I had a trip to the Lab Rat Keeper

I keep wanting to add “and the Feed” to headlines like that, except I don’t do that any more. Any bike wrecks I see online are incidental these days, instead of being the result of a deliberate search.

Anywho I gained 5 pounds since Mrs. the Poet’s return, and we may have figured out why I’ve had high blood pressure since I was a kid. Way back in 2002 I had to get my BP under control for an operation, so calcium channel blockers were prescribed and they did what can only be described as a “bang up job”. Also one of the identifying characteristics for my other condition is a high blood calcium reading that leads to the extreme bone density, which in my case is something between “concrete bridge support” and “actual rock”. I think I might have mentioned getting tested for this by a guy studying the condition, and that one of the things tested for was blood calcium level and that mine was in the range that defined the condition but he didn’t tell me the exact reading. Which is typical of doctors they run tests and say it indicates this or that but they never give me the actual numbers unless I press them on the subject.

So, next trip I’m going to bring up the subject with the Lab Rat Keeper and see if we might get some other kind of treatment for my hypertension, to go with the current diuretic. The guy studying the super thing said that diuretics are part of the standard treatment for the condition to prevent kidney stones. I need to bring the blood calcium levels and calcium channel blockers up because this could be a key to why I still have high blood pressure.

As for the other “stuff” I found out that the 4.8l crank and rods in 6.0l and larger LS blocks is popular for building higher RPM middle-displacement engines to run on 87 octane. The theory is the longer dwell at TDC gets a more complete burn and more expansion of the burned gasses with less spark advance to heat up the combustion chamber and cause detonation or pre-ignition, and has been proven to generate more power per pound of fuel burned. That’s a fuel economy thing, moving the car the same speed with less fuel, but it also is a performance thing. I guess it also would work with a standard stroke LS (3.622″) with shorter piston compression height and longer rods, but the effect is amplified with the 3.26″ stroke and 6.275″ rods from the 4.8l engine because there is a limit to how short a compression height you can get imposed by the separation between the second ring and the oil control ring on the piston. The oil ring can intersect the piston pin location, but that is as high as you can go and still have a functional engine with current piston ring technology. Also the increased rod ratio (rod length/stroke) of 1.932 for the 4.8l crank and rods means significantly less piston wear from side loads regardless of the RPM range and still allows the use of standard pistons for the size block chosen. As a point of comparison the 383 SBC has a rod ratio of 1.52 with stock SBC rods, and the 350 SBC has a rod ratio of 1.638. This is a substantial improvement for the 4.8l crank and rods. I’ll have to do “something” to bring the compression ratio back up after installing the 4.8l crank and rods reduces the displacement of the cylinder compared to the original crank and rods. “Something” in this case is reducing the combustion chamber volume by the same ratio as the change in displacement from the 3.622″ crank to the 3.26″ or about 11%. That’s a major change in volume, for the smallest factory LS head that would be more than 6cc (6.829). That’s a large cut to the head combined with a thin head gasket to get the combustion volume to the point that the same place it was before the crank change. I guess I can live with the 11.3:1 with the stock heads and the 0.027″ compressed height Cometic composite (not MLS) head gasket.

Well that’s enough rambling about a fantasy engine, time to put this post to bed and eat the dinner Mrs. the Poet has been working on. Oh yeah they just announced that the total number of twisters that hit the area on Sunday was 10 as they found another damage track in an unpopulated part of the area.

Finally got a track map that I can show how close the tornado came

There was a map that I took a picture of and marked about where Casa de El Poeta is.

The blue dot is where we live.

And yes that is very close but we sustained no damage whatsoever.

Looking at the tracks it may be that the Garland tornado was also the Rowlett tornado after it picked up and set down later, but because of the debris from the Dallas tornado effectively jamming the weather radar the people tracking the storm by radar can’t be sure if they were separate twisters or the same storm bouncing around from one place to another.

And that’s all for today, more as I get it.

Update: Four tornadoes in Dallas County, five more just to the south

Latest reports tell us that Sunday night was much wilder than we knew at the time. There were a total of 9 tornadoes in N. Central Texas, 4 actually in Dallas County that tracked east, and 5 more that tore up the counties to the south of Dallas. As I noted last post there had to have been 2 separate tornadoes going through Garland because the one they were tracking from Love Field went north of Casa de El Poeta, and there were reports of damage and a sighting to the south of us that could only have come from a separate twister, and today there were damage reports from aerial survey that showed multiple damage tracks that could only have come from what they now say is 4 different tornadoes on the ground some at the same time, which is what led to the confusion about the one they were tracking by radar as they generated and died almost on top of each other but separated by a few miles and minutes on the ground.

