Tag Archives: fall weather

Still not dead, and the heat came on for the first time this winter

It got down to 62°F inside Casa de El Poeta today, which is cold enough to make my knuckles hurt and get stiff even under the covers, so since I foresee a possible heat wave before it gets cold again I reset the thermostat to work full range instead of just cooling. Now we have heat, because to be honest 62° is just not warm enough with the clothes we have here en mi casa. My normal attire is shorts and if I feel chilly a T-shirt, but today I have sweatpants and a T-shirt and I’m thinking about adding a sweat shirt. Mrs. the Poet wears considerably more inside the house than I regardless of the temperature unless I really allow the temperature to rise during the summer to save electricity.

The “normal” setting for heat here is 65 during the day and 62 after midnight, so this is about what I’ll go to bed to tonight and Mrs. the Poet will get up to in the morning. This time of year is usually a good one for electricity usage as there are long stretches that are warm enough to not require using the heat, but cool enough to not require running the AC, so we just run the fan at low speed to keep the house at a uniform temperature. This is also the time of year when I switch from cold snacks to hot ones like Cup Soup and ramen noodles because I need that psychological warmth when it’s a bit chilly and there’s not much sun. In fact between sentences I’m eating a Maruchan Instant Lunch with shrimp while composing this post. But at any rate the thermostat was set to AC only and had the be reset to Automatic to bring the heat settings into play.

There is a discussion on Twitter about what we would do if Universal Basic Income passed and everyone got $40K tax free every year on top of what we already make, and my answer was I would have access to raw stock and parts to make better content for you guys reading my blog. I could go full “Mad Scientist” and finish the Sprint-T and either build the A-MOD car or build the AWD T-bucket that has been percolating in the grey matter for the last few years since Ken Block unveiled the Hoonicorn Mustang . Now I won’t have 1400 WHP like the Hoonicorn, in fact I probably won’t even use forced induction and just be concerned with hooking what power I made to the road instead of making as much power as physics and chemistry allow. I probably won’t have a 2-step as rowdy as the one on the Hoonicorn, but I’m sure it will make some noise because that’s the nature of rev limiters on EFI engines. I think I mentioned what I would build for the Sprint-T with a large enough budget, a 6.3l aluminum block fitted with the 3.26″ stroke crank and matching rods out of a 4.8l truck engine to make a 5.56l (339 in3) destroker engine capable of spinning as fast as the valvetrain will allow.

Update: after the last paragraph I went to buy a TX Lotto ticket, and on the way home I had a problem standing up while walking and almost made it home. I got all the way to the front door before falling down, through the storm door. I got about a dozen or so cuts deep enough to bleed, 3 deep enough to need bandaging after I cleaned myself up. Interestingly, all the bandages are on my left hand, even though my head is what took out the window in the storm door and bounced off the actual front door. It was the same thing as the last time I fell down, I got tired and let my center of gravity got too far out in front of my feet. This is a result of my brain damage from the wreck, and is similar to what happens to Parkinson’s patients. I don’t have Parkinson’s, just garden variety brain damage that has similar symptoms to one aspect of Parkinson’s. So quell your worries, I’m no worse off than I was a few days ago, as soon as I get all the glass out of my skin. And I have another reason to hate the guy driving the truck that killed me, because this is directly related to that event. If he wasn’t already dead from driving his personal vehicle into a tree or something while DUI, I would kick him in the nuts until he was dead. The really bad thing is he died before I had the chance to sue him for damages and medical bills, letting his heirs keep everything I should have gotten. C’est la vie.

Weather is here, wish you were beautiful

It has turned cold and rainy today, after yesterday’s trek for nothing. I had originally planned on going downtown and depositing checks and Getting Stuff Done, but Bush41’s funeral caused all the offices to be closed, and apparently also the ATMs to not work, because it said I had money but then said I couldn’t have any. I got as much cash as they could give me at the register because I had to go buy stuff in the store where the ATM is located. Unfortunately I couldn’t get anywhere near the cash I needed to get because of the limits on how much cash they can give back. ☹️

And the Trump Tariffs are negatively affecting the Sprint-T build. Local steel prices are through the roof, and online prices that can deliver are only a tiny bit better. And I mean tiny, about 1% less. I thought the tariff was only 25% on steel, but it looks like more so maybe this was the one he slapped the 30% tariff on. And adding 30% to the cost of the raw stock does bad things to the build budget. I really try hard to keep politics out of the blog posts, but there are times when that’s just not feasible, like now. Tariffman has just totally screwed up two things I do/did, building bicycles and hot rods (and tumbrels, but those are just bicycle trailers with a handrail). So it’s not just the big car companies getting screwed, us individual hobbyists are feeling the pinch as well.

