Category Archives: Department of DIY

Just a quick post before going out

I have more things that Have To Be Done Right Now today, so that means I won’t get done with today’s post until sometime early tomorrow morning. I won’t bore you with the minutia of my day, but if I don’t get this done today Somebody will not get to go on vacation this year and I don’t want to have to put up with that.

consider this post to be a placeholder more or less, except I’m not going to take it down when the other post gets finished.

PSA, Opus

Chafing with antici.. wait for it, wait for it… pation

I’m getting tired of waiting. I want “Chris Christie” off my neck. I got tired of the “ugly lump of useless fat that is a pain in the neck” months ago, now I’m tired of waiting for it to be gone. I started this trip back in June 2014, when I was for sure I had health insurance (I had to fill a prescription for antibiotics and presented my insurance card and got $50 worth for like $4) and it took until now to get scheduled. Now I just have to wait until there is a free spot in the OR.

I’m still working on the Sprint T, mostly as a distraction from waiting to get my neck sliced open. I used a hunk of tubing from a bike project that got stalled when my source for another size of tubing I needed to complete the project went out of business to plot where I would put the body mounts. The tubing is not the same size as the frame rail it represents, but I was able to get a good idea of where the mounts will go under the body. The manual for Speedway’s kit that uses the same body suggests 6 mounts, 3 to a side. I can get to the far corners of the mounting flange and keep the frame rail under the body, and also for the middle of the body so I’m good to go on that front. I also go one up on the Speedway kit by putting the mount directly to the body instead of through the plywood floor that is glued to the body. You can see roughly where the mounts will go by looking at this picture.

The front mount will go right behind where the front of the body is resting on the floor about 3/4” from the outside and front edges, the rear mount will go about even with the back edge of the floor cutout in the body and likewise 3/4” from the outside edge of the body, and the middle mount will go on the line connecting those two about the middle of that run. I wish Chrome had a decent photo editor so I could make those marks and lines and show you where the mounts will be rather than just telling you.

There is a method to my madness in this. I’m trying to simplify the frame construction as well as knock as much weight off the build as possible. So, I’m changing the frame design again so that I have 3 distinct sections that can be built independently of each other so I am not filling my entire workspace with the full length of the frame all at once. The front part of the frame, the part where the engine goes and the front suspension is attached, is two parallel rails on the bottom with a front and rear tubular bulkhead and a diagonal from the top of the front bulkhead to the bottom of the rear bulkhead. The top of the rear bulkhead and the top of the front bulkhead are connected by the upper frame rail when the front clip gets welded to the passenger compartment section. The rear part of the frame is also two parallel rails on the bottom, with a front and rear vertical bulkhead made from a tube structure braced with a sheetmetal diaphragm, and an upper frame rail made from the same material as the lower connecting the two bulkheads and likewise sheetmetal used to brace that assembly as the rear of the frame makes the trunk/fuel cell container completely separated from the passenger compartment. Those two assemblies define the width of the frame where they meet the rest of the frame. The rear bulkhead of the engine compartment is also the front hoop of the roll cage that defines the upper frame rail, and the rear hoop is mounted to the part of the frame that connects the front and rear clips together and runs under the body. The real fun part is the entire roll cage runs outside the body to protect the driver and any passenger that might be unlucky enough to be on board in a wreck, and as I wrote earlier use the largest possible dimensions for the frame to use the d4 principle to make the frame torsionally stiff. And this means I will have to figure out a way to get the body inside the frame after it gets finish welded and everything painted without having to cut any diagonal braces or scratch any paint. I think maybe I should build a couple of “ship in a bottle” models to get ready for this. The old style, where the ship was built except for the rigging outside the bottle and then rigged inside the bottle.

Actually, I’m thinking that the diagonal braces inside the body are going to have to be bolt-ins that are installed after the body gets finally installed through the side or top of the frame. If I have to go through the top that means the top braces are going to have to be bolt-in as well, so I might just make the whole mess bolt in as a single unit if it makes it any easier to do. Or not. :o

PSA, Opus

You are allowed to hate me now, and the Feed

I’m constantly hearing from women about how hard it is to lose weight. All you ladies are officially allowed to hate me now. I weighed 220 on March 31 in the doctor’s office, and the certified scale at the grocery store reported I weighed 211, so that is a pound a day with nothing more than reducing the amount of meat I eat in a day by maybe 20% which ain’t much considering how little I eat to begin with, and dropping salty snacks for a week. And taking a couple of long walks during that time. It also reported a BP of 106/65 and a BMI of 32, which would be obese to morbidly obese if it was anyone else who was not “blessed” with bones as dense as concrete. Another reason for ladies to hate me I guess, I won the “jackpot” in the bone density lottery.

