Another reason why I stopped doing the blog and took a hiatus

I just got sent another Amazon Gift Card from this game I play on my phone when I’m out running around, like I was today going to the Lab Rat Keeper. I did a balance check and found that since 01/01/2016 I have collected $28 from this game, which is $28 more than I made last year from this blog. Seriously my take from the blog went from roughly $3K in 2013 to nothing in the last 2 quarters of 2014 and all of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

Seriously, if you have an Android phone you need to start playing mPLUS Places, particularly if you are getting around by not driving. I can hit my capture limit on places on a long walk around my neighborhood (roughly 3.5 miles, that can be broken up with rest stops in places), or by taking a bus ride and only capturing the high point places. Given the costs of a bus pass I don’t do this every day (I can take that walk instead), but when I have to take a trip across town I can really rake in the points. This week I have made more than twice the points I spent on that $1 gift card I bought last Friday night. That means that as I get the discounted $1 cards I’m also accumulating points for higher value cards that I will eventually buy and add to my Amazon balance.

About the trip to the Lab Rat Keeper, their scale says I lost a pound since last visit, but I weigh about 8 pounds more on their scale than the certified scale in the Tom Thumb store. Also my BP has gone down to 90/60 on the second test, 108/72 on the first test. Since I don’t get to take a second test at the Tom Thumb and the first test was within a few points of what I got at TT, I would say their machine is accurate. Still blows my BMI all to hell. Since I didn’t get enough salty snacks today, and also came up short on the yogurt, I will have to make a run to the store by myself to get some things. Pretzel stix are on sale for $2.50/lb, and there is a sale on 32 oz. yogurt as well.

And eventually I will use that balance to get stuff, and help drive the economy just that little bit more.

PSA, Opus

Nerd question for my readers

I’m getting ready to GM a D&D 3.5 game, and I want to encourage people to play Good aligned Warlocks. Here’s the plan: I announce during character creation that there is a secret invocation that won’t count against the max invocations for a level if they meet certain parameters and situations that will allow their Warlock to have the equivalent of a Cure Light Wounds spell that can be cast at will as many times as the player wants and does not require actual physical contact with the PC getting the HP recovery.

Here’s what I have worked out so far. The invocation will be available to a PC ChG Warlock with Sickening Blast as an invocation, who uses the invocation successfully in any situation and certain other stipulations are met. One thing I’m positive is the character’s INT and WIS have to add up to a fairly high number and the player had to beat a number on a d20 roll that gets lower as the sum of INT and WIS gets higher over that initial hurdle. The d20 roll happens each time the PC uses Sickening Blast. I’m thinking that 30 would be a good sum for the INT and WIS scores with the roll having to beat a 10 less one for every point the INT and WIS sum beats 30.

Now because this additional invocation is not granted by whatever power that made the Warlock, and because it depends on modifying an existing invocation, there is a failure chance built into the invocation. Failure is determined by a d6 with a roll of 1 causing the character the invocation is being used on to be sickened as per the Sickening Blast rules, 2 or 3 having no effect and 4, 5, or 6 curing one d8 of HP per 5 levels of Warlock up to 3d8.

Here’s an example of how the PC “discovers” the invocation. A ChG Warlock uses Sickening Blast to incapacitate a NPC the party wishes to capture and question without killing. The character has INT of 12 and WIS of 18 and the player rolls 13 on their d20 roll after successfully sickening the NPC. In game a beam of white light shines down on the character, blinding everyone in the area for one round. When everyone stops blinking the Warlock has received a revelation on the use of Sickening Blast to heal instead of making people sick. This boon has been granted by a healing deity who has a wicked sense of humor. The PC does not know the invocation will sometimes sicken instead of healing until the first time the player rolls a 1 on the d6 success roll.

The player can use the healing spell by direct touch without piggybacking on Eldritch Blast, or at a distance by using EB and hoping the heal spell cures more HP than the EB takes away. This makes this more of a desperation move than anything else.

So, whaddya think?

PSA, 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

New direction for the blog, we are now a car blog!

