This has been a very busy day, what between 2 services at church, a committee meeting, and getting ready for pot luck, and a supermoon total lunar eclipse on the one hand, and a Chase Race in the Sprint Cup on the other.
Let’s cover the Sprint Cup race first. It was a 300 lap race around the 1 mile flat oval at Loudon NH, and most of the race was dominated by Kevin Harvick in the 4 Chevrolet SS, and once again I had trouble staying awake for the first 2/3 of the race. Happy Harvick wasn’t running away like the guy did last week in ChiTown, but it was pretty bad. Then it turned into a fuel economy race, and things started to get interesting, even though visually it was still the same race. Again it became a nail-biter of wondering who would run out of gas first, the guy in front or one of the guys behind him. This time Harvick ran out with 2 to go, giving Kenseth the lead, and most of the top 10 lead lap cars ran out on the white flag lap, except Kenseth, who won by a wide margin what with most of the lead lap cars having to get pushed by lap down cars to get back to the pits after the race was over. There were a lot of teams betting they would be the last ones to run out and betting wrong.
The other interesting moment was Kyle Busch blowing a right front tire and hitting the wall, because it totally changes the Chase for him to not finish the race and I don’t know if they got that car back out on the track before the checkered flag.
For evening service we had the first Veritan public Full Moon, which was a little rough around the edges mostly because this was their first public Full Moon and they didn’t quite have a handle on what a FM means in their theology. I know what it means in mine, but I’m not Veritan, I’m Eclectic Pagan. In my theology, a FM is time to celebrate women as well as mark the slide of the seasons from one to another. The quarters and cross quarters also mark the changes of the seasons but more abruptly and more male. I’m not going to get into any arguments about one being “better” because neither and both are “better”. You just have to go with what works for you and let it ride from there.
Also the Supermoon was peeking in and out of a high thin cloud layer tonight and was not really all that impressive because of it, although the dim red thing hanging in the east was cool when there were no clouds blocking it.
And that’s all I got tonight, aside from a severe case of allergy nose and eyes.
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.
I just got done replacing the doorknobs on every entry door in the house as we had 2 out of 3 fail and become unlockable this week. So I had a gift card to Lowe’s from one of my non-writing gigs sitting around, that I used to buy 3 mid-level security locks on Friday, then spend about 40 minutes on the first lock and another 40 total on the next two swapping out the locks. That means Mrs. the Poet won’t be able to get in the house when she gets home unless I leave the door unlocked except for the deadbolt. As for what caused the lock failure, I’m thinking it might be that they are the original locks installed when the house was built back in 1985, and they are worn out. I mean seriously the individual parts work just fine separately but put them together in the door and you get a latch that jams and doesn’t latch. Well I spent $55 of my gift card to buy new locks and just over an hour installing them in the doors.
I’m currently working on the design for the brake bracket for the front because the rear bracket is a buy and bolt on but this is a unique application for the front brakes. The Wide 5 hub and the four-piston caliper on the early Ford
spindle axle are very uncommon, and always done with custom parts. I can think of only 3 cars running this combination since I started reading hot rod and custom car magazines back in the late 1960s, and none with the size disc I will be running on the Sprint T. I will be putting a 12.19″ disc inside a 15″ wheel which will just fit with the caliper I chose, the AFCO F88 for a .810″ thick rotor. So I have been using a rear axle bracket for the caliper with a known center distance (for welding the bracket to a 3″ diameter rear axle tube with a 11.75″ disc) and extrapolating from there for the 12.19″ disc and the larger (5.5″) flange on the early Ford spindle. And this is what I do to relax from writing about bicycles.
Yesterday’s D&D session was held in my living room, and was the “kinky” game, the one where sex is a weapon for social interaction and we have pages of special rules for sex. Basically this is what you would get if you crossed D&D with a porn movie. Since I try to keep sexual things out of the blog I can’t report much about what I did except that my character leveled up again because of the CR of the enemies we went up against this session. I mean seriously this could have been another TPK and reset to the previous save point that’s how dangerous and numerous the monsters were in this session.
And I have managed to feed myself again this week, not that I’m any kind of chef or anything. I just managed to not give myself food poisoning so far. 😛 Today was easy because we had potluck for lunch and dinner at the church, to which I brought my famous-at-the-church beans and rice. I have been keeping a sink with soapy water sitting waiting for dirty dishes and so far I have been keeping ahead of the dishes without running water every time I had a dish that needed cleaning. Even with everybody from the D&D game having a clean glass for their beverage of choice I still managed to keep ahead of the dirty dishes.
