View Full Version : I Wanna Be

07-19-2008, 01:26 PM
Hi again, Folks.

I'd like your opinions/thoughts.

I've learned a good bit about being a machinist from here, from my Dad who was/is a machinist, from fooling around with my grizzly G9729 mill/lathe, from reading book after book after book, etc. Still, I'm not a formally trained, bonafide, employable machinist. I wanna be. As many here have testified, bonafide machinist schools are hard to find.

I told the people at the vo-Tech I wanted to become a bonafide machinist. They asked me if I was going for a degree. I asked if that's how I get the best they have to offer. They said yes. I said, sure I want a degree then.

So I start classes in the latter half of August. The only books I've been told to get are a blue print reading workbook and a "Machine Tools Technology" text book and workbook and I have purchased them. I will go for five semesters across twenty-one months.

This is the link to the course description.


So, assuming I really apply myself and get everything I can from this course, how employable will I be on course completion?

and, completely different question,

How much of a real bonafide machinist do you think I can be on course completion, again assuming that I really apply myself to learning all they have to offer?



07-19-2008, 01:33 PM
I ASSUME you are in La.

07-19-2008, 01:42 PM
Depends on local demand, most likely. If there are lots of qualified, experienced people around, a "new guy" with no experience may find it difficult no matter how much training he has. Experience counts for a lot. If shops are desperate for workers, it will be a lot easier.

If I were looking, I'd be inclined to take a few samples of my particularly nice work with me to job interviews, to show off.

On your "completely different question," I think the only way to become a "real bonafide machinist" is experience. In Guy Lautard's "Machinist Bedisde Reader #1," there's a short story with this exchange:

Young Guy: "I'm a toolmaker."
Old Master: "They used to say it took 20 years to become a toolmaker."
YG: "I'm still learning."
OM: "So am I."

07-19-2008, 03:03 PM
Machine tool technology by Krar is a great text, I taught from it and it has just about everything you need. Now you have to have the "bible" Machinery handbook, latest edition you can afford. You need to try to get a job in a machine shop, part time, while you are going to Tech School. Hands on is essential along with theory. You need both big time. You don't post your location so assume U.S. Hope your math is up to snuff. Peter

07-19-2008, 03:29 PM
This is the link to the course description.


So, assuming I really apply myself and get everything I can from this course, how employable will I be on course completion?

and, completely different question,

How much of a real bonafide machinist do you think I can be on course completion, again assuming that I really apply myself to learning all they have to offer?



It looks good, but lacks intro welding , drafting and CAD.

You should do fine if you get good grades and learn to do a good job fast. I find many student take all day to set up and do simple stuff once out of school. Sharpening a drill should not take half an hour.

If you can get up to speed making pallet loads of good parts and dumpsters full of chips the cash flow will go right up.

Mark Hockett
07-19-2008, 04:42 PM
The predominate job market for a machinist these days is in the CNC machining industry. If you go to school to become a machinist try to learn as much about CNC machining as possible. Also try to learn as much about CAD/CAM as possible. Just about anyone with basic machine experience can get a job as a CNC machine operator, I have hired kids right out of high school to run my machines. The problem for a shop is finding people who can do more than just push the start button. What I look for in a machinist, not operator, is someone I can hand a print to and they can hand me a completed part back. That means they need to be able to set up the tooling and work holding in the machine, program the the machine and run the parts. Many times this might require drawing the part in CAD and generating the tool paths in a CAM system. This also might require using both a CNC lathe and CNC mill. If you learn how to do these things it will help you move up quickly and earn substantially more money than an operator would.

If you decide to attend a school that teaches CNC, look for one that has up to date equipment and teaches the more popular CAD and CAM systems like Mastercam X, Gibbscam, Camworks, Catia and Solidworks. There are others but those are some common ones.

There is a huge shortage of machinists here in the Seattle area and trying to find someone that has a passion for the job and is not just looking for a paycheck is even tougher. If you were in this area and looking for a job I would probably hire you regardless of your experience just because you seem to have a passion for it. In a small shop like mine you would get the experience very quick, kind of like being a doctor in Vietnam. The last kid I hired out of HS was programing and setting up machines in a few months. Then all you have to learn is the hardest part, how to bid the jobs and do the paperwork crap, and you can run a shop :).

