Monthly Archives: November 2017

Designing gas tanks instead of sleeping

Just because I can’t get words out because brain not working right doesn’t mean I stop thinking. The exact opposite happens.

I was trying to come up with a frame that would put me on the driver’s side of the car and still be stiff and that I could fit inside the body without chopping the body into little pieces and hanging a couple of hundred dzus fittings on the frame to attach the body. Physically can’t be done. So I’m back to sitting in the center of the car and the gas tank is now sitting on either side of the frame instead of the passenger side of the interior. The fun part is now I have to design a pair of fuel tanks that literally have no parallel sides and figure out how much gas (E85) I can carry between them.

First things first I measured the body to find out what space I had to work with. The major design constraint is the sides of the tank are going to be flat pieces of steel for ease of construction, so where the curves in the body make that impossible defines the volume of the tank. First constraint is where the back of the body starts to curve up from the floor, which defines the length, 41 inches from the inside of the firewall. Second constraint is being able to slide the tanks in from the top without removing anything, so the tanks have to clear the dash and the top flanges of the body and the bottom of the dash is 10.5″ from the inside of the firewall, leaving 30.5″ as the length of the tanks. Measuring the inside of the body at the floor gave me a width of 33″ at the front and 34″ at the back. Measuring the same locations at the body top flange gave me 37″ at the front and 44″ at the back, and a depth of 19″ inside the body flanges. Now not all of this volume will be available for fuel storage, I’m going to occupy a large chunk of it, 27″ down the center front to back.

This leaves us with two methods to determine the available volume, find the total volume and subtract the volume taken up by the frame around the driver, or remove the space taken up by the frame around the driver from the measurements and calculate the space left over. The easy part is the volume occupied by the frame around the driver 27″ wide by 30.5″ long by 19″ deep, or 15646.5 in3. The volume around that is a bit trickier to calculate because the space is a trapezoidal polyhedron, and the volume is the average area of the top and bottom times the depth. The quick way to calculate the average area of the top and bottom was to average the top and bottom widths on both ends, by adding them up and dividing by the number of measurements (4) and multiplying by the length (30.5) and then the depth (19) to determine the total volume. Subtracting the volume occupied by the driver and frame leaves 25.4 gallons for fuel. Which is not enough to get across the E85 barrens of west Texas and NM at the projected fuel economy for the vehicle. That means I need to make the tanks bigger or find room for another tank. Now one way I can make the tanks bigger is taking less space for the frame (and me) but it is late and I’m getting tired and unmedicated brain is not thinking good and wants to sleep.

Unmedicated writing is short because unmedicated

Another short post today, because I’m still flushing out before starting the new meds.

The depression keeps me from having much inspiration to write, or enough energy to write if I do anything else that day. And if I do manage to write a decent length post I don’t have the energy to do anything the rest of the day and a good chunk of the mext.

But I have stuff to do today so this is all you get.

Too much in my head, back to the car build

Yesterday was too much in my head to write properly, today I’m in my car instead.

As I was refining the design in search of further levels of performance I was getting further away from its identity as a Model T-based hot rod, to the point that it was no longer identifiable as based on a T-bucket. I had to get back to something that looks like a Model T, that looked like a hot rod. So the radical cockpit-in-the-nose design had to be shelved in favor of driving from the driver’s seat of a car that looks like a hot rod. It will still be a single-seat car with a huge fuel tank in the middle of the car, I’ll just be sitting in the normal position for a street car in the US. That means where the engine used to go will be available as a small trunk for carrying clothes and toiletries for driving to the races. It also means that I can tweak the aero in the nose for better cooling, less drag, and more downforce at the cost of less volume for clothes. Now if I was really bucks-up I would make a fuel tank to match the available space in the nose and carry luggage on the passenger side of the car except I really want the fuel load in the middle of the wheelbase. Since the fuel load is pretty much the largest variable in the car equation it makes sense to keep it as close to the center of gravity of the car to minimize the changes in handling on long trips. I mean we are talking more than 210 pounds of fuel from full to empty sitting next to the driver (me). The one thing that concerns me is I’m sitting next to more than 30 gallons of gas! OK it doesn’t concern me that much, just a little. And I’ll probably put the battery over on the right to balance out the lard butt in the driver’s seat when racing with the gas tank mostly empty. The tricky part is getting gas in the tank without overflow going all over the interior making the driver stink of gas, or E85 as the case may be. I have never smelled spilled E85 as the nearest station is outside where the bus goes, and I don’t make a practice of hanging out at gas stations without a bus stop. I keep checking and I don’t see any near me that also sell E85. Closest one with a bus stop is over in Richardson.

And you know what, I’m all written out now that I’m unmedicated. I really can’t wait until I can start taking the new med that doesn’t have the sexual side-effects but still keeps me from being depressed.

