Tag Archives: Hephaestus

Neo-Hephaestean statement of belief

Well I have been looking for some kind of statement of belief from the original worshippers of my patron deity and I have come up dry. So it looks like I have to make one for today’s followers, based on my biases. That’s part of the problem when the original religion was a secret society that passed knowledge as an oral tradition.

First is the only thing required to follow Hephaestus is the desire to make things. All the things from all the materials are sanctified provided they are made with the proper attitude. Even making meals is sanctified if for no other reason than continuing your existence.

Second there are no races/ethnicities better than any other races/ethnicities. If you make things you can follow Hephaestus. All are brothers and sisters at the forge.

Third you must strive to make things that improve the human condition, at least part of the time. Weapons are allowed for defensive purposes and as an art form. Weapons training resembles dance in many ways. Making weapons one must be sure to make them only as deadly as required for the purpose, followers should never make WMD.

Fourth if you have a choice between making something and making something beautiful that serves the same purpose, make it beautiful, but if your choices are ugly but serviceable or nothing at all make something serviceable. Work on your skills until you can make the thing beautiful the next time you need to make it.

Fifth Hephaestus did not require sexual fidelity from his wife, so we should not bind our partners to us so that we deny them the company of others. Love is not a chain to bind us but a thread to guide us back together when we are ready. Love grows best when it doesn’t bind. Also celebrate your partner’s(s’) accomplishments, recognize what they do even when it’s not about you. They are separate individuals with separate needs and desires. Celebrate when you can be together but do not mourn if you are apart.

Sixth plagiarizes another religious statement, Love your brothers and sisters as you would yourself, everything else is just commentary.

Go in peace, and make something wonderful.

Need input from my readers on my T-bucket

I’m at a dilemma here on the rear suspension design, so I’m asking for your help. I have narrowed down the rear suspension to 3 candidates, 2 of which are interchangeable as the major difference is method of construction, and the third would require cutting most of the back end off the car to go from either of the other two to it or from it to either of the other two.

Anyway here are the choices:

1) Reuse almost everything under the front of the minivan including the subframe. That means the struts, springs, hubs, knuckles, axles and CV joints, A-arms, and the tie rod ends. Advantages are reduced fabrication as almost everything is reused except the upper strut mount to the frame of the minivan. Major disadvantage is no way to adjust ride height except to cut the spring to make it shorter, no way to change the spring rate except to cut the spring to make it stiffer, no way to reduce roll stiffness to improve rear grip, very little way to predict the ride height, and poor camber control with body roll. Also ugly with a capital UGH! The front suspension bits of a Chrysler Town and Country are strong, but they will never win the “Rear Suspension” category of a beauty contest.

2) De Dion beam with fabricated brackets to fit the knuckles attached to a 3″ dia 0.25″ wall aluminum tube, probably a 7075 alloy. This has the main advantage of keeping the wheels pointed in mostly the right direction in all 3 axis all the time unlike option 1. It’s also much better looking than option 1, but that is faint praise from a bad comparison. Another advantage is roll stiffness can be reduced by mounting the coilovers closer to the center of the car. The major disadvantage is I can cut the pieces for the bracketry but not weld them as none of my equipment will work on the thicknesses of aluminum needed for this job and the budget does not run into buying welding equipment that will only be used for one major assembly. Secondary disadvantage is coilover shocks and springs will need to be purchased to keep the frame from dragging the ground, but that is offset with the ability to choose shock and spring rates better suited to the reduced overall weight (compared to the donor vehicle), and the ability to adjust the ride height. This will reuse the knuckle and hub along with the parts attached like brakes etc. but probably not the tie rods. Lateral location will be by a Watt’s Link mounted under the differential and connected to the hubs or the bracketry the hubs are bolted to. Fore and aft location by a parallel 4-link connecting the frame and the end bracket on the de Dion tube.

