Sometimes it is hard to stop thinking about a subject

But I manage anyway. 😀 Anyway while I was out for my walk I started thinking about if I wasn’t trying to make a T-Bucket what else could I do with the engine and transmission out of a FWD minivan, and of course I started thinking AWD autocross racer because hey, turn it sideways (back to longitudinal instead of transverse) and you have a permanent transfer case with driveshafts front and rear. Or AWD T-Bucket (except the driveshafts would eliminate even the possibility of a passenger seat). One real good reason not to is weight, the extra differentials would seriously jack the weight up to about 1900 pounds for the Bucket and not far from that for the autocross racer. The other reason was how hard it would be to get a reasonable final drive with so much reduction to the driveshafts from the transmission. But it was interesting to think about.

I also thought about using different length axle shafts to make a single-seat mid-engine A-Mod autocross car. Put a 3 gallon fuel cell between the engine and driver’s seat and it could be just about the right length and balance. The trick then becomes left to right balance, getting the CG of the engine on the CL of the vehicle, and then finding or making drive shafts to fit. The wheels and tires wouldn’t be as bad because there are lots of race cars with severe rear weight bias and tire sizes to compensate for that. The closest thing to difficulty with that would be getting wheels to fit the bolt pattern of my hubs.

Anyway, I think about stuff when I walk, and that was what I was thinking about Saturday on my walk.

Opus the Unkillable

The parts are here

A few hours after I posted yesterday the Big Brown Truck deposited a box of hot rod parts outside my front door. The axle and some support bits were sorta inside as the box was rapidly disintegrating from the stress of trying to contain the axle. The driver and I did an inventory and the only things missing were the complementary stickers.

The big heavy mo' fo' axle.

The axle brackets and bags of stuff that will be described later.

The bag on the left is hardware for the steering arms, the one on the right is kingpins and installation hardware.

These parts get me just that much closer to completing the Mid-Bucket. The axle brackets are a big help because now I know what size radius rods to order for the 4-bar. One thing I did notice was there is a lot of extra hardware in the steering arm kit. There are enough conical washers for 4 rod ends when there are only 3 places to put rod ends on the axle and two of those will not require that much articulation to need conical washers. There are also flat washers and spacers that are equally unlikely to get installed simply for lack of room. Seriously I put enough conical washers for one rod end on the driver’s side spindle and the rest of the spacers and washers barely fit on the passenger side, and that’s without the rod ends installed. So obviously some of the extra hardware is for the Pittman arm on the steering box. Or as options for fitting the tie rod around the leaf springs the kit would normally use if I was doing it like it was intended by the manufacturer . But I didn’t buy the full kit, just the axle and steering arms and steering hardware, because I’m building something unique. Most of this stuff would have also gone on the Sprint-T had I been given a different engine and transmission 😀

Sorry I didn’t post an unboxing video but because the box was falling apart when it got here the driver and I had to do a quick inventory to make sure nothing I paid for escaped. Everything was accounted for but it precluded doing an unboxing video.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Happy Marijuana Day

Somehow the date 4/20 has become associated with marijuana culture. I happen to be old enough to know how this happened.

Back when high schools in California had ash trays in the desks for smokers (yes for reals) and HS got out at 4:15 (1615) they would meet at 4:20 to pass a joint around before catching the bus home. The code for this became 4-20 as in “4-20?” “Yeah dude, 4-20.”

So now we celebrate World Marijuana Day April 20th every year because some kids in CA wanted a toke to take the edge off after school got out.

PSA, it’s a freebie, Opus the Unkillable

The weirdness continues

I woke up yesterday to let the cats out of their room and it looked like a crime scene. Blood everywhere and of course my first instinct is to assume the cats got into a fight with each other and look for injuries. Neither cat has so much as a scratch visible… So I’m taking a closer look at the clumps of hair that’s mixed in with the blood and it’s much darker than either of the cats’, not that they have any missing in those amounts. But hey, don’t take my word for it, I took pictures.

It looks like it started here with this clump of fur and pool of blood.

Then there was a ton of splatter.

Then this series of drops...

Then this smear right in front of their food bowl

All that blood and there’s not a mark on the cats, either of them. It’s a for-real locked room murder mystery, only in this case we have two suspects but no ID on the victim. I mean I know it was one or both of the cats, but what did they kill? There wasn’t enough blood for a human, so it has to be an animal of some kind, but how did it get in their room and WTF was it?!?

And I thought yesterday’s post was strange…

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I must have died again and didn’t notice

Today in the mail I got a frequent traveller card for the ferry on the river Styx. I tried to take a picture.

You can see the dents from the card on my fingertips but not the actual card

Now either I have lost count of the times I died, or I am the butt of an elaborate prank. Buuuuuut I don’t know of anyone who can make an object I can see but not photograph. I don’t know of any physical process that would allow me to see but not photograph an object I can hold in my hand.

