Monday, December 15, 2014

Don’t paint yourself into a corner

Plan ahead so that your options are not limited to a bad one, like walking on the wet paint you just brushed on the floor.

If you are using note cards to help remember your speech, number them, punch holes and fasten them together so you won’t get lost when you accidentally drop them.

Last night my local PBS station reran Rickover: The Birth of Nuclear Power. They told a story about Hyman Rickover, who had a reputation as a troubleshooter of naval machinery. That story also was told by Gwyneth Cravens, on page 237 of her 2010 book, Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy

“Once he got a late-night call from a skipper about to depart on a long voyage who was frustrated because a tiny screw had fallen into the turbine, which would have been a huge job to disassemble. Rickover directed him to remove a small inspection plate at the bottom of the turbine casing that had been installed for just such emergencies. The screw was sitting on it.”

Engineers sometimes do badly too. Design News has a blog called Made by Monkeys with gems like Malibu Headlamp Replacement Necessitates Bumper Removal and Tricky Spark Plugs Take Hours to Replace.

The first image was derived from one of a room in the Presidio at Wikimedia Commons.

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