Category Archives: rant

Weather has been here, wish you were beautiful

The title is the punchline to a very old joke from before I was born, and accurately sums up the situation here in The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. The highs and lows have been swapping places with highs less than the previous day’s lows, and lows higher than previous highs. I went from long pants and long underwear to shorts and t-shirt for my daily walks on consecutive days and back again to long pants and underwear. Yesterday I went for a walk at night in shorts and t-shirt and was a little chilly, today I went in the middle of the day with a sweatshirt over a long-sleeve T and still my hands got cold, much worse than yesterday’s walk at night. Mrs. the Poet has a condition she calls “changing weather crud” that in the past she got once in the fall and again in the spring, this year she has had it the entire month of December with no end in sight.

In other news I spent the majority of my Xmas money buying parts I don’t have the equipment to fabricate to the level of precision required, at a reduced price because someone bought the wrong parts and returned them after trying to install. So I’m getting them at 20% off original price. Maybe more, there was a discount code I tried to use that wouldn’t work that would have taken another 10% off the already discounted price that will probably get refunded when they get real live humans reviewing the order next week. Anywho the parts are steering arms that attach above the axle on the reproduction early Ford spindles I got last year. The main difficulty with making these on my own is the thickness of the stock used, the arms made for bolting to the bottom of the spindle are cut from ¼” mild steel and bent so they bolt through tabs with nuts, the ones for the top look like they’re cut from 1″ plate and are threaded so they don’t need nuts or bent tabs. My cutting tools are pretty much maxed out at 3/16″ thickness plate or 0.125″ wall tubing. Sure they will cut thicker stuff but my ability to make the tool go where I want to go instead of where it wants to go declines sharply when I exceed those limits. And don’t get me started about my hole-drilling abilities with my 3/8″ capacity hand drill. And I picked up a big bottle of Shiner Holiday Cheer beer to toast in the New Year tomorrow for $3 at my local grocery store. Since Mrs. the Poet will probably only drink an ounce or two (30-60 ml) and I’m not a big drinker either so the 32 oz. bottle will be more than enough for our private little party.

Stay warm or cool as the case may call for this NYE, and consider every driver on the road a drunk stoner on 2 days without sleep, because they’re out there and you don’t want to be the one that gets hit. I’m an unkillable badass but it still hurts like a mutha’ to get hit. You most likely are not an unkillable badass. ‘Nuf said.

BTW I have a playlist loaded to You Tube, labeled “Opus’ fun junk”. It’s 71 pieces of all kinds of music with electronica, EDM, trance, Classic Rock, New Wave Jazz, and some stuff that just defies classification other than the origin of cartoon music themes.

Peace out, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

OK, Seriously Bummed By This

Mrs. the Poet has placed her foot squarely on my dream of building a hot rod and ground it to flinders. I am not allowed to build my hot rod on the property where we have our house, and I don’t have any budget to build it any place else. So free parts car will have to be abandoned. Plans for the mid T will have to be discarded. Dreams of competing in Goodguys autocrosses are ruined. Hundreds of hours calculating frame member sizes wasted.

And the worst of it the $500 model T body sitting in the living room is now a literal white elephant (with a few spots).
Me in happier days
Dreaming of actually driving this thing.
Some of the spots
Here are some of the spots from the parting lines from the mold.

One thing that won’t change is moving forward on the Mini Sprint-T. I have to make a run to the hardware for another tube of mock-up glue (that I’ll also be able to use to repair Mrs. the Poet’s damaged Hummels she inherited from my mother) but the drills and adjustable collet I got for my Dremel tool have already been put to use cleaning up some parts and doing a little bracket fabricating. The dead toasters we got are being used to make a vacuum-forming machine to crank out modified bucket bodies in scale. (Three heating elements in a toaster, of which 2 can be used to make a heating unit for a vacuum former.) And I still have the 3 scale engines I can use (the SBC for the most-likely version, the LS7 for the “ultimate” version, and the Coyote Ford for the “Ford in Ford” version). The Coyote was dropped from consideration for 1:1 construction after doing a weight comparison to the LS series and actually seeing how far it hung past the sides of the bucket firewall. Not a good look without “blinging” the heck outta the engine to make it look goodbetter. Now don’t get me wrong, the Coyote is a good-looking engine, it just is Really Wide when installed in a T-bucket which makes it kinda dominate the visuals, forcing a cosmetic makeover.

