Category Archives: Wreck-free Sunday post

I’m worried about my cat

Clint decided to spend the night out last night. He insisted he had to go outside yesterday, then just never showed up when it came time for bed. It has now been over 24 hours since he has eaten here, and he has never been out that long. Needless to say I’m worried for him.

I have been hearing lots of predators in the area, owls, coyotes and I have seen some bobcats while on my walks. Clint might be effective at accidentally clawing my arm but with all the fights he has lost with the local squirrels biting his tail… I’m not sanguine about his condition.

While I’m composing this the pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 is/was on the TV. Junior will be starting alongside repeat pole winner Chase Elliott on the front row for the Daytona 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series race (got to get the full name in there 🙂 )

On other things Mrs. the Poet has thrown away more of my stuff in the process of making enough room for my hot rod in the garage. 😢 I can actually see all the way across the garage in several places now. I still haven’t found that book with the equations for getting the spring rates right on the first try that I bought back in the early ’80s when I first started building cars and haven’t seen in years, since before I blew the engine in my last car in 1995. I remember packing it for the move to Casa de El Poeta in 1994 and as far as I remember that was the last I saw of it. I remember it had a black cover and was written by Len Terry or had an ad for the Terry book as an additional resource. It had a black slip cover with white line illustrations and I think red text. I searched the web and…
I found it!!

That’s the exact edition I’m looking for, because I already own it! OK I had the colors on the illustrations and text reversed but otherwise, that’s what my book looks like. In that book are the equations I need to select the right springs and shocks on the first try, and a bunch of other things, too. Since I don’t have the room to work yet, and Mrs. the Poet throwing away my stuff is limited by the volume of the garbage and recycle bins and how often they are emptied. Which means that instead of getting the trauma over with quickly, the suffering is stretched out for weeks.

Speaking of suffering, this post has gone on long enough. My cat is still wandering around outside, and Mrs. the Poet is still plotting throwing away more of my stuff, and I’m still stressin’.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

Getting my feet back under me after getting the rug pulled

I don’t know if any of you caught it Saturday, but Mrs. the Poet pulled the rug out from underneath me on the hot rod. Basically she just took my part of the family budget and said “we need to spend this otherwise”. This strands a ton of money in non-returnable parts because I bought a lot of my parts on close-out and returned to save money. I had a very tight budget before and was pinching every penny until Ol’ Abe screamed for mercy, but now I don’t even have that.

I mean, just look at what's left of this penny!

And yes, that penny is the same diameter as a nickel now.

I’m still processing this on an emotional level. On my intellectual level, yeah, we could use the money for other things but all the things she mentioned I have pulled money out of my trust to pay for several times now and she still hasn’t done them, so why should my budget get wiped for things I want when she gets unlimited raids on my trust fund for the same thing? I mean I have taken money out of my trust on several occasions to pay for things she mentioned in the justification for wiping my budget, so why wipe out my budget now? Especially when I was on the cusp of making as much money on my own as Mrs. the Poet’s retirement brings in.

I don’t mean for this to sound like I’m dumping on Mrs. the Poet, this is my way of processing this. In fact this blog was started as a way of processing my getting hit and the guy apparently not getting punished for trying to kill me. This blog had been running for years before I found out what really happened. And then I had to process why they would withhold the information from me and why I still don’t know the name of the guy who tried to kill me after more than 15 years. I’m mainly just kvetching now.

In summation, I ain’t got no money, Mrs. the Poet is being mean to me (not really), and I write to work things through I can’t process any other way. Oh! and I can’t get money until I replace my ID card.

Opus the Unkillable

It took a while to come up with a topic today

I know this is not a problem that most people face: I had a burning desire to write today but nothing to write about. I knew I wanted to write but all the things I could think of to write about were either too political for this blog, or something I have already covered and written about to death and I really don’t want to repeat myself any more. That’s what caused me to stop writing about bicycle wrecks. “Hit from behind, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist”, “Right hook, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist.” “Left cross, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist.” Yeah, writing that or nearly that for 6 years solid is what finally did it.

So what should I write about then? Well how about something trivial but amusing? This little guy needs a name.

He (?) shakes it when the sun shines on his solar cell.

Seriously, I can’t keep calling him (?) my “dancing solar powered alien” or variations of that. I’m partial to “Fred” but I’m open to suggestions, like when I named Francis/es after the mule in the Donald O’Connell movie series based on a suggestion. I’m even open to alternative genders for the little saucer dancer, male, female, other, I don’t care, it’s a plastic toy. It can have any gender assigned to it and it will all be good.

