Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Texas Tales

While we were on our morning constitutional, Osmany & I came across a mailbox supported on a concrete pillar. This is one of your traditional, rural mailboxes that sits by the side of the road. They are often mounted on top of a wooden post, but sometimes people use more elaborate supports. Osmany was wondered why someone would expend the effort when a wooden post is sufficient, so I told him about:

Brick Mailbox

John C. and the Mailbox
One evening John and his buddy were out driving around out in the country. They were drinking, and being who they were they had a few too many. Now they decide that it would be great fun to smash some mailboxes by running them down with their pickup truck. And so they did. This worked fine for the first three or four. The truck hit the mailbox and busted it to smithereens and the truck hardly even noticed. The next one was a brick pillar about two feet square and four feet tall, and this one they noticed. Not sure what happened after that. I think they may have been able to drive away, but I'm pretty sure the truck was toast. I think we can say that their state of inebriation was complete by the fact that they chose to run into this brick pillar. I mean how could you see it and not realize what you were in for?

Which reminded me of:
Ford Twin I-Beam Suspension

John C. and the New Tires
John, by day, was a hard working building contractor and very frugal. He drove an old Ford pickup truck. The tires were getting badly worn. One day he decided he had driven as far as he dared on these bald old tires, so he went to the tire shop and bought two brand new tires and had them installed on the front wheels. He's feeling pretty good about himself. He has two new tires and the truck is rolling along right smoothly. The sun is shining and things are looking good. He gets on I-35 Northbound and heads home. He's cruising along on the freeway on his brand new tires when all of sudden he hits a bump, and bang! Both brand new tires burst and he slides to a halt on the remains of his brand new tires.

They tow the truck back to the tire shop where they investigate and find that the front springs of the truck were completely collapsed. In fact the frame was resting on the rubber stops that are the last thing between the frame and the axles.

My theory of what happened has two parts. One, John, knowing that his old tires were badly worn was driving carefully and avoided anything that might be a hazard. Once he got the new tires he threw caution to the winds, and why not? He has brand new tires! They can take anything, so he no longer needs to be paranoid about every little bump in the road.

Two, it was summer time, and as we all know when things get hot, like they do in the summer time, they expand. Concrete roads, like I-35, have expansion joints to allow for the concrete to expand, but that only works as long as the temperature is within the expected range. If it is an exceptionally hot summer, you can have a situation where the end of one slab will be forced up over an adjacent slab. This will create a small cliff right across the roadway. If the cliff is facing the same way as your direction of travel, running over it will be disturbing, but it should not cause any damage, at least not it your car's suspension is in good condition. If the cliff the is facing you and you run into it I am not sure any kind of tires could survive that impact. Also I think that a cliff that is facing you ought to be more visible. A cliff facing away might be invisible.

If we give John credit for being reasonably observant, we might conclude that the cliff was facing away and his tires burst because the collapsed suspension in his truck forced the tires to absorb the impact of driving off the six inch cliff.
This got me thinking about cars, which reminded me of:

Cutaway Conventional Automatic Transmission

Fred's El Paso Transmission Repair
Fred was driving somewhere, moving, I think, and his journey took him through El Paso where his car broke down. The automatic transmission had given out. He limped into a transmission shop where they dropped the transmission out of the car. Once they had it on the bench it was obvious what was wrong. There was a large crack running diagonally over the top of the cast aluminum transmission housing. The transmission shop was perfectly willing to repair it, but it would cost some amount of money, an amount that Fred could not spare. He took the transmission to a welding shop. (Not sure how he managed that. Carried it across the street? Hired a taxi? Got it there somehow.) Welding the crack closed cost $25. Took the transmission back to the shop where the car was waiting. They put the transmission back in the car and Fred drove on to his destination.

I'm a little hazy on parts of this story, like whether the transmission was disassembled before it was welded, or how far the car went after the repair. I would think you would want to disassemble the transmission before you started welding on it, but knowing Fred, I suspect that didn't happen. And I think the car made it to Austin, which is almost 600 miles.


Anonymous said...

Heliarcing is pretty simple stuff. Fred did this?

Chuck Pergiel said...

I'm pretty sure the welding shop did the welding. But it was a long time ago and I wasn't there, so who knows?