Tag Archives: COVID19 stories

Wow did a lot of things happen after I finished the last post

First and foremost, I have an appointment for my COVID vaccine. I qualify for all the ones available, so I’m getting whatever they have. My preference would be the Jannsen single dose, but if I have to come back, I’ll come back. If I get the shot, I’m good with having to get another one.

The other thing was I got a quote on the quick change from the manufacturer that was less than the prices quoted for the fabricated 9″ Ford axle. Not much, about $10 less, but still that’s still less for the preferred bits than the “make do” bits. It won’t be available for a few months because of parts shortages, but I’m in the line and will definitely get my axle.

Also I’m getting lots of pictures from women who have grandpa fetishes and want me to fulfill them. The pictures are in varying amounts of clothing as some want to take care of me and some want to “take care of me” to other degrees. Once again the author of my story is writing a porno, which at this point is “meh” for me. On the one hand, pictures of scantily-clad ladies young enough to be a grandchild if my kids had kids at the same age as I did. On the other hand, I have problems with that particular physical activity since the time I injured my other hip. Other things I can do, but not that one. But I still would enjoy the company of women of that age should such be offered. Not that I would solicit anyone for that activity, but I wouldn’t turn it down either.

But, let’s get back to that axle. Strong enough for almost any engine I could feasibly install on the Sprint-T, and at a price I can afford. And it looks cool, too. What more could I ask for? I mean besides free, but I’m talking realistically, what more could I ask for? It looks like I’m going to use the 11 set of spur gears for racing, and the 8504 helical gears for quiet, low RPM cruising on the Interstate between races. If my numbers are correct I should be rolling down the road turning 2382 RPM in 3rd or 1667 in OD. Or I could save a few bucks by only buying one 8503 or 8504 set of helical gears and just use the rather tall gear to work for the Goodguy’s and SCCA and also for the Interstates. I could do that with the 4l60e because of the 3.06 first gear and the 0.7 OD gear.

Or, I could use the tallest gear with a Powerglide for cruising down the Interstate at 2382 and use a 10A set for racing with the 1.82 low gear, or if I can stand the gear whine flip the 10A and get 2255 RPM cruise and not shift out of low until roughly 87 MPH if I let it run until redline. Or on the other hand if I leave the race gears in I shift at about 47 and cruise at 4200. Math is fun! But cruising 60 MPH at 4200 RPM is not fun for very long because I would go crazy stopping to fill the gas tank because of the consumption of running 4200 RPM in a big V-8, not to mention the noise. So if I run the PG I would run the 8503 gears on the Interstate and the 10A set to race. But the thing is if I use the quick change I have the option to use the PG without running 4000+ RPM on the Interstate.

Now, one thing that has to be taken into account is I don’t have welding gear that works on the aluminum axle tubes on the lightweight QC. So I either need to make clamp-on brackets, or farm out the welding to someone who has the equipment. One will take much designing and fabricating, one will take money. Guess which one is in shorter supply around here? But that is a minor problem compared to finding the rear axle at a price I can pay. Not going to say “affordable”, but I can pay that amount.

This was a good day, and this is a good place to end this post.

Game fizzled out today, but the Cup race was good

I managed to get up in time to do the game today but I did get to watch a decent race from Vegas. The game didn’t work out because of bad communication, one of our players does Scarborough Faire part-time and they had some pre-season setup to do today, that they thought would get knocked out by noon and back home to eat and then play by 1500. They didn’t get finished until 1600, and everybody decided that when they didn’t get logged into the game chat by 1530 the game was SNAFU and logged out. The race was a constant back and forth, but eventually Kyle Larson managed to stay in the lead after pit stop strategy played out. Interesting part of that strategy was leaving Daniel Suarez out until he was leading the race and on the camera as the leader, several times, to get his sponsor as much airtime as possible. This got the sponsor, Camping World who also sponsor the Camping World Truck series, several minutes of airtime that driving to a top 10 finish would not have gotten, which is about as good as they could get from the car.

Other news, I finally got to sign up for a COVID shot, thanks to evolving rules about co-morbidities. And the really stupid thing is the vascular damage I got from the wreck wasn’t the thing that got me qualified, it was my high blood pressure. The vascular damage moved me up the line a bit, but wasn’t enough to get me on the list. What did it was high BP controlled with medication. Also I’m on the list for an experimental COVID vaccine, which might get me jabbed quicker, so I have options now. Also Mrs. the Poet’s arm was only slightly impaired for a couple of days, but the word on the internets is the second jab is the one that does you in, so we still have that to look forward to /s.

