Monthly Archives: December 2017

Now that 2017 is finally in the rear view mirror…

Let’s get down to 2018.

First, if any of you are making guillotines, or thinking of making guillotines for the upcoming year, I make bicycle-drawn tumbrels, because making someone walk from jail to their public execution is just uncivilized. I’m making two models, one with a smooth ride, and the other that deliberately lurches from side to side and tosses the rider around violently. That one is reserved for criminals who got rich off of making poor people’s lives even worse, like loan sharks or politicians. Politicians who worked to make loan sharking legal get dragged naked by their heels behind a Prius on their way to getting a really close haircut.

Second, I’m still looking for a donor vehicle for the TGS2 or Sprint-T. The TGS2 needs a FWD vehicle with a powerful engine driving a robust manual or automatic transmission. The Sprint-T needs a V6 or V8 engine from a front-engine RWD vehicle driving an automatic transmission, because there ain’t gonna be room for 3 pedals in the footbox beside the transmission without major surgery to the driver’s side front corner of the body and driving around with my feet pointed hard left to clear the transmission tunnel. As it is I’m going to have either my left foot scrunched up against the steering column, or my right foot on top of the transmission tunnel, maybe both.

Third, I’m going to beat this depression, probably by deleting Twitter and only reading the funny pages in the newspaper. This might read as a bit of a hard turn after reading the first paragraph and the tumbrels and everything, but I can’t stay sane while reading about the current political situation with the inmates running the asylum and nobody picking up after them. I accept that it will get worse before it gets better, and the starting point for “worse” is about as bad as it has been since The Depression. But just because I know sorta how bad it’s going to get, that doesn’t mean I can’t close my eyes while I’m taking the ride. I think of it as self-care to avoid dealing with idiots. It lowers my blood pressure and keeps me from being as depressed. I know I’m bio-chemically depressed from years of untreated PTSD, but there’s no sense in making it worse by paying too close attention to the crazy in the environment.

Fourth, I need to get out and get more exercise. I don’t know how, because my previous method of getting exercise was to do things that require exertion in my daily life and recent events have made that extremely difficult for me to manage. And by that I’m referring to my hips losing range of motion and also losing strength in my arms, not to mention I did something to my right shoulder and now it doesn’t move right to match the condition of my left shoulder that took so long to recover from. But recovery will come and I will figure out how to get strong again even if it means wasting time doing exercises like calisthenics.

Finally, I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to keep posting about how I feel, if I managed to get some exercise, any trips outside the house I managed to make. I will make posts about The Human Condition, Mrs. the Poet’s non-swear swearing (she uses the phrase “Bubba-head” frequently, and also Fake Yiddishe), That Cute Thing My Cats Did, and anything else that strikes me as Worthy of Recording.


Moving things from storage to garage is upsetting the cats

There was an old female Siamese cat living at my parent’s house when we packed everything up and put it in storage, and now that we have some room in the garage. Well the cats can still smell that now-departed cat on the boxes and are trying to mark the boxes as “theirs”.

The bad thing about moving the stuff to the garage leaves me without a place to work out of the weather with the cold weather bearing down on us. The Good Thing about this is it will save us $231/month. And that doesn’t count the months when checks coming in and the money going out didn’t match up and the cost went to $275.

Now that I have valid ID again I can donate plasma again and start to make some money to finance the Bucket in whatever form I build it out as. And that extra $200 will take a huge load away from the budget and back into the bank account. The plasma company adds to that, but I haven’t checked to see how much they pay this year and checking Google comes up with a subscription page that requires a login to read. That doesn’t raise any red flags, nosiree. But since I need to have a donation center that is not too far away from the house in terms of travel time this seems to be my best choice.

And I have to get to bed early because I need to get up early tomorrow.

Thanks to today’s Frazz comic I have a new fictional setting

Welcome to the town of Port Manteau, Florizona, where they have 350 days of sunshine a year and only drop below freezing on December 25th for a white Christmas. The average high is 82°F with the average low being 48°F. The port was formed at the mouth of the Manteau river as it curled down from the Novena Mountains, which have a highest peak of 17 meters above mean sea level. The town population has a large amount of seasonal variation as most of the residents are snowbirds escaping from frigid Northern winters. This has an interesting effect on the town’s economy as “summer jobs” for the youth are practically non-existent, while winter has a negative unemployment rate as most people work more than one job, and afterschool jobs exceed the number of students to fill them.

I will come back to this post to fill details as the author invents them.

