Tag Archives: indycar racing

Truex wins the first race of the Chase Playoffs, Josef Newgarden wins Indycar Championship

Well, the first race of the Chase Playoffs is in the books and to nobody’s surprise Martin Truex won on the mile-and-a-half Chicagoland Speedway. It was a great race, especially with Kyle Busch getting 2 laps down but finishing on the lead lap. Truex didn’t exactly dominate the race, but there weren’t many times when he wasn’t either in the lead or striking distance of the lead.

And the IndyCar race from Sonoma is on but it might as well be on the radio because Clint has decided that the spot in front of the TV is the perfect place to take a nap, which blocks the crawl showing the running order, and it’s almost like they were watching me type this because now the crawl is at the top of the screen, and Clint is laying down almost enough to see the whole screen. There was a break in there where Clint decided to try to sleep in behind me in my chair (I have a memory foam seat cushion that retains body heat) and I couldn’t reach the keyboard to type. And Simon Pagenaud wins the race but Josef Newgarden of Hendersonville TN wins the championship. I used to work in an auto parts store in Hendersonville for a company that doesn’t exist any more. I wonder if Newgarden ever came into the Honey’s Auto Parts in Hendersonville?

Now is the replay of the F1 race in Singapore. I missed the first show and haven’t checked the F1 web page for the race. So for me this is like a live race. And that first lap was wild. Too many people trying to win in the first corner with too little traction in the wet. There were 5 cars taken out in one corner and half of them were hit by a car out of control after bouncing off another car. At this point about halfway into the race there are either 7 or 6 cars out, the graphics aren’t staying up long enough to be sure. And now they are back to showing just 5 cars out with two some laps down. With all the cars flying during the slow-motion replays I’m getting lots of good ideas for underbody configuration. And right now they have a dry line and small lakes off line so it’s follow the leader on slicks, but the rest of the track is drying so maybe there could be some passing in the last few minutes. Checking the graphics they lost 2 more to mechanical failure bringing the casualty count to 7. ATM it looks like Hamilton unless something breaks in the last lap which has happened before to Hamilton in the Mercedes. But today he won. Even though they didn’t throw a checkered until the second lap after the white flag. Another WTF moment in a series of WTF moments in this race.

On the TGS2 right now there is zero progress being made. I’m rebuilding my hone to get the kingpins to fit the spindles but other than that nothing is getting done. The biggest impediment is changing my anti-depressant meds destroying any motivation I have. That and zero budget for parts and tools. That really kills progress too.

And on that happy note I’m going to shower and get to bed.

Advertisements

Still thinking

One of the things that has been gnawing on me a little is I missed another Ride of Silence this year. For those new to my blog since I dropped the bike wrecks click on the tag RoS or Ride of Silence to see previous posts about it. I started missing the RoS when the tumor on my neck got so big that I couldn’t ride any bikes. But after Chris Christie was removed from my neck I got to the point I could ride bikes with a very upright riding position or recumbents, but not very far. Well now I can’t ride anything except a bus or car because Arthur Dent is causing troubles. I have a pain that starts in the middle of the dent and radiates to the end of the trapezius in one direction and up the back of my neck in the other, and makes my deltoid and rotator cuff tingle like they are trying to go to sleep. It’s very annoying but not much of an impediment except to bike riding at the moment, but it feels like it is trying to get worse.

I’m stalled on the Mid-Bucket (aka the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2) ATM because I lack cash for parts or raw stock. I still haven’t replaced my ID since the last time I lost my wallet, because I needed my ATM card to get the cash to pay for it. ATM card should finally get here this week and I will renew my ID early so I can go to Nashville and see the eclipse this August. When I get stalled on one project my mind starts on a new project immediately, in this case a lighter weight version of the Sprint-T with the Pentastar V6. Basically it is just the same as the V8 version with lighter components because of less weight and lower power. Remember the vicious circle of too heavy so other parts have to be stronger and heavier making the car heavier so other things need to be stronger…? Well this is the benign circle of less weight allowing for less heavy supporting and connecting parts. And the weight came to under 1400 pounds with the balance almost 50-50 I can use all the same size wheels and tires on each corner. If I could have gotten one of those free things would have been a lot easier.

