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Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa PowerDork
9/17/21 6:05 p.m.

So, the 7.3 thread reminded me of something that happened while I was active duty, and one of the jackasses I encountered.

 

 

We had an '89 International truck with the 7.3 come in, water truck, had a decent sized pony motor on the back to power the pump.  The motor wouldn't start and this thing had to be towed in.  I recognized it from it being in one of the previous stalls, so I wander over to that mechanic (one of our civilians) and ask him what was up with it when he had it, what he did, and what he thought about it.
Clown said he didn't want to discuss it at all with me.  He was over the truck and he was done with it, was glad I had it.

So I talked to the shop supervisor, and a couple of the other civilians that had been hearing him bitch about the stupid thing, and got a run down of what had been done to it; then I got to work.  Clown-man was sure that it was a clogged fuel issue (base was using an early version of bio-diesel which algaed up real good) so I changed the filters, drained the tank, and setup the fuel line cleaning machine.  Let it run for pretty much the entire day, worked on some other stuff and just kept going over and resetting the timer.  Checked the injection lines and the pump and both looked good, so I filled them with the cleaner fluid and left them.

Next morning I disconnected the fuel cleaner, poured new fuel in, purged the lines and went to town.  Wouldn't start.  Asked the Clown again what he did and he gave me a small list, one of which was cleaning the fuel return line fitting, and that's when I remembered something.  I had seen him take a punch and drive it through that same fitting when he had the fitting on the bench.  I asked him if he remembered doing that and he said "yeah, I wanted to clean the screen in that fitting, but I couldn't get anything through it.  I drove the punch through and got a bunch of sand out of it"

And that was issue #1.  The DB2 Injection Pump doesn't have a screen on that fitting.  It has a check valve with a little glass ball in it.  The check valve keeps (if I remember correctly) 3.5PSI inside the housing of the injection pump, and shut off of the fuel is accomplished by a solenoid opening the check valve.  No internal pressure, the injection pump can't drive fuel to the injectors.  So I relayed the issue to the shop HMFIC to see if he wanted to order parts or try and pull something from a vehicle in our auction-lot.  None of the auction trucks have the same pump, so I end up having to go to the bombing range's vehicle graveyard and scrounge a fitting off of a HMMWV that has the same pump, then get back and install it.

Now I have a shudder as it tries to start and white smoke.  Knowing that usually means unburnt fuel, I talk it over with a couple of the graybeards and decide to do a compression check.   I pull a glow plug and it was basically just the threads, the rest was gone.  I immediately pull all of them on that side and they're either ballooned or gone.  Switching gears I grab the three spare plugs that we have in the shop and install them and one of the best bad ones.  I turn the key and realize that I don't even have a glow plug indicator on the dash.  So I pull off the glow plug relay controller to inspect and possibly bench test and the silicone potting material on the bottom of it had half blown out from something frying.

Went into the office to have the TSgt order a new relay controller, 8 glow plugs, and a few other items and I promptly start getting E36 M3 on by Clown-man.  "Its Florida! Glow plugs are for cold weather!  That is never going to work, you're just wasting time and money with this, what the hell did they teach you in Hueneme?" and so on and so on.  Did this right in front of my direct supervisor, his supervisor, and the shop HMFIC.

Next day the parts come in and I spend the morning re-bleeding the injection lines, installing plugs, and other stuff.  Its right at break time and Clown-man, my supervisor's supervisor, and the shop HMFIC are walking past the truck as I'm ready to start it for the very first time after having everything done to it that I wanted to do.  Clown-man starts to mock me on his way to the break room as I'm turning the key.  

Locking eyes with him, "Hey Clown-man, what were you saying about glow plugs the other day" I say, in order to give him and the others pause and wait for the glow-plugs to fully cycle.  As he is working on some sort of withering remark I fully turn the key and that beautiful beast cranked up immediately.

Watching him deflate, having the other two tell him that he owed me an apology, it was better than my first kiss.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/17/21 7:33 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Epic!

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/17/21 7:40 p.m.

Let's turn this into a thing. As a kid, i loved sitting in on my old man and his buddies B.S.ing.

Story time:

About 20 years ago I'm working with the old man. Hes running his Case 580 backhoe and I'm shooting grade, uncovering utilities,  etc...

We have a job downtown (Anything downtown = Chicago) Concurrently,  we have a residential addition dig in Hinsdale,  an affluent upscale suburb. For blue collar workers the rules and restrictions are...stringent. On site port-o-potty years before it became the norm, a billboard of rules that had to be purchased for $250 from the village and displayed in the front yard, work from 8-6 Monday through Friday,  Saturday from 8-to only 12 noon. The Saturday times are Hinsdale saying don't bother coming to work here on Saturday. This will come into play later.

