Category Archives: stuff without bike wrecks

I’m not dead, but this feels familiar

I have been daywalking since Wednesday. For those not familiar “daywalking” is the vampire term for being up after sunrise. And also for those not familiar I have a customer loyalty card for Charon’s ferry service with a free spa day at the Elysian Fields resort and spa after the next 4 times I die. So being dead is not unusual for me, it just isn’t a frequent thing. And when I’m daywalking it feels a lot like when I was dead, like April Fools is just another day and all that is just part of a normal day.

I finished the taxes today, and for a guy who doesn’t have a steady income, I sure get a lot of taxes withheld. I’m getting back over a grand, $1K, a kilobuck, on whatever I made last year, which as I recall was not as much as I’m getting back. Don’t ask me, I never understood my finances since the wreck. Basically it looks like money just appears in my bank account after I do something fun and useful. I don’t recall actually working last year, I didn’t get any gigs from the company that gets me stuff cleaning up machine translated documents as the “Christmas Rush” starts about the same time as the pandemic hit. This is because the schedules for making stuff for Christmas is about a year behind actual Christmas. Designs begin in mid-to-late December, ad copy and packaging starts in February, I start getting stuff to clean up in late March through September and my “pay” comes August through November. The pay I get is in the form of store-specific gift cards like Amazon or other on-line retailers that since it is non-fungible is also not taxable. So this is from the IRA, or something else connected with the trust fund, or just appeared in my tax return out of nowhere. And you know what? “Just appeared out of nowhere” seems like “Peak 2020” to me right now. So many strange things happen to me recently that returns on taxes I didn’t know were withheld from income I don’t remember getting is in a bizarre way, normal.

I better check my customer loyalty card to see if I have any more checks on it, I might have died again. Nope, still four more trips to go for my premium. So, I at least didn’t get killed again in 2020.🤔

On the other strange thing going on I’m still getting 18 YO and up women sending me nudes and topless pictures through Facebook and other social media sites I’m on, at least I hope they over 18. Not that I object to getting pictures from/of attractive women, it’s just that so many of them think I will find them more attractive when their cup size is D or higher, and to be totally honest I have had more than enough of big boobed women. I have had lady friends in the F-J range, and even Mrs. the Poet is a D on a bad day and DD or larger on a good day. If you want to impress me, be of age and an A cup and don’t “enhance” it. Be proud of who you are and what you have, even if that means standing twice to cast a shadow, and never wondering if you got polish on all your toenails, or never having to contort to see to tie your shoes. You’re not flat, you’re streamlined for reduced fuel consumption. You’re “fun-sized”, “convenient travel sized”, “no leftovers single-serve”. And not coincidentally, you haven’t been sending me pictures on social media, either.

Technically it was yesterday for this post, but since I haven’t been to bed yet today sucked

And as usual most of the suckage came from our transit system. I got there way early. The bus got there way late. I had a 1330 appointment for getting my taxes done, the bus schedule said the bus would be there 1307, I got there 1259, the bus got there 1325. Just a touch late, but I got to the tax preparer office at 1331. And because of the tax forms that went with the dissolving the trust I’ll have to go back next week to sign the documents. But next year we can use the EZ form, because I will just have incomes, taxes withheld, and standard deductions to deal with instead of endless itemization. Seriously there were like two dozen sources of income that had to be accounted for, and taxes that were withheld from them, and that meant two lines of data entered on the form, one each in two different areas.

