Tag Archives: lotto fever

Why are both ends of the economic spectrum unclean?

You know what I mean. If you have more money than you can spend you’re filthy rich, but if you have more needs than resources, you’re dirt poor. This is a roundabout way of telling everybody that we didn’t win the Lotto Texas yesterday, so we are still on the “dirt poor” end of the spectrum. Well, not actually “dirt” poor, but not entirely clean either. But this still doesn’t answer my question of why the extreme ends of the economic spectrum are not clean. I’m pretty sure filthy rich comes from the same place as calling money “filthy lucre”, alleging that money itself is dirty and having too much makes you dirty, too. But how can the absence of something dirty make you dirty? It is a conundrum.

And on the thing that otherwise occupies my mind, the Subaru EJ20X and 5 speed transmission combination has sold out leaving only the engines remaining, still at the same $1K price. And those engines are still about the best bang for the buck for the Sprint-T, even if I have to make a new bellhousing to mount a transmission. And since I just had to drain $3325 from the bank account for a trip to the ER that didn’t tell me what made my leg suddenly balloon up to about the size of a slow-pitch softball, I really don’t have funds for the engine.

It's not supposed to be that big.

Anyway, that swollen mess is the latest reason I don’t have money for building the Sprint-T.🤑 And another reason why I’m buying another ticket for the $14.5 million Lotto Texas drawing on Saturday, but not for the $750 million Powerball drawing the same night. I’m trying to not be greedy, I can live very comfortably on the payout from the Lotto Texas drawing, but the Powerball payout is really too much. And also not enough to help other poor people, although I suppose I could fund a couple of Planned Parenthood offices with the leftovers from $8,470,223 after taxes in the first year. And it just gets worse every year after that. Too much for one family to reasonably spend, but still not enough to make a serious dent in poverty. And FYI the after tax and Mrs. the Poet take home is $123,730 from the Lotto Texas annuity, so buy the Canadian bungalow, start construction on the rebuilt Texas winter home, and also start buying parts for the Sprint-T. So realistically “leftovers” from the first year Powerball will be about $8,000,000. Which would mean the entire next year tax savings would be enough to live on, freeing up the payout for “do-goodism”. I mean seriously, the tax deductions alone from $8,000,000 worth of charity are more than the entire Lotto Texas payout after taxes, meaning we could live stupid rich for the rest of our lives and never spend anything out of the actual after-tax payout before deductions with the payout from Saturday’s Powerball.

And I have been working in severe adverse conditions today.See how I get harassed by my coworkers?

That’s Clyde riding my neck about productivity, while keeping me from concentrating on my writing. 🙂


I’m not filthy rich

My ticket did not have the winning Mega Millions numbers. To be precise my ticket had nothing in common with the winning numbers. The closest my ticket came to winning was the jackpot total printed at the bottom. And at the end of the news was the announcement that if nobody won today Friday’s draw would be for $2 billion. That’s roughly $44,000,000 for the first year after taxes. To put that in perspective the jackpot for tomorrow’s Lotto Texas drawing is $13,500,000 over 30 years, or less than a third of the post tax first year take home. And because I’m not super greedy, just regular greedy, I bought a ticket for the Lotto Texas drawing.

Lotto Fever has not been the only thing running through my mind, I have also been thinking about making the Subaru powered variant of the Sprint-T lighter. If my math is right, I can save 7 pounds by fabricating an aluminum housing for an aluminum 9-inch center section, but I won’t save any money and I won’t be able to find the right final drive ratio to match the Subaru 5 speed transmission for racing or cruising the Interstates between races. The available ratios are kinda thin taller than 4.11, and especially between 3.50 and 3.00 as in there was literally nothing in the current catalog between 3.50 and 3.00. OK looking in the wrong page of the catalog, there are actually 3.50, 3.40, 3.25, and 3.00 in the other side of the catalog. The street side of the catalog doesn’t get as low (high numerical) as the race side, but it has much more choice taller than 4.11. Anywho, just thinking out loud again, looking for better options and not finding any.

