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Jeff's Blog from the fields and lanes of England

By Jeff Dray ·
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Engineering the Flow of Communication

by Jeff Dray In reply to Jeff's Blog from the fiel ...

So, today there was a system failure and no new jobs were being
assigned, bad news, you may think but for me it was great. I
managed to clear off ALL my outstanding work, got up to date with my
paperwork (Yes, I know we aren't supposed to have paperwork any more)
and got home at a reasonable time..<br />
<br />
Bad part? driving 80 miles from Poole to a very rural location near
Chichester, where there was no cell phone reception, to find that the
call had been logged on the correct equipment but at the wrong
location. the system in question was in Buckinghamshire, about 4
hours drive from home. I gratefully passed it back to despatch
and went home. <br />
<br />
In a most un-techy way, can I say that the countryside of Sussex,
Hampshire and Dorsetshire is looking particularly lovely at the moment?
My reveries were brought down to earth by the mother of all traffic
jams near home at Ferndown.<br />
<br />
A tank transporter had overturned on a roundabout, the truck itself was
lying on its side in the road, the load, a 75 ton tank being shipped back
from Iraq was perched precariously on its turret, its tracks pawing at
the sky like a dying horse.<br />
<br />
I spent some time admiring the blossom, gorse flowers and fresh young
leaves that this spring has finally produced. Techy thoughts were
far from my mind, which is probably why I enjoy the life of a field
engineer.<br />

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A low tech day

by Jeff Dray In reply to Jeff's Blog from the fiel ...

After not feeling too good today I decided a day at home recuperating
would be the thing.  Enjoyed the therapy of woodwork, taking my
time to ensure that the neck of the guitar I am building would fit
exactly and snugly into the body.  I ended up shaving off
microscopic amounts on wood with the side of a chisle.  This axe
will be a hardtail, so the pre-routed tremelo cavity is becoming a
decorative inset for some unique feature, the exact nature of which has
not been decided.  Its now 5 part midnight and I can't sleep, too
much coughing for one thing so here I am doing what every great geek
does on a Friday night, checking on the world of work.

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A very red day

by Jeff Dray In reply to Jeff's Blog from the fiel ...

Today was quite a quiet day, at least until I arrived at my third
customer who had a major problem with a small franking machine.
it had leaked ink everywhere so I double gloved and set out a thick
layer of shop towels to absord the drips. the waste tank had
overflowed badly and I couldn't see why until I had spent a couple of
hours cleaning away ink, that's permanent red ink as used for franking.<br />
<br />
by the end of it all I had cleaned it all up, replaced one or two
failed components and cleaned up the room where the disaster took
place, I was a mess. even with two pairs of protective gloves my
hands were covered and it takes a while for it to wear off skin.<br />
<br />
this left me with a problem. What iI needed to do was go home,
take a shower and change into clean clothes, but if I had stopped work
I would have had terrible difficulty in getting going again. I
did the other job that was in my queue, then went home.
that last customer had to put up with my looking like I had been
commiting a mass murder.<br />
<br />
I didn't even get time to practice my latest hobby, I'm learning to
play the trumpet and sometimes my effort s aren't appreciated at home,
so I practice in the car at lunchtime.  I was too late to have
lunch and the horn stayed unblown today.  Yesterday I parked in a
quiet country lane and blew a few scales.  a farmer drove past in
his pickup, he was so busy staring at me that he drove into a ditch.<br />
<br />
Tomorrow is another day, a day when I will have to drive to
Gloucestershire to sort out a database that has gone bad. that
will be a clean day.<br />
<br />
<br />

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The life of a field t ech

by Jeff Dray In reply to Jeff's Blog from the fiel ...

Becomes harder at this time of the year, living in a tourist destination suddenly, when the sun puts in an appearance, the roads suddenly fill up with tractors towing loads of Hay, elderly folk touring the beauty spots with caravans in tow and a huge outbreak in the number of large boats being transported on low loader trucks with slow moving escort vehicles.<br /><br /><br />My bosses recently did some statistacal analysis and found that my average journey time has increased by 20% since the winter.  I invited them to spend the day with me to see why this is.  today I spent a considerable time queueing behind a truck carrying a 45 foot luxury cruiser from Poole to Dorchester, the boat overhung both lanes and there was no way to pass it.  at ten miles per hour the queue was spectacular.  The question puzzles me:  Why move a boat from Poole, a coastal town with access to the water, to Dorchester, the county town where the only open water is a  Victorian Horse trough just big enough to wash your docks in?<br /><br />

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Holiday time

by Jeff Dray In reply to Jeff's Blog from the fiel ...

I moved house recently.  we went from a modern 4 bedroomed
detatched house on a suburbian estate to a 200 year old stone
cottage.  With 3-foot thick walls the Wireless Access Point only
works in one room so I spent yesterday running cat-5 around the place
so that I can use all the PCs on the net.  Having just passed my
Network + I was glad that it all worked properly without any hiccups, I
would have been forced to send my certificate back if any of the ports
not worked straightaway.  

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