Still no engine or transmission so now what? continues

I was hoping I would get the corpse of a RWD car or pickup to use as a donor vehicle for a Sprint-T, or maybe a dead minivan for a TGS2. But, alas, such was not to be. I still have no powertrain to use building a hot rod.

All I need to do to keep Mrs. the Poet happy is find a perfectly clean engine and transmission and not spend any family money buying it. Yeah, and to quote my elder daughter, “And maybe flying monkeys will fly outta my butt”. To say the least, keeping Mrs. the Poet happy will be a challenge.

So if anyone has an old car, pickup, or minivan that has a good engine and transmission and a wrecked or rusted-out body, I will give the engine and transmission a good home.

Merry Christmas and junk, I guess?

Mrs. the Poet and I are going to visit relatives all day tomorrow so I won’t be home to make a post. So I’m doing the Merry Christmas post a day early.

December is like the biggest month for holidays as most cultures in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate the winter solstice in one form or another. The Romans had Sol Invictus, and Mithras born on the 25th, and Saturnalia also celebrated on the 25th. We also have Kwanzaa, and Festivus as cultural secular celebrations (and I heard some seriously heated Airing of the Grievances this year). This was the time of year when perishable foods were starting to go bad and had to be eaten, or shortly thrown away and wasted so better eaten than wasted. This would include the last of the meat slaughtered at Samhane, as well as any veggies that would not remain edible after exposure to freezing temperatures. This was the time of year to eat it before it went bad, and boy are we holding up that tradition.

Then we have the exchange of gifts, which I don’t know the true origin for other than “I made this for you, so can we not try to kill each other this Winter?” because people spent a lot of time together this time of year. So I promise not to kill anyone who sent me something for Christmas this year, but the rest of you, you have to sleep sometime 🙂 Just kidding, I don’t have the time nor energy to hunt everyone down, so you get a reprieve. And since it wouldn’t be fair to only kill the people I can get to, everybody gets to live.

Last year the Grandson got a bike, so this year he gets bike accessories. He asked for a basket and a bell, so I tracked down pretty much the only basket that would fit his bike, and the loudest most obnoxious bell I could afford which considering the bells sounded better the more expensive they got means the second cheapest bell was the winner this year.

Now what?

I have gone as far down the road my resources allow me to go towards the TGS2 and the Sprint-T. I could draw some pictures but that wouldn’t get anything built. And one of the things driving my depression is I don’t get anything done, I don’t get anything close to getting done, before I run out of resources, including the drive I need to see the end of the project.

So what can I do to get something done? I want what I’m building. I want it bad. I have wanted it for almost 50 years. But I just can’t muster the drive and the resources to get it. Is this related to my depression? Is there some part of my mind that is trying to destroy me and preventing me from working to make myself happy? Is it something that came from getting moved around so much as a kid? I know that part of the problem I have with making long-term relationships is a result of changing schools so much as a kid. I mean forget “Summer Romances” I was lucky to see people to the end of a semester, and between school years even if we didn’t get transferred most of the kids I was social with would get moved. So yeah, relationships were hard to impossible, because there just wasn’t time for any to develop.

So, what if I decided to complete something I had all the parts I needed to get to the final result? Something simple like build up one of the model kits into a complete car. I have two kits at hand, one that I robbed of parts to make stuff for the mini Sprint-T, and another completely untouched except for a parts inventory and then close the box. I could build up one of the kits’ 4 cars (between the 2 kits there are 4 complete cars) and have something I recently completed, to look at and inspire me. I’m going to start small and work my way up from there. I’m going to make something and complete the project if it kills me.

Sorry about that last post

OK so it was late and my meds had just started to kick in and that last paragraph got a little… confuzzled? rambley? around the bend? I don’t know the right word for it, but whatever that word is that was what happened. Basically the Front-engine Sprint-T got mixed up with the TGS2 design and I was trying to mash them together and came up with something that was both and neither and a major mess.

N E way, the TGS2 has been pretty much designed except for the parts I need to have hands-on the engine and transmission for. I didn’t calculate exactly how stiff the frame is, but it looks pretty stiff if a bit difficult to get in and out of. The driving position is slightly cocked to the right and pushed up against the left and back sides of the body because there was too much going on in the footbox of the frame even with the engine out back. The reason the footbox was busy was keeping the frame bits aft of the firewall and forward of the rear of the bucket inside the body so they wouldn’t hang out in the breeze too much. This caused the front hoop to run just behind the dash, and that meant the diagonal brace from the front spring mount had to run to the bottom of the hoop inside the body instead of in front of the firewall like on the Sprint-T. I mean the Sprint-T has its own reasons for not having any room in the footbox, but running multiple diagonals through the space is not on the list.

