Monthly Archives: September 2019

Why do they continue this useless killing?

And this petition recently came out Badger cull petition that shows that despite protests and a flashy video (above) that even included guitar riffs officially from Queen guitarist Brian May there has been no evidence that even suggests the culls have been effective at their stated objective of stopping Bovine TB, with areas getting culls having no lower level of TB infections than areas without culls.

Now, I’m not a tree-hugger, and I know that unless I want to be ripped to shreds I should avoid hugging badgers, but still killing thousands of animals to no more effect than providing a momentary kill thrill to the hunters hired to shoot them is a total waste of money. And wasting money hurts my Scots/Jewish soul, from both sides. So sign the petition, and maybe this time something will come from it, because the one attached to the video in 2013 sure didn’t do Jacques Schitt about it the next year.

Well as they say that’s my two pence on the subject.

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Not much interesting going on

Still fighting to get my sleep schedule diurnal, but I managed to time shift enough to get a massage yesterday morning. The tech spent the entire session working on my back, neck and glutes, but I was able to turn my head most of the way to the right when she finished.

The interesting part happened on the way home when an Asian couple offered me water at the bus stop, and also to the other person waiting there in a wheelchair. I already had two small bottles of water from the massage place because I get a really dry throat during a massage, especially if I spend a full hour laying face-down.

When I got home I had a bite, then did the grocery list on my phone with my loyalty app, trying to not fall asleep and not having much success at it. About 1700 I finally gave in and toddled off to bed and woke up at about 2230, which is almost like sleeping at night, right?

I thought I might have an engine for the A-MOD car yesterday, but I wasn’t able to arrange transport for the donor vehicle, so I was forced to pass it up. It was a 250cc V-Twin with DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder, what used to be considered pretty racy stuff back in the day but is just a puttin’ around engine on a city bike today. It was rated at 28 HP, which was also a pretty racy number back in the day, being more than 100 HP per liter normally aspirated, coming in at 112 BHP/liter. But since I didn’t have any way to get it home, I ain’t got it.

Well I have to be awake this afternoon when we go grocery shopping, so this is a good spot to wrap this puppy up and put it to bed, woof.

After too much partying I’m (mostly) back

It’s a good thing I don’t have a birthday every weekend, because I would never get anything done. Many beers were consumed, much meat and cheese was consumed, and there was also pie and ice cream destroyed. I’m way over my daily average on caloric consumption (dinner yesterday alone was nearly 2000 calories when appetizers and beverages were included) and probably should take a day or two off from eating just to burn off some of those excess calories.

There was a pre-party on Saturday, I forgot what we had, just that there was too much of it, and I had a Sam Adams Oktoberfest to drink and a Shiner Oktoberfest with lunch, then on my actual birthday on Sunday we had 3 meat pizza and cherry pie with ice cream, and I think I had a Sam Adams to go with the pizza because there is nothing that pairs up with pizza like beer. Yesterday we went to Red Robin to get my free burger and ice cream. I had the Royal Red Robin with the egg on top and the short tower of onion rings for my appetizer, and a local beer by Lakewood Brewing that they modestly call their lager. The sandwich was messy and good, the onion rings were good when they cooled off enough to be eaten, and the only disappointment was the sundae was made with the hot fudge laying on the bottom of the parfait glass instead of between the ice cream and the whipped cream, but they did at least remember to put the cherry on top😁.

I got some money for my birthday so I’m going to get my toes done this week and a massage, too.

And I haven’t stopped thinking about and researching the Sprint-T, I got in touch with Hoosier about the best tires for when I’m running SCCA events, and what they came up with was the catalog number 09120 24″ tall 11″ wide with a very sticky rubber compound, originally made for the left front on pavement sprint cars and supermodified racers where physics dictates that there isn’t a lot of normal force when the tire is under side load because it is on the lighter end of the car and also the side that gets unloaded by weight transfer when turning. It fits a less expensive 15″ x 10″ wheel compared to the 17″ X 10″ wheel I need to run for the sanctioning body that requires a 300 treadwear tire because I couldn’t find a 300 TW performance tire for a 15″ rim that was wide enough to hook 400 HP in a 2000 pound car, the widest 15″ 300 TW performance tire I could find was a 205/50-15, most were 195/50-15. It was strange because I could find 100 TW tires all the way up to 275mm, but the 200 stopped at 245/40 and the 300 stopped 205mm, but the 400 and above went all the way up to 295mm.