We finish the Chicago job Friday morning. We load up and head to Hinsdale. We get there at about 5pm. No big deal,  it will only take less than an hour to backfill the foundation. We unload, and start hogging in the clay and dirt. 5:50 rolls around. We've got about 15 minutes worth of work and we're done with the job. 

Neighbor to the North comes out into his backyard, smiles, holds up both hands, and waves. The old man waves back. 5:55 and the neighbor holds up one hand, and waves again.  "This guys a friendly motherberkeleyer, " thought the old man, and he waves again. 6:00 o'clock. 4 more buckets and we're finished.  He spins around and-HOLY E36 M3!!! There's the neighbor, standing in the drive, not realizing he was feet from having his head caved in. 

"Can I help you!?!?"

"I just wanted to let you know that its 6 o'clock, you need to stop." (The waves weren't waves. They were him saying 10min. and then 5 min.)

"I have 4 more buckets and I'm done."

"I wouldn't do that if I were you..."

We get the vibe that he has 9-1 dialed with his finger on the other 1, just waiting for us to keep going. ...Alright fine. We pack up and go an hour and a half home. 

Saturday morning we blast through the Chicago gig. Hey you want to go the Hinsdale? Yeah, let's finish that mess and get the hell out of that town. We get there at about 11. More than enough time. The clay is all in. All that's left is topsoil.  Now, this black dirt had been piled up for the better part of 3 weeks, while the concrete guys did their thing. 95 degree days and a couple of showers in the meantime,  and that buried grass is rotting. Its nasty. Smells like pig E36 M3. One last bucket and that's it. 11:40. We are done, and we start to load up.

"Oh, god, what's that smell?"

"That? That rotting grass. Smells like E36 M3, don't it" smiles the old man.

"Oh! Oh, no. I've got a outdoor luncheon at noon! Oh, the smell!"

The old man leaned out of the backhoe window, and grinned. "If you would have spotted me 5 minutes yesterday, this smell would have been long gone by now. Enjoy your lunch."

Karma is a mofo.

 

 

 

dculberson (Forum Supporter)
dculberson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/17/21 8:43 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

Watching him deflate, having the other two tell him that he owed me an apology, it was better than my first kiss.

OK, this is awkward. I just told Streetwiseguy that he was one of my favorite people right now. Oh well - so are you. Awesome story and most excellent conclusion.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/17/21 9:36 p.m.

I spent most of my first five years on the harness racing tracks working for one of the big names. I had been able to work with some of the best horses in the world while I was there. 
 

A few years later I was at Vernon Downs in upstate NY, my one cheap mare was lame, and I was broke. I was paying stall rent for the mare while I tried to figure out my next move, and I took a groom job taking care of four horses (the usual is two) for $90/week, about half the going rate. Double the work, half the money. Times were tough. 
 

A couple of weeks later, I went to the barn one night to feed and water my own horse and almost all of my straw and most of my hay was gone. Some guys had shipped in from Canada and used it to bed their horse's stall. 
 

They were nice people, promised to replace my supplies, and as we talked I learned that they had Lime Time, a superstar pacer that had won multiple major stake races the year before.
 

He had been retired at the end of his three year old year, but they had decided to bring him back and race him as a four year old. These two guys were the trainer and the owner, and they were planning to hire someone to take care of and train Lime Time so they could go back to Toronto. One race in Vernon, then it would be off to NY and the Meadowlands. I was their man and it was time for a change of luck!

The next week Lime Time won his qualifying race by about 18 lengths, as expected, and was entered in the open pace for the next Saturday night. If you're still with me, this is where it gets interesting. 
 

The big name stable where I had worked previously was by far the top dog at Vernon Downs in those years. They had brought a horse up from the Meadowlands that was coming off a 16 race win streak in the open pace at the Meadowlands. That meant that this horse (that incidentally, I had helped break as a yearling and had trained a few times) had beaten the best pacers in the country every week for the entire summer. There were other horses entered for Saturday night, but they weren't Meadowlands caliber and were going to be racing for third money. 
 

That horse's owner lived in Central NY, and was going to drive the horse himself for the first time that night. He was a licensed (amateur) driver and this was supposed to be his big night in front of the home crowd with his superstar pacer. 
 

When I walked into the paddock with Lime Time that night I was alone, while the other groom had three helpers. I had worked with all of them, it was kind of a party atmosphere, and they were having a great time. My arrival was greeted with a loud announcement from the other stall that, "This horse will not be beat tonight!" I ignored the ongoing mockery and set to work.

Local owner had drawn the one post, and would be able to control the race pace from the rail; we had drawn the outside and would have to deal with traffic. 
 

Lime Time circled the field, cruised to the front down the backstretch, and won handily in a new track record time for an aged stallion. 

