Monthly Archives: July 2017

Another day that didn’t go according to plan

Well today I was supposed to go pay for the return tickets from the eclipse viewing, and I even woke up early to do it. I was ready, but the check I deposited last week was not. For some reason it still hadn’t cleared. So I got out the money to get replacement ID and get my toes done went to the post office and got the money order for the ID and then got my toes done and walked home. I was a lot more comfortable walking out of the nail salon than walking in. I also picked up some bodywash on sale at the grocery store next door so I don’t have to wash with shampoo or smell bad.

Speaking of smelling bad, Clyde has been missing Mrs. the Poet something fierce. When I was shutting things down last night there was a bad smell in the bathroom where he was resting, so I blamed Clyde for using the bathroom as a litterbox as I took him to the front door. But when I got back to the bathroom the smell was gone. But the front door smelled like a litterbox until Clyde decided to move on to other things. My theory is he’s depressed because Mommy has been gone for so long and he was Mommy’s cat. When Mrs. the Poet is here Clyde spends most of his time on her lap being adored. And now he is going through withdrawal from Mommy Pettings. He did smell much better after being outdoors last night and most of the day. And now he’s curled up next to me a safe distance from my office chair listening to the TV show I have making noise while I write. That’s what he does with Mrs. the Poet except he sits in her lap. I move around too much for lap sitting when I’m working because I move forward to type and then back to proofread and think about it before I lean back forward to type some more.

Tonight I have the Velocity channel program Bitchin’ Rides running as inspiration, not so much for engineering ideas as for paint and trim and general design, and also for fabrication ideas. Also because I like watching people work metal, especially going from flat stock to a 3D part like a fender or a door skin. This program they scratched the entire floor for a ’52 Pontiac. But even when they aren’t making something even close to my car, it’s an inspiration for my car because they are making something. I want to be making something. That’s part of the reason why I’m making the small scale mockup of the TGS2, so that I’m building something.

And now I have to take care of the cats again before I go to bed.

I need people

I’m a little over a month without Mrs. the Poet now and I’m suffering from a lack of human contact. There was someone who was supposed to check in on me and make sure I ate enough and showered regularly, but injury and work schedules have caused that to not happen. So are there any readers in the DFW area feel like doing a human kindness? Anyone feel like taking me out for a burger and fries?

Kyle Busch just won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Pocono, for his first win of the season. For some reason I have the urge to buy a package of Caramel M&Ms now. 😀 There is an Indy Car race that I missed the live broadcast that will have a rebroadcast after the NASCAR race post-race show. I also missed the NHRA race from Sonoma that was also broadcast at the same time. All the races were on at the same time, whose idea was that? And now the replay of the Hungarian Gran Prix F1 is on the same channel as the other two races.

I mentioned getting a burger earlier, but to be honest most of my protein intake has been in the form of frozen burritos and PBJ sandwiches. I have been watching my intake lately because of my budget. I should write it down and sell it as “The Poverty Diet“. I have been spending about $20 (US) per week on groceries including the cat’s food. I haven’t felt too deprived, mainly because of things like that $0.50 frozen pie and $0.75 2 liter soft drinks. I just need to be careful not to get the soft drinks with the corn syrup sweetener.

I need to get up early tomorrow so I’m cutting this off now.

My electronics are dying

My phone will only work by plugging in the charger and unplugging it because the on-off switch is busted. My laptop refuses to charge and only works when plugged in. Now I can almost understand the laptop getting creaky, I bought it back in 2013. In laptop years that makes it almost pre-historic. And my 2½ YO phone is equally ancient in an industry that cycles through another generation every 9 months. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

What really pisses me off about the phone is I was getting out of memory messages about my apps, so I spent almost as much as the initial cost of the phone before rebate tripling the capacity, going from 8GB to 24GB with a 16GB card. And I still get out of memory errors with more than 15GB free space in the card. I really don’t get that. Stupid phone, you wanted memory, I bought as much memory as you can hold, and you still say “out of memory” with almost twice the free space as when I bought you. Stupid phone. Who designs a system that puts everything in working memory and refuses to use free storage even for things like saving pictures unless you move each picture there manually one at a time? It is storage, dangit, store things in it. Like updates and texts and pictures, and other things that need storing for later use. But for some reason I don’t have anything to tell the phone to do that and to download updates to the card then run the update from the card. It almost looks like the phone was designed to use up its operating memory and then get replaced every year…

And I can’t seem to be able to cut a straight line lately, making cutting a new floor for the TGS2 scale mockup mostly an exercise in frustration and spoiled materials. I’m back to getting lots of good stiff card stock as junk mail so this isn’t actually costing me money, but it is still frustrating to not be able to get stuff done so I can see progress. And this particular thing is so simple, I literally need to cut one piece of paper to shape and tack-glue it to something else and paint it so everything is the same color, then cut, paint and glue another piece of paper so I can take a picture and post it here so you can see what the finished car is supposed to look like, more or less.