As for the rest of the stuff I usually write about, I had too much else on my plate to even think about it. Besides the endless waiting for the bus, I also had reminders of why I haven’t had a steady job outside the house in nineteen years. Seriously, I had to lie down and let my leg resume normal size and shape for a couple of hours. It took almost as much time for the swelling to go down as it took to get that way. I did manage to spend too much money getting a fountain drink from the restaurant next to the tax place. That’s something I haven’t done much since this time last year. At first that was because Mrs. the Poet was sick and we couldn’t leave the house

It’s true! I honestly didn’t think about any vehicles, much less the Sprint-T, all day during the preparations and trek. I had taxes on my mind for the trip out when I wasn’t cursing DART for being so unreliable, and I still had taxes and DART unreliability on my mind along with how much my leg was hurting from having to stand and wait for the bus. Then I had the mail, and taking care of some social media stuff. I took care of some of the social media stuff while I was letting the swelling go down in my legs, then we had dinner. Then I got caught up on web comics and blogs, started going through my e-mail from the last few days, and posted this blog post.

And now everybody is up to speed and I’m ready to get back to bed.

I have time to fill and I need to practice writing stuff

Specifically I need to practice writing stuff that isn’t technical wanking about cars, or bicycles, airplanes, hovercraft or any other kind of vehicle.

I know some people who read this blog have been asking me to write romantic dialog. Those are people who actually know me IRL and used to talk face to face back in the Before Times when people got together and had discussions. Well even before the Before Times I was terrible at writing dialog because I was terrible at talking with people. In order to write convincing dialog, you have to have some kind of experience in being part of dialog. And I’m just anti-social enough that I don’t actually talk with people so much as I talk to people, on a good day. Other times the aphasia takes over and I just kinda make noises in their general direction that resemble words. Or I talk at them, which is even worse but at least the words make more sense than when the aphasia is running things.

The interesting thing is aphasia isn’t near as big a problem when I’m communicating verbally but not talking, like right now. I’m using words, making phrases and sentences, but I’m not speaking at all, just letting my fingers do the talking. It’s actually faster to communicate this way than to try to fight past the aphasia, because the words bypass my mouth and run directly to my fingers. Another interesting thing is when I’m typing I have to look back and see where I made a tone or subject change and insert paragraph breaks, like I did for this paragraph. I usually don’t see them as I write, but going back over what I wrote I see where I need to insert a paragraph break.

I saw this break coming because I knew I was going to make a tone change and a subject change, the subject change is this isn’t dialog practice, it’s monolog practice, and almost everything I have done in the last 2 years has been a monolog from me at my audience. I don’t even know who I’m communicating with here, so I’m machine-gunning words in your general direction instead of to you. I know that when I stopped doing the bike wrecks my readership dropped off a cliff for a long time and is just now starting to come back a little. I guess my attempts at writing about building a car amuse some of you and some are reading out of loyalty and some because I have a unique writing style or non-style, I just write bang on the keyboard and words come out and you read them. Or not, lately it has been mostly not.

But yeah another problem is romantic. I have been married for 43 years and to do that you have to be either romantic as hell, or stubborn as hell, and I’m not romantic. Sexy, I can be sexy as bananas to a monkey, but that is not romantic, it’s romantic-adjacent. I have the physical ability to create arousal and satisfy needs, but I’m not romantic. At best I’m the porn version of romantic. I make vagina-owners happy physically, but romance to satisfy them emotionally just ain’t gonna happen. Or to put it another way, unless they keep their heart and bits on the same shelf I’m not satisfying their hearts.

Now for some people, that’s good enough for a while. They want the porn equivalent of romance, some right up to the point that outside forces break up the relationship. I have lost count of the number of girlfriends who have had a job transfer, or died, or had gender reassignment surgery. Actually only the one had gender reassignment surgery, the rest moved or died. But for them I was romantic enough to maintain the relationship until it was no longer possible to have a relationship.

So, I’m not good at the romance thing, and I’m not good at dialog. And in this case two negatives do NOT make a positive, it’s additive, not multiplicative. But romantic dialog has been requested, nay DEMANDED! in all caps with multiple exclamation points. So how does a writer that has only rudimentary romantic skills and dialog skills learn to write romance. How does a broken bird learn to fly?

