Engine Porn: Part II

Dr. Mingo’s delightful photos bring to mind a Curmudgeonly Gem Of Insight:

If you are a man you should rebuild an engine at least once before you die.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

  1. Men are exempted to the degree to which they live in a pre-industrial society. A Neolithic tribesman who spears gazelles for dinner gets a pass on piston engines. This exemption only extends until the man matches the technology of his world. A spear wielding tribesman had better know how to make a flint spear point or his peers will correctly deduce that he’s a loser.
  2. There are no other exemptions.

We live in a technologically advanced society. A world of plenty. Wealth beyond the greatest kings of earlier eras. If you’re a man and reap the benefits of technology without understanding how it came to pass you’re a free rider, a loser, an unaware leech upon the world which supports you. Harsh? Yes! I’ve been called everything from rude to evil. I’m cool with that. Rude or not; I’m right.

Our society is hindered and drained by profligate overfed chimps who can do nothing but operate devices made and maintained by their intellectual superiors. A man who has rebuilt an engine is the opposite. He has demonstrably mastered some of the skills which make civilization possible. Those who cannot fix and who cannot build are expensive costs our society must bear only because we’re too nice to drop them naked on an ice floe in Greenland like we should. Too many “men” deal only in theory and reside too comfortably in it’s infantilizing grasp; they can tear down but cannot build. You can’t swing a dead cat on a university campus without hitting a score of such permanent adolescents.

Engines deal in physical reality; stress and heat, torque and pressure. They are the cure to wishful thinking. The antidote to wanton Utopian idealism. A herd of cappuccino sippers might muse about a windmill powered Pruis revolution. Man who has rebuilt an internal combustion engine knows that ideas alone cannot force the unreal into existence.

A man who has rebuilt an engine also knows that he can build again what he has built before. He is the self reliant opposite of the flaccid suburban cube dweller who calls a tow truck on his smart phone when his tire goes flat. Lawyers and politicians and other useless hangers on make money out of bullshit. But they don’t make reality out of bullshit. Engines prove it. Not even the most skilled orator orchestrating world class Congressional level bullshit can talk an engine into running.

I’m not saying a man has to hurry. Fiscal and other circumstances might delay or accelerate the process. Many a farm boy has taken up the wrench at a young age simply because they’re surrounded by…parts. An impoverished fellow or one mired deep in an urban environment might not get his chance until his golden years. I myself have been dithering with a World War II era engine for years. Every time I try to work on it some distraction comes up that is invariably higher priority; the pipes froze, the kid is sick, the Canadians are amassing on the border, etc… This is a delay and nothing more. The engine will be done…eventually. It must be done…because I’m a man and it is my job to make an engine that didn’t run into one that does.

A.C.

Note #1: Some readers (if I had any) might ask why I mention only men. What about women? I have three answers for this:

  1. I’m not going to touch it with a ten foot pole.
  2. That’s apparently how the universe works.
  3. I’ve never actually met a woman who has rebuilt an engine. Ever.

Note #2: So you’re a man and you’ve built a computer. So what? That doesn’t count. I’ve done it too and it just isn’t comparable to pistons and gears. Unless you made the integrated circuit board in your garage you’re just assembling Legos that use electricity. It’s time to shave the goatee and get over yourself.

Advertisements

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
This entry was posted in Curmudgeonly Gems of Insight, Libertarian Outpost. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Engine Porn: Part II

  1. Well, even I didn’t rebuild my plane’s engine. I got an expert to weld the leak in her airbox, re-assembled that, changed out all the scat ducting, did the compression checks on the cylinders, and re-ran the fuel lines while replacing the fuel shutoff valves, but I haven’t gotten down into valves and lifters yet. Cleaned out a carburetor on a tiller, and helped rebuild a nice little 10HP ’54 Johnson for the boat, but haven’t done one on my own. Yet.

    And I agree with you whole-heartedly. There’s nothing like having put work, parts, busted knuckles and serious back-of-envelope scratching math into making something run to make sure you really know what it can and cannot do, and pay attention to its health when running. That, and the grin at listening to the engine run right is like nothing else.

    • Doctor Mingo says:

      Well I have to say that rebuilding an airplane is pretty impressive. Rebuilding an airplane engine would be cool but then an A and P has to do it anyway, right? There is a bit more accuracy required in rebuilding/restoring an aircraft, double redundancy etc. Unlike a car engine, if the engine fails, I am walking. If your plane engine fails, well you could be screwed. Like the old pilots prayer says, “Lose not thy airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee.”

  2. kx59 says:

    Rebuilding an engine is one of those things that is on my list to do before I die. Not only rebuild it, but get it to run, no less.
    I’ve rebuilt a 700R4 transmission, but no engine yet.
    What I’d really like to do is take an old beater truck and turn it into something presentable, and drivable. I’m afraid by the time that I have the time, there won’t be enough of me left to do it.

  3. Pingback: Christmas And The Tractor Of The Damned: Part II | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

  4. Pingback: Christmas And The Tractor Of The Damned: Part II | Adaptive Curmudgeon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s