Busy day doing nothing

Well after all the emotions of yesterday I just vegged out today. The most effort I put out today was watching the Xfinity series on the toob this evening. It was a good race. Twitter has been occupying most of my time with #DotardDon acting the usual fool. There just isn’t much I can do right now as I’m still waiting on the donor car to be delivered and for the engine hoist of my dreams to magically appear in my garage to remove the engine and transmission from the donor vehicle.

I’m ready to do something, but there’s nothing I can do until I get some pieces of paper with pictures of dead guys on them. I know what I need to do to the engine, I’ll know what I need to build the frame once I get the engine out of the donor vehicle to measure where the mounts go, I know how I’ll get the transmission to shift once it’s in the car, I even know where the fuel tank and battery go. I’m ready and raring to go, but I have no place to go. I can’t even rev my engine because the engine is sitting across town in a rusty minivan. Actually it is sitting two towns over in a 21 YO rusty minivan, waiting for me to come get it. I really need to go there and start the engine and let it run a while to make sure it doesn’t seize up from lack of use.

I also need to write, but lack something to write about other than Twitter and the comics I have been reading. Just to go and do nothing requires buying a $5 bus pass to get there. Problem is I don’t even have the $5 right now to go do nothing (or go to the library or something). We are in that time of the month when there was more month than money. Most of the little side gigs I used to have to scare up a few bucks have dried up, and the ones I still have are not making up the difference no matter how hard I work them. The mobile game I played is gone. The other gigs are paying out pretty much the same. I can’t find regular work with all the abuse my body has been through and because when I get assessed for disability my injuries are considered separately I don’t get any money because I can still “work”. I can’t do any of the jobs they suggest because what they suggest for one problem is exactly what I can’t do anymore because of another problem, then they do the exact opposite of suggesting a job I could do with that one thing wrong that I can’t do because of the first thing.

Basically I have two handicaps compared to what I was. First is my mind is not as nimble as it used to be. I still come up with solutions to problems, but what used to be nearly instantaneous is now a prolonged process. Second is because of the scar tissue around the various things they had to put back together in my left leg there is a lot of things I physically can’t do, like getting down on the ground and getting back up quickly. Getting up from the ground is a major deal requiring room and time. But if you read this blog much you already knew that. I’m physically and mentally slow compared to what I was before the wreck. And I never was much good before the wreck except for mental work. Physically I have always been a slug.

Enough complaining, I need to get to bed and let my aches and pains take a break.

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I was out celebrating my B-Day

Sorry there isn’t more in this post, but I spent most of the day celebrating my birthday. Mostly I was going from place to place getting free stuff, some with Mrs. the Poet, some without. I had a free Starbucks drink so I got the biggest Frappuccino I could get and split it with her, after we got groceries. Then I hopped the bus and got a half-pound bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg at Red Robin and ended up getting stuffed on that and the bottomless fries. And there is a cherry pie with birthday candles waiting…

And with all the eating and the waiting around for the bus, I’m beat. I’ll write some more tomorrow.

Sitting here sweating

Our last window unit seems to be dying and not cooling and I’m suffering in an 86°F(30°C) office. I’m pretty much covered in sweat and somewhat smelly or maybe more than just somewhat smelly. I am seriously lacking energy from all the heat, but there is an up side to this: my back is not hurting much while the muscle is nice and warm. I was able to get to sleep without using pain relievers last night. I made the mistake of also not taking the diphenhydramine I use to shut the brain down so I can sleep, so I basically didn’t get to sleep for anything more than a catnap and woke up again around noon. I’m bobbing and weaving in my chair so I think I will be able to get to sleep early.

And I think I will take that trip to bed shortly.

OK I’m taking a step back because really stupid people pushed me into it

I’m posting this in response to something on Twitter yesterday that I read after posting yesterday’s post. The post was to the effect that because cyclists choose to ride in the roads we are responsible for what happens to us.

First is the false “choice” of riding in the street. If you want to get someplace you have no bicycle infrastructure for 99+% of all trips so it’s not a “choice” to ride in the street. It is a necessity.

Second we are not the ones using WMD as transportation that kills ~40K people/annum directly by impact and another million or so by pollution, and that’s just in the US. So it’s drivers killing cyclists, not cyclists forcing drivers to kill us. Drivers are not paying proper attention to traffic (and bicycles are traffic) and cyclists are suffering for their inattention. Or for their choice to drive on short trips. And for their demands for free storage for their property when not in use has literally destroyed city centers.

