Category Archives: Daily post

Happy #WorldPenguinDay !

I didn’t get a notification from Calendar about this, but Twitter filled in. Have a kipper (herring) and kick back. Or you could go for a swim with seals and sea lions. From what I understand penguins hydrate from the fluids of their prey, so there’s no canonical penguin drink you can kick back with.

I also went for a walk to buy a lottery ticket. The jackpot payments come to an annual $150K/an for me and $390750/an for Mrs. the Poet, post-tax. I will have enough to do everything I want to do, and so will Mrs. the Poet. She’s planning on taking care of all the house problems by just knocking the house down and building another house in the same footprint as the house we have now. My contributions to the plans so far are my office will run across the north end of the house as the single-pitch solar roof is 34 feet tall on the north end of the house. Another contribution is a concrete-and-steel reinforced cinderblock construction for both the external and internal walls with insulation on the inside and vinyl siding decorating the outside. This means that the entire first floor of the house is a tornado shelter, in addition to being highly resistant to the local hooligans with guns.

And someone shot a cop yesterday, who died this morning, a few miles from Casa de El Poeta. I used to shop regularly at the scene of the crime, a Home Depot store just off Forest Lane and Central Expressway. I commend DPD for their restraint in apprehending the shooting suspect alive and relatively healthy.

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I’ve been letting my mind wander, but it always comes back

Of late lacking the ability to do anything constructive on the Sprint-T I have been setting my mind loose to create other things, like a recumbent cargo bike, for doing what cargo bikes do, but faster and more comfortably, and a special for the A Mod class in SCCA Solo racing using a lawnmower engine , or a motor out of an electric forklift. I like A Mod because the rules are so open, minimum wheel diameter 10″, minimum wheelbase 72″, minimum wheel track 42″, and minimum weight 900 pounds with driver and no fuel, no maximum engine size, no restriction on undercar aerodynamics, no restriction on overcar aerodynamics aside from a maximum of 20 ft2 total for all wings.

And I have been following the reports from Nashville, Toronto, and Grand Prairie with equal amounts of revulsion. Props to Canadian LEO for not shooting the driver in the sidewalk terror attack, likewise to MetroPD for managing to take a known armed crazy without further bloodshed. Unfortunately the one semi-local to me at this point appears to be suicide by cop. At least that’s the first report, which is wrong about half the time. But missing from all these reports is motive, why did they do what they did? The Canadian perp was described as “angry middle eastern man”, but what he’s angry about, nobody is saying. And I just read on Twitter the Nashville shooter belonged to a right-wing hate group, big surprise.

And Clint and Clyde have been acting like crazy cats because, well they’re cats and… Clint in particular has been howling at the windows and then changing his mind about going out about 3 times so far before finally walking out the door. That’s 3 times walking the length of the house and back plus standing waiting for Clint to make up his mind while looking out the door.

I have another trip to the Lab Rat Keeper tomorrow, so no post Tuesday.

Still thinking about the Sprint-T and Happy Earth Day

I was walking and thinking about the Sprint-T. The main thing I was thinking about was torque control of the rear axle and how to do it without spending any more money than I already have. The current plan and existing hardware for locating the rear axle and also mounting the springs and shocks uses a part called a “swing arm” that I have shown a picture of in the past.
These are MY swing arms
Well, I can slightly modify one piece to run a steel link with rod ends that runs from a bracket on the rear axle to a bracket on the nose of the swing arm. This would triangulate the swing arm and make it a rigid link that would prevent the axle from rotating under power and because it’s offset to the right also plant the wheel that lifts when power is applied. Basically what it amounts to is welding a pair of plates to the nose of the arm with a hole to run the mounting bolt through, then running the previously-mentioned link from a bracket under the axle to the nose of the swing arm. Now I couldn’t do this for the 3000 pound car this part is intended for, but for ~1500 pounds and 300 or so horsepower it should be adequate. And if it isn’t the part that would bend or break is not very expensive and is easy to replace, that being the rod end on the front. So I guess I would need to keep a pair of those rod ends and a pair of generic vice grip pliers to remove the broken bits from the swing arm for a roadside repair. But I should be good because the Speedway catalog torque arms for this size vehicle use the 5/8” rod end while this part uses the 3/4” rod end which is up to 30% stronger. And another benefit of controlling the rear axle rotation like this is the ability to almost instantly change the pinion angle from street to race and back again. It’s like a turnbuckle to control the pinion angle.

