W.O.O.D. – 10 July 2018


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

What’s Going On?

The Volcano in Hawaii continues to erupt, but the news doesn’t cover it anymore. It’s “Sooo last week”…


Monday, July 9, 2018, 5:05 PM HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Early this afternoon observers reported multiple overflows occurring along both sides of the main lava channel, in an area extending from near the “Y” intersection at Pohoiki Road eastwards to an area just west of Kapoho Crater. Overflows on the upper part of the channel did not extend beyond areas previously covered in lava. Overflows further down the channel have reached beyond the flow field, including one flow lobe that is moving northeast from the main channel towards Cinder Rd.

Residents are urged to heed warnings and notices from Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Based on information from ground observers and morning and afternoon overflights, the lower part of the main lava channel has undergone significant reorganization. In particular, the channel that had been open near Four Corners is now mostly crusted over, and plumes from ocean entry are significantly reduced. It is likely this is due to a blockage that formed in the early morning in the main channel upstream of Kapoho Crater. Flow volumes coming out of Fissure 8 remain significant, and it is possible that changes in flow channels will continue to occur in the coming days.

That the flow channel is starting to clog and bits are spilling into new areas means many of the presently “safe” areas are at increased risk.

The main crater continues to sink and expand. Eventually it will reach the lava flow point if this keeps up. At that time would we get the main caldera in on the act?

The USA Democrats are having a Pillory Party about the nominee for the Supremes. One org even let their press release leak out with XX for the name. Clearly even nominating Mother Theresa would have been attacked. “Pandering to the base” is fine and all, but the 40% of us in the middle are just thinking they look very very Stoooopid and grumpy.

Financial news shows are all excited as the “Market has gone up “Seven out of the last 8 days!!!” or some such. Yeah, but “up from a down” and mostly “wedging in” sideways over all.

S&P 500 6 month daily for 10 July 2018

S&P 500 6 month daily for 10 July 2018

While technically the indicators are positive (DMI blue on top, MACD blue on top and above zero line, SMA stack normal order) volume to the upside is drying up (slope of average V line downward) and red down day volumes spike way above the black.

I continue just watching this toppy action and sitting out. If anything, you can buy the down spikes and sell the rises, but as these ‘wedge in’ times get shorter and range shortens until the point. Then it takes off one way or the other and you can trend trade again. For now it’s swing trade or nothing. (Or careful individual stock picks…)

A friend here pointed me at an interesting comedy site: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cerial


Click it and laugh…

I plan to “hit the road” sometime in the next 24 hours. Likely headed up to about 1-40 then across. Thinking of a pop up to I-80 in the middle somewhere (to minimize my miles in California and avoid their expensive gasoline via the Reno route). Anyone with ideas on how to enjoy Yet Another Drive Cross the USA, feel free to chime in. I hope to go slow and meander a bit this time. There’s not a lot of pressure to get anything in particular done other than go home.

I have thought that I ought to go through Roswell New Mexico “some day” just to be able to say I did it. Don’t know if there’s really anything worth seeing there, or not. Also not sure “hottest days of summer” is the right season for the southern desert…

In any case, the next posting (after I put up a new TIPS page) ought to be from a Starbucks or a roadside stop via the hotspot. Unless I get the car loaded early and find something that just must be said now!

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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170 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 10 July 2018

  1. H.R. says:

    I’ve been watching my portfolio of the individual stocks that I inherited. What is neat is that I have two utilities that I find are excellent indicators of what’s producing the Scare-of-The-Day.

    My AEP and OGE (Oklahoma Gas & Energy) had been making nice gains as the market jittered downward. People were looking for safety and a return. Last week, those two stocks began dropping as we have seen the market jittering upwards. I’m aware that utilities are safe haven stocks when people are leery about the economy.

    I’m less inclined to believe that there will be a major, major selloff in the market. President Trump has allowed plenty of time for his announcements of his trade policies to be priced into the market, so I’m not expecting any “Oh CRAP!” types of drastic changes, just more bouncing around for a while.

    It’s just nice to have those two contra-indicating stocks to watch. Since they cost nothing and provide a steady return, I really don’t care how low they go and when they do drop, it makes me all smiley about the rest of the portfolio.

  2. H.R. says:

    Hey, hey, hey! Our lotus bloomed today. We have two more blossoms coming on. It’s a big deal to us because there weren’t any hardy lotuses available until recently. It survived its first winter and is looking good.

    Japanese Maple and ceramic toad house in the upper background. Couldn’t get the waterfall in the picture and still have a decent shot of the bloom.


  3. philjourdan says:

    Summer is NOT the time to visit Roswell, the Painted Desert, petrified forest or the Grand Canyon (we did in the spring). Enjoy the northern route and the lower gas prices. The only thing you will miss is the 3rd installment of the Kingsmen – featuring Pelosi and Schumer. :-)

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, skipping Roswell his time…

    Maybe I’ll go to Toad Suck ;-)


    Toad Suck is an unincorporated community in Perry County, Arkansas, United States. It is the location of (or is the nearest community to) Bigelow Rosenwald School, which is located at the junction of Arkansas Highway 60 and Bethel AME Road and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The origin of the name Toad Suck is disputed. Some believe that it received the name when idle rivermen would congregate at the local tavern where they would “suck on the bottle ’til they swell up like toads”, while others believe it is a corruption of a French phrase meaning “a narrow channel in the river.” Toad Suck has frequently been noted on lists of unusual place names.[

    Drove past it on my way in…

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice looking lotus!

    Like the contra indicator idea too…

  6. ossqss says:

    Good golly, all this time I thought a Lotus was a car !!

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting little proposal to put a stop to the antics of Antifa and their intimidation and protest tactics.


  8. Thomas C Bakewell says:

    If you’ve not yet spent some time with Bistlecones, you might find the experience quite worthwhile. Some in Great Basin National Park near Ely, NV and more just outside of Lone Pine in CA. I find being around them helps to push my soul back into being appreciative of other living things.

  9. Jon K says:

    @ Larry,
    That should really take some of the wind out of their sails if it actually gets enforced. Their masks are like the public version on the online troll. Most will lose their will to, well act like fascists, if they lose their anonymous/masked status.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    New benchmark in oldest hominids outside Africa set by discoveries in China


    The toolmakers lived at Shangchen on and off for 800,000 years between 2.1 and 1.3 million years ago, leaving behind tools that are unprecedented outside of Africa. The site’s oldest tools are roughly 300,000 years older than Dmanisi, a 1.8-million-year-old site in the Republic of Georgia with the oldest known fossils of our extinct cousin Homo erectus.

  11. Kneel says:

    “Good golly, all this time I thought a Lotus was a car !!”

    Yeah – “Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious”, I believe :-)

  12. ossqss says:

    Ok, this crosses the line. WHO do they think they are! I will defend my Bacon to the fullest extent possible!


    In other news, looks like the alt-left fascists don’t like the fact they can’t cover their faces with significant legal changes coming to how they can operate. No more hiding like trolls on the internet behind anonymity of masks? Yeah, let’s see how brave they are now, exposed. Then Rosenstein’s move on the SCOTUS pick…..

  13. Another Ian says:

    “Nearly a hundred stone tools found at the Shangchen site in central China may push back the spread of our ancient cousins—hominins—out of Africa by more than a quarter million years.”


  14. beththeserf says:

    Re Larry Ledwick (11/07/18) on Antifa.- Say, who is that masked man?


    Masks, like the spots and stripes of
    tigers or leopards lurking in undergrowth,
    may be a cover up for sinister intent,
    for a Macbeth, say, who smiles and smiles,
    yet may, behind that smiling mask, be
    a damned villain waiting for nightfall
    to carry out an undercover
    nefarious (or murderous) event.

    Just as likely, though, wearing a mask
    may be concealment for a shrinking self,
    the donning of a protective covering
    like the turtle and the whelk, or as in classic
    drama, putting on the mask of an Achilles.
    Now there’s a way, for an unheroic actor
    to become a hero, just for one day.

  15. H.R. says:

    @Another Ian: I caught that news story and I note that they are still pushing that everything Homo came out of Africa. It was correctly noted that all the money and effort was going into Africa, so of course, if you don’t look anywhere else, you won’t find any contradictory evidence.

    “Coal is only found in Pennsylvania.”

    Have you looked anywhere else?

    “Uh… no… No reason to look anywhere else as all the exciting coal finds are here in Pennsylvania.”

    My pet theory is that hominids first arose in the area around Poughkeepsie, NY and the first place they headed to was Florida, spreading out to the rest of the world from there. I base that on observations of current behavior in Homo sapiens and must conclude that the urge to migrate to Florida is carried in a yet-to-be-identified gene passed down from the original ‘Eve,’ who was fed up with the cold, and nagged ‘Adam’ until he took her someplace warm.

    Sadly, multiple glaciations have scoured the evidence from the area so it will be difficult to demonstrate that I am correct.

  16. philjourdan says:

    Fascinating article on how we may have destroyed evidence in the process of looking for it – http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/07/12/nasa-may-have-discovered-and-then-destroyed-organics-on-mars-in-1976.html

    Apparently when the original Voyagers went looking for organic compounds, they “burned it up” when they heated up the soil to test it with. The hypothesis demonstrates the dangers of both the amount of ignorance we have and the potential to do harm due to that ignorance. As we learn more, we can be more careful, but exploration does not wait for omniscience.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, I’ve made good time. Back at the same Starbucks in Albuquerque, NM. Going to suck on a Mocha and catch up on comments for a while…

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    I note they carefully avoid saying the chlorobenzene could be formed when an organic rich meteorite burned up on impact with the chlorate containing surface – i.e. totally natural and no story here nor nothing for NASA to spin / promote…

    As per Antifa & Mask:

    While generally a good motive, beware the ability to badly apply a new law. So if I put on a gas mask as I’m being attacked by Antifa, or if I’m a police officer in SWAT gear I’m now subject to this law (if anyone can plausibly find a way I interfered in someones “rights” like the right to have a tantrum in public and call it a protest…

    Why not just arrest the Antifa brats under the dozen other already existing laws they are breaking? Assault. Hidden weapons. “Hate speech”. Riot. Mayhem. etc. etc.

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    So if I put on a gas mask as I’m being attacked by Antifa, or if I’m a police officer in SWAT gear I’m now subject to this law (if anyone can plausibly find a way I interfered in someones “rights” like the right to have a tantrum in public and call it a protest…

    The question of peace officers being impacted by the mask law is handled in paragraph (b) below:

    “(b) Rule of Construction.–Nothing in this section shall be
    construed so as to deter any law enforcement officer from lawfully
    carrying out the duties of his office; and no law enforcement officer
    shall be considered to be in violation of this section for lawfully
    carrying out the duties of his office or lawfully enforcing ordinances
    and laws
    of the United States, the District of Columbia, any of the
    several States, or any political subdivision of a State. For purposes
    of the preceding sentence, the term `law enforcement officer’ means any
    officer of the United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or
    political subdivision of a State, who is empowered by law to conduct
    investigations of, or make arrests because of, offenses against the
    United States, the District of Columbia, a State, or a political
    subdivision of a State.”.

    The question of a peaceful citizen using a protective mask for protection from an inhalation hazard such as tear gas, smoke, or pepper spray might be slightly more open to abuse.

    In paragraph (a) it includes the necessary language to hold you harmless if you are not engaged in prohibited activity. Interestingly if a police officer is masked (swat) and engaged in unlawful oppression or intimidation would fall under this law as an additional charge.

    Whoever, whether or not acting under color of
    while in disguise, including while wearing a mask, injures,
    oppresses, threatens, or intimidates any person
    in any State,
    Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise
    or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the
    Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so
    exercised the same, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not
    more than 15 years, or both.

    So if you are masked for your own protection and not involved in injuring oppressing threatening or intimidating others you should be exempt. This would probably be one of those things where they just round up everyone wearing a mask and sort out the issues later though. The question would hing on if the intent of the masking was to use it as a disguise or as protective equipment I would suspect.

    For example black bloc group enters the area of confrontation already masked and begins beating people and stealing their red hats. Clearly a disguise to avoid identification. Peaceful protesters who have gas masks at the ready but with faces exposed but only mask up when there is a respiratory threat, not a disguise but protective equipment (which under occupational safety laws would be required wear under those same conditions).

    I think a decent lawyer could easily separate the two issues in court.

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    I will just leave this meme material here in case anyone wants to play with photoshop.

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm this is interesting, have not been able two watch today’s circus due to work but it looks like lots of good tidbits will get exposed as these hearings progress.


