Other than that I really don’t have much to write about. I have pretty much exhausted my words about being p’ (can’t afford a vowel poor). Plasma donation turned out to be a non-starter financially. And doubly so when the health risks are thrown in the mix. So, that avenue is blocked off.
Basically all the side hustles I have been doing until last year have either folded, or are outlawed because rich people couldn’t use it to exploit people or because the tax laws changed. That comes to about $500-600 a year gone from the budget, which was a pretty big chunk of change compared to the rest of our budget. Now for most people losing $0.5K/an would be barely noticeable, but when expenses keep going up, income going down hurts immediately. When expenses go up you eventually run out of places to cut to make up the difference. Mrs. the Poet and I have been discussing making cuts in the communications budget, dropping TV and the landline and just sticking with the mobile phones and a $15/mo ISP that has a slightly slower bandwidth. That would require purchase of an analog adaptor for Mrs. the Poet’s 20th Century television, and possibly something to connect my TV to the Internet. I’ll lose most of my racing shows as they are on cable-only channels, but I’ll live without racing. I won’t be happy, but I will live. It will be a reduced quality of life, but I will live.
Now the question becomes how far am I willing to let my quality of life decline before I start selling my very healthy kidneys on the black market? And how much does a healthy O+ kidney go for? Because I have pretty much exhausted all my legal sources of income, so that leaves the quasi-legal sources of income. Any rich people reading this? The latest pricing information I can find is from late 2012, which all say $1K-10K depending on blood type, but nothing on which type is higher valued. So, I’m going with the $1K number which is almost 2 months expenses, more or less. Again the risk versus return is out of balance. And I have nothing to prevent my quality of life from eroding away. All the things to make money I can do are now done overseas or by robots or AI, or are a health risk or actual life risk.
Seriously, what can I do?
It was 37°F and raining when I went out to buy toilet paper and a lottery ticket. If I’m not willing to buy a lottery ticket, then I don’t deserve to win. Figuratively and literally. I’m not checking my numbers until after I get up, so right now I’m Schrödinger’s rich guy. Until I check the numbers I’m both rich and dead broke. It was interesting walking to the local C-store and literally seeing the same store brands as my local supermarket, and seeing how little traffic there was because of the weather. I was the only person on foot for the entire 1 mile round trip. And now I’m cold and tired and want to sleep…
OK it has been raining all afternoon, both yards are flooded, and the forecast is for near-freezing temperatures by morning. The cats are staring out the windows and hissing and growling, some at the weather, some at each other, and neither one wants to sit in the cat tower with the comfy cat beds. And when they stop hissing, they both try to sit in the same lap, which they don’t fit on. But even ignoring the cats’ problems, the weather is still a concern. The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell are under 3 alerts or warnings for road, river, and flash flooding.
As I’m also stuck waiting out cold and wet weather I still make plans for building the Sprint-T, even though I still know I have no chance to build one. Just because I have no way to build it doesn’t mean I can’t still want to build it, I just can’t build it. But, (big but) I can build it in scale, at a budget I can afford.
And the cats are crying again. Time to console them.
Mrs. the Poet appears to have caught some kind of bug and has temporarily (I hope) lost her sense of smell and taste. Her loss means she has decided to skip spending money on food she can’t taste and spending bus fare to get to food she can’t taste. While this disappoints me, upsetting my wife disappoints me more than skipping dinner out.
There is humor to be found in the situation, however. Anytime she uses a word with a long “u” or “oo” sound, she honks like someone strangling a goose. It even makes her giggle sometimes. It’s the little things that keep us from killing each other sometimes, but I’ll take it.
I spent an hour crawling over and around the bucket body seeing how much room I had for feet and master cylinders, and if I bend my knees a little I might be able to get 3 master cylinders and pedals between the body and the bellhousing, 2 brakes and one clutch, but if I end up with a SBC there ain’t no way in hell there will be that much room. My knees would need to be around my chin to have that much room. I sure hope that winning lottery ticket comes through soon…
Posted in Daily post
As I type this the #3 is still steaming in Victory Lane at Daytona, they just dumped the cooler and poured the Gatorade on everyone. Now they’re out of Gatorade and are dunking everyone with Coca Cola, that is going to be one sticky mess… annnd now the confetti cannons are dumping ’bout a hunnert pounds of crepe paper bits all over everything and everybody. And after this they are going to wheel the car directly into the museum and display it for a year. When they get the car back they are going to have to reskin it with a new body after they powerwash the frame. The last time the 3 was in Victory Lane was after the 1998 500 with Dale Earnhardt Sr. was driving, and he died at Daytona in 2001. So it has been a while.
There were a lot of wrecks, but the Big One held off until 2 laps from the end, and took out half the field, that had been already drastically thinned by previous wrecks, so there were not many cars capable of running with the lead pack on the last overtime restart. They still managed to wreck after the white flag on the way to the checker, but only took out another two cars including the car that was leading at the time. At least they managed to finish the race, the Xfinity race yesterday took five tries to get done and there was only a handful of cars left for the closest finish in NASCAR history. I didn’t get to actually see that live as I had errands to run but the finish was replayed during the pre-race broadcast so I didn’t miss it.
Anyway, I have a celebration not involving motor racing coming up, that I need to get ready for.
If I had a project like the Sprint-T sitting in my garage, instead of scattered around my office, I could distract myself from the idiots in power by puttering around on it instead of mentally screaming. At the very least I would be doing something useful to somebody.
Well I have been trying to get some work done on the Mini Sprint-T, as much as I can do given the condition of my cutting tools and measuring instruments. I really need to get new blades on my hobby knives and saws, and the battery in my calipers died making reading the distances more accurately than 1/16” a guessing contest. On a project where that scales as 1.5″ on the full scale prototype that degree of accuracy ain’t gonna cut it. But at least I can visualize where the bits will go on the real car. But yeah, 1/16” is the diameter of the frame tubes so I need to measure much more accurately than that. I mean .01″ is a scale 1/4” and you would notice in a heartbeat if the wheels were mounted that much off on the real car.
Tomorrow is the Daytona 500, aka “The Great American Race” aka “Opening Day”. Also my 40th wedding anniversary. But Mrs. the Poet has already said we aren’t celebrating tomorrow but rather on Monday, so I can watch the race and enjoy it without fear of reprimand especially since I’m buying dinner and paying for the bus passes to get there. I’m using the money from that one gig that pays in multi-store gift cards that work for the Red Robin in my neighborhood, and other places. This is also the same card I used to buy the lights for the kitchen, and the candy I gave her on Valentine’s Day. I can’t spend it everywhere, but I can get pretty good use out of it anyway.
Well we’re coming on 48 hours since 17 people were killed by a deranged gunman who wanted to turn FL into a white ethnostate (WTF is a “white ethnostate”?). AFAIK this includes genocide against all the non-white residents in FL because I don’t think they’ll just all pack up and leave nicely. Leaving that aside, not only has there not been a vote for gun control, there has not even been a bill proposed to control gun access for people who shouldn’t have guns. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. I have voted on more gun control bills than Congress at this point.
Getting (more) serious at this point, there are 3 common characteristics of a mass shooter we know of for sure: Male, white, and domestic abuser/abused (one or the other sometimes both). So our gun control law has to block people who fall into all of those categories from getting anything more deadly than a single-shot .22 rimfire (action doesn’t matter so long as each round is loaded into the gun one at a time and has to be either fired or removed before another round can be loaded) because “right to bear arms for hunting”. Easiest one to work with is the “domestic abuser/ed” especially the “abuser”, because there are a lot of white males who own guns and are not abusers and don’t commit mass shootings. Incidentally this profile is also a close fit for people who use cars as weapons against cyclists and pedestrians, except for the minority of abused women who kill with cars. Maybe we need to have an annual review of domestic abuse and drivers to get killer drivers off the roads. But back to gun control, there used to be restrictions against domestic abusers having guns, but those were overturned, mainly because it caused too many LEO to lose their guns. Which is also troubling. I’m not sure what the intersection of the sets of deadly cops and domestic abusers is, but I’m pretty sure there is one.
The problem is there is no defined “domestic abuser” law that’s consistent from state to state, thus no registry of abusers to use to prevent abusers from getting guns or taking away guns from people likely to do a mass shooting. So that’s step one, making a national definition for “domestic abuse”. Step 2 is making a registry for people convicted of it, and maybe a “3 strikes” law that 3 accusations in a limited time puts you on the registry because in some places getting an abuser in jail requires a victim in the hospital for an extended stay, or even a body in the morgue. I can’t make people convict, but if there’s an arrest that means there was evidence of something worth arresting someone over, and 3 times in a limited period of time is the smoke that identifies the fire.
