Tag Archives: stream-of-consciousness

I can’t make anything for a while so I have been crawling a webcomic archive

Seriously, I’m creatively blocked for the moment so I figured why not research someone else’s creativity? The webcomic in question is Questionable Content. He has been publishing for over 15 years and more than 4000 comics, so an archive crawl is a prodigious undertaking. I have been at it for a couple of days now and I’m only up to 1995 and the current comic is 4069. Also it’s a good chance to see art and writing evolution in action without cringing through my archives. Seriously, my attempts at viewpoint journalism ranged from awful to terrible, with flashes of brilliance. It was those flashes that both kept me going and eventually made me give it up, along with the nightmares and flashbacks caused by the links I had to read before I put them in the blog. I didn’t write much about it at the time, but after a while doing the blog was a serious impediment to my mental stability. Like depression and flashbacks and PTSD triggers impediment, but I was getting so much positive feedback about how this blog was helping I felt like that I couldn’t quit doing it, until I had to quit doing it. Seriously when you go to a regional planning meeting and your blog is mentioned in the presentation, it’s like a huge “Like” thumbs up ego stroke that you’re doing something right, even though doing the right thing for other people is the wrong thing for you.

Anyway one of the things that has been blocking my creativity is I have to make some of my tools and fixtures, and I have been trying to wrap my head around doing that, specifically how to get the outside-to-outside distance between two bending posts within a few thousandths of an inch tolerance when I can’t even mark the stock for the tool to that tolerance. Sure I can CAD two holes where the holes need to be, but going from a picture on my laptop to holes drilled in a piece of wood with stainless steel bolts screwed into them is another thing entirely. It’s not like I can just put the raw stock into a computer controlled milling machine and get perfectly spaced bending posts like some people can. I found the board sitting on the curb on trash day and the posts are some bolts that happen to be the same size as the tube bending die except in 1/25th scale and cost less than a buck for everything. I’m the cheap guy, not the rich guy. Hold on a second, let me open another tab and check my Lotto numbers, I might be A rich guy (I’ll never be THE rich guy). I mean I always get the annuity so I’ll never be actually rich unless I hit one of those billion dollar jackpots that have annual payments larger than the jackpot for the Texas Lotto.

OK I’m back and I’m not rich, I basically had a draw. There is a thing with the Texas Lotto called Extra that gets you more money if you don’t win the jackpot, and because I spent the money for Extra I essentially got a Free Play or a “push”. I got my money back and that’s it. So I will use the money to buy another Lotto ticket for Saturday’s drawing, because “You can’t win if you don’t play.” And at this point I won’t be financially secure if I don’t win. I’m OK right now, it’s not like we are looking at living off beans and rice until we die, but if we get another bout of inflation like we got back in Nixon’s first term, even with social security things are looking grim around Casa de El Poeta.

Just dropping this in because it was brought up in a QC comic, but I’m 1,921,741,954 seconds old as of the composing of this post. Almost 2 trillion seconds, wow. And that seems like a pretty good place to end this.

Nothing to see here, this is just me posting my writing practice

I don’t have much if anything to write about today, I’m just trying to keep my writing circuits open by writing what comes to mind, semi-stream-of-consciousness. Or I would if the cat will get off the keyboard. Hang on a second until I pay proper attention to Clint.

Speaking of Clint (and his brother Clyde) they must have gotten quite the scare when they went walkabout last week just before it turned really cold, because they wouldn’t go out for any reason for almost as long as they went missing, and jumped up and hid from everybody whenever the door opened. Even people they were used to caused panicked scrambles for a place to hide. They haven’t reacted quite as much to vehicles outside, no more than usual really, so I’m thinking they were frightened by a person and not nearly hit by a car or other vehicle. Usually the only notice they pay to vehicles are the painfully loud ones that even Mrs. the Poet and I dislike. I like loud cars, but there is a time and place for loud cars and driving through residential areas at night is not the time nor place for a loud car. Daytime is only somewhat more acceptable for time if a residential area is the place.

