Body Energy Usage

I ponder macro-nutrition needs a whole bunch. Here’s what I have handy, though my technical references are scattered and omitted.

There’s always a need for roughage, vitamins, and minerals, which come from foods with very low calories/kilojoules. Aside from that, the three main macros have specific needs.

A body needs 125 grams of carbs for your brain/nerves; just under 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass to maintain tissues/muscles; and around 30g of fat for cellular and neurological structures. This is usually around 1200 kcal per day, but varies by person 10-20 percent.

Anything else you eat is either poop, or gets converted to sugar. Sugar is burned if it’s needed immediately for exercise (growing, standing, walking, cardio, whatever, anything other than sleeping). Any sugar that is not immediately needed is stored in muscles as glycogen, up to around 4% of your muscle mass. All sugar past that is turned into fat and stored in our fat cells.

This is where “whole grains” comes into play. If it’s not ground up, it takes longer to break it down. However, if you take grains, and mill them into a powder, IT IS NOT WHOLE GRAINS. Just because there is fiber in the food does not mean it’s slow to absorb. The less processed the food, the longer time period over which it trickles energy into your body. If it’s super processed, it all absorbs very quickly, and your body may have trouble figuring out what to do with it unless you’re depleted already.

This is also where some insulin resistance comes from, and why diabetics have normal sugar metabolism in their muscles during exercise, even if they are short on insulin, or are resistant to it. Resistance is GLUT4 which causes glucose receptors to move to the cell membrane, but exercise does the same thing – muscle is hungry, it asks for more. Muscle is not hungry, it asks for less, even if you try to overfeed it. Where would it put this excess sugar? It can only store so much.

During exercise, your fat cells can liberate about 90% of your weight in pounds as usable calories per hour. For me, it’s about 260 calories. The gap is made up from glycogen in the muscles, which is good for just about 90 minutes. If you exercise hard, and stop at 60, and rest for 30, those 30 mins still use up that glycogen for delayed processes, cleanup, etc.

Eating carbs cannot provide as much energy as glycogen, but it’s the next best thing. Also, if you’re fasting, your glycogen reserves get burned up pretty quickly. Glycogen is 3:1 water to sugar, so this is why the first week of dieting is so awesome. No, that’s not fat. It’s muscle energy.

Any energy deficiency not covered by food will be covered by muscle damage. About the same number of calories can be broken down out of injured muscle cells. For me, this is a total of muscle and fat sourced calories of about 520 calories per hour. If I exercise for 3 hours with no food, then my power output drops to 130 watts, which is about 520 calories per hour.

The best option to limit muscle damage, limit recovery time, and optimize exercise benefits when going for more than your glycoge, is to eat as much every hour as you burn, minus the calories that can come from fat. Staying carb focussed can give more energy, and can be easier to absorb, though for some people, this slows the breakdown of body fat.

Staying fat focussed keeps the fat burn mechanisms running, but it takes twice as much oxygen, which means you’re hear-rate limited. It’s less about muscle conditioning then, and more about cardiovascular improvement.

Staying protein focussed is tougher on the kidneys. The aminos have to be converted for use as fuel, and that’s a lot of extra ammonia to pee out. That can be an issue when dehydration might already be at play.

Cycling Fuel

Max bodyfat you can burn in an hour is roughly 1 gram per 10 pounds, or in calories, 9 times your weight in pounds.

Anything else is food, muscle glycogen, or actual muscle tissue. Glycogen max is about 4% lean muscle mass, which usually is enough for 90 mins, plus or minus. Food is whatever is in your gut, though exercise slows digestion.

Bonk is when you have used up all food, and your glycogen stores, effectively exercising while fasted.

Bonk power is the max sustained energy ouput when you are fasted/bonked. This is fat burn, and muscle breakdown, combines.

Average watts is roughly 1/4 your calories per hour.

Me as an example
I’m 280 pounds, and bonk power for me is 133 watts, which is about 520 calories per hour. Doing that pretty much guarantees cramps from muscle breakdown.

Biking, I tend to burn 750-850 calories per hour, but I can peak at over 1000 in some instances (beginning, well fed, well rested, very driven).

That’s a big gap, because being big, I get more wind drag, which is 50% of your energy above 15mph. I also take more energy to climb a hill.

Downhill is faster, so less benefit (less time spent going downhill), and often waste the energy by riding brakes so as to not plow through others.

I do best consuming 600 calories per hour while riding more than 90 mins.

So, I have to eat the equivalent of a meal every hour to keep up, and reduce cramp risks. Most of that needs to be carbs that break down in less than an hour. Also, I don’t want to have a bathroom break every hour.

Ride Fuel
Sugary colas have phosphate, glucose, and fructose – all good for refueling. Cookies, sandwiches, etc usually are low roughage, good energy density, and include salt. M&Ms were actually designed to be endurance fuel for the army, and they hold up pretty well in a plastic bag.

Basically, all the things that are bad for you normally make great endurance fuel.

As to proper “race fuel”, honestly, it’s too low calorie for someone my size. Some people only need 200 calories an hour to stay fueled, so half banana, a 2″ square of granola, and a swig of gatorade is fine. For me, that would be a whole bunch bananas, and two quarts of gatorade. Just too much bulk.

