Tag Archives: insane politics

Things have been too hectic to write much lately

Both externally and internally, things have been busy in the ramp up to the election. So much so that sitting down at the laptop was basically impossible. Collecting my thoughts enough to get them out my fingers got me running inside my mind so much that I just gave up and decided to experience the moment instead of trying to analyze and record it.

On politics, we had a 50-50 day here at Casa de El Poeta, Beto lost, but Colin won, and I still haven’t found out if my state rep is the Tea Party loser from the last 4 primaries or the Democrat. The seat was open as the woman who beat the Tea Party loser in the primary decided to spend more time with her family and less time getting threatened by party bosses. Google finally got me to a 100% ballots counted and the TP loser lost again. The TP crazy that was my state senator lost to the Democrat. It won’t change much in Austin, but at least I will have a voice in my state government. Now maybe we can get something done about the crazy traffic laws, like reducing the minimum posted speed limit from 50% fatal to pedestrians (and cyclists) 30 MPH to 5% fatal 20 MPH, and a 3 feet to pass law for cyclists and pedestrians. Anywho, anxiety about what level of crazy was going to represent my views in the legislature as well as in the Senate and Congress prevented me from organizing my thoughts enough to write.

Physically I haven’t been sitting at the computer for writing much either, as I have been away from the house more than usual, for self-care. I got a massage, and did some shopping at the Harbor Freight, and last week I got my toes done so I don’t claw Mrs. the Poet in my sleep. I still need to get a haircut, but that will have to wait until I get more funds. I’m down to the point I need to conserve money for bus fare until the end of the month.

On the T-bucket front after last week’s assessment of assets I came to the conclusion that a mid-engine bucket is out of the question from a ride and handling standpoint. The parts I have are just not right for a mid-engine car, and the unsprung weight would result in tires not spending time in contact with the road surface. Front tires not on the road causes massive understeer no matter what you do about front to rear roll balance, if the front tires aren’t on the road it doesn’t matter what you do with the steering the car won’t turn.

And that’s about the limit of what I can get my head around to write today.

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Negative campaign ads just make me want to shoot all of them

Seriously, the politicking this year makes me want to just go out and kill every one of them. I’m just reaching the limits of my endurance and tolerance for my fellow-man. But there is a huge gap between want and do. So if you read about some political rally blown up with a mini nuke, I don’t have the money to buy the parts to do it. Nor the supply chain to get the parts even if I had the money. Nor the foggiest notion of where to look. So if it happens, I didn’t do it. I have been thinking about building other things, mostly.

Now what I have been thinking about when I’m not thinking about using WMD to level the political playing field has been another A-Mod build using the Predator 670cc V Twin from Harbor Freight and a “torque converter” CVT. The great thing about this is the engine and torque converter are right at 100 pounds together, and all the CVT needs to survive the 22 HP V-Twin is an upgraded aftermarket belt and adjusting the engagement speed via weights and springs. I can hang this in front of the right rear tire and move the driver left of center to balance the car and stay under the 900 pound minimum weight leaving room to ballast up and adjust the front-to-rear balance and also keep the CG low.

One thing I’m not going to do is use a steel straight tube axle. After my last post where I either calculated, actually weighed, or weighed “at the catalog” every part in the front suspension for the Sprint-T/TGS2 and discovered I had an absolutely ghastly sprung/unsprung ratio at the front end of the TGS2, I’m going for light weight over “stout” when it comes to front end bits. I’m going back to my composite days and using moldless foam core composite construction to create a flyweight straight tube or double a-arm front suspension. Now if I wasn’t concerned about banging off curbs or potholes I could make an axle you could carry with one hand and still have two or three fingers left over, unlike the 23 pound behemoth I bought for the TGS2 that takes all 5 fingers and careful handling to prevent wrist damage because of the polar moment from its 58″ length. I might do that anyway because it would be easy to make and not super expensive when compared to steel. For this build steel fabrication would be the economic benchmark, because of raw material costs and fabrication costs. And because I have the most experience recently with steel fabrication, that also makes the process my benchmark. At this point my composites experience is about 30 or more years old. I built some parts for the CVCC race car. And if you know what CVCC means you know the car would now be eligible for vintage plates.😁 And this was also the first car I bought new back in 1978…