07-19-2008, 04:44 PM
OK, Guys. I apologize for being incomplete. I updated my profile to reflect my home location.

I grew up in the shadow of a machinist/millwright/perfectionist. My first welding bead was laid at age 5 with a Lincoln AC cracker box. Though a high school drop out, I've never "struggled" with any of the "R"s. I suck at history and geography, but I can read a map and what happened a thousand years ago seems to be changing every time a new scientist comes along. For purpose of certificate, I took my GED in 1989. In recent years, to improve my math, I bought and studied the self improvement volume "Technical Shop Mathematics" by John G. Anderson. I currently own the 26th edition of the "Machinery's Handbook" the same edition of the "Pocket Companion" and the guide to tell me how to use it if I get lost. I've also thoroughly studied a number of Audel's books (Machine Shop, Millwright, Mechanic's). A few years ago I found an internet site that had a pdf version of the U.S. Navy's Machinery Repairman Book and printed and studied it. (I can no longer find that online). I own three welding machines, (Lincoln AC cracker box, Hobart MIG, and Hobart TIG/AC/DC stick), and have spent a lot of time in my shop doing what my wife calls "playing". So the point is that I have some background and some ability and experience.

But, none as an employee. My work experience is a small amount of carpentry, some years as a prison guard, many years as a paramedic, and some years as a safety & compliance advisor on offshore drilling rigs.

I submitted a resume' to a large paper mill in applying to become an industrial mechanic (millwright) for them. I don't know why but they let me test for the job. There was some welding, pipefitting, electrical wiring, pump maintenance, pump motor alignment, teamwork ability, general personality evaluation, (by the union and the company). I passed all that. Then they reviewed my resume' again to see where I learned all this. The lack of formal education or OJT cost me the job.

So it's obvious that a man cannot acquire experience without being employed to do the job. The only thing left is to get a formal education.

So that's the short version of how I got to this point.

07-19-2008, 05:36 PM
If I still had a shop in industry I'd hire you. Peter

07-19-2008, 07:07 PM
I'm curious about your choice of screen names.

"An accidental event that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear components but which does not create the risk of nuclear war, known as a Broken Arrow in United States military terminology."

Having spent over twenty years working around that sort of stuff, it sure grabbed my attention.

I'm impressed with your writing skills. That's going to be a real plus when you apply for a job. Your diverse experience is going to help, too. My guess is that someone will want to put you in a management position before you get to make many chips.


07-19-2008, 08:10 PM
I really appreciate the opinions/thoughts. Please keep them coming. I also appreciate the votes of confidence. That just makes me happy. :D

Roger, that's not the first time my "handle" has wrinkled the eyebrow, but I came by it this way...

My Dad was one of the first recreational "Irish" deer hunters in our neck of the woods to successfully and consistently take whitetailed deer with a bow and arrow. In campfire sessions of idle chat, he became playfully nicknamed "Arrowhead". Sometime later, when CB radios became popular, we first used them for hunting purposes. They were particularly handy because we ran walker dogs and those dogs would run a deer plum through the next county. It took a team to keep track of them. Well, to use a CB you had to have a "handle". It was an easy fit for Pop to use "Arrowhead" but being a hunting family, me and my step-mom needed handles too. In keeping with the NA theme, she chose "Blue Moon" for herself and I chose "Broken Arrow" for myself. Of course all that was a lifetime ago and almost nobody uses CBs anymore. The name laid dormant for a couple of decades, then one day I signed up for a profile on a hunting forum and needed a "username", so I brushed the dust off of it and have used it so much that if you dig deep enough in your search results, you'll find me on some forum somewhere.

07-19-2008, 09:56 PM
I would think #1 your drive and desire is your best asset, your safety and paramedic experience is always desirable, my one doubt is that America seems to be downsizing right now with manufacturing, hopefully you aren't in those zones.......

