Tag Archives: more songs about buildings and food

I survived the trip to pay bills

Well it wasn’t easy but I managed. Most of the bills are caught up, and I managed to get fed and stayed hydrated and even managed to get a naughty treat. There was a new flavor of milkshake available at the Whataburger so I got the smallest one as a treat/dessert. And then farted all night long.😨 Did I mention I discovered I have been lactose intolerant for the last few years? It is not a big deal, I just get really gassy and it has to come out somewhere, right? Interesting story about how I found out, we ran out of milk for my coffee so I had to use non-dairy creamers for a few days, and I noticed I wasn’t gassy, then when we had milk again I was gassy again. And by ran out of milk I mean everything, there wasn’t any plain milk, yogurt, cheese, whipped cream, anything dairy in the house. That was the first time in years we have been without anything dairy.

Right now I’m recovering from yesterday, trying to make my back stay out of spasm, which is easier said than done. The strangest things will trigger a spasm, like a big yawn or turning wrong or bending over to pick something up off the floor, or passing gas. Don’t ask why passing gas causes a spasm, I haven’t the foggiest notion of why that happens. The other stuff I can at least figure out why I get a spasm, usually because I tense up muscles when I do them, and the back muscles don’t like to be tensed up. I have to say I have sympathy for other people with bad backs, because I can get so painful I can barely move, and that’s with my pain tolerance, the guy who pulled his own teeth and walked around on a broken tibia until it healed two months later. So when I say something hurts a lot take my word for it I really hurt.

I was mentioning I was being kept awake because my mind won’t shut down and keeps coming up with crazy ideas that it won’t let go of. Well last night was a doozy: Transplanting the FWD minivan drivetrain as a FWD drivetrain on the bucket. You think I’m having weight distribution issues with the drivetrain in a mid-engine configuration you don’t even want to know what happens when you hang all that mess 10″ in front of the front axle! It doesn’t just add weight to the front wheels it actually reduces weight on the back wheels because of leverage effects. The minivan gets away with this because it has almost 2 tons distributed over the 4 wheels before driver and payload are added. So it ends up with a controllable understeer that’s mostly from the effects of driving through the wheels that steer the car. But this crazy contraption would spend most of its time getting towed out of ditches it had slid into nose-first. So, sorry sleep-fighting mind, this one is never going to even get sketched.

One that I wish I had the time and money to build was the A-Mod Solo racer with the V-twin engine. The quick-and-dirty calculations on that one are scary quick with even balance and extremely low moment of inertia. The weight distribution would be exactly 25% on each wheel. I would actually have to add ballast to make minimum weight. And it would cost less than $10K to build with a little watching Ebay auctions for a good price on the engine. But it ain’t gonna happen while I’m “p’ ” which means “too poor to buy a vowel”.

And now I have to get to bed.

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Random thoughts and observations

Mrs. the Poet wants a song about Clint sitting on top of the refrigerator. I’m setting it to the tune of “Stairway to Heaven”. It is going to be anti refrigerator-sitting per Mrs. The Poet’s request.

Someone in front of us in line left $0.72 in the change dish at the grocery store. Since the two people in front of us paid with plastic that means it had been there for at least 4 customers counting us and the person who left it. When I pointed the change out I was asked to please remove it.

Getting the TGS2 balanced in a corner is going to involve tuning the roll stiffness so that the inside front tire lifts clear of the ground just as the limits of grip are reached, and sizing the tires so that they have the same percentage of total grip as that end of the car’s percentage of static weight.

A good chili is a fine balance between heat and flavor. Finding a perfect chili is akin to searching for a virgin among the workers in a brothel, mostly a matter of timing.

Keeping up with Trump administration scandals is causing a rise in adult-onset ADHD making those of us who always had it feel superior.

After doing the research I would not object if someone gave me a’90s era Chrysler LH series car that had a running engine and working 42le transmission for making an SCCA A-Mod Solo Racer.

There should be a reader-only app for Twitter called “Short Attention Span Theater”.

Someone wants to open a “covfefe house” in my town. I don’t know what they’re selling but you know the sign is going to have a short lifespan.

About the time my feet were recovering from whatever I did to them on that walk I dropped a heavy metal object on the toes of my left foot. Nothing is actually broken, but nothing is working right either. It’s almost as if the world will cease to exist if I’m not injured or crippled in some way.

