Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest
If the type is too small, Ctrl+ is your friend

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Germany's Secret Air Force

Germany's Secret Air Force
Mark Felton Productions

The title on this one intrigued me because I've run into Germany's Secret Air Force before when I was checking up on Babylon Berlin.

There were two kinds of radial engines used in early airplanes. There was the kind where the engine block is bolted to the airframe and the crankshaft rotates and turns the propeller. Then there is the Rotary engine where the crankshaft is bolted to the airframe and the entire engine block rotates and turns the propeller. There aren't too many of those around anymore, so I was intrigued to see some tinkering being done on a Rotary engine at the 5:30 mark.

Junkers CL.I
I was very surprised to see the all metal Junkers CL.I monoplane (at the 5:50 mark). I didn't think monoplanes appeared until around 1930. Germany really emphasized engineering. We didn't beat them in WW2 because we had sharper swords, we beat them because we had a thousand times as many war clubs. Alternately you could say we beat them because we all worked together, whereas German was busy destroying a significant portion of their population.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Spinning My Wheels

Thompson's WaterSeal
Driving in downtown Portland this morning, I pull up to a stop light and (what appears to be) an attractive young woman crosses in front of. Then I notice the sideburns.

We're working on the cross bracing on the pilings that support the new house. I had a bunch of lumber delivered the other day and I thought it might be a good idea to put some kind of sealer on it. All these braces are under the house, so it's not like they are exposed to the weather. Most of the existing braces seem to be in pretty good shape and they're 40 years old, so it isn't absolutely necessary, but still, putting on a coat of sealer seems like a good idea. I was at Lowe's the other day and picked up a gallon of Thompson's WaterSeal for this purpose.

Today we ran out. Evidently my guess-timate of how much sealer we needed was a little low. There are several Lowe's in Portland, but they are all about 15 miles away. Surely I can pick up another gallon of the ubiquitous Thompson's someplace closer. I call Rhoda, nope. I call Sherwin-Williams. The guy has to look it up in the computer. Another nope. Call two more places that don't answer. It can't be that tough. There is an Aboy hardware store not too far away, I'll just drive over there. Except you can't get there from here.

Do I get on I-5 or not?
Looking at this map on my phone, it appears that you get on I-5 and then get off at Terwilliger, but no. You are supposed to not get on I-5 but stay on Multnomah Boulevard because there is no exit for Terwilliger. In fact there is no exit till you get to Corbett, which is practically downtown. Stupid Portland. I should have known better, I've been down this road, but not all that often.

Finally get to Aboy, dutifully put on my face mask and check out the paint aisle. Sixteen zillion cans of paint and paint like substances, but no Thompson's. I give up. I'll go to Lowe's, I know they have it.

Driving down the freeway I notice a mess on the other side. There is a wreck and traffic is backed up for miles. Okay, maybe not miles, but quite a ways at least. No going back this way. Finally get to Lowe's and I buy two gallons of Thompson's even though we only need one. I buy two as a reward for having gone to this much trouble. Don't know what I'll do with the extra gallon. Use it as an excuse to tell this tale if anyone asks me about it, I suppose.

Did see a couple of attractive women walking around this afternoon. No sideburns, which improved my outlook a bit.