Nine years later, I was part way through college and was back at Vernon Downs working for a vet for the summer. The previous track record that Lime Time had broken was still on the sign in front of the grandstand. That's when I really appreciated how much I'd hurt feelings that night. 

 

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
9/17/21 9:53 p.m.

Back in the day, I'm doing felony preliminary hearings.  I get a two-bit delivery of crack cocaine case.  I call the officer, who testified that he saw doofus make an apparent hand-to-hand and also knew he had a warrant.  He walked up to doofus, flashed a badge and told him to stop.  Doofus tried to take off running, made if a few steps and got tackled.  (This was in the middle of the "sagging pants" fad.  The success rate of running from the man took a serious hit during this time period)  Doofus was found to have $20 in cash and several hundred dollars in crack on him.  He's charged with possession with intent to deliver, based primarily on having more than "user amount" of dope.  Not a great case, but enough to get us past the preliminary hearing.  The judge was just about to bind the case over for trial, when the defense attorney says she's calling a witness.  This never happens, but they do technically have the right to call witnesses.  

An older lady shuffles forward from the back and takes the stand.  She's doofus's momma.   She's been listening the whole time, which is technically illegal.  If she's being called as a witness, the defense attorney should have sequestered her, but she's old and clearly just trying to help her son out, so I don't make a big deal of it.  She testified that Doofus gets his social security check on the first of the month and immediately goes out and blows it on crack.  She's trying to get the charge reduced to a straight possession charge by claiming he's got several hundred dollars in crack because that's what he uses his check on.  (It's also worth noting that a startling number of dope dealers collect social security benefits)   She claims that Doofus's check is exactly the street value of the drugs the officer found plus $20.  So I proceed to pin her down.  "So Doofus doesn't have any other source of income other than his first of the month check?"  No, he doesn't.  "And you're sure Doofus's check came on the first of the month?  It wasn't late or early?"  No.  "How are you so sure?"  Because it ALWAYS comes on the first of the month.  "So if his check hadn't come yet, and he had money and dope, they wouldn't be from his check, right?"  No, I guess not.  "Any you're 100% certain he got his check on the first of the month, the same day he was stopped by the police?"  Yes.  "Ma'am, what time does your mail come?"  About . . . (face drops as she realizes what I've just committed her to) noon.  "And ma'am, you're aware this officer stopped your son at 3:00 in the morning, a full 9 hours before you've testified you are 100% certain his check arrived?"  At this point, she tries to make a lame attempt to say "well, maybe his check came early or something", but it's unconvincing at best.

At this point, the judge rules on the motion to bind over.  He wasn't flat out mean about it, but judges don't like being lied to, so in his ruling, he says "you know, I wasn't sure about this case until the Defendant's mother testified.  Since she made it clear he doesn't have any way to buy drugs without his social security check, and it's clear his social security check hadn't arrived yet, this court can only assume he was dealing drugs and bind him over on the charge offense of Possession with Intent to Deliver.  Ms. Defense attorney, will you client be pleading at this time, or will we be scheduling this case for trial".  (Papers shuffle, some talking)  Your honor, if the prosecutor's plea offer is still open, my client will plead guilty.  At this point, I decided not to twist the knife any further, so I extend the offer and he pleads.  

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/17/21 10:16 p.m.

Yes. This thread is becoming what I hoped it would. 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
9/17/21 10:30 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Sometimes I look at the cheapest houses in Hinsdale on Zillow.  Except those houses I can afford are on Ogden Avenue at really close to 294 or Route 83 (don't want extra noise)

I kind of want to be that neighbor.  

Cchambers13
Cchambers13 New Reader
9/18/21 11:41 a.m.

Story time.

Growing up from age 16-20ish my dad and I were inseparable. I was (am) obsessed with vehicles, wrenching etc. So every evening/weekend we were working on something, buying/selling/trading etc.. I think I was 19 or 20 and had stated to equal ol' dad in the troubleshooting process so we would always have a friendly competition with hard to diagnose things.

After a recent EFI Suzuki Samurai project he had the lime light with figuring out the coil ground was unhooked at 2am with a mid sleep epiphany... nothing like your dad standing over your bed in the middle of the night in underwear to drag you out to the garage to show off that thing firing right up... with open header... sorry mom!

So he trades his 1 yr old Nissan Versa in on a used Chevy High Top Conversion Van, gets a good deal due to coolant leak/smell that the local Toyota Dealership couldn't diagnose and chalked it up to a weeping water pump or seeping head gasket. Dealership throws new OEM pump in and he plans for us to do it ourselves. The water pump will be a decent job since v8 in a short nose van so we plan a full day for it after a few months of just topping it off.

