Wednesday, July 10, 2019By:
Sometimes, there are little eccentricities in daily work, tiny unforeseeable, ungovernable, unstoppable happenings that manifest less than blips on a radar. Sometimes these blips are fraction-of-a-second power hiccups. Sometimes these power hiccups damage circuitry in vacuum pump controller boxes, and sometimes those controller boxes are vital to your research. Basically, I reference Eric Roth’s screenplay of Forrest Gump, Scene 114, line 7.
Yet the world spins on, deadlines are tyrants of time blind to the stumbles of the workers upon whose backs they stamp. So, what option do you have except to figure it out? Research the problem. “What does Error 006 mean? What do the symptoms of the pump tell about the problem and its solutions?” Try your own solutions, and if they don’t work, ask for help. Find someone who has encountered these problems before, and if they can’t help, see if you can get a replacement. It turns out there’s a spare pump with one of the members of the team, but the pump connections are different from the old, sadly broken, pump.
So, what option do you have except to make it work? Dig through cabinets of vacuum hardware, salvage old projects, re-work the system so that the system works for you. In the end, after a few days of failed pump-downs, a number of face-palm-worthy mistakes, tens of gaskets wasted, and hundreds of bolts bolted then unbolted then bolted again, it might just work, and that’s the way of things. Get your hands dirty, you can always wash them later. When it’s all said and done, you might come out of it knowing a hell of a lot more about high vacuum hardware.
Then, much like the time-tyrant deadlines, you dust your self off and keep moving. There’s tests to run—and fun to be had! Almost as a requiem and recompense for the frustrations of the vacuum-pump snaffoo, the universe mercifully laid the work week to rest on that Wednesday; Independence Day Eve. That night, I made a trip down to good ol’ Ronny Reagan National Airopuerto to meet up with my girlfriend, fresh off a flight from Colorado.
The next five days made a super-sonic whoosh as they cracked by, leaving only flash-blind images of a Fourth of July cookout, a John Stamos-Lindsey Stirling-Carole King-Vanessa Carlson concert viewed from high on the capitol steps, the story-filled power-duo of the American History Museum and Museum of Natural Science, amazing make-your-own pizza, adventures in Chinatown and with college-town friends, kayak flourishes, running through a monsoon, music, and a little bit of writing.