Monthly Archives: January 2018

Not watching State of the Uniom Tuesday

“State of the Uniom” was just too good to pass up. It just encapsulates the current administration perfectly. I mean it’s a simple typo, easy to make and easy to catch with spell-check. I mean I have that ugly red squiggle staring me in the face right now because I used the meme in the first line. Are the GOP so afraid of technology that they don’t have spell check turned on for their computers? Or did they somehow manage to get the tickets printed without using any computers?

I’m going to do my civic duty and pay my taxes in person tomorrow taking the bus downtown and then walking between the various offices because they are almost all on the same two streets. I’m going to make a detour to the phone store and pay my bill while I’m out, and maybe drop by the hardware/home store that’s on the gift card I got as pay on Monday and pick up some LED lights to replace the burned-out CFL lights in the kitchen, some of which are left over from Obama’s first term. We’re down to one working bulb in the kitchen over by the pantry, which makes cooking dinner a dark art, literally.

Still haven’t heard anything from any of the junkyards nearby about some kind of powertrain for either the Sprint-T or the TGS2. This is not unexpected as there have not been any winter storms that have created treacherous driving conditions yet. If we get an ice storm then totalled-out cars will be stacking up like cordwood, and I will have a choice of cheap to free engine/transmission combinations. Until then I have to wait. Impatiently, but I will wait.


A good race, and a good game

The Rolex 24 hours of Daytona was quite the race. There were 2 out of 3 classes that were separated by seconds after more than 2000 miles of racing over 24 hours, and the leading class was only one lap apart. And every class set a new class record for speed. I mean what more could you ask, tight competition at record speeds, and the reason they set the records was there were very few wrecks, so more tight racing and less wrecking. It was perfect, or as perfect as it could get.

Then we played Shadowrun. We finally finished the run to take a magic artifact to be analysed. My character, “the Old Man”, doesn’t do much, and that’s good. When I go into action during a run, I’m pulling asses out of fires and people are getting hurt. I’m armed to the teeth even in my sleep, there is a thought-controlled shotgun in my left arm, the one I lost fighting to save my TI pension when TI called up the troops to fight off a really hostile takeover. Someone from the other company threw a grenade into my machine gun nest. Like I said, really hostile takeover. Anyway, I spent the whole run standing in the door of the chopper ready to literally drop into the battle, while our tech people did their sneaky tech things sneakily avoiding conflict so I could only kibbitz over the commlink. That’s my role-playing part of the RPG.

And I got paid from one of my gigs today, the gift card came in the mail, $100 I can spend in literally dozens of places, but not everywhere in compliance with the tax law that just expired. I think there might be a buck or 2 left in my account, but not enough to cry about if Trump takes it away. First place I’m going to spend it is the Red Robin a bit over the way when Mrs. the Poet and I celebrate 40 years of wedded bliss(?) over burgers and shakes. Plus I have the app that gets me discounts and free food from Red Robin. So spending money there is not like spending somewhere else. But it still pisses me off that the new tax scam takes away my compensation for this job. Damn you, Donald John Trump! I get paid little enough, almost nothing, but now you’re taking that away from me. I average $6 a month on this gig, but the new tax law makes that illegal. Not because it violates minimum wage laws, but because they don’t take taxes out of it. I mean how much tax are you going to take from $6/month? The accounting costs are going to be more than I get paid on average.

I have been looking at the weight for the Chevy 7.5″ rear end compared to the Ford, and the Ford is like 30% lighter than the Chevy rear. I mean the weights between the Chevy 8″ 10 bolt and the 7.5″ are within a few pounds of each other and the 10 bolt is so much stronger, the 7.5 must have been a ton cheaper to make, because otherwise I can see no justification for building it otherwise. I mean the reports are that it sheds teeth from the ring gear from a 200 HP 305 SBC smog motor with a 2 barrel carb on street tires. Not what I’m looking for when I can get stronger for less weight. I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

Either this drummer had a really big tomtom…

Or I just heard someone playing Wipeout on a kick bass, probably a double kick bass. I was listening to deep cuts on YTM, and this live cover of Wipeout started playing, credited to the Ventures. On one of the later passes through the drum solo it went to the tomtom part, but the sound was too big and deep for a tomtom, but way too fast for a kick bass. I was in such shock I didn’t get the release date on the recording.