Morning of, we get up early and hes removing the engine cover and other ancillary things. Im looking over all the crap that has to come out and hes asking about radiator, belts and getting frustrated. He asks "are you going to get under this to start pulling all those so we can get this done today?" To which I reply "yeah... I can if you want to replace that pump for fun..." *pause to let his bewildered face sink in* "...ooor we can just replace this radiator hose thats the real issue.".

After being called a couple fun things I show him the pin hole on the bottom of the upper hose that was going right into the cooling fan so no drips could be traced very well. So several hour job turned into 15minutes and the vehicle karma was back in balance. Our running joke ever since has been that we need to find something with a 5.3 ls with a bad water pump since there's still one sitting on the shelf in the garage. 

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
9/18/21 1:50 p.m.

This story goes back nearly 30 years, to when I owned my bridgeported first-gen RX-7. Tim and I were in the garage detailing it and noticed the exhaust header was looking shabby, so I headed off to the local Auto Zone to get some paint for it while he continued working. I knew the store well, so just walked past the counter with a "no, thanks" when the guy behind asked if I needed help, then turned down the paint aisle.

I was just picking up the rattle-can of hi-temp paint when he arrived and asked if I'd found what I needed. "Yup," I said. He then explained to me that what I had in my hand was a high temperature paint, for specific applications involving high heat. "I know," I said. "This is for an exhaust header." Oh, no, you don't need that, he told me--that's for 1500-2000 degrees. "Right," I said, because the can was very clearly labeled and I had learned to read those kinds of words and numbers back in elementary school. "What did you say it was for?" he asked. "A Mazda RX-7," I told him.

Now, remember, at the time there were many Mazda rotaries still on the road, but this guy was clearly not acquainted with them, because he grabbed a can of paint in a much lower heat range and held it out, saying, This will cover whatever you need it to do. I explained that RX-7s have rotary engines, and rotaries have much higher temp exhausts, so my can of paint's upper limit of 2000 degrees would, in fact, be just barely adequate for the job. 

He slow-blinked a couple of times, held out his can of paint again, and said, "Really, this will do whatever job you have. What did you say you're doing?" At this point I really just wanted to end the unwanted advice session, so I deadpanned, "Crafts." Instead of being offended by my sarcasm, as I expected him to be, he instead lit up with a relieved look on his face and said, "Oh! Okay, great. I can ring you up at the register." Which he did.

Margie

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/18/21 4:23 p.m.

Twofer. First mine, then my Mom's.

I was shop manager for a rapidly expanding business. That also meant every single problem was mine. "My" shop expanded, and moved out so another shop that was still under the same umbrella could expand into the old shop. I got a call, in desperation. Their band saw was broken. Emergency! We can't keep up without it! Please come fix it!

A bolt had sheared off in one of the bearing carriers, and they couldn't get it out, and were beside themselves because our mutual Boss was shall I say, demanding. I pulled up, drill in hand, walked up to the saw, and started to drill out the errant bolt. The bit caught, spinning what was left of the bolt out the back, and fell to the floor. Total time from closing the door of my car until out wasn't more than 30 seconds. The entire shop stared in awe. Me "What else you got?"

In high school, Mom worked for a veterinarian. A pocket knife was needed to cut something off an animal (think zip tie, or wildlife tag, or the like). Mom whipped out her very petite, yet well sharpened Old Timer and cut the offending piece of plastic. The Vet in an astonished voice: "What kind of woman carries a knife?" Mom; "What kind of man doesn't?"

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/18/21 5:25 p.m.

This is terrific. I hope this never falls off the first page. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/18/21 6:06 p.m.

I was tasked with negotiating a new labour contract with one of our plants that was projected to lose $6.25 million dollars. I was told to get that amount back in concessions from the unionized employees. I had an excellent working relation with the union president and a few of the other officers. They were expecting a zero increase negotiation and my demands were a complete surprise, but we started the negotiating and were able to accomplish the task in four days and signed the agreement on the 5th. I didn't like the whole premise, but if I didn't do it someone else would have been sent in in my place and likely wouldn't have stopped at $6.25 in an effort to make brownie points. I was 56 years old and didn't need this kind of crap to do.

The following week I'm back in headquarters, waiting outside by boss' boss' office for some meeting. Along comes the corporate COO and he surprises me by calling me by name, asking why I wasn't at the plant negotiating and did I plan to get the required $6.25 million. I tell him we got it all done and signed the previous week. He responds with "Well, that was too easy, we should send you back for more...hahaha." I got pissed off by the attitude and told him those employees now had to try and make their truck payments, or put their kids through college, or buy their own home on a weekly pay check that was less than he made while taking a E36 M3 ! Like I said, I was 56 and had I been fired I'd have simply sued for age discrimination or something. He had a befuddled look on his face and simply turned and walked away. Maybe he went to find a calculator and figure out if I was BSing him.  Three months later the company offered generous severance terms to anyone who voluntarily quit, so I took the deal and retired. That conversation with a guy who made $13 million that year certainly influenced my decision.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/18/21 6:36 p.m.
Appleseed said:

Yes. This thread is becoming what I hoped it would. 