  22. Another Ian says:

    “Why California’s “Cal-3” Proposition Will Expose the Left’s True Colors”


  23. Another Ian says:

    “The Early 2016 “Intelligence Laundry System” is The Risk Peter Strzok is Attempting to Conflate…”


  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    A bit of interesting physics news, high energy neutrinos traced back to their originating source by antarctic detector system.


  25. Larry Ledwick says:
  26. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yep Strzok is just your average run of the mill cop not a total wacko flake.

  27. Jon K says:

    Lets try this again


  28. p.g.sharrow says:

    It was kind of fun to watch Strzok getting raked over the coals. His Democratic jeering section was kind of a distraction. I felt for the chairman, been there, done that. Conducting a working meeting in the midst of of deliberate disruption by some of the committee members while keeping your cool is a real pain. You have to remain cool and logical while they are being loud, demanding and unreasonable. Initially the chair was a bit weak in his response but after a bit he got the wind back in his sails and his ship under control…pg

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    Rosenstein is about to do a press conference at the Justice department regarding and indictment naming 12 Russian Nationals with hacking activity targeted at the DNC and influencing the Presidential election. No direct connection is noted with Americans how ever.

    This is the core of what Mueller was supposed to be investigating.

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    The problem is that “lawfully” qualifier. That means FIRST the officer gets sued, indicted, whatever; and THEN they get to prove they were “lawful”…

    One simply MUST ask “How will this law be abused once Hillary & Friends types are back i power?” of any proposed new law. Look what Obama & Friends did with the existing IRS, FBI, etc.

    Power must be REMOVED from The State until they show they are using what they presently have, wisely. Antifa has more than enough crimes per event for law enforcement to act. It is not a shortage of laws; it is a shortage of permission to be police from the political class.


    I’m home now. Got in a dozen-ish hours ago. 60 hours “coast to coast”. A new personal record, despite I-5 being a construction zone and from Barstow to Bakersfield having a move of some oversized equipment that brought it to a halt for about 1/2 hour and then 5 mph for more…

    Some posting ideas from along the way. Clouds & Water as basic climate drivers and the impossibility of modeling fractal things like clouds properly. The British have “10,000s of protesters” out against Trump. Out of how many millions? 66 per Wiki. Even if the inflated value from one “news” source is correct at 1/4 million, that’s about 1/3 of 1% “protesting”. One had a sign “We are revolting!” (Yes, aren’t they…) Have they never heard that line about Marie Antoinette?

    The Left / Globalist machine is pulling out all the stops. Just amazing to watch.

  31. Another Ian says:

    “CNN and MSNBC Beaten in Ratings by Children’s Cartoons”


    And comments

  32. H.R. says:


    Glad to hear your report that you are back safe and sound. It will take me a short time to adjust to referrals to ‘Angus’ rather than ‘Banana Boat,’ but I’m adaptable. I’m just pleased that you didn’t have to name it ‘Old Smokey.’😜
    Too bad you don’t get down to the Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Sarasota areas. ossqss has been helpful with some places that I’ve not visited and has backed my opinion of some places that he likes and that are faves of mine. If you are ever remotely near a Colombia restaurant, it is worth a stop. (Pricing is strange. It’s not really cheap on the low end, but the high end, high quality preparations aren’t all that expensive compared to the hoity-toity places, and the Colombia chefs know which end of the spatula to hold, if you know what I mean.)

  33. p.g.sharrow says:

    From the looks of it, every Soros funded special interest group in and around London have pulled out all stops to protest Trump’s visit. Even the Caliph of London ( er Mayor ) brought out his Muslim troops as well. Mostly for the benefit of the YSM as Trump was miles away from the demonstrators.
    I am wondering why Mrs May had to get the approval of Mrs Merkel for the White Paper that set out the British terms for Brexit. Is Mrs Merkel the head of British government or the head of the EU? The “White Paper” looked more like terms of surrender…pg.

  34. Simon Derricutt says:

    pg – yep, looks like a white flag to me as well. However, it’s necessary to also note that there wasn’t any good solution for Mrs. May, because of Northern Ireland. If you can’t have a border in Ireland, and you can’t have a border between Northern Ireland and The Rest Of Britain, then the only solution is a customs alignment and accept the rest of the EU rules. She’s selling the idea that it reduces the free immigration, but in reality it’s staying in the EU with about the worst deal possible. There’s also no guarantee that the EU will accept it, though, so if that happens she can do a crash-out and blame it on the Eurocrats. Not my fault guv….

  35. Another Ian says:

    The World Wildlife Fund and Ocean Conservancy both provided ebullient quotes for Starbucks’ press releases. Liberal magazine The New Republic praised the move as an “environmental milestone.” Slate hailed the Starbucks straw ban as evidence of as a victory for a bona fide anti-straw movement, one that would hopefully lead to bans of more things plastic in years to come.

    Yet missing from this fanfare was the inconvenient fact that by ditching plastic straws, Starbucks will actually be increasing its plastic use. As it turns out, the new nitro lids that Starbucks is leaning on to replace straws are made up of more plastic than the company’s current lid/straw combination.”


    Similar to what Ireland found when they did their plastic bag thing in the early 2000’s IIRC

  36. Another Ian says:

    “Rosenstein Delivers Indictments For 12 Russians – Then Buries in Lock-box of DOJ National Security Division…”


  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some former active duty British military, publish a public notice supporting President Trump’s comments on defense spending and over dependence on the US.

  38. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Good one!


    One of my preferred fav things to do is explore variety Hispanic restaurants. Just remarkably different. Mexican is hot. Puerto Rican is savory and does great seafood with lots of spices flavor but not spicy hot.. Etc. Cuban was an interesting Caribbean mix. Not met one yet I didn’t like, for very different reasons.

    I do different trips for different reasons. This was an efficiency trip for a result, not entertainment. One day w/ my host was all. Then the spouse was on a summer off work timer. so expediting home. Really wasn’t planned so much as required reaction to get a result. I’d rather have had a month for a fun explore trip, but one day was it. Heck, the original plan of leave the car there was changed on the fly for a series of reasons that popped up (including holiday air fare costs).

    But now the B.B. replacement process is settled and I’m back to SOP bi-coastal & car maint. stuff. Car performed well, runs well. I’m going to try fixing the gasket myself (willing to make a mess in my own driveway ;-) but there’s a window issue I’m going to hand off… And I want to convert the AC to R-134a (presently on butane / propane mix. Works well, but ought to be regular Freon…)

    The biggest gain is just that it is now properly titled and registered and in my name. Whole bucket of California Grief gone and done. It got 22 MPG at 80 MPH+ range against the wind. As high as 26 at the 70 to 75 MPH range or when more downhill / behind truck were involved. I suspect it could get to the 28 MPG range if driven slowly and carefully.

    So just wondering: WHY is premium unleaded 93 Octane east of Oklahoma, but 91 octane Oklahoma west? Seems like premium ought to be the same and based on what the cars need?

    Oddly, one pays MUCH less for the 93 octane. One of my “todos” is to take my record book and post some price / location data. It’s generally cheapest in a locus centered on Texas, but California is a whole ‘nother animal. Seeing $4+ / gallon was a shocker (again) after a couple of weeks of $3.15 and even a few $2.99 points. Truck Stops have also now price bumped their Premium Unleaded ( up to 50 ¢/gallon) compared to main street competitive misc. names. Even regular unleaded is slowly creeping up. At this point there just isn’t any reason to go to a Truck Stop at all if there is any other station open.

    I’m hoping to be back in Florida around Christmas for a more leisure oriented trip. Maybe a 3 cornered one with Chicago / kids in the mix. “Equipment” entirely unknown at this point, but possibly Angus. (Depends on repairs / weather proof demonstration of the one window). I could see (maybe) a drive to Chicago, then drop down to Florida and fly back. Combine a planned Chicago with a ‘nearly free’ drop off of Angus in Florida.

    As of next November “Doggy Butler” duties become simpler (spouse home more) but more pressure to prep-to-move / wrap up “stuff” in California. Whole process entirely up in the air. One idea is a cheap rental in Florida and shipping “stuff” from here. Loading a bunch on one end, and either spouse (or “me on a plane”) doing the unload after a shipper drags the container in… All way speculative at this point. Might just “do nothing” until spring and wet weather ends.

    Spouse doesn’t want to be left alone, but we’ve got to be on two different ends some of the time for various logistics reasons. Not the least of which is moving 3 cars to Florida… and she doesn’t drive more than 50 miles… (Maybe I’ll find a car shipper ;-)

    We’re still in the “exploring and expanding options phase” and not yet in the “pruned to optimal answers” stage ;-)

    Somehow I’ve got to sort / prune / clean up 30+ years of accumulated California and establish a new Florida set; plus transport as needed between… Daunting a bit, really. Plan to leave 2 cars in California at least for a “long time”. My old Diesel (stores well, not water proof to Florida requirements – yet) and something the spouse can drive (automatic wagon). Intend that the 4Matic and Subaru are the “Florida to Chicago” cars and set for challenges of weather & snow. Angus is an expedient “as needed where needed” transport to avoid rental costs. May eventually give it to the kid in Chicago once things are settled and we no longer need to span coasts.

    Ah, well. I’m rambling. Lots of ‘not knows’ to work out and eliminate. Starting gun end of November. Finish line? Whenever / wherever… Process? Unknown TBD.

  39. Larry Ledwick says:

    Remember our discussion about a cooling world would be a wet world with lots of extreme rain events as the atmosphere dries out?

    From twtter:
    ‏Verified account
    3 minutes ago

    More than 200 people have died and dozens are still missing after severe rainfall hit Japan earlier this week. It’s the worst rain-related disaster in over three decades.


  40. philjourdan says:

    “Power must be REMOVED from The State until”

    There is NO until. The problem is the state with power. All the ills the left screams about, and the right votes against would go away once the state is restored to the ideals of the founders. Money in campaigns? Life time legislators? All of this would disappear if the feds did not have the power they do. Period.

    Remove the power, remove the problem,

  41. philjourdan says:

    @Another Ian – want to bet that at least one shows up to defend the charge and Mueller goes on another illegal dodge? I am betting that is exactly what will happen. He does not have the evidence to prove any of the charges. The feds never got to examine the DNC servers!

  42. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L.:

    Get ready for a lot of that “most in 30 years” stuff. Cycle turned so… it’s 60 year cycle…

    FWIW, it was raining from Flagstaff to Kingman. Yeah, in the desert in July… “Big Sandy Wash” was small muddy river…

    Cloud cover was very heavy. Lead to my pondering of clouds. Here it was 70-something and wet in the desert in July at 4 PM. It ought to be hot and dry. CO2 is NOT the control valve. Water is the medium and “something” is the control ( I suspect UV / IR shifts from the sun).

    If you can’t model clouds, the ocean, and precipitation accurately, all else is irrelevant. (And we can’t model clouds and such correctly…)

  43. ossqss says:

    Clouds are a vast majority of Albedo. Just sayin.

  44. Another Ian says:

    Oops! Another miss cue

    “A Hate Trump Poll Goes Horribly Wrong”

    68% “Like Trump a lot”


  45. llanfar says:

    It’s 2 hours long…but he lays out some very compelling evidence on humanity’s roots…

  46. A C Osborn says:

    Larry Ledwick says: 14 July 2018 at 1:15 am
    More than 200 people have died and dozens are still missing after severe rainfall hit Japan earlier this week. It’s the worst rain-related disaster in over three decades.

    30 years and then they try and blame CAGW, you couldn’t make it up.
    Talk about intellectual dissonance.

  47. corsair red says:


    Women’s March 2017 . . . We don’t have to pretend, do we? :-)

    Thanks for sharing these with us.

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    @Corsair red:

    After you sent me off to comic land for an hour…

    Just how the media really operate:


  49. Another Ian says:

    But only after black people become rich and successful ”


  50. ossqss says:

    If you are a Trekie, this was quite interesting.

  51. Power Grab says:

    Re: “So just wondering: WHY is premium unleaded 93 Octane east of Oklahoma, but 91 octane Oklahoma west? Seems like premium ought to be the same and based on what the cars need?”

    Maybe different refineries service the different areas? I always tried to use 93 Octane in my first car.

    We took a trip East almost 10 years ago. I was unhappy when I couldn’t find pure gas a lot of the time. I was pretty sure that my early-90s Buick would not appreciate having to use methanol. When I had to use it, I seemed to get 10% fewer miles per gallon. I worried about what it was doing to the seals… I’m not used to being forced to use methanol.

    I did learn that if there were trucks with trailers loaded with lawn equipment parked at a station, it was a good bet that they had pure gas.