I should mention that I decided to move the engine/transmission forward rather than stretch the body back, so the wheelbase went from the Speedway kit’s 102″ to 90″, helping the balance just a scosh. It is only a percent or two depending on the fuel load and driver weight, but at this point every little bit helps. I think one of the things I’m going to do on Monday is pick up another set of stones for the hone so I can get the kingpins finished before the turn of the next century. The ones that came with the tool seem to have given their all honing the chrome-moly axle boss to fit the kingpins.

And I think it is probably a good time to hit the hay.

Get me some coffee!

If enough of you click this link I get free Starbucks coffee for a year plus an equal supply of caffeine-enhancing creamer to keep my mind sharp. Nothing like 16 ounces of espresso and that super creamer to get the ticker going.

Click this link and get back with me to verify the link.

Opus the decaffeinated

Sorry about missing an update

Short version: I got distracted.

tl;dr version I was following the vote on destroying the economy of the USA so that some rich people could get even richer and couldn’t decide if I wanted to watch the world burn or arrest the people casting “yes” votes for conspiracy to commit murder by withholding care. I mean seriously the estimate was 20K dead the first month, potentially making the GOP the worst mass-murderers in US history.

And then I couldn’t either concentrate to write, or make my brain shut up so I could sleep. So I was stuck in a limbo of wakeful chaos that I couldn’t turn into a pile of understandable words. And so exhausted that I was bouncing up and down like one of those drinking bird toys from the ’50s and ’60s.
The head goes up and down as the liquid evaporates from the beak.
Because I could see the fallout from taking away the money that was paying for the care of people in long term care facilities who would have to leave at the end of the month this law took effect, BTW that was the source of the 20K dead in a month. I know some people in LTC and they are touch and go with 24/7 nursing care, some would be dead in 24 hours and they are all on Medicaid or Medicare.

Now I need to get my toes done since I ran outta daylight to do it yesterday.

It’s a good thing I checked in

I called the Lab Rat Keeper to verify my appointment and it was a good thing I did. Somehow my appointment was deleted from the book which was why I wasn’t called. Now instead of going to the Dr.’s office I will be paying bills and getting my toes done tomorrow.
You can see why I need my toes done
Ugly, ain’t it? That’s what happens when I let them go too long between getting them done, now I’m going to lose that one again. It happened back in the mid-1980s and it took most of a year for the new one to grow back, and it was terribly uncomfortable until it did.

So anyway I’m going to do tomorrow, or later today, what I was planning on doing Monday or Tuesday, but couldn’t because I was waiting for the Lab Rat Keeper’ office to confirm my appointment. I’m also still cutting floors for the scale mockup of the TGS2 with smaller rear wheel cutouts, but for some reason I haven’t been able to get the front ones square. And that plastic sheet from ADT is almost impossible to cut.

I woke up around 0500 what is now yesterday and I have been having problems all night long with falling asleep on my phone or at the keyboard, so I’m going to pop a sleep aid and try to grab some Zs.

Radical concept that might change the world

I’m gonna throw something out there that might change the world, or go nowhere. In fact I’m pretty sure it will go nowhere, but it is something that must be put into the open: freedom for corporations.

Follow my logic on this one: corporations are people under the Constitution of the United States of America. That was settled way back in the 19th century shortly after the Civil War. Unscrupulous people were trying to use the recently-passed amendments to the Constitution to create a special status for corporations to escape taxes and they mostly succeeded. Corporations were “people” with “rights”. But they were still “things” to be owned in spite of their status as “people”. I’m not 100% sure but I think this was intended to be an end run around the 13th Amendment to allow former slaves to be reclaimed by their owners but that never materialized. Instead we have seen an ever-increasing array of corporate “rights” granted until they have more rights than actual living people. I say grant corps one more right, one that has been denied since they were first granted the legal fiction of “personhood”, apply the 13th Amendment to apply fully to corporations. Declare them free!

No more stockholders, no more boards of directors, no more Chief Executive Officers sucking corporate money dry, robbing the corporation literally blind. Mitt Romney used to do this regularly buying up small corps and extracting money from them until they ceased to exist. Under my proposal that would be murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

And if it’s determined that corporations can’t exist without human ownership, then declare them not people. People can determine their own fate without input from others and continue to exist independently. If corporations can’t do that then they are not “people” and do not have rights.

I spent the weekend Doing Things so now I have something to write about

Saturday was grocery and laundry day, and Sunday was RPG day. Food was bought, and fun was had as we tried to save a slaughterhouse from the scourge of demon cattle, and cyber cockroaches, although I still haven’t wrapped my mind around how two such disparate things struck at the same time. The demon rats I can understand they’re just smaller versions of the demon cattle. But where did the cyber cockroaches come from? The demon rats were probably created at the same time as the demon cattle by drift from one group of animals to another, but the cockroaches had to have been a second attack against the slaughterhouse. We never did discover who was responsible for either attack because someone reported the demon cattle infestation to the Health Department.

I also watched the 9 Hours of Indy, formerly known as the Brickyard 400. It wasn’t supposed to take that long but stoppages for rain and for wrecks that completely blocked the track for several hours to clean up debris and spilled fluids caused it to be that long. I tuned in after the RPG group got finished, and still got to watch the last 40 laps. Congrats to Kasey Kahne on punching his ticket to the Playoffs.

