Monthly Archives: October 2017

Terror attack on NYC cyclists

Just got this off Twitter At least 8 dead, dozens injured after incident in NYC As of this moment it is declared a terrorist attack. Because the driver was a Muslim… Someone kill me now.

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Happy Samhain!

This is going to be a busy night, so I’m going to wish everyone a pleasant commune with your departed loved ones and relatives.

Dangit I need steady income

I have a bunch of gigs that I do to get money, but it’s all intermittent and slow in coming. Also never very much when it does come, which can get annoying. I mean it’s like a dollar from this gig every 3 weeks, 5 from this gig every 4 months, a hundred from this other gig every 18 months… And to make matters worse most of the money is not fungible, I can only spend it in certain places but not others. F’rinstance one gig only lets me spend online through their “mall” with inflated prices. Another pays me in gift cards to certain stores. Another only pays me in Amazon money. Sure I can get almost anything except meat and fresh produce from Amazon, but that’s not the point. The point is I need to make more money I can spend in any place I feel like spending it.

The other point is I need a job, but there are not many jobs I can do these days with what’s left of my body and brain. Most of the jobs I can do have been outsourced overseas, or automated out of existence. And it’s only going to get worse as my body ages and automation spreads, leaving me with fewer jobs I can physically do and fewer jobs that aren’t done by robots or some kind of autonomous machine. Add a little age discrimination in there, and I get sitting in a coldhot room typing nonsense on an ancient laptop as the sum total of my existence. Which is a gig that hasn’t made me any money in a couple of years at least.

I used to make relatively good money doing this, between ad sales and donations, but ad sales died about 3 years ago, and donations tapered off about a year after that. Most of my readers aren’t any better off financially than I am, and the concept of “disposable income” has become a fantasy for me. Mrs. the Poet harbors the fantasy of going to the grocery and buying all the food she wants of whatever brand she wants, without any thoughts of how much it will cost. Talk about a poor person’s fantasy… And my dreams and financial fantasies are a constant fodder for creating posts in my post murder-report blog. By some standards I’m a rich person, I have a house to live in, and a few gadgets to entertain myself, and I’m relatively food secure. It hasn’t always been this way, there were periods of my life where we were not food secure, when making rent was a constant worry. Those days are gone now, but their scars still remain.

So objectively I’m in decent shape as far as survival is concerned, but what I’m looking for exceeds mere survival. I want to live rather than survive. I know that sounds selfish and I guess it is to an extent. But that is the nature of the beast, moving on to improve things once survival has been ensured. And if you’re feeling in a donating mood the link to my PayPal account is over by the bottom right corner of the page. Look for “Send Me Money”.

My hip hurts

I really need to replace my futon, because I lack padding on my right hip and when I sleep on my right side I get a painful not-quite-a-bruise on my hip. I never in my life though I would ever say I wasn’t fat enough, but … I really need a new bed.

I’m doing the channel bounce as there is a F1 race and a Monster Energy Cup race on at the same time, and the NHRA race just started broadcasting. I’m mainly sticking with the F1 race as Hamilton had a flat tire on the first lap and there is a ton of drama because he went all the way to the back of the field and he could clinch the championship this race depending on where Sebastian Vettel finishes, unless Hamilton finishes 5th or higher. As I type this Hamilton is leading the points by running in 9th with Vettel in 3rd at the finish to clinch the driver championship two races before the end of the season.

Watching the Monster Energy Cup race now from Martinsville.

Just got a text that the Shadowrun game we had going tonight was dropped because the GM has another class to attend, and one of the players for our group is having some kind of health issue. This makes me slightly upset, but not totally broken. As the saying goes, shit happens. I’m just getting tired of shit happening to me.

Speaking of that, I didn’t win the lottery again last night. So I’m still p’, too impoverished to buy a vowel.

I had to turn the AC off

And I wore long pants and a long-sleeve shirt today, and wished I had more on. I got up way too early (0900) and then spent about 2 hours getting to the meeting after getting ready and fed. I felt like I was freezing until I found a place out of the wind while I was waiting for the bus for the outbound trip, when the actual temp was 44 and the “Feels like” was down in the 30s.

I mentioned turning off the AC because it was down to almost 60 in the office this AM, and it is still only 68°F this evening, a far cry from the mid 80s from less than a month ago. Seriously after all that time acclimating to hot weather, decent temperatures feel cold. I’m even back to drinking hot coffee again instead of iced tea for breakfast to warm up. We actually used a blanket on the bed last night. And my nose feels like an ice cube on my face.

And I’m also dealing with a needy (and kneady) cat, so this post is over.

