Tag Archives: F1 racing

My hip hurts

I really need to replace my futon, because I lack padding on my right hip and when I sleep on my right side I get a painful not-quite-a-bruise on my hip. I never in my life though I would ever say I wasn’t fat enough, but … I really need a new bed.

I’m doing the channel bounce as there is a F1 race and a Monster Energy Cup race on at the same time, and the NHRA race just started broadcasting. I’m mainly sticking with the F1 race as Hamilton had a flat tire on the first lap and there is a ton of drama because he went all the way to the back of the field and he could clinch the championship this race depending on where Sebastian Vettel finishes, unless Hamilton finishes 5th or higher. As I type this Hamilton is leading the points by running in 9th with Vettel in 3rd at the finish to clinch the driver championship two races before the end of the season.

Watching the Monster Energy Cup race now from Martinsville.

Just got a text that the Shadowrun game we had going tonight was dropped because the GM has another class to attend, and one of the players for our group is having some kind of health issue. This makes me slightly upset, but not totally broken. As the saying goes, shit happens. I’m just getting tired of shit happening to me.

Speaking of that, I didn’t win the lottery again last night. So I’m still p’, too impoverished to buy a vowel.


Waiting on the last race of the F1 season, on Wreck-Free Sunday

First of all, today is the 6th anniversary of moving my blog to WordPress as my blogging service provider. Of the other two places this blog has existed one remains an adult dating site (the original place where I just put down my random thoughts much like I do Sundays here) and the other is pretty much a desert with spam blogs filled with spam comments. What is so funny about it is the reason I left that provider was my posts were getting censored for having excessive links and being a possible phishing post. I was getting more than 300 site views a day on a bad day, up to 1000 views a day on a good day, and then my posts were either not showing, or my links were blocked. That was when I checked to see if WP would work with the computer and OS I was using at the time, because when I tried to post at a different site they were not compatible and trying to open the compose page caused my browser to crash. Obviously that doesn’t happen there any more, but as I have established a following at this URL I am loath to abandon here for a new site. I like you guys 😉

I saw a funny on the comments of another site that I had to share: Now, wait a minute
I’m pretty sure Canada is a U.S. territory. As I recall, Dudley Do-Right seized it from the evil Russkie villain Snidely Whiplash in the
Battle of Moose and Squirrel. We needed it because the fabled lost Atlantean capital of New Orleans had sunk so we plunked all of our people who spoke Frenchie-talk down in the middle of Canada someplace, so they could provide us with maple syrup. This comment was in response to another comment that the KXL pipeline would not do anything for domestic oil supplies because Canadian oil is still foreign oil.

Well, the race is over and Lewis Hamilton won the race and the F1 driver’s championship. Of 19 races this year Hamilton won 11, his teammate Nico Rosberg won 5 and the other 11 teams combined won 3. Red Bull, last years’ dominant team, barely registered this year, and Ferrari did not have a single driver in the top ten. I’m sure everyone except Mercedes and their power unit customers are exceedingly happy that the rules are getting a major overhaul next year. I don’t pay a lot of attention to the rules package in F1 any more so I’m not sure what the changes are, but if what I have read from unofficial sources are true the engine spec is remaining the same while the amount of fuel allowed for the race is getting reduced from the current spec, and the number of engine changes allowed has been reduced, as well as aerodynamic changes to the nose for improved driver safety.

I forgot to include the column hanger for the steering in the last order for the Sprint T, so I will remedy that mistake when I order my grandson’s Christmas present Flamed Hot Rod Pedal Car. It will be next to the stride bike I built over the summer from a discarded (literally) sidewalk bike. Anyway, steering column and wheel, still trying to cobble up something that will let me bolt the steering wheel to a piece of tubing the same size as the column I’m going to use so I can figure out what length of steering column to buy. Part of me wants to buy the racing collapsible steering column that prevents the steering column from stabbing me in the chest, and also comes with its own mounting drop. I will be running the switches for the indicators on the steering wheel including the turn signals, horn, and high-low dimmer switch, and maybe a set of paddle shifters for the transmission. Lots of switches to mount, and not many places to put them. This isn’t an F1 car where they have a µC in the steering wheel to control all of the functions and interpret the dozen or so switches and send the results down a cable to the MCU for the engine and transmission. Also I’m not the kind of guy that will build a cockpit mockup, and sit there for hours blindfolded touching controls as directed until I can, for one thing that takes at least two people to do and I’m one short on the roster for that. I have already determined that left thumb for left turn signal, right thumb for right turn signal, left finger to down shift, right finger to up shift, lower center to toggle high/low beams, and dead center to operate the horn (something else I have to make a decision on what to get) is about all that I can handle. The upside of this is I can tell the EMU that unless the connections to the steering wheel are right the engine won’t start making taking the steering wheel out roughly equivalent to pulling a minor ignition part so that even if the thief has a steering wheel on a quick release they still can’t steal the car without doing something to replace the switches on the wheel.

