Tag Archives: Chase for the Sprint Cup

Mrs. the Poet is home at last, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Mrs. the Poet has returned from her long trip to help our niece and her kids get relocated and settled in after the place she was renting got sold out from under her. It must not have been too stressful because she still has as much hair as I recall her leaving with. The daily ice cream seems to have had an effect as her pants only fall off a few times at random instead of every time she exhales like before. Everyone there takes a car for everything, including going 2 blocks for an ice cream or soda, so that had an effect as well.

Her trip back on the Dawgbus had an AC that would not shut down, leading to a mild case of hypothermia for Mrs. the Poet. She still hadn’t really recovered by this morning, and we keep the house a cozy 78°F instead of the chilly 65° morning low outdoor temps she had been experiencing while in Upstate NY. The other problem on the bus was someone died in the bathroom, or at least that was the way it smelled, and there was nothing that could be done about the stink until they got to a station where they could pump the holding tank.

So, today. Today was moderately good as we had a visit from the grandkid. He spent most of the day playing with the coasters on the coffee table in the living room while the adults talked. The bad part was the grandkid came over because Mrs. the Poet left her purse in our daughter’s car after daughter picked her up from the Dawgbus station yesterday. All the money Mrs. the Poet had except for a couple of bills in her pocket was in that purse, so getting it back was kinda important. The rest of the day was spent going to services at church and the board meeting and life support. As part of life support I caught the tail end of the Pocono Sprint Cup race, watching Kyle Busch lose the race when he ran out of gas while leading at the white flag, and seeing the guy who was in 4th place the lap before win the race after the first three cars ran out of gas during the last 2 laps. Kyle still gained a bunch of points on the magic 30th place in points that will allow him to be a part of the chase in spite of missing the first third of the races after breaking his leg in that Xfinity Series race at Daytona. He’s something like 12 or 13 points out of the Chase at this point with 5 races left until the first Chase race. This was while I was taking a lie-down on the bed to let my leg recover a bit from all the “fun” I was having doing the other stuff.

And that’s basically all I have today. I’m going to revisit that dream I had last week and flesh it out some as a world-building exercise. I see it not as a Utopia, neither a dystopia, but something between the two and an improvement on what we have now. I’m going to work on the ramifications of the changes I made in the dream on other people’s lives. IOW I’ma go write some fiction, or at least outline some. But not now, now I’m going to relax a bit.

PSA, Opus

The Greenville Ave St.Patrick’s Day Parade was not a Fun Time, and other stuff on Wreck-Free Sunday

Yesterday was a painful experience for me going to the local Big Parade. Getting there was not that bad except that the new shoes have not been modified to compensate for the hunk I lost out of my left leg back in ’01, so I was working on MOABackaches by the time I walked to the bus stop, but that eased off when I got on the bus and transferred to the train and the other train. Sitting with my pelvis level really takes the strain off my back. So the pain is just because I have to keep the muscles contracted on the side of my back opposite that leg which after a while restricts blood flow and causes all kinds of other problems that combine to result in a quiet stream of mutter expletives until I can sit or lie down and take the strain off. When I take anti-inflammatory drugs the pain is lessened, having the lift in the shoe for the short leg does a heck of a lot more to reduce the pain, both together is the best thing I have found so far.

Anyway, I got to the parade site about 90 minutes early because you really need to get there early to have a place to stand where you can see the parade. Remember the twinges I was getting on the way there? By the time the parade made it to our spot those “twinges” had progressed to feeling that the short leg was on fire and someone was pounding on my foot with a sledgehammer (that was on fire). I’m not looking for sympathy here, just telling it like it is. But I was not the only person having a bad parade.

Yes, that cooler just fell completely apart apparently from a structural defect combined with a heavy load of drinks and ice. Talk about a bummer.

And speaking of pictures, the pictures I took Friday night of the people picketing my church finally showed in my in box this morning, what took you?

Seriously, you guys didn’t have anything better to do on a Friday night?

