Daily Archives: August 17, 2014

RPG night was a bit chaotic and other stuff on Wreck-Free Sunday

Yesterday was RPG night, with a bit of a fluster cluck to start out. We had to move to a different venue when both of the hosts at our regular location were called in to work, which really screwed the meal planning. Our regular location we have access to a kitchen with normal pots, pans , and a slow cooker, the backup location we don’t have kitchen access so the ramen and beans menu planning went out the window. I got some cash from Mrs. the Poet for transportation and food and I got some “mexican” food from Taco Bell.

I had to create a new character because the character sheet for the one I just finished creating (the F.I.S.S) was at the regular location, and I had an idea for a bicycle-based speedster. My new character has the superhero name of “Flash Drive” and wears what looks like motorcycle leathers and helmet with a full-face shield to hide his secret identity as Clyde Bonney, international ultra model. Yes, going back to his origin story, Clyde Bonney was just a better than average bicycle messenger when he was sandwiched between two cars running the same red light in opposite directions. The Gods intervened with the single comment “Well, that sucks,” and granted him super speed (288 MPH sprint and extended cruise) and super toughness, genius level thinking and deduction powers (think Batman), and since there wasn’t much left of his original face they rebuilt him with god-like levels of male beauty, all in an instant. He went into the intersection a high-level normal human and got squished between two guys running that red light, and reappeared without his bike next to the wreck still moving as fast as he was before the wreck but on foot instead of a bicycle, and he literally walked away from the wreck with the remains of the bike trapped between the two cars. The wreck and subsequent publicity resulted in a career in international modelling and high society with a high middle-class income and lots of “perks” like free clothes and sometimes the use of cars. This results in the disadvantage of “the curse of Beauty” in that almost all bi people of both genders, and gay men or straight women, are pursuing him for a relationship or just sex. I have already decided that when it’s time to replace my costume with something a little more bulletproof my secret identity is going to “Cosplay” my superhero identity in the old costume, and model the cosmetic proofs of the new costume in a national “America chooses the superhero’s new costume” publicity campaign. Mind you this is in a universe that has a superhero-only edition of “People Weekly”.

The first adventure was getting the party together, as we have a retired ninja, a genetic super-soldier werewolf type character, and my speedster character working as part of a team in the small New England city of Cape Temperance. The big problem we have is we have two characters with rather high caloric needs, mine and the werewolf that looks like Bigfoot in his human form, and the werewolf does not know who he is because he was getting implanted memories during his “vat stage” of development and that part was interrupted by the lab he was growing in being raided in the last game session which we played with villain characters. There was a lot of RP in the session with only a single combat with a dumb “brick” character who was strong and tough but not very bright. My character managed to get some blunt force damage in, and the ninja was able to significantly slow him down with his sword, with the werewolf character keeping the brick’s hands busy until he managed to take the brick out with a clawed kick to the throat that brought him down just as the media showed up. Flash Drive was given partial credit as the ninja was invisible most of the time especially when he would attack with his sword someplace I had just attacked visibly with my fists at super speed.

As I tell Mrs. the Poet I role play because it’s fun and therapeutic. I get completely out of my normal headspace as a bicycle advocate and journalist and into the headspace of my character, which makes the time I have to be “just me” much more tolerable. I find the best way to cope with life is just to leave it behind for a while and get out of my normal way of thinking.

I finally got the video game I asked for for Father’s Day, Gran Turismo 4. Now I need to get a controller that will let me control my car better. Basically I have the choice of another standard controller or one of two Logitech steering wheels, the Driving Force Pro, and the GT Force. I tried the standard controller with the analog stick under my left thumb controlling the steering and no matter what car I was driving I was all over the road in it. I was able to keep a car on the track at the Motegi Super Speedway, but only just barely by putting hard compound tires on the front and super soft on the rear, causing a huge push that allowed me to be able to move the stick a visible amount. Setting up a car like that on any other track would result in plowing off the track. So, before I can build the virtual version of my car, I have to find a controller I can drive with, and then learn how to drive in the simulation, then create a virtual copy of the Sprint T. And this is what I’m starting from on that.

Tribute T Mod Wrap
low angle view
Low angle side view

That last picture is really good to work from the CAD drawing (2D) perspective as it is almost a square-on with minimal perspective view, I could trace that and have a very good starting point for revamping it to the Sprint T configuration. Imagine that body with the cage from this car slapped over and around it.

Pavement sprint car

Note the tubes running from the top of the roll cage to the front of the car, they help with triangulation of the frame and they increase the depth (d) of the frame, basically making the upper part of the roll cage the top rail of the frame. With the bending moment being a function of d4 everything that can be done to make the top of the cage function like the top frame rail has massive effects on the stiffness of the frame, and the more space I can make the frame enclose just does the same thing to the torsional stiffness of the entire car. In simpler terms moving the diagonal brace from the top of the front hoop so that it connects to the top of the front crossmember and then running another brace from the crossmember to the bottom of the front hoop makes the car hella stiff in bending and torsion. Running diagonal braces inside the cage to the bottom rail from the tops of both hoops makes the center bay of the frame just that much stiffer again, and gives me more to grab hold of to get in and out of the car. Putting the cage (mostly) on the outside of the body does the same thing, making it stiffer by making it enclose more volume while keeping it triangulated, and by doing that I can use smaller and lighter tubes in areas not specified by racing safety regulations, which makes the whole car lighter. The Speedway Motors kit uses a 1½ by 3″ by 0.120 wall rectangular tube as the sole frame member for their kits.

Bare frame

But the Sprint T could use the 1½” by 0.060 wall square tube as the bottom rail which weighs about ¼ of the Speedway Motors part. The Sprint T frame will weigh slightly more than a standard T-Bucket frame, but the difference in torsional stiffness would be incomparable. Think heavy ladder compared to light jungle gym. Compare the number of tubes and space enclosed on this frame to the one on the Speedway kit.

bare sprint car frame

The roll cage hoops and internal diagonal braces have to be 1½” by 0.120 wall chrome-moly round tubing because those are required to run an open car in SCCA Solo competition in the Modified category which is where the Sprint T will wind up, but aside from the 1½” by 0.060 wall square tube bottom rail most of the frame will be 1″ by 0.060 wall round or square steel or chrome-moly (depending on what is available when I go shopping).

And I got called old politely again last night on the return trip from the RP game session. There were some rowdy kids that got on the train drunk (yes I said drunk kids) and one of them had problems not sitting on me when he was trying to talk to the rest of his party. He wasn’t being malicious or even obnoxious, but it was slightly uncomfortable. Another person on the train admonished the kid to be more respectful because “what if he was your grand-daddy?” :scowl: Dangit, I’m not old enough to be a “revered elder” yet. 😉

And that’s all I have to say today. Sorry about the squirrel chase around the topics. 😉 😛

PSA, Opus