austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Crystal teardrops you will find

After six months of no rain we've been getting it in healthy amounts recently, enough to fill up the lake behind my parents' house and to make the choice of curling up into a tiny, pillow-sized ball and hide underneath the blankets all morning really hard to resist. So far I've held up but, boy, it's not an easy choice. Also, so, after months of nothing to do but clean windshield wiping fluid off the front my wipers have had the chance to do something.

One of my co-workers asked if I knew I had an extra set of wipers. I was completely unaware, what with there being other things going on in life and the wipers being a low priority except for the few minutes it takes to select a new set from Pep Boys and drive around so they can install it. Past experience suggests I have about a one-in-four failure rate in trying to install new windshield wipers so I'd rather just let them do it, and besides, there's often something odd going on behind the store, such as a furious debate about what to do with the 1970s Van Of No Distinguishable Marque Or Model Or Specific Year apparently abandoned back there. (They were trying to get it started so as to abandon it in another parking lot.)

So what my coworker noticed, and I hadn't after a month of driving with the new blades, was that what appears to be one of the old blades was left on the hood, underneath the wiper arms. So far I've left it in place, since I like attracting curious oddities around my car, although I have the suspicion I ought to do something about it. I think my course will be to leave it in place and see what happens, particularly to see if the dealership throws it away when my car comes up for servicing next, or if they ask carefully to see what the Customer wants done with it.

Trivia: The intermittent windshield wiper system which Bob Kearns invented --- and which was stolen by Ford and ultimately other car makers --- had four parts, one of which moved. (The important governing components were a variable resistor, capacitor, and transistor.) The Trico-designed intermittent wiper Ford used previously had 29 moving parts including a vacuum chamber prone to being too weak when the car was accelerating. Source: Flash of Genius And Other True Stories Of Invention, John Seabrook. (And the book is vague on what exactly the four parts are; I have a suspicion Seabrook is counting ``windshield motor'' as the moving component. Justifiable as a count, I suppose, particularly as such motors were pretty well developed by 1965, but I'd have liked an exact accounting if he were asserting it was just four parts.)

Currently Reading: The Search For Order, 1877 - 1920, Robert H Wiebe.


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