Saturday, September 12, 2020

Thanks, Lessons-Learned, the Gym is open and running

Thank-you L.C. Smith for your magnificent review of Seven Cows.

I remember reading an article in a trade-magazine lamenting the difficulty of transmitting Lessons-Learned. The author pointed out that every organization had programs to capture and transmit those lessons but they DID NOT WORK. Nobody ever read them.

Engineers kept making the same stupid mistakes every ten years. Classic errors are/were:

  • Specifying materials with very high tensile strength but lacking impact strength
  • Specify materials that have awesome mechanical properties when new but are vulnerable to environmental degradation
  • Specify less expensive thermoplastics rather than more expensive thermoset plastics or elastomers in applications that are susceptible to "creep"
  • Use processes (like welding) that degrade material properties
  • Design parts with sharp, re-entrant corners that are stress risers

It happens with monotonous regularity.

The author's solution was unique. He claimed that we are sponges for information when it is delivered in story form. The problem with the official, "Lessons Learned Software" is that it removed all of the information that made it interesting.

  • Who made the mistake?
  • When?
  • What were the extenuating circumstances?
  • Time pressures?
  • Sudden demands to reduce cost or weight? 
  • How did it get past the system's checks-and-balances?
  • Was the person making the sub-optimal decisions outside their normal swim-lane?
  • Did management supply perverse incentives?

The author said we should capture "Lessons-Learned" in the form of short-stories. Since most people choke when writing, pay them to sit at a table in the cafeteria with a couple of close friends. Buy them coffee. Video their discussion and then pay a high school kid to type it into the database.

Mr/Mrs L.C. Smith, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment "The beauty of Eaton Rapids Joe's fiction writing is that as you read and are entertained, you are learning about skills and scenarios you may not know existed."

Gyms are open in Michigan

Belladonna is a happy, happy girl.

She went to the gym the last three days.

She complained about the need to wear a face mask but she is gratified to have that sore, next-morning ache of a hard work-out.

She was telling me this morning that she slipped a lot since March.

"How much?" I asked. She clearly wanted me to ask about it.

"I did squats today and I had to drop a BUNCH from March" she told me. Then she made me guess the weight.

She is down to squatting 135 pounds. Poor, puny girl.

Then, in an off-hand way she mentioned that she could have done more weight but wouldn't have been able to crank out her target number of reps.

"And what would that be?" I asked.

"Ten" she said. "Five sets of ten".

Right. Poor, puny girl.

She was doing 180 in March.


I was going to run and mow the yard today.

I got the running part. Then I took a nap. Upon waking I saw the barn roof was wet from rain. So much for mowing.

Three notable things from running.

I cranked out 5.5 miles (Yeah!). I am at the point that I can start the run and a few hours later I cannot remember that much about it. My mind goes other places. That is not the case when I am pushing-it. Then, the aches, pains and gasping-for-breath is memorable.

The second notable thing is that I got lapped TWICE by a young lady. It is not quite as bad as it sounds. I did a lap. I went out the east leg and returned by the west leg.

She was running an out-and-back on my return leg. I got trapped behind a man and his son a bit before my usual drop-to-walking-for-cool-down point.

After passing the dad and four-year-old son I started jogging only to hear the dad say "Here comes another one". Yup, it was her.

Sweet, young thing. She enthusiastically suggested "I bet you can go faster than that."

I may be old but I am not dead...yet.

I stepped it up a bit and ran quite a way past my usual "time to walk" point.

Then, I graciously told her..."I am going to let you win"

What a runner! She ran like a gazelle, effortlessly.

The third notable thing is that even though I was limping along on my belated cool-down walk I encountered a SECOND father-and-son heading to the parking lot.

I passed them even though I was limping. The young man (early 20s?) was grossly out-of-shape and wearing flip-flops.

As I approached from behind, the man was lamenting the up-coming election. He vowed to move to Canada if "he" wins.

I really don't know if "he" was Trump or Biden. It made me wonder if applications to emigrate to Canada spiked every four years. Somehow, I doubt that it does.

1 comment:

  1. If I had a nickel for every mother's son that said they were moving to Canada if a republican was elected President, I'd be able to retire quite comfortably.


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