Movin’ Out

I’ll be leaving shortly on an overnight trip to visit some of my relatives. There will be no news feed tonight, but I should be back in time to post one tomorrow, because I hate driving after dark.

The logistics of traveling this time of year can be tricky if you don’t want to drive after dark. In late June you have fourteen or fifteen hours of daylight to work with at this latitude (about 38°N), and your schedule can be flexible. But in mid-December there’s only about nine hours of well-lit travel time.

I can remember that when I lived in the North of England (latitude about 54°N), during the Christmas season it got light at roughly 9 o’clock in the morning. School let out at 3:30pm, and by the time I walked home, it was dark. The flip side, of course, was that at midsummer there was still faint twilight at 11pm, and the sun came up at about 4am — those endless summer days!

16 thoughts on “Movin’ Out

  1. Baron- I totally understand where you’re coming from, being a person of a certain age myself.

    On top of dealing with low light, NY winters, as I’ve gotten older my night vision has gone to hell. I just can’t take the glare of those headlights coming at me full bore.
    Just recently I got a pair of anti-glare, yellow lens night glasses and I should have gotten them years ago. They really work and I highly recommend them!

    I will never understand why the idiots who insist on driving with their brights blasting don’t realize that it’s a hazard to them as well if I’m blinded and coming at them.

    In this part of NY, the longest day of the year has 15 hours while the shortest on Dec. 21 has just 9. Six hours is a lot to lose, especially if you’re driving.

    Take care of yourself and we’ll see you when you return.

    • Seneca: Do you remember, back in mid-century, the brights were controlled by a metal foot switch, located on the floor by the driver’s left foot? Then, the bright control was moved to the turn signal stalk, “flicking the brights” became much easier, and newer drivers lost their discipline with the use of brights.

      • Thanks for the reminder- yes I do remember when the metal “brights” switch was on the floor.

        Wouldn’t you think that since it’s now easier to switch back and forth, that drivers would have more courtesy?

        • I drive every day for a living.

          My opinion is that there are a lot of jerks who think they have a vehicle that is too cool or expensive to deign to inconvenience themselves with such a pedestrian gesture as dimming headlights. And an even bigger proportion of drivers are just morons and likely unaware of the necessity of dimming headlights.

          Anyone who has to regularly deal with the public will inevitably come to the conclusion that the USA is incurably infected with idiots.

  2. Have a good visit!

    Still love the Duesenberg; a thing of beauty and elegance. I guess the nearest European cars of similar vintage would have been Hispano-Suizas. (Cruella de Ville had one in the original “101 Dalmatians”.

    For WW2 aviation buffs, Hispano, a Spanish company, made cars, aircraft and aero engines. They also had a factory in NE France which made aircraft cannons*, a technology which the Germans, US and France, but not the British, had been pursuing. A team of (civilian) British engineers got the blueprints and machine tools out just ahead of the advancing Germans; the first cannon-armed British fighters appeared in 1941.

    *Aircraft cannons in WW2 had a slower rate of fire than machine guns, but fired explosive shells, which had a longer range and more destructive power.

    • I love those Duesenburgs too. Also the boattail Auburn and the Mercedes 500K roadster.

      I believe the ME-109 fired a cannon through the propeller hub.

      After the war a few ME-109s ended up in the Spanish airforce and were eventually re-engined with those Hispano-Suiza motors.

      • Actually, and just to keep the record straight, the Spanish company CASA made ‘109s (dubbed “Buchon”) and He 111 bombers under licence from the Germans (fellow-fascists and all that).

        However the orginal Daimler-Benz inverted-V engines were replaced during or after WW2 (due to shortage of German spares) by British Rolls-Royce Merlins of “V” configuration.

        When the film “The Battle of Britain” was made in 1969, several Spanish ‘109s and ‘111s (still in service) were used; the noses of the ‘109s in particular looked wrong, though the makers took the trouble to dub the sound of DB engines on.

        One of the highlights of my “planespotting” career was at Duxford (near Cambridge) in July ’95 , when two ‘109Gs (one original, captured in Libya in 1942, the other a Spanish example re-engined with A DB605) apppeared together.

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