different strokes...

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pilvikki
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different strokes...

Post by pilvikki » 24 Jul 2018, 14:16

you know the big problem with wild fires all over the place? well, sweden has a total ban on any type of fire being used for anything outdoors, as they have some horrendous fires burning out of control. in fact, some 150 polish firefighters have driven up to help out.

so... the cops got several calls about these yahoos bbq'ing in a park. they apparently kept saying "soon as we're done!" when asked to put the fire out.

the cops showed up with a bucket of water and without saying a word just poured it on their cook-out.

yeah, have some soup.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 24 Jul 2018, 18:06

I know a fellow who works for an oil company in western Oklahoma. He goes around inspecting the well heads to be sure everything is operating as expected. They just came out of a period where wild fires were rampant and destroying thousands of acres of land. Some of the fires are suspected to be started by arsonists, but quite a few are due to lightning strikes. You have not seen a fire until you have seen a well head explode and send flames hundreds of feet into the air. Apparently there is no way to put those fires out. The top oil simply has to burn off at which point you can attempt to cap the well.

I'm surprised to learn wildfires are a problem in Sweden. I blame it on global warming. Over here I'm sure those BBQ-ers would have been arrested and fined.

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 25 Jul 2018, 12:24

There are supposed to be foot-valves or wedge-valves installed below well-heads before they are capped off, and in some rare cases pressure bleed lines to storage tanks or another oil or gas reservoir. At least here in the states.

While sitting in a restaurant eating, we saw a fire start one summer along a highway and it spread quickly into a hay field before someone could run and put out the fire while it was small.
It was obvious broken glass from a headlight lens was the cause of the fire, because we saw the bright white light and a bit later a wisp of smoke begin to curl up from the cluster of weeds it was shining on.
All it took was a gust of wind and poof it changed to flames and spread fast.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 25 Jul 2018, 13:09

I know next to nothing about oil rigs but I can appreciate the power inherent in a bolt of lightning. My buddy was talking about working wells that apparently have some amount of oil near the land surface. I didn't ask for more detail but the vapors (caused by the lightning) from that pool of crude is what explodes. Now that I think about it, he is in the fracking business. They may not operate like conventional wells.

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 26 Jul 2018, 12:18

I worked for MRTC (Mississippi River Transmission Corp.) for several years. They pipe Natural Gas from the Landa Wascom and Landa Woodlawn gas fields up to St. Louis. You wouldn't believe the open track pumps used for the operation. Quite interesting to watch. Natural Gas has no odor, it's not put in until it is redistributed in St. Louis and elsewhere. So they had tons of monitoring equipment all around the pumping stations to see if there were any leaks in the equipment.
I was constantly flying back and forth along the pipelines whenever there was a problem to design the repair and order the materials. They normally catch a possible small crack before it becomes a major problem and fix it PDQ.
After the old pilot retired and we got a new younger pilot, it cut our travel time down by almost an hour each way.
The only thing is, he was a wildcat and drove the engines too hard. We had a flame out once and he couldn't restart the jet engines and we crashed in a corn field. Good thing he knew how to land a jet with no power. The wings are small so they don't glide without power. But he knew what to do, although it scared the bejesus out of me, hi hi.
He put the plane into a nosedive to build up enough speed to make it glide into the landing. But at the high speed we were traveling it tore the plane apart. At least we walked away unscathed. Good thing it was a large farm, because I would guess we took down a path of young corn stalks about 6 acres in length before coming to a stop.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 27 Jul 2018, 08:33

You have my empathy and sympathy. Fortunately I never crash landed in an airplane, but I did have a similar experience on the ground. Me and my entire family were traveling down I55 at about 70mph when some young lady decided I wasn't going fast enough to suit her fancy. She tried to pass me but cut me off returning to the lane I was in. Her rear end bumped my front and we both went sliding off the pavement onto the grass alongside the highway. I didn't have any control of the car at that speed and we slid along the grass sideways for several hundred feet. A fender was bent but the car was driveable. All I could think of while we were sliding out of control is that my whole family is going to die with me. I'm really really glad I was wrong. The girl and her friend were not wearing seat belts and were severely injured. To our good fortune a state highway truck was in back of us and saw the whole thing. All I had to do was complete a police report at the hospital and never heard from them again. Well, except for receipt of the insurance check to pay for damages. It all took less than a minute; the longest damned minute I experienced in my entire life. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 27 Jul 2018, 11:16

I hear ya Yogi! The years I was driving OTR I saw so many inexcusable accidents it was pitiful.
I quit driving with only 200,000 more miles to go before I would earn a $35,000.00 check.
Things on the road got so bad, I didn't think I would make it to 2 million miles without getting killed.
I had more too close for comfort narrow misses my last six months driving than all the years prior.
And I know you probably won't agree with this, but most of the accidents I saw in that last six months was due to front-wheel-drive cars being allowed on our roadways. They lose their friction grip to the road surface too easily, and along with it their steering and braking capability. The carnage on the roads after they became popular increased exponentially.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 27 Jul 2018, 11:58