Now as to why I have a frequent traveler card for Charon’s ferry (I had to translate from the Greek on the card) I have no real idea, but a couple of hypotheses. One is my next career is going to be a Psychopomp, a guide of souls to the afterlife. Since I don’t actually see dead people like the kid in Sixth Sense that’s not high on the list of probabilities. Another possibility is I am literally immortal but will sometimes get “knocked out” to be dead for a little while and this card is to identify me as “just visiting” the afterlife. That one is not good because getting killed hurt the last time I can remember. Well, not the being dead part, that was fine, and the actual getting killed was so quick I really didn’t notice. The coming back alive to a body that was badly broken, yeah that shit hurt like a [$UNPRINTABLE]. So yeah if you find yourself dead I strongly suggest staying dead because there is probably a pretty painful reason why you died.

So supposition time: why do I have a frequent traveller card for πορθμείο του Χάροντα, and why can’t I take a picture of it? Is it because of the number of round trips I have made or the number I will make in the future? If I have died more than once why can’t I remember? This whole line of thought is disturbing. BTW there are boxes on the back with marks in 3 of them and something in Greek on the tenth box, so I get a prize? What kind of prize do you get for dying 10 times? And does 3 marks mean I have died twice in such a way as to “not know” I’m dead? That’s even more disturbing than knowing I died once and came back.

So, what would you do with a frequent flyer card for the afterlife?

Opus the Unkillable

Happy Easter!

I used to be Christian (good little Southern Baptist boy, saved and dunked) so I know a thing or two about the Christian Liturgical Year. Christmas gets all the press attention, but the real meat and potatoes of Christianity is not that Yeshua ben Yosef was born, not that he died, but that he rose again on the third day. Everybody gets born, eventually everybody dies, some of us come back, but hardly any of us come back. And by my count Jesus was out for about 36 hours, getting buried just before sundown on Friday and leaving the tomb around sunrise on Sunday morning. That’s 35:58 (+/-) longer than I was dead. And I call that a genuine miracle.

Why the bunnies and chocolate? During the Middle Ages (AKA The Dark Ages) Christianity was not as warmly as some would like us to believe, so aspects of the liturgy were “adapted” from whatever local faith was dominant in the area. Since Easter comes between two Pagan festivals, one minor (Spring Equinox, aka Ostara) and one major (the cross quarter between Spring and Mid-Summer aka Beltane) bits and pieces were stolen from both and incorporated into the cultural celebration of the holiday. Thus the bunny, eggs and chicks as representations of Spring and renewed life. Candy came much, much later. One particular English aspect, Morris Dancing, was lifted whole and (almost) unchanged. The name Morris is a corruption of Mary’s, the dancers were trying to entice a local goddess also named Mary to bring forth the Spring. And by outright lying that the Anglo goddess Mary was the mother of Jesus Christianity established a beachhead in the British Isles.

And now I’m going to enjoy my chocolate and hard-boiled eggs. You do what you want, within reason.

Yay beer! And other things.

Just got back from the store with a new (to me) beer, Shiner Homespun Cream Ale. I have a new favorite beer. Seriously, this is the beer I have been looking for for years, slightly sweet and not over hopped with just the right balance of sweet and bitter. I must send a letter to Shiner and tell them this.

Work on the Mid-Bucket has slowed while waiting on the parts to arrive, some of which are still not made yet. I mostly have been analysing the frame for things to leave off and make it lighter. I have found 2 tubes that are redundant so far for a total weight savings of 5.5 pounds.

yay

On the Mini Sprint-T I’m almost done resizing the wheel halves for width after taking some time off for the Mid-Bucket. Filing the resin wheel halves is much quicker than the stainless steel steering arms on the Mid-Bucket, but because they have to be within a thousandth of an inch precision it’s only quicker in how long I spend actually filing them down compared to fitting the steering arms on the Mid-Bucket.

On the RPG front we are having some difficulty creating my character based on my life. Specifically my HP and natural armor or DR or in the terms of the game we are playing, Body and Hardness. Here’s the rub, the getting hit by cars doing from 25 to 30 MPH and walking away with minor abrasions is how Hard my body is in game terms. Getting hit by a truck at 60 MPH and barely dying is how much Body I have. Un-dying is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish that is covered by the rules but only for creatures in-game. And in-game I’m 129 years old, Mrs. the Poet has been dead at least 40 years, and I’m still living in the same house in Garland. I’m still mostly riding my bikes to get around except when I’m being a Runner when I have a couple of vans and cars. Also I’m an actual walking Urban Legend in-game having been a Runner since the events that created the game world. There are a number of people in law enforcement who don’t believe I actually exist, there are rumors I’m not actually human, that I’m some kind of avenging spirit, and even weirder stuff than that. This is going to be FUN!

On another front, my musical tastes are giving my YTM app apoplexy. So far on my saved music I have Jazz, Swing, Hip-hop, Classic Rock, Acid Rock, Electronica, Ambient, Trance… and whatever they classify Blue Man Group as. Seriously my tastes cut across so many genres My Channel is like listening to a radio that can’t stay on-station. If you can, do a search for Opus’ Fun Junk playlist. And prepare for your mind to get blown. 😀

And now I’m just doing the keyboard equivalent of babbling to hear my own voice, so I’m packing it in now. Happy Easter!