I was watching the Sprint Cup race from Phoenix while I was doing this post, and Happy Harvick won again, putting him way out in front of the standings for the Chase for the Cup. There were a lot of cars that crashed out because they cooked the right rear tire tread right off the tire which causes the car to spin and then crash into the wall, including Dale Jr. and Jimmy Johnson. There was a lot of close racing except for the lead, because Harvick basically ran off and hid from the rest of the field except for green flag pit stops…

Now I’m watching the recording I made earlier of the FIA Formula E race in Miami, an all-electric racing series in its first year. Basically everybody is learning how to race EV with spec cars so they can really go at it over the next 5 years when they will be on spec chassis and tires with free within limits powertrains and batteries. Then we will see some tactical racing because the ridiculous car change “pit stop” will be eliminated supposedly in the fifth season and drivers will be required to complete the race on a single charge without recharge/replacing the battery. So basically at this point the winner of the race counts, but not really because this is all a series to learn how to race EV as a team, which I think they could learn from talking to electric RC racers, but hey, NIH (Not Invented Here) exists as an acronym for a reason.

I joined a new RP Group that will stick to D&D 3.5. This group will lean a lot more heavily on RP than on combat so when I built my character (on a 32 point buy system) I maxed out Charisma and dumped my Strength. I will start playing on the 28th because two members of the group have a church obligation next Saturday the 21st. Incidentally the “nice” people who were at the church in that group picture above promised to come back for the Sumerian ritual this Saturday. Considering the people doing the ritual are not the most tolerant people in the world when ritual is interrupted, I do not see good things in the future for the picketers. 😛

This is going to be interesting. Tune in for the report next Sunday, and stay here for regular posting Monday through Friday.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Watching the race in Phoenix on a Wreck-Free Sunday

As I sit and type this the penultimate Race for the Chase has just started with a minimum of 3 drivers making it through to the final round on points instead of wins. Unlike the previous 2 rounds which had all three races won by Chase contenders, no Chase racers have won in the first two races of this round. That means that everyone is trying to get in the top 5 so they can get as many points as possible. I will come back to the race later in the blog post.

Yesterday was a fun day for the RPG group, we destroyed civilization and brought balance back to the world… in-game. There were 10 trees that represented the forces of nature that had been bound by a massive spell at the beginning of Egyptian civilization. Binding those trees somehow allowed our civilization to develop and flourish, and unbinding them has caused civilization to collapse, partially because unbinding the trees at the north and south poles caused a massive melt of the polar ice caps and a 300 foot rise in sea level… 😉 Can you say “Houston, you have a problem?” 😀

Sad news as “The Devil” of the Tour de France hangs up the horns. Tour de France Devil Hangs Up the Trident I first saw Didi back in 2002 when I was stuck at the house in July and got my first chance to see the TdF live on what was then the Outdoor Life Network, now NBCSN.

I forgot to leave a link to the steering wheel I bought Friday . Let me correct that Standard Aluminum Steering Wheel, 13 Inch I chose this wheel because it will clear the inside edge of the body when I place the column on the ¼ centerline that gives the driver and passenger equal space in the car. I would like to add this pad to the wheel to protect my chest and arms should I get hit head-on. That would be a great Christmas present (kids, that’s a hint).

Back in Phoenix things are getting exciting as Bad Brad is running second to Happy Harvick with a win making either one go on to the next round, but both on the outside looking in if they finish second. They keep going back and forth with who is in and who is out, and the situation changes with every lap. There are a minimum of 3 drivers that make it on points unless nobody in the Chase wins and in that case all 4 drivers will get in on points. And on the last lap with Happy winning (and getting really happy) Ryan Newman (AKA the Rocket Man for all those poles he won) passed Kyle Larson on the last corner of the lap to knock out Jeff Gordon from the Chase. The four competing for the Cup are Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman. Whoever of those 4 who finishes in front of the other 3 will win the Sprint Cup. Needless to say I will be live-blogging next Sunday.

