Still hot but bearable

I knocked the thermostat down a couple of degrees F and it is much better. The current temperature in the office is 77°F which feels much better than the temperature of 79°F from before. It’s amazing how much just 2° makes in comfort level.

I’m still mostly on a daywalker sleep schedule. I say mostly because I need to be up before noon, but I haven’t been. I need to get up earlier to go to sleep earlier. Also, I need to take my sleep meds earlier to fall asleep earlier. But things are still not working up to tolerances, never mind working up to specifications, and I don’t know how to get up to tolerances.

The end of next month is the 20th anniversary of my death by murder by motor vehicle. It is weird for me to think about it, but I was dead 20 years ago. I still have nightmares about it that I didn’t have right after the wreck because I was still having nightmares about the horrible abuse I had growing up. But the statute of limitations expired a long time ago on that and on the guy trying to kill me (because it was a misdemeanor when it happened and the SoL was only 4 years) basically the ship on that one sailed and sank before Obama’s first administration. Hell Obama hadn’t even run when the SoL expired at the beginning of the second Bush term. Not right at the beginning, the wreck was 12 days before Bush was interrupted reading an age-appropriate book to elementary school children to get told about the first plane striking the Twin Towers so the SoL expired well into the first year of the second term of the Bush administration.

But in less than 60 days it will be two decades since one life ended and a different life started and I’m still trying to grasp the significance of the event.

Trying to Out-Crazy the GOP

They’re still trying to pass that voter suppression bill here in TX, so I thought I would help toss a couple of extra-large monkey wrenches in the works. Specifically, things that are fatal to mythical humanoid monsters but are harmless to “normal” humans.

I would suggest amendments to require these harmless to humans tests be applied at every election to prevent vampires and werewolves from voting. My research on the subject is limited because of the divergent mythos of the various creatures that walk among us, but from what I have been able to determine blessing colloidal silver by a priest every 24 hours makes it both a vampire and werewolf detector. It will cause burning on both vamps and weres, not as in “burst into flame”, more like char and blister the skin touched by the fluid. Obviously it would do nothing to humans, because both holy water and colloidal silver can be applied in massive amounts to almost no effect. I have sent this to both my state rep and state Senator, emphasizing that I don’t believe this, but if the GOP is going to go after mythical creatures and keep them from voting then why can’t we?

In other news I’m still entering the drawing for that 311 Ford with the Holley HiRam intake and EFI as many times as they will let me in my quest to have something to stick in front of the firewall of the Sprint-T, or something that I can swap for something to stick in front of the firewall and inside the transmission tunnel. But I don’t have to make up my mind until I actually win the engine. BTW my entry page is showing I’m missing 10 friends from my allowed 10 friends.

The heat is still here in my office but I avoid it by taking frequent breaks under the fan in the living room. I basically leave whenever I start feeling moist around the edges, which is basically almost sweating, but not quite. It tells me I need to shed some heat, but not enough to get all sweaty. The thing that annoys me the most is my melted candy because it’s hard to eat like that and gets everywhere.

And just to reiterate I want my TX readers to call or write their reps and senators about checking for vampires and werewolves at the polls, to emphasize how the GOP is chasing mythical creatures. Also because technically under TX laws vamps and weres are not allowed to vote.

I’m still uncomfortable, but at least I know why now

Turns out the room I spend most of my time in is hotter than the rest of the house because it doesn’t get the same amount of AC, and that same thing means there is no airflow over my body to take away excess heat. Basically I’m sitting on top of a giant heat source and no airflow to remove the heat. Also, all my chocolate has been melting because the temperature has been regularly exceeding the lower melting point of chocolate.

The temperature in the office has been rising to just under 80°F with the digital thermometer just flipping back and forth between 79 and 80 for a few seconds in the heat of the day. This is just about the melting point of milk chocolate. This is a temperature that is the top of my comfort level, not where I actually start sweating, but right where I get damp. Without a fan to make a breeze I’m not a happy camper.

I’m kinda fixating on this because it is interfering with thinking…

Edit to add that as I was composing that sentence I got really ill and had to go take a laydown under the ceiling fan not in the office and not really eat very much for dinner and went to bed early and missed Stephen Colbert. So yeah got hot, don’t know why it affected me so much but it did, and I had to cut the post short.

