Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For the Mechanics in the Audience:

I know that I am easily amused, but anyone that has spent any time under a hood, or trying to get a car fixed can probably appreciate these clips.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Puttering

Even though I don't really work very hard in the physical sense, and I have a good job and a good boss, great people to work with and nothing really to complain about......I still love the weekend.  I don't know that it is strictly true that the worst day fishing (gardening, home improving, sewing.... insert your favorite activity) is better than the best day at work, but there is quite a bit of truth to it.  I remember as a kid, waking up on Saturday just happy.  No School, which made true the sister comparison that the worst day at work is better than the best day at school, and this one was strictly true.  So when Saturday rolled around and I could watch cartoons for part of the morning and eat pancakes..... well, that is a great way to start the day for a kid. 

I guess that not a lot has changed.  I don't watch the cartoons, but do play on the computer some.  Today I puttered around the kitchen after we got up.  We looked at the kitchen and realized that we had let things go too far, so while Annie loaded the dishwasher and bustled around the kitchen, leaving order and cleanliness in her path, I chopped peppers, onions, tomatoes, mango and peaches and made a gallon and a half of mango-peach salsa.  Ummmmm.....   We chatted while we worked, and it was such a nice start to the day.

Later I did some epoxy repair on the bottom of the sailboat, and unpacked the truck from last week's trip to Lake Powell.  This included setting up the tent in the back yard and making sure that none of the sand from the beach went into winter storage. All in all it was a very nice day.

That is about it.  Annie went to the General Relief Society Meeting and then we watched a little of it on TV when she got back.  Now it is about bedtime and a busy Day of Rest tomorrow.  Well, that is fine too:  Better to wear out than to rust out.  Sleep well, and wake.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

19th Century Bicycling - Rubber Was the Dark Secret

After seeing the latest Squeakerness blog with all the bicycles, I ran across this article and really enjoyed it.

Here are a few quotes that I liked.  You will probably want to read the original article.  Lots of great old pictures.

“If the increase continues, the time is not very distant when not to own and ride a bicycle will be a confession that one is not able-bodied, is exceptionally awkward, or is hopelessly belated.”
“The Bicycle Festival,” July 13, 1895 New York Times

"In “The Winged Heel” column in the San Francisco Chronicle of January 25, 1879, the writer fully grasps the possibilities:
“The bicycle ranks among those gifts of science to man, by which he is enabled to supplement his own puny powers with the exhaustic forces around him. He sits in the saddle, and all nature is but a four-footed beast to do his bidding. Why should he go a foot, while he can ride a mustang of steel, who knows his rider and never needs a lasso?.. The exhilaration of bicycling must be felt to be appreciated. With the wind singing in your ears, and the mind as well as body in a higher plane, there is an ecstasy of triumph over inertia, gravitation, and the other lazy ties that bind us. You are traveling! Not being traveled.” "

"The 1890s would be the decade of the bicycle. The seven million bicycles found worldwide in 1895 used most of the world’s rubber, a boom that would not have occurred if not for the invention of the “pneumatic rubber tyre.” Although there had been bicycles previously, they rode on solid rubber tires. These were puncture-resistant, a boom on roads where nails were frequently shed from horseshoes, but they lacked suspension, were hard to steer, and were an unpleasant ride. This changed by the late 1890s. The market was flooded with steel tubes, ball bearings, variable speed gears, and high-quality chains. Above all else, it was flooded with replaceable rubber tires and inner tubes, mass-produced in the factories of Dunlop in Birmingham, England; Michelin in Clermont-Ferrand, France; and Pirelli in Milan, Italy. The bicycle was cheap and popular. People suddenly had a means of freedom that had been unknown. "


Monday, September 20, 2010

Catching Up, and a Tube Leak Clip

It's Monday, and we are both tired.  We made a lightening trip to Lake Powell on Friday and came back late Saturday night.

We didn't take the big boat.  Since our Outage was moved to October I didn't get all the comp time hours that I normally collect in an outage, and had enough to do at work that I didn't what to use extra days to fix the boat and get farther behind with outage preparations.  So it was a simple trip.  We took a little One Sheet Skiff that is actually about 1-1/2 sheets and I rowed around a little and did some fishing.  Mostly we talked to the other boat builders and took it easy.  It was pretty warm, so we swam some, and spent quite a bit of time just up to our necks in the lake while we visited.  That was nice, but it is nice to be back too.

Things are fine at home.  We have been making jam and salsa and eating a lot out of the garden.  Fall is a time of plenty, and it is fun to see the garden produce.

September has been a really busy month.  Over Labor Day, B&T came down and we had a great visit with them.  T took the pre-employment test on the next Tuesday and passed with flying colors, so he is on the waiting list now.  So that is happy.  T & I did some plinking and the girls sewed and chatted. 

The next week J and Em came for a visit.  No plinking, but a lot of trips to the park for M.  She is a cutie, and we had a great time visiting with J and playing with M.

I already covered the LP Trip, so I won't do it again.  A & C and family are coming to visit this weekend.  I think A is going to ride his bike down from Springville, so we will have to find a soft cushion for him when he is ready to sit down.  Actually, it shouldn't be too hard.  In 1992 A and K took off on their old bikes one morning when I wasn't ready to go yet, and covered about 48 miles before I caught up with them.  No water, no food, just strong young muscles.  But they were pretty tired too if I remember right. 

When I got to work this morning, I found that we had a new tube leak.  My boss dispatched me to go and take a look, and I made this short video clip of the leak.  It is down in the bottom of the boiler.  It is a little cloud mostly in the middle of the screen that isn't really to interesting.  I like seeing the firey ash sliding down the slope into the water.  There are some broken/worn/burned up stainless steel screens hanging down below the nose of the boiler.   They look pretty good when we put them on new, but we are about 6 months late on the repair schedule, and they are about gone.

Have a good day.