And in other news I’m taking a day off from my walks, mostly because my left foot feels like it has been beat on with a big stick and my butt feels sore on the right side b/c I have been walking without the lifted left shoe. It has been years since I did any kind of walking without a lift on my left shoe to make up for the loss of about 17mm in my left leg from the crash, and the bottom of the foot is having to get used to just having a normal thickness sole between it and the concrete when I walk. It’s also really disconcerting when I walk in the house in my slippers and I hear rice crispy sounds with each step, but that’s the reality that has been getting louder the last 15 years. Part of that is just the reality of getting older unrelated to surviving getting hit @ 60 MPH with a truck.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass

The boogieman of my childhood is dead, now what?

It was confirmed today that Fidel is dead Cuba’s former revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dead at 90 and I’m somewhat at a loss. When I was growing up Fidel was literally the boogeyman, a cigar chomping, baseball playing boogeyman coming to take away our freedom. Fidel didn’t need a last name with us, he was like the evil Elvis, Marilyn, or Gilligan, only needing the one name to identify him. And now he isn’t.

There is a minor meme propagating on Twitter that Fidel wouldn’t die until the US had been destroyed, and after Trump was elected Fidel’s job was done…

Jokes side, Fidel has been part of the background noise and frequently the foreground noise for all of my life, it feels strange that after the funeral and subsequent folderol we won’t hear anything more about him except for documentaries. And also seriously, most of my childhood my southern relatives used “Fidel” almost interchangeably with “Satan”. I don’t know what caused them to quit because when I came back after graduating HS in the mid ’70s they had stopped. But at least during the mid ’60s to early ’70s while I was there Fidel was Evil Incarnate. Chalk it up to short attention spans I guess.

So, farewell Fidel Castro, may whatever afterlife you experience be as pleasant as you envisioned.

PSA, Opus

Please go vote tomorrow

And if you already have (like I did) then thank you.

Seriously, this election is too important to miss. And not just for the presidential election, there are some serious goombahs we need to clear out of the House and Senate (looking at YOU AZ). And remember bike infrastructure is voted on by local officials, vote for the least-bad among them as well.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass

On World Mental Health Day

I recently started to get treatment for my depression and PTSD after suffering more than 40 years with it. As many posting to Twitter have mentioned about their depression, mine was initially dismissed as teenaged angst, then as “just they way you are” and “being serious for a change”. There was also the problem that more than 40 years ago when this mess started 1) there was no such diagnosis as PTSD 2) even if there was nobody would believe you could get it by changing schools several times at the wrong point in your life. I think that started some time in the ’90s when the DOD noticed that adults who had been military dependents as children had suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism rates almost identical to combat veterans from Vietnam. I never went through any suicide attempts and couldn’t afford drugs or booze, I think that was the only reason I didn’t join that statistic. There was also the mistaken belief that young people couldn’t get depressed, mainly because at the time nobody knew that depression can happen to people not actually in serious conditions because it is a disease, a disease that manifests as an emotional state, not just “being real sad” all the time. To give an idea about how much I changed from before to after depression I got a “Motormouth Award” at scout camp for being lively and talkative and joking all the time. That was the Real Me (Not Depressed), in the 7th grade. By my senior year in HS, less than 5 years later, I had already had one major and countless minor bouts of depression.

So, several things here: 1) Mental Illness is a category of real illnesses, like heart disease or kidney failure. 2) Anyone can get Mental Illness at any age. Seriously, it’s like childhood cancers or Type 1 diabetes. 3) Having Mental Illness does not mean you have a weak mind or are morally deficient or any other negative stereotype, it means your brain is not functioning within design tolerances. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please share this with your friends.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet.

Time is getting short, are you registered to vote?

The deadline to register to vote is bearing down in many states, have you registered to vote? Remember that many transportation projects depend on local elected officials’ support, and those elections are decided by just a few votes. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for because I really don’t know for most elections, you will have to educate yourself through your local media and social media.

Just get registered, and get out there to vote like your life depended on it, because it very well might.

PSA, Opus the Poet

I spent most of yesterday unconscious, also a large chunk of today

There is something out there that is trying to kill me, and not even aware of what it’s doing. Some tree, weed or grass is attempting to reproduce and in the process is making me miserable. I have burning eyes, a nasty post-nasal drip, and a hacking cough from the post-nasal drip. I have a treatment for it, but that treatment is also the same thing I use to go to sleep at night, and the known dose for treating allergies is twice what I use as a sleep aid at night. So I have a choice between awake and miserable, or asleep and not feeling like I’m stuck underneath a stampede of small cattle. That caught under the stampede feeling is because the intercostals in my chest are exhausted by all the coughing caused by the runny nose/post-nasal drip.