Happy Independence Day (observed)

Another day of weird sleep patterns, waking up before the buttcrack of dawn. Seriously getting tired of waking up the chickens to remind the rooster to crow. The good news is because I have all the ingredients to a safe and effective sleepytime cocktail I can pretty much decide when I want to go to bed now, and be able to shut my brain down to get some decent sleep. Decent sleep with weird dreams, but I’ll take weird dreams as the price of getting decent sleep.

On my music streaming app right now is Stranglehold by Ted Nugent. He’s pretty much an asshole now but he was a good musician then. And the back-and-forth between the guitar and the bass and swiping the theme from Bolero is what makes Stranglehold Classic Rock. The lyrics, not so much, but given the ratio between lyrics and instrumental passages we can pretty much ignore the lyrics as just something to break up the instrumentals. And while I was writing the critique of Stranglehold we moved on to Tom Sawyer, a song that demands you pay attention to the lyrics. And Imma stop writing about music now.

My son has purchased a home ice cream maker, and he brought over samples when he came over to do his laundry on the washer and drier he bought. Make no mistake, they stay here, but he paid for them so he has a place to do his laundry, and also an excuse to check up on his parents every week. But anywho, ice cream. He made some regular ice cream to test out the machine and have experience with how it works, but the main reason he bought it was to make sugar-free ice cream so he can have ice cream even though he has diabetes. He brought a small sample of the sugar-free recipe, and larger samples of the regular recipes. Part of what he has learned is sugar controls the formation of ice crystals in the finished product, and his first attempt at sugar-free had some crystal formation that was larger than he wanted, and the technique to reduce the crystals was churning the whee out of the ice cream before letting it set up. Basically it takes about twice as long to churn the sugar-free stuff as it does to make regular ice cream. And this machine does a heck of a job with the regular recipes.

Also, my son is a culinary genius who delights in sharing his creations with others. He made a coffee ice cream that was heavenly, because he steeped the coffee beans in the custard while it was cooking. He also made a peanut butter ice cream that was so smooth and creamy because the peanut oils synergized with the milk fat to make something impossible. The TL;DR for this is basically one word: yummy.

On the Sprint-T front, I’m beginning to think the fan shroud I got was in the wrong box, because it is nowhere near as big as the part description in the catalog. That’s why the 14″ fans had so much overlap when I checked how they would fit. Now I have to see if I can get an exchange for the right parts.

And I think I am about out of words I can put in the right order, as there is a lady on Messenger wanting to know about how I got killed in ’01. >sigh<

What I was thinking about last night

I have this “problem” with thinking, especially when I’m trying to sleep. This is especially true when I have a niggling design/fabrication issue that won’t let me go until I solve it.

The issue that kept waking me up last night was there will be zero clearance for the oil and transmission pans when the belly pan is installed on the Sprint-T. That also means there will be zero clearance for the drain plugs with the belly pan is installed.

Since the Sprint-T is going to be raced frequently this is a serious problem because racing requires frequent fluid changes to maintain the performance of the drive train, especially since it will be driven to and from the races. Now transmission fluid is not as critical as engine oil, but it will still need to be changed during the racing season and at the beginning of the season. Cars that are not raced then driven on the streets or highways can usually go their entire lives without a transmission fluid change, but even street only engines need oil changes regularly because oil doesn’t last forever and oil filters don’t catch all the contaminants that get into engine oil. And race engines usually get fresh oil every race meet, sometimes during the race meet if there is a lot of dust and dirt in the air, even if the engine is using an air filter on every engine orifice exposed to atmosphere.

Now there are two problems to be solved here, the first is since transmissions don’t normally get fluid changes they don’t have drain plugs, and the second is having drain plugs that are flush with the bottom of the pan but still drain completely dry with a tolerance for cling to the sides and bottom. The solution is to install the drain on an edge with the hole being flush to the inside bottom surface of the pan, and to contour that surface to direct the draining fluid to the hole. This is obviously easier on a pan that is being fabricated from scratch, but since the vast majority of transmission pans are stamped out of thin sheet metal it can be accomplished with a little hammer and dolly work, or a ball peen hammer and a soft 2 by 4.