Everything for this car would have to be built except consumables like tires, wheels, and brakes, plus brake pads. Virtually nothing could be bought “off the shelf”. Even the steering would have to be made because available boxes are too heavy and slow and rack and pinions are either heavy, slow, big or all of the above. What I envision for this build is basically a go-kart with power steering that has the pitman arm on a pivoting shaft connected directly to the steering wheel through an electric assist, with stops mounted to prevent more than about 80° motion in either direction. I see the prototype made from steel, with subsequent versions made from aluminum or composites, or a combination of materials. Get the clearances and motion paths and the places that needed more material worked out first, then build the expensive version from exotic materials, like unobtanium and noweightium. Even the chassis I’m looking at welding up the tub from sheet steel as a mockup then pulling a mold off that and building a composite tub. In fact back in the ’70s I sketched up an idea of laying up composites in a female mold, then injecting expanding foam to make a foam core and also press the laminate together and into the details of the mold, but before I could sell the idea the state of the art passed me by, making the idea interesting but ultimately useless. But getting back to that welded sheet steel tub, if it’s under the minimum weight I’m just going to leave it at that. No sense building an expensive lightweight chassis just to bolt lead in it. Or tungsten because lead is too plebian for a composite chassis. But if it’s floppy and flexible then the foam and fiberglass come out to replace the steel, because I know they are rigid from working on airplanes and other people’s completed airplanes. The process is also used on things like boats and surfboards. It was possible to buy pre-molded cores to apply your own fiberglass skin and make your own surfboard back in the day. but we kids just used the cores as floats…

And 1) I’m starting to wander about the verbal landscape and 2) I have a Shadowrun game later and I need to get up early-ish for it. so this would be a good place to call it a night…

Got started on one resolution, already broke another

Good news first, I went for a walk to refill my anti-depressant prescription, so 2 miles exercise today.

Now the bad news, I didn’t delete Twitter. I even read some tweets from Cheeto Jesus while I was warming up in the Starbucks waiting for my meds to get refilled. Damnit, I managed to survive the Reagan Era without turning into a cloud of radioactive dust, I’m not going to let a tanner-addicted con man end my days in a brilliant flash followed by a lingering radiation poisoning death. Downtown Dallas ain’t all that far from Casa de El Poeta, and word is Rocket Man used to be a “Dallas” TV show junky, “Who Shot JR” and everything. In fact I’m about equidistant from Downtown Dallas and Southfork Ranch, off to one side. Back to the subject, Dallas is pretty sure to get one high-yield airburst with a return address of Pyongyang, PROK on the case. I would rather that exchange never take place. So Cheeto Jesus needs to stop playing dick-measuring games with the other insane Great Leader with his finger on The Button.

On a brighter note I have been redoing the designs of the TGS2 and Sprint-T and consolidating the design parts around the body, as they can be the same and not negatively affect the design. While I’m concerned I might not be able to get in and out of either design without a strength and flexibility training routine, I’m still plugging along with the design work, because to quit is to abandon all hope. I’m not giving up, I’m just concerned I won’t have time to finish the car before I can’t drive it.

On that design, I figured out how to get the cage around the driver capsule rigid on all 6 faces, and able to get the body in and out of the finished frame without having to cut any of it. Some parts of the frame are going to have to be bolt-on with either a few Honking Huge bolts, or a mad passel of smaller bolts. Basically all the major loads of the frame are passing through those bolts, so there either needs to be many spreading the load, or single bolts capable of transmitting the loads at single points of failure. My instincts are to use multiple bolts all sized to be strong enough but arranged so that even without getting torqued tight they will support the load, at least two and sometimes three per joint.

Making the frame rigid all the way around the driver capsule required getting out of the box, looking at the ends and figuring out how to close them from the inside. Literally, the hard parts were the front and rear, making them rigid while allowing drivetrain to run through both ends. Leaving a hole in the top for the driver to get in without letting that face of the box collapse and in the bottom for servicing the drivetrain bits that share the cabin was simple by comparison.

And I have been up too long and really need to hit the sheets.

I need a pussyhat

Seriously. I want to show my support, I need a warm hat for long walks at night, and I can’t knit. I also don’t have the funds to buy one even if I knew where to get one. Also I strongly disagree with and disapprove of Cheeto Jesus. For a guy who sponsored a bike race he doesn’t seem to care much about actually being able to use bikes.

Also I got a PM on Twitter (@opusthepoet) that I should do a political blog. Sorry but while I care about politics to a degree I care much more about what politicians are doing to things I care about, like clean air and clean water, and my grandson not having to swim to work when he grows up because of sea level rise due to climate change. I really don’t care which political party is in charge as long as the things like that and personal liberties are protected. Unfortunately we seem to have one side that only protects corporate profits ahead of clean air and water and personal liberties.

