July 3rd, 2012

#3460: Catching HALF a break.

So I went to Ace to get some hardware. Go figure.

...I had decided just to buy a bolt of the correct size and use it to attach the exhaust. Since I can't find the reducer studs anywhere--

Holy shit. They have reducer studs!

I bought two, plus a nut for each; and then I bought five speed nuts intending to double-nut the road bike's insignias. Then I exchanged the empty propane cylinder for a full one and $20, paid for my stuff, and happily drove home.

Too short. *whimper*

...but just a little too short. So what I'm going to do is to use the original stud in one hole; in the other I'm going to cut off a short piece of one of the new ones, cut a slot in one end, and run it in with a screwdriver. Then I'll run the other whole one in on top of it, and grind down the shoulder a bit farther.

No, this won't be as strong as the proper part would be. But it'll be stronger than having just one stud holding the flange against the cylinder, and if I ever manage to find the right part for less than the $25 I saw one going for on Ebay, I'll still be able to extract the bit of stud that's in there thanks to the slot I cut in it. And in the mean time, no exhaust leak--or at least a significantly reduced one.

...and like I said it's just a little bit too short. I could get a nut about halfway on the thing with everything in place.

Some moron got his dickskinners in the speed nuts, too. Of the five I bought, two fit; the others are the wrong size...but only slightly too big, so there's no way to tell by casual inspection that they're the wrong f-ing size. Argh etc.

The thing that really gets me about this is that if I had access to a machine shop I could make a couple of exhaust studs in about an hour even if I started with plain steel rod. Failing a machinje shop, if I just had access to a lathe I could take a 8x1.25 stud and drill a 6mm hole down the center, tap it with 1.00 threads, and screw that into the cylinder. Cut it off flush, and then just screw a bolt into that.

There're probably about a thousand ways to solve this problem, and only one of them involves paying some goober $25 for A stud. (Yeah, or going to a supplier and buying a box of how many at $2 each?) The rest simply involves having access to expensive tools. *sigh*

* * *

Incidentally, this is being posted from Escaflowne.

Escaflowne has a working Ethernet card (10 Mbit *whimper*) and I plugged it into the switch the other day when I was fooling around with it, and mirabile visu I didn't have to do anything to get it connected.

Then again, it was connected to the Internet this way before I got Jurai (or whatever I called the P3) in 2001. So really it was already set up. Maybe not so miraculous after all, but the way things are sometimes I'll take what I can get.

The other thing? The keyboard I'm using is one of those awesome IBM 1390 131-key keyboards. The classic clicky one, which is built like a tank and with which I expect to be buried. (May that be about 50 years from now.) And I'm making about a third of my usual numbers of typos. These keyboards are, simply put, the best. IBM did an honest job with these things. They cost about two or three times much as a comparable keyboard at the time of manufacture but damn can I touch-type on one of these thinga!

Definitely a "cold, dead fingers" thing. It's a shame I can't use one with my regular desktop.

Well...maybe try it and see what happens? But I'm pretty sure I stopped using them only because Cephiro refused to boot when one was plugged in.

Maybe if I got a PS/2 to USB adaptor?

And whyyyy is it being posted from Escaflowne? Because Cephiro caught another virus and I had to run a boot-time scan, that's why. And you can't exclude drives from the boot scan so it's scanning EVERYTHING.

[many bad words redacted]

My gut's reaction to bad sushi knocked me down for a few hours after the last post. I had intended just to lay down for a bit, but I felt flensed and the next thing I knew, it was almost five--and the computer was asking what I wanted to do about the first bad file it found. I selected "move all to chest" and laid down again, but the damage was done, so I got back up and hied myself to the hardware store. The rest is history.

Now I'm hungry; so I'm sitting here trying to decide what to have for dinner. And all I can think is Culver's!

* * *

With Escaflowne's screen saver set to the old Windows 98 "Flying Through Space" screen saver, it's like being on the bridge of the Enterprise. Heh.

#3461: There's an idea!

I was taking a nap, and when I woke up, I was thinking about the dirt bike.

I thought, I have a welder. I have sheet steel. I have tin snips. Why can't I MAKE a taillight bracket and bolt the existing light to it?

...so by the time I was fully awake I had a design in mind that will do the job handily if I can manage to build it without blowing my street off the map. It won't be really pretty but it'll be a damned sight prettier than the asstastic way it was held on before:

The best part is I could even make the majority of it out of one piece of steel; as long as I can get the bends right it'll even look okay. Once I have the basic bracket bent and welded, then I can copy the mounting plate from the old bracket, and fab up a license plate bracket, and weld them on. Drill holes for mounting bolts and wire passage, clean up the edges and the welds with a die grinder. Clean it off with laquer thinner, then prime it and paint it black--it'll be fine.

