Monthly Archives: April 2021

Still trying to get stuff done and not succeeding

Weather and sleep schedules are interfering with actually doing things in a timely manner. I staggered around until about 1130 before collapsing and eventually shutting down completely about 1230 or 1300. I woke up enough to check the time about 1900 and finally got out of bed in time to catch Biden’s speech about 2100. Pollens are still interfering with my sleep, making getting shut down to sleep hard, and then making it hard to get fully awake with working eyeballs.

Still trying to figure out the engine situation for the Sprint-T. I mean what I want is maximum torque for getting out of the single-pylon turn, which implies a mild cam, long intake runners, and hopefully a lot of displacement. Or maybe (also) small turbos that light up more quickly than big turbos and a small displacement engine. I’m looking for either a large displacement engine or a good turbo manifold. Also VVT. Changing timing can drastically change the points of opening and closing of the intake valve and move the torque band from lower to higher RPM. That will be fun, but not earth shattering. Basically VVT extends the powerband a tiny bit and makes the long runner intake work over a wider RPM range. Dangit, I know what I’m trying to say, but I’m having a terrible time trying to get my ducks in a row to say what I mean.

Basically VVT widens the powerband a scosh compared to fixed valve timing, but it doesn’t work miracles. There are some Engine Masters videos on the subject but if you aren’t a subscriber you can’t view them. I did link some YouTube videos earlier that explain the benefits of moving the cam timing, well VVT lets you do that while the engine is running, about 40 degrees for the late model Gen IV or about 50 degrees for the early versions. Naturally you have to check piston to valve interference at the extremes of adjustment to make sure you don’t get the pistons hitting the valves because the VVT changes the valve lift at the point the valves get closest to the pistons, and for some cams the valves will actually contact the pistons unless the swing on timing is reduced. Or move the swing away from the interference, which is a thing also. Like I wrote earlier it’s something that needs to be explored more thoroughly, probably by someone with more resources than me. The best that I can do is get the biggest VVT cam I can find and pair it with the longest intake runners I can find and then swing the timing to see what performance benefits I can find. I’m hypothesizing that running VVT advance at part-throttle cruise could generate better mileage, and if I see evidence of that in the VVT map I’ll have verification of that hypothesis. But on the other hand if I don’t it doesn’t mean it’s not true, just that it isn’t programmed into the ECU, probably because there wasn’t enough benefit to justify programming it into the system.

OK the sun is up now, time to “make the doughnuts” and if you get that reference you are either old or you like really old commercials.

Brief but seriously painful allergy (or something) attack

First of all because of a sliding sleep schedule I was basically out of it except to roll over from 0930 to 1830, then it was too painful to move until 2200, but I got up and got some coffee to drink and took my meds. Then about 0100 I started to feel like eating the plate of dinner Mrs. the Poet prepared. That’s after I consumed about half of the volume of my coffee cup (my cup holds about 800 ml). I’m still getting some joint pain, but greatly reduced from what I was experiencing when I woke up. What was also a problem is I had a case of allergy eyes obstructing my vision, for the first hour or so after I woke up. That has also reduced significantly.

I have been reading an author new to me, and because it’s a female name writing porn (yes, I read text porn, so sue me) I have come to the conclusion the author is a man (or penis owning person). The reason I mention this is because every encounter is from the penis-owning character’s point of view, even if that person wasn’t born with a penis. And I started thinking about how I would write those scenes from the point of view of the other characters who don’t have penises, and I don’t have a clue about how to do that, because I lack the experiences needed to write from that point of view on several levels. All the heterosexual porn I read is written by men, and most of the lesbian porn I read is also probably written by men, for men. It just has the feel of how males see lesbians, including the conquering of one partner by the more dominant one. The porn I know was written by a female author because she gave it to me with her name on it had less conquering and more cooperation. It was very hot, but different, because the women were more into making each other feel good, and also because it described the physicality of sex very differently from people who don’t experience penetration as a normal part of their sexuality. But still this brought home how bad I am at putting myself in another person’s shoes, figuratively.

Also I finally got some chips to let me experience a brand of guacamole that was not familiar to me. We had a coupon for Wholly Guacamole brand and we also bought a brand of chip that we see locally that we didn’t see in either NY or TN, Calidad. I have been scarfing down the chips for years, but Wholly Guacamole was new to me. I don’t buy guac all that often and mostly I get the deli guac from my local grocery, which isn’t bad. I mean it’s nothing special but it isn’t bad. Now I had some guac years ago that was awful, but that was more than 45 years ago in Logan UT. Wholly Guacamole was pretty good. I’m not sure it’s enough better than the deli guac to justify the price difference, but it is better.