3) Bird cage style de Dion beam from thin wall small diameter steel tubing in a 3D Warren or Pratt truss that sweeps back from the knuckles to clear the transaxle while leaving room for the axle shafts to come through without hitting the structure when the suspension travels vertically. Advantages include looking cool, something I could fabricate on my own, looking cool, slightly lighter and slightly stronger than the single 3″ aluminum tube, looking cool, all the advantages of the 3″ tube version, and finally looking cool. Disadvantages are much harder to fabricate since it’s basically a space frame for the rear axle and leaves less room for the trunk and gas tank behind the engine and transaxle.

Options 2 and 3 are interchangeable, just unbolt the tube or space frame and bolt in the space frame or tube to replace, so I could make both and see which works better. Probably not going to happen because I don’t have the budget for iterative development.

Right now I’m trying to decide which of the three options I’m going with. #1 is cheapest but has the most negative compromises, #2 and #3 have similar costs but #2 is much quicker to build because there is less actual cutting and welding. So help me make up my mind

7/12/2015 Service, Hephaestus

Altar: Hammer and anvil front center, UU Chalice center, god and goddess candles left and right center, Lunation deity jar candle and Aphrodite jar candle left and right rear.

Music intro: Devo, Working in a Coal Mine

Standard church welcome

Quarters

Earth: We dig the ores from the ground that are refined into the metals we use at the forge

Air: Blow inspiration through our minds as you fan the flames of the forge.

Fire: The power of transformation made physical in the forge.

Water: Quench and harden our works as they come from the forge.

Chalice: The stability of the earth, the inspiration of air, the transformation of fire, the emotions of water, all combined with the spark of spirit. Join with me as we read our affirmation. (read affirmation from the wall poster)

God candle: Welcome Hephaestus, from whom we draw inspirations and instruction for today’s service in your honor.

Goddess candle: Welcome Ghisallo, who guards us and guides us on our travels.

Lunation candle: Welcome Zeus as we learn from you this lunation. You whose very thunderbolts are created in Hephaestus’ forge know well the value of a good smith.

Aphrodite candle: Welcome our patroness for the year, and wife of Hephaestus, Aphrodite, whose marriage proves that love does not require possession, nor a leash, but merely the thought in the heart of those who love you. Let us take your love with us as we learn today.

Greetings and welcome again to the July 12th service at SJF UU. Today’s service is on Hephaestus, the greek god of the forge and one of my personal deities.

First a little about Heph. Heph is the son of Zeus and Hera, but unlike his brothers and sisters came out looking like five miles of bad road. We are talking a baby that even his mother couldn’t love he was so ugly, so they grabbed him by the leg and threw him from the heavens to the earth, which besides not doing anything to improve his looks caused him to have a lame and withered leg. Naturally this did nothing to dispose him towards the rest of the Olympian gods, and after residing on the earth for a while as he grew up he created a golden throne for Hera with invisible bindings. When Hera sat upon this throne (because it was very beautiful and very finely crafted) she was unable to rise from it. After determining that this was Heph’s work and only he could release Hera the other gods came and begged him to release his mother, to which Heph replied, “I have no mother.” Harsh, but to be honest if your mom had ordered that you be cast out of the house and it was done in such a way as to cripple you forever, would you be kind to her? anyway after Dionysus got him drunk and dragged Heph and his tools back to Olympus where they built him a palace with a workshop, he cut Hera loose from the throne. This was not to be his last temper tantrum, but that is a tale for another sermon.

“Hephaestus crafted much of the magnificent equipment of the gods, and almost any finely-wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus. He designed Hermes’ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite’s famed girdle, Agamemnon’s staff of office, Achilles’ armor, Heracles’ bronze clappers, Helios’ chariot, the shoulder of Pelops, and Eros’ bow and arrows. In later accounts, Hephaestus worked with the help of the chthonic Cyclopes—among them his assistants in the forge, Brontes, Steropes and Pyracmon.” And that is a direct quote from Wikipedia.

But as fine as all the works of Hephaestus are there is something they all share and something we can all lend. All of them started as… an idea.

Yes, before the first fire was lighted in his forge to heat the metal, he first had the spark of an idea in his mind, blown alight by the breath of inspiration. And that is something we can all do, is create an idea.