Add to all that the need for oxygen to build ATP (actual muscle energy chemical). It takes 35% more oxygen to burn blood glucose than intra-muscular glycogen. Fat takes twice as much oxygen as glucose. High heat, humidity, low pressure, altitude, carbonation, and alcohol all reduce oxygen availability. Transport of glucose into the cell takes ATP. Digestion of food takes ATP.

Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, and Metabolic Syndrome
The key there is to not eat much carbohydrate outside of the exercise times. When glycogen reserves are full (muscles recovered), and adipose cells are replete, then why would you need more fuel? That’s the practical wording of the physiology here, despite the perception of a faulty hunger mechanism for the obese, or lack of islets for type I, or the defective signalling in Type II without obesity triggers.

Exercise induced glucose uptake is normal in diabetic muscle cells:

Exercise may increase glucose sensitivity:

While glycogen is being replenished, glucose uptake by muscles in normal. GLUT4 is transported to the membrane during exercise, even in absence of insulin.

Dream: Mark Hamish synth dogs

Lost most of the details, but we were at a party, restaurant was Josh Vernon’s, brass and marble. Well lit, open floor mingling, our company had the whole place. It was in a mall, but so was my company, a research firm.

My boss was not there, but his dogs were. They were getting sick, throwing up if they ate. We could not reach him on the phone, and no-one knew where he was.

I went to find him, but his office was torn apart. I found his research that indicated he had engineered them to starve to death. I could not believe he had not euthanized them.

I kept looking, and found him with the board if directors, and I laid into him, telling him he was horrible, etc etc. I knew I’d just resigned, so I left in a rush.

Somehow, between leaving, and getting out, I knew he was dead, andbthey thought I did it. My DNA was all over his office, and I took his jacket, because he was an ass, because it was cold, and because I could not find my jacket.

Ecxept, by the time I cleared out my locker, it was not cold out, and I was now wearing his jacket over mine. Two people asked me why I was wearing Hamish’s jacket, and I made up stories.

I just had to get out. I knew I was going to be investigated for his death now. I was sort of lost, but finally made it to a bar that was opening, and could pass from the “mall”, theough the bar, to the parking lot.

The lines were huge, so I just went for the compact car lot, because it openned first. I could not get to my car from there, but when I walked to the far edge of the lot, my mom, aunt, and sister saw me, and they drove over ti get me in their big SUV. They heard Mark Hamisch had died, and knew I would be upset.

HOWTO: AIX support for R/W filesystem on USBMS

JFS2 Unsupported
Putting JFS2 on non-LVM block devices has been working for a long time. I​ wrote up how to put JFS2 on a ramdisk back at AIX 4.3.3. I lost the techdoc from back then, but IBM has a newer re-write dated 2008 here:

JFS2 requires the underlying system to tell it if something goes away, or for it to stay there as long as the filesystem is mounted. LVM does this for disk, and the ramdisk drivers do this as well (mostly because if the ramdisk fails, likely the system has failed). The key there is that with JFS2, the ramdisk pages are pinned.

I wrote up including performance on USB 1 and USB2 ports in January of 2010 HOWTO: JFS2 on USB device on AIX Everything is fine, and dandy, even mount on boot, except it’s not supported by AIX Development.

JFS2 Problems
The problem for USB Mass Storage Devices is that the device can just go away unexpectedly. If a disk goes into deep sleep, or resets because of a loose connection, the JFS drivers do not get notified. So, they take writes, and JFS2 saves them up until it’s time to flush. It goes to flush, and the I/O channel is gone. Sometimes, this is just loss of everything in cache. If it’s an important file, then the system crashes.

​Because of that, we still cannot put LVM on a USB Mass Storage Device. This would take changes to notification of device availability, perhaps changes to the sync daemon, etc. Who knows, but there’s not been enough push from paying customers to make it a priority for AIX Development. Until that happens, don’t expect formal support for JFS2 on these devices.

UDF is the solution
AIX development supports read/write and even booting from USB Mass Storage Devices, but only with UDFS. The purpose is for writing a mksysb (system boot) image, or tar/cpio files, etc, and exists because of the RDX USB Internal Dock sold with some systems.

​Boot support is provided as well: REF: ​

More info on RDX USB Internal Dock.

RDX is just a hot-swap USB to SATA drive bay. Any current USB drive (USB3 is preferred due to performance), should work fine.

HOWTO: Create, Read, and Write UDF on AIX

Create bootable filesystem

  mksysb -eXpi /dev/usbms0

Create empty filesystem

  udfcreate -d /dev/usbms0

Create UDF 2.01 filesystem

  udfcreate -f3 -d/dev/usbms0

NOTE: UDF 2.01 supports a real-time filesystem. It’s still UDF, so don’t try to put a database, or a million files on there.

Access read/write

  mount -vudfs /dev/usbms0 /USBDRIVE

NOTE: The mksysb is a SPOT, plus a mksysb image, so adding files to the UDF will not make the restore huge.

