Tag Archives: Texas weather

Not emulating Dorothy Gale today nor Almira Gulch

I had to look up Miss Gulch’s first name while the tornado sirens were going off outside. As I’m typing they’re 20-30 miles out west and heading our way at 40-50 MPH, but they’re also dissipating almost as quick as they form. So at this point I don’t know if we are going to have to hide in the master bath until the house blows away or just wait for the front/dry line to pass. The local weather radar shows the tornadoes spinning up for a minute or so and maybe touching down and then they’re gone and no rotation. We already went into the bathroom twice so far only to hear the storms were still out west of Casa De El Poeta and they were rain-wrapped. So when it starts raining I’m moving Mrs. the Poet to the master bath again even if I have to throw her over my shoulder. And my old phone just started blowing up with weather alerts. That’s the phone that has the Weather Channel app that I don’t have on the new phone. Still waiting on the rain that was wrapping the rotations on the radar, but no precip so far.

The weather people are also warning of possible hail damage that frequently comes with tornado activity, as there is a lot of vertical development that comes with the weather systems that generate tornadoes, and vertical development is what makes hail. And Mrs. the Poet is complaining about the tornadoes interrupting her dinner prep, like tornadoes have volition and they’re specifically messing with her. But we still are waiting for that rain from what has turned out to be a significant cold front 71° Dallas and 59° in Ft Worth behind the front.

And they have canceled the watches and warnings before the front got to Casa De El Poeta, so we’re probably safe. Unless we get hailed on again. There’s a bit of a breeze but nothing close to the severe weather from before sundown. The rain that was on the radar seems to have taken a hike someplace else. It was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago but so far it’s a no-show.

Had to spend money on something that wasn’t food or the car

And it hurt, bunches. We were getting a decrease in the effectiveness of the HVAC and when they checked it the vents were full of dust from the clothes dryer, that we had to vent inside because the outside vent was completely blocked. They tried to clear the blockage, but it would take a power washer to get that mess out of the dryer vent. Basically we have a dryer vent that runs straight up from the laundry nook to the roof because the laundry room is in the middle of the house and that’s the only access to the outside. I see this as bad design.

We could have had the master bath and the kid’s bath back to back and put the walk-in closet and the laundry nook back to back where the master bath is now and had access to an outside wall for the dryer vent, or put the laundry in the garage to access the outside wall. It’s all just bad design.

And we are under a severe thunderstorm alert right as I compose this with nickel-sized hail falling outside the office window and glancing off it making alarmingly loud snapping noises. It was a small storm and passed by the time I completed this sentence. Saw the news after I composed this and it was a serious fast storm that extended for hundreds of miles, just not over us. The band of storms was moving about 40 MPH N-NE according to the TV weather and was gone in about an hour. Anywho, the tornadoes were well away from Casa de El Poeta unlike a few years back where the roof was pelted by debris coming out the top of tornadoes less than a mile away (storm track was just over 400 meters from the house). The TV news says many farm buildings were destroyed and animals released but the storm, but nothing fatal unless a coyote grabs a loose chicken.

And it’s about time to hit the sheets and catch some sleep, y’all take care you don’t get caught by a loose chicken with a tornado chasing a coyote.

Been out of sorts lately

I’ve basically been hurting pretty much everywhere and it has disturbed my circadian rhythms among other things. All my joints are reminding me I have arthritis, and every severe muscle injury reminds me of what I did. Now since I’m old and lived an active life I have several severe muscle injuries to be reminded of.

Basically my hips and shoulders are reminding me as Mrs. the Poet likes to say I’ve been ridden hard and put away wet, but I’m not here to complain (much). I’m here to talk about Grandpa chasers on dating aps. I get people (women) talking to me on these aps because of the silver in my hair and the snow in my beard, but they don’t ask me for money so maybe these aren’t running a scam. Some do ask if I’m looking for a wife and ghost me when I tell them about Mrs. the Poet, so wedding scams. But there are a very few that don’t disappear when I tell them I’m looking for a cuddle buddy without sex. I’m not sure what to do about them.

I think a big part of my problems is the weather bouncing back and forth between the deep freeze and Mediterranean early spring. We have had lows in the 20s and the high teens, and highs in the high 60s and low 70s a few days later. The forecast for tomorrow is for 72°F, flirting with a record high for the date. Friday is even higher at 78°F and lows about 45 both days. Texas weather can’t make up its mind this time of year. We are between the Continental weather area and the Coastal weather area so some times we get weather like we are in the middle of the continent, and sometimes like we are against the water on the coast.

Interesting thing happened, Mrs. the Poet was invited to a virtual party over the weekend and the microphone is working with my laptop now since the forced update from W10 to 11. Turns out I just needed a better driver than any of the ones I had in 10. Speaking of which I’m getting another update notice that I need to restart my computer so this looks like a good place to put this post to bed. I’ll get back online after I do the update thing, but I’ll see you guys later.

Still cold, hands still not working right

And we may not be going shopping if the roads refreeze tonight. The roads got better during the day because they were in mostly full sun until sundown, but the temperatures dropped like a rock in a still pond as soon as the sun set and as I compose this post it’s 25°F a full 10° colder than the high for the day. (For my SI readers that is -3.9°C and 5.5°C).

The window next to my desk where I compose these posts is leaking cold air over my feet and also my hands so I’m freezing now. The thermometer on my desk says it’s 63°F up there by the wall, but the softdrink under my desk says it’s significantly cooler than that. The soda is significantly cooler than my mouth and cooler than the room temp on top of my desk. In fact I’m thinking about putting socks on inside my slippers to keep my feet a little less cold. BRB. That’s better, not toasty, but less cold.

I’m still trying to find the right transmission for the Sprint-T. I have to keep my budget in mind, as well as the output of my most-likely engine, and also trying to maximize the result of M=f*a by reducing the value of “M” and increasing the value of “f” to get the largest possible value of “a”. And at the same time getting the highest possible final drive (lowest absolute value) for best fuel mileage on the highway, and a first gear ratio that tops out at 40 MPH in first gear. That’s a lot of conflicting values that have to be juggled. I’m still finding different transmissions that will bolt to an LS engine.

And I’m starting to get tired and ready for bed, because sleepy, so I think this is a good place to put this post to bed, then me.

The weather looks like a mess

The local temperature is bouncing between 32° and 33° F (0 and .4° C) and it’s raining. That combines to make it miserable to be outside. It could get worse if it drops another couple of degrees F, which is in the forecast. If I was to go outside I would be wet and miserable right now, instead I’m sitting at my desk in a fairly warm house with a few drafts across my desk, that make my fingers hurt.

In other news I found a transmission with a 0.68 top gear that has a 500 ft-pound rating and only weighs 99 pounds and costs $2200± depending on the exchange rate that day.TKO 5 speed RWD transmission Not as light as a GeForce T5, but thou$and$ less in price. Tradeoffs must be made in the pursuit of performance on a budget.

And the freezing rain has been making small chunks of ice fall off the branches outside my office window randomly, which make me jump when it happens. I’m not real sure of how that happens, but it does. As I understand freezing rain a supercooled drop of water changes state to frozen when it hits the surface of an object, which should mean it’s frozen to the object and incapable of falling off until it melts, but it seems we are getting freezing on top of molten water that remains unfrozen because Texas weather is weird, and then when it gets heavy enough it falls off the surface it froze on. This was happening fairly frequently when I started composing this post, but the temperature has dropped several degrees since I started and the rain has changed to sleet and the small falling things haven’t been falling lately, or at least not loud enough for me to notice. It’s now 29°F, 3-4 degrees F cooler than at the time I started composing this post, and when the furnace fan isn’t running I can only hear the delicate pitter-patter of sleet on the ground.

The fireworks and gunshots are over

So we decided it was safe to stick our heads above ground and take a look around. People in TX really like shooting guns and fireworks to celebrate things, and there were many bullets flying last night. It was like a war zone between the fireworks and the gunshots.

It’s supposed to get around 20°F tomorrow morning after getting to 70° this afternoon, which does bad things to people’s health. This is partially the result of our location near the boundary of continental and coastal weather areas, which gets us some rather violent weather, and partially because of climate change which makes these boundary areas more severe. But anyway the temperature has been dropping like a rock off a cliff outside, and went from toasty warm to “I had to put a shirt on” in my office in just a few hours. Seriously I was watching the news with just sweatpants and slippers and the thermostat was reading over 70°, and now the thermometer on my clock is showing 65° and my fingers are freezing and working intermittently. And the emergency resistance heater just kicked in, I can tell because it smells like burned hair in here.

I’m still thinking about the Sprint-T, but as raw material prices are way up and my available budget is way down my completion date is now even more indefinite than before, which makes me even more depressed than before. And like I wrote before I’m not sure I’ll be able to get in and out of the car with my limited range of motion in my hips and shoulders, something else to make me depressed. Like I really needed more things to be depressed about. Between my love life and the Sprint-T, well there just hasn’t been much to get happy over. But then again aside from that things are pretty good. I have a safe place to sleep, more than enough food, and the heat and AC both work, as was proved with both today. Things could be much worse.