On the Sprint-T build, it’s a good thing I didn’t weld those brackets to the front axle yet. I did a little figuring and the way I had been planning on doing it would have resulted in the 4-bar links passing through the radiator tanks. This would be plus ungood for driving. The new plan is to put the inside edge of the inside bracket on the 31" ℄ mark, which moves the links 3/4" ± further out and just clears the radiator. On a related note there is some kind of funky interpretation of the double quote mark from the composing software that when I enter from the keyboard I get unpredictable results. Sometimes I get a simple double quotes, sometimes I get opening double quotes, and sometimes I get closing double quotes. It’s slightly insane. The only way to get the same character every time is to use the HTML for the quotation mark (""")

Another note on the Sprint-T build, I’m still trying to work out that side brace that runs over the top of the cage and also acts as the top bar of the space frame, running from the front top spring mount to the rear of the frame since the rear top spring mount is on the rear hoop of the cage. I was thinking about having the two hoops front and rear and then putting two hoops, one on each side to handle the front to back loads. Problem is while that simplifies the bracing it greatly complicates the load paths. I mean there is a hoop running front to back next to the hoop running side to side and how are they attached to each other? Structurally it is a very mixed bag with lots of stiffness in the vertical mode, and dubious stiffness in torsion mode. Essentially this puts a hinge on front and rear hoops for twisting loads. Translated from structural speak that means crushing loads are well-resisted so my head is probably safe in a roll-over, but the thing I’m making the frame this way for in the first place is not what I had hoped for. So, back to the drawing board. I really need to get my CAD program knowledge up to snuff, because I know it will calculate what I need to know once I figure out what to tell it to draw. Basically I have the radius of the bender, and I know the brace will have to be tangent to that radius projected from the top of the front and rear hoops to the front spring mount and the rear end of the frame, respectively. The top of the side brace runs parallel to the tops of the hoops until it goes past the hoops, which is where the bend starts. Lots of words to describe a simple tube with two bends. And if I could figure out how to tell my CAD program what I just wrote I would be flying.

I’ve been dealing with health issues

That’s about all I’m gonna say about my hiatus from the blog. Health. Issues.

In other news I’m taking Mrs. the Poet to get her first Moderna shot tomorrow. I have to go because she has no idea on how to use the Lyft app, and because there has to be someone with her to keep an eye on her in case she has a reaction to something in the vaccine. I make frequent jokes about Mrs. the Poet being a Luddite, but she really is “challenged” by technology. Witness that her phone has no apps that were not pre-installed from the factory. And she has no interest in learning how to use my Lyft app to get around even when all the rides are paid for by me. So if she needs to get someplace she can’t go by bus, she has to get me to take her on my Lyft, or talk someone else over the phone into taking her.

On other fronts I got out and got a full massage for the first time in weeks. The weather and fallout from it has kept me almost house-bound since the Snowpockalypse as places recover from the damage of the cold and from the electrical blackout that came with it. And also walking around paying my phone bill showed I was really close to having to call 911 for help because of my balance when I just walked from the house to the bus, from the bus to the phone store, store to bus, bus to house, and collapse in the house. Those last few steps from the mailbox to the house were hard, especially for balance. And no, these are not part of the health issues that have been keeping me off the blog. I’m also thinking about using the parts and tools I bought to get some work done on the front axle of the Sprint-T.

I know what to do, I’m just having problems getting to the garage and doing it. A big part of the problem is navigating the obstacle course between the house and the garage, because I have to move the garbage can and the roll-around in order to get to the door, the navigate the garage to get too my tools which also got moved to places I can’t find them. If I didn’t know better I would swear my stuff got moved to the places it was hardest for me to get to on purpose…

So, anywho, what I need to do is mock up the axle brackets with the heim joints I’ll be using so the spacing is correct, set them on the garage floor 31″ apart outside-to-outside, then set the axle down centered on the brackets and rotated so the kingpin bosses are inclined 7°±0.5 positive caster then use my oxy-acetylene torch to heat the tips of the brackets and where they rest on the axle cherry red to pre-heat the joint before laying a tack from my flux-core welder. I have to do that because even at its highest setting my poor welder can’t handle the thickness of the brackets and the axle. The brackets are 5/16” and the axle is 1/4” wall thickness, and the max rating for the welder is 3/16” wall or bracket. And that’s probably more information than you wanted to know. Yep my cheap Harbor Freight welder can’t handle the biggest joint on the car, but if I do it right I can get a good tack weld so it can be welded by someone with a bigger welder.

And that seems like a good place to end this.

Waving a single-finger salute to the departing year 2020

If any year deserved to be sent off with a 21 bird salute, this was the year. Any one of the many threads to this year would have earned “the finger”, but “all of the above” earns 10 people flipping the double bird while one guy waves a flag in his free hand and flips the bird with the other hand.

Let’s start at the beginning. God created the heavens and Earth. Nope, that’s too far back. Fred Trump either didn’t buy one or bought a cheap condom, leading to the birth of Donald, an anchor baby for his immigrant mother. Fast forward to the end of the XXth century when The Donald gets in hock with the Russian mob, and needs to get out from under them. He has a moderately successful reality TV show, and several failing casinos and golf courses that are perfect to launder money through for the mob, but he is such a poor businessman that he can’t even keep a casino afloat while literally shoveling buttloads of money through it. Someone suggested at some point that a political campaign is an even better way to hide buttloads of money by funneling it to certain PACs that are not required to report their donors or their recipients, created after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case. This, along with some Russian hacking of the reporting systems for the election, leads to Agent Orange “winning” the election in 2016. This is followed by rampant fraud and grift, more violations of the Hatch Act than I could count (in the thousands total), and a total disregard for the rule of law.

In parallel to this another group has been feeling unencumbered by things like laws and regulations and is letting their prejudices also run rampant to the detriment of the POC community. As Agent Orange got more and more blatant, so did they, eventually getting to the point of assaulting people in the streets with cameras going, because they felt disrespected as police, and then getting to the point of murdering people on camera because they thought they were Judge Dredd (“I am The Law”), and beyond such petty concerns as evidence and trials. 

So on top of all this we get Mother Nature lacing up her steel-toed waffle stompers and setting a pandemic in motion. Now in ordinary times this would mean a few dead people and some minor inconvenience, but as was already set out this was about as far from “ordinary times” as we could get. Agent Orange lived up to his nick and ignored the pandemic and ordered the people in charge of mitigating pandemics to take a permanent unpaid vacation (“All you losers are fired”), resulting in months of lost time when we could have been preventing the spread and preparing for the disease by stockpiling PPE. Then came the insanity of first denying the pandemic existed, claiming it was “just the flu” and would go away come warm weather, then weaponizing it against political enemies in states with large Democratic populations. This kept going until we have almost 400K dead, over a million permanently unable to work, and another million or so only able to work light work at part time, meaning when the pandemic is over there will still be holes to patch in the employee infrastructure. That means when the economy comes back it’s going to come back slow.

Now the good stuff: Agent Orange has been neutralized, we have an effective vaccine, two of them even! We might have the upper hand on the pandemic by Fall, or early Winter at the latest. And I’m hoping the DoJ does a RICO prosecution on the GOP over the influx of Mob money… And that’s going to mean getting rid of the Democrats because the only thing worse than having fascists controlling one of the two political parties is having only one political party. I have lived in such places that had only one legal political party, and it was the worst, because you couldn’t just go vote for somebody else if the current party platform was not appealing. We have a chance of getting the economy more egalitarian with a more progressive tax structure and a ratcheting minimum wage that’s set at “living” instead of “bare survival”. We can only hope…

Today was a doubleplus ungood, no-fun kind of day

I knew today was going to be bad when I woke up to a white world because of allergies filming my eyes over again. Eventually I was able to see well enough to get to the bathroom and take care of business. Then I tried to get a “cup” of coffee, which in my insulated cup is right at 800 ml or just shy of a quart. I grabbed the last toaster pastry for breakfast and started to read the news on Twitter. That was a mistake, because there were 2 things fighting for air, Agent Orange saying he’s back on hydroxychloroquine in spite of reports saying it kills more people than it saves, and the report that his administration fired another IG investigating Pompeo over arms deals to the Saudis, and also the IG investigating no-bid contracts from Elaine Chao, wife of #MoscowMitch, and head of the DoT, to companies that had supported Mitch with campaign $$.

Then I started having problems getting my eyes to track together, feeling dizzy, and almost falling out of my chair a couple of times. Mrs. the Poet said my face was red and hot when she checked for fever. I eventually found a person I could talk to over Skype who I talked to and I was also able to find a thermometer, and my temp was an even 98°F which is a touch warm for me but within operating tolerances. After a few hours my vision cleared up and my dizziness went away, but my face remained red and hot. We, the doc and I decided I had the unfortunate combination of allergies and over-exuberant exfoliation from yesterday that combined to make it look like I was really sick when I was just having a bad grass allergy day. The double vision was probably clogged sinuses, the dizzy was the double vision caused motion sickness, and the hot, red face was irritation from trying too hard when I was stripping the dead skin cells from my cheeks and forehead yesterday. I stayed sat down until I was sure of my balance and took an allergy pill, after which I started feeling much better.

Now the fun thing is I wasn’t able to make that trip to the hardware today, which means I get to try again tomorrow. Yay? (Tom Slick unenthused crowd noises) I’m out of my sleep meds, I also need to make that trip to the hardware to get the screws and door bumpers, I have the battery for the sawzall on the charger so I can cut the pieces for the radiator mockup. I tried it earlier, but there was no charge in the battery so I didn’t even get one cut finished on the first 2 by 4. I barely got started before the battery died. So battery is on the charger.

And I cracked the first bottle of kefir of the 4, and I had to google what this is supposed to taste like because I honestly thought it had gone bad and that’s why it was given to me, but it’s supposed to taste like a vinegar smoothie. I have had things much worse (see Natto on google), so I can learn to live with this. TBH it is not much worse than the lemon-lime yogurt I was eating a while ago. It just takes being prepared for the taste. I already knew what the various citrus flavors were like but this was new.

And this seems like a good place to stop…

Many things have happened since last I posted

And one of those things is the store where I buy my Lotto and Powerball tickets is selling masks for $2 each. This is a good thing, since Dallas County has instituted a “can’t leave the house without a mask” policy. They are not enforcing that as a criminal offense yet, because 1) masks are nearly impossible to find or make and 2) police don’t want to get that close to people.

Other things, people are still ignoring the one-way arrows on the floor of the aisles in the grocery store, and wandering around without face coverings because “I don’t feel sick” and they don’t know or more likely don’t care that most people don’t show any symptoms until the second week after they are infected, and that they can spread the virus starting with as few as 2 days post-infection. I realize that with my immune system I probably won’t reach they symptomatic stage of COVID19, and I could be spreading the virus like a modern day Typhoid Mary and not be able to tell.

We had a protest against social distancing down in Austin because “Freedumbs”, complete with assault weapons on display, likewise because “Freedumbs”. I’m unsure if being stupid is a consequence of Conservatism or a prerequisite for it, but it certainly seems to be something that accompanies it.

I feel like I’m surrounded by idiots, but they were there all along. It just took a disaster to let people know they are idiots, and the bad thing was before they were “mostly harmless” idiots, now their idiocy could kill people I love, as well as people I don’t know.

I discovered my seat for the Sprint-T was still a bit snug through the chest, so I took my Orange Hammer to it again to widen it out at the top where it was still too small.

Setting up for a test fit

Checking the fit after beating on the chest restraint with the Orange Hammer

What I was originally looking at was if I needed to raise the shoulder harness passthrough so that I didn’t get spinal compression in a frontal collision or a sudden stop. That was what I was checking with the pictures, to see if I could see the holes for the shoulder harness from the front when I was in the seat. Spoiler Alert: I can’t. And the composition of the pictures was determined by where I could set up the seat to test sit, as the only place I could put the seat and still sit in it was the couch, and the only place where Mrs. the Poet could take a picture from was on the far side of the dining room table. I couldn’t take the picture myself because I needed to be in it, and the camera needed to be at a distance from the seat to reduce parallax. So the image is not as good as it could have been with a dedicated studio and a longer focal length lens than my phone had. The wide angle lens on my phone creates a lot of parallax and the longer focal length lens I bought for my previous phone won’t work for this phone. And so it goes.

We are weird here,our wine and liquor are not running out

But the cookies and ice cream stocks are almost depleted if not completely gone. Seriously, I’m looking at buying beer, bread, there’s a screaming deal on Oreos we want to get, and a few other thing including Lysol trigger spray and yogurt.

And this is as close as I’m gonna get to an April Fool’s Joke today, because nobody can top the joke in the White House. Sorry to get political on you, but seriously, that dude has been making me slightly crazy with all his nonsense.

On less political subjects I have been watching people making things on YouTube, mostly fabricating things on or for their cars. I don’t have access to raw stock of any kind except for lumber so for me to actually build anything, because while the lumberyards are essential the metal supply is non-essential and I ain’t got none handy to build with. I need lots of 1.5″ tubing, because I know what I’m building now. I’m figuring out how much of each size I need by building the mini Sprint-T and measuring how much of the plastic I need and multiplying by scale factor, but I need to figure out how much bend and length I need for the upper rail. I’m still trying to get the lengths and bends right but I’m going through a lot of raw stock because the bender only works once without making the stock too thin. I’m doing the bend after the rear hoop and in front of the front hoop. The upper rail attaches to the hoops with two brackets on either side of the hoop that puts the tube across from and in line both legs of the hoop and a stub tube to meet the bend, and I’m debating putting a boxing plate from the leg of the hoop to the upper rail. If I do that I probably won’t need to do the stub from the rail to the outside of the bend on the hoop if I plate the top and side and I save a whole bunch of complexity.