  52. ossqss says:

    I believe octane ratings are determined on a state by state basis. Additionally, elevation and time of year can also influences the composition of gas. Sounds like you have a supercharger/turbo in that vehicle? I had an SSEi that was high octane dependent some years ago. I really liked that car……

  53. Larry Ledwick says:

    Fuel octane requirement is determined by changes in elevation which affect the engines effective compression ratio. Here at 5000- 6000 ft altitude premium is 91 octane, and regular is 85 octane, because true air pressure is about 12.5 psi rather than 14.7 psi (depending on the barometer reading of course).

    As a result, actual cylinder pressures at high altitude are lower and the effective compression ratio (and need for octane) is lower. This sometimes causes problems with turbocharged cars because they can make up for the change in base atmospheric pressure by increasing the boost provided by the turbo (or blower).

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting thread from twitter on President Trump and his negotiations with the rest of the world using trade as a lever to pry concessions of of them and win a more balanced trade exchange agreement.


  55. E.M.Smith says:

    The problem with the altitude thesis is that Florida, Georgia, etc. are 93 Oct and sea level, while California is as well at 91 Oct.

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is because of California emissions issues, they don’t allow the same octane enhancement methods used in much of the rest of the country, their Reformulated gasoline guide lines in California are very different than everywhere else.

    As a result they are limited in the methods that they can use to raise octane. You can only get so much high octane fuel out of a barrel of oil without using additives to increase octane. Basically it comes down to cost of production and getting the most high demand fuel out of the available stocks at the lowest cost.

    The result is that in order to supply the premium fuel demand (which is relatively high compared to some other parts of the country) with the limitations that they have to abide by, they offer the lowest fuel octane that they can sell as premium.

    If they supplied 93 octane they would push the price of premium up even more, and cut their profit margins, so you get more of a slightly lower octane to stretch the amount of fuel that they can sell as premium.

    Modern cars have adaptive tuning which will allow them to run (in theory) without damage on lower than ideal octane fuels so the drivers in California suffer slightly reduced performance due to the 91 octane fuel. The lower octane premium in CA is a real problem for those that drive older high performance cars that do not have all the magic computer controls that automatically detune the engine.

    Here in Colorado even at the high altitude, we get detonation on 91 octane premium in some high performance cars that according to the dealers should run on it without damage, but on hot days and pulling a hill you get low intensity knock.

    In my wrx you could see the little aluminum specks on the spark plugs blown off the piston tops by this low intensity knock and people had to either detune the engine, not drive hard in hot weather or blend their own fuel for higher octane. (some use auto parts store octane enhancers, some buy street legal high octane racing fuel to blend with normal pump premium, some “accidentally put a bit of E85 in the tank occasionally, and some like me converted our cars to run on E85 )

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    Again: ALL States at ALL altitudes from Oklahoma west are 91 octane. This is not a California thing.

    IIRC it also held on I-80 but I’ve not checked my records.

    All the theory about altitude and smog laws stumbles on the exceptions. The only thing that looks to hold is being cheap.

    FWIW I used to get boxed moth balls (naphthalene type not the chlorate ones) at Wallmart and used them to boost octane. Worked well. (one or two mothballs / gallon ). Then they went from a big box of loose moth balls to a knit bag of less of them. I checked one Walmart on the way home and there were none at all on the shelf. Don’t know if they still are around somewhere.

    I’d get mid-grade non-ethanol gas in Florida in the Banana Boat and add one mothball / gallon. On cross country runs where most of the time it was part throttle, I’d run regular with 1.5 to 2 mothballs / gallon in Regular Unleaded then swapping to higher octane as I reached the “floored mountain climbing” part of the trip if doing I-40 ( I-10 was flat enough to not matter).

    Maybe I need to do a search for online moth balls ;-)

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like they still exist. I’ll just need to find a more reliable place to buy them than Walmart..https://www.amazon.com/Old-Fashioned-Moth-Balls-Enoz/dp/B00595AYHA

    The key bit is the “Old Fashioned” in the name. Naphthalene is a couple of benzene rings joined together and works well as octane booster while not harming engines. The alternative “new” ones are a compound with chlorine in it and NOT good for engines. I’ve usually religiously checked the ingredients list before buying, even though it was the same “Enoz Old Fashioned” box each time. Never know when some idiot will change the contents and not the name…

    Ordered via Amazon would work, but with the risk of the wrong kind showing up and needing to try again. Oh Well. Adapt as needed. I used to keep a plastic ware tub of these in the Banana Boat. Used ’em for years with no issues. Did trials with various quantities and gasoline grades. For almost everything 1 or 2 is enough. I tried 3 with RUG in the hot mountain climb in summer and they seemed OK, but decided I was pushing it … so moved to mid-grade with 2 then. No particular reason (i.e. not a lot of symptoms) just a feeling that some parameters had moved beyond my test base cases (i.e. hill climb at full floored for many minutes on hot summer afternoons…)

    The web search turned up other brands / shippers but it would take some orders and checking to make sure they are chemically correct.

  59. H.R. says:

    @ E.M. – I have found moth balls exceedingly difficult to find without a magnifying glass.

  60. Simon Derricutt says:

    H.R. – … and if you have one mothball in one hand and one in the other what do you have? A very annoyed MothMan….

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    ALL States at ALL altitudes from Oklahoma west are 91 octane. This is not a California thing.

    Correct it is an altitude AND a California thing.
    One blends into the other in the western states.
    In California they can only sell fuels that meet their reformulated fuel standards (even if they are not ideal for the altitude of the user). Most of the state of California is just shy of 2000-3000 ft elevation [mean elevation 2900 ft] although most of the population lives under a few hundred ft altitude (you really notice it coming down off Donner pass) – that is where my 1968 Barracuda started pinging badly in 1971 when I was in the Navy. In Colorado it ran quite nicely on regular fuel, but in California near the bay area (Vallejo) I had to run only premium in it, even though in theory it could run on regular.

    With the exception of Washington state and the desert southwest, (death valley Mohave desert area) the mean elevation of all states west of the eastern border of Colorado are over 3000 ft elevation.

    I learned this lesson driving a loaded moving van helping a friend move back to Colorado from Texas, engine performance goes to hell as you enter the high altitude (over 3000′) area of the Oklahoma pan handle and north of Amarillo Texas.

    Engine horse power ratings and most testing standards are interestingly enough standardized on atmospheric conditions which are typical of Detroit Michigan and most ASTM standards consider that “normal” with the assumption that most drivers will be driving at similar or lower altitudes.

    Lower octane at high altitude locations were set by ASTM standards many years ago (1970’s) during the oil embargo to maximize fuel production, and capitalize on the lower cylinder pressures at high altitude. In the early 1970’s pump premium was 103 octane here in Colorado the combination of the economic pressures of the oil embargo, and the push to lower fuel lead levels combined to result in lowering acceptable octane standards for regular and premium gasoline around that period. When I was in high school it was illegal to sell fuel labeled as premium that was below the mid 90’s octane (85 octane fuel is what you got in Mexico not the US). Over time, those standards got gradually diluted and lowered when the emissions and fuel economy push of the early 1980’s resulted in 55 mph speed limits and killed high performance cars by pulling TEL out of fuels. Once they pulled TEL as an octane enhancer, it became practically impossible to produce those high octane levels and they had no choice but to lower ASTM standards of what qualified as standard grade (regular) and premium grade fuels and Manufactures lowered engine compression ratios and detuned engines to allow them to run on the new crappy fuels.


    Washington’s mean elevation is 1,700 ft
    Oregon’s mean elevation is 3,300 ft
    Montana’s mean elevation is 3,400 ft
    Wyoming’s mean elevation is 6,700 ft
    Idaho’s mean elevation is 5,000 ft
    Nevada’s mean elevation is 5,500 feet
    New Mexico’s mean elevation is 5,700 ft
    Utah’s mean elevation is 6,100 ft
    California’s mean elevation is 2,900 ft

    Standard atmosphere
    4000 ft pressure = 6.166 P = 60.8% of sea level air pressure
    3000 ft pressure = 7.012 P = 69% of sea level air pressure
    sealevel pressure = 10.13 P

    Boise City Oklahoma (Oklahoma pan handle) Elevation, 4,167 ft

    Wichita falls Texas 948 ft elevation
    Childress Texas 1949 feet (the leg between Childress and Amarrillo is where you first see performance start to drop significantly).

    The lowest point in Colorado is at 3,317 ft altitude.

    Amarillo Texas 3602 feet
    Lubbock Texas 3209 feet

    Santa Rosa New Mexico Elev 4,616 ft
    Roswell New Mexico 3573
    Albuquerque NM 5,312 ft

    Reno Nevada 4,506 ft
    Ely Nevada 6,437 ft
    Las Vegas 2001 ft altitude
    (surrounding terrain near 3000 ft altitude.

    Green River Utah 4075
    Salt Lake Utah 4265
    Provo Utah 4,549 ft
    Wendover Utah 4291 ft
    St George Utah 2,880 ft elevation

    Flagstaff Arizona 6,910 ft
    Kingman Arizona 3455
    Phoenix Arizona 1086 ft elevation

    Needles Calif 889 feet

  62. E.M.Smith says:

    While you make a good case, since the bulk of all the people don’t live at mean elevation or above, but along the coasts, most of the cars are not in the mountains. Seems darned dumb to sell gas that doesn’t work well near sea level when most of the cars are near sea level… (L.A., San Francisco, the entire Central Valley, Portland, Seattle, Houston, even Phoenix at about 1000 feet is not very high; same thing for Oklahoma City). Atlanta Ga. is also 1000 feet and 93 octane.

    You may well be right, but if so, the “rules” are applied in a mighty damn capricious way and without the granularity that actual elevations ought to require.

  63. E.M.Smith says:

    France has won the World Cup, and France24 is going wild…

  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    You may well be right, but if so, the “rules” are applied in a mighty damn capricious way and without the granularity that actual elevations ought to require.

    Many in the automotive performance community think it was done intentionally to kill high compression ratio high performance cars and drive them off the road or make it impossible to get them to pass emissions tests.

    High compression ratio engines are more thermally efficient but due to higher combustion pressures and temperatures typically produce more NOx emissions, and due to an effort to get maximum power tend to be tuned at richer mixtures which produce more HC emissions.

  65. E.M.Smith says:

    I could see that. My mechanic said they have made smog tests tighter than original to that end (and showed me a passing test from prior years for the same model at higher levels than my failed test. He asserts tighter than original factory performance.) There is clearly a war on all gasoline & Diesel cars now.

    We would regularly de-tune to pass smog then re-tune to factory spec. Reduce vacuum advance and retard timing.

    What do you think of my mothballs solution? Makes the car smell nice too (until you get a plastic tub instead of the box ;-)

  66. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have never played with mothballs although have heard folks talk about it a lot. There is a whole subculture of folks who fiddle with the fuel to get cars to pass emissions. The Hypermile folks who stress incredible economy also do it.

    It seems to be the hard way to do it, there is just so little chemical in a moth ball I doubt it can achieve much change in the chemistry. In my experience a small addition of fuel ethanol will allow almost all cars to pass emissions once you find the ideal percent to mix. On the WRX about 3 gallons of E85 in a 15 gallon tank worked like a charm, passed emissions with no cat before they tightened the NOx limits, probably need a cat now even with fuel tweaking.


    The hyper milers add small amounts of acetone to the fuel. Acetone acts like an alcohol (although it is a ketone) but supposedly stabilizes the flame front and helps it burn in marginal conditions. It was part of the magic fuel blend used in Formula One when they could make any custom rocket fuel they wanted.

    One interesting note is last I checked water injection systems were specifically allowed engine addition for emissions (although at the moment I cannot find a reference).

    Water vapor is essential for combustion of carbon monoxide. Totally dry ideal mixture of carbon monoxide and air is almost impossible to ignite, but burns explosively when moisture is present.
    The OH radical made available when water is present in sufficient quantity facilitates the chemical reaction as I understand. Water injected at a rate of twenty percent of fuel gave the best results, greatly reduced knock and lowers peak combustion temperatures which are key to lowering NOx emissions.

    Water injection is also used in several factory emissions approved cars which makes it difficult for them to prohibit it, as it does not change fuel or timing values from the factory.


    In 2015 BMW has introduced a version of their high performance M4 coupe, the M4 GTS, that combines water injection with intercooling. The car was featured in the 2015 MotoGP season as the official safety car for the series and was released for the commercial market in 2016.[6] Bosch, which co-developed the technology, offers a water injection system named WaterBoost for other manufacturers. The company claims up to 5% increase in engine performance, up to 4% decrease in CO2 emissions and up to 13% improvement in fuel economy.