Now when I look in 17″ rims I find all kinds of nice wide tires with 300 TW ratings and above and very high ratings for dry traction and handling. Not quite as impressive ultimate grip levels as the 200 TW tires in the same sizes, but still lightyears ahead of what was available a few years back when I started this process. The downside of running 17″ rims is the increased inertia because the diameter is 2″ more than it would be in a 15″ rim. The annoying part is this design procedure has become a moving target, about the time I settle on a tire it either goes out of production or gets changed to a lower treadwear rating. I think I need to just build the car and decide what tires to use depending on what’s available when it gets done.

And speaking of done, I think it’s time to stick a fork in this one.

Yesterday was miserable

But before that, a report on Thursday’s travels.

They didn’t start so good, because right after I bought a PM Pass for the bus, on my phone, my phone locked up completely so that I couldn’t even check time. This usually happens when I get a system conflict between two apps. But I got super lucky and every bus had a defective farebox so the driver didn’t even bother checking my phone or if I had a ticket.

I believe I have mentioned that I have tinnitus due to the wreck, that it’s annoying, and that it interferes with hearing what people are saying, and how Mrs. the Poet is always complaining that I need a hearing aid and I reply she needs to stop mumbling so I can understand what she’s saying. Well I went for a hearing aid test Thursday afternoon to see if in fact I do need to get a hearing aid. Well what the test revealed was that I have done a remarkable job in preserving my hearing in spite of shooting machine guns and heavy weapons in the Army with almost perfect hearing below 4KHz and a drop off that showed exactly how loud my tinnitus is because that’s the lowest frequency of the tones in my tinnitus except when it turns into a roaring blast of pink noise for a few seconds and then goes away for a bit, but anyway I had to let the test tones get louder than the ringing in my ears before I could tell they were test tones. And I have about 20 dB of hearing loss at 4KHz and above because of that. The test also showed that when I’m alert and listening hard I can pick out speech pretty well from background noise, but if I let my concentration lapse I lose the thread completely. Also I have difficulty in picking out unvoiced consonants like the difference between nice and knife, I’m about 50-50 in guesses. I’m a little better in actual conversation because I know nobody is going to be stabbed with a nice, and that people are not knife with others, so I can use context to figure out missing words when I can’t depend on my ears.

Then I went to spend some coupons at the local Burger King for dinner. We got the two Jr. Whoppers and two fries (no drinks) and an order of Chicken Fries and a large fry all for about $7.50 with tax, and had what drinks we already had at home to save carting fountain drinks home on the bus. I managed to stay awake until about 2300 when I had to rest my neck and back and passed out until Mrs. the Poet came to bed when I should have taken my bedtime meds before going back to sleep, but I was stupid so I didn’t and was barely asleep and not getting much rest until 0900 when I decided I needed to take my bedtime meds and slept until 1730. So I’m going to be up all day again today and sleep about 2300 tonight.

But before that I have grocery shopping to do this afternoon and a race to watch tonight. And I have to give my back and neck a chance to rest now, but I’m not taking bedtime meds so I won’t sleep. And in case you are curious, my bedtime meds are 1 or 2 200mg Ibuprofen and 1 or 2 20 mg diphenhydramine to reduce my pain and let my brain shut down and sleep. I adjust depending on how bad I hurt and how much the brain is racing after I decide to shut down for the night.

Just a storage draft

Please don’t poke the ghost, Mr. Werewolf. The Witch hasn’t finished her coffee. It’ll make a mess.

Doing another sleep deprivation day

I have to be up and outta here by noon, and I was awake until almost 0900 yesterday and slept until almost 1600. So I figured that since backing up my body clock wasn’t working, maybe running it forward would get the job done. Seriously, I have done this thousands of times, twice a week when I was working Compressed D shift at TI, way back in the backside of the 20th Century. I would stay up all night the day before I went back to work on Friday and get to sleep about 0800 after all the kids left for school and get a few hours before I had to get ready for the day at night. Then I would stay up all day on Monday so I would sleep that night, and be on a diurnal sleep schedule for the rest of the week.