That is the question, how does a broken old man learn to be romantic? It’s not from a lack of wanting, I have wanted to be romantic since I was in high school wearing bell-bottom jeans. I thought I had somehow managed when I got married, or when women were after me after I got married, but as I wrote I was “romance-adjacent”. I was sexy, and thought I was romantic. And now I’m not even sexy anymore, I’m just a broken old man who used to be sexy and now is just sad.

We had RPG group today and my character did nothing

Not that that is a bad thing, my character mostly gets involved when things get real bad. Today we were rescuing a troll teen girl who may be becoming a technomage, from a fate worse than death, with the sweet release of death at the end. My character has a sweet spot for troll girls, as there is a troll family just across the street, and his house is literally the boundary between orc and troll gangs on the northeast side of Garland. There are almost as many young orc girls at his house as troll girls, but he prefers the troll girls for some reason.

Anywho, they are still using non-invasive tests at this point, so the girl is physically unharmed but an emotional wreck who will need hundreds if not thousands of hours of therapy to recover, if we can get her out of the lab alive. At this point her well-being is dependent on our face characters having good con rolls to convince the lab techs to release the troll from her restraints and then the rest of us can get her out of the lab physically intact. As my character can’t help in those sort of roll plays, I’m literally waiting in the car armed to the teeth waiting for my call if things go Tango Uniform. As it looks so far as long as the rolls keep landing in our favor we have an even chance of rescuing this girl from vivisection.

Basically game play was about 4 or 5 dozen dice rolls with massive buffs on our side for buckets as high as 17 d6, which would be impossible if we were using actual physical dice instead of the Shadowrun dice bot available for Discord. The smallest actual rolls have been the initiative rolls that basically don’t get more than 4 or 5 d6 plus a modifier added to the sum of the dice. Lately I have a long-term spell cast on me to increase my initiative to 11+4d6, which is a raise over my standard 10+3d6 that I get from all my cybergear and brain enhancements, one of which is basically the entire Library of Congress stuffed into my brain as a easily searchable file, basically Google without the advertising, or the need for web or Matrix access. This has so far been useful exactly one time since I bought it. Anyway since we have those massive buffs to our dice pools so far our rolls have been good enough to keep us alive and me playing cards with the guardian spirit in the van instead of going pink mohawk through the lab trying to extract my team members in as few pieces as possible, preferably one piece per character. Since I have a grenade launcher, and an AK97 on my person and a Cybershot shotgun in my leg, the chances of extracting people in one piece is only as good as their ability to avoid coming between me and whatever is threatening them.

As we ended the session the people doing the interacting thing had managed to get the girl out of the full-body scanner on the pretense that if she was what they were looking for their scanner would be destroyed, or she would be killed, or both with massive explosions and property damage and injury or loss of life for nearby people, like the people in the building. We still had to do the opposing rolls for the scientists when we had to pack it in, because one of the group has a Sunday evening group that he GMs.

On other stuff, I’m getting a confirmation on the quote for the quick change rear axle to confirm that the quote included the drive axles and the 1° end up axle tubes to give a tiny touch of negative camber for better tire wear when racing. If I can get a confirmation on that I’ll send over a small deposit to hold the price and guarantee my delivery. I also decided I’ll just farm out the welding on the aluminum. And I’ll talk to you later.

It’s ‘Dega baby!

Just finished watching the Xfinity race from Talladega. There were lots of wrecks but not while I was watching. I kept coming back to the aftermaths instead of the actual wrecks. I don’t like wrecks, I hate seeing good race cars torn up, I’m also not very happy about seeing crappy race cars torn up. I mean sure I am less unhappy about crappy cars getting torn up, but at the Xfinity and Monster Energy Cup levels there really are no “crappy” cars, just “less perfect” cars that could run just as fast with a few adjustments. Part of that is rules, part is the teams are just that good.