It certainly delivers!

New York Nick
New York Nick GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/18/21 6:44 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

About the time that happened I was a little kid living about 5 miles east of Vernon Downs. Horse racing was so big there then that you know when the racing had ended because there was a line of cars driving back to Utica. Great story!

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
9/18/21 6:53 p.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Good for you Warren!  Integrity matters.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
9/18/21 6:57 p.m.
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) said:

Twofer. First mine, then my Mom's.

The Vet in an astonished voice: "What kind of woman carries a knife?" Mom; "What kind of man doesn't?"

I heart your mom.

Margie

11GTCS
11GTCS Dork
9/18/21 7:26 p.m.

Old sea story.   My senior year (so we’re supposed to know what we’re doing), I’m standing watch in the fire room with a classmate.   We’re getting ready to go on sea term so the ship is not on shore power and we’re running one of the ships turbine generators for power.  A recent grad (licensed) is the 3rd AE and one of our professors is also on watch (Chief Engineer license).    

It doesn’t take a massive amount of steam with just one TG on line so my classmate and I are alternating between one and two burners on the starboard boiler to keep the steam pressure in range.  This particular old barge was 1952 vintage so automation was minimal, most everything was done manually.   At some point my classmate goes off to check something fuel related and I head out to check the feed pumps, maybe 50 feet away leaving the newly minted 3rd Assistant Engineer by himself for less than minute.

I walk back in and something is amiss, it’s too quiet.  My classmate returns about the same time and we both look at each other and then at the “licensed” 3AE.   I’m like “did you just cut the last berkeleying burner?!”  Deer in the headlights....

My classmate and I go into overdrive while dumbass stands there.  Steam pressure is dropping quickly, we ran 615 PSI at the boilers.  It’s at 600 and dropping when we notice the problem and I know that the TG will trip at about 550.  Nobody wants to be known as that guy who lost the plant, word gets around quickly.

Punch the off button on the force draft fans, whip the matches out of my pocket, light the torch while my classmate opens the light off hole.  Fans are still coasting down so it’s blowing back at us as I try to push the torch in.  Finally I can get the torch in to light the first burner (575 psi), once the first burner lights jam the FD fans up to high speed, light #2, then#3 and finally#4.  Shoot a look at the main steam gauge and it’s at 560 and starting to climb.   Mr. Tu## hasn’t moved in all this time, frozen in space.  

Things are rapidly returning to normal when our Professor comes flying in and immediately begins reading my classmate and I the riot act.  “What the hell just happened here?!” Carl and I just looked at each other and then at Mr. Tu##.   Didn’t say a word, either of us and Prof is getting more and more pissed.   Finally he pulls the 3rd away with him.  Never saw Mr. Tu## again and both of us graduated so he must have confessed.  

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 Dork
9/18/21 8:06 p.m.

My best memories of my Dad involve motorcycles.  He was an avid rider for most of his life, and shared pictures and stories of his time in the Air Force while stationed in Munich during the early 1950s riding a BSA.  After getting married, he sold the BSA.

It took a few years after having three boys to acquire another bike.  Sometime around 1972, a good friend of his gave him a beat up 1968 Triumph T100C that had seen a good bit of abuse as a flat track racer.  My Dad stripped it down, painted the frame, rewired the entire bike and started riding again.  About this time, he decided that my brothers and I should start riding, so he brought home a brand new Yamaha Mini Enduro.  For me at 8, this was too big of a bike, but my brothers were both older and needed to fit as well.  So he taught us to ride around our small yard.  Then we started going to trails and the friend's farm that gave him the Triumph.

We began gaining confidence and picking up speed.  One day, I took a different turn to try out a new trail.  Unknown to me, this trail had a jump.  I rounded a corner and saw my Dad running towards me at full speed, but didn't think to slow down.  I hit the jump (basically a 1.5 foot tall dirt ramp), flew about 6 feet through the air, stuck the landing and rolled to a stop in front of my Dad.  Then fell over.  I think he was both terrified and proud of my newfound Steve McQueen skills.

And that Triumph T100C is still in my garage awaiting a mechanical restoration.  I want to try out some new trails near our house.

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
9/18/21 8:52 p.m.