Catching the Rolex 24 on Internet radio

I went to bed way early for me, shortly after 2400, then woke up way, way early at 0340 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I have the IMSA app on my phone so I plugged my earbuds in to catch the race while there is no TV coverage. The TV coverage doesn’t start back until 0700 and it’s only 0556 right now.

Clyde spent the night sleeping in my office on a pile of drawstring bags I got as promotional items, apparently quite comfortably. We have been trying to get Clyde to eat more by not letting him back out as often when we can get him to come in. He has lost a lot of weight during the cold weather we recently had, so we are trying to get his body fat % back up to a healthy range. One thing we have been doing to get him to eat more is to put treats on top of the food in his bowl when he gets treats.

After adding the vertical brace to the torque arm mount no more progress has been made in the design of the Sprint-T, but I found a potential rear axle in the 7.5″ Ford which was under several 1990s and early 2000s. It’s fairly lightweight, has mounting points for a torque arm and some were made with rear disk brakes with parking brakes, so it’s a strong contender to be the rear axle. Another strong contender is the 7.5″ Chevy which is within a few pounds +/- of the Ford depending on the model year of the axle. The Chevy also has provision for a torque arm which was standard on the Camaro for over a decade. Point being there are a few thousand of both in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell so they’re pretty cheap, and they can handle about 300-350 HP on street tires or 250-300 on race slicks making standing starts. The weight of course is highly dependant on the width and brakes. Wider is heavier by a few pounds, and some brakes are very heavy. I’m not sure if the drums or the disks are heavier, but I’m going with the disks anyway. I prefer to keep the unsprung weight as low as possible but I have to take what I can get weight-wise.

Right now I’m surrounded by sleeping cats, which sounds like my cue to publish this post.

Curmudgeon’s week in review

This has been an interesting week here at Casa de El Poeta, and for the world.

Monday I was still trying to get my sleep cycle better synced with the rotation of the Earth, and some kid shot up a high school a couple of towns down the road from Casa de El Poeta for the first school shooting of the week. And a phrase I never thought I would use was created.

Tuesday I got the internet permanently (I hope) fixed, deposited some checks, picked up my pull from the comic store, and got my toes done so I could get more walking done. And some kid in KY shot up his high school for the second school shooting of the week. And another phrase I thought I would never use was created.

Wednesday I paid for all that walking and riding around by pretty much collapsing all day in bed again, and posted in the middle of the night. The world still did stupid things with #CheetoJesus at the helm and posting angry tweets from his phone in a bed full of cheeseburger wrappers.

Thursday was pretty much wasted as all I did was read web comics all night and into the day, and #CheetoJesus went to Switzerland to hobnob with billionaires on our dollar. I didn’t read about anything too bad on Twitter so he probably didn’t say much.

Friday, so far hasn’t been too bad. Sleep is still messed up as I sleep a little and then lie awake a little, rinse, repeat. It takes about 14 hours to get enough sleep that way, and I don’t get any work done when I’m awake because I’m in bed and not where I can’t get to anything where I can record my thoughts, so all that thinking is wasted. And TBH it’s all a bit disjointed and doesn’t really apply to anything. And I just checked Twitter and #CheetoJesus has just tried to fire Mueller. And got booed off the stage at Davos? I haven’t found any other links to that one so maybe just wishful thinking on the part of the poster. And a little more searching has found nothing on Davos, but plenty on the attempted firing of Mueller. And new searching has got video of Trump getting booed, but not while he was on stage reading the speech someone else wrote for him. That got polite applause from the crowd of millionaires and billionaires.