And things have been much worse, not that long ago. Being hit by the truck and being dead is like a blink of the eye for me, but then again impossibly long ago. It has been nearly a third of my life since the wreck, but some days it feels like yesterday. That’s just how it is.

And now I’m getting maudlin on you guys, so this feels like a good time to put this one to bed.

Took Mrs. the Poet to dinner last night

I fired up the old cell phone for a trip to our favorite local (to us) restaurant and bought Mrs. the Poet a good dinner. Well I don’t know about “good” as in it wasn’t haute cuisine, but the food was pretty good tasting, and there was a lot of it.

I had my usual burger from this place, which was two quarter-pound patties, 2 full strips of bacon, and a fried egg, with the usual vegetables on a burger. Mrs. the Poet had a grilled chicken sandwich which was like, half a chicken worth of meat on a patty, I have no idea how they did that to look like a grilled chicken breast unless they have made some GMO chicken that is 30% breast by weight, that said sandwich she pronounced “Delicious”. It had a bunch of sauces and garnishes that I didn’t recognize, but as Mrs. the Poet said it was good, so as long as she’s happy with the food I’m happy she was happy. I’m sure the Long Island Iced Tea did a lot to improve her perception of the food and her mood. I had my usual Coke Zero. We also had Too Many Onion Rings as our appetizer, and a single scoop Sundae for her dessert. I skipped dessert because I was going to have something at home later.

The Former Guy was in town for something or other at a local church that has more money than sense, and fortunately the Giant Meteor managed to not wipe out the state, by not showing up. Also in the news was the forecast for Christmas is going to match the record high temperature of 80°F, which is crazy hot for the end of December. Well last week of December, not the actual end.

Also I installed the antenna on Mrs. the Poet’s TV to see how viable cutting the cord will be. Answer: not very. We get 2 channels and about 10 sub-channels, and pretty much none of it is what we watch on the regular. This is puzzling, because almost all the broadcast TV comes from an antenna farm 13 miles away in SE Dallas except for one a little closer but in the same area which was one of the channels we got. Also puzzling what we got was crystal clear and solid, but other channels less than a quarter-mile further away were nothing but static. Basically everything but the two channels we got was static, but what we got was rock solid and clear as cable TV. Don’t ask me to explain it, my experience with TV was from the analog days, this digital stuff I understand intellectually but not in practice.

I may have to abandon the Sprint-T project because I won’t be able to get in and out of it. I had a terrible time installing the antenna on the wall and that was just 2 steps up and down the stepstool, not clambering over the side and through the top of a roll cage. It’s not a matter of strength, it’s I’m losing agility. Basically all my hip and knee injuries are coming home to roost, I have trouble moving my leg high enough to make the step, same problem I had trying to get on a bike two years ago but worse. I don’t have the range of motion I need to climb over the top of the cage and get into my car. There’s nothing that hurts, it’s just my leg doesn’t go that far anymore. I can make a regular ladder step, but not the move I’ll need to swing into the top of the roll cage. I might have to build a roll cage simulator to practice getting in and out of my car…geriatric jungle gym? America’s Funniest Home Video candidate?

This is Texas, where we have the heat come on in the morning and the AC in the afternoon

Yep, when I was going to bed last night the heat came on, and just before lunch this afternoon the AC came on, on the 17th of November. And before anyone says anything the heat comes on when it drops below 70°F inside, and the AC comes on above 76°F inside. We have relatively good insulation so to get the inside temperature to swing that much requires about a 40° swing in outdoor temperatures.

In other “news” that isn’t really news, my hips still hurt, my knees still hurt, and I still need a massage because my neck won’t turn very far. I’ll probably get the massage Thursday now that a few bucks have been freed up in the budget because the window replacement has been delayed until December 1st. That puts about $300 back in the budget for stuff that doesn’t go to keeping us fed and a roof over our heads. Usually this part of the budget gets robbed to pay for the other things, so actually having any money in it is rare.

Something I almost forgot to put here is I’ll be participating in another study starting Monday next Wednesday. I don’t know what I’ll be testing but it starts with a fasting blood draw. So maybe something related to cholesterol or blood sugar? IDK I’m just happy to be advancing science in some small way.

On the Sprint-T front, I have found that a hydraulic hand brake system for drift cars will also work as a hand clutch for a hydraulic throwout bearing. And to make it a push or pull release only requires deciding which way I set up the handle. This makes the hand clutch super easy to do because all the design and fabrication have already been done, all I have to do is buy and install. Now the hand clutch only takes care of starting and stopping, I’ll still have to buy a transmission that can be shifted without using the clutch. But there is a faced and plated gearset for the T5 that can do that and doesn’t add any weight, so we’re good, except for money.

