I think too much

I was on a long walk to get some stuff at the hardware, and well, my mind also wandered. Specifically it wandered around the Sprint-T. What I was thinking about was what it could be like with the Pentastar 3.6l V6 DOHC aluminum block and heads engine that weighs a factory-claimed 326 pounds (as compared to the 545 claimed for the SBC and the 413 for the 3.8 pushrod engine out of the minivan) and delivers 305 HP in stock form. As a comparison the “performance” SBC in the first-gen Camaro was rated at 290 HP. In the Sprint T with the SBC and a TH 350 transmission I was looking at just over 1700 pounds empty, with the Pentastar V6 and the 42RE transmission coming in at 1450 pounds but that 42RE transmission would be dicey for racing use. The later models used 6 and 8 speed slush boxen that would survive racing but also weigh considerably more, the 8-speed being strong enough for the legendary Hemi. The transverse version of the 3.6 would bolt to the 41TE transaxle in the mid-Bucket and take 87 pounds off the weight and rear axle, while adding more than 200 HP over the engine as it sits in the minivan. Do I want one? Not if I had to buy it from the dealer with a car around it. Would I take a similar deal as I got on the 3.8l pushrod engine, remove a derelict vehicle to remove the stuff I needed to make a car for free? Hell I would even pay for a car that got wrecked in the back as long as it wasn’t more than $1K to get the 305 HP version of the engine and then swap the FEAD (Front End Accessory Drive) for the transverse installation. I mean 200 HP more and 87 pounds less would I take that? Hell Yes I Would Take That!

So the reason for the walk was to get the 7/32” drill bit and the small tube of GOOP for the bike and Mini Sprint-T respectively. I logged 3.93 miles and 25 checkins on Map My Walk and M Plus Places respectively and burned a lot of calories in the process. The weather was perfect, just warm enough and just breezy enough with a high overcast so that it was bright but not blinding.

And I have to get the rest of the stuff I do offline done so I can go to bed, so I’m putting this post to bed first, then me.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I survived the trip to the Lab Rat Keeper

I had a hard time getting out of the house for the trip to the LRK because Clint was “helping” me get dressed and out the door then decided he wanted back in right after I locked the door on my way out. I was on the wrong side of the street when the bus went by while I was trying to get across. That led to me walking about a mile and a half to catch the crosstown bus I wanted to catch at the station, after it was already en route. I got there in time and I even managed to check in to a bonus check-in 4 times while I was going to and from the LRK and breakfast.

So anyway, I was supposed to catch the bus that went by the main road at 0658 so I got up at 0600 to shower and dress and leave in time to catch the bus, but between Clint “helping” me get dressed and his deciding to turn around right after I locked the door I got going 5 minutes later than planned, resulting in my watching the bus go by from the wrong side of the street instead of riding it to the transit station for the crosstown bus. So I hoofed it to the bus stop where the crosstown bus turned on Beltline about another mile and a half from that stop. Then I sat and waited a few minutes for the bus and for my left foot to stop hurting. Part of the reason I missed the bus is my normal bed time is 0400 or so, usually later rather than earlier, and I get up about 1200 or 1300 instead of 0600. This meant I was running on very little sleep which means I was running slow, and still am. I have caffeinated to the limits, but I’m still having problems putting two coherent sentnces together in a row.

I’m gonna take that as a sign to hang it up and hit the sack.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

My toes are done and other things

OK I did my toes yesterday and picked up my meds. The toes were the same cost as usual, but my meds went up almost 500%, 471% to be precise. My usual pharmacy changed suppliers on this med and where the old supplier had a discount for monthly prescriptions the new one doesn’t. The new pill looks completely different in shape and color from the previous one. While I was going down the road I went ahead and got my bag limit for check-ins on my phone game, which is also working like it’s supposed to work. I just cashed in the gift card I earned last week and I’m close to getting another gift card on the side quest mission, just two more days to go on that one.

