I can’t decide if I’m just cheap, or acclimatizing to the heat, or what. Because it doesn’t really bother me that it’s 84°F in the office, the real concern is for my electronics, some of which are not performing correctly, like this laptop. Since I have to use the on-screen keyboard to use some of the keys, things like cursor control are important right now. But the cursor is wandering all over the screen without any input from me. I used to be able to park the cursor on top of the <m> key on the on-screen keyboard and just tap the touchpad at the bottom of the keyboard to type the letter “m”. And the cable box is a little wonky too but nothing I can put my finger on to say specifically what’s wrong. It might just be the remote instead.
But me? I’m just dandy, if a little damp. Not sweaty, just not dry, damp. Also not uncomfortable. Which is why I think I should be getting the new unit for the bedroom instead of the office except for the electronics, which are much more heat-sensitive than me. That is my dilemma, save the electronics that will cost a fortune to replace, or have a bedroom Mrs. the Poet can sleep in. But she’s leaving for the summer, so that has to weigh heavily in the decision. And before anyone says anything, Mrs. the Poet spends most of the summer in Upstate NY every year, and has since we moved to TX back in 1989.
I have been turning the house upside down to find where Mrs. the Poet hid my collection of poems. They had been in an old briefcase with a broken latch, which I found sitting empty in the dining room. I did manage to track down some of the best ones in my performance folio, which was hidden under a pile of bike parts in a tool cabinet. This still leaves the question about the location of the other ones, and even if they still exist. The performance folio has the stuff that did well on stage, but not necessarily the best actual poems. I mean I had what I considered pretty good works that just did not translate to spoken word, especially the one that was entirely in punctuation that I wrote after reading about it in a Douglas Adams book. That one was greatly up to the emotional state of the reader, and after a spoken performance it tended to get locked into the state expressed in the performance.
And there are the ones that have been lost to time, like Lesbians in the Living Room that I wrote while my daughters were in High School. And Hot Monkey Love that I wrote for the Alternative Sexuality group at the pagan community center. And a whole host of ones I have forgotten even the titles.
But I have found some good ones, that I will be transcribing into the blog on days I don’t have anything to say.
We have 3½ lists here at Casa de El Poeta: Mrs. the Poet, Clint and Clyde, and yr fthfl srvnt.
Clint and Clyde are the easiest to shop for, they need to get fixed, neutered, castrated, rendered incapable of reproducing. And shots, but you have to get the shots before you can get them fixed. You get the idea. That’s why we have 3½ lists for 4 individuals. Oh, and some cat treats, because they deserve a little something and neither one likes catnip or toys because they’re both weird.
Mrs. the Poet needs a new can opener because the one we have now came with the house mounted to the kitchen cabinet over the stove when we bought the house in 1994. So it’s kinda worn out now and is really tricky to use to get cans open. She can’t use the hand-held kind that clamp to the side of the can because her hands don’t work like that any more. And of course she always needs a new mop and broom every year. I know she wants other things, but will she tell me what she wants? No way. Aside from getting the plumbing fixed and the holes in the shower wall fixed, which is a little out of my price range.
Now my list, but my list is going to sound greedy because I know what I need and want, the cats can’t tell me and Mrs. the Poet won’t tell me unless I happen to be standing there when she notices she needs something and she can complain about it. But if she doesn’t have anything to complain about when I’m standing there she doesn’t remember to tell me she wants or needs it. But I have a bunch of things that are no longer working or that I need and don’t have. One thing I have falling apart is the laptop I’m typing this on. There are keys going out, especially the arrow keys, and if I ever unplug from the battery charger it dies because the battery is no longer among the living.
I also need that engine hoist I have been mentioning forever, a floor jack, and new glasses. My stupid glasses have been falling apart for over a year now, and I keep putting them back together and hoping they’ll last a while longer.
I don’t know who I expect to fill this list, but I’m kinda just putting it out there that there are needs that need filling and kinda hoping someone will fill them.
Today is Veteran’s Day (observed), so I’m wishing a happy Veteran’s Day to all my green-blooded brothers out there (in joke).