Also on the Sprint-T, I’m working on the seat slider that adjusts the seat back and forth for people with longer legs than mine to drive the car. There aren’t many people with shorter legs who are old enough to be legal to drive, because I’m built like Fred Flintstone. Seriously I lost a full ride scholarship because my torso was too long to close the canopy on an F4 Phantom if I was in the RIO seat AKA “Back Seat Driver”. Long, sad story that I won’t relate here.

Anywho, I need to set the sliders far enough apart that the release lever works on both sliders but close enough together that the bracket is wider than the seat but not narrower than the sliders. This is another result of my having non-standard dimensions. I bought the adult-sized seat with the narrowest butt pocket and had to modify the seat to fit my chest and shoulders because of course it didn’t fit anything except my hips, kinda sorta. I will still need more padding to fill the space between my hips and the seat, but not as much as I would have if I bought a seat to fit my chest and shoulders. But back to the project at hand, I need to set up the sliders at the correct width, set the seat on them to see how much extra I have to work with and bend up some strap stock to bolt to the seat and sliders, then drill and bolt everything together. I know the seat will need to get holes for the bracket, the bracket needs holes for the seat and the sliders, and I need to buy a whole bunch of stainless steel bolts so things don’t get crusty.

And this feels like a good place to end this post.

The AC is running and other things that may (not) surprise you

We have the thermostat set at 76°F to turn on the AC, and this is the second day in a row that the AC has kicked on near sundown. The high was about 80° and the current temp just hit 77° on the way down. About the best thing I can say is we have escaped severe weather this year so far. No hail, no high speed straightline winds, no tornadoes. I like this kind of boring, this is the nice cheap kind of boring without property damage.

Other than that nothing much of interest is going down at or near Casa de El Poeta. We are very boring these days. I buy books either through Amazon Kindle, or direct from the authors. Then I read the books. Rinse, repeat. I did learn something interesting doing this, epic porn stories from the same author get boring after a few thousand pages. Much like any other kind of story repetition kills novelty. And it’s not like there is any way around it.

And what I mentioned in the previous paragraph is one of the things I dread when I’m writing about the Sprint-T. There are only so many ways to describe Tab A and Slot B no matter how different the tabs and slots are from one set to another. And unless I do something wild like the minivan engine and transmission in the back for a mid-engine bucket the tabs and slots don’t change much, just the size changes. And speaking of that configuration, even though there isn’t a need for it because that engine was never mated to a manual transaxle, putting the drivetrain behind the passenger compartment made tons of room for a clutch pedal because there was no part of the drivetrain competing for space with the driver’s feet. There was 26″ inside the body behind the firewall and the only thing connected to the engine was the gas pedal, and there was a brake pedal and a steering column behind the firewall meaning I had about 13″ of room if the passenger’s feet are allocated equal space to the driver’s, or 14″ or 15″ if the need for the driver’s movement is taken into account and the lack of same for the passenger. But that engine went bye-bye with the vehicle it was in several years ago.

That drivetrain was also the reason why I ordered the front axle wide enough to make the wheel surface of the front hubs 66½” to match the width of the rear hubs with the engine in the back so the car didn’t look funny from the front. I kept it because I had already spent the money and because as long as I didn’t hit an apex cone with the front tire I was pretty much guaranteed not to hit that cone with the back tire, because the front tire would track slightly closer to the inside than the rear tire as long as the car was driven in a no-slip condition, and as a yaw angle was taken the back tire would track further away from the front track, and the rear tire would have to track over 3″ over to the outside of the turn for the rear tire to hit a cone the front tire missed on the exit from a turn. On a car with 100″ wheelbase a 3″ yaw would be about 2° yaw. So maybe I go a little easy on corner exit.

And it is way too late and I should be sleeping.

It’s warm out, WTF!?

The high today was 81°F the warmest day since last November. This day last week the high was 18°F and it is only a coincidence that the digits are reversed. I make frequent reference to how volatile Texas weather is this time of year, but this is insane. The sudden change in temperature came with powerful south winds that almost took me off my feet just going to the mailbox. Today was a little breezy but nothing like yesterday or Monday.

Yesterday I mentioned having difficulty in bending the plastic rods to make the main and side hoops for the Mini Sprint-T, but when I mention a problem it triggers a search for a solution to the problem. I can’t jump up and shout “Eureka!” yet, but I’m sneaking up on the solution. There is a single plane available as reference on the bender, and I can make marks on that plane to get the distance between the legs and the right angles right.

And you know what? I have completely run out of things to write about.