Reading through all this fun left me with 2 in mind, one automotive one work related

Automotive:

While a youngling in the AF I worked nights/weekends in a local garage, mostly cleaning up, oil changes, pumping gas to make a few bucks.  Boss/owner was a good guy but I was green and had more to learn from him than tell him so my opinion didnt count.  One very good customer who brought us all his DDs came in one day with his "toy" an early Benz coupe.  Wouldnt run right for anything.  Boss went through it all, cleaning injectors, new points, new plugs all of it, just wouldnt run right.  I knew fk all about benzes but I was an early VW addict at the time.  The thing was running the same rudimentary bosch injection that FI aircooled VWs ran.  Boss would catch me poking at it out of curiosity from time to time (this thing was at the shop for weeks) and would usually just tell me not to mess with it, it was valuable customer's baby.  Finally he was throwing in the towel and said it had to be the "brain" (early ECU).  Figured since I was into weird German stuff and I was on the internet (early days so most folks werent) maybe I could help him locate one.  I did, it was a large chunk of money and he almost choked when I told him.  He was gearing up to break the news to the client when I asked him if he would allow me to try something.   He wanted to know what so I told him.  I want to clean the points.   "I already put new points it, thats not it!"  I was a reasonably good kid though so I asked can I show you, and he agreed.  I popped the cap on the distributor, removed the plate with the points and showed him the 2nd set of points under it, the ones which triggered the injectors on these early systems.   He didnt even know they were there.  A quick file and gap and she purred like a kitten.   He let me get involved in more things after that and taught me a whole lot more than that little lesson I was able to give him so it was a fair deal.

Part deux: work related

So I was hired on many years ago as a software developer/system engineer on a very specific piece of software for my company.  Since leaving the AF this software has been my bread and butter and I've built a few systems for major companies and worked on teams that did things which we were told couldnt be done.  Which is to say, I know a bit about it and I learned from some of the best.  Company is a global concern and I was only hired to develop this package for the North American offices.  Finally theres a press to get all global affiliates on one platform, the software I know is chosen as the platform and a global project is initiated to implement.  Quite by accident the project lead found out about me and while they were contracting all the development he asked for me to be partially allocated to his team to just sit and listen and let them know when they were being BSd.   That premise alone I could write volumes on but my favorite was as follows:

The system was live in production for some time but there were certain features still needed and one in particular which was a huge pain point for us.  Im on a call where the issue is described to the contract firm, their best developer is on the call.  He aggressively speaks up and says he doesnt think what we are asking is even possible but it would take a few months of research and testing if it could even be done.   In the time he was prattling on about the complexities and uncertainties, and mind you he really DIDNT think it could be done.  I wrote the pseudocode to make the whole thing work and pasted it in the chat of the online meeting.   Finally when he came up for air I asked him to check chat and tell me why that wouldnt work.   It was only 5 lines of code, Im not necessary a great coder, Im just lazy so I look for the easiest path to success, and this was actually a solution a previous team of mine had developed for another client.  He paused, stammered....paused.....I guess we could try it.   Go ahead says I, I know it works.  The real kicker though was when they tried to bill us 80 hours to "develop" and implement the code I gave them.  My company countered by billing them 80 hours of my consultancy rate and they dropped it to 10 hours which was reasonable for actual implementation and testing.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) UltimaDork
9/18/21 9:47 p.m.

I used to fly for work pretty frequently, and the major carrier out of Detroit at the time was Northwest Airlines. Northwest had a bunch of DC-9s, many of them purchased as excess from other airlines after years of service. There used to be a data plate by the forward door, so you could figure out how old the plane was. One day I'm flying out and there's a guy who thinks he's pretty special, cutting into line, demanding faster service at the counter, etc. because he's a frequent flyer.

Walking down the ramp he mentions that he doesn't like flying on old planes. We all get to the forward door and there's the normal hold up as passengers file in and stuff oversized bags in the overhead bins. Since this guy had been behaving like a dick earlier I spoke out loud and pointed out that the data plate wasn't in the usual spot ( I think they had been moved to the cockpit) and pointed at two unused rivet holes in the door jam. Then I may have fibbed when I said " That means this old tractor was built prior to 1969". Mr. Frequent Flyer was clearly spooked by that. They actually built the DC9 up until 1982, but we couldn't tell the age of any of them after the plates were removed.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/18/21 10:59 p.m.

Let's go back to 1991. I was in Homer, AK visiting friends, where I got booked for a halibut charter. I filled out a four person charter with the other three people being a Coast Guard officer, his girlfriend and her friend from work. They were regulars with the charter captain, himself retired from the Coast Guard. 
 

Chatting with the captain, I learned that he had his unlimited master's license and taught physics at the academy for six years.  Seemed like a nice guy, and I was quite impressed with his service history. 
 

The young officer with his two lady friends was a Commander, serving as the operations boss for the Exxon Valdez cleanup. He started to tell me that there really wasn't any significant damage from the oil spill. I responded to that by nodding politely until he stopped talking. By then the severity and magnitude of the spill was well established, so I was surprised to hear that from him. 
 