Speaking of free car stuff if anyone over at FCA has a pentastar V6 and a 62te transmission they need to get rid of … I know this guy who’s building this car …

Again, for the people looking for bike wrecks and advice I left the archive alone, but I can’t say for sure the links are still good. If you find my sanity back there could you put it in a box and mail it to me? I would greatly appreciate it.

One of the things Mrs. the Poet likes about taking me shopping is I will find the best buy for any particular product, one of the things she doesn’t like is finding the best buys for things she doesn’t want to buy, but I do.

Do you know what rich really is? Rich is going to the grocery store and having to leave something behind because you won’t have room in the car to take it home instead of not having enough money to pay for it.

I’m looking at the rear suspension for the TGS2 and looking at the composite bellypan/splitter combination and thinking “well since I’m already making the mess…”

We’re having chicken broccoli from a frozen box over brown rice from the rice cooker/vegetable steamer and I put the chicken and broccoli in the steamer basket and the sauce on the top of the cooker to thaw and get warm and pour over the chicken and broccoli after everything’s cooked. That way the only cooking pot/device that needs cleaning is the rice cooker, that was already going to get cleaned b/c we are having brown rice. And I did all the “cooking” so Mrs. the Poet is happy which is always a good thing.

Mrs. the Poet wants some beans and rice before she leaves, so slow cooker and rice cooker next time. I’m really loving that non-stick coating on the rice cooker, it makes cleanup so much easier.

No beer this trip as the specials just didn’t tickle my fancy enough. Also not a big fan of most summertime beers. I prefer a beer I can sink my teeth into. Also what’s the deal of making “beer” with rice? That’s not beer, that’s a bad starter for sake ruined with hops.

And it has been almost a week since my last walk and now I’m really wanting to go for that walk, like really really wanting. But if I go I will aggravate my injured toes. It is a conundrum. And lazy and overfed won out over getting some exercise.

I need a recipe

I need something to graze on. Requirements are high fiber, low fat, moderate carb, salty or sweet depending on preparation, And simple enough for a guy who can use a slow-cooker and a rice cooker and hates complicated prep work. Crunchy if possible, but I could also go for chewy, but not mushy. Scalable so I can make 50 pounds at a time if I want, or a single serving. And it has to keep for extended periods of time for when I don’t feel like grazing right now.

And it has to be cheap to make. I don’t have tons of money for snack foods even if they are healthy enough to eat all the time instead of meals. Basically we are looking at creating Bachelor Chow from the TV show Futurama, Now With Flavor.
This is my goal.

Opus the Unkillable (but hungry)

My walks are in the upper 25% of walks

I have an app called Map My Walk that I use to track my progress trying to improve the way I walk. When I first started using it I was managing to cover a mile in about 32 minutes average. Now after just a week I’m down to 27 minutes per mile on my 3.74 mile walks. BTW the app tells me this distance is in the top 25% of all walks. Anyways, not only am I walking faster, I am walking smoother. I am forcing myself to not limp with the short leg. Well not to limp noticeably anyway. Anyone listening to the cadence of my walk will hear a limp even though I’m trying not to visibly limp.

Nothing new on the hot rod front. Mrs. the Poet is still of the same mindset that I can build the car in the garage, after enough stuff is cleared away that I can fit the donor vehicle in there.

And I’m going to play an RPG tomorrow, for my socialization.😈

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass

Well, the de Dion suspension just isn’t in the budget

I was looking at the budget for the T-bucket now that I have an engine and transmission along with the rest of the donor vehicle it came in to scrounge from. Basically the budget remains pegged on $0 in spite of everything I have done to raise money for the project. So compromises must be made if this project is to continue. I’m still going to go sell plasma to make up the majority of the budget, to go along with the lab rat gig. Yay, more holes in my arms.

Another compromise is reusing as many parts as possible from the front suspension of the donor vehicle to make the rear suspension of the mid bucket, instead of just the knuckles so that there will be something to connect to the half-shafts that fit the transmission. I’m hoping that I can swap out the stock springs in the struts for ones that work better from my catalogs of various diameters, lengths, and spring rate, springs and get a ride height and roll stiffness that will work. The best candidates so far are $40 each or $80 total (plus shipping), but I’ll have to wait until I get hold of the actual struts before I can know for sure. There are other springs that can cost as much as $100 per spring because they are strange diameter/length/rate combinations, and I’m really hoping I don’t need to go to those.