Just as I was finishing the post the Sprint Cup race in Sonoma finished, with “gimpy” Kyle Busch winning the race. I used quotes because Kyle had that horrific wreck in Daytona at the beginning of the season where he broke his leg and the ankle on the other leg and had to spend weeks in the hospital and more time getting rehab to restore strength and range of motion in his legs and here he is at the end of the first half of the season winning a road course race, the kind of race that is the hardest on a driver’s legs on the Sprint Cup circuit.
And it’s almost time for evening services, so I’m cutting this off.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged bachelor life, cars in a bike blog, d&d, disc brake calipers, keeping house, Kyle Busch, learning curve, Sprint Cup, Sprint Cup race, Sprint-T, technical stuff about building cars
Yep, my poor Warlock was severely killed (along with my apprentice NPC Bard) in the kinky D&D game yesterday. I was down to 6 HP when I got hit by a 34 HP attack centered on me and my apprentice because we were not in the room in an earlier attack that made the entire rest of the party magically pregnant with the half-siblings of a half-dragon daughter of a Green Dragon. She was pissed at us for not being there to get pregnant during that attack. I managed to get off a few good shots but a 5th level Warlock going up against even a half-dragon just ain’t gonna work. And so, I died.
Fortunately in the party loot was a clear bottle with a lead stopper filled with orange smoke and flashing lights, a “bottle of djinn”. This djinn was fairly powerful in that he had enough moxie to do two resurrections and bring both me and my apprentice back to full life with no loss of levels or XP. The senior member of the party then ordered the djinn to be free, much like the climactic scene in Disney’s Aladdin. We did this because we only had control over the djinn for 24 hours and if he was powerful enough to bring two characters through a full resurrection he was more than powerful enough to do a TPK in a single attack. So, “bring my friends back to life, and be free” seemed like a good choice.
On the Sprint Cup race today Martin Truax finally got a win this season after practically pounding the door down all season long with the Furniture Row Racing team. They won simply by virtue of having the stronger car pretty much all race long, and were able to outrun Happy Harvick at the end. This puts him in for the Championship Chase at the end of the season. I have liked Truax as a driver since his days with Michael Waltrip Racing, and was highly disappointed when MWR let him go at sponsor request, even after winning races. Well now he won driving for a single-car team with a tiny fraction of the resources of the big name teams. I mean until now had you ever heard of Furniture Row Racing?
With the parts that arrived last week detail design work on the Sprint-T progressed a little further as now I know how big the things holding the rear axle from moving relative to the frame are. Knowing this I know how much leeway I have to provide to keep them out of the bodywork and frame, and where they have to connect to the rear axle so that the coilovers don’t hit that. Having the actual items in my hands to measure makes things that much easier to draw. The issue I’m now facing is that I need the instant center for the rear suspension to be above the rear control arms slightly so that the rear axle doesn’t chatter under heavy braking, and when you throw that in with the “don’t hit the body” during suspension travel, or violate the “nothing lower than the main frame rail or the rims” parameter that is one of my basic rules for building a street vehicle it kinda boxes you in.You might have noticed that there was a bit of a bow in the control arm in the picture last week to accommodate the mount for the coilover unit.
This means I can’t just run the part between the rear end and the frame or it will run below the frame rail as this is a dual-use part. Not only does it locate the axle fore and aft, it also controls the up-and-down motion by mounting the rear springs, and the anti-roll bar bolts to the bottom to control roll (obviously, part of the name of the part). Why let a part do only one thing when you can use it to do three jobs at no increase in weight? I think it was Colin Chapman (founder and first designer for Lotus Cars) who said that, but he might have been quoting an earlier engineer.
I just returned from evening service where Mrs. the Poet was installed to the board of the church as a member-at-large for 2 years. It was quite moving. It was also rather frightening on one level, as the oath of office was basically in invitation for your gods to hunt you down and kill you in the most painful way possible if you screw up. I don’t know if that was the intent of the oath of office, but that’s surely the way it came out. I guess that is an effective way to ensure that screw-ups will be unintentional.
And I should let this end here as I have already gone a bit over my planned word count. And I’m having trouble putting the abstract concepts into concrete words.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in stuff without bike wrecks, Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged cars in a bike blog, church board, Colin Chapman was right, evening services, Furniture Row Racing, fussy design work, look ma no tires, Martin Truax, Sprint Cup, Sprint Cup race, Sprint-T, Warlock
The “kinky RPG” group met yesterday, so my Warlock5 in that game got to get some exercise. Since this was the “kinky” game and this is (mostly) a family-safe blog I won’t be recounting this game session. That means we have to talk about the “other stuff” going on in my life.
