A two-part Boeing Wing Truck captured.

I’ve mentioned the odd tandem trucks that Boeing uses to move large aircraft assemblies between plants here in the Seattle area on Twitter before, and people there have asked me to snap photos. I finally snagged one recently so here it is. Not great photos, but they do capture the essence of these odd wing-movers for the big lorry fans out there:

Seen from the rear.
Seen from the rear.

Basically the tractor is a standard-issue truck, but the trailer is supported by an independent rear tractor unit as well. This one is low-slung with a driver underneath the covered wing section. The whole parade is completed by pilot vehicles.

Here is a blurry close up of the rear tractor:

Note the driver.
Note the driver.

Now I’m not certain that these rear units are actually powered in some way. They could be merely steerable, but without any motive power. I never get a chance to look them over very well as I always encounter them in traffic. Not the best environment to perform in-depth analysis of adjoining lane vehicles!

Weird Seen: Isuzu I-mark

It is not every day that you see a Japanese Diesel car, especially an I-mark from the early 80s, apparently still being driven by its original owner! I stumbled upon this one just north of downtown Seattle recently. Pardon the crappy cell-cam shots, as my good camera was in the trunk.

Ironically I saw this as I was between picking up two small-scale collections of WVO for making BioDiesel at home.

Adventures in Engrish

The pre-Christmas freeze broke a few pipes in our barn (despite me turning off the water, and draining them beforehand!) and also claimed my handy digital scale. I use it for weighing the catalyst for my BioDiesel production, which has to be measured down to the gram. Variations between various recipes based on waste oil acidity are pretty minor so it is important that I use the right amounts, or I could end up making a giant vat of soapy gunk instead of fuel. Been there, done that, don’t want to go back.

Obviously the scale had some water in it, likely condensation, as things froze hard. Since things have thawed I started up fuel production again, only to find my scale inoperable. It just beeped and the display presented me with gibberish. I did what any motivated tinkerer would do:

  • I swapped in new batteries.
  • I took it apart, cleaned and reassembled.
  • And, when it continued to beep and display gibberish I hurled it violently against the wall.

While it was satisfying to watch it disintegrate into component parts and splintered plastic bits, it doesn’t help me get any closer to weighing Potassium Hydroxide 200-some grams at a time.

Last weekend I went into town to try and find a suitable replacement scale at the hardware store and farmers co-op. No such luck. They had an analog ones, and hanging ones, but no table-top digital models. I grabbed an analog one as I had a batch in-process and thankfully the recipe was very simple (80/80 1kg/200g) so the analog one did the trick but rarely do recipes work out to nice even numbers. I hopped on Amazon.com and snagged a digital scale. It arrived this week and so far has worked great. It is of course of Chinese orgin, like so many consumer products today, and the manual inserted in the box is … interesting to say the least.

I’m usually one of those guys that reads the manual of every thing I buy to use. One of the joys of buying a new car is sitting in the front seat and reading the owner’s manual cover to cover. (Good thing I rarely buy a new car!) This “RTFM” thing comes from years of working in Information Technology I guess.

It is a good thing that a scale’s operation is fairly straightforward, because this manual is absolutely no help in understanding the operational procedures!

It will back to zero.
It will back to zero.

Feel free to call out your favorite parts in the comments!

Some Vintage Seattle Laughs.

Back in the early Holocene (aka the 80s & 90s) we had a wonderful sketch comedy show on TV here in Seattle called ‘Almost Live!‘ I remember it airing on KING5 Saturday nights before SNL, and on Sunday evenings. When Internet video first appeared clips showed up here and there, and even early YouTube had some of the more famous bits (“Mind Your Manners, with Billy Kwan”, “High Fivin White Guys”, “Uncle Fran’s Musical Forest”, etc) but it seems they were relentlessly DMCA’s off the net. KING5’s website had a buried Almost Live section for a while a few years back too, but it seems to have vanished. Recently though it appears that quite a few folks have digitized home collections and posted them to YouTube. The most prolific of which can be found here.

Great stuff here… I could while away hours watching it. Good times.