I’m still unnerved about this, because I’m not rated for piecing damage. I have no desire to get rated for piercing damage, and tornadoes generate lots of projectiles that generate piercing damage to things like cars and buildings. I especially don’t want to get rated for piecing damage by evaluating the results of field tests after I get hit by tornado generated projectiles.

Anyway, as reported earlier all cats and people have been accounted for and were safe after the storm.

They missed again

Whichever deity(ies) has(have) been trying to get rid of/scare me has missed again. The tornado missed Casa de El Poeta by about a mile if I’m reading the storm track map right. Updated tracks have the tornado not on the ground as it went by the house to the north and on Lake Ray Hubbard to the east of us as it approached Rockwall as shown in the Twitter Video from Athena Rising.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Casa de El Poeta is just a bit north and west of the Athena Rising video.

Seeing the WFAA Storm Track map the tornado was just over a mile from the house, but not on the ground, and now I’m seeing there was a second tornado just to the south that was captured on video by several people on Twitter taking video in Rockwall as the storm tracked east just north of State Route 66 with Casa de El Poeta sitting squarely between the two tornado tracks. So anyway long story short there were two tornadoes, both missed by a smidge on either side, I’m still Not Dead Yet [/Monty Python] And I didn’t win the Powerball Saturday, not even a small prize.

October is somewhat early for this

But what the heck.

I’m doing a wish list of what I need to finish the Sprint-T, with markers for get it running (R), Nice to have (N), and ultimate race car (U). Now some items will cross over and get 2 or more tags (U, N, R) or (U, R) or (N, R) or (U, N) so if you want to mix and match as long as the item has at least one tag in common with other gifts it won’t be a wasted purchase. And I will also update this list with items given or purchased. So I will post a link to this post when the list gets updated.

I’m going to start the list with the tings I already have and where they fall on the list.
Body with no doors or floor (U, N, R)
Windshield posts (U, N, R)
Front axle (U, N, R)
Spindles (U, N, R)
Steering arms (U, N, R)
Steering wheel (U, N, R)
Wilwood 12.2″ disk brakes and calipers and brackets to fit spindles (U, N)
Brackets and heims for the axle (U, N, R)
Swing arms for the rear axle (U, N, R)

Now the stuff I don’t have is much longer.
Category engine:
Junkyard 5.3l LS architecture engine (R)

3.26″ stroke LS crank and matching rods from a 4.8l LS (U, N) with an aluminum block 4.0″ or larger bore (U) or a iron block from a 6.0l LS truck engine (N) a set of 862 casting number LS heads (U, N, R) and an aftermarket “Truck intake” that matches the ports on the heads (U, N, R) and this cam (U, N)

Microsquirt ECU and LS harness (U, N, R)

Category transmission:
Junkyard 4L80E transmission (U, N, R)

Junkyard 6L80E transmission (R) This one is heavier and has more loss in 1st and 2nd gears compared to the 4 speed, but gives better gas mileage highway.

Category rear end:
Junkyard 8.8″ ford axle and disk brakes in 5 X 4.5″ bolt circle (R) Found in 1983 and later Ford trucks and Ford Rangers and some Mustangs and SUVs until replaced by independent suspension. They still use the 8.8 as a center section for the independent suspension, but it won’t work for my car.

Winters or Speedway Engineering quick change with magnesium center section and aluminum tubes set up for GN or Superspeedway hubs with 1° negative camber (spindle up) and 60″ hub width (U, N)

Aluminum 5 X 4.75″ bolt circle hubs to fit the axle above (U, N) If you’re wondering the front hubs can be either Ford pattern (5 X 4.5″) or Chevy (5 X 4.75″) and the aluminum GN or Superspeedway hubs are available in 5 X 5″ or 5 X 4.75″, so they need to be the 4.75″ circle so I don’t have to buy as many kinds of wheels.

2 X 11.75″ X 0.81″ vented brake disks to fit the calipers (U, N)

Speedway emergency brake calipers Part # 91031046-L and -R and brackets BSB Manufacturing 7070 Steel Bearing Brake Floater Part # 91045534 (U, N)

That’s the current list as of 10/19/19. Watch this date to see if I update the list because I know there is stuff I left off the list of things I have, and I need much more stuff but don’t know what to get yet based on what I have and have room for in the car.

Trying to shift sleep schedules is hard

I have managed to keep it up for almost 2 weeks now, but I’m running out of the OTC drugs I use to maintain my diurnal schedule. One is Ibuprofen to keep the nagging discomforts of being old (and all those injuries I survived) from keeping me awake, the other is diphenhydramine that allows me to shut down instead of letting my mind wander where it will (and my mind has the metaphorical legs to lap the world several times).

