Addendum to hearing aids

I mentioned in the post about the hearing aids that while I have a hard time understanding certain consonants, my actual hearing was almost as good as my young grandson’s, to the effect that I recognize some of the neighborhood dogs’ barks to the point of knowing if a bark is from a local or “just visiting” dog.

Sadly, one of the neighborhood dogs is not going to be part of the late night tapestry for a while, if ever. While waiting for sleep I heard a particularly long and loud effort that was cut short by 3 or 4 gunshots from a medium caliber pistol, followed a few seconds later by 4 more shots. If the dog was shot it was deadly, because I didn’t hear the high-pitched yelps of your typical wounded dog. What I’m worried about is the last 4 shots sounded like they may have been from a different gun, a larger caliber than the first gun but still not a large caliber weapon. On a slightly happier note those were the first gunshots I heard in the area for many weeks.

There were a lot of gunshots during the first couple of months of the pandemic. There were many weeks where I heard gunfire nearly every night. I’m not going to say there was a link, but some of my neighbors are not very bright and may have thought they could shoot the virus, or more likely instead of exercising their limited social skills to handle conflicts they just shot things or other people. But in recent weeks until the other night there were very few gunshots close enough to hear. Now I don’t know if that means the people shooting were “detained” or just out of ammo, or got anger management, or what, I just know that there wasn’t any shooting going on within my earshot, pardon the pun.

And on a Monty Python note (now for something completely different) we took delivery on a new couch this morning. It’s a collaborative effort between us and my son, which we are paying him back for when we get the mess with the inheritance trust straightened out. But, it is a really nice couch with 2 reclining sections that are each big enough to snuggle together on, not that Mrs. the Poet and I can do much snuggling in our conditions between her back and my hips and knee.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned this in an earlier post, but the costs of keeping the trust are now outweighing the benefits of keeping it. The last 2 years the costs of filing the complex tax return have exceeded the tax benefits of having the trust since there wasn’t much paper loss we could claim for taxes. The biggest issue is the trust is getting depleted to the point where we are mostly in bonds now instead of more liquid stocks, and those do not have the swings and drops that were giving us tax refunds on paper losses. But now we are just getting ready to transfer what’s left to what is laughingly referred to as a “high yield savings” account at my credit union. “High yield” in this case means almost 1% APR return. Yay 🏳️🏳️‍🌈🚩 In other financial news, the IRA account that pays my “allowance” will be able to pay that for another 20-30 years depending on how they do the COLA on my allowance, I’m getting $200/mo at the moment, which is subject to increase as needed. That $200 is the benefit used to predict the 30 year time span for the account, and obviously with getting SS my needs for an allowance are going to be radically diminished, so this is probably going to get passed on to my kids should it turn out that I am actually mortal. Also it turns out that $200/month is the new minimum amount I need to take out to avoid getting a huge tax penalty.

OK I’m back, I just took a TV break to see how the couch in the new spot does for watching TV during the day, which is the situation for most of the TV watching I do during the racing season. Daytime TV during the week is still as dismal as I remembered, but the watching experience outside of the program was much improved. We used to get a big glare from the dining room windows that washed out the picture on the flat screen. When we were watching on the CRT it wasn’t as big an issue because the curved screen didn’t have the reflection problems we have now with the flat screen, but with the new couch facing the TV instead of off to the side the only thing reflecting in the screen is us watching TV. And since I don’t glow or otherwise emit light (yet) there isn’t anything distracting from what’s actually on TV. And the new couch is very comfy even snuggling next to Mrs. the Poet.

And maybe there won’t be a post on my birthday tomorrow because I will be having breakfast at Denny’s and dinner at Red Robin and doing transit and Lyft all day, transit to Denny’s and Lyft to Red Robin because Mrs. the Poet is coming with me for dinner, where we will both get alcohol with our meals and maybe I’ll get lucky.

I need to write something

Like seriously need to write. The only problem is I have no idea what I’m going to write about. It’s like that old science fiction story by Harlan Ellison, “I have no mouth and I must scream”, except I have to write something etc. etc. Which is where I started this piece about 20 minutes ago.