Up first because terrible behavior needs to be highlighted. Uninsured lorry driver who killed cyclist admitted he went through a red light Uninsured, driving an unregistered vehicle while driving with a revoked license, Mrs. the Poet thinks he should go directly to jail and just set up permanent residence there. His only saving grace in this wreck was he was not drunk or on drugs, which in a way is even more disturbing because that means he did it deliberately with a clear head and assumably with a clear conscience. More Lorry driver banned from the roads five times admits jumping red light and killing cyclist

Another preventable wreck in the UK that has wended its way through the legal system. County settles with widow of cyclist killed by pothole Dudes, if your potholes are big enough to kill cyclists trying to ride over them, you are way, way behind in inspection and repairs. You deserve to lose this case. More Pothole council pays ‘six-figure sum’ to widow over Clevedon charity cyclist’s death

Another idiot wreck, only this time both the idiot and the victims are one of us. Wheelie cyclist ordered to repay couple after crash Yep, you got Mad Skillz riding on the back wheel, but not enough to prevent you from injuring a couple on a tandem while you were running the red light.

Hey, even people in car-sick Houston are building bike lanes. And then people are parking on them. Dear Houston: Bike Lane ≠ Parking Spot I’m in agreement with one of the comments left with the article, drivers that block the bike lane should get immediately towed.

Our Daily Ted. San Diego cyclist dies in solo fall after suffering medical problem; bicycling deaths down nearly 75% from last year Sorry for Ted on having to report on such a sad incident. And then there’s the regular link fest from Ted. Morning Links: Evidently, Great Streets require skinny street sweepers; bike share moves forward in Beverly Hills

Mexico is getting corrupted by the US in more ways than just the narco cartels. Death of a night cyclist: how a fatal accident could change Guadalajara The deceased cyclist was wearing a reflective vest and had a bright light on the back of the bike when he was hit from behind, and the driver still claimed blindness…

The DIY DoT in OR. Signs posted by frustrated Salem cyclist are taken down I don’t see what the problem is with the signs, aside from possibly the reflectivity requirement they were MUTCD compliant.

If anything ever deserved the “crap infrastructure” tag from this blog… UPDATED | Cyclists still at risk a year after Mathilde Blais’ death, Projet Montréal says There is a tag that posits that “sidewalks are not bicycle infrastructure” and the obverse, “bicycle infrastructure is not a sidewalk”, but seriously this is a major “fuster cluck”, of detached “solutions” to pervasive problems. The people in charge are putting out “hot spots” when the whole forest is on fire, and then they can’t understand why people are still getting killed. But when you have a budget that barely pays for a little bit of paint when major construction is required you have to do what you can with what you have.

And this seems like a no-brainer, but here in TX they build roads all the time with no thought on paying to maintain them after they get built, sooo… Letter: Bike paths require basic maintenance

And years after a cyclist was killed, and her partner almost killed tending her memorial, a deadly crossing has only reached the planning stage for resolution. Mancunian Way slip road where cyclist Jaye Bloomfield died to be reduced to one lane I think putting up a box like the one used for photo radar with a strobe light triggered by a vehicle detector might do the job for reducing vehicle speeds approaching the crossing.

Another wounded veterans ride. Nearly 50 Veterans to cycle through Folsom during Soldier Ride

How do you ride faster or farther? Yeah, the nut on top of the bike, some of us are certainly guilty of not fixing the nut properly… Well either that or get e-assist.

And thank [$DEITY], I am out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

For April Fools I will go play D&D

Yep, no foolin':P

Ima go play kinky D&D this afternoon/evening. How do you play “kinky” D&D? Well let’s just say there are a lot of “house rules” in this one and leave it at that, because this is my first game session.

PSA, Opus

April Fool’s service 3/29

Standard welcome.

This is our annual April Fools chaos service. This is as much an homage to the weather in Texas as it is to anything else. About the only thing we haven’t had for this service has been snow. And I think an actual tornado because we hold the service too early in the day for one of those, but we have had watches in effect for later in the day. So we have weather chaos, congregation chaos, outsider chaos, just about any kind of non-destructive chaos you can imagine. Today we have “No toilets” chaos. And somehow we have managed to control and somewhat harness that chaos for the benefit of the church and the larger community.

Now join with me as we call the quarters in the traditional April Fool’s fashion.

East: Yo! Air! Here, quarter quarter quarter! We wanna breathe here, and think. Y’all come!

South: Yo! Fire! Here quarter quarter quarter! Let’s warm things up with some passion. Y’all come!

West: Yo! Water! Here quarter quarter quarter! Let’s splash around and feel things emotionally. Y’all come!

North: Yo! Earth! Here quarter quarter quarter! It’s time to get down and dirty and be stable. Y’all come!

Center: Yo! Center! The gods might be crazy, so send them here to party! We light a beacon so we can enjoy their company. Y’all play nice now. Open beer and place on altar

Aphrodite: Your contributions to chaos are many and varied, most notable your son/daughter Hermaphroditus. We love you, just like you love us, so everybody love everybody as you join our party and ritual.