  67. E.M.Smith says:

    Benzene rings are known big octane enhancers. Two of them joined works even better. As the flame front progresses, it runs into some of those rings and slows. Attempts at detonation (at the margin) get damped enough to not happen.

    I know it works. Put RUG (Regular Unleaded Gasoline) in the Banana Boat, and it obviously pings. I’d run the gas down to near zero, then add a couple of gallons of RUG at a time until it was an issue of pinging. Then I’d incrementally add naphthalene balls until it stopped. I’ve done this kind of thing with lots of other odd fuel mixes (gas and Diesel) as IF you screw up, you can dump a LOT of “good fuel” into the mix and recover the car to normal. (i.e. 2 gallons of RUG in 16 of Super is and OK mix… mothballs or not).

    I started high (didn’t know it would take so little) and worked down. IIRC, it was 5 / gallon first try (and very smooth running). Then I worked down to where ping returned. About 2 / gallon with RUG. Other cars might need other ratios. This was in Orlando (humid 88 F or so and near sea level).

    I’d regularly titrate a bit with various gas ratios from various gas vendors. Sometimes adding some mid-grade to a RUG-mix, sometimes filling with Super when I ran out of mothballs. Lots of opportunities to observe changes of ping, high speed ping, or just changed engine “tune”. When I’d detect a bit of “buzz” at full throttle, adding another 1/2 to 1 mothball / gallon would fix it.

    Cheap and worked really well. Did a few “coast to coast” runs on it. Probably about 50,000 miles or so all told elapsed miles during my trials (not all of it on mix though).

  68. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting, using Toluene it takes a couple gallons added to pump premium to eliminate detonation on the WRX. I would have assumed on a mass fraction bases the mothballs would have required a couple cups full at least to make a useful difference.

    They have also come up with alternate chemistry for moth balls, so need to be sure you are getting the ones with the right ingredients.

  69. Larry Ledwick says:

    Over small ranges, octane of fuel mixes of different gasoline is approximately the weighted averages of the component. Fuel ethanol violates that rule, its test octane is 105 octane but it acts in blends like it is 115-120 octane.

    (the standard octane using the R+M/2 method is not a good method for measuring octane of alcohol fuels because the motor octane method specifies a fuel air temperature which is too high and likely never achieved with high alcohol blends due to evaporative cooling.)

  70. Another Ian says:

    “Former CIA agent explains Clinton Foundation frauds – says indictments coming for Hillary and friends”


  71. E.M.Smith says:

    I did a brief search to find the octane number of Naphthalene, but failed. I did find that Xylene is far higher octane than toluene, so more “stuff” around the ring makes it harder to burn and higher octane. Also Benzene is quite high as it is a fully aromatic structure. Combining those two thoughts, I’d expect a double benzene ring to be highly aromatic and highly hindered.


    Benzene 114.8
    Toluene 103.5
    p-Xylene 127

    Then here we find the Cetane number (inverse to Octane):

    Click to access 2007-1.pdf

    Page 2 actual page 34 as quoted from magazine of origin, figure 1 shows Naphthalene with a Cetane number of 1. Yes ONE.

    I simply must believe that a CN of 1 means “way high” octane number. Likely in the 140+ range, IMHO.

    Now as I’m trying to move gasoline by at most 4 octane points ( 87 to 91 ) to get fuel acceptable to the Banana Boat, it ought to take very little 140+ to do that… Often I was only trying to move it 2 octane points from 89 mid-grade to 91.

    Also note that this is just one engine that is quite happy on 91 octane and something that’s a hard core racer demanding 105+ octane will be a different mix entirely.

  72. H.R. says:

    @All: Larry mentioned 103 octane at the pump way up above and I was enjoying this trip into the weeds when I had a flashback to the pumps of the late 60s and very early 70s. IIRC, Sunoco had a pump with 4 dispensers; regular, mid-grade, premium, and Super which was the 103 octane. All the muscle cars at that time needed the super to run properly.

    What niggled at me was that I could only recall Sunoco as the only station offering Super, and that doesn’t sit well with me. I’d bet that Shell had it and maybe one or two others, but I can only recall my buddies going to Sunoco stations to gas up their muscle cars. (My ’64 Scout with a 4-banger did not qualify as a muscle car. I can remember one gas war where I got gas for 27¢/gallon and it wasn’t Super. 😜)

    Does anyone else recall which other stations were pumping 100+ octane gas?Thanks in advance.

  73. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    The video in that link is a bit hyperventilating for my tastes ( but only a bit…); yet if even 10% of it is right and accurate:

    1) The USA is in some very deep doo…

    2) We only just barely missed being destroyed, via electing Trump. Had Hillary got it we’d be toast.

    3) Mueller needs to be sacked. HE ran the Uranium One approval? And cover up?

    4) I would love to see some evidence of those thousands of sealed indictments…

  74. H.R. says:

    A couple of W.O.O.D.s ago, E.M. asked “What’s a Redfish?”.

    Here’s one my wife caught and I have been unable to top it. It’s a nice fish.


  75. E.M.Smith says:


    Now that’s a fish!

    BTW, some of the very old octane numbers ere a bit excessive in their optimism. There was no requirement for RON vs MON (research vs motor). Now it is required to be (R+M)/2.

    Note that Toluene RON is 120 while MON is 103.5 so average is 111,75 which means you have a 17 point spread on possible octane number and that the average is about 8 points lower than RON (that was often used before as it is often higher…)

    Lots of folks had 100+ that I remember as visuals, but not names. IIRC Beacon had a mixer pump where you could chose any of 6 or 7 steps in the range. Top end 107? Something 100+. 76 had a very high octane super. 104? Something like that.

    The move to (R+M)/2 killed off most of the 100+ claims on pumps. Gas was the same, just the number changed. Later “reformulated” gas made things even worse (“smog” taking precedence over things like performance, octane, working well, not dissolving your carburetor…)

  76. Larry Ledwick says:

    The two octane numbers effectively measure different things, the Motor octane number is produced using high fuel air temperatures and closely replicates the engines octane need under very harsh conditions (think pulling Donner pass in 95 deg temps and the engine is running hot at low rpm.)

    The research octane is more representative of the engines octane demand under light load cruise conditions at higher rpm. There is also a measure called “road octane” which accurately measures what the car engine really needs in real world conditions, and it is close to the value produced by the (R+M)/2 method.

    (side note fuel octane requirements actually go down with engine rpm because detonation requires some time to cook off in the cylinder. At stupid high rpm numbers Honda found that their F1 engines didn’t need near as much octane as they expected once they got up above 12000 – 15000 rpm due to the low burn time in the cylinder) The secondary lesson here, is lugging an engine at low rpm high load is just begging for detonation, it is a worst case condition when the engine is hot.

    Both Toluene and xylene are effective high octane fuels, but they also have draw backs. Both of them have low volatility and higher density compared to typical distillates used in gasoline. In the high toluene fuel blends used in Formula One when they were playing with acetone they had to pre-heat the fuel to get it to properly vaporize.

    Due to that low volatility, both toluene and xylene spiked fuels, if the concentration gets too high, they suffer from poor throttle response during rapid changes in throttle setting. Good throttle response requires enough light easily vaporized fuel components to quickly change the fuel air mixture in the intake runners rather than have pool of un-evaporated fuel collect on the floor of the manifold for a second or so until air mixture velocity gets high enough to get good vaporization.

    They also burn a little slower, tend to still be burning as they go out the exhaust valve with rich mixtures which leads to high exhaust gas temps, burnt valves and high HC emissions (and melted catalytic converters). Being benzine ring compounds, they also produce some nasty combustion products like benzene and as a result modern fuel standards restrict how much of them you can have in the fuel (except racing fuel not approved for the street)

    I used both toluene and xylene to spike my fuel when I was trying to wring the last little bit out of the WRX to set a stock engine stock turbo drag race record here in Colorado. They worked, but they also screwed up the fuel mixture a bit (have a different oxygen demand per fuel weight than normal gasoline) so as you add them to the fuel, you are in effect also changing the fuel air mixture due to their high density and different oxygen demand compared to straight chain and branched hydrocarbon fuels.

    It can be worked around, but you have to understand what you are doing to the fuel air chemistry as you add a lot of them to the blend.

    E85 worked better and produced more power at proper mixtures and was a LOT cheaper than buying toluene and xylene by the gallon at home depot.

    Something to keep in mind if you get stranded some place with a premium only car and cannot find premium fuel, head down to home depot and throw about 2 gallons of toluene or xylene in the tank and your detonation will go away.

  77. p.g.sharrow says:

    Thank you for the above essay, An excellent dissertation on fueling sparked IC engines…pg

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    I had a gallon of xylene from Home Depot on the back patio for years. Used it in my (and my Son’s) 1970 to 1980 era Honda Motorcycles as a fuel improver. Vaporization not a problem in California summers, and the bikes designed when fuel had more aromatics in it. Worked well, but at something like 3 x gasoline cost, not for the daily driver.

    FWIW, you can also plug the vacuum advance line to the distributor ( IF you have one) or slightly retard timing to get a lower octane demand for a while. Performance and economy get more sucky, but you don’t damage your car with ping. I’ve used that “trick” to get past NOx issues… both NOx and ping being peak temp driven, one indicates the risk of the other.

    Not much of an issue any more (as the cars that needed it either have blown up or were fixed) but when Diesel first had the sulpher removed, seals tended to shrink and fuel leaks happened. LOTS of folks had full injection pump rebuilds when all that really was needed was Viton seals (or similar) instead of rubber.

    Well, a friend had an old VW Rabbit that started to leak. I had an International Harvester that didn’t, but I wanted to be prepared. Researching it, I found that the sulpher compounds were alcohol analogs and caused rubber to swell a little. Figured out a fix. Had the friend start adding just a little gasoline (that had 10% ethanol in it) to his tank. About 1:10 ratio. Seals resumed normal size and he was very happy with no leaks.

    By now, most rubber in fuel systems (gas or Diesel) has been replaced with better materials. But do realize E85 and similar alcohol containing fuels can cause seal swelling in older rubbers. That can be a problem or a feature, depending on context.

    I’d wanted to convert one of the motorcycles to E-85 (easy enough with old carburetor rigs where you can drill out jets if you can’t buy what you want) but never got around to doing it. The only local E-85 outlet doesn’t take regular money and you must use some funky account crap. I just want to drop $10 on them and go, not establish a “relationship”… I did convert my lawn mower to run on alcohol for several years (bought a 5 gallon jug of racing methanol). Some Guy claimed it would dissolve my carb almost immediately and I wanted to rub his nose in the fact it would not… old netnews days… The “conversion” consisted of turning the fuel mix screw until it ran well ;-)

    I really liked the possibilities of E-85 right up until they made it a crime to play with your fuel system. (And exhaust system here in California…) Oh Well. The Mercedes fuel injection system even has sealed controls to prevent “tampering”. That also prevented my mechanic from slightly leaning the mix in Angus the 190E so it would pass smog (i.e. correcting for worn passages over time). I wanted to do the E-85 trick but my mechanic was resistant – I took the easy way out and registered it in Florida…

    Maybe someday I’ll do it anyway… Frankly, had the E-85 been “cash and go” I’d have just done it and not told the mechanic ;-) but I was peeved and took the “ignore you all” path ;-) Didn’t want Yet Another Smog Test bill. AND, the creep had flagged the car as “tampered exhaust” due to my mechanic installing a BETTER cat converter that did improve things, but not quite enough – so I’d have had to cut out the good cat, weld in the exact part number CARB said, and get worse numbers, and THEN use enough E-85 to pass. Eventually you just reach the “Up yours. I’m going to nail this.” point and “get ‘er done!”. Stop fighting with the system and just bypass it.

    The car is going to be the Florida Car anyway, so to heck with California.

    Probably going to drive it back out about December. After a few minor things are fixed (and I get to show the mechanic that it’s registered now and he need not fret anymore ;-)

  79. jim2 says:

    It’s become obvious that the octane rating is a somewhat subtle variant of the Evil Average.

  80. E.M.Smith says:



    So is the octane rating needed by the engine.

    Then, to make it worse, Normal (linear) octane has a lousy “octane rating”. They used the 2,2,4 pentane (iso-octane) for the high end of the scale, when a short linear or an aromatic would be better and not give a backwards high value to the name “octane”.

    From that Engg… page:

    Hydrocarbons 	(RON) 	(MON)
    Pentane 	61.7 	61.9
    Hexane 	        24.8 	26.0
    Heptane 	 0.0 	 0.0
    Octane 	       -19.0   -15.0

    Note that actual octane has a NEGATIVE octane number! Just OMG stupid.