The first thing to do is decide where the drain is going to be, and then “massage” the bottom of the pan with the hammer and whatever you choose to back it up to make that the lowest place in the pan so the fluids accumulate there. Then drill your drain hole flush with the bottom through the side of the pan. That’s the easy part, the hard part is making a plug that doesn’t hang below the bottom of the pan.

The next step is to pick a bolt that will fit the hole you drilled, ideally that will fit snugly in said hole because it will be used to locate the part that holds it to the pan. This is going to be a nut that is compatible with being welded to the pan. You will thread the nut over the bolt you chose as the plug, then stick the bolt through the hole in the side of the pan and rest it against the bottom of the pan with the nut flat against the side of the pan, and tack weld the nut in place so you can let go of the bolt. Finish weld the nut and make sure you can thread the bolt in and out of the pan. Then comes the part that lets the pan sit flat against the bellypan of the car. Using a cutoff wheel against the bottom of the oil or transmission pan slice off the part of the bolt and nut that stick out past the bottom surface of the pan. Just for insurance you might want to run an extra bead of weld on the part of the nut that was cut where it joins the pan if there is no weld showing, to prevent seepage. Then grind the weld flush with the bottom of the pan.

Now the design of the pan for the engine oil is going to be a little tricky, since it is two pieces that bolt together on the engine and the drain will have to somehow not interfere with the function of the bottom flange that holds the bottom of the pan after the pan is bolted to the bottom of the engine, since the bolts that hold the pan to the engine are inside the oil pan when it is installed. Somehow I have to get the bottom of the nut flush and the bolt resting against the inside of the pan, with the bottom being bolted to a flange around the bottom. Or I can move that flange to the top, the part that bolts against the engine, and do the drill the hole in the side routine like it was a regular oil pan that bolted up from the outside of the engine. The bottom will have to be built like a regular oil pan instead of just a flat plate that bolts to the bottom of the pan. Still easier than welding tubes for access to the bolts that hold the pan to the block on a pan with huge kick-outs to give the engine oil room to be flung from the crankshaft. There was an episode of Engine Masters that used a pan that had the mounting bolts on the inside and that pan actually made more horsepower than a deep sump pan without kick-outs but was way deeper than the pan with the kick-outs. I would link to it but unless you have a subscription to Motor Trend On-Demand you won’t be able to see it.

So anyway, that’s the kind of stuff that sometimes keeps me awake at night, or haunts my dreams (yes I have dreams of making car parts, and no I don’t know what that means if anything). Happy Fourth of July to those who celebrate it.

Weather is here, wish you were beautiful

And yes, that is both the punch line to a joke that is older than I am and a description of the current weather. Seriously the back yard is a swamp again, but at least it’s not hot. You can drink the air through a straw, but it’s a cool damp. The condensation drain from the AC looks like an open faucet it’s pulling so much moisture from the air inside the house, and the indoor weather station says our humidity is roughly 60%. It’s still pouring rain but not like the usual summer deluge we get in TX.

I went to do the banking and get a massage yesterday, but it wasn’t easy. But then again when is anything easy lately? Anywho I got to the bank no problem after summoning a Lyft. Oh jeeze I just read that and it totally sounds like some arcane spell from D&D or Shadowrun. Back to the subject, I got to the bank and deposited a check for Mrs. the Poet, and checked to make sure the payment I sent to the brain doctor went through, and also checked my checking balance. The tricky part on that is did the transfers to my other accounts go through before or after I pulled the balance? If it was after then I have less than $100 in my account for the rest of the month. If it was before then I’m fat, dumb and happy, balance-wise. I had enough to go get a massage either way, so I summoned another Lyft (woo-wee-hoo /spooky music) and went to my usual massage place that has the good techs that get all my sore places better, but they’re closed until Monday so their techs can enjoy the holiday according to the person who answered the phone when I called standing outside the locked door to the establishment. Then I walked across Beltline to another establishment that was rated the same as my usual place only to find that they were booked solid until an hour before their 2200 closing time. I did a quick search and found one about 2 miles closer to home and on the way home, but it wasn’t rated as good as my usual and there was some question about what kind of massages they gave. But with my everything hurting and needing rubbed I decided to take a chance on the place and techs working there.