Pole Day for the Indy 500 is on the idiot box so this is time to wrap this up. Congrats to Kyle Busch on winning the All-Star race last night in a masterful performance. Condolences to Sebastien Bourdais on that wreck at Indy yesterday and wishes for a quick recovery.

Opus the Unkillable

I had a nice dream last night on Wreck-Free Sunday

The details are a little hazy, but the gist remains. I got hit (again) and died (again) but this time when I rebooted from being dead it was hours if not days after the wreck. And I came back invulnerable, shoot me and the bullets bounced off (but still hurt like a *)^&#$%*$(#$ ), hit with a truck and I would bounce down the street cursing like a sailor every time I hit the ground, but then get up and punch out the truck, with Terminator levels of self repair. So I decided to take over the country, marched into the White House and told Obama that I was taking over and the country would be a constitutional monarchy, with me as Emperor. I abolished separate laws between the Federal and local levels, no more states except for certain historical functions. I declared the TBTF banks and oil companies to be “Terrorist organizations” and nationalized their holdings, and abolished all political parties. The government was completely reorganized so that all judges and LEO were federal, with judges subject to appointment and approval by feds with limited 10-year terms, LEO subject to charges any time they discharged a weapon away from a training range.

What I did to the legislative branch was something I consider brilliant. Since the states no longer had separate governments and laws, the state houses were the new House of Representatives, where the full-time state reps would propose and debate laws that would be submitted to the Senate in DC, with States getting 2 Senators and territories, possessions, and commonwealths getting one each, who would then vote the laws submitted from the states up or down but without changing them, so if states tried to cram too much into a bill it would most likely get shot down, as it would take a 2/3 majority to pass a bill. But neither body would be allowed to pass a budget.

Budgeting would take place in the old House of Reps, with the new reps elected to a single 2 year term and not allowed to run again with half the states electing their reps on even years and half on odd years, also the Senate was limited to a single 10-year term and also not allowed to run again. Just remembered that bit. The big thing was not to allow a political class to take hold again like we have now.

Of course I, as monarch, had full veto over anything the legislators or budgeting assembly tried to pass. If I didn’t understand it, I would submit the proposed law to the Representatives of the 12s, a group of 50 12 YO kids, one from each state. If they couldn’t figure it out either, then the bill would get vetoed. You would get appointed by your state at 11, serve at 12, and be replaced when you turned 13.

Part of the new constitution was things making common things that currently get laws passed against them totally legal, like not having a fixed address. Cities would be required to set up campgrounds with public bath houses and toilets so that homeless people could have a place to stay without getting hassled, and since they would need to get fed I would require the people making MREs for the military to create 3-meal packs of balanced nutrition to issue to the homeless once a day. Anyone could request a day pack of food at the homeless camp, no questions asked. The only requirement would be to register when you enter the camp so that we could find you in an emergency and so that your relatives would know you were safe.

Marriage would no longer exist except as a religious ritual. When people decided to become “attached” they would form a corporation. Corporations would all be taxed on net take, like they are now, except that for “domestic corporations” things like food and shelter would be subject to a “Standard exemption” based on the numbers of partners in the corporation. Children could be counted as “partners” or “products” depending on how your particular corporation was set up. Also you could have as many members of your domestic corporation as you wanted in any distribution of genders you want, subject to the bylaws of the corporation. How you wanted to organize your “domestic corporation” would be completely up to you and your partners, not the government. All the government would have a say over was minimum care requirements for progeny, much the same as we have today. Vaccinations and education, etc. would be the business of the government but assigned to the “domestic corporation” that created or adopted the kid.

