Curta - Was: Re: [thechat] S A T Movies

Luther, Ron ron.luther at
Tue Jul 8 09:24:44 CDT 2003

Bob Davis noted:

>>Ahhhh....TSD rally. Very fun. I did a lot of that in New England. Dirt 
>>logging roads add an element of adventure to the whole does 
>>ice and snow.

Hi Bob!

Ohio ... single lane covered bridges in Amish country in the middle of the 
night on ice and snow ... Big Grins!!   ;-)

But mostly leisurely Sunday afternoon drives (and four wheel drifts!) 
through dirt road hills in the countryside.

>>Ron - I'm guessing that one of the following is true -
>>[2] you don't have one, but you do know how to use a Curta.

;-) A little bit maybe.

We had a lot of engineering types running with us, so I've seen them used, 
but I never got one for myself. 

{I was a better driver than navigator.  My buddy and I would trade seats 
from event to event. _He_ would 'lift' ... just because we were cresting 
a hill ... on an unknown road ... with a surface change ... and not 
knowing if there was a turn coming up or not.  "Balloon-foot"!  ;-) }

My favorite though was a guy running Class "A", (full computer), in a 
beat to heck, 20 colors of paint and patches Volvo wagon ... where the 
odometer lead from the computer was run along the outside front fender 
with a row of industrial staples ... ya gotta admire priorities like that!
You know it's a quality setup all the way - when the computer is worth 
more than the car!

The full equipment guys ran stuff like this:

One of our 'rallyemasters', (auto equivalent of a D&D 'dungeonmaster' -- 
and just as cruel *and* unusual), was a top notch navigator. [Dave 
Killian - whew, took a few minutes to dredge up the name. Hmmm, 
apparently Dave is still active - I see he worked the 2000 Ides of March 
rallye ... I can't remember what year I ran that one.] I can't find a link 
at the moment, but I know he navigated the winning entry in the Cannonball 
more than once ... after it became a rallye ... running a sponsored 
BMW ... with *bow low* John Buffum at the wheel! 

He was a sadistic mother who always ran "trap" rallyes.  A 'trap' rallye 
is one where the rallyemaster deliberately tries to trick you or make you 
feel uncomfortable:

* They may put in a 'sweat leg'. You have a turn at mile 1, another turn 
at mile 1.5, another instruction at mile 2, then you putter along slowly 
in a straight line for the next 9 miles ... 'sweating' about whether you 
have missed an instruction or not. Evil.

* On one rallye he found a subdivision laid out like a ladderframe. He 
handed out instructions to half the cars to go down one leg and cross back 
and forth. The rest of the cars went down the other leg crossing back and 
forth. Total distance was the same, but it's always unnerving to see 
another rallye car going "the wrong way" - makes you doubt whether you 
are 'on course'. Sadistic.

* On another rallye we had an instruction to 'turn right after bridge'. 
Fortunately my navigator had the good sense to _completely_ read the 
instructions, including the glossary at the back that explained that a 
bridge is anything that begins and ends with those narrow rectangular 
signs featuring the diagonal orange and black stripes ... so the steel 
girdered 'thingie' we drove on to cross the river was NOT, technically, 
a "bridge" ... no sir ... the 'bridge' was a 10' stretch of road 
presumably passing over a buried culvert pipe - cuz there was no 
depression or change in elevation on the side of the road .... but we 
were 'on course'! That was just plain cruel.

I remember reading a quote from one of Buffum's pro-rallye navigators 
talking about blasting up a hill at 100+ mph ... on a narrow forest 
road ... and glancing out the side window to notice a number of 
[beech/elm/walnut/something] trees. ... Recognizing that this kind of 
tree grows best in clay based soil ... he casually reached over to adjust 
the front/rear brake bias in the car.  For me that spoke volumes about 
the type personality you need to have to be a successful pro navigator.


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