Yes I know that means I’m going to have to get a driver’s license again if I want to do road tests, but I would need one for the Sprint-T anyway. And I wouldn’t have the stay up til 0500 typing, I could get to bed at a reasonable hour!

Up first, doesn’t everyone need a 700 HP Jeep? Hellcat Jeep Trackhawk One And Done, 2015 Roush F-150, Bye Xterra, Tesla Competition, Top 5 Fast Fails And 745HP Force 1, Hellcat Jeep, Stolen Challenger, Acura Precision Concept, Wrangler Truck, Top 5 Fast Fails

Do you want to retain that 2 by 4bbl look but hate tuning two carbs and trying to match fuel delivery curves via swapping out holes in the fuel system? FiTech Reinvents EFI! How They Do It Better & Cheaper Seriously, this is a game-changer, the benefits of EFI with closed loop mixture control at a total system cost comparable to a carburetor. Since this computer controls spark as well as fuel I would use it on the Sprint-T for maximum fuel economy between race meets and running around getting groceries and going to church.

Stretching the limits on what is “street legal” a team is working on a funny car with treaded tires. Jeff Lutz and Tom Bailey Team Up For Street-Legal Record Probably an April Fools joke, but Scientology started with a bar bet between Heinlein and Hubbard, so maybe not? The illustration with the article shows a standard 500 in3 blown Hemi on a Nostalgia Funny Car chassis. The April Fools theory is supported by this article on current projects from both builders. Jeff Lutz vs. Tom Bailey: Whose New Project is Cooler? I like the Talledega project is “cooler” as I have been a corner burner since before I got my license. I like the engineering challenge of straight line acceleration, but cars that can brake and turn after accelerating are more my cup of java.

And I’m just starting this car blog thing so I don’t have a whole lotta sources yet.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I was on the road for 6 hours and my feet are killing me, and the Feed

I really should have gotten my toes done before doing all that walking, but one of the reasons I did all that walking was to deposit my check so I could get my toes done. At least this time I didn’t put any holes in my socks. So this put me back home starting filtering at 2030 instead of my normal 1430. Something else slowing me down is the almost 400 political campaign e-mails I got today in advance of the end-of-quarter deadline at midnight, because scattered amongst those money beggars are the online newsletters I check every day for an occasional bike story that doesn’t show in the Feed. I generally get on or two links a week out of that, sometimes way more, so it’s worth the effort.

OK finished filtering and it is 0322. For those not used to a 24 clock, that’s 22 minutes after Gigi loses her Internet every day, which happens at 3 AM here.

Up first is Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Former CM Rosendahl passes away, Calbike endorsements, and holding hands to stop texting

You have to start somewhere. HOUSE PANEL EXPLORES ROADSIDE SALIVA TESTING At the moment there is next to nothing known about weed and other legal or semi-legal drugs other than at some concentration they impair driving. Alcohol has a well-known effect on two critical aspects of driving, judgement and reaction time. What does pot effect? damifino.

We have one of these in the area I live and I was even a member of it at one time. Bike Advisory Committee Works for Better Bicycling in San Francisco You think anyone pays more attention to these guys than got paid to the Bike/Ped advisory committee at NCTCOG?

Infrastructure-related wreck in MD, no cars involved. Women injured in Crownsville bicycle crash There was not much coherent posted about this wreck, “they hit a bump and crashed” is the entirety of the report.

This is just sad. 7-year-old Cape Girardeau girl recovering from serious injuries after being hit while riding bike There is nothing blaming the victim here, perhps the driver of the suv that ran her over was (mostly) at fault. Nothing on the mode except that an intersection was involved.

I had a very hard tie understanding this when I first filtered it. Legislation would steer bicycle safety in right direction It’s still word salad in need of editing, but I think it says that bicycles would always have right of way over motor vehicles. That sounds very much like a presumed liability law, assuming that cyclists are not going to put themselves deliberately out there to get hit, because that really hurts and getting hit by a car takes a long time to recover from.

