Monthly Archives: May 2019

I have too much money in my bank account

No, seriously. I balanced my account and I’m about $700 over. The only thing I can think of is someone paid me early or late for a gig I did or will do, because I have already accounted for all my payments and they should be clear because I have the stuff and I have the notices that PayPal took the money from my account. The thing on getting paid for gigs is I track that money like a hawk, and I have no outstanding payments due that even come close to the money I have in excess. Seriously, I have less than $100 in upcoming payments total, and I already figured previous payments into the balance. And just to be sure I checked my payment systems from this site, and nothing recent showed up from them.

I have too much money in my account, and it’s driving me crazy because I don’t know the source. I’m sure I’m one of the few people in the world who could even have a problem like this.

Welcome to my world.

Things are hectic around here

We’re getting ready for Mrs. the Poet’s Trip North, which is going to be extended this year because she’s going from the airport to our daughter’s house to babysit our grandson while his parents go to Mexico for their vacation. She’s leaving early Thursday morning, about 0530 to make sure she catches her 0815 flight, so tonight will be our last time in the same bed until after Daughter and Son-in-law return from their vacation near the end of July. So she’s getting back a couple of weeks earlier than usual, but she’s leaving a full month earlier than usual, so I’m Baching it even longer than normal.

To add to the chaos Mrs. the Poet’s phone decided to expire over the weekend, acting like it had a bad BMS that was cutting the power early, until we finally got a full charge way past what would be full, then it was cutting power at random. Or it could be like my previous phone and there was dirt in the power switch contacts, because when we tried to take the sim card out to transfer to a new phone that didn’t use that kind of sim card it started working normally again, again exactly like my old phone that I now use as a tiny tablet, and for browsing web sites I don’t trust to not install malware on my computer or my regular phone I use for making phone calls.

Also I got some more free food to talk about in my blog, almond milk “yogurt”. I put the quotes because the bacteria that make yogurt from real milk yogurt do so by feeding on the lactose in the milk, turning it into lactic acid and curdling the milk slightly. Almond milk is by definition a lactose-free food, so even if they have the right strain of bacteria, without the lactose there is no lactic acid, so the taste is completely wrong from the start. And having said that as long as you don’t expect to get yogurt even though it has “yogurt” plastered all over the container it ain’t half bad. I got the blueberry Kite Hill brand and as a dessert it’s a pretty good pudding that’s not too sweet and has a high degree of “blueberry” because it has real blueberries in it. To reiterate, it ain’t yogurt, but it ain’t bad either. You just have to go into the experience not expecting to get yogurt and it will return you a pleasant sweet treat experience.

Now about that other free food I keep getting, the Oat Yeah oatmilk. This one is targeted at lactose intolerant people who have nut allergies. I don’t know why I’m getting this stuff, I’m not a foodie nor do I have any of the conditions these foods are made to deal with. TBH I just like getting free food and manufacturers sending me free food to write about unsolicited just blows my mind. So don’t stop sending me free food, or coupons for free food which is how I have been getting stuff lately. But anyway, the Oat Yeah brand is non-objectionable, which is the highest praise I can give food that was made for people with dietary restrictions. I have had to eat food for people with restrictions and most of it varies from truly awful to barely edible, to be non-objectionable is high praise indeed. My only dietary restriction is I have to limit my intake of HFCS or I get what resembles IBS. It is not a pretty situation, so unless forced I stick to diet soft drinks or unsweetened iced tea on the road. So if any drink makers want to send me diet soft drinks or iced teas apparently my address is widely known so send it here.

And if anyone has an engine sitting around gathering dust I can figure out how to put it in the Sprint-T. The beauty of the T-Bucket is the unrestricted engine compartment lets you use anything, literally anything that can be bolted to a RWD transmission. If I can buy or make an adapter to a transmission that fills the spaces between the engine and the transmission so they can work together and the engine can be made to run the only issue is leaving room for my feet inside the car. If it needs an engine controller to run and it has 8 or fewer cylinders in an even number, then I can use a Microsquirt or Megasquirt, and the Mega doesn’t even have the even number of cylinders restriction. The tuning software the manufacturer gives away works for either one, and once I know which engine I will be using I’ll also know if I need to purchase the upgrade that allows the use of self-tuning feedback from the O2 sensor to adjust the injector table. I have been playing with the software in the offline mode and it was pretty simple to work with. Even without the self tuning software they have free dashboard and datalogging software that works with Android phones and tablets so you can adjust the injection and ignition tables almost as quickly as making the ECM do it. The wiring needed to convert the RS232 signal from the Micro or Megasquirt to something a modern laptop or phone/tablet can understand is a bit involved, but once communications are established it’s all good.