07-20-2008, 01:33 AM
You could always move up to Illinois. Industrial Tech students at my local college have to try very hard NOT to graduate with a job. They have a manufacturing work experience program with several machine shops and manufacturing firms in town, which basically places the students in a real shop on a part-time job basis and they also receive class credit. The vast majority of them get hired on full time

07-20-2008, 01:01 PM
BrokenArrow, my opinion here, from what you know and your experience, you will be absolutely bored out of your mind in that curriculum. 180 hrs of classes labeled "drill press"??? Looks like its split up half class and half lab, how much can you learn about a drill press??

To me it seems like a throw back from the early '70s. Its all good stuff to know, and a lot of it translates directly to the more modern side of things, but the same amount of time is devoted to learning about a drill press as learning CNC stuff. Seems like its meant for kids straight out of high school that don't know what they want to do, but like making stuff and working with their hands.

If being a machinist is really what you want to do, if I actually wanted employees, I would hire you in a second, you seem like you have done a lot of hands on work in other areas, you own a welder, so you can't be all bad, and you seem motivated.

When I ran a shop for somebody else, the one thing I hated doing was "untraining" and "re-training" susposedly experienced people. The best employees and the ones that rose the quickest and learned the most were the ones that knew little when they came in(and had no problem admitting it), but had a passion for it, the ones when during a tour of the shop would ask 6million questions, stick their heads in all the machines, and even ask if they could just watch for a while.

If I were you, I'd go out looking for a job, there is some good oil field stuff in LA, I lost one kid, who went to LA, he was only 25, I was paying him about $8 an hour and he went back to his old job at $21 an hour, and he really didn't know a lot (he could run a manual lathe like crazy though), but he sure was a quick learner.

I'd pick choose the courses, if they let you. Blue Print Reading is never a bad thing, and there a lot of people that I have run across that have been doing this for years and years that still can't read a print.

Good Luck

07-20-2008, 01:29 PM
I agree with bobw53 that you may get bored as hell but like I was saying if you go fast you can fly through the classes.

In college I did my 11 week project twice in my first week of class then spent my time doing more advanced projects, most teachers will move you on to things that are more your level to keep you interested.

you my find a night class will be enough to go get a job. if you can cut threads on a lathe and set up a mill and dial in a vice you have most guys off the street beat.

Being able to run manual machines and sharpen tools by hand will help a bunch if you get into job shop and repair type work.

I have done job shop work 90% of the time, so few people can run any machine and weld so finding a job is a peice of cake.

CNC is the easy stuff, I worked in shops where we had 20 gray haired old grannys running CNC's.

07-20-2008, 04:34 PM
Instead of seeking a job in a papermill try looking around for a small company that looks for people able to learn and do the jobs THEY need. Working on an oil rig I would think you had contact with sub contractors? There is much more in the machinist employment possiblities than just running a drill press or CNC machine slave all day! Think mechanical/machinist instead of just "machinist".


07-22-2008, 03:20 PM
I'm sure that small shops are great somewhere, but for my neck of the woods, I ain't likely to find a decent retirement and benefit package working in Uncle Joe's ironworks. Already having one serious bout with lung cancer, I really have to have those things, plus I'd like to get decent steady pay. So, I really need to build on my resume' as much as I need to build on myself.

David Powell
07-22-2008, 09:55 PM
While it is a very long story, briefly I did almost exactly what you intend. I had a good education, a steady job as a civilian administrator with a police force and, thanks to Model Engineering and part time employers with full size steam tractors etc, a yearning to actually MAKE things for a living. I quit my job and got on a 6 month Centre Lathe training course, sponsored by the government. Within a week the instructor took me aside and asked why I was there. From then on I did the Govt course in the mornings and his course in the sfternoons, ( He had Worked at Napiers building Aero engines). I had a couple of jobs locally and then emigrated to Canada. i have never been out of work, havent made a fortune, but dont lack a dollar ,had lots of fun trying to be self employed but found it better to be an employee and have a spare time business as well. I have made parts for Dodgem cars to pill counting machines and am presently personal machinist for the in house tool designer for a multi million dollar automotive parts supplier. Incidentally, I have had little to do with CNC, for much of the one off and prototyping work I do and have done using the digital readouts is adequate, though the possibilities of CNC fascinate me the thought of more intensive learning at nearly retirement age is a bit daunting. I hope this is encouraging. Regards David Powell.

