What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Augurs Poorly

Posted by Dirck on 7 January, 2022

No film last week, no update yesterday– you might think something terrible had happened to me. Happily, it’s just a quantity of unpleasant distractions demanding that I use my time otherwise.

I won’t try to penetrate the veil of traumatic amnesia which obscures the New Year’s Eve duties that ate my lunch hour, but the thing that kept me from yesterday’s (lack-of-)progress report has some grim amusement in it which I’m willing to share.

My intent was to add some air to a tire that wasn’t holding air particularly well. This is a tire that has been giving me trouble for a long time, and that should have been a hint– the problem extended through switches between summer and winter tires.

[An aside– I may have said this previously, but if you live above 45ºN in the Americas, get winter tires if at all possible. I had taken all-season tires at their word for years, but having tried winter-specific tires, there’s such a difference in traction that I have to urge them]

I will at this point mention that the weather here has been… I don’t think “abominable” is too strong. Most of the last fortnight has had lows under -30C, and most of this week the highs have been below -30C. A tire looking a little squishy is to be expected, but this one was VERY squishy. Using the front end of the lunch period to run to the gas station for some air was sensible, and even more so when I applied my tire gauge to it– a mere 15PSI, less than half what it should be.

[Second aside; yes, I use Centigrade for outdoor temperature and PSI for tire pressure. I’m a GenX Canadian, and a lot of us are wired that way thanks to the fifteen year conversion of Canada to Metric with which we shared our school years]

I applied the air hose to the valve, the sound of inflation followed, and when the tire looked more itself, I removed the hose to check the pressure. The sound of rapid deflation followed.

That ain’t right.

Let me show you my tire valve.

More than usually portable…

The cold weather was probably the last straw for this little fitting, but as this is the second time I’ve had this happen. The previous event was explained to me as an exercise in cost-cutting by vehicle manufacturers. In earlier ages, the main element of the valve stem was made of brass. Now, with this vital part being an exterior manifestation of the pressure monitor system, brass is considered too expensive for OEM parts. What we have now is “pot metal”, which is the foundry version of “100% unknown fibres”. It is given to failure.

I’ll leave this to you to decide if this is a manifestation of the wickedness of capitalism.

Yesterday was thus devoted to swapping flat for spare at -31C while apologizing to the dozens of other people wanting to desquishify their own tires whose efforts I was obstructing.

So, with that as a foundation, let’s have a progress-free report for the week.

Day Pen Ink
  • 3 January
  • 4 January
  • 5 January
  • 6 January
  • 7 January

Now, as a final disappointment, I’ve run out of time for this session to select a film. Hopefully next week will see a restoration of normalcy. I’m also DESPERATELY hoping that this week is not a setting of tone for the year, because that would be pretty hard to take.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: