Category Archives: Daily post

No RPG this week and other stuff

There is a standing joke that the most difficult part of running an adult RPG group is getting everyone there at the same time a.k.a. scheduling. And we have one member of the group participating in a 3 day Magic the Gathering tournament who just happens to be the GM who’s running things… So no game today. Actually we would be playing this evening because one of the other members has a Sunday morning shift for some reason (he works for a bank?) and another member uses the morning and early afternoon to be with their Significant Other.

This is the game that my character is an AU version of myself, or as close as the game mechanics will let me, because some of the stuff I have done IRL would break the game mechanics. The specific instance I’m referring to is when I got hit with the truck. Now there is the possibility my character could survive that, but the player’s guide puts it outside human limits, not just by a little but a lot given the speed the truck was going when I was hit. I would have to be something with the Body stat of a Dragon but looked like a Human, and I’m not sure that exists in game. Or it could be that I have Natural Armor of some kind in the game. See my backstory page (link at top of this page).

Since we weren’t going to be playing I decided that maybe this would be a good day to go back to church since they don’t start until 1300, but when I got out of bed that idea was quickly vetoed by sharp pains in the bottoms of my feet, as I evidently Did Something my feet didn’t like. I have no idea what that might have been, but I have no doubts I Did It, because the evidence is there. It must have been something I did before I put my shoes on, which means it could have been almost anything. Or it could be just accumulated wear and tear coming back to bite me. See the previous paragraph for an example of “wear and tear” I have accumulated. And speaking of painful feet mine are getting cold and I need to lie down and get my feet under a blanket, so I think I should do that now.7

Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

Yep, looks like *45 has placed our collective butts firmly in a Hell-bound handbasket. I don’t like posting politics to this blog, but this is pretty serious. Our *president has committed an act of war without formally declaring war, making us Japan in 1941. Only this time we lack the excuse of not having a typist to type the declaration of war to deliver to the president, like the Japanese ambassador in 1941. Our *president was perfectly capable of sending a Tweet to Iran telling them we are going to start shooting, but he didn’t even do that.

As I posted to twitter the only thing I’m thankful for is none of mine are eligible for the meatgrinder for reasons of age or already in a critical LEO position. The only one close to being in the grinder is my ex-Marine son-in-law, but he’s also the one in a critical LEO position. But still I’m worried about the people who are subject to the meatgrinder.

On other subjects Mrs. the Poet is still waffling about the date for her operation because, I dunno? She’s afraid the operation will leave her like her sister? There is a slight chance it won’t work and will leave her in worse shape than she is now, but TBH there is only one way she’s in worse shape and still alive, because she’s all but bedridden now. Also I’m getting tired of her complaining when there is a paid for option to mostly fix her problems, but it can’t fix everything and every delay means more permanent damage that will last after the recovery from the operation. Kinda like what happened to me except swap “Physical Therapy” for the operation. And “SOOL” for “paid for option”. But she has Medicare which means she has at least some access to getting things fixed. And her waffling about getting her problem fixed when I’ve been living with the pain for years just sets me off, especially when she complains several times a day about her symptoms that will go mostly or completely away after she gets her operation.

Anyway, “Agent Orange” bad, war with Iran bad, people getting killed unnecessarily bad, flushing billions of dollars down yet another Middle East War toilet bad, Mrs. the Poet not getting her back fixed, super bad from my perspective because I don’t know all those other people and I have to listen to Mrs. the Poet complain several times a day.

Happy New Year!

It’s now officially twenty years after the year The Jetsons promised us pollution-free manufacturing, robots, and flying cars, and we still don’t have any. We are now 21 years past when we were promised Moonbase Alpha. We are more than 35 years past when we were promised protection from alien invasion from space kitties by UFO. We’re working on 19 years since I was killed by a drunk driving a city pickup truck. That one actually has nothing to do with the other 3, I just though I would throw that one in. We are 19 years past a promised orbital hotel/transfer point in 2001: A Space Odyssey which also had a moonbase of some kind under construction. And I lost my deposit for the shuttle when Pan Am folded .

The point of this post is we are in The Future, and the future doesn’t look like anything Hollywood has been telling us it should be. So while we need to imagine a New Future minus a bunch of things we had been promised in the Old Future, we have a bunch of things Hollywood missed back then, but overall we are decades behind what was expected in the sci-fi media I was consuming growing up.

