Category Archives: Daily Feed

What happened yesterday and the State Fair trip today

When I left off yesterday I was barely succeeding at preventing a face plant into my laptop. I went to bed right after posting and slept until about 1000 this morning. I had my coffee and a warm poptart from the replacement toaster that showed up yesterday. I much prefer my poptarts to be warmed inside and slightly crisp from the toaster outside, rather than the cold from the package ones I have been having since Mrs. the Poet killed the old toaster. The reason we have a replacement toaster is the one I got the beginning of the month came with a defective timing mechanism that would not hold the bread-lifter down to toast. The heating elements would get power and start to warm things up but I had to hold the bread lifter down myself until the poptart or toast was done, not a practical thing to do when you are almost asleep and the coffee hasn’t kicked in because it’s still in the pot.

So anyway, yesterday. I went to bed about 0230, tossed and turned until maybe 0400, got up 0610, and stumbled through taking a shower until 0650. Unfortunately in order to get to the LRK in time I had to leave the house at 0645 and be fully dressed. That wasn’t happening. I finally got dressed at 0710 and got ready to catch the next bus and hope to salvage something of the day. I got to the LRK about 1015 for a 0930 appointment. Fortunately there was an opening in the schedule because someone(me) had missed an earlier appt. and they moved everyone else up because they were early. Then the fun started (again, pt. 2). My blood work from the previous visit had something that was out of limit for the study and hours were spent on the phone discussing it. In the meantime my blood sugar was dropping like the proverbial stone, because I had been up since 6-ish with nothing to eat or drink except the tiny swallow of water I used to take my antidepressant. The upshot is I’m going to have to go back Tuesday for more tests and I may have to miss my religious retreat/camping trip next week. Then I had to stop along the way to pick up something I bought earlier, then wait an hour for the next bus home and get bread and by the time I got done with that it was after 1700 and I was dragging tail. After dinner I tried to post to this blog and well you saw how well that turned out…

That brings us to Fair Day!😆😈 Time to look at cars, eat anything deep-fried, look at the quilts and other fine crafts, and walk ourselves to death. I had less of a problem because Mrs. the Poet doesn’t like to try the cars on like I have to. There were some of the cars that I had a much easier time getting in than getting out and vice versa. The thing was there was a lot of time I wasn’t on my feet that Mrs. the Poet was standing outside the cars, not good for her problem with her back. If anyone is interested Mrs. the Poet wants a red Corvette, a dark blue Camaro, a white Mustang, or a gunmetal Challenger. Add a black Fiat 500 Abarth to that list for me, on the costs-are-no-limit list. On the other list we had several compact hatchbacks with gas mileage in excess of 35 combined and still-spritely performance. We had nachos, deep-fried cookie strips, lemonade and Dr. Pepper ice cream for our fair food. There was a lot of stuff we wanted to try but that was the limit of our food budget ($20), and we had come on a day that had cheap food.

Looking at the crafts I learned there is an adult scale model class. I also learned that the Mini Sprint-T would qualify, which means that if I get to building I might be able to enter the finished model next year.

And it’s about time for bed again…

billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet.

Good news and bad news

Let’s take care of the good news first. Yesterday Plano Cycle gave me a practically new RANS Zenetik Tour bike with 3 X 9 SRAM drivetrain and Shimano 105 dual pivot brakes and 700c-28 wheels/tires. It rolls like a dream.

Now the bad news. The first time I tried to ride it I got my right foot tangled in the frame trying to get off and fell heavily on my left shoulder hard enough to dislocate my clavicle. It popped back in as soon as I rolled off my side and on my back, but I can only raise my left arm as high as the keyboard on my laptop now. It has been so long since I have had a bike that I can ride that my hips have gotten too tight to swing my leg over the seat when I get off the bike and my right foot got tangled in the top tube as I was trying to put it back down for another swing over the seat, and I went down, hard.

Back to the good news, I rode 0.4 miles from the bus stop to Casa de El Poeta without a problem holding my head up to see where I was riding. The seat needs to be lowered a skoshi bit because I was using my toes too much to pedal, but everything else seems to be good. The brakes are phenomenal, I didn’t need to shift on the level street between the bus stop and my house, and the bike just barely fits the bike racks on the front of DART buses, but it does fit.

