Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Debate Words

Some stats on last night's debate:

Statistics of words spoken, arranged by speaker
SpeakerWord countUnique words

Top ten words by speaker, expanding contractions

A word cloud for Clinton:

And a word cloud for Trump:

Finally, we have a word cloud for the words that were used more often by one candidate or another. Words spoken by Trump are red. Size is proportional to how much more the one candidate said it:

If we include the most common words, the resulting word cloud is not as charitable to one candidate:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Here, representative Gabby Giffords and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly watch Space Shuttle Endeavour fly past their location on a route not unlike that of a deflating party balloon en route to LAX for display at the California Science Center nearby.  She's got this big grin on her face - happy to see the Shuttle.  I feel more like Kelly.  He seems more reserved - a bit saddened, something like he's watching a party balloon deflate.  I was happy we had the Shuttle program.  I saw three launches in person, and they were spectacular, but the program was too expensive. I'm glad it's cancelled, but it is bittersweet, especially because we have precious little to replace it yet.  We need a program to assert and maintain our leadership in one of the most complicated fields of scientific endeavour - and the space program does just that.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bible Quiz

My posting of this is not meant to disparage the Bible in any way, but rather to point out the care we must take while reading it to understand through what is written to what is intended.  I did not write this quiz, but received it in e-mail from my father, and did not find it in a web search just now.

Bible Quiz 
Test your knowledge of the Bible 
(Warning: ALL are trick questions!) 

1. Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times before the cock crowed (A. once, B. twice, C. thrice).
2. Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple near the (A. beginning, B. middle, C. end) of his ministry.
3.  When the women go to Jesus’ tomb to anoint the body for burial they find there  (A. one man, B. two men, C one angel).
4. How many miracles had Jesus already performed before he healed the son of a centurion? (A. none B. one, C. many)
5. At the Last Supper, how many times did the disciples inquire of Jesus where he was going?
(A. never, B. once C. twice)
6. How many pairs of each animal species did Noah take onto the ark?  (A. 1, B. 2, C. 3, D. 7)
7.  Did God introduce himself to Abraham as “the Lord”? (A. yes, B. no, C. maybe)
8. Which of the ten plagues sent by God to persuade Pharaoh to let Moses’ people go destroyed all of the Egyptians’ livestock? (A. the first, B. the fifth, C the seventh).
9. Jesus was crucified (A. before, B. during, C. after) celebrating Passover.
10. Jesus was crucified on a Friday (A. morning, B. afternoon, C. evening).
11. Joseph and Mary resided in (A. Nazareth, B. Bethlehem, C. Jerusalem).
12. At the baptism of Jesus, the voice from heaven spoke to (A. John the Baptist, B. Jesus, C. the crowd assembled).
13. On the day following his baptism, Jesus encountered (A. the devil, B. John the Baptist, C. his disciples).
14. When Gyrus asked Jesus to heal his daughter, she was (A. sick, B. dead).
15. The opponents of Jesus were (A. anyone who was not for him, B. only those who were against him).
16. Jesus’ ministry lasted (A. less than one year, B. three years, C. five years).
17. (A. The Romans, B. The Jews) were primarily responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus.
18. Judas betrayed Jesus because  (A. of greed for money, B. the devil made him do it, C. he was himself a devil).
19. After Judas betrayed Jesus he (A. fell and burst open, B. hanged himself, C. took a cruise).
20. (A. The priests, B. Judas, C. Jesus, D. Peter) purchased the “Field of Blood” cemetery where foreigners might be buried.
21. The field was called “the field of blood” because (A. it was purchased with “blood money”, i.e., the money paid for giving up Jesus, B. Judas’ bled on the field when he burst open, C. duels were fought there).
22. Who accompanied Mary Magdalene as she visited Jesus’ tomb three days following his crucifixion? (A. no one, B. another Mary, C. Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, C. Joanna and other women from Galilee).
23. The stone was rolled away from Jesus’ tomb  (A. before, B. after) the women arrived.
24. At Jesus’ tomb the women saw  (A. an angel, B. one man, C. two men, D. nothing nor anyone).
25. The women were instructed to (A. go to Galilee, B. remember something Jesus had said in Galilee, C. replace the stone before departing).
26. The women told (A. the disciples, B. no one, C. their husbands) what they had heard at the tomb of Jesus.
27. Following Jesus’ resurrection the disciples  (A. went to Galilee, B. remained in Jerusalem, C. went to Bethany).
28. The Ascension of Jesus to heaven occurred in (A. Galilee, B. Jerusalem, C. Bethany).
29. The curtain concealing the holy of holies was rent  (A. before, B. after) Jesus died.
30. In order to be saved Christians (A. must, B. need not ) observe the old Jewish Law.
31. Jesus died (A. to atone for the sins of others, B. to cause people to repent of their  sins and turn to God asking for forgiveness).
32. Jesus became begotten of God when he was (A. crucified, B. resurrected, C. baptized, D. conceived).
33. God (A. forgives pagans for worshiping idols because they do so in ignorance, B. condemns pagans for worshiping idols because they know well and yet reject the truth of Christ).
34.  Christian should (A. respect and obey, B. condemn and oppose) the state and civil authority.