I accept some of the blame for this because it was my generation that should have been doing these things, but older generations also dropped the ball when the Moon program was halted in the early ’70s. It was as if Columbus hadn’t found any natives in his first voyage, and nobody came back to America. We seriously dropped the ball on making The Good Future, and got stuck with the Dystopia Lite we’re living in today. I mean seriously, almost nobody wanted this mess except for the 1% making bank off of it. And as they are the ones who had the power to create this mess, and are systematically dismantling the means of winding it back, I think we all know who are mostly responsible for all the neat things we were promised but don’t have now.

And I think I’m going to end on that note to keep this from becoming a rant against the 1%.

Merry Christmas!

Because my son-in-law’s relatives are upset that we have monopolized the grandkid the last 6 Christmases we are doing our presents Saturday over pizza, so I don’t know what I’m getting yet. The cats are getting flea treatments because 1) they don’t know that Christmas is any different than any other day, and B) they really need flea treatments.

I take that back, I do know some of what I’m getting because Mrs. the Poet let me open my present last night… in bed.😍

We are having ham for dinner with our son and I guess I’ll get back with you Monday after family presents on Saturday and RPG party on Sunday. Once I know what I got for Christmas, I’ll blog what I got for Christmas.

I’m not dead again yet

And that is one convoluted headline that wraps up my life in a sentence. I’m just reading and doing stuff, practicing making exhaust tips and things. I haven’t made any real good tips yet because I keep collapsing the tubing against the bending post, because the differences between soft enough to bend and soft enough to collapse are this much (holding fingers almost touching) and I haven’t got the touch down yet. I need to get the spatial relationship between the heat source and the bending post better, but ATM I have zero idea what that should be. What I’m looking for is close enough to get the soft tube to the bending post while it’s still soft and so I don’t have to let it get too saggy and stretch it out and make it too small. There are literally thousands of ways to screw this up and I’m finding most of them.

Mrs. the Poet wants me to be in bed at the same time she is, and so do I. It’s getting close to the time she gets up, so I’m putting this to bed now and me shortly after.

Being out of sync with the rest of the world is freaky

OK little infodump here but I don’t have what is considered a “normal” circadian rhythm. For some of you this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but for some of you knowing I live in the US Central Time Zone is going to be a bit of a surprise if you track my posting schedule. Or lack of schedule because I publish whenever I finish composing a post, no matter what time of day it is. Basically what it looks like is my body is working on a 26 hour day, and if I just do my thing and work and sleep when I feel like it, I lose a day every month or so. But for a good part of my life I’m on Vampire Hours which means I get faster internet because not as many people are using it, and there’s nobody calling me on my phone.

But because I have to interact with the rest of the world on a regular basis, I lose that day more frequently so I can sorta get back in step with the rest of the world. For instance if there is an event coming up that would be during my sleep cycle I stay up as long as needed to get my sleep cycle sometime between midnight and 0800, usually meaning I’m up about 36 hours to get to sleep at midnight. That also means I’m usually going to bed about the same time as Mrs. the Poet gets up until I have to reset. That’s the really bad part about it, because Mrs. the Poet is still not used to Vampire Hours. But anyway, I do the model building and picture taking when the natural light is better, and the writing when the internet is faster. You get the idea.

And it’s about time to reset to “normal” time again, as I went to bed after 0600 the last 2 days, which really bothers Mrs. the Poet which makes her complain I spend “All day in bed!” when it’s the same amount of time asleep she spends in bed. I just don’t like to get out of a nice warm bed and let my feet get cold. So to counter that I have slippers, fuzzy on my Xmas list, right before the swat pants because I have discovered how comfy they are when the thermostat is set for economy over “running naked through the house comfort” in the winter. I think Mrs. the Poet would like “running naked through the house comfort” over low electricity bills except when she sees the electricity bill.

A little late, but here it is

Sorry to take so long but I finally got a decent picture saved someplace I can use to post it to the blog.
See that teardrop opening?
There’s a wrinkle that doesn’t show well in the picture because of the angle, but is glaringly obvious IRL. So this part is Just Practice while I perfect my technique. Also I have been looking at pictures in catalogs and online of turnouts that used this method and they have egg-shaped openings, not teardrops. That means I have to work on my technique even more to get the opening right every time.

