Tag Archives: cats

Quick note before I go work on the car in the living room

And yes there is a car in the living room but that’s not what I’m going to work on. I’m going to install the bushings in the spindles and hone them to fit the kingpins. But first I have a needy cat on my lap who wants belly rubs so brief break.

OK belly rub needs satisfied, back to the blog post.

The concept is simple, the kit ships with bronze bushings that press into the spindles and have to be fitted to the kingpins, similar to how the axle bosses had to be fitted so the kingpins would go in and out of the axle. The difference here is the kingpins are locked into the axle with the grub screw while the bushings have to be honed for working clearance, the size difference is only a few thousandths of an inch (0.03-0.06 mm). There just needs to be enough room for a layer of heavy grease in the bushings where the axle bosses didn’t need any room at all.

Enough words time for work.

The fur kids are starting to miss Mrs. the Poet, Happy 4th of July

Clint and Clyde have noticed that Mrs. The Poet isn’t here to sit on, on the couch. Actually I think they noticed she isn’t here to wait on them hand and foot.

I’m running out of paper cardstock for the scale mockup because we have recycled so much of our junk mail there was only one small sheet left, so when I screwed up the front wheel cutouts for the floor there wasn’t enough left to do another one. And now I won’t get any of that kind of junk mail again for a long time, because I actually want some.

I could make mockup tires from 1″ dowels sliced and painted black. The IRL tires I’m looking at are all 25 to 26″ tall which is 1″ to 1.04″ in scale, and 7″ to 12″ wide which is 0.28″ to 0.48″ in scale. Doweling is cheap and easy to work with, so that might be the tire solution, cut them slightly wide and then sand them to the correct width.

I need to get my act together this morning and get to Harbor Freight for their 4th sale. Mrs. the Poet wants me to get a screwdriver set because I left mine where I was working out in the garage and people have been moving things around and just putting my stuff anywhere in spite of repeated admonitions to not move anything so I could find it again. But nobody pays me any attention when I ask to leave my stuff alone.

Anyway I need to do a lot of travelling locally today so I had better get a quick nap in before I have to go.

Still getting frustrated

Foot still hurts. Tires still look like something out of a cartoon. Cat still talking to ghosts. Office AC still just works on fan setting. Dent still in brick wall from beating my head against it. So, not much has changed.

One thing that has changed is Mrs. the Poet’s attitude about buying an engine hoist. After getting rental rates for 3 places around Garland that were within a dollar of each other and 2 rentals are 60% more than buying and several rental sessions needed just to move the engine out of the donor vehicle and set up for placing the mounts. Now all we need is the $108.24 before the coupon expires (hint, hint).

Watching the truck race from down the road outside Ft. Worth. Some good close racing but so far the only wrecks seem to be equipment failure, not drivers using the Braille system to find the track. I do love a good race, like the ARCA race from Pocono this afternoon.

One thing I have been doing is tracking down upgrade maintenance parts, like spark plugs and filters. Well oil filters, the air filter is already going to be an upgrade. I’m also considering changing the top half of the intake manifold just to relocate the throttle body for using ram air to make more power and fuel economy, because why not? I can use carved foam as a core and wrap fiberglass or carbon fiber around the foam to build the manifold. Probably won’t happen, but it could.

Truck race ended under yellow as there was a wreck after the white flag. One truck ended upside down with only 3 wheels just past the start-finish line. Driver unhurt, but when they turned the truck back up all the dirt and grass that the roof collected while sliding through the grass between the front stretch and pit lane at Texas Motor Speedway pelted the driver.

And I’m getting neck and shoulder problems again, to the point that I want to have a lie-down to stretch my neck out. Serious typing issues, ouch.

The weirdness continues

I woke up yesterday to let the cats out of their room and it looked like a crime scene. Blood everywhere and of course my first instinct is to assume the cats got into a fight with each other and look for injuries. Neither cat has so much as a scratch visible… So I’m taking a closer look at the clumps of hair that’s mixed in with the blood and it’s much darker than either of the cats’, not that they have any missing in those amounts. But hey, don’t take my word for it, I took pictures.

It looks like it started here with this clump of fur and pool of blood.

Then there was a ton of splatter.

Then this series of drops...

Then this smear right in front of their food bowl

All that blood and there’s not a mark on the cats, either of them. It’s a for-real locked room murder mystery, only in this case we have two suspects but no ID on the victim. I mean I know it was one or both of the cats, but what did they kill? There wasn’t enough blood for a human, so it has to be an animal of some kind, but how did it get in their room and WTF was it?!?