And veering on another tangent, I watched a video from Engine Masters that basically proved that for an LS engine at low loads it doesn’t matter what you put in the tank as long as it is gasoline. The combustion chamber in LS heads is highly octane tolerant, you can drive around on an optimized tune for 87 regular and it works The Same, it falls into the range of run-to-run variation on the dyno used as 91, 110, 116, so long as you get the tune right. But if you need that last little bit of power E85 is where you go for the LS engine, which validates my decision to get to and from the races on 87 and race on E85.

And, that’s about all I have to say as I can feel the pollen levels starting to rise now that the sun is up and things are getting uncomfortable again.

I need to change a setting

text text text

I need to change a setting for when I publish a post, so I need to publish a post to find out the name of the setting I need to change

I made a statement in a previous post that needed more facts, and trees are continuing to kick my butt

I made the statement yesterday that DoD in the Gen IV LS engines was “bad”. I stand behind this statement but clarification is needed.

Most of the LS architecture engine family prior to Displacement on Demand had expected lifespans of about a quarter of a million miles (about 430,000 km). The problem is the components used to implement DoD are not as reliable as the rest of the engine and have the tendency to destroy the rest of the engine when they fail, at the worst, or simply render the engine inoperable at best.How to diagnose DoD problems, DISPLACEMENT ON DEMAND – DOD, Repair Cost and Return on Investment. Chevy Tahoe Collapsed Lifter and that was just the first two videos on the search results that extended for multiple pages.

So even if cam or lifter damage is present since I’m converting the engine to fixed displacement anyway, but I still want to retain the VVT, all I have to do is buy the DoD delete kit and new lifters (sold as LS7 lifters on Amazon and eBay) and a VVT compatible cam for a larger engine than I have and I have improved performance over stock at minimal costs. Basically since I have to buy the cam and lifters as part of the repair anyway, the costs of buying the delete kit are the only cost of the delete, but I have to have the engine in hand before I do this because some engines had DoD delete from the factory, and some didn’t have VVT even though they are Gen IV engines. I have to make sure I get VVT, but that is a simple visual inspection before purchase as even though it’s an internal engine part the control hydraulics are part of the timing cover and visible at a glance.

Now, on the other thing, I’m still having allergy problems. I was supposed to go get my toes done and hair cut, but my allergies just made me sleep later than usual. I woke up about 1530 instead of my “normal” 1400, and my mind never revved up to cruising RPM before the venues were closed for the day. I wasn’t fully functional until after 2000 which is about the closing time for the nail place, and 2 hours after the barbershop closes.

And to end the post here’s a link to a video of stupid fun My Best Burnout EVER Ended With a Huge Methanol Fire… *WAR BIRD Extra Spicy Edition* as you can see from the video the friction from the spinning tires has polished the surface to a high gloss. That’s amazing, concrete polished by spinning tires. AFAIK concrete polishing is usually done when slightly soggy.

Still looking for improved performance for the Sprint-T

I have been looking at the various engines available on a cost/performance basis, and the Gen IV architecture LS family is starting to look better and better. The Gen IV engines come with things like DOD (bad) and VVT (good) to balance performance and fuel economy. I’m looking at the prices for the aluminum 5.3 L engines with VVT that came in trucks and SUVs. They are trending slowly down to something I can afford to pay after getting removed from the vehicle, the oldest being 12 years old now.

The reason I want the VVT is it gives me the benefit of a wide powerband. How camshaft timing affects engine performance and from Richard Holdener Tested-SBC adjustable cam timing. Basically VVT lets the engine controller adjust the cam timing on the fly, with the cam advanced below torque peak, and letting the cam retard as RPM increases to increase upper RPM power. Basically this lets a small cam (short duration) act like a big cam (long duration) at high RPM while retaining the small cam goodness down low. It’s not exactly like a bigger cam, but it makes the small cam better. Since what I’m looking at is making the powerband as wide as possible VVT is what I want. I can advance or retard the cam as needed depending on RPM. I can adjust the cam events to the best time for the rotational speed of the engine.

And I watched the NASCAR Cup race from ‘Dega today, and there were fewer wrecks and the wrecks were smaller than in previous years. Aaannnnnd, congratulations to Brad Keselowski, they had the 9th different winner in 10 races, the playoffs are going to be LIT this year, and the race for the cutoff is going to be cutthroat.