USB Adapters on AIX
Add-in USB3 XHCI adapter for POWER8 is:

  • CCIN 58F9 – PCIE2 4-port USB3 adapter
  • FC EC45 and FRU 00E2932 for Low Profile
  • FC EC46 and FRU 00E2934 for full height.
  • driver is 4c1041821410b204 internal or 4c10418214109e04 PCIe

Add-in USB2 EHCI adapter for POWER7 is:

  • CCIN 57D1 – PCI-E 4-port USB2 adapter
  • driver is 33103500 integrated or 3310e000 PCIe
  • FC 2728 or FRU 46K7394

Add-in USB2 EHCI adapter for POWER6/POWER5 is:

  • CCIN 28EF – PCI 2-port USB2 adapter
  • FC 2738 or FRU 80P2994
  • Belkin F5U219 – exact same card without the sticker.
  • driver is 99172604 internal or 99172704 PCI

Original USB1 OHCI /UHCI adapter for POWER5 and earlier was

  • driver 22106474 on blades or c1110358 PCI
  • This device is not really available anymore.

Modern Crusade Dream

We were at a Western hotel in Mumbai. The staff were white, and everything catered to the wealthy. Business was off, so we got to visit sometimes for lunch. Something happenned to the staff, and the east side dining hall got no service for hours after seating patrons.

The manager comped four tables, including ours, and gave us a his card. It said we could come in after 11:30pm and before 2:30 am to get leftovers and seconds (errored orders) buffet style for free. But, really, we could come in by 9:30pm, and until 5:30am. Lots of leftovers due to slow business.

This helped because we were always busy in the slums, and never knew when we’d get back. We were a mercenary tactical / investigation team, with not as much budget as we’d like, but enough to get what we needed. A bit of extra time in the fancy hotel was welcome.

We were at odds with the CIA, so we were on alert when we found the two familiar agents standing in our equipment room. They were fatigued, and just said, “load up.”

A Christian extremist group was hunting internationally, kidnapping members of our team, and forcing them to call in warnings. “Do not touch us! Do not touch us!”

We would find the team member, and we would have 10 minutes to query them, look through pockets, etc. Then they would get confused, seize, foam at the mouth, and die. If we touched them, it was contagious, and would get the next person. There would always be awriting, in Arabic, that said “do not touch us”.

This time, they needed our help. The extremists seemed nearly impossible to identify, but always left a subtle clue. We needed more than just that they hated Arabs, they considered themselves Christians, and that they were very well funded.

Minimum Wage 2017 edition

Looking at the “OMG VISA/MCDONALDS ARE EVIL” stuff around some first-draft budget from 4 or 5 years ago got me to thinking.

I definitely see a lot of unrealistic expectations, entitlement, etc. But there are a few valid points. I’ve long felt the minimum wage is unrealistic right now. You should be able to support yourself on 2000 hours per year, even if you’re unskilled, and had a spouse die young. I don’t like the idea of a hand-out, or certain people get extra money because we feel bad for them, or whatever.

I like the idea that someone could work a reasonable number of hours, and scrape by without being seriously concerned about whether they could feed themselves.
One important point is that a single parent with 2 kids (again, dead spouse scenario) will have about the same expenses as a traditional 4-person household. Federal Poverty Level for a 4-person household is $24k.

Another is that, while some people thrive on 60-80 hour workweeks, that is not sustainable for most people. 35-45 hours of work per week is reasonable, because, ideally, it leaves time for grocery shopping, registering kids for school, paying bills, etc. without so much fatigue that you’re a road hazard.

So, in my mind, that means minimum wage should be around $12.25/hr, but with regional increases based on cost of living within a 1-hour commute. I also think this should be indexed more often than whenever a politician needs a bump in popularity.

This isn’t going to make anyone rich, and isn’t going to keep anyone from working hard to better themselves through struggle. It’s not going to bankrupt fast-food places, and automated systems have been in roll-outs for years, despite having a pretty low minimum wage.

I think this COULD reduce the number of people on government poverty programs, and also give people a sense of control, stability and empowerment over their own lives.

So… Poke holes in this. What am I missing, for real. Be prepared to defend your claims beyond “That’s just not right!” Also, check out the US Census website, encyclopedic, wikipedic, and almanac information on poverty.

Amazon continues downward spiral

Head’s up. Amazon Seller Central now will cancel your account if you have not sold anything in 30 days. You will not get a notice of your account being closed. If you have inventory stored with them, they will not send it back to you. When that inventory sells, you will get an email, but they keep the money since your account is closed.

The normal Amazon helpdesk cannot help, but also doesn’t tell you they cannot help. My rep told me “that order number isn’t registered to your account. If you need help, use the contact us link.”

After multiple tries, a chat rep was able to send me to a voice robot for Seller Central. I was not given the phone number. They had it call me. I got someone who was willing to at least submit a request for my account to be reopenned, but “it will take a while.”

I had asked to escalate regarding the whole situation, because it’s not just about fixing my one issue today. It’s about preventing this issue at all. You cannot silently steal someone’s inventory.

I was told by Amazon main helpdesk if I had a problem, ask to escalate. I asked the Seller Central rep to escalate, and was told to fill out the web form instead.

The Seller Central help form is available if you log out of the error page, go the front login page, click help next to the sign-in button, then middle-right, you can click on “Contact Us”.

However, all of the support people believe this is acceptable behavior. There is no escalation, and your only recourse is to make a new account and sell more items.

You cannot reply to messages from Seller Central via email. You can just fill out a whole new request, and get a whole new case number.

Obviously, someone is paid on the number of cases they open, and not customer satisfaction. I say this because also, each reply has a “did we solve your problem?” The link requires you to be already logged in. You simply cannot report to them that they did not solve your problem, unless you can log in.