08-05-2008, 12:15 AM
So, I've been to the vo-tech a couple of times. Still trying to wrap my brain around the "credit hour". Who invented that thing? The semester will begin at the end of August. I will major in machine tool technology and take as many drafting classes as possible along the way. When I finish machine tools, I will continue the drafting. At that point, I should only need another semester, (maybe two), to get an associate degree in drafting/CAD, so I figure "Why not?". Turns out that nobody has ever attempted to take drafting simultaneously with machine school. (...and there's this big ol' CAM machine in the shop just begging for somebody to write some stuff for it.) I'll blaze the trail. The more thought I've given this, the more I like it. Thanks for the suggestions.

08-05-2008, 02:29 AM
My local college has a "machinist training" program, which I enrolled in and did sort of what you describe. I'm now employed in a machine shop, in some sort of weird "machinist limbo" where I am doing CNC programming and setup, but am still very novice (~2 years).

The problem with machinist training programs is that 99% of them don't produce anything usable by industry. What the classes will do is allow you to take things you had a hard time at work with, and really explore the subject.

I highly recommend you enroll in the class, take one semester, and immediately afterward go out and find a job. Feel the shop out, if it looks like they have a ton of operators standing around and only a few machinists, bail out because you're not going to learn much standing around pressing a button unless they offer a clear program of advancement. Continue your classes, obviously, but in my opinion you're going to miss a huge learning and career oppertunity if you are not working at the same time. If you take classes without working, when you get out you're going to be in the same employment position as you would be if you had zero experience. The school isn't going to prepare you for life in either a production or prototype environment, the magnitude of the work, or the responsibilities.

To my great annoyance, machining is not like engineering or being a doctor. The experience has to come first, because the knowledge is unfortunately worthless by itself. I spend most of my day reading up on and studying machining, but at work it doesn't come to much.

Just to rephrase it, in engineering, you will have a difficult time getting a job as a junior engineer without an engineering degree. As a machinist, you will get the exact same job with or without the college program. Where it makes the difference is the time after that point - someone with a degree is going to move on faster, career wise, than someone without. But you only have to be in school taking the classes to reap that benefit, you don't have to wait until you finish.

Even if you go and learn all the crazy stuff your school has to offer and get top marks, it doesn't mean anything from a production manager's standpoint. Before I ever started work, I had CNC experience and programming for school. Made some custom parts, did a bunch of manual machine work, and just generally helped out. But at work, it was at least a year before they let me anywhere near setup, despite "being able to." Doing it at school, and doing it with an expensive part in front of you that you shouldn't mess up on are two different things.

Not trying to be mean or discourage you in any way, just echoing the others who have commented on "get a job" from the perspective of someone going through it right now.

08-05-2008, 09:15 AM
I've had a look at the curriculum several times.


It seems to be more an "acquaintance course" to familiarise Engineers, Draftsmen, Planners etc. as part of the very small component of "hands on" training in Machine Shop" practice as part of a Degree/Associate Diploma/Technician etc. course.

It is way, way short of an Apprentice Machinist course program. That sort of program is run in a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) college in OZ - perhaps a "VO" course in the USA?

08-06-2008, 03:24 PM
OK, then. Let me open the door a little wider...

If I had opportunities to choose from, I'd choose a maintenance machinist job or a job shop machinist job. (I grow bored with pushing the same button to make the same part day in and day out.)

That said, I do not have opportunities to choose from.

I cannot get a job as a machinist. (At least so far I have been unsuccessful because I have no "employed" experience and no "formal" training.)

Since it is impossible to get "employed" experience without being employed, and, so far, impossible to to become employed without "employed" experience, I decided to go to school. It's taken years to find an instructor that will work with me on my current offshore schedule of 14/14 days. (Making too much money in that job to switch it to a landbased before landing job in desired field.) Now that I'm signed up and about to go to the best school I can find in my time and money budget, you fellas tell me it's inadequate. *Stomping feet, shaking fists, and yelling dammit-to-heck*:mad:

I still ain't stoppin'! If it don't help me get where I wanna be, I'll just use it all as prereqs and keep schoolin' and be the dang boss someday! DANGIT!