So, anyway, I have time to do the post because I walked over 2 miles yesterday and I’m getting pain on the scars from the surgery to put my hip together and then take the hardware out so I wouldn’t get strip searched every time I had to go through a security checkpoint and they didn’t believe the scars (only happened once, but once is one too many times). You would think that more than 15 years since the last operation would be enough to keep the scars from hurting, but you would be wrong, because when I woke up this morning I could barely move my leg for about an hour or so. I don’t know exactly how long because both phones were on the chargers and out of my reach and I can’t read the LCD digital clock from the bed. It felt like forever, but realistically it was less than an hour. Then I just didn’t want to get out from under the quilt because cozy, and things didn’t hurt as long as I stayed on the hot side of things. Staying too warm was pretty instrumental to alleviating a number of recent pains in my leg, hip and shoulder. Which is another roundabout way of saying I’m getting old but not in the good way. Which is another way of saying immortality without eternal youth is a curse, or that I wish I had access and the money to purchase the enhancements my character in Shadowrun has, replacing the damaged legs with ones that can be repaired or replaced, ditto the arm and bypassing the brain damage with cerebral enhancements, fixing my vision with “cateyes” that can see in almost no light without having to get recharged once a day… fixing everything that hurts or doesn’t work right. Then I can be immortal minus the pains of old age. Unlike my current situation of immortal with accelerated aging because healthcare in the US sucks unless you’re obscenely rich.

And that seems like a good place to stop for today.

We have actual cool

The office temperature was 74°F (23.3°C) this morning! It was cooler than that when I went shopping for a solution to the drain plug problem we are having in the kitchen sink and redeemed a coupon for a free Avocado Bacon Burger at the local Whataburger. Then it was about the same as it is right now outside: 66°F.

Mrs. the Poet is not sure she likes the solution I found for her constantly failing drain plugs: what Lowe’s calls a “suction stopper” which is basically a round sheet of rubber that covers the drain, and a stainless mesh filter that fits inside the drain and removes for cleaning. Total cost $7 and the only failure points are eventually the rubber will age into uselessness (almost typo that would also have worked: “uselessmess”) and the mesh can be torn if a fork gets caught in it. Unlike the one we bought last year for $3 at the local grocery that has a built-in failure that is pretty much guaranteed because that’s exactly how all 3 of the last ones we bought failed, there is a barbed insert that fits through a hole in the rubber stopper, and after some use the water pressure in the full sink will overcome the tenacity of the barbed insert and the stopper gets left behind when the rest of the assembly is removed to allow drainage. This is another design defect in that the strainer has to be removed to drain the water so it doesn’t actually strain the debris from going down the drain. The new plug and strainer doesn’t have this failing.

I’m still thinking (Danger Will Robinson!) about the Sprint-T design, this time about the lateral location device for the rear axle. With the various types and sizes of tires I will be using some adjustability in the rear suspension to change the balance of grip front to rear. Looking at the many ways to get this adjustability the simplest way is adjusting the rear roll center height by moving the vertical attachment of the rear lateral location device. Well, I did the bending stress on a 1.125″ fine thread bolt and for the LS and lighter engines this will be just big enough to not fail in long term use. There might be some flex while racing, and it is a definite failure point if I bang a curb with the right rear tire on the street, but the flex will not be noticeable to the driver and I’m not supposed to be banging curbs anyway. Construction will be super easy: After I cut the pivoting piece for the Watt’s link I cut a 1.125″ hole in the center for the pivot bolt then weld a fine thread nut with a grease fitting over the hole and machine out a bit of the arm to clear the bolt in use. I don’t know how much adjustment I will actually need and I could probably rebuild the mount for the pivot arm with only as much bolt as I need left unsupported from flex after I finish testing. Then I could just machine away the rest of the bolt past the support structure and save that little bit of weight.

Speaking of saving weight, I’m having some issues with how to attach the bracket for the Watt’s link to the rear axle housing, mostly because I still haven’t settled on which rear axle to use, the nine-inch Ford with an aluminum center section and a fabricated aluminum housing and axle tubes or the Winters V8 quick change with a magnesium center section and aluminum side bells with aluminum axle tubes. The generic Nine Inch would be a touch cheaper and has more clearance at droop, while the V8 is slightly lighter and has a better selection of final drive ratios. That availability of final drive ratios might be the thing that swings the decision. Anyway, the Nine Inch housing will have to have a mount welded on the back, while the V8 can have the bracket bolted with longer studs on the side bell, making modification a simple matter of unbolting the test bracket and bolting on the permanent bracket, another point in favor of the V8 QC axle.

And this once again points out that designing a car from scratch is a good thing to do for us old people with ADD because there are so many sub-systems that have to be hashed out so progress can still be maintained when interest fades on whatever I’m working on at the moment.