Happy Beltain, and it’s National Bicycle Month

Today is the official start of National Bicycle Month. If there was ever an excuse to get out and ride your bike, this is about the best one you can get. Here in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell we had temps in the low 70s F and light breezes, which would have been perfect for a ride if I could see where I was riding. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, almost a year after having “Chris Christie” removed from my neck (that’s the name I gave the lipoma (literally “fat tumor”) that was removed from my neck the day before the Ride of Silence) I can tilt my head far enough back to be able to see forward when I sit on a bike, again. I still can’t do it long enough to go around the block without collapsing from pain and exhaustion, but I got a lot further around the block this time.

Also yesterday was Beltain, the celebration of Spring or as it is known in the Druidic calendar the first day of Summer. They weren’t real big on lots of seasons, all they had was Food (Summer) and Hunger (Winter). There’s a bit of bawdy verse that goes with the day. “Hurray, hurray the first of May! Outdoor (sexual intercourse) begins today!” Well if you don’t mind getting a little chilly (and probably wet) you probably could engage in that activity around this time in England, but we have been having weather warm enough for that activity for well over a month now, here in TX.

Go ride a bike to someplace where you can indulge in outdoor loving if that’s your inclination.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

OK I have to backtrack a backtrack

A couple of days ago I edited a post to say that I had not properly researched the costs of a Powerglide transmission. Well I stand by that statement, but I should have also not struck out the fact the PG was cheaper than the 700r4 or the 4l70e.

As you can see the 700r4 is much more expensive than I remembered. So is the 4l70e . So even at nearly $1000 for a complete kit, the PG is still less than half the cost of either 4-speed self-shifting alternative.

Now staying with the TH 350 is about the same as the PG in terms of cost and the 700r4 in terms of weight. It drastically complicates switching from street to race mode because it would require 3 sets of QC gears, one for highway driving to and from race venues, one for Goodguys, and a third one for SCCA Solo races. Not that big a deal, but still more complex than the PG or either of the 4-speeds.

So mea culpa, I’m sorry for disseminating misinformation, and I hope to not do it again.

PSA, Opus

While trying to get rid of one problem I created another

Short post today, because I’m in pain and also having an allergy attack.

I discovered I have a torn trap muscle from trying to get rid of “Arthur Dent” from my neck. I overdid the stretching exercises I was supposed to do after getting a massage, that were supposed to “pop” the dent out. I’m starting to think my pain threshold is too high, this is the second time I have gotten a debilitating joint or muscle injury from stretching after exercise or therapy. The first one was doing a hip stretch after gong chi, and now this one with my neck. That hip injury was right before my Dad wrecked his Caddy in 2012.

Anywho this tear is about the least dangerous but most painful injury I could have gotten, and will heal on its own if I can give it some rest. “Rest” in this case means getting off the computer and phone and doing lots of walking around. I don’t know if I can do that. Getting off my computer and phone, I mean. Walking is no problem, I did lots of walking around today. The tear is between the muscle fibers instead of across and basically just freaking hurts when there is any tension on the muscle, like when I’m using the computer or phone and incline me head to use the keyboard. If I tilt my head back it just itches along the tear site.

Also sneezing makes the muscle give me a sharp pain on the tear site because of the back and forth whipping motion of my head when I sneeze. Which given the number of trees trying to engage in sex in my sinuses means I’m going to be doped unconscious or in frequent pain. Yay! drugs.😛

Signing off now because I need to have a lie down from all the allergy pills I took.

PSA, Opus

Doing more work on the Sprint-T

I’m still thinking about that car. I ran the numbers again for the PG transmission and it turns out I would only have to buy one extra set of QC gears for the SCCA Solo Racing. For the Goodguys Autocross series I could just swap the gearset over, that is reinstall the gears for underdrive instead of overdrive. Turns out there are no gears I could use that would get the final drive low enough (high numerically) to get to redline at 35 MPH in low gear with a PG transmission, and swapping places so the overdrive for highway cruising is an underdrive for racing gets me a 37 MPH redline in first gear, and with the gears in highway configuration 1800 (+/-) RPM in high. Thirty seven MPH is close enough in my book. If you want numbers the spur gears (set 30A, 26/15 teeth) and a 4.11 ring and pinion would get a 2.37 final drive in highway mode, and a 7.12 final drive in Goodguys mode.

So I would be swapping convenience at the track with better in-town performance for an extra 50 pounds weight. Installed costs would be similar, so that’s a wash. Basically with the 700r4 or the electronic equivalent 4l70e I could drive up and swap tires and adjust the suspension and be ready to go racing. That’s because of the 3.06 first gear and the 0.70 4th which gives me the RPM I want on the highway with the gearing I need to race in low gear. Running the PG I have to open up the QC and change the gears, in addition to all the other things.

The good thing about this is I have the ability to make models of both configurations. I have the SBC backed by a 700r4, and I have the LS7 and know where to get the 1/25th scale PG transmission for $2 plus shipping. I think while I’m at it I will order the Wide 5 wheels from the same vendor to spread the shipping costs over a larger order.

Speaking of Wide 5 wheels I have been thinking about how to better make those in scale, to any width desired. What I was thinking about was using a photoetched center like the Dirt Modeler 1/24th scale wheel that fits into a machined recess on an aluminum wheel half which gets superglued to the center and an outer half so that the center looks like it was welded to the wheel (or bolted depending on the particular center). The outside diameter of the wheel half inside the flanges is 0.6″ while the ID is 0.505 leaving .04 for holding the center and 0.0075 for a flange to center the wheel center while also giving something for the superglue to glue together. The wheel halves could be made whatever width desired to give correct backspacing and width for the model being built. Meaning there would be a way to build an accurate pavement sprint car or Supermodified complete with the 18″ wide wheel covered in 20″ wide tires. (Tires made separately.) Of course the drawback to this is a separate Wide 5 hub has to be built to mount the wheel on.

OK time to stop typing.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

It’s a good racing day

There were two races and two qualifications on the tube today, (there is only one CRT display still working in the house, can we still call TV “the tube” when it’s all flatscreens?).

First up was the Xfinity race from Richmond, won by Dale Jr. in a squeaker which you would not know from the statistics of the race. The race was 140 laps and it went green to around lap 100 with most of the field a lap or more down. Then the fun started when someone spun and brought out the yellow, bunching up the field and putting everyone up in everyone else’s grills and bumpers. That’s when it started looking like a short track race again. Lots of beating and banging, a couple cars into the outside wall, and at least one in the inside wall, and that was just the first turn after the restart. Eventually they managed to get to the end of the race with Overtime.

Then it was qualifying for the Verizon Indycar series in Alabama. Barber MSP is a fantastic track and they set a new lap record during qualifying today. I don’t know if that was a series record or the absolute track record, but either way it was danged quick. The guy who won the last race in Long Beach won the pole at the first purpose-built road course, showing how “wonderful” I am with names.

Then it was qualifying for the Paris ePrix with Sam Bird winning the pole for the first event at the facility. Because of the format for qualifying pole wasn’t set until the very last guy crossed the timing line, making for great drama.

Which lasted for all of one commercial break as they went from qualifying to the tape-delayed broadcast of the Paris ePrix. Bird got passed by DeGrassi (not the guy they named the ’90s TV show after) on the start when Bird used just a touch too much of that “instant” electric torque and smoked his tires off the line, falling to third behind his teammate. One of the interesting things about Formula E is because they run on what is basically a street tire you can hear a slight howl when drivers run at the limits of adhesion braking or in the corners, giving spectators and TV audiences a much greater insight as to how hard the drivers are pushing their cars. Anyway DeGrassi went wire to wire after the start, but there was position-swapping just anywhere you looked in the order once you went deeper than third place. The finish was disappointing because the track was partially blocked by a wreck and a Safety Car was deployed to slow and bunch the field for the finish, but they couldn’t clean up all the debris that could cause a flat tire before the laps ran out.

I have been pondering changing the drivetrain for the Sprint-T (again). Basically everything I want to do with the car could be done with 2 gears in the transmission and a box of QC gears to swap in the rear end. I mean sure the car would be a lot peppier around town with a 700r4 or 4l70e, but the entire point of the car is a race car for the street in a class that has no minimum weight, and a Powerglide is 50 pounds lighter and less expensive (oops, PGs have gotten a lot more expensive in the last few years) than either of the 2 4-speed slushboxen. I can even get one that uses the same lockup converter as the 4-speeds so that I get the same highway fuel economy. Basically the setup would be to run the same final drive ratio (2.66) as I would get with the 4-speeds in overdrive 4th gear, then when I get to the track swap out the spur gears to something that redlines at 60 MPH in low gear like I would have with the 4-speeds. The extra gearset would be $70 from Speedway.com, the quick change drain pan costs $40. The combination of an aluminum head and block LS engine and a PG transmission would take the Sprint-T from 1750 to 1600 pounds curb weight. Less weight means more grip from the tires and less work for the brakes and engine.

So, good races, and possible lighter and better performing Sprint-T. Sounds like a productive Saturday.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

This was too funny, I had to share

I try not to bring up politics in this blog because of the majority subject matter (bicycles and safe bicycle infrastructure) but this link…

Donald Trump’s secret ‘wig farm’ gets discovered by Norwegian TV I think the original TV link was dated 2016-04-01 (ISO dating system) but I can’t find the original link, just embedded videos from later reports. Nobody has put up a link to the original story (or made it so I can find it in Chrome).

And I got a new book today, so I really want to curl up with the dead-tree version of Lucky Penny

Billed @€0.02, Opus

About the name of the blog

Sometimes people ask me if I am really a Witch. Yes I’m a Witch, but not the evil cackling Hollywood witch. I work very hard to make things better for everyone, and in spite of the jokes I don’t really eat children. I’m just playing off the stereotype for the sake of a joke.

I have been asked in private if I could make someone love someone (the person making the request). I can, but it won’t last very long. I think my record is 48 hours, most of my love spells don’t last the night. And I only do love spells when forced into it because they are a violation of Self for the target.

Now something that does work is to Summon Love. This is a request for someone to come of their own free will, that is compatible, and desirable (for you), and truly desires you. There is no violation of Self involved, no Karmic backlash if it goes wrong, and generally just a much better alternative to the muggle idea of a Love Spell. Summon Love is not a fast-acting spell, so if you are looking for instant gratification I suggest OK Cupid or Adult Friend Finder.

PSA, Opus