Another thing I changed was road laws. Bicycles ALWAYS had a right to a full lane, and hitting a cyclist from behind, or a pedestrian at any time, would be a felony punishable by loss of your vehicle and jail time. No more highways could be built until there was a network of segregated bike paths of equal utility to the existing road and highway network in place, but maintenance would be placed at a high priority right after building the bike network. This would be in the constitution, not the laws. Projects that were in progress when I took over would be allowed to be completed, but nothing that wasn’t already in the “tearing up the old street/road/highway/Interstate” stage or further would be allowed, except repair projects that neglect had made imperative. Even after that the budget for building new roads would only be considered after funding for building bike infrastructure and maintaining existing roads and bike infra was covered. Nothing new until all the old stuff had been taken care of except for the bike infrastructure, because we have basically zero bike infrastructure now. Even after the bike network was built out, bike network projects would always have priority over other roads, but only just one priority. If there were two projects that were equally needed, the bike project would get built first.

Another thing I changed was DUI laws. You get ONE DUI, with a maximum BAC% of 0.05. With your first DUI you would lose your license for one year, and your vehicle would get recycled. When you registered your replacement vehicle after completely taking driver’s ed all over again you would get a distinctive license plate that would allow LEO to pull you over and check your BAC% at any time. If you get a second DUI that would be it for driving a motor vehicle, one year of prison and never allowed to own or operate a motor vehicle for life. And since DL would be issued at the Federal level, no moving to another state to get a “clear” license. When you get that second DUI you are permanently barred from driving. Also driving after license suspension would be the same as illegal possession of a weapon, instant prison time…

I set up my palace at an old race track east of Nashville TN that you may have heard of. After all I’m not against motor vehicles, or even having fun with motor vehicles, just against irresponsible use of motor vehicles. Driving fast at a race track, with access strictly controlled to prevent wrecks with pedestrians and cyclists, is what I consider one of the ways to responsibly enjoy motor vehicles. In my dream I added a flat ¼ mile oval using the pit lane as one straight and adding the turns and back straight to the infield between the pit lane and the trioval, so that I could have races sanctioned by the ISMA once a month. The other 3 weeks would be split between NASCAR, SCCA/IMSA (notice the switch between the S and M with the other organization) and IndyCar/USAC so that the big oval and the road course would also get used regularly. About here it starts to get fuzzy and shortly after watching the first ISMA qualifying race on the ¼ oval I woke up.

I really did not want to wake up from that dream.

PSA, Opus the practical Poet

Binging on car races, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I like motorsport. Put 4 wheels and a motivator on it and make more than one of them and compete against each other and I’ll watch it, or participate if I can. And so far I watched the Sprint Cup race live from down the road in Ft. Worth, then the F1 race from China, then after morning service was the IndyCar race from NOLA Motorsports park over in LA.

Working backwards, the race in NOLA was mostly a parade behind the pace car as it was a wet race with streams crossing the track but dry in other places, and they did not have a tire combination that could deal with the conditions. Intermediates wore out too quickly, but slicks hydroplaned across the streams. I think the longest green flag run was maybe 3 laps before someone would either run over another car or slide off the track in a bad place and require a rescue. The carnage was massive. IndyCar is running with the same chassis as last year, but the engine package you choose dictates the bodywork you run. So it’s possible to identify which engine a car is running this year by only being able to see the sidepod in front of the rear wheel, or the wing package on the back bumper. The front wing is different, but I can’t tell the difference in the shots I saw today. BTW James Hinchcliffe managed to parlay good pit work and timing to get to the front of the pack and avoid the carnage behind him to win the race.

That takes us to the fun in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. There were some wrecks but compared to the IndyCar race later in the day it was almost pristine. There were lots of wheel-to-wheel battles in the pack, but up front it was a tactical battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, which was won by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton driving the winning car and Nico Rosberg driving the second Merc to second place. It was a great race to watch.