1.  Matthew 26:34 says A; Mark 14:30 says B.
2. Mark, Chapter 11, says C , John, Chapter 2, says A.
3. Mark 16;5,  says A, Luke 24:4 says B, Matthew 28:2 says C.
4. John says both B and C.
 John 2:11 says his first miracle was the turning of water into wine in Jerusalem.
,John 4:54 says healing the son of a centurion later in Galilee was his second miracle.
John 2:23 says Jesus performed many miracles in Jerusalem.
5. Jesus says A (John 16:5); Peter and Thomas say C (John 13:36 and 14:5).
6. B (Genesis 7:9-10) and D (Genesis 7:2).
7. A (Genesis 15:7) and B (Exodus 6:3).
8. B (Exodus 9:5) and C (Exodus 9:21-22).
9. A and C;
John, Chapter 19, says that Jesus was crucified during the time of preparation for
the Passover meal.
Mark, Chapter 14, says that Jesus was crucified after celebrating Passover.
10. A and B;
Mark, Chapter 14, says that Jesus was crucified on a Friday morning.
John, Chapter 19, says that Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon.
11. A and B;
Luke, Chapter 2, says they were from Nazareth; Matthew, Chapter 2, implies they
were from Bethlehem. (e.g., in verse 11, Matthew says the wise men came to
worship the Christ child in his house in Bethlehem . No Inn; no manger.)
12. A and/or C and B
Matthew 3:17 “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.”
Mark 1:11 “You are my son in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:22 “You are my son. Today I have begotten you.”
13. A and B
Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:13 & Luke 4:2 say A; John says  B.
14. A and B;
Mark 5:21-43 says she was sick; Matthew 9:18-26 says she was already dead.
15. A and B;
Matthew 12:30  “Whoever is not with me is against me.”
Mark 9:40 “Whoever is not against us is for us.”
16. A and B;
Mark suggests a few months with Jesus celebrating a single Passover feast.
John suggests three years with Jesus celebrating three Passover feasts.
17. A and B;
Mark implicates the Romans; John implicates the Jews.
18. A and B and C;
Mark (14:10-11) and Matthew (26:14) say he did it for money,  Luke (22:3) says
the devil made him do it. John (6:70-71) says Judas was himself a devil. 19. A and B;
 Luke (writing in Acts, 1:18-19) says he fell headlong and burst open in the
Matthew 27:3-10 says that Judas hanged himself after returning the money to the
chief priests.
20. A and B;
Matthew says that the chief priests used the “blood money” returned by Judas to
purchase the field.
Luke (in Acts 1:18-19 says that Judas himself purchased the field (cemetery)
using the 30 pieces of silver.
21. Matthew says A; Luke, (writing in Acts), say B.
22. All of the above.
John 20:1 mentions only Mary Magdalene.
Matthew 28:1 says Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary (mother of
Mark 16:1 lists Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salomé.
Luke 24:1 (See also 23:55) lists Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James,
Joanna, and possibly other women from Galilee as well.
23. A and B;
Mark 16:4 says that the stone had already been rolled away when the women
Matthew 28:2 says that the stone was rolled away by an angel while the women
were present.
24. Each of the above;
Matthew 28:5 says they saw an angel.
Mark 16:5 says they saw a young man.
Luke 22:4 says they saw two men.
John mentions neither an angel nor any men.
25. A and B;
Mark 16:7 says they were instructed to go to Galilee where they would be met by
Luke 24:7 says they were enjoined to remember that Jesus had told them in
Galilee that he must die and rise again.
26. A and B;
Matthew 28:8 says they told the disciples.
Mark 16:8 says they told no one.
27. A and B;
 Matthew says the women told the disciples to go to Galilee where they would
meet Jesus, and that they went immediately.
Luke says the disciples were never told to go to Galilee and that they never left
28. A and B;
Matthew says Galilee.
Luke (writing in Acts) says Jerusalem. 29. Both A and B;
Mark 15:38 says after.
Luke 23:45-46 says before.
(Perhaps it was rent twice, once before and again after the death of Jesus.)
30. A and B;
Matthew says they must.
Paul (in Galatians) says that salvation comes only by believing in Christ, and that observing Jewish law is neither necessary nor sufficient for salvation.
31. A and B;
Mark 10:45 says A. Jesus’ death pays off the debt owed to God by sinners.
Luke (writing in Acts 2:36-38, 3:17-19) says B. Jesus’ death leads to God’s forgiving the debt owed by sinners rather than paying it off.
32. B, C, and D;
Luke (writing in Acts 13:32-33 and quoting Paul) says it occured at the time of his resurrection.
Luke 3:22 says it occurred when Jesus was baptized.
Luke 1:35 says it occurred at the time of his conception by Mary.
33. A and B;
Luke (writing in Acts, Chapter 17 and quoting Paul) says A.
Paul, writing in Romans Chapter 1 says B.
34. A and B;
Paul (writing in Romans,13:1-4) says that state authority comes from God and is to be obeyed.
Revelation Chapter 17 say the earthly governing powers are supremely wicked.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Holy Trinity

Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 06:47:56 -0500
On Sunday June 15 2003 22:24, Jim Scarborough wrote:
> Today is Fathers' Day and Trinity Sunday at once. The sermon this morning
> was on John 3:1-17, wherein Nicodemus just doesn't get it, and the crux of
> the sermon was "the Trinity is a mystery." So I set about to understand a
> little more. Not being a theologean, I don't purport to know, but
> thought you might appreciate my sharing the results of my exploration of
> the topic this morning.
> The Holy Trinity is the basic idea that God is one in three - the Father,
> the Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). God is many things to many
> people, and none of us can fully appreciate the wonder, but that shouldn't
> stop exploration!
> The Holy Spirit might be thought of as an Ether of Love. That is, the
> Spirit fills the universe with a medium through which love may be conveyed,
> sprinkles some love in, and it blows like the wind. Jesus mentioned the
> wind (using a word that also means "spirit" according to this morning's
> sermon) in John 3:5-8: "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom
> of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to
> flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. You should not be surprised
> at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it
> pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or
> where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
> The Son is easy to understand and tricky at the same time. It's easy to
> recall the man who walked the earth 2000 years ago, was crucified, died,
> and buried, and on the third day he arose from the dead, ascended into
> heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. But
> doesn't that mean he's dead or no longer with us? No, we are all a part of
> the body of Christ. First, in Mark 14:22-24 Jesus explains of bread, "Take
> it; this is my body," and of wine, "This is my blood of the covenant which
> is poured out for many." He goes on to foreshadow his death - and perhaps
> continual communion as we take our daily bread, "I will not drink again of
> the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of
> God." In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul writes a clear explanation that
> everyone is important to the Church, that each person is a genuine member
> of the body of Christ, and in verse 27 he writes, "Now you are the body of
> Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." We are all a part of Christ,
> and we share in the wonder, mystery, and responsibility of leading a good
> life. When we love, as members of the body of Christ, we add to the ether -

> the Spirit.
> The Father is our Shepherd. We consult with the Father for advice. He
> guides us daily and helps us find our way. Psalm 23:1-4 explains the
> Father: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie
> down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my
> soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even
> though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
> evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
> "God in three persons, blessed Trinity," says the closing hymn from today's
> service. Yes, truly wonderful, that all our corporeal and spiritual needs
> can be met by God alone. God is all of these things and plenty more that I
> don't know about. Keep exploring, learning about God in your own way, and
> pray that your exploration leads you on a fantastic journey.
> Shalom,
> Jim
I tried to go to the Men's Bible Study class at 6:30 this morning, but come to find out 1 didn't know the location, so I'll write down the pillow talk from last night during the same time period in hopes that my sharing it will inspire you or otherwise help along your journey.

