Well in my rush I allowed my center of gravity to get too far forward and when I tried to stop (to open the door to the C-store) I bounced off the door and hit the concrete in front of the store. I bruised a lot of stuff, scraped my knuckles and my elbow, bled profusely, and scared the nurses at the doctor’s office coming in covered in drying blood. They insisted on cleaning and putting band aids on my wounds before letting me leave.

The thing that worries me is the problem I had is indicative of a worsening of my brain damage, similar to Parkinson’s but without the muscle tremors. If this is what’s happening then there is also a much higher chance that I will develop dementia as time goes on, and that scares me. I caught myself doing this a couple of times before I fell but I as able to get my feet back under my body and get slowed down without falling. What happens is I start leaning forward and then lose control over how far I’m leaning until I’m almost running trying to not fall on my face and unable to stand up straight and stop. This condition is usually associated with Parkinson’s but is also indicative of brain damage, and to say I’m none too happy about the situation is an understatement. The good part is the best treatment for the condition is riding a bike. The bad part is riding a bike slows the progression of the disease, it doesn’t cure it. So I can stave off losing my mind and my mobility but I can’t prevent either.

And on that joyful note, I’ll let you go.

PSA, Opus

Good news and bad news

Let’s take care of the good news first. Yesterday Plano Cycle gave me a practically new RANS Zenetik Tour bike with 3 X 9 SRAM drivetrain and Shimano 105 dual pivot brakes and 700c-28 wheels/tires. It rolls like a dream.

Now the bad news. The first time I tried to ride it I got my right foot tangled in the frame trying to get off and fell heavily on my left shoulder hard enough to dislocate my clavicle. It popped back in as soon as I rolled off my side and on my back, but I can only raise my left arm as high as the keyboard on my laptop now. It has been so long since I have had a bike that I can ride that my hips have gotten too tight to swing my leg over the seat when I get off the bike and my right foot got tangled in the top tube as I was trying to put it back down for another swing over the seat, and I went down, hard.

Back to the good news, I rode 0.4 miles from the bus stop to Casa de El Poeta without a problem holding my head up to see where I was riding. The seat needs to be lowered a skoshi bit because I was using my toes too much to pedal, but everything else seems to be good. The brakes are phenomenal, I didn’t need to shift on the level street between the bus stop and my house, and the bike just barely fits the bike racks on the front of DART buses, but it does fit.

The reason Plano Cycle said they gave me the bike is it was a trade-in that they had sold originally and then couldn’t sell for anything like what it was worth. So rather than take a loss on it they wrote the whole value off as a “charitable donation” and gave it to their favorite poverty-stricken cyclist, me. I don’t like being a “charity case”, but I will accept it, since the alternative is not riding a bike.

PSA, Opus

I spent most of yesterday unconscious, also a large chunk of today

There is something out there that is trying to kill me, and not even aware of what it’s doing. Some tree, weed or grass is attempting to reproduce and in the process is making me miserable. I have burning eyes, a nasty post-nasal drip, and a hacking cough from the post-nasal drip. I have a treatment for it, but that treatment is also the same thing I use to go to sleep at night, and the known dose for treating allergies is twice what I use as a sleep aid at night. So I have a choice between awake and miserable, or asleep and not feeling like I’m stuck underneath a stampede of small cattle. That caught under the stampede feeling is because the intercostals in my chest are exhausted by all the coughing caused by the runny nose/post-nasal drip.

On the Mini Sprint-T front I have almost determined the length I need to cut the rear axle tube so that the rear tires track is the same as the front. The stock for the rear axle tube protrudes exactly 0.125″ inside the hub, and the brake disk has to be 0.1428″ from the front of the wheel mounting surface for a scale caliper to fit between the hub and the disk. Subtract the .0675″ thickness from the front of the mounting surface to the back of the hub as received and the back of the hub needs to have .0753″ of added material for the mount for the brake disk. That means the front axle will have (2 * .1428) + 1.92 inches or 2.2056″ between the mounting flanges, and the rear axle tube would be 2.056 – (2 * .0675) + .250 or 2.3206″ long, leaving .68″ for making the standoffs for the front hubs which would be the same 0.200″ as the rear hubs. Yay! for having more than enough raw stock on hand. I’m still pondering the choice of material for sculpturing the back side of the hub for mounting the disk.

