# Algebra

The other day I got to use algebra to show my youngest how we could determine the shelf spacing on an Ikea shelf by only knowing it’s height and the height of another in the same family.

She was looking at this Mulig shelf unit for her new turntable and wanted to know if the shelves were tall enough for the records.  All we knew was that it was 35.375″ tall.  However, they have other units in the same family and this one is the same width and is 5 shelves instead of 3 and it’s 63.75″ tall.  With a couple of rational assumptions and some algebra we determined that it would work.

First the assumptions:

1. They are made from the same components.
2. The shelf spacing is the same between the two units.
3. The space above the top shelf and the space below the bottom shelf is equal.

Given that, once can write the following with X being the center to center spacing of the shelves and Y the space at the top and bottom:

4x+2y=63.75

2x+2y=35.375

Solving one for 2y we get:

2y=35.375-2x

Which we can then substitute in the first equation and solve for X:

4x+(35.375-2x)=63.75

2x+35.375=63.75

2x=28.375

x=14.1875

That then lets us solve for Y:

2y=35.375-2x

2y=35.375-2*14.1875

2y=35.375-28.375

2y=7

y=3.5

So, the shelf to shelf dim should be about 14.1875″ and the shelf center to floor dim should be about 3.5″.  Assuming a shelf thickness of about 1″, reasonable looking at the images, I estimated the open space to be 13.1875″. Plenty of space for 12″ records, so we ordered one.

After picking it up and putting it together I measured the space and found it was exactly what the algebra told us it would be – 13.1875″.

Gotta love math.

# Purpose in Pain

This morning I was reading in Jared Wilson’s “The Story of Everything“, the chapter on pain called no More Tears.  What a powerful chapter on a challenging subject and I really can’t do it justice herre with a short summary.  I appreciated the depth & the honesty of Jared’s take.  He didn’t shy away from how challenging pain and suffering is while at the same time proclaiming God’s purpose in it.  Jared points out that there is purpose in pain in God’s great plan for the world and God is not absent. God is there and has not forsaken me.

The larger point is that for believers, God’s promise is not keep us from pain now, but that pain has an expiration date.  Without Jesus, that’s not true.  And if I know that it’s absolutely going to end, I can endure, even if that end isn’t in sight.

Over and over, God’s message to the suffering has been I see. I know. And I am looking after you.  Trust me.

I find that I’m often too impatient.  I want God to fix it now, not eventually. I, frankly, don’t necessarily trust Him and His plan because I can’t see far enough ahead to know that it’s really going to be OK.

I want to more faithfully endure, looking ahead to better time, rather lamenting that this time isn’t as good as I want it to be.

# Group B

This is just awesome. The first 2.5 mins are mostly (awesome) engine sounds and then it’s 8 minutes of high flying, sideways, spectator dodging Group B awesomeness. I really, really want to drive fast, sideways through the woods like this.
Do they still have racing like this?

# Prayer Request

A long time on-line friend from back when I actually was blogging, keith Brenton, posted this on his blog today:

The Brenton family needs your prayers, because we need two miracles.
Angi has been a little ill – digestive difficulties – since January and it got bad enough that she went to the doctor early last week. They did some blood tests and a CT scan Friday, 2/15. The preliminary diagnosis we got the next day from the scan is pancreatic cancer – a golfball-sized tumor near the bottom of the pancreas, and unfortunately, signs that it has spread to the liver.
The prognosis for this type of cancer is never good, and life expectancy if caught early is usually about nine months – less if other organs are affected.
She will see an oncologist in Asheville Thursday, one who specializes in this type of cancer, and we’ll know more then.
This has been a shock for all of us, and we have been informing family members and friends. It has been especially difficult for our 16-year-old daughter Laura, who has been battling depression for some months. The day Angi’s scan was taken, we were admitting Laura to the local hospital’s ER for a comprehensive evaluation. We agreed (including Laura) with the evaluating team that she needed to be placed temporarily at a hospital which specializes in treating depression, and one of us was with her at the ER 24 hours a day until a bed opened up Monday evening 2/18, just 3-1/2 hours away. We have taken her there, and she’ll be in that program to help restart her life about 5-7 days.

I shared this with my minister here to add Keith, Angi and Laura to our prayers and his response was “Wow. That’s a lot to handle.” Indeed.
Keith is a vocal champion for Jesus, not one to hold back from challenging those who’s focus is other things. He and I hail from separate branches from the Church of Christ tree, each with plenty of opportunities for such challenges. As such, Keith has a thick skin (and a gracious spirit to compliment it), but I imagine these events are threatening to pierce it.
If you follow Keith on twitter, you’ll be familiar with this near-daily tweet of his (and this one is from today):

Too often I look at it and think “what a nice sentiment” but do nothing with it. Not tomorrow.
Won’t you join me then, and now, in praying for Keith, Angi and Laura?

