Well you know the saying about best-laid plans of mice and men. About the time I got free to take that walk last night we got more severe weather. Tornado watch severe weather, with high straight-line winds, and much lightning. But when I went shopping today the app seems to be counting outdoor steps just fine. But I’m still not seeing the daily bonus coins after I click on the designated ad.
C’est la vie.
OK I’m taking a walk tonight to see if this latest update fixes things, but the app is tracking steps again around the house. I think maybe I’ll take the opportunity to buy a lottery ticket, as I keep telling Mrs. the Poet, the odds of winning are almost zero if you buy a ticket, but absolutely zero if you don’t buy a ticket. And we are among the teeming throngs who could live a comfortable life if that chunk of income was shifted down a bit.
We had a dry line move through this morning but it didn’t wake me up, and another forecast for this evening, but not much rain near Casa de El Poeta. It was mostly wind and lightning according to Mrs. the Poet. The cats were not even bothered by this morning’s rain, and I can’t find any evidence of the rain outside.
And just for a few minutes yesterday I was considering centerline seating on the Sprint-T to see around the engine, since raising the driver’s seat enough to see over the engine would also raise my butt high enough to clear the transmission tailhousing. But that was quickly discarded because of the previously discussed raised Center of Gravity issue. Also the issue of running the steering from the center to the steering box on the left side of the chassis with the engine in the way.
But other than that I don’t have anything worthwhile to post today.
I have been thinking about cooling for the Sprint-T. I’m going with the assumption that the 22″ wide catalog radiator is going to be roughly equivalent to the OEM radiator, but for insurance against overheating I’m going to stuff as much oil cooler in the nose as will fit. The boxes still need to be moved around a bit but there is room and airflow to stick a cooler sideways so that the air comes in the front and flows out the driver’s side.
Other things I found out include the Pentastar engine is identical across a model year except for the intake manifold and oil pan for packaging under the hood. The only reason the FWD versions are rated at 245 instead of around 300 is the 62TE transmission can’t handle any more than that. If I grab an engine out of a minivan, swap the intake manifold to a RWD manifold and the ECU loaded with the RWD engine map it would make the same power as if I pulled it from the RWD car/truck. That really expands the available engine pool. And I’m still looking at printing up a new manifold with dual throttle bodies to get a lower profile and maybe eke out a few more ponies on the top end so that I can maybe not shift a time or two on course to save that odd thousandth of a second on the track.
And I’m spending the weekend with the cats because Mrs. the Poet is going to commune with Nature away from me. And Winter is making a comeback as we drop more than 40°F between yesterday’s high and tomorrow’s low, even worse if you factor in the “feels like” temperature forecast of 15°F. It’s going to be “fun” getting the cats back in so they don’t freeze.
It was 37°F and raining when I went out to buy toilet paper and a lottery ticket. If I’m not willing to buy a lottery ticket, then I don’t deserve to win. Figuratively and literally. I’m not checking my numbers until after I get up, so right now I’m Schrödinger’s rich guy. Until I check the numbers I’m both rich and dead broke. It was interesting walking to the local C-store and literally seeing the same store brands as my local supermarket, and seeing how little traffic there was because of the weather. I was the only person on foot for the entire 1 mile round trip. And now I’m cold and tired and want to sleep…
OK it has been raining all afternoon, both yards are flooded, and the forecast is for near-freezing temperatures by morning. The cats are staring out the windows and hissing and growling, some at the weather, some at each other, and neither one wants to sit in the cat tower with the comfy cat beds. And when they stop hissing, they both try to sit in the same lap, which they don’t fit on. But even ignoring the cats’ problems, the weather is still a concern. The Beautiful Suburbs of Hell are under 3 alerts or warnings for road, river, and flash flooding.
As I’m also stuck waiting out cold and wet weather I still make plans for building the Sprint-T, even though I still know I have no chance to build one. Just because I have no way to build it doesn’t mean I can’t still want to build it, I just can’t build it. But, (big but) I can build it in scale, at a budget I can afford.
And the cats are crying again. Time to console them.
And I bought a lottery ticket, because that’s my best hope of building the Bucket.