One new wreck and one old wreck from a NC. Cyclists struck by motorists Another left cross in NC, followed by a rehash of the Belize wreck.

Hmmm, drivers may not know they are driving virtually blind. Study illuminates big performance gap for car headlights Just like for bike lights, it’s not just the amount of light put out, it’s putting the light where it will do the most good.

Infrastructure from far West Canuckistan. Victoria Mayor says fatal collision involving cyclist was preventable The mayor is blaming the wreck on the lack of a barrier between the truck and the cyclist. Since the wreck was a right cross I have my doubts about that, but if they can do protected intersections like the Dutch… Maybe?

One of the strongest memes of this blog is don’t hit the pedestrians! Cyclist breaks little boy’s leg – then rides off: Can you help find the culprit? Especially don’t hit-and-run the pedestrians, even if they walk into the side of the bike as you are passing them. And watch out for little kids!

“Oh, the horrors I saw as I held the hand of the woman I ran over with my truck!” Lorry driver tells court how he pleaded with injured cyclist to ‘hold on’ This should not have been allowed to be presented to the jury. Remorse after the fact has no bearing on if an unlawful act occurred. But it seemed to have the desired effect on the jury. Husband of cyclist killed by London lorry cries as driver is acquitted and Family “devastated” as London lorry driver cleared of killing cyclist

Another UK cycling death. Tributes to ‘gentle giant’ cyclist Steve Wand who was killed in Westerham Good Friday collision The wreck appears to be due to human error on the part of the cyclist who died.

More UK infrastructure. ‘More imagination’ called for to combat thousands of extra cars coming into West Cambridge

More infrastructure, this time from the Emerald Isle. Petition for lights after cyclist death

Another one dies in Oz. Perth cyclist dies after being knocked off bike in Gosnells Did someone declare an open season on Oz cyclists?

Seriously, is there an open season on Oz cyclists? Three WA cyclists in car collisions

And it’s now 0457, and I can barely see the screen to type. I will come back to suffer some more after a few hours of sleep, blessed sleep.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Finally got some money, and the Feed

The check came in this morning, so I’ll be out running around paying bills and making deposits and stuff tomorrow instead of going with Mrs. the Poet to shop for groceries. There won’t be a big difference for the blog, just for my selection of salty snacks. I think I might have to give up meditation to get my BP up high enough to make the grade for the new test med, because cutting my current meds in half doesn’t quite do it, and eating salty snacks doesn’t do it either. I’m barely at 110/80 now.

Up first, wait, what?!?

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And closer to home.

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Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Downtown bike lanes draw new brewery, new bollards on Vineland and a new LA Bike Fest video

Unknown mode of wreck in MN. Bicycle rider killed by car in Sartell and Bicyclist Struck, Killed In Sartell As of this posting all I know is there was a cyclist hit by an unknown vehicle and possibly left for dead making this a possible probable hit-and-run.

Victim blaming in the Great White North. Cyclists share responsibility for accidents More blaming the victim for not wearing the GITDCS that drivers seem to think every cyclist should wear 24/7 when riding. Instead of you know, actually looking more than 20 feet in front of the vehicle.

Right hook in far West Canuckistan. Cyclist dies in collision with truck in Victoria’s Chinatown and Cyclist, 73, struck and killed in downtown Victoria I zoomed in on the picture of the crime scene and the only truck visible was a COE with good forward and side vision. So, aside from using the standard protocols posted in the links at the top of the page what could be done to prevent this wreck? They were already using the delivery vehicle with the best outward vision, the cyclist was wearing clothing that made her visible, what else could be done? EDIT: As I was getting ready to move from the first link to the next link the page updated with a much better picture of the crime scene showing the actual delivery vehicle having a conventional cab that is blind to a large area in front and to the right where the cyclist was hit. So going back to the question, replacing the delivery vehicle with a COE flat van and a glass door to the right would be a massive help.