And I thought yesterday’s post was strange…

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I have my cat back!♥

While I was out walking and looking for Clint Sunday night I heard him answer back from inside the neighbors’ fence. Unfortunately they were asleep at the time so I couldn’t ask to open the gate and let him out, and then it started raining. It wasn’t until I got back from my walk yesterday evening that I was able to get someone next door to talk to me and open the gate. When they finally did get the gate open Clint burst out of where he had been hiding and out the gate and didn’t quit until he got to the front door. I spent the next several hours being loved on and repeatedly invoking the “no claws clause” because Clint was just ecstatic about being back with me and back inside where it didn’t rain and wasn’t muddy. It took until this afternoon for him to finish getting the mud out of his fur, but he’s clean(-ish) now.

On the lab-rat front, I’m working again on a new study. This time I’ll be taking an approved drug to see if it works for another condition. I have hypertension combined with left atrial hypertrophy, or in simpler terms an enlarged heart. Mine is benign because I got it from extended periods of moderate aerobic exercise (I rode my bike a lot). Anywho it means that I can sell plasma while I’m on the study since this time they are testing an approved drug. That means I will be able to buy some parts for the hot rod, probably the Watt’s link since it’s one of the cheaper parts and it doesn’t have to be custom ordered to fit the car. When I get a good measurement on the face-to-face distance of the minivan suspension in its stock form I will be able to order the right width front axle since custom widths are only $25 more than in-stock. I can’t say any more about the study because of the NDA.

And I just lost about 20 minutes writing time because of the cat on my lap giving me kisses (with tongue! 😛 ). I am still his Most Favorite Person In The Whole World, even more now that I rescued him from the neighbor’s back yard and their cat-proof fence. And it is nice having someonething to cuddle with for a while.

After the cuddle break and dinner I decided I needed some time to work on something, anything, and I had a flat file and some too-wide wheel halves for the Mini Sprint-T. Turns out the file works just as well as the sandpaper I was thinking about using to narrow the rim half and get the width right for the street wheels. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to get the bead of the tire out to the bead seat of the wheel. I have lots of insulin-dependant friends who go through tons of syringes with hair-fine needles in a month, that would be great for moving a tire out on a rim by inflation until the glue dries enough to hold them in place. [Evil Thought] Or I could get some expand-in-place foam and squirt the precise volume of chemicals needed to fill the tire cavity to push the bead out and keep it out. [/Evil Thought] Anyway a few minutes of work gave me a wheel that is the right width for the street version of the Mini Sprint-T, but I have to be careful because of how easy it is to go overboard with the file and take off too much material. Fortunately I have some extra wheel front halves because I’m just going to use the centers from them on some much wider shells.

Time to go take care of other things.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

The meds are working

My antidepressant in particular. My body is starting to get acclimated to not being depressed which is reinforcing. As I get used to not being depressed I feel less depressed, which makes me feel better so I feel less depressed… A virtuous circle rather than the vicious circle. And I’m actually getting other emotions that aren’t depression or anger. Some of them seem unusual to me, like fear, real compassion instead of the intellectual compassion I felt in the past.

Speaking of my body becoming used to not being depressed, my BP has changed. The systolic is still up there, but the diastolic, the measurement of how much my heart relaxes between beats, is the lowest it has been in over a decade. My body is remembering how to relax again. Even when I’m upset and there has been a litany of things to be upset about the last two weeks at Casa de El Poeta, I’m still mostly relaxed now. My heart is working more efficiently, it is having to beat less because every beat moves more blood with a more complete relaxation phase between beats. That is one of the big things happening as my body adapts to not being run by a depressed brain.

On the bike pump front I have been approved for a refund, contingent on my returning the broken pump by 3/31/17. Here’s where the problem is on that: I have to print a return label for the box they shipped it to me, and I don’t have access to a working printer. I have a printer but it doesn’t have any cables to connect it to my laptop. Some time between my youngest getting the printer for herself and putting it in her garage because she never had to print anything with it and giving the printer and a bag full of printer cables to me for my birthday the cables for that printer went bye-bye. So I’ll take any assistance I can get on that one.

On the hot rod front I found the actual weight of the Mopar 3.8L pushrod V6 – 413 pounds compared to the 545 pounds for an iron head SBC or 458 for the LS. The 41TE transaxle splits the difference between the TH350 and the 4T65E at just under 200 pounds by one source or between 150 and 200 from several sources. So for weight comparisons 3.8L/41te Mopar just over 600, 350/350 Chevy 675 plus 120 pounds of rear axle or just shy of 800 total, and the LS3/4L70E combo come to 625 plus that 120 pounds of rear axle for about 750 total. So assuming the 1700 pound dry weight for the Speedway kit is accurate my mid-Bucket will hit the scales right at 1500 dry.