I guess I could mention what my son gave me for my birthday. The local grocery started carrying Shiner Sausage, a beef log kinda thing made near Shiner TX, where they make the beer. Yes, that Shiner. Anywho, they make the sausage near where the pagans have a campground for celebrating our Big Two holidays. You know how they have Easter and Christmas “Christians” that only show up in church then? Well our two big holidays are Beltain and Samhain. Beltain is pronounced pretty much like it’s spelled but Samhain is pronounced “SOW-wen”, not that that is important to this, but important enough to tell you about. I’m free-associating here, but there is a point I’m going to get to some time before I finish this. Yeah, where they make sausage is the landmark for turning off the main highway onto the little back road that takes you to the gravel road where the pagans’ campground is. I would tell you what the road is but telling you about the sausage factory already gets you too close to finding where us pagans dance naked in the moonlight. Because of my bad hips and knees I don’t actually dance naked anymore, I just kind of shuffle around in the dark and make passes at the lesbians, because they’re the cute ones. Anywho, sausage, birthday, my birthday is Tuesday, and Mrs. the Poet and I are going to go to the Red Robin because I get a free burger, and Mrs. the Poet gets the free one and I buy the one with the half-pound of beef, another half-pound of bacon, and a fried egg on top and endless fries. And a sundae, I also get a free sundae before I hit the meat coma. And that Sausage is a 12 oz. package and costs $7 which just goes to show that when you use local steers and local labor to make your all beef sausage it costs a bit more than commodity beef and overseas labor. I think it’s worth it.

Then I hope I recover consciousness in time to go to my doctor appointment next Tuesday. That part is a joke, because I never take more than a night to sleep off a meal like that. Now I might not be ready for much more than a cup of coffee the next morning, but I always wake up the next morning. Or if I don’t, nobody tells me I didn’t wake up the next day, and it seems like that would be something people would really like to tell me about: “Hey Opus, remember that time you ate so much you didn’t wake up for a whole day?” That kind of stuff, nobody has ever brought it up, so I’m assuming it never happened.

And the overwhelming urge to sit down and write has passed. Mostly. I still wanna write about the paper I found on designing intake manifolds, but mostly I found that if I did the math right I need to make a manifold with 2 plenums feeding 4 cylinders through 2 throttle bodies, and I need to make the runners 180° apart for the whole 720° cycle of the engine. That means I need to have 3 runners from one bank and one from the other bank of cylinders, or I could just have all the cylinders one each bank fed from one plenum and not worry about Helmholtz resonance because otherwise I’ll have an ungodly mess trying to get the runners and the plenum volumes tuned when I don’t have an engine with a 180° crank, which the LS engine doesn’t have. Some of the LT series are fitted with a 180° crank and I could use crossram and also use Helmholtz resonance to get tuned port charge effects, but those engines are like $50k and way out of my price range (free). Well free for the moment, when I start getting Social Security I hope to raise that to $500 for the engine. But yeah, crossram and the injector at the top of the runner to get that charge cooling effect from the fuel getting introduced at the top of the runner especially when I’m using E85. Now I had been considering doing a single plenum like the old TPI system, but the paper reminded me that fuel doesn’t like to stay mixed with air if there are any turns to negotiate. There are a couple of major turns to negotiate if I try to use a single plenum to feed both banks with long runners, unless I make a very tall manifold that doesn’t make the runners cross under the plenum. Even so, there is at least one turn taking the runners from vertical through the ~45° turn to hit the intake ports on a 90° V8.

And now I’m completely out of urge to write, meaning this stream of consciousness has hit a dam.

Short post on my hearing aids

The irony of getting hearing aids is if I didn’t need to be able to understand speech, I wouldn’t even need hearing aids. This was hammered home as I tried to get to sleep last night, because I could hear all three noises made by the clocks in the bedroom, and the sounds of the dripping faucet in the bathroom adjoining the Master Suite of Casa de El Poeta. Seriously, I could hear every coyote, neighborhood dog, trash panda, and the opossum going by the bedroom window. I can hear cars on the freeway more than 5 miles away, as well as the tollway that gets within 2 miles. If it wasn’t for the noise in my head from the brain damage I would have the hearing of a teenager who had never been to a rock concert, because my healing factor is that awesome. I heard phones ringing in the business adjacent to the sound proof room I took my hearing test in, and there were no walls on that room that were on the outside wall of the office. Below 4KHz my hearing is perfect which made adjusting the equalizer in the hearing aids “interesting”. I mean most people who need amplification need it from 1KHz on up, meaning I’m losing 3 or more channels on the equalizer because I don’t have any loss in that band.

This is so annoying because I just want Mrs. the Poet to stop mumbling, when she’s just talking normally. So I need some help, but not much help. And it annoys the piss out of me that I need help. Like seriously annoyed. And it also annoys me that I can’t heal brain and nerve damage like I can other things like skin and muscles. What good is it to be the closest thing IRL to Deadpool and Wolverine if brain damage is outside my abilities? It’s like “You’re going to live forever, but gradually get more and more stupid as you get older.” Something else to get annoyed at.