Now it’s time for me to get ready for evening services, so I’ll leave you with this historic note: 25 years ago today East Germany allowed the citizens of West Berlin to take hammers and chisels to the Berlin Wall. I watched it live on CNN, the only 24 hour news channel at the time…

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Watching 3 races on the idiot box, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

There are 3 races going down today, so the idiot box is going to be very busy in Casa de El Poeta today. There are 2 races from Texas, one just down the road a couple hours by bicycle in Ft. Worth, and one a long day or short 2 day ride away in Austin. Both are going to be major in championships in their respective series, the Sprint Cup race in Ft. Worth, and the F1 race in Austin. I’m rushing to get this post done so I can watch the races better (I can’t see the TV without my glasses, or the computer with my glasses), but the cat has other ideas, and is sprawled across my lap and putting his claws into my leg every time I move. The cat has just been relocated back to the end of the bed. I have removed my glasses and devoting the next block of time to completing this blog post.

We are currently in the scariest time of the year, that span between Halloween and Election day, when the future of the country hangs in the balance. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, because there are too many races out there for me to know the stands of all the candidates, but I will give you a hint about what to look for: transportation progressives tend to be progressive in other areas as well. If you want bicycle infrastructure look for progressive/liberal stands in other things. Tea Party candidates tend to be virulently against anything that has any whiff of being good for the environment or personal health, so they are out. Even “moderate” Republicans tend to view bicycle infrastructure as “something from Agenda 21 and the UN”…

I have reached a minor impasse in the Sprint T construction plans. I need to buy the steering wheel I plan on using and something to simulate the steering column with something to stand in for the gas and brake pedals so that I can locate the steering column where it won’t interfere with the pedals or have the steering wheel hit my knees when operating the pedals. I do have the seating position pretty much worked out to get my body aligned with the theoretical centerline of the driver’s side of the car and putting the brake pedal someplace the master cylinders will fit and still allow brake pedal travel. I’m looking at a UK made brake pedal box Electric Car Cockpit Fit Pedal Box OBPESU003 for cars without clutches. The master cylinders are toward the driver allowing for easier access during maintenance, but the available master cylinders are a touch on the small side for the potential brakes I’m planning on using on the back. The GM Metric rear calipers need a 7/8” to 1″ diameter master cylinder, and the biggest one available from OBP is 0.75″. The fronts will work with the available sizes from OBP no problem. Anyway, I’m going to order the steering wheel pretty soon, also the windshield posts and steering column hanger, to work out the wheel location as I described at the start of this paragraph.

And the F1 race has started, so I’m outta here.

Oh, and this is the picture of Mrs. the Poet’s cake from her retirement party.


PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

When there are no more wreck reports is there anything significant about Wreck-Free Sunday?

The existential question facing the blog today is now that I don’t do a thing, are days that I didn’t do that thing on purpose before still different from the rest of the week? Case in point, up until last week this was Wreck-Free Sunday, now every day is wreck free, does this make Sunday less special than it was before? Well I don’t know…

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race just ended with Junior Nation very happy about winning at Martinsville. I have to say that this was a drama-filled race that looked scripted with the parts failures, but it wasn’t. That was just the way the ball bounced this particular race. With Junior being knocked out of the chase after the last race at Talladega his win throws a monkey wrench in the chase standings, and with Keselowski and Harvick having problems that put them way down in the standings but nobody locked into the next round by winning today really scrambles things.

I got a link while I was doing the opening part of this post to a quote on infrastructure and education not really being separate in bicycle safety. I would include the link but it is to a post in a closed Facebook group I belong to. The gist is we have been treating infrastructure and education like they were 2 separate things when we should have been using them in tandem, good infrastructure takes education to use it properly. The Dutch have very little education compared to the amount of infrastructure they have, but that is be expected. After all how much education do we give on how to walk? Dutch children are exposed to bicycle infrastructure mostly used properly at about the same age as they start walking if not sooner. There is a little bit that has to be done to break any bad habits that some parents might instill but for the most part kids grow up knowing how to use Dutch infrastructure from watching their parents.