# S.A-S.H.: The 1960 Thunderbird

In response to Hooniverse’s 4 part series of Thunderbird brochures (1, 2, 3, 4) in their R.A-S.H. series. R.A-S.H. stands for “Rusty’s Archive of Showroom Hyperbole”, so I’ve called this, creatively, S.A-S.H. or Salguod’s Archive of Showroom Hyperbole. Archive is likely incorrect as I’m unlikely to do this again, but i digress.
Since the R.A-S.H. posts were mostly taken on the ‘bonnet’ of his ’98 Audi A4, I decided it only fitting to photograph this on the hood of my 1960 Thunderbird Convertible. Let’s have a look at ‘The World’s Most Wanted Car‘.

Thunderbird – one of the great all-time automotive classics!
This is year 3 of the first of the 4 seat Thunderbirds. The Squarebirds, as they’ve come to be known, were a resounding sales success. The ’60 alone was the best selling T’bird until the ’77 models came out, out selling all 3 years of the 2 seaters combined. However, until recently, the 4 seat T’birds, and the Squarebirds in particular, were the red headed step children of the Thunderbird universe. Even though the 4 seaters are gaining popularity and respect now, there’s still a 2 seat vs. 4 seat divide in the T’bird world, even among parts suppliers. It was certainly one of the most desirable cars at the time, but to call it an all-time classic when new was certainly a stretch.

Just say “Thunderbird”!
The very name evokes an image of glamour and spirit and distinction. This beautiful car comes by its beauty naturally. You won’t find another car with lines so clean. So unaffected. So smart.

You want hyberbole? This is 1960, we’ve got hyperbole.
Sports car roadability and luxury car comfort.
Yeah, if 0-60 in 10+ seconds, body roll and a floaty ride are “sports car roadability” and a tight-for-4 interior is ‘comfort’.
Fully automatic, the top disappears completely!
Along with 75% of the already meager trunk space. Actually, and I’m biased here, but this is pretty cool. The predecessor to the system on the 4 door Continental Convertible, the 1960 T’bird’s top goes down from the driver’s seat, with a flip of the two windsheild latches (conveniently left out of the brochure) and engaging the switch. The deck-lid rises, the top goes down and the deck-lid closes, leaving a clean, finsihed appearance. No boot to fuss with. It’s not a simple system with a hydraulic pump, 4 cylinders, 12 relays and numerous limit switches and solenoids. Should the system fail and you need to access the trunk, you jack the car, remove the wheels, drop the fuel tank and disconnect the hydraulic cylinders in back and the deck-lid latches through small access holes under the car. Thankfully, the system is actually pretty reliable if used regularly.

Decades before Photoshop, that top image is a retouched lie. They’ve used the split created by the lady’s arm to stretch the rear seat leg room to about 3 times actual. Compare to the green interior below.
The bellman on the left is thinking “Lady, I’m not sure this is gonna close.” Yes, the trunk is 5′ 5″ wide, but it’s not deep enough for a full paper grocery sack to stand upright. This page talks about Thunderbird’s ‘compact’ dimensions, but that only applies to the interior, it’s nearly as long and wide as my 8 passenger Saturn Outlook.

Accessories “To add an extra measure of comfort and pleasure.” Luxurious things like backup lights and a window washer. Check out the sliding steel sunroof, on an American car in 1960.

300 or 350 HP, but that’s gross, not the now standard SAE net. As I said before, the base engine isn’t particularly quick. It does feel quick, especially if you pay attention and put it in D1 so you don’t start in second gear. Note, however, that you could get your ‘luxury’ car with a 3 speed stick – on the column. Note that there’s nothing hiding those beautiful V8s and that the top image is actually a painting of the engine, not a photograph.

What strikes be the most on this page is how bad that top image is. Look at how blurry the people are. The image is so bad, that all the detail on the car – the grille, headlights, door cut line, quarter panel trim – is airbrushed in.

Oh, for the days of “15 Luxury Lounge” interiors, 56 different two tone exteriors and honest to goodness colors. Modern cars have maybe 10 colors and 6 of them are grey.
I hope the fellow Hoons at Hooniverse will forgive my plagiarism borrowing of their format. I’ve always been a fan of auto literature (I have boxes of the stuff from all the shows I’ve been to) and enjoy the R.A-S.H. posts. With their 4 T’bird themed entries this week, it seemed fitting.

Disclaimer:- All photos were taken by the author and are of genuine original manufacturer publicity material, resting on the hood of a 1960 Thunderbird, currently in hibernation awaiting warmer days. All copyright rights remain in the possession of the manufacturer.

