atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2003: Taxing rainfall

If it rains on your property, you must pay a fee for the runoff. Our imperial masters in the federal government certainly have unique ideas, don't they?

* * *

NASA paid $500 million to build a launcher for Ares, and it has been used exactly once. It is not likely to be used again.

* * *

So, you think illegal immigration isn't that big of a deal?

Amnesty is okay with you because these people just want to make better lives for themselves, eh?

* * *

Cargo Cult Climate Science. How long have I been saying this? How long has it been since I invoked Feynman's famous talk on "Cargo Cult Science"?

* * *

Incidentally, it turns out that the DNA which forms our chromosomes is not the only genetic material which controls heredity. This is pretty fascinating stuff, and it means that Darwinism (natural selection) is not the only mechanism by which successful genes are selected. In fact, this might prove to be a mechanism for the propagation of undesirable genes.

* * *

Speaking of undesirable genes, here is more about useful idiot Sean Penn: Maria Conchia Alonso responds to Penn's latest stupidity.

* * *

School arranges abortion for underage girl without mother's knowledge. Can the school also arrange, I don't know, an appendectomy without the mother's knowledge or permission? Why is it okay for the school to arrange one invasive procedure but not another?

* * *

Thinking back to that cargo cult link: a rich and unscrupulous man could live like a freakin' god if he were to go to Vanatu with a crapload of stuff and say, "I am John Frum! I bring the promised cargo!"

And all he'd have to do is ladle out the cargo in a judicious fashion, keep the natives at arm's length, and he'd be set for life.

...of course, these things always come to a bad end, so he'd want to have non-native security with automatic weapons to keep the natives at bay when the fit hit the shan.

* * *

Signs an illness is ending: I'm sleeping a lot more, and getting better sleep. Body's on the mend. I still have the cough, but it's improving.

I had a big farm breakfast around 9 AM; then I went to bed and slept until 9 PM. Having had some food, now I want to go back to bed and sleep some more.

* * *

The jalopy is now only stumbling when the engine is warm. If there was a problem with the fuel rail it should stumble all the time; but when the engine is cold, it's smooth as you please no matter where in its operational envelope it is.

An engine with EFI has three basic modes of operation: open loop, closed loop, and limp mode.

Limp mode is for emergencies, such as when the ECM is damaged or most of the critical sensors aren't working.

Open loop is where the engine operates when it's first started. The O2 sensor is not at operating temperature yet, so the ECM can't read the oxygen content of the exhaust and determine how to adjust the fuel mixture for optimum performance. The ECM has an internal database it uses when the engine's in open loop. It gets the fuel to air ratio mostly right, though not precisely correct. It's close enough such that the engine runs well, but it's not the most efficient or clean mode of operation.

Closed loop is where the engine operates after it's reached operating temperature. The ECM takes data from the O2 sensor and uses that information to fine-tune the fuel-air mixture. It enables the most efficient use of fuel while providing the best power and emissions performance.

If a sensor (such as the O2 sensor) fails, the ECM will fall back to open loop mode, set an error code, and illuminate the check engine light. The ECM has procedures for interpolating data from most of the engine sensors--at least, the ones which allow it to determine fuel mix--and the car will run reasonably well even if one of these sensors fail. If a critical sensor fails (such as the crank trigger or cam position sensor) the ECM may go to limp mode, or the car won't run.

Some sensors can work well enough that the ECM believes their output--and will operate in closed loop mode--but give faulty data.

I think that's where the jalopy is.

When I went to McDonald's for some food this evening, I accelerated on level ground in fourth gear, cold engine, abruptly opening the throttle to WOT, starting at 33 MPH and accelerating to 40. There were no stumbles whatsoever. Three times in a row, even.

When I repeated the test after the temp gauge had moved into the normal range--engine temp being the only difference in conditions--the thing stumbled like crazy.

There is one sensor which could be contributing to this behavior: the O2 sensor. It is possible that the ECM is getting a faulty temperature reading, but when there's a difference between open loop and closed loop behavior, the O2 sensor is usually the very first suspect.

So tomorrow (or Wednesday) I'm heading to the auto parts store for an O2 sensor and a socket for changing same. We'll see how it goes.

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