Monthly Archives: November 2018

Clyde ain’t doing so good

The “Other Cat” is having some kind of skin condition that is causing him some discomfort and making him unhappy. I managed to get him to hold still for the picture with some leftover gravy.
There seems to be a rash.

Clyde has been scratching back there for weeks, but until now we couldn’t see anything there. There was something to be felt, as he seemed to have some scaly dry skin under the fur, but getting Clyde to stand still to see anything at the skin level was basically impossible. And now he’s bleeding and it looks like it might be infected. I’m kinda worried about him. He’s not my cat, but he is still a living creature that lives more or less under my roof and I don’t want him to suffer. So if anyone knows what I can do to make him feel better and recover please leave a comment.


Cable bill paid and beans cooked

Today was one of those days mostly spent waiting for a bus or for my turn in line while beans achieved Nirvana in a slow cooker. Once again my leg is complaining about how I abused it, and I’m fighting lack of sleep because I only got about 4 hours before waking at the butt-crack of dawn after taking hours to get to sleep yesterday. The problem is I got exhausted before I got finished thinking and my brain wouldn’t shut down, and I think that might happen again. I still can’t make my brain shut down until it is ready to shut down even after all these years.

And I have to clear out my inbox before I hit the bed, so this is more of a tweet than a post.

I have more data

I finally found out the weight of a couple of different Subaru transmissions for comparisons with other engines and their intended transmissions. Especially for the Subie, using a transmission designed to bolt to the engine saves a ton of work.

Anywho, what I found out was the 2002 5 speed weighed in about 135-140 pounds, the later model 6 speed was 155-160, and the automatics were about 200-210. Also removing the front drive differential and drive shaft and welding the center diff solid took about 35 pounds off when converting AWD to RWD. So for the normally aspirated 2 liter engine bolted to the 5 speed with the front diff removed we are looking at an all-up weight of about 300 pounds and about 200 HP, to 460 for the 2.5l turbo bolted to the late automatic with the front diff propelled by 300 HP. And those power numbers are factory ratings, tuning for higher octane can raise those numbers considerably especially for the turbocharged engines that can refuel with E85 and really crank the boost.

And thinking about this kept me awake most of the night and caused me to wake up way early, after only 4 hours of sleep. I need to go back to bed now. Except I need to clear my inbox before I sleep.

We survived Non-family Thanksgiving

One of the traditions we have here at Casa de El Poeta is dinner the Sunday after Thanksgiving for people who either don’t have family or who live too far away to visit their family on Thanksgiving. I don’t think I ever actually mentioned it as a thing we do because it’s just like “this thing we do”, and I never thought it was out of the ordinary because we have done this since I was a kid. So I guess you could call it a family tradition. Some years we couldn’t afford to feed ourselves so we couldn’t feed other people that year. But when we have enough to buy the food, we do the thing.

We had 24 pounds (10.88 kg) of turkey that took almost 5 hours to cook, (a) yam, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and tea. And only one guest. I guess that means lots of turkey sandwiches the next few weeks…

After the meal the guest brought a DVD to watch (Solo) so we watched the movie (not bad 👍 ) and then had pumpkin pie about 2 hours after dinner. I ended up eating too much, but unlike Friday I don’t feel like I swallowed a large farm animal whole today. I had a “cup” of coffee (my insulated cup holds a full quart now) and a package of PopTarts. Later I will have a PBJ and a diet cola for lunch. Maybe. Maybe I will just skip until dinner.

OK, wow, that was quick

I got a notice in my email that yesterday was the 10th anniversary of moving my blog to WordPress from MySpace, more than 12 years since I started doing my old blog on an adult web site because all the other blogging sites I tried crashed the browser that came with the Linspire OS né Lindows, computer I was using way back then. That was so many computers ago I can’t even remember how many. According to the records on the dashboard page this is the 3131st post not counting the 9 pages also on this blog, linked under the title bar. That works out to almost a post every day for 10 years or a post every 1.1664 days, or 0.857 posts per day. Or from another point of view I skipped and was lazy for 521 days in the last 10 years. So there is room for improvement in my productivity. Basically I took a year and a half off from blogging in the 10 years I have worked at this URL.

In some ways it doesn’t feel like any time at all until I remember how many computers that either aged out and couldn’t run the browsers needed to create posts, or just flat wore out and had to be replaced from mechanical failure of parts too old to be replaced. And when you consider the last computer basically ran for 5 years and replaced a computer that was too old to run the browser needed to post on this site, which replaced the other computer that was too old to run the browser… Well then it starts looking a lot more like 10 years since I posted the first time here.