Well it wasn’t the best massage I ever got but it was far from the worst. The biggest problem was I requested a 90 minute massage to get all my achy places rubbed, and instead I got the same places that usually get rubbed and don’t need much rubbing getting rubbed over and over again until they were really overdone. Like almost injured over rubbed. But given the situation I can’t complain too much, I just didn’t give much tip, and I probably won’t go back there. But my massage budget for the month is gone and I still have aches and pains.

As the tags noted I’m daywalking again because of the interaction between the meds and how I sleep has shifted me to waking in the pre-dawn darkness instead of the middle of the afternoon. Actually I’m waking up about the time I used to go to bed before, and going to bed about when I used to have lunch before. So, literally daywalking again. And for those confused, daywalking is a vampire term for vampires who can survive exposure to the sun. I’m not a vampire, but when I was doing the cleaning up ad copy gig I went to bed about 0500 and woke up whenever, usually when I had to pee. So I was on the vampire sleep schedule even though I wasn’t one, actually. Some people call it the graveyard schedule because the work shift most of the people on it are working is called a graveyard shift. But with the sparkle-pires and other vampire related literature including the movie Blade, which is where I first heard the term daywalker, vampire schedule has had a literal life outside of fantasy literature. It’s just a different way to describe those of us working in the dark. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be awake during the day and sleeping at night, but I intend to take advantage of the situation as long as I can.

And I think I’m out of things to say, so time to put this post to bed.

Does it count as sleeping at night if you went to bed in the middle of the afternoon?

OK did the filing unemployment insurance thing for the former tenant thing and did the falling asleep on the couch right after at about 1430 thing. Got to bed about 1500 and was out almost immediately because the sleepytime cocktail hit almost immediately. I’m not sure when I woke up because it was dark outside and I normally judge time by seeing how the shadows fall on the fence around the north side neighbor’s yard. Mrs. the Poet got off the couch and in the bed at about 0230 so I got out of bed at 0245.

While I was drifting back and forth between awake and asleep but lucid dreaming, I contemplated an AWD Electric T-Bucket. The motor I mentioned for the electric A-Mod racer a few posts back is actually intended for a street vehicle and has PTO from either end, partially for ease of installation and partially to allow running as a “stack” of motors, or as I like saying “some from column A…”. Well I was thinking that if I could take power off either end why not both ends? Run the motor on the centerline and power the front wheels of the front output shaft of the motor and the rear wheels off the rear output shaft, and use some kind of decoupler to unhook the front wheels when the front axle is trying to run at a higher speed than the rear axle because of the geometry of the drive system.

Sidebar, this is a thing caused by steering the front wheels on a two axle system and had nothing to do with which end is driven. The front wheels run slightly further than the rears because of geometry, and the wheel on the outside of a turn takes a longer path than the inside wheel, and if no allowance is made for this either the tires wear out faster or more energy is consumed, and usually both at the same time. The usual allowance is to have one end or the other free-wheeling which is the natural occurrence when only one axle gets drive, and a differential on the driven axle for the inside-outside speed difference. Where it gets tricky is when both axles are driven with a solid connection between the two. Most of the time a solid connection is good, ensuring all the power gets to the road that the road surface can hold even if there is slippage at one corner. This even applies when turning, which is why welded rear differentials work most of the time except in low power and high traction situations. Ironically there is much more stress on the welds from just gentle driving on pavement than there is racing on the same surface. Back to the e-Bucket.

As I was saying, why not pull power from both ends of the motor and powering both axles, and use something to unhook the front axle when going around turns on high traction surfaces? Something like the mechanism from a locking differential? Well a big part of how that works is the different loads between the axles and we don’t have that here, we have power coming in on one side and going out the other. There is also lockers that use electric or pneumatic driven clutches to unlock one side or the other on demand that might work, since we have lots of electricity to run the electric kind. The trick would be sensing when the front is driving the system instead of being driven. The locking and unlocking is existing technology and so is torque sensing on a rotating shaft, so the trick then becomes integrating the two and running the unlock and relock fast enough to appear seamless. And some kind of logic that can tell when the front wheels are no longer trying to turn faster than the front and can be solidly connected to the output shaft again. So, the system will require torque and speed sensing from both sides of the locker, torque sensing to unlock and speed sensing to relock. Or, and this just came to mind as I was getting ready to put this to bed and do something else, adjust the logic to use the direction of torque from the sensor on the axle side of the locker to tell when the front wheels are driving the motor instead of vice-versa and only have one torque sensor in the system to reduce costs.