This will save a bunch of $ and time to build at the cost of compromising the handling for what essentially is intended to be a car that depends on handling for speed in the competition it is being built for. The intended outcome for this car is winning Goodguys autocrosses outright. I won’t have the best dig coming out of corners so I will have to get the best corner speed to make up for the lack of power.

There are days when it looks like I will never get my hot rod built. Today was one of those days.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass

Long time no blog.

I know I haven’t written anything in a while. There are reasons for that. First of all there has been a slow-motion train wreck going on in my Twitter feed because of the fuzzy Jack-o’-Lantern pretending to run for President. Second I got a bit behind in my e-mail and even doing more than 300 a day I’m still looking at nearly 1000 unread messages. Do you know how long it takes to get through 300 new emails in one day? And to compound that I have to stop and leave the house for a couple of hours every day so that I can maximize my returns on my phone game that pays me money, because it’s a lot more work now than it used to be. I’m still making the same amount of money every week, but I have to get out every day and max my checkins to do it.

Also on the “leave the house” list was grocery shopping, twice. Once was our regular day and again yesterday as one of my side gigs paid off $100 for several months’ of “a few seconds a day” work. The kicker on this one is I have to get paid in the form of a gift card that can only be used in a few places, otherwise it becomes taxable income that I would lose a major chunk of in the form of SS taxes. So there is only one store that sells food on the approved list…

And today I spent some time away from the house playing someone else’s character in a Shadowrun game. This time I was playing a 5’2″ 90 lb. Chinese girl decker and the character sheet said she was abrasive and cold with a chip on her shoulder. We were on a Zombie hunt, and also had to kill a vampire and rescue a werewolf from the corporate lab that created the zombies in an effort to have slaves that did not need to be paid because they were legally dead. Unfortunately zombies are unable to follow even simple directions so the project was in the process of getting shut down when the zombies and the vampire they were using to create them escaped into the lab. They managed to get the doors to the outside locked, but only had until sundown to clean things up before the vampire could let himself and the zombies out. Our Street Samurai took out most of the zombies, my decker took out a few, and the technomancer managed to get into the weapons side of the security system and take out the vampire and the rest of the zombies. We rescued the scientist/werewolf we were also supposed to rescue. My character disdained the males in the party to make a pass on the lady werewolf…

It was a good thing I have a Shadowrun dice roller on my phone because I would have needed a bucket to bring the d6 I would have had to have to make some of my attack and saving rolls. My dice app goes to 99 d6.

Last week we went on a 5 day camping trip in Southeastern TX, near Flatonia. This was memorable for two reasons: Mrs. the Poet went camping with me, and we both tripped and fell down a lot in the dark. I dislocated the other collarbone and bruised my other hip from the previous fall off the bicycle, and Mrs. the Poet skinned her knees and hands again. We also had about 9 times as much meat at meals as we are used to eating as “p'” people (too impoverished to buy a vowel). One of the big problems we both had was getting off the ground after getting out of “bed”. Another bed-related problem was Mrs. the Poet did not believe me when I told her to pack lots of blankets for sleeping and just packed the one that did not even cover us completely that we use to keep our feet warm in the winter. We still had a great time anyway.

Off on another tangent, my full-scale T-bucket project just took a major change in direction. I had the engine and transmission from a running Chrysler minivan practically dumped in my lap for barely over scrap value. Plusses: we are talking really cheap engine and transmission for less than the core charge for a transmission on the previous version, this will take almost 200 pounds off the total weight of the car, moving engine behind passenger compartment leaves a flat floor with plenty of foot room, computer controlled transmission simplifies setting up mechanical portions of the controls; just a floor lever with 4 detents and two paddle switches on the steering wheel. Minuses: Engine makes 160 HP in stock form, both the engine and transmission are on the far side of 200K miles, both are computer controlled and need aftermarket computers to make them work in the T-bucket, most of the car needs to be redesigned to make a FWD engine and transaxle work driving the rear wheels behind the passenger compartment, FWD brakes don’t have e-brakes so e-brakes need to be adapted to one end or the other, almost all of the car weight will be on back wheels making sorting braking and handling dicey.

The prospect of going mid-engine on my T-bucket has really got me inspired again, ditto the prospect of getting the project moving towards completion some time before I die. The Mini Sprint-T project has all the parts I can’t make on my own and will continue as it was before with the SBC and the LS7 engines.