I’m almost recovered from the trip for happynakedpagancamping last week. And somebody pick up my jaw, because happynakedpagancamping is in my spell checker’s dictionary! 😮 Most of the bad effects of the camping were taken care of by a hot shower and sleeping in my own bed, but there were some small injuries that took until today to heal, mostly the bug bites. I still have to get the queen size air mattress for Mrs. the Poet to sleep on (mine is way too small for 2 people), but I think we will be able to camp pretty well next Spring for the Beltain celebration. The hard part will be putting up and taking down the tent, as it is a 2 person job to take down and fold up, unlike the pop-up pimple tent I used to use that I could put away practically in my sleep.

Still planning out the Sprint T frame(s). I added the (s) because I’m still not entirely sure about the donor vehicle yet, so I have a standard T-Bucket design going together for a front-engine RWD donor, and a different design for a FWD donor to build a mid-engine RWD hotrod. The biggest difference is the amount of foot room in the passenger compartment for the FWD donor vehicle, I mean besides the engines being on different ends of the car and all. With the mid-engine car there would be no transmission tunnel dominating the interior, especially at the front of the passenger compartment. With the front-engine version the front of the transmission combined with the narrowness of the firewall results in practically no space for feet between the side of the body and the transmission tunnel, especially on the passenger side with the engine offset for balance when the car is raced. With the 3.5″ offset to the right to balance out the solo driver weight with the engine weight that puts the transmission tunnel right up against the inside of the body at the firewall, making for interesting footrest designs. Speaking of that, I decided the seating position of the Sprint T is going to be very much like a sprint go-kart with the knees up as the feet are moved back away from the firewall to both give some lateral space for pedals and to allow bracing for G loading in turns. I may change that after doing some simulation runs involving sitting in the mockup interior for long periods of time to see if that position requires frequent breaks for stretching. As it is now the pedals are only going to be slightly lower than the seat cushion because I’m using the side of the body like a bolster for the seat. The mid-engine version would have room for a clutch pedal, the front engine version would have to have an automatic transmission. The kicker is that the mid-engine version is more likely to have a slush box for the transmission and the shift linkage for an automatic when using a FWD engine/transmission as a mid-engine RWD is much easier than running the linkage for a manual. Another “fun” thing is getting the balance right because it’s much harder to move a transverse engine/transmission left or right than a longitudinal engine/transmission, but at least as a RWD I don’t have to contend with torque steer from different length axle shafts and the outer CV joints won’t wear out as fast as they would connecting wheels that steered as well as moving up and down.

And I have been working on this one long enough, time to put it and me to bed.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet

Wreck-Free Sunday is when I take out the mental garbage

Relax, I’m not dumping on you, well not really bad things. I’m just posting what I have been thinking about other than bicycles. Yes I do think about things other than bicycles from time to time. One of the things that has been occupying my non-bicycle brainspace has been the “other tenants” here at Casa de El Poeta. Currently we are renting rooms to a transgender couple and a crazy lady. The TG couple were a couple before they started to transition and swapped genders, and I think I have possibly mentioned the other person from time to time in this blog. Anyway these people live here in addition to Mrs. the Poet, and Brian the cat. Anyway Mrs. the Poet has decreed that the motel at Casa de El Poeta will be closed soon and asked me to pick a date for all the tenants to be gone. Being the kind, gentle, and non-confrontational person I am IRL I set the date as 2015/04/30 so that every one had time to find permanent lodgings and nobody was in panic mode. Did I mention that I make a terrible “bad cop”?

One of the other things occupying my non-bicycle brainspace has been the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format. We are now in the second round of the elimination format, with 12 drivers starting even at 3000 points following the elimination of 4 drivers from the previous round of the Chase. This really jumbles things up especially with the last race for this round coming at ‘Dega, which is always a fuster cluck. And with the repaving at Kansas giving so much grip that they are running wide open around the track at nearly 200 MPH it is looking like today’s race will be almost as bad as ‘Dega.

Another thing running around my non-bicycle brainspace has been the Sprint T, especially now that I have an actual body to measure from for the frame. And I have been doing a lot of measuring lately.


The inside showing the mounting flange for the floor/frame.

the bottom

The bottom of the body with a real good view of the mounting flange.

