We have a patch of cold-mix outside Casa de El Poeta that seems to have gone soft. It had a couple of tire tracks because cold-mix remains soft for about 24 hours after putting it down in more temperate conditions, but it seems to have a few more today after a string of 100°+ days this week. The concrete seems to be holding up fine where it wasn’t undermined by broken watermains years ago. Current temperature at 1700 is 99°F so nothing to worry about.😅
On bicycle things I have been perusing Craig’s List and online pawn shops in hopes of finding a bike I can get on and off of and still be able to ride, but prices haven’t been in my price range, or the bikes were too small for me to get proper leg extension while seated. I really need to find something I can ride to get some exercise with this bum hip making walking extremely risky for falling. That walk I had earlier just emphasized how bad my hip is now, but at least I can put my socks on without help again. There was a time right after the injury that action was impossible. It got a little difficult for a while this month but I’m better now.
On the Sprint-T I’m still plugging in the entries for the POWERNATION Ford (click to help me win, maybe) in hopes of winning the engine and having something to shove in front of the firewall. As I stated many years ago, there are two design objectives for this car, aside from doing car things like getting groceries and so forth. First is winning Goodguys autocross events by using basic physics and good design to succeed, second is cruising events and looking cool, and also not needing a trailer and tow vehicle to get it there. That is I want to drive to the event, drive the event, and then drive home. I also want to be able to bolt some slicks on it and compete in SCCA events. I will need a trailer to carry the tires for that.
I don’t object to doing a little maintenance at the motel beforehand, but I don’t want to unload and load a car hauler at the event. If I could afford to have a separate vehicle to get my race car around I wouldn’t be having these issues in the first place. There would be many problems I would not be having if I could afford to have a tow vehicle and a play vehicle. I would be fully vaccinated now because I wouldn’t have needed to leave the line because of running out of money for the Lyft, I could just keep circling the site until I got to the end of the line, not until my fare exceeded my checking balance.
And yes, that is both the punch line to a joke that is older than I am and a description of the current weather. Seriously the back yard is a swamp again, but at least it’s not hot. You can drink the air through a straw, but it’s a cool damp. The condensation drain from the AC looks like an open faucet it’s pulling so much moisture from the air inside the house, and the indoor weather station says our humidity is roughly 60%. It’s still pouring rain but not like the usual summer deluge we get in TX.
I went to do the banking and get a massage yesterday, but it wasn’t easy. But then again when is anything easy lately? Anywho I got to the bank no problem after summoning a Lyft. Oh jeeze I just read that and it totally sounds like some arcane spell from D&D or Shadowrun. Back to the subject, I got to the bank and deposited a check for Mrs. the Poet, and checked to make sure the payment I sent to the brain doctor went through, and also checked my checking balance. The tricky part on that is did the transfers to my other accounts go through before or after I pulled the balance? If it was after then I have less than $100 in my account for the rest of the month. If it was before then I’m fat, dumb and happy, balance-wise. I had enough to go get a massage either way, so I summoned another Lyft (woo-wee-hoo /spooky music) and went to my usual massage place that has the good techs that get all my sore places better, but they’re closed until Monday so their techs can enjoy the holiday according to the person who answered the phone when I called standing outside the locked door to the establishment. Then I walked across Beltline to another establishment that was rated the same as my usual place only to find that they were booked solid until an hour before their 2200 closing time. I did a quick search and found one about 2 miles closer to home and on the way home, but it wasn’t rated as good as my usual and there was some question about what kind of massages they gave. But with my everything hurting and needing rubbed I decided to take a chance on the place and techs working there.
Well it wasn’t the best massage I ever got but it was far from the worst. The biggest problem was I requested a 90 minute massage to get all my achy places rubbed, and instead I got the same places that usually get rubbed and don’t need much rubbing getting rubbed over and over again until they were really overdone. Like almost injured over rubbed. But given the situation I can’t complain too much, I just didn’t give much tip, and I probably won’t go back there. But my massage budget for the month is gone and I still have aches and pains.
As the tags noted I’m daywalking again because of the interaction between the meds and how I sleep has shifted me to waking in the pre-dawn darkness instead of the middle of the afternoon. Actually I’m waking up about the time I used to go to bed before, and going to bed about when I used to have lunch before. So, literally daywalking again. And for those confused, daywalking is a vampire term for vampires who can survive exposure to the sun. I’m not a vampire, but when I was doing the cleaning up ad copy gig I went to bed about 0500 and woke up whenever, usually when I had to pee. So I was on the vampire sleep schedule even though I wasn’t one, actually. Some people call it the graveyard schedule because the work shift most of the people on it are working is called a graveyard shift. But with the sparkle-pires and other vampire related literature including the movie Blade, which is where I first heard the term daywalker, vampire schedule has had a literal life outside of fantasy literature. It’s just a different way to describe those of us working in the dark. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be awake during the day and sleeping at night, but I intend to take advantage of the situation as long as I can.
And I think I’m out of things to say, so time to put this post to bed.
And I almost got to see it. I got caught in a thunderstorm trying to get to RPG group this afternoon, that turned into a tiny tornado that went right over me. I couldn’t see it, or much of anything really, but I know I was standing still while I got hit with wind from 3 different directions in about as many seconds. Plus I got hit with nickel sized hail, that felt larger when it was hitting me but what I could see was only a bit larger than nickle sized.
The fun part was watching the trees floating down the street while the flood waters swirled around my ankles and calves. I was standing in a pedestrian refuge back a bit from the street, but not far enough back. This was a few seconds after I stepped off the bus into light rain, it literally went from light sprinkles to rain of Biblical proportions in seconds and then a F0 tornado (or maybe more, I made that judgement based on the fact that I managed to stay on my feet and I was right in the middle of it) and rivers in the street (and sidewalk). I’m catching reports from other areas that didn’t get tornadoes but did get 70+ MPH straight line winds, which I could also believe as I have walked around in tropical storms before and this felt similar to that.
So as I was standing out in the hail and the flood and the wind watching half-trees floating down the street the host for the game managed to get a car up to me so I can get off the corner. We eventually get to the house after weaving through the various bits of tree in the street. I’m soaked to the skin of course, even my phone was affected, underwear wringing wet, and puddles in my new shoes. 😛 So, dry clothes were rounded up, not an easy thing as I’m Rather Large with a deep pelvis and broad shoulders. And everyone except the GM at the house are a bunch of beanpoles with no hips or shoulders. So I’m running around in pink sweatpants and the largest T-shirt they can find, and of course everything looks like I was spray-painted into the clothes from the knees up. So, now I have to make myself something to eat, check my e-mail, and maybe get some sleep.
Mrs. the Poet said I should just put the checks for the taxes in the mail this week and not worry about it. We kinda played some for the Shadowrun game on Sunday, but mostly with the weather doing the yo-yo thing I have been doing my “bear in winter” impression. Seriously this weather is seriously sapping my desire to even get out of bed at whatever time I stop sleeping. I have been huddled under the covers being borderline depressed, as in episode depressed, and not managing to work up a care to even check what has been wrought against the country by People Enabled By Russians. I mean I saw the kid from the Catholic school bothering the Native American Elder after marching against women controlling their own bodies. Because that is a thing that Catholic School Boys do, protest women controlling their own bodies and bother Native elders.
Other than that I have to pretty much force myself to eat anything after breakfast because I’m just not hungry after I get morning coffee, even if “morning” is 1300-1600 or so, like I wrote earlier getting out from under the warm blankets is very hard because warm, and because there is a cold draft blowing under the desk where I do my computer stuff now. Out away from the desk is fine, but under the desk is freezing (well colder than the rest of the room) and I really don’t want to get out from under the blankets to go work on the computer, which I have to do because otherwise I can’t post to this blog. Seriously, I can’t type worth a damn on my phone so if there is going to be a blog post I have to stick my legs under this drafty desk. I keep a blanket to cover my legs when I’m using the computer because otherwise I’m overdressed for the temperature if I’m warm enough under the desk. And with the current weather it’s even worse than normal because the wind forces the cold air through the leaks in the window.
Anyway, to kill time I have been looking some more at the FIRST TPI intake and fuel injection manifold, and it seems to be an intermediate step for the SBC between the LS engines and a carburetted engine, with low RPM torque like a dual plane intake and small 4BBL and high RPM like a single plane intake with a huge Dominator-style 4BBL. Or in other words very much like an LS engine with the plastic manifold but still only coughing up SBC change instead of LS engine co$t$. I think I mentioned this build is more about powerband than peak HP, because there is at least one turn that will see near idle speed in first gear on the majority of Goodguys courses and almost no place to use a high peak power. That is exactly what this manifold is made for.
