Monthly Archives: March 2022

Good news! I didn’t make enough money to pay taxes

More good news, the IRA withheld $1850 because the law required them to, so I’m getting $1850 back from the IRS. What that means is I’m going to get my teeth fixed finally. No more saving up, and having something come up that needs to be done more than fixing my teeth. As of now, there is nothing more important, that we need more, than fixing my teeth. I literally have two opposing molars that kinda mesh up and let me kinda-sorta chew my food and not have to depend on my super-stomach to digest my food, because every so often I eat something that needs chewing to digest. And when that happens I’m either nauseous, like severely for days, or I get the runs also severely for days, or the opposite constipated so bad I can’t go, again for days. I’m looking at putting an end to all of that with new teeth.

Watched a good race from down the pike in Austin today. To put it succinctly, it was a barn-burner. Best racing I’ve seen in months. And I have no way to describe it adequately in words. It was just that exciting.

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I have a Down day, and I need to write sumthin’

I don’t even know what I want to write about again, but I haf’ta write sumthin’ even if it’s just more stream of consciousness stuff. Right now I’m grooving to a meditation mix from YTM. It has like 10 minute and longer ambient pieces, that let me get a groove on and actually write something coherent.

Anyway, yesterday I picked up some stuff from the store that I’m gonna need because #1 son is moving into his house on Saturday and he’s going to be busy directing movers and shit. And tomorrow I’m going to be doing the taxes. So today I write, even though I lack a subject beyond “I have to write today”.

I told someone once about 40 years ago when I had to use a manual typewriter and paper to write because nobody could read my writing, that writing for me had the same feeling as a big BM. After I finished either one I had a feeling of relief, a feeling of emptying out that would get filled up again but was at the moment pleasantly empty. I had the same feeling back when I could still write poetry.

Current writing Jam: Pink Floyd, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pts 1-5. Thirteen and a half minutes of psychedelic instrumental music. I think I might have mentioned I was a Pink fan because so much of their early stuff was instrumental. It’s not that I don’t like vocals, it’s just that when I’m grooving to the sounds, human voices jar on me and harsh my vibe. That’s why I liked Autobahn, and Tubular Bells, both of which took up an entire album side with (mostly) instrumental music and in the case of Autobahn even then the vocals were more of an “instrumental drone” than actual voices, being in another language. And I just put Tubular Bells on for 26 minutes of instrumental jams uninterrupted by vocals.

I had to just use the restroom and put a drop of lotion on my hands because I have to wash them so often the skin gets dry and chapped and resembles the belly hide of an alligator if I don’t. Anyway I was thinking about lotion and got to wondering about lotion for nursing mothers and what they did when their nipples got dry and sore, which I know happens. Do they have a special lotion for nursing mothers to use on their nipples, that babies couldn’t taste or that wouldn’t make the babies sick like some hand lotions do if they’re accidentally ingested (old formula Jergen’s lotion was made with almond oils and smelled good enough to eat but would make you sick if you ate it, new formula smells the same but I don’t know if it is still slightly toxic). Anyway that’s where my mind wandered after washing my hands.

And I’m still thinking about mating an LS engine with an aluminum block with a T5 transmission for low total weight for the Sprint-T, because when my mind wanders it prefers to wander down the same path after a while. So, for a stock T5, the biggest LS I could use would be the L33 5.3 motor which is right at the maximum torque limit for the trans. If I wanted to use anything bigger or tune the L33 even slightly I have to upgrade the gears in the transmission. I even did the numbers for installing a T-10 4-speed with a non-quick change rear axle because it’s light and strong enough for a tuned 5.3 LS or even a 6.2 LS before tuning, but the rear gear that would let me drive the car on the highway would cause the car to do 73 MPH in first gear at redline with the race tires without installing an OD, which negates the purpose of using the T-10. That purpose being that a T-10 is 5 pounds lighter than the T5. Seriously, that would be the only reason to go with the 4 speed over the 5 speed. And the only gearset that can handle a 5.3 LS is the one with the 2.45 first gear, the rest would break the input shaft (weak spot). With the T5 3rd gear is the weak spot, so minor tuning upgrades wouldn’t break the gearbox unless I took the Sprint-T on a road course instead of autocrossing it. Again, I have been doing some serious thinking about this for a guy with no engine to bolt either transmission to. And either one would need to get faceplated for the Sprint-T because there’s still no room for a clutch pedal so the clutch would have to be a hand clutch and shifting would have to be done with just lifting off the gas a fraction to let the shift rings unlock to jam it into another gear.

Now if I wasn’t going to drive between events, and just stick it on a trailer or use a toterhome, then what rear gear I had would be a non-issue. But that would require the toterhome or another vehicle to pull the trailer, when the budget doesn’t even allow for completing the vehicle as it is, and I totally didn’t with either the Lotto or the Powerball yesterday. Now either one would seriously benefit the Casa De El Poeta budget and allow significant upgrades and taking care of deferred maintenance to both the house and the writer, but the Powerball would pay out about $2000000 a year after taxes and would also allow building the Sprint-T to desired spec and buying that toterhome. Seriously I could fix everything that needs or will need fixing including me and Mrs. the Poet in the first year, and build the Sprint-T and buy the toterhome to drag it around the country without running out of money from the first two payments (toterhomes are kinda spendy). Without the toterhome then everything could get done the first year.

OK I’ve written, and I’ve done math, and I’ve grooved to some instrumental music with some long-playing tunes, and I doublechecked my spelling including checking for homonyms and the wrong words spelled right, and everything looks good.

Not emulating Dorothy Gale today nor Almira Gulch

I had to look up Miss Gulch’s first name while the tornado sirens were going off outside. As I’m typing they’re 20-30 miles out west and heading our way at 40-50 MPH, but they’re also dissipating almost as quick as they form. So at this point I don’t know if we are going to have to hide in the master bath until the house blows away or just wait for the front/dry line to pass. The local weather radar shows the tornadoes spinning up for a minute or so and maybe touching down and then they’re gone and no rotation. We already went into the bathroom twice so far only to hear the storms were still out west of Casa De El Poeta and they were rain-wrapped. So when it starts raining I’m moving Mrs. the Poet to the master bath again even if I have to throw her over my shoulder. And my old phone just started blowing up with weather alerts. That’s the phone that has the Weather Channel app that I don’t have on the new phone. Still waiting on the rain that was wrapping the rotations on the radar, but no precip so far.

The weather people are also warning of possible hail damage that frequently comes with tornado activity, as there is a lot of vertical development that comes with the weather systems that generate tornadoes, and vertical development is what makes hail. And Mrs. the Poet is complaining about the tornadoes interrupting her dinner prep, like tornadoes have volition and they’re specifically messing with her. But we still are waiting for that rain from what has turned out to be a significant cold front 71° Dallas and 59° in Ft Worth behind the front.

And they have canceled the watches and warnings before the front got to Casa De El Poeta, so we’re probably safe. Unless we get hailed on again. There’s a bit of a breeze but nothing close to the severe weather from before sundown. The rain that was on the radar seems to have taken a hike someplace else. It was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago but so far it’s a no-show.

Happy Spring and Ostara to those who celebrate it

Today was the Spring Equinox, the day when the sun’s arc crosses the Equator and the day and night are equal. Lots of “qs” in that sentence. Today is also the Quarter Sabbat called Ostara or Oestara, and my spellcheck doesn’t like the Oe version. It was also Game Day and today was RP what our characters are doing in what in Game terms is Downtime, or as I prefer to look at it, Regular Life.

The group finally got around to fencing the guns we captured in out battle with the Featherds gang when they declared war on me a while back. I kept the stuff I wanted, upgrading my grenade launcher from one that only carried 12 in the clip to one with one more point of accuracy and a 32 round capacity, which was the one that killed the heart of the Omega Mart on the last run. During this downtime I upgraded their car that I kept as a war prize for an extra point of on-road handling. My character also upgraded the vehicle we use to transport the group, Izzy’s Rover Van to include armored leather seats that feel like heaven with heat and cooling on each seat, because after shooting it out in the middle of a Post-Apocalyptic TX summer you really need a cool place to park your butt. And while winters in 2076 aren’t bad there are enough cold days that warmth from behind is also a good thing.

But otherwise today was boring as heck because it was mostly RP and rolling extended tests for our Faces to fence stuff and turn captured weapons and vehicles into spendable money. I have only 1 point of Charisma, so I don’t take part in negotiations like this, I “negotiate” with (usually) a semi-auto grenade launcher or “up close and personal” with my katana. I prefer to keep “negotiations” at a distance, so while I continue to train regularly with the katana most of the time I’m lobbing grenades from a distance with pin-point accuracy.

I missed two races today doing this, there was an Indycar race down the pike outside Ft. Worth, and a Cup race in Atlanta. I have no idea who won either race and while that bothers me a little, I would rather interact with my friends playing a silly game while they did most of the work today. Eventually I’ll find out who won both races but right now I don’t care.

Multiple police chases near my neighborhood

So far I have heard at least 5 chases, or one chase that got too far away to hear and came back 20 minutes or so later 4 times, and I don’t know which is more likely.

Long story short all afternoon I have been hearing what sounds like police sirens fading in and out, like they were going closer to and further away from Casa De El Poeta, but none have pulled up to the house yet. And so far local news outlets are remaining silent about the situation, so that’s as much as I know. I live very close to where Bush Turnpike turns from East-West to North-South on the east side so a chase on Bush could get in and out of hearing range several times as it went from Richardson to Mesquite, or vice-versa. But nothing about a police chase in the local broadcast news as I compose this post. I don’t look at the local cable news except for how the local cable company has it as the default channel when we turn the TV on. Their weather is the best so we watch their 1700 news show, sometimes.

Since today is St. Paddy’s day we are wearing green and eating corned beef and cabbage, even though only one of us has an Irish ancestry. We do it just because it’s a good excuse to eat cabbage and why not combine that with corned beef while it’s cheap? I would have also bought Guinness, but the recent HVAC maintenance depleted the budget so that we couldn’t get beer last week. So, anyway, there will be potatoes and carrots in the corned beef with the cabbage, because that’s how we learned to make it, authenticity be damned.

Current writing jam is “Dazed and Confused” which seems oddly appropriate. The current situation is confusing to say the least. Not to mention the current political scene. And not to mention that thing in the Ukraine. There is much to be dazed and confused about/by.

I think I might have mentioned a few (hundred) times that the current (lack of) progress on the Sprint-T was frustrating. Well nothing has changed on that front, there’s still no budget or any hope of a budget, and my declining mobility is drastically reducing the hopes of getting in and out of it to drive. As was previously stated, I’m in a race I have little hope of winning. And now this reads like I’m just whining about it. So something good happened that I can’t post in this blog, so it will have to be a secret, but I can say I lost another source of frustration. Or most of it, I got something I needed but not in the way I needed to get it. I’m still working on getting it the way I need to get it. But right now it’s time for corned beef.

And after the corned beef I’m mourning my lost molars, dinner took over an hour to eat because bicuspids are not efficient chewing surfaces. Every bite of meat required several minutes to chew until I could swallow it. And now I’m mad because we spent my teeth money getting the HVAC up to snuff. I can live without Guinness, not so much without teeth.

And to wrap this up, which version of I Ran is best, Flock of Seagulls, or Bowling For Soup? Leave a comment.

Still gotta write something

If only I hadn’t gotten the TBI, this would be so much easier. I could still put poetry up here, or maybe a story. SOMETHING other than this stream of consciousness stuff. I mean S.o.C is good as far as it goes, it just doesn’t go far enough.

I have a different version of Windows 11 on this computer than I had on the last laptop, because this one kinda installed itself when I connected to the Internet and the one on my old laptop was an upgrade on the existing copy of 10 that was already on the computer. The issue is the apps I use to open certain files don’t work like they did before. I used to open .pdf files with Chrome, but doing that in W 11 results in files that try to save again in random directories of the drive selected. It could be worse, it could be in random directories of random drives. I discovered this when I bought some publications that were posted in .pdf form and they did the stupid thing when I tried to read what I bought. Windows seems to do what I want when I use the apps that Microsoft wants me to use, not the apps I want to use. In this case it doesn’t matter because all I care about is getting to read the stuff I bought, regardless. And there is no functional difference between opening a .pdf in Chrome or opening it in Edge except for changing the default app in settings.

The .pdf I’m trying to read is the e-book of the dead-tree edition of Sacrimony – A tale of love, life and death in no particular order, I bought volume 3 after buying the first two. Actually the .pdf comes free for buyers of the dead-tree edition I bought. The artist is currently having a RL scheduling problem which is impacting the updates in a negative way, just like most of the websites on that section of my bookmarks. This comic has gone from once a week to once a month, which is still better than some of the comics in that corner of my bookmarks that have gone to once a year or less. One of the comics I (used) to follow hasn’t updated in 5 years and they stopped in the middle of an arc (painting the bedroom).Atomic Laundromat At one point I was reading several hundred webcomics a day and had 9 different folders, one for every day and 2 more for the ones that didn’t update every week.

And I’m ready for sleep, well tired, but I don’t know how long it will take to shut my brain down and actually get to sleep. Not too long, I hope. But it feels like there is a bunch of stuff churning around up there that will keep me awake for a while before everything shuts down and I can sleep. But the sooner I go to bed the sooner I can go to sleep, so I’m putting this post to bed so I can get to bed.

Had to spend money on something that wasn’t food or the car

And it hurt, bunches. We were getting a decrease in the effectiveness of the HVAC and when they checked it the vents were full of dust from the clothes dryer, that we had to vent inside because the outside vent was completely blocked. They tried to clear the blockage, but it would take a power washer to get that mess out of the dryer vent. Basically we have a dryer vent that runs straight up from the laundry nook to the roof because the laundry room is in the middle of the house and that’s the only access to the outside. I see this as bad design.

We could have had the master bath and the kid’s bath back to back and put the walk-in closet and the laundry nook back to back where the master bath is now and had access to an outside wall for the dryer vent, or put the laundry in the garage to access the outside wall. It’s all just bad design.

And we are under a severe thunderstorm alert right as I compose this with nickel-sized hail falling outside the office window and glancing off it making alarmingly loud snapping noises. It was a small storm and passed by the time I completed this sentence. Saw the news after I composed this and it was a serious fast storm that extended for hundreds of miles, just not over us. The band of storms was moving about 40 MPH N-NE according to the TV weather and was gone in about an hour. Anywho, the tornadoes were well away from Casa de El Poeta unlike a few years back where the roof was pelted by debris coming out the top of tornadoes less than a mile away (storm track was just over 400 meters from the house). The TV news says many farm buildings were destroyed and animals released but the storm, but nothing fatal unless a coyote grabs a loose chicken.

And it’s about time to hit the sheets and catch some sleep, y’all take care you don’t get caught by a loose chicken with a tornado chasing a coyote.

We got food in the mail

One of the gifts we got for Christmas this year was a Snackcrate subscription. So far we have gotten a Christmas box, an Egyptian box, and a Pakistani box, with sweet and salty snacks appropriate for the theme of the box. What usually happens is we go through the box when we first get it and anything that’s a gummy or jelly Mrs. the Poet designates as mine because she doesn’t like the texture. Then we go through looking for “strange” flavors, like the ketchup potato chips in today’s box, and the chili and lime chips, and basically anything hot. Those I get also, because my darling wife has an extremely white person tolerance for capsaicin, having lived all her life with people from NYC and Upstate NY. I, on the other hand grew up as a Military Brat getting food from a variety of cuisines, from Korean to Schezwan(sp?) to Thai to Mexican to stuff I never learned where it came from unless it was Hell it was so hot. We’re talking stuff that would be a crime against humanity if you were forced to eat it, and we were fed it as kids, so maybe? Also some Moroccan because we lived there for a few months. It’s been years since I had couscous, and now that I think about it I want some.

Anywho, had some… interesting snacks today, nothing too hot, but lots of unusual tastes like Garlic Chili, and the aforementioned ketchup chips. Like I wrote, I like this stuff, basically this is what I grew up with except even stranger like the ginger and nutmeg Winter Spice Twix from the Christmas box. That was subtle, not in-your-face like American Pumpkin Spice, but still not what we get on the daily unless you get all your beverages from the place with the mermaid on the cup. And even then that’s only from September through early January. Something else Mrs. the Poet said was mine was the bag of Candycane Cookies from Honolulu, because she doesn’t like mint. That one we can blame on morning sickness after she brushed her teeth, and having to brush them again after she threw up. Yep associating mint with throwing up puts you right off from mint four decades, the youngest turned 41 this year.

As it works out after we weed out the textures she doesn’t like, the flavors she doesn’t eat, and the stuff she just refuses, there isn’t much left besides chocolate bars and cookies, so I get the lion’s share of snacks. And because I’m a Garbage Gut, I eat what’s left. I think that’s why my kids grew up to be such picky eaters, because “Dad will eat it.”

That was unreal, playing Shadowrun today

We just finished the strangest run we have ever had playing Shadowrun, we attacked a literal Omega Mart in McKinney. Basically our technomancer took down the store’s host, then we took down the magic around the store, than I attacked the heart with a 3 round burst of HE grenades and we found ourselves standing in the alley behind the empty lot where the store used to be with the ichor from the disintegrating magical beings we killed splashed on us disappearing into the mist. We literally stared in the face of Death in the process of clearing out the Big Bad.

Recapping we got hired by a sweet little old lady and offered drams of orichalcum per runner and additional drams for the party to attack a convenience store up the pike a bit in McKinney. Recon of the target was freaky, as in this video of the prototype that the GM based this run on. Remove the “employee experience” part of the video and just stay in the “store”, and add magic “employees” with combat powers and that’s a small part of what the run was about. We made the run during the one hour a day the store was closed for restocking, and the products, produce, and meat, was attacking us to great effect. We were close to a TPK at least 3 times, but we used teamwork to fight our way through and killed the store to find ourselves standing outside of where the store used to be, with everything that happened to us in the way of damage like it never happened, except for rounds of ammunition expended and healing supplies and magical items expended. Destroying the heart of the store literally undid everything that happened to us in the store, and also made the store itself cease to exist and the location return to its pre-store condition.

Also we had a post-run session where the magic-users fenced our orichalcum, and with everything shared out equally it came to ¥168000

Another thing to report not related to the RPG group, I’m typing on a brand new laptop with a 57GB SSD and a 128 GB external drive from the two computers prior to this one, the Chromebook and the windows unit after that. I’m really blown away with the speed of the SSD. Booting the computer is a whole new experience, going from a completely cold boot to reading a page on the internets in less than 30 seconds with typing my password into the computer to finish booting the majority of that time. Compared to my 4 YO computer that booted to the desktop in a little over 2 minutes, that’s almost instantaneous. Now I also have a much smaller internal storage than my old laptop, but I still have 99+GB free space to put files on my flash drive so I’m still good on space since I’m not editing videos or engineering drawings on this box. Unlike the box I had back before I got hit, where I had literally less than 100 MB of storage, and I was doing engineering drawings and simulations on that computer. This is bliss.

Another case of nothing to write but a compulsion to write something

The tl;dr version of this post is I feel the need to write, but I don’t have a topic springing to mind at the moment. I think I wanna write about the Sprint-T, but I don’t have anything to say about it, except for how frustrating it is to not have a budget for building this thing.

I have been thinking about also the dedicated A-Mod racer with the aluminum block LS engine sitting next to the driver for the lowest possible polar moment of inertia, because if you can’t do anything with the main project distract yourself with a different project that has even less likelihood of completion than your main project. The idea driving the LS A-Mod is offsetting the engine and transmission to one side and putting the driver next to it but offset the other direction so that the two moments balance out. The exhaust will run over the driver’s legs, and the driver’s butt will be right about even with the rear face of the block. This will mean the engine will be offset about 10″ away from the driver because of having to clear the physical parts of the engine specifically that bellhousing, but the driver could be offset more than the engine. Like I already know how far to move the engine when the driver sits completely behind the engine and there is some left-to-right overlap, it’s just basic algebra to use when they’re side by side. Basically the engine has a moment relative to the driver, the driver has a moment relative to the engine, and the two moments have to add up to 0 when the car is built. This kind of stuff is what I do for fun and relaxation, and I’ll say it first: NEERRRRRD! I’m literally doing a word problem, for fun. Sioux Geonz teaches remedial math to college freshmen and I’m told sometimes links to my blog posts as examples of real-world applications for what she teaches. If it helps, I’m happy with it.

Anyway part of the reason the engine is beside the driver is another moment problem. If the driver is in front of the engine like most formula race cars, it stretches the car out and results in a larger moment than if they are side by side, and for this particular style of racing this makes the car with the larger moment slower than the car with the smaller moment because the smaller moment lets the car change directions quicker. And if your car can change direction quicker then you can cover the distance the direction change has to take place in faster. And as in everything about cars this results in a tradeoff, the driver is exposed to more heat sitting beside the engine than if they are in front of the engine and not under the exhaust. There’s also the location of the cooling system to consider in the heat loading situation, in that there is a greater likelihood of the radiator blowing on the driver with the side-by-side driver-engine configuration because the cooling system is literally hung off the front of the engine and is easier to plumb if the radiator is in front.

And I’m writing right now because I’m trying to not think about the Ukraine, and dinner is ready, so I’m going to put this post to bed now.