    Then there are a bunch of iso-octanes, only one of which has high “octane” rating:

    2-Methyl heptane (Isooctane) 	         21.7 	 23.8
    2-Methyl heptane (Isooctane) 	         26.8 	 35.0
    2,4-Dimethyl hexane (Isooctane) 	 65.2 	 69.9
    2,2,4-Trimethyl pentane (Isooctane) 	100.0 	100.0

    IMHO, they could have just used benzene or ethyl benzene and had a more rational metric.
    Benzene is 101 RON and 115 MON so 108 “at the pump” (R+M)/2. Ethyl Benzene would keep numbers closer to present while being a sane choice… As they are opposite in which one is higher (MON vs RON) than the present standard, a mix of Benzene and Ethyl Benzene could be made that was closer to 100 100 for use as a standard. (50:50 ought to be about 104.2 106.5 so pretty close but a 2:3 or 1:4 might be better)

    Ethyl benzene 	107.4 	97.9

    Then we might have had a “benzene number”, but at least the high number stuff would HAVE a high number…

    Then there’s that whole problem that the “octane” your engine needs depends on, among other things: Altitude (barometric pressure), humidity, temperature, load, gear, throttle setting, RPM, ignition timing, ignition advance, exhaust backpressure, turbo-boost if any, rapidity of throttle change, …

  81. cdquarles says:

    Many years ago, when I was a young whippersnapper, you would see “Ethyl” pumps. These were 103 to 105 tagged. My 68 Galaxie 500 loved it. My grandmother didn’t ;p. If I wanted to make my car ping, all I had to do was go uphill/ridge about 100 feet and try to floor it. If the gas was ‘poor’, it’d ping every time. That changed ca 1974/75. No more “Ethyl”, aka tetra-ethyl lead. You could still buy it, though. STP, the racer’s edge. I don’t think STP, today, is 4 to 8 ounces of (CH3CH2)4Pb. Just like ‘tin’ foil is, today, Al foil, thanks to 1. Aluminum is very common in the crust and 2. cheap electricity allowing electrolytic reduction of bauxite, Al2O3 with a varying number of attached water molecules, you know, dihydrogen oxide.

  82. Larry Ledwick says:

    The short answer for converting an engine to run on E-85 (assuming you have no issues with fuel hose rubber compounds etc.) is very very simple.

    Proper fuel mixture for E-85 (summer blend which really is 85% fuel ethanol) is 1.3x the fuel you use on gasoline for the same engine. Just increase fuel by 30% then tweak slightly on a dyno to get it perfect.

    Since most modern engines use electronic fuel injection systems which have a built in ability to apply a +/- fuel trim of about 15%, if you can raise fuel flow by about 15% mechanically, the engine management system will take care of the rest if it does active fuel mixture adjustments.

    Some engines do not pay attention to the O2 sensor and actively adjust the fuel mixture under some conditions like start up cold idle and full throttle where they just use a fuel look up table, so it won’t be perfect all the time on those engines but close enough to get the engine running and get you down the road.

    Note that fuel flow in an electronic fuel injection system varies with the fuel pressure, most modern cars have a base fuel pressure of about 43 psi. You can mechanically richen the mixture by bumping the system fuel pressure with an adjustable fuel pressure regulator.

    Fuel atomization actually improves until you get up to around 60-70 psi on common fuel injectors.
    Flow increases at the square root of the change in pressure. Square root of 70/43 = sqrt of 1.63 = 1.274 or almost perfect for E85.

    That is how I turned my WRX into a flexible fuel vehicle. I installed a racing adjustable fuel pressure regulator with a fuel pressure gauge under the hood. If I was driving on straight gasoline I would set the fuel pressure at standard 43 psi, if I had half a tank of E85 and half a tank of gasoline fuel pressure got raised to about 55 psi, if I had nothing but summer blend E85 in the tank I would jack the fuel pressure to about 60 psi ( I had made small changes to the ECU tuning and injector size so it was giving about 10% more fuel than standard all the time).

    You do have to be a bit careful at very high fuel pressures, at around 70 psi common electronic fuel injectors can have problems, some will have problems opening against that fuel pressure and may at high rpm fail to fully open and suddenly going lean as they flutter between fully open and partly open or closed, or then can just die due to the stress, so I did not use pressures over 60 psi to give me a bit of cushion.

    You can also accomplish the +30% fuel enrichment by finding an identical style fuel injector that from the factory is rated to flow more fuel. The stock injectors on the WRX (working from memory here so may be a little off) flow about 425 cc/min but Subaru had a Japanese distribution wrx Sti version with the same engine that flowed 550 cc/min which is almost a perfect increase in fuel.

    I put those injectors in and tweaked the fuel pressure slightly to get it just right on my first attempt to go E85. I actually will probably go back to that set up when I rebuild the engine as my current injectors flow about 710 cc/min and are a bit too big and fuel economy suffers due to the poor atomization of the fuel.

  83. E.M.Smith says:

    Sounds like fun. Also sounds easier than messing with the Mercedes systems where everything is incredibly expensive, hard to get information about, and often locks you out via everything from special (custom) tools or for the fuel injection mix adjustment a “lockout tower” that must be sawed off to gain access…

    If I get ambitious and decide to play with E85 in my Forester, I’ll holler for more advice ;-) Once we’re “back east” where E85 is more more common and normal, I’m likely to be interested again in trying a Flex conversion…

    FWIW, on Angus, I’d actually decided to try the E85 (despite my mechanic) when I found out the prior test failed with a “tampered” note for the better cat converter. At that point, E85 wasn’t going to fix it. (In fact, it is unclear how to fix it as you are now in a ‘special’ category…) Oh well, history now. At this point Angus is free of such crap and will live out a fun life in Florida (with the occasional run to California or Chicago).

    In about a year, we take the 2 4×4 cars (Forester and a 4matic) to Florida and they exit the California Insanity too. (As that becomes primary base for us) Until the final disposal of “stuff in California”, I’ll leave the Diesel here as it is exempt from smog crap anyway. The spousal older wagon will stay in California a while too (as she can drive it – an automatic – but not the Diesel – a manual) on her visits / closeout here. That way we can both avoid drives coast to coast again… Don’t know if it will ever make it to Florida, or just be sold here (or maybe wear out and die first… It’s got a lot of miles on it.)

    Eventually one of them will end up with the kid in Chicago. As a “free” second car for them and a “fly in wheels” for us. Not sure which one though. Just know I have too many cars and don’t want to drive to Chicago if I can fly ;-) (But it is cheaper to use one of the old worn cars than rent a car there.)

    Basically we’re going to drop a couple of cars over the next couple of years as life simplifies and the oldest / most used cars wear out. I probably added the 2 4×4 a year early… ;-) Then Angus had gotten caught up in Smog Hell, so was not available for 2 years and that bumped plans… Oh Well, history now. We’ve got time to let things work their own way out even if I’m ahead of schedule on the “snow ready” cars and Angus surprised me by breaking out of Smog Hell ;-)

    Gather / scatter…

  84. H.R. says:

    For your viewing pleasure, E.M. (12 minutes, but you can scroll through the chat)

    A 10 sec 1/4 mile twin turbo diesel C10 truck. Maybe you should consider playing with your remaining diesel engine ;o)

  85. E.M.Smith says:


    Shhhh! Don’t let the spouse know! That’s for AFTER I get the 5th Wheel!!!

  86. Larry Ledwick says:

    Diesels LOVE!!! methanol injection – it is the diesel equivalent to nitrous injection on a gasoline engine. Much better than dumping lots of fuel. A lot of those super fast diesel truck are running injection as well as bigger turbos.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    Back in the ’80s I was on the forefront of “co-fuels” in Diesels. Ran propane into the air intake (“fumigated”) of my IH Scout. Ran methanol in the air intake of my Volvo-Penta marine Diesel of my boat (home). On sci-energy discussed it often. Including a masters thesis I’d found at the Berkeley Engineering library about running standby stationary Diesels on methane fumigation (the Diesel injection acting as a kind of spark plug).

    One participant in the forum was from Cummins. A few years later they started shipping dual fuel Diesel / Natural Gas standby generators ;-)

    FWIW, be careful trying to do it with a Dodge / Cummins engine. It works best with the pre-combustion chamber / Bosch type systems. The direct injection computer controlled and “hot air box not glow plugs” designs are crankier…

    Just keep the “mix” away from stoichiometric. I’d run up to about 10% power on Diesel, then valve in co-fuel to about 75%, then only add Diesel to the 100% point. That way the compressed fuel / air mass was unlikely to self ignite. Oh, also requires VERY high octane fuels like the 120 octane of methane… don’t try it with low octane fuels like RUG… You want this to NOT compression ignite but wait for the Diesel injection to time it.

    Part of why I like my old mechanical Diesel. “In a pinch” it can burn just about anything, one way or another. Kerosene or Jet Fuel in the tank. Alcohols or light alkane gasses (BBQ propane) in the air intake. Up to 25% gasoline in the tank. Etc. etc. Even ran my scout on Crisco (lard) dissolved in Kerosene once, just to prove it could be done…

  88. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah some of the big power diesel guys get carried away with methanol injection and create enough cylinder pressure to stretch head bolts and lift the head – that is some serious cylinder pressure on a big diesel.

  89. p.g.sharrow says:

    Back in 1965 the Enginemen on our ship operated the fastest Captan’s Jig in the 7th fleet. All of the launches ran JP-5 jet fuel in their diesel engines. I don’t know just what they did to the Jig’s engines, wasn’t my field, but they had to rebuild the injectors every 25hours…pg

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like it is your basic turbine kerosene. Would be a bit “thin” and low on lubricity. Run in a regular Diesel, I’d add a quart of motor oil / 10 to 20 gallons so as to extend injector life…

    I also note in passing that the 240D recommends 50/50 Diesel / Gasoline for winter use if you need to winterize your own fuel. Looks similar to JP-4 below (especially given that D1 or winter Diesel is basically a kerosene…).


    was a 50-50 kerosene-gasoline blend. It had lower flash point than JP-1, but was preferred because of its greater availability. It was the primary United States Air Force jet fuel between 1951 and 1995. Its NATO code is F-40. It is also known as avtag.

    is a yellow kerosene-based jet fuel developed in 1952 for use in aircraft stationed aboard aircraft carriers, where the risk from fire is particularly great. JP-5 is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, containing alkanes, naphthenes, and aromatic hydrocarbons that weighs 6.8 pounds per U.S. gallon (0.81 kg/l) and has a high flash point (min. 60 °C or 140 °F).[23] Because some US naval air stations, Marine Corps air stations and Coast Guard air stations host both sea-based and shore-based (e.g., “land based”) naval aircraft, these installations will also typically fuel their shore-based aircraft with JP-5, thus precluding the need to maintain separate fuel facilities for JP-5 and non-JP-5 fuel. In addition, JP-5 may well have been used by other countries for their military aircraft. Its freezing point is −46 °C (−51 °F). It does not contain antistatic agents. JP-5 is also known as NCI-C54784. JP-5’s NATO code is F-44. It is also called AVCAT fuel for Aviation Carrier Turbine fuel.[24]

    The JP-4 and JP-5 fuels, covered by the MIL-DTL-5624 and meeting the British Specification DEF STAN 91-86 AVCAT/FSII (formerly DERD 2452),[25] are intended for use in aircraft turbine engines. These fuels require military-unique additives that are necessary in military weapon systems, engines, and missions.

    So other than low lubricity, it would be a great Diesel fuel. You would need to run the injectors closer to wide open to get enough lbs of fuel in as it is lighter than Diesel (about 8 lbs / gallon) and what with higher pressures, higher flow rates, and less lubrication, I can see where you would have injector wear issues.

    But it ought to burn really well and fast in a Diesel and give great performance and power. Most kerosenes do…

    IIRC, the Humvee specified to add a quart of motor oil / tank if you ran it on jet turbine fuel… common in military operations.

  91. Power Grab says:

    Re: ossqss “Sounds like you have a supercharger/turbo in that vehicle?”

    Um…no. It was a stock 1970 Toyota Corona. It just seemed to have a bit more _je ne sais quoi_ with the high-test gas.

    My little brother offered to put racing stripes on that car for me.

    He ended up with Dad’s Ford XL and put a cop-car suspension under it, IIRC.

    Hmmm…I gave him the URL for this site. I’d better quit spilling.

    Oh, that car did have an overhaul the first few months I owned it. (The oil was incredibly dirty when I bought it. My boyfriend changed it for me and told me about it.) It broke a piston on the way to Grandma’s house on a holiday trip. When they fixed it, I think they overbored it. It did surprisingly well in the mountains when I took it for that 2 week vacation to the Rockies.