Second sidebar, on RC cars this is done with a one way sprag that only transmits power, well one way. While this is great for model cars that can be picked up and moved from a situation requiring travel in the opposite direction, it’s obviously no good for a real car that has to be driven in reverse. But it does provide a working mechanical solution to the problem.

The fun part comes from trying to do this on a “disposable income from SS” budget, we are literally talking years of saving just to buy the torque sensors at Ali Baba prices, forget retail in the US prices. The speed sensors are literally just a few bucks because there are like 2 of them in every LS engine sold and as many as 8 in the more exotic engine designs that have 4 cams and independently change their timing as well as have sensors watching the input and output speed of the transmission to track the health of the friction materials. I’m talking less than $100 for all the speed sensors for the system. But the torque sensors that will not twist in two under the shock loads start at a kilobuck and go up from there, and this system requires a minimum of two and a high probability of 3 total for best system performance. The controller is the easy part, an Arduino has way more processing power than this requires. It could balance your checkbook between system inputs and outputs, and still not miss anything. If anything it’s too fast and powerful, the conditions we need to track change over a few hundredths of a second, and the Arduino works at several million ops per second, literally more than a million times faster than needed or to quote the Wiki: “the ATmega microcontroller can execute up to 16 million instructions per second,” and we need to run a few hundred times a second to not get ahead of the physical system. This is why we can get good control over a mechanical system with a cheap electronic system. The old Moore’s Law “processing power per $ doubles every “x” years” (before inflation) from the mid XX century has brought us to the point that it is cheaper to use a computer than it is to depend on mechanical controls. The cost limit is now the physics of the sensors and other things needed to connect the processor to the real world.

Now the fun part of this is putting extra weight on the passenger side to balance the weight of the driver and not having it just be ballast. That can be done with a driver-weight battery pack on the passenger side of the vehicle, either an add-on, or just having that much weight naturally on the passenger side when all the bits and pieces are put in place. My preference is to have the weight balance out when all the bits are where they are supposed to be rather than adding another battery pack to go racing. Actually my preferred option is to remove a driver weight of battery from the driver’s side of the car, and call it an extended range pack to go racing, and use the BMS to pull power from the cells that were taken out to race when driving back from the race. The idea is usually to remove weight before racing, not add except to meet minimum weight rules. Since F=M*A for a given F you need to reduce M to increase A, increasing M just doesn’t make sense. The other fun part is you can make the pack low in the car to get the CG low without making the Polar Moment high, and you can build the pack around objects so they can mount as low as possible. And when objects are already as low as possible, if they don’t need to have cooling airflow it’s also sometimes possible to mount the battery underneath some things to further lower CG height. Anywho, this is what can happen when you change from an IC engine and support systems to electric power.

My sleep meds are messing with me

But at least I don’t feel like the second time I got hit with a truck when I get up.

My bedtime sleep meds are a cocktail of gabapentin for nerve pain, melatonin to shut down the monkey brain, and ibuprofen for all the abused joints and muscles from having survived almost 20 years after getting killed with a truck. And there is a more poetic but less accurate way of putting that, evoking the Bard’s slings and arrows and other things. But back to the meds and the disruption to my sleep schedule. The problem is I sleep for 10 to 12 hours but then stay awake the normal 16 to 18 hours and I get further and further out of sync with sunrise and sunset. Basically I get enough sleep to run a 30 hour day. Unfortunately I live on a 24 hour planet. Now if I was living on a space station away from a planet this would not be a problem, but my application to live on an Orion Habitat has so far not been approved.