The reason Plano Cycle said they gave me the bike is it was a trade-in that they had sold originally and then couldn’t sell for anything like what it was worth. So rather than take a loss on it they wrote the whole value off as a “charitable donation” and gave it to their favorite poverty-stricken cyclist, me. I don’t like being a “charity case”, but I will accept it, since the alternative is not riding a bike.

PSA, Opus

I live, I die, I LIVE AGAIN!

OK if that sounds familiar it’s a quote from Mad Max Fury Road. And it’s perfect for the day I started composing this post, because 15 years ago I died. Not that I try to keep that a secret. But yeah, one more year and I can drive again.

Now, I promised that my next post would have pictures of the new wheels and rear axle for the Mini Sprint-T.

First up, what fell out of the bag after I broke the seal.

Wheels and hubs and the brake rotors in a small plastic bag.

The rear axles, center sections and axle tubes. The 1/1 scale center sections are stout but light.

The brake rotor on the hubs as delivered does not leave room for a caliper.
If you look carefully you can see the hub resting against the rotor. Not good.

Wheel outer half, hub, and rotor sitting separately.

The hub in the wheel.

The axle tube will become the standoff for the rotor so there is room for a brake caliper between the hub and the rotor.

The hub on the tube with the rotor.

Now you can see how the standoff is supposed to work.

And you can see the problem with the wheels and tires as a team.

You can see how far the whole wheel sticks out past the tire.

As you can see I have a bit of work to do to make these fit the models, all the hubs need to be fitted with the standoffs and the axle tubes trimmed to the right width for the car, the standoffs need to be slightly sculpted to match the 1/1 hubs so I will be buying some Sculpy to bridge the gap between the hub and rotor. But this car build is moving along.

The next issue to take care of is the differences between Henry’s Tin and Speedway’s Fiberglass. As I was laying out the frame I noticed the body wasn’t lining up properly, so I did a bit of measuring on the model body and the Speedway body and a bit of research on the Internet I found out that the kit body was pretty close to the 1925 car it was modeled on, and the Speedway body had been “stretched” a bit to fit “late model” humans in width. With the cowl problems I already noticed that means I need to do a lot to make the kit body fit my frame. So what I decided to do is a 3 step process to go from the AMT kit body to the Mini Sprint-T body.

Step one is filling all the holes in the AMT body with plastic Goop-ed in place and pulling a mold off that. Then I can remove the fill pieces and use the kit body as intended for the kit. Using this mold I cast a hard resin plug to use for stage one of the body mods, work the plug over to correct the contours of the cowl and back but don’t widen it yet.

Step two is taking the cleaned up plug and pulling another mold from it, then pulling a vacuformed body from that mold. The vacuformed body is then corrected for the width issue, filled with resin and cleaned up to make another plug for another mold that I can use to vacuform the final body. If I like the way the final body turns out I might do a run of bodies until that final mold wears out. If there is enough interest I can then use the final plug to make another mold and the process continues until I get tired of it or people get tired of buying the body. Step 3: Profit!😀

And a little late posting, but here we are.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

The parts came in today!

The hubs, wheels, brake rotors, and rear axles for the Mini Sprint-T came in the mail today! Yay!

Everything is going to require some kind of modification from the delivered state except the brake rotors for the front wheels, they are within a couple thousandths of an inch of being the right size and only the rears will require any change in diameter since they are about a half-inch smaller in 1/1 scale and that would be noticeable in 1/25 scale.

The wheels measured out as 10″ wide bead-to-bead in scale, with the street tire wheel needing to be 8″ and the race tire wheel needing to be 14″, some work needs to be done on all of them. The back half of the wheel measures out about 2″ too wide for the street version, so narrowing that to the right width will get most of the adjustment for the street tire. The back half measured too narrow for the race wheel by a couple hundredths of an inch and the front half was over 0.1″ too narrow for the race tires. Both of those will require some finicky work to get the right width.