So, now what? I have done most of the design work on 2 versions for this car leaving only the detail work of brackets and stuff that requires actually having the objects that need the brackets to do the design from. So until I get a donor vehicle this project is going nowhere. Or a huge stack of parts from Speedway or Jeg’s or Summit or someplace like that. So if anyone reading this has a rusted out front-engine RWD car or truck with a decent V-8 or V-6 engine, transmission, and rear axle. or a minivan in a similar state less the rear axle of course, leave me a message and I’ll get back atcha on how to get it to me. Because at this point either build is pointless mental masturbation, thinking to keep my brain from atrophying from lack of use.

And it is late again and the cats are out in the cold and damp and won’t come back in. So either way, more electronic scribbles in this blog are useless, so this post has come to an end.

I teased long enough, now I have to tell what I have been thinking about

I keep teasing with removable frame parts and a possible mid-engine AWD, and what to take off for maintenance.

Well, I went back to the engine behind the body and not inside it, and rear wheel drive, but I went back to putting the gas tank in the passenger side of the body. The exercise of trying to stuff the engine beside me inside the body worked well for trying to get the 32 gallon fuel cell inside and covered up so that the assembly was crash-worthy, and the engine accessible for things like changing the oil and the air filters. The engine will sit behind the body with the proportions very close to the original Model T.

Now the “how”. The frame will have a flat section made from 1.5″ round tubing that goes under just about everything and serves as the foundation for the rest of the frame. The roll hoops bolt to the bottom frame and hug the insides of the body to have the largest possible radius of gyration for that all-important d4 stiffness and still leave room for my skinny butt and broad shoulders, the shoulders having the most problems to find room for. I was cursed with shoulders that even with just normal cyclist’s upper body development barely fit through the 22″ wide door to the bathroom. So I’m going to move the rear hoop as far back as possible and still be inside the body and tuck the driver’s side right up against the inside of the skin. If I center the driver in the left half of the body my left upper arm will be a light press fit against the inside of the outside wall of the body, meaning I just need to cover the left side of the body in some kind of soft, smooth upholstery to make it the side of a really big bucket seat made from a T Bucket.

Then the bolt-on superstructure gets bolted to the frame to turn the slightly floppy 2-D ladder structure into a stiff in all planes 3-D space frame. The tube diameters will be a constant 1.5″ except for diagonal braces directly in the driver’s line of sight which will be 0.75″ diameter for better forward vision. The wall thickness will vary according to diameter and placement. The lightest wall thickness I can get in the 1.5″ diameter required by SCCA rules is 0.065″ while I’m sticking with 0.120 for the roll cage as required by the SCCA, and for the 0.75″ diameter forward diagonal braces. All the rest not required to be 1.5″ by 0.120″ will be 1.5″ by 0.065″ for less weight. The fun part continues to be the diagonal bracing of the cage, so that I can get in and out and sit and reach the steering and pedals. Those are going to be the 1.5″ 0.120″ wall DOM tubing because they are part of the roll cage, but where should they go? Well the rules say no further down than 1/4 from the top or up from the bottom. So the diagonal brace between the front and rear hoops will run from the end of the bend up at the upper corner of the rear hoop to the end of the bend where the front hoop bends up from the frame to the side of the body, because that front part of the frame runs through the firewall of the bucket body where it necks down to 27″ wide, and the front hoop comes out from behind the dash panel that is 39.5″ wide, while the rear hoop comes from the 34.5″ wide frame rail to the 45″ wide rear body with the diagonal brace running between them. The part of the frame rail between the front and rear hoops is part of the roll cage and has to be 0.120″ wall thickness, but everything else 1.5″ diameter can be 0.065″. The one frame member I haven’t decided on is the one that runs from the front spring mount across the top of the roll cage to the rear shock mount. Technically it is a diagonal brace for the roll cage and should be 1.5″ diameter and 0.120″ wall, but it could also just be the upper frame rail that just happens to connect to the top of the roll cage. I could make 2 for each side, one light and the other heavy, but the difference in weight would be 13.5176 pounds at the highest point of the car. So the question is, is that a significant enough difference in weight to make the lighter part the choice for the car, or should I go ahead and use the part made to roll cage specs? The difference in stiffness is essentially nil for stresses in the elastic range of deformation, so the real question is when my ass is in the driver’s seat and the wreck is hard enough to get the frame bent, do I want 0.120″ wall thickness resisting plastic deformation around my head, or am I comfortable with only 0.065″ wall thickness?