And that kinda gets you somewhat caught up on activities at Casa de El Poeta.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the unkillable badass Poet.

Almost done with the extended stem on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I wore out three dremel cutting bits but I finally got the donor stem and the raw stock fitted together. Now I just have to find my brazing wire out somewhere in the garage (or run by the welding supply store to get some more) and apply some heat with the torch to get the metal parts joined together. Getting everything matched up was a long process, because this was a “sneak up on it” operation. I only had one donor stem and one chunk of raw stock to work with, so I had to not make the hole too big or ruin the donor stem trying to get it inside the raw stock. Plus there was the whole “pride in workmanship” thing. I wanted something that looked as good or better than the bike it was going on, so as to not distract from the beauty of the bike with an ugly stem extension.

Anyway, this was where we left off last time I had a chance to work on the extension.

And this is what I have now.

And this shows how the cap from the donor stem is flush to the top of the raw stock.

Now the plan is to heat the raw stock until braze fed in at the edge of the opening flows into the tiny space between the donor stem and the raw stock to make them a solid piece capable of withstanding ferocious forces, or at least that won’t fall apart when I ride exuberantly. Seriously this thing is fitted so tight that I doubt it will take more than a couple of grams of braze to completely fill the gaps. The rest will be used to make a smooth fillet between the raw stock and the donor stem, that will have to be filed smooth after it gets applied.

Something I have been thinking about is cutting a filler piece to cover the gap at the top of the donor stem, so the donor stem looks like it grew through the raw stock, or out of it. I also want to grind down the weld where the clamp joined the donor stem, because that MIG weld looks like a worm crawling around the clamp. You can see the weld (but not clearly) in the “before” picture at the top of the post. That’s the “pride in workmanship” thing again. If I’m going to put all this work into making it I will go ahead and do the little bit more work required to make it “not ugly”. I don’t see the point in just making something ugly.

I watched the Sprint Cup race from Richmond last night, at least the parts I could stay awake for. Yes, I fell asleep (several times) watching that race, it was that exciting. I’m glad Matt Kenseth had such a good race, but dang, what has happened to short track racing in the Sprint Cup? Now we go to the first race on the Chase for the Cup in Chicago.

Now I have to get ready for evening service at church, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

PSA, Opus the Poet

Another rainy day, and the Feed

We have another rainy day today, which doesn’t break the 5-year drought, but does ease things a bit. The soil is thoroughly saturated and groundwater is getting replenished, and there is enough runoff to put some in the lakes and reservoirs. So the crisis is lessened but not alleviated.

Tomorrow I will be trekking to Plano Cycle, the bike store that is the easiest one for me to get to. I have to claim my Christmas present, and shop for repair parts for Blue. Plus I just like being inside a bike shop, the energy is just so good in there.

Up first is Our Daily Ted, mainly because I wanted to give Ted credit for finding some of the links before I opened my Feed folder. Morning Links: UCI doping report on the dopes running UCI, photos of Paralympic cyclists and Dr. Oz on bikes Yep, at least one link in BikingInLA today was also in my Feed later in the morning.

From NYC, that church just swerved in front of that car. Cops Arrest Driver Who Allegedly Crashed Car Into LI Church Shouldn’t that be classified as a hit-and-run since the driver left the scene? The front of the building sustained heavy damage in the wreck, which just goes along with what I have been saying about cars causing as much destruction as artillery pieces.

After that I think some levity is in order. funny cycling Laugh or not, your choice.

Given the circumstances I would say if the driver was not “distracted” then they need to charge this as a murder. Police: Driver who killed cyclist was likely distracted The passenger stated the driver was calling and texting his girlfriend at the time of the wreck and just before. See what I previously posted about motor vehicles and artillery.

More on the cyclist murdered in the street in the UK. Teenager, 18, charged with murder of 15-year-old cyclist who was stabbed to death in street attack See, attack a cyclist with a knife and get a lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) hit in and they go after you for murder. But attack a cyclist with a motor vehicle and it’s the cyclist’s fault for being in the street to get hit.

More on the cyclist doored in Oz, even though they are running out of things to say on the subject. Thousands ride in moving tribute to cyclist killed on Sydney Rd, Brunswick The first thing authorities did was reduce the speed limit between midnight and 0630 to the same limit as the rest of the day even though the wreck did not take place during that time and the speed of the cyclist and the truck that killed him were not factors in the wreck.

