Tag Archives: another mass shooting

I’m not ignoring the recent events involving guns

I’m just trying to not think about them. Because there’s nothing I can do that will change our gun laws one iota, nothing I can do about liars occupying the White House who do nothing except tweet and play golf and drink Diet Coke and eat McDonald’s all day. I write about building a car now, because when I wrote about bike wrecks I made myself crazy and super depressed, and I don’t like being crazy or any level of depressed.

Seriously this is like the 300th mass shooting in the US this year and if the other 299 or so haven’t gotten the ball rolling another one won’t either, even if it’s a hate crime. A hate crime that we enabled by allowing people to buy what are essentially low-performance weapons of war without proof of need or even proof of sanity. It’s just ridiculous how easy it is to buy devices capable of killing so many people in so little time. I mean, sure I said similar things about cars, and I mean them, but at least you have to show some degree of competence to own a car (license), show some financial responsibility (insurance), and register the damn thing with the government (tags). I’m convinced the only reason why we aren’t up to out necks in bodies is it takes a fair degree of skill and a smidgen of depravity to use a gun like that, plus bullets are expensive. It takes a lot of practice to get skilled, and since ammunition is so expensive that degree of practice is also expensive. That’s one reason so many mass shooters are either well-off, or ex-military so they get the ammo to get the practice to get the bullets on target. The last time I shot a long arm was when I was in the Army, and it has been more than 20 years since I shot a pistol, all because I can’t afford to shoot the guns I (used to) own. I let the last one go when my dad died and we sold his guns off, I put mine in with his and Mom’s.

But, I haven’t written about the shootings until now because I have nothing useful to add.

Something else I can’t do anything about is the depravity of men. The reason the synagogue shooter gave for targeting the sanctuary is he “wanted to kill Jews”. There is nothing I can do about him wanting to kill Jews except prevent him from acquiring the capability of carrying out the desire, and as already demonstrated there’s Fuck All I can do about crazy people getting access to that capability. Unless you are convicted of a violent crime there is absolutely nothing preventing you from getting your hands on as many guns and as much ammunition as you can buy or physically carry, whichever limit you hit first. And even a conviction for a violent crime might not prevent you from legally owning a gun, if the conviction was not properly recorded, or if the crime is not sufficiently criminal to warrant preventing you from buying firearms, like many misdemeanor assaults or cruelty to animals.

So to keep from stewing about all the things going on that should make me insane I have been building cars in my head, making sketches on paper and designs in my head about what to do to solve the myriad of problems that come from building a car from Bits You Bought At Random (Not Really At Random It Just Seems That Way). Basically every time I buy something I freeze that part of the design, and everything else has to work with or around the parts I already bought unless it becomes cheaper to abandon the sunk cost. And that phrase means that replacing or bypassing the parts I already bought is significantly cheaper than using them.

For example, I have a straight front axle that I bought so the hubs up front would have the same spacing as the hubs on the front of the minivan used in the rear as a mid-engine, which I bought when I had some more money than I have now and less expenses, and before I discovered I wasn’t going to get the minivan because Mrs. the Poet told the people not to give it to me 😦 She told them something about not wanting a derelict vehicle in the driveway because Codes would tow it, after we had already solved that issue. But anyway, now I have to build with that front axle and spindles unless it would cost less to do something else in the front suspension than to complete what I already have. And as I only need to buy shocks and springs, 4 straight links, hubs and disks, and calipers and fabricate a few brackets to finish tying all those bits together there is little possibility I could make anything cheaper unless someone gives me a small RWD car with a complete front suspension to swap out, and given what happened to the engine and transmission that was supposed to come from the minivan… I’m putting that possibility on the same level with meeting a Sasquatch or Santa Claus in person. Not saying that’s not going to happen, just getting the car and the required bits removed before Mrs. the Poet finds out the car is in the driveway and at no cost to me is a low probability event. It might happen but I would need Mrs. the Poet to not be at home for an extended period and also for it to be cool enough to remove the bits in the driveway and not get consumed alive by insects. Those conditions almost never line up because she goes to see her family in July and August, and it doesn’t get cool around here until, well now, and it’s still kinda warm this time of year. So free car when Mrs. the Poet is gone, and cool enough to not die working outside. It could happen, someday.

Or I might win the lottery and have enough money to buy what I need and also a place to work away from the house. Which do you think will happen first, free car or win the lottery? Leave a comment.

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I’m bad at managing devices

I have been having issues with devices running out of battery power. I need to conserve the laptop for doing things that need a physical keyboard, and use my other two devices for reading Twitter and webcomics. I have my phone that only connects to the Internet via WiFi to use for web browsing and also playing Klondike solitaire, my actual phone I can call people on for that and Twitter, and this laptop for actual things involving many words with actual letters and not emojis. If I work it like that I have enough battery life to do everything, otherwise I end up missing posting to the blog because the only device I have with charge is the phone I play solitaire on, with the really crappy on-screen keyboard.