Now this is not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing, which is what we have now.
Yesterday I had to get up about 4 hours earlier than my normal rising time. That was just the start of a seriously shitty day. I had to leave before I finished my coffee, and barely had time to eat an envelope of PopTarts before throwing my raincoat on and heading out the door.
To pass the time enroute I opened my Twitter app on my phone, and was greeted by videos of a mass shooter making his way through a FL high school. Wonderful, another school shooting with a double-digit body count .
Close to Over 2 dozen injured or killed yesterday. And that makes 19 times this year that a firearm has been discharged on school property…
So anyway, about that rain coat. Basically it’s vinyl windbreaker with no ventilation held closed with Velcro and held together with vinyl tape after as many years as I have had it. That means it’s a sweat generator, and the hook part of the front closure snagging on everything in range, and that hook part dangling loose after Mrs. the Poet borrowed it without understanding it was delicate because of the tape. So hot and basically catching on every fabric surface in a half-meter radius, because there was a misting rain and fog when I left the house that ended before I even got to the transit center to catch my second bus. I carry my wallet in a drawstring bag I throw over one shoulder, so I stuffed the jacket into the bag and had it under my arm the rest of the day.
This brings me to the visit with the Lab Rat Keeper. It seems that stopping the anti-depressants was a Bad Idea from a blood pressure point of view, as I have been asked to augment my current med (Byvalson) with the diuretic HCTZ to get back to the numbers I had when I was taking the anti-depressants. In case you didn’t know or forgot, I stopped the anti-depressants because I can’t live with the side effects of no sex life or sleeping all day and night. Whodathunkit? Depression is bad for your blood pressure.
And getting back to the school shooting, the shooter was 19 and legally bought his assault weapon after learning to shoot and maintain it as a cadet in JROTC. As a graduate of the Navy version of this program more than 40 years ago, I can say that wasn’t the cause, but it probably did teach him how to use the rifle. And since it’s more than likely his instructors were combat veterans he likely picked up the “run and gun” protocol he used from one of them. But how does a 19YO with documented mental health issues get that much firepower with multiple magazines and a brick of 1000 rounds of ammunition? I mean that’s the Mass Shooting Starter Kit, did nobody at the gun store contact the police?
And that’s all my stomach can handle.
Actual books, I have been reading actual published books that I paid money to keep and read. Well, keep on my computer and read on my Kindle app, which means “keep but not for long”.
Anyway, the list of titles is not very long. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, the book about the Trump administration, I still haven’t gotten through. Turns out my tolerance for stupidity is just as low in print as it is in person. How to Build Motorcycle-engined Racing Cars (SpeedPro series) I’m skimming the text and looking hard at the pictures, because that’s where the meat of the information is. I mean he writes like me when I’m writing about the Sprint-T and the TGS2, but pictures convey that information better than words. I just can’t show you the pictures in my brain and he had decades of example pictures to choose from. And most recently Bite Me: Big Easy Nights (Wearing the Cape Series) is part of a Superhero series I started reading because it had an in-canon story crossing over with a web comic I read Grrl Power only this isn’t a comic. This is straight text, no illustrations. I already had the first and last books in the series when Amazon had a sale on this one, so I jumped on it. I bought it yesterday evening and finished it before I went to bed. And yes I prefer light fiction to the insanity in the White House. Superhero stories actually have to make sense and have a consistent internal logic, the Trump administration… “Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow.” Spock, in “I, Mudd”.
So, today I tell you about what I have been reading, tomorrow I tell you about my trip to the Lab Rat Keeper. And my trip to buy Valentine’s candy cheap to give to Mrs. the Poet on our anniversary.
My mind won’t let go of the plans for the Sprint-T, mulling over bracing and suspension pickup points. I know I have no chance of making enough money to build it at this time and for the forseeable future. I still want to build it. I have fifty years of unrequited pent-up desire that refuses to let go of the dream to build a T-Bucket, and over 30 years of wanting one to race in SCCA Solo racing, dating back to when it was called Solo2 to differentiate it from track days.
And that pretty much covers it for today. Nothing going on and not much to say.