Random musings on Wreck-Free Sunday

I seem to do this a lot on Sundays, letting my mind wander and jotting notes to the blog as I go.

So, I missed doing a post for yesterday. Don’t worry the links are still there. The problem was I actually had an active social life for the first time in I don’t know how long, with 2 places to be in one day. The first was the RPG session with my now Warlock2 (level UP! yeah!), where we are fighting legions of Undead trying to find out what the heck is going on with one of the party who has been placed under a Geas compulsion (and we can’t just leave him behind because we kinda need his fighting ability). I had to leave (again!) before resolution on this one, so I’m totally out of the loop concerning what is going on.

As soon as I got home from the RPG session I had to go eat dinner to celebrate 2 friends’ birthdays. We went to Furr’s for dinner. For those not familiar Furr’s is a buffet-style eatery like Golden Corral or Super China, except more Southern style, I limited myself to an appetizer one plate of food and a dessert and I still waddled out. Of course the fact that my “appetizer” was a full-sized baked potato that was also fully-loaded (what used to be a meal back in the long-ago 1970s) didn’t help much, nor did the huge pile of home-fries (potatoes and onions) with the huge chicken-fried steak I had (there was also a huge pile of spinach).

So anywho after leaving the restaurant in a food coma Mrs. the Poet and I shared a few minutes of conversation before all that food caught up with her and caused her to fall asleep, and me not long after, resulting in no post yesterday. I took a peek at the links before I passed out, and they were pretty bad. I didn’t go too deeply into analysis because I was too full and didn’t want to throw up, well suffice it to say I didn’t throw up and can barely remember anything I read.

One of the things I have been stewing about that has nothing to do with bicycles in any shape or form is the Chili Bowl Nationals running up in Tulsa this weekend. It has been carried on live TV, but on a channel I can’t get on my local cable system and since Speed is gone I can’t watch the delayed coverage any more because it no longer exists. Thanks alot Fox! (Fox Sports took over the Speed Channel several years ago and recently dropped Speed to launch Fox Sports 1 in place of Speed). Not only do I not get to watch most of the races I used to enjoy in a delayed form but because you also dropped the weekend Speed Report program I don’t get to find out about other races, either.

Something else I have been thinking about has been the T-bucket. There are two drastically different things I want to do with this car. One is to drive for fun trips to things like the beach (300 miles away +/- in Galveston) or to the kids’ house where the grandkid lives (about 50 miles the short way). This requires fuel economy and some measure of comfort. The other thing (mission to use the engineering term) is to compete in SCCA Solo racing. This requires good brakes, quick steering and acceleration and lots of mechanical grip, with comfort being secondary but still there so that the driver can control the car without having to contort the body to keep from hurting. So not entirely conflicting but hard to reconcile. One of the more difficult things to package has been the steering. I want quick ratio steering which requires power steering assist, but the kit frame is designed around the dinky little Vega steering box with a 20:1 steering ratio. The steering box with the ratio I want is about twice the width of the Vega box. I could go with a power rack and pinion setup that has one end waving in the breeze and costs exactly the same as the large power steering box, but that rack is designed for a front-steer setup and the axle on a T-bucket is rear-steer with the steering arms behind the steering axis on the spindles. Getting the steering straight as in making the way the steering wheel turns the way the front wheels turn while packaging things in such a way as to prevent the axle from hitting the steering shaft is proving to be a major hassle for the rack, while trying to make room for the box between the engine and the frame and axle is the hassle for the power box. If only there was some way of making the Vega box steer quickly and have the power assist required to move the 14″ wide front tires when it is a race car. That’s about twice the width of the tires I plan to use on the street, and much more sticky. So the steering effort will be such that I won’t be able to steer the car without the power assist. Thinking aloud here, I wonder how hard it would be to install an electric assist on the Vega box? (Gears turning, ears smoking…) One thing the rack would solve is putting a radiator in the car because the steering shaft could run under the radiator or around the outside of the frame to miss the radiator.

Something else that has been percolating in the grey matter has been a really retro method of changing gears on the bucket. Remember the “Dragster” and “Sprint2” video games from the ’70s with the 4 speed gearshift controller… I’m thinking that something like that would work with an electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Some bad news, I missed the application deadline for showing the new bakfiets at the car show. I no longer have a working printer at Casa de El Poeta and could not find one to print out the entry form for the show. Actually my printer works fine but it’s so old that it won’t connect to the laptop. The printer uses a parallel interface and all the laptop has are RJ-45 and USB connections. The printer was made about the time that Ethernet became available to consumers but networked printers were a commercial-only application and USB was still a wet dream. So I don’t have a “working” printer.


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