Allergies and PTSD kept me from having the energy to write

Short post to explain the sudden lack of posts. The headline pretty much explains everything, but for the record trees and grass have been been having an orgy and my head is caught in the cross-fire. I can breathe, but at the cost of not having energy to do much else beyond that. Part of that is allergies, part of that is the deep funk I fell into after Chauvin was convicted of the murder we all watched repeatedly on TV and social media most of last year after every protest against a cop killing a BIPOC which seemed like every other day. I mean nonchalantly kneeling on the neck of a Black man with his hands in his pockets like this was a normal thing for him to be doing, murdering a Black man in the street with dozens of people filming it and recording the sounds of it as Floyd’s life left his body.

I get that he is going to prison and unless he spends the rest of his life in solitary the rest of his life will be short and violent. But this still does not feel like a victory. The closest thing I can compare it to was that one hill in Vietnam we “won” like 3 times, only to abandon it and the VC were back on it firing on our troops in a couple of weeks at most. To “win” this one we have to eliminate White Supremacists from all branches and forms of LEO and make ever being a part of any racist organization disqualifying for having a firearm and from working for law enforcement. We not only have to “take the hill” of each individual LEO who kills a BIPOC, we have to “win the war” against White Supremacy. And that looks like a very long and costly battle.

I have had PTSD longer than PTSD existed as a diagnosis, and for most of my life it has been untreated, even after I was diagnosed. It is now known that untreated PTSD results in depression that is extremely hard to treat, because after a while depression becomes less like a mental problem and more like a personality trait. It burrows down into your soul, and takes up permanent residence there. And while I can live with it like this since I don’t seem to have the option of suicide, I would prefer to be actually happy sometimes, instead of just “almost not depressed” which is what passes for “happiness” for me. And to understand what depression as a personality trait looks like, I present Eeyore. Eeyore is so depressed suicide is too much of a bother because it will put others out cleaning up the mess. I passed that milestone decades ago. And the recent circus about the White Supremacist who murdered a man with his hands in his pockets did my depression no favors. I’m still not in any way suicidal because I don’t want to make anyone have to clean up the mess. And I still haven’t forgotten what may have been the hallucination of getting put inside a body bag, so suicide is right out.

Waiting to exhale, Chauvin found guilty and it’s 4/20

Nothing going on much with me, but lots going on in the world.

I think everyone has heard a certain monster has been found guilty of the murder he performed on camera with his hands in his pockets. If he hadn’t been found guilty I would have joined in the riots. This transcends race, this transcends class. I hope he gets the maximum sentence for everything, and they are served consecutively.

On the other topic of the day, I can’t partake any more because TBI and THC combine to just give me a headache. But I’m firmly on the side of legalization, because seriously WTF?? Basically pot was made illegal because POC really liked it, and hemp was competing with Big Cotton.

Today was just the worst

Today was multiple DART SNAFU scenarios, repeated. Pretty much all from the same route, there were three missing buses on the 513. The first one is the usual The First Bus Is A Lie where the bus I wanted to catch was a fantasy. I did manage to catch the next one, and cash the check that was the primary reason for the trip. That went well, then I summoned a Lyft to get to my favorite massage place and got a really good massage that relaxed me so much I couldn’t move for a few minutes. Seriously that good.

Then a small victory, I caught the bus back to Garland after only a few minutes’ wait the bus was there. I basically walked up to the stop and into the bus, just like that. And when I got to the transfer station what appeared to be another small victory, the next bus home was due in about 15 minutes, but no bus came in the 15 minutes to the next schedule. The next schedule after was about 45 minutes away, and there wasn’t anything to do except wait for it. And almost exactly an hour after I got to the transfer center, no bus.

So, I had used a Lyft already that day I figured I could use it again because I still had 20% charge on my phone, but somehow that 20% charge was 0 about the time I hit the “summon” button on the phone. I tried doing the “leave it off for a bit for the battery to recover” trick. And I got enough charge recovery to complete my summons, but not enough to get the make of car picking me up. So I’m walking up and down the passenger pickup queue on the other side of the bus queue and a car with a lighted Lyft sign pulls up and asks if I’m (realname), and I say I am, but I need to get a breath of charge on my phone so I can pay him. Fortunately he had a charge cord that fit my phone so I could pay him when I got home, yay! day saved.

And now I have a sore butt from the benches at the bus station, so bed for me.

Good racing today, good game yesterday

There were two races at the same time on TV today, the Cup race from Richmond, and the Indycar race from Barber Motorsports Park. There was a lot of good, close racing from both. Likewise there was a lot of driving around in circles from both. You have to take the bad with the good. I was happy to see the 48 win again in Cup, not so happy that Bowman won. Never was a big fan of Bowman. Scott Dixon I’m more ambivalent about. Good driver, but he wins too much. I know that’s the point, but I’m enjoying the parity in NASCAR too much, 9 races and 8 winners.

In the Shadowrun game we finished the rescue of the troll girl who may have been turning into a technomage, and despite our best efforts the building is still standing and mostly usable. Actually things went pear-shaped when one of the technicians with the troll girl recognized our mage, and the code phrase “pink mohawk” went out which was my cue to get active and I got my MGL12 grenade launcher in use. We needed to get through the front (and only) door and I hit the limits of the weapon on my roll and then hit the limits of the amount of damage my grenade could do, and then the door wasn’t there anymore.

Our mages did battle on the etherial plane against Bound Spirits protecting the facility, while our hackers blocked communication with the outside while making it look like everything was totally “normal”. It was a good thing that I packed a shit ton of HE grenades because the guards were wearing tank-like armor and I needed at least one and sometimes two grenades to take them out of the fight. until I got slammed by an air spirit throwing air boulders at me. Not the actual term, but I was attacked around midnight our time (1500 or so in-game) so my memory of actual terminology is a little vague. But anyway I was pounding the guards inside the building with grenade after grenade and whittling down their numbers one by one after I found out I needed to score a direct hit to cause damage even with a HE grenade set to explode on impact. Fortunately I have extremely high ranks in all kinds of firearms up to and including light field artillery so hitting my targets has become almost a given unless I roll a glitch, which is the Shadowrun version of a Natural 1 on the D20. So I was getting rid of the guards on almost every shot even with distractions like -4 on all rolls because of injury from the Air Spirit (and incidentally one of our mages cast a spell that let the rest of us do damage to the spirits, so I popped a couple of grenades at the Air Spirit so that it would leave me alone). Eventually we defeated the guards and freed the troll girl from the equipment that they were trying to figure out if she was really becoming a technomage. We looted the lab of some of the more interesting and portable equipment, took the troll girl back to our Mr. Johnson, got our money and Karma, and will not have another session until after the local Faire season is over first week of June.

And a pork-based counterpart to the FSM, the United Church of Bacon. Time for bed, this has been an exciting day.

Another day, another mass shooting

As I was going to bed last night/this morning I got a notification there was another mass shooting, this time in Indianapolis. The shooter was reported at one time using an AR-style rifle with at least one large capacity magazine. This was after I had put my last post to bed.

This happens so frequently that at least one web site has a boilerplate article that changes as the location and body count differs, but is otherwise static and has had the same headline since the Obama administration. They have already run several articles with that headline this year.

At this point reports on casualties are still coming in since some people were injured as a byproduct of panic but were not shot, and other people were not critically injured by getting shot and did not know they had been shot until they started to get undressed after the shooting. To use an old joke their fracas was injured.

And some people got the news indirectly (yes I know it’s from The Onion and probably not real) after getting questions about the incident from constituents.

And at this point we are still getting reports that I won’t link to that the shooter had a sub-machinegun, or other kind of automatic weapon. So lots of bullets sprayed all over, maybe? And since the shooter is dead presumably LEO have the weapon in evidence, so since it is important to the debate release at least a description of the weapon? Even just the type of weapon would be of use in the debate on which kind of gun to ban since we don’t seem to be doing anything useful to prevent these atrocities from being committed.

Still, one has to question how this would happen if say semi-auto longguns with removeable magazines were banned and confiscated, or you had to have a special license to own one, like machine guns. There have been a few mass shootings done with semi-auto pistols, but the body count was much lower in all of those shootings especially when compared to ones with longguns. And compared to mass murders by a single swordsman there have been none in over a century. Texans just recently had the right to carry melee weapons restored after someone pointed out the 2nd did not specify firearms, but “arms” which included clubs, spears, swords and other weapons which had lost favor as the only worked in melee or ranged weapons that required much more training and practice or upper body strength to use as compared to firearms.

As has been pointed out numerous times, more than can be linked in this blog post, when the Second Amendment was written to shoot multiple people you had to have a loaded weapon for every person you wanted to shoot because the cyclic rate was measured in rounds per hour, not per second. You had to use a barrel and chamber scraper right after firing to remove possibly burning remnants from the previous round, measure out the powder, pour it into the barrel, ram in a wad to hold the powder, wrap a patch around the ball and ram the patch and ball in, and either put priming powder in the pan, or set a cap on the chamber and then cock the hammer, aim and shoot. A skilled rifleman could do that in about 45 seconds if at a stationary firing position, or about a minute while moving from one firing position to another. In the same time a skilled rifleman today could fire 30 times, remove and replace the magazine, and fire another 15 rounds. Precise aim would be superfluous since that many bullets flying downrange in the general direction of the target would hit something important in the general vicinity. And that wasn’t a joke. When you had one bullet per minute aim was important, but one or more a second makes “spray and pray” a viable tactic. And when there’s nobody to shoot back…

And enough of this rant.