Monthly Archives: April 2018

Still dealing with pollen

I’m still fighting burning eyes and a runny nose from my allergies. And it will get worse before it gets better. I have been experimenting with trying to do a post when I don’t have anything to say and I end up deleting the drafts because they suck because I don’t have anything to write about. I have been sitting around watching YouTube videos about go karts, the paranormal, and UFOs, as one does.

I’m still thinking about things to build, which is one of the reasons I have been watching go kart videos, but the closest go kart track is about 80 miles from Casa de El Poeta for oval racing, and about 40 miles away for road course racing this makes testing, well, difficult.

I also organized the piles of loose change accumulating on my desk and counted out $1.21 in pennies, $0.60 in nickels, $0.80 in dimes, and $1.75 in quarters. Not rich by any measure, but getting everything squared away at least lets me know how little I have. Or how much I have managed to hang on to. I think that comes to $3.36, Nope, $4.36. Forgot to carry the one when I added it up in my head. Anyway, I cleaned up my desk and found some space and some money. Small victories are where you find them.

And now I think it’s time to button this up and go take care of mundane things like email.

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I’m bored

I have a minor injury to the back of the wrecked leg, so I can’t go for a walk. I don’t really have anything interesting to write about nor anything to watch on the tube flat screen. I haven’t made any great advances in the design of the Sprint-T either.

About the only thing slightly new is I have a different pain in my wrecked leg. The leg is all swollen up and there is a line across the top of the calf muscle that is tender to the touch. I think this might be related to the vascular damage I got when the truck hit me, but I’m not sure. One thing I do know is related to the wreck is my foot turning purple when my leg swells up which is what color it is right now.

So, anyway I decided to watch crazy cat videos on YouTube because why not?

I misplaced my glasses before my walk

And by the time I found them it was too late to go for a walk. It was a shame because the weather was perfect for a walk, mid-70s, light wind and slightly lower than yesterday pollen levels. But no glasses means no walk as I can’t read the street signs in case I have to call 911 even though I know the route perfectly plus all the bailout points along the route. But in the dark it ain’t gonna happen. No glasses it ain’t gonna happen either.

I’m still thinking about perfecting the design of the front end for the Sprint-T. I’m pretty sure I want to have some kind of fairing over the front tires to keep crap from spraying me in the face if I drive through water on the road and also to clean the airflow off the tires for less drag and better gas mileage. Yes, I’m still thinking about gas mileage especially highway mileage. The better highway mileage I can get the smaller gas tank I can use. Smaller gas tanks are lighter fractionally which means slightly faster car.

Also I was thinking about the clearances of frame members around the front tires. The critical piece is the diagonal from the top of the coilover to the main frame rail. That part is the only possible point of interference with the tire at full lock and full bump and the only possible change I can use is raising the mounting point of the lower end of the coilover which raises the upper end of the coilover, until the diagonal clears the tire at full bump and full lock.

Happy #WorldPenguinDay !

I didn’t get a notification from Calendar about this, but Twitter filled in. Have a kipper (herring) and kick back. Or you could go for a swim with seals and sea lions. From what I understand penguins hydrate from the fluids of their prey, so there’s no canonical penguin drink you can kick back with.

I also went for a walk to buy a lottery ticket. The jackpot payments come to an annual $150K/an for me and $390750/an for Mrs. the Poet, post-tax. I will have enough to do everything I want to do, and so will Mrs. the Poet. She’s planning on taking care of all the house problems by just knocking the house down and building another house in the same footprint as the house we have now. My contributions to the plans so far are my office will run across the north end of the house as the single-pitch solar roof is 34 feet tall on the north end of the house. Another contribution is a concrete-and-steel reinforced cinderblock construction for both the external and internal walls with insulation on the inside and vinyl siding decorating the outside. This means that the entire first floor of the house is a tornado shelter, in addition to being highly resistant to the local hooligans with guns.

And someone shot a cop yesterday, who died this morning, a few miles from Casa de El Poeta. I used to shop regularly at the scene of the crime, a Home Depot store just off Forest Lane and Central Expressway. I commend DPD for their restraint in apprehending the shooting suspect alive and relatively healthy.

I’ve been letting my mind wander, but it always comes back

Of late lacking the ability to do anything constructive on the Sprint-T I have been setting my mind loose to create other things, like a recumbent cargo bike, for doing what cargo bikes do, but faster and more comfortably, and a special for the A Mod class in SCCA Solo racing using a lawnmower engine , or a motor out of an electric forklift. I like A Mod because the rules are so open, minimum wheel diameter 10″, minimum wheelbase 72″, minimum wheel track 42″, and minimum weight 900 pounds with driver and no fuel, no maximum engine size, no restriction on undercar aerodynamics, no restriction on overcar aerodynamics aside from a maximum of 20 ft2 total for all wings.