Speaking of loud cars brings the Sprint-T to mind and the exhaust system I want for it to the subject. I know from previous research both mine and others that a really long straight-through absorption muffler can give a quiet engine note and not reduce performance, but the size muffler needed and the fact I’ll need two of them for a V8 engine makes the cost a factor. The small ones are cheap, but the ones long enough to make an engine quiet without choking the exhaust flow are not cheap, and most cost more than the mufflers touted as “quiet performance”. I could make my own by drilling hundreds of holes in a properly sized tube as long as I think needed, maybe as much as 6 feet (~ 1.9 m) for the actual core and potentially about 80″ full length between the tires to give a pretty quiet engine note that’s still nice and rumbly, and because straight through mufflers with a perforated core actually flow more exhaust than a straight pipe I get better power and gas mileage. I just have to drill lots of holes and weld a shell to fit over a sound absorbing packing. Yay me! 😑

I woke up too early today

And yesterday too for that matter, and the one led to the other. I had to get up early to catch the bus to the Lab Rat Keeper to get there by 1130 which required leaving the house by 0930. Which in turn required getting up about 0800, which is roughly 20 minutes after I finally got to sleep Tuesday night. So running on caffeine and adrenaline all day yesterday and going shopping and navigating the bus system I finally started to shut down about midnight instead of when the school bus picks up the kids across the street. And I didn’t sleep soundly so Mrs. the Poet accidentally woke me up early this AM instead of letting me sleep until I normally get up.

Also I was supposed to go pay my cell bill today, but I felt wonky all day and I was also still a little leg and foot sore from all the walking I did yesterday. So I’m going to go pay it tomorrow instead, but that means nobody will be able to contact me until I get it paid. I won’t be getting constant text spam and phone calls, what will I do? /s (official internet designation that the entirety of the previous sentence was snark). Actually I felt so wonky that I didn’t do a lot of things until Mrs. the Poet reminded me, like eating. I got breakfast on my own but after that I got a little at a loss, and would have missed eating completely without getting a reminder to consume mass quantities (70s media reference there, 25 culture points to the house of the reader who can name it).

Also I got another e-mail about that dyno test I linked to last week with the 494 torque at 4000 RPM and only 405 HP at only 4900 RPM. The people who made the manifold say that the 224°@0.050″ lift is about the lower limit on getting air through the manifold at higher RPM and that normal cams for the usual dual-plane manifolds will stop producing power about 4500 RPM, and that it takes a lot of duration to get through the acoustic ram tuning inherent in the manifold to get power above 5000 RPM. And that because of that acoustic tuning the low RPM torque wouldn’t drop off either, much, especially with a 383 making the acoustics ring. Another Bad Idea was using Tri-Y exhaust manifolds with this combination unless I’m making a car or truck to pull stumps out of the ground. Seriously, using this manifold requires a re-think of every component because of the strength of the acoustic tuning below peak torque and the way it interferes with airflow above the torque peak, including things that reinforce low end torque, like small diameter long-tube headers or Tri-y headers.

And I “rilly” need to wrap this up before my brain turns to oatmeal, yum, oatmeal…

T Shirt Idea, and random schitt

“I survived 2018 and all I got was a cheap T-shirt and a bill for a wall that will never get built.”

Well I never claimed it was a good T-shirt idea. I’m feeling a little more political today, maybe it’s the eggnog… The label says >1% alcohol, but that was when it was packed back in November…

Mrs. the Poet wants a heated toilet seat, but we don’t have the required GFI outlet in the bathroom.

I can’t find the mini-torch I was going to use to bend the styrene rods for the roll cage and frame in the Mini Sprint-T, so I think I’ll take a trip to Lowe’s and Harbor Freight to see if they have one, and the butane fuel to go with it. Searching web sites has the torches at both stores, but the fuel only at Lowe’s, and also at CVS for some odd reason. Also I just love it when people “put my tools away” when they were already put away, and forget to tell me where “away” is by their definition.

Mrs. the Poet is either going to have lunch 1/2/2019 with some of the lunch ladies she used to work with, or wind up sitting in a ditch waiting for a tow truck if the weather behaves as forecast. Possibility of scattered freezing rain, well the freezing part will be scattered, the rain part not so much. I might take the chance to get that torch from Harbor Freight and the fuel from CVS next door to it. Because she’s getting a ride from her lunch lady friends and I’m taking the bus and also because I’m a little more steady on my feet.