One of the followers of Hephaestus greatest rules is to make things that help other people, because if you make something that isn’t any help to anyone, have you really made anything aside from a lump to look at? So today, we are going to make an idea of something to help the church. What can be built that would help the people of the church both now and in the future? This idea will be presented to the Facilities committee this evening as something the congregation thinks would be a good thing to do.

[15 minute brainstorming session]

Write down the idea agreed upon to present to the Facilities committee. or if more than one idea was awesome, present all the awesome ideas to the committee.

In place of cakes and ale, present each person with a nail, and do this story.

Before man had nails all he had was wooden pegs to hold things together. Since each peg had to be carved by hand to fit the holes made in whatever they were building, this took a while and things were built slowly as a result. The someone discovered that you could drive a heavy piece of wire into wood and it would stay in there and hold things together better than hand-carved pegs in drilled holes, and things could be made much faster because nails could be made much more quickly than carving wooden pegs and could be made ahead of time instead of stopping and carving the pegs after drilling the holes and finding out how big the pegs needed to be. While people built things with nails other people could make nails without ever needing to know what kind of thing was being built. I give this to you so that you can carry the idea with you that you don’t have to know the whole of a thing to make an awesome part of it.

Closing song: Anvil Chorus ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3x-pwJGsgU )

Dismissal: Water, fire, air, and earth, you have all contributed to this service, and we thank you for that. Go now in peace with our gratitude.

Lunation (Zeus): Mighty Zeus, hurler of thunderbolts crafted by Hephaestus and ruler of the gods of Olympus, we thank you for your presence and lessons you may have taught us while you were her. Go now in peace.

Aphrodite: You are the boss’s wife and we thank you for your presence in our circle today and for whatever lessons you may have left with us today. Go now in peace.

Ghisallo: You who protect travellers and who was so revered by your followers that your shrines continued to be built and honored even as another god ruled your lands, we thank you for your presence and any lessons you may have left while you were here. Go now in peace.

Hephaestus: You were the boilerplate for the unfairly dismissed family member, and the inspiration for hundred if not thousands of stories and inventions. We thank you for your inspiration in our service today. Go now in peace.

Chalice: We extinguish this flame, but not the warmth of community, the light of truth, or the spark of commitment. These we hold in our heart until we meet again. Merry meet, to merry part, to merry meet again.

Pass basket and do announcements.

Turn on your mobile devices.

Easy day today, and the Feed

I’m almost done filtering today and there are very few links that have made the cut so far. I’m also still pondering the service I have to do on 7/12 about Hephaestus. What I have been able to find other than what drew me to jim initially has been a Harry Potter fanfic from 2011, and the information that specific rituals were handed down as oral tradition from a master smith to his apprentices. So, I’m going to go with what I know, and then in the fine tradition of modern-day Paganism, I’m going to make something up for the actual ritual. Ordinarily I would blame Christians from the Middle Ages for the lack of information but in this case I don’t think I can do that. There is no information because the followers of Hephaestus made sure there was no information except what was written in the myths of the rest of the gods of Olympus. What we know of Hephaestus we know from people who were not specifically his followers, which means what we know is incomplete but not as self-serving for Heph as it would be if Hephaestus’ followers were writing the stories. So perhaps what we have is the most honest presentation we could get for a deity.

In other news Mrs. the Poet reports that “Arthur, Arthur Dent” is “less denty” or less concave and the incision site is looking less like a baseball and more like something you would find on a human being. She says this is “better”. I will take her word on it because she can’t manage to take a picture without blurring it by moving the camera when she trips the shutter so I haven’t seen the back of my neck clearly since the operation.

Up first we have another double dose of Daily Ted. Morning Links: Businesses benefit by trading parking for bike lanes, and new upscale spinning studio in DTLA That’s the good one. Bike rider run over and killed in Stanton hit-and-run after falling in the street That’s the not-so-good one.

