Tag Archives: injury not caused by a wreck

Wounded but not defeated, and Happy Samhain

OK full accounting of the injuries comes to 5 cuts of various sizes on the left hand, strained or sprained neck, bruising on the top of my head, and a major headache in places not actually bruised from the impact. And also we need to buy a new door as the old one is warped beyond use and won’t close, and also the window is “not there”. I didn’t lose as much blood as it first looked like, it just went everywhere and made a mess.

Now for the other half of today’s headline. The word “samhain” is Gaelic and pronounced SOW-wehn not Sam Hane and AFAIK is simply the name of the holiday transliterated from written Gaelic based on the shape of the runes. This is traditionally one of two times when the veils between the world of the living (us, well most of us) and the world of the dead (everyone else not visible to us). This is obviously a massive over-simplification that gets 90% of the truth across without requiring a book-length explanation to cover the minutia involved in the last 10%. If you so desire and have the skills you may connect with the recently-departed between sundown and local midnight, or you may feel their presence around you if they were extremely close emotionally.

One thing you can do to invite them in is set a place at your table for them. Our current tradition of giving candy away is descended from this practice by a long and convoluted path, so if you’re generous with handing out the goodies you might see someone you recognize, but not really, among the trick-or-treaters.

That’s all I have to say tonight, so have a happy Halloween, and remember to hug your friends and family including your fur-family tonight, and remind them you love them.

The bandaids are off

Well the full extent of the damages are now visible as I am between bandages. I think the thumb will be OK going without another bandage, but the index finger needs antibiotic and another bandage. The index finger got really close to losing the chunk off the tip, but I think it will heal without the big ugly scar.

The index finger in all its gory glory.
Very close to losing the tip of my finger.

The thumb injury can barely be seen a day later, but it bled like I severed a major artery when I did it.
'Tis but a scratch.

Construction on the Sprint-T will have to wait until the index finger heals over so I don’t get bad stuff into my bloodstream through the break in the skin, but I have been thinking about order of construction for the frame.

First thing I need to make are the roll hoops because they dictate where everything else in the frame has to go. And I have been thinking about how to make two perfect hoops. The raw stock is a thermoplastic, meaning it can be formed easily when warmed to something under its melting point but above room temperature, a candle or similar is a good heat source for bending styrene plastic. I just need to use a round thing to bend around that has the same radius as the anvil of the tube bender, in scale, and a flat surface to make the second bend against to get all three legs in the same plane, easy-peasy. So, put the anvil of the mini bender on a board or something and put marks on the board for a 90° bend and where to put the leg of the first bend to get the distance between legs on the hoop the right distance apart. Put the top of the hoop on the mark for the beginning of the 90° bend with the leg from the first bend on the mark for how far apart the legs should be and make the second bend and cut the legs to length after bending.

The next thing would be to cut two pieces of raw stock to a scale 52″ for the main rails between the hoops, so the bracing inside the hoops will just clear the body when everything is together. And since this build is going to be fitted with a bellypan, the bellypan would be a useful place to use as a jig for getting all the bits and pieces for that level of the frame together. So cutting the bellypan to size, gluing the lower frame rails to it and the roll hoops to both seems to be the next logical order of operations. After that the crossmembers that run between the legs of the roll hoops seems to be next. Measuring the height of the top of the bellhousing for the horizontal brace across the front hoop and cutting stock the same width as the crossmembers would be the next step as would placing that member at the right height. Doing the same thing for the harness bar on the rear hoop would be next.

At some point I would need to bend the top rails for the frame and put them in, this would probably be a good time. Also for the diagonal from the top of the rear hoop to the bottom of the front hoop. The other diagonal is going to be more tricky because of the pickup point for the front of the swingarm coming from the rear axle. I need to see where the front of the swingarm is in relation to the diagonal to see if I have to make a jungle gym just for getting that point solidly located in space, or if I can just kink the diagonal a bit to catch it, then run another diagonal from the pickup point to the bottom of the front hoop to triangulate it and to the top of the rear hoop to preserve the triangulation of the front to rear diagonal.

And I have no idea where the top mount for the front coilover needs to be to clear the front tire at full lock and full bump, like when I hit a curb on a tight corner with the inside front tire. That would be an ungood thing to happen in a run, but to have the tire hit the frame would make bad plusungood, if not doubleplusungood. And yes, that was Orwellian New Speak used to describe an engineering scenario. I respect the classics. I mention this because I lack the tools to determine on my computer where the diagonal from the bottom of the front hoop has to be to clear the tire at full bump and full lock, without making the bracket on the axle any higher than it has to be for the coilover to clear the steering. Sure working from the side view I could just make the diagonal just tangent to the tire at full bump and call it “good enough”, but that would make the axle just a tiny bit heavier than it has to be, which is all unsprung weight. And my views on unsprung weight are only slightly less negative than my views on drunk drivers.