One thing that will require work is getting the rotors the right distance away from the back side of the hubs. As delivered the rotors mount to the rear face of the hub with no clearance, but 1/1 the rotors are spaced away from the hubs in different widths depending on the brake calipers being used. The solution for that is very easy. The rear axle tube is just the right size material for this and the tube will have to be trimmed a large amount to get the width right in the back. So the hubs and rotors will be glued to the rear axle after trimming for the right width and brake rotor offset, then the leftover bits of the rear axle tube will be used to build the front spindles to the right size and brake rotor offset. The tires won’t roll, but that is a small price to pay to get the offset right. That does leave me with two metal axles that run inside the rear axle for the tires to roll that are redundant. The front wheels won’t turn left and right either as my tools won’t let me work that small.

Naturally all of these modifications will work much easier with a lathe for making square cuts in round parts. Hint, hint.

I’ll have pictures ready for tomorrow’s post, I promise.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

More on not being depressed, this might get a little repetitive

So far this week I have gone to the Lab Rat Keeper, and bought a stamp and mailed a letter at the post office in one day, taken a 2 mile walk to buy cat food, fixed dinner (beans, rice, and vegetables) and had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet on another day, took another two mile walk and had another long conversation with the Mrs. on another day, had a shorter conversation with Mrs. the Poet, went grocery shopping, had another two mile walk and stopped to correct a $0.40 mistake on the grocery bill yesterday, and so far today I had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet plus all the regular maintaining life functions stuff and the day’s barely half over. The conversations are what has Mrs. the Poet excited the most. Seriously this is like meeting an all new person for her as I was already depressed (but didn’t know it) when we first met.

The letter was an order to Ron Coon Resins in NE for 8 Wide 5 hubs, 8 disk brake rotors, 8 wheels, and 2 quick change rear ends. I’m at the point I can’t do the front axles without the actual hubs I’m going to use, so this will let me move on with the build(s). Yes that was a plural on the build, I’m making the “ultimate” build with the LS7 engine at the same time as the “most probable” build with the Small Block Chevy, so I have a 3D blueprint for making either one of them. I’m still trying to find brake calipers for the rear brakes, I found some good ones for the fronts but GM Metric calipers are very hard to find in 1/25 scale. In contrast 1/25 or 1/24 scale 4 piston calipers are common. Most are not cheap (except the Model Car Garage die-casts at $5 a set of 4) but they are available.

On another note I have been thinking of how I could get some pedal time in while I’m on the computer, but I’m at a technical impasse. Anyone know how to make a Chromebook shut down gracefully when the voltage is taken away from the charge port? I think this would be a software thing. I’m trying to get my computer to run on a pedal-powered battery charger and use the battery to keep everything going in sleep mode when I quit turning the pedals. I’m thinking connecting the pedals to a car alternator to make dirty 12VDC then filtering that to the clean 9VDC the computer needs with lots of caps and “stuff” to make an LC filter and a linear regulator for the final output with another filter cap across that output to make it absolutely ripple-free, and then plug that into my computer.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

One week until my Death Day celebration

That’s right, next week will be 15 years since I died. I’m trying to decide how to celebrate it, I’m thinking another zombie theme party complete with Jello “brains”. But I am open to suggestions. This is a celebration that while I died, I didn’t “stay dead”. I think the same thing that enabled me to fight through 40 years of depression without giving up completely also wouldn’t let me stay dead in the street after I got hit.

This year I would like gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon, or a small lathe if anyone has one they want to get rid of. I could do so much with something that would let me turn stuff up to 2″ diameter and down under 1/16“. I could make my own tires as a fer’instance. I could make my own rims from aluminum barstock, or widen and narrow kit wheels to fit other tires. There would be a lot that I could do with a small lathe, things that I could monetize. Building a model race car and need some oddball size race slicks? Easy peasy. Making road tires would require turning the tire to size and somehow carving the correct tread pattern into the blank, I’m not sure I could do that as I’m not a sculptor. Thinking about it I can follow a pattern that I could print off and transfer to the blank, by making the pattern from a picture of the tire in question. That would be time-consuming but doable. And then cast a rubber tire from a mold made from the blank. Thinking about it some more I could also make tires that don’t exist but could, like a 26X16.50R-15 Hoosier Pro Street. Currently the shortest 14″ wide tread Pro Street is 29” tall, that nobody makes a scale replica of anyway.