And now I have basically run out of things to say so this is probably a good place to stop writing…

No post yesterday and maybe no post tomorrow, but Wreck-Free Sunday today

I had to take a Mental Health day yesterday for the same reason I spent all night Thursday doing an archive binge on a long-running web comic: The Stoopid is starting to get to me. The reason there may not be a post on Monday is I have budgeted money for a trip to the Metals Supermarket to buy raw stock for a couple of new bikes and because I’m taking DART I might not get home in time to get the post don before Monday is over. Actually I probably won’t get home in time to get a post up before Monday is over but there is a chance that I might not get to make the trip because I have to call ahead to make sure they have that material in stock and to get a price on it.

There’s some kind of American Football game on tonight and that has pretty much overtaken all the media outlets. I think they’re calling this the “Pot Bowl” or something like that… I mean even the motorsports media have been talking about this game: “This just in, another sport has sucked all the oxygen from the media universe and we can’t talk about anything else.”

Anyway, back to that trip to the Metals Supermarket. The store is located on a street that doesn’t have any busses running on it, but at either end of the block is a bus stop for 2 different bus lines for a total of 4 bus lines serving this location. All I need to do is figure out how to get the stuff home (if they have it in stock). It just takes 5 hours of travel time to make a round trip outside of a rush hour. That’s about par for the course when dealing with DART serving the Beautiful Suburbs of Hell. So between shopping and transit time I expect to be away from Casa de El Poeta for a minimum of 6 hours tomorrow, if the material is in stock. My previous metal supplier was a similar space in time away from me, so this is nothing new.

Puppy Bowl X is playing on Animal Planet. It’s really silly. No it’s REALLY SILLY. Beyond Goofy.

I keep getting distracted from doing the post by The Other People That Live Here, like the lady that lives across the hall needing to get her TV switched over to her DVD player so she can watch her movies. Part of the problem is the cable box and the DVD player don’t output at the same aspect ratios so the TV has to have its zoom level changed between the two to see the entire picture on either one, and this particular movie I had to change the zoom again to a completely different setting when the actual movie started. Other People can be so annoying at times when you know they’re just refusing to learn something.

Something that has been running through my mind has been comparing a quad-copter to a four-poster Custer Channelwing in a direct comparison, by taking two identical quad-copters and using the motors, controllers, batteries, and props out of one to build the Channelwing VTOL craft for a lift-off, a vertical tractor pull so to speak. This would then be useful in determining the separation required to get maximum lift out of both sets of motors with the wings set for “normal” flight so that the front wings did not interfere with the airflow over the rear wings when the transition was made to hover. I already figured out that the rear wings would have to be higher than the front wings, but how much and how horizontal separation would change How Much that I don’t know. Also affecting How Much is scaling effects, or changing the size without changing the density of the atmosphere to compensate for the change in Reynolds Number . The reason for the four-poster arrangement for the channelwing is the reduction in control complexity this creates for the hover mode compared to the usual twin channels on a single wing. While roll and yaw are easy to control with just two channelwings, pitch requires the ability to move the thrust vector away from the center of gravity without changing the direction of the vector so that the attitude can be changed independently of the motion. The 4-poster Channelwing can do this with moving flaps in the airstream where the quad-copter changes the power distribution of the motors.

One of the experiments I want to do with this particular beasty is to rotate the channels from horizontal to vertical a little bit at a time until I get to the point that with the control flaps set for full lift the craft rises vertically instead of crabbing into the air so hover can be maintained just off lift-off. That way when the full-scale version is built I will know how far to lift the nose at partial power before applying full power to climb away from the heliport. And when I get that built I will be able to take the bus to the local heliport to fly away in my VTOL. The 4-poster Channelwing is basically a quad-copter that has the ability to transfer to a horizontal mode and cruise at a much lower power setting.

We had another RPG yesterday, which was another reason not to do a post. Anyway, my Warlock got leveled up again (twice in three sessions) and now does 2d6+1 damage with Eldrich Blast between leveling up and getting an extra Feat and has a DC of 15 against Fortitude for Sickening Blast. I now use SB with every attack to both damage and incapacitate my foes, so that Melee fighters can then have greater effect against them. We encountered a party of Hobgoblins on the road to the next city we need to explore on our Quest and while they did some damage we managed to repel them without anybody having to resort to using the Scrolls of Raise Undead we captured from the Lich last session. I had to leave before the battle in that session but I left the character sheet with another player so Sparrow Jr. got the XP needed to level up with the rest of the party even though I missed 2 sessions.

Incidentally, today’s headline is a parody of an old Soviet saying: “Jam yesterday, and jam tomorrow, but no jam today.”

PSA, Opus