Speaking of the devil, here’s an article from Jolly Olde on just that kind of vehicle, this one in a trash hauler. Pioneering lorries with panoramic view hit the streets in bid to save cyclists’ lives

Also from the UK is this factoid from the trial of a killer driver. Janina Gehlau: Lorry driver ‘should have seen cyclist for up to five seconds’ before fatal collision The cyclist was using the infrastructure as designed, the driver of the weapon vehicle should have been looking in the direction he was planning on driving before actually proceeding through that space, I believe the colloquial phrasing is “Looked where he was going”.

This is an aspect of UK jurisprudence that I would dearly love to see here in the US. Cyclist injured in fall from bike due to road ‘hazard’ awarded damages after suing council for ‘negligence’ Injured or incur property damage because of crappy infrastructure? Sue the government body responsible for it not being crappy.

Now this just sucks. Man pushes cyclist off BMX and rides off on it I try not to wish harm to another human being, really I do, but this guy needs to get hit by an HGV turning left at a stop light since this is over in Jolly Olde where they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Another rider in Oz hits a parked car? Qld rider killed after hitting parked car Seriously this is two this week.

More on the 73 YO driver that killed a cyclist in Oz. Hit-and-run driver charged over WA cyclist

Back in the US, SF infrastructure! TWIN PEAKS FOR EVERYONE OK let me get this out or I’m going to explode: That’s one fine cuppa coffee.

And how do you get bike parking? How Portland’s oldest Buddhist temple got better bike parking Sometimes you have to DIY.

And here it is not even midnight and I’m outta links, Gigi is going to be so happy.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

I broke a tooth last night, and the Feed

I had a piece come off one of my few remaining teeth last night as I was putting the post to bed. It’s a very strange situation, half of the front of one of my incisors just fell off the tooth while I was eating a crunch candy bar. Notice the “crunch” is not capitalized because Mrs. the Poet bought generic candy at the Dollar Store rather than the name brand stuff. I don’t think the fact that the candy was not brand had anything to do with 1/4 of the tooth coming off. At the moment it isn’t uncomfortable except for the sharp edge that was left exposed to my lip and I have managed to only cut myself on that the once. But I have to remember that I have a broken tooth and bite and chew accordingly.

Early Christmas gift notice. Dumbing of Age: The Fifth Book Collection I love the title of the book. Seriously, love. And I want a physical paper book, not just the PDF. I’m old fashioned that way. I have a bunch of books on PDF but I also have many tons of paper books.

Up first is Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: A very sad weekend in bike racing, and bikesplaining from a windshield perspective That “windshield perspective” link is a riot.

Local but not actually bike related. Driver to face charges in West Dallas crash that killed 3 children How fast was he going to kill three people inside a light armored vehicle, and critcally injure another, while also inflicting injuries on the driver?

Another driver runs a stop sign hitting a cyclist on a through street and LEO can’t decide if the driver should be charged? Broomfield cyclist injured after car collision The one earlier was in CA this one is in CO. And to answer the question, the driver ran a stop sign and caused injury to a cyclist with the right of way, you better at least give a ticket, if not an assault charge.

Hit-and-run wreck in IL. UPDATE: Altamont Man Riding Bicycle Struck and Killed on Route 40 Monday Morning, Search for Driver That Left the Scene Continues Hit-from-behind wreck or maybe just a buzz job that killed because of aerodynamic effects causing the rider to get caught in the rear wheels.

Nice little infrastructure fight in NJ. Bike-Share Fight Brews in New Jersey You can ride your out-of-town bike-share bike but you can’t park it because, it ain’t our bike-share bike. Sure that will pass muster with the constitutional folks?

And since we are discussing NJ infrastructure why not NYC? The Official (Mostly Accurate) 2016 NYC Bike Map Is Here Looks nice, but most bike infrastructure looks nice when it’a lines on paper.

And since we are in NY here is the NYP take on the stupid rich guy riding a bike from L.A. to Vegas in less than 48 hours for a $1.2 million bet. Instagram playboy reveals why he’s risking his life for $600K OK 10 years ago this would not be that big a deal for me to do since I was riding 120 miles round trip to have lunch with a friend, but since having “Chris Christie” move in and be evicted from my neck I probably couldn’t do this in the time limit today.

