Saturday, June 04, 2011

3275 Four tires in four months

Saturday, June 4, 2011

“Religious freedom means not only freedom to practice your religion,
but also freedom from being forced to practice someone else's.”
-- Charles Manning, letter in the Mensa Bulletin --


I save the quotes you see in green at the top of most posts because they make me think in some way. The above quote kicked off thoughts on our system of laws. Like, if I am forced to obey a law which is based on someone else's religion, then am I being forced to practice that religion? (Practice as opposed to belief.)

A simple example might be "Blue Laws", where businesses must close on Sunday. Sunday is the Christian Sabbath. If I must close my business (or am prohibited from selling certain wares) on Sunday, as opposed to Saturday, or whenever I chose, then I am being forced to observe the Christian Sabbath, regardless of whether I am Christian or not.

We have many laws based on religion as opposed to common law or agreed-upon morality.

This is not freedom of, nor freedom from. You see it as freedom only if it's your religion.


Steven King has said that his favorite stories involve ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

I agree. Me too.

I joined a movie Meetup group yesterday, and one of the organizer's questions was "What movie genres do you like best?" I found that difficult to answer, because I don't think in terms of genres. But it got me thinking about types of movies. It seems like many of the "big" movies coming out these days (those that don't involve gross-outs, anyway) revolve around extraordinary people in ordinary situations.

That doesn't interest me, because I feel no connection, and I'm not after escapism. I guess that's why I prefer the lower budget independent movies.


I spent a significant amount of time in the tire place waiting room yesterday. I had ordered two tires, but when they went to put them on, they found a bubble in a third tire, so that had to come from the warehouse. That makes four tires in four months.

On the left, the upper diagram shows an ordinary flat tire. The lower diagram is of a "run-flat" tire, like what's on Hal.

"A" is a reinforced sidewall that supports the weight of the car when the air pressure is too low to support it. The darker gray around the outside is a softer rubber. It needs to be softer for traction.

What happens, what makes the run-flat tire fragile, is that if you hit any sudden bump - a pothole, a curb, a sharp ridge in the road - because of the difference in the "give" between the two layers, the layers may (probably will) separate. That's called "side wall shear". If air gets into that space, you'll get a visible bubble on the sidewall of the tire. You can drive on it, but it will eventually go flat, and the possibility of a sudden blowout exists. Although a mechanic might not worry about it on his own car, he's not going to tell you it's safe, because if it's not, if it suddenly, unexpectedly, fully separates, it could cause a serious accident.

So. I drove Hal a lot in NY, May 2010 thru December 2011, with no problem with the tires. I brought him down to NJ, and in the past five months on NJ roads I have replaced all four tires! All due to bubbles. The damn things had about 3,000 miles on them - still had the little feathers of rubber that stick out on new tires.

After the first one, which I know was due to a deep pothole, and finding out what Hal's tires cost when bought through BMW, I have been very careful. I've avoided certain roads, and I've watched the road ahead so I can take evasive action if I see a hole or bump coming up. Hal's very very good at those quick evasive moves. He's got sports car react time. I am positive I have hit no significant potholes since that bad one. And I am 100% sure I have never hit a curb.

Surprise - a quick move, a jerk to one side as you'd do to avoid a suddenly visible pothole, can also cause side wall shear. So can taking a tight turn too fast.

You're kidding me.

I've got a sporty little sexpot, who can dance sideways, and take turns like a quarter horse, that I have to drive as if it's an old bent man with a cane?

What's the point?

I already have less enjoyment driving Hal, knowing that hitting a bump, or NOT hitting a bump, can easily cost me a small fortune. And NJ roads are mostly ridges, holes, lumps, and bumps. I've never seen such bad roads in my life, not even on the back roads of upstate NY, or in the woods and mountains of central PA.


A Jersey Girl said...

Yep, the roads in Jersey are bad and the reason why, of course, is political. Because the state is broken up into so many municipalities and because there's such confusion of who owns what road - this borough, that township, the county, the state, the Feds - it's almost impossible to get a road paved, paved correctly, and have it stay that way. Sigh.

rockygrace said...

Do you have to use the run-flats? Could you put regular tires on Hal? Just wondering.

~~Silk said...

I thought of that. In fact, I got all excited when I thought of that.

The problem is that there's no place to put a spare. Hal's too small and tight, and when the convertible top is down, it fills half the trunk.

I've got AAA, and I guess if I went flat on the road, I could tell them to bring a tire, but in NJ, that's probably a good way to eventually fill the garage with spare tires.