On the Mini Sprint-T front I have almost determined the length I need to cut the rear axle tube so that the rear tires track is the same as the front. The stock for the rear axle tube protrudes exactly 0.125″ inside the hub, and the brake disk has to be 0.1428″ from the front of the wheel mounting surface for a scale caliper to fit between the hub and the disk. Subtract the .0675″ thickness from the front of the mounting surface to the back of the hub as received and the back of the hub needs to have .0753″ of added material for the mount for the brake disk. That means the front axle will have (2 * .1428) + 1.92 inches or 2.2056″ between the mounting flanges, and the rear axle tube would be 2.056 – (2 * .0675) + .250 or 2.3206″ long, leaving .68″ for making the standoffs for the front hubs which would be the same 0.200″ as the rear hubs. Yay! for having more than enough raw stock on hand. I’m still pondering the choice of material for sculpturing the back side of the hub for mounting the disk.

Off on another tangent, I madecollected $6 this weekend from that game app on my phone that pays me to play it. So Yay! money from playing on my phone like it was a job. This is the same source of funds that I used to buy the rice cooker/vegetable steamer back in July, so perseverance and patience will get me good stuff. I have also used these funds to purchase most of the things I am using to make the Mini Sprint-T. The kits I bought for inspiration and as a source for making the body, the engine for the SBC version, the tires for the street version, and all the raw stock for making the frames, were all sourced through Amazon. The water pump and front engine mount, the LS7 engine and the 700r4 transmission for the SBC engine were sourced through VCG Resins, while the wheels, hubs, rotors, and rear axles were sourced through Ron Coon Resins . Those items were bought with money from other side gigs.

And that’s pretty much all I had to say today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

Interesting perspectives

Today is Day 2 of my anti-depressant med and I have had an epiphany. When I thought I was happy before, I was just Not Depressed as much. Seriously, compared to last week this feels positively giddy. WTF?!? I could have been nearly happy all these years if I had been on the right meds? Forty-some years of my life wasted being depressed because I couldn’t take that damned pill? Because seriously, this is what I used to call “happy”. I am so (bummed, angry, pissed) or I would be if I wasn’t so damned “happy” right now.

Another thing is I’m sitting in my office in front of the AC and sweating like a pig doesn’t. Pigs can’t sweat, did you know that? Anyway AC is blowing directly on me and I’m damp all over. Ambient temp outside the direct blast of the AC is 83°F in the office so that might have something to do with it.

I’m still trying to figure out how to get the body on the Sprint-T around the diagonal braces that run through the cockpit from the top of the rear hoop to the bottom of the front hoop. Every other part of the frame is outside of the body except those two braces and the body would just plop right in without them, but because they are the required (by the SCCA) diagonal braces for the roll over structure, and because leaving them out would compromise the torsional stiffness of the entire frame which is kinda the reason for the entire project (T-Bucket made for handling). I was thinking of cutting the body apart and using flanges and screws to hold it together to get the body around the braces, but that would be ugly if I used enough screws to make it rigid. Not to mention a pain to mock up and install. Especially the mocking up part. That would be at least two installs and removes before paint and powdercoat with at least one installing every screw to make sure all the holes line up. I have also considered using a bolt-in brace instead of welding it in…

And of course this also applies to the Mini Sprint-T only more so, the body I’m using can’t be cut apart because the kerf from the cut leaves a huge gap in the body after it’s installed, unless I use a crap ton of body filler before painting. But I have to install the body after painting, to prevent overspray on the interior and the frame (which are a different color from each other, and from the body) because the frame goes over the body except for those braces I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Anywho it’s like one of those puzzles with the marble inside the carved wooden cage that can supposedly be removed and replaced even though it’s bigger than the holes in the cage and the cage is all one piece of wood. If I had a vacuum-forming machine and a way to make an accurate mold then I could make multiple bodies and cut them apart so the seams would overlap and be invisible, but I no longer have access to that equipment.

Well it looks like I’m starting to ramble around a bunch of different subjects, so Imma put this baby to bed now.

PSA, Opus

Want to be a serial killer with no negative repercussions?

Well, you have to use the right weapon.

This was inspired by a report of a driver on his third conviction for misdemeanor manslaughter for hitting cyclists and pedestrians.

PSA, Opus

My church is a Pokestop and other nonsense

It has been a while since the last post, what with all the extrajudicial executions performed by LEO who should know better, and the run-and-gun sniper in Dallas shooting the good cops. That is one thing that Dallas has been good at, when they find out they have a bad cop not only do they fire him they try to get his LEO license removed so they don’t just set up the next town over and do it again, so shooting Dallas cops is not going to get the bad cops that kill with impunity. Long story short, Asshole Sniper picked the wrong city to ambush cops if he wanted to get one that was responsible for giving brown people a bad time.

PSA Opus