Since I spent so much time trying to get a good picture today after trying to get a good turnout yesterday I’m up past my bedtime and I really need to be awake when the stormdoor installation team shows up in the morning, I’m putting this to bed and then myself. Hasta la Friday. Which I know is ungrammatical Spanglish, but anyway, Mañana

I spent hours practicing

Last night I did the bender again and started trying to do the “sliced tangent to the inner radius” exhaust tip. Now while I was building my tool and practicing bending the raw stock I was listening to YT Music on my phone, which ran the battery down so I couldn’t take pictures after I was done. But I promise pictures for tomorrow after the phone gets charged.

The tricky part is the heating of the raw stock to make it soft enough to bend without causing the tube to collapse. I ruined many bends because I overheated the tube and collapsed it. I also discovered that heating the stainless steel bolt I’m using as a bending post doesn’t work for tubing at all, unlike solid rod. If the post is warm enough to soften the plastic, the wall of the tube next to the post collapses before the outer radius starts to bend. In retrospect I should have expected that, but I was thinking in metalworker mode not plastic model builder mode. The way to go for the plastic tube is to spin the tube on its long axis with the intended bend area in the heat source (butane torch flame) until it gets soft but not floppy, then put it in the bender and make the bend. This has to be done extremely fast because the temperature spread between floppy and rigid is very small and soft enough to bend and too cold to bend smoothly is even smaller.

Anyway I discovered another reason for using the sliced bend exhaust tip, it leaves a delightful teardrop shaped opening besides directing exhaust away from the car, similar, shorter, but not exactly like when the reverse technique is used for side-exit exhaust. But I wasn’t expecting this shape from the inside bend, I was expecting a more oval shape opening. Maybe when I get a better quality bend the shape of the opening will be more oval than this attempt. But better quality requires more practice and there is a limit on how much raw stock I can waste on practice. I really need to reserve one stick of tailpipe material for the final build so I have enough length. But I will get a picture of the pretty practice tailpipe for tomorrow’s post

Here’s the link to that lean-burn Corvette

Lean burn Corvette testing video.

You can see what it does IRL on real roads. This video was done last week and uploaded Saturday 12/7 so cold weather which is very bad for gas mileage because of increased aero drag and rolling resistance. Now my car is going to have horrible aero especially compared to a 1999 Corvette. If I’m lucky I’ll get about 30 MPG highway because of that, but that is still about as good as I got with my 1987 Hyundai with the non-overdrive 4-speed transmission. My best Dallas-Nashville mileage was about 31-32 back in the early ’90s partially because I was driving at night and missed everybody’s rush hours for all the cities I hit. Again, 1980’s technology and no overdrive with a carburetor but I did have an external oil cooler running as low viscosity oil as was available at the time, I think 10W-30 non-synthetic because synthetics were like 3 to 4 times as much as petroleum-based oils and as always we were Not Rich even then.

So, now that we know what’s possible, let’s see what we can do with what we have.

I have been practicing on raw stock

This is a technique I haven’t used since the last time I was building models for/with my son when he was a child, who will be 42 next birthday. So to say I was out of practice would be a gross understatement. So I decided some practice on some of the raw stock I’m using for the exhaust would be in order. I decided to start on the hardest exhaust end first because if I could a decent job on that the others would be a piece of cake.

Well the pictures didn’t turn out so good because the new phone doesn’t do macro very good, the old phone used to do macro real good, but this one stinks. Also it’s all white plastic so while I can see it, the camera just doesn’t pick it up well at all. But given the limitations of the technology here’s a before pic. Actually the other end of the tube that hasn’t been worked yet, but you get the idea.
that's a thick-wall tube if I'm trying to emulate exhaust tubing
And after, notice the thin edge looks like the whole tube is really thin.can you see how much thinner the tubewall looks now?
On a different background and lighting to make the difference more noticeable.That's really thin now
And before really needs a contrasting color on the edge but the tube wall is still discernible.needs better lighting and a better photographer

So this was the straight-cut tip, the tip I’m going to be emulating in plastic is the turn-out tip, where the tube is bent around a radius and then cut tangent to the inside of the bend right where the bend begins. This is a classic hot rod design motif that forces the exhaust in a different direction without enlarging the width of the exhaust in tight confines. The normal use is to turn the exhaust down in front of the rear axle when a combination of no ground clearance and not enough floorpan clearance when the axle is at full bump prevents routing the pipe over or under the rear axle. Or like I’m doing putting a side exit exhaust where there isn’t a lot of room to the side and you don’t want to hang a sharp edge out on the side of the car.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words then I have posted enough for today. Next step is to fire up the bender and make that turn-out tip.