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"The Spirit Behind All" Treating machines and people w/respect, love & understanding

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  • #16
    [QUOTE=oldtiffie;981203]I can't say that I've ever "loved" a machine or pretty well all or most results of considerable creativity by people but I certainly do appreciate the thought and skills that went into them and the way they meet the intent and purpose they were designed and made for.

    I have no regard for any personal relationship to or for anything that is inanimate or is not human and I sure do not regard or treat any machine or tool as if they had those qualities or attributes.

    In other words I do not "love" a machine or tool or similar nor do I regard it as an icon or statue or similar to be loved or worshipped - at all.

    Your loss. Better to have loved & lost than never to have loved at all. Here's one that real pilots will understand no matter what you fly why flying becomes natural as walking & an the aircraft an extension of you. It's still magic when the wheels stop spinning.

    High Flight

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    — John Gillespie Magee, Jr

    During the desperate days of the Battle of Britain, hundreds of Americans crossed the border into Canada to enlist with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Knowingly breaking the law, but with the tacit approval of the then still officially neutral United States Government, they volunteered to fight the Nazis.

    John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was one such American. Born in Shanghai, China, in 1922 to an English mother and a Scotch-Irish-American father, Magee was 18 years old when he entered flight training. Within the year, he was sent to England and posted to the newly formed No 412 Fighter Squadron, RCAF, which was activated at Digby, England, on 30 June 1941. He was qualified on and flew the Supermarine Spitfire.

    Flying fighter sweeps over France and air defense over England against the German Luftwaffe, he rose to the rank of Pilot Officer.

    On 3 September 1941, Magee flew a high altitude (30,000 feet) test flight in a newer model of the Spitfire V. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck with the inspiration of a poem — "To touch the face of God."

    Once back on the ground, he wrote a letter to his parents. In it he commented, "I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day. It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after I landed." On the back of the letter, he jotted down his poem, 'High Flight.'

    Just three months later, on 11 December 1941 (and only three days after the US entered the war), Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., was killed. The Spitfire V he was flying, VZ-H, collided with an Oxford Trainer from Cranwell Airfield flown by one Ernest Aubrey. The mid-air happened over the village of Roxholm which lies between RAF Cranwell and RAF Digby, in the county of Lincolnshire at about 400 feet AGL at 11:30. John was descending in the clouds. At the enquiry a farmer testified that he saw the Spitfire pilot struggle to push back the canopy. The pilot, he said, finally stood up to jump from the plane. John, however, was too close to the ground for his parachute to open. He died instantly. He was 19 years old.

    Part of the official letter to his parents read, "Your son's funeral took place at Scopwick Cemetery, near Digby Aerodrome, at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday, 13th December, 1941, the service being conducted by Flight Lieutenant S. K. Belton, the Canadian padre of this Station. He was accorded full Service Honors, the coffin being carried by pilots of his own Squadron."

    John's parents were living in Washington D.C. at the time, and the sonnet was seen by Archibald MacLeish, who was Librarian of Congress. He included it in an exhibition of poems called 'Faith and Freedom' in February 1942. And after that it was widely copied and distributed. These copies vary widely in punctuation, layout, and capitalization, as I've found out from readers! The original is in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and I think I've transcribed it correctly. Note that most printed versions use "... even eagle" but the original seems to be "... ever eagle," with similar penmanship to the preceding "never."

    High flight was read over pictures of mountains and American flags and fighter aircraft as a station closing video on US television stations. To buy an excellent DVD of this video, along with many people reciting the poem, see Ray Hass at HighFlightProductions

    High Flight has also inspired many parodies, some of which are in the humor part of this collection.

    Ronald Reagan, addressing NASA employees following the tragic loss of the Challenger 7 crew on STS-51L, used the poem in a well-remembered line:

    "We shall never forget them nor the last time we saw them, as they prepared for their mission and waved good-bye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God."
    Last edited by flylo; 05-07-2015, 01:03 AM.


    • #17
      I'll admit to having an earnest yet still unseemly affair with a Fairbanks Morse 38D 8 1/8 on a tug I once served on but one can be seriously burned or maimed anthropomorphizing an opposed piston engine.
      I was young with little worldly experience.
      Of course I learned to limit my advances to 38F 5 1/4.


      • #18
        I could care less about the "soul" of a machine, steel complains more from disuse that it ever does from use just near the maximum.


        I'm very atune to the harmony of work. When the cutting loads match, there is a sense of calm, even as red hot bullets are flying off the cutting tool.


        • #19
          As a former heavy equipment operator I believe that machines have quirks somewhat like we humans. I found that different machines of the same manufacture respond slightly differently to the controls, no doubt this could be attributed to adjustment and previous use. After running the same machine for extended periods it would respond differently on occasion signaling a need for adjustment but occasionally on how I was doing my work (having a bad day etc.).

          As CalM has said there is a "harmony of work, cutting loads match and there is a sense of calm", my Clausing 100 M lll lathe performs this way occasionally. There is a calmness in the shop and making things fit etc. go smoothly, no doubt the stress level is at a minimum.

          Have a good day



          • #20
            Nice comments. I think we all appreciate the moments when operator, machine, and work all come together in an optimum manner and a sense of great enjoyment and peace may be obtained for a while. That is, perhaps, the goal of most hobbies, but it can (and should) also be a large part of our everyday lives and jobs. Thanks.
            Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
            USA Maryland 21030


            • #21
              For what its worth, I am quite used to notional similar/same settings on a machine giving best performance from each other - and frequently not.

              Same applies to same settings on identical machines.

              When I set up a machine I use sight, feel and hearing with varying hand feeds and tool profiles to see which is best. Then I set the machine/auto feed to be the same as the manual/hand feed/s - and I "read" the feed and speed etc. - "by eye" and then set the auto feeds and speeds by "eye" as well.

              I rarely if ever use tables as the "be all and end all" of making feeds and speeds - and finish as well as tool performance - to be an optimum - although I will use them as a start point if I am not confident or sure of my initial setting/s.

              Many if not most of these things are compromises with others - but if I get an acceptable result I am happy with it.

              Some times I alter the speeds and feeds etc. if a tool is blunting too quickly or if the tool needs sharpening or replacing.

              As with many machines there is a "sense" or "knack" to it - but there is no "spiritual" influence or outcomes as it is only a machine being used for what it was designed for - and doing it.

              I do prefer to use "hand" speeds and feeds as opposed to "machine driven" speeds and feeds.

              I almost invariably get by well enough as I will be damned if I will allow myself to get into or simulate "production" processes and out-comes etc. as I am retired and I am staying that way.


              • #22
                I often pray when approaching the last cut on something important, probably does absolutely no good but makes me stop a moment and think!