Watching the Xfinity and Cup Series is part of my inspiration for both the Sprint-T and the Mid-Bucket. Also I watch YouTube videos of Goodguys Autocrosses from recent years and SCCA Solo events that have Modified category cars for when I run slicks. Speaking of slicks, I just can’t find 16 X 12 wheels in my bolt circle at a reasonable price, so that means the 6″ Formula Vee rears on the front on the 4″ wide wheels, and the 12″ wide tires on 10″ wheels on the back.

And now the ARCA cars are about to run (on the tube at least, I don’t know if this is live or tape-delayed) and in about an hour is the IMSA race from COTA outside Austin. So then I start flipping back and forth. And I won’t have the split attention that will let me write and watch 2 races at the same time so I’ll go ahead and end this post.

I went to the lab rat keeper and now I have a headache

I think the headache is because Mrs. the Poet has really bad allergies this year and couldn’t breathe last night. She was making these awful noises like she was dying and I couldn’t sleep until about 0600 and then the alarm went off at 0715. I mean it is really hard to sleep when your wife sounds like she’s dying next to you even when you know it’s just allergies making her head stopped up.

Remember when I wrote how nice it was to have the actual parts in hand to mock up an assembly? Well this time I remembered to take pictures (actually only one).
See how the upper bar of the 4-bar will fit between the drag link (left) and the tie-rod (right)?

I have the bracket centered on the spindle approximating the caster angle of the axle and you can see how the tie-rod is just above where the upper bar goes? That’s because at that point the upper bar moves less than 1mm between full droop and full bump so it doesn’t have to clear by much to clear all the time, and the tie-rod likewise doesn’t move much during its travel left to right, and is closest to the bar at straight ahead. So the closest the two will come is at full bump and straight ahead. And there are enough shims in the kit to keep the tie-rod high enough to never touch that upper bar.

And the drag link? It will ride roughly parallel to the axle right behind the axle centerline never getting anywhere near anything except the pitman arm and the passenger side steering arm that it is attached to. And if I really want to get crazy I can put everything up top and nothing will ever run into anything except maybe some cones. As little as the front end of this car will weigh I don’t think there will be enough flex for anyone to notice.

And that lack of sleep has caught up with me as I’m having problems with seeing what I typed on the screen (and I probably need new glasses).

So Knighty-night.

It’s Coming…

Prepare yourselves. Know where shelter can be found.

Our day will come!

Have herring handy, or canned sardines.

I prefer canned sardines myself but then I’m only an honorary penguin-poet.

Save the date, 10 days after the march on DC for Hair Drumpf’s tax returns.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

Who are you cheering for in the big game tomorrow?

Are you Ruff or Fluff?

What, you thought I was talking about the football game? I’m talking Puppy Bowl XIII on Animal Planet channel. Basically it’s watching 2 hours of puppies playing with dog toys with a half hour of kittens in the middle, and everybody not human in the show is up for adoption. I have no idea how they determine a winner except by counting how many members of each team get adopted during the show, maybe?Anyway Team Ruff is looking strong and aggressive this year, I pick them to go all the way.

There were Girl Scouts and cookies at the grocery store today, we picked up a box of Dos-i-dos (the peanut butter sandwich cookie here) because Mrs. the Poet already bought Tagalongs (chocolate covered shortbread cookies with a peanut butter filling, kinda like a Reese’s Cup cookie).

I’m still working on the hot rod. I was offered a much later model minivan today for trade-in value. It also has a bad transmission or transmission controller that is making shifting sluggish and it hesitates before going into gear from a stop. This is something I can fix, I have the instructions on rebuilding one of these transmissions and the only tools needed are a metric socket set and a pair of snapring pliers, and I got all that. And if that doesn’t do the trick the transmission controller is part of the PCM that I’ll have to reprogram after I put it in the hot rod. So basically I get a much newer engine an transmission with the same problems as the other car. Unfortunately Mrs. the Poet just put the kibosh on actually buying a donor car, so now… ugh! 😛

So, I guess in the meantime I get to fix the tire pump by running to the parts store for fittings and a hose that fits the fittings.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

I found a better alternative to the phone app/hardware

After I posted yesterday I did some idle googling looking to see what kind of apps are available for my laptop and found one that reads the output from the OBD2 port and lets me reprogram to bypass missing systems by permanently setting the input as valid. I have to buy a cable to connect my laptop to the car but otherwise I’m ready to go.

