, , ,

Tuesday, another Tuesday and the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville. This morning the OFs headed to Rensselaerville encountered some elevation fog. It was one of the types of fog that hung around the mountain; was not too deep, and as the OFs drove to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville they drove into, then out of, the fog. This narrow band of fog wrapped itself around the mountain like a Laurel Wreath, indicating that weather is king.

The OFs talked about a real current event ─ the new toy drones. The OFs were not talking about drones used by the military but the ones that can be purchased from the hobby store. One OF mentioned a friend with a drone so large the OF claimed it was necessary to have a license to fly it.

One OF mentioned how drones are becoming quite popular and can fly all over with cameras of exceptional quality. One OF thought they would be a great asset to farmers and police departments. Spotting marijuana growing illegally in farmer’s fields would be one use. Another OF mentioned if he spotted one flying over his property he would shoot it down, because it would be an attempt to invade his privacy, or survey his property for a potential robbery. In other words using this technology to “case the joint.” Another OF said he thinks this has been done on a few occasions, and he would shoot it down too. “Yeah,” one OF said, then the OF would be arrested for discharging a firearm within the illegally prescribed distance from a domicile.”

“Well, I would find some way to catch the thing,” the OF said, “Anyway I live far enough from any other house that I could use a canon and not bother anyone.”

Now the talk flipped backwards in time from drones, to wood bearings, and Babbitted bearings. Babbited bearings are thought to be an “old style” of bearing and they were. Wood bearings are still made and used today, but Babbitt type bearings not so much. (The reason for the capital letter on the Babbitted bearing is because this style of bearing was invented in Taunton, Mass., by Leon Babbitt and just like aspirin is aspirin, and copiers are Xerox, and tissues are Kleenex, Babbitt is still Babbitt and is capitalized.)

Old Navy guys (and maybe not so old Navy guys) are quite familiar with Babbitted bearings, however wood bearings were used way back when, and even today. The making of a wood bearing and a compatible wood shaft is still a high school shop class project. (That is, if shop is still taught in a particular school. Many schools have dropped this necessary class for kids who do not want to go on to a higher education.)

This scribe sat between two OFs who were sitting at separate tables discussing the topic of bearings and one wore hearing aids, and the other, in this case, should. One was talking about wood bearings and their use and where some could be found today, and the other was talking about Babbitted bearings and where they were used and how he used to work with them aboard ship. Each OF thought the other OF was talking about what he was talking about. This made for a lot of head scratching before the scribe figured out they were both talking about different things as if they were the same. This scribe’s wife wonders why this column doesn’t seem to make sense. Well, at times it doesn’t even make sense to this scribe.

The OF talking about the wooden bearings says that the old steam engine from Harts Mill in Berne now resides in the mill in Rensselaerville. At this point in time this OF did not know if the engine runs or not. He only knows where it is. The OF with the Babbitt bearings was probably still remembering his days on the Merrimac and throwing wet towels on the bearings to keep them cool.

(For those who want to check if these OFs have their bearings right go to Goggle and type in Babbitt bearings or wood bearings. So much information…so little time.)

In passing, the OFs mentioned their gardens and how some are picking peas. In this discussion the OFs mentioned that this year if anyone has brown spots on their lawn they had better check for grubs or some other insect, or grass fungus or disease, because it sure isn’t due to lack of water. “But,” as one OF said, “We still have the month of August to go,” yet to him it doesn’t look like August is going to be much of a problem in this regard either. This prompted another OG, and then another OF on how much money they have spent on mowing their lawns so far. One OF said it cost him twenty-five dollars in fuel to mow his lawn once, and another agreed but he didn’t spend quite that much. This scribe referred these OGs to the column of last week (the 8th) and the OFs said all they are doing is mowing the lawn, nothing fancy.

Those OFs that made it to the Hilltown Café in Rensselaerville, and who are going to watch the skies for drones (with shotguns at the ready) were: Jay Taylor, Jack Moss, Bob Benac, Art Frament, Harold Guest, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Dick Ogsbury, Karl Remmers, Frank Pauli, John Rossmann, and Roger Fairchild. (This group of OFs were there waiting for the restaurant to open up.) Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Bill Krause, Otis Lawyer, Jim Heiser, Glenn Patterson, George Aleseio, Lou Schenck, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Joe Loubier, Duane Wagenbaugh, Rich Donnelly, Elwood Vanderbilt, Gill Zabel, Bob Lassome, Bob Donnelly, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Harold Grippen, Ted Willsey, and me.