08-06-2008, 05:19 PM
You are not going to get a job as a machinist after a machinist training program, either. By looking for jobs with "machinist" in the title, you've immediately guaranteed you won't find work.

You need to look for operator jobs and press buttons for awhile. Sorry, but that's how it is. Those are the jobs that will take someone with no experience and train them, and if you can't advance at the current company, the skills will open doors elsewhere.

My apologies if you have done this already, but it sounds like you are shooting for the moon right away.

08-06-2008, 06:44 PM
Been their and Done that. You from south Louisiana. Go and finish Trade School. If the school does not find you a job I would be very supprised. Look for a Oil Field machine shop their are plenty in south La. start out at the bottom and work your self up. I did all that 40 years ago and look at me know. You will learn a lot of things in oil field shop you want learn any where else. Stay about 3 are 4 years and move to a tool and die job shop find your calling and go from their. Buy the way you will not be a machinist but a apprentice. it takes Years to become a machinist . I`m still working at it.

08-06-2008, 08:42 PM
Very well, then. Apprenticeship bound, someday...

08-06-2008, 08:54 PM
Very well, then. Apprenticeship bound, someday...

Funny that ba - you were "spot on" as regards an Apprentice-ship in my case and in "my day".

I was an "Indentured Apprentice" (5 years) from 16 to 21. So given the definition of "indenture(d)", I was "bound" (by my Indenture (contract) - signed by my Father and my Employer)!!!


I was "indentured labour" (as were all Apprentices!!!) - well not quite!!


There were specific Government Departments for administering and over-sighting Apprenticeships and Apprentices!!

08-07-2008, 06:12 AM
I am a retired Mechanical Engineer and have been around machining and machine tools my whole career. In looking over the cirrculum, it looks more like a familirazation course. However, if it is what is needed, then get your ticket punched. Maybe you might get a good instructor who will permit you to go down your own road and do the things you want to do. The best way to learn is to do them and make mistakes.

My only susgestion would be to get a course in metallurgy or a good book to get a background. If you understand your materials, you will do a better job.

I have made friends with the Machining Technologies Instructor at the local community college. He has told me that he has companies calling all the time looking for good students to hire. He said that in the past 8 years, he has had 100% placement of his graduating students. One advantage is that we live close to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard where there are a LOT of machinist jobs availalble. If not at the shipyard, in the other industries that support the shipyard. You may have to change locations to "go where the work is located."

A foot note. My instructor friend has told me that the "powers that be" at the college want to close down the machining courses because "no one needs that old stuff." It is funny becasure his course is the only ones with a 100% placement rate while the rest of the college is in the 10% to 20% placement rate!


08-07-2008, 09:49 AM
I am assuming your in your 40's, maybe 50's and looking for a career change that will have some retirement benifits that you now have. Therein lies a problem. Your going to start at the bottom and unless you hire on at a big company with a strong union your not going to find the benifits you probably now have.

Go ahead and start the course and see how it goes. If you can, go to some companies and talk to the hiring dept to see what they require. Tell them the course taking and ask them if it will help you get a job.

08-07-2008, 11:39 AM
I know a lot of people that went through that course in the New Orleans area, and I also completed the course. I had a great teacher that I have become good friends with,he gave me a Pratt & Whitney Model "B" lathe after I graduated and I lost it in Katrina.One of my friends that completed the course only makes $400,000 a year in his shop. This teacher has turned out many first class machinists in the 40 years that he taught "Machine Tool Technology". Go for it and learn all you can,your teacher will recognize your ability and steer you in the right direction.

08-08-2008, 06:22 PM
Hello, neighbor. ONLY 400K? LOL. Must be horrible.