And I was watching some racing videos last night and saw a ISMA supermodified racer that was running an interesting setup with a ball joint upright on a twin tube truss beam axle. I could only see the back of the right end of the axle because the camera was on the right side pointed forward from the driver’s seat area, but it looked like an inverted Pratt truss because they wanted as much of the load carried in compression as possible to avoid welded joints under tension and still wanted triangulation. Or it could have been a modified Warren truss with one vertical member to provide a place for the 4-link to tie in. Either way it gives a way to run different spindles and hubs if I didn’t already have an axle and spindles. But I’m keeping options open for a replacement that is lighter than the boat anchor I have at the moment. Not that it’s an actual boat anchor, just like 10 times stronger than needed for a 1300 pound street car, and correspondingly 10 times heavier and it’s all unsprung weight. Unsprung weight is bad because it’s basically uncontrolled dynamic weight. Sprung weight, as the name suggests, is weight controlled by springs and dampers (shock absorbers).

One of the options I have been looking at was making an axle from a foam core and carbon fiber for light weight and super stiffness. I could build for the same breaking load as my steel axle, or go for the same yield load, but since carbon fiber has the same breaking load as the yield load but there is a huge difference between yield and breaking loads for steel I’m thinking there is a larger safety margin matching the breaking load. I was also thinking that doing a final, non-structural, layer of Kevlar I could protect the assembly from abrasion and contain the sharp bits of carbon fiber when it does break using the different moduli of the two materials. Simply put the Kevlar has about the same strength as carbon fiber, but it has to be stretched a lot farther before it breaks so what breaks the CF won’t rupture the Kevlar layer which then contains the broken bits unless the load or impact also tears the Kevlar. I could use the same spindles I have now or I could adapt aluminum upright/titanium spindle sprint car spindles, or I could whittle aluminum uprights to use lightweight GN hubs and spindles with the same kingpins and bushings as my early Ford spindles. The sprint car spindles and uprights are tempting but questionably legal for road use. Anywho, carbon fiber over foam is about 1/5 the weight of steel for the same breaking strength, partially because the foam acts to prevent the CF from deflecting but adds little weight, and makes manufacturing the part easier because it provides the shape for the part, just lay up and use wicking peel plies inside a vacuum bag to remove excess resin. So end result is stronger, lighter, and almost as easy to make as welding it from steel except for the cost of materials.

The MegaMillions jackpot has gotten incalculably large

Seriously, it has. There are not enough significant digits in the display to calculate the annual payout accurately. I can get within $10 million/year after taxes, but that’s as close as I can get not knowing how much there is between the hundreds of millions and the decimal point. That’s not going to keep me from buying a ticket though. Using as many digits as I have the $1.6 billion comes to about $35 million after taxes each year, and dividing up with two thirds going to Mrs. the Poet and me getting one third that still gives me about $11 million dollars the first year after taxes. The total jackpot for Wednesday’s Lotto Texas drawing is $13.5 million for 30 years before taxes. I’m buying a ticket for that one too FYI, but seriously, even with only knowing the closest hundred million the after tax take home the rough calculation is insane.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but that little trip to the ER ended up costing me $3325 complete. Now if I won even the Lotto Texas drawing that would still be a large chunk of change. That will take a large chunk of principal out of the funds my parents left me, almost a year’s worth of taxes. That’s one less year we can keep the house before we have to sell and move in with one of the kids. That’s another reason we need to win the lottery, even as little as $100k will keep us in the house until we are ready to leave it. And $200k will let me build the Sprint-T right, without penny-pinching, and let us stay in the house and get it fixed up.

And that pretty much covers everything I needed to say today except to remind everyone to vote like your lives depended on it, because for many people their lives do depend on how the vote turns out.

Laptop was down

And I was annoyed, mainly because I used to be a Windows help desk operator and I had no idea of how to fix it, my training and experience ending with the introduction of XP, back in 2002, following hard on the heels of the disaster of ME and totally disrupting all the diagnostic and repair tools that had been in use since 98. So there I was a trained computer expert with years of experience and I am no better off than your garden variety N00B since my computer came minus documentation. I had no idea of how to get to Safe Mode, or if Safe Mode was still a thing in 10.

