Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Week

Began with a business trip to the Chicago area. I and a member of our lock assembly crew travelled to a new jail construction site to replace small o-rings in 224 locks in two days.

I disassembled:
  • Remove cylinder cover, place to the side - just so
  • Remove lock side plate screws, place in cylinder cover - just so
  • Place side plate next to cylinder cover - just so
  • Remove funky lock piece (actuator) place on side plate - just so
  • Remove plate and spring from lock cylinder rod
  • Place spring in cylinder cover - just so
  • Place little plate on actuator on side plate - just so
  • Remove dead latch spring, place inside other spring - just so
  • Remove five lock body attachment screws
  • Place screws on cylinder cover - just so
  • Move remaining lock assembly and removed parts over to other guy
"Other guy" removed the lock's air cylinder, replaced the o-ring, and did some re-assembly. I then finished the assembly process and stacked the locks for re-installation in the door frames.

Just so.

I rapidly rediscovered (yet again) that I can successfully do exactly one thing at once. To wit: Toward the end of our first day (around lock 100) one of the on-site installers asked me about a problem they were having with a different lock.

My brain seized. My current sum total synapse activity consisted of "Remove, Remove, Place, Remove, Remove, Place, Place, Remove, Remove, Place, MOVE." Ting! "Remove, Remove, Place..." I was an old fashioned typewriter: finish one line of your letter and Ting! Bash the carriage back to the next line's beginning and resume furious typing. (I just realized that 'old fashioned' and typewriter are completely redundant, apologies to all readers who just said "what's a typewriter?")

It felt like swimming upstream in setting concrete. Just processing the installer's question and attempting to actually think/solve/analyze took an amazing amount of effort and time. During that time I had to put down the disassembly tools and very deliberately stop all physical activity because I could literally not think and do anything else at that point. Thank goodness I wasn't chewing gum.

After the business trip (we did get all the locks done, and actually solved a few other problems as well on the way), I had a day at work to do an expense report, answer, solve, engineer and email various workish things.

On Thursday night we left for the "State" swimming meet.

Three of our girls had qualified either in relays or individual events and all were very excited. We loaded up our van and headed out on the 3 1/2 hour trip up to Scottsboro. The next day two of the girls did breaststroke, one of those also did freestyle and all three participated in the Medley Relay. There were tears having not achieved some goals incentive's, but it was all in all a good (and not too hot) day. At the end there was a team pizza, coke and dessert party at a park nearby complete with a merry-go-round. In essence the swim team tanked up on pepperoni pizza, cookies, brownies and soda-pop and then had the older ones spin carb-loaded masses of smaller swimmers as fast as they could on the merry-go-round.


Friday at 3am (yes, in the morning) Abi began visibly displaying the effects of a stomach virus. Soon after Katherine's system decided that she had to have it too. A bit later my wife said, "I don't feel well, how's your stomach feeling?" My system then woke up enough to realize that it needed to join in the fun as well. For most of that morning I, My wife and two daughter's lay in curled up nausea on the motel room beds while the other's were stuck watching Saturday morning cartoons.

We had to scratch (cancel out) from all the Saturday swimming events and eventually were able to drive the 3 1/2 hours home. I hardily do not recommend spending any of your Saturday's in that manner. Fortunately all four of us began to feel better as the day wore on. Unfortunately, our almost two year old decided, Sunday night, that he had been left out of the festivities and needed to participate in the fun as well.

But so goes a week in the life of our family.