Well, however it turns out, I've made my mind up to do this machine school through to diploma and to go ahead and get the two year associate degree for drafting. After spending 15 months unable to work, I have a real understanding of how disability affects you. It ain't all money, either. I realize that changing careers at 42 (43-Sept 09), ain't the slickest thing for a fella to do but I've had some time to ponder it and I'm gonna try. If I am faced with disability again in near years, perhaps I can step up the drafting work until I can regain my footing. I eluded to it before, but a big driver in all of this has been my experience with lung cancer. For now, we got it all and I'm cancer free, but there's an extra serving of uncertainty that comes with it. Of course I'm not gonna just curl up in my easy chair and wait for it, but I do have to consider it a possibility to be a more prevalent part of my future than I would wish. So having great comfort with crafting/metal crafting/mechanical anything/designing/barnyard engineering, I go forward with the desire to enjoy my employment as much as I can for the remainder of my working years and perhaps be able to maintain some employability/employment square in the face of disability. In the most obvious way, I am not a desirable risk for an employer to take, but for the same reason, I will be a top notch employee...if I get hired. I wasn't sure about how helpful this school would be. That's why I was asking about it here. Some of you gave me some advice and some of it I took. After looking into the drafting deal, I realized that I already knew a lot about it too. I guess just exposure to blue prints and such and I did take a few minutes of drafting in the couple of hours of high school that I attended. What's more is that I LIKE it. So it really fits well into the whole scheme. For now, I'll be taking all the hours they will allow me, (16-20), so I'll be classified as a full time student. Maybe somewhere along the way I will be able to change employment to one of a fabricating nature, and I may end up pushing buttons as an operator, or not. No matter what, I expect that I will thoroughly enjoy the school. I do really appreciate all the words of wisdom and guidance. Feel free to add any more.

08-08-2008, 08:19 PM
Job shop was my first job just out of school as a machinist,interesting work and I learned a lot that they do not have time to teach in the present machinist classes,no CNC there,lots of one offs and repair work. Learn CNC and get good at it and look for an air conditioned shop,those shops are hot as hell in summer and the metal is like playing with ice in the winter!

08-08-2008, 10:01 PM
Machining, metal-work etc. in their various guises as a hobby where you can choose what to do and when and how to do it is one thing.

Doing it as an occupation for a necessary income is quite another - whether as an employee or as an "Independent Contractor". That may well not be an option as you say.

"Drafting" - both manual and computer-based - at all levels, is pretty well able to be done at home or in a non-aggressive environment. Costs are considerable but affordable. There is a lot of study and on-going education ("self" and "class" based) required to "keep up to date".

If I were in your position, I would have expert medical advice as to which occupations or careers were on the "no-no" list and which were not and which were most suitable.

I'd imagine that "stress" in all its forms is to be avoided.

Drafting is or can be very creative and rewarding. In the event that it might be needed it can be quite therapeutic as well.

08-15-2008, 10:50 AM
I discovered TRIG!:p

OK, of course it was discovered a few years ago, but I SEE, I SEE!:eek:

You see, I didn't do trig in school 'cause I didn't do school. Even when I bought John Anderson's "Shop Mathematics" a few years ago and did the exercises in it, apparently I got hung up at the point of trig. Apparently, I either lost interest or got distracted at that point in my life and at that point in the book. It was a couple of years ago so I can't remember how exactly I terminated my study of "Shop Mathematics", but whatever happened, I have never been able to grasp the basic concept of trigonometry...until last night/this morning. My new text, "Technology of Machine Tools" was going along just fine through unit 12. Then came unit 13. It seemed there was no way I was going to complete the lesson on angles without sine bars, sine plates, and ultimately trigonometry. Now, this new book doesn't teach trig. In fact, the new book seems to presume the student already has a working knowledge of trig. Well, I had no choice but get to the bottom of this trig thing and I pulled out Mr. Anderson's "Shop Mathematics". Good thing I had the foresite to bring it with me offshore, eh? (I know, there's always the internet but I was already in my room, in bed.) So I open it up to right angle trig and within 15 minutes I finally saw the pattern. WOW! It was honestly like a lightbulb came on, and a bright one, at that. It's friggern triangular ratio and proportion! Why don't somebody just say that? So I looked at it some more today and got a little more in depth and it's a little bit too much for me to memorize in one day but at least now I can make some sense of it, where before it was attempts to memorize stuff just because that's how the book said it was. I'm very pleased with this development.

So, with that, I mark this course to have been successful and I ain't even had my first day of class yet.

08-15-2008, 11:26 AM
Broken Arrow,

Thats cool. I don't care if you are 10 or 100 years old, seeing somebody learn something and get excited about it is very cool.