And I’m running on 3.5 hours sleep because someone (coughmrsthepoetcough left the bedroom door open and Clint came in to snuggle about 90 minutes before I had my alarm set. I have been falling asleep all afternoon/evening even while I was trying to write this, which might explain the disjointedness of the composition as I was in a different frame of mind every time I woke up. I fell asleep 3 times typing the paragraph prior to this one.

Night-night, Opus the Unkillable

OK I have a problem with my familiar

I am having a problem with Clint that is peculiar to feline familiars. I can deal with the sloppy kisses, but he’s a year old and still hasn’t learned how to hug without using his claws, or basically display any kind of affection without using his claws. I look like a cutter who is also a contortionist. Or maybe like I bulled my way through a briar thicket in the nude. Protagonist in a slasher movie? After-battle survivor extra in a gladiator movie? I have lost count of the number of times I had to invoke the “no claws clause”, spank his paws, and toss him out of bed or my office for clawing me. I’m running out of hand sanitizer to disinfect the wounds. Mrs. the Poet is getting upset about the torn sheets and pillowcases and the bloodstains. Usually I can see the blood before it dries and sets in but we have a couple sets of sheets that will never be the same. But you can probably figure out he’s not trying to injure or cause damage, he’s just waving his paws around because he’s so happy to Be With Me.

And when I have the door shut so he can’t get in, the noise he makes! He howls like he lost his last friend on earth if he wants to see me and can’t get in. I tell you it is the most pitiful sound on the earth. I mean I know I’m his “Favorite Person On The Whole Earth™“, but I have to do things without his being there, like use the toilet.

I know this all sounds like I don’t like Clint, but I really do, and I worry about him when he gets in fights and the local squirrels beat him up. As Mrs. the Poet says, he’s a doofus cat. And I can’t really help but love him.

For cat lovers everywhere, Opus the Unkillable (but it still hurts)

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

My BP meds are getting cut in half because reasons, and the Feed

What a day! First the cat tries to apologize for clawing huge gashes in my hand and arm by waking me up after only 1 hour of sleep and crawling into the bed to purr loudly at me, then I spent all day getting to and from the Lab Rat Keeper, then I find out my meds are getting cut because my BP is a bit on the low side, like 100/60. For a guy whose pressures topped out at 200/145 10 years ago this could lead to dizziness, confusion, and loss of consciousness. None of that is especially good. The good news is if my pressures come back up with lower dosages I get to participate in another side-effect study before the end of this year.

Our Daily Ted. Morning Links: Reminder to expect the unexpected on bike trails; Feds decide bike/ped safety matters, too

Still in CA. Bicyclist killed in Santa Ana hit-and-run identified

From my neck of the woods. How tracking police data by race can make unfair laws look like the cops’ fault Among other things this article identifies one of the main problems of the Metroplex: People don’t work where they live nor live where they work in the main. When only 5% of drivers stopped in a town are residents of that town, you have a problem with sprawl, and auto-centrism because everyone drives even if they don’t want to. So much of this area is a transit desert where if you don’t have a car you are trapped.

Remember that girl driving drunk and backwards when she ran over a cyclist in AK? Anchorage woman will finish college semester before going to jail for cyclist’s death Really? Let her finish school before a summer (maybe) in jail?!? Oh the ignominy. Have to finish college before prison…

Do you feel like you are not welcome among other bike riders? Project highlights stories of people who feel like outsiders in bike scene

Infrastructure in America’s Copenhagen. Active Transportation Summit dispatch: Vision Zero and the myth of freight Except for a tiny few places that are import centers like Long Beach or Houston or Corpus Christie truck traffic just is not that vital to the economy. And even Houston is trying to make more of its street network bike friendly.

If you don’t know where you’re coming from how can you know where you’re going? Unearthed: 1975 City of Portland “From here to there by bicycle” map

More infrastructure news from NYC. Prospect Park West Bike Lane War Continues: “New York City Is Not Amsterdam” and IT’S ALIVE: Judge Revives 5-Year-Old Prospect Park Bike Lane Lawsuit They LOVE bike lanes, just not the one in front of their building, which has raised the value of the units in said building substantially. Maybe that’s the problem, their taxes went up with the rise in property values…

Another dead pedestrian in NYC. Woman Fatally Struck By Sanitation Truck Driver On Upper East Side And for all those wondering why I have so many links from Gothamist and Bike Portland,it’s because I visit those web sites pretty much daily. Anywho, this was another blind driver just proceeding into space that was already occupied, and killing said occupant. And the Universal Get Out of Jail Free card shall be used, “I didn’t see her” and all will be forgiven.

More on the MA hit-and-run killing of a cyclist. Man charged with DUI in hit-and-run that injured cyclist

PA infrastructure story. Holly residents drill council for answers over roundabouts Seriously, you can’t figure out how to use a roundabout?