Infrastructure news from FL as attitudes start to turn around. Cyclists deserve to be protected, safe I don’t know what could be done about drivers that just don’t pay attention to the roads while they drive, except to take cars away if they hit somebody. The current fine structure just does not seem to be making an impact on driver behavior. And lifetime bans on driving seem to have zero effect on drivers as they continue to drive in spite of the bans.

UK infrastructure remains as bad as ever, ditto drivers. Cambridgeshire cyclist injuries hit 10-year high A 30% commute share and they still can’t spend any money on not killing or injuring cyclists. They blame the increase of injuries on “more cyclists” not “bad drivers who can’t keep from hitting cyclists”.

From the “please don’t hit the pedestrians” file. Pedestrian takes Ambulance Victoria to court to get name of cyclist who knocked him over in Royal Park Yep “Don’t hit the pedestrians” again.

Someone is starting to get the message “It’s the stupid infrastructure”. Road trauma: Design a big factor in accident statistics Yep, putting through bike lanes on the outside of motor vehicle turn lanes will cause motor vehicles to turn across and over people riding bicycles, among other stupid designs.

Last link is about the MD cyclist killed by a drunk driver who was also texting. AN UNFINISHED RIDE There was information in the article that cyclist used this road preferentially because it was low-speed by US standards and had a painted bike lane. But paint will not keep a drunk and distracted driver from driving in the bike lane.

And those are all the links I have for today. Remember tomorrow’s post will be late as I have to take the bus and train two towns over to access a “local” bike store. I’m trying to figure out what it says that it’s easier to get to Plano than to take the bus to South Garland… Probably that DART sucks.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

Well, that was fun. Musings on a Wreck-Free Sunday.

Yesterday was spent going to a museum, a used book store, and stuffing our faces until we exploded. I’m writing this from beyond the grave 😉

Going in chronological order and because I have lots of pictures, the first thing we did after lunch was make a return visit to the Lane Motor Museum . One of the things the Lane is noted for is one of the world’s largest collections of micro cars, cars with less than 500 cc displacement. These used to be quite popular over in Europe after the war for travelling distances too far to walk or ride a bicycle in the time available and not reliably served by train. They were also used for urban travel as many were small enough to take indoors when you arrived at your destination, eliminating the need to use expensive parking. Another thing they have at the Lane is an extensive collection of bicycles of varying vintages from pre WWII to the day before yesterday. And as befits a museum that has the goal of “everything runs”, they have an onsite bicycle shop.
Basement bike shop
You can see a bike on the stand, several bikes around the shop, and bins of old parts on the shelves.

I mentioned their collection of micro cars, which includes a running example of the Guinness World’s Smallest Production Car.Peel P50
This is a Peel P50, which is basically a 50cc scooter with a fiberglass body. The staff at the Lane have actually driven this on the street in Nashville.

They also have one of these, described in this sign.
Scootacar display sign
And this picture.
Scootacar

This display shows just how micro a micro car can get with this standard interior house door straddling the display.
28
The purpose of this American made micro was to take milady and her purchases home from the local grocery and all the way into the pantry. Only a few were built.

Microcars hung around in Japan much longer than in the US or even Europe, with this example from the late 1960s.
Subaru 360
Yes, that is a Subaru, a 360 from 1968 if I remember correctly. Incidentally, I heard that they have a bunch of spare transmission parts for this model Scoobydoo at the Lane because they had to order 400 parts to be made to replace a single broken gear… 😀

Micro cars did not have to be stodgy transportation appliances, some had pretensions (or delusions) of sport.
micro sports car
I didn’t catch the name of this car when I took the picture, but browsing the collection online tells me it’s not listed (?!)

After the Lane Museum we visited one of the largest used-book stores in the US, McKay I fund a volume I really wanted to get because the title reached out an grabbed me Sex and Bacon , but I didn’t get it because I ran out of money.

After the book store we beat feet (drove, using the Interstates mostly) to Monell’s at the Manor a restaurant I have extensively reviewed in this blog previously. My current review of the food is this: I required assistance leaving the establishment because I ate too much… Oh, that meatloaf…

After that we retired for the night to console our distended stomachs.

So, how was your Saturday?

PSA, Opus