A show I like is showing on Velocity Channel, Last Stop Garage. It’s set in North West River, Labrador, Canada and reminds me of my Dad’s stories of when we were stationed in Argentia across the strait from the future shooting location of the TV show during the early 1960s. Not so much the actual events as the general accent of the speakers (Dad spoke excellent Newfie, which is very close to the accent used by the people on the reality show). My brother was born in the hospital in St. John’s so we have a close connection to the island. And I loved Avalon High the web comic set there.

And that seems like a good place to end this post. Enjoy Ceilidh’s [Kay-lee] adventures.

Still trying to get my sleep schedule worked out

I went to bed noon Thursday and got up about 1700 so I’m a bit tired and sleepy at 0100 Friday. My mind is a bit foggy too. In fact I’m just going to post this and go to bed.

Yesterday was very long

On top of only getting a little over 2 hours of sleep yesterday I had to spend a lot of time running around. I had a check to deposit to pay my property taxes, and also deposit a return check for something Mrs. the Poet bought mail-order that was sold out when they filled the order, I had to pick up my pull from the Local Comics Store (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl if you must know), and then I had to get my toes done. There was a line to get my toes done so I had to wait about 45 minutes waiting for a tech to get my toenails shortened. With this new pair of shoes (well, the most recent pair I bought) I have to get my toes done more frequently because there is a seam across the toebox just in the right place to snag the tallest nails and pull them away from the nailbed. Trust me, that gets old really fast. So I hit the road just after 1500 after taking care of getting the internet and cable fixed semi-permanently, and didn’t get home until about 1900 and never got more than 3 miles from my house.

Other things, I put the word out locally I need an engine and transmission for the Sprint-T, but TBH I’m not holding much hope at finding them at a price I can afford. But, the local junkyards and auto dismantlers know I’m looking for a RWD engine/trans combo cheap because I don’t have any money, and they say they’ll call if one comes up. Fingers crossed someone calls.

Outside of my little world, here in the US we had another High School mass shooting. Another mass shooting, this time in KY, a day after the last one over in Italy TX. I only found out about the one in Italy because it was brought up in the local news as “color” for the KY shooting. Italy TX is on my route to Waco and the CMA land by bicycle. I used to have a friend living in Waco who I would visit by bike, and I would also stop and overnight there when I rode my bicycle to CMA. So Italy is there and back by lunch by bike from Casa de El Poeta. And was the location of first high school mass shooting of the week, which is a phrase nobody should ever use. We know what causes these high school mass shootings, easy availability of semi-auto guns of all types. And we all know why that is. And we all know who is responsible for the easy availability of semi-automatic firearms so that emotionally fraught high schoolers can shoot up their schools. It’s like nobody learned anything from Columbine.

Getting away from stuff I have no control over to other stuff I have no control over, I have really stiffened up the frame on the Sprint-T. As part of the bolt-in frame that allows the body to be installed after the frame I’m bracing from the torque arm pickup to the upper corners of the roll cage, except for that bothersome corner where the driver sits blocking the upper left rear corner of the cage with his (fat) head. I’m thinking that just bracing against the right corners may not work as well as that inverted pyramid as far as chassis rigidity is concerned, but it’s a heck of a lot better for being able to see and drive. And it does make the chassis more torsionally rigid, just not to the same degree as the inverted pyramid. This is a place where I have to decide if this is a frame part or a roll cage part. If it’s frame then I can make it from 0.060″ wall like the rest of the frame, but if it’s roll cage then by the rules I have to use 1½ diameter by 0.120″ wall like the rest of the roll cage, which is much heavier, but “much” is relative. The brace weighs 9.23 pounds +/- as a frame part, and 17.69 as a roll cage part or 8.46 pounds saved as frame over roll cage just for those 2 tubes. And I have to go through this decision process for just about every tube in the frame aside from the roll hoops and braces between the hoops.