The main thing going on right now is “Arthur, Arthur Dent” taking over from “Chris Christie” on the back of my neck. “Arthur, Arthur” is much better behaved than “Chris” ever was. As a matter of fact, the biggest problem with “Arthur, Arthur” is all the loose skin wrinkling up the incision site, followed closely by all the steri-strips getting all crumpled up over the incision. The combination is not very comfortable, but stilllll, orders of magnitude better than having the lump sitting on the back of my neck. I finally got all of the adhesive residue off from the dressing they put on after the surgery which was the most aggravating thing I had before. And when having a layer of sticky, gummy, residue on the back of your neck is the most aggravating thing about your surgery, your life is relatively fantastically great. I mean think about it: “The back of my neck is all sticky” compared to “I have a huge lump on the back of my neck and I can’t look up or to the side” is a massive upgrade in the quality of my life.
So, other stuff going on, I’m trying to get back on a bike, any bike. I have Blue “up on jacks” in the garage for repairs, and all Francis/es needs is the tires pumped up as soon as I can get the pump to it I’ll be able to ride it. I’m still not “clear” to ride until after they pull the stitches out tomorrow, and I’m just aching to get one out and ride it. But I will have to wait another day. Talk about anticipation!
And there was an interesting collection of racing on the tube today, GRC from St. Petersburg FL, Sprint Cup from Dover DL, and Indy Car from Belle Isle in Detroit MI. Ken Block (of Gymkhana video fame) won the GRC race, Jimmy Johnson won the Sprint Cup race, and Sebastien Bourdais won the Indycar race in Detroit that was shortened by numerous yellow flags and one red flag. Several cars ran out of fuel on the cooldown lap after the race with the winner running out of fuel during the victory donuts in the IndyCar race. That’s cutting the fuel mileage really close.
And I have to go to a church meeting now, so I’m stopping here.
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged Arthur, Arthur Dent, Arthur: Arthur Dent, Chris Christie, GRC, IndyCar, IndyCar race, Jimmy Johnson, Ken Block, lump, NASCAR racing, rallycross, RPG, RPG Group, Sebastien Bourdais, Sprint Cup race
Well I was going to be watching the Spring Bristol Sprint Cup race right now, but they are swimming around the half-mile oval where the cars should be running. But no problems, this lets me take in the delayed USCC race from Long Beach while switching back and forth with the IndyCar live broadcast from the same venue. I like the LB course as a spectator with combination of fast “straights” and very slow corners that require lots of braking giving lots of chances for passing. This makes for exciting race watching, sometimes fun for the drivers if you have good brakes and lots of grip, or a kind of living purgatory if any of those are marginal. Oh and the reason I put “straights” in quotes is because most of the fast straights have slight curves or kinks in them, especially Shoreline Drive. That kink in Shoreline Drive would be a numbered turn on any other course, but on LB it’s just another part of the “straight”.
I have been still working on the Sprint T. I am working on a complete revamp of the bottom of the car to improve aero, rigidity, and ground clearance. The “problem” I was running into in the first run-through of the frame was the firewall is 22″ (55.88 cm) or 23.5″ from the bottom of the frame rail for the first iteration. This leads to problems with the engines I’m looking at using fitting under the hood. The 5.0 Coyote Ford is 28.89″ tall, the 383 Chevy is 25.4″ without the air cleaner, the 302 Ford pushrod is 27.5″ tall, the LS3 is 28.25″ or 25.25″ with the dry sump, and the Hemi Crate engine is 34″. None of those will fit under the hood without dropping the bottom of the engine below the bottom of the frame. So, the bottom of the frame to the top of the firewall has to be about 30″ to get the engine enclosed by the hood, which means the frame has to be 8″ from the bottom to the mounting flange for the body. This translates to a fabricated tub to hold the body up or a full length light sheetmetal tub instead of the 1.5″ square tube lower frame rail. This will help on the interior space considerably, changing the driving position from “go-kart” to a little more chair like. The challenge will be keeping the weight down without compromising safety or rigidity. I’m thinking really light gauge sheetmetal with 0.125″ doublers where the roll cage hoops and the front and rear frame clips tie in. Or maybe extending the tub to completely replace the front clip. I’ll have to calculate if there is a weight benefit either way. There is a tiny benefit in rigidity by making the tub full length, but not enough to make a difference on the track. Going from a 1.5″ to an 8″ frame rail would normally cause a huge change in stiffness, but because I’m using the roll cage as a vertical member with the fore and aft braces as the upper frame rail that change is swallowed up by that huge increase in stiffness of making the upper frame rail on the outside of the roll cage.