Well this is pretty much the same as Mondays back then, I’m staying up all day to reset, and because I have things to do during the day. Today I’m going to get my hearing tested to see if my problems are all strictly due to tinnitus, or if I also have a hearing loss to blame some of it on. Last time I was tested it was all on the tinnitus, but that was a long time ago and it’s possible that some deterioration could be from actual hearing loss. Or if the tinnitus has gotten so bad I need hearing amplification anyway, even though any hearing loss I have is minimal like last time. And I need to go to the bank to deposit some checks.

And I need to be getting ready now so this seems like a good spot to quit.

Addendum to this morning’s post

I forgot to mention I’m really starting to notice the effects my cataracts are having on my life, mostly at night. It takes what feels like forever for my night vision to kick in and it’s not as good as it used to be a few years long time ago, when I could wear sunglasses and still navigate by the light of the full moon, or by starlight when I wore regular glasses. Now I have a hard time not tripping over things even with nightlights. I can see the lights and floor, but not things with low contrast on the floor. So I step on things and trip over things that don’t have good contrast with the carpet in the blueish light from the LED nightlights.

And basically that’s all I have to say this afternoon, complaining about getting old and not able to do the things I used to be able to do when I was younger.

Another update without real information

First of all the good news, Mrs. the Poet has lumbago and can be treated by a combination of steroid injections and physical therapy. That means she might stop yelling every few steps as her back locks up and her feet go to sleep at the same time as her back goes wonky. Her TBF is about 6 feet now when it was 10-12 feet just a few weeks ago. She also has an issue where here spinal column is smaller than it should be where the actual nerves pass through which also contributes to her pain and feet going to sleep.

The “meh” news I was awake all night last night thinking about alternative rear suspension/engine mounting for the A/MOD car and I’m writing sleep-deprived again. Also was thinking about alternative front suspensions for the same car because why only change one thing? This was because I changed the engine from the cruiserbike V-Twin to a Predator 670 V-Twin and the exhaust and the drive are on the same side meaning the engine has to go on the left of the car to keep the engine from blowing exhaust right in the driver’s face. The cruiserbike engine has exhaust on the front of the front cylinder and the back of the rear cylinder meaning it can be run out the right side of the car and the drive is on the left. All this means is the jackshaft for the 670 has to be longer than for the cruiserbike because it has to go all the way across the engine while the bike engine just has to go far enough to reach the drive chain from the transmission.

I also thought about a mount on the rear suspension like the old Malibu Virage cars and some Chinese kart style dunebuggies and some RC cars, but I discarded the idea as having too high an unsprung weight with the engine bouncing around with the rear axle. It sure did simplify the drive to the rear axle though and lightened the car up a bit.

I have been having bad brain days for a while

This is normal right after my death day, and it doesn’t matter if there’s a big shindig, or I’m all by myself like this year. The difference is when there’s a big shindig it doesn’t last very long, and when I only have the cats to be with I get down for much longer. This year the cats didn’t show up either but they did come back in the morning, but I still got way down. This was a bad year for this particular problem. The only social group I interact with any more is the RPG Group. And nobody responded to my Twitter invite or my FB save the date. I never saw the FB thing go live so that might have been a mistake on my part setting that up.

But anyway, the end result was a lack of desire to write anything more complex than a grocery list, or work on the Mini Sprint-T, or the Sprint-T. I knew I was starting to come out of it when I started thinking about building a car for SCCA Solo racing A-MOD using a V-twin engine from a cruiser motorcycle and a setup that was basically a scaled-up shifter Kart with the suspension and brakes needed to be a legal A-MOD car. I planned on using Midget or Micro-sprint spindles (pretty much the same thing) with pavement brackets for big brakes on both sides (dirt spindles have a smaller brake on the left side only), hung on an axle made from wrapping carbon fiber around a foam core and steel inserts for the kingpins to ride in. The idea was to use a beam axle to keep the tires pointed in the right direction for camber and then make that sucker as light as possible for the lowest unsprung weight. I was going to use a rear axle from the mini- or micro-sprint to connect to the chain drive from the motorcycle engine with a jackshaft for initial gear reduction and moving the final drive to the center like on the Grind Hard Plumbing Princess Jeep only with much less articulation because pavement racer instead of dirt crawler/buggy like the Princess Jeep. But what they did prove was that using a small sprocket on the axle prevented chain bind or jumping when the axle was twisted through a range much further than an A-MOD Solo racer would ever see outside of a wreck. So Imma steal that idea for my car.