The bad news is we forgot to get more diphenhydramine last trip to the store and now we are down to the last one, and we are also running low on the ibuprofen. I have to make another attempt at banking tomorrow, so I can extend that to a stop at the drug store to get more of my homemade sleeping aids. I didn’t post about my previous attempt to go to the bank Friday, but it breaks down to I went to the bus stop and waited for enough time that 2 buses should have passed but none showed up. By that time my injuries said I had spent too much time standing and I needed to have a lie down or at the minimum a sit down. The bad part is I activated my PM pass just before the first bus should have showed up and now I’m out the $1.50 for a disabled PM pass. That won’t break me, but I am annoyed at wasting the money.

So the plan is tomorrow I go to the bank and deposit the checks I was supposed to deposit Friday, get a massage, buy the OTC meds I use to get to sleep, maybe grab a burger for lunch, and go home. I can do that because there is a CVS, two fast food places and two places to get a massage all on the same corner, so I can do this on two bus rides out and back. There used to be a comic book shop on the same corner, but it was closed and now sits vacant over a rent raise. Real smart move for the landlord unless there is some kind of tax benefit from having the store vacant.

And I’m also making another attempt at Free Senior Day that also falls on Thrifty Thursday at the State Fair, I still have lots of fair food Mrs. the Poet wants me to try and tell her about.

But for the nonce I’m going to go deposit checks and do the other things tomorrow. I will probably spin a tale of derring do about my exploits tomorrow night.

I’m a WIMP, and I didn’t go to the fair today.

I’m a Weakly Interactive Massive Particle and I didn’t feel like interacting today (sub-atomic physics joke). Seriously, it’s gotten hot and very humid again today with evening thunderstorms in the forecast, and I just didn’t feel like going through that again just to have more Fair Food, even though Mrs. the Poet and I sat down and went over the Fair Food she wanted me to try and describe to her. I’m not a foodie, but I do have a good sense of taste and a handle on descriptive language for food, so she wants me to eat the food for her that she can’t get to the fair to eat. I don’t think I went into great detail about this, but Mrs. the Poet is having mobility issues, and “other” issues that prevent her from going to the State Fair of Texas the last few years. I guess one of the “other” issues is a slight touch of vanity or other kind of pride that prevents her from getting pushed in a wheelchair or using a walker with a seat to rest on when she’s too tired to stand anymore. I can see that, but I still think it’s “not smart” to either make yourself suffer, or deny yourself a pleasurable experience, just because of how it makes you look. Of course I have had almost 20 years of looking weak because I needed some help to get around to get over my feelings about it, so I might be a bit of a biased observer.

Anywho, after most of the week of not running, the AC has been going pretty constant today as Summer makes a last stand before giving way to Fall (we hope), so I didn’t feel any compulsion to go out today. Even the promise of a higher budget for coupons didn’t entice me out of the house. I already had a field trip this week to spend the last bit of my gift card and got run all over town because transit was over an hour each way when things didn’t go wrong to make what is a <5 mile trip (seriously, Google maps Bike There directions has it just over 4 miles over mostly quiet streets (except for a mile or so on Naaman School Rd. or N. Garland Ave.) and I could take my bike there in less than 30 minutes if I had a bike I could still ride) that is closer to 20 miles by bus. Things did go a Bit Wrong and the trip home was closer to 3 hours than one, which did nothing for my wanting to go out, and I just did not feel like taking another trip this week, but I suppose I'll have to, to deposit a check tomorrow and make a run by Harbor Freight for a Big Sale.

So I'm going to go put my feet up again and try to get the Wrecked Foot back to a more-normal color (feet aren't supposed to be blue when the rest of you is sweating).

Just got back from another adventure in overeating

I had money left on my gift card, but not enough to pay for two to eat at Red Robin, and getting Mrs. the Poet out of the house is pretty much a futile effort unless the ride comes right to the front door. So not enough money on the card for two meals and not enough money in the bank account to pay for another Lyft both ways added up to lunch by myself.

Something else it added up to was trying not to waste food, as I was inundated with fry refills and soft drink refills. Depending on how big those glasses were the amount of Diet Coke I swam through went from a half-gallon to a gallon and a half, this was on top of the 750 ml “cup” of coffee I drink every morning, and my kidneys have been singing arias in praise of getting thoroughly flushed out. My bladder on the other hand has been plotting my demise as it strains to provide temporary storage for what the kidneys are so happy to flush through. Then add trying to get home and take care of an errand on the way to the DART tarantella and I left the house at 1300 and got home about 1900, still stuffed from lunch/kidney irrigation. After spending a while on the toilet letting my kidneys flush continuously to return my fluid balance to something close to normal, I sat down to compose this post. Yay, for the post.

