Category Archives: Daily post

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.

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I can’t win

I have spent all day trying to get the new computer to connect with the WiFi, and so far no success. It finds the routers in the area, but just doesn’t connect when I enter the security key. At this point my only option is going back to the store and seeing what their techs can do.

In other news Clint has been sitting next to my chair pretty much all day. The box with the new AC is right in the flow from the fan from the old AC, which will be gone soon as I recover from taking it off the top shelf by myself last month. And TBH I have to make room for the old one to come out and be able to get the new one in which is going to be a battle with all the stuff that just got thrown in the room when my office was thrown out of the bedroom.

It’s about bedtime here, the cat is howling to be let out, and I have to get up early to take the computer back to the store. Also I need to hook it back up to the charger so it will run when I take it to the store

It hurt terribly to spend the money

But now I have a keyboard with all the keys working. And seriously, even getting $80 off the retail price before taxes, spending $200 after taxes still pains my cheapskate soul.

But I forget my manners. Readers this is Lenovo ideapad 330 with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of onboard storage, running an Intel Celeron processor and fitted with WiFi capable of 100 mbps transfer if my WiFi was that fast.

Now getting this laptop was a story in itself. I checked my available balance at the grocery and found the $300 I had requested for getting a laptop while they were on sale which I thought ran through Sunday night. But when I got home I discovered an email telling me to move my butt because the sale ended midnight Saturday. So I hopped the next bus out to the Maul (as Mrs. the Poet calls it) and got myself into the electronics store running the sale. As I was browsing the laptops I discovered that they were literally getting sold out from underneath me. I managed to snag the last of this kind of laptop in the country after the first two I tried to buy for home delivery got bought before I could complete my transaction. I tried to get one with a faster processor first, then an in-box version of this computer, then the last out of box one left anywhere was in the store. So, I ended up spending a whole lot less for just a little less computer. But the fun wasn’t over yet, as there wasn’t a bag big enough to carry the thing home in and it had started to rain again. Google Maps and the Dart text system both said it was almost 30 minutes until the next bus, but it turned out the rain was interfering with the bus location system out there in the boonies and the bus was running late so I didn’t have to stand 28 minutes in the drizzle waiting for a bus. I still had to walk almost a half-mile from the bus stop to Casa de El Poeta in the rain though, and Mrs. the Poet complained about how I smelled when I got there. My hat needs another bath I guess.

So anywho, I have this fancy new Virus and Malware transfer protocol Windows 10 laptop and all I need to do now is figure out how to transfer my reference files from the Chromebook to my new computer so I can use it fully. I guess that means long nights on Google for a while.

Still thinking about the steering on the Sprint-T

I have been told that thinking is a bad thing for me to do, and bad things come from it. But someone sent me a link to a rack and pinion steering system that was supposed to replace a Vega steering box and I got started thinking, did it really? From the initial blurb it certainly fit in place of a Vega box, but did it function like a Vega box?

Note to Siouxy, this can be used for advanced adult education in math.

First to get apples to apples we needed to get common units to determine functionality. The Vega box is spec’ed in box ratio and turns lock-to-lock, the rack and pinion is spec’ed in turns lock to lock and throw. So we have to figure out the throw of the Vega box, which boils down to the chord of the arc swept by the Pittman arm going from lock to lock. But first we have to “cipher” the angle of that arc, or convert ratio and turns lock to lock into the angle swept by the steering arm.

The Vega box has a ratio of 20:1 or 20 turns of the input shaft equal one turn of the steering output shaft, and 5 turns lock to lock for the input shaft. Reducing the fraction gives us 1:4 or the steering output shaft has turned ¼ of the way around, or 90°.

The formula for the length of a chord when you know the angle it sweeps is 2(sin(½Θ)*r) or in English 2 times the quantity the sine of half the angle times the radius of the circle. In this example we already knew the radius of the circle as the center to center distance of the Pittman arm, is 6.25″, and the angle as 90°, so half the angle is 45° and the sine of 45° I know as 0.707 from our friend Pythagoras and his theorem as 1/√2. So throwing all the numbers and functions together in the right order and rounding to the most significant digit we get a throw of 8.84″ for the Vega box and the Pittman arm that comes in the kit.

So now we have common units with which to compare the rack and pinion to the Vega box it’s supposed to replace. From the web page we know 3.75 turns lock-to-lock and total stroke of 5.25”. Right away we can see that while there aren’t as many turns lock to lock, it doesn’t move the front wheels as far as the Vega box, and comparing the throws and the turns lock to lock as a ratio we find the Vega box is 26% quicker than the rack and pinion in a head to head apples to apples contest, and gets 68% more steering angle at full lock. Now which one wins depends on what your criteria for the system in the car are, but for the Sprint-T application where the idea is to get the wheels changing direction as quickly as possible so the car can go fast on a slalom or get around a single pylon turn as quickly as possible having a greater steering angle at the wheels is better. Corollary to that is getting to that angle faster is also better. Conclusion : I’m not buying the rack and pinion kit, even if it was cheaper instead of about $80 more. I get more steering angle quicker for less money, and adding the steering quickener and the electric power steering assist just builds on that.

Laptop is back up and connected

It’s working but I don’t know for how long it will stay working. I did the usual computer troubleshooting routine, modified because a Chromebook won’t boot without an internet connection and no internet connection was the problem. Anyway I knew that the WiFi was working because multiple devices were connected to it, so I went to wireless mode and got a good clean reboot. Connection diagnostics came back all green so I plugged the Ethernet back in to get in highspeed mode so I could get some actual work done.

There are still bits and pieces falling off, so I really need to get $$ for a new laptop. I’m torn between another Chromebook or one of the cheap Windows laptops, mainly because it is hard to find a Chromebook with actual storage, and because Windows still has a “virus/trojan of the day” problem. But the price difference from the last time I had to buy a laptop is gone. So, I could buy a Windows unit with adequate storage and wipe Windows for Ubuntu, and probably pick up a performance boost when I’m not using the internet. And still be cheaper than a Chromebook with similar storage, because Chromebooks with hard drives sell at a premium compared to the 16GB SSD units. So, this gives me a few weeks to raise cash for a new laptop (because desktops tend to be gaming units that are ridiculously overpowered for surfing the web and writing blog posts and short stories and have price tags that match their power.

And now I need to take care of the e-mails I couldn’t read on the phone and do more research on laptops suitable for my needs. This will not be a quick process.

Internet down for the laptop, but not the phone

For some reason I can’t get to any pages on my laptop, but using the same access with the phone works perfectly. That means I’m back to hunting and pecking on a screen instead of touch typing on a keyboard. It’s an odd thing, running connection diagnostics doesn’t always get the same error, but it’s consistently either the DNS or Google Services. I know the DNS is Frontier, but who’s responsible for Google Services? If you ask me it’s a dirty trick to force me to buy another computer.

So is there a full size keyboard that plugs into an Android phone?

After melting running errands yesterday, blessed coolness today

Yesterday I was depositing checks and picking up my pulls from the comic shop and basically melting in the sun as the temperature again approached the triple digits. I also got my toes done as I was snagging the sheets again when I didn’t wear socks to bed, then walked the 0.9 mile from the nail salon to Casa de El Poeta for a full limit on my Sweatcoin collecting. Speaking of Sweatcoin, I still don’t have enough to cash out any, but I’m getting there, almost $15 right now. I need to get a bunch more to have enough to cash out at $50.

One thing that is hard for me to get used to is the thought of actually having money to spend on days I’m not doing the lab rat thing. My mentality has been when I’m out and not visiting the LRK I don’t have any money unless this is a trip to actually spend money on something specific. And that I wouldn’t have a couple of bucks to spend on a cold drink and a snack if the urge took me. So I stopped at Jack in the Box and got a Cherry Coke Zero Sugar™ and a slice of half-price cheesecake one because I needed it and the other because I could. Well I didn’t need the Cherry Coke Zero Sugar™ specifically, just something cold and wet, but the cheesecake was definitely because I could.

Now today it was much cooler as the first of two cold fronts passed through leaving temperatures in the mid-80s most of the day. It’s only 91° as I get ready to get the lottery with the $15.25 million jackpot. Back from the store. And just for giggles I also bought a ticket for the Powerball $223 million jackpot, which the first year payout will have more than enough money for us to live on the rest of our lives. I suppose we could move to a small town without internet and set them up with Gigabit internet just because we want it and letting everyone else have access just makes sense. Seriously, I have so little experience spending money in large sums that after setting up a retirement account to take care of my financial needs for the rest of my life I have no idea what to do with the rest of the first year payment.