This way is better for a number of reasons: The screen on my laptop is easily 4 times the size of my phone, there is an actual physical keyboard instead of a touchscreen for input, and the battery on my laptop lasts a lot longer in continuous use than the battery in my phone. Oh the connector cable for the laptop is $0.99 less than the phone connector cable, that’s important, too.

Unfortunately there will be a learning curve for the software to make it log everything when an error triggers so I can see how that error affects the rest of the engine. That will affect the measures I take to correct it. Right now I have 3 choices in dealing with error codes: tell the computer everything is fine and ignore the input, kluge something up that makes the computer think whatever triggered the error never happened, or pull the system off the donor car and install it on the hot rod. The last one is only going to be used as a last resort.

And while I was trying to type the previous paragraph Clint decided it was time for lap-sitting which interrupted the typing for about 2 hours. Nothing is bleeding, I just had to move the seat back so he didn’t knock anything off the keyboard tray which moved said keyboard out of arm’s reach. But he’s cute and cuddly so it was OK.

Also today was the first day there was enough sun to make my little solar-powered dancing alien decoration move and temperatures high enough to open the doors and windows and air the house out a touch. I don’t know if there is a correlation but my foot felt better today than it has in ages. It still hurt some, but nowhere near as bad as it did Sunday. I think I will be able to get that adaptor tomorrow and pump up my bike tires soon.

And now I have other things that need to be done so I’ll finish this here.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

merry Xmas!

OK as I write this the identity of the driver of the Berlin Murder Truck is still unknown, but German authorities are still refusing to harden public gatherings against motor vehicle attack even so. I think this is a ridiculous attitude. Motor vehicles are ubiquitous, easier to get than guns and cheaper than bombs of equal destructive power. I mean you can just steal one off the street like they did in the Berlin market attack, how much cheaper can you get?

And I’m wondering, are the Germans going to count these deaths in their highway fatalities score or keep them in the terrorist attacks score, or both?

Anyway Christmas stuff minus the blood and broken bones. I’m thinking I’m probably going to convert my grandson’s Cozy Coupe into a roadster and hang a cheap tiny gas engine on it to make it a go-kart hot rod. I kinda need the welding practice, and I have been wanting to do something like this for ages. I could also repurpose the electric scooter motor I have in my stash instead of a gas engine as that would be much easier to speed restrict than the gas engine, not to mention cheaper. And because the Cozy Coupe is so top-heavy and easy to turn over the whole shebang is getting lowered to 1″ of ground clearance.

Mrs. the Poet has been annoying me constantly that she needs a new mop and broom as she has worn out the ones I got her last year, so guess what she’s getting. Not a diamond ring.

The cats aren’t getting anything this year, they’re losing something.😈😆 They get to keep the claws they haven’t lost yet, but they are getting “fixed” before they get any more broken. Clint has a bad bite on his tail from a fight with a local squirrel, and Clyde has had run-ins with either other cats or local wildlife, and getting them fixed and chipped would reduce the chances of that happening again.

The “kids” are getting gift cards again this year, mainly because the stuff we really want to give them is just too hard to haul home on the bus especially with the 0.4 mile walk from the bus stop. I mean have you ever tried walking 0.4 miles with anything heavy or bulky without a carry strap? Yeah, that’s why people are getting gift cards. There are some things that are easier with a car, shopping for bulky or heavy stuff it is much easier to have a mechanical donkey toting a huge basket than to carry stuff by yourself.

Merry Christmas, Opus the Unkillable Badass