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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by getbent, Sep 13, 2020.
Hmmm, maybe some kids app like pokemon go could get linked to self driving big rigs?
yes, indeed! I was about 8 or 10 when my dad took me down to an old roundhouse near the port of Oakland (CA). My dad's favorite things were photography and trains, so we went down one weekend to take pictures.
What a surprise when one of the locomotives stopped right in front of us! The engineer invited us to climb in and take a ride. My dad was beside himself with excitement. We rode a ways through the rail yard, and the engineer turned to me (!!) and said "you wanna give it a try, kid?". I was scared, but willing. He sat me up on his seat, gave me some instructions (which I later realized were just to keep me enraptured - watching some bubbles in a glass) and he let me drive a real big old freight-locomotive along the real iron railroad in the rail yard in West Oakland, while my dad took pictures. What a day to remember for me, and my dad. I still have those pictures somewhere.
My own son was about 6 or 8 when I took him to visit Firehouse #4, in Oakland. I was working as a painter for the City, and had spent several weeks in that firehouse. The guys suggested I should bring my kid around one day... so I did. I gave him (and my wife) a tour of the firehouse, and of course he loved the trucks! They had a big ladder truck out front, and they said "hey kid, you wanna go up that ladder?" And a fully-outfitted firefighter took my kid all the way to the top of the extended ladder, and brought him down alive! Then they said "let's go for a ride!" and they took all three of us in the cab of the ladder truck and drove around a few blocks. When we got back to the station, they let my son sit in the seat where the ladder driver rides. It was a day to remember for all of us!
I was mindful when I was a truck driver. That ended in 1989. Just like my being fond of some ship horns, I liked the deeper tone my Kenworth had over other trucks. I like the deep horns and the Cat 3406 or Cummins Formula 400s to match. Turbo for treble, iron for the rest.
In the 1960s we still had growing interstate highways in my area. My mother has a story about an early trip to the big city wondering if something was wrong driving that fast because the truckers were honking but then realized it was the kids in the back of the wagon prompting it.
This kid knows how to do it .
NOW your cookin' with bacon grease. Just skip the analog horn and honk directly to the kid's gizmo.
A-and a baseball cap wearin' robot in the driver's seat!
EDIT: "virtual humanity" -- what keeps me from throwing in the towel these days.
The AI for the robot drivers will be versions of 'what would you do?' tv show.
I used to do the "arm pump"/air-horn thing a LOT when I would see a big rig and since my late father was an OTR long-haul/short-haul driver, I learned the arm-pump thing quite early in my life. Every time a tractor-trailer would pull up either beside us or behind us on the 4-lane, I would always do the "arm-pump" and I also even got to briefly sit in a guy's rig one day when he had stopped at the local cafe where my Mom used to work to get his lunch. That was a lot of fun! The thing I always wanted to grow up to be was a truck driver since my Father was a driver. He drove a 1970s-ish white Mack "F" COE and pulled a reefer trailer. I actually still have a couple of photos of that very truck & trailer combo that was sent to me via snail-mail by his former boss a long time ago. Those two photos are something that I will cherish for the rest of my days on Earth.
I miss being a kid so bad......
When taking long distance motorcycle trips we would do the same to engineers on trains. Great joy. As a kid in Grants New Mexico during the 50's huge trains would pass the city with hundreds of cars, occasionally stopping to offload carrots; which were washed, bagged and reloaded onto the train. Getting the engineer or guy riding the Caboose to acknowledge us was special.
Those guys scare the stuffing out of me.
We have this expression that there's bold pilots and old pilots, but no old, bold pilots. But somehow, these old lunatics are out there, with their loads throwing debris and swinging across the road and taking out mailboxes on the opposite side. Long since lost track of all the driveways I've pulled into just to not get my windshield smashed. I've seen whole truckloads of logs, dumping onto the pavement not a quarter mile ahead of me - and if the timing was different I wouldn't be here to talk about it.
And Mississippi is not the worst, for recklessness. California and Oregon are.
Um... I still do this sometimes...
Yep exactly...the 10 year olds come out in my gal and I on long rides through the west on our bike.
There really is nothing like the lonesome train whistle on a long stretch of prairie...she seems to have a better success rate then I at coaxing the whistle blowers however.
We drove our daughter and a friend from Indy to NYC about 10 years ago and we made a game out of seeing how many truckers they could get to honk. They were over 30 for the entire trip.
We just did a trip up to a cabin up in Northern Wisconsin and this was a conversation my wife and I had on the way. As we passed semis on the highway I was wondering if kids still did that. As kids we were on it every time we saw a semi. Most truckers happily obliged and we got the biggest kick out of it.
We will have to start bringing it back again and see what our results are along the way. Our kids are 5 and 7 so we can keep it going
Think big rig air horns now are button activated.
So we should push a button out of the window.
Last time we went on a long road trip I tried showing my boys the arm pump...to utter failure. They were down for it (4 & 8 lol) but across 6 states and 2 weeks they might have gotten half a dozen honks. Mostly got ignored by drivers too busy talking on their headsets.
Maybe your gal offers some sort of more enticing encouragement to the engineers?
I can't imagine what but I seen them biker chicks...
Until I read this I'd not thought of trying to get train engineers to blow the whistle as a kid.
There was a run of B&M railroad tracks a good 3/4 mile behind my school and some of us less academically oriented kids spent a good amount of time out there.
We also cleared cross country ski trails in those woods so it was almost curricular activity.
If a train was running slow due to a signal or whatever we'd hop on the caboose for a little ways.
Seems like the engineers (if those diesel operators are still called that) were hard to get to do much of anything.
Also it wasn't the lonesome whistle of yore, more of a pissed off warning.
Could be they had regs for when the blow the whistle? Horn really, not a whistle.
Still cool though, I suppose the idea of getting something so huge and powerful to acknowledge us kids.
We put pennies on the tracks too, but I recall some adult who saw our collection of smeared coppers telling us we could derail the train with a penny and needed to stop.
Adults were so often such a drag when we were kids!
Ms. Nutz and I were just talking about this on a train ride in Georgetown, CO, the other day! We both still do it to trucks and trains!