And another act of terrorism against UK cyclists. Sussex cyclist breaks collarbone after hitting tripwire in third such incident in a fortnight And I’m not the only one who sees it that way Ian Walker, @ianwalker

Still in not-so-Jolly Olde, more on the cyclist crushed by an HGV making a left turn across the bike lane. Friends of physio killed while cycling in London call for safer roads

Why are they talking about transportational cyclists getting injured or killed, but leading with a picture of the TdF peloton riding under Big Ben? Number of cyclists injured on west London roads rises A similar juxtaposition would be to talk about traffic deaths in Ft. Worth with a picture of the Sprint Cup race at Texas Speedway.

More on that Toronto hit-and-run death. 19-year-old to appear in court after cyclist killed in hit-and-run Comments are still being made that the delay was an attempt to destroy evidence to make prosecution for higher crimes more difficult or impossible, IOW “obstructing justice”.

Still on the other side of the border, a Canuckistani wife says “It’s been a year, what have you done to prevent another death?” A year after cyclist’s death, his widow urges city to make Pembina safe I understand that realistically one year is not enough time to make any significant changes in the infrastructure, but I also understand the frustration of the widow. There should be contracts being let for dirt to fly next summer, since they already have a ready-made template available in the form of the CROW manual that has been available for years for €90 ($101.20 at current exchange rates) plus VAT (no VAT for sales outside of Europe).

Still in Canuckistan and still on the state of their infrastructure, more evidence that reductions in motor vehicle fatalities are the result of making cars more resistant to wrecks than changes in the infrastructure or any improvement in drivers. Edmonton fatal collisions down in 2014 Fatal collisions are down, but cyclist and pedestrian fatalities are up and cyclist injury wrecks are likewise up. Fewer than 1 in 4 wrecks were the fault of the cyclist even judged by car-head LEO, which means that 3 out of 4 wrecks were caused by or the fault of drivers of motor vehicles. That means that 101 out of 144 wrecks were because a driver screwed up so bad that there was no way to deny it.

And I’m all out of links and ready to kick back and have some fun.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet (at current exchange rates that’s still pretty much $0.02)

What I’m doing on my Summer Vacation on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m just east of the Hudson river in a tiny burg called Pine Plains this week and the next two weeks. Tiny and mostly isolated (no cell service on my carrier for miles around the town and dozens of miles east) but they do have the Internet here. There is a Wi-Fi hotspot down the road that operates on a limited schedule, and where I’m staying has ethernet broadband (but only one socket) so I can get Internet here when the owner is not using it or I can make sure I have a full charge on the laptop battery and wander down to the park and get Wi-Fi when it’s on. Later there should be a Sprint Cup race on the tube and then after that we will have a big dinner.

Even though I won’t get any chance to build it I’m still working out ways of building the Sprint T Bucket. I think that is one of the drawbacks to being a follower of Hephaestus: you either build things or you plan to build things and constantly refine your plans until either build it or can’t improve it any further and have to start planning something else. Anywho, I was trying to figure out how to make the car lower to lower the center of gravity so I decided to abandon the triangulated 4-bar to move all the suspension links out from under the passenger compartment. That created a whole other packaging issue in that the front mount for the 4-bar would have to be outside the body instead of under it. Meaning the frame would also have to move outside the body and yet maintain triangulation around the passenger compartment. I figured out 2 ways of doing that. One way would be to use channel and sheet metal to move the frame connection to the lower mount out from the side of the frame under the body to beside the body and then run two diagonals from the rear rollover hoop to the upper side of the front mount for the 4-bar. Triangulation would be maintained but the frame would be slightly heavier. Plan two involves moving the uprights on the front hoop out to match the rear hoop so that most of the actual frame is on the outside of the car like some Supermodified racers. This keeps the weight the same as the triangulated 4-bar and slightly increases the torsional stiffness, which is a desired trait. Esthetically I’m not real “sold” on either idea because I think the suspension links should be completely hidden inside and under the body, but it solves so many other issues that I think I might be able to live with it. For one thing I could mount a small step on the top of the front mount and drastically reduce the step-over height for getting into the car.

Another solution that had occurred to me was to drop one of the top links and go with what is called a 3-link rear suspension because that would get the suspension out from under butts and not require major changes to the external appearance of the car, plus the 3-link is a thoroughly “scienced” design that is well-understood and easily tuned. The downside is when combined with the low ride height and 24″ tall body of the T-Model Ford body there would be no luggage space forward of the rear axle because of the height required to make the rear mount of the upper link work out (the lowest ready-made mount I could find on the Internets yesterday was just over 9″ above axle centerline, with most being between 11″ and 14″). So that solution was discarded because I have to be able to carry things in the trunk and the trunk space would essentially end at the back side of the rear axle, leaving only whatever space was left over the safety fuel cell behind the axle.

Getting away from the triangulated 4-bar caused a minor secondary issue of locating the rear axle laterally as the triangulated lower links performed that function and defined the rear roll center at the intersection of the extension of the links, or somewhere in the vicinity of the axle mounts when there was no intersection. So I’m either going to install a Panhard rod (track bar in NASCAR terminology) or some kind of Watt’s link. There are advantages and disadvantages to both with the tradeoffs being opposites, so to say. The Panhard rod has the advantages of being simpler to design and build, and less likely to puncture the fuel tank in a rear end wreck, the disadvantages are the rear axle will move slightly from side to side as it goes through its travel. Flip those over for the Watt’s link: more complicated and more likely to puncture the fuel tank, but keeps the axle in the same centerline as it travels. Keeping the axle on the centerline gives the exact same handling in left and right turns, but with the limited amount of travel on the bucket combined with running the Panhard rod from the top of the bottom frame rail to a bracket that just clears the frame rail when the axle droops there should be little detectable variation in handling between left and right turns.

And I’m getting told I need to wash up for dinner since I was out in the sun moving furniture closing down a yard sale and got all sweaty and dinner will be ready in half an hour. So Y’all be careful out there, and I will resume sorta normal posting starting tomorrow.

PSA, Opus

Patron selection at SJFUU on Wreck-Free Sunday

I just got back from the Patron Selection Gala Extravaganza at Sacred Journey Fellowship. As an active ritualist and as the nominator I had to present Hephaestus as my nominee. Heph and I have some things in common, a gimpy left leg among them. We are both heavy into fire and metalworking, but our love lives are polar opposites, Heph is Monogamous married to a Polyamorous goddess (Aphrodite) that accepts him for what he is and he her. I’m… not. Both of us are all about access, me for bikes in the streets, Heph for the handicapped as his level of gimpyness sometimes extends to having to use the wheelchair (hand-chariot) he invented. I suspect we both like to beat on metal as a form of stress release. Heph is all about making things, I spend more time planning because I don’t have the resources of a deity to get the raw stock I need to build stuff. Even when I have the money to buy the stock I can’t get it to where I build stuff. But that’s a subject for a different post.

The event tonight pitted Hephaestus and me, against Ganesha and the church President, and Hecate and the leader of the Faith Development Committee. There was a procession in with trinkets or candy distributed by the person representing the Deity with theme music (I used Sammy Hagar’s Heavy Metal) then three rounds of questions about how the Deity we represented would help the church and how the Deity wished the church to serve him, her, or it. As Heph is not known as a speaker my answers were short and to the point (we were supposed to aspect the Deity as much as possible). My “bribes” to elicit more votes from the crowd were in the form of chocolate coins that I threw into the crowd like a rapper at a strip club making it rain. I processed in carrying an engineer’s hammer and ball peen hammer in one hand and an anvil in the other (real hammers and anvils), then grabbed the candy from a basket I had placed next to my “throne” at the front of the crowd and proceeded with the “make it rain” effect. I could not see how the persons representing the other deities did their thing because we were hidden by a curtain at the back of the church until we made our entrances. I know that the person representing Ganesha used a rap song about the Deity, but I couldn’t hear what song Hecate used.

Then we went through three rounds of questioning and answers with voting in the form of canned goods in the first round, money in the second round, and rocks that were distributed to each member of the audience. I placed a distant second in the first round, a close second in the second round and won the third round, but as I finished second to the same Deity in both the first two rounds with Ganesha finishing third each time, Hephaestus did not win the event and cannot be nominated next year, ditto Ganesha. Our Patroness for the coming church year will be Hecate.

And that’s the way it is folks.

PSA, Opus