I know exactly why they went to front wheel drive. As far as losing it's grip goes, all I can offer is some first hand experience in Chicago snow. Nothing I ever drove with a differential could get through the deep snow as well as the front wheel drives I had. Most of them were Chrysler products. Friction on concrete is different than in snow, but I can also tell you that I never experienced fish tailing with those Chrysler products. Having said that, the collision I described above was while I was driving a Plymouth Valiant. The way it happened, however, would have disabled a cement truck carrying a full load, in my humble opinion. :mrgreen:

One other story regarding high speed crashes can be told about my trip to work one day. I drove most of the way on an 8-lane divided highway which narrowed down to 6-lanes divided at the north end. People driving that road during rush hour were mostly insane. I discovered the secret to success, however, after driving it for many years. Get in the center lane and engage the cruise control to do the speed limit. Of course this would piss off just about everyone, but they went around me every time. Some flashed their lights before passing, but I didn't change course for anyone. One otherwise unremarkable morning going north I noted one of the crazy's in my rear view mirror. Two women were weaving in and out of lanes until they came to me. I thought they would bump me in the rear, but they did not. They just honked and flashed their lights before rapidly speeding around me. Less than a minute later I saw their car in a ditch in the middle of the road. Bodies were laying on the ground, which is how I knew it was females driving. Today I regret not stopping, but I got out of there as quick as I could. I read in the paper the following day that they were on drugs, without seat belts, and died in the crash. To this day I get nervous thinking about what could have happened if they decided to take me with them instead of going around me.

I suppose road rage is everywhere, but there is a noticeable absence of it here in MO. Not only that, but by far the majority of drivers do within 5mph of the limit. It's an incredible experience after 35+ years of Chicago expressway driving. :grin:

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 28 Jul 2018, 11:04

I lived in St. Louis County for 60 years. I've never seen as many idiot drivers in St. Loo than I have anywhere else I've driven.
For 20 years I lived on Promenade Lane in Tempo Subdivision. There was a fairly steep hill on Tempo going up to Olive Blvd.
Despite the heavy snows, usually with ice underneath, we rarely had problems getting out of the subdivision.
Some folks might get stuck temporarily and have to make another run at the hill, or creep up a few inches at a time.
Then along came the front-wheel-drive cars.
A front-wheel-drive car on this hill out of our subdivision, if they lost traction, more often than not, their car would do a 180, the front wheels acting like ski's as the front of the car swung out and suddenly they were facing downhill. Lot's of accidents on that hill in the winter after the front-wheel-drive cars came out.
I think I mentioned this once before, but I got stuck with a front-wheel-drive Cadillac Sedan-de-Ville when the dealer made a mistake about what drive train it had.
I was taking my step-daughter to school one day, on Olive Blvd., and you know how heavy traffic is there.
To show her how dangerous front-wheel-drive cars really are. In heavy school morning traffic, driving about 30 mph, I spun the steering wheel all the way to the left stop, back to the right stop, back to the left stop, back to the right stop, and then brought it back to center. The car never once drifted from its forward travel.
I realize if I would have managed to snag some traction I could have been in a serious accident.
However, I also knew the possibility of a front-wheel-drive vehicle regaining traction under power was a near impossibility. I could win the lottery 7 times in a row, that's how great the odds were. Hopefully it scared her enough she would never buy a front-wheel-drive car. But with so many on the road, the chance of getting hit by one that went out of control is exponentially greater than by a conventional drive vehicle going out of control.
When I traveled back home every so often, I would have to pay top dollar to get a rental vehicle that was not front-wheel-drive if they had one, if not I was stuck with one so let the frau do most of the driving. She often rents a car to go somewhere, but she too is nervous when she has to drive one.
We live in the mountains, so see a lot of accidents on wet blacktop, especially on the switchbacks when a car slides into the oncoming lane going around a corner. They take their foot off the gas for the turn, and the drag of the engine causes the front wheels to break their friction grip with the wet blacktop. It's like driving on ice up in the mountains!

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 28 Jul 2018, 15:46

I agree with you. The story of you teaching your daughter about front wheel drive is scary. I've been driving all but 16 years of my life and never ran into that situation with either types of drives. I'd think a car that can't handle a hard turn at 30mph would not be street legal. As far as St Louis snow vs Chicago snow goes, there must be a scientific explanation for the difference. Then again, Chicago is basically flat and not the ski slope you had to negotiate approaching Olive Blvd. The hills of O'Fallon are not steep at all, and I have managed to make safe turns at various speeds both in winter and in summer. I do it all with front wheel driven cars. Then again, today is only my second anniversary living here. That's hardly a fair test.

