April 24, 2009

More Work with my Kids

In the event that folks get the mistaken impression that my boys did nothing but blow up balloons, I need to clarify.

We spent the first hour going over projects I'm working on, then I introduced them to some software we use. You can build an airframe with an engine, pull things apart, rotate it 360 and move it all over.

My sons kept wanting to add missiles.

I kept explaining that the company I work for, nor the company I subcontract for, builds missiles, therefore adding missiles and bombs was not an option.

The reply?

"Mom, I think you should ask one of your co-workers. There may be missile-adding capability and YOU just don't know about it!"


But the funniest thing happened when I was showing them one of the projects I'm working on. I explained that there was a problem in the field, the lead engineer and the field engineer wanted a particular solution, so they sent it to me to see if I could make it happen.

I did all the research, talked to myriad people, and came up with a way to make their solution work.

I have a plethora of documentation from blueprints to slides of the issue, the field write up, commercial manuals on how they fix the problem, other military aircraft manuals on how they fix the problem... and on and on. The folder is about an inch thick at this point.

And so my eldest looked at it, looked at the issue as I had a picture of the actual incident, and he said, "Mom, why don't you put some xyz here and here..."

To which I hestitated and said, "Well, that's pretty much what we're doing"

He continued, 'And you could secure it using a heavy duty needle and some sort of thick thread..."

To which I replied, "Well, we can do that, and some people do, or we can use teflon tape. We're working that through right now..."

And I just kind of grinned to myself that my son, who knows nothing of what we do, looked at it and knew exactly how to fix it.

A couple minutes later I said, "Boys, look at this blueprint and find the date. I'm looking for the date this blueprint was approved for this fix..."

They studied it and immediately found the box in the lower right hand corner, everything on the blueprint handwritten in block letters, no typing.

Ringo said, 'November, 1964." I grinned and said, "Yup, someone came up with this fix on the commercial side before I was even conceived. Mimie wasn't even pregnant yet..."

They thought that was funny, but not as funny as I've thought it was, as I've been teasing some of the engineers on this project about it, "Were you even shaving yet?" I asked one of them. Another engineer said, "Hell, I wasn't born until 1972. My parents didn't even know each other!"

My boys just thought the blueprint was older than hell. Heh.

Posted by Boudicca at April 24, 2009 09:27 PM

Was the blueprint from your company?

Was the company name above the CAGE code on the blueprint anything near to the company's current name?

How many name changes have occurred in the last 45 years? Is the CAGE code the same? Is the CAGE code old enough that it only contains numbers?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Posted by: The Thomas at April 24, 2009 10:00 PM

Kids probably designed 3/4ths of the stuff I use in daily life. I'm sure that 4 and 5 year olds made the first computers and were later ripped off by teenager Bill Gates.

Posted by: JihadGene at April 25, 2009 12:31 AM

Oh Thomas, I have to look! I'll check Monday. I do know that the name of the Company X has changed and they did NOT change it on the print. It's not a major change, but it used to have Aircraft at the end of their name and the eliminated that.

I have to think back to the CAGE code. I thought it was only numbers... and I thought it was in the box with the name of the Company... but now... Sheesh, I need to check!

Jihad- My kids have intuitively known how to work every bit of electronic equipment in this house since they could walk. Good Lord. Luckily, my kids were pretty respectful too. None of them tried to put a PBJ in the DVD player...

Posted by: Bou at April 25, 2009 06:10 AM

Speaking of old drawings, 25 years ago (in looking for a site for a microwave communications tower) I pulled a print of one of the company's service centers. The original date on the drawing was 1942. But the thing that shocked me was that the drawing (which hadn't ever been updated) featured right next to the men's showers a little room labeled, "COLORED LOCKER ROOM".

Posted by: Bob at April 25, 2009 08:49 PM

Bou, Bou, Bou. Your company is asking for a major lawsuit by not updating that info box.

Let me tell you, Ford has lost many a lawsuits for things just because the info box isn't up to date. Because the info box isn't up to date then that could mean the entire drawing isn't up to date and that could mean that the vehicle wasn't manufacturered either up to date or it wasn't manufacturered to the drawing.

Stupid? Yes, but lawyers will do anything to win a lawsuit.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at April 27, 2009 09:07 AM