And making another right-angle turn at full speed in the narrative, the stainless steel raw stock for the Mini Sprint-T suspension came in today in another ridiculously overpackaged container. The shipping container was worth more than the raw stock inside it. Anyway what came today was 1mm OD stainless tubing that will fit the simulated heim joints perfectly from Dirt Modeler and is something else that requires the use of the butane torch I bought at Harbor Freight to join together with intended parts. I still have the pure solder (no flux) left over from making the hot water heater for the camp shower a few years back, there was a minimum required quantity that was about 3 times as much as I needed to make the heater, so I have enough for several thousand simulated heim joints that require only a tiny drop of molten solder to affix them permanently.
I’m sure by now you know I have taken a few knocks along the way, some harder than others. Well the weather has been going through some drastic changes as we have passed the Equinox. And as the weather changes my old injuries are complaining painfully. My left knee and right hip are making the most noise, with the left hip and calf also making their grievances known, and both feet occasionally throwing their $0.02 into the conversation. And yesterday everybody was talking at once, with the metaphorical cacophony lasting into the afternoon today, in spite of the fact that the weather is worse today than yesterday. I still hurt but it’s subsided to a level I can sit down at a desk or table and get some writing (typing on the computer) done.
I’m periodically reminded all those injuries happened and I’m stupid for doing the things I was doing when I got injured. Everybody knows what I did to make all the parts on my left leg hurt, that event is the precipitating cause for this blog in all of its many permutations. The other injuries are more obscure. The right hip was from chi gong class, something I was doing to try to maintain flexibility so I could ride my bike better that ended up making it so I couldn’t get on the bike at all. Both knees are from a series of mishaps starting when I was about 16 that as was discovered later tore my cruciate ligaments, but not all the way through, resulting in floppy knees that caused cartilage damage and arthritis as I got older. My feet are repetitive and cumulative stress from all that walking on concrete and pavement I did, tens of thousands of miles over the years. I also used to run until my knees forced me to quit that. That was the point I started riding my bike again.
So I spent most of the day yesterday and into the afternoon today in bed trying to not move or roll over on the old injuries so they would not hurt as bad. Fortunately I had both phones charged up for doing the internet things I need to do that don’t involve massive amounts of typing, so it wasn’t completely wasted time. There were lots of things I should have been doing but didn’t because I can’t or won’t do them on a phone, but everything that could be done on the phone was done. And everything I needed to say today has been typed into the computer to broadcast over the internets, so I thin we are probably done for today. I did think about building the Sprint-T again but it is all stuff that would be technobabble straight outta Star Trek to most of my loyal readers and basically would be a rehash of stuff I wrote earlier in excruciating detail, concerning tuning for unleaded regular and E85. It’s not a secret but if I told you you might want to kill yourself 😈 Seriously, unless you’re doing this stuff it’s boring as Hell to read about, and even if you are doing it it is not exactly riveting reading.
The good news is I weighed in at 210 again, and my BP is slightly high but still “under control”. The bad news is while they are scrambling for a drug that can replace Valsartan, it will be more than a year before human trials can begin. This is what happens when you put too many of your eggs in one basket, and somebody drops the basket. In this case the basket was a Chinese pharmacy company with questionable safety practices that managed to corner almost 80% of the world market for Valsartan, and dropping the basket was not properly controlling the process and allowing known human carcinogens to get made as part of the drug. Now there are several ways this could happen, but the most likely would be contaminated feedstocks, the chemicals they use to make the drug. My guess is that more than one was contaminated, and probably with chemicals that individually are not problems so they were allowed through, which then reacted with each other and the actual chemicals that were supposed to be there to form the carcinogen(s). But then again I’m just a technical writer with a background in chemistry and making explosives from “indigenous materials” for my first enlistment, not a trained chemist.
In other news, it wasn’t beastly hot today. I don’t think we even broke 90°F thanks to a cold front and heavy morning cloud cover. And I can’t remember the last time we had a morning low that close to 60. And that was a very noisy cold front that came through at 0500 and woke me up, so I’m trying to not faceplant into the keyboard right now and mostly succeeding. And when I don’t it isn’t a real faceplant, more of “my nose brushes the keyboard and I wake up with a start” so my laptop doesn’t take any more damage than it already has.
Both of her trips, outbound and returning, had weather incidents that caused delay and distress. But beyond that I’m not allowed to post anything because she treasures her privacy.
This is in response to a tweet asking why I never write anything about Mrs. the Poet.
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.