Tuesday, February 9, 2016

False Scales

Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good. Proverbs 20:23

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:31

These are the first three scriptures that came to mind when the story broke of David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt being indicted for shining light on the despicable and illegal practices of Planned Parenthood in selling dead baby parts.  Hard to believe as it may be, Houston Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson had the audacity to turn the tables on the investigative reporters during a Grand Jury procedure which was supposed to indict Planned Infanticide Parenthood using Operation Rescue video sting footage as proof of illegal practices.  Instead, he indicted Daleiden and Merritt for going undercover and for attempting to purchase baby parts!  Oh yes.  Of course they were trying to buy baby parts; that's why they published all the undercover videos - because they were really trying to enter the black market in murdered baby parts. [sarcasm]  If you follow this blog regularly, you know I have linked to more than one of these videos.

This should not have come as too much of a shock since D.A. Anderson previously saw to it that Houston murderer Douglas Karpen did not have to stand trial for slashing the throats of some and twisting the heads of other babies born alive during late term abortions.

Unequal weights of course refers to type of balance scale that uses a "known standard" weight on one side, to "measure" the item on the other.  An unequal weight would be a "standard" that did not really weigh what it was claimed to weigh: a common way to cheat in commerce.  Indicting the Operation Rescue operatives for "attempting to buy" baby parts, while at the same time refusing to charge Planned Parenthood for "attempting to sell" the same is a tolerable good example of this practice.

This charge against Operation Rescue and the parallel refusal to indict Planned Parenthood also serves as a prime example of calling evil good and good evil, though I must admit that verse comes to mind all too frequently when I observe modern day culture.

As for Hebrews 10:31, it is quite self explanatory, both as a cause and a warning.  A cause in that it is a lack of the fear of God which lies at the root of such abominations.  A warning in that, barring repentance, things will not go well for the Planned Parenthood people and their enablers.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

By the Numbers, Part One

I am not a "numbers guy" the way some are. I don't find joy in numbers just for the sake of numbers. One reason might be that I generally don't remember them especially well, though there are a few exceptions; mainly those numbers burned into my brain from repetition, repetition, repetition. For instance I have not yet, and may never forget my social security number since that dark night on the bus taking a load of new recruits from the airport in San Antonio to Lackland Air Force Base for Basic Training. A very intimidating uniformed fellow informed us in no uncertain terms that "YOU WILL HAVE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER MEMORIZED BY THE TIME YOU GET TO THE BASE!" Possible consequences for failure were left to our imaginations, but for an 18 year old fresh off the farm ..., well let's just say I didn't spend much of that ride gazing out the window.

Some of the other numbers that seem to be forever stuck in my brain are strictly due to much use. Its been many years since I have had to look up the center to center rod length for a pre Twin Cam big twin. 7.43875" for the late and 7.46875" for the early. I'm pretty sure that comes from balancing well over 100 sets of flywheels (last time I counted) over the last 35 years.

But other than that, numbers don't hold any special favor in my consciousness. What numbers can do for me, on the other hand ..., that I can get excited about. That's why I just had to share a couple of formulas that I recently ran across while searching some of my reference material. The particular reference book I was perusing was "Engine Airflow" by Harold Bettes. He's a smart guy, so I've read through the book more than once. By the way, I titled this post before noticing Mr. Bettes has a like named chapter in his book, but I didn't get it from him - I would assume that I inadvertently stole it from somewhere else.