It turned chilly today

I had to go outside today, and it was a mite chilly, 49°F chilly for a high temperature to be precise, with a “feels like” of 43 when I was out in it. How chilly is that? I wore long pants to cover my knees for the first time since winter, but I forgot to grab a belt out of the closet and spent most of the return trip trying to keep my pants from falling off. That was about a mile walking with one hand holding up my pants.

The reason for the trip was I needed to get bus fare for a meeting tomorrow, and a lottery ticket. Unfortunately instead of the annuitized $18.25 million payout the ticket was for the cash value option payout of $12.5 million. So if this blog goes silent after Monday you’ll know I am taking time to manage my finances prior to accepting the jackpot. The meeting is the artist of a web comic I read, Not A Villain. I try very hard to support the creators of the entertainment I consume, even if it’s only clicking the ads on their sites.

On other subjects this blog has become known for, I went old-school to scale up that picture of the engine and transaxle and this time I found the assembly to be 36.1″ end-to-end as it sits sideways in the car, and about 2″ of the transaxle will stick out the driver’s side of the body if the CG is really on the line between the silver and grey on the forward engine mount. The accessory drive will be just inside the confines of the bucket body, and just clear the bottom frame rail.

And I still have stuff I need to do before I go to bed, so this post has to end now.

That was a long walk

Yesterday I made a 3.25 mile walk to measure an oil filter at Auto Zone so I can scale this picture and find out how much engine or transmission is going to hang out past the body.Now I can measure the oil filter and see how much wider the engine is than the bottom of the body.
That oil filter is 3.8″+/- a few thousandths in diameter, so the assembly is 36.25″ wide. ?WTF? It… almost fits inside the body. I could widen the body by 2″ at the back, and just fit everything inside the body. I won’t, because in order to get the engine balanced it has to be offset a bit so that one end or the other will stick out, but the rear of the frame doesn’t need to be widened to catch the left and right engine mounts. Well, maybe a bit, but nothing like what I was anticipating.

So, anyway I was going to talk about the walk. I stopped on the way back to buy a lottery ticket (I didn’t win) and took the back way from the parts store away from the 50 MPH speed limit (actual traffic 60) main road/state highway the parts store sits next to and through a residential neighborhood or 2 to get home. Naturally this added to the length of the return trip but not by much in spite of the added turns. Maybe a quarter of a mile extra? Something like that. Anyway for my metric readers that was just a few meters over 5km round trip. The weather could hardly have been any better with 78°F (25.5C) and sunny with a nice breeze that never quite managed to blow my hat off. It was a nice walk except for the length, which was a little much for a zombie like me. Back when I was younger, like last year, that would not have been that big a challenge. Sure I would complain about it, because I always have to complain about something, but not a challenge, more like an annoyance.

Moving on to really random crap, I was thinking about a Flugtag craft for the next time the Flugtag comes to town, because I was in bed and couldn’t get my brain to shut up and let me sleep, again. What I was thinking most about was adding a pedal-powered propeller and how to use a standard bike chain to drive the prop. What I came up with was a crown gear to mesh with the drive chain on the propeller shaft, and instead of a standard sprocket a grooved pulley for the chain to ride on and an idler pulley to both take out the slack from the chain and to make sure no more than 2 teeth from the crown gear engage so the chain isn’t tweaked sideways. The prop would mostly be a glide extender rather than actually flying the plane. The plane would be based on the canard version of the Icarus 2 biplane hang glider from the ’70s, because it was light and had a lot of wing area to fly slow. The canard version was made to get more pitch authority to allow for pilots that were too light or too heavy for the standard Icarus 2.

Having difficulty doing a post ATM

Yesterday was a complete flop for pretty much everything as I tried to catch up from spending pretty much the entire day playing Shadowrun on Sunday, with a needy (and kneady) cat in my lap most of yesterday. I have decided today is Bean Day, so the crock pot is full of simmering vegetarian goodness, and I’m caught up on everything except posting to the blog.

Some time this week I need to wander by an auto parts store with my calipers and measure the oil filter for my engine so I can scale that picture of the engine, since it doesn’t look like I will have access to my donor vehicle any time soon. The current possessor of the minivan hasn’t shown much inclination towards delivery and until I can find an engine hoist somewhere I don’t have much I can do with it if I had it. But once I know the diameter of the oil filter (which doesn’t seem to be a common piece of data) I will be able to scale the picture I have of the engine and transmission.
I was going to use the valve cover reference, but the oil filter is probably the best.
That grey and silver thing to the right of the oil filter (the white thing on the front of the engine) is the forward engine mount and roughly on the CG of the engine/transmission combined. There’s another one behind the engine in this picture and they are supposed to carry most of the weight of the assembly. What I have to determine is how much of the accessory drive and transmission are going to stick out from the bottom of the body. That measurement will determine where I put the bucket body in relationship to the rear axle and engine.