In other things morning services have been shut down at my church for lack of attendance. It got to the point that it was the people putting on the service plus Mrs. the Poet and me. and a couple of times I was in both of the sets in that statement. So it just became unfeasible to keep having morning services for essentially two or less people. The fact that I have been laid up the last couple of weeks made that “or less” more explicit. This is just not enough people to make turning on the lights and turning the thermostat up financially feasible. Also I no longer have a ride to evening services, so that’s that until I get lights on the bike and can ride again.

And since I didn’t have anything to write about when I started I’m well and truly out of material now.

Let’s try again tomorrow, Opus the Unkillable

More reminders that I’m getting old

When I woke up this morning my foot was swollen and felt like someone had been beating on it, again, and my cognitive functions pretty much haven’t functioned most of the day. Part of the latter problem is despite being exhausted last night my brain was still firing away at 0500 when I had to get up at 0900 to get ready for church, and I haven’t been back to sleep since. It’s like a switch gets thrown at midnight from “wasted” to “creative” and if I can’t get up and do something like writing or building I just race through ideas all night until something else switches “off” so I can sleep. Now I’m wandering the house in a haze trying to put two thoughts in a row, and failing at a third.

And there is a cat (Clint) sitting outside my office door demanding to be let in to do what cats do in my office: pretend it’s the world’s largest litter box. Actually that’s not fair, he wants to Be With Me because I am His Favorite Person In The Whole World™. Clint shows his pleasure at being with me by clawing my legs and stomach trying to get situated in my lap both initially and any time I move, and shoving his face into my armpit constantly. I don’t object to armpit-butting and lap-sitting, but the waving of claws in ecstasy gets me in the chest, belly, and sometimes face and/or crotch. As a result I have invoked the “No Claws Clause” in the adoption contract that allows me to remove a cat from the room for using claws inappropriately.

Back to being creative, or else, I’m still trying to figure out the mid-Bucket (and how to spell mid-bucket, obviously). Testing various risers has shown that putting the gas tank under the seats raises the seating position too much, the ideal seat height is making the cushion 5″ above the floor and the 10″ riser puts me too high in the body as there would only be about a foot of body side between sitting in the car and getting tossed out of the car. Visually going from the 5″ riser to the 10″ is the difference between sitting in the car vs sitting on the car, looking like an adult in a real car to looking like a kid too big for his toys. That means I have to find a place to put the fuel cell, and a place to put the trunk, that don’t unbalance the car either visually or dynamically. The original idea was to put the fuel cell behind the rear axle and under the rear trunk with another trunk up front between the original firewall and the front axle. That one got dumped because of too much weight in the rear and no space in the trunks for a full-size suitcase. The current (pre-underseat) configuration has the fuel tank under a tiny front trunk and a bigger trunk in the back. Neither trunk is suitable for hauling temperature sensitive cargo like chocolate bars or rolls of photographic film in a TX August. The front trunk is right behind the radiator while the rear trunk has the hot exhaust on either side and the engine in front. Lots of radiated heat sources around the rear trunk to raise the temperature inside the trunk even though the main source of heat has been located on the other end of the car. So after thinking some more and consulting the fuel cell pages in the Speedway catalog I decided to put in a 16 gallon cell that will fit under the steering column and allow a small trunk behind the axle, but still allow me to run E85 and have enough range to get to Nashville from Casa de El Poeta without running dry at the projected fuel economy for the car of 20 MPG highway on E85.

There was a lot of material in my EFI books on setting up an engine for E85 (AKA Car Booze) including tuning to max economy at part throttle while maintaining max power at WOT in the same fuel/spark map. It turns out there is a lot of commonality between tuning for fuel economy and WOT power, and it is entirely possible to have both. It is almost a case of having your cake and eating it, too. And with what can be done with an engine set up to burn E85 you can get more power than any pump gas while getting a carbon footprint lower than pump gas without factoring in if the ethanol was not fossil-sourced, which it isn’t. Getting the most power and fuel economy from E85 will take an engine rebuild to install higher compression pistons to take advantage of the higher octane rating, higher flow injectors to give some leeway on the fuel/air ratio at WOT, and a camshaft that will bleed some pressure off at lower RPM to allow even more compression which increases the expansion ratio and extracts more energy from the fuel at low power settings. From all the hype about compression ratios what is really important in economy is the expansion ratio of the burned gasses. Ideally you would like zero pressure to a slight vacuum at the bottom of the power stroke in an Otto cycle engine. This is a fact I picked up in first-year thermodynamics in engineering school. To do that requires a really small combustion chamber and a really large cylinder, AKA a high compression ratio. Which is why people looking for power and people looking to get as many miles per gallon as possible both go for as much compression as the fuel will allow.