Every time I get upset at Amazon, I go pull a report on what I have spent with them. My first order with Amazon was 6/23/1999. Since then, I have spent roughly 1 year’s salary with Amazon. (I made a little less back then, and make a little more right now, but it averages out.)

That excludes the Seller Central stuff I’ve sold, from which they have made money on their FBA services.

Dangerous Car AC in the heat – FALSE

Starting your car A/C / benzene chain letter has popped up in several places again recently. That letter is FAKE. No need to worry.

It’s a rewrite of a 2009 chain letter, which is false, and based on cherry picked information out of a 2001 report on automobiles in Korea, and a 2007 article on new cars in Germany.

The article claims benzene exposure is related to the A/C, and that is false. Benzene levels are related to combustion engines, because gasoline contains benzene. A properly maintained car will emit very little benzene. A poorly maintained car will emit more while the engine is running. It does not build up or accumulate when the car is off, unless you have a fuel leak.


The article claims the benzene comes from plastic, which is false. All plastics DO offgass, and usually that is formaldehyde. This is more of an issue for new cars, and has nothing to do with the A/C itself. If the car stinks like new car smell, then air it out. The only observed risk was for people with allergies, it increased those temporarily.


A more detailed write-up about this chain letter is here:


When did “millennials” get redefined?

“Generations” for grouping (vs ancestry) have been roughly 15 year spans. Generation X was the 1970s through about ’85. After that was Generation Y. Millennials, by definition, were people born at or after the turn of the millennium. Being generous, that could be as early as ’98.

Now, people are trying to say Gen-X included the ’60s, and that Millennials are in their 30s.

Nooooo! That is inaccurate. Labels matter, and some media or researcher does not get to redefine people after the fact to fit their narratives!

Dreams of Heroes

Ending fragment.  Guy like a cross between The Punisher and Star Lord.  I was his friend.  He was having some struggles, and his car would not start.  I looked at is, spotless under the hood, cavernous even, and all simple.  There was not enough under the hood to go wrong.  It was just a matter of running way too rich, so it would not even start.  Clouds of half-burnt fuel would spurt out of the intake, sputter, lop, die.

He wandered off, comfused and conflicted, while I troubleshot it.  There was a small, compact, spark control computer as part of the distributor.  I figured that had failed, but maybe if we opened up the throttle, it would at least stay running.  There was not a usual air filter, rather a yellow box, with a key on it.  Again, spotless, shiny.  Far too small to filter that much airflow, it must be an EM field generator that actively cleans the air.

I went to find him to get the key, and he’s wandered out back, hood pulled up.  I followed, and he’d gone to track someone down.  Through some alleyways, etc I followed.  The dream is faded as to whether he kicked some ass, or could not find them.  But, I followed him to the back gate, put my gand on his shoulder, and someone else spun around.

She was a shapeshifter.  She had been drawn to our place.  Others came, a green woman, a woman who’s skin looked like a concert hall inside out.  She traveled by playing a violin.   The feeling and nuancel directed her vehicle.  Ther were many others, but I walked past as they mingled, up to the small shop that was my friend’s home.

“It’s an honourable intent lockout,” I said.  He had been conflicted, and had decided to seek revenge.  The car could not support that.

He was frustrated, almost indignant, but he knew it made sense.  He felt hopeless about it.

“I’m your sidekick.  I’m here to help you through this.”  He was my friend, and it would take time.  The others who came would help.  We were not looking for trouble.  We just wan to help when situations arise.

Weird dream

Middle of the dream… family and I were meeting up for dinner. The place was similar to a Cracker Barrel, except it was upscale. Lots of wood, but more open space, different kinds of goods, and I think there was a Casino off the other side.

The waiter was someone we know. He called me by name, and I recognized him. I think he was an uncle. I think he was also Gene Hackman.

The table we were seated at, the four of us, was about 2 feet on a side. Basically, food came out one person at a time, except drinks and desserts. Khai had trouble deciding, and I ended up with the grilled salmon because of some change I wanted or would want, was easier on that.

After, we ended up at a Christmas partly. Lots of people, drinking, etc. And then someone died. Cue murder mystery, and before the police arrived, someone figured out the guy’s wife had poisoned him. There were $6m worth of $125k bearer bonds or similar in the stocking, and she wanted them. Except, in the process of explaining this, whomever figured out what happened lost track of the wife. Police showed up, and the wife had slipped away, with the bonds.

At the end, I was unpacking my own stocking. About 20 things in there, including what looked like a small Champagne bottle, with a plastic nozzle on it. It was Chilled Baby Wash. Also, a bottle with what looked like a thin roll of toilet paper on it. It was liquid toilet paper, or butt wash. Several other things in there, but the last present I opened was a phone call. Not a phone. Not a recording of a call. The call itself.

Anyway. I know there was a bunch more I missed. Lighting was dim, and colors were subdued, leaning towards blues, greys, but not exclusively.

Gym Workout Routines

I was talking with a friend about my Gym routine, I thought I’d share some of that here. It’s kind of a wall of text, soI tried to organize it for easy skimming.

I keep a notepad on my phone to track what I did and what’s next. End of workout, I add the updated list to MyFitnessPal in the exercise notes. This keeps me from twiddling my thumbs during rests.