# A Day at Mid-Ohio

This past weekend I had the privileged of attending Saturday’s races at Mid Ohio including the American Lemans race (Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge), USF2000 National Championship race #1 and Pirelli World Challenge Championship race #1.
The weekend was sponsored by Honda (who did well this weekend, winning both prototype classes of the ALMS race and Sunday’s Indy car race) and a buddy who works at Honda had tickets for the weekend and invited me to come along. It was the first race I had been to in over 30 years. The last race I attended, I believe, was also at Mid Ohio, the Champion Spark Plug Challenge race (IMSA?) in the late 70’s or early 80’s when I was in middle school, I think. Yeah, I’m old.
Anyway, in the spirit of the olelongrooffan from Hooniverse and his visits to the birthplace of speed, I kept my eye out for interesting cars in the parking areas of the track. We spent most of our time in the infield, wandering from corner to corner to take in the race from different vantage points. Along the way (and in the parking lot) we were greeted with a nice variety of nifty machinery.

First up was this very clean, and wonderfully brown, Lincoln Mark VII LSC. Judging by the BBS inspired wheels, this is a 1990-1992. I’ve always liked the looks of these.

I didn’t bring my good camera, choosing not to lug it around, a bad move in hind sight. Instead I just snapped pics on my cell phone. It’s got quite a decent 8MP camera, but it’s still a phone camera and, as this shot proves, has limitations. Several came out like there was schmutz on the lens, but not all of them and I never cleaned the lens, so who knows. Anyway, I thought these two late model beauties from Stuttgart were worth an image, even if it is a bit fuzzy.

Just up the isle from the new and shiny Porsches was this clean, older 944. The 944 never did much for me growing up, no Porsches did frankly, but it was nice seeing this one now 20 some years old.

Another victim of the cell phone camera was this real clean 1959 MGA (I read license plates well). I must have caught the sun on the rear view mirror or something. Look how big that new Mini looks in comparison.

Honda’s S2000 was well represented along the road toward the main bridge to the infield. As a Honda sponsored event, they were well represented period. In fact, I saw more Crosstours and CR-Zs here than I think I had everywhere else to date.

Several manufacturers were represented, both in official displays like the SRT display in the background (this was the first race for the new Viper GTS-R), or in owner’s infield parking areas. This very clean early 60’s Caddy was parked last in a row of newer Cadillacs. The wheel covers and extra wide whites are a bit too much for me.

I can’t really blame the phone camera on this one, I was clearly in too much of a hurry to catch up with the group and moved the phone before the shot. I didn’t realize it until we were down the road a ways. The car in question was worth including anyways. No, not the CRZ but the Europe only Focus RS Mk2 in Ultimate Green. There it was, hiding under the trees among the more common riff-raff in the infield. Man, I wish I had gotten a better shot.

This pristine early VW Type 2 T2 camper (Westfalia?) looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor, not like it had been driven from Indiana like its plates indicated. It didn’t even look like it could have been driven up the dirt path through the infield.

This later Type 2 T2 was every bit as clean, if not quite as appealing as the older pop-top.

But the best was the awesome Type 2 T1 camper (or is it a Combi?) with what looks like a period roof top tent on a modern roof rack. My only disappointment was that they weren’t up in the tent watching the race. They were parked right along the fence, after all (see the Porsche on the track on the left?).

When was the last time you saw a single XLR, let alone 5 together and 2 of them V-series?

This was only half of the Corvette area. There must have been 100 ‘Vettes, and all but this ’59-’60 were late model, C4, C5 or C6 models.

This was an interesting car that I wasn’t familiar with. A 1962 Porsche 356 notchback. Built, according to the owner, to give a bit more head room for the rear seat. Only built in ’61 & ’62, the first few were converted convertibles and later in life many got converted back, as the rag-top was more desirable. One of a couple thousand made.

Another blast from the past was this 928. I didn’t even see the 300 ZXs right behind it. I wish I had, I would have gotten a shot of them too. Can you spot the surf board?
Oh, and yes there was a race going on, so here is a shot from each of the three races on Saturday.

This is the ALMS race, with a couple of the GT cars and a couple prototypes heading into the front straight. These were all impressive machines, watching the prototypes corner was a treat as they simply changed direction with no perceivable body roll. I loved listening to the GT cars, the Ferrari 458s and BMW 3 series had a wicked wail, but the Corvettes had a low rumble that you could feel. The Vipers didn’t sound good at all, they sounded out of tune, and maybe they were, they weren’t competitive at all.

These are the Mazda powered USF2000 cars heading into the esses after the long straight at the starting line. A series with one chassis and running sealed 2.0 liter Mazda engines, this one was all about driver talent.