I even have all the materials on hand already. The only thing I need to buy is some rubber bushings, aluminum spacers for the bushings, nuts, and bolts--all to mount the thing to the fender.

So I scribbled out the basic design on a piece of scratch paper. I'll refine it later, when I have fewer things on my plate and it's, y'know, daytime.

#3462: That was a bit of work.

I went over to the parsonage and spent an hour cleaning about half an acre of wood paneling.

The new pastor and his wife move in there next week. There's a huge list of things that need doing, and I was asked to come by and help out this week.

So I ambled over there today (couldn't yesterday due to gut malf inspired by bad sushi) and was put to work cleaning the paneling in the downstairs living room. A bottle of oil soap spray and a box of rags later--well, half a dozen rags, anyway--you can see an obvious difference.

And only one splinter. Whee!

...that took an hour and I ran out of oil soap before I could do the trim. I'd still be there, but I was told, "That's all we've really got for you right now. Thanks! See ya!"

So, WTF.

* * *

The pilgrims from the Mayflower are responsible for black-on-white crime in Chicago today.
Senseless violence? Oh there's plenty of that. And plenty of stupid too. Like Heaven Sutton. Where do I start with that? A kid selling "candy" at 11:00 PM in the middle of an area known for gang activity? Really, candy? What sort of candy was she selling, may I ask, and to whom?
It was Heaven's mother who was selling the "candy", not Heaven herself. But of course since her mother was outside selling "candy" at 11 PM of course the 7-year-old girl was there, instead of--I don't know--maybe being in bed or something.

...and the "candy" stand was surrounded by gangbangers. Nah, it was just iced tea and Skittles, right? No drugs there, nosiree!


* * *

The hot weather is global warming in action. That's right! It's always global warming. It doesn't matter whether the the summer is hotter or cooler than normal. Last year's mild summer? Global warming. This year's hot summer? Global warming.

Incidentally--last year we had a stretch of extra-hot weather like this, and then it cooled off and was mild the rest of the season. I didn't hear anyone complaining about "THIS IS GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!111one-one" when it was routinely under 85° in August.

But since there's been no warming since 1998 and the temperature curve has exactly failed to track the increase in atmospheric carbon, it's not like they have the facts on their side anyway.

* * *

The Volt is selling better than ever! ...they've sold 8,800 of them this year.

"The company abandoned its 2012 U.S. sales forecast of 45,000, saying it would instead match supply to meet demand." Except that GM had originally intended to build 60,000 of them for the 2012 model year. It seems they then decided to build 45,000; now they've finally realized that their marketing guys are smoking crack and have decided to limit production to actual demand.

With about two months left in the model year, that'll be perhaps 12,000, which is 20% of the demand they thought they had last year--assuming that demand remains approximately level. And the only reason they've gotten this much demand comes from California's decision to allow junk like the Volt into the HOV lanes even when occupied by a single person.

* * *

It must be nice to be extremely rich.
...[I]t is one of the smaller homes on the block in this upscale vacation town on Long Island, the town's building officials said. Mrs. Friedberg agrees.

"It's not a fancy block in Southampton," Mrs. Friedberg said. "My home in Winchester is twice the size."
Where can I get the kind of gig that lets you build a second/third/whatever house on Long Island twice?

* * *

Not surprisingly the media just loooove Justice Roberts right now.

* * *

Borepatch has an excellent discussion comparing the features of capitalist versis socialist/fascist medical systems.

And once again, here's the answer to folks who try to say that the US infant mortality rate is high because we don't have socialized medicine:
We're told that our infant mortality rate is higher than European countries', but the dirty secret is that we spend vast amounts of money on heroic efforts to save these babies, and Europe mostly lets them die - and counts them as stillborn. That's not a bug, it's a feature of their system that chooses to apply resources to other patients. We choose differently....
Europe probably has the same proportion of premature births etcetera as we do in the US...but they let the babies die and say, "Whoops! Stillborn--too bad," rather than try to save them.

Let me say that again: a baby that is born alive in the US, for whom heroic measures are taken, and whom still dies, is counted as a "dead baby", which increases the "infant mortality" number. In Europe, a child born in the same circumstances is simply allowed to expire and is counted as "stillborn", and is therefore not included in the rolls of "infant mortality". This is why the US has such apparently awful infant mortality statistics compared with Europe.

Tell me again which system is more compassionate.

* * *

Breakfast was deep-fried hot dogs and french fries. I put the fries in for 6 minutes this time, and the hot dogs went in at about 2.25 minutes before the end. Both came out perfect, so I think I now know how to do this particular meal. Heh.

* * *

It's already 4 PM and I have stuff to do, so I suppose I ought to hop to it.