#### Warmup is cardio:
* About 10 mins or 200 calories warmup on the recumbent bike. I’ll start at about 50%, and crank it up to 100% a couple of times. I try to vary my RPM, but tend to hang out around 70. I have long legs, so momentum is a factor. I make sure I clear 160bpm, but I never get to max HR. Sometimes I try to draw pictures with the hill profile.

#### Safety warmup for exercises I’m not sure about:
* 10-20 reps at 50-60% just to make sure everything moves right, especially for heavier weight exercises.

#### I usually go for strength
* Target is 2-4 sets of 6-10 reps per exercise.
* If I make it to 16 reps, I bump up the weight on the next set.
* Sometimes I’ll do 8 reps, then drop 40% and do another 8.
* If anything pinches or doesn’t feel right, I’ll back off the weight.
* Not so worried about cardio since I average 75 miles per week on a road bike.

#### I do circuits for time efficiency:
* Whole Body Days: alternate upper/lower, front/back, with 30 second rests between circuits.
* Upper OR Lower Only: I’ll do 2-3 exercises with a 60-90 second rests.
* I average almost one working set for every 2 minutes. That includes the set, equipment setup, walking between machines, updating my notes, and any rest/cooldown time. That excludes the warmup time at the start. (eg, a 2 hour workout has 20 mins of warmup, and 40-45 working sets. A 1-hour workout will have 10 mins warmup, and 18-24 sets.)

#### With a workout buddy:
We could alternate on the same machine with 60-90 second rests. This is less overall workouts, but more social. We could also do the circuits, and just be one machine off from each other. Less social, but more efficient.

#### Workout Duration:
I prefer a longer, whole body workout every 4 days. I get better results, and less wasted time. My goal is to grow muscle mass, and I’m missing the sprinter gene, so recovery time is usually 3-5 days instead of 2-3 days for most people.

If I have only 1 hour, it’s best if I stick to only upper or only lower, because exercises always pull in a other muscles a little. I don’t feel I get quite as good of a workout this way.

#### Upper Body Exercises:
* Freeweight bench row (Low-Back sparing vs seated)
* Chest Press (like a bench press)
* Lat Pulldowns
* Seated dips (because I’m too heavy to do real dips yet)
* Chest fly & rear deltoid fly (same machine, diff settings)
* Biceps curls (cable or dumbell)
* Triceps extension (Slow to improve)
* Sometimes I do a shoulder press or a vertical row, but those are not so great on my shoulder sockets.
* Lateral dumbell arm raises.

#### Lower Body Exercises
* Freeweight seated calf extension (Soleus Muscle)
* Rotary Calf Extension (Gastroc Muscle)
* Inner/Outer thigh (adductor/abductor)
* Leg Curls (Hamstrings)
* Leg Extension (outer and inner quads, nearer the knee)
* Leg Press (because it doesn’t load my low-spine like squats & deadlifts do.)

###### Back Pain avoidance (Chronic and Acute)
* Nothing with a torso twist (wood choppers, obliques) – always causes days of increased pain.
* No abdominal crunches – Still hurting from 2 weeks ago when I let my form get sloppy.
* No back extensions – Same as with crunches, though a 45 degree bodyweight back extension bench would be fine if I could find that at my gym.
* Backed off of seated rows, just to be safe. I’ve moved to bench rows, though bent-over single-arm dumbell rows are okay too (off-arm is on the bench, so no low-back load).
* I should be doing planks and leg lifts at home, but I keep forgetting. This gets core without abusing low-spine.
* I should do more stretching on non-workout days, but I keep forgetting. This helps keep from putting too much strain on low-back when moving around.

#### Preferred Machines
I like the Hoist machines my Gym has best, but I’ve maxed out the leg press. Not sure I want to use the freeweight leg press without a big spotter. I like most of the Precor machines, and use them for things missing from the Hoist line-up. Last are the Life Fitness for a couple things, but they use bigger weight stacks for the same effort, and just seem to be on a different scale from all of the others.

Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts, and a shovel

Phrase for 2017-2018 school year is “Three Dinosaur Giraffe Butts”.

The mantra is “Shovel” from grovel from gravel from gratitude.

The shovel head is the size of a spoon, and the handle is 35 feet long, and at a sharp angle. It is designed to move a piece of gravel weighing 18 tons, and about 2cm in diameter.

This is the result of lunch with Khai and Erica.

Insurance and Purchases

First insurance check arrived. Can’t print lender forms to get it endorsed because printer died the rest of the way today.

Ordered a new printer, but their “get it today” on the order page turned into “get it tomorrow” in email. *sigh*. This is not covered by insurance nor warranty, sadly.

Ordered new grill, just a propane cart with 4 burners, and submitted cost to insurance for replacement cost supplement. Downgrade from our cabinet style, but I’m not going to complain. The old one was getting near end of life anyway. This one is the same size/guts, though I’m sure there will be some fastener and wheel issues eventually.

Ordered seat planks for my bench, and submitted the replacement costs to insurance. Picked Cherry, which may seem weird for outdoor, but Cherry, Walnut, and Cedar are the only USFS highly resistant boards available from Home Depot. Walnut was too expensive, and cedar is a little soft for a 4-foot span and my heavy butt. Pine is not resistant, thermo-poplar is brittle, composite decking is too flexy, and pressure treated would need rip sawn as well as painting vs sealing.