How to fund cycling infrastructure while reducing carbon pollution. Comment of the Week: Raise the gas tax one penny per fatality If this had been in effect for last year using the 2013 fatalities there would be a $52.80/gal tax on gas last year, because it usually takes until August or September to get all the vulnerable users totalled up and then the tax would go into effect the next year after that. The tax would be $56.04 nationally this year. OR would have a $0.64/gallon tax based on the 2014 statistics while we in TX would be ponying an extra $5.26/gallon. Yes I think this would be an excellent way of reducing vulnerable user fatalities, both because drivers will be incentivized to not hit vulnerable users and as a way to build infrastructure that protects vulnerable users from motor vehicles.

Another infrastructure article from America’s Copenhagen. Guest article: Want safer streets? Ask for them I guess asking nicely would work, if there was an “Or else” with teeth attached to it.

More from the DIY DoT in Portland. What are all these unauthorized orange traffic cones telling us? They are telling us that the bike lanes are incomplete without something sticking up to keep drivers out of them.

And tragedy in Portland. Gresham police say 10-year-old boy’s death on Burnside is “horrible accident” This is one of those wrecks that human nature and bad infrastructure combine to create a situation with no winners.

Do you know the words before you click the link? The three words that mean so much when they come from a cyclist.Also known as calling your pass.

Wreck in West Canuckistan. Cyclist, 73, killed in collision with delivery truck in Victoria Truck wreck with a cyclist at an intersection, probably a right hook but since LEO aren’t telling anything we don’t know.

Infrastructure article from Jolly Olde. Chris Boardman dismisses Janet Street-Porter’s anti-cycle infrastructure article as shouting and stamping devoid of logic

Still in the UK, this guy did something extraordinary. Tamworth man completes gruelling 1,000 mile cycling challenge John o’Groats to Land’s End is comparable to riding from Texarcana to El Paso by way of Brownsville or Amarillo.

Another extraordinary achievement in Jolly Olde. Shanaze Reade sets Guinness World Record – for cycling Wall of Death Of course a track cyclist would be good for this. It’s like the world’s smallest and steepest banked velodrome.

Another link to that attempted murder in Oz. Police seize car in connection with hit and run that left cyclist in critical condition Get ‘im! grr!

Another wreck in Oz. UPDATE: Cyclist, 78, killed in freak accident If witness accounts are to be believed he may have had some kind of medical condition just prior to hitting the parked vehicle while riding uphill. Or in other words he wasn’t going fast enough to get injured from the impact, much less killed, so something must have happened before the wreck.

More wreck news from Oz. Police question man after cyclist killed in hit-and-run near Perth [facepalm] Seventy-three years old and “didn’t know” he hit anything.[/facepalm] And there was a second cyclist hit who didn’t even merit a separate article… More Three dead in Easter Monday crashes as weekend toll rises to four

Still in Oz. Loved ones remember man with passion for cycling and humour

Responding to the many injuries and the death in the pro peloton. The Elephant Not in the Room

The good news is getting on your bike will cause you to lose a few pounds. Middle-aged cycle commuters typically 4-5kg lighter than those who drive to work The bad news is unless you restrict calorie intake and really push your commutes long you probably won’t lose much past that initial loss. Of course you really don’t “need” to because your fat to lean ratio will be so improved.

Review of an e-assist bike. Testing the Bosch Edgerunner This is a mid-drive bike as opposed to the cheaper but less able hub motor bikes.

And while we are on e-assist, here is a cell comparison for the ones who make their own packs. Ebenezer Scrooge’s 18650 Ebike Battery Shopping Guide For 2016 If you make your own packs you can get bleeding edge performance for a season, maybe a year. That’s how much the technology is moving, still. It’s not the same as when I was doing experiments with SLA just as NiMH cells became cheaply available and you could get twice the capacity at half the weight, but there are still major advances out there in capacity and especially current delivery.

And it’s after 0400, I’m going to bed. Sorry Gigi for posting late again.

Billed @$0.02, Opus