But enough of lathes and what I could do with one. What kind of party do you suggest?

PSA, Opus

We’re 10-ish

Sometime this month back in 2006 I started this blog on another blog provider who has gone out of business. This year I stopped the daily updates and the bike wrecks, which after a while to decompress has done wonders for my mental health.

So, I have been doing this for a decade now and barely managed to hang on to a few shreds of sanity. I don’t even read bike wreck stories any more except by accident when I’m looking for infrastructure stories for personal reading. I have even stopped reading certain web sites known to have extensive coverage of bike wrecks. But I still enjoy writing blog posts without bike wrecks, I just wish I had more to write about.

I have been planning the Mini Sprint-T construction for a while now. I have raw stock that I can use to build the front axle up to a point, but not completely. I need the hubs, and rod ends for the tie rod and control links to mount the axle to the frame. When I build the axle, and the rest of the car, I will document it here in this blog with lots of pictures. Because that will give me something interesting (to me and I hope to you) to write about.

And because I have written all that I have to say for today, this post is ended.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

About that K’zoo wreck

The wreck in Kalamazoo has been dominating my social media, so I will make a comment on it myself.

It sucks.

But wait there’s more. The driver should be tried on 5 counts of murder, and 5 more counts of attempted murder for the 4 surviving cyclists and the pedestrian who was grazed just before the cyclists were hit. I’m serious about this. This was just as much a mass murder as the Santa Barbara shooter last year, with the added caveat the “shooter” in this case was only stopped by the failure of his weapon, which he then abandoned in an attempt to escape.

Seriously, this asshole needs to be looking at multiple consecutive life sentences without parole, along with seizure of assets to pay back victims’ medical bills and confiscation of any proceeds he gets from prison industries beyond one bar of soap a month and a new toothbrush every Christmas. I’m serious on this one, the survivors (aside from the one pedestrian who was only grazed) are looking at medical bills that will run into the millions of dollars between them. I speak from experience on this one. My bills from 15 years ago were $250K for the initial stay, with another $45K to $50K for each of the subsequent operations required to fix the things that were either missed in the initial carnage or had to wait for some healing to take place before they could be done, like removing my hardware after it was no longer needed to hold my leg together. Add 15 years of medical inflation on to that…

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I don’t know if it’s just allergies or something worse

As it says in the headline, I’m having a medical problem I can’t define. Sometimes allergies will affect my speach and make certain consonants difficult to pronounce, but lately I’m having more and more troubles with just getting the words out above and beyond the brain damage induced aphasia. I mean with the aphasia I know the concept I’m trying to convey, but not the word or words that mean that concept. This case I know the word or words but I have difficulty pronouncing the words correctly, there are slurred syllables and missing consonants or entire syllables. It’s like I forgot how to talk. This scares me.

Seriously, words have been my life for almost 20 years now starting as a spoken word poet back in the late 1990s, and progressing to bicycle activism 2004-present. I could fight through the aphasia because I knew the right word was inside my head somewhere, all I had to do was find it. This is something different, something worse. This is my body not doing what I tell it to do, stuff that I have been doing all my life. This is literally on a par with forgetting how to ride a bike, or how to walk. I had to learn how to walk again after the wreck, but that was mostly due to the massive nerve damage rewiring where I felt things in response to walking, and my brain “fixing” that by learning where things were connected now (although I still get itches on the front of my ankle when I need to scratch the back of my foot). This is worse, this is literally having to think about how my mouth moves when I talk when I should be thinking about the words I’m trying to string together into a coherent sentence, paragraph, statement.

Fortunately I can still type normally even if I sound like I have a mouth full of marbles when I talk. Or maybe not and I catch it in editing, but still, the words that get published are done right.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Yay! Two of my favorite things come together and it isn’t a Reese’s Cup

We are coming up on the biggest weekend in motorsports what with the GP of Monaco, the 100th running of the Indy 500, and the World 600 wrapping it up from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

What got my motor runnin’ was this link Hundreds plan to bike to Indy 500 to avoid traffic and parking problems about (not) fighting traffic getting to IMS Sunday. Now if we could get that from hundreds to thousands…

PSA, Opus