And that pretty much covers everything I wanted to say, so rather than ramble on, this is auf wiedersehen.

The paperwork is in

Just got two thick envelopes from Social Security today and it verified that my first check will be $915 and will hit the bank 11/26. Still trying to find out what the status is on what’s left of my inheritance from Dad dying in 2012. The trust is dissolving this year and tax hit on that could be massive. Also I need to go to the bank and set up a diversion to put money from my Social Security in the firewalled account that I can’t get to from my ATM card or online, the one I have to go to the bank and present ID in person to take money out of it.

And I just heard that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, and no longer feel like writing. What I feel like is opening a gallon of ice cream and crying in a corner. Goodnight.

The Good News Is… The Bad News is…

I had my annual hearing test to see how much I lost since last year. The good news is I only lost a little more high frequency hearing, and I qualify for a $150 hearing aid. The bad news is I have lost enough high frequency hearing that I need that $150 hearing aid. I’m having problems telling between “f” and “s” sounds and “t” and “th” but I’m not doing too bad when I have context from the conversation to know which is more likely to show up in the word. But when I’m with an unfamiliar speaker and I don’t have context from prior conversation I’m likely to miss a lot of words. That’s what happened during the test when they went from pure tones to words, I blew a lot of them that had consonants in the frequency range where my losses are worse.

Got a lot of miles logged today on my fitness app, because it was a long way from bus stops to destinations and Casa de El Poeta, which explains why my feet hurt. I might need to get new shoes, but all the local shoe stores are closed. Some because they are out of business, some because fear of shoes spreading COVID-19…

I need to put this one to bed before I do another faceplant into the keyboard. I don’t know how many more it can take.

I went to the bank yesterday, and a bunch of random things

I went to check our bank balances, and they were sad. Check that, mine was sad, Mrs. the Poet’s was a tragedy.

I was curious so I used my fitness app to track how much I walked just going to the bank. Well to and from the bus was 0.82 miles (1.3 km) and to and from the bank from the transfer station was 0.69 miles (1.11 km) for a grand total of 1.51 miles (2.43 km). So just going to the bank is a workout in 4 parts. Each part is small, but they add up to a pretty big workout for an old zombie like me.

[tangent]I’m somewhat unhappy about how the undead are portrayed in media, as either cannibals, or worse. I know we are generally treated as either villains or punchlines in most media, rarely are we even treated neutrally. I have never seen a positive portrayal of anyone who died and came back without medical intervention.[/tangent]

I found some more info on designing and building intake manifolds, but they neglected to account for the interaction between cam events and intake tuning AFAIK. I didn’t see anything about it when I did a quick scan over the documents, but I might have missed it. I did see much about tuning runner length for VE peak at a certain RPM and how to get that on 1st 2nd and 3rd order harmonics, so I have the docs for that. Also the formulae assume circular cross-section intake ports, but there is information on calculating for rectangular ports, it’s just that the formulae in that doc are twice as complex for square and rectangular as they are for round. Corners add complexity to calculating intake runners… well, poop. The docs are long, so this will be sit down and read for hours task.

I have been looking at what is currently available in the wheel market for my car, and there was much sadness. While there are many wheels in the size I need, they do not seem to come in the bolt circles that mount to the hubs I have now for the front and expect to find for the rear. Everything I find is in the 4 by 100mm circle for the Miata and Fiat 124 Spyder. I’m trying to find out if special ordering in 5 by 4½” Ford and Mopar pattern or 5 by 4¾” Chevy pattern is possible for those wheels.

On a completely unrelated topic, my spiced chai, and my pumpkin spice tea are impossible to tell apart. You think there’s a relationship? Or do you think they are the same product with different labels for different times of the year?

And to add to today’s theme of random: I’m listening to Evil 9’s We Have The Power: “We have the energy, we have the resources, we have the power, let’s get together and wreck shit!” I prefer to make shit when I have energy, resources and power, but you do you.

And on that note, and with my feet starting to hurt and dinner time approaching, Ima put this wreck to bed.