And for you not reading my recent posts I have a soft spot in my heart for cars, when used in an appropriate manner like motorsports in a controlled environment, or making long trips between places not served by any form of public transit like rural areas. Cars are a good fit for rural areas, but then we try to force them into urban areas where they are a crappy fit or worse. Unfortunately I’m not smart enough to figure out how to bridge between areas where cars are a good fit and cars are bad-to-deadly-on-a-daily-basis fit. I mean I’m no dummy, people in rural areas need cars and light to heavy trucks for their daily lives or they will be forced into poverty. On the other side of the coin those same cars and trucks are killing people in cities. And they are not so good for rural people either.

The real problem is we have baked automobilism into our economies so much that trying to prevent the harm it causes will cause as much harm as the harm we prevent, just of a different kind. To put this in a different perspective it’s like you have a cancer that will kill you painfully in a few weeks, and the operation to cure the cancer will kill you in a year, but it won’t hurt much. Either way you still die ahead of schedule. And there are times when it would be so much easier to be an absolutist instead of looking on both sides of the argument.

Truex wins the first race of the Chase Playoffs, Josef Newgarden wins Indycar Championship

Well, the first race of the Chase Playoffs is in the books and to nobody’s surprise Martin Truex won on the mile-and-a-half Chicagoland Speedway. It was a great race, especially with Kyle Busch getting 2 laps down but finishing on the lead lap. Truex didn’t exactly dominate the race, but there weren’t many times when he wasn’t either in the lead or striking distance of the lead.

And the IndyCar race from Sonoma is on but it might as well be on the radio because Clint has decided that the spot in front of the TV is the perfect place to take a nap, which blocks the crawl showing the running order, and it’s almost like they were watching me type this because now the crawl is at the top of the screen, and Clint is laying down almost enough to see the whole screen. There was a break in there where Clint decided to try to sleep in behind me in my chair (I have a memory foam seat cushion that retains body heat) and I couldn’t reach the keyboard to type. And Simon Pagenaud wins the race but Josef Newgarden of Hendersonville TN wins the championship. I used to work in an auto parts store in Hendersonville for a company that doesn’t exist any more. I wonder if Newgarden ever came into the Honey’s Auto Parts in Hendersonville?

Now is the replay of the F1 race in Singapore. I missed the first show and haven’t checked the F1 web page for the race. So for me this is like a live race. And that first lap was wild. Too many people trying to win in the first corner with too little traction in the wet. There were 5 cars taken out in one corner and half of them were hit by a car out of control after bouncing off another car. At this point about halfway into the race there are either 7 or 6 cars out, the graphics aren’t staying up long enough to be sure. And now they are back to showing just 5 cars out with two some laps down. With all the cars flying during the slow-motion replays I’m getting lots of good ideas for underbody configuration. And right now they have a dry line and small lakes off line so it’s follow the leader on slicks, but the rest of the track is drying so maybe there could be some passing in the last few minutes. Checking the graphics they lost 2 more to mechanical failure bringing the casualty count to 7. ATM it looks like Hamilton unless something breaks in the last lap which has happened before to Hamilton in the Mercedes. But today he won. Even though they didn’t throw a checkered until the second lap after the white flag. Another WTF moment in a series of WTF moments in this race.

On the TGS2 right now there is zero progress being made. I’m rebuilding my hone to get the kingpins to fit the spindles but other than that nothing is getting done. The biggest impediment is changing my anti-depressant meds destroying any motivation I have. That and zero budget for parts and tools. That really kills progress too.

And on that happy note I’m going to shower and get to bed.

Big racing weekend

There are a bunch of races on the tube this weekend, trucks tonight, Xfinity series tomorrow, and F1, Monster Energy, and Indy Car on Sunday. Indy Car is deciding their champion Sunday, Xfinity series is starting their playoffs and the trucks are setting their playoff contenders tonight. Racing inspires me when I’m building my TGS2, but I don’t get any direct transfer from their designs. Detail touches sure, but nothing major can transfer because of the vastly different technology in my car and all of those race series. I think the closest is Indy Car or F1 because of the mid-engines, but with the tubular beam front axle and de Dion rear suspension on my car compared to the 4-wheel independent suspension on those cars, and my engine being transverse and their engines being longitudinal, and I have a 4-sp automatic and they have 6 to ? speed manual or semi-automatic transmissions. Like I said, details, details.

I have been following a YouTube series on building an Australian rules Formula Vee and I have to say their rules are a wild combination of ancient suspension geometry and frame, and modern aerodynamics. And the tires are completely different from the spec tires used in the US. Like I said, interesting and something to add to the data bank even when there is no direct transfer to my car. I like to learn as much as possible because you just never know when something you learned is going to come in handy. And that doesn’t just apply to cars. Sioux, that one’s for you.