Another link to the guy looking to ride from BC to Panama getting taken out 2/3 of the way through WA. Cyclist on B.C. to Panama ride injured in crash Interesting picture they used for the “touring bike”.

More on the CO man getting prison for killing a cyclist. Man gets 10 years for DUI crash that killed bicyclist And I hope he has to do every day of it.

It’s just better reporting on the wrecks, honest! Alan Solot: Tucson bike vs. car crashes aren’t increasing

It’s not really good news, it is a symptom of austerity. Fall in road offences due to reduction in traffic police says Transport Committee

And while we are on the site. Barbed wire booby trap found on Kent cycle trail Either some farmer is missing a section of fence, or all they need to do is ask who bought barbed wire recently at nearby farm supply stores.

And I got this video sent to me by several people from many different sources. Video: How to teach bus drivers to give cyclists space I thought the ones where the “riders” clothes wer actually ruffled by contact with the bus were good, unless the driver was not actually trying to get that close in which case they were fucking terrifying.

Speaking of close passing, this was also terrifying over on the Emerald Isle. Cyclist was thrown over the bonnet of car Cold they have gotten any closer without actually killing the cyclist? I think not.

Another link to the guy who killed a well-liked cyclist going to jail. JAILED: Driver who mowed down Oxford graduate cyclist in head-on-crash

[Facepalm]Cyclists maimed and killed by blind driver, but it’s OK because a cyclist ran a stop sign once.[/Facepalm] Pontevedra cycling tragedy raises concerns over elderly drivers

More on the Ozzie drunk driver killing a cyclist. Cyclist killed by allegedly drunk driver and Qld cyclist killed by intoxicated driver

A really ugly wreck in Oz, more than one link. Port Pirie cyclist killed when truck and riders collide near city and Truck crashes into three cyclists on Germein Rd at Solomontown near Port Pirie You can see the impact site on the passenger side of the truck bumper where the bumper was bent.

And this was just wrong. Holiday blues after woman arrives home from overseas trip to find a parking ticket because her street was rezoned while she was away There were no permits available before leaving, and tickets papering the car when she got back. I mean they hadn’t even decided on the date it was to be implemented when she left…

And have you heard the latest scandal in the pro peloton? Professional cycling’s latest scandal: unshaved legs I used to shave my legs back before I rode a bike with fenders.

And it’s 0430, I have been up 19 hours now on 1 hour of sleep. I’m going to bed, and the cat is staying in the bathroom with his food and litterbox until I get up.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and the Feed

This will be the last post of 2015, and I have to say that I’m slightly surprised at having survived this year as a blog and as a blogger. There were car wrecks and tornadoes, food poisoning, muggings and other mayhem, and none of it actually touched yr fthfl srvnt author. It all kind of swirled around me so that I could see it and report on it, but not have to suffer through it. Another bit of evidence that I’m a character in a story reporting back on what I see and feel as others live the story. I really need a better writer for my sex scenes…

Up first, the driver who killed a MD cyclist was violating two traffic laws to cause the wreck. ‘It’s Just So Unreal’: 19-Year-Old Cyclist Dies After Crash With SUV The two laws? Failing to obey a traffic control, and not stopping for a car stopped in front of a crosswalk. The cyclist had no chance to avoid this wreck as his view of the weapon vehicle was obstructed by the car that was following the law.

A NYS resident doesn’t have to leave the house to get above the legal limit for BAC. NY Woman Beats DWI Charge Because Her Body Is A Brewery This is an actual medical condition that I have been aware of for at least 25 years because I read about it before I moved to TX back in 1989, and again some time during the “Aughties”. So, rare, but not unheard of.

Cop hit cyclist in the most deadliest state in the US to walk or ride a bike. Cyclist, Patrol Car Collide In Miami Gardens Cop claimed to have the green light when the cyclist “pulled out in front of him”. The geometry of the wreck indicates the cyclist was in the intersection for several seconds before the patrol car got there, meaning this could have been a stale green crossing where the cyclist had the right of way over the cop car. But since the comments have been closed for the article the only place you will see that is in this blog.

A WV cyclist is blamed for getting right hooked. Keyser man injured in bike/van crash at Memorial Bridge Nothing more I can say about this.

CT LEO are asking the public’s help in finding a cyclist’s killer. Shelton PD Seeks Help Finding Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed A Cyclist

DiYDoT in action in Portland. Activists use traffic cones to improve safety of bike lane along new Orange Line MAX Yay DiYDoT! Doing what the regular DoT can’t or won’t do to make streets safer.

Lastly, did anyone order a box of kittens?

And that’s it for 2015. Here’s hoping 2016 is at least a little better.

Billed @$0.02, Opus the Poet