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Bob Green Innes,

curmudgeon - click for definition

Hamiltonian by birth & occupation!  

.... seeking to restore values, traditions, institutions, laws and protections Canadians once enjoyed
      .....lost by apathy
          ..... but stolen nonetheless

Blog #6 - Tires, tired, tiring.

Tired. Tired of getting tired. But December is almost here, so tired is as tired does. I tried to retire earlier but ther'sno tires like snow tires. Enough silliness. Its snow tire time, you know, the annual trek to the tire store. We had a slow leak in one tire and a snow tire with a puncture on the sidewall (tiny pick pokes from idiot kids) that everybody said couldn't be fixed. Legally, technically or otherwise. The kids had got us a few times, we couldn't catch them, were told repeatedly they couldn't be fixed and were getting tired of having to buy new tires. I finally found a truck tire place that said something like, oh, that's a C10, so I knew I had found the right place at last.

Before you get any ideas, you should be aware there is a reason that garages are leery of sidewall repairs, beyond the regulatory thing. Sidewalls flex a lot, can overheat and the patch can fall off. It's only a pinhole anyway but even so, the tire should not be put on the front, should not be run at low pressure and should not be run in hot weather. That's a lot of shoulds but I think a snow tire qualifies. We shall see.

Nice not to get the liability paranoia runaround for a change. See pet peeves. Someday I'll fill in some background on this liability thing. Short story, it's an anti-people crock.

While I was there, a fellow having his tires changed had to get new wheel stud nuts - the big nuts that hold your tire on. I asked why. He said the old ones were stripped (the top not the thread). I've never stripped a wheel nut. He said they had nice shiny chromed aluminum tops that were easily damaged. They had a special flange thingy that holds on the hubcap. They cost over TEN DOLLARS. EACH! Only available at the dealer. $60 for the set, incuding the dreaded HST. This is effing rediculous. I guess he was proud of his van. I never would have paid that much. The hubcaps can fall off for all I care. Who needs shiny chrome nuts for that price?

Well , maybe I lied. Maybe I did strip a nut once. (Certainly, i look and feel like a stripped nut. Or is that a striped nut?) Did you ever get a flat and had to change the tire? This involves losening the wheel nuts with the little wrenchette with a handle that's only about 8 inches long (two decameters, what's a decameter? - it's about 8 inches). Do you know what they use to tighten that nut on at the shop where you got your tires installed? They use about a hundred and thirty decibels to tighten your nuts on. About the same as a jet engine. You know when your tires are done because you can hear the thing from wherever you went while they were changing your tires. I know you were within walking distance, or reading distance. Even if you are listening to Pink Floyd (i date myself - only name I know) on your podthing, you can still hear the nuts screaming as they get hammered on with the tightening machine. Called, um, a torque wrench? No, that's what he used today, a nice quiet thing with a handle about four feet long (that's a dozen decameters) that goes click to indicate that I will never get that nut off by myself ever again. But most places use this noisy air-thru-a-long-hose-driven impact-driver-gun-socket-wrench-thingy. They use it because it doesn't have a four foot (dozen decameter) handle which could be lethal in the wrong hands. You never know who is in the tire shop with you.

I once asked them why they used the noisy thing (or the dozen decameter thing) and after giving me a greasy look which made my knees shake, they said it was liability, if I knew what was good for me. Not the baby song, or the dance step, it's the legal thing. Oh, that again.

Anyway, you are standing there at midnight in the freezing rain with your flat tire, 4 inches (one itty bitty decameter) from the edge of a multilane Autobahn on which anyone traveling under the speed of sound (technically, that's Mach 1) isn't welcome. You stand there with your TWO decameter thing in your hand, which did grip the nut nicely but didn't budge it before you only just managed to jump out of the way of a fully loaded 88 wheeler bearing down on you. Whew, what now? I recommend, seeing as you're warmed up from the jumping, that you stand on the roof of your car, and when the traffic clears, jumping down onto the end of the wrench which you applied beforehand to the nut so as to position the handle in the horizontal position. Teenagers need not wait for the traffic to clear. Doing this was when I stripped the nut because the nut was old, the wrench was from another car and the snow was three feet deep. (9.382716 decameters - i know you're wondering) .

If you're no good at climbing onto the roof of your car and have no teenager with you, you might try to slowly back the rear of your car partway into the slow lane, apply the wrench, handle facing traffic and hope that a big wide truck will be kind enough to give your wrench just the proper nudge to get it started. Once it gets a start, there is no problem after that. If you're not too sure about all this, perhaps you can leave a note explaining your predicament and asking why regulators, car companies and lawyers are putting you into this dilemma. In all my years of driving, I've never had a nut fall off, even if I had only tightened it on with the two decameter thing. Tires only fall off when the nuts are put on finger tight and then it's dinner time, and on the way home you remember, when you see your tire rolling along beside you, that you forgot to use your two decameter short thing. Geesh.

Speaking of tires, have you noticed those new low profile tires that are sort of like bicycle tires - not as in narrow, but with a shiny rim that is about an inch (point two decameters) above the road surface. There's practically no sidewall. I'm wondering, what about when you hit something like a curb that jumped out at you? Won't it damage both the expensive tire and the expensive rim? I know they're both expensive. They look cool and everything cool is expensive, even a wheel nut. I asked the nice tire guy. My kids hate when I ask. I ask about any little thing that I'm curious about. I was a cat in my last life.