Also the reason I’m stealing the jackshaft idea is I’m mounting the engine way off center to balance the driver weight and to keep the polar moment as low as possible by keeping as much mass in the center of the car as possible. Driver to one side, engine to the other with both as close together as physically possible given the need to balance left-to-right and the need for the final drive chain to ride in the center of the axle. I’m leveraging my skinny butt to get as close to the centerline as the chainguard will allow, because I’m only 13″ wide at the hips. This reduces my moment arm from 11.25″ in the Sprint-T to 7″ leaving clearance for the chain and chainguard because I don’t have to leave room for another person, just the engine. I have really wide shoulders and a really skinny butt, like my Dad, and that’s the main reason why the driver moment is so large in the Sprint-T because I have to leave room for a passenger by the rules for Goodguys.

I also knew I was getting better when I started looking through the Hoosier tire catalog looking for the right tire to use when racing the Sprint-T in SCCA Solo events. Basically I was looking for short, wide and sticky that would fit a 15″ X 8″ or X 10″ wheel because there are light, strong, and cheap wheels in those sizes available in several different offsets that fit one or the other of the bolt circles on my hubs. I also used more than just the road racing tires and went into the pavement oval listings to see if there were any tires that came close, and I found a couple in the section for Modified class, and pavement sprint and Supermodified classes which despite being vastly different in layout use pretty much the same tires. Those tires were larger in diameter than my ideal of <23", but were considerably wider than most of the road race offerings with tread widths of 11-13" compared to the 8-9.5" of the road race catalog. The suitable tires for the pavement oval racers were 24-25.5" in diameter compared to the road race tires in the 22.5-23.5" diameter but much narrower as the diameter decreased. Also the oval racing tires are bias-ply while the road race tires came in a mix of bias and radial depending on the size, which tosses another variable into the mix. Radial tires have higher peak grip given the same size and compound, but bias tires are much more controlable at the limit and come in wider tread widths with stickier compounds, so ultimate grip becomes a wash. Also, the reason why there are so many size and compound choices in the oval tire section of the catalog is oval cars run different size and compound tires at each corner in the sprint and Supermodified classes to balance the handling or to use different diameter tires to force the car to turn left when running a locked rear or a solid rear axle (same thing, just built differently) so the right tire drives the car to the left.

It has been a bit difficult to type this in as Clint has decided to lay on my lap on his back demanding tummy rubs which means I have to type with one hand while holding the cat with the other to keep him from sliding off my lap and grabbing me with his claws to keep from sliding. That usually results in long deep scratches. And now he lost interest and has left the room.

Which makes for a good time to end this and hit "Post"

Getting out of this gig is tricky

Turns out when you don’t finish a gig with this company it takes more than a couple of e-mails to get untangled from the mess. I told them I would continue to honor the NDA because well I didn’t get enough information to actually disclose anything from the last one and everything I learned from the earlier ones is already public knowledge for anyone who buys their products that I worked on. But that’s not the problem, apparently there was supposed to be some kind of pre-payment made that I never knew about much less received. Everything I got was always after delivery of product. So anywho the company I was doing the gig for says I was supposed to get a pre-payment of half up front, that it seems the company I get gigs through never passed on, and now they want 50% of their pre-pay back as specified in their contract with the company setting up the gigs. Well since I never got the money and all communication went through the company who set up the gigs… you get the point.

To reiterate this last gig had so little usable data for me to work with that it was more a translation than a cleanup, only I can’t even read the language because I don’t have the fonts, even if I was literate in the language. So I’m kicking this back up to the company that sets up these gigs. I don’t know what the procedure for this situation is, but I do know this one Is Not My Fault.