I had money so I bought some stuff

I had some money from my tax return so I bought some mid-Bucket parts for the front end. I went from known dimensions out back and how much the hubs added to the overall width of the front end and bought a front axle that spaces the wheel mounting surface just a tad further out than the rear.

Speaking of money, my first check from the secret shopper gig came this morning. The instructions were to cash the check, buy something up to $50 at the store (NDA on which store), keep $300 for myself and send $1300 to some dude in Houston. Supposedly there are some problems sending large amounts through Money Gram at this location. When I checked the delivery addy it did not exist, so I also checked the return addy on the envelope with the check and it didn’t exist either. The check looks real, at least the paper portion of the check is real, but I have no way to verify if the account is valid or not. The only thing I can do at this point is deposit the check and see if it clears.

Moving on to the other part of my day I repaired a cook stove for some people going camping next week. This was my first opportunity to fire up my flux core wire feed welder and give it a test at max thickness capacity. I had to do some finagling to get the part to stick together, but banging on it with a hammer did not dislodge the bits so I’m calling it done but not pretty.

This gig was good, solid practice for welding the frame and de Dion truss on the Mid-Bucket, and it gives me some hope on doing that project right.

And the guy that sets the alarm clocks to wake up chickens just left for work, so I should go to bed now.

So much done, so little accomplished

I was out of the house almost 7 hours today. I had a 20 minute procedure done in Lewisville and spent just over 6.5 hours getting to and from it. And I had to skip lunch because I was constantly running around to catch a bus or train with never enough time to stop to buy food. So, I had a lot of time to sit and think about things, and when I wasn’t thinking about things I was thinking about my second-favorite subject, the Mid-Bucket.

The big thing weighing on my mind about the bucket is getting rid of its inherent oversteer. There’s just way too much weight on the rear axle for 4 equal-size tires, and not enough tire selection in 15″ rims any more to be able to correct it with bigs and littles without giving up a ton of front grip. While I realize that excessive front grip is the problem, my philosophy is don’t give away what you have too much of in relation, get more of what you don’t have enough of. So, while I’m willing to find larger rear tires to get more rear grip, I’m completely unwilling to get smaller front tires to get less front grip. This is a race car, you always, always, ALWAYS want more, especially more grip. It may be a race car that I’m going to drive to the race and (hopefully) drive home, but it’s still intended to race and win.

Before I get back to the bigs and littles there are ways to keep the tire size “square” (same on all 4 corners) and reduce oversteer without completely killing the front grip. That can be done with restricting wheel travel on the front while getting absurd amounts of travel on rebound on the rear with long travel shocks and bump stops that only allow the same amount of compression as the front suspension, so that as the car rolls over on the outer tires the inside rear tire is still carrying a lot of weight because it still hasn’t extended the spring fully.

Another way is aero loading the rear more. That one is a little more tricky as rear grip will vary as the square of speed, so the car will still be loose at low speeds but potentially plowing tight as the car goes faster. This is not the way to go. Obviously I’m going to go for as much downforce as I can get, but balanced, and after I get the mechanical grip balanced, not before and definitely not “instead of”.

And I keep falling asleep on the keyboard so Nighty-Night…

I get lots of ideas on my walks

On today’s walk I ruminated in background on 2 problems: enough room for fuel tanks, and getting as much surface as possible for downforce including the windshield. Also I’m not a fan of the pinched cowl of the ’23-’25 model T, it offends my aesthetic and aerodynamic senses (which may be the same thing).

So, what to do? Well obviously blend the cowl into the windshield and the sides of the body, so that the widened firewall and hood sides flow the air smoothly down the sides of the body while the transition from the hood top to the windshield deflects the air up and forces the car down into the road, complementing this downforce generating nose .Downforce generating race nose

This is what I have to work with as shown with SAD (stick aided design). I literally duct-taped a thin stick to the side of the body to establish a smooth curve from the sides to the front axle past the firewall.
See how much gap there is at the firewall? Ugh!

Use your mind's eye to fill that space in and make it smooth.

Much easier to see how the front of the car would look from this angle.

This is how that nose looks on the kind of cars it was designed for.

My idea is in side profile to roll the hood over from the nose to just below the base of the windshield and make a smooth transition to the 30° angled windshield with the hood sides making an equally smooth transition to the side of the body like the stick taped to the side does, only all the way down to the frame, including the tuck-under at the bottom like the rest of the body. I’m still debating whether or not to put the little side fences on the hood to keep the air on it or to roll the top similar to the bottom or the top contour of the firewall.

This will look cool with the Monoposto seating in the center of the car. BTW that body mod will be 36″ wide at the original firewall and taper down to 29″ at the front axle, compared to the 27″ wide firewall it has now.

And it’s getting late again.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the fat but Unkillable