Junk Mail has come through in spades in providing raw stock for the TGS2 scale mockup. ADT sent an actual sheet of plastic with their ad printed on it that will make an excellent floor and fender support. Also the local school district sent an ad on very heavy paper that can also be used for floors and diffusers, probably flexible enough to use for actual fenders as well.

Tomorrow I have to go deposit a check, and get my toes done so I can start walking again. I might be getting a visitor after lunch.

I’m melting, melting, what a world…

Heat indexes have been off the charts lately, from what I can tell. I haven’t been able to go for my walks so I have been spending most of the time indoors and hardly check the weather, but it’s 86°F in my office as I type this with the AC going. So it can’t be anything but hot outside. But just FYI my phone says it is currently 98°F outside. At 1855. So by deduction it must have been over 100 at some point today, say like between 1400 and 1500. ETA the 2200 news weather report had a 100° high temperature. And the urban heat island effect keeps the nighttime temperatures up, too. And this is where today’s headline came from YouTube

I’m not happy with the way the floor came out for two reasons. Number one is I forgot to include the front support for the front fenders, and 2) I made the rear cutouts too wide, as shown in the pictures. Seriously I left enough room for a 16″ wide tire and the widest race tire I have been looking at seriously was 14″ with the street tires in the 12″ range. And I have plenty of raw stock for the floor, finally. So the floor will get a do-over. And that’s why those 9″ wide tires in the pictures looked so lost in there. Even the 10″ wide tires for the Mini Sprint-T would have been swallowed up.

While I am on the subject of the TGS2 I have been looking at a pull-rod spring instead of direct mounted springs for 2 reasons. One reason is I can change the spring rate just by changing 2 bolts, either a little or a lot, The second reason is the unsprung part of the pull-rod is much less than the direct mount spring because the entire spring and shock are moving with the car. Yes they move with the axle but they are entirely supported by the frame so they are sprung weight. The bellcrank and mount add a couple of pounds but it is all sprung weight. But the primary reason to go with the pull-rod springing is adjustability, I can change spring rate and ride height in just a few seconds and swapping a different length pull-rod is much cheaper than swapping different shocks and springs. Literally a dollars to donuts comparison, I can buy or make a custom pull-rod for about the price of a dozen donuts where a spring and shock absorber are $200-300 assembled. With my budget this is a cost-benefit ratio I can most definitely live with.

And I need to take a shower and hit the hay.

I was working and then I couldn’t sleep

OK first things first and then PICTURES! I did what I said I would do, cut the floor for the scale mockup of the TGS2. When I got done with that I couldn’t get the brain to shut down, even with chemical assistance, until after 0800. Then I woke up at 1100. 1200, and 1400 when I got up and said the heck with it. So if this seems a little less coherent than usual you can blame lack of sleep. Or something.

So anyway work. I laid out and cut the floor for the scale mockup TGS2 last night, measuring to the thousandth, marking and cutting to the hundredth of an inch. In scale that’s measuring to the 1/32″ and cutting to the 1/4″. Here is what it looked like after laying out the front wheel cutouts.
Yes the cutouts were rectilinear, sue me. Aero over looks
I decided to go with a straight leading edge on the floor for more downforce, even though the curved cutout looked better. It turns out the curved cutouts induced attached vortices that reduced airflow under the floor which in turn reduced downforce. I may cut back the strakes between the nose and the rest of the floor for the same reason, they may induce an attached vortex. Or they may prevent detached flow under the floor which would seriously reduce downforce. That’s why we make mockups.

Here’s the rear wheel cutouts.
More confusing lines on stiff paper stock.

And the cut version.
With the parts that aren't supposed to be there removed

And with the bucket from the Mini Sprint-T resting on the floor.
Now you know what that extra line was for
You can see why I can’t use the Mini Sprint-T bucket for the TGS2 mockup, I already installed the windshield.

And the view from behind.
I would say this is what the competition sees, but since the competition has to wait until I get off the course to run, not so much
I expect this to be a popular view of the car.

And for perspective with one of the kit wheels and the tires I’m not using on the Mini Sprint-T.
Right diameter but wrong width.
Sticking way out there because wrong width. In case you were wondering I was going to build the old school hot rod version of the kit with these tires.
Yep, sticking waaayyyy out there.
Showing the position of the outer edge of the tire.
This is how the inside is supposed to fit
And how close the inner edge is supposed to be. This is still much further out than most T-buckets run their rear tires. Some are so close the inside sidewall rubs the body in hard turns.

The pictures with the tires showed the approximate ground clearance when racing, thanks to the stock Model T tires in the kit. Fortunately 4 pennies stacked is the correct thickness to portray the street clearance.
Hard to see how much higher this is off the ground, but it's like twice as high as race trim
Unfortunately I don’t have a tripod to show exactly how much higher this is.

And I have put about 4 hours in on this, time to put it (and me?) to bed.