On the Mini Sprint-T I have been playing with the windshield frame from the donor kit to see if I can make it lay down like mine will with the posts I got from Speedway . Short answer: Yes indeedy. Unfortunately it takes both hands to hold the frame aligned with the body without using glue and since my mockup adhesive has gone walkabout I can’t put it together to take a picture. Since I have to visit the LRK early in the AM I’ll stop by the hardware and pick up another tube of Goop and some drill bits to install the tail light on the seat of the new bike. The mounting bolt measures 3/16” so that’s the drill I’ll be looking for or maybe a thirty-second larger.

Well, I have to get up at Oh-Gawd-Thirty in the Aye-Emm so I’m going to let it rest now.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Things are looking good today

Things have been good this weekend around Casa de El Poeta. The lady my wife is helping unpack and downsize had an extra wheelchair seat cushion that I’m now parking my butt on in my office chair, and it’s super comfy. Now I don’t know if there was an extra cushion because she’s no longer using a wheelchair, or if she somehow had more than one cushion. Doesn’t matter, I have a comfy place to park my butt for writing and reading stuff on my computer.

Mrs. the Poet woke up with a sore leg today so we are skipping church. There is about 0.8 mile (1.3 Km) walk from the transit station to the church with no bus service on Sunday so that bus stop in front of the church is of no use to actually get to church on Sunday. Mrs. the Poet feels her leg will not make that walk without either a lot of pain or the leg actually quitting. I’m familiar with a leg that fails to function, the nerve damage I got in the wreck does that to me sometimes even this far out from the wreck. The difference between Mrs. the Poet’s situation and mine is we have opposite legs failing on us, and she has a back injury causing her issues.

On the hot rod front it looks like I will need to install a front anti-roll bar to get as much oversteer out of the car as possible. That’s from running the numbers through the equations in the Herb Adams Chassis Engineering book on weight distribution and cornering weight transfer. I can’t calculate the exact size bar I will need to install from that book, but I can determine that I will need to use one. The other thing I will need to do is lower the rear roll center to tighten the rear grip geometrically. Since I have already determined that I’m going to mount the lateral locating device as low as possible on the rear this is not news to me. The current plan is to make the street setting about 7″ below axle center and move it up as required for autocross racing at Goodguys or SCCA. The limit is when the front end is transferring all the weight from the inside to the outside tire and the inside front tire lifts off the ground. At that point if the car is still oversteering there ain’t nothing that can be done by making adjustments to weight transfer. The only thing to do would be going to bigs and littles on the tires with the bigs holding up the back end because more tire = more grip. Bigs and littles is a traditional combination for T Buckets because the traditional geometry has the rear roll center anywhere from 5 to 7 inches above the axle centerline where I’m building a much lower rear roll center to keep the tires as equal as possible.

On other things I need to get my toes done tomorrow. I said this before but the nerve damage in my left leg keeps me from being able to trim the pinky toe and the next toe over by myself because I run out of hands. Those two toes curl under when I’m doubled up to reach my toes and it takes two hands to pull the toes out and hold the foot down leaving me one hand short to trim the nails. I would prefer to not spend the $$ and trim my own nails but conditions dictate otherwise. While I’m in the area I will pop over to the pharmacy in the same complex and renew my antidepressant prescription, and get a few things we missed yesterday rushing through the store.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta is just ending and Kevin Harvick lost the lead on a speeding penalty, leaving Keselowski free to take the win.

And I need to get ready for the many things I need to do tomorrow.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Things get weird when I don’t get my coffee

As the headline states, the trip to the Lab Rat Keeper was strange. Well not so much the trip as what happened when I got there. My BP was sky high as expected without my BP meds, what wasn’t expected was my resting pulse as tested with the finger on the wrist, oxygen saturation tester, and EKG. The high was 46 and the low was 42, with the last one coming in dead average at 44 BPM. The whole thing reminded me of a Flintstones newspaper cartoon from the ’70s where Fred is getting a physical and looks drunk or groggy with the “impaired” bubbles floating around his head. The doctor waits a beat with the stethoscope on Fred’s chest, then the last panel he said “I don’t care if it’s Monday, MAKE IT BEAT!” Then we had the fun of the blood draw with the slow pulse translating to a very slow blood draw. Final test was the caliper skin fold body fat test. I remember the measurements but I don’t know how to interpret them: Waist 109cm, bicep 16mm, triceps 12mm, scapula 38mm, iliac crest 28mm. After reviewing the test results (not including the lab tests) Dr. LRK pronounced my cardiovascular age as 37-38 YO.