Basically what happened was while I was working and reading e-mail the bottom shelf disappeared, and when I ended the web browser I had a blank screen where the desktop should be. And when I restarted the computer I had a blank screen after the log-in screen. And since keyboard shortcuts I learned are not valid with 10 I couldn’t get anything running, or maybe they are valid but that was something else that wasn’t working. And because I don’t have any documentation I have no way of knowing if keyboard shortcuts are a thing anymore.

Anywho, as you can probably tell, I got the laptop fixed, but dang if I know how. The only thing I could find said to hold the shift key down to activate “sticky keys” and then hold F8 and reboot. After the third (or so) try I had a normal reboot and all my icons back. So here I am.

Other news, Clyde has learned to knock to be let in, we think. Story short, I heard what sounded like knocking at the front door a few minutes after I went to bed this morning, but when I got up to check there was nobody there, except Clyde sitting on the window AC unit. Clyde is not the kind of cat to hang around when people come to the door, even people he knows, so by process or elimination Clyde managed to knock on the window to get let in, or Clyde banged against the window whilst scratching an itch and got let in anyway. And as you might have guessed I didn’t win the $1 billion jackpot, but I’m buying a ticket for the $1.6 billion jackpot. Because, how can I not risk $2 for a chance at a billion dollars after taxes? The cash option is almost a billion tonight ($904 million) and will probably bust a billion by the draw on Tuesday. Not that I’m going for the cash option, I want every cent I can get because I could do so much good with that much money. And going by last week’s sales, we could see a $2 billion jackpot by the draw date. Even at 304 million to one odds I can’t pass that up. I mean look at what I have already lived through that I shouldn’t have, I must have some luck left over to win a little money, right?

Another dreary day weatherwise, but hope springs eternal

The MegaMillions jackpot just topped one billion dollars, and there is a valid ticket here in Casa de El Poeta. Since MegaMillions does a straight 30 equal payments it’s easy to figure take-home on at least the first couple of years. And the first year take-home is a staggering $22 million, actually a bit more but I didn’t feel like typing out all those numbers. That money if invested well would be enough to live extravagantly for the rest of my life, which leaves the problem of what to do with the other 29 payments. I mean how many apartment buildings for homeless people can you build? How many houses can you give to your friends and relatives? How many bungalows in out of the way villages in Canada can you buy?

Using the method I agreed upon with Mrs. the Poet many years ago, she gets 2/3 whether she likes it or not while I “make do” with 1/3. The reason I wrote “whether she likes it or not” is because of the responsibility that comes with money after you have enough to cover basic needs and a little for comforts. Which is why I mentioned apartment buildings for homeless people and giving away houses in the opening paragraph. I know that if I win and my name is published I will be covered up in relatives I never met in my life, people asking for money for various “charities” that mostly pay the people running the charity, and people like me who got a raw deal out of life for no good reason, but don’t have the manners to not try to con people out of the money they got via what ever means they got it. So I will preemptively put as much of my money as possible in projects that actually help people directly, by providing cheap or free housing and jobs that cover food and clothing and health care. And now I’m starting to sound like a politician…🤮

But at any rate it would solve my budget problems with the various T-bucket builds, and other toy projects like the A-Mod SCCA Solo racer and the fold-up camper/bicycle. And we could get the cats fixed.🙀 And various medical problems that Mrs. the Poet and I have that we were just “living with” because we don’t have money for treatment.

And it has rained all day, just for informational purposes. We are on high ground so we are free of the stream flooding that has plagued so many here in TX, but we still had soggy cats this afternoon. Unhappy soggy cats.

Well I could be better

But I have been much worse. The food budget was a bit restricted so snacks and desserts were 86’ed from the list, but the critical bits like bread, peanut butter, and yogurt made the cut. And I dug up enough change from the various places change hides around here to cover a Texas Lotto ticket. I still don’t know if I won, but if I do anyone in North America with the possible exception of the far northeast provinces of Canada and the state of Alaska will hear the yell.

