atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#213: Wow!

Steven den Beste (Chizumaticdid me the honor of linking to this site. I feel honored. Apparently the story I've been writing, about the guy with the robot ("Thingy"--and now I guess I need a decent title) piqued a little interest there.

Just for the record, only "Thingy" is fiction. The rest of this is opinion and stuff--largely non-fiction. I think.

...I'm all tongue-tied.

* * *

Christmas is now less than two weeks away, and I've gotten less than half my Christmas shopping done. I suppose I ought to be thankful that I have money to shop with, this year. After the way the last few years have gone it'll feel good to give out Christmas presents this year.

In 2002, I had been unemployed for 14 months.

In 2003, I had been unemployed for 3 months and had just moved back to Illinois.

In 2004, I had been unemployed for 15 months.

In 2005, I had been EMPLOYED for 2 months and was desperately trying to catch up on several past-due bills.

(I wish this was fiction....)

It's hard to believe that it's Christmastime, already. Where did the year go? Halloween seems like it was last week. In November I caught myself thinking about picking up a few things from the Halloween display at work, and I had to remind myself that Halloween was gone. *sigh*

In fact, we're starting to get Valentine's stuff in now.... Sales of the Christmas seasonal merchandise (lights, roll wrap, ornaments, trees, etc) have peaked and are starting to fall off now. Toys (well, toys, electronics, and "media") are where it's at for the next twelve days; and after that, returns and gift card purchases! Whee!!!

If this year goes like last year, business in January will drop asymptotically, and February will be dead as the credit card bills start to roll in. Business then won't start to pick up much until Easter.


What To Watch Next?

Having chewed through Gravion I'm trying to decide what I'll watch next. I have Someday's Dreamers in its entirety, but I kind of feel like I want to save it for last. I have the first three volumes of Lupin III TV, and that's supposed to be pretty entertaining. I have a scattered few episodes of Hanaukyo Maids--the first DVD, and then some episodes I downloaded back when it was still only available as a fansub. I enjoyed what I saw then.

I came about this > < close to buying Firefly--it's on sale this week, at $19, and of course my employee discount would knock 10% off that--but someone might be thinking of buying that as a Christmas present for me, so, no. They finally released Joan of Arcadia season two; that one I've got to buy relatively soon, but--again--it can wait at least a few weeks.

I have The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Spider Man II sitting here, unopened. And I still haven't watched Howl's Moving Castle, either. (I'd better watch it. They'll take away my otaku union card....)

My biggest problem of late is trying to find both the time and the energy, and at the same time, to see the big stuff. I want "light" and "entertaining" right now--that's probably why I enjoyed Gravion, now that I think of it.

Engine Choices

My original thought for the '86 Fiero in the garage was to put a Cadillac 4.9 V8 into it.

Then I thought I'd just rebuild the V6 that was in it.

Then I got a free V6 in good condition and decided to "refresh" it.

Now I'm back to the V8 idea.

The major problem with the V8 is that it comes from a certain year car, and ideally I'd want one which was owned by some guy in his '60s who never drove it very hard, and then one day the car was hit in the rear hard enough to total it. That would be perfect. And while I am wishing, I think I'll ask for a pony, too....

As it comes from the factory, it's good for around 200 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. That's close to the Mustang GT in the mid-1980s, and that was a fast car. With suitable modification the engine can produce more power; and it weighs about as much as the V6 that came in the Fiero. Win-win. (The automatic transmission I would use weighs more than the existing one, but that's all right.)

There are plenty of other alternatives. GM's 3800 V6 is a common swap, and its numbers are nearly as good as the Cadillac V8--and the supercharged 3800 is just wicked fast in a Fiero.

And there's a guy in Indiana who will turbocharge your 3800 for a nominal fee. That's even faster.

...but what I want is a car with good low-end grunt and decent cruise capability. The Cadillac V8, in stock trim, fits that rather nicely.

And what has me thinking about all this again?

Well, at work we have a new team lead, and this guy used to be involved with automobile auctions. And, in fact, he still buys a few cars per year and re-sells them...and automobile auctions are the perfect place to get donor vehicles for projects like this. I don't want to buy a pristine car and take it apart; I'd much rather take a car which was utterly wrecked in the rear and take its engine and everything, and scrap the rest. First off, it's cheaper; second, I don't like taking a perfectly usable machine and making scrap out of it. It offends the engineer in me.

...even if I do anything of the sort it won't happen before spring of next year--and by then I might wise up. We'll see, I guess.

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