I’m cutting this one short because I did a lot of walking taking care of financials after the LRK and also I had to fast all day for the blood draws, and I’m getting fuzzy around the edges of my mind.

Billed one McDonald’s double cheeseburger, Opus the Poet

How big a gas tank

Yesterday I did some measuring and calculating to figure out how much fuel capacity I could have and still clear everything. Turns out it is quite a lot.

The space between the front firewall of the body and the back of the nose is a straight continuation of the firewall. This will make constructing the covers of this area much easier, and makes things like steering and the gas tank much easier to fit. Anyway I know the steering box is just under 4.5″ wide from the mounting flange that fits on the inside of the frame rail, and I want the outflow air from the radiator to exit on both sides of the tank so we have a maximum width of 27″ (firewall edge) minus 3 (two frame rails) minus 9 (steering box on left and symmetrical space on the right) for a total width of 15″. The front axle is 25″ from the firewall, minus 7.5″ for steering linkage rounded to 8 for the slight shortening of the wheelbase caused by travel from the design ride height so 17″ long. The firewall is 22″ tall in the center but only 19″ at the point the top panel of the hood joins the sides so 19″ tall. Multiplying all this out gives me 4845 cubic inches of fuel or 21 gallons.

The donor minivan would make a roughly 300 mile trip on about 16 gallons so 21 will still give adequate range even with the change to e85. This is not even considering the difference in drag between the minivan and the hot rod, the hot rod being narrower, about 2 feet shorter, and much less bluff than the minivan. And also not forgetting the difference in weight for going up hills, the hot rod will be about 1500 pounds empty compared to the advertised 3900 empty weight of the minivan, so the hot rod should have much better fuel economy than the donor minivan.

In other news I have a trip to the lab rat keeper in the morning, so no food until after the visit (because for some reason they are tracking my cholesterol on this trial). And I’ll get the latest Squirrel Girl on the way back and pay my phone and the storage unit, so lots of walking and time on the bus to go with starvation.😜

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Nothing much I can show, but I am getting things done

It has been a case of working on the various bits and pieces of the Mini Sprint-T build between taking apart the other toaster and healing up from working with dangerous tools that can take chunks outta my hand when they slip. They slip frequently meaning I mostly have tiny chunks missing from my fingers. This is what requires the healing up.

I have noticed something interesting on You Tube Music. When I check the Electronica Channel I get mostly a mix of ambient and swing music. Yes, swing music like from the 20s, 30s and 40s of the 20th century, only this is new and most of the instruments are synthesized electronically. The rest is what we used to call “Synth Pop”, I don’t know what current term is used. But really checking into the Electronica Channel one does not expect to hear jazz music. It’s momentarily jarring.

On other fronts I really need to air out my office. It smells like a locker room for some reason. I usually keep it closed up to keep the cats from cavorting through my stuff since I keep the fragile stuff and books in my office. Maybe I should shower before I go to my office instead of when I come out of it. I dunno? It gets kinda warm in here most of the year even with the AC running full blast.

On the Mini Sprint-T I have been playing with the spare wheels trying to get the width right, because it is way too easy to get too narrow with the file. Also I was thinking that when I do the vacuformed wheels I could just cut the 14″ wide rims down to 8″ (scale) since they would be easy to cut with scissors or a hobby knife, then glue in the centers and hubs from the resin wheels like I was planning for the 14″ rims. The construction method I was thinking about makes 2 separate halves anyway, so just trim for the desired width no matter what width it is. I could even make the 18″ wide rims to use the right rear tires off a Supermod car. That was a passing thought for a possible A/Mod SCCA Solo car using a SBC and a Powerglide transmission… which I could make in model form. I have thousands of ideas for cars running round inside my head, very few of which will ever see even a sketch on the back of an envelope. A/Mod cars are a fertile ground for my imagination because the lack of restrictions makes physics my primary restriction. There are just so many ways to make a car go around corners quickly, the combinations are essentially endless… Including a car with a large moving weight that would shift to the inside of a turn to counteract the weight transfer of making the turn, like the “monkey” on a sidecar rig.