On yet another front, my new pump doesn’t work. Instead of using a compression fitting for connecting the gauge to the pump they used a pipe thread fitting. Both of those connect and hold air, the difference is you can’t “clock” the pipe fitting to make it tight when facing a particular direction like you can with a compression fitting, and the gauge keeps hitting the pump frame during the pump action and getting loosened up. The solution of course is to get a hose with a female pipe fitting on one end and a male fitting on the other and use that to bridge the gap between the gauge and the pump so they don’t hit. I could ask for my money back, but I got almost the cheapest pump on Amazon so I guess this is as much my fault as theirs. On the bright side I can use this as practice for building brake lines for the hot rod, and the extra hose length will make using the pump easier as I can hold the gauge in my hand as I pump instead of trying to read it on the ground as it bounces back and forth from being on a foot pump.

On the hot rod front I have discovered the hub spacing using the stock drive axles is going to be too wide for the front axle. I have four alternatives: buy a wider front axle so the front and rear widths match up (expensive, requires custom manufacturing), 2) make the de Dion cage so that the rear axle width matches the front and shorten the stock drive axles to fit (tricky but barely within my capabilities), or 3) get the widest front axle width available without spending for the custom work and live with the difference as it will actually reduce the theoretical difficulties I was having getting the front and rear grip to match through the middle of a corner. Getting a wider front axle also reduces a problem I was trying to work around for wheel lock. Not lock as in too much brake but lock as in how far I can turn the wheel from side to side, in this case wider is better as the frame is a fixed width, and the further I push the front wheels out the more I can turn them from side to side, without hitting the rest of the car. 4) Mix of 3 and 2. Buy the widest axle and then narrow the drive axles to fit. Cheaper than 1 with all the work of 2 but the car will look right. Handling would still be interesting to sort out.

So, tomorrow I have meetings about the church, then grocery shopping, looks like a busy day.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable

I hate getting political here

But desperate times etc.

We now have to deal with President Tire-Fire-At-The-Landfill so that the fire doesn’t spread and burn down things we need or love or both. In other words how can we contain the damage to just the tire area of the landfill without allowing it to spread beyond the landfill.

I this simile “tire fire” = “Trump’s constant tantrums against ‘other'”, “landfill” = “Trump supporters and fellow travellers”. The conundrum is keeping the damage from spreading beyond the people actually causing the damage, while the violence is directed outwards against the “other”. How do we convince them that the “other” that was actively causing harm is currently within their ranks?

Second point to this blog, this is the day we thank the veterans who are still with us for their service in protecting our freedoms, but how can we do that in light of what we just elected to lead us? “Thanks guys, but we changed our minds”?

I’m starting to recover a bit from Tuesday/Wednesday in that I finally went for a walk last night. But I’m still a long way from what I was on Monday. I read the rules for next year’s Goodguys autocross competition and found a tiny loophole. If I build a pickup bed big enough to put the engine in I can still run as a “Truck” and have the fuel cell anywhere I need it to be. I don’t know how I’m going to cover the engine now, but I have a rule that will let me run the car. That means I need to get a bed for the body from Speedway and stretch it to fit, then cut the sides where the suspension peeks through. And also have the frame running everywhere outside the body because it ain’t gonna fit inside the bed. This is (still) gonna be fun.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass

Missing Pagan Fellowship Night tonight, and the Feed

The tight financial situation of the last couple of months has had a negative impact on my social life tonight. We have a tax preparer appointment on Monday that both of us have to be present for which means that both of us will need a bus pass, which means that I can’t spend $5 for a pass to get to the gathering at church tonight. I will be so glad when I get the money to repair Blue so I don’t need to keep dropping $ on bus fare for a slightly over 3 mile trip each way, plus when I take the bus I have to leave early, which won’t happen when I have Blue back on the road. Speaking of Blue, I’m currently putting some charge cycles on the cells in the headlight to try to save the one cell that was drawn down to 0.2V during the time the bike was stolen. The first test I had 3 cells at over 1.3V with that bad cell at 0.2V when I stopped the test and recharged. I’m working my 6th cycle now and I have 2 cells at 1.22 and 2 at 1.20 and I stop the test when the first cell reaches 1.1V or less. The 6th cycle has already gone twice as long as the first test, so things are looking better on that front.

Up first, just down the road from WoaB World HQ in the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell the folks in Austin say you can’t depend on drivers actually driving at a safe speed around people unless the infrastructure forces them to slow down. Neighbors want safety improvements after cyclist’s death And the first comment was asking if the cyclist cut off by the truck was wearing a helmet… TANJ!