One of the first formulas that caught my attention on this particular day concerns determining curtain area of a valve. If you're not familiar with the term, picture a valve lifted off its seat, with a "curtain" hanging around the perimeter of the valve  to the seat. Okay, maybe it will help if you begin by picturing this on a Flathead motor where the valve head faces up so that you don't have to concern yourself with how a curtain could defeat gravity and "hang" from a valve "up" to its seat. Are you picturing it now? Good. The area of that "curtain" has a good bit to do with flow potential. The simplified formula for computing this is the following:

Before we get into applying this formula, let's consider something else. Cross Sectional Area (or CSA). When dealing with heads, the CSA we often are concerned with is the Minimum Cross Sectional Area. Now, it is self evident that there is limit to the volume of air that can pass through a given size hole at a given pressure. There is one place in every intake tract that is smaller that the rest of the system, and the point with the smallest cross sectional area can be the limiting factor in air flow (in the real world it will take a well ported head for this to be true). That smallest point in the intake tract, or minimum cross sectional area is only easy to measure where the intake tract is round, but for my purposes right now, that is okay because the Harley ports are round (or at least they were meant to be) at the port opening. Another point where the intake tract is round and thus easy to measure, is the "choke" or "venturi" just under the valve seat.

So, if we were to take, say for example an 80" Evo... Why an 80" Evo, you ask? Well, it is clearly the direct forerunner of the Twin Cam. The ports are quite similar, and in fact they share the same port opening diameter and even the same intake valve (at least to 2004). That port opening diameter is 1.625".

Happily the choke I.D. (under the valve) also is 1.625". I say happily because that is the one place in the intake tract that you absolutely must have a "choke" point so it is the obvious place for the minimum CSA. If you are wondering why Harley left a second minimum CSA at the port opening, they didn't, but we'll get back to that in a moment. First lets convert that diameter to Cross Sectional Area. The formula is this:

That gives us a CSA of 2.074 square inches for a 1.625 diameter opening. In other words the CSA for the port opening is 2.074". But not quite for the "choke" under the seat, because that also happens to have a valve stem protruding through the center of it. Once we calculate the CSA of that stem (which generally measures .310" diameter) and subtract it, we see that our choke just under the seat of 1.999 square inches is indeed the minimum CSA.

Now back to that curtain area formula. One of the cool things about algebra is that it allows you to turn formulas around to suit your needs. In this case, computing the curtain area for your intake valve at full lift might be handy, but wouldn't it be even more interesting to see what lift it would take so we can be sure the valve curtain area is not the limiting factor. In other words, what valve lift would it require to equal the minimum CSA of the port. Turning that curtain area formula around would look like this:

If we take our previously calculated minimum CSA of 1.999 (which is our desired curtain area) and divide it by the product of pi (3.1416) multiplied by the valve diameter (1.843), we come up with .345" valve lift. So, you can see that the Harley engineers did their homework in providing a stock cam with more than enough lift (.472") to provide a curtain area theoretically large enough that it does not become a limiting factor. If one were to take things a step further, Bettes' book also includes a formula for computing the minimum CSA required for a given Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of air flow measured at a 28" test pressure. That formula is:

Or, once again to turn that formula around for my own purposes:

If we were to plug our minimum CSA into that formula we would find that theoretically, our stock Evo (or Twin Cam) heads with stock valves and valve seats, together with a stock cam, should have the potential to flow nearly 292 CFM (1.999 x 146) @ 28" test pressure. Wow.

But back in the real world... That theoretical flow potential of 146 CFM per square inch of Cross Sectional Area is a figure that has been calculated and confirmed by a number of people way smarter than me over the years, and while correct, it admittedly does not take into account any friction losses, and perhaps most importantly it does not account for loss of flow due to expansion which must happen when the air flows out of the port and into the cylinder. According to Patrick Hale's "Engine Pro- The Book" this figure when adjusted to take these other factors into account, along with "benchmark" results (as of 2004) reduces the target to a more reasonable 133 CFM per square inch. Still, that leaves your OEM head with a potential of 265 CFM (1.999 x 133).

But if we were taking a trip back to the real world when we reduced the flow potential to 133 CFM per square inch, then its time to get our heads out of the clouds, because even if the clouds are in the real world, most of us don't ride our Harleys there. So keep in mind that it will take a very good porting job to take full advantage of the potential flow through that minimum Cross Sectional Area.