And I have been sitting for way too long, and there is a container of Moose Trax ice cream calling my name, so buh-bye!

Weird dream time

I sometimes have really strange dreams, like the ones where they build miles long slides on top of mountain highways to keep the snow off in the winter and as a tourist ride during the summer, but the one that woke me up this morning topped them all.

I was on a tour of the White House and for some reason Trump came out to meet the tour, and someone in the group used a garrote made from synthetic materials to kill Trump. It was really gross, the string almost decapitated him, and I was standing in the splash zone. Then the Secret Service started shooting people, because someone killed the *president, and I got hit 3 times. Then the guy who did it shouted “I did it! I prevented World War three!” And that’s when things got really strange.

He claimed he was from an alternate time line where Trump had managed to trigger Armageddon by invading Iraq, when forces crossed the border a small fission explosion went off in a close in suburb of Tehran. Who built the bomb, and who set it off were never determined because when it did nukes started flying like beachballs at a Beach Boys concert, laying waste to large chunks of the Middle East, Russia, Europe, (but not the UK), both North and South Korea, parts of Japan, large areas of the US, Canada, and Mexico, and even Africa. Before communications shut down there was speculation it was a Soviet-era suitcase nuke, because it didn’t make any sense for Iran to keep a nuke just outside their capitol and because it was such a low yield weapon. The only parts of the world not hit by fission or fusion bombs were Australia and Antarctica, and the guy that killed Trump said that the Mad Max movies were a Utopia compared to what happened in Australia. All food production was disrupted because seed stocks were destroyed along with pollinating insects and of course there was no fossil fuels to distribute what food there was
so millions died of famine, millions more died from diseases spread by the mountains of unburied corpses, because there were no fossil fuels to run the equipment needed open the graves, or to burn the corpses. Anyway as I said it was a weird dream.

And I think either Mrs. the Poet or I had really bad gas last night because I remember thinking Trump smelled really bad when he got killed. I’ve been downwind of fresh corpses from car wrecks, and they didn’t smell like that.

Stuff arrived!

This is another unboxing blog post of stuff I got for the Sprint-T. I sold an article, which is something we writers do to make money. Don’t bother looking for it, I sold it without a byline because I made more money that way (no exposure), and I used part of the money to get parts for the Sprint-T, specifically front brakes. It was an article about computer history told from a first-person perspective, because dangit I’m that old that I can tell history in first person. I did have a computer with Windows 3.1 and before that a TI99/4A, and before that a Burroughs that weighed in just shy of 500 Kg. I also built a C/PM computer that I never got to use because I couldn’t afford the 8″ floppy drive… And those wirewrap sockets also cost out the yingyang.

But anyway, The Stuff! I got the biggest disc brakes I could buy for the spindles I bought way back before I evicted Chris Christie from my neck.
The box that was sitting on the porch.
As you can see I got excited and forgot my phone when I started to open the box.

This was the bottom layer of an incredibly Tetrised packing system.The box that holds the actual discs inside the box everything came in.

And there was stuff inside that box.That is a 12.19 inch diameter vented disc made from a proprietary iron alloy

By this time I had remembered to go get my phone and was taking pictures as stuff emerged from the boxes inside the delivery box. This is the hub.This was the least-blingy option for the biggest brake that would fit the spindles.

The front of the hub free from the plastic bag, isn’t it pretty?You can see the machining marks if you look closely that lets you know this was the as-machined front of the hub.

The level of bling with this part number was very high, but there were options that made this look plain. This was the as-machined back of the hub.Plain anodized and not even polished, I went for function but still, look at that machining.

This is what connects the disc to that gorgeous hub.I'm not sure how they made the adaptor that connects the disc to the hub, but the standard of machining was not as high as those gorgeous hubs.

This is what squeezed the pads together on those gigantic discs.Top view of the calipers in the safety of the storage bag. Gotta keep those sanitary if I want to make consistent stops.

Those pads are going to get really squished by that thing.Bottom view, with bubblewrap occupying the space where the pads go to prevent damage or contamination to the pistons.

Speaking of pads.This is a set of Street/autocross compound pads, near race level performance but with the durability needed for streets and highways

And the box those come in.I don't know if you can read that compound label from this angle, but that's a box

The unsung heroes of any build, the hardware that holds it together.Nuts and bolts without which this build won't get built.
Yeah that picture was taken in kinda low light and brightening it up enough to make it look the same as the others caused a loss of quality in my picture program.

And the bracket that holds the calipers to the spindle.This is a high-precision part that keeps things from rubbing together until it's time for things to rub together.