AAAnnnnnd that’s enough rambling for today, bye.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I did something to my foot

I did something to my foot and now it hurts all the time. Well almost all the time, if I keep the foot warm and elevated, i.e. stay in bed, it only hurts a tiny bit. But when I sit up and try to get some work done on the computer it starts to throb. Walking on it is instant pain. I seriously can’t figure out what the cause might be unless this is old damage from when I was a kid coming back to haunt me. This is the foot that got minor frostbite when I was a teenager delivering newspapers in Utah (noodle incident), but I don’t know how much of that is related to now.

What I got is a throbbing pain across the bottom of my foot at the ball of the foot radiating into the second toe that gets worse in the toe when I walk. Again, no clue about why. Enough about my foot, I have more to write about.

Yesterday we had the opening run of the wake for the guy in our RPG group who died recently. We did a flaming shot in his honor, then set up the run. My character used to be the bouncer at the bar we meet at. Her skills are hand-to-hand combat, pistols, and astral combat. And lethal levels of snark and intimidation, seriously high levels of intimidation. Her seduction rolls require her to fail intimidation at half strength she is so intimidating. Seriously, her best bet at seduction would be to roll a critical glitch during the intimidation check. I’m RPing her as bi, because her original player was a bi female and I like to keep her consistent through adventures. The fun part is because she has so much trouble with accidentally intimidating instead of seducing her love life is “one of quiet desperation” except when it’s Not So Quiet Desperation. Think Darth Maul with boobs but over 7 feet tall and with a prehensile tail. Great as a bouncer or a domme, not so great at Looking for Love.

Anyway, the Run. The things we know about the run at the moment are we have been set up with some first-rate fake SINs connected to real bank accounts, and we communicate with the client through a burner phone that will be connected to the mark’s internal network at a specific point in their internal infrastructure. Technically we are going to bridge an air gap so the client can hack the mark, then retrieve the phone so the hack can’t be traced back to the client. The dangerous parts include getting inside the mark’s compound with the burner phone to the connection point, making the connection for the client (for which our Technomancer will be Doing His Thing, because connecting to the internal network is a high-level hack in and of itself that the client can’t do without being there when the whole idea is for him to Not Be There), and getting back out with whatever is loaded on the burner phone for the client. The promised payment is roughly a year’s pay for a middle-class salaryman each. At our lifestyle levels they would be enough to live on for years if not the rest of our lives. Right now we are in the planning stages of the run, getting supplies and equipment together and mapping getting in and out of the mark’s compound without getting caught. That’s where the session ended when we all had to go home.

And now I have to get ready for evening services, so bye. Before I go look up Unipiper Shovels Snow on weather.com to see a guy riding a unicycle playing flaming bagpipes pushing a snow shovel.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Make that a “Whoops!” for yesterday’s post

I opened the link with a device that belonged to somebody else and my stats were not visible at that page, just the combined stats of everyone using the app. So, I’ll give the stats myself. 88 miles, 28 individually recorded walks, 37 slices of pizza (13,741 Cal) burned, 2,715 min of walking, or roughly 2 days on my feet. I also had several walks of 4 miles or more. All of this in the last 2 weeks in November and all of December.

While I’m at it I hope everyone has a Happy New Year. I set up the hulahooping solar powered alien toy I got at the church white elephant exchange in the window sill and he starts dancing around 1400 when the sky is clear, about 1500 in a light overcast and depending on how bright it is I get anything from the barest wiggle to a banging the stops shimmy. It’s kinda a fun distraction.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable

My Father’s day was a week early, the rest of you have a great day.

My kids took me out for seafood at Pappadeaux last Saturday and I did pretty good in the presents department. I was going to brag last Sunday but Some Asshole decided to shoot up a gay club in Orlando and I really wasn’t in the mood any more.

That’s a 24-oz capacity insulated cup, that will keep warm coffee drinkable for at least 6 hours, and iced drinks iced for more than 8 hours (I can’t say exactly how much more, but there was ice left in the cup when my drink was done after 8 hours). The background is a limited edition ST:TOS T-shirt commemorating the Mirror, Mirror episode. The present I treasure the most is the 4-star Dragonball plushie. My son tells me the package said it was a keychain, but none of the pants pockets I have will hold it by itself, much less with keys on it.