And with a torque arm this short I would need to run brake floaters to prevent wheel hop under heavy braking. The floater decouples the brake torque reaction from the rear axle and sends it directly to the frame via another radius link, making the rear frame area visually cluttered but dynamically simple. Because the Sprint-T has such limited wheel travel short links from the brake floater to the rear hoop of the roll bar will work in spite of there only being 5″ from the center of the axle to the roll hoop. Then instead of using spring rates and shock absorber settings to control the brake reaction at the possible detriment to handling and grip while turning I can leave those settings for hustling through the corners. And these links will be under very little load, because the torque reaction under braking would be forward from the axle, while the traction reaction from the axle would be backwards. So lightweight aluminum links would work fine between the floater and the frame.

And while I realize my little project isn’t as earth-friendly as riding a bicycle, it’s still an order of magnitude better than anything on this list . So, have a happy Earth Day anyway.

Hitting peak allergy season

Short note about the current battle with pollen: pollen has the upper hand, thanks to post-nasal drip and eye contamination combined with allergy meds that cause drowsiness. I can barely see to type and Mrs. the Poet os expressing concern over the cough caused by the post-nasal drip, with comments like “Are you dying back there?” and “Do I need to call 911?”

Trees are trying to kill me

Today’s walk is cancelled on account of pollen. I can’t take two steps without a debilitating sneezing fit. Trees are trying to kill me with their sexual discharges. I’m dying of tree bukkake. And I’m having trouble seeing. Most of the time I like trees. Not right now.

The Bristol race is finally over

It took two days, but the NASCAR race from Bristol Speedway in TN is finally complete, and Kyle Busch and the #18 Skittles Camry won. It took extra time because there were still showers in the area. The racing was typical Bristol pushing and shoving, but not as extreme as usually.

I’m getting ready for another walk this afternoon to collect more Sweatcoins, and think about how to build the Sprint-T. I do my best thinking while walking, so I spend a lot of time thinking while I walk. Mostly I think about other things, because I’m not always thinking about cars or the Sprint-T in specific. Mostly just thinking at random.

And I’m back. It was a little over 2 miles, and I’m a little under my max Sweatcoin collection for the day. I did the loop instead of the out-and-back so it’s a bit shorter and doesn’t get as many Sweatcoins but on the other hand I’m never more than a half mile from the house when I take the loop in case I have to bail back for any reason. And there were a couple of times when I felt like bailing when my legs started getting shaky. I feel better for a couple or hours after I get done with a walk, even when I feel crappy during the walk. I wish Mrs. the Poet could take walks, but she refuses to learn how to walk with a cane.

Weather came through when I wanted to walk

Well you know the saying about best-laid plans of mice and men. About the time I got free to take that walk last night we got more severe weather. Tornado watch severe weather, with high straight-line winds, and much lightning. But when I went shopping today the app seems to be counting outdoor steps just fine. But I’m still not seeing the daily bonus coins after I click on the designated ad.

C’est la vie.

Another update for Sweatcoin app, and weather

OK I’m taking a walk tonight to see if this latest update fixes things, but the app is tracking steps again around the house. I think maybe I’ll take the opportunity to buy a lottery ticket, as I keep telling Mrs. the Poet, the odds of winning are almost zero if you buy a ticket, but absolutely zero if you don’t buy a ticket. And we are among the teeming throngs who could live a comfortable life if that chunk of income was shifted down a bit.

We had a dry line move through this morning but it didn’t wake me up, and another forecast for this evening, but not much rain near Casa de El Poeta. It was mostly wind and lightning according to Mrs. the Poet. The cats were not even bothered by this morning’s rain, and I can’t find any evidence of the rain outside.

And just for a few minutes yesterday I was considering centerline seating on the Sprint-T to see around the engine, since raising the driver’s seat enough to see over the engine would also raise my butt high enough to clear the transmission tailhousing. But that was quickly discarded because of the previously discussed raised Center of Gravity issue. Also the issue of running the steering from the center to the steering box on the left side of the chassis with the engine in the way.

