Monthly Archives: August 2018

Seventeen years dead, let’s partaaaayyyyy!!

As I type this it is exactly 17 years to the minute that I died from getting hit by a truck going 60 MPH. The fact that 2 minutes later I was complaining to the people scraping me off the street that the upper end of my femur was broken is why I celebrate that.

Mrs. the Poet thinks I’m way too morbid about getting killed, but I keep trying to explain I’m celebrating the coming back, not the getting killed, but also you can’t have Easter without Good Friday, so why not have a party for the day I got killed. And since we be p’ (can’t buy a vowel poor) the party is coupon burgers at the Burger King. The rest of you celebrate however you like, don’t mind what I do.

Also I’m taking a shot at the LS1 engine that Cleetus McFarland is giving away so I have an engine for the Sprint-T. FYI Cleetus is a YouTube channel that defies description beyond “rednecks having too much fun with cars”. Garret Mitchel is the guy playing Cleetus and he’s a decent drag racer and project manager and the current project is re-engining the Dale Truck, an old Craftsman Truck Series (Cabella’s Truck series starting next year) race truck painted to resemble Dale Sr.’s #3 race car he was driving when he was killed. Anyway he’s swapping the LS1 that replaced the small block race engine when the truck was converted for street use to an LS7 with about 50% more HP. The LS1 would be a great engine for the T, first and foremost because it would be an engine I would have in my hot little fist(s) and I could build the rest of the chassis around it. I need to buy something off the web site to qualify for it but I really need another hat so that’s not a problem.

And that pretty much covers it.

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I’m in pain

My toes are purple and my leg and foot hurt any time I’m not lying down. I’m going back to bed and hoping the pain goes away on its own, because my digestive system can’t handle any more ibuprofen for a while.

OK, yesterday and today

Just checked to see where I left off yesterday, and I had just walked the 1.8 miles from Beltline to the Wal-Mart for the Hot Wheels Legacy event in the DFW area. I spent the next 90 minutes or so wandering around the outdoor car show and checking out the vendors’ booths. There was free stuff given away but you had to either be a kid or bring a kid with you, and the line was like 40 minutes long. I saw the HiPo Hauler from Gas Monkey Garage, but none of the Monkeys, if they were there. I also saw the full-scale Twin Mill from the original release in 1968, and a buttload of contestants for the next round of release, including a vehicle from the local Zombie Apocalypse group in Arlington, which was based on a Subaru station wagon and had the hood off so I could get a good look at an EJ engine in the wild. I wasn’t prepared for how tiny it was front to rear. It was as wide as I expected, but since it was NA instead of turbocharged I could clearly see the whole engine and the 430 mm (16.9″) front to the back of the block measured I saw earlier looked a bit on the generous side.

I needed to grab a drink and something to eat so I stopped at the Sonic and got a Route 44 (as in fluid ounces) diet Coke and a sausage breakfast burrito. I really needed the rest and to get off my feet, and I also needed to rehydrate since there was absolutely no shade in the car show area and I was baked dry. Then after I finished the drink I put the rest of the ice into my water bottle so I would have something cold for the trip home. I still needed more water when I got home.

Then I had today. I got a slightly delayed start and saw the bus go by as I was getting to the corner, which means I missed the bus by less than a minute, and had to wait about an hour for the next connection to the game. Fortunately I got to wait in air-conditioned spaces as the next bus was only 5 minutes later on the outbound part of the loop, then I got to sit in the station while I waited for the bus to the game. I walked 0.7 mi from the bus stop to the GM’s house, and she had the AC set on kill and my seat was right in front of the vent, so I ended up getting a cramp in my bad leg because it got too cold. But enough of my problems, let’s talk about the game.

When we left off before we had just captured the toxic shaman and rendered her unconscious for the trip back to Dallas. Our mage used frequent asses and clout spells to keep her out like a light. The mage was the hero of this session, constantly casting spells until we got to Dallas and a summon could take over the job so he could sleep. Then we had to contract with a Coyote to get us across the border to Chicago so we could collect the ¥1,000,000 bounty. Yes, in the Shadowrun universe they are in different countries, Dallas is in the CSA and Chicago is in the UCSA which is part of Canada. While we were en route to Chicago our cargo plane was attacked by a thunderbird somewhere over what used to be Missouri. I managed to get 2 shots from my arm gun at it to no effect and our other gun character sent a burst of 6 rounds at it that finished it off as it was a bit of a glass cannon, shooting magic lightning but only 4 body and zero armor made taking even one hit from flechettes or explosive rounds (my, and the other gun character’s ammo respectively) would result in an instant kill. After that we delivered our unconscious toxic shaman to the place offering the bounty with no further problems, and the ¥250,000 payment was sent to each of our accounts.

Game session over I hoofed it the 0.7 miles back to the bus stop to catch the bus back to Garland Station and the last bus home, then dinner about 2030.

I’m all pink

I got some sun out at the Hot Wheels Legacy event this morning. The fun started at 0600 when my alarm went off so I could catch the bus. Then I did the usual morning routine and was out the door about 0635, caffeinated and hydrated and pop-tarted. When I to to the bus stop I checked the itinerary and discovered the schedule I looked up was for Friday, not Saturday, after I had already activated my day pass and couldn’t get a refund. So I was committed to doing something or just throwing away $3. I knew that the closest approach during the weekend was the corner of Garland and Beltline, which was a bit of a slog, but doable if I stayed hydrated. So I set out on a 2 hour journey with a 1.8 mile walk to the event.

AAnnnd the battery on my new laptop needs to be recharged, so this will be continued later.

Well that sucked

Today I learned I can get a heat injury in an air-conditioned space if I get hot outside and get covered with something that resembles a blanket, like a barber’s apron.

Rather than wait the hour until the next bus I walked the 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from the credit union ATM to the barbershop and it was only 87°F (31C) so I thought I was going to be fine getting a haircut inside an air-conditioned shop. I was adequately hydrated because I was sweating like pigs don’t, completely drenched. But because of the apron covering my torso no air could get in to evaporate that sweat to cool me down. I got nauseous and had to take a bathroom break which didn’t help much because there was no air flow in the bathroom, either. But I eventually got my haircut, and it was a great haircut, and I look great in it. I suffered for that haircut, so I had better look fan-freaking-tastic in it.

Anyway I was still feeling the effects of the heat and the lack of sleep when I finally got home so I skipped lunch in favor of a short nap and lots of water. And even so I’m still doing the sleepy-time bob and weave as I compose this, so time for another shower and hitting the bed before 2200. You guys get two blog posts today, I get a story to tell, and then I get two naps to recover from it. and then I get to get up before sunrise tomorrow so I can maybe have another story to write about.

This is going to be a long day

There is an event I want to attend near Casa de El Poeta, the Dallas event for the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Tour. Hot Wheels were first introduced in the fall of 1968, but didn’t make it to the rural TN town I lived near until spring of ’69, and my first one was a red 1968 Mustang from that first run. I was already an avid Matchbox car collector, but now I had a new obsession that was to be fed by Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning cars, which were similar but made by Topper toys instead of Mattel. Anyway that event takes place between 8 and 11 AM on Saturday.

Given that I’m normally falling asleep when I would need to be catching the bus to get to the party that calls for some drastic sleep cycle reset on my part. Which is why this is going to be a long day, or technically Thursday is going to be a long day. Yep, I’m staying awake until after sunset instead of my usual about sunrise. Seriously I’m usually dropping into slumber between 0600 and 0700, and I need to catch the bus at 0651 to get to the opening ceremony featuring the monkeys from Gas Monkey Garage at 0800. There will be a small car show (small in number) and some potential Hot Wheels cars (small in size), and of course the Gas Monkeys. But to get there I have to not sleep until 2200 tonight, which is going to be difficult. One thing that will help is I have lots of caffeine in the form of iced coffee and 2 liters of diet cola, and iced tea. You might have noticed a common thread in the beverages beyond caffeine, they’re all cold drinks. Hot drinks and weather together make me sleepy, so no hot beverages until close to bed time. One thing I’m going to take care of is shaving and getting a haircut. I’m overdue for shearing the locks because no matter how much product I put in my hair it just won’t assume the correct flat surface of the classic flattop haircut.

Next post will be after the haircut.

I think I’m having low grade allergies

I saw on the news that we are getting inundated by the smoke from the fires in the northwest US and it was triggering allergies across the Metromess. That partially explains the eye irritation and minor pains from old injuries and especially the problems getting to sleep at night. When I’m having an allergy attack my eyes get gooped up and irritated and I can’t sleep. And if I’m getting like this from thousands of miles downwind, what are the locals suffering through?

Still thinking about the Sprint-T because what else am I going to do while I stare at the walls trying to get tired enough to sleep? What has been running through my mind is the front diaphragm, trying to get it both light and stiff. The front diaphragm is a triangle but has long spans of tubing that can flex under load, plus there are some places that pick up loads in the middle of a tube (major structural no-no) that need to be braced to prevent flexing. So, thinking about where to place the braces without adding any more material than absolutely necessary, leads to several options. First, the frame rails meet at the dead center of the diaphragm top and bottom which would cause the top tube to flex a bunch without a brace, as the bottom frame rails meet at a point with the side pieces of the diaphragm that is already braced by the natural design. So the natural move on this one is to run a single tube from the lower frame rails to the upper frame rails where they meet each other and the top tube of the inverted triangular structure, but that still leaves a lot of unsupported tube in compression between the upper spring mount and the frame rails, that will wander all over the front of the car if it isn’t contained by bracing. So, bracing then. I forgot exactly what the change in stiffness is as bracing is added, but it’s nothing like the change increased by moving the frame rails further apart which in expressed by d4. Googling the expression shows there is no direct formula for all thin structures in compression but several depending on how the member is loaded. In the simple case the stiffness increases linearly with the number of braces assuming the load is centered on the structural member, which is not the case for the top tube of the front diaphragm. I downloaded a free engineering text because I clearly need some refreshing on the subject. Anyway, for this structure stiffness increases linearly until a limit is reached where additional bracing does not change stiffness if I’m reading correctly. And this is another reason why I have difficulty falling asleep at night, because I could hit that theoretical maximum with a simple shear web if the radiator wasn’t right behind the front diaphragm and needed the empty space for airflow. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed structures during intro to civil engineering in college. It’s like a ridiculously long word problem in algebra. And going for the big prize of strongest structure with the least weight when there are several answers that are close…

Ad I’m having troubles seeing the keyboard and screen again so it’s time to end this and rest for a while.