When I write about building the Sprint-T I can pretend for a while I will actually have the budget to do it, and pretending and imagining while I’m writing are usually enough to make me believe I can really build it, and make me not as depressed as I would have been if I wasn’t writing. Hope is a hell of a drug, but the crash after is not as bad as other drugs. I’m not so sure about how addictive it is, mainly because of all the sayings about not giving up Hope. To read/hear about it, Hope is completely non-addictive, and needs to get replenished regularly. Anywho, at this point Hope is about all I have. I know I won’t starve, but things might get a bit… strained.

I’m still thinking about the Sprint-T, suspension, brakes, drivetrain, interior, everything. As I wrote, I feel better when I’m planning it out, which I guess is why I still do it. I would like to be able to find out how much the complete Subaru EJ20V engine and transmission combined weigh, just to get an idea of how much I would need to offset that to balance my 215 pounds (97.5 kg) with helmet and driving suit. But I can estimate from other transmissions how much the modified Subaru would weigh after removing the FWD bits that I don’t need that I need to add 100 pounds to the 250 of the engine for a rough idea of how far I would need to shift the engine to the right to balance everything out, and that works out to be about 7″ right if the math is right. And since the formula is so simple I’m pretty sure I got it right. I multiply my weight by how far my center is left of the car’s center to get a moment, then divide the weight of the engine and transmission into the moment to get back to a moment arm. Or as Jethro Bodine would put it use my guzintas of the weight of the engine/transmission into the moment. And if you understood that media reference you have to either spend too much time watching TV Land , or are about the same age as me.

I didn’t win the Dale Truck engine, or the Lotto

Drat my luck, I still don’t have an engine or transmission for the Sprint-T, and I didn’t win the Lotto Texas drawing Wednesday night. Didn’t match even a single number, so we are still p’ (too impoverished to buy a vowel). I don’t feel good about my chances at the Powerball this Saturday, and I blew off the Megamillions because everybody and their brother were at the local C-Store buying tickets. And my fundage is severely limited this week, so I might not even get a Lotto Texas ticket Saturday.

In news that is totally unrelated to my luck in games of chance, my hip is doing great after the third night of my experiment in mattress exchange. The guest room mattress is not as thin as the futon and doesn’t bottom out like the futon even though it is initially much firmer than the futon, so I don’t get pressure points like I do on the futon. I still have one tender point over the hip, but I have to push on it to find it. That’s the good news, the bad news is Mrs. the Poet refuses to join me on the mattress until it gets moved to our room.

In still other news, I’m working on how to map a tune that will run 87 octane regular gas on the EJ20 JDM Subaru engines that are sold locally for cheap, in the unboosted part of the engine’s performance curve, and also run E85 and lots of boost and a dry-ice chilled air-to-liquid intercooler at low RPM for racing. As I explained (poorly) earlier to stay close to best power on E85 I need to run about 40% more fuel by weight and 42% more by volume than on 87 octane. Now with the $314 ECU I can run a supplemental 16 X 16 engine map under boost to go with the 16 X 16 map for no boost, or build a more coarse 16 X 16 engine map with fewer cells for either boost or no boost that runs richer for E85 with no boost and also has cells for under boost and switch it on at the races, or spend an extra $314 for a second controller to swap to when I get to the race rather than buy a more expensive single controller that can be set up with separate maps for 87 octane and E85 and can switch automatically between the two. Looking online at what is available for <$650 and under I'm not seeing anything with close to the capability of swapping out controllers with race and street maps programmed in. The one that is right on the border has PWM control over adjustable cam timing in hardware, but still won't switch between a race map and a street map with drastically different fuels. Looking at my options I think my best choice is to buy 2 of the $314 controllers, and set one up with a map that gives me maximum fuel economy on the highway with 87 octane and no boost while the other gives best power at low RPMeverywhere in the RPM range with E85. To get best economy I need to get a whole bunch of map cells around cruise RPM and program them for best power at “Best Fuel Economy” mixture which is about as much lean as best power is rich of stoichiometric. And I need a bunch of cells because I might have to swap to a larger injector to handle the fuel flow for E85 at high boost which means I would need tighter control of injector timing at cruise running regular unleaded 87 octane gas. The improvement in actual gas mileage would be small, but the improvement in my peace of mind knowing I had done everything possible to reduce my fossil fuel consumption without actually giving anything up would be, eh?, a little bit.