I can calculate the tangent based on diameter at the tangent point at full lock where the inner edge of the tire crosses the plane of the diagonal between the bottom corner of the front hoop and the top of the coilover, without needing to use 3D modeling but there are still width effects I need to account for and dynamic effects like axle flex and frame flex. Now frame flex is going to be measured in hundredths of an inch on the full-scale car, but I can’t get an accurate estimate of the load to determine axle flex beyond the load needed to get the spring compressed to full travel. At that load the axle flex is going to be in the same range as the frame flex, 0.01″ or less but the shock load against the bump stop could get another 0.02″ on top of that and times the moment arm that could get the tire as much as 0.08″ higher and closer to the diagonal, which would mean moving the top mount of the coilover even higher to clear the tire at full bump and full lock. Or I could just make the diagonal clear the straight ahead tangent at full bump and let the difference in height at full lock provide the dynamic clearance.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words I just posted more than 3000 words counting the pictures.

I want to take a walk but my foot hurts

Physical health first. Sometime during my last walk I rubbed a hole in my left foot. Don’t ask me how, I didn’t notice until I was getting ready for bed. Kinda like I didn’t notice all those torn ligaments in my knee. But now I notice, you betcha I notice. It hurts like a sonuvagun. As a certain “reality star” would say, bigly. Now if I could just remember what I did besides walk… Nothing comes to mind.

Mental health, Mrs. the Poet will be leaving to visit her mother and the rest of her NY relatives on the 29th. She won’t be back until the end of August. She’s worried about the house, and what the cats would do to it. And what I won’t do to it, like mop the floor twice a day. I’m worried about not having a human to exchange physical affection with. Seriously that kinda stuff makes me a bit off, or rather not having that kinda stuff. I’m sure somebody will come visit me or invite me to dinner or some such.

Moving on to car-building stuff, I decided to confront my fears and install the kingpins in my spindles by myself using a brake cylinder hone . Of the three choices for fitting the bushings the brake hone was the least tool-intensive and only barely the most labor-intensive over the reamer. The one that was the most out-of-pocket was taking the spindles to a machine shop to have them Sunnen honed. The setup charges alone for that one would buy 3 new brake hones. And after I install the spindles to the axle I can measure to find the tie rod I need instead of guessing at it.

And I promise to take lots of pictures while I hone out the bushings and fit the kingpins to the spindles, because it will probably be funny as heck (not Hades because he’s really a dour dude). There may even be some blood involved, applied to the parts in some manner. The Big Thing will be Parts Assembled (like Avengers Assemble only without superheroes and the parts only move when I move them, so almost completely unlike Avengers Assemble).

Now I desperately want to walk to the parts store and get that brake hone and some grease fittings for the spindles, but my foot still has a hole in it so I can’t.

Opus the Unkillable

No post yesterday and only this blurb today

As there are only 24 hours in a day I have to sometimes make a decision: Write something, or do something to write about later. Yesterday was an example of the latter as I decided to cannibalize the non-functional toasters if it killed me. I got halfway through my task and I’m waiting for the injuries to heal up enough to use the tools to do it again.

I did discover the failure mode that caused the first toaster to be DOA. It turns out there is an electromagnet in the timer unit that attracts a metal plate on a plastic arm in the bread lifter and that magnet shuts off when the timer is done. If the metal plate never gets close enough to the magnet, or if the magnet never gets power in the first place, then the bread lifter never latches to make the toast. This is a case of too many failure modes at a single point of failure. Of course the difference between this happening on a car or airplane and the toaster is the difference between “people die or get horribly injured” and “no toast and cold Pop Tarts”.

Now while I heal up, I’m going to go for a walk.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable (but not invulnerable)

My neck and butt hurt on a Wreck-Free (almost) Sunday

I finally finished making the modifications to my safety gear to bring it up to my needs and hopped on one of the BSO in the garage to go to the first Sunday morning service at my church in a very long time. Suffice it to say I have new imperative to create the crank-forward bike I was supposed to be creating. First time I stopped I fell over because I couldn’t reach the ground until I had leaned so far over I couldn’t catch myself. My reactions were all wrong after spending 6 years riding crank-forward bikes and 7 years riding recumbents before that. As I’m sure most of you know when a “normal” bicycle stops the rider has to get out of the seat to remain upright. Well for the past 13 years I haven’t been doing that to stop, all I had to do was take a foot off the pedal and place it on the ground. And as my right leg has been dominant I tended to lean to the left so I could start on my dominant leg. My first stop I did what I have been doing for 13 years, leaning to the left and putting out my left foot. First problem I wasn’t close enough to the ground for that to even touch, second problem is the left hip was the one that got broken and a whole bunch of muscles got damaged in the fixing and then removing the hardware after the broken bits healed up so it would not go as far out as the right leg would. So I was kinda waving the foot in mid-air trying to find something solid as I slowly keeled over and impacted the pavement when I stopped halfway through an intersection to let traffic going the other direction clear so I could continue.

