SEIZING CABLES – I went to a lot of trouble to tidy up the workbench before taking the cover photo for this blog. My friend Charlie Reichner claimed that when he visited our old farm house in Maine, he could see the remains of every project the family had been involved with for the past 10 years. Some things never change. As you can see, my tidying up job didn’t obscure the remains of any project that I have ever worked on in my workshop ever. Just imagine what it looked like before the clean-up.
Everyone who watches those TV medical dramas (like I do) knows all about seizures. Generally seizures are something to be avoided. The avoidance of seizures is particularly important when it comes to the remote cables that operate the shift and throttle of your outboard motor. You have gasoline powered, outboard motors on your solar powered catamaran if you haven’t been able to afford the electric motors yet.
I am standing in the midst of my engine remote cables in the above photo. So when your remote cables begin to seize, you may consider rushing out to purchase new ones. This urge is only true if you are not a cheapskate like me. If you are cheap, you may wish to consider lubricating them instead. If you are the sort of person who plans ahead (which I am not), you may even wish to lubricate them before they begin to seize up with a bit of prevention in mind.
I found this DIY oiler system on the Internet and thought I might share. First you have to purchase about 600 mm of 10mm ID tube and a couple of hose clamps. I then went to the local tire shop and begged a valve stem that goes into a car wheel to inflate a tubeless tire. The fat part of the valve stem was cut off so the stem would fit into the top of the oiling tube. A standard tire pump can now be connected as shown below.
Simply fill the tube with engine oil connect the whole unit to the control cable, add a bit of pressure (20 psi) and wait. I actually fired in about 20 ml of WD40 first to gobble up any water. After about 5 minutes I then added the oil. In my case it took about 4 hours and several refills of the oil tube before oil started coming out the other end of the cable. In the end, I had a nice, smoothing moving cable rather than one that showed the beginnings of seizure.
SEIZING ECONOMY – Some may not have noticed that the above, un-seizing process is a metaphor for the world economy. You will, no doubt, be aware that the great asshole, Donald Trump has started a trade war with China. Many believe that Trump is such a fool, that everything he does is wrong. If you believe this, you too are wrong. Even a great fool sometimes does the right thing. In the case of the US economy, if something radical isn’t done soon, the US economy is going to seize up permanently. The US is now hemorrhaging money to China at the rate of $US 323 billion per year.* Loosing $323 billion a year will eventually cause the US economy to seize up. If the US economy seizes, the entire world economy will also seize and I will never be able to afford my electric outboards.
And it’s not just money that China is taking from the world economy. China forces every company that does business in China to give up part of its intellectual property. What isn’t given up is stolen. China illegally subsidies her exports and regularly ignores international trade rules.** An old friend with many years of doing business in China told me something important about China. He said that for the Chinese Government, doing business was just like a game of chess. If they see the opportunity to take your piece, they take it. The Chinese Government is not all hung up on the West’s quaint ideas of fairness. Maybe the trade war needs a simpleton like Trump to take a simple approach towards China before she takes the winning piece from the board.
Who knows if the US can win a trade war with China. The US is the only economy large enough to have a chance of winning. If the US knows when to quit, it may just be possible to beat China.*** Hopefully the US doesn’t win before the 2020 election because if it does, the world gets to have 4 more years of Trump along with its un-seized economy. Losing just doesn’t bear thinking about.