View Full Version : STUPID QUESTIONS?

05-12-2003, 12:16 AM
In following the "sayings"topic I always get a kick out of some of the stuff I hear in a days time,like the other day when I ran out of gas and was walking down the side of the road carrying a gas can ,when an idiot I know pulled up and(you guessed it)asked me "what happened?did you run out of gas?"I held up the can and said no its a birth defect the delivery was rough on my mother! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

05-12-2003, 01:48 AM
All time winner was the customer who asked:
Don't they make pipeless toilets these days?

I said "Yeah, they've been making them for thousands of years, its called a bucket".

Close second was the one who wanted a wireless outlet.

Some people never learned to think or are too lazy to do so.

I charge to think for them http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Dr. Rob
05-12-2003, 02:19 AM
Weekly. Makes my skin crawl every time.

I have a shop with a storefront towards a well-trafficked city street. Front room is just packed with steel, machines, tools, parts, people working, welders,...

Knock knock knock on the door. (I learned early on to keep it locked to keep passersby out) Put down tools, shut down machines, break train of thought, open the door...

"Um, hi...Wow, machines huh? What is this, like an um, workshop? Do you do work here?"

I used to have snappy answers. But after eight years, all I can do is look sad and slam the door.

05-12-2003, 03:14 PM
While at the bank a lady walks in and asks "What day is the saturday market?" Everyone in the bank was looking for the hidden"candid camera". Finally the teller says "its on Saturday" whereupon the lady says "aw Sh-t, I will be out of town" and walks out. True story--she crowded in front of me to ask the question.

05-12-2003, 04:25 PM
"Wireless outlet"

That reminds me of an environmentalist who was protesting front a nuclear power station. When asked, where will you get electricity from if the plant was shut down, he answered "from the wall".


05-12-2003, 04:32 PM
Stepside: her question may not have been so dumb. The worlds largest flea market (per Texas info) is at Canton, Texas. Called "First monday market" or something like that. Story is, the Judge came to town first Monday of the month. The locals held sales the Saturady and sunday before the first monday- and it grew until it reached the present size. Was there attended on Sat/Sun http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif. If I recollect right the market was in last of month.

Speaking of banks- One of my men went to "King of Prussia" Pa for a school. Wife was Florida gal who, in her fifty plus years had never been outside a 100 mile radius of Lawty Fl. Needing some money, having a govt check, she went to bank. Presented her check, and was asked for ID. She had a BIG purse, fumbled in purse, could not find ID, so she started emptying purse, amongthe itmes was a .38 revlover, which she laid to one side. found her ID, presented it and recived her money. No commment from teller, some body asked if she was with FBI or what she replied nope and left. Only when they were having dinner, did she realize what she had done. Gal carried a gun her entire life and never thought it was unusual.

As has been said before "many ways to town, all correct"- which Ithink is paraphrased from Kipling.

05-12-2003, 11:39 PM
One of my favorites is when a customer walks in through a forrest of mills,lathes,and drill presses and says"is this a machineshop?"I usually say no!its a flower shop!can't you tell! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gifOr better yet when I am making a cut on one of those machines and some knucle head will invariably ask"are you the machinist?"which is when I say,no,the owner lets just anyody machine parts!here wanta try #&%*!@# http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

05-13-2003, 11:44 AM
Then there is the guy who asks "are you hurt?" when he sees the bloody pool on the floor with tracks mades by your brogans leading from the pool of blood.

I also think is ok to admit that it don't take long to inspect a piece of hot iron when holding it in your hand. I think it not nice to make the comment to someone else who just got burned- but then the saying would die quickly if used only by the burnees. Cause it takes not very long to learn not to pick up hot stuff thus you don't get may chances to use the saying- do you?
PS : I have had proper chance to use the "inspection" staement too many times.

05-13-2003, 02:01 PM
One of my personal favorites was when I was at school doing some blacksmithing. I had just taken a peice of steel out of the forge and it's bright orange. This guy comes up to me, looks at the metal and says "is that hot?" (it must be a sign of the end of the world when someone is this stupid) I told him "no, stick your tongue on it and see for yourself" even after that it took him a little while to figure it out.
Now another story involving the same guy. I had just finished squaring up a block of aluminum on the mill and chips are everywhere. He comes up to me, looks at the chips and says "is it broken" I told him milling machines always fall apart when you try to cut metal.
It's guys like him that are living proof evolution can go backwards.

05-13-2003, 02:14 PM
On the subject of the wireless outlet. In the future it could be a reality. I was watcing a show on TLC about future sources for energy. apparently scientists have developed a transformer which changes electricity into micro-waves (IIRC) that can be wirelessly transmitted to a reciever which then inverts them back into electricity. the idea was to have satellites with large solar panels "beam" power back to recievers on earth and since the sun is always shining in space, solar power now becomes an efficient way to generate electricity. We probably won't see wireless outlets, but the technology does exist.

