Category Archives: rant

Having balance issues again

Seriously having balance issues after yesterday’s trip to pay the phone bill. As in trying to urinate in the toilet and falling backwards spraying a large part of the bathroom floor. I think I’m having another flareup of that issue I was having at the beginning of the year where the connection between my eyes nd my inner ear was bolluxed up, as in ear saying one thing but eyes are reporting something about 30° or so different. And I’m getting it even when I’m sitting in my chair.

Like I wrote the worst thing is it sometimes hits me when I’m trying to use the bathroom, which results in bad aim. And floors that need cleaning. Another bad thing is it’s giving me a headache. And I’m trying to fall out of my chair at the computer, so there is lots of bad news to go around tonight.

Rather than try to fight it I’m just going to go ahead and call it a night and hit the sheets.

This was a bad day

Combination of needing to beat bad weather and bad memory turned this into an “Ugh!” day.

OK it started out with looking at the weather forecast and deciding if I wanted to get my phone paid for before it got shut down I needed to do it today. But after buying a bus pass on my phone and activating it so it had to be used today (Thursday 2021-02-25) or lost forever.

For some reason I keep forgetting to bring my mask when I leave the house by myself, which means I can’t ride the bus. I realized this before I got to the bus so I had time to go home and catch the next bus but not before the rain hit. That’s when I rediscovered that the rain hood was designed to work with a brimmed hat like a baseball cap or similar, because the hood would droop until my face was covered while my mask rose until it covered my eyes. I could do something about the mask because I was used to dealing with rising mask syndrome from everyday use. But the hood covering my face at the same time at a faster rate than the mask crept up threw me off. I finally decided to just let my head get wet rather than constantly fidget with the hood and the mask.

Then I got to the phone store and did the thing with the new debit card. I was all tired out when I got there because I walked as fast as I could which actually uses more energy than running but is still slower than running because I can’t run. Seriously if I could have run I would have, but I haven’t been able to run since the wreck. But I did the thing with the new debit card, so “Yay!” for me.

I managed to get to the bus stop by the phone store in time to catch the next bus, which was good because by this time my head was soaked. I managed to get home without problems that I was already dealing with getting any worse. I even managed to get my step tracker and fitness tracker working for the trip from the bus stop to the house.

When I got home things got weird. I had been carrying around my phone in the pocket of the raincoat and when I took my phone out there was something else in the pocket, my old debit card that I lost. I wouldn’t have had to report the missing card if I had checked the pocket of the raincoat, which would have prevented having to “borrow” Mrs. the Poet’s card to pay a couple of online payments that came due before the new card came in.

So, that was my day Thursday. How was your day?

We had a high of seventy degrees today, TX weather is skitzo

An I know I didn’t spell it right, nor use it right. I used a colloquialism to express how insane the weather is in TX after enduring a Not In Recorded History cold spell we go right back to Warmer Than Normal For This Time Of Year. And I just tried to see exactly what that was and the almanac has been disabled on Weather dot com so I can’t tell you exactly. But as I understand the weather because of climate change we will continue to have warmer winters, except when the unstable Jet Stream dumps arctic air on us again when we all turn blue.

In other news I got the liner and curtain rings for the new shower, so we can pick up the towels we laid down to catch the back spray from using the shower without a way to contain what comes back off of us. Mrs. the Poet is especially happy that the liner holds the heat from the hot shower. And also that since the hole in the wall has been plugged with a new wall there is less cold air that needs to be kept out. So better than what we had before. Also the new faucet for the shower doesn’t leak, but it takes a long time to purge the cold water from the hot water feed line.

Still in other news but a repeating motif, my sleep schedule has slipped again to Mostly Vampire. I went to bed about 0515, and it was after 0600 that I finally shut down and went to sleep, and I finally woke for the final time today about 1630. And yes it takes me 11 hours± to get an adequate amount of sleep that most people get in 8 hours. And yes, that does annoy me.

Another thing that annoys me since we are on the subject, is I can’t find tools that let me miter the joints in the frame for the Mini Sprint-T. I mean I can use a triangular rat tail file to cut the rods to fit close enough, but what I really want is to have some kind of reamer that machines an exact fit that I can then dab a tiny amount of solvent cement over and it looks like a scale TIG weld. I know these tools exist but I keep coming up short of actually finding any for sale. I know that 0.060″ reamers exist that would allow me to use them as side mills to fish mouth the rods, or I could cheat a little and use a 0.0625″ (1/16th”) diameter of the same tool. I found some on the internets in the 0.0625″ size, but at $28 before tax, plus shipping. That’s too much for one bit to make a few cuts to do something I can almost do as well with hand tools. It just looks like I used a stick welder and made a bunch of cold booger welds instead of a more scale-like condition with better quality welding, which is why I’m still thinking about it.