I don’t want to think of the pain and suffering linked here back when I was tracking wrecks and how to prevent them (ban cars). Seriously those years ended up being Not Good for my mental health after a while, but were something I needed to do after the wreck, Because Reasons. I’m still personally pissed off at the driver of the murder weapon, but I have moved on to the point that the wreck no longer dominates my life like it used to. The Sprint-T has taken that job over. 😁

Flogging of the deceased equine continues

I’m running out of topics, but not running out of words. I was lying awake after going to bed last night and of course I’m thinking about the Sprint-T, as that seems to be the topic I can’t not think about. What I was thinking about was various engine and transmission combinations and relative performance advantages and disadvantages. Specifically, I was comparing the Pentastar V6 and the Subie turbo engines and their available transmissions.

Since I was trying to go to sleep I left my various calculation and information tools beyond arm’s reach so I wouldn’t spend the night punching buttons or tapping screens instead of shutting down and sleeping. That… didn’t work so well. Since I didn’t have a calculator handy I did everything in my head, which is the opposite of what I needed to do to get to sleep. When I’m trying to stay awake I do math in my head, a trick I learned from making cross-country trips as a solo driver back when I owned a business in Nashville but lived in Dallas. Anywho I didn’t reach any new conclusions, or even any conclusions at all. What I did reach was I need more information to reach a definitive conclusion. The question is will the reduced weight and higher potential peak power of the turbo Subie result in better autocross performance than the fatter low-end torque and perfect gearing of the Pentastar and ZF 8 speed transmission? Between the variable valve timing and increased displacement of the 3.6 liter Pentastar there is about twice as much torque on tap below 3000 RPM compared to the Subie 2 liter engine, but the Subie and transmission weighs about half the Pentastar and ZF combination, so it comes close to a wash and really depends on the course, with longer straights and more sweeping turns favoring the higher peak power and light weight of the Subie where lots of single pylon turns favor the Pentastar and its higher low-end torque and better transmission matching.

So I guess the answer is the best is whatever I get first. 🤑 So whatever is available when I have the money, that will be the best choice. And the post title is “beating a dead horse” with more expensive words.

Off to stuff my face, Happy Thanksgiving

And a pleasant Thursday to the rest of the world. I’m not going to bore you with a recitation of traditional Thanksgiving dishes I hope to consume, just assume if you know of one that is generic across the US I will probably consume some today, plus some Texas-specific dishes like Jalapeño corn casserole. This is kind of a group dinner with one person coordinating the menu and sides, someone else cooking the turkeys and other meats (smoked brisket is a popular Texas Thanksgiving entré) and the rest of us bringing the assigned sides.

We finished the Egyptian Run and brought back the Pyrite Cube of Great Power and up next is the barbecue and followed by Glorious Training! (trope stolen from dozens of anime and specifically Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki a goofy web comic that hasn’t updated in months but the creator assures me will update “soon”). I really need to upgrade my blades and pistols skills and also develop the Observe skill. I forgot to include that at character creation, so I will spend Karma points and nuyen to get it now. The group decided to go out for dinner and bought me some too, which was nice of them because I think I’m down to about $15 until the end of the month in my checking account, and while we have food at the house last night was the first calamari I’ve had in years. Of the group I had the cheapest dinner which gives you and idea of what kind of dinner they bought, everyone else had a pound of snow crab plus something else, and I got some of that too because who really eats that much crab in one sitting unless they have been starving all day. I should also mention for the sake of full disclosure that I had calamari since the last time I had crab of any type, so I was out of practice at extracting the meat from the shell.

So to recap, Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers, happy Thursday to everyone else, and all you still hanging on from when this was a bicycle safety blog, this is a good day for a ride.🚴‍♂️ 👍🏼

I found another problem

I was doing a little SWAG on the Sprint-T and tires and I came up against another problem. I can only hook up so much HP no matter how big I get the tires, because of weight. Traction is a function of weight and tires, and there is a hard limit to traction with a car as light as the Sprint-T trying to use UTQG 200 treadwear tires. I can get a little more power to the ground with sticky race rubber, but depending on the weight of the car I’m looking at 300 to 500 HP without boiling the tread off the tire before getting the pedal to the metal. More than that and I’m never getting my foot to the floor.

What I’m looking at is with the Subie engine and the T5 transmission I can stop cranking up the boost around 300 WHP, with the Pentastar V6 and the 8 speed transmission I can stop trying for more than 375-400 WHP because that transmission just weighs that much, the LS3 and the 4l70 I can pretty much leave in stock tune, and the LS7 I will need to put a block of wood under the gas pedal to keep rear tires on the car unless I’m running the softer compound of the race slicks I have available. Street tires will require really feathering the gas to maintain traction with just the stock 505 HP tune.