05-13-2003, 07:13 PM
I was visiting a small steel foundry with a group.One man asked what temperature of the steel was out of the induction furnace. When the owner told him, he said isn't that too dangerous. The owner said no because it is a dry heat, absolutely no humidity. He accepted the answer with, oh I see. Everyone else was stifling a snicker.

05-13-2003, 08:46 PM
Andrew- Didn't Tesla try that long ago?

05-13-2003, 08:46 PM
Andrew- Didn't Tesla try that long ago?

05-13-2003, 08:56 PM
Or just as dumb are the ones that think you work for free on next to it.
I had a guy stop by my shop to ask about boring out the cylinder on his bike. I gave him a price and he just about s**t. He said But you do this as a hobby don't you? I said the business license hanging on the wall say's I own this place And it's not a hobby it's my business that I'm trying to run.
He was totally shocked that I was actually a lagit business.
Hit the road sucker I'm $35 per hour and if you want me to use a machine then tack on another $30 per hour.

05-13-2003, 09:56 PM
The name of my business is Hendrix AUTO Machine.Says the same thing on my shirt.I'm carrying a just finnished aluminum cylinder head to the counter(clean and pretty) and the guy asks"Do you do heads here?"Beats people asking how much I charge for head jobs(they really ask it that way).Former mentor would say"I don't give head jobs but I'll take one".Most people didn't get it.

Dave Opincarne
05-14-2003, 12:28 AM
Sprocket, Tessla was experamenting with charging a cloud of gold dust and transporting ti through th air. His experaments blew out the power system for Colorado Springs. Or so says the mining museum in Monument, CO.


05-14-2003, 02:23 AM
I will always remember that time the press operator behind my 250T brake came running around y machine holding waht was left of the thumb he stuck in the 50T press and blew off screaming "My finger, my finger - I lost my finger!" I looked at his hand , blood spraying all over and calmly said "That's your thumb, not your finger!" If I had listened to him and given first aid to a finger, he would have bled to death.

He doesn't remember me telling him that - poor attention span, I guess. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

05-14-2003, 04:32 AM
Tesla actually patented wireless power over 100 years ago.
However it required ultra high frequency high voltage alternating current to operate.

Imagine that today, it would interfere with all sorts of broadcasts.

The microwave scheme is based on Tesla's work and is very similar, but is a point to point system versus tesla's broadcast system.

The chief advantage (maybe disadvantage) of the point to point system is that distribution is controlled so revenue can be collected.
The broadcast system would be freely useable by anyone within range.

The inabilty to collect revenue is probably a large factor in why we don't have wireless power today. Not having to run cables and maintain them would be a significant cost savings.
Not being able to meter power is a minus in a utility's operation. So billions are spent running and maintaining cable systems.IMHO

Doc Nickel
05-14-2003, 04:53 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Not being able to meter power is a minus in a utility's operation. So billions are spent running and maintaining cable systems</font>

-Well, there's also that teensy little problem of efficiency. Megavolts pumped into the system at one end translates to millivolts at the other. Wireless conduction of raw electricity is horrendously inefficient; sure, you can make a fluorescent tube glow a little by standing near some large high-tension lines, but try hooking up a stick welder to it.

It's standard conservation of energy- you will always get less energy out of a system than you put in. Sci-geeky types call it Entropy.

Most of the power pumped into the aether would be lost- localized heating of the air, ionization, scattering past the pickup array, you name it.

It has some vague possibilities with the solar satellite concept, as the sun intensity is greater and there's just a single line of communication between satellite and ground station, but on the ground? The transmitter sites would be cooking birds in flight, creating massive bubbles of radio noise, and basically just tossing power into the air.

Copper (and aluminum) lines are cheaper, easier to repair, cost less to install, aren't as wasteful, less damaging to people living near substation points, etcetera, ad nauseum.


05-14-2003, 05:13 AM
The idea has been kicked around. Like beaming power to an Island via towers instead of wires.....

But there are likely health effects that are surreal. WOuld you want to live next to a very powerful cellphone that was on all the time? Or just open the microwave door, jimmy the safety and turn it on?

It is a bad idea, even though it is a neat concept. Ditto on orbial power stats...
-- jr

05-14-2003, 06:48 AM
Tesla's system did not have the eficiency drawbacks of the the present 60Hz system.
At super high frequencies there is less loss over distance and real power can be transmitted.
Obviously today it can't be implemented because of all the existing infrastructure (radio, TV, comunication etc.)that would be affected.
In tesla's time it would have been a blank slate and could have been integrated with the emerging technologies IMHO.

05-14-2003, 03:59 PM
Something YF..
I have heard of people getting sued over power usage. They made a coil under the existing power lines on thier land and pulled power from the lines.. a 1xwhatever coil transformer with pole length coil seperation. How much current could you pull with a airgap like that?
I think that falls under the free rain on the earth, who owns it? the satellite signals raining around us, the Rf radiation. Who asked for it or the cancer consequences?
Tesla wanted to give the whole earth free power, his partner Westinghouse did not agree, Westinghouse had a investment and income to lose, he pulled tesla's funding.

