Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shearly stupid

After two frantic days of back-and-forth with the test equipment supplier Humboldt I finally got the Direct Shear test software "registered" (which involved repeated trips across the parking lot with the lab computer on a wheeled trolley to hook it up to the internet). Wheeled the machine BACK to the lab, reconnected everything to the actual shear device, input all the sample, project, test parameter data into the application, clicked on "Run Test"...and...nothing.

So...frantic rechecking every input and connection, adjusting parameters, attempt to start shearing motor manually fails, weapons-grade cursing everyone and everything from person who invented the goddamn direct shear test, to Humboldt, to James Watt for having encouraged people to mess about with goddamn which point I notice the Big Red Emergency Stop Switch is pushed in, disconnecting the motor.

Gently pull BRS to "off" position. Recheck parameters. Click "Run Test".

Test runs.
I feel 120% stupider now than I did twenty minutes ago.


Leon said...

Chief, you can have a Ph.D. in "schmarts" and you'll still get caught pushing the pull door.

It's nature reminding us to not get to boastful.

FDChief said...

SO glad I spent seven years in grad school! Me learn cool rock stuff!

The sad part is that the "BRS" is a tech support cliche - the freaked out gomer calls screaming that "they" sold him a computer/appliance/whatever that "doesn't work". And the FIRST question the techie asks is "Did you turn on the power switch?"


Ael said...

Yes, the next question is "Are you sure it is plugged in".

It happens to everyone. You get locked into a certain frame of mind and can't break out of it.

In the army they teach IA's and stoppages for your personal weapon. When your weapon stops firing, you immediately perform certain actions by learned rote reflex. No appeal to higher levels of thinking because it is assumed that those levels may be missing in the stress of combat.

Lisa said...


A good observation on the rote protocol to use following weapon stoppages.

Not only stress but our education at times causes us to bypass the obvious.
. . . but you found the button, Chief ;)