I was also thinking about things like the engine cover and the driver compartment. These will change depending on where the bucket part of the body sits in relation to the engine if the wheelbase stays the same, and what I really want to do is keep the wheelbase as short as possible. Because of the physical size of the engine and the fuel tank and yr fthfl srvnt in the driver’s seat about the shortest I can make the wheelbase is 97-98″ without reducing the “ferry” range of the car. Since I plan on converting the engine to full-time E85 consumption and there is a lack of E85 west of TX to CA I have to either detune the engine for 91 octane premium gas or buy a really big gas tank to bridge the gaps between stations. The limitation here is once the compression ratio has been raised to use all of the antiknock of E85 the tune to run 91 premium is pretty gutless and uses more gas than if I could run E85.

And I have been researching the costs of reprogramming the factory computers to work in the TGS2 vs using a standalone controller that has to be programmed, and the costs are shifting back in favor of the standalone, but only just. Just about any tuner in town can program a MegaSquirt controller, and I can do the MegaShift transmission controller by myself with the free software, but the 22YO factory computer is fast becoming a specialist-only orphan that requires a cost premium for programming that exceeds the savings of using existing equipment. One thing I’m being told is the software to reprogram the OE controller is no longer available or that the version available will not run on current laptops. I’m more inclined to believe the latter statement is the actual truth, especially legacy code like you would expect for a 1996 ECM. I mean when the controller was built Win95 was replacing 3.2 and laptops were the equivalent of tens of thousands of today’s dollars and people using them had to have mobile computing. The laptop I’m doing this post on was $200 after tax as a point of comparison, and I’m using it because it’s faster than my old desktop. So, it’s extremely likely the software is for a version of Windows that is no longer supported by Microsoft.

More later.

Groceries have been purchased

And we are stocked up on milk and PopTarts. Big deal of 2 gallons of milk free w/purchase of 4 boxes of 12 count PopTarts. Now we have a gallon in the freezer and I’m switching back to coffee in my milk in place of the iced tea I have been drinking since August. Also we have about 2½ pounds of candy to give away pretend we don’t have for Halloween.

I mentioned in yesterday’s post I had pretty much used up my hand downloading pictures from eBay of that race car chassis T Bucket that I had found when searching for a picture of something else. Don’t forget to mouse over the picture to read the description.

Repeat from yesterday

That's a big deck and spoiler to go with that wing

Look at that 5 inch coilover on the rear axle

There's ample room for the passenger.

They widened the heck outta that Speedway body!

Looks like a polycarbonate top skin to show off the internal structure of that wing.

He never centered the engine, it must have been heck getting the car balanced to make right turns safely.

Well he has plenty of ground clearance.

I assume this is the e-brake caliper bolted to the front of the rear axle.

Passenger seat is cozy.

Another view of how much the engine is still offset. How on Earth did he ever get the balance right?

A better look at how much the body was widened and how far the engine is offset. The distributor on a SBC is slightly to the right of the center of the engine and this one is slightly to the left of the center of the body.

WTF are those shocks connected to?!?

 Five inch coilover mounted behind the axle, plus some kind of surge tank next to the fuel cell. Battery also visible in front of the axle, and that's what the Wide 5 hub looks like.

That's one reason to move the engine over to the right, then you wouldn't need to put 4 U-joints in your steering shaft.

This series has actually given me food for thought on the engine and body install on the TGS2. Cut the back of the body wide enough to fit over the engine and let the transmission hang out the side behind the body so it won’t need a cutout and the body line can remain. That would move the axle centerline just in back of the rear of the body so the suspension can travel without having to cut the side of the body. Lots of room for the frame to catch the engine mounts. Make a fake P.U. bed from HDPE and faux woodgrain the surface.

My hand is improving

The numb spots, or the spots that used to be numb are now uncomfortable to the touch, and it takes much longer typing before my hand gets too painful to use the keyboard. so, improvement and definite signs of healing. I have equal spread from my left hand compared to the right again, another sign of healing.

While I was looking for something else on the web I found a couple of images that were… interesting

looks like a Modified chassis.

Yep definitely from some kind of Modified class oval track car.

If you look close you can see Wide 5 hubs on the front suspension, but unlike recent NASCAR Modified class cars it has a 5″ coil spring and a separate shock absorber on the lower A-arm. I guess it could be an IMCA or other sanctioning body car that has been changed over to Wide 5, or it could be a Late Model car. Either way that body has been widened a ton, at least a foot if not more. The deets on the build are here . I also found some more pictures at the original listing, that I might put up later.

And the hand is starting to hurt again after downloading all the pictures I didn’t put in the post today.