This makes the third Father’s Day since my father died in 2012. I finally managed to process he’s not here and I’m starting to miss him. Dad and I were never close, but we would talk every so often. One of those times was when tragedies like Orlando would happen and we would try to make some sense of it together. Now I have to try to make sense out of the senseless on my own.

And there is racing on the idiot box (all night long) so I’m cutting this one short now. Y’all have a good time Sunday.

PSA, Opus

I’m fading here…

They’re 100 miles into the World 600 and I’m having problems staying awake. Not because the race is boring, but because this is my third race of the day after the Monaco GP and the Indy 500. After the wet race at Monaco, and the 100th running of the Indy 500 being won by a rookie my adrenal glands have burnt out and I’m about to drop… There is a limit to how much excitement a human being can endure.

PSA, Opus

happy day all you mothers, and I have a new favorite beer

Today is the day we celebrate our mothers. I loved my mom even though she drove me crazy. But I have to post this video.

On the other half of the headline I bought a sixpack of local beer at the local supermart for less than a sixer of Shiner. I was attracted by both the price and the reputation of the brewer, Deep Ellum Brewing. As you can tell from the headline I was not disappointed in their Double Brown Stout.
I like dark beers.
This beer is seriously smooth and drinkable with lots of flavor without having so much hops that you think you’re drinking from the medicine chest. I sometimes enjoy an IPA, but I will always come back to a rich, smooth stout. And notice that I never mention American Pilsner when I list beers I like…

And on a completely different note, I have sharks in my birdbaths in my Virtual Garden. I have no idea how they got there, I just know that there are no birds using the birdbaths.

Enjoy the rest of your day. Opus

How many believed Friday’s post? On a Wreck-Free Sunday

OK how many people thought I had really packed it in as a bicycle blogger Friday? I mean with all the stuff about the Sprint-T and the Mini Sprint-T, the NASCAR racing, and the Formula E racing news I post here on Wreck-Free Sunday, I expected to see some comments about changing the direction of the blog.

And, to be honest I have actually considered seriously doing exactly that, cutting back to once a week or so and just posting about car racing so I wouldn’t have to read any more bike wrecks. I mean there are days…

So anyway I got to see the entire Martinsville Sprint Cup race today, they were on the pace laps when I turned the TV on after getting back from morning service. It was a typical Martinsville race in many ways, not so much in many other ways. I mean there was plenty of the “rubbin’ is racin'” action, but not many torn up race cars at the end. To give an example, there were no cars at the end running without front end sheetmetal because the bodywork had been beaten in around the tires keeping them from turning, or torn off in a wreck. In fact the field had the highest percentage of cars running at the end since I can remember, and about half the field was on the lead lap at the end of the race. Congrats to Kyle Busch for winning the weekend with both the Cup and Truck series races falling victim to his driving prowess.

Since I mentioned it at the top of the post, I haven’t done much with the Mini Sprint-T this week, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it. I have been thinking about it a lot. Mainly I have been thinking about how to do the front axle and spindles. I think the best way to do it is to represent the spindle from the back by using some square stock glued to a round disk the scale size of the back of the spindle with the length from the disk being scale for the kingpin bosses on the spindle with the gap between the two the same size as the axle tube so the spindle can be glued to the axle with a gap large enough to allow a furniture nail to pass through the piece and allow the wheel to roll (or at least to be turned like it was rolling). So anyway the back of the spindle is 5.5″ so the scale is 0.22″. The upper boss is 2.03″ so scale would be a RCH more than .080″, the lower boss is 1.22″ so scale would be just shy of .05″. The actual thickness of the spindle away from the bosses is .250″ so the .010″ stock would be scale. The .010″ stock is pretty flimsy though so I’m going to run a chunk of .060″ square opposite the spindle bosses to give the furniture nail something to turn in and the whole assembly some structure so it doesn’t break if I drop the model a bit. I mean sure it will break if I drop it from waist height, but it I fumble setting it down a little too hard it should survive without bending or losing the front wheels.

You know the more I think about it the better just writing about building models and car races sounds. I mean I can always go back to writing about bike wrecks later if I feel the need, but not reading about broken bodies and destroyed lives really sounds like a good idea right now. I will have to think about it for a while.

PSA, Opus