Tag Archives: cats

I had to turn the AC off

And I wore long pants and a long-sleeve shirt today, and wished I had more on. I got up way too early (0900) and then spent about 2 hours getting to the meeting after getting ready and fed. I felt like I was freezing until I found a place out of the wind while I was waiting for the bus for the outbound trip, when the actual temp was 44 and the “Feels like” was down in the 30s.

I mentioned turning off the AC because it was down to almost 60 in the office this AM, and it is still only 68°F this evening, a far cry from the mid 80s from less than a month ago. Seriously after all that time acclimating to hot weather, decent temperatures feel cold. I’m even back to drinking hot coffee again instead of iced tea for breakfast to warm up. We actually used a blanket on the bed last night. And my nose feels like an ice cube on my face.

And I’m also dealing with a needy (and kneady) cat, so this post is over.

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Going for a walk tonight

It’s supposed to rain in a bit and then get cooler, so I thought I would go for a walk after the rain. And after I get back I’m going to do that stick aided design thing with the bucket shell. I was looking at the pictures after I did the post and decided that I don’t need to fix the “divot” from the dashboard because it won’t even be part of the mold. I just have to continue the top molding from the cockpit past where the dash interrupts it and make the flat top like the cockpit. Not that big a deal especially with the contour existing on either side. Of course that’s easy to write while I’m listening to “Seven Nation Army” on my music app. I mean most people could tackle just about anything while listening to that, it’s very uplifting and empowering.

Right now the rains have come as forecast, as Mrs. the Poet says “in buckets”, and Clyde came in, grabbed a bite, and immediately went back out into the rain. That’s Mrs. the Poet’s cat and as she says there’s something “not right” about him. I’m thinking the thing is he’s a bit more feral than Clint and doesn’t like the indoors even when things are yucky outside. And Clint just spent the last 20 minutes keeping me from typing by sprawling across my lap and demanding I pet him, that’s how “not-feral” he is, laying on his back with all four paws in the air begging for a belly rub.

Getting back to the car, I’m having a minor issue with the spindle not fitting the axle boss, being just a touch too short between the ears. I mean seriously there is like 0.02″ interference with the thrust bearings in place. Now I know why those spindles were in the Garage Sale section of the Speedway site. Again this is not insurmountable, I have an angle grinder and if I take the excess material off the thrust bearing side I don’t even need to be too careful about keeping the surface flat. I mean yes as close to flat as I can keep it, but I don’t need to make it super flat and true like I would the other side, the thrust bearing can cover a lot of imperfections, and the mill file can remove the worst of them. The top only gets paper-thin shims between the axle boss and the spindle, so it has to be flat and true to keep from messing up the shims and binding the steering.

I’m going to go for my walk in a few minutes, then go do the stick aided design and take lots of pictures while I’m doing it, then make another blog post with the pictures.

Grocery shopping done

Well I won’t starve for another week. I managed to buy a week’s worth of food and drink for <$16. Of course part of the reason I could do that is I bought more than a week's worth of some items last week when they were on sale, and because there was like almost $20 in free stuff in my online coupons that I wouldn't normally buy, like Pasta Bow-Ties chips. That one was kind of sneaky, because only one flavor was free and the rest were way over-priced but with the tag for the free variety on the shelf… There was also a meal-replacement shake for free that I wouldn't normally buy, that will be breakfast for 4 days. Basically more than half of my total came off in coupons and free stuff.

Clint and Clyde are getting on each other's nerves and mine, probably because Mrs. the Poet has been gone over a month. Basically they either can’t stand to be in the same room together or they’re all over each other grooming and kissing or the cat equivalent of hugging and kissing. They are doing something similar with me, either leaving the room when I come in or not leaving me alone so I can type.

I’m looking to eliminate as much drag as possible from the TGS2, so I have been looking into integrating the headlights into the fenders. By using headlight frenching buckets to mount headlights into the front of the front fenders I can smooth the flow over the fenders and get the lights out of the wind. Of course this means the fender will have to be stretched in front of the axle so the tire doesn’t hit the back of the light inside the fender either turning or in bump. This will make an already strange T-bucket even stranger looking, but function over form and if I make the function work good enough the form will be fine. Yeah I’m back to the 7″ headlight so there will be a bit of the cartoon eyes thing with the lights being too big for the overall size of the car (and at this point the TGS2 is almost a foot shorter than the Fiat 500 (Panda for you UK readers) so the big headlights are going to look even bigger).

I’m still having problems cutting a straight line on the line, I just have to get my aim better at the start of the cut. So I don’t have the new floor to show you like I wanted to and tomorrow I’ll be out paying storage unit fees and picking up replacement stones for the hone so I can finish installing the spindles to the axle. BTW I looked up the kit I got and those bushings are brass and the current stones are not taking off much material. That is a pretty good indication the stones are worn out.

Another day that didn’t go according to plan

Well today I was supposed to go pay for the return tickets from the eclipse viewing, and I even woke up early to do it. I was ready, but the check I deposited last week was not. For some reason it still hadn’t cleared. So I got out the money to get replacement ID and get my toes done went to the post office and got the money order for the ID and then got my toes done and walked home. I was a lot more comfortable walking out of the nail salon than walking in. I also picked up some bodywash on sale at the grocery store next door so I don’t have to wash with shampoo or smell bad.

Speaking of smelling bad, Clyde has been missing Mrs. the Poet something fierce. When I was shutting things down last night there was a bad smell in the bathroom where he was resting, so I blamed Clyde for using the bathroom as a litterbox as I took him to the front door. But when I got back to the bathroom the smell was gone. But the front door smelled like a litterbox until Clyde decided to move on to other things. My theory is he’s depressed because Mommy has been gone for so long and he was Mommy’s cat. When Mrs. the Poet is here Clyde spends most of his time on her lap being adored. And now he is going through withdrawal from Mommy Pettings. He did smell much better after being outdoors last night and most of the day. And now he’s curled up next to me a safe distance from my office chair listening to the TV show I have making noise while I write. That’s what he does with Mrs. the Poet except he sits in her lap. I move around too much for lap sitting when I’m working because I move forward to type and then back to proofread and think about it before I lean back forward to type some more.

Tonight I have the Velocity channel program Bitchin’ Rides running as inspiration, not so much for engineering ideas as for paint and trim and general design, and also for fabrication ideas. Also because I like watching people work metal, especially going from flat stock to a 3D part like a fender or a door skin. This program they scratched the entire floor for a ’52 Pontiac. But even when they aren’t making something even close to my car, it’s an inspiration for my car because they are making something. I want to be making something. That’s part of the reason why I’m making the small scale mockup of the TGS2, so that I’m building something.

And now I have to take care of the cats again before I go to bed.

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