One of the things I have been thinking about was extending and smoothing the front contours of the body for more room in the cockpit and better aero for freeway fuel economy. I have some options on that, because I can either put a big fuel tank behind the driver, or two smaller tanks on either side of the driver in a more supine driving position for less frontal area. The single tank behind a more upright driver is better for Goodguys autocross and SCCA Solo racing, but the laydown position gets better fuel economy and isn’t a very big handicap for autocross and Solo. Final analysis it depends on personal preference, my personal preference. And I prefer to sit more upright and be able to see my outside front corners, plus the single tank costs a ton le$$ than the two tank setup, because the single tank is a stocked item in several retail sellers, while the dual tanks would be custom job$.

Something else to consider is the adaptability of the cockpit to different drivers. The supine driving position requires lots of changes between drivers unless they are practically identical twins where the more upright position just needs to change the seat insert and maybe the steering wheel when changing drivers. I’m thinking about changing drivers because I want to have a pro driver to get the most out of the car at Goodguys, and I have a friend who’s a decent driver and probably wants to get behind the wheel in competition, too. So I really need a cockpit that is adaptable to different drivers without major disassembly.

Finally got some sleep and meds

I finally got some sleep today after staring at the wall until ~0700. I went to bed about 0300 and tossed and turned trying to find a comfortable position to lie down. Then I had to get the brain to shut down and let me sleep. But good news Mrs. the Poet went out to do some things and got me my new scrip for anti-depressants filled. Now I just have to wait until I build up enough in my tissues to hop the blood/brain barrier and start anti-depressing me.

I never got too depressed to stop thinking about my engine in the TGS2. Like I posted a few days ago I did some research and reverse-engineering to determine I had 55cc combustion chambers on the head side. That means I probably won’t have to angle-mill the heads to get the combustion chamber in the head down to 44cc, but I probably will just to keep as much material on the deck surface as I can for stability. As much as I would like to believe it to be otherwise, aluminum heads are not rigid structures and flex under the loads of combustion, causing them to loosen over time and eventually blowing head gaskets. Leaving the deck surface as thick as possible helps reduce this flex, which is why I’m going to angle-mill instead of straight milling the head surface. Ideally I would fill in the combustion chamber to make it smaller and stiffer, but this requires access to materials and machining processes that I don’t have access to. The reason why I would do this over milling the heads is adding to the combustion chamber makes it stiffer, and I can move things around to improve intake and exhaust flow while reducing the chamber volume. But as I said I can’t get to the machines I would need to do this so I will angle-mill instead.

Something else I have been thinking about is moving the injectors to get more fuel cooling of the intake charge. E85 fuel has a very high latent heat of evaporation that can drastically reduce the temperature of the intake charge, but it has to have time to work for that to happen. What I was thinking about doing was moving the injectors from right next to the head surface of the manifold to the top of the intake plenum aimed straight down into the ports with the manifold changed to a more vertical plenum on top rather than the bent over runners and plenum on the side on the stock manifold. This would still keep the same mixture distribution as the stock injector position next to the head in the middle of the port, but gives the entire length of the port for the fuel to evaporate and cool the charge before it enters the cylinder. This would improve both power and economy as a cooler charge can work with either more compression or more spark lead, either of which makes more power at WOT and better economy at low throttle openings. The fact that working on combustion chamber design and mixture distribution improves WOT power at the same time it helps part-throttle economy is a big reason why we have 300 HP cars that deliver 40 MPG highway these days. It’s a combination of aero and engine efficiency reducing the amount of power required and getting more power out of the fuel used.

I’m from the days when knowing how to change jets and power valves was required to tune a modified engine, now you need to know how to alter a fuel table in a computer to do the same thing. I can understand why some of us fogeys are upset at the change negating hard-won knowledge, but TBH changing fuel tables in a computer is just better. For one it’s a lot cleaner than changing jets and power valves, besides being more precise. But there is still one old skill I’m going to need when I start working on the TGS2 engine after the conversion to E85: I can read spark plugs for heat range. And E85 at 14:1 compression requires a lower heat range than 87 Octane at 9.8:1, but nobody knows exactly how much lower. I’m going to start with stock and give them a read to see how much lower I need to go to save buying an extra set of plugs. Or I could buy 6 individual plugs at 6 different heat ranges and give them all a pull at the same time and go buy the full set of the one that reads closest to perfect. In fact I think that is the solution. A fast cheap solution to finding the best heat range for the E85 conversion.

And My Goodness I have been wordy today, 800 words to be semi-precise. Feeling better makes me write better and writing better makes me feel better. Yay!