On the next installment of this multi-post series, I'll try to take a look at a few things such as why the minimum cross section we just spent our time calculating may not be where the actual minimum CSA is located, what happens when we add porting and bigger valves, and eventually on to how much air flow your engine really wants.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year, New Man

 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Since we are on the verge of the new year 2016, and 2015 is about to pass away, this seemed like an appropriate passage for New Year's Eve. This verse also happens to be a favorite of mine. One reason is because it is one of those verses that has shown itself to be so helpful. In a world plagued by false conversions and false professions of faith, it is one of those foundational verses which help us discern not only the truth of other people's faith, but even more importantly, our own.

Of course you might ask, what exactly does it mean for a person to be "in Christ" as the verse phrases it. Perhaps the best answer is found in John chapter 15. Jesus, speaking to his disciples, said this.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:1-5) 

This metaphor compares us to branches on a vine that is Jesus Christ. The branches depend upon the vine for sustenance, just as a Christian depends on God's word. The branches of a vine are the means by which the vine bears its fruit, just as the Christian is Jesus' chosen way of building his kingdom. In other words, the person who is abiding in the vine, or in Christ, is the genuine believer.

Of course 2 Corinthians 5:17 is not the only place we find that speaks of one who is "in Christ" as being a new creature.

In Ephesians 4 we read this:

But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning your former manner of life the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:20-24)

Now, since the Christian is commanded to put off the old man and put on the new, it may lead one to believe that this becoming a new creature, is an act of your own will. That is true at least on one level, for from our point of view it is a matter of deciding to do, and then to do it. However, the other side of that coin can be found in Paul's letter to the Philippians where he says this: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

In other words, it is God who works in you to change your will so that you want to do what pleases him. God doesn't force you, the Christian, to do things you don't want to, but in his grace and mercy he gently and imperceptibly changes your will, so that it conforms to his will. The results of this change in your will, which we might call the new creature, is found in numerous places in scripture, among them Ephesians 4 where we just left off a moment ago.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
(Ephesians 4:25-32)

The bottom line is that for the true Christian, at some point in their life there will have been a change. They will have become a new creature. Their old way of life will have passed away. Everything will have become new including their desires. They will desire to please God rather than fulfill the lusts of the flesh. If you have never experienced such a change and the concept is foreign to you, it should be a matter of grave concern. In Paul's letter to the church of Corinth he urges them: Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2 Corinthians 13:5)

We began with this text: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Have you examined yourself in light of this scripture?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Doug Wilson's Night Before Christmas

Couldn't help but share this poem by Doug Wilson.  If you choose to pass it along, please be sure to give proper credit to the author.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land,

We still mark the birth of the One who is banned

From public discussion or public display.

"Get rid of the Christ child–but still keep the day!"

So public school children must practice with stealth

Those carols which threaten our strange commonwealth,

And now and again someone’e runaway creche

Will abruptly appear in some government place,

Right out in the open where children can view

This threat to the folks at the ACLU.

So drink to the health of our once happy nation,

And deck all the halls with strange litigation.

Then eat all you want to, drink rum by the quart

But don’t say that name, or you’ll wind up in court.

Pretend that this holiday just always was.

Don’t ask whence it came like a smart child does.

Just talk about Rudolph or Santa’s small elves,

Or sing little ditties of days bunched in twelves.

Now this is all right because (please get this straight)

There’s no separation of North Pole and state.

So sing all you want of this sort of stuff

In the public arena, folks can’t get enough.

If you do sing the carols, then please, just be careful.

Look over your shoulder, keep watch and be prayerful.

Edit those carols, avoid our law’s curses,

(You’ll have to leave out quite a few of the verses.)

So you won’t get the secular humanists riled

With songs about sinners and God reconciled.

"Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay,"

Angers the People for the Humanist Way.

But if you believe the time is now ripe

To stand up for Christmas, don’t sit there and gripe.