Lunation deity

Play “Duck Amuck” Video

Yes, who is responsible for this? I demand to know. My life seems like a series of short stories or at most novellas written by different writers intent on different things, including changing the name of the main character in the middle of the story. And such starkly unbelievable stuff as surviving getting hit by a truck doing 60 MPH and only spending 13 days in hospital before sorta walking out. I mean who does that outside of a work of fiction? That is literally a million to one shot. And that’s not the only unbelievable thing that has happened in my life, just the most recent. I demand script approval and rewrite privileges. Or I would if I could find the freaking writer.

Sometimes we bring the chaos on all by ourselves, which I have also done. For instance the lovely bride who graces my life was somewhat forced there by a combination of stupid mistakes, mine, hers, and ours. But somehow we survived it anyway and we have been together for almost 40 years. I’m sure the rest of you can tell similar tales of preventable mistakes that had life-altering consequences for you and yours. It happens to everybody. But we survive, and sometimes prosper, in spite of and sometimes because of our mistakes. We live through it, and we move on.

Candles of “Why did I do that?” To share how this works, light a candle while sharing a mistake that ended up helping your life in the long run.

While this is going on blow bubbles from the altar.

Pass basket while sharing announcements.

Announce that there will be no pot luck this evening

Dismiss Aphrodite with gratitude for controlling the various guest deities with her expansive love.

Center: We thank all the various deities who have graced today’s circle. Go in peace, at least until you get past the property line. Then you become somebody else’s problem.

North: Thank you for lending your stability in these times of chaos. You may leave with our gratitude.

West: Thank you for lending your calming emotions to these times of chaos. You may leave with our gratitude.

South: Thank you for lending your passion and transformation to these times of chaos. You may leave with our gratitude.

East: Thank you for lending your intellect and communication in these times of chaos. You may leave with our gratitude.

The circle is open, but unbroken. Merry meet, to merry part, to merry meet again! Blessed be, and don’t forget to turn your phones back on.

PSA, Opus

No post today, I got hypothermia on the way back from court

I really wish that was a joke. After I got the papers to get Blue out of the evidence locker this Friday I got caught in a frog-strangler of a thunderstorm, that was rolling in on the leading edge of a massive cold front. It was 51 when I left the house and 31°F when I got home soaking wet as I got caught in ankle-deep streams that covered half of some of the streets I had to cross. Between that and the horizontal rain blowing under my umbrella I was completely soaked from the waist down. But before I did that I got Blue out of jail! I can have my bike back as soon as Friday, the first day I could get a ride together. Looking at the recovery pictures Blue was in pretty good shape, not too many added scrapes and scratches, and all the electronics seemed to be intact except for the dead batteries. I am dreading opening up the lights to see what is in the battery boxes. When Blue was stolen there was about $20 in high-end NiMH rechargeable cells between the two lights. I’m expecting leaking alkaline cells or empty space in there instead of those pricey rechargeables. And I’m still freezing here, so I’m done now.

PSA, Opus

What LOTR and The Hobbit tells us about economic theory.

In a nutshell, it’s all about churn.

Tax breaks for the rich have much the same economic benefit as giving gold to Smaug. Smaug gets richer, but never spends any gold as he already has far more gold than he can possibly spend for his needs or even for his future needs, so it just sits there doing nothing except being dragon bedding. Likewise giving people who already have too much money than they can possibly spend on their needs more money just results in the money sitting there doing nothing. Taxing that money and using it on infrastructure and social programs results in that money being churned through the economy and growing the economy so that the rich still get the same amount of money, it just has to pass through a few more poor people’s hands before the rich get it, making everyone a little richer.

In order to stimulate the economy you have to develop churn, putting the money in as many hands as possible so that it then passes through as many hands as possible and creates growth. Savings that just sit in a bank or under a mattress don’t create any churn, and “investments” barely ruffle the surface of the water in creating churn. What has been shown to make churn on the federal level has been Food Stamps and infrastructure projects. Food Stamps go from the recipient to the grocery store and pay for the employees at the store as well as the people who transport the food (and other things) and the people that create the food. There are at least 4 stages of economic churn created by Food Stamps that can be easily identified and tracked.

Tax breaks for people who already have more money than they can spend on their needs or even on non-need items like TVs and computers (although I would put computers in the “need to work” category because I use one for work every day) is not the way to grow the economy. I mean how many new cars can one person buy in a year? How many boats? Unless you are out there spending money, you are an economic dead weight no matter how big your checking account is. Rich people don’t create jobs, poor people with jobs create jobs because they are the ones out there spending most of their money. Aldous Huxley had the right idea when he coined the term “conscripted consumption” in the book Brave New World . If you have a consumer economy, you have to get people consuming things to grow the economy.

And because I am not an economist by trade (I am a technical writer who translated jargon into plain English so that people in other fields can understand it) I will let real economists pick it up from here. Go for it guys.

PSA, Opus the Poet