Short post, nothing got done, I’m going to bed

Headline said it all, both Mrs. the Poet and I are laid up, I don’t have enough cash to pay for either thing I have to pay for but the phone bill would take her debit card no sweat if I could walk to the store. And I have been without depression meds for 3 weeks now and really starting to feel the add-on effects of depression, the lethargy and over-reaction to minor pains. And insomnia, I’m exhausted but I can’t get to sleep because my stupid brain won’t shut down and let me sleep. If it was running something useful I would just channel it to do something with it, but no it’s just running like a hamster on a wheel getting nowhere and doing nothing except not letting me sleep. It’s now 0300 and I’m about to drop physically, but the mind won’t stop racing through thoughts to let me sleep. I can still use the keyboard to record waht’s happeneing more or less but rational thought prosesses ARE off line ATM. Stream of prtial concsiousness complete with typos and ransom spelling errors coming through.

I have my personal YTM channel going on my phoind b ut I’m not looking at the screen for the vide just listening to the music. Every so often I get something slightly soothing like Solsbury hill by Peter Gabriel. i’m sp tired but I can’t sleep. I can barely see the keyboard rith now because my eyes have gotten all goopy from lack of sleep so im not sure I’m hitting the right keyes I’m just touchtyping ATM and I know I’m not hitting all the right keyes because I can feeel I’m hitting more than one key at a time and some words are too long some by several letters.

I’m giving up on trying to blog.

There are no words

There are no words to describe how bad I feel right now. First of all I spent about 2.5 miles on my feet today running around and generally getting nothing done. I was supposed to get my kidneys imaged for the surgery next week, but when I got there none of the paperwork had been sent. I found out that over the weekend the study had been defunded, and I would have to go back on daily meds to control my hypertension. The few people who got their operations done are doing great with normal blood pressure.

All that running around has given me a headache and also aggravated my back. I’m thinking the headache is from the problems with the study, my cell getting shut off because I didn’t pay the bill on time, and Mrs the Poet injuring her face and knee tripping over stuff in the dark after deciding to not come to bed when I told her I was turning off the lights and she would probably be more comfortable in bed than on the couch. She took a big hit to the knee in the fall but her face looks worse than her knee. She says the looks are deceiving, her knee is the worse hit. Anyway, we are both in some degree of pain tonight.

I have to go get my new anti-depressants tomorrow. The big problem was finding one that had a low incidence of sexual side effects but was available as a discounted generic and wasn’t too similar to the one that had just quit working on my depression. I don’t know what I’m getting yet, but I was asked about how that Zoloft trial went several years back when they were looking for interactions between anti-depressants and a certain BP med.

I have been checking and my 3.8l engine was one that had a 10 cc dish in the piston and roughly a 9.8:1 compression ratio. That means I have a stock combustion chamber of roughly 55 ccs and don’t need to take too much off the heads to get the ~45 cc combustion chamber I need for the 14:1 ratio for running E85 at best efficiency. I have been repeating the mantra for getting best efficiency out of E85: high compression but remove all possible sources of preignition by removing sharp edges and polishing the combustion chamber.

And I feel like cold excrement (fancy words to slip by censors) so I’m taking more pain pills and going to bed now.

It has been rough

My back pain has gone from piccolos and violins screeching to cellos and tubas throbbing. I don’t know how well this translates for the non-musical reader, but for you a different imagery. Instead of the sharp but intermittent pain from before I now have a less intense but more constant pain. I can deal with the amount of pain I have now pretty well, and from previous experience I can tell that this particular injury has turned the corner to recovery.

Yesterday we celebrated my grandson’s 5th birthday with presents, and cupcakes and ice cream. I got him a book, naturally, a Little Golden Book of his favorite superhero, Ironman. But his favorite present that got the most play was some Beyblade tops. Books are more of a quiet time thing and the party was anything but quiet. I’m sure he will get around to reading it or getting it read to him soon.

Tomorrow I’m going to get a cat scan and sonogram of my kidneys for the lab rat gig. I’m really excited about this because it represents a massive step forward in the treatment of hypertension, a cure rather than daily medication. I know that my contribution won’t even merit a footnote aside from “volunteer participants in study” but still this is exciting damnit!

No progress on the TGS2 in any way, too much running around and grocery shopping the last two days. And I really don’t have anything else to write about for the same reason. I was on the road and nothing really happened except cars went by. And I have serious doubts about describing passing traffic as entertainment. That would rate up there with a dramatic reading of the phonebook residential pages.

I’m currently in a washout for new antidepressants, and I’m not doing well emotionally. I’m having problems corralling my thoughts which makes writing somewhat difficult. It’s almost like being depressed makes my ADHD worse. When you consider that the normal treatment for ADHD is meth, being depressed making ADHD worse makes sense. And that makes me think that maybe ADHD is a side effect of being depressed, or depression is a side effect of ADHD? Anyway having one makes the other worse especially when both are untreated. This is another potential point of study that could be explored by someone in the future, and I won’t even ask to be mentioned in the credits 😀 .