Well if tomorrow’s post doesn’t make much sense, I’m still drunk from celebrating winning.

My brain does evil shit to me sometimes

Yesterday after falling asleep on the toilet and then faceplanting into the keyboard I went straight to bed to stare at the wall waiting to sleep. Yep, in spite of literally falling asleep in one of the most uncomfortable places in the house just minutes earlier I was wide awake in the bed. No, I can’t explain it either.

Well something that might explain it is my ant bites/stings are both healing and starting to get infected, both of which lead to discomfort from itching. Some are healing up, some are getting infected, and I think the difference is which are bites and which are stings. I can’t tell the difference which was which now, because of inflammation and infection, but before that set in bites had two punctures from the mandibles, while stings were just a single puncture, from the stinger naturally.

Anywho, I spent several hours thinking of nothing and counting my breaths to try to relax and get to sleep, and sometime before sunrise which was 0643 this morning. I count breaths instead of sheep because I keep trying to write stories about the stupid sheep, why are they there and why are they jumping over that stupid fence and where do they go after they jump over the fence. And then I interview the sheep as to what’s happening, if they are running from anything or to anything, and I can’t find my notepad, and somewhere along the line I’m having a nightmare about what the sheep are running from and why they are so orderly about it but at least I’m asleep. When I count my breaths I avoid the nightmares about persecuted sheep. With as many PTSD triggers as I have I really don’t need more nightmares.

And speaking of my favorite mental illness… I think Trump tweets have become a new anxiety trigger, especially when he starts tweeting about wars. I can’t verify this hypothesis because I unfollowed @realDonaldTrump from my twitter so I don’t see most of his trash, but the ones I do see cause me a case of the willies, even the ones where he’s not on about the Russians and Fake News. Those are the worst, followed by Trade Wars, but even the twitter fights about LeBron James are upsetting for some reason. I would rather have the dreams about the sheep than read Trump Tweets. Maybe it’s because I spent so much of my youth scared to death about a crazy old man with his finger on The Button, afraid he would snap and put us all in the end scene of Planet of the Apes or Them!. Trump is old enough to remember that shit, but took too many drugs in his teens and twenties to remember much of anything.

And I’m melting in the office whie my laptopis acting crazy and only intermittently recognizind keypresses and I can’t see the kyboard clearly anyway, Office topped out at 90°F this afternoon.

A good day role playing…

Beats something or other.

The toxic shaman went after us, we didn’t need to go hunting her. Yes, her. She’s a 12YO girl with terminal cancer caused by a radioactive waste dump too close to her village, which triggered her going toxic as a shaman.

And I just faceplanted in the keyboard, after falling asleep on the toilet a few minutes ago. I can take a hint that I need to go to bed. I don’t think I damaged the laptop any further than I had already, but I definitely need to get to sleep. I have errands to run tomorrow, and need to be rested in the morning.

There was more money than I expected in my account

Well we have established that the payment is deposited first/last of the month. And there was more money in my account than I expected. I was expecting about $54 after the overdraft from the charges for the checks but there was $100 even. Did not expect that.

The GM says we are going after the Toxic Shaman that created the local population of KillDeer we just tried to wipe out in tomorrow’s game session. As long as he/she remains alive the carnivorous KillDeer are going to reproduce, and also be created from the local whitetail population. Obviously we can’t allow this to continue, But Toxic Shamans are outside of what we loaded out for, we came for venison for the Bar-b-que later in the month to balance out the feral hogs my character has been hunting for bounty and meat. Now we are going to go up against a major ecological disaster in the making and the person responsible for it. This sounds like it will be a fun session.

Now I need to go to the local C-store and get a lottery ticket. The jackpot is $14.5 million, which means I get about $125K after taxes and Mrs. the Poet will get about a quarter million after taxes with our agreed-on division of the funds. I wanted to give her more, but the 2/3 to her was as much as she would take. And I will have more than enough to live on and buy toys with, so I’m set even if taxes go way up. We will probably leave the winnings pooled for the first year or two to take care of things we both need to take care of, like knocking the house down and rebuilding it with decent plumbing and a solar roof and solar water heater, but after that we will do the 1/3 to me, 2/3 to her.