Saturday, October 8, 2011

Do you need new tires?

The time has come where we need to think about the seasonal change.

We drive to and from work, and where ever else we normally would during our normal routine.  During Spring and Summer, the only thing we worry about is to wash the car and replace the tires when they appear to be worn.  During Fall we run into wet leaves, then in winter we run into a different scenario.  We need to  inspect our tires to make sure they have sufficent tread and to make sure that we have the right type of tire that will safely get you around during the upcoming winter months. 

I had a nasty accident years ago, where a young driver hydroplaned around a curve, lost control and slammed their car head on into mine.  I was pretty young at the time myself, but this served to be a wise lesson for me to understand the importance of auto safety.  If you are not sure how to check you tires, ask someone!  You could be saving someones life, including your own.  There are many types of tires to choose from depending on the type of vehicle you have or the season you are getting ready for.  Most common is the all season radial tire, this is found on almost every type of regular car or minivan.  Sport cars may not have this type of tire, they commonly come with a summer or performance tire which is not suitable for winter driving. 

Here are a couple quick facts;
  • Did you know tires have a date code?   Is the tire shop selling you an old dried out tire from a five years ago?

  • Winter tires are not like the ones your parents used in the '70s.  There are modern tires now and they are quite effective in deeper snow and some types may allow driving on icy surfaces.

  • Did you know that you lose one PSI (Pound per square inch) every month on average? This means to check your tire pressure every time you have your oil changeg or other routine auto service.

For most drivers, a good all-season tire will be sufficient to get you through the winter.  However if you have noticed that we have been experiencing snowy winters for the last couple years.  In 2009, I remember only getting a few inches snow.  2010 however was different, below are some photos I took, to remind us of last year.

Now you remember? Well, please read this article from, they have endless information regarding the proper tire selection for foul weather and for the type of car you drive.
Remember the date code is found on the sidewall, it is the last four digits of the tire id. number, like 5107 would then be 51st week of the year 2007. 

So go out there and buy fresh tires.
Reading tire date code :|21263|tire%20date%20code||S|b|6698650813&techid=11&index.jsp=&

Testing on Ice: Winter / Snow vs. All-Season vs. Summer Tires, click below; 
You really should go here and read up before you go out and buy tires, use this website as a reference.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Blue Sky


A Blue Sky, the pic above was taken by me leaving work yesterday, I saw the upper level clouds which are triggered by cooler temperatures.  I pulled over and got out the camera, set it on the tripod to take a few shots.
Later that night I read a scary article online from Rebecca Boyle of Popular Science, the article painted a picture of our immediate future.  Apparently there is not just one large hole in the ozone layer in the Antarctic.  What I read now is that there is another hole in the ozone layer but this is in the Arctic, which can affect our region to the north.  After reading this article, I transferred this photo to edit it on my computer, looking at this crisp blue sky made me think about how we have allowed our progress and industry to nearly destroy this great greenhouse of a planet we all live on.  I had just read a few weeks before that the sea ice has been dwindling in the north seas.   This now makes sense, with a second hole in the ozone layer, this allows for more harmful rays from the sun to penatrate our atmosphere and cause the ice to melt at an accelerated rate.

This also means that we really should not sunbathe at all, UV or Ultraviolet rays are reaching higher levels which will cause skin damage.  At this point it means that sunscreen would not help that much to protect us from skin cancer. 

That article from Popular Science mentions that the holes in the ozone are triggered by "chemical reactions involving chlorine.  In cold air and sunlight, chlorine is converted into compounds that break down ozone."

Yes climate change has even affected the air currents in the upper atmosphere which is affecting the destruction of the ozone layer.  Ozone at ground level is a toxic gas, however it is absolutely necessary to exist in the upper atmosphere to filter out the type of rays from our sun that can cause harm to plants, animals and even to us.
Hope, yes there is some, we have already started to take action to slow down climate change.  The federal government has imposed strict laws to control and reduce factories to reduce pollution.  More advanced emission control in modern cars has helped a bit as well.  We just need all the countries in the world to work together and make vital investment to reduce pollution and to plant trees.

Please visit to read the original article from Popular Science : New Ozone hole over the Arctic
Here is information about the ice in the Arctic :

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Temperature Change

Well now that we are feeling the cooler temperatures it is time to be looking through our closets to find sweatshirts and other fall type clothing to wear.  I wanted to add another picture from Blue Bell and a sunset shot from that last trip to Pennypack Park.

I stayed longer at that park to see how the sun would start to set and I have to say it was worth it.  I feel that it was a successful trip for different reasons. 

On another note I have completed the first stage of my Skywarn training, more to come on that later.

Until then, keep an eye out to see if more rain is on the way, we have had record amounts of rain which can lead to road damage, large pot holes which can be hidden under puddles of water.