First thing I thought of when I saw the theme for today? This song…
When I took physics in high school, which was before calculators were really cheap, I was told to get a slide rule and learn how to use it.
Depending on how much money you spend, you can get a really deluxe model with about 15 different scales on it. I got an el cheapo on that had about 6 scales, and only used the C, C’, and D scales to do multiplication and division. To me, this was a calculator and about the only help I had with multiplication and division, but that was fine by me.
One weekend Mary and I were at an antique market, and I found a table that was selling old slide rules, the ones that had 15 scales on them, that came complete with directions on how to use all the other scales. I was going to buy one, but it was a couple hundred bucks (about the same price that it had been 50 years earlier) and decided nah, I don’t need to do trigonometric functions that badly, and if I do, I’ve always got the calculator that comes with the computer, which can do everything the slide rule can and more. And I wasn’t in the mood to buy it just to say I had one.
I worked briefly for a company that made pressure and temperature gauges for motor vehicles (mostly tractors and other farm equipment) and used to have to watch members of my crew calibrate them. The pressure gauges were simple, but the temperature gauges had to be brought up to temperature to calbrate. To this end, we had tanks filled with oil, one for high and one for low. That oil got everywhere, most of it finding its way onto my shirts. Finally I got smart and went out to the army-navy store and bought a bunch of cheap shirts, ones that I wouldn’t care if I got oil all over them. After a couple of weeks, before I had a chance to wear all of them, I got laid off.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now this word from Rheingold beer, the dry beer!