Off on another tangent, I madecollected $6 this weekend from that game app on my phone that pays me to play it. So Yay! money from playing on my phone like it was a job. This is the same source of funds that I used to buy the rice cooker/vegetable steamer back in July, so perseverance and patience will get me good stuff. I have also used these funds to purchase most of the things I am using to make the Mini Sprint-T. The kits I bought for inspiration and as a source for making the body, the engine for the SBC version, the tires for the street version, and all the raw stock for making the frames, were all sourced through Amazon. The water pump and front engine mount, the LS7 engine and the 700r4 transmission for the SBC engine were sourced through VCG Resins, while the wheels, hubs, rotors, and rear axles were sourced through Ron Coon Resins . Those items were bought with money from other side gigs.

And that’s pretty much all I had to say today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

I live, I die, I LIVE AGAIN!

OK if that sounds familiar it’s a quote from Mad Max Fury Road. And it’s perfect for the day I started composing this post, because 15 years ago I died. Not that I try to keep that a secret. But yeah, one more year and I can drive again.

Now, I promised that my next post would have pictures of the new wheels and rear axle for the Mini Sprint-T.

First up, what fell out of the bag after I broke the seal.

Wheels and hubs and the brake rotors in a small plastic bag.

The rear axles, center sections and axle tubes. The 1/1 scale center sections are stout but light.

The brake rotor on the hubs as delivered does not leave room for a caliper.
If you look carefully you can see the hub resting against the rotor. Not good.

Wheel outer half, hub, and rotor sitting separately.

The hub in the wheel.

The axle tube will become the standoff for the rotor so there is room for a brake caliper between the hub and the rotor.

The hub on the tube with the rotor.

Now you can see how the standoff is supposed to work.

And you can see the problem with the wheels and tires as a team.

You can see how far the whole wheel sticks out past the tire.

As you can see I have a bit of work to do to make these fit the models, all the hubs need to be fitted with the standoffs and the axle tubes trimmed to the right width for the car, the standoffs need to be slightly sculpted to match the 1/1 hubs so I will be buying some Sculpy to bridge the gap between the hub and rotor. But this car build is moving along.

The next issue to take care of is the differences between Henry’s Tin and Speedway’s Fiberglass. As I was laying out the frame I noticed the body wasn’t lining up properly, so I did a bit of measuring on the model body and the Speedway body and a bit of research on the Internet I found out that the kit body was pretty close to the 1925 car it was modeled on, and the Speedway body had been “stretched” a bit to fit “late model” humans in width. With the cowl problems I already noticed that means I need to do a lot to make the kit body fit my frame. So what I decided to do is a 3 step process to go from the AMT kit body to the Mini Sprint-T body.

Step one is filling all the holes in the AMT body with plastic Goop-ed in place and pulling a mold off that. Then I can remove the fill pieces and use the kit body as intended for the kit. Using this mold I cast a hard resin plug to use for stage one of the body mods, work the plug over to correct the contours of the cowl and back but don’t widen it yet.

Step two is taking the cleaned up plug and pulling another mold from it, then pulling a vacuformed body from that mold. The vacuformed body is then corrected for the width issue, filled with resin and cleaned up to make another plug for another mold that I can use to vacuform the final body. If I like the way the final body turns out I might do a run of bodies until that final mold wears out. If there is enough interest I can then use the final plug to make another mold and the process continues until I get tired of it or people get tired of buying the body. Step 3: Profit!😀

And a little late posting, but here we are.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

The parts came in today!

The hubs, wheels, brake rotors, and rear axles for the Mini Sprint-T came in the mail today! Yay!

Everything is going to require some kind of modification from the delivered state except the brake rotors for the front wheels, they are within a couple thousandths of an inch of being the right size and only the rears will require any change in diameter since they are about a half-inch smaller in 1/1 scale and that would be noticeable in 1/25 scale.

The wheels measured out as 10″ wide bead-to-bead in scale, with the street tire wheel needing to be 8″ and the race tire wheel needing to be 14″, some work needs to be done on all of them. The back half of the wheel measures out about 2″ too wide for the street version, so narrowing that to the right width will get most of the adjustment for the street tire. The back half measured too narrow for the race wheel by a couple hundredths of an inch and the front half was over 0.1″ too narrow for the race tires. Both of those will require some finicky work to get the right width.

One thing that will require work is getting the rotors the right distance away from the back side of the hubs. As delivered the rotors mount to the rear face of the hub with no clearance, but 1/1 the rotors are spaced away from the hubs in different widths depending on the brake calipers being used. The solution for that is very easy. The rear axle tube is just the right size material for this and the tube will have to be trimmed a large amount to get the width right in the back. So the hubs and rotors will be glued to the rear axle after trimming for the right width and brake rotor offset, then the leftover bits of the rear axle tube will be used to build the front spindles to the right size and brake rotor offset. The tires won’t roll, but that is a small price to pay to get the offset right. That does leave me with two metal axles that run inside the rear axle for the tires to roll that are redundant. The front wheels won’t turn left and right either as my tools won’t let me work that small.

Naturally all of these modifications will work much easier with a lathe for making square cuts in round parts. Hint, hint.

I’ll have pictures ready for tomorrow’s post, I promise.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

More on not being depressed, this might get a little repetitive

So far this week I have gone to the Lab Rat Keeper, and bought a stamp and mailed a letter at the post office in one day, taken a 2 mile walk to buy cat food, fixed dinner (beans, rice, and vegetables) and had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet on another day, took another two mile walk and had another long conversation with the Mrs. on another day, had a shorter conversation with Mrs. the Poet, went grocery shopping, had another two mile walk and stopped to correct a $0.40 mistake on the grocery bill yesterday, and so far today I had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet plus all the regular maintaining life functions stuff and the day’s barely half over. The conversations are what has Mrs. the Poet excited the most. Seriously this is like meeting an all new person for her as I was already depressed (but didn’t know it) when we first met.

The letter was an order to Ron Coon Resins in NE for 8 Wide 5 hubs, 8 disk brake rotors, 8 wheels, and 2 quick change rear ends. I’m at the point I can’t do the front axles without the actual hubs I’m going to use, so this will let me move on with the build(s). Yes that was a plural on the build, I’m making the “ultimate” build with the LS7 engine at the same time as the “most probable” build with the Small Block Chevy, so I have a 3D blueprint for making either one of them. I’m still trying to find brake calipers for the rear brakes, I found some good ones for the fronts but GM Metric calipers are very hard to find in 1/25 scale. In contrast 1/25 or 1/24 scale 4 piston calipers are common. Most are not cheap (except the Model Car Garage die-casts at $5 a set of 4) but they are available.

On another note I have been thinking of how I could get some pedal time in while I’m on the computer, but I’m at a technical impasse. Anyone know how to make a Chromebook shut down gracefully when the voltage is taken away from the charge port? I think this would be a software thing. I’m trying to get my computer to run on a pedal-powered battery charger and use the battery to keep everything going in sleep mode when I quit turning the pedals. I’m thinking connecting the pedals to a car alternator to make dirty 12VDC then filtering that to the clean 9VDC the computer needs with lots of caps and “stuff” to make an LC filter and a linear regulator for the final output with another filter cap across that output to make it absolutely ripple-free, and then plug that into my computer.

Billed @€0.02, Opus