Nothing much new

I’ve been doing some figuring on the intake manifold and cam combination, but TBH this one is not well covered in the public literature and simulations. Except for the Holdener videos this is pretty much terra incognita for published data. And not to be tooting my own horn, one of the things I was really good at was drawing correct conclusions from insufficient data. And right now I’m dealing with way too little data, essentially only 5 data points between the Holdener videos and two other TPI videos, and those two went with the commonly accepted practice of short duration cams with the long runner intakes. Like 240° advertised duration or less short. My theory hypothesis is 270°@0.050″ lift at a minimum and 290°@0.050 preferred, those are considered radical durations that would have terrible idle and low RPM manners if not for the stupid long runners, but even so would not work without the large cross-sectional area of those long runners giving good airflow for the upper RPM ranges.

On other things I’m putting out an ad for someone to make my car work as DLC for GT5 so I can drive it on the gokart tracks I built with the track editor in the game. Translating that to English I’m asking for someone to code the Sprint-T as Down Loadable Content for Gran Turismo 5, so I could make it usable in the game. I could use the free classifieds in Grassroots Motorsports to request submissions. The thing is I have zero idea of what information would be needed for the game version of the Sprint-T. I know the tuning choices give 3 selections each from 3 categories of tire, and some cars have the option for tuning the power output from the engine, to that means a variable with a range for power and also variables for grip and hydroplane resistance in the tires. Now how sophisticated the tire modelling is??? it could be as simple as a simple ratio for grip that is dependent on tire choice or a multi-variable algorithm that takes temperature and depth of standing water along with a bunch of other things into consideration. And there’s nothing I can find on the internet about it. I can find some of what has to be simulated in this formula “Pacejka Magic Formula” Physics Doctorial thesis on the web and simplified formulas for designers and in video format Brian Beckman: The Physics in Games- Real Time Simulation Explained. The biggest thing is the physical limitations of the CPU and GPU as the formulas get to various limits that end up dividing by very small numbers and the answers get larger than the registers in the CPU or GPU. Which has nothing to do with how GT5 stores its car models, just a taste of what’s involved in building that model. And after all that I still don’t know how to get from the piles of parts distributed around the house to driving pixels on my TV screen, which is why I’m thinking about paying someone to do it for me.

And I just face-planted in the keyboard because I’m glazing over at the programming details that don’t apply to this situation, so this is a good place to put this to bed and me shortly after.

Waiting for the call from Social Security

As I’m composing this I am literally waiting for Social Security to call about starting my checks, because I will be 62 in 11 days. This will nearly double our before-tax income here at Casa de El Poeta. The plan is to figure out our big single-chunk payments and put that money into the firewalled account at the credit union every month. Whatever is left over is my spending money for things like meds, massages, clothing, and books and food.

Notice I put books and food in the same phrase. There is a reason for that, I consider them both as essential to maintaining my life. I don’t think I need to explain why I need to eat, but I also need to have mental stimulation on the regular. Usually I get that from the Web these days, but there are times when I want to unplug, literally, and read a dead tree. I have magazine subscriptions but there is just something about holding a book and turning the pages that makes that a completely different experience from reading on the web, or from my Kindle app. Also we sometimes lose power and internet (and phone too, but that’s not pertinent to reading) so I need something that doesn’t require anything more than a light source to read. Books and magazines cover that need nicely.

One thing I’m looking forward to is having the funds to get a weekly massage. Now I don’t absolutely need to get a massage every week, but things would work much better if I did. As previously reported, I have a bunch of old injuries that massage is good for relieving the pain and stiffness without resorting to chemical enhancements. And massage is a good adjunct to those chemicals, making them work better at making me move. Plus massage is good for other needs that are theraputic, but not for my body. Massage is also good for my skin hunger needs, my physical need to be touched by another human being. I have found through bitter experience that bad things happen if I don’t tend to things like skin hunger properly. But that won’t be a problem now that I have the money to get frequent and regular massage.

OK just got done with the call from SS, and I’m getting my first check the fourth Wednesday of November, Woo!! I get paid for October in November because I don’t get paid until the first of the month after I qualify, and the check is sent the fourth Wednesday because my birthday is the 22nd, which is technically the first day of the fourth week. So I have to wait 2 months for my first check because reasons. Ah, well, we have survived this long without it, another 2 months ain’t going to kill us.

Now this isn’t enough money to build the Sprint-T, at least not all at once. But it does expand the budget a bit. Not by much, but enough that there is a possibility I will be able to drive it when it’s finished.

