I’m taking advantage of having internet while I can, as we had a 13 hour blackout of everything except cell phone service. Basically from 0800 to 2100 here at Casa de El Poeta there was no electricity which means anything that requires line current to work, didn’t. That includes cable, internet, and because we have VOIP no phone service either.
Basically Texas lost a bunch of their generating capacity because deregulation and the free market don’t actually take care of everything. Since nobody made them install deicing equipment on the wind turbines, the wind turbines froze over and stopped generating electricity. Since nobody made the well operators prepare for extended near-zero conditions, there wasn’t any natural gas to run the natural gas powered generators. And other things down the line, kinda like when I was denied disability because they only looked at my case one issue at a time, nobody paying attention to the fact that stuff I could still do with one problem I couldn’t do because I had multiple problems, and even though I could do some things for short periods of time I couldn’t do them day in and day out because of other problems.
So I spent as long as I could under the covers where it was warm because I put a lot of blankets on the bed. Basically I would be warm still if the house got below freezing, which I know because in my Gran’s house the back bedroom was too far away from the wood stove to get much if any heat and I did the quilts and blankets the same as we did back then. On the really cold nights a glass of water on the nightstand would freeze in the back bedroom. But we didn’t, so everything was good until we had to get out of bed and stick our bare feet on the freezing floor.
As soon as we got power back I made some microwave noodles so I had something hot to eat. Mrs. the Poet had a chicken lunch meat sandwich because she just wanted food and cold or hot didn’t matter and she made the same sandwich for lunch. Now I’m dealing with a headache because not eating earlier but it’s going away because I’m eating now. And I mentioned it was cold in the house, but not really that cold because it was still above 50° when the power came back on, so we’re all good now at 64°F
I’m going to do other things because it’s looking like we have power for the near future.
Earlier post I wrote that the Ford 9″ axle was $1100, well it turns out that was just for the lightweight centersection with positraction and the fabricated housing was another $850 or so. So, $1100 for the lightweight centersection, and $850 for the housing kit plus the floating caliper bracket kit for $400 and the 9″ from the catalog looks a lot like the price of the Quick Change from the catalog, particularly if I need to buy an $1100 centersection for each ratio I need instead of a $70 (Edit $39.99 or $49.99 depending on material) set of spur gears for the Quick Change. Time to change ratios is about the same for each one with the nod going to the Quick Change by a few minutes over the Ford 9″ because you have to drop the driveshaft and do a bunch more nuts when you change the centersection compared to removing the back cover and swapping spur gears.
One thing I need to look at is the cost of a set of Helical cut street spur gears instead of the normal straight cut spur gears used for racing. I know the straight cut gears are listed at under $70, but I can’t find a price on the helical cut gears that mesh like the gears on a standard transmission and are quiet to Very Quiet depending on the ratio of the gears. Some sets have a very quiet mesh-unmesh like the gears in a transmission, some are just Not As Noisy as straight cut spur gears of the same ratio, and some of the Very Quiet gears are not swappable top for bottom and have to be installed in a specific orientation. (Edit, I found the Helical Cut Gears for the Quick Change and they are $60/set, but the Very Quiet gears that have to be installed only one way are $130)
Something not hot rod building is the continued winter weather system settling its icy butt on our weather. As I compose this the temperature for Casa de El Poeta reported by Weather.com is +13°F drybulb and -4° index, both of which are way warmer than the +9°F drybulb and -14° index I saw right before bed. Also, we have snow and bright sun right now which is making the inside of the house very bright (and also very cold, as the heat pump doesn’t have much to work with in these temperatures). Now I’m going to retire to the living room which is much warmer than sitting next to the drafty window working at my desk.
I went out and deposited some checks, and tried to check out a plasma center. But I got off at the wrong stop and spent about an hour wandering around and never did find it. As I was looking on the wrong street a cold front moved in and I spent the last part of my day walking in a freezing mist. Also I had beans in the slow cooker at home waiting for me to season and add the hunk of leftover ham and start the rice cooker. Even though I was wearing a hoody under my Air Force Surplus winter flying jacket I forgot to wear gloves and the wind was really bad. I didn’t think to check the “feels like” temperature, but between the 31°F dry bulb, the misting rain, and the 20 MPH steady wind it had to have been pretty brutal. And somewhere along the way I managed to lose $15 out of my wallet.
The good thing about yesterday was I made beans and rice, and had enough to make me feel full. I used a pack of Taco Seasoning Mix instead of my usual garlic powder and cayenne pepper to “do something different”, and it came out pretty good. Far from Cajun, fahrvergnügen, far from the madding crowd, but still good. Sorta Mexican-ish I guess, about as spicy as Mrs. the Poet can stand. But anyway, 2 cups of mixed beans, 6 cups of hot water going in the pot, and about 7 hours of slow simmering with about 45 minutes to cook a dry cup of brown rice in the rice cooker and one of Mrs. the Poet’s salads, we have dinner.
My brain shutting down for sleep still plays design variations on the Sprint-T. The theme it as been playing with lately has been wrapping the roll cage portion as close as possible to the body while still allowing space to slide the painted body inside the completed chassis without scratching the paint on either one, while keeping the torsional rigidity up and the total weight down. You know, as you do. Anyway, the plan is to put a kink in the brace from the top of the rear hoop to the bottom of the front hoop to tuck the front hoop closer to the firewall where it tucks in. That would require another brace from the frame rail to the kink point and from the bottom of the rear hoop to the kink point, and from the pickup point for the rear swing arm/radius rod to the point where the vertical brace from the kink point meets the frame, so everything is totally triangulated. Also playing are variations on the powertrain with the Pentastar V6. The 330 pound engine combined with a 100 pound Powerglide combine for lower weight than a SBC long block assembly, by just a few pounds. The 8 speed transmission usually supplied with the Pentastar weighs 198 pounds, which means the total is still lower than a complete ready-to-run SBC with iron heads, and no transmission. Deep down I still want to build the car, and probably always will. But the gulf between want and have is just too broad and too deep for me to cross.