That backs us up to the Sprint Cup race. Now THAT was a race! Lots of passing, lots of pit tactics, some rubbing in the turns at over 180 MPH in spite of the fact that there were 4 separate lines through the turn that all went to the same place at the end of the turn. That caused some beating and banging. Jimmie Johnson won through a combination of adjusting the car to take advantage of changing track conditions, sharp pit work, hard driving and mistakes on the parts of other teams. The level of reliability displayed in the race was nothing short of astounding with 30 cars finishing on the lead lap of a 500 mile race. Read that again, that wasn’t 30 cars on the track at the end of 500 miles, that was 30 cars on the freaking LEAD LAP, out of 43 starting. I don’t think anyone had a mechanical DNF, everyone who dropped out had a wreck of some kind or blew a tire. The tires are designed to wear out and not running the tires ragged is part of racing Sprint Cup these days.

And tonight’s evening service was also good, as we focussed on the archetype of Death. The Shoe Hiding Fairy was merciful this week and only moved the young lady’s shoes a small distance away from her chair. I knew it was coming and was watching for it, but I still missed seeing the SHF moving the footgear.

And I’m ready to end this post now, because I need to get ready for tomorrow when I go to the tax preparer. A significant chunk of the paperwork needed for this trip is on my hard drive, so I can’t pre-filter the links and leave them up while I compose the post tomorrow, I have to wait until I get home from doing my taxes.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Yesterday was fun and painful, what happened on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Yesterday I went to Zeus Comics to see Danielle Corsetto and Randy Milholland one man shows of Girls With Slingshots and Something*Positive as part of Danielle’s Slingshots Across America Tour.

The trip there was only slightly eventful as the stop I was supposed to get off at was announced as we passed the stop on the bus, but the driver was kind and let me out across the corner from the stop and actually saved me a few steps having to cross the street to get to the corner closest to the store. I got there right as the festivities were just getting started and got a free sketch from Randy of one of the kids in the comic, Davan’s son Rory. I spoke with him about the time he spoke at the church I go to and sometimes do the service for and what has been going on since he spoke. We went through a series of web comic artists speaking at the church once or twice a year for about 4 years, but we haven’t done that in a long time. I had a nice conversation with Danielle about marriage equality and the The Gay Marriage Challenge page on this blog. BTW I’m still waiting for someone to make a stab at convincing me that same-sex marriage will do anything to damage “traditional” marriage.

While I was there I was waiting for another local artist to show so I could talk to him about how much I liked his comic, Dave Barrack who writes and draws the first comic I check on Mondays and Thursdays, Grrl Power. I had to wait my turn though as the writer for Giant Girl Adventures was ahead of me in line and got to him first. Sabrina Pandora also writes for TV and the movies, but doesn’t get many chances to do so.

So that was 4 artists/writers that I managed to get names for, but there was another artist in the line I didn’t catch her name or comic she drew. Sorry, I should have been paying better attention when you were talking instead of trying to find Dave in the crowd. And before someone says anything, the DFW area is a hotbed for webcomics, there were several other artists that didn’t make it to the event because they have actual lives or they do comics as a sideline. People like Thomas Overbeck and Joel Watson the guy that does HijiNKS ENSUE. And I know there are others here I don’t know about like the young lady ahead of me in the line who I didn’t think to write down her name. I could name some more, but as I’m not a name-dropper by nature I won’t spend the rest of the time I have to do the post looking up my friends list on Facebook and linking the local web comics.

While I was doing the opening paragraphs I was watching the Sprint Cup race from Pocono where Junior was the winner, then the Indy Car race from Mid-Ohio that Scott Dixon won. So lots of good racing today, and the Indy Lights race is on after the completion of the Indy Car race, and there is an NHRA drag race coming on after the Indy Lights race (on a different channel). Woo! fun.

