Silver Medal

I am desolate and devastated!  The Superhero of MY generation,

Lone Ranger

THE LONE RANGER

has been proven to be a fraud, a sham, fake news, with feet of…. well, not silver.

The story always was, that the cave that Tonto found him holed up in, turned out to be a silver mine.  The Lone Ranger used the silver to buy supplies, and make his bullets from.  Just how he found time to dig out and smelt the silver, when he was so busy ridin’, and shootin’, and generally saving the west, was never explained.  Perhaps he had Tonto’s undocumented relatives do it for minimum wage.

Tonto

Recently, I was ambling through an online science article, maintaining a brisk pace so that not too much of that learnin’ rubbed off on me, when suddenly I was stopped in my tracks.

Melting point of silver:  961.78°C (1,763°F)

WAIT!  WHAT??

The melting point of lead, to make bullets with, is only 327.50°C (621.50°F).  Hell, that stuff is so soft and ductile that you can almost mold it with your hands on a warm, sunny day.  Silver though, requires nearly three times the heat.  It’s not something that you just warm up like a skillet of beans over a campfire.  It requires somewhat sophisticated equipment, often more than merely a rustic, frontier forge.

How could I have missed that??!  Even the writer for the Canadian group, The Five Man Electrical Band understood it.  In their song, Werewolf, a father must melt a tiny, silver dinner bell into a musket ball, to kill a son who has gone Loup.  The lines of lyric read:

We went down to the blacksmith,
Got him out of bed, said, “Get your fire hot!”
We gotta close all the doors, shut up the shutters
We’re gonna need all the heat we got.

Even after you get it melted, this stuff don’t take to being cast in molds none too well.  The surfaces all have cavitations and spalling, making any bullets so non-aerodynamic, that he’d be more likely to shoot a passing buffalo, than the gun out of the hand of some cattle rustler.

I never saw him and Tonto, sitting around the fire at night, singing away, like Roy Rogers or Gene Autry.  Maybe because they were busy polishing those bullets smooth with their socks – if Tonto even wore socks.  😯  Aagghhh, he was probably just some rich dilettante from back East, who had his ammunition shipped to him, c/o Sitting Bull, by pony express.

A major portion of my childhood is/was not to be trusted.  😳  What’s next??!  Somebody will tell me that Aquaman can’t actually talk to sharks and whales?  😕  😀

A To Z Challenge – Z

april-challenge

Well, we have zigged, and zagged our way to the bottom of the alphabet.  It all comes down to Ground Zero, at zero hour, in zero gravity, with zero thought, to write the final composition for the letter

Letter Z

a letter that the Dutch explorers, traders and colonists already present, especially around the area that would become New York City, taught the newly arriving English settlers of America to pronounce as ‘zee’, a mere 400 years ago.  Think ‘Zuider Zee.’  The rest of the English-speaking world uses the Froggy French pronunciation, ‘zed’, imposed by the Norman invaders of England, almost a millennium ago.

For all you hockey nuts (and you have to be nuts to regard hockey as anything more than mildly interesting time-wasting), I thought that I would write about Zamboni.  That’s the ice-resurfacing machine that drives around the skating surface between periods.

Resurfice Machine

Then I thought better of it, and decided to give you a little more local history/geography/commerce. About 15 miles north of where I live, up in Pennsylvania-Dutch, Mennonite territory, is the large town/small city (10,000) of Elmira, Ontario.

Twenty-five years ago, the Schlupp family (doesn’t that name sound Mennonite?) reverse-engineered the Zamboni, and began producing Olympia machines at a company called Resurfice.  There are various sizes, and gasoline and electric models.  They will do what the Zamboni will do, at a better price – and they are Canadian-made.

They’ve had to fight the ‘Kleenex viewpoint’, which says that every facial tissue is ‘Kleenex’, even when it’s Puffs, or Royale, but their sales are steady, and increasing, even in the US.  Despite the Zamboni brand-name recognition, and allowing for some bragging, Resurfice sells 50% to 70% of machines in North America.

The ‘Kleenex viewpoint’ is visible in an online court brief, apparently posted by a relative of an idiot complainant trying to sue poor Resurfice.

Hanke was the operator of an zamboni
→ Overfilled the gas tank of the machine, releasing vapourized gas which was ignited by an overhead
heather
→ The ensuing explosion and fire caused Hanke to be badly burned
→ Hanke sued the
zamboni maker for negligence (design defect), arguing that the gas and water tanks were similar in appearance and close together on the machine, making it easy to confuse the two.

English rules of construction insist on the word ‘a’ before another word beginning with a consonant.  It should be ‘a Zamboni,’ with a capital Z – except, it wasn’t a ‘Zamboni’, it was a Resurfice Olympia.  The genius operator pumped water into the gasoline tank in an area with open flame.  His genius brother (cousin?) writes, in a court brief, of an ‘overhead heather’, and repeats the incorrect, uncapitalized ‘zamboni’ again.

If I have poked fun at places like Newfoundland, or Alabama, I humbly apologise, and acknowledge the existence of local possessors of ‘a glorious lack of sophistication.’

AtoZ Survivor

I thank all of you who have followed me through the alphabet. I’m trying to decide if it’s worthwhile or possible to do it again this/next year.  This free-style, pick-and-choose method didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped.  Perhaps next time I could do a themed version, possibly A to Z wild life, from Ants to Zebras. Wild life could include C for College dorm parties.  Or A to Z in musical groups, from AC/DC to ZZ Top.  In the meantime, I’m going to take a copy of that ‘Survivor’ image, and go have (another) nap.  I suggest you all do the same.  We’ve all earned some ZZZZZZs.   😀