The secular Scrooges and Grinches will hear

If you say, "Merry Christmas," with all the right cheer.

It’s time to be counted for what’s good and right,

To all, Merry Christmas! To all, a good night!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Apparently this is a question that is gaining some attention recently by way of a multitude of articles posted on the Internet.  I must admit that I was not aware of such articles, until I watched (listened to, actually) this video by James White, who I always find to be edifying.  Dr. White, as usual, seems to have hit the nail right on the head, where so many of us often hit it a glancing blow resulting in a bent nail.

For the whole story, I recommend watching the 24 minute video, but here is my condensed and paraphrased version of White's points:

Historically Muslims and Christians are talking about the same God, but that is not the same as worshiping the same God. Mohamed and the Muslims say that Allah is the God of Abraham. Christians also claim to follow the God of Abraham.

The New Testament says that "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth

However the author of the Koran seemed to believe that the Trinity worshiped by the Christians consisted of God the Father, Mary the wife and Jesus the son.  That is an excusable mistake considering that by Mohamed's day there were already local sects that had gone off the rails and were bowing down to statues of Mary (just as the church of Rome still does to this day). 

This is where the rubber meets the road.  Islam denies that God has a son.  Christianity confirms what is revealed about the deity of Christ in the Bible.  The Koran would seem to equate worshiping Jesus as God with an unforgivable sin.   If God is who the New Testament reveals him to be, then those who deny the Trinity cannot be true worshippers.  Likewise, if the New Testament is wrong and the Koran correct, then Christians cannot be worshipping in truth.  I must add though, it does seem a little strange that if "Allah" was going to correct the record about a Trinity that the Christians were mistakenly worshipping, he wouldn't have "clued in" his prophet as to the actual identity of the members of the Trinity.


Monday, December 7, 2015


I had every intention of posting a short explanation of why I took the liberty of putting the name "YaHWeh" in place of "the LORD" when quoting Psalm 100 in my post for Thanksgiving.  However while researching it I realized that , as so often happens, it was not just a simple, cut and dried topic.  ...and yes, since you ask, I do make a habit of researching most of what I write rather than just "shooting from the hip" (despite how it might appear).  In any case, the explanation will have to wait for me to find a little more free time to formulate an intelligible post, but in the meantime I do have this:

This picture, snapped by an unknown photographer, is from the second pass I made on the Knuckledragger at the Meltdown Drags this summer.  The amount of air between the front wheel and the pavement was not really in the script, but it makes for an great action shot.

BTW, in the past couple weeks this photo seems to have made the rounds on the Internet.  When I first became aware of it, I made some inquiries as to its origin, hoping to thank the photographer and formally ask permission to reproduce it, but came up empty handed.  If anyone can point me in the right direction I would still like to do that.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Giving Thanks 2015

Thanksgiving. Is it a meal, or is it a holiday? Or is it a holiday known for its meal? Or is it just possibly, for some, an attitude?

I am afraid that for the majority of Americans, Thanksgiving Day is no different than any other day of the year in respect to their treatment of the Creator of the universe. In other words, there will be little or no thought given to the one who gives us everything. Oh, perhaps a grandpa or an uncle who grew up when life was different will bow his head and give thanks for the meal at the family get together, but that is about it. Many will not even hear those words because they are so intent on the feast that follows.

In fact, the politically correct way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to say you are thankful for blessings all the while being careful not to mention to who it is that you are thankful. That way random chance gets just as much glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

But, I would like to offer a suggestion for this Thanksgiving Day. Let's give thanks where thanks is due. Let's try to adopt the attitude displayed in the following:

Make a joyful noise unto YaHWeH, all ye lands.
Serve YaHWeH with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that YaHWeH he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
YaHWeH is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100

This is a replay of a post I wrote in 2010.  I add this note at the end, rather than the beginning, in the hope that I have tricked you into reading it a second time.