Things are good

The Wi-Fi router is fixed, the new computer is connected to the router, and I’m back to over-thinking the Sprint-T. So everything is perfectly normal (there is a clip from one of the Addams’ Family movies where Wednesday says that but I can’t find it on YouTube). Anyway there was some kind of software problem with the router, the Frontier tech did an update through the Internet, and everything is fixed now as far as computers are concerned.

Now on the Sprint-T there is a problem. I was reviewing the rear axle I selected and discovered a potential problem. The axle tube is held in the center section by set screws, 4 of them, and there is some debate on how well they would stand up to resisting the entire rotational torque of the system reacting against the right side tube retention. Because as the rear suspension is designed now the anti-rotation link for the drive is on the right side only. I have one opinion that if I drill and thread the axle tube for the bolts to go all the way through the wall of the axle tube and use Grade 8 bolts it will hold up forever, and another that says I’ll need to replace right side tubes once or twice a season because they aren’t built for that kind of stress, what with the reaction torque in two directions getting planted against the road, all through the wall of the axle tube and 4 little bolts where is enters the center section. There is room for debate on both sides of the question, even from the people who make the axle. The other option is to attach the torque link or arm to the center section because it is designed to resist the force internally. but that really eats into the passenger side of the interior…

Also I have been having problems getting to sleep at night as the discomfort I have been having with the wrecked leg has been just enough to keep me from sleeping. Actually once I get to sleep I have no problems staying asleep, I just get to stare at the walls until sunrise waiting to get tired enough to sleep. That has been annoying as well as missing most of the day in bed because I’m so tired. I woke up at about 1300 and it felt like I hadn’t been asleep at all. I mean it doesn’t hurt-hurt, it is just annoying enough that I can’t sleep without getting exhausted. And I drag around all day in a daze. I could be worse, but I could be a heck of a lot better. And speaking of dragging around in a daze I had to type the last sentence 3 times before I could get all the words to make sense, so I’m going to take a pain pill and a sleeping pill and try to get up at a decent time in the AM. I am having serious problems seeing to type or to read the screen to make sure what I thought I typed is what is going on the screen. So off to bed for this old blogger.

Another fine mess

That’s a Laurel and Hardy joke, and my current situation. Long story short, the reason I was having trouble getting the new computer to connect to the Wi-Fi is because the router was dying a slow death. I went to my local comic book store to get my pulls, and when I got home I noticed my phone was awfully slow, and I checked my data connection, which turned out to be 4G instead of Wi-Fi. I did a quick attempt to get my phone to connect with no luck. One thing I discovered earlier is the new computer is Wireless-AC and the router is an older standard Wireless-G, and even good Wireless-G routers making a first connection with Wireless-AC is iffy at best. And I skipped a standard completely, Wireless-N.

So now I’m waiting to hear from Frontier on replacing their router. Until then my only access point for Internet is my phone, and the ethernet connection to the router as long as it holds up.

Well I have good news and bad news

The good news is there is nothing wrong with my new computer. The bad news is I need to get a new Wi-Fi router. I checked the FCC compliance sticker and it has a 2010 date, which is equivalent to late paleolithic in computer years. So now I get to talk to Frontier FiOS about getting a new router.

In other new computer news I spent $20 + tax on a 128 GB USB flash drive, loaded all my books and pictures from the Chromebook on it, and still had 114 GB free space on the drive. Seeing how I have about 100 GB in graphic novels alone, that’s some heavy-duty data compression there. This was a discounted unit originally priced at $80 and is over 1000 times the size of the hard drive of the computer I was using at Y2K that cost about $2000 for the original buyer, a 486DX2 with 640KB RAM and 100MB storage. For you young’uns that was an engineering workstation at the bleeding edge of technology when they bought it, and still pretty cutting edge when I bought it. Now I have a phone with more RAM than the computer had storage and a faster processor and a higher resolution screen, that I picked up for $28 when I upgraded to a new line. And that I use mainly for playing Solitaire these days since I upgraded to a better phone last year when I started having issues updating the OS because it lacked storage and wouldn’t move the files to the SD card I bought to give the damn thing some breathing room. I moved the card to the new phone where the OS finally recognized the card was for things like pictures and porn video files.

On other things, I’m still working on that steering box mount for the Sprint-T and increasing the triangulation in the front end. Basically by running another light tube (0.060 wall) from the upper corners of the front roll hoop to the center of the front diaphragm, making a Warren truss of that face for more torsional rigidity, to go with the Warren truss of the front diaphragm, and the modified Warren truss of the bottom face and the side faces together. Never. Stop. Thinking.