Mrs. the Poet has been making one of my favorite dishes she makes, roasted vegetables, and the smell has been wafting through the house. She chopped up a couple cloves of garlic this time, which means extra-yummy veggies…

I had a very strange dream yesterday. It was a very civilized version of the Zombie Apocalypse, there were the usual zombies wandering around attacking people but somehow most things managed to stay pretty much the same except with a lot higher levels of security and a lot less fossil fuels. I was driving a converted stretch limo that was solar electric powered, most of the commerce was solar powered but the semi-trailers just had so much roof space it gave them an advantage in cross-country travel. Speed was much lower than what we have now, my limo had a cruise speed of 30 MPH, and a sprint of 70 or so with the best range at 30 (the sweet spot for the motor and controller, I think) of 40 miles after sundown. BTW everybody could travel freely from sunrise to sunset, whatever was causing the zombies made them extremely photosensitive to the point that more than a few seconds exposure caused death, so the big thing was making sure that you found shelter before sunset and only in places where there were people gathering before sunset so you didn’t accidentally get caught in a zombie day shelter. Funny thing is I don’t remember much about the actual things I did in the dream, I was so busy making mental notes about the setting. There was the abandoned drive-in theater where I found the zombie shelter in the concession stand, and the motel with the barbed wire fence and guard towers on the roof, but other than those I don’t remember much about the dream. But as you can tell, there was a lot of detail in the “little things” in the dream.

And I think that is enough writing for today, suffice it to say my weekend was pretty awesome, aside from the pain of standing around at Zeus Comics waiting to talk to people. My wrecked leg does NOT like it when I spend too much time standing around.

PSA, Opus

“Enjoying” the company of my in-laws on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m typing this as I watch the rain delay at the postponed Firecracker 400 (I refuse to refer to races by sponsor names, for the most part the races existed long before the sponsor even thought about “sports marketing”). So, watching nothing going on and listening to screaming children running around.

Going back to the race, the expected wrecks have led to unexpected drivers being in contention for the win today. The current leader during the rain delay is Aric Almirola in the Richard Petty Motorsports 43, the King’s number. And NASCAR just declared the race official making the 43 the winner. Yay King!

So I switched to the IndyCar race where they are dicing back and forth around the Tricky Triangle at Pocono. While there is dicing going on up front there is strategy taking place at the back with drivers running the full lean fuel map with as little throttle opening as possible to maintain position on the lead lap so that they will be in front when the leaders have to stop for more E-85. And it didn’t work, as the fuel warning light came on with 4 laps to go, putting Juan Pablo Montoya in the lead and winning the race in his first season back in IndyCar. The race was done way early because they only had a single caution period for what appears to be an engine failure for Graham Rahal. He was moving right along and then all of a sudden there was no engine noise and the car was going backwards with the back tires not turning. So with only the one caution they ran a record speed for a 500 mile IndyCar series race of just over 202 MPH. They have an extra hour of TV time to kill before the next show, so I get to see the Indy Lights race from Pocono several hours early. After this the rebroadcast of the British Grand Prix will be shown.

And I read in the paper that Mark Cavendish was involved in the pack wreck on the first stage of the Tour de France, separating his shoulder and probably ending his Tour. I haven’t seen any news from this morning’s stage yet because honestly, I’m just not interested enough in the Tour this year to turn the TV on that early. I probably won’t turn it on this evening either.

I have a new CAD program for this laptop that I’m trying to figure out so that I can make a drawing of the 20/20 crank forward bike with full suspension that will upload to the media center for this blog. I really want you guys to be able to see what I see in my mind’s eye when I write about things I want to build. To that I managed to grab a working USB 3 button mouse from a yard sale “take this free” box, which will prevent the spurious clicks I get with the touch pad on my laptop from causing false data points in the drawings. The touch pad is not that big of a problem when web browsing and blogging, or using the dice app playing RPG sessions, but it was a major pain in the butt trying to draw using the CAD app. The CAD app is based on AutoCAD, so after I learn the commands and shortcuts for the app I’ll have a leg up on installing the Linux version on my desktop computer. Now to show what the Sprint-T looks like in my mind’s eye I will need to figure out how to transfer the pictures I have of the Speedway T Bucket body to the program.

Most of my immediate family came up to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th natal anniversary, including the elder daughter all the way over from Scotland. We last saw her back when my Dad died back in 2012 when she came to share Thanksgiving and ended up going to a funeral. I’m very glad to have her with us.