It was obvious that he got his assignment because he was willing to spout bullE36 M3. I normally don't readily take a dislike to a new person, but I don't like getting lied to so I decided to make an exception for this guy. 
 

I returned to the wheelhouse to get away from Commander BS, but he followed me. I worked on making conversation with the captain about expectations for the fishing, and was told that the fishing had been slow recently, but had really picked up the last few days.
 

He continued, "BS and his girlfriend are experienced at halibut fishing and they should do well, but a warm water grouper fisherman..." After a few more remarks about my obviously inferior status as a  "warm water grouper fisherman," I decided to keep my mouth shut, try to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, and went to sit in the stern and check over my fishing tackle. 
 

Soon after, the boat was set up on the anchor and we were preparing to drop our baits. The standard bait for this fishing was hand sized frozen sardines. I had instead brought my own baits, a plastic bread box with salmon heads.
 

The Alaska Fisheries Commission had a toll free recording you could call for fishing reports (and I had already been calling it for weeks before my trip), and the recommendation to use salmon heads had been repeated since the first time I called.

The women got the first bites and landed fish in the 25 to 35 pound range. Then my turn came. 
 

Something took off fast with my bait. I could tell it was a big fish. I free spooled line for several seconds, flipped the reel into gear, and let the line come tight. The fish made a hard run against 25 pounds of drag, after which I started working it up to the boat. Alaska halibut are not hard fighting fish, so it's only the bigger ones that run out line against a strong drag. This fish made two more short runs before I could get it up high enough to see color through the water. This was indeed a big fish, and since they don't fight very hard for their size, they're still green and can be very dangerous when you get them in the boat. People have been badly injured and killed and boats have been sunk by large halibut after being landed. 
 

Many times the fishermen will shoot the fish, then harpoon them. The captain popped it with a stainless "snake charmer" .410, harpooned it, then he and Commander BS hauled it over the gunnel.  
 

At 155 lbs, it was the biggest fish landed on the boat that season. We caught our limit of ten fish. The women caught five, ranging up to about 55 lbs, and I caught the other five. Weights for mine were 155, 138, 126, 110 and 90 lbs. It was the most combined weight of fish that one person had ever landed on that boat. The charter captain wanted to know if I would fly back from Florida to fish with him during the commercial season. 


And Commander BS? Skunked, absolutely livid, and acted like it was the worst day of his life. 


 

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
9/18/21 11:32 p.m.

Some of you know my day job is as a landlord for a small office building in downtown Columbus that I co-own with my brothers. I enjoy the hands on stuff, but am competent enough at the administrative end that I handle pretty much all of it. Part of that is what's called operating expense pass-throughs where at the end of the year I calculate all the costs that went into handling the operation of the building and pass through any increase in those costs to the tenants in a proportional share. I'm not by trade a landlord, just a general business person that's been handling numbers like that since I was about 17. I do take training courses where needed to get proficient in these things, and there are trade associations in the industry that sell training materials to help learn the stuff. Fascinating titles like "The Escalation Handbook for Office Buildings: A Guide to Understanding, Preparing and Grossing Up Expense Escalations (Third Edition)." I'm also damn good with spreadsheets and keeping track of numbers and making sure everything adds up. We took over the building while a very large national corporation (Somewhere in the 30,000 employee range and $260 billion in assets size) had about 75% of the building under lease, and the prior owner/manager was not perhaps as careful as I am when it comes to what counts as an operating expense.

Well, the national tenant decides to audit the operating expenses. Being relatively green, I open the books up going back to their first year of tenancy, later learning that their lease has a 30 day window in which to contest expenses. No big deal, I'm sure the expenses were OK. The auditor is of course expecting to be able to roll over the owner of a single building, he's got the might of an enormous corporation behind him. He starts off surprised that I'm not only aware of the ins and outs of the operating expenses but am proficient in the lingo and methods of them. We start auditing and I have to take hours upon hours to compile the expense reports they need because it turns out that while the prior owner was good at making sure the numbers add up, they weren't so great at making sure the items that went into the expenses were exactly applicable. I had to groan when I came across wedding gifts, passed through as operating expenses for an office building. No, BOMA does not have a category for wedding gifts. It went on and on, tens of thousands of dollars of inappropriate expenses.

I started to fear for how much this was going to cost us, but for reasons that will become clear later I quickly realized it will all be OK. After many hours of poring over reports and correcting spreadsheets, the damage in the end wasn't bad, we cut a check to them for about $25,000 and the auditor got to notch one on his belt, we shook hands and parted with respect for one another. Then I got to turn around and submit a bill to them for $35,000. See, while we were cutting out all these obviously inappropriate expenses from prior years, I knew that 100% of the expenses passed through under my watch were completely legit, to the penny. I cut to the bone. And see,  the worst of the offending old expenses were from the first, or "base year" of occupancy that sets the base line from which any increase in expenses in measured. And since we reduced the base year, but didn't cut my totally legit costs, that meant that the estimated payments being made were too low so at the end of the year they owed more than they got back in the audit.

Win/win, see. The auditor didn't care; his audit resulted in a refund. The $260bn corporation sure didn't care.

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
9/19/21 12:21 a.m.

I know everyone likes the story where they effing told "the man". Well, I have been "the man". I was a really cocky, and god damned rightfully cocky, if I may say- Coast Guard C-130 instructor pilot. Dudes and ladies, I was the E36 M3- I could make that motherberkeleyer DANCE.  So on an instructor flight- man- I mean everyone was getting instructed. Normal crew of 7 was at least doubled. I was the Aircraft Commander (thats in CAPS, MF'ers!). Yeah, trying to make every instructional event happen- from drops, loadmaster, radio, navigator, engineer, and of course, I'm doing two engine work with the copilot.  So Stupid. And then the engineer instructor asks the engineer about the valve housing- some obscure limitation. And some moron speaks up out of turn and says NOPE! when the engineer says the "wrong" answer. Well, it was the CORRECT answer, and I was the moron.  Just so cocky and 28.

Good for me though, as- no sooner than I said it (and was more that immediately corrected by the engineer), I was like "well, that was dumb. I was wrong. I'm sorry. Continue."

Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
9/19/21 12:25 a.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

Let's go back to 1991. I was in Homer, AK visiting friends, where I got booked for a halibut charter. I filled out a four person charter with the other three people being a Coast Guard officer, his girlfriend and her friend from work. They were regulars with the charter captain, himself retired from the Coast Guard. 
 

Chatting with the captain, I learned that he had his unlimited master's license and taught physics at the academy for six years.  Seemed like a nice guy, and I was quite impressed with his service history. 
 

The young officer with his two lady friends was a Commander, serving as the operations boss for the Exxon Valdez cleanup. He started to tell me that there really wasn't any significant damage from the oil spill. I responded to that by nodding politely until he stopped talking. By then the severity and magnitude of the spill was well established, so I was surprised to hear that from him. 
 

It was obvious that he got his assignment because he was willing to spout bullE36 M3. I normally don't readily take a dislike to a new person, but I don't like getting lied to so I decided to make an exception for this guy. 
 

I returned to the wheelhouse to get away from Commander BS, but he followed me. I worked on making conversation with the captain about expectations for the fishing, and was told that the fishing had been slow recently, but had really picked up the last few days.
 

He continued, "BS and his girlfriend are experienced at halibut fishing and they should do well, but a warm water grouper fisherman..." After a few more remarks about my obviously inferior status as a  "warm water grouper fisherman," I decided to keep my mouth shut, try to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, and went to sit in the stern and check over my fishing tackle. 
 

Soon after, the boat was set up on the anchor and we were preparing to drop our baits. The standard bait for this fishing was hand sized frozen sardines. I had instead brought my own baits, a plastic bread box with salmon heads.
 

The Alaska Fisheries Commission had a toll free recording you could call for fishing reports (and I had already been calling it for weeks before my trip), and the recommendation to use salmon heads had been repeated since the first time I called.

The women got the first bites and landed fish in the 25 to 35 pound range. Then my turn came. 
 

Something took off fast with my bait. I could tell it was a big fish. I free spooled line for several seconds, flipped the reel into gear, and let the line come tight. The fish made a hard run against 25 pounds of drag, after which I started working it up to the boat. Alaska halibut are not hard fighting fish, so it's only the bigger ones that run out line against a strong drag. This fish made two more short runs before I could get it up high enough to see color through the water. This was indeed a big fish, and since they don't fight very hard for their size, they're still green and can be very dangerous when you get them in the boat. People have been badly injured and killed and boats have been sunk by large halibut after being landed. 
 

Many times the fishermen will shoot the fish, then harpoon them. The captain popped it with a stainless "snake charmer" .410, harpooned it, then he and Commander BS hauled it over the gunnel.  
 

At 155 lbs, it was the biggest fish landed on the boat that season. We caught our limit of ten fish. The women caught five, ranging up to about 55 lbs, and I caught the other five. Weights for mine were 155, 138, 126, 110 and 90 lbs. It was the most combined weight of fish that one person had ever landed on that boat. The charter captain wanted to know if I would fly back from Florida to fish with him during the commercial season. 


And Commander BS? Skunked, absolutely livid, and acted like it was the worst day of his life. 


 

I'm sorry the Coast Guard folks comported themselves that way. That's berkeleyed. I'm a career CG officer, and always wish I could set folks up with the best we have rather than the douches.

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