Who should have won that court case on the transformer? Who had the right to place electrical equipment on private land and ruin it's personal value? Now, they make you sign a waiver to place such equipment as they see fit. It is made into the application for power. They can show up with a dozer and put a switchyard or power plant where your house is.

Ohh yeah stupid questions.. Would you let them?

Doc Nickel
05-14-2003, 04:00 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tesla's system did not have the eficiency drawbacks of the the present 60Hz system.</font>

That may possibly be true for hardwired systems, I don't know enough about commercial electrical systems to say.

But I'm pretty sure that, no matter what frequency you fire energy into the air, a great deal of that power is lost to the air itself.

Look at a laser- concentrated light (which is simply a different freqency of the EM spectrum) heck we can make 'em in the multi-megawatt range, and as far as projection goes, it's more tightly concentrated than any microwave emitter. Yet it still gives up a significant fraction of it's energy to heating and ionizing the atmosphere.

Tesla may have been pretty smart, but there's no "secret frequency" that allows a considerably more efficient indirect transmission of power. Perhaps with the right emitter, collector and an optimum band, one can maximize the efficiency given the system's limitations, but that level of efficiency- no matter what frequency, voltage or secret lost technology- will always be considerably less than a simple copper cable.


05-14-2003, 04:42 PM
The power companies are able to detect a draw off the system like that. They have very good equipment...

05-14-2003, 07:49 PM

Yes they do, I maintain it. TVA, Still.. not hooked to thier equipment physically, on the owners land. Mostly RF I think, probably not enough for a light bulb.
No telling how much electrical energy is lost due to static crackle across insulators. Just get around a switchyard and hear the bacon fry. They have No clue about little losses. Wet mornings you can see it, and then.. I took a leak on the bucket truck wheel, Now that was education. RF induced static power, nearly shorted my wee wee out.

I believe I should be able to decipher the satellite signals too if I could. If they don't like it, let them shine them somewhere else. How come you can buy them cards in Canada and not USA?

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 05-14-2003).]

05-14-2003, 09:06 PM
There seems to be some misunderstanding about the Tesla wireless power system. See "Nikola Tesla on his Work With Alternating Currents", edited by Leland Anderson. This is a reprint of the transcript of a pre-trial hearing by Tesla in 1916 to his lawyer, who also happened to have an EE degree, in preperation for a lawsuit against the Marconi interests and others who Tesla thought were infringing his wireless patents. He describes exactly how his system was supposed to work, which was by ground conduction through the earth to receiving stations, where the energy would be converted to 60 hz. at lower voltage and distributed by wires to customers. As far as I know, he was stopped mainly by financial trouble rather than by some dark conspiracy. He mortgaged the property that the Wardencliff station was built on and when he couldn't make the payments, the mortgage holder foreclosed and the transmitter tower was demolished for scrap. A great deal more is known about earth conduction now than in his time, and most engineers think that the efficiency of such a system would be low. Tesla worked at very low frequencies, unlike the microwave "Rectenna" diode arrangement patented back in the 60's by Ratheon which they claimed could convert microwave energy beams to DC at about 60% efficiency. Even this wastes too much power to seriously compete with wire-carried current except maybe in a few special cases.

05-14-2003, 10:17 PM
New hire in the shop looks inside the window on the CNC mill,which is running and spraying coolant everywhere, and asks: "What is that stuff? Liquid metal?"
Another new hire, on the bandsaw, tells me he needs to cut a piece of material "six-eights" long.

Dave Opincarne
05-14-2003, 10:32 PM
Keep 'em away from the air hose. Had one guy (another trimer, they're so bright) blow his ear drum out with an air hose. Was blowing dust off and put the damn thing up close to the side of his ear and blew. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//eek.gif Gets better...he walked around for the next few hours thinking he had blown his hearing protection down further. Finaly went to the lead and asked him to look in his ear and see if he could see his ear plug. That's when the lead figured out what he'd done, just didn't look right down there.

Dave Opincarne
05-15-2003, 09:31 PM
Not so stupid question: Lead in the shop is looking at a new delivery of Perfect Plank and asks "If it's grade B why do they still call it *Perfect* Plank?".


05-16-2003, 04:32 AM
I got newsfor you bud, Canadian satelite stinks. Those in the know have pirate cards to steal US signals (Even if they are paying for the service via a US post box address the CRTC consideres it Satellite signal theft because they are not paying Candian companies for the signal (and thus being forced to accept the dross they call "programming"). It is difficult when the security is upgraded - it normally takes a day or two later to get your dish back on-line (they have to reverse engineer the high security algorithm, burn new cards, and mail them here, after all)!

A friend used to sell pirate dishes - he offered me one, but we have cable anyway for the internet (550Kb/s average (the best we have measured is 854Kb/s) - except for upload)