About Me

My photo
Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cleanliness and Coincidence

Back before the United States largely lost its' way in the space program, I was periodically called upon to assemble equipment for use with liquid oxygen.

Of course such equipment needs to be manufactured in an ultra-clean environment, a super cleanroom in which even the air is filtered multiple times. You wear a hooded nylon suit and boots, surgical gloves and mask.

Under such conditions, what would be a short bathroom break is suddenly a procedure that takes the better part of an hour and costs a few hundred dollars in down time. Unlike the government and source inspectors whose job it was to observe every move I made as I built the device, even in a six or eight hour period of assembly, I never took a break.

Fortunately, there were always at least two such inspectors, so they could spell each other as I went on working. They never could understand how I could go for such an extended period of time without stopping. Then, even when the job was done, and we were changing back into our own comfortably comparatively filthy clothing, I would simply dress and leave, without ever going to the restroom.

I was anxious to get back out into the smog and other smells of the city. In a cleanroom, the only aromas available are the occasional whiff of alcohol or acetone or MEK or the bad breath or other scent of a government inspector.

One would not think that under such conditions, you would actually welcome the assault of the myriad urban odors that we ordinarily take little notice of. Even the sense of taste is heightened after a day of assembly in an ultra-cleanroom.

Afterwards, I generally treated myself to steak and lobster in a very dark restaurant, being served by a waiter whose intellect surpassed the combined smarts of the inspectors who had watched my every move throughout the day. (It was actually in such a restaurant, reputedly operated by the mob that J. Edgar Hoover insisted did not exist, that I first came across Ichabod. The restaurant was named after a bird other than a canary, whose name also begins with C, in Hawthorne, California.)

It was quite a few years before I saw him again. He sat down across from me at one of the $10-$20 poker tables at the Horseshoe Club in Gardena. I remember thinking how incongrous that was. Now I am less troubled by incongruity or coincidence than I used to be. I certainly never would have guessed that Ichabod would eventually become my butler. But I digress.

The point is, some of the best things in life are not particularly antiseptic.

No comments:

Blog Archive