Now, I’m pretty much at a stalemate on the design of the Sprint-T with no budget to buy any more parts or raw stock. Also at the point of freezing the design for the A-MOD SCCA racer unless someone gives me a different engine. I have too much time to think about things and not enough money to do things. That is a dangerous combination, because eventually I turn into Wile E. Coyote pursuing the Road Runner. Or as I called it over on the Driveway Engineer page on FB I go into Mad Scientist Mode. And going into Mad Scientist Mode is doubleplus ungood. And how about that, the spell check doesn’t recognize Newspeak spelling.

Well, I’m tired and I still have stuff to do on the computer and the Internet, so this is time to put this to bed.

Yesterday was Fair Day

I did a food tour of the State Fair Of Texas yesterday, until I ran out of coupons. I took some pictures but not of everything. Anyway, this was lunch.
Corn fritters and jalapeño creamed corn

$1 root beer 12 oz

I also had a $4 lemonade that I think was 16 oz, and a $1 bottle of water. I forgot to take pictures of them.

This I wanted to stuff into my bag and take home for the Sprint-T, but it didn’t fit through the top of the bag. This is about as far as they could push the rules that required injection at the throttle body, and you can just barely see the coil pack on the front of the engine if you follow the plug wires back to the front. The ECU is mounted to the back of the engine stand but would be on the top of the dashboard under the windshield in the car. The throttle body is a standard Holley part that NASCAR requires, that Holly uses for their EFI conversion kits, because it worked and was cheaper that way.
TRD Cup series engine with manifold runner injection and individual coils for each plug mounted to the front of the engine
And in this picture the coil pack is clearly visible along with the tiny alternator and the Holly EFI throttle body.
Good view of the front of the TRD engine

Something I noticed at the back of the engine was the bellhousing pattern appeared to be the same as the SBC and LS engines. I guess this was to make it easier to use available parts to connect the engine to the rest of the drivetrain.

Something else I saw at the Ford display was they had various sizes of SUVs, pickup rucks, and some Mustangs, and that was it, no actual passenger cars other than the Mustang. Their brochure listed another car, the Fusion, as available in 2020, but I saw nary a one in the display. Now there were some car-sized SUVs on display, basically full-size station wagons that didn’t have a sedan counterpart, some smaller and some bigger than the 1971 LTD wagon the family bought when we got back from when we were stationed in Africa.

And I have been transferring pictures from my phone to my computer to my blog media file for hours, and I’m ready to quit now.

When it’s day but your body says it’s time to sleep

Basically I’m time-shifted about 12 hours now, I fall asleep at noon and wake up about 1830-1900 just in time for dinner for breakfast. Then I do stuff for a while so that I’m spending at least a little quality time with my wife before she goes to bed and I go to work, even when I don’t have any actual “work” pending. Last night I did some work on the cats’ water dish/fountain so that the water in the pool area was also filtered. As configured from the factory the water is picked up from the back pool and forced through the filter to the top of the tower where it trickles back down the front of the tower and immediately goes into the back pool. This leaves all the dirty water untouched in the front pool which is where the cats have to drink from, only they won’t because it’s a little nasty and never gets cleaned.

So, what I’m doing is redirecting the water from the filter out into the front pool in order to set up a current that takes the water in the front pool into the filter so it all gets cleaned. Or at least mostly cleaned. I doubt I can configure the fountain to clean all the water but I’m hopeful that this will get it clean enough that the cats will stop drinking out of the dishwater and toilet, both of which disturb the person who bought the expensive cat fountain because he (not me) spent a hefty sum to buy the fountain only to have the cats turn up their noses at it after a few days of operation. The modification will have the negative side effect of making a splashy noise as the water spills out into the front pool from a height (if you can call less than 6″ a “height”) instead of clinging to the front of the filter tower and going right back into the rear pool and filters.

And since I have to wait several hours for this water-based adhesive to dry before I run water over it, and because today is Seniors Free day (and not Seniors in HS) and I have passed as a senior citizen for almost21 years now, I’m going to go to the fair and have some badunhealthy fried food and see stuff, and then come back and see how the cat fountain works. I’m hoping just getting the water away from the intake for the filter gets enough of the front pool cleaned out and I don’t have to build the extension that dumps the water at the far end of the front pool and sets up a current to get all of the front pool through the filter, but I’m prepared to do the full thing and build the extension that gets the clean water all the way to the front of the fountain.

See you after the Fair!