Our Daily Ted came late today, and was not pleasant. 44-year old bike rider killed near LAX I still feel sorry for Ted whenever he posts these, because he rides those streets

One thing that has been consistent ever since I started this blog was admonishment to “Don’t hit the pedestrians”. Northampton marathon runner has cut the ‘size of tennis ball’ after being knocked over by cyclist at Pitsford At this point I can’t say for sure if this was a collision or a close pass, but either way, stop and render aid.

The recent action to exclude MTB from an area that had been one of the few places in Portland where a person could ride MTB inside the city before the city bought it has raised many questions about what happened to the process. Closed-door Parks bureau committee was set to recommend bike trails at River View So, up to the last meeting of the advisory committee MTB were good to go, then Amanda Fritz declared in March that MTB would not be allowed anywhere in the park that MTBers had invested hundreds of thousands of man hours in maintaining up until the city bought it and after. Something is rotten in the state of Portland.

Other people are wondering what’s going on with their infrastructure. Tucson and the Case of the Missing Bus Lanes Bus lanes in the plan right up until concrete and asphalt are poured then all of a sudden Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?! no bus lanes. Just like the parks that Dallas voters voted for back in the ’90s where the Trinity Tollway is being planned for right now.

Some good news from the US DOT. DOT Rule Change Lets Transportation Dollars Stay in Local Communities Instead of outsourcing the labor this will keep the money circulating in the community longer. That’s a good thing for the local economy.

Some infrastructure issues from the Great White North. Egan: High time the NCC looked at Canal’s low cycling curbs I love that people are demanding licenses and registration were first in line to comment about this hunk of bike/ped infra.

This just makes me think of criminal charges that should be filed. Cyclist killed at roundabout where Westminster Council rejected safety overhaul When money is offered to rebuild an intersection that gets refused, and then a very predictable death occurs at that intersection, are the politicians involved culpable for the death?

Other UK infrastructure news, proposed changes in the legal infrastructure. Lorry and cyclist accidents: HGV drivers must prove innocence, says Green Party leader Natalie Bennett The HGV industry has fought changes to their vehicles tooth and nail for the last several years, so payback should be expected.

Still more legal infrastructure from Jolly Olde. PedalSure offer cyclist insurance policy focused on you, the rider

Moving on we have a bit of real lifestyle. 13TH ANNUAL FILMED BY BIKE TRAILER PRESENTED BY ORP See what I mean? This is Bicycle Lifestyle, the essence of riding a bike as part of your life. Lots of beer in that film 🙂

Another Wounded Warrior event. Inspirational Cycling Event Helps Injured Service Members Heal

More on the response to a Canadian cyclist’s death. Bowmanville’s Roman Manko’s death ‘a huge loss’ to cycling community

The Canadian version of the Wounded Warrior project. Tribute to British invasion of a musical variety

A Philippine lifestyle story. Police chaplain on nationwide solo bike ride to honor SAF 44

One of the limitations on e-assist bikes is the rate at which the batteries can accept charge. New aluminum battery for smartphones can be charged in a minute This shows the cell can accept a C60 charge rate (60 times the ah rating of the cell), which is a good indication of how it would work as an e-assist battery. At this point the chemistry is only being developed as a power source for mobile devices, but then again so was all the Lithium chemistry at first, except the LiFePO4 and a couple of other chemistries.

And I’m all out of links.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

They finally finished counting the votes and I’m screwed, and the Feed

The votes are counted and batshit insane won out over just crazy. I’m screwed because batshit has made public statements against government spending on any bicycle infrastructure as being “socialist”. News flash for you Batshit, all infrastructure is socialist to some extent. Installing bicycle infrastructure just gives people a choice as to how they use it. Right now we have a choice between cars, trucks, and SUVs when selecting our mode of transportation, but public transit is kinda sorta useful if you have the time. Riding a bicycle is physically uncomfortable because of the climate and emotionally uncomfortable because there are so many cars, trucks, and SUVs using the infrastructure that the operators have no earthly idea of how to share with bicycles. And Batshit wants to make that worse for people riding bicycles. Of course opposing bicycle infrastructure is a minor issue with this guy, oppressing women and voters of the “wrong” kind is much higher on his agenda. This is still not good for me because I’m the “wrong” kind of voter: “not-rich”.