And those are all the pictures, but not all the post.

Besides being the biggest brake kit that would fit the spindles, this is also the biggest kit that would fit inside a 15″ wheel, meaning that’s the smallest wheel I can run. But if I’m serious about running Goodguys I can’t run anything smaller than 15″ anyway because that’s about the smallest wheel they still build high-performance street tires for. So, there are a few 200 treadwear rated tires in 15″ but the widest is 245mm section width and about 23.5″ diameter. Good diameter, but a bit skinny for hooking up 300+ HP coming out of a turn, that’s good for making smoke but not so much for going fast. My next choice is 17″ diameter wheels that have tires available up to 315mm section width but unfortunately 25.5″ in diameter. This is bad because extra diameter means more inertia to speed up or slow down because the inertia varies linearly with weight but as the square of diameter and did I mention the tires get heavier as the diameter increases? And I have been picking over the data from the LS Miata swap forums because same engine same power level and similar tire sizes, but I will have a much lighter car than a LS swapped Miata.

So, I need to get up before noon tomorrow but I’m having a heck of a pollen problem. and so is Mrs. the Poet, and she snores when her allergies kick up which makes catching Zs in the same room a bit of a challenge. I think I’ll hit the diphenhydramine and try to sleep on the other room with the alarm set to get me up, and put the post and me to bed.

Well, that was easy

When brick and mortar stores close, there is still their on line store to go to. I was even able to get the same shoe I bought before when their brick and mortar store nearby closed, which will be delivered by next Saturday, the Air Monarch in 8.5 mens / 10 womens, and also got a tip, a chart of converting mens and womens sizes for women with wide feet and men with narrow feet. Us guys with skinny feet can buy a womens regular or women with wide feet can buy a mens regular because that’s how it’s done. I clicked the button for womens regular for my skinny feet…

Which means I don’t need to go find the last brick and mortar discount shoe store on this side of Dallas County to find cheap shoes that fit.

I have other stuff that will be coming in eventually, which I will share when it arrives, including one thing I’m really excited about that I won’t tell you about until I have it in my hot little fist because it can all still go sideways in a hot second.

That’s enough for today, I’ll see y’all later.

Tried to buy shoes, found closed stores instead

I went to two places to find shoes, the Nike store and the Payless. The Nike store was locked with blacked-out windows, and the Payless was selling the shelves and countertops because they were closing that store forever, and even if they still had other stores those stores did not need more shelves or countertops. What I see on the ground does not jibe with the news from DC, our “booming economy” is mostly making booms as it creates craters. I’m going to keep trying to find shoes as the ones I have now start falling apart as the uppers are starting to crack and develop holes that will soon spread into gaping chasms and eventually that part of the shoe declaring independence from the oppressive rule of the sole and heel. I’m just trying to find some shoes that I can walk around in and not trip because the edge of the sole caught on a sidewalk crack or other foolishness, and it’s beginning to look like actual shoe stores are an endangered species. Sure I can still get shoes at big box stores, but those are mostly “find what fits in the pile” rather than actual knowledgeable sales people helping find what you need. And since I only buy shoes when the old ones wear out completely I’m not “up” on what is and more importantly isn’t available to fit my needs.

The “funny” thing is after the most recent therapy I stopped walking the way I used to with using my heel to stop the forward fall and then shoving off violently from my big toe, so the heels and soles are lasting pretty good, but the uppers are getting flexed pretty hard on the right foot so that fails from fatigue instead of friction. So I’m stuck with shoes that have pretty decent soles, but you can scratch my toes without having to untie my shoe on the right foot. And I have a stack of left shoes that still have a lot of wear left in them because even the old way I walked didn’t wear out shoes because of all the muscle and nerve damage from the wreck.

And the worst of it is I’m so “stove up” as my wife puts it, that a day out shopping and riding the bus takes at least a day to recover, if not two days. So doing things precludes doing more things until two or three days later. Some of it is because I’m getting old, but most of it is because I got hit with several trucks before I got old. I’m in better shape than most of the trucks but that isn’t saying much.

I hope you readers have a good day and I’m going to have a good day in spite of everything. Carpe noctem or however it is said, seize the night!

What bicycle infrastructure is like, an analogy

I have been seeing an uptick in cars parked in bike lanes in social media. So I’m going to construct an analogy that puts cars and car users in the same kind of peril as bicycles and cyclists.