Ordered a gas powered pressure washer, because my electric one died 10 days ago. I’ll use this to finish stripping the back porch, though I want to have the open deck area sanded before repainting. This is not covered by insurance at all, but kind of needed.

Tomorrow, I’ll pick up some spar urethane and a couple cedar planks to use on the other bench which was not covered by insurance (old, no hail damage). Well, maybe tomorrow. I’m running behind on all the work things, and tomorrow is gym day.

Also, tomorrow, check 2 shows up. If the printer shows up in the morning, I can send both off to the insurance company for endorsement and return. Once back, I can deposit, and then re-issue to my roofer to begin work.

SO MUCH MONEY SPENT TODAY! That’s all of my fallback spare cash. My emergency buffer is really not that big, only about a month before I have to pull from uncomfortable places. (Not my butt!)


Imported hedgie, except the very first post, but it was just dorky.
Imported all of it to DreamWidth with their tools.
Claimed that openid.
Deleted hedgie posts with lj-sec

Posted in blogger, xaminmo | Comments Off on Merged

Insufficient Federal Withholdings

Our 2016 tax liability was about $400 less than for 2015.
I also set my W4 withholdings to 3 from 4 in March, 2016.
My company withheld $1300 less for 2016 than for 2015.
For the first time in 25 years, I OWE the IRS during tax reconciliation.

It looks like my utilization checks had insufficient (sometimes zero) federal withholding.
Also, through August 15, they withheld about 0.8% less than later in the year.
Also, I didn’t have pre-tax savings in the first 3 months, but they only withheld an extra 0.25% for that.

I am quite irritated.
This is not something I should have to check every paycheck and compare.
If I wanted to do that, I would work for myself.

On the bright side, we HAVE money set aside for this sort of thing.
I went ahead and dropped W4 allowances to 2, but that doesn’t really fix the problem.

What is a friend?

One of my buddies just got riffed from his company. I know he’ll be fine. He’s one of those kind of people that just make things work. He’s good with people, and knows how all the parts fit together within a big company. More importantly, he’s good people. You can tell he’s got a big heart.

It got me to thinking about the layers and components of friendship. I might have passed 100k people, met 10k, have 1k as friendly acquaintances. How many people are your active friends, vs inactive friends? What level of friendship and trust do you have with them? Some people just shine, or we feel an attachment towards. Where do celebrities fit in here?

Then you get into the obligation factors. Some, you know want or need help all the time. There’s a distance there, because it’s a hassle. Others, you would help out any time because you know it’s just simple, convenient stuff, or the scales will always balance out. Others, you know would never ask for anything, so if they actually needed something, it would be major, and you’d step right up and help.

Then the time factor. This varies by people, both sides, but sometimes, you want to spend time with people, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it’s to *do* something, and sometimes, it’s to do nothing. Maybe a movie, or video games, or sports, or drinks and cards. Or maybe it’s just being in proximity of someone who’s easy to hang around. One person reads, another person works, another person naps.

And then, Family comes into play. Blood relation is one type of family, but then there’s “non-people”, or chosen family, as well.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with this. Just, caffeine, plus recent events got me thinking. By will alone I set my mind in motion.

Dream in a castle

I was in a medaeval village, maybe in a computer game, not sure. I had a German Shepherd as a familiar. We were trying to help protect the village from an evil sorcerer. No one could help us, because everyone was busy preparing to defend the castle.

The inside of the castle walls had multiple levels that spiraled down from the ridge to the courtyard, plus below. There were wooden awnings, and so many people. The dog and I were working our way down to the bottom floor. Somewhere along the way, a friend encouraged my dog to climb into her shirt from the top. Strange, but snuggly. Everyone was either preparing weapons, making food, supplies, etc. She was making bedrolls for people.

When we got tho the bottom, the only people available to help were Dolph Lundgren, Jamie Foxx, and several other big name actors who were in a group of 8, kind of a glamor shot going on, one level below the courtyard. Dolph comes up to me like an old bud and exclaims “CRASHY JOSH! What’s up, man?” I couldn’t tell if this had to do with something like cart crashes, or computer crashes.

Apparently, we had a legal agreement that we couldn’t drag people off for other quests/raiding parties. We had to just do whatever was right there. So I was about to join them in whatever it was they were doing, when I woke up.

There was tapping outside, and a utility pipe truck is doing stuff outside. It’s always waking up from weird sounds that make the best dreams.

Zero Momentum

If time slows to a near stop for objects travelling close to the speed of light, what happens to time when all momentum is at a dead stop?

The short answer is, with true zero momentum, you would cease to exist. If you had very small momentum, then time would pass very very fast for you. This is because relativistic momentum is much more complicated than just a car on a highway.

Can you be relative to nothing?

Every mass affects every other mass in the universe via gravity. There is no point of zero *inside* the universe. That would be past the margins of the expanding universe, which doesn’t have spacetime, so we can’t exist there. *There* doesn’t even exist.

At what point is a body its own body, and not part of the big thing with gravity it’s sitting on top of?

When/where do you want it to be? This is not a binary transition. It’s gradual, from the center of a black hole, out to two photons spiraling across the universe in opposite directions.


Everything is energy.
* Mass is a 4-vector, and relates directly to energy.
* Energy is a 4-vector, and relates directly to momentum.

Because of this, time is affected by both:
* More velocity = slower time, shorter length in the direction of travel
* More mass = slower time, shorter length radial to the mass.

