Tag Archives: church stuff

It took a while to come up with a topic today

I know this is not a problem that most people face: I had a burning desire to write today but nothing to write about. I knew I wanted to write but all the things I could think of to write about were either too political for this blog, or something I have already covered and written about to death and I really don’t want to repeat myself any more. That’s what caused me to stop writing about bicycle wrecks. “Hit from behind, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist”, “Right hook, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist.” “Left cross, driver claimed to “not see” the cyclist.” Yeah, writing that or nearly that for 6 years solid is what finally did it.

So what should I write about then? Well how about something trivial but amusing? This little guy needs a name.

He (?) shakes it when the sun shines on his solar cell.

Seriously, I can’t keep calling him (?) my “dancing solar powered alien” or variations of that. I’m partial to “Fred” but I’m open to suggestions, like when I named Francis/es after the mule in the Donald O’Connell movie series based on a suggestion. I’m even open to alternative genders for the little saucer dancer, male, female, other, I don’t care, it’s a plastic toy. It can have any gender assigned to it and it will all be good.

In other things morning services have been shut down at my church for lack of attendance. It got to the point that it was the people putting on the service plus Mrs. the Poet and me. and a couple of times I was in both of the sets in that statement. So it just became unfeasible to keep having morning services for essentially two or less people. The fact that I have been laid up the last couple of weeks made that “or less” more explicit. This is just not enough people to make turning on the lights and turning the thermostat up financially feasible. Also I no longer have a ride to evening services, so that’s that until I get lights on the bike and can ride again.

And since I didn’t have anything to write about when I started I’m well and truly out of material now.

Let’s try again tomorrow, Opus the Unkillable


Making progress on the Mini Sprint-T on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m dashing this off between classes and services and meetings at church today because this is “do everything at once” day for me. I have been doing some mock-up work on the Mini Sprint-T while I was doing some thinking about posts during the week and managed to get the engine assembled to block, heads and intake manifold stage with the oil pan attached, then mocked that up to the mocked-up body and seats.

That thing sticking up out of the engine is a Vertex magneto, a kind of self-powered ignition system that used to be popular for race engines because the spark would get stronger at high RPMs. It had an output curve exactly the opposite of distributor ignition systems of the day, weak at low speed but very strong at high. The other reason why they were popular is you could leave the battery and starter off the car and just push start. When the engine spun over fast enough it would start and run until you switched it off. This saved weight because you could leave battery, made from lead, and the charging system off the car. For classes without a minimum weight, or with ridiculously low minimum weights, this was an important consideration.

Moving away from ’60s racing engines and back to the ’10s, notice the backs of the bucket seats peeking above the back of the body. This is because when I was sitting in the real body I noticed my forward view was pretty much non-existent when I sat on the bottom of the car, and that I needed to be between 9 and 12″ higher to see where the front of the car was so that I could avoid running into things. This has good and bad implications for this car. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, this is going to raise the CG a bit and also increase the frontal area. Moving to the good this raises the seat high enough to make fitting wide butts into the car not a problem. Broad shoulders are still a problem. Anyway this is high enough that the driveshaft tunnel will not intrude on the seat area, meaning one less packaging problem to worry about on the 1:1 car. It also means I will have room under the passenger seat to mount the battery without worrying about how to get to it for service. Mount the seat on a forward-pivoting platform with locking pins on the back and access to the battery will only take seconds assuming there is nobody passed out in the passenger seat. This will keep the weight to the rear of the car while reducing the polar moment of inertia, a measure of the car’s resistance to a change in direction. I will be able to mount a small battery upright, or a very large battery on its side.

I have also been thinking about the rear axle. Specifically, the torque arm forward mount and the panhard rod mount on the axle. What I came up with was utter simplicity for the forward mount to the arm and frame, two rod ends of opposite thread, one bolted to the torque arm and the other mounted to the frame at the transmission crossmember and the two connected by a threaded sleeve. Infinite adjustability of pinion angle, and fore and aft play to keep the actual fore and aft controls from binding. On the axle end it can bolt to the pinion support so that the torque arm mount to the axle also serves as a panhard rod mount, and a third job it can also function as the driveshaft hoop as it will be bolted solidly to the front of the rear axle and run alongside the drive shaft. I would just have to actually weld the hoop to the torque arm and the plate that bolts to the pinion support on the rear axle. The panhard rod would bolt to the rear of the mount to the pinion support below the lateral center of the rear axle.

Going back to that picture for a moment, you might have noticed the back of the body was propped up a bit, and the front was supported by the engine oil pan. This is because the body will be mounted on top of the 1.5″ square frame rails and the engine between those rails, so the bottom of the engine will be 1.5″ lower than the bottom of the body. That still doesn’t keep the distributor and the fuel injector throttle body from sticking up in front of the driver’s view but it does help a little. You can see the pad that a carb/fuel injector throttle body would mount to on the top center of the engine, just in front of the magneto.

Now I need to get some raw stock and build the frame for the Mini Sprint-T, make the mold for the vacuformed body and run off a few bodies to use, then buy or make wheels that fit the tires and wallah (voila), Mini Sprint-T that I can use as a planner for making the 1:1 scale version.