But other than that I don’t have anything worthwhile to post today.

If it sticks out, it sticks out

I have made the decision. The engine will stick up, out, and sideways and I will look around or over as required because I put the bottom of the bucket body even with the bottom of the car. This will get the C of G as low as possible for best handling, and since handling is the #1 priority for this car inside the superset of [Win Goodguys Autocross], compromise will be made that prioritizes handling over things like seeing out of the car and gas mileage. The main reason the Sprint-T even exists as a concept is participating in autocross and solo racing and winning Goodguys. I’m not happy about not being able to see around or over the Pentastar leaving a big blind spot to the driver’s right front, which means the Sprint-T is not going to be a daily driver. And using it for trips between races is going to require some method of seeing what’s behind the engine. Maybe having two different seat inserts, one for racing and the other for just driving around? That would mean the shoulder belts wouldn’t work for the “just driving around” insert because they would put my shoulders too high to be safe. And the SCCA rules about roll bar heights above the driver’s helmet would mean that when my eyes were high enough to see over the engine just driving around the halo of the roll cage would be right next to my head. Not good, so the simple expedient of raising the driver’s seat is out. But the alternative is raising the body and everything above the body by roughly 7″ which in turn raises the Center of Gravity, which reduces speed at ultimate grip. And that runs counter to #1 priority in the superset of reasons to build the car. So, more thinking is required on this.

In other news my Sweatcoin app is completely screwed up and stuck at 100 Sweatcoins, not even counting the bonus coins for clicking on ads in the app. And I can’t buy anything in the shopping section of the app with 100 coins, except discounts for things I don’t want. This makes the app pretty much useless for me until I can start collecting more Sweatcoins.

On a tangent, I keep hearing a violin instrumental cover of the Twisted Sister song “I Wanna Rock” in a TV commercial, but I can’t see to find it to listen to minus the smarmy commercial voice-over. I really want to find it as a stand-alone. The concept sounds as crazy as AC-DC played on cellos and we all know how that turned out. So far all I can find is this duet with guitar which is good but not the music played during the commercial. Which I was able to find. Not as good as finding the music separately, but at least I know the name of the violinist. Damien Escobar. Now I need to find a clean track of the whole song minus the smarmy announcer and more than 60 seconds long.

Seriously!? Again?!?

I was out and about again today after seemingly getting the Sweatcoin app back up yesterday. Well it happened again, zero steps detected all day, in spite of a 1 mile stroll in the middle of my travels. The stroll was to get from my bank to the nearest Jack in the Box for the BOGO special on the Ultimate Cheeseburger, today only and only in TX (suck it OK!). But as nice as half-price half-pound cheeseburgers are it’s still annoying to not get my steps counted when I almost have enough Sweatcoins to cash some out.

The other reason to go out today was the reason I stopped at the bank, Mrs. the Poet had a check to deposit for getting the sink fixed. And if there’s enough left over after doing that I get to get a massage. I don’t know about there being enough money for a massage, but there should be enough to get some pork chops and ground beef (the person sending the check suggested buying some meat).

I mentioned last post about the Locost homebuilt Lotus 7 clone community, and shared some pictures of Locosts. Now I’m not abandoning the Bucket, but you have to admit the Locost would solve a lot of problems I’m having with packaging on the Sprint-T, like getting the body mounted, and trying to see over and around the Pentastar engine, keeping the CofG low and the whole nose thing. TBH the whole engine-offset thing has really messed with the nose of the Sprint-T, where hiding the mess under the Locost’s hood really cleans things up. The Sprint-T will have the engine hanging out the passenger side of the body because of the pinched firewall on the ’23 T is barely as wide as the engine. The 5″ offset for balance can’t help but hang the right 5″ of the engine out of the right side of the nose. I suppose the idea I had to “unpinch” the nose that I demonstrated with “Stick-aided design” would help with this (cue the picture re-run).

It's sticks taped to the body, what were you thinking it was?

Enormous amounts of bodywork aside the smooth cowl modification would have done the job at hiding the engine offset nicely, especially if accompanied with hood sides and top that keep the engine hidden but adequately ventilated. And “adequately ventilated” means just enough metal between the louvers that there is a strong semblance of structural integrity without blocking any airflow.