This is the first lap of the Pirelli World Challenge race. The cars have just come off the starting line up to the left and are headed into the esses. This looked like it was going to be a great race with 54 cars on the track ranging from the Volvos and Caddy CTS-Vs you see up front to a couple GTRs, A8s, Camaros, Mustangs, a flock of 911s down to a Kia Optima, Mazdaspeed3s and Civics. There was even a guy campaigning a Solstice coupe. Unfortunately we had to go, so we only saw a couple laps. According to their website, a Volvo took the GT class, an Acura won the GTS class and Mazda (Go Zoom Zoom!) won the TC class.
All in all a fun day, even though it was real hot and we walked a lot. I hope to get back to another race before another 30 years goes by.

# Job 6 – Job Objects

In Job 6:2-3 Job protests, “If only there was a way to quantify my suffering, you’d see there’s a reason for my rash words.” But in Job 6:3-4 he makes the same mistake as Eliphaz, ascribing the suffering to God rather than Satan.
Job repeats his earlier lament in Job 6:8-13, rather clarifies it. Instead of wishing that hadn’t been born, he simply longs that God would finish what, in Job’s view, He has started. Just crush me, he says, for what hope could I possibly have now?
Job’s despair is great and clear, yet his friend Eliphaz has only responded with implied condemnation rather than compassion. Jon’s plea here is again for compassion, though indirectly. In Job 6:14-17 he directly rebukes them for withhodling kindness.
He pleas in Job 6:24-27, continuing his rebuke, tell me what I’ve done wrong? Eliphaz has said that surely he must have sinned to have brought such suffering upon himself, but he hasn’t named the sin nor accused Job of anything. Job says “what does reproof from you reprove?”
He challenges them in Job6:28-30, “look at me, … let no injustice be done … is there any injustice on my tongue?”
Eliphaz assumed there must be sin, and therefore accused Job. Yet he had found no evidence other than suffering. Often times as disciples or as parents, we can see a situation and think (what have they done.” and go after them as if already guilty. But until we the facts of sin, we should hold our tongues.
Compassion should rule the day, not judgement.

# Job 4 & 5 – Eliphaz Speaks

Interesting to me that Eliphaz accuses Job of ‘impatience’. He lost everything of value to him, save is wife, and he has sat in silence for a week. Doesn’t sound like impatience to me.
The gist of Job 4 and the intro of Job 5 is that calamity doesn’t come without sin, the just aren’t punished, so surely Job has sinned. We know from our insight in Job 1-2 that Job was upright, called out by God as an example of righteousness. Yet God allowed Satan to attack him.
So this was not of Job’s doing, and we see this in our lives as well. Hardship comes upon many people, most people frankly, and often it is not deserved. Callous religious folks will tell you it’s due to a lacking in your faith or behavior, but the facts do not bear this out. People suffer and much of the time it is due to nothing in their control. To say otherwise is heartless and does injustice to their pain.
Eliphaz councils Job to seek God in his pain (Job 5:8-16), wise words, but there is an undercurrent of cynicism there (or maybe it’s my own cynicism). He seems to be saying, “Go to God, you’ll see, He’ll set you straight.” as opposed to “Go to God for comfort.” His words speak of God’s opposition to sinners and protection of the right and humble, implying that Job is certainly in the former since he was not protected.
In fact, in Job 5:17-27 he goes on about how God takes care of those he loves, even telling Job that folks with God laugh at destruction (v.22) and their offspring will be many (v.25), a bit callous to say to a man who has just seen destruction and the ruin of his offspring.
As I said earlier, there are religious ‘councilors’ that will try to tell you amid great tragedy and pain all the reasons that you have brought this on when there is no evidice to support it (notice that Eliphaz doesn’t accuse Job of anything specifically, just implies that there must be something). Run from them. Seek those who will not shy away from confronting your sin when needed, but will comfort, care for and bandage your soul when wounded by the storms of life common to us all.
Jesus cared for the afflicted, over and over and mostly without comment on the reasons for their suffering. He simply cared for them.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 12:15-21

# Joy Runs Deep

Jared Wilson talks about how the expanse of the Gospel is far bigger than anything we know, bigger than our traditions and expectations. It bursts forth, requiring us to change our ways of thinking and our expectatuions.
And it’s founded, at least in part, on the joy of ‘God with us’. The disciples had no reason to fast, for Jesus was with them (Mar 2:18-22), and He is with us too so, as Jared says, “those united to Christ are not to be typefied by grief but by joy”. Indeed:

When we have this deep joy, we navigate seasons of suffering and brokenness with both the firmness of faith and the flexibility of it. We are able to confidently say, “This day” — with all its troubles — “is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24) Because we know that the joy is so deep, it will buoy our souls for all eternity.

It’s a great post, go read the whole thing.