I have been watching videos on how to make more low RPM power for less money by retaining the stock cam and adding boost. Basically instead of swapping out heads, cam, and intake, keep everything stock and throw a couple of $300 turbos on it and use their small size and low inertia to put boost at low RPM and also not restrict flow at higher RPM. Until I actually get an engine (and the budget to build it) this is all masturbatory because I can’t actually do anything with it. I don’t actually have the engine to work on, I don’t have the budget to work with, I don’t have any parts to work with. Still hoping for the Power Nation 311 in3 0.060 over bore Ford 302, so I get as many entries as I can get for the contest. As I posted earlier one of my options would be to sell or trade the prize engine to get a junkyard engine and transmission. Because I can get a nice junkyard engine and (probably) transmission for less than the value of the prize engine.

Anywho, this has gone on long enough. And I still hadn’t figured out what to do about the engine.

I’m hot and a little short-tempered

And my meds are basically knocking me out most of the day. Seriously I didn’t get out of the bed until almost 1700 yesterday and I slipped between the sheets at 0500 or thereabouts. And I dropped off almost immediately, no time delay between kissing my wife goodnight and brain shutting down.

I wasn’t asleep the whole 11+ hours, because I did hear my phone telling me that the second Cup race at Pocono was starting about 1415 and promptly fell back asleep. I heard the sound my phone makes when I get a text, the sound when I get an Amber Alert, the sound when someone sends me a Facebook message. And I didn’t wake up enough to get out of bed until I had to take a leak at 1645, and even then it took a while to get everything functioning. You don’t know what frustrating means until you stand at the toilet trying to pee and nothing comes out, because your muscles are still not responding to your orders, especially including your urinary sphincter.

And for some reason the usual summer daytime setting on the thermostat feels like the Warm setting on the new oven. BTW that Warm setting is freaking wonderful for having late brunch for us late risers. Anywho I’m not sweating, but I’m definitely not comfy at 78°F anymore, and I’m not sure of why. I just don’t feel comfortable at what used to be a very comfortable setting. Might be related to my meds knocking me out for 11 hours today, might not be. But it is another thing making me unhappy today. I think it has something to do with other things that are making me unhappy that I don’t want to talk about here.

Anywho, I am still getting as many entries as I can for that 0.060 over Ford 302 (real size 311 in3 making that 5.0 a 5.09) from Power Nation and you haven’t been helping as much as you can. You don’t have to do anything besides click the link and enter the contest and agree to give me the engine if you win. Right now I’m 10 friends shy of the maximum of 10 friend entries. I guess I need to do something about that, somehow. Winning this engine would be a major boost to the Sprint-T project. I could sell it and buy a junkyard engine and transmission and all the controllers. Seriously, a 6.2L truck engine makes about the same power as the giveaway engine at high RPM, and a bunch more down low, as it comes from the junkyard with the long-tube headers I already have to fit the engine in the car, and it weighs about 80 pounds less. The difference is a junkyard engine will look like… something pulled from a junkyard, and the giveaway engine looks like… bling. And there is always the pull of bling. Who doesn’t like bling? I admit, I like bling, too, but what I like more is an engine and transmission that both work, and are as light as possible while also having good power and reliability.

Previous paragraph I tried to use some html to make the word bling look like sparkle or rainbow text, and all I got by copying in the code and swapping their “rainbow” and “sparkle” text for my “bling” text was this

bling

. It didn’t matter which code I used they both returned the same result, that you see here. I don’t have to describe it it’s right here. And that doesn’t look like either rainbow or sparkle no matter how you squint at it. And that is a good reason to put this to bed and not get any more angry at it for not doing what I coded it to do.

There is one good thing about the condo collapse in FL

It isn’t another gods-damned mass shooting. That is literally the only good thing about yet another mass casualty event in Miami, there is no smoking gun in the literal sense. The building was undergoing a safety inspection because the subsurface support was subsiding for whatever reason rocks and dirt lose their cohesiveness under a building because someone in Florida made a bad decision in the 1980s that had nothing to do with disco or drugs, or fashion.

I’m not real sure what happened because all I saw was one sentence in a 3 paragraph web page article, saying the building site was sinking about 40 years after the building was built. I have a friend who spent 20 years studying and dealing with exactly this kind of thing and I sent her an e-mail about it to see if she knows anything about what happened.

Anyway, stuff happened. Someone is responsible, but it remains unlikely that anyone will get punished for their malfeasance. But, this is the post-Trump apocalypse, anything can happen.