The tire guy said the car companies had to put all the old fashioned wheels on a diet to save money and fuel. Fuel and money to be more exact. They don't necessarily want to save money if they can make it look cool enough to charge you extra. So it's primarily to meet the new standards for fleet fuel efficiency. Getting your wheels to spin takes energy and so nowadays they use aluminum rims, plastic hubcaps, low tire profiles and light aluminum heads on fancy wheel nuts to cut down on angular momentum. This is also because rubber tires were an Angular Saxon concept starting with a guy named Goodyear, who mixed rubber and sulphur to get something that would make black smoke when burned. This was to stop cops from crashing through tire barricades they couldn't see because they weren't on fire because there was no sulpher in the rubber. Adding sulphur makes good rubber. Removing sidewall rubber makes good business. For them. Remember that when you next hit a pothole. Curse them Angular Saxons.

Don't even get me started on those stupid donut spare tires. I have a collection if you're interested. Leftovers from having to buy proper spare tires. They must have been invented to help landfill operators meet their quota. Or perhaps the guys that shred cars needed some lunchtime entertainment throwing these things into the only place they can do any good, making cool noises. I wonder if car shredders burp?

Just remember, its all about them, not about you. Lets go for a spin.

* That decameter thing? 10 centimeters or 100 millimeters or a tenth of a meter. Four inches is a lot easier. An inch is about the width of your thumb. Runts like me use a pressed-down thumb. Humans have had thumbs for a million years. Beats me where the meter or decameter or centimeter or millipede came from.



Stay tuned.

Bob Green I

leave the fake one *

Please be patient. Hopefully you can check back for your comment or response in the next day or two. Thanks. Bob

Re - recent bid for trustee

Past Blogs

Bob's BlogLog

    Eureka. I finally got round to making this page looking something like a regular blog. For anyone interested, most blogs are based on simple table layouts - two or three column. The professional sites have sophisticated coding to provide many features such as automatic archiving, variable text size and the like. We shall see what the future brings but for now I'm just enjoying the challenge of re-learning some HTML. Debugging is not my strong suit but this page is nothing like the old basic programs that once drove me nuts. Hope you enjoy the new look.
    Next: 4 column table for miscellaneous??? Things like Bob's business news. (For now, I'll just stick off stuff below.) Improve the comment section.
    Also need to ensure font is not too small on newer hi res screens.

Coming Up

    Reflections on a Greek phrase

    Forcing my mind to grapple further with that pesky smart meter thing. I'd hate to be a party pooper when it comes to the good intent of the smart meter - BUT.........

    So much to mention - gmo foods, fluoridation, dogcast listening, Puppy - maybe I'll put up a sort of note space for miscellaneous

    Ongoing economic meltdown - two threads: Hamilton's unique problems and the more general economic melting down of the US.

    Global warming questions and myths. I'll borrow this for now.

    Eventually, thoughts on the deeper questions that vex our world.


    William Gairdner - Libertarian Thinker William Gairdner

    Writings of Stephen James Kerr - Socialist Blogger

    Shiv Chopra - fired whistleblower Health expert Brainchild of Ryan McGreal. Many interesting bloggers. This and the next are the best blogs in and about Hamilton, Ontario Brainchild of Cal DiFalco. These two blogs will lead you to other bloggers, both individual and NGOs

    Other Hamilton bloggers, more personal than 'systematic' at this point.

    • Hardcorps Undustrial
    • Meridith
    • Pxtl
    • Villany adrian Turbo
    • add a number as in #5, a Chamber of Commerce site?

Pet Peeves

      * gummerment overspending
      * what we're doing to our political and educational systems -

      * banksterism.

      * political correctness (equity policies) along with

      * human rights commissions and their guilty-until-proven-innocent destruction of our ancient rights. Soon to get worse.

      * Overmedication in our society - this link relates to kids ADD, ADHD

      * Rigid thinking, judgementalism, The Spectator

      * legal liability issues - playgrounds, bake sales gone. This is stupid (corporatism).

      * Public sector unions

      * credentialism

      * a little rant on mailboxes!

      * apathetic people. Plato said 'Your silence gives your consent'

      * aphids, Torx screwdrivers, proprietary parts

    * retired Professional Engineer, married, father of 2 including one still in the system.

    * pursuing many interests - partial list below

    * small-c conservative (but not a Harper PC - that's the party of big business!)

    * investigating causes of economic problems, finding troubling trends and possibilities

    * Former candidate, Hamilton East Stoney Creek, FCP, Public System Trustee, Ward 4

Links to other Interests.


For other items or requests, please feel free to email me. Sorry for the spambot-fighting inconvenience but I've learned not to provide the normal link or the inbox becomes clogged or breaks down completely. Please paste the following then remove the spaces and add the usual symbols where noted:

r o b e r t i n n e s (at sign) r o b e r t i n n e s (dot) c a. Click here to bring up your email window - but you'll have to change the fake address!


Updated Oct 2010