Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Girl Talk at the Range

So Miss D., what say you and I buy this (in perfect barn fresh condition), paint it florscent orange with Lucas painted on the side and let mechanics pay us to shoot it with a bunch of large black weapons. As your husband, novelist Peter Grant would say, "we'd "make a bloody fortune!"

My gal friends aren't typical. We don't watch girlyvision, we have more tools than shoes, and we love our guns, our firearms, our airplanes and our men (not necessarily in that order). But then again my Bridal party was Tam, Roberta X, Midwest Chick and Miss D - one of the bridesmaids wearing a kilt and their gift to the bride and groom was a WHOLE bunch of .223.

I walked out of the Twilight movie (well, maybe I got asked to leave because I kept saying "Roll That Beautiful Bean Footage"  a bit too loud every time the wolves talked in a human voice, lips moving. And I've seen none of the popular female shows on TV. I actually saw my first bit of "Sex in the City" (well, the 90 seconds I could stand before involuntary muscle reflexes got me safely back to "Top Gear") 5 years after it debuted.

Do women really have conversations like that?

I sure don't. For example I had a long chat with a gal friend recently and not once in the conversation did Blahnik shoes, facials or male models come up.

In essense it went somewhat like this. (I will refer to us as HOTR Gal 1 and 2.)

HOTR Gal 1: ". . . tracing shorts". . . .(insert longwinded wiring speak here) . . ."Triumph?

"HOTR Gal 2: " Triumph! As in, electrical system made by Lucas, prince of dimness and the reason why brits like warm beer.

"HOTR Gal 1: "Cool!' Whereupon we proceed to launch into a discussion of the Lucas "Replacement Wiring Harness Smoke Kit" (supplied supposedly to Lucas factory technicians as a trouble-shooting and repair aid for the rectification of chronic electrical problems on a plethora of British cars and from where, if used wrong, the expression "gone up in smoke" came from).

HOTR Gal 1: "Back to the biplane idea. Have you seen the Hatz bantam? Beautiful, light-sport, comes with blueprints and files for your nearest CNC lathe... the blueprints even come in AutoCAD!

HOTR Gal 2: "mmmm. AutoCAD. . . maybe a hint that a CNC lathe is an appropriate anniversary or Valentine's gift?"

See? Not one mention of cosmopolitans, shoes, fashion, metrosexuals, Twilight or housekeeping tips. (Well, there was some brief chat about homebrewed beer, an attack by a Ninja Shower Squeegee and why long stroke is better for torque even if you are more limited on revs with more reciprocating motion.)

Probably why we don't have our own TV show.

Enjoy your day, whatever you get up to.


  1. I would love to get into a restoration project with you! Of course, we are ripping out every bit of the old wiring, and putting in proper connectors... we could make the engine still British. What say you to a Rolls Royce Merlin engine in there? It'd have all the cornering characteristics of a well-made brick, but oh, in a straight line...

  2. And that is why you and your friend are a rare treasure!

  3. On on a Wing - I still can't get over my crush on Pratt and Whitney. . . . but I could be persuaded with Mead and perhaps some new Allen Wrenches for Christmas.

    Keads - I've got some wonderful female friends, for that I'm lucky.

  4. Any way you might hang a Radial engine it? I sure love the sound of those.

  5. What the heck is "Blahnik"? A person style, designer, type...

    But, duh, I am one of those with many more tools than shoes (guns, too, I guess - I don't have a lot of shoes). That conversation made perfect sense except the airplanese since I lack background there. A personal CNC lathe - what a fantasy.

    I could use a few female friends like your's. When I have another gal at the range with me, I am the trainer, though it is fun to watch new enthusiasm develop along with skill. The only other female toolaholic I know is my redheaded sister-in-law. Hmm does the redhead-gene have a linked tool-gene?

  6. The "women" on TV aren't real.

    You and your friends are REAL women!

  7. Not to far off the subject...last year I asked my 30 year old daughter what she wanted for Christmas, Made her old dad pround when she said an M&P 45. Then for her birthday, a 686+. Shivers if you know what I mean. This Christmas? A Ruger 10/22 take down. Who needs sons?

  8. Heh, at least your day's going better than mine... Missing piece of hardware is 'somewhere' between Singapore and Pusan...

  9. Don't forget the 3D printer for the odd plastic bits and homemade drone fun. The upside of $100 unlocked smart phones is plenty of UAV avionics horsepower.

    "Sex in the City" is amateur-hour offensive compared to HBO's "Girls". The former is a shoe commercial while the latter has a pile of axes to grind.

  10. I dunno. I know a lot of guys who'd watch a show like that on TV ;)

  11. I hate the fact that my ladyfriend, USAF JAG lawyer extraordinaire, bounces from being Miss Perfect Junior Officer legal eagle back to her past life as a sorority girl with one change of the channel.

    I'm not equipped to deal with such rapid mood whiplash.

  12. Well, if I was a producer you & your friends would have a show - think "tool time"....


  13. The comment about Lucas electricals
    is a common one but I owned two GT-6's
    and an Austin Marina with no trouble.
    My 1972 GT-6 had overdrive which gave it
    a 3:89 rear end instead of 3:27 and that
    made it a 'stoplight' (and TR6) eater.

    Old Jeep's (tears of experience) are
    electrical nightmares. What works
    or not varies day to day.

  14. I've NEVER felt at ease around other women and wondered what was wrong with me. Now I know. I can't even mention torque or cylinders without seeing them start scooting away so they can discuss babies and shopping for clothes.

    But I'd be just as much an outcast if they turned the conversation to aircraft.

  15. Old Okie - On You Tube I have seen several cars with radial engines. They were mounted horizontally, and one of them was actually going down the road. To get really extreme, I also saw one motorcycle so equipped!


  16. Merle:
    Yhanks I will have to check that out.

  17. >What say you to a Rolls Royce
    > Merlin engine in there?

    The Merlin and derivatives actually have been put into cars, though as you surmised, the goal was usually straight line speed and/or a show car.

    Of course, at 1500 pounds it weighs about 3x the payload of a little sports car like the Triumph TR4 (and is also about half the car's entire length), so there would be some practical details left as exercises for the student.

    The Merlin was notably light and compact for an aircraft engine of such displacement and power, but quite a bit bigger than the engine of even a large and stodgy contemporary car (a straight-eight Packard, for instance, had about half a ton of engine; big-block V8's were in the 600-700 pound range). I think the usual Triumph four-banger weighed about 300 pounds; a big man who works out at the gym (and doesn't mind back trouble that could haunt the rest of his life) might pick it up by himself.

    I think that if somehow I came into possession of a Merlin, and for some reason such as a bad block its highest and best use wasn't restoration of an aircraft, I'd shine it up real good, figure out how to maneuver it into the living room, and put a big thick piece of tempered glass on top. Arguably there were better aircraft engines, but were there ever any prettier ones?


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