There were two races and two qualifications on the tube today, (there is only one CRT display still working in the house, can we still call TV “the tube” when it’s all flatscreens?).
First up was the Xfinity race from Richmond, won by Dale Jr. in a squeaker which you would not know from the statistics of the race. The race was 140 laps and it went green to around lap 100 with most of the field a lap or more down. Then the fun started when someone spun and brought out the yellow, bunching up the field and putting everyone up in everyone else’s grills and bumpers. That’s when it started looking like a short track race again. Lots of beating and banging, a couple cars into the outside wall, and at least one in the inside wall, and that was just the first turn after the restart. Eventually they managed to get to the end of the race with Overtime.
Then it was qualifying for the Verizon Indycar series in Alabama. Barber MSP is a fantastic track and they set a new lap record during qualifying today. I don’t know if that was a series record or the absolute track record, but either way it was danged quick. The guy who won the last race in Long Beach won the pole at the first purpose-built road course, showing how “wonderful” I am with names.
Then it was qualifying for the Paris ePrix with Sam Bird winning the pole for the first event at the facility. Because of the format for qualifying pole wasn’t set until the very last guy crossed the timing line, making for great drama.
Which lasted for all of one commercial break as they went from qualifying to the tape-delayed broadcast of the Paris ePrix. Bird got passed by DeGrassi (not the guy they named the ’90s TV show after) on the start when Bird used just a touch too much of that “instant” electric torque and smoked his tires off the line, falling to third behind his teammate. One of the interesting things about Formula E is because they run on what is basically a street tire you can hear a slight howl when drivers run at the limits of adhesion braking or in the corners, giving spectators and TV audiences a much greater insight as to how hard the drivers are pushing their cars. Anyway DeGrassi went wire to wire after the start, but there was position-swapping just anywhere you looked in the order once you went deeper than third place. The finish was disappointing because the track was partially blocked by a wreck and a Safety Car was deployed to slow and bunch the field for the finish, but they couldn’t clean up all the debris that could cause a flat tire before the laps ran out.
I have been pondering changing the drivetrain for the Sprint-T (again). Basically everything I want to do with the car could be done with 2 gears in the transmission and a box of QC gears to swap in the rear end. I mean sure the car would be a lot peppier around town with a 700r4 or 4l70e, but the entire point of the car is a race car for the street in a class that has no minimum weight, and a Powerglide is 50 pounds lighter and
less expensive (oops, PGs have gotten a lot more expensive in the last few years) than either of the 2 4-speed slushboxen. I can even get one that uses the same lockup converter as the 4-speeds so that I get the same highway fuel economy. Basically the setup would be to run the same final drive ratio (2.66) as I would get with the 4-speeds in overdrive 4th gear, then when I get to the track swap out the spur gears to something that redlines at 60 MPH in low gear like I would have with the 4-speeds. The extra gearset would be $70 from Speedway.com, the quick change drain pan costs $40. The combination of an aluminum head and block LS engine and a PG transmission would take the Sprint-T from 1750 to 1600 pounds curb weight. Less weight means more grip from the tires and less work for the brakes and engine.
So, good races, and possible lighter and better performing Sprint-T. Sounds like a productive Saturday.
Billed @€0.02, Opus
Tonight’s evening service was in honor of the Veritan archetype Trickster, and the archetype was definitely in play. One of the female congregants took her boots off because her feet were hurting, and because this is a normal behaviour for my church. The person sitting behind her moved her boots to a hidden location, then another person moved them while the first person was looking away, somewhere along the way the house ghosts got in on the act and the location of the boots was lost to everyone for a while, then they were found (but not by the owner). Finally the boots were placed in the passenger seat of the owner’s ride home, which I was not able to witness… And which I will relate next week after I hear the results.
Something else I have been watching on the idiot box this weekend was the Long Beach round of Formula E. While I’m heavily biased towards liking this kind of contest, I’m conflicted. One thing was there were two drivers that had to switch to their second car way early and even though the race was very short neither was able to finish, even with substantially reducing speed and acceleration from the rest of the cars. The race was over a distance of only about 80 km which is only 50 miles +/-, and they did not use the full Long Beach street course with the long curving “straights” and two tight hairpin turns, which they said on the pre-race were judged to be too harsh a test of the battery system because of the high speed of the straight. That was what triggered me, race cars that couldn’t race at top speed are not race cars. I think the culprit is a combination of the controller and the battery that just sucks the energy out of the system.
And this has been a long day, so I’m packing up and going to bed.
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
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged bullhorn, Chase for the Sprint Cup, d&d, electric vehicles, Formula E, idiots, Legendarily Stoopid, RPG, RPG Group, Sprint Cup, stupid stoopid stewpid, Westboro Baptist wannabe
I started playing a new character in a new (to me) kind of fantasy RPG based on Palladium’s system. Our DM uses a different kind of character generation for games like this, where we role-play our character’s childhoods to determine our stats. The warlock class is completely different in Palladium in that their warlocks use elemental energy from one of the four aristotelian elements, and the character has to choose which “sphere” of energy he or she is going to use to cast their spells from. If your character chooses a single sphere they get three spells per level, but you can choose 2 spheres and get only 2 spells per level but have a wider variety of spells to choose from. I chose earth and air spheres because I had the best selection of healing spells with those, and because the warlock class was a pretty decent fighter without the use of magic.
I mentioned that we have a T-gurl living at the house, who moved in so that she wouldn’t have to sleep in her car in the church parking lot. Well we had a minor crisis at church tonight. Membership had gone through the name tags and updated them for all the new members we had gotten recently and the old tags were taken from the holders and put in a little file holder made for business cards so that there were enough tags for all the new and current people. The T-gurl was not a “current” member, so the tag holder we had altered to cover her old name with her feminine name was cleaned up and used for someone new and the old tag with the masculine name was put in the file. This caused a minor crisis for the T-gurl because it made her feel like her new identity was being denied in favor of her old masculine identity, which was something that was happening to her at her parent’s place. As you can imagine this was emotionally devastating for her, but we managed to find a way to repair most of the damages before everybody went home, in a way that affirmed her feminine identity as valid. Oh, and one of my old GF who was on disability for being bipolar and dyslexic and more than a bubble off kilter was there too as she had recovered enough to be allowed to drive again (I have never known her when she wasn’t on disability, I seem to attract people like that until they get back on their feet emotionally or at least get stable enough to function at some level in society).
Coming up on the 18th of this month I will finally be doing that ritual to end the spell to reflect the intentions of the guy who tried to kill me back in 2001 and who died back in 2002 after I started the spell to reflect his intentions back on him, but as I didn’t know he had died I kept the spell going through a second publically dedicated tool and that tool (hat) wore out and fell to pieces like the first. Well come the 18th I will burn those hats in a public ritual and dispell that public magic, and dedicate a new hat to creating good, safe bicycle infrastructure for the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. Just because I can’t ride at the moment doesn’t eliminated the need for infrastructure. I am not the only person riding a bicycle in this city. Expect to see some pictures from that ritual that night or the next day.
When we changed our cable package to include HD we also got a lot more channels that were HD only, which means I have that many more channels to ignore for lack of anything new or interesting to watch, except there are a few that sometimes have decent motorsports programming even this time of year. One of those channels will be covering Formula E racing, a spec series of all-electric racing. Personally for something like this technology I would prefer a spec motor with a maximum weight and volume for the battery and any controller, so that battery and controller technology would be pushed hard to develop as those are the parts of the e-vehicle matrix that are the stumbling blocks to widespread acceptance of EV in the mainstream. For commuting the infrastructure problem has been solved as there is always a place to charge when you’re at home, and there are more and more quick-charge stations popping up across the country for filling up for point-to-point driving that is outside the round-trip from home range of your vehicle. But anyway, this means I will be watching more Formula E, which means watching any Formula E because I did not have access to a channel before.
And I have yammered enough. I need to get to bed.
Posted in getting to know me, Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged Beautiful Suburbs of Hell, cable TV, character generation, Formula E, hat, identity crisis, Magick in the "Real World", Palladium Games, t-gurl, tie dye, Warlock, working magick for the public good