Making room for a clutch pedal

Since I’m back to square one on the T bucket build, I’m contemplating how to make enough room in the footwell for 4 pedals including the dead pedal. Now installing a mid engine leaves tons of room for a clutch because everything is behind the body so all I need to worry about is linkages. But as low as the Sprint-T is the transmission and bellhousing will be fighting for room with the gas, brakes, and if I get a manual transmission the clutch pedal.

So one thing I was thinking about was my 210 or so pounds sitting halfway between the center and the outside of the body has a moment of 2362.5 inch pounds. I can off set the engine and transmission by an equal moment and get a perfectly balanced car for autocrossing, and that many inches will be available for pedals and feet to push the pedals. My worst-case is an all-steel SBC with a TH 350 transmission that weighs a total of 695 pounds that is 19″ wide at the crankshaft, and much wider at the heads. The tricky part is I only have the width of the front firewall to work with because of how the body pinches down to the firewall on a T-bucket. On the driver’s side I have 3½” of room without offsetting the engine to the right. Add in the offset and I’m looking at 6.9″ (175mm) of side-by-side foot room to fit feet that are 173mm wide the pair without shoes. My absolute worst case is the 4.6 Mod motor by Ford that weighs a ton and is like 22″ wide where the footbox goes, same size as the Coyote but 200 pounds heavier and half the power. The moment for that engine alone is almost the same as the SBC engine with the TH350 transmission. It’s a good thing that engine is so durable because otherwise it sucks as an engine.

Actually I don’t need to fit my feet in that space, just the master cylinder(s) and linkage. I have an entire 7½” to put my feet, side by side with the SBC engine mounted on centerline, or 11″ with the engine offset. Which leads me to ask how small were my parents’ generation’s feet, because I know there were Track Ts with the body mounted down low over the engine and the driver with his backside inches off the racing surface sitting beside the transmission, using a frame that had been heavily “Z’d” to get the engine and body down low.

I was also thinking about using the kit brake mount and a false floor over the master cylinder to move the pedals out of the way. I’m not sure how I would get that pedal hooked to a balance bar pushing two master cylinders to adjust the brake balance, but I can figure that one out after I get up in the morning.

How does a single party in control of both houses and the presidency shut down the government? #TrumpShutdown

Alternate title to today’s post was Charlton Heston’s line from Planet of the Apes. “You finally really did it,YOU BLEW IT UP! AH, DAMN YOU! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!

I don’t like to get political in this blog, really, but this level of stupidity just floors me. I’m seeing over on Twitter that some in the Senate are blaming the Democrats for this. Might I point out that when you were basically opening the Treasury to corporations and the 1% you didn’t need Democrats to pass it. But failing to keep the lights on and the bills paid is somehow on the Democrats. I’m still a bit hazy how the math works on thar, especially when there were two bills, one that had broad support, and one that was so bad even Republicans had to hold their noses but still could have passed. So, which one went to vote? Seriously, I don’t know. Did anything get presented for a vote before midnight?

And where is #CheetoJesus during this catastrophe? Getting ready for a “party” at his resort that has $100K/couple as the “cheap seats”, fawning distance requires a quarter of a million dollars per couple. A quick reminder that campaign contributions for federal elections are under $3K per family per election, so this can’t be for Trump’s 2020 campaign. So where is all this money supposed to be going other than The Donald’s wallet, in strict violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution?

I can’t take it any more, I’m going back to sleep.

Still detoxing, nothing much else going on

Short post tonight. Detoxing has seriously screwed up my sleep schedule so I am putting off getting my schedule straight until I get my meds straight. Right now I’m on a vampire sleep schedule getting up around sunset after getting to bed around sunrise. After detox I’m going to try moving waking time to 0900. I have a deadline of 2/14 as I need to be awake for the Lab Rat Keeper at 1130 after a 2:15 bus trip. The table for detox gives me a week of leeway to get my sleep schedule right.

I know I can do this, but I have to safely get rid of the anti-depressants.