Check that, it’s my second-best chance. My best chance is going to Richard Rawlings with my parts and saying he can keep the car if I can drive it to Goodguys and SCCA Solo events with Gas Monkey on the sides. So I see that as slightly better than the proverbial snowball in Wichita Falls on the finish line of the Hotter ‘n’ Hell Hundred in the full sun. And given the odds on winning the lottery, that shows how much I believe that will work. “Hey I have a choice between winning the lottery and convincing a reality TV star to build my car, which do I think is more likely?” Obviously convincing the reality TV star is going to be
easier more likely than winning the lottery, but not by a whole bunch.
On the groceries, I have noticed that corporate tax breaks haven’t shown up in consumer prices any more than they have in paychecks. Groceries are way up in the last few months, especially in the things I can cook and eat. We actually bought a package of fish fillets for the week, after buying a pound of ground beef last week. Milk is back up over $2.50 a gallon for the store brand, near $5/gallon for brand name. The little pizzas we buy have gone from $0.99 each to $1.49 each. Pop Tarts are stupid expensive, with the 8 count boxes almost $3, and the generic stuff is exactly the same price per pastry after you factor in the lower count per box. Sure it looks cheaper, but the store brand has 6 per box compared to the 8 of the name brand. At least potatoes are still cheap, but I noticed that dried beans on sale are more than they were regular price a year ago. I don’t know how I could lower my standard of living any more and still continue to eat.
And while we are on the subject of maintaining a standard of living, I still haven’t been able to find a plasma center that will tell me what I will make before I commit to their center. How can a person comparison price, if the price is a deep dark secret? Turns out the business is pretty much a cartel system with only 4 buyers who collude to keep buying prices as low as possible while charging as much as the market will bear for the collected plasma. That’s in this country, over in the EU donors are restricted to 1/4 the
donations extractions allowed in the US and the per-extraction price more than reflects that. And I’m Just Some Dude so I have no say except to not participate.
And another cold front is moving through with more freezing drizzle, yay! I have no place to go so I’m mainly worried for my friends who have to travel for work tomorrow. And the forecast is high 60s when I head to the Lab Rat Keeper on Valentines Day, and near 80 the day after. Yay!Texas weather. 😛
And I have been thinking about the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2 again. Specifically I have been re-thinking the rear suspension and what would be the cheapest way to do it. I’m still going with the de Dion suspension, so what I have been looking at is would I save any money by directly attaching the steering knuckles from the donor vehicle to the beam and keeping all the stuff like brakes and bearings on the knuckle and mounting the parking brake on the front axle. And I keep looking at it, over and over again and I keep coming up with the same answer: Slightly cheaper to use the uprights in parts costs, but much more fabrication needed to connect the knuckles to the beam and to attach the parking brakes to the front spindles.
Again the cheapest rear suspension option is to transfer the whole front suspension from the donor car and swap softer springs in, keeping the original shocks, but the geometry on that pretty much sucks. Actually what sucks is using the solid axle in front with the MacPherson struts in the rear between the roll centers and camber curves or lack of them on the front. The two suspensions are just not compatible and making them work together is more time and money than just building a rear suspension that works with the front axle in the first place.
I mentioned dreary weather in the headline, we have another cold front moving through with rain and a solid overcast. That makes it really dark outside along with cold and wet. This is not the usual rainy weather we get in TX where we get a squall line and a deluge that is gone in a couple of hours, this is a dark day that starts and ends dark with a steady rain that hangs around all day. I’m used to rain like this from when I lived in the Pacific NW, but it is unusual for TX. I can literally hear the foundation shifting from the black gumbo soil saturating from the slow rains soaking in instead of running off.
I’m slightly concerned about some of my friends in this weather, as their depressions are made worse by lack of light. They get really down in weather like this. They get really down in winter anyway, and days like this make them all a bit screwy. I think they all have some degree of SAD, but this far south it is not a common diagnosis as the conditions are not extreme enough to get many cases.
I really need to go for a bike ride, but I lack a bicycle I can ride at the moment because of old injuries acting up. What I need now is a medium height long wheelbase tadpole recumbent trike so I can step over the frame and sit down on a supportive seat with back support. And while I’m wanting things I need maybe someone could fix the leaky plumbing and the holes in the bathroom walls?
And it’s currently 72°F in the office without heat or AC. This is the perfect outside weather.