The implications of all of us people being part part of the body of Christ are profound and wonderful. It puts us on the Trinity triangle and bestows upon us the privileges and responsibilities of being Christ directly ourselves.

Triangles appear frequently in architecture because of their strength. Push on one side of the triangle, and it shares its burden with the other two sides. Likewise with the Trinity. When the Father finds his sheep running astray, he can call upon the body of Christ to guide them. When the body of Christ encounters tribulations on Earth, the Father and the Spirit are there to relieve the pressures. Should the Spirit run short on love, the other two step in to fill the gap.

Along with direct membership in the Holy Support Network, we find ourselves with the responsibility of carrying ourselves in a manner consistent with Christ - as we are a part of the body of Christ. (No, we don't have to perform a miracle a day, but we must love our neighbors and be good people.) The responsibility is not a difficult one, because through the mystery of communion, He brings us into the Holy Support Network.

What about "the holy catholic church"? We profess believe in it frequently on Sunday, and the asterisk says "catholic" means "universal." The church is the body of Christ and the people make up the church, so the collection of all believers is the holy catholic church. And WOW what a church it is - full of caring people who will take care of you when you need it. And it's your personal junction with the Holy Trinity.

In Titus 3:3-7 an aged Paul writes to a rough-and-tumble group of people, "At one time we were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

My (recent) story reads like Paul's from Titus. Things were difficult in 1998-99. Elizabeth (a part of the body of Christ) showed up and introduced me to the Holy Spirit, who poured out His Love on me such that I might be convinced, and I married her and the Church at the same time. Today, I attempt to explore more the Trinity and God, and I'm amazed by what I find.

When I was about 6 years old, I saw a man on TV tell me Jesus was knocking at the door to my heart, and I should invite Him in. As a literalist (which I still am, though I can now appreciate a good metaphor) I had considerable trouble even finding the door on my heart, let alone noticing the knock or understanding how to invite Him in. But today, with my imperfect understanding of the Trinity, I gladly rise to the challenge of being a part of the body of Christ, to go forth and share the love (which does not mean to badger through recruiting tactics).

Is God my /personal/ Savior? "For God so loved [Jim] that he gave His only Son, that [if Jim] should believe in Him, [he] shall not perish but have everlasting life." Suppose God knows all - the number of hairs on my head, and the fact that I'd be here today. Then God knew when Jesus died that would be saved by that action. Pretty neat. It's also impressive to think that by dying, Jesus became the savior for whomever shall believe in Him.

Rejoice as you eat bread today. Find some grape juice, too; Paul Harvey tells me it's good for your heart. :-)

What is this everlasting life thing, and where is Heaven? I was talking to Elizabeth last week, before the Trinity made any sense, and I said to die and go to heaven is to merge with the ether (a.k.a. Holy Spirit). It makes good sense still, as you can join the remainder of Jesus who ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Live on through the love. Fantastic!

Make yours a magnificent week this week, and remember to share every day with God - lean on the Trinity as you need to, and remember, you're always connected!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cold today

We have some icy winter weather today, so I'm working from home.  Some people came in to the office and they're reporting that it's significantly cooler than usual, which reminds me of this story:

I was in high school, working on a PDP-11/44.  It was about the same temp outside that day as it is now - 20-30°F (-7 to -1°C), perhaps a little colder than today.  The PDP wouldn't tolerate temperatures over about 75°F (24°C), above which any job running was subject to terminate with the dreaded "ODD ADDRESS OR OTHER TRAP FOUR" message after a few seconds of execution.  So that day, the air conditioner froze over, and the program was due at the end of the day.  We set up two box fans blowing outside air into the terminal room and blowing terminal room air into the PDP room.  I sat in the terminal room (of course), gloves off so I could type, wearing a coat, scarf, and hat.  Brrr...