Now we are getting ready to leave for the annual patron auction at my church, where we select the deity whom we will honor and learn about for the coming year. This is one of our biggest fund-raisers of the year and also our biggest contribution to local charities from the food items part of the voting. Briefly we have three rounds of questions for the people representing the deity, and based on their answers we give money in one round, food and toiletries in another round, and votes indicated with rocks (from the Stones of Joys and Concerns basket) for a third round. The food and money rounds are obviously the provenance of the better-off financially members of the congregation, but everyone gets the same number of stones to vote with so that how much money you have doesn’t decide everything. There is a point system that awards 3 points to the winner of a round, 2 for second, and one for third. That means if the same deity wins second in all 3 rounds they still lose, but it your choice can get second twice and then win the votes round you can still win if the other two split winning rounds.

This year the candidates that survived the penny auction were Aphrodite, Athena, and Loki. Each has their plusses and minuses, beyond the obvious. The one who wins will be dependant on how well they are presented by their Earthly Representative.

My ride is here, I have to go now.

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

Yehuda Moon moves out from behind the paywall, and other news on Wreck-free Sunday

I have been meaning to mention this for a couple of weeks, but Yehuda Moon has moved from behind the paywall. When their old comments software went down and was no longer supported they had a choice: lose 4 years of comments or lose the paywall. Since the paywall has been as popular as a porcupine in a nudist colony, and the comments section has been the primary reason people were paying to read the comic, we have today’s headline.

As some of you might know I love cars when they are on a closed track all going the same direction, and not driving around me. Today we have two of those going on TV, the Grand Am Rolex series in Sonoma, and the NHRA Nationals (The Big Go) from Indianapolis. I haven’t been able to follow the NHRA points battles as well as I would like, the “regular job” of this blog kind of monopolizing my time and evening services at church coming at the same time as the ESPN2 broadcast of the races. Having been a road racer from back when Reagan was president, and a hard-working SCCA member (I still have an award plaque from working every event in an entire season back in the 1980’s) I’m very interested in the Grand Am event. I’m a nuts and bolts kind of road racer, I like restrictive rules that encourage design innovations, like Formula Ford. I’m not quite as enamored of rules packages like Daytona prototypes that while they have lots of different engines the rest of the cars are nearly identical in geometry and appearance by rules rather than by evolution. The Gen3 cars have only 2 aero packages that look almost identical, to go with the Gen2 pair of aero packages. So you have 3 or 4 chassis makers that have 2 sets of bodywork that have to interchange as the aero package is tied to the engine manufacturers. The Corvette package is only for use by the GM engine cars, while the other aero package is for the Ford, Porsche, and BMW engines and aside from the side pods and the tail light panel I can’t tell them apart, similar to the Gen2 packages that had a common windshield (I think, they looked almost the same).

Now if you want to talk about a simple, restrictive but open rules book you don’t need to look any further than the ISMA rules for Supermodified racers for oval tracks. Maximum wheelbase, no minimum, maximum width, a near spec-engine rule (cast iron Chevy big-block of 470 Cu. In.) very few engine location rules (the front 2/3 of the wheelbase) a spec tire rule with a choice of left rear tires to adapt the cars for different radius turns (basically everyone is going to use the same left rear tire because stagger is such an important variable and the size gaps between allowed tires are large enough that only one combination will work per track). If I was still building oval track cars this is the rules package I would be building under.

Now a rules package I’m not too fond of as a builder is the Sprint Cup rules that are such that you can change a Dodge Charger to a Toyota Camry with an engine swap and swapping the nose cap, tail cap, and window pillars. For the teams this is great, because it really reduces costs, but for us nuts and bolts geeks it is utter purgatory.