My co-installer for the stair rails was completely under the weather this morning so I’ll have another trip to the church to make to complete the installation. Yay /s

It’s getting late and I was up late last night and early this morning, so I’m a little yawn-y, and I’m having trouble composing sentences that make sense when I re-read them after typing. a LOT OF THAT IS i’M HITing a lot of typos tonight for some reason. So, bedtime.

PSA, Opus

Sunburned and tired, Wreck-Free Sunday

OK I know this is late but I have had a busy day today. I had just enough time to have coffee and get dressed before leaving to work a car wash at my church. Since I have all the flexibility and agility of a stone gargoyle I was part of the advertising team instead of the washing team. This means I was wearing various costumes during the day, including just bike shorts, a long flowing skirt with a flower print, various T-shirts, and unfortunately no hat. That led to getting sunburn on my face, scalp, and the most uncomfortable one, the whites of my eyes. Yep, I sunburned my eyeballs on the outside…

It was an interesting event, that was cut short when police came to take custody of a man having a medical episode. The bad thing is the guy was confused, and disoriented but the police treated it like a crime scene and blocked access to our car wash, effectively shutting us down about an hour early. We still made good money but we could have made more without getting shut down during the peak traffic period of the day. The customers had just started rolling in when this happened and we got shut down and we had to turn people away.

After we got shut down we couldn’t leave until the police did, which took until after our planned shutdown and go home time. Then we had to get fed as we had spent all day at the church, then come back for evening services.

Suffice it to say I hurt, I’m tired, and fortunately I had enough to eat so at least I’m not hungry. I need a shower something fierce because road dust sticks to sunscreen like glue. I have to go to the work meeting if the city council to try to get bike infrastructure rolling (there is a route change that needs to be made to make our infrastructure meet up with neighboring cities’ infrastructure, and there is some infrastructure needed to connect residential areas to retail and jobs). That means I might have to cut short the post or compose the post in 2 stages. So either I leave something out, or I make a late post (again).

PSA, Opus

Call for speakers, March 31 2013

Assuming the Mayans were wrong and the world does not end 12/21/2012, a spot will be open for a speaker at my church for evening service the last Sunday in March, our traditional “April Fools” service. In the past we have done a service where children called in the elements as Yakko, Wakko, and Dot with Hello Nurse called in North by an adult, grandmotherly type. Other times previous we have had a full Coffee Service where the goddess Caffeina was invoked and various aspects of coffee represented the quarters. We have also invited artists from web comics to speak at one of these services, including Randall Millholland, Jennie Breeden, Thomas Overbeck, and an artist that does not wish to be named as having been to our church because we were boring and didn’t sacrifice a baby. I don’t know what he was expecting we may be Pagan but we’re also UU (one of the first Institutional Members of CUUPS the Covenant of Universalist Unitarian Pagans). Our church has a history that extends back to the late 1960s.

But what I’m trying to say is that we have a history of inviting outside speakers who are not religious speakers, and offer them a chance to speak on their take on the First Principle Of UU, The inherent worth and dignity of all men people. Randy went at it from a wildly obtuse angle as anyone who has read his comic knows, and Overbeck hit it out of the park with his speech. I still rank that as one of the best outside services we have ever had, even counting the professional religious speakers. The bar has been set very high, but there is no need to use that to measure yourself because we are measuring from the First Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of all people. Even the guy that got mad because we didn’t kill babies managed to get a piece of the ball with his speech.

And the suggested topic isn’t even a hard and fast requirement, Jenny Breeden spoke about growing up as a UU and becoming an artist because of that. Her speech was only tangentially connected to the First Principle, that because she had Inherent Worth and Dignity she was able to make bad awwrrt while learning to make good art and become an internationally famous web comic artist.

So, the requirements are the ability to get yourself to the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell in time for a 1930 Sunday service (there may be a 1100 service made available if that’s all you can make, and we have morning services again by then) and we need to know if you have any food restrictions because there will be a potluck dinner. We used to have our speakers come at A-kon, but we stopped that because it was interfering with their merchandising and costing them money (sorry Jennie) so now we are extending the invitation for the AF service.

More history from the first service in April, back when the time change to Daylight Savings was the first Sunday in April, we did a Reverse Service. At the time we had a set Welcoming Song, and a Dismissal Song that started and ended every service, well on the time change day we did those songs on the opposite ends of the service and deliberately let the service run long… so the Welcoming Song went off a few minutes earlier than “normal” except because of the time change it was almost an hour later. Yes I planned that service. We have had Cartoon Services on several first Sunday in April or last Sunday in March services, my favorite one was a showing of the Lum’s Springtime Special Urusei Yatsura, in Japanese. Trying to explain why there was a girl wearing a bikini flying around shooting lightning at one particular male character was worthy of a separate article all by itself. Not to mention why it was a tiger striped bikini and the girl had nubs of horns sticking out of her head. Another one of my services. In fact I have done most of the first Sunday in April or last Sunday in March services since the turn of the century for our church, it’s one of the few “traditions” we have. I didn’t present last year, but I wrote and coordinated the service. This year the brain damage has gotten worse, hence why I’m calling for outside assistance this year. If you would like you can provide a theme for calling the elements and deities (and even specify the deities, if you provide a wiki link) I will write the quarter calls and invocation of the deities.

If you want to be in the program you can contact me through this blog or via my e-mail, it’s on the blog somewhere.

PSA, Opus