I think to post it here because a search for "ODD ADDRESS OR OTHER TRAP FOUR" turns up a bunch of flummoxed people, but nobody mentions checking the thermostat.  From my experience, that message always came when the computer was overheated. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Love-Hate Relationship with the new Tea Party Movement

I shared Tim Rutten's op-ed The GOP/'tea' party radicalism, which I thought summed up my feelings about the radical Tea Party movement calling Obama extremist and some serious problems with denial of global warming and the like, to which my friend replies:
Oh, we evil Tea Party People!

Please, do tell what is wrong with these beliefs:

Illegal Aliens Are Here illegally.
Pro-Domestic Employment Is Indispensable.
Stronger Military Is Essential.
Special Interests Must Be Eliminated.
Gun Ownership Is Sacred.
Government Must Be Downsized.
National Budget Must Be Balanced.
Deficit Spending Must End.
Bail-out And Stimulus Plans Are Illegal.
Reduced Personal Income Taxes Are A Must.
Reduced Business Income Taxes Is Mandatory.
Political Offices Should Be Available To Average Citizens.
Intrusive Government Must Be Stopped.
English As Core Language Is Required.
Traditional Family Values Are Encouraged.

And don't ever start with the claim that the Tea Party a racist organization!

The hate speech of the left is at a fevered pitch! Elections are right around the corner! We're in for a couple nice years of gridlock, after a couple years of "Change You Can Believe In."
We agree on many points, but bumper stickers only catch a part of the story.

On aliens, yes, they're here illegally, but if we could magically make the people all go "home," it would make a horrible mess.  I wrote about it four years ago.  Have you ever driven over the speed limit?  That was illegal, too.  Just how bad is illegal immigration?  I'm pretty sure it's somewhere between speeding and murder, but as a society, we have yet to agree on the severity of the crime or what to do about it. Further, how do you reconcile smaller government with resolving the immigration problem through enforcement?

On the pro-domestic employment front, we agree.  In fact, I fold that in with the reduced personal income taxes and reduced business income taxes.  Let's repeal those taxes for all but the wealthy (because wide income disparity within a culture breeds all kinds of chaos [1][2]) and mostly replace them with a value-added tax.  A national sales tax, if you will.  We'd still wind up paying 28% of our income as taxes, but consumption would be disincentivized and employment encouraged.  That would help to balance the trade deficit, employ more people, and possibly make the tax code more fair.  It would be important to have an exemption for groceries so as not to make the tax especially regressive.  For comparison, European VAT is about 19%, but it's folded into the sticker price at the store.

I don't understand why we need a stronger military.  That sounds like military-industrial complex propaganda, and I consider the war in Iraq a result of the propaganda.  Our military already has enough nukes to blow up the world several times over, and has demonstrated great capacity over the last decade. However, using our finest to carry out such missions of contractor enrichment is an abuse of our troops.  I wrote about that three years ago.  We have a choice: guns or butter.  I prefer butter.

Special interests must be eliminated.  Mostly.  Where do you draw the line?  Shall the federal government build no highways in Alaska or Hawaii because they don't connect to other states?  Where will you put the military bases?  Where will you put NASA facilities?  Or will you cancel NASA because it's a special interest?  Sadly, my fundamental effort (National Institutes of Health, for example) becomes your "special interest" (research into some obscure disease).  It's really hard to eliminate it if we can't define it.  But can we get rid of lobbyists while we're at it? :)

I support gun ownership, too.  Again, where to draw the line?  I think we're agreed that individuals should not own nuclear warheads and ICBMs... I think we're agreed that Ted Kaczynski shouldn't have a gun.  Who else?  We've struck a compromise to protect society from the extremes.

I would like to downsize the government, but I don't know how it's practical in a cost-effective sense without having serious negative implications on our society.  We want roads, sewer, water, clean air to breathe, and so on.  As a society, we have agreed that children are entitled to an education.  We want to be protected from the Red Menace.  On the other hand, there are quite a few things the government could do to be less intrusive in our personal affairs: quit with the income tax thing (as before, for all but the exceptionally well-to-do), get out of the religious discussion about who can marry, legalize marijuana (not that I want it, but I know folks who would benefit from it medicinally), no more warrant wiretapping without warrants, and so forth.  But I would not go as far as a pure Libertarian.  We still need the FCC, FAA, EPA, and somebody to watch out for the Gulf of Mexico.  TSA is a good candidate for elimination!

Balancing the budget fortunately spells zero deficit spending unless some emergency thing comes up.  I was tickled when the budget was actually balanced for the first time in my lifetime for the last few years of the Clinton administration.  Alas, Republicans actually cut taxes and keep on spending.  The Bush tax cuts unraveled that situation almost immediately.  I am irritated with the Republican Party for claiming the high road on fiscal policy and demonstrating substantially the opposite.  There is no track record to differentiate Tea Partiers from Republicans, but given the current rhetoric, I fear we'd be in much worse shape with the bare minimum spending during a recession.

Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal?  If Congress can pass a law consistent with the Constitution, it's legal.  Remember TARP was under Bush, and I'm happy to report that it's largely been repaid.  Unless the country should plunge into financial ruin on the heels of a massive bubble collapse such as we just saw, the government needs to provide some stimulus to keep the economy moving forward.  With unemployment persistently high, the government is justified in borrowing money to spur things (infrastructure, real estate deals, or whatever) along until the private sector can pick up the tab again.  These last two years are a time I would have hated to see the alternative.

Political offices should be available to average people.  Absolutely.  Now how do we make it happen?  Clean elections?  Limit private contributions to campaigns?  Citizens United certainly pushes the system in the wrong direction.  Another problem with elections is that they are popularity contests.  One must be eloquent and armed with the right turns of phrase for any moment during the campaign, and during office, possess great character to avoid corruption.  The election process is also flawed.  I would like to see us switch to approval voting to balance the field for multiple parties and long-shot candidates.

How do you require English?  Some states have passed official language laws, simplifying the number of languages in which various documents may be prepared, but others have not.  In this melting-pot country, we have immigrants from all over.  They generally need to learn English, but there are large communities in which a citizen can function perfectly well without uttering a word of English.  Take any Chinatown for example.  In my experience, most immigrants don't resist learning English; it just takes time, more if they're in a tight community of folks speaking their own language.

Whose traditional family values?  In my family, we have love and respect.  There is substantial bigotry in my extended family, and it always strikes me as against the teachings of Christ, though the same people would tell you they are devout Christians.  My father wrote, "Choices, a Cautionary Tale" to explain how society ruined him.  I don't wish that course on anyone.  Boy Scouts of America, a focal point of my life from age 12 to 18 and a few years beyond, has alienated me and many others with their exclusion of a class of people because of who they are.  Another family value I espouse is that of long-term relationships.  I'm happy to see that the divorce rate has declined over the last decade.  My family values time together at the dinner table.  We also value a particular schedule, weekend time together, and our worship time.  Keep the government out of religious affairs is the gist of a piece I wrote three years back.

There are good reasons people disagree on things, and I have a great respect for many people with whom I disagree on these issues and others.  I especially appreciate civil discourse on the matters because, though it probably won't resolve our differences, it will help engender mutual respect and undo some of the polarization that has a grip on this country today.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Civic runs rough

I don't mean to turn this into an automotive blog, but I had a bizarre problem with my 1998 Honda Civic and figured it warranted public documentation.

The car would run rough at 20-30 mph (~17% throttle) when the ambient air temperature was 78°-83°F.  There was the occasional backfire when it was really bad.  There was no "check engine" light or other indication that the computer observed trouble.  Diagnostic showed that the secondary O2 sensor voltage dropped to 0V when the problem manifested itself.  The ultimate fix was to replace the secondary O2 sensor.

Things I tried, in order:
  1. Change plugs and wires
  2. Clean throttle body and idle air control valve
  3. Change idle air control valve (IACV) ($450)
  4. Change the secondary O2 sensor. ($300)
  5. Change the primary O2 sensor. ($300)
 Now I celebrate the car being repaired!