Early exposure to murder-suicide in the media

When I was a kid a common trope was super-villain destroying the world, with super-hero(es) rushing to stop him (always him, I never remember any female villains trying to destroy the world). As I got older I used to wonder about what the villain was thinking with blowing up the world. I mean most didn’t have a rocket off the planet, if the world ended it would take the villain with it. I think this was my first exposure to the concept of murder-suicide, the murderer taking the victim with him. I do remember one episode where the sidekicks questioned the villain about that, but that was a not-very-smart mad scientist who hadn’t thought that far ahead.

Now murder-suicide is almost-daily as a mass shooting scenario…

And I ran out of words on this subject.

Black Friday deals on Witch on a Bicycle merchandise

Exclusive deals on plenty of nothing. Nine years at this URL and I still haven’t managed to even make a T-shirt. So I’ll tell you what. Make something with a WoaB logo and send me a picture of it to post here.

Getting back to the original purpose for this blog for a paragraph or two I have been checking out the parking lots of the local stores and strip malls, and as I suspected they are mostly empty, even though the stores are packed. The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell have way too much parking for retail, or to put it another way we could have tons more retail space without needing any more parking. We are zoned for tons more parking than we need. And in the current economy we have way more retail space than what we need, so making getting to the retail we have that much worse and more car-dependent. The stand-alone retail is over-supplied with parking so you can imagine what the half-empty strip malls look like.

The swelling is down on the broken toe and the bruising is starting to fade, and unless something presses against it the pain is mostly gone too, unless it gets cold. So I have been making sure I don’t get cold feet.

Fuzzy slippers FTW!  No painfully cold toes

I have been thinking about a custom cooking tool I need, a 2/3 dry cup measuring cup for making Beans and Rice. The problem is the 1/3 cup measuring cup likes to go walkabout when I’m trying to make beans, and I need 2 dry cups total of 3 kinds of beans. Going equal volumes of each kind keeps the black beans and the small red beans lasting about the same, while the lentils are on their own schedule especially since I’m also making lentil stew. But back to the problem at hand perusing Google gives me a dry cup is 14.4375 in3 so multiply by 2 and divide by 3 to get 9.625 in3 and ¼πd2*h for a cylindrical representation of the volume, solve for d=h. So 9.625 = ¼πd3, multiply both sides by 4 gives us 38.5 = πd3 divide by π gives us 6.1275 = d3 and ∛ both sides gets us 2.31″ base and height internally. Sioux you have permission to use this as a word problem for your adult math class, complete with showing the work. “Work” in this case consisted of pushing buttons on the calculator app on my phone, and moving things from one side of the equals sign to the other. The hardest part of the problem was getting the formula for volume of a cylinder correct.

I really need to have the traditional spaghetti after-Thanksgiving dinner now, so this is the end.

What are you thankful for?

I do a lot of complaining, but here at Casa de El Poeta we still have a lot to be thankful for. We have enough to eat even when it’s not the most exciting food in the world, we have a house that’s paid for even if it needs a ton of work done to it, and in spite of my complaints everybody’s health is pretty good. We may have some aches and pains affecting the quality of our lives, but we are alive and mostly doing good.

So we are pretty grateful for our situation here.

And wishing as good or better for all my readers and friends.

Christmas lists at Casa de El Poeta

We have 3½ lists here at Casa de El Poeta: Mrs. the Poet, Clint and Clyde, and yr fthfl srvnt.

Clint and Clyde are the easiest to shop for, they need to get fixed, neutered, castrated, rendered incapable of reproducing. And shots, but you have to get the shots before you can get them fixed. You get the idea. That’s why we have 3½ lists for 4 individuals. Oh, and some cat treats, because they deserve a little something and neither one likes catnip or toys because they’re both weird.

Mrs. the Poet needs a new can opener because the one we have now came with the house mounted to the kitchen cabinet over the stove when we bought the house in 1994. So it’s kinda worn out now and is really tricky to use to get cans open. She can’t use the hand-held kind that clamp to the side of the can because her hands don’t work like that any more. And of course she always needs a new mop and broom every year. I know she wants other things, but will she tell me what she wants? No way. Aside from getting the plumbing fixed and the holes in the shower wall fixed, which is a little out of my price range.

Now my list, but my list is going to sound greedy because I know what I need and want, the cats can’t tell me and Mrs. the Poet won’t tell me unless I happen to be standing there when she notices she needs something and she can complain about it. But if she doesn’t have anything to complain about when I’m standing there she doesn’t remember to tell me she wants or needs it. But I have a bunch of things that are no longer working or that I need and don’t have. One thing I have falling apart is the laptop I’m typing this on. There are keys going out, especially the arrow keys, and if I ever unplug from the battery charger it dies because the battery is no longer among the living.

I also need that engine hoist I have been mentioning forever, a floor jack, and new glasses. My stupid glasses have been falling apart for over a year now, and I keep putting them back together and hoping they’ll last a while longer.

I don’t know who I expect to fill this list, but I’m kinda just putting it out there that there are needs that need filling and kinda hoping someone will fill them.

Trans Day of Rememberance

I’m especially blessed that none of my trans friends have passed on, that I’m aware of. There are some I no longer talk to because I was a part of their lives before transition which makes me an uncomfortable memory to them. That… hurts, a bit, but I understand how that goes. There are parts of my life that I want to be able to forget about, but my nightmares won’t let me. I just hope that I’m not part of their nightmares. There are things I did either out of ignorance or because that was the way things were, and men and women were treated differently back then. If any of you are reading this I did not plan or intend to cause you distress, I was just ignorant and running on common media tropes of how men and women should interact.

Now, for the ones that still talk to me, even though I can’t remember most of your names, know that you are a treasured part of my life. And also that I can’t remember my wife’s and kids’ names either, so forgetting your name doesn’t make you unimportant, it just makes you one of the people I almost know. It also makes it hard for me to look you up because “that one guy who used to live down the street when I was in 8th grade” is not a particularly useful search string in Google. Particularly when I lived at 4 different addresses in 2 countries when I was in 8th grade, and can’t remember street names for any of them. Not to mention that 40 or 50 years ago I wouldn’t have known if you were acting strange the way you acted because you were L, G, B, or T. And I was using a different name back then so finding this blog to read about my writing about you would require serendipity on an improbability scale that makes surviving getting hit by someone trying to murder me with a truck going 60 MPH look downright commonplace.

So to all you people out there, I’m glad you’re alive. Really, really glad. And I’m lighting a candle to those who aren’t there any more to guide you to a safe home.

Unmedicated ramblings, list of jobs unlikely to be replaced by robots

I was musing about jobs not likely to be replaced by robots while waiting for the brain to shut down and let me sleep.

First off, robots can theoretically do almost any job as good as or better than humans. But I believe that some jobs will still continue to be done by humans because the people paying will want the job done by humans, not because humans will do the job any better physically but because there is an emotional response to the job that many people will seek out. One job that will quickly go by the wayside is boardroom executives, the only people who want humans to do that job are the ones getting paid to do it. Shareholders will want the robots to do it for essentially free. Basically this is a job that doesn’t need to exist that will go away in an AI-enabled society.

It is my hypothesis that eventually the only jobs that will still exist will be ones that require physical touch on another human being. Doctors will get replaced but I’m betting therapists will continue to exist. There was much ado about sex workers being replaced by robots, which will happen to some extent, but I see that job continuing as a human job because for a lot of people that is where they get actual human interaction with another person. I can totally see some people doing the job because they want to be with other people. The fact that sex bots will be a thing takes a lot of the danger out of the job. Another job that will continue will be massage techs. Robots might be able to do a better technical massage, but there will always be the people who are there because there is another person in the room interacting with them. In fact I foresee jobs for people to just sit and talk to people one-on-one, as a remedy to our impersonal “connected” society.

So, with the only jobs being some kind of companionship for short periods of time, where will the money come from to pay them, and to buy all the robot-made merch? If robots are doing all the work, who will have the money to buy things? One suggestion has been Universal Basic Income, based on a tax of roboticized industries so that people can buy the stuff the industries make. Because otherwise when everybody goes AI the economy goes straight in the toilet. And I have no idea what to do about that without UBI, but even the 1% will go broke when everything goes AI.

And Martin Truex Jr. just won the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. Good for you Martin.

I might stop updating for a while

Long story short, I’m in the process of changing meds and there will be a period where I’m not taking the old med but haven’t started the new med, and I’m in the process of tapering off the old med. This will make my depression worse, on top of the broken toe not helping my disposition. Mrs. the Poet and the cats are already leaving me lots of room around the house, except when Clint decides I need some lap time.

Clint making sure my lap is protected from monsters.

I’m still working out the packaging for the TGS2. If I don’t try to get the driver forward for better balance, and put the fuel tank in front of the bucket body instead, it’s pretty easy to put the powertrain in the fake pickup bed and still have a fairly normal-looking T-bucket. Well as normal as a mid-engine bucket can look when they are usually front engine. The proportions would be sorta normal, close to that of the original Model T front to back, but much wider because of the minivan donor vehicle axles and driveshafts. And the front axle made so the widths kinda sorta matched. This is on the assumption that I’m going to get the minivan donor vehicle.

Now if I’m not getting the minivan donor vehicle then things get… different. Then everything depends on the donor vehicle or the crate engine and transmission combination. I can say I would love to get a flood-damaged front engine RWD car as a donor vehicle but again that would require resources to buy and then get the car home, in fact I found a Corvette listed for $700 but I would need a flatbed to tow it home. I also found a couple of V6 Chargers and Challengers with $100 or less prices. But again I would need a trailer, something to tow that trailer, and gas money for the tow vehicle. But now we are getting into the real pipe dreams, unless I can find something in a local auction with some kind of cash for seed money to buy the car. I might as well wish for working wings on my back. And yes that is the depression talking, but it is also realism talking. Which is another reason why I’m taking a break until I get my meds under control, you guys don’t need to be dealing with my depression any more than I do. Now that I have ways of not being depressed, I really want to not be depressed.

I’m starting to repeat myself and having to delete things, so this would be a good time to quit.