26 May 2011

Sometimes the universe rolls your way...

I took Wednesday off to do some work on the bathroom renovation. We're just a few connections from Mom having a working sit-down bathtub. Should happen this weekend, God willing and the creek don't rise.

Unfortunately, I missed the dustup at work. Seems our boy Rimmer finally got told 'no'. And well overdue it is.

Rimmer came up with this idea for a rotator device to pick up a casting. The designer had his doubts but drew the lifter up anyway. The guys in the shop built the lifter, and during the test lift....voila! It doesn't rotate the part and doesn't actually want to pick up the part safely.

Anyone who knows anything about an unmachined casting knows that dimensions of features can vary significantly-that's why faces and features get machined to precise dimensions. In addition, most surfaces have a draft, or slope, to them to allow the part to come out of the mold. These variances and features make large castings a bit of a challenge to handle and manipulate.

So Rimmer was out in the shop trying to come up with little additions and gadgets to add to the lifter. Our new Chief Design Poobah told him that his basic concept was wrong. Evidently that didn't sit well with Rimmer, since he launched into his 'I've had 14 years of experience' spiel. Then he said that this would be a decision for the general manager. The Big Guy heard them both out and said 'I have to go with the Chief Design Poobah. We hired him for his engineering experience.'


I was informed that Rimmer was pouty for the rest of the day. I for one couldn't be happier! He wasn't in the office today. Rather a shame.

My thought would have been 'You've been doing this for 14 years, and your concept sucks, like a good portion of your concepts do, since we rework a good portion of them.'

I've also been designing lifting equipment for 14 years. I've got big-boy lifting equipment in factories and mills from Ontario to Australia and places between. And one thing I've learned is that I don't know every-fucking-thing, and I can listen to other people's ideas. Actually, the amount of stuff I find I don't know is truly astounding at times. I reckon Bangar probably learns something new about the electrical trade most days. Birmo and Flinthart and Murph would probably say that they don't know everything about authoring. Rhino probably learns something new every day in his quest to be a supergenius. Same goes for the rest of you in your respective occupations. Rimmer, for being a salesman, has an inflated sense of his design knowledge and can't be told anything. That is a bad combination. My advice to him from afar would be to stick to selling stuff and stay away from where the adults are trying to work. He's been allowed for far too long to have his nose in every detail of design and fabrication there. All he needs to do is give us a rough concept for a lifter, then go away and sell something else to other customers.

Don't get me wrong-I screw up more than my share of stuff. But I'm not in the shop trying to manage work flow or telling the other designers how they should do their drawings.

Rimmer is a perfect walking, talking, real-life personification of the line 'A man's got to know his limitations.'

Wish I could have seen the whole exchange, though. The really interesting stuff always happens when I'm not there!


Memorial Day weekend is coming up fast.

First, of course, to all the veterans, American and Allied, thanks for your service, and well done! A popular and fitting verse for the day, is In Flanders Fields, written in the terrible aftermath of the Battle of Ypres in WW I.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Well said, Lt. Col. Dr. McCrae.


On a lighter note, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer here, and there'll be a lot of people enjoying a bit of downtime.

 TBH and I have a day trip to the Amana Colonies planned for Saturday and if we get back early enough, there's a fastpitch softball tournament in a nearby town this weekend. Might take in a game or two during the evening. Sunday will be working at construction, and Monday if it's decent out might see a trip up to Clinton for the LumberKings/Beloit Snappers baseball game.

I intend to have a good weekend. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to do the same!

yankeedog out.


  1. That's good to hear YDog, I hope it sticks!
    First to admit I don't know everything and that if you're not learning you're probably not doing much.

  2. Oh and for those unfamiliar with Red Dwarf.

  3. Sometimes the Knowitalls need a kick in the nuts.

    And yes, I'd be the first to admit that I do not know everything about my chosen fields of endeavor. It is one of the first things I tell my students in my history classes. I also tell them that I do make mistakes and they should be sure to check me on them.

    In fact, I had to own up to a particularly unpleasant mistake last week when averaging grades.

    Men, and Women for that matter, own up to their mistakes when they make them and do the right thing.

    Too bad 14 years of experience hasn't taught Rimmer that.

    On the Outer Marches

  4. Bangar-That's right. When I was doing schematics, I learned something new nearly every day. Great fun it was, actually.

    Murph-Some people are incapable of saying 'You might be right. Hey, I don't know everything'. Worse for everyone when the person not saying it has the IQ of a houseplant.