  92. Power Grab says:

    Speaking of elevation: Oklahoma’s lowest is 298 feet above sea level, while its highest is 4,973 above sea level.

    Could that help explain why it’s the dividing line for the octanes?

  93. Another Ian says:

    More leakages

    “Turn off the tap: World Bank uses US funds to push Paris and renewables”


  94. ossqss says:

    I can’t imagine waking up and seeing this item out of the window. Bergzilla!


  95. E.M.Smith says:

    O’Reilly Auto Parts has the 190E valve cover gasket for $29… Dramatically cheaper than the dealer (like 1/3 to 1/4 …) so looks like I’ll be giving it a go soon.

    There’s two plastic strips that hold the ignition wires in place that get moved out of the way, then 8 bolts to take out ( 6.3 ft-lbs). Lift cover. Inspect and R&R as needed the two hoses / pipes to the air cleaner / etc. Inspect and R&R as needed the valve cover gasket. Wipe, polish, feel with finger tip, clean and polish some more, the place the cover seats. Put cover back on. Tighten from middle out in X pattern to 6 ft-lbs the 8 bolts. Clip wires back in place.

    Only real question is: Coat with goo or not? If so, which goo? I’m leaning toward “depends on condition of gasket at inspection” vs “new”. A new one ought not need goo. Reusing an old one might benefit from goo as insurance.

    It’s all pretty simple as car repairs go. Biggest issue looks to be that I need to buy more Orange Goo to clean up ;-)

  96. Power Grab says:

    Yet another episode of the long-running serial “How Much Unreasonable, Intrusive Crap Are People Willing to Put Up With?” :


    Well, OK, they aren’t exactly putting up with it. They’re trying to get out from under it. But their system can’t keep up with the load.

    Stupid developers are probably telling themselves that, since they’re using the latest and greatest development tools, their system will be a shining star as soon as they flip the switch. (I read interviews with the developers of healthcare.gov who essentially said that right before it went live.)

    My take on this situation is that modern development tools and techniques have so much surveillance embedded in them that a failure to deliver the purported “goods” is not really considered a failure.

    Even though our computers are faster than ever, and bandwidth [can be] faster than ever, each new version of an application feels slower than the previous ones. I can’t help but think that everything a user’s computer touches or asks to touch is logged to the hilt. And waiting for that load of data to be collected and passed to some location on the cloud (especially if it’s going overseas?) makes things take way longer than one would expect.

  97. Power Grab says:

    Re: valve cover gasket work – Is this one of those engines where it’s a good idea to replace the timing belt/chain while you’re in there?

  98. ossqss says:

    @EM, I used permatex RTV in the past, I think it was black.

  99. jim2 says:

    There are at least two types of RTV. One liberate acetic acid upon curing, the other methanol. If electronics are involved, the methanol version should be used due to corrosion by acetic acid.

  100. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting comment about Britain and Trump and the state of social class divisions in Britain and America.


  101. Larry Ledwick says:

    From twitter:

    This is funny – – –

    BREAKING ALERT: Protesters prepare to surround the White House, occupying #LafayettePark until Trump resigns. Demonstrations begin at 8:30PM tonight. #Treason #ImpeachTrump

    James Woods response:
    James Woods @RealJamesWoods
    11 minutes ago
    More James Woods Retweeted TAP ALERTS
    Bring some snacks though…

  102. H.R. says:

    They found some 14,400 year-old bread in Jordan. Beat the previous record of 9,900 years.


    At work, we had some sandwiches left in the lunchroom refrigerator that would give those dates a run for their money 😜

  103. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting little bit here about multinational war games coming up which include an interesting group of nations.
    The war games, first launched by Russia in 2014, will be co-organized this year by China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Iran and Armenia from July 29 to August 11, said CGTN News. IAG 2018 will consist of 28 ‘real combat’ military competitions. China will oversee four of these war games:

    Looking at a map those countries create a rather substantial geographic block sort of a Communist NATO with a few minor exceptions like Georgia (which Russia already has a foot hold in. Will be interesting to keep an eye on how those countries act as a block and if this is an indicator of a future common interest military block of nations.


  104. Larry Ledwick says:

    As a late response to your valve cover gasket question I generally use high temp RTV on one face of the gasket (the one most likely to leak oil on that particular engine usually the bottom face) and a coating of grease on the other face. That allows you to hold the gasket in place while you get things put back together but it comes off easily enough that you don’t have to wrestle with it the next time around.

    On some engines it works better to cement the gasket to the valve cover and after it cures enough to hold it in place drop the valve cover and gasket as a unit. Sometimes the accessory equipment make it almost impossible to get the gasket in place and not knock it out of position as you finagle the valve cover into place.

  105. ossqss says:

    To add to the above from Larry, if the valve cover gasket is leaking, I would probably just get a new one. Wear, backfire, overheat, whatever, something compromised the seals capacity. Just sayin, fix it once.

    I would add , I have cut my own gaskets from material for scooter parts. Mostly for carbs and belt drive compartments when I had to.. Just a side note. Hole punches for belts, and wood chisels worked quite well for the slice and dice. Always cut them larger than needed. You can always trim after installation with an exacto knife.

    Quite an interesting term, exacto knife? Never really thought about that before. LoL

  106. E.M.Smith says:


    I don’t think so… but it would turn a $30 job into a $1000 job….

    @Larry L.:

    Hope the protesters are ready for a personal relationship with the Secret Service…

    The gasket has a wrap arrond of the cover edge. It gets applied to the cover (cover in velley of rubber gasket) then that just sits on the head. Apply bolts.

    Common leakage is caused by rubber degradation, crap on the surfaces, or overtightened bolts warping cover. I suspect the old gasket passed a cursory visual but has a small crack… At $100+ a copy, it is common to reuse the gasket for years…. it is near certain I’ll buy a $30 new aftermarket one.

    @Ossqss: This is a form fitted rubber boot for the perimeter of the valve cover. Not at all like the usual cork or rubber in a valley… Mercedes always must be different…. I’m going to take the cover off and detail inspect it, but odds are about 95% I’ll just buy a new one. Why not? Oh, say I find a bit of gunk on the head, rr a gouge line in it. Gasket not the problem… Or at removal I find the bolts torqued to 20 ft-lbs and warping the cover…

    As I have spare cars and can wait, and the parts store is 2 blocks away, I’ll buy when needed.

  107. Larry Ledwick says:

    If they are available I always get Fel-Pro gaskets, installed the way I mentioned ( one side bonded the other greased) they can be reused for a very long time. A lot of racers use them for that very reason, they can pop the valve covers off to adjust valves and pushrods etc. and then just slap it back together. They are a tough neoprene like compound and seem to last for ever. The only gasket brand that would reliably seal the front valley of a Chrysler 318 which seemed to always weep oil down the front of the block if you used any other brand.

  108. Larry Ledwick says:

    How the Soviets botched use of the one time pad crypto method.
    Lazy, being clever, a printer who did not understand the instructions?

    Interesting historical tid bit.

  109. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is not a surprising observation to many of us here, we have discussed on numerous occasions that eventually, Europe will have to have a reckoning with its recent decisions.

    By selectively giving some social groups a pass on violent activities and tolerating blatant open opposition to traditional governmental controls in the name of political correctness, they have lit a fuse.
    By trying to avoid confrontations between traditional European cultures and newly arriving immigrants which have entirely different social behavior conventions and expectations they are only delaying the inevitable.

    They should have learned many times in the last century, that appeasement to avoid confrontation only delays the release of tensions and allows them to build to higher intensity when they finally do lose control of things.


  110. E.M.Smith says:


    The gasket I used was a Fel-pro. Nice stuff.

    I bet the printer decided “just 2 pads / agency” was close enough… and cut his work almost in half (typesetting being the hard bit).

    Per a European eruption:

    I suspect “this behaviour is by design”. The goal being to keep the people divided against each other so they will accept a dominating authoritarian government. Classic tactic at least since the start of the British Empire and perhaps as far back as Roman Empire moving the Jews to Spain…

  111. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting paragraph in this court decision, and perhaps this is a beginning of a gradual realization that the citizenry at large in the US will not meekly give in to confiscation laws and the realization that pushing for such bans is a mill stone around the neck of any political candidate that supports it.


  112. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Interesting article.

    I’ve long ago taken a tack that lets me have extraordinarily lethal firearms and NOT have any of the politically incorrect flags set. BUT, I’d really like to have an AR-15 with large magazine just to be inter-operable with most of the police and military of the USA.

    At present, I’m a “Commie gun guy” with stripper clips of 10 rd each (but VERY rapid reload…) and an SKS Carbine (so lacking politically incorrect but irrelevant features like pistol grip, thumb hole stock, removable magazine, etc. etc.) Never mind that the stripper clip and “clip” as in M1 Garand were among the most lethal weapons of WWII… Add in a “Defender” shotgun with “unlimited” capacity via a tube magazine and shoving in more rounds from a bucket without any magazine change that can send .30 caliber rounds down range faster than a machine gun… and I’m completely Politically Correct and far far more lethal than anyone with an AR-15 and two 30 round magazines….

    But it would be nice to be able to keep (retrieve from the out of State depot…) my large capacity .22 LR magazines for my Ruger Rifle… They are convenient to avoid frequent reloads when punching holes in paper. Never mind their ridiculous illegal state today… Like I’d take on a tank and infantry with a .22 LR and 50 rounds….

    Oh Well… I’ll be formally and finally in Florida by the time this resolves and not caring.

    Sidebar: My knowledge of chemistry and biology are far far more lethal than any firearm I own or want to own. I could kill hundreds with chemistry and not be caught. A gun? I could maybe take out a dozen and then get killed myself. It is incredibly stupid to focus on guns. Just “sugar of lead” is enough to be far far more damaging. Due to that, it is clear that all the screaming about guns is NOT about function nor risk. It is about political aims.

  113. Larry Ledwick says:

    Latest Gallup poll info – seems most of the Progressive agenda is not very high on every one’s concern list (except for the aspects of their agenda a lot of people want to stop like illegal immigration)


    Yeah that gun printing decision has thrown a monkey wrench into the gun ban clubs gears. It legalizes the ability to publish gun plans for 3D printing (and presumably other manufacturing methods) out in the open, so world wide anyone can find how to make a liberator class firearm on the web.


    Not that this info was all that secret to begin with since kids have been building zip guns with found materials for 70+ years in the inner cities.

    The fact the gun banners simply cannot get their heads around is guns are not that difficult to build, it is basically The center fire metallic cartridge dates from the early 1860’s so firearms that use them can be made with civil war period methods and materials. There are guys in Pakistan that make guns from scratch with little more than a drill press, some files, a hammer and an anvil.

    Actually the cartridge itself is one of the most difficult components to make as it requires metal drawing and cold forming equipment.

  114. E.M.Smith says:


    Don’t know if they are still in business, but for a while you could by plastic cased ammo. The bullet had a ring groove around the bottom and the case had a ring that snapped into it. IIRC, power was limited to about .38 Special / 9 mm class rounds.

    I bought a couple of boxes and tried them. Worked fine. But not particularly impressed with them so never bought more.

    I’d not be at all surprised to see ammo-bans next, and then 3D printed ammo parts in response…

    Primers can be made with a punch and die and simple 1700s chemistry. Cases are a bit harder, but not much really. My Home Town was very near the home of a new ammo maker in the ’60s to ’70s (now a name brand). Their shop (which I visited several times) was about the size of a regular gun store with a 2 car garage attached. That was AFTER it grew… Basically if you have a home ammo press to load your own, you can swage brass (wildcatters do a lot of that).

    Here’s a link on pocket forming for better primer fit. You can see all the tools are small and nothing exotic needed:


    Anyone with machine shop skills can make brass cases. Scratch that… Anyone with 1800s machine shop skills can make brass cases…

    With CNC gear and 3D printing and more, just about anyone with a few $Thousand can set up a small scale manufacturing operation. I’d not be at all surprised to see more plastic case designs pop up too.

  115. E.M.Smith says:

    Different, but related, plastic case ammo:

    Looks like there’s a wiki:


    FWIW, I’m pretty sure I can make shotgun shells if needed with only the tooling on hand. They are even easier to make than other sizes as things have fairly loose tolerances and pressures are low.

    Though my supply of used plastic case 12 gauge is more than a lifetime worth…

  116. Larry Ledwick says:

    The military is already researching plastic case ammo, it is more of a legacy issue than a technical challenge. It would require a re-engineered firearm and sorting out things like reliable extraction, environmental resistance to poor storage conditions etc. All those issues have been worked out over a century of metal cartridge production and lots of battle field experience.

