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Friday, November 30, 2012

Ammo for the Enfield and Student Update

So after taking the Enfield to Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeons house as noted in this Blog post, I get an Email tonight from Mr. Curmudgeon. Says he found some ammo for it.

Um, yeah. We are not shooting this stuff!  There are collectors believe it or not that would love to have this stuff.

So remember this Basic Pistol student? She has stepped up to the plate. I get to work with her this Sunday. Wish me luck, this is important! 



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ah. Back in the Day!

Way back when I worked for "THE PHONE COMPANY". The Bell System. I was there when it was broken up so that I no longer worked for Western Electric, but now AT&T Network Systems. That became Lucent Technologies, but I was long gone before that happened. 

Yeah this pretty much sums up the attitude around there then.

I thought it was pretty amusing when my friend commented on a recent Blog post that he crossed up some 1400 phone lines. 

Dude. Take out one of these. While you are wearing the happy name badge that says "Network Systems".


Yeah, there went Peoria! 

I still have some documentation around here.

I don't know WHY I keep it around though! 



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Easy Part is Done

After Yesterday's fun we get to removing the old equipment.

Equipment removed from the backplane. We have a new one ready to go. 

Like I said, this is easy. Reconnecting field wiring will be a bit more challenging. 

One BIG thing that worked out for us today is that we were able to remove the terminal strips from the I/O modules.  Even if we were to lose wire numbers on the wires themselves we still have the actual terminal designations to go by. 

Tomorrow? Install new backplane and terminate the last Fiber segment that goes to here. 

I know. I have no life. I will try to keep posting on our progress




Monday, November 26, 2012

Its Dead Jim!

It was a mercy killing though.  Oddly enough about this time of year in 1991 this Reliance Electric PLC was being commissioned

So now my direct reports, subordinates, human resources, my crew and I are under a 3 week schedule for replacing it.  I admit a tinge of sadness when the power was cut about 9:45 this morning.  The thing worked 24/7 with only two big time failures. In 20+ years. 

You KNOW you work with geeks when my lead tech is standing at the breaker on the UPS feed and says: "I am a Reliance Electric Automate 30E. My teacher taught me a song, would you like to hear it ?"  I said "sure HAL" and the breaker was cut. 

In the mean time I get a call and someone says the bulk tank readings "don't look right".

Big honking red light is NOT good on the front of this thing.  It went from "plays well with others to kicking and screaming at everyone". 

It has decided to not talk to these anymore. 


Not only these but uh 10 other devices as well.  What do these do?  Shoot an ultrasonic pulse from the top of storage tanks holding liquid and report out the volume in them in gallons. We have over 100 storage tanks and its a big deal if people cannot see what was consumed or what is in them in real time. 


Blogging will probably be light over the next several weeks! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012


George Eastman in 1888 said: "you press the button, we do the rest". How far we have come. What was unheard of became common place. Take a picture and see it right now.

One of the best compliments I have received lately came from the consummate wordsmith and photographer Brigid. It went sorta like "I always enjoy reading about the training and the firearms but your photos just keep getting better and better. Bravo!" Well thank you young lady. I do try. I have spent a lot more attention to the operation of the humble camera of late. 

Some photos are carefully staged by artists. The results are amazing.  

Lighting, costumes, the contrast between light and shadows all perfectly staged.

The picture was taken in 1984.  No heavy post production editing going on here. This was taken by one of my Cousins.  He still works the camera today for a living. Take a look at a picture recently taken by him at his Website here. 

Of course he is running a camera that costs at least as much as oh, three new Colt Defenders, but he knows when to push the button, much as with a Colt. 

What was once an event became common place.  We all started capturing casual moments in time. A dear friend noticed here that I am starting a photo journey down the main hall here.





From 1979 to 2007.  Canada to the Blue Ridge mountains

From the Mountains of Southwest Virgina. I place I love so much.



Providence Station is no longer here.  The Courthouse in Independence VA is however. I love the shot of the church steeple sticking out of the mountain. 

A cruise with a friend 4 or so years ago. 


And for now? A blank slate awaits. 

I seek more casual moments in time.



Friday, November 23, 2012

So Tam Throws Out a Commercial..

Here and someone comments on the moving magnetic media they insert into the vehicle to get the music going. Hey.  I get that.  I have been from here:

Original  AM radio from the 1971 Mustang to here:

Music beamed "FROM SPACE"!

I have been through every other evolution though.

Lets try this:

Yeah. Cassette tape.  I still have them.  They still work.

This one was recorded in 1988. 


You really had to be good to fast forward to the next song though

We will not talk about this unit.

Underdash FM tuner and 8 track player.   

I thought  it would be cooler to stuff it into the console.  I did. in 1978. 


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Road Trip!

Tomorrow I am wandering north to see Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeon. I am bringing this in an attempt to wow Mr. Curmudgeon.

I fear I will get a "kids these days" comment as he wanders off to the fortress and whips something out that will make this pale in comparison. 

As they say, you don't know until you go! 


Thanksgiving inside stately manor....

Repost from last year:

This is fiction:

This is reality:

One of those does not look like the other! So lets find a cookbook to help us out:

Maybe not that one. Let's see what else we can find:

Ok, I need to find a baking pan for the turkey. I know I have a couple, lets look around:

Here's one!

Better not use that one. Keep looking and ah ha! Found another one!

Better not use that one either! OK, I found another one I have not re-purposed  I will let you know how it turns out! 

Well, ok, let's start here!

Seriously, I have much to be thankful for. I started this Blog on a whim over a year and a half ago. Of all the things I have, this one little medium has been a wonderful thing. If you look at my side bar I have Bloggers that entertain, inform, and most importantly make me think. I have "met" many here I consider friends. My thanks to you and more importantly the bloggers that encouraged me so long ago. 

I still write for me and a family member that is far away. It gives us something to discuss and helps us stay in touch.

I tried to go around today and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. If I have overlooked you, I apologize.

A special thanks for those not able to spend today with family due to active service.