Monthly Archives: April 2017

Making your life fit in a game

I spent the afternoon trying to create a playable character out of my life experiences. Let’s just say I’m going to be a Street Samurai who will be very hard to take down after we calculated what it would take to survive all the times I have taken hits from trucks, I’m on the high end of what would be a troll body, but I’m still human. But the real good part is in the game I will have new legs, new eyes, and my brain damage will get fixed. Even though it’s all a fantasy, the thought of actually having a body that works…

I will be taking my Army combat training with me in the game, and also using my prosthetics as enhancements to do what my body never could IRL.

And I just fell asleep and faceplanted right into the keyboard, because I was getting up way early to get to the game session, 0930 when I don’t even get to sleep until about 0500. So I’m going to bed now.
THUD

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I found bigs and littles I can race and run on the street

At least until it rains, then all bets are off.

The tires (by Hankook) are not that bad in the wet, but put them on a 1600 pound car with brakes that can stop a much heavier car even without power assist and then add water in typical TX thunderstorm amounts and with a car that is naturally tail-happy… Wet weather driving will be done quite cautiously.

The main problem I’m having now is getting the right size wheels for the tires I chose, especially the front ones. You wouldn’t think 15 X 6 wheels would be so hard to find at a reasonable price, but they are. The rear wheels are comparatively easy, but where it really gets hard is getting both wheels in the same style and in compatible offset. In fact I’m having so much trouble finding the compatible offset I’m strongly considering using wheel spacers up front to make the mounted offset compatible.

That’s just for the street, for racing I don’t give a flying fig if the fronts match the rears as long as the widths and offsets are right and the wheels are light enough. And it is looking like the race slick wheels are not going to match styles at all, the front tires are 22/6.0-15S while the rears are 23.5/10-15S in a softer, more grippy compound. I’m definitely swapping at least the rear springs and shocks when I race SCCA so that I get a better balanced car. That and I’ll need to lower the car anyway as the race slicks are about an inch taller than the street tires which would totally screw up the undercar aerodynamics unless I dropped the rear back down to match the front. And since I’m swapping one set of shocks and springs anyway it won’t take but a few minutes longer to swap both sets. The time consuming part would get done beforehand as I adjust the ride height and set the damping on the shocks before labeling which corner they go on and putting them in some kind of carrying case.

And I have good company in having issues with controlling which way the car is going. Even the best hike the inside front wheel .

And on that note I close this post and bid you farewell.

I give up

I couldn’t do it. There was no way to get the oversteer out of the Mid-Bucket without going to bigs and not-so-bigs. The extreme rear weight bias just was too much for all my tricks and tweaks. I can’t fight physics and no matter what I did I still ended up with oversteer at the limit. Sometimes it was only hang the tail out and go slow oversteer, but most of the time it was understeer up to a point, balanced and then snapping loose and driving backwards off the road.

Now running racing slicks is no problem, bigs and littles is a common setup for mid-engine race cars. Lots of choices that would be balanced at the limit. Just-driving-around tires I also have solved as this is a common setup for hot rods. No, where this is a problem is street tire autocrossing, the thing I’m building this car for. Naturally.

If I stay with 15″ rims I’m pretty much boned as the 245/40 size is pretty much the widest tire I can get in ≥200 UTQG wear rating. I can use that in the rear and run a 195/50 front and get balance but not ultimate grip. My competition will be running 335 wide in the front, and even wider in the back. Granted I’m driving <1600 pounds and they're almost twice that, but still I'm going to be down on grip overall compared to the competition.

The next size up in rims with performance tires is 17", which gives me a whole lot more choice in sizes. The downside is I lose the automatic lowering for racing because the 17" rim increases the diameter of the tire by 2", it's just physics. For the same width and profile the 17" rim is always going to be 2" taller than a 15" rim. I'm still going to be a tiny bit shorter than my street tires on 15" rims, but not by much. And the thought comes to mind that if I'm going to have to use tall tires to race on why do I need to get just driving around tires? I'm not going to be driving a traditional Bucket so why run traditional street wheel and tire sizes? The treadwear requirements for the street tire autocross make the tires usable for daily driving, so why not drive them on the street?

And I'm starting to repeat myself while I type (I deleted 2 whole paragraphs) so this is a good time to quit.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Anchovies and Sardines! It’s World Penguin Day!

Have you stocked up on canned sardines and anchovies?

It's the fishiest day of the year!

Today is the day we celebrate my namesake. He prefers herring, I prefer sardines and anchovy pizza.

And gallons of coffee, I am a writer after all.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

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.