It was cold last night but warmed up this morning enough that I wore my normal next-to-nothing today, which annoyed Mrs. the Poet as she was wearing long pants, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt over it with fuzzy socks on her feet and complaining about the cold. We have vastly different temperature tolerances all year long as I go out and walk or ride my bike in both the summer and winter in weather that has Mrs. the Poet staying indoors or kvetching about the heat/cold as appropriate for the season. I think it’s kinda funny, but that’s because I’m not the one complaining about the cold or heat. My nose does get cold when Mrs. the Poet is complaining about the cold while I’m in a pair of shorts and nothing else, and when I get cold enough to put a shirt on my ears are also getting a bit chilly while Mrs. the Poet is busy putting on everything in the closet and dresser. And I’m not as cold-tolerant as I used to be back when I wore shorts and t-shirt in freezing weather, scaring the rubes when I walked home from work. I saw people tossing liquor bottles out of car windows after seeing me walk home in shorts and T-shirt with heavy frost on the ground. This was back when I was in my 30s, long before I got hit with the truck. I can’t quite do that these days, one of the downsides of years of conditioning myself to be able to ride in ridiculously hot and humid weather.
I’m still stymied at trying to get something moving on the TGS2 build, beyond getting the spindles installed on the axle, which also hasn’t happened yet. I mean I don’t even actually have the donor vehicle in my hands yet, just a car cover for it when I get it so it doesn’t get towed for not having registration since it can’t pass inspection. Since the registration sticker is on the inside of the windshield if you park under a car cover they can’t check to see if your vehicle has current tags. I guess I should be doing something with the parts I have to work with just to be doing something that moves the car build forward, but it is very hard to become inspired for building when you will still have next to nothing to show for it when you get finished except a few more parts not in separate piles. I guess this is another symptom of my depression, the inability to inspire myself to do things. Writing I don’t consider “doing something”, it’s more of a way to avoid doing things. It’s much easier to write about doing something than to actually drag myself into a situation where things are getting done. Also I write when I’m depressed, the “the Poet” in my name came from writing free verse during depressive episodes. I even got some song lyrics down from some of my depressive episodes. Some were good, others were scary bad. Bad as song lyrics, but passable as free verse.
Well today I was supposed to go pay for the return tickets from the eclipse viewing, and I even woke up early to do it. I was ready, but the check I deposited last week was not. For some reason it still hadn’t cleared. So I got out the money to get replacement ID and get my toes done went to the post office and got the money order for the ID and then got my toes done and walked home. I was a lot more comfortable walking out of the nail salon than walking in. I also picked up some bodywash on sale at the grocery store next door so I don’t have to wash with shampoo or smell bad.
Speaking of smelling bad, Clyde has been missing Mrs. the Poet something fierce. When I was shutting things down last night there was a bad smell in the bathroom where he was resting, so I blamed Clyde for using the bathroom as a litterbox as I took him to the front door. But when I got back to the bathroom the smell was gone. But the front door smelled like a litterbox until Clyde decided to move on to other things. My theory is he’s depressed because Mommy has been gone for so long and he was Mommy’s cat. When Mrs. the Poet is here Clyde spends most of his time on her lap being adored. And now he is going through withdrawal from Mommy Pettings. He did smell much better after being outdoors last night and most of the day. And now he’s curled up next to me a safe distance from my office chair listening to the TV show I have making noise while I write. That’s what he does with Mrs. the Poet except he sits in her lap. I move around too much for lap sitting when I’m working because I move forward to type and then back to proofread and think about it before I lean back forward to type some more.
Tonight I have the Velocity channel program Bitchin’ Rides running as inspiration, not so much for engineering ideas as for paint and trim and general design, and also for fabrication ideas. Also because I like watching people work metal, especially going from flat stock to a 3D part like a fender or a door skin. This program they scratched the entire floor for a ’52 Pontiac. But even when they aren’t making something even close to my car, it’s an inspiration for my car because they are making something. I want to be making something. That’s part of the reason why I’m making the small scale mockup of the TGS2, so that I’m building something.
And now I have to take care of the cats again before I go to bed.
Mrs. the Poet has been complaining about how I’m “not helping” her throw away my stuff when she does it during the part of the day when I’m still asleep. I don’t understand this. I don’t complain that she’s not helping me write when I start composing stuff at 0300 when the Internet is fastest locally and I can get to reference materials most quickly.