It really is simple, and they don't teach it that way. My memory thing for basic trig is

SOH-CAH-TOA, sounds like an indian name. The Woo Woo kind, not the dot kind of indian.

"S"ine is "O"pposite over "H"ypotenuse
"C"osine is "A"djacent over "H"ypotenuse
"T"angent is "O"pposite over "A"djacent.

It takes a mouth breather a full semester to teach you that.

Keep at it, you'll find that most of what you need to know is very simple, and the way it was laid out to you back in high school was just confusing and cumbersome.

08-15-2008, 11:32 AM
Do feel free to ask questions around here. There are a lot of folks that would be glad to help you learn myself included!


08-15-2008, 12:06 PM
LOL! The guys around here are really gonna wonder about me walking around her chanting my new NA song.



09-13-2008, 09:20 PM
Well, work and school had to take a back seat for a bit. Gustav came through and dealt us a little misery. My wife, my stepdaughter, her husband and my 3 yr old grandson were all in the den. I had taken about three steps out of the den. Huge pine tree fell and demolished the den. Grandson and SIL came out of it with only a scratch. Wife and stepdaughter not so lucky. Wife got a broken neck out of the deal and Pookie is really bruised up in her hip, (also in her first trimester with another grandbaby). So far Pat has had her neck fused (titanium plates bolted to C-6 and C-7), Pookie has to wait another week before her fetus is big enough to handle the MRI needed to determine her injuries exactly but we do know it's not broken bone, yet she still requires crutches to get about.



A before and after for about the same interior angle



Of course everything is much different now, as I have spent the past week, (between hospital trips) to clean up, etc. Rain damage was pretty extensive, including my August/Sept issue of MWS :(
Pat's out of the hosp. now and staying at the BIL's until we can get the house fixed.

Oh, school, well, week one included the industrial revolution, fractions, and making a comb looking thing with a hack saw and a file with a +/- 1/64" tolerance. I thought it was a pretty goofy assignment until I saw the other guys in the class struggling with it. It was then that I realized that I will do much better once we break off into our individual assignments and I can progress at a pace limited only by my own ignorance and the trust of the instructor. (Understanding that this is what the instructor has indicated would eventually happen).

For now, I'm just really sitting down long enough to think about what homework I should try to do in the drafting class. Since my rig is evacuated anyway for Ike, I don't have to go to work yet and since the school was damaged some by Gustav skipped classes haven't become an issue. Still have a ton to get done around the house. Even so, I can't afford to get behind in school so I will at least read a good bit in the drafting texts.

Hey, does anyone know what the easiest way to get a single replacement issue of MWS is?

Well, that's all for now...

10-10-2008, 06:21 PM
Well, the wife is still hurting pretty bad. I've emptied the house into one of those POD storage things in the front yard and I had to get back to work while a contractor is rebuilding the destroyed half of the house. So I'm offshore and the wife is staying with the oldest girl. Thankfully, Pookie is doing better, had no broken bones and the fetus she is carrying is OK. Machine school has progressed from talking about the industrial revolution to creating small mild steel objects that do nothing more than get me a grade. My grades are good, though. Of course, that's with a file and a hacksaw. Drafting classes are progressing and my grades are good there too. Right now the biggest trouble is trying to juggle this crazy, mixed up, damaged life and still go to school. Me and the wife decided, though, that our commitment to me going this route in career is too important to blow it off because of a little hurricane. Therefore I remain a progressing wannabe.

10-10-2008, 07:32 PM
Congratulations on your school work and best of luck in recovering from the hurricane!



10-10-2008, 08:35 PM
Formal education is good and I am for it, but it only increases your chances, it doe not garuntee them. I have a BA industrial engineering but have never worked in the field.
After I retired from the service, I had trouble getting work until I started writng resumes for each job that I applied for, one standard resume won't cut it.After I fixed that problem I started to get interviews but no jobs. So finally went to an interview and during the course of the interview I pulled out a small brass gear train I built, just a piece of model engineering junk really, crank turning a worm and wheel gear which turned a shaft to which a spur gear turned another spur gear on a second shaft. I told the HR person I built
this and that I can do the same for their company. The next day I was employed.