And for a day I didn’t have anything to say I certainly have rambled on, haven’t I? It would be even more words if I didn’t use portmanteaus and acronyms so often.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I’m whole again!

Not much to write about today except I finally got my ATM card replaced and have access to my money. Not having access to my money meant I had some lean grocery shopping days, these last two weeks especially. This week coming up will be different because I can just go to the ATM and draw some money out like normal people do.

On the hot rod front I got the tech sheet and order form from Jongbloed wheels to order a set of custom 17″ diameter wheels with (possibly) different offsets/backspacing front and rear. The rears on the minivan hubs really should be more backspacing/positive offset, while the front hubs are made for less backspacing/negative offset. At 1500 pounds will it make a difference in bearing life? Probably not. Will I buy from this provider? At $3k for a set of 4 custom width and offset wheels it is a distinct possibility, especially since they are about the lightest 17″ diameter wheels to fit my hubs available. Will they look funny on the mid-Bucket? Maybe And then again maybe not.

Well, it’s late and I really need to finish this up.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

Why does so much of my life suck?

That app on my phone that pays me money is glitching big time the last couple of days. I have only been able to get one prize box since Thursday and haven’t been able to check in to a check-in location in that time. I can sometimes sneak in a sweeps entry for the “make an entry a day for 20 days and get a dollar” contest but I missed yesterday. And it isn’t looking good for today either. To make matters worse, some other apps I downloaded because they provided points for the other app no longer pay out at all and one of them stranded several days’ worth of points before the app stopped paying points. IOW I was still earning points and getting told I was earning points but not getting connected to the points server to collect the points, then they dumped everything about points without paying me my earned points.

Since things on other fronts have been floating along like the proverbial lead balloon, I bought some lottery tickets today. To be precise I bought a Megamillions, Powerball, and Texas Lotto ticket with annuitized payments payout. I win any of them and we have enough to live off of for our expected lifespans (well maybe not MY expected lifespan, but I should have enough by then to live off the interest).

I had to stop working on the remaining toaster because the pliers I have been using wore a hole on the top of my pinky finger from using it to open the pliers back up to make another grab at the stubborn screws. I have to admit the manufacturer had an insanely simple anti-tamper method, buy screws so cheap and soft that they strip the heads installing them so there is nothing to grab hold of with a screwdriver to remove them. Problem is from looking at the rest of the device I don’t think anti-tamper was even on the first 2 pages of reasons to buy cheap, soft screws.

On the Mini Sprint-T I was getting ready to mock up a full wheel to check for fit and my mock-up adhesive that I just bought seems to have gone walkabout. I’ve torn the room apart and can’t find it anywhere. That’s $5 down the tubes and no progress until I can get another tube of Goop™.

And I really need to wrap this up and get to bed. I have a busy day of role-playing games ahead.

billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

No post yesterday and only this blurb today

As there are only 24 hours in a day I have to sometimes make a decision: Write something, or do something to write about later. Yesterday was an example of the latter as I decided to cannibalize the non-functional toasters if it killed me. I got halfway through my task and I’m waiting for the injuries to heal up enough to use the tools to do it again.

I did discover the failure mode that caused the first toaster to be DOA. It turns out there is an electromagnet in the timer unit that attracts a metal plate on a plastic arm in the bread lifter and that magnet shuts off when the timer is done. If the metal plate never gets close enough to the magnet, or if the magnet never gets power in the first place, then the bread lifter never latches to make the toast. This is a case of too many failure modes at a single point of failure. Of course the difference between this happening on a car or airplane and the toaster is the difference between “people die or get horribly injured” and “no toast and cold Pop Tarts”.

Now while I heal up, I’m going to go for a walk.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable (but not invulnerable)