    There are some concerns about durability in storage but, given shotgun shells have used plastic case construction for years (and paper before that), all you need is a rigid enough support to hold some sort of percussion primer.


    The simplest would be a straight case design, but like the old paper cartridges in black powder and the cardboard case shotgun shells you don’t need much of a case as long as it is contained in an enclosed breech of some sort.

    The difficulty I was referring to on case construction is not the technology, but the time and materials needed to build the set up from scratch. Machining and hardening drawing dies and precision grinding them, as well as a reliable source of cartridge brass and similar hurdles are the biggest issues.

    Any competent mechanic / machinist could figure it out with a little effort since he knows the end game and is not inventing from scratch, but it would take days/ weeks of effort to assemble all the tooling from scratch and get the process right. If you can order custom drawing dies from some vendor it is trivial, if you can get the materials to draw the brass,but unlike a home made gun it will take you a while to get it all sorted out.

    You can build a working gun in an afternoon with a 3/8 ” drill a hammer, a file and a hacksaw and some scavenged materials. Drawing dies require precision grinding and hardening skills that not every home work shop handy man has. There is plenty of material to read up on to do it, but it would be a bit time and labor intensive.

    You could easily make shotgun shells out of craft paper and glue and some hand labor, not much different than rolling a fire cracker. You could make the primer pocket base our of a couple coins super glued together or brazed together and trimmed drilled and pocket swaged.

    The technology is not difficult, but it is much easier to buy brass now than to try to build it from scratch later, especially since it is practically sold at scrap brass prices.

  117. Larry Ledwick says:

    You could make a very effective shot gun shell out of a hardwood plug for the base and a craft paper hull all glued together. Reliable extraction after use might be a problem but if you are using expedient fire arms made out of 3/4 inch iron pipe, nothing a steel rod rammed down the barrel couldn’t fix.

  118. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting article where the guy adds a rim to a 30-’06 case for a wildcat round.

    While not a completely from scratch operation, it uses the basic techniques.

    What does he use for his swaging? A bench vice…


    A great deal of force is required for this process, probably beyond the capability of any ordinary sized loading press, but a heavy bench vice can be used, as can a fly-press or any other industrial press of suitable size.

    I also like this recipe for making all brass .410 shotgun shells… just for the cream of wheat if nothing else ;-0


    In break-open shotguns, all-brass cases can be made easily by fire-forming from .303 British brass, which is still cheap and plentiful. Charge the case with ten grains of any fast-burning pistol or shotshell powder you have handy. Almost anything you have will work. Push a cotton ball or wadded up square of TP down firmly onto the powder, fill the case to the shoulder with Cream of Wheat, then press a Gulf wax plug into the case mouth. Fire-form the case, pointing the muzzle straight up. The resulting case is 2.25″ in length. Cases should fire-form perfectly without splits on the first pop if they are either new, unfired, or have been mouth annealed first. Old .303 cases which have been reloaded as rifle rounds several times absolutely must be annealed first!

    “This is the cereal that’s shot from guns!”…


    Yup to the “buy it now” point. I have a bucket of saved brass, though my last reloading round was about 15 years ago. (Probably about time to reload a batch ;-)

    I bought a lead casting pot and mold too. Made one batch of bullets to prove the point.

    I’ve also got a stock of primers and powder.

    So basically I can “manufacture” a couple of thousand rounds worth before I’m up against a hard wall on materials access. Only in 9mm / .357 Magnum / 38 Special; but that covers my favored batch of guns anyway. Oh, and 12 gauge reloading… While I only have a few dozen rounds worth of lead pellets and a few hundred primers, the primers are fairly trivial to reuse and making “junk” for the shell to launch is similarly trivial. (Finishing nails anyone?… or regular nails with the head hammered into a fin for flechettes… )

    I’ve got a fascinating book titled something like “Improvised Modified Firearms”… oh, look Amazon has it:

    Only $74 for a paperback… I think I’ll take better care of my copy ;-)

    It lays out details of all sorts of ways folks have made guns out of junk. It is remarkably easy. No power tools needed in some cases…

    FWIW, I’ve deliberately made sure I have some old straight sided case guns from the black powder era. Things like the .38 Special / .357 Mag case. The ones with “way too much space” for modern powders… Just so “in a real aw shit” I could run them on DIY black powder (that I’ve also made to test my skills at it.) Primers can be made to “go” using match heads… The “strike anywhere” kind are best (does anyone still make them?) but the “safety match” kind with some care also work. It’s pretty easy to use a generic punch to straighten out a used primer, then reload it and add the anvil then back into the case. If need be, there are several primer mixes that are not hard to make (as in 1800 era technical level of chemistry).

    I did make DIY Cordite once. It’s actually easier than DIY black powder. Hardest part is getting concentrated sulphuric acid. One unit H2SO4, 1/2 unit nitrate fertilizer. It dissociates into nitrate and metal or ammonia ions in the sulfuric acid and acts like mixed acids. Add cotton. Wait. Dump cotton in bathtub of water, rinse completely. Dry. Guncotton. For cordite dissolve in acetone and shape as desired. Coat with graphite to reduce burn rate… I did this at about 12 years old, so it can’t be that hard…

    For a DIY shotgun shell, I’d follow the all plastic model from some cheap dove loads I bought. It’s a thin steel disk (easy punch from metal sheet) embedded in molded plastic wrapper. I think it has a small center cup formed in the punch process, but haven’t taken one fully apart. Basically it’s one DIY punch / form step and a plastic mold / 3D print step. (Though yes, using a wood base and paper shell would also work – but I’d still put a sheet metal rim glued to the bottom ;-)

    THE big thing the gun banners completely ignore / forget is that the basic tech of guns is very 17th century… it just isn’t hard at all…

    Oh, and also on my book shelf is an Encyclopedia of guns. Has expanded diagrams of just about every gun ever made up to about 1995 when I bought it ;-) I think this might be it:

    My favorite is the STEN gun. Designed so that ANY muffler shop, car body shop, or bicycle shop could build them for Britain.

    Just in case anyone wants to build one:

    Click to access Stengunplans.pdf

    The hysteria over 3D printing guns forgets the history of DIY guns before then… including the STEN. It fires from an open-bolt, so IIRC is illegal under current US rules. Also was known for snipping the end off of a careless little finger if it got in the way of the bolt drop…. so…

    Oh, and just as an aside: It is far far easier to make a grenade than a gun and ammo. I can do it in about 5 minutes. Maybe 1/2 a day if I have to make some of the materials from scratch… That’s like 1500’s era tech…

  119. Another Ian says:

    Some experience with “durability in storage”.

    In the 1980’s I was loading a 308W with Winchester 748 powder. A maximum accuracy load, so NOT a maximum load. Some of these didn’t get used at the time. They were stored in our shed so met some hot days over the time.

    By about 2010 these loads were blowing primer pockets – in the same rifle.

  120. Larry Ledwick says:

    One of my Dad’s war stories is that the Japanese soldiers left stranded by the Empire of Japan as the Allies island hopped recycled ammo as best they could. They were literally whittling bullets out of bamboo, and reloading the bullets with what ever powder and primers that they could scrounge manufacture or salvage from abandoned US ammo. The bamboo bullet was only effective at close range but that was good enough to take out isolated soldiers and steal their equipment.

    The key items they had to recycle was the brass and primer cups.

    Modern ammo (especially military ball with lacquer sealed primers and case necks if stored at moderate temperatures will keep for 30 – 50 years or more. There was a lot of WWII and Korean war vintage ammo consumed during Vietnam. High temps can cause powder degradation and drastically change burn rate. Also ammo that has experienced lots of rough handling can eventually have the coatings worn off the powder grains that control the initial burn rate, which explains a few cases where light loads have mysteriously blown up guns, where a brass case full of a tight load that nearly fills the case tends to survive handling better over time.

  121. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmmm isn’t this interesting?

    Does the New York Times have a close connection to the Iran Daily?
    Now it could be that this is just a co-hosting operation that happens to be in that same building but it is a curious item.


  122. E.M.Smith says:

    The News (ABC IIRC) was all panties in a bunch over Trump saying he would revoke the security clearances of a bunch of folks line Brenann and other “Obama era intelligence” folks:


    President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, accusing them of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service.

    She made the announcement at Monday’s press briefing, after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance.

    In an interview with Fox News’ “The Story” Monday night, Paul told host Martha MacCallum that Brennan “should not get anywhere within 10,000 yards of the government. He should have a restraining order

    I think we’ve got more ‘Splody Heads about to happen and that this story will “have legs”.

  123. Another Ian says:

    “California – so advanced they can keep the lights on quite a lot of the time”


  124. p.g.sharrow says:

    Just thinking about it, a .410 auto rifle might be a good general purpose farm/ranch gun. Brass cartridge loads of shot or slug for close work of protection or pot filling. Light enough for a woman or youngster to use effectively. We once had a 16ga pump rifle on the ranch for such use, kind of heavy to use, but not as bad a recoil as the 12ga. The .22 worked fine on animals but really sucked for birding. The 30-30 and 30-06 were alright when we went “Hunting”, as was the 12ga. But if you were gathering food during the extended “Long season” they were too loud and heavy as well as expensive to use and too obvious to carry around…pg

  125. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Like that gun! Had not seen it before. Thanks!


    Shot density is a bit too thin for reliable hits with a .410 IMHO. I’ve gone after clays with them to limited success. A nice 20 Gauge is much better at full pattern and success / shot. With a choice that ranges from light dove loads to 3 inch magnums and deer slugs you can just about do everything with one.

    Were I doing it all over again, I’d get a 20 Gauge with interchangeable rifled slug barrel and a variety of shot from dove to turkey loads to slugs. Easily reloaded even with a Lee hand loader. (I’ve actually reloaded one with normal hand tools like a wood dowel just to prove it could be done)

    My 2 favorite long guns are the 20 Gauge shotgun and a Marlin .357 Magnum lever rifle. Both light and fast and very easy to shoot and “just enough” gun for anything short of angry grizzly bear…

    Unfortunately, I got the slug barrel in 12 Gauge. Yeah, it’s great for deer and such, but it is heavier and kicks enough to be annoying… Wish I’d gone with a 20 Gauge slug gun / bird barrel set.

    Got one of those US Air Force survival rifles at one point. .22 Hornet and .410 gauge. Hard to hit clays with the thin .410 pattern (same size as 20 gauge and not enough pellets, or very full choke and enough pellets / sq foot but too small a pattern to place on target unless you are a competitive shotgunner…) Nice idea but just a little too little “there there”.

    I think I’d take a .44 Magnum Marlin lever gun and .44 shot shells over a .410 and slug loads. It’s a better rifle and not that much worse as a short range shotgun for small birds and rodents.

    There’s some folks get .45 Long Colt guns and bore them to accept .410 shells. You get pistols and rifles with a decent bullet load and can shoot a .410 shell.

    But reallly, before buying a .410, borrow or rent one and just try to hit a clay pigeon with it. The frustration is hard to explain. ( I can regularly hit them with 20 gauge and no problem with 12…) IMHO it just doesn’t have enough shot to get the job done. Just one step too far into small land.

    While pricey, you can get 20 gauge shotguns in the 6 pound range…

  126. ossqss says:

    I have this little dude and really like it. Mine is the tactical Colt long/410 version with rails. I keep a green laser&light on the lower. This does shoot 3″ shells and the 2.5″ my judge uses. I typically would use PDX1 in both 410 and Colt long alternating them. Many ammo variants out there.


    Combo ammo packs for convenience too ;-)


  127. ossqss says:

    Hummm, seems my first attempt to post this got lost in an electron field somewhere, or it will show up as a double post…..

    I have this little dude and really like it. Mine is the tactical Colt long/410 version with rails. I keep a green laser&light on the lower. This does shoot 3″ shells and the 2.5″ my judge uses. I typically would use PDX1 in both 410 and Colt long alternating them. Many ammo variants out there.


    Combo ammo packs for convenience too ;-)


  128. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is a very interesting court decision from of all places the 9th court.
    From twitter:
    Josh Blackman

    Verified account

    2 hours ago

    1/ Divided 9th Circuit panel finds that 2nd Amendment “Second Amendment encompasses the right of a responsible law-abiding citizen to carry a firearm openly for self-defense outside of the home”
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4616855-072418-9th-Cir-Young-v-Hawaii-2nd-Amendment.html … – J O’Scannlain & Ikuta in majority. J Clifton in dissent.


  129. E.M.Smith says:


    Found the duplicate in SPAM. No idea why. Just deleted it since this one was already here.

    Nice revolving rifle!