Bob's Stupid Tax Series, #3

Plasma spraying – a variant of thermal spraying
Bob runs a thermal spray coating business somewhere in the eastern USA. Thermal spray coating seems like it could be useful, but I don't know of any specific applications. I suspect it is used mostly for industrial applications and not so much in consumer products. I don't remember how I got onto this but it seems like a fairly esoteric business with serious practical applications. Anyway, every once in a while he sends out a newsletter, and this one is a pretty good story.
Stupid tax:  A situation where the actions of an individual (me) that directly results in a cost of money, time, or pride to fix.  I also call it “tuition”.  Paying “tuition” can lead to “intuition” and wisdom…..IF you chose to. 
TUITION:  Another story from my Chromalloy days.  I was promoted to manager and had a young coatings engineer working for me.  We had a plasma spray process that the Coatings Department was developing for a new part.  This engineer was bright and very energetic.  Somewhere along the way he discovered parameters for the plasma that used Argon as the primary gas and Helium as the secondary gas. 
We also had a sales guy that was wise and well connected to the customer.  He also did a fantastic job of keeping production schedules and development projects on track.  We had won a new job with this customer.  In the early stages of process development, we were all on a telephone conference call with our customers coatings approval engineer.  This engineer really understood coatings processes and he had certain preferences.  Their specification did not define which primary and secondary gases we should choose, but he had a personal preference for Argon/Hydrogen and did not like a Argon/Helium combination. 
My engineer that worked for me wanted to use the Argon/Helium, even though the customer suggested Argon/Hydrogen.  When we asked the customer if it would be a problem for us to use the helium his response was “You can use any parameters you want if you meet the specification requirements.  But I am strongly recommending that you use Hydrogen”. 
If you remember from last weeks story, I had a great deal of respect, not to be confused with fear, for using Hydrogen.  So, I decided to support my engineers desire to develop the helium parameters. 
Part of the customers requirement was to cut up an actual part and correlate the results from that to test coupons we used.  My engineer proceeded to coat samples and actual parts and complete the submittal package.  Everything passed through our Lab and we submitted it to the customer.  It got rejected.  It was based on a subjective interpretation of the metallography. 
So, my engineer proceeded to revise the parameters and resubmit.  Guess what?  It was rejected a second time!  Again, for subjective reasons. 
Round three, same result. 
By now I am starting to get heat from the Production Dept. because, if we didn’t soon get the approval, they were not going to be able to meet the customer delivery deadline.  I wanted to be a great leader and support my engineer and not let the Production Dept dictate our timeline.  Besides, I just knew we were close, and the next submittal would surely pass. 
The next day the wise salesman came in my office and closed the door.  He asked for my permission to speak frankly with me.  (Did I mention he was good with people?)  He proceeded to explain that there are times you listen to what your customer is saying at a level deeper than just the face value of the words spoken.  He also told me that we will never get a package passed using Helium and if we submitted a package with the same exact results, but using Hydrogen, it would pass right away. 
The next submittal, we used Argon/Hydrogen, and it passed the first time. 
CREDITS EARNED:  Listen to you customer…they just might know what they want! 
MY WISDOM TO YOU:  Listen twice as much as you talk!  And, as the “wise” salesman said, to listen to people at a level deeper than just the words spoken.  Many times customers will not/cannot come right out and say exactly what you need to do to get an approval, but they usually do want to make it easy and will drop big hints….if we just listen. 
600 Airport Rd
Suite 201
Washington PA 15301

In the Wolf's Mouth

Wendy McNeill - In Bocca Al Lupo (Official Video

This song is about an incident that resulted in eleven Italians being lynched in 1891 in New Orelans.
Wikipedia has a long article about the lynching. Seems New Orleans is where the Mafia got started in the USA, not New York.

Lyrics here

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Thoughts of Indeterminate Depth

Cast of Friends
I've never watched this show. Doesn't mean I'm not aware of it.
When I am making a phone call, why does my phone go black at exactly the same time that it stops ringing and the annoying voice mail message comes on? Now I have to push the wake up button before I can hang up the phone. I am not going to leave a voice mail message because text messages work so much better for that. Voice mail was a big improvement over having to actually go see someone to find out why they aren't answering their phone, but it's still cumbersome and annoying.

Rumor has it that minorities and immigrants seem to be more susceptible to COVID-19, witness the outbreaks among the Somali refugees working in the meat packing plants in the Midwest. It might be that recent immigrants are more social than us white supremacists. Some people do not need or want a great deal of social contact. As long as they have all their material needs satisfied, there is no reason to talk to anybody. Immigrants and refugees are often coming from places where they were having a hard time taking care of the material needs. When you don't have any money, all you've got are your friends, so they learned to be more social in order to get along and survive. Long time Americans have had so much stuff for so long we can dispense with any unwanted social contact. New immigrants haven't achieved that much prosperity so they still depend on their friends, hence more social contact, hence more contagion.

Came across an article about friendship the other day but neglected to make a note of it. In essence, there are three kinds of friends:

  1. friends who are useful to each other, who help each other out.
  2. friends who find pleasure in each others company. Could be physical or mental.
  3. friends who have shared values, i.e they have the same, or similar, beliefs about what's important. The founding fathers, for instance.

YouTube of the Day

How to Drive a Trabant

I need to get a move on, so I can't spend hours looking for something to post, so we have this. The Trabant, for those of you not clued in, is East Germany's version of the People's Car. It is affectionately regarded as horrible. Affectionately because it got people around, mostly. Horrible, because it was.

In this video Mr. Wheels (I call him Mr. Wheels because nowhere have I found a name) expounds on the operation of two stroke engines. I have been around two stroke engines forever, but I have never come across his concerns before. I am not sure they are even valid.

I could have sworn I posted a couple of videos of Trabants before, but I cannaught a find them Captin. I found one on YouTube.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Anacreontic Song

The Tune Behind the Star Spangled Banner: The Anacreontic Song

Stu left a cryptic comment on a previous post, well, it was cryptic because I had never heard of an Anacreontic song, so I look it up. Seems it was a popular song in London about the same time as the American Revolutionary War. Time goes by, the War of 1812 arrives and Francis Scott Key writes the Star Spangled Banner using the tune from this song. The University of Michigan sing The Anacreontic Song loud and clear.