I’m currently mentally processing the terror attack against cyclists from NYC, trying to understand how when a Muslim does it it’s a terror attack, but when a white male does it (like in Kalamazoo) it’s an “accident”. In that regards it is exactly like any other terror attack in the US in that if a white male does it it isn’t a terror attack.
We almost managed to give away all of the candy we bought for Halloween, but I managed to squirrel away a few pieces. I have a weakness for Milky Way and 3 Musketeers. Mrs. the Poet likes candy corn, but didn’t buy any to give away because today’s versions are “too sweet”.
I have been looking into anti-depressants without sexual side effects, and so far I haven’t been doing well. I found 3 that met the first criteria of low or no sexual side effects, but only two were available as generics and one has a history of causing hypertension, which I already have. That leaves me with only Mirtazapine to choose from. I will have to talk to my doctor about getting the prescription. Checking local prices has me spending $11.15/month which is a touch higher than the $7/month I’m spending now but a whole lot less than the cost of a prescription for Viagra or Cialis with my current anti-depressant.
And at this point I think I need to do my e-mails and hit the sheets.
I had to go outside today, and it was a mite chilly, 49°F chilly for a high temperature to be precise, with a “feels like” of 43 when I was out in it. How chilly is that? I wore long pants to cover my knees for the first time since winter, but I forgot to grab a belt out of the closet and spent most of the return trip trying to keep my pants from falling off. That was about a mile walking with one hand holding up my pants.
The reason for the trip was I needed to get bus fare for a meeting tomorrow, and a lottery ticket. Unfortunately instead of the annuitized $18.25 million payout the ticket was for the cash value option payout of $12.5 million. So if this blog goes silent after Monday you’ll know I am taking time to manage my finances prior to accepting the jackpot. The meeting is the artist of a web comic I read, Not A Villain. I try very hard to support the creators of the entertainment I consume, even if it’s only clicking the ads on their sites.
On other subjects this blog has become known for, I went old-school to scale up that picture of the engine and transaxle and this time I found the assembly to be 36.1″ end-to-end as it sits sideways in the car, and about 2″ of the transaxle will stick out the driver’s side of the body if the CG is really on the line between the silver and grey on the forward engine mount. The accessory drive will be just inside the confines of the bucket body, and just clear the bottom frame rail.
And I still have stuff I need to do before I go to bed, so this post has to end now.
As I sit typing this we have snow falling and on the ground, 23°F free air temp and 9°F wind chill. A few days ago it was 82°F with a heat index(!) of 84. The office temp is 59°F so I actually had to put a shirt on to keep from getting too cold. Texas weather is highly variable at this latitude.
I used some of my gift card balance to order a bicycle pump so I can ride my bike(s). It looked like a good one on the web page, but then so did the toaster before it came. Anywho, the head screws onto the valve and the Presta adapter, which screws onto the Presta valve. This should prevent the situation of the pump head blowing off the valve that caused the demise of the previous pump.
I have been watching my phone game that pays me money to see if there are any bonus check-ins and as of this morning there were not. This loss of bonus check-ins happened last year, but only for a day or two, not this late into the year. This even affected places that have always been bonuses, like WalMart. I have also not been able to collect earned points from affiliated apps like Weather Dot Com. I have a bunch of points accumulated from just my normal activity with that app that I can’t collect. I am becoming concerned about the viability of this program as it was one of the better-paying side gigs I had especially when you consider I didn’t need to get punctured to get money. Maybe I should get into Bit-coin mining? I hear that is a good job for those of us who spend a lot of time at a computer.
Anyway, getting back to the opening paragraph, the weather is getting extremely cold for those of us accustomed to triple digit summer weather and winter lows in the high 40s. My really cold weather clothes are still in the laundry from yesterday’s walk, so I’m probably not going for my walk this evening so I’m giving up 125 points plus however many points I would have gotten from prize boxes I liberated. I used to have more than one cold weather outfit, but they gradually all wore out or didn’t fit, and now I only have the one. And to be completely honest, that one outfit was not the warmest one in the closet. Current conditions would be pushing the limits of what that outfit could protect me against, so I might have gone for a walk tonight, but probably no.
Y’all stay warm or cool as the climate dictates, Opus the Unkillable Poet