So we reached a compromise, in that Mrs. the Poet will not start throwing my stuff away until I get up, and because we both have things to do over the weekend I will start helping her on Monday afternoon after I have had coffee. There is something in the garage that she calls a “box full of rusty metal stuff” that I’m almost afraid to open. Then we don’t go into the garage again until after I get up Friday.
On other things I’m playing some more Shadowrun tomorrow, and there is a late race on Sunday, the Las Vegas race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. And now that I have a new tube of GOOP™ I can continue to mock up the Mini Sprint-T street version. I haven’t found a model kit that has the Pentastar V6 as an option so kitbashing is right out. But I have that first wheel glued up and ready to test fit to the tire when the glue dries. I’ll probably do that Sunday while I’m watching the race during commercials.
Billed @€0.02 Opus the Unkillable
Posted in Daily Feed, Department of DIY
Tagged conflict, Life, making model cars, Mini Sprint-T, model cars seldom kill people, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, Mrs. the Poet, Pentastar V6, race, Sprint-T, unkillable badass
Things have been good this weekend around Casa de El Poeta. The lady my wife is helping unpack and downsize had an extra wheelchair seat cushion that I’m now parking my butt on in my office chair, and it’s super comfy. Now I don’t know if there was an extra cushion because she’s no longer using a wheelchair, or if she somehow had more than one cushion. Doesn’t matter, I have a comfy place to park my butt for writing and reading stuff on my computer.
Mrs. the Poet woke up with a sore leg today so we are skipping church. There is about 0.8 mile (1.3 Km) walk from the transit station to the church with no bus service on Sunday so that bus stop in front of the church is of no use to actually get to church on Sunday. Mrs. the Poet feels her leg will not make that walk without either a lot of pain or the leg actually quitting. I’m familiar with a leg that fails to function, the nerve damage I got in the wreck does that to me sometimes even this far out from the wreck. The difference between Mrs. the Poet’s situation and mine is we have opposite legs failing on us, and she has a back injury causing her issues.
On the hot rod front it looks like I will need to install a front anti-roll bar to get as much oversteer out of the car as possible. That’s from running the numbers through the equations in the Herb Adams Chassis Engineering book on weight distribution and cornering weight transfer. I can’t calculate the exact size bar I will need to install from that book, but I can determine that I will need to use one. The other thing I will need to do is lower the rear roll center to tighten the rear grip geometrically. Since I have already determined that I’m going to mount the lateral locating device as low as possible on the rear this is not news to me. The current plan is to make the street setting about 7″ below axle center and move it up as required for autocross racing at Goodguys or SCCA. The limit is when the front end is transferring all the weight from the inside to the outside tire and the inside front tire lifts off the ground. At that point if the car is still oversteering there ain’t nothing that can be done by making adjustments to weight transfer. The only thing to do would be going to bigs and littles on the tires with the bigs holding up the back end because more tire = more grip. Bigs and littles is a traditional combination for T Buckets because the traditional geometry has the rear roll center anywhere from 5 to 7 inches above the axle centerline where I’m building a much lower rear roll center to keep the tires as equal as possible.
On other things I need to get my toes done tomorrow. I said this before but the nerve damage in my left leg keeps me from being able to trim the pinky toe and the next toe over by myself because I run out of hands. Those two toes curl under when I’m doubled up to reach my toes and it takes two hands to pull the toes out and hold the foot down leaving me one hand short to trim the nails. I would prefer to not spend the $$ and trim my own nails but conditions dictate otherwise. While I’m in the area I will pop over to the pharmacy in the same complex and renew my antidepressant prescription, and get a few things we missed yesterday rushing through the store.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta is just ending and Kevin Harvick lost the lead on a speeding penalty, leaving Keselowski free to take the win.
And I need to get ready for the many things I need to do tomorrow.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable
Mrs. the Poet has placed her foot squarely on my dream of building a hot rod and ground it to flinders. I am not allowed to build my hot rod on the property where we have our house, and I don’t have any budget to build it any place else. So free parts car will have to be abandoned. Plans for the mid T will have to be discarded. Dreams of competing in Goodguys autocrosses are ruined. Hundreds of hours calculating frame member sizes wasted.