And the hardest thing we have had to do this weekend is find vegan dishes that Elder Daughter can eat. This part of NY is not rife with vegan options, there are some sure, but not a lot. She’s rather militant about her diet, for good reasons. Her diet is about the only way she can fight global climate change and factory farming, so breaking it has political overtones that are not good in her eyes.

And I think it’s time to put this post to bed and get on with my vacation (and life). Y’all have fun tonight.

PSA, Opus

It was a good day yesterday, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Yesterday was the last day for a veggie restaurant owned by a friend of the family as the building was sold out from under them and they lost their lease. They had an all-you-care-to-eat lunch buffet to close things down and I did my best to make sure they didn’t have any leftovers. After I waddled out of the restaurant I went to the RPG where I had to level up Jr. for the quest for the scepter game. Sparrow Jr. is now a 7th level Warlock with the ability to see normally in total darkness as well as see invisible creatures (unless they are using Greater Invisibility). With the gold he has found in this quest he purchased a Chasuble of Fell Power that adds 2d6 to his Eldrich Blast and Eldrich Spear, during the restock run in the major city after leveling up. This means that he has the firepower of a 9th level Warlock or several archers with strength bonuses on their bows (and Sparrow is much more likely to hit as the Eldrich Blast and Spear are both ranged touch attacks).

That item buff and tactics came in handy in yesterday’s encounter as we finally hacked our way to the center of the lost city and found the statue we have been looking for since we started this quest to lead us to the next clue to find the scepter that could destroy the world in the wrong hands. All we can find out about this scepter is that it is currently lost, but we are racing a litch to get to it. The kicker is that the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment, which categorically excludes all litches.

When we got to the statue we found what at first seemed like a magic ritual, but after observation turned out to be a religious service to an evil god. Among the “faithful” were 6 Mind Flayers. Since we couldn’t get to the statue with the people worshipping an evil god there we busted up the service. There were two problems here. Some of the Mind Flayers have Spell Resistance so we magic users were up the proverbial creek battling them, but there were enough of the ones without Spell Resistance that we still could get a few hits in. And by a “few hits” I really mean “hitting with enough damage that they go so negative in hit points they explode”. I made one blow up and one of the other magic users did the same thing to another. And one of our melee fighters did the same to one of the ones that had Spell Resistance. Others were taken out with somewhat less spectacular ends, but none of them were able to get any of their attacks off because one of our magic users managed to get a web spell off against the human worshippers that effectively took them out of the battle, and then another one of our spell-casters used other area-effect spells to keep the humans “otherwise occupied” than with us.

After the battle we found the statue we had been looking for, but could not figure out how to read the clue because the clue was under the knee of the kneeling statue until my character walked up to ask if he could help. The statue stood up and recited the clue to my character. It turns out Sparrow Jr. is the only good-aligned member of the party, and the clues are only available to characters of Good alignment. The rest of the crew did the usual loot and then burn the bodies to dispose of them. Since my character has detect magic at will all items were run by me to separate magic items from mere baubles but we had to end the session before we could find out what we had won from the battle.

So, it was a good Saturday for me, and then I got a whole bunch of things taken care of after morning services before I came home. I paid the $0.04 monthly premium on my Obamacare insurance after I picked up the weekly transit pass for Mrs. the Poet to make it to her last week of school at her job taking the flavor out of the kids’ food. Add to the really great service at church this morning (not worshiping an evil god 😉 ) and my Sunday has been really good. And there were lots of races today, IndyCar from Belle Isle Detroit, Sprint Cup from Dover, and NHRA Summernationals from Englishtown NJ. That’s a lot of racing. And the drag racers are still at it.

I’m going to end this post now, because I’m really enjoying what a great weekend I have been having.