ABS equipped automobiles ARE a hazard. As advertised, skids are greatly reduced but there is no way to judge the required breaking distance when ABS kicks in. You don't skid into a crash, of course, but instead you plow into it straight on and out of control. :rolleyes:

I've seen those mountains in Tennessee. And, I have seen the subtle warnings of how dangerous they are. They have ramps going off at random spots on the slopes. These ramps are used by truckers who can't stop their vehicles on the regular highway. Presumably they will find a ramp and jet on up it when their rig is going out of control. Talk about scary statistics.

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 29 Jul 2018, 10:41

One other problem is the super hard tires they are putting on cars. This has been going on for a long time now too.
The harder the rubber (Durometer Rating), the further a car will skid, due to the reduced friction grip with the road.

When I bought my 1976 50th Anniversary Special Edition Trans-Am, I wouldn't drive it off the dealers lot until they replaced the Michelin Tires with something like Tiger Paws or equivalent. They couldn't believe I wanted a cheap tire, and to give the tires off the car to one of their employees. I would have rather they destroyed the tires.

The guy who got the tires came to thank me for them, as he desperately needed new tires on his car.
But he was curious why I didn't want them on my car. I told him to meet me at 10pm on the Venture Store parking lot.
The light standards on the parking lot are colored different colors to help folks find where they parked their car.
We agreed to sorta a race, not a drag race, just starting at the far end of the parking lot and staying side by side at 60 mph and hitting our brakes when we reached the fourth to last set of light standards. I forget the color they were now.
We never did get up to 60 mph due to the rain, and since we stayed side by side, but were a tad above 50 mph.
When we reached the light standards where we were to slam on our brakes.
My car with the soft rubber tires stopped my car stopped after it slid past the second light standard.
His car not only slid past all four light standards, but he ended up hitting the dirt bank at the far end of the parking lot.

I was in my Van waiting to pull out of my street, and a kid coming down the road turned into our subdivision street and slid right into the side of my truck. The first thing I noticed was he had Michelin Tires. I made a deal with him and his parents, that I would not turn it into his insurance company if he paid me 200 bucks and had his car tires replaced with softer tires.
About two months after that, his father stopped by my house. He and his wife started studying tires and he had the ones on his car replaced also. Just in the nick of time too! There was an accident in front of him on the highway. He was able to stop on a dime, and the car next to him, traveling at the same rate of speed, slid all the way to the accident site and plowed into the second vehicle which was in front of the one who hit him.
He too looked at the tires on the car that slid such a great distance and saw they too were Michelin Tires.
Like me, he's been warning folks ever since about the danger of having hard rubber tires.

Now, you combine hard rubber tires with front-wheel-drive and you have a Deadly Combination, an accident just looking for a place to happen.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 29 Jul 2018, 12:19

I knew a fellow who ran road rallies every weekend. He was pretty much into safety as well as winning races. In the winter he would put rubber tires on his car. Not synthetic rubber tires either. He imported the real thing from some Scandinavian country for a premium price. His traction in snow was unmatched by any American made tire, but he would not use the tires during warm weather on conventional roads. They worked better than what you described in your story, I'm sure. However, they had a very short life span. All that traction and friction wore out the threads pretty quickly and he could not afford to import all that safety very often.

The cost of rubber prohibits it's widespread use in modern automobiles. Plus, there aren't that many rubber trees in the first place. Thus synthetics and petroleum based chemicals are favored for their light weight and relatively low cost. I agree with the idea that "softer" tires are probably safer than the hard line Michelins. My take on it is to not speed at 50+mph on wet pavements. So far I've been able to avoid catastrophic crashes.

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 30 Jul 2018, 10:10

Going way back to the late '60s and early '70s, almost every tire store carried a full range of soft to hard tires.
The soft tires only got about 35,000 miles, while the hard tires were up around 75,000 miles. Then they started making tires harder and harder to reach 100,000 up to around 150,000 miles.
The overall cost per mile for tires was basically the same. A 35k miles tire mounted and balanced was around 25 to 35 bucks. While a 75k miles tire mounted and balanced was around 80 to 100 bucks.
On all of our delivery trucks we bought two new tires for the front every six months, either moving the front tires to the back or adding snow tires for the 3 winter months. All of our drivers loved how well our trucks handled with the softer tires.
Over time, it got to where you couldn't find anything less than 50k mile tire. Uniroyal Tiger Paws was one such tire.
For some reason, the price of tires has gone completely out of control. You can't find a decent priced tire anywhere anymore. Because of this, many folks are moving to harder and harder tires, and the accident rate on the roads from hard tires is climbing just as fast.

I drove in a few local car stunt shows, and we purposely used the hardest rubber tires we could get in order to do the spins more easily. There were also a lot of modifications done to the cars for the purpose of performing certain stunts. To drive around the track up on two wheels required either Posi-Trac or a straight axle, no differential, plus we often filled the down-side tires with calcium chloride solution. It served a couple purposes, added weight to the down-side as well as kept the tires cooler so they remained stiff as possible. A soft tire could roll-under or the bead pull off the wheel and go flat.
In some cases, one heck of a lot of lead was used to change the center of gravity of the car, but not where you might think it would be added. For driving on two wheels, drivers side down, about 200 lbs of lead is added above the drivers door, and another 200 lbs under the rocker panel of the passenger side door. The affect of doing this is similar to a wire walker holding a long pole to help him balance on the high wire.
Man that was a lot of years ago now!
Now let's conjugate the verb Old. I iz old, you iz old, we iz all old, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 30 Jul 2018, 12:01

Judging by what I've been able to read about you, I am older. Also from reading your words for a few years I know that in all my years I did not get involved with half the things that you did. You youngsters have way more energy and drive than us old guys.

I don't know what changed in the automobile tire industry. I do know rubber, the stuff of soft tires, has become more scarce than it once was. Also, there was (until the current regime took over) a lot of emphasis on fuel economy and the need to make vehicles lighter to achieve it. My guess is hard tires are lighter than soft tires. And, I'm not surprised that the per mile cost of tires is close to being the same for soft and hard versions. That dealer has to make a living when you are not buying tires, you know?

Bridgestone is now making airless tires. My initial response was that it's a great idea, but I have to side with you about safety of such tires. I'm not talking about skids. My balloon type tires will take a fairly good sized pothole hit and survive. I don't know if a solid tire could do the same without redesigning the entire suspension system. I also read an interesting argument against such tires by some police organization. It seems the state police would not be able to effectively tear apart your tires with spikes in the road should they be solid. It kind of makes me wonder how often they have to do such a thing and how many villains they killed doing it.

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pilvikki
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Re: different strokes...

Post by pilvikki » 30 Jul 2018, 17:42

greetings!

tire lessons, cool!

you know, i had a tourismo, 1986, methinx? and it was something else! front wheel drive, standard shift (atrocious!), with power assisted steering (that sounds so pretentious). sport pack, whatever that was. well, anyway, in the snow it was 4x4's and me just leisurely cruising by everyone else. it was great!

however.... eventually i needed new tires and got yokohamas. first trip up north i came to a stop sign, and slid right across it like a figure skater doing swan lake. luckily, 3 AM meant i was dancing out there by myself, but what a rude awaking!

"ah", my friend at work mused, "too bad you didn't mention it, those tires are crap..."

we put 250 000 km's on that wee car in 4 years, but by then there wasn't much left in working order on it, so it got retired.

over here the tires last 20 000, if you're lucky. they don't cost as much, but what a pain having to change them constantly.

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yogi
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Re: different strokes...

Post by yogi » 30 Jul 2018, 18:37

I think you illustrate my point quite well. Most likely you slid by the intersection with what Gary calls hard tires. The soft ones would understandably wear out quickly. I used to laugh out lout at people with 4x4's driving home from work down the expressway in a snow storm. Yeah, they had power and traction, but there was nothing they could do about the grid lock. We all stood still for hours watching the pretty snow come down.

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Kellemora
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Re: different strokes...

Post by Kellemora » 31 Jul 2018, 11:51

Back in the 1900's they had solid rubber tires. Some had holes bored through the sides to give them more cushioning and cooling.
With today's new larger diameter wheels with a Rubber Band for a tire, one would be better off getting into the wheel business instead of the tire business. Hitting a pot hole and bends the rim, so you have to replace the whole wheel.

The laws changed drastically when the tire companies started selling balloon tires under the name Radial Tires.
It used to be, if you got stuck in the snow and did not have Snow Tires, you got ticketed and towed to an impound yard.

I used to get laughed at, because on My Car I always put snow tires on all 4 wheels. For the same reason I hate front-wheel-drive cars. Those front tires are responsible for steering and stopping. So I figure, if you need snow tires to get traction to drive the vehicle through snow, you should have snow tires on the front so you can steer and stop.
Living in St. Louis, I also carried a set of chains, and a set of cleats in my trunk. Rarely had to use chains, but the cleats were a real life saver when I had to go out making deliveries in my car.
All of our trucks had a set of chains in a box mounted inside the truck, along with flares and other road emergency necessities. And on the other side of the truck was a box filled with sand and scoop.
My grandpa started this and it became tradition for every new truck we bought afterward.
Like everything else in that business, if it wasn't the way grandpa did it, we don't do it, hi hi.

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