Up first is a hit-and-run from down south a few day’s ride. Deputies: Hit-and-run suspect later found unresponsive behind the wheel and Driver arrested in FM 1960 hit-and-run Let’s see, line of cars moving over a lane to make a legal pass on a cyclist legally using the road, one driver moves out of the line and hits the cyclist then merges back in line and leaves the scene, later found slumped over the wheel of the weapon vehicle and unresponsive to LEO commands. No toxicology report back yet but I’m willing to bet alcohol, drugs, or possibly an out-of-control blood sugar level. I’m putting my money on good old-fashioned ethyl alcohol.

Update on an OH left cross fatality. Trial date set for truck driver charged with death of cyclist The cyclist’s family is being very understanding and Stockholm Syndrome about it claiming the fact that the driver is disturbed about having killed “is punishment enough”. Listen people, everyone is disturbed about the first time they kill if they have any shred of compassion in them. The ones that aren’t just need to be placed where they can’t hurt the rest of us ever. But if drivers are allowed to kill and face no sanction for killing, no matter what the mode of transport of the victim, then there is zero incentive for the drivers that don’t have that shred of compassion to not run over the cyclist or pedestrian that causes them to have to slow down a bit. Swerve enough that the vehicle isn’t damaged too much to drive and keep on trucking, because you will get a worse ticket for tossing a cigarette butt out the window than for leaving a dead or dying human on the side of the road.

A MD driver that killed a cyclist tries to get the sentence dismissed because the felony conviction interferes with her life? Sentence in death of bicyclist stands Another sociopathic driver thinks it’s all about her after leaving a corpse in the road. Consequences are a bitch, aren’t they honey? Less than a year in jail with work release after killing a human and discarding the body like a cigarette butt and you want that expunged so you can “get on with your career”? You changed your career path when you left the person to die on the road, now you have to live with that choice. And this was not the first time you hit a cyclist either, you hit one in 2008 that left the victim with a permanent and life-altering brain injury, for which you essentially skated.

A cyclist in the UK is killed by a pothole that the relevant authority was notified about weeks before the wreck. Cyclist mown down during charity bike ride after hitting a four-inch deep pothole that police had warned about more than a month before One thing I like about UK tort laws is they specifically allow local governments to be sued when they commit an action or an inaction that results in people getting injured, unlike here in the US where most municipalities invoke “sovereign immunity” at the first hint of a lawsuit.

And another cyclist hits the pavement because it has holes in it. Exeter pharmacy staff help “pot-holed” cyclist The cyclist was lucky to not have been hit by a motor vehicle like the previous paragraph.

Even comic strip characters can’t escape the pothole monster. Frazz by Jef Mallett I do hope that one goes to “freeze-thaw cycle”, it’s impossible to test.

Lots of infrastructure news today. This one is from America’s Copenhagen, Portland OR. Video of right-hook collision shows risks at NE Couch and Grand First up this video is a near-perfect example of using intersection protocols to minimize damages from a right hook, the cyclist ran out of road before the driver finished the turn.

Infrastructure news from CA. Beverly Hills tells bicyclists to drop dead; LAPD to focus — finally — on traffic violations this year As I commented in the article Beverly Hills needs to be sued for violating CA’s Complete Streets law. They have been reminded several times of the law’s requirements, I think a little smackdown from a judge would be appropriate. More Beverly Hills City Council Disses Road Safety, Slaps Riders in Santa Monica Boulevard Session

A slightly fun infrastructure link. If Your Local Elites Have Gone Completely Bonkers, You May Have Bikelash It would be impossible to tell here, our “elite” varies between “disturbed” and “batshit crazy” every other minute.

An infrastructure link that is only marginally about bicycles. Detroit study to examine effects of bad air quality As we all know installing bike lanes reduces the local pollution on streets that have them, I don’t know how well that transfers to networks of bike lanes in entire cities. That’s something that hasn’t been studied.

A really unhappy lifestyle story from CA. Popular pre-L.A. Marathon bike ride canceled after city permit snag I thought that the powers that be liked the Crash because it acted like an additional sweep of the course the organizers did not have to pay for.

And those were all the links that gave me fits about bicycles. There were a couple more that just were kinda “blah” so I thought “Why include “blah” in my blog?” Also apparently I have been missing a lot of clicks to this blog because I don’t put a tag on the Daily Feed posts that this is about bicycles. What, they can’t look at the blog title and tell that most of the posts are going to be about bicycles? But anyway I’m going to be adding a “Bicycles” and “bikes” tag to the Daily Feed posts so that people looking for information about bicycles can find these posts.

> sigh <

Billed @€0.02, Opus