And I have been following the reports from Nashville, Toronto, and Grand Prairie with equal amounts of revulsion. Props to Canadian LEO for not shooting the driver in the sidewalk terror attack, likewise to MetroPD for managing to take a known armed crazy without further bloodshed. Unfortunately the one semi-local to me at this point appears to be suicide by cop. At least that’s the first report, which is wrong about half the time. But missing from all these reports is motive, why did they do what they did? The Canadian perp was described as “angry middle eastern man”, but what he’s angry about, nobody is saying. And I just read on Twitter the Nashville shooter belonged to a right-wing hate group, big surprise.

And Clint and Clyde have been acting like crazy cats because, well they’re cats and… Clint in particular has been howling at the windows and then changing his mind about going out about 3 times so far before finally walking out the door. That’s 3 times walking the length of the house and back plus standing waiting for Clint to make up his mind while looking out the door.

I have another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow, so no post Tuesday.

Still thinking about the Sprint-T and Happy Earth Day

I was walking and thinking about the Sprint-T. The main thing I was thinking about was torque control of the rear axle and how to do it without spending any more money than I already have. The current plan and existing hardware for locating the rear axle and also mounting the springs and shocks uses a part called a “swing arm” that I have shown a picture of in the past.
These are MY swing arms
Well, I can slightly modify one piece to run a steel link with rod ends that runs from a bracket on the rear axle to a bracket on the nose of the swing arm. This would triangulate the swing arm and make it a rigid link that would prevent the axle from rotating under power and because it’s offset to the right also plant the wheel that lifts when power is applied. Basically what it amounts to is welding a pair of plates to the nose of the arm with a hole to run the mounting bolt through, then running the previously-mentioned link from a bracket under the axle to the nose of the swing arm. Now I couldn’t do this for the 3000 pound car this part is intended for, but for ~1500 pounds and 300 or so horsepower it should be adequate. And if it isn’t the part that would bend or break is not very expensive and is easy to replace, that being the rod end on the front. So I guess I would need to keep a pair of those rod ends and a pair of generic vice grip pliers to remove the broken bits from the swing arm for a roadside repair. But I should be good because the Speedway catalog torque arms for this size vehicle use the 5/8” rod end while this part uses the 3/4” rod end which is up to 30% stronger. And another benefit of controlling the rear axle rotation like this is the ability to almost instantly change the pinion angle from street to race and back again. It’s like a turnbuckle to control the pinion angle.

And with a torque arm this short I would need to run brake floaters to prevent wheel hop under heavy braking. The floater decouples the brake torque reaction from the rear axle and sends it directly to the frame via another radius link, making the rear frame area visually cluttered but dynamically simple. Because the Sprint-T has such limited wheel travel short links from the brake floater to the rear hoop of the roll bar will work in spite of there only being 5″ from the center of the axle to the roll hoop. Then instead of using spring rates and shock absorber settings to control the brake reaction at the possible detriment to handling and grip while turning I can leave those settings for hustling through the corners. And these links will be under very little load, because the torque reaction under braking would be forward from the axle, while the traction reaction from the axle would be backwards. So lightweight aluminum links would work fine between the floater and the frame.

And while I realize my little project isn’t as earth-friendly as riding a bicycle, it’s still an order of magnitude better than anything on this list . So, have a happy Earth Day anyway.

Hitting peak allergy season

Short note about the current battle with pollen: pollen has the upper hand, thanks to post-nasal drip and eye contamination combined with allergy meds that cause drowsiness. I can barely see to type and Mrs. the Poet os expressing concern over the cough caused by the post-nasal drip, with comments like “Are you dying back there?” and “Do I need to call 911?”

Trees are trying to kill me

Today’s walk is cancelled on account of pollen. I can’t take two steps without a debilitating sneezing fit. Trees are trying to kill me with their sexual discharges. I’m dying of tree bukkake. And I’m having trouble seeing. Most of the time I like trees. Not right now.

The Bristol race is finally over

It took two days, but the NASCAR race from Bristol Speedway in TN is finally complete, and Kyle Busch and the #18 Skittles Camry won. It took extra time because there were still showers in the area. The racing was typical Bristol pushing and shoving, but not as extreme as usually.

I’m getting ready for another walk this afternoon to collect more Sweatcoins, and think about how to build the Sprint-T. I do my best thinking while walking, so I spend a lot of time thinking while I walk. Mostly I think about other things, because I’m not always thinking about cars or the Sprint-T in specific. Mostly just thinking at random.

And I’m back. It was a little over 2 miles, and I’m a little under my max Sweatcoin collection for the day. I did the loop instead of the out-and-back so it’s a bit shorter and doesn’t get as many Sweatcoins but on the other hand I’m never more than a half mile from the house when I take the loop in case I have to bail back for any reason. And there were a couple of times when I felt like bailing when my legs started getting shaky. I feel better for a couple or hours after I get done with a walk, even when I feel crappy during the walk. I wish Mrs. the Poet could take walks, but she refuses to learn how to walk with a cane.

Weather came through when I wanted to walk

Well you know the saying about best-laid plans of mice and men. About the time I got free to take that walk last night we got more severe weather. Tornado watch severe weather, with high straight-line winds, and much lightning. But when I went shopping today the app seems to be counting outdoor steps just fine. But I’m still not seeing the daily bonus coins after I click on the designated ad.

C’est la vie.