And the worst of it the $500 model T body sitting in the living room is now a literal white elephant (with a few spots).
Dreaming of actually driving this thing.
Here are some of the spots from the parting lines from the mold.
One thing that won’t change is moving forward on the Mini Sprint-T. I have to make a run to the hardware for another tube of mock-up glue (that I’ll also be able to use to repair Mrs. the Poet’s damaged Hummels she inherited from my mother) but the drills and adjustable collet I got for my Dremel tool have already been put to use cleaning up some parts and doing a little bracket fabricating. The dead toasters we got are being used to make a vacuum-forming machine to crank out modified bucket bodies in scale. (Three heating elements in a toaster, of which 2 can be used to make a heating unit for a vacuum former.) And I still have the 3 scale engines I can use (the SBC for the most-likely version, the LS7 for the “ultimate” version, and the Coyote Ford for the “Ford in Ford” version). The Coyote was dropped from consideration for 1:1 construction after doing a weight comparison to the LS series and actually seeing how far it hung past the sides of the bucket firewall. Not a good look without “blinging” the heck outta the engine to make it look
goodbetter. Now don’t get me wrong, the Coyote is a good-looking engine, it just is Really Wide when installed in a T-bucket which makes it kinda dominate the visuals, forcing a cosmetic makeover.
And in other news I’m taking a day off from my walks, mostly because my left foot feels like it has been beat on with a big stick and my butt feels sore on the right side b/c I have been walking without the lifted left shoe. It has been years since I did any kind of walking without a lift on my left shoe to make up for the loss of about 17mm in my left leg from the crash, and the bottom of the foot is having to get used to just having a normal thickness sole between it and the concrete when I walk. It’s also really disconcerting when I walk in the house in my slippers and I hear rice crispy sounds with each step, but that’s the reality that has been getting louder the last 15 years. Part of that is just the reality of getting older unrelated to surviving getting hit @ 60 MPH with a truck.
Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass
Mrs. the Poet has returned from her long trip to help our niece and her kids get relocated and settled in after the place she was renting got sold out from under her. It must not have been too stressful because she still has as much hair as I recall her leaving with. The daily ice cream seems to have had an effect as her pants only fall off a few times at random instead of every time she exhales like before. Everyone there takes a car for everything, including going 2 blocks for an ice cream or soda, so that had an effect as well.
Her trip back on the Dawgbus had an AC that would not shut down, leading to a mild case of hypothermia for Mrs. the Poet. She still hadn’t really recovered by this morning, and we keep the house a cozy 78°F instead of the chilly 65° morning low outdoor temps she had been experiencing while in Upstate NY. The other problem on the bus was someone died in the bathroom, or at least that was the way it smelled, and there was nothing that could be done about the stink until they got to a station where they could pump the holding tank.
So, today. Today was moderately good as we had a visit from the grandkid. He spent most of the day playing with the coasters on the coffee table in the living room while the adults talked. The bad part was the grandkid came over because Mrs. the Poet left her purse in our daughter’s car after daughter picked her up from the Dawgbus station yesterday. All the money Mrs. the Poet had except for a couple of bills in her pocket was in that purse, so getting it back was kinda important. The rest of the day was spent going to services at church and the board meeting and life support. As part of life support I caught the tail end of the Pocono Sprint Cup race, watching Kyle Busch lose the race when he ran out of gas while leading at the white flag, and seeing the guy who was in 4th place the lap before win the race after the first three cars ran out of gas during the last 2 laps. Kyle still gained a bunch of points on the magic 30th place in points that will allow him to be a part of the chase in spite of missing the first third of the races after breaking his leg in that Xfinity Series race at Daytona. He’s something like 12 or 13 points out of the Chase at this point with 5 races left until the first Chase race. This was while I was taking a lie-down on the bed to let my leg recover a bit from all the “fun” I was having doing the other stuff.
And that’s basically all I have today. I’m going to revisit that dream I had last week and flesh it out some as a world-building exercise. I see it not as a Utopia, neither a dystopia, but something between the two and an improvement on what we have now. I’m going to work on the ramifications of the changes I made in the dream on other people’s lives. IOW I’ma go write some fiction, or at least outline some. But not now, now I’m going to relax a bit.