That’s the reason why I like building bikes. Actually I like building recumbent bikes, not those hyper-regulated UCI things that have rules for everything including the rider’s shoes for aerodynamic parity. And the aggravating thing is the bikes are so highly regulated under the UCI that finding any edge requires cubic $ expended in wind tunnels to tune the rider position while the unfaired recumbents we just lay the rider back as far as he can still see what’s out front and call it good. The faired bikes you have to use CFD and wind tunnels to get that last MPH out of it for IHPVA records and WHPSC championships, but for HPRa and WRRA races you can “eyeball” it and call it good and still win races. You can run an entire season with a new bike in HPRa for less than the cost of wind tunnel testing for a single rider in the UCI, and win races if you’re a good enough rider. The thing is that even in the HPRa a good rider on a mediocre bike will beat a mediocre rider on a great bike. You need a great rider on a great bike to be sure of winning, but because this is not a pro series the riders are the biggest variable to deal with. The design of the unfaired (“Stock” class) bikes has pretty much evolved to a fully reclined SWB bike with a small front wheel and lots of chain and leg overlap of the front wheel. The other classes are not so evolved and there are many different variations of what works and what wins in each class, with what works best for the rider being the biggest factor. What works for one rider is trash for another, which makes for some interesting racing, both from the “read about it later” and the “watch it while it happens” points of view.

And that’s what has been running through my mind today (and this week).

PSA, Opus

From Ice to Fire, Wreck-free Sunday

I took care of some “stuff” around the house so we don’t get the codes guy angry. This year it’s our tree hanging too low over the sidewalk, so Mrs. the Poet and I walked the branch down so that I could reach it with the saw and remove it from over the sidewalk. Now I have sawdust in my hair for the short period of time that I will still have hair today. At evening services tonight the congregation is going to cut funny patterns in my hair and take pictures to post to Facebook before shaving the rest of it off to give to the birdies as nesting materials.

Today we celebrated Equinox, by planting more seeds (my beans from the Full Moon didn’t make it home from the service, but the seeds we did today made it home fine, go figure). Tonight we “Shear our Sheep” with me standing in as the sheep, because I deliberately grow my hair out over the winter as added insulation for my noggin. At this time of year all that extra hair becomes more of a liability than an asset as I start getting really sweaty from all the mess of hair, and it starts getting in my eyes because it is too short to pull back in a pony tail or something to keep it out of my face. My beard starts getting a little warmer than I want as well, so everything but the eyebrows go. Actually that should be eyebrow singular, as left unimpeded it would run from one side of my face to the other and also down the bridge of my nose, but I shave the middle during the summer because having electrolysis done didn’t keep it from growing back and plucking it just made it come back as short hairs that can’t be plucked. So, anyway everything but the eyebrow will be gone this evening, and pictures of the process will be on Facebook, I hope.

Right now I’m getting the sawdust out of my hair from pruning that tree when I got home. Did I mention I hate sawing wood over my head? I have a bottle of waterless shampoo that I will use this evening to make sure the hair we give to the birdies for their nests is as clean as possible with nothing that could make them sick, because I would be very upset if I made the birdies sick.

As I’m posting, I have 2 races on the idiot box, the replay of the F1 race from Malaysia, and the Sprint Cup race from Fontana. The F1 race is in the wet, and they think the Fontana race may be cut short by rain moving in, as NASCAR can’t race in the wet on an oval. But I’m looking at the F1 cars sliding off course nearly every turn as their tires just can’t cope with the downpour in Malaysia, and they just put the safety car on the course to bring everybody down to a safe cruise speed. I have seen one of these races red-flagged because the safety car was hydroplaning almost out of control while the race cars were also sliding off the track because their under-car aerodynamic devices were flying over the top of the water and lifting the entire car off the ground. When the tires are not touching the track the car is just a ballistic device because there is nothing changing the direction of the car until it runs into something.

And I’m going to cut this post short, because I can’t concentrate on writing and watch the race(s) at the same time. and I’m missing stuff in the races while I put stuff on the screen.

Oh, and the Fire and Ice in the headline? A couple weeks ago I wore tights and multiple layers of jerseys, today I rode to church in shorts and a short-sleeved jersey and still was a little sweaty when I got to church.

PSA, Opus