Spacetime is a foam.
* The speed of time, like the size of space, is the size of the bubbles.
* The stretch of the foam is gravity.
* The more energy/mass on the skin of a bubble, the smaller it gets (and the more it pulls on its neighbors).
* Less energy (and mass) means bigger bubbles (ie, more time and space).

Bosons are energy carriers, and they live on a bubble.
* To move a boson, you have to input energy.
* When they have enough energy to move, they move at the speed of light.
* Photons are the most familiar bosons.

Speed of light is actually “speed of light in a perfect vacuum”.
* Put light into a ceramic crystal, and it’s slower.
* Spacetime foam is more dense, so more bubbles to transit.

To travel faster, you have to input more energy.
* More energy means you compress the foam.
* That means more bubbles to transit, which means more energy.
* As a baryonic mass approaches the speed of light, the energy inputs approach infinity.
* Infinite energy (and mass and spacetime) do not exist, so we are constrained.

Bosons and some small particles can seem to violate this on very small scales (tunnelling).
* This is because they can slide through the skin of the bubble rather than having to compress the bubble.
* You cannot do that as baryonic mass, but maybe if your pattern was translated into bosons.
* That high of an energy density would probably condense AND dispese, so you’d lose the pattern along the way.

Special relativity covers “objects at rest”:
* energy-momentum relation: E^2 = (pc)^2 + (m0c^2)^2
* energy-mass relation: E = mc^2 (p is zero, so you have E^2 = (mc^2)^2) which becomes E=mc^2

So, if you were to come to a complete rest relative to the fabric of spacetime,
* the passage of time is still affected by your own mass/energy.
* You could decreate your energy, reduce your mass, dispurse your mass, and you would expand the bubbles.
* This would cause time to pass more quickly for you, if “you” could exist that way.

At zero energy, the bubbles would be infinitely large.
* How do you pump energy out of the bubbles (vacuum fluctuations).
* Time would pass at infinite speed (same issue as photons at infinite velocity).
* Just as there is not infinite energy, there is also not infinite time velocity.

Imaginary mass/energy is described by tachyons.
* They do not travel faster than light,
* nor do they travel backwards in time.

To travel backwards in time:
* You need negative energy.
* This is also the principle behind the Alcubierre Warp Drive.
* This would cause spacetime to move around an object, instead of the object through spacetime.
* There is no known way to form negative mass/energy:

This is not the same as antimatter, which is just opposite quarks.
* Basically, you’d have to pump energy out of the bubbles.
* The excess energy generated would accumulate at the margins of the bubble, trying to get back in.
* When the bubble is allowed to collapse, it would be a giant explosion of radiation.
* If you had a way to direct this to one side, perhaps travel would be possible, leaving a radiation wake.
* Perhaps it would lead to a spike of radiation that pierced the ship, or whatever was in front of it.

That’s a theoretical exercise, which I don’t believe is likely to happen.
* We’re more likely to find a way to connect the quantum foam in different places (wormholes).
* Would a wormhole unravel spacetime, or collapse instantly?

Other thoughts:
* The margins of the universe are probably expanding at the speed of light.
* The volume grows more rapidly as time passes, even though the mass/energy is constant.
* Eventually, the universe will be so dispersed as to be useless (heat death = cold death).
* Even solid matter will disperse given enough time. Bosons trickle away, and atomic forces will decay.


This is what SEEMS to make the most sense for me. No *way* is easy, but this seems the least hard.

Energy Plans:

  • Defer first meal until actually hungry (9:30a-12:30p for me)
  • Keep each meal before 3:30pm around 12% of my daily intake.
  • Eat before I get ravenous (around every 2 hours).
  • Try to keep a reserve of about 25% of my calories for the evening.
  • Don’t be TOO aggressive (20% deficit is okay, but 40% is not).


  • Keep extra servings away from my plate/bowl.
  • Split up snack/mini-meals when I’m not hungry.
  • Stay busy (yay computer!)
  • You have to exercise, because your body will reduce your BMR to keep from losing fat reserves.
  • Hungries are worse the day AFTER exercise, so save your calories for tomorrow.


  • Lots of broths, leaves, fresh veggies to add bulk, and fill in when I’m STILL HUNGRY!
  • Make sure I get the food groups and vitamins daily / weekly rather than every meal.
  • UMAMI: Your tongue creates Peptide YY it detects meat, glutamate, etc. Reduces hunger by 30% in the lab.
  • VITAMIN A: Hunger hormones are produced by fat cells. Empty fat cells do not get recycled without Vitamin A.
  • VITAMIN D: Vitamin D is blocked by Vitamin A, and is deficient for many indorsy people.
  • CALCIUM: Requires Vitamin D to be absorbed. Prevents brittle bones.

Some days will be better than others. Don’t give up. Keep tinkering.

Patching Drywall

I’ve got reasonable experience with it, but nowhere near pro level. I’ll fix things in my house, though I don’t like the painting part. It’s just… it takes longer than I want it to, so small jobs suck. Big jobs are fine, because you do all the first-pass things, then come back for second pass without having to wait too much.

Anyway, here are some things that come to mind when I think about doing this.

0. Preparation! Scrape, clean, and mask the area with twice as much effort as you think it deserves. Also, um, those clothes that “you probably won’t get anything on” will totally have splatters.