PSA, Opus

Happy Day, you Mothers, on a Wreck-Free Sunday

My Mother has been dead for a while, since 2004. But I married a mother a bit over 36 years ago so I still have one I can celebrate on Mother’s Day. The family still in Texas took Mrs. the Poet out to dinner last night at someplace in Frisco called the 5th Street Patio Cafe . I had the Rueben and Mrs. the Poet had spinach and mushroom quesadillas. The Grandkid had pancakes, milk and (mostly) Goldfish crackers. And then played catch with the bag of crackers he didn’t eat. He’s a very polite child, saying “uh-oh” when he beaned someone, and “please” when I returned the bag of crackers after getting it in my lap. Son and Son-in-law had Big Burritos and Daughter had the Big Biscuit and Gravy plate all three with a heaping mound of home-fries on the side. Alex was in a picky mood and didn’t eat more than a bite of his pancakes and a couple swallows of milk, and he doesn’t drink any kind of soda at all. There’s something about carbonation that he really hates, and he won’t eat any kind of pasta at all. And this kid is descended from me?

Since today is Mother’s Day NASCAR decided to run this weekend’s Sprint Cup race on Saturday night and it was a barn-burner of a race as teams struggled to adapt to the Kansas Speedway under the lights. Eventually the 24 team with driver Jeff Gordon wound up in front at the end of the race, but nobody was sure of winning this one with all the wrecks and debris cautions, and cars that wrecked because of debris before they could throw the caution flag. There were a lot of wrecked cars in the garage area by the end of the night, and even more that were soldiering on with heavy damage on the track trying to get points.

There was an Indy Car race yesterday that I missed by meditating right through it. Never even realized I had missed the entire race because I missed the timer on my phone going off to tell me to stop meditating. I was communing with Hephaestus about how to cut the metals I need to cut for the extended stem so I can sit up on the bike and not abuse my soft tissues on the wrong part of the seat and also keep my knees out of the handlebars. Anyway the media reports on that race say I missed another good one.

I know at least some of you are wondering what happened to my warlock this week, and I have to say “Nothing” because I skipped the RPG group to attend the dinner yesterday. That’s right I skipped going out with my warlock to go out with my wife and kids. So no RPG news this week. There will be some news next week, I promise.

Something punny. Mary had a little lamb

And this will get posted pretty much constantly this week until Thursday.
Bike to Work Day poster, Garland

And that’s all I had to say today.

PSA, Opus

Had to miss church because I can’t see where I’m going on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Pollen and I are not getting along today as I have goopy eyes as a result of an allergy attack. I can see well enough to type a blog post (most of the time anyway) but I would be a danger to myself and others on the roads if I was to try to ride my bike. Add to that the constant drowsiness caused by my allergy meds and it is not a pretty picture. I’m almost finished with my second 16 oz. “cup” of coffee this morning and I’m still just barely awake enough to type. Needless to say I’m having to go back and correct typos every few words as I constantly hit the wrong keys or the right keys in the wrong order.

Last night the group I game with had almost half out for one reason or another and we couldn’t do our regular campaign because there were seriously important party members missing, like 2 of our 3 healers and both our Rogues. We might could have managed without the 2 healers with the reduced party, but without Rogues to scout and defeat traps we were doomed to fail as a party. So we rolled up some high-level characters and started an “episodic” campaign. The characters had to be 11, 12, or 13 level and were allowed to use the “Roll 4 and reroll ones, then take your highest 3” method of rolling stats, which usually results in some pretty strong characters. I rolled a 12th level Warmage, which is an awesome combat character with slots for 39 spells a day from a spell list of more than 150 spells. The only problem I see with this character is a total lack of utility spells for encounters using parties lacking certain skills. I mean whoever heard of a magic-using character that did not have “use magic device” as a class skill? Seriously, no better at using wands or scrolls than the average fighter or other non-magic user?