Also there is one other diagonal brace that is not required by any rule that would make the cage much more resistant to a diagonal collapse, running from the upper corner of the passenger side to the intersection of the front rail with the driver’s side forward hoop. I did a quick mockup with paper towel tubing of the other direction bracing the driver’s side upper corner, and my head is in the way of the diagonal, but it looks like my right foot is in the way of the other direction, or any other brace from the top of the rear hoop to the intersection of the front hoop and the driver’s side frame rail. I guess I could run something from the general area to the right of my head to the intersection of the front hoop and the passenger side frame rail to keep the rear hoop off my head in that kind of impact, or I could figure out how to run those stresses around the outside of the cage instead of through the middle. There’s a trick where I can brace the halo against diagonal deformation by using a second halo inside the one formed by the front and rear hoops top tubes and the tube that runs between them front to rear. Now I add an X brace across the rear hoop and all the stresses go around the cage instead of through it.

No, what I need to do is make 2 cages, one inside the body with the front and rear hoop bolting to the frame rails and running up the inside of the body to get as much room as possible, and a second cage outside the body that also bolts to the frame and has the diagonal bracing I can’t get from the inside cage because there is a driver or fuel tank or other widget the car will not run without that can’t be relocated to another place, and the diagonal bracing on the second cage is entirely outside the bucket body. The second halo would be formed by this cage on the outside of the body interacting with the cage on the inside of the body.

OK problems solved, now I just need the donor vehicle and about a hundred pounds of 1.5″ diameter tubing to show up in my driveway.

I let the TGS2 sit in the back of my mind for a bit

After thinking about using Renli parts and sticking the engine beside me in the bucket body and making the frame bolt together in sections so it would fit inside and around the body without having to cut the body apart to mount it on the frame and all that other junk, I just let things sit in the back of my mind for a few days so I could think about other things.

Having thought about other things, like bike baskets for my grandson’s BMX bike, and whatever it was I wrote about yesterday, I went back to thinking about the TGS2. One of the things I have been thinking about a lot has been maintenance. As is mentioned in this comic. Robot rescue theme park planning (That link won’t be live until 0001 hours 2017/12/20)

Seriously I was considering chopping up the body and making most of one side removable just to get clear access to the oil filter for changing the oil when I was thinking about using the Renli front and rear diffs for AWD, and getting access for oil changes has been a constant consideration throughout the design of the TGS2. After having to remove large chunks of people’s cars to do simple things like adjusting or changing an accessory drive belt I wanted to make the TGS2 mechanic-friendly. Unfortunately there are compromises that must be made between aerodynamics and maintainability, so I drew the line at 1 hatch or panel removal per maintenance function, and hatches must serve multiple purposes. Holes must be large enough for tools and hands to move the tools and enough movement that I don’t spend all day swinging the ratchet back and forth one click at a time.

And while I was catching up on Twitter I get UFO tapes from the US government, with video Secretive program tracked UFOs for 5 years Obviously that wasn’t the tweet, that was the link to the video in the tweet. This Is the Tweet .

And as I’m trying to wend my way through Twitter I get a retweet about some nutjob saying how we are all going to be crying when Mueller arrests Hillary and drops indictments against Democrats, like they won the election and Hil’s #45 in the WH.

That’s it, I haven’t read a single e-mail and I need to get stuff done.

I don’t always think about building cars, or bicycle safety, or…

I think about lots of things, most of which don’t wind up here because I try to keep this blog PG(language). But there are things I think about that are not in any way PG but are things I need to say. There are things about relationships I need to have some place to express.

Well this blog actually started on an adult web service before I even knew about things like Critical Mass or bicycle safety, as a place where I could let my muse wander hither and yon. And I chose the adult web service because I was using a computer running a linux-based OS called Lindows, and every other blog service I tried either crashed my browser, or crashed my whole computer. Then I went to Myspace, but my news blog was tagged as spam for having too many links in each entry. And finally ended up here, mainly because I needed to be able to make posts with lots of links, and I was still using the Linux computer but had moved to Ubuntu by then, which Blogger didn’t like to the point of crashing trying to sign in to create a page.

And while I was out catching some last-minute Christmas gifts and mostly riding the train and bus I had some time to think about things like sex and how women are constantly offered more than they want or even could reasonably use (there are only so many hour in a day, for one thing) while most of the men I know are always asking, never offered. Again I should say that nobody is obliged to provide anyone with sexual activity, I just find it odd that one side is always asking while the other gets more offers than they can use. It’s almost like there was a massive difference in desire between the sides that nobody has been able to reconcile.

And I’ll just leave it at that.