While we are on the subject I’m having all kinds of difficulty bending the rods that make the hoop structures of the frame. It’s not that I can’t bend them, I can’t bend them right. The problem is I need to make 4 bends in exactly the right place that need to be exactly 90° and all in the same plane. What I keep coming up with is either too much or not enough bend, not in the same plane, or in the wrong place and frequently all of the above. I finally learned how to make the bends the right radius and stay the same diameter and not stretch the sprue into a smaller diameter. I need more practice doing all the other things to get it right, I just lack the patience and materials to practice on. I guess a few more dollars’ worth of raw stock would be a good investment if I want to make this model look IRL like I see it in my mind. And if I don’t make it look like I see it in my mind, why even bother to make it?

And this seems like a good place to end this rant, as there is little productive that can be gleaned from it.

It’s still freezing, and 13 hours without power to boot

I’m taking advantage of having internet while I can, as we had a 13 hour blackout of everything except cell phone service. Basically from 0800 to 2100 here at Casa de El Poeta there was no electricity which means anything that requires line current to work, didn’t. That includes cable, internet, and because we have VOIP no phone service either.

Basically Texas lost a bunch of their generating capacity because deregulation and the free market don’t actually take care of everything. Since nobody made them install deicing equipment on the wind turbines, the wind turbines froze over and stopped generating electricity. Since nobody made the well operators prepare for extended near-zero conditions, there wasn’t any natural gas to run the natural gas powered generators. And other things down the line, kinda like when I was denied disability because they only looked at my case one issue at a time, nobody paying attention to the fact that stuff I could still do with one problem I couldn’t do because I had multiple problems, and even though I could do some things for short periods of time I couldn’t do them day in and day out because of other problems.

So I spent as long as I could under the covers where it was warm because I put a lot of blankets on the bed. Basically I would be warm still if the house got below freezing, which I know because in my Gran’s house the back bedroom was too far away from the wood stove to get much if any heat and I did the quilts and blankets the same as we did back then. On the really cold nights a glass of water on the nightstand would freeze in the back bedroom. But we didn’t, so everything was good until we had to get out of bed and stick our bare feet on the freezing floor.

As soon as we got power back I made some microwave noodles so I had something hot to eat. Mrs. the Poet had a chicken lunch meat sandwich because she just wanted food and cold or hot didn’t matter and she made the same sandwich for lunch. Now I’m dealing with a headache because not eating earlier but it’s going away because I’m eating now. And I mentioned it was cold in the house, but not really that cold because it was still above 50° when the power came back on, so we’re all good now at 64°F

I’m going to do other things because it’s looking like we have power for the near future.

We have sneaux in the Suburbs of Hell

If you follow weather news you might have heard we got some Sneaux in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Well by the standards Mrs. the Poet and I grew up with we got a light dusting. But considering the last time we had snow visible on the ground I had a flip phone, this is a LOT of snow for around here.
Out the bedroom window at the neighbor's house
Looking out my back door
Front door view across the cul de sac

The temperature has never gotten above 20°F today with wind chills hovering around and below zero°. Like I wrote earlier the last time it snowed I was using a flip phone for pictures.
Back door from 2015

We have about 2″ accumulation as I post this, with more on the way.

I’m not watching the football game

And if you have to ask “What football game?” you are probably one of my people.

Instead I’m here, making a blog post about arcane technical things related to building a hot rod from scratch and trying to figure out the correct ride stiffness and roll stiffness. I mentioned how I was trying to do the rear axle and figure the suspension but I couldn’t because I didn’t know which axle I was going to have? Well that’s not a problem with the front axle because I have all the things for the front end except the engine and all I need to do is leave some room for that.

I have several images and documents that have the dimensions of the LS architecture which is pretty much the same for everything from the 4.8L truck engine through and including the 7L LS7 even though some have iron blocks and some aluminum. So whatever gets stuck in front of the firewall is going to be pretty much the same externally. I know there is 43″ between the center of the front axle and the firewall, and 100″ wheelbase (center to center both axles), and the engine is going as close to the firewall as it will go without hitting anything. So I’m hoping I can get a space for the air off the radiator to make some downforce instead of running into the engine. The only thing I’m concerned about is increasing the polar moment by having the radiator right behind the front axle, but the increase would be minor compared to putting it back against the engine.

The reason I can put the radiator just clear of the back side of the front axle is I decided to put the tie rod in front of the axle instead of the normal behind the axle. This isn’t that daring a move, because back when sub-100″ wheelbase buckets were common and people were even making sub-90″ buckets for better dig off the line by increasing weight transfer, people put all the steering in front of the axle except the drag link which ran alongside the engine. I’m putting the steering box up front so why not shove the radiator right behind the axle? As I mentioned this has a slight negative effect on polar moment, but only a slight effect.

And it’s getting late now so I’m going to bed.

I finished filling out the checks for the property taxes

I just finished filling out the multiple checks needed to pay the taxes on Casa de El Poeta, and they summed up to over $2600. There are three different entities I have to pay taxes to, city, county, and the big one is the school district, more than half the total tax bill is for schools.

I don’t mind paying for schools, public schools in an ideal situation give us civilization. However in this state, the schools are hamstrung in this obligation by a school board we have to elect in the dark with no information about their agenda or even what political party they belong to. This means a radical school board is not only possible, but highly likely. I tried looking up any social media on the candidates in this election and came up empty.

Taxes also pay for roads and cyclists pay just as much for those roads as drivers do. Directly if they own their homes, or indirectly if they rent, but they still pay equally for roads they can’t use because of cars. I find this very unfair, particularly when people accuse me of not paying for the streets and roads they are trying to kill me on. This is not a new thing, but I must bring it up every so often or it gets forgotten. This is a huge point of contention against cyclists in the UK because they have vehicle excise taxes assessed annually, based on how polluting the vehicle is, but even if this tax was assessed equally against cyclists and cyclists displayed their tax discs like motor vehicles, they would still pay nothing in this tax because they don’t have any emissions to tax and the cost of the displayed tax disc would be borne by the taxing ministry, not by the cyclist.

Now if you want to talk about who should pay the costs of building/repairing streets and roads the big targets are commercial semi-tractors that are about 9 tons empty and 40 tons loaded. The wear and tear on streets and roads is related to the fourth power of weight, so on the one hand you have the 25 pound bicycle with an average 180 pound rider and on the other hand you have vehicles that weigh tons empty, up to dozens of tons loaded that are not taxed much more than the bicycle. The comparison is ludicrous. But people still complain that cyclists “aren’t paying for the roads”, but that huge trucks that destroy the surfaces are, when the taxes assessed are on the cash value of the vehicle and not the 4th power of their weight.

But anyway, we’re paying our property taxes.

What the actual fuck was that?!?

I think this makes the second time I used the F-word in a post, and let me tell you, this was a day that earned an F-bomb or twenty. This makes another time that I allowed national politics to surge into the sanctum of my blog, because seriously WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?!? Armed fascists storm the Capitol, and ONLY ONE PERSON WAS SHOT! That picture with three guns drawn as crazy tried to force their way into the House and NONE OF THE FASCISTS AT THE DOOR WAS SHOT!! Why are those people still working for the government?

Seriously, we need a psych eval that can find these fascists in LEO and get rid of them without actually asking “Are you a racist or fascist”, because if you try that they will try to say they aren’t when they totally are both. But seriously, the only way those people at the door to the House chamber didn’t get shot is because there were actual factual fascists holding the guns. There should have been MAGAt bodies stacked like cordwood in the halls of the Capitol, not just the one woman shot in the chest and carried out still alive (she died either outside the building or in the ER). Seriously, an armed mob attacks the houses of government and they should be repelled by massive fusillades of fire, withering rains of bullets, a wall of hot lead. Not one guy with a baton backing his way up a stairwell. Now the black guy with the baton and a radio I feel sorry for, because he had a literal impossible job and no backup other than the guy with the camera behind him, taking pictures of the people in armed conflict with the government in case somebody decides to maybe prosecute these people. And they absolutely must prosecute every one of those people, or give multiple millions of dollars to every man woman and child shot by LEO for just being black in the wrong place. Just say, “Sorry, we hired a bunch of racists who used any and every pretext to terrorize you, all we can do now is make you stupid rich.”

Now that I have vented, I feel better, but we still have a huge problem. On the one hand a mob of white people attacked our government and all but one will be able to return home to their families with only 30 people arrested for failure to disperse. On the other hand there are people arrested at BLM because they were nearly killed by police firing “less lethal” projectiles and couldn’t leave when ordered to, or when following the orders of one group of pigs were sent straight into the arms of another group who arrested them. Or to make it simpler we have a massive racism problem in LEO that we have to deal with yesterday or sooner. And I know this isn’t the sweet bike blog it used to be, but I can’t leave this alone.

All you other vets, this is for you

Thanks for leaving me a country worth serving.

I’ve been preoccupied

I know I have neglected posting for a while. Part of that is because I have had other things on my mind than what is my normal focus for the blog, but most of it is just because I don’t have the spoons for making a blog post. I don’t like the spoons hypothesis, mainly because I work under a different paradigm, processor cycles. That paradigm states pretty much the same thing: we have a fixed number of processor cycles every day, and if you waste them on unimportant things you don’t have enough to get the important stuff done. And I have been spending a lot of processor cycles on this election.

From my point of view, we are voting between fascism, and democratic corporatism. Or basically, the lesser of two evils. Fascism is authoritarian corporatism, with heavy controls and limited personal freedom. Democratic corporatism has more personal freedom, but not much. Neither is the form of government I want to live under, but given the choice some freedom is way better than none. I’m not that big a student of history, but even I can see where Trump & Co is headed, and I don’t like it.

I’m still not used to having politics in this blog, after years of reporting death and destruction of cyclists trying not to be political about it. And that was a struggle, because there were others who treated dead cyclists as just another cost of doing business. But for me as a victim of road violence and a cyclist it was very hard not to take it personally. And now as a member of an oppressed minority I take things like BLM and LGBTQ issues personally, too. And other minorities, like First Nations and Native Hawaiian, I take personally when they are denied rights. Now if I was in a position to do anything about it that might mean something, but I’m just an impoverished slob in a Texas suburb with zero political clout even on a local level. The most effective thing I can do politically I did today in the voting booth. But I don’t know how much longer that will be effective.