1. Don’t be afraid to peel back some of the paper backing to keep it from being humped too high.

2. Finding a way to do the inside of the wall when it’s a big patch is really helpful for stability. Strings tied around things can help press from the inside, and hang a weight on the outside. You can also mount a support (paper tape, mesh tape, wood strips, whatever as appropriate. Don’t just mount tree branches in there though) inside of a large hole (can you fit your hand and a putty knife through the hole?), and let it dry, then use that as backing when you come back to put in the plug.

3. Fiberglass mesh tape is sometimes so much better than paper tape. It’s strings! It takes several coats to cover up though.

4. Once it looks dry-ish, stop messing with it. Once it starts peeling up or crumbling, you really just have to scrape it all out and start over. You can spritz it with water before and during to keep it from drying too fast if needed.

5. Sometimes you have to do a little, let it dry for half a day, then come back for the next part. There are limits to how much can be done at once and not have it crack.

6. Use as wide of a putty knife as you can. If you have a 3mm hump spread over 2″, you will notice it. If it’s spread over 6″, maybe not. I have a 12″ mud knife, and have actually used it before.

7. Texture often needs to be thinned. Paint works better than pure water for this, because it’s sticky, and not as thin. 50% paint+texture is a good starting point for a crow’s foot brush.

8. Overlapping is your friend. When spraying orange peel texture, I start small, and adjust until the blob sizes look just a little smaller than I want. Then, I go back and forth, overlapping the edges, until I cannot see the true edge anymore.

Italian Cream Cake

Sharon ran across a recipe that looks amazing. It is very similar to my mom’s recipe, except they use melted butter in place of the oil+butter_flavoring; and they use twice as much icing.


Italian Cream Cheese Cake Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening…
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans


2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butter, softened
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Beat just until combined. Stir in coconut and pecans.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold a fourth of the egg whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Pour into three greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in pecans. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in the refrigerator.

For reference, Here is my mom’s recipe, slightly annotated by me. She kept it on a 3×5 card in her recipe box, but it might have been something she got from her mom.

Mom’s Italian Cream Cake Recipe


Set oven to 350 (preheating)

Cream well:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavor

Add 5 yolks (emulsifiers), one at a time, and stir after each one.

Once it’s all creamed, add:
1 cup buttermilk

Then, add the dry team
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 cup Angel Flake coconut (Canned is better than dry bagged)

Add the whites
Beat 5 egg whites until stiff
Fold egg whites gently into batter

Bake the cake
Pour equally into 3 round 8″ cake pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at preheated 350 degrees F.

Melt and mix the icing in a double boiler
8oz cream cheese
1 stick margarine or butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp butter flavor

Once melted, add:
1 box powdered sugar

Once smooth, add:
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cool icing by placing pan/bowl in cold water.

Once the cake is out and cooled, spread the icing between layers, then on the top and sides.

Let set up overnight in the fridge.

Note: Individual slices freeze very well and are extremely tasty while still frozen.

Orbital Mechanics and Friends

I had a dream that I was on a space station, and our old van was a shuttle. An escape pod failed as we were leaving the station, and my dream went into orbital mechanics ala Kerbal Space Program. On waking, I pondered orbital mechanics, and realized it’s just like people.
Community is like orbital space. Each person is a satellite. Your interests, drives, life and death all define your orbit. Your location is the barycenter of your orbit, the focus of your ellipse.
Along your path, you will pass near other satellites, people. If your orbits are not close, it may be a single encounter. Maybe your orbit lines up repeatedly. Maybe not. Communication tech is better mowadays, and you can talk to someone orbiting Jupiter with a little lag.
But, you only have so much fuel (drive) to change your orbit. And if you aim for someone not on on a very similar path, you almost certainly guarantee that your paths will diverge more widely.
Unless you grab on and become one peice in a new, combined orbit, a risky maneuver. Instead, it’s less disruptive to adjust your orbit on each pass. Move your center when you can, and look for other satellites near you.  
Which satellites seem familiar. Is there a shared mission or purpose. Can you benefit? Are they from a friendly nation, or do you need to be on guard? If they are new and suddenly there, are they a risk for knocking you out of your planned orbit, or dragging you down the gravity well? If you join up, they be too big of a mass or too tightly coupled for you to change your orbit later? Or are they a whole new anchor in space to orbit freely, yet still taking you for a ride?
The best are when you orbit the others who orbit you, or you share closely overlapping orbits. If inclination matches, you meet more often than every orbit.
I have lots of acquaintances in unmatched orbits. *waves*
I have several friends in harmonic matched orbits. Hi Hi Hi Hi Good to see you again.
I have a few people that I try to keep my orbit matched with. I definitely have my own mass and velocity that makes this difficult sometimes, but I appreciate those on similar missions burning their limited fuel to help us stay in sync.

Cleaning up Google space

If your Google quota looks to be filling up, and you’re considering buying more space, check your usage first.

Drive and Mail has Trash folders, but they count against your quota. Drive doesn’t automatically delete things either. I found 3 year old cruft in there. YMMV

See your Google usage here:

Drive Trash is here:

GMail trash is here
Alternate accounts will be /u/1, /u/2, etc.

Jumbo non-trash emails are here:

Videos and Movies in “Photos” are here:

You cannot sort Photos by size,
but you can find them in your drive, sorted by size here: