Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Horrible to die in Indiana

Recently I mentioned my four near-death experiences but forgot the fifth. I was en route from Pittsburgh to Wheaton, Illinois, (25 miles west of Chicago) accompanied by a Pittsburgh colleague who had, in retrospect, a terrifying theory. Expressways, thru-ways, and interstates are less crowded in the early hours so why not drive then? By 3 am we were reduced to 30-minute stints to ensure one of us didn't just give up the ghost and fall asleep at the wheel.

What did wake us up was a loud bang at about 80 mph. I knew enough not to jump on the brakes and it seemed to take quarter-of-a-mile to come to a halt. Distant inspection revealed flames licking a burst rear tyre above which was the fuel tank.

The sequel to this is dull I'm afraid but relates to something many ignore. Given I was lucky it was a rear and not a front tyre I take tyre checks quite seriously. Especially on our long journey through France to the Languedoc villa. Because the load changes from our normal two persons to five the recommended tyre pressure rises significantly from 33 psi to 42 psi. And because garage gauges are often defective I have become a connoisseur of the portable variety.

The traditional silver one pushes a piston and needs to be positioned carefully; it's also worth having several goes. The one with a digital read-out is difficult to mate with the valve but is more accurate. The tubey-dialish one has yet to be used but I have great hopes. Dull, I know, but then it's so yesterday to cartwheel over the Armco.

Novel progress 27/11/09. Ch. 5: 6932 words (Read. Satisfied.) Chs. 1 - 4: 15,288 words. Comment: A grand improbable love story (not Hatch for now) rises and topples over.