Imagine that people are allowed to own howitzers, really big howitzers, and somehow getting things done required shooting your howitzer in random directions and at all hours. Now imagine that getting things done also required driving around pretty much like we do today, except with random artillery shells impacting everywhere, but not the exploding kind. This analogy is horrific enough without shrapnel in the equation. So, you’re trying to go about your daily business except there are large metal objects moving at high speed everywhere and every so often somebody gets hit and either killed or seriously injured. This is the situation cyclists face now without separated infrastructure.

OK now let’s say someone says that this is not a sustainable situation with people getting hit with artillery all the time, and too many people are getting killed. So they set up areas that are artillery-free zones so that people can do their thing without getting hit by cannon fire but there isn’t much separation from falling cannon rounds and it’s highly dependent on the good aim of the people shooting the cannons to not land rounds where the people are. And there really isn’t much room in the zones so that it’s pretty much single file between free-fire ranges, until someone decides they need to put their howitzer in the no-fire zone, completely blocking it and forcing people into the free-fire zone right next to it. And blaming the people leaving the no-fire zone for getting hit in the free-fire zone, because howitzers rule, SUVs drool, and if you get hit it must be your fault somehow. And even when there is a place to put your howitzer a few feet away from the no-fire zone, because for some reason you want/think you need to put your howitzer there in the no-fire zone. This is the equivalent of parking in a bike lane.

Let me put this in a separate paragraph, parking in a bike lane is like forcing people in cars to drive in a free-fire artillery range because it’s more convenient for them. And the person doing it is such a sociopath and narcissist that they don’t care they are forcing you to risk your life for their convenience.

I need to take better care of myself

I mean things like getting haircuts, getting massages, buying new shoes when the old ones start falling apart, and getting enough sleep. I’m pretty good about eating and taking showers, not so much on other things. Especially on things that cost money, my poverty reflexes seem to kick in when I try to buy things that wear out. I just bought two hats to replace the sun hat that is falling to pieces on my head, and clicking that Buy button felt like I was carrying a 50 pound (22 Kg) weight on my hand. Paying for a new HVAC was terrible, but you can’t live in TX without AC in a house not built for cross-ventilation. It will literally kill you.

Anyway, I’m going to get shoes and a massage now, y’all peace out.

I need to pay more attention to my post count

I let my 3000th post pass by without notice ages ago. This is post 3213 which means Post 3K was way back last summer or late spring. Since WP has stopped showing the post number during creation and looking it up doesn’t show anything except the date of publication. So the only way I knew this post’s number was looking up how many posts I had done on my site dashboard.

As I posted last time, we have AC now, and part of the new AC was a new programmable thermostat, which is now programmed for both good sleep and low electricity use. The temperature goes down after midnight when it’s cooler out, and starts to come back up after sunrise, and the hysteresis between AC off and heat on is wide enough that there will be at least a couple of months where neither part of the system will be active. To use an old punch line points at head Kidneys! Daytime summer is 75°F, daytime winter is 65° and nighttime both is 3°F cooler than daytime. The winter setting is cold enough that I’ll actually have to wear long pants and a T-shirt, the summer setting is cool enough to be able to wear clothes during the day. I took Mrs. the Poet into account by making the winter setting at night bearable with a heavy blanket but not piles and piles of blankets, basically where the thermostat stays all year long for heat. So she’ll be more comfortable during the day this winter, and about the same at night and more likely to snuggle at night, because I have always been a furnace at night.

On the social front I have been invited to a lunch by the GM of the Shadowrun group I play with. We have too many people either out of town or working on game day that we won’t be able to have a game until some time in June, so those of us still in town are having a get-together because the group is about the only human interaction some of us get outside of work, and for those of us who work at home… Well I’m sure you get the idea.

We have AC again!

After raiding savings to the tune of $12K we now have central air again, a job that required replacing most of the wiring to the compressor as well as replacing both the outside and inside portions of the system. The new system came with a programmable thermostat that sets different temperatures for day and night and different settings for heat and AC. All the broken window units were hauled away, and the one working unit is getting moved to the garage to give me a more comfortable place than outside when I’m working during the summer. The idea for that one is to cut a hole in the wall and hang it between the studs with a pair of supports between the studs to hold the unit up.

I’m taking a trip down the street today to get my toes done because I still haven’t done it for the second time this year. I’m trying to remember when I had them done earlier and I’m thinking maybe February? or March? Anywho, long enough ago that I needed to do it again a long time ago. I really need to get another haircut, because my flattop is turning into a FauxHawk, or something, anyway instead of being flat it is now a “fin” on top of my head. Not an attractive look for a round head like mine. Seriously I need to either have very long hair, or a flattop, to look decent with my head shape.

Well it’s time to shower and change and head down the street. Putting the post to bed.