    UPDATE: Well, thought I’d just “un-SPAMMED it” but it was nowhere to be seen. So figured I hit “delete” that is the habit in SPAM. Now a day or two later, it showed up in “pending” (so I figure maybe WordPress was doing maintenance?) and I approved it. So now we’ve got two… )

    @Larry L:

    OMG! Has someone put something in the water of the 9th? Have they actually started to read the Constitution?

  130. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think it might be that they are seeing the tide running out on the ultra liberal judicial stance and the closet conservative justices are now feeling free to buck the trend, because they know with the new supreme court makeup in coming years those decisions will be tossed out anyway.

    Also unobserved by the major media, President Trump has gotten a lot of more conservative judges appointed to lower courts lately, which is going to change the judicial trend for the next 20+ years.

    The other possibility is the recent out right craziness of the left lately might have scared some sense into some of them as they realized where that trend was going – these are not well intentioned social liberals in Progressive land, they are closet totalitarian communists who have begun to show their true agenda.

  131. Another Ian says:

    One way to run a business

    “Tesla goes begging.”


  132. David A says:

    E.M. I thought your insight in to this article on P. Trump’s economic plan might provide greater clarity, and be interesting to you as well. While discussions
    abound about everything Trump does, rational balanced discussions are not so common.

  133. Another Ian says:


    IIRC they made the Owen gun barrel with a mandrel that had the rifling pattern on its outer. Then the barrel tube was compressed on that to form the internal rifling.

  134. Larry Ledwick says:

    They use the same method today for hammer forged barrels

    On the 9th circuit decision regarding open carry these are the states that fall under its jurisdiction.
    Now we just need someone to use this decision as precedent in another district to get this shepherded to the Supreme court.

  135. Larry Ledwick says:

    About that idea of increase in precip as the world cools



    FOX31 Denver KDVR Retweeted
    Dave Fraser
    18 minutes ago
    #cowx too much rain again today opening up this large sink hole on Oxford Ave east of Natches Ct…and, yes, it swallowed a car


  136. H.R. says:

    Whoa! And I thought we had bad potholes around here. That’s a doozy!

  137. Another Ian says:


    IIRC for the Owen they just ran rollers under pressure down the outside of the barrel tube

  138. E.M.Smith says:



    Ways to do it…

    Personally, were I in a DIY mood, I rifle the slug and use a smooth bore.

    @Larry L:

    Hope you don’t get washed away! Denver: NEVER EVER take a flight that changes planes there. Wind off the backside of the Rockies is highly turbulent, the ride is rough, flight cancellation is frequent, headwinds can cause very late arrival from the east, and weather can change to very crappy very fast. I’ve managed to avoid it for decades now (since about 1982?) without trouble.

    @Another Ian:

    And I continue to press the point / question:

    Why on earth would you connect Grid Control equipment to the internet?

    Leased lines are cheap. Air gap is effective. Etc. etc.

  139. jim2 says:

    One article I read noted there was an air gap. But then it mentioned it was a “trusted” vendor what caused the problem. That would indicate connected, not gapped.

    All kinds of organizations outsource various functions including server management, as you know. This is one very big negative of that policy.

    I’ll try to find it.

  140. jim2 says:

    Looks like they may have hacked vendors, then planted malware into equipment supplied to the utility.

    From the article:
    The Russians hacked into the utilities’ equipment vendors and suppliers by spear-phishing staff for their login credentials or installing malware on their machines via boobytrapped webpages, it is alleged.

    The miscreants then leveraged their position within these vendors to infiltrate the utilities and squeeze into the isolated air-gapped networks in control rooms, it is further alleged. The hacker crew also swiped confidential internal information and blueprints to learn how American power plants and the grid system work.


  141. jim2 says:

    So finally we see bi-partisan support for the little guy. Trump et al. says we’ll give you a good economy and stack the deck in your favor over foreign entities. The dimowits say we’ll just give you stuff.

  142. jim2 says:

    RE: the hacking article. Here is where it is implied the innermost network is not air gapped:

    We’re told, and can well believe, that the equipment makers and suppliers have special access into the utilities’ networks in order to provide remote around-the-clock support and patch deployment – access that, it seems, turned into a handy conduit for Kremlin spies.

  143. E.M.Smith says:


    Target was hacked via an HVAC connection. Many folks have a slightly bent idea of what “air gap” really means and do a poor job of it. That’s the downfall.

    Take PII networks (Personal Identifying Information). It is required by law to be protected (name, address, credit card number, etc. of customers). So companies build a completely parallel network for their PII transactions. The typical set up is an Internet connection, a DMZ where things like web servers and email servers sit, Interior Router and inside corporate network with workers like HR and Engineering. THEN A PRESUMED AIR GAP. The PII Network where bookings and sales happen.

    The problem is that almost universally that presumed air gap is in fact implemented as a really really tight firewall with strict ACLs. (Access rules). That’s the problem. It isn’t an air gap.

    Similarly, folks don’t think of things like the HVAC system as being “connected”, so don’t mind it sharing wires with other parts of the company. The Facilities Manager wants reports and control of the AC from his desk, so it gets plugged in to his network. Now the “remote access” facility (be it by dial up, dedicated leased line, or internet connection) for the vendor to do software updates and remote diagnostics becomes a new attack surface. Spear Phish the vendor if always connected or do a direct attack on things like phone / modem ports. (My answer is leave the wire unplugged until you WANT an update or maintenance. Walk to the room and plug it in only when needed. Most folks are far too lazy to do that.)

    Now combine those two. Attack the vendor with a Spear Phish. Get login credentials. Log in to AC. Break out to Corporate Network. Attack PII router (usually via a crack of the desktop of folks with legitimate access to the PII network, like a clerk who updates addresses or phone numbers). Now you are inside the PII network. Why? Because people are fallible and two places that OUGHT to have been real air gaps were not.

    1) The PII ought to be really air gapped from everything else. This usually fails because someone like a VP Finance refuses to pay for 2 computers on the desks of the folks who deal with PII. (One for their email on the corporate network, the other for PII work). Yet that is essential for there to be a real air gap and not just an interior firewall router. The hubris of Network Gods causes them to believe than can construct ACLS that will always work… so they don’t complain or say No to the VP.

    2) The HVAC needs the wire to the vendor pulled. WHEN you want an update, it gets plugged in and the wire to the Corporate network gets pulled. At no time are both connected at once. This fails as the Facilities Manager doesn’t want the added work of coordinating his access vs vendor access; the Vendor doesn’t want to coordinate updates just wants to do it on his time / terms, and the I.T. Manager doesn’t see it as enough risk to pick a fight with the Facilities manager and their joint boss (usually that same VP Finance… who’s bonus depends on minimal cost solutions.) Why risk “Sounds like a lot of ‘make work’ to me, and a damn waste of money and labor”. (Not that I’ve heard that kind of thing… often… ) Oh, and the VP Finance also doesn’t want to pay for a 2nd terminal on the Mgr. Facilities desk so he can have 24 x 7 connection to the HVAC system while it is not allowed to be connected to the Corporate network…

    It really is that simple.

    My boss and I had to fight for weeks at the VP Level to be allowed to buy 2 desktops for each person in our highly secret project that was worth $Millions. One was connected to the secret project network. The other was connected to the Corporate Engineering network. Never the twain did meet.

    Even if someone got malware inserted via some media (then the floppy, now the USB) it would have no way back out to the ROW. (Rest Of World). That’s the other way past an air-gap. Mobile media. But while that can insert malware, it can’t create a wire to the outside world. (It can do things like damage centrifuges or find a way back out a maintenance connection… )

    Make your air-gaps REAL gaps and lots of attacks are gone as there is no attack surface. By necessity, this means 2 devices on some folks desktops and paying the money to buy them.

  144. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hope you don’t get washed away! Denver: NEVER EVER take a flight that changes planes there. Wind off the backside of the Rockies is highly turbulent, the ride is rough, flight cancellation is frequent, headwinds can cause very late arrival from the east, and weather can change to very crappy very fast. I’ve managed to avoid it for decades now (since about 1982?) without trouble.

    Not too worried about flooding I live near the crest of some of the highest ground in the area, so at my home location risk of flooding is near zero (lightning and high winds not so much).

    From my storm chase days bit of trivia, most people are not aware of it but Colorado has a documented history of stationary thunderstorms dumping enormous amounts of water in one location. Some on the order of 22 inches of rainfall during the storm duration. The Sept 2013 flooding, June 1965 flooding of the Platte River and the Big Thompson flood of 1976 were all triggered by stationary / slow moving thunderstorms dwelling over one area prone to flooding, dumping upwards of 9 inches of rain in the case of the big Thompson flood in just an hour or two.

    It is good to know what street segments tend to flood during down pours and avoid them in such conditions. We have a road underpass that routinely fills with 6+ feet of water during that sort of situation. (images have disappeared from the web on this one)

    This was in 2015 – pretty routine during those down pour conditions not far from this location are a few underpasses well known to flood when the we have down pours and the storm drains clog with trash:

    On the winds out at DIA, yes and yes, when we have strong down slope flow (Chinook winds) it sets up down stream turbulence and rotor circulations out east of the mountains. Denver also is prone to down burst events due to the low humidity (which is why we were picked to have one of the first doppler radar units to study downbursts)

  145. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, I now have the habit of saving interesting images when I encounter them; just due to the “bit rot” on internet images that don’t fit the narratives… A 4 TB disk is about $120… and holds a LOT of pictures…

    (Indexing to find them again, I’m still working on ;-0 )

    In Florida, during one downpour, I got to watch a manhole cover lift as a foot of “gusher” rushed out to fill the parking lot ( it was about 20 feet down slope from me so I started the car and scooted!)

    Seems someplace about 1/2 mile away was getting that kind of 9 inches dump while I was only getting a mild rain, but the pipes filled up and started sending the water UP instead of out… A drain can become a supply when there’s enough rain on the streets…

    There’s an underpass near me (Bascom where it goes under Hwy 17 / I-880 ) that was where I first found out my 4 x 4 Scout had a leaking gas cap (outside no filler door). It would get a few feet of water in it and I plunged in. Water up to the windshield (Surprise!) as the splashing turned 3 or 4 feet into 6 or 7… Car ran well out the other side and for about 2 blocks. Then started the “fuel starving sputter”. Eventually checked the fuel filter bowl (real Diesel with real GLASS fuel bowl) and saw water in the bottom 2/3. Seems the “wave” covered the fuel filler and water got in under the cap… OK, dumped the sediment bowl. Pumped the prime pump. Dump. Prime. Started it up with a lot of cranking to clear the injector lines of water, sputter and rev a minute or two, and away we went. After that, only forded it at LOW speeds ;-)

    That depressed area always fills with water in heavy rain. The only good news is that we never get enough in one storm to make more than about 3-4 foot of standing at the bottom of the parabola…

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  147. jim2 says:

    Anyone who believes a firewall is an air gap has an air gap between the ears!!

  148. E.M.Smith says:

    Don’t know what to make of this:


    A group of 11 House Republicans introduced five articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Wednesday evening.

    The impeachment articles accuse Rosenstein of intentionally withholding documents and information from Congress, failure to comply with congressional subpoenas and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

  149. Another Ian says:

    Maybe hope has become a straregy?

    “Scientist create, then cure, baldness, wrinkles and some aging in mice”


  150. Another Ian says:


  151. H.R. says:

    st-RAT-egy, Another Ian.

    You can’t have strategy without a rat.😜

  152. Larry Ledwick says:

    Don’t know what to make of this:

    Publicity stunt – that has to be acted on or ripen in just a couple days after it is submitted, Congress is going on its fall break so it will age out before they get back unless they act on it immediately. It may also be FUD to keep the press occupied, I don’t think anyone intends to act on it but only to use as a shield “see we are doing something” when they go back home and talk to constituents.


  153. A C Osborn says:

    Larry, what “fall break”?
    Didn’t the speaker cancel it?

  154. cdquarles says:

    I don’t think that the House canceled their August break. I do think that the Senate did; but that’s subject to change for both.

  155. philjourdan says:

    “It is good to know what street segments tend to flood during down pours and avoid them in such conditions. We have a road underpass that routinely fills with 6+ feet of water during that sort of situation.”

    Down here in the flat (relatively) lands, they have taken to placing pylons with the measurement in feet. No explanation, you will be driving down a road, and see this yellow post that has 1-6 on it. But when you get a huge rain (it has only happened 3 times in 40 years here), most of those numbers are not visible! So if you are out my way, and see a yellow pylon with only the 4, 5 or 6 visible, do not drive further! It means there is over 3 feet of water you are about to drive through!

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