I’m still thinking about the Subaru engine installation in the Sprint-T. One thing I have been thinking about is intake packaging with the turbo not behind the engine, and setting the car to run on 87 octane regular for transit and 100 octane E85 for racing. Now if I get a junkyard 2.5 engine and rebuild it to run on 87 octane as a NA engine with a huge waste gate that basically only allows ~ 1 pound of boost when open and set it to be always open, then install a water to air intercooler with an ice reservoir for running boost then I can tune for best mileage with the regular gas. I just need to have a way to switch between the two tunes at the track so I can tune for best power at all RPM points for the E85 tune for the Goodguys autocross, then switch back to the 87 octane for the trip home after running out the E85 to prevent it from going stale in the tank. Basically I’m looking at a storage tank in the tire trailer that holds the transit gas after it gets pumped out while changing from street tires to autocross tires, then pumps the transit gas back into the transit tank to use after the race gas is burned from the race tank on the way home. Yes, this system will have two gas tanks, a big one that weighs lots when full and gives me the range to get to races even when I have to drive through I-80 in Wyoming or western Utah and eastern Nevada where there can be hundreds of miles between gas stations. Not that I expect there to be any events that require such range, but it’s good to be prepared for that and not need it rather than need it and not have it. As I was explaining this the thought came that I could use the storage tank in the trailer as a range extender if the situation arose that I was crossing vast gasless wastes. When the transit tank gets low enough pump the extra fuel stored in the trailer into the transit tank.

I just realized I never mentioned why I would use the water to air intercooler rather than the stock Subaru air to air intercooler. Well there is the ducting issue, a water to air intercooler can be installed in the manifold plenum and get fed directly from the turbo, and as I can use icewater as a coolant the possibility of having an intake charge colder than the outside air inside the manifold can be used to enhance performance, combined with the fact that water to air intercoolers flow air almost like they weren’t there to maintain unboosted airflow for better transit gas mileage. In a new installation without previous parts all of these advantages really add up. To summarize, lower weight, less restriction and colder charge temperature compared to air to air at a similar cost even including the pump and ice tank. That’s if I get a junkyard engine without all the intake stuff.

And as I was composing this post we had another mass shooting with a confirmed 4 injured and unknown number of dead, in an industrial park in MD the third mass shooting in three days. As per usual the GOP response is “Too early to talk about new laws, we are sending thoughts and prayers to the victims.” That is great guys, how about sending paid in full for their medical bills since you have been doing fuck all about preventing these events? At least that would be accomplishing something!

Yesterday was physically and emotionally exhausting

Yesterday I had to get up about 4 hours earlier than my normal rising time. That was just the start of a seriously shitty day. I had to leave before I finished my coffee, and barely had time to eat an envelope of PopTarts before throwing my raincoat on and heading out the door.

To pass the time enroute I opened my Twitter app on my phone, and was greeted by videos of a mass shooter making his way through a FL high school. Wonderful, another school shooting with a double-digit body count . Close to Over 2 dozen injured or killed yesterday. And that makes 19 times this year that a firearm has been discharged on school property…

So anyway, about that rain coat. Basically it’s vinyl windbreaker with no ventilation held closed with Velcro and held together with vinyl tape after as many years as I have had it. That means it’s a sweat generator, and the hook part of the front closure snagging on everything in range, and that hook part dangling loose after Mrs. the Poet borrowed it without understanding it was delicate because of the tape. So hot and basically catching on every fabric surface in a half-meter radius, because there was a misting rain and fog when I left the house that ended before I even got to the transit center to catch my second bus. I carry my wallet in a drawstring bag I throw over one shoulder, so I stuffed the jacket into the bag and had it under my arm the rest of the day.

This brings me to the visit with the Lab Rat Keeper. It seems that stopping the anti-depressants was a Bad Idea from a blood pressure point of view, as I have been asked to augment my current med (Byvalson) with the diuretic HCTZ to get back to the numbers I had when I was taking the anti-depressants. In case you didn’t know or forgot, I stopped the anti-depressants because I can’t live with the side effects of no sex life or sleeping all day and night. Whodathunkit? Depression is bad for your blood pressure.

And getting back to the school shooting, the shooter was 19 and legally bought his assault weapon after learning to shoot and maintain it as a cadet in JROTC. As a graduate of the Navy version of this program more than 40 years ago, I can say that wasn’t the cause, but it probably did teach him how to use the rifle. And since it’s more than likely his instructors were combat veterans he likely picked up the “run and gun” protocol he used from one of them. But how does a 19YO with documented mental health issues get that much firepower with multiple magazines and a brick of 1000 rounds of ammunition? I mean that’s the Mass Shooting Starter Kit, did nobody at the gun store contact the police?

And that’s all my stomach can handle.