atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1065: It's the 41st anniversary of ME!

...that is the stupidest way I've ever said "it's my birthday today". Bad blogger. No biscuit.

* * *

Here Brian Dunbar links to the on-line version of Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika.

As I said in the comments there, when I found that cover on, for some reason it didn't even occur to me that the whole thing might be on-line somewhere.

Now I have to go and read it.

...and holy crap, it's just as awful as I'd feared it would be.

* * * reports that sunspot #995 has faded away. #994 and #996 are still there. #994 looks like it might actually make it across the face of the sun, too.

But these are old Cycle 23 sunspots.

* * *

The logic of the tort:

Problem: Boy plays baseball. Boy gets hit in chest with baseball. Boy suffers blunt trauma and has heart failure for 20 minutes. Boy is now brain-damaged. Ball was hit with aluminum bat.

Solution: lawsuit.

The suit names the manufacturer of the bat, the Little League association, and Sports Authority. The bat, because they made it; the Sports Authority, because they sold it; and the Little League, because their "seal of approval" was on it.

Says the family's ambulance-chasing lawyer: "There are also those who are skeptical of the lawsuit and don't see the connection between Steven's injury and the aluminum bat." He says that the defendents "should have known it was dangerous".

So, if Steven had been struck by a ball that had been hit with a wood bat, there'd be no grounds for a lawsuit? Is that what you're saying, Mr. Oh-so-concerned Attorney?

It's sad that no one could apparently administer CPR while the kid was laying there with no pulse, and it's terrible that something like this happened, but it's not because the damn bat was aluminum that this happened. The fact is, this is a freak accident.

Now, of course, kids will have to gear up in freaking armor like football players in order to play baseball "safely". *sigh*

* * *

Jerry Pournelle's mail page this week has a letter from someone named "Ed"--not me--who says the following, among other things, regarding the impending shortage of engineers American companies face:
Our aerospace firms are looking at a demographic cliff: when their current engineers retire (soon) there are few coming up behind them.

Who would be an aerospace engineer? They get laid off at the drop of a multinational corporation's hat. No money, and no job stability.

Pay engineers more? Keep them on to work on future projects when the company doesn't have current projects?

Nah. Corporate executive salaries are based on stock prices, which are based on quarterly returns. You can always import the engineers you need from India, right?
I wish I could say he's wrong, but I have personal experience which shows that he's 100% correct. I'm one example; I worked as a technical writer for a major avionics manufacturer, and now I stock shelves at a department store.

* * *

June 4th I get to begin "colon cleansing" for a colonoscopy on the 5th. O the joy. But I need to have the colon checked out; I last had one in 2001 and I'm overdue.

* * *

With gas sitting at $3.94 per gallon, when I filled the Escort today it cost me $32, which is the most I have ever had to pay to fill that car's tank.

But those 8 gallons of gas will take me 264 miles at a minimum. I can live with that.

The worst fuel economy I ever got in a Ford Escort was when I drove from Iowa to Illinois on a beastly hot summer day with the air conditioner running full-time and a car full of stuff from my storage garage. I got 27 MPG.

* * *

I now have the beginnings of a plan for how to deal with shifting gears on Project Blue Oval. (Or the "Fordero" project. Whatever I call it.) I still need to research how the Fiero manual shifter works, and I'll have to measure the amount of travel the cables have, and so on--and work out if I can put the adaptor where I want it--but otherwise I have to say it's looking pretty doable.

One day of cipro left. I work Wed and Fri this week; if the schedule pattern continues, I'll have Sunday through Tuesday off, and can begin doing things in the garage.

I took some pictures of the drivetrain yesterday, and I've started giving thought to how I want to mount the thing in the car. I need to get some measurements on where the stock transaxle fits so I can start planning where the mounts for the Ford unit will go. There are plenty of mounting points on engine and transaxle, so I shouldn't have a problem getting the engine in there nice and sturdy.

I keep envisioning a tubular upper strut, known as a "dogbone" because of the shape used in most applications, but in this case it'd be a piece of tube steel bent into a crank shape, going from the stock Fiero "dogbone" mount to the upper engine mount on the Escort engine.

Well, I guess I can worry about that later.

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