Now these are just what they used to call “back of the envelope” calculations but they are the best I can do with the data I can get, and the low precision of the data. Seriously I’m looking at ±0.1 G precision on a 0.8G predicted grip for the 200 wear tires, or 0.7 to 0.9G and a huge difference in performance between those numbers, so lets say we are talking about the LS7/3 we are looking at maybe 400-430 WHP on the low end, just shy of 500 at the high end. And as far off as I was on the unsprung weight at the front end I’m not putting much faith on these numbers either. But if the data is correct and I used to correct formulas, If I’m running an LS7 then I don’t need to use the dyno for anything more than fine tuning for gas mileage and verifying the stock tune is working correctly. Pretty much the same for the LS3 except I have more room on the other side of the equation, I could get away with maybe the 480 HP tune, but not the 525 HP tune.

And I didn’t get much sleep last night, and I’m starting to get a headache, so bedtime.

Trying to deal emotionally with the Trans Day of Remembrance

First of all, I’m cisgendered, not trans, happily living the gender I was assigned at birth, but I have literally dozens of trans friends and acquaintances that I worry about at least a little bit every day. And every time I hear or read about a trans person getting killed I fear it is someone I know, or someone one of my friends knows. And days like today just bring all of that back to the front of my mind. If you go through my FB friends list there are a much higher portion of trans people than exists in random populations. I don’t seek them out, it just kinda worked out that way. I guess when you care about people in one sense, they seek you out for other senses of care. I have been an outspoken bicycle advocate for years, ditto advocate for minorities and women, and somehow I managed to get known as someone who cares about trans people, witness the number of homeless trans people who have spent time regrouping at my house.

But I still worry about them, a little.

The feckless anger that is poverty

Well, I have a good title that describes my current emotional state, but what can I build from that? I’m literally unable to do anything towards making the thing because I can’t get the stuff to make the thing, and unless the thing is some kind of food that’s true for almost every thing, notice there is a separation between every and thing. We blew all the raw stock budget buying food 😝 When your mind is essentially a fountain of ideas that won’t stop coming until you at least get started, the inability to get something started is nothing short of painful, physically so. And that is not a joke or other attempt at humor, not being able to build any of the things I have planned is physically painful for me, a literal interpretation of “beating your head against a wall”. No kidding, I get a pain like sinus pain when I plan something for too long and not even get a glimmer of how it will get finished. And there is not a damned thing I can do about it but suffer.

This project has been stewing in the old grey and white matters since 1987, when the inspiration struck at a club meeting for the Tennessee Region SCCA, where we were discussing making a consistently good autocross car. I came up with the idea of a tube frame hotrod with an SBC and a TH350 transmission for a literal “stab and steer” car that would keep the tires mostly correctly oriented to the track. This was when the modified category rules were not as stringent as they are now, and the possibility of running a T-bucket in the production modified classes was not that wild an idea. Even if some people at the meeting thought it was hilarious. Mostly they were amused at the idea of using the automatic transmission bringing up the Powerglide (which wouldn’t be a bad idea for a trailered car), “Slip and slide Powerglide,” was the chant. I was looking at a 350/350 combo which were common as dirt in junkyards, in a car that weight slightly less than a ton, and also knew that as long as I didn’t let the power to weight ratio get too crazy the main thing to worry about was grip and brakes. I knew from experience that power without grip was pretty useless, but as long as you had enough power to get and keep going grip was much more important, witness the VW powered special with a stock 50 HP engine and sticky race slicks that consistently stomped the high powered American iron. My idea was to get a bucket and sort out the handling and clean up. Thirty-one years later it is still a viable concept if the execution has shifted more to the lightest possible V6 and 4 cylinder engines and away from the now-ancient SBC and 350/350 combo.

Anyway, one of the things I did in the past to stop this feeling was to buy something “not-very-expensive” (aka “cheap”) that would move the build forward in a tangible way, and also be something I could physically grab hold of and hold and say “This is part of my car”. The problem is I’m running out of things I can do that with. There are very few parts left that will work on any of the variants I’m “working” (thinking) on, that are still something I can afford by saving up or sneaking money out of the money I get from the trust for presents. I’m running out of options for not losing my mind and dropping into a giant pit of despair and depression. I’m not depressed (much) now, but I have played this game enough to know what’s coming if I can’t work my way out of this trap. And it ain’t pretty for me.

And now that I have horribly depressed you, a cat picture.
Clint taking a siesta

And the tag is another description of my physical status after literally spending almost every penny I had getting bandaids.