Speaking of measuring things that mounting flange measures 34″ wide outside to outside at the rear opening of the floor, 33″ at the back part of that jog between the firewall and the dash, and 27″ at the firewall. This complicates the frame design to say the least. With the need to have the rear hoop of the roll cage very close to the outside edge of the passenger compartment at 47″ this means I have to do some really fancy design work at the back of the frame to meet the SCCA requirement of the rear hoop mating to the frame rail. Since I was planning on using the rear hoop as the kickup of the rear frame with two frame rails, one above the rear axle and one below the axle, getting that securely mounted is a must. With the trunk wall acting as a diaphragm between the two rails and the front wall of the trunk acting as another diaphragm across the back of the axle cell the back of the frame will have adequate torsional stiffness. I’m still trying to figure out how to go from the 35″ or so at the back of the body to the 47″ outside to outside width (44″ inside to inside) of the rear hoop. Maybe some angle iron welded to the floor pan to mount the body? Getting the diagonal brace from the rear hoop to the frame means some really tricky fabrication and design work because that diagonal is the only part of the frame that is inside the body. That means it is the only part of the frame that will be bolted in as part of final assembly, rather than welded on in initial fabrication. Or, I could split the body down the center and bolt it together from each side of the frame? That is harder to seal up against water and exhaust gas intrusion, but makes building the frame much easier. Changing one thing changes a thousand other things…

Speaking of changing one thing and other things being affected, I’m nursing a bruised knee from hitting the handlebars on Francis/es after changing the seat for something that doesn’t leave me with a numb but that sometimes bleeds from the abrasions because it didn’t fit. Well the new seat fits in that I don’t get any of the backside issues I had with the old seat, but it moved me closer to the handlebars enough that right turns and crosswinds caused my longer femur to put my kneecap into the back of the handlebars. Result, bruise, and a small hole under the right kneecap. So I remounted the handlebars to move them forward again, which rotates my torso forward and makes me rotate my head back farther. Then I didn’t get the binder bolt on the stem tight enough with all the grease to prevent the wedge nut from corroding solid with the steer tube, and the handlebars came adrift in heavy traffic this week, eek! They weren’t loose, just not pointing in the right direction which made riding scary. Well scarier than usual, that particular area is always scary even with a perfectly functioning bicycle… 3 lanes in each direction that narrows down to 2 each way on the other side of the intersection. I still had steering but the bars were pointed sharply to the left from hitting the steering stop during one of Francis/es “NO, I wanna go that way” starts and trying to make Francis/es go the way I wanted to go.

Back in Kansas, things have Not Gone Well for most of the remaining 12 chasers, to say the least, with about half of them having right front tire issues or getting caught up in other people’s wrecks. Junior and Jimmy are many laps off the pace and others are mired near the back of the pack from damages accrued from wrecks. Joey Logano won (again) making the third Penske team victory in 4 Chase races. I’m thinking we may have a Penske entry as the first Chaser over the line in Homestead.

Yesterday getting to and from the RPG group was the worst part of the day, as we were back out past the last stop on the Green Line for the site where we met. Flash Drive, my character, was in rare form for the game, managing to prevent the villains from securing their prizes while using the two groups to disrupt each other’s operations and keep civilian casualties to a minimum. When pursuit of the bad guys got caught in rush hour traffic my speedster used his abilities to head off any combat and prevented any possible civilian casualties while preventing escape until LEO showed up to take control of the situation. While investigating the attempted kidnapping and robbery across the street from our secret headquarters we discovered an operation that was way above our pay grades, so we called in the government agency in charge of super-crime to take over. What we found was evidence of human cloning and genetic engineering, along with illegal memory manipulation, possibly including one of our team members. When the Feds completed their investigation they found that our wolf/man was the result of commercial continuations of Nazi genetic experiments and implanted memories from someone else’s life that got interrupted when someone blew up the lab and stole as much as they could cart off (us playing villain characters back several months ago). Because we called the Feds in we managed to get our character moved from legal-as-super to legal-as-human, taking him from only legal in his Hero identity to able to vote and live wherever he wanted (and can afford).

And it is getting late so I’m going to go to bed.

PSA, Opus the unkillable badass Poet