After re-reading the previous paragraph I decided I needed to do a quick mockup of the seating with the 8″ body raise, and it drastically reduces the distance from the seat back to the pedals. That means no “go-kart” driving position, and someplace to put my feet comfortably for long trips. It also means there is room to put the battery under the passenger seat without any problem. This changes the relationship of the body to the wheels to almost identical to the Speedway series of kits, but with a much stiffer frame and more interior space because the floor is the same height as the bottom of the frame while the seat is in the same place relative to the top of the body. Of course if you put some skid plates under the frame you could mount the battery under the passenger seat on the Speedway kits too. It would just require a lot more work to protect the battery from getting hit. This way protects the battery and gives me more legroom all in the same operation and hopefully without weight penalty.
And to wrap this up, they finished the Bristol race, and Matt Kenseth won at 2130 with a 1100 scheduled start, the jet dryers did more laps than the race cars. Congratulations to the Dollar General team on winning the Bristol 511 (lots of caution laps after the last wreck) from the pole. If you want to know the rest of the finishers I suggest looking up the results on one of the sports web sites.
I like motorsport. Put 4 wheels and a motivator on it and make more than one of them and compete against each other and I’ll watch it, or participate if I can. And so far I watched the Sprint Cup race live from down the road in Ft. Worth, then the F1 race from China, then after morning service was the IndyCar race from NOLA Motorsports park over in LA.
Working backwards, the race in NOLA was mostly a parade behind the pace car as it was a wet race with streams crossing the track but dry in other places, and they did not have a tire combination that could deal with the conditions. Intermediates wore out too quickly, but slicks hydroplaned across the streams. I think the longest green flag run was maybe 3 laps before someone would either run over another car or slide off the track in a bad place and require a rescue. The carnage was massive. IndyCar is running with the same chassis as last year, but the engine package you choose dictates the bodywork you run. So it’s possible to identify which engine a car is running this year by only being able to see the sidepod in front of the rear wheel, or the wing package on the back bumper. The front wing is different, but I can’t tell the difference in the shots I saw today. BTW James Hinchcliffe managed to parlay good pit work and timing to get to the front of the pack and avoid the carnage behind him to win the race.
That takes us to the fun in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. There were some wrecks but compared to the IndyCar race later in the day it was almost pristine. There were lots of wheel-to-wheel battles in the pack, but up front it was a tactical battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, which was won by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton driving the winning car and Nico Rosberg driving the second Merc to second place. It was a great race to watch.
That backs us up to the Sprint Cup race. Now THAT was a race! Lots of passing, lots of pit tactics, some rubbing in the turns at over 180 MPH in spite of the fact that there were 4 separate lines through the turn that all went to the same place at the end of the turn. That caused some beating and banging. Jimmie Johnson won through a combination of adjusting the car to take advantage of changing track conditions, sharp pit work, hard driving and mistakes on the parts of other teams. The level of reliability displayed in the race was nothing short of astounding with 30 cars finishing on the lead lap of a 500 mile race. Read that again, that wasn’t 30 cars on the track at the end of 500 miles, that was 30 cars on the freaking LEAD LAP, out of 43 starting. I don’t think anyone had a mechanical DNF, everyone who dropped out had a wreck of some kind or blew a tire. The tires are designed to wear out and not running the tires ragged is part of racing Sprint Cup these days.
And tonight’s evening service was also good, as we focussed on the archetype of Death. The Shoe Hiding Fairy was merciful this week and only moved the young lady’s shoes a small distance away from her chair. I knew it was coming and was watching for it, but I still missed seeing the SHF moving the footgear.
And I’m ready to end this post now, because I need to get ready for tomorrow when I go to the tax preparer. A significant chunk of the paperwork needed for this trip is on my hard drive, so I can’t pre-filter the links and leave them up while I compose the post tomorrow, I have to wait until I get home from doing my taxes.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged cars in a bike blog, Formula 1, hiatus, IndyCar, IndyCar race, indycar racing, NASCAR racing, NOLA Motorsports park, pace car parade, racing in the wet, reliablility, road course racing, shoe hiding fairy, Sprint Cup, Sprint Cup race, taxes