A couple intersections further down I discovered another problem. Because the handlebars were so low I had a hard time craning my neck back hard enough to see past my helmet visor. Part of the problem is the handlebars are seriously too low for anyone but a X/C MTB racer, I think about an inch below the seat where I usually ride with handlebars anywhere from 4 to 5 inches above the seat. Basically my torso was nearly horizontal where I normally ride nearly vertical to slightly laid back (on in the case of the show bike from 2004 completely laid back). So I was moving my neck in the complete opposite way I have been riding for many, many years. Long story short I have a very sore neck that won’t stop complaining now that I’m bent over the keyboard (another position it doesn’t like to hold for more than a few minutes).

And another effect of the too-low handlebars is it rotated my pelvis forward on the seat. Instead of sitting on the broad soft cushions of the cruiser seat I bought just for this bike I’m sitting on the completely un-padded nose of the saddle, or even less cushioning than the seat I took off the bike. I got off the bike more than 2 hours ago and my backside is still complaining about the treatment I gave it this afternoon and morning. Add in the fact I rode in regular pants and underwear instead of bike shorts and not only were things compressed that don’t like getting compressed, but things got abraded that do not like being abraded.

Now you may ask why I don’t just adjust the handlebars up until all this nonsense stops? Well… Remember when I referred to this as a BSO back in the first paragraph? This BSO does not have standard hardware in many places, one in particular is the stem bolt. I tried 6mm and 5mm, one too big and the other too small, then tried the 7/32 SAE size that falls between the 2 and nothing fits where I can apply torque to the stem bolt to adjust the stem height. I might have to weld or epoxy a cheap SAE hex key into the bolt head so that I can apply torque to break the stem bolt loose from the rust and corrosion that is holding it in place. Or it could just be really tight, you know, and because I can’t find a hex key that fits the head I haven’t been able to move it. I’m thinking I have a torch and braze and solder, I might just flow some molten metal between the cheap SAE hex key I bought and the bolt head and apply torque that way, with the heat from the torch also loosening the bolt up a bit. I’ll have to pull the plastic light and reflector brackets off the bars and cover the brake and shifter cables with wet rags, but that would let me apply torque to the bolt.

Now about the (almost) in that headline. I was watching the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona yesterday after I got back from my trips to the nail spa and to Harbor Freight, and they had just thrown a red flag to clean up a serious wreck. And I mean SERIOUS WRECK. Well, watch for yourself Gidley & Malucelli Medical Update Yep, Gidley hit the back of that Ferrari at nearly 135 MPH closing speed, well over the 50 MPH barrier test the prototypes have to go through to get certified to run. The driver of the Ferrari (Malucelli) is shaken up but basically unhurt, Gidley has broken bones in his left side (either the arm or the leg, both are injured and they aren’t saying which one is broken as of the time I read the article), and broken vertebrae in his back, I’m assuming this was from the harness restraining his torso applying compressive forces as it tried to keep his face out of the instrument panel and steering wheel. This is not a design defect it is a geometric requirement of the way the harness has to go over the shoulders and meet at the lap belt. The restraining forces go from horizontal to stop the forward motion of the body to vertical after going over the shoulders to meet at the junction of the shoulder straps and lap belt. This is a requirement to apply the forces to a part of the body that has strong bones (shoulder girdle and pelvis) and still allow for the arms to move the steering wheel. They did cadaver tests back in the ’40s and ’50s but the rib cage just didn’t have the compression strength to resist the forces applied in a wreck. Sternum straps do move some of the forces off the shoulders and into the torso, but not very much, and certainly not enough to prevent back injury in a wreck like the one in the video. Because of the HANS device every driver in the series is required to wear before getting into the car on the race track neither driver had any kind of neck injury.

This is the first “big league” car race of the year in North America, of course I’m going to be watching it, but this year it ended while I was at church so I have no idea about who won, either overall or any of the classes.

So, that’s about all I have to say today.

Well, almost I just checked to see what was causing me pain “down there” and found blood-stained underwear. So, that’s another thing that having the handlebars down too low causes, abrasion injuries to the crotch when riding in regular clothing. If you want to ride in regular clothes the bike has to fit for that style of riding.

PSA, Opus