Anyway the first encounter we had was an anomaly in the slum district that resulted in a portal to a dimensional prison being opened up inside some poor schmuck’s apartment, resulting in the tenant being sucked into the portal and disintegrated by one of the prison guards, a living spell of disintegration that was supposed to zap anyone that managed to get out before they could cause problems in the material plane. It failed to do so because it was not sufficiently sentient to actively pursue the escapee that wandered into the city and it attacked the people trying to get the mess cleaned up. It was a pretty powerful spell as it hit one party member with 136 points of damage in one attack, and also capable of shrugging off non-magical attacks with less than 10 points of damage. It took several rounds to destroy the spell so that we could get close enough to see what turned out to be a dimensional prison, and also see the results of the spell that had allowed one of the prisoners to escape to our plane of existence. We learned the name and nature of the creature that had escaped (A Pleasure Demon, similar to a succubus but non-fatal unlike the succubus). I have to say I like this format of high-level characters taking on single battle encounters.

Because I was with the RPG group last night I missed the Sprint Cup race at Richmond on the tube, but I understand it was a barn-burner of a race. Joey Logano (the driver formerly known as “Sliced Bread” as in “the best thing since…”) snuck through to win in a 4 car battle. I wish I had been able to see it.

Now I’m sitting through a rain delay for the Barber Motorsports Park Indycar race in Alabama. They have rain tires for this series but they are not any good with standing water on the track and the downpour they are dealing with has completely flooded the track in some places. Plus there is lightning in the area and local officials won’t allow spectators out when that happens. So they have bumped the Indy Lights race coverage from after the Indycar race to before. I like the Lights class, especially with the new 2.0 liter 4-cylinder turbo engine replacing the previous 3.5 liter normally-aspirated V-8.

Something I would like to see in Indycar racing is more manufacturers in the chassis segment. I know they went with the single-make format to reduce costs, but for us gearheads it kills a great deal of the “fun” of watching the races. Part of that is seeing where some chassis have advantages over others, and managing where your chassis is weak so that you can use your strengths to get an advantage. But with the “spec car” series the battle of the crew chiefs fades away somewhat although they are still trying to get the setup of the cars right with good grip and balance.

And they just started the race on wet tires and there are some really dicey spots in some of the corners and two laps in there was a spin. I’m going to get comfy and watch the rest of the race.

PSA, Opus

Going on a week without a government, and other musings on Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m really trying to stay away from politics that are not about transportation issues, and in many ways this is about transportation as the shutdown brings thousands of projects to a grinding halt. Basically anything that does not involve contractors pouring concrete or laying asphalt has been shut down with the government, which includes almost every non-motorized transportation project. My take on this is when projects for us people moving around are cancelled because of the shutdown a motorized project should also be cancelled, starting with the most expensive. I take this stance because projects for us non-motored people are mostly done for safety to save lives, while most projects for motorized people are to save minutes or seconds off a commute. In my math, lives saved>seconds saved, when they cancel a project intended to save lives a project to shave a few seconds off a commute has to go too.

The biggest example of huge projects designed to shave a few seconds off a commute is the Columbia River Crossing between Portland OR and Vancouver WA. This now cancelled project had a projected cost of $4.5 Billion. All of the bicycle projects for the last 12 years in the city of Portland come to rounding errors in this one project. I’m not kidding about this, every infrastructure project since the turn of the century for an entire city could be funded for the costs of the rounding just this one mega project that was intended to save at most a minute from the commute from Vancouver to Portland. Removing every transit and bicycle feature from the project (which would paradoxically erase all the time savings from the project for other commuters) only reduced the project costs by $.5 Billion. This is what eventually killed the CRC, making it car-only erased the time saving benefit from the project by increasing the number of cars that had to use the project.

Enough about politics, I had fun freezing my nether regions and fingers yesterday at D/FW Pagan Pride Day. I got Mrs. the Poet a Yule gift, and as I wrote yesterday I got caught up with all the people I used to hang out with years ago. The weather had a 38°F swing from Friday’s high to yesterday’s low. I turned off all the AC units last night and still had a lower morning temperature than we see during the summer except when one of the AC units has a thermostat glitch.

Something that needs to be done today is I have to pay the rent on the storage unit before I have to pay the late fee. So I will have to cut this post short so I can get that paid today. I also have to leave before seeing the winners in the various races today, the Indycar race from Houston, and the Sprint Cup race from Kansas. Darn it all.

PSA, Opus