Speaking of the Sprint-T I mentioned building a carbon fiber intake manifold earlier, so I think I should explain that in a bit of detail. The fabricated aluminum manifold I mentioned way back requires use of forming bucks to provide a shape to beat the aluminum around. Thing is those can also be used as molds for laying woven fibers saturated with resin around and trimming to size after curing, instead of beating aluminum into shape and trimming to size after forming. The thing is the CF is much lighter than aluminum, making for a manifold that weighs a few pounds, like 3 or 4, instead of one that weighs more than 10-15 pounds. This is not a lot, but it is about 10 pounds plus or minus, and 10 pounds is a significant percentage of the race weight, about half of the fuel in the race tank.

This is one reason why I agonize over the weight of wheels and tires, because they are weight that is part of the total, and more importantly because they are unspring weight that hampers ride and handling. Unsprung weight and rotating weight are the two types of weight that have the most negative impact on performance, and tire and wheels are both of those. Hence the figurative hair pulling when making decisions about them on a build like the Sprint-T that has so little total weight the unsprung-to-sprung weight ratio is going to be bad pretty much no matter what I do. I mean the weight of the car and driver with a full race tank of fuel is pushing 1800 pounds (818 Kg), that is light by almost any standards.

And this looks like a good spot to put this post to bed before I go off on a tangent. To summarise, I will have a stable source of income for the first time in over a decade, things are good.

It’s a kinda shit day

And I don’t know what to do with myself. My go-to when I’m having a shit day is either porn or writing, and since you’re reading this I’m not watching porn😇.

I have been doing lots of reading about tech stuff for cars, mostly the LS engine family, which was why I was making plans on building the carbon fiber intake manifold. If the stuff I have been reading is accurate, and it tracks with the data on the TPI L98 engine from the Richard Holdener videos on YouTube, I can get a very high average power with a stupid long and large cross section runner intake manifold for low and midrange power and a crazy long duration camshaft to push power out in the upper RPM range. The peak power won’t be super high like if I used a short runner manifold with the same cam, but the average power from off-idle to redline would be higher, and since autocross is more about average power across the whole RPM range… I think it might be worth a shot.

Also listening to my music app playing songs that soothe my soul like the one playing now (Taking a Ride on) Heavy Metal” by Don Felder from the movie soundtrack. There was some Tull, some Iron Maiden, some Infected Mushroom, some Jaime Berry (electro swing), some Wrecked Machines (techno, I think, might be techno-trance crossover), and some Blue Man Group “I Feel Love”.

One of the reasons why this is a shit day is we have a cold front moving through, the same front that went through CO yesterday and dropped their temps by 60°F overnight. This isn’t quite that drastic, we only dropped about 40°F, but we are having T-storms and overcast pretty much all day and it is pretty dreary. There’s an electro swing song on my playlist that has lyrics about not wanting things to be dreary. That song is so relentlessly positive, I can only take it at wide intervals. I forget the artist, otherwise I would let you know in case you wanted to either search it out or avoid it.

Other things I have been researching, because I have to keep up with the state of the art and also what’s available, is the tires for the Sprint-T. Specifically, the race tires for the series that require DOT 200 treadwear tires, because that is most definitely a moving target. The size that was “best” is still in limited availablity, but the research and development for cars in my horsepower range has gone to cars that are about twice as heavy as the Sprint-T. In other words right now I’m no longer sure of which tire is “best” anymore. The 245/40-15 size is still made, by more than one company, but it’s becoming a “competition-only” size even in the 200 treadwear class. Now I can live with this because I always planned on conserving the competition tires by only running them at the track and driving around on 255/60-15 500 treadwear tires from either Cooper or Goodrich. Those will last for years as long as I don’t get stupid with the gas pedal.

On the subject of tires the group that was doing the autocross series that was requiring the 300 treadwear tires has aligned their rules to other series that require 200 or better treadwear so that’s one less set of tires I need to find wheels for.👍

Speaking of the 255/60-15 Goodrich tires they are available in 1/25th scale for the model Mini Sprint-T for like $12 a set of 4, but I already have tires the same size, just with a different size label, L60-15 is within 0.1″ in every dimension in full scale. So I’m probably going to keep and use those tires, because I have them and don’t feel like getting more tires spending $12+tax and shipping more just to have a more accurate sidewall.

And it’s coming on dinner time and I have to proof the copy and put this post to bed.

This one is for my friends and people who don’t know they are my friends yet

It took me three tries to type that headline because my forearm stuck to the chair. Anywho URL:
https://kimchicuddles.com/post/628157093653938176/i-need-to-find-a-place-to-put-all-this-grief-3
and Kimchi Cuddles

I had a hard time getting the URL to share this, and I have been wanting to share it since last week. This is slightly out of the ordinary for this blog but I have linked over in the side bar.