Mr Wing's WPcom Blog

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Time and money wasted by ordering the wrong parts.


Corporate had a dilemma.
The divisions were solving their problems using the shotgun method.
Order many parts, perhaps one or two will work, return all the rest.
Each part ordered had to be shipped.
We were an international company.
If the part didn’t exist in the system, corporate paid for the making of a new part.

Each division had its own way of tracking parts. Most used Excel spreadsheets.

Corporate put this problem to each of its divisions.
Find a solution, was the call.

Our graphics department’s solution was to put pictures to the Excel spread sheets.
We created a picture with the correct part number, and part description.
My suggestion was to then show the part in its location in the overall assembly.

At that time, I was the only Technical Illustrator who know HTML.
My suggestion was to put this effort on our internal web, our intranet.
The user could now bring their laptop into a clean room, as opposed to a technical document.
Updates could be done within hours instead of weeks as with hard copy documents.
My suggestion then was to highlight the part in the assembly.
Once the user moved the mouse over a listing of parts, that part would be highlighted in its parent assembly image.
Select the part from the computer screen and be taken to an image of the individual part with its correct ordering information.
A link then to return the user to the parent image assembly.

The next logical step was to generate a ‘Drill Down’ path from the overall top level assembly,
to each sub-assembly containing these parts.
Some of these parts were individual parts or assemblies that needed replacement on a periodic basis.
These were referred to as a FRU; Field Replaceable Unit.
Others were problem parts that had worn out, or were causing problems and needed replacement.

During the development, I created several web based layouts suggesting how each problem could be addressed.
Then presented these concepts in a weekly meeting.
I still have a lot of these early concepts.

The final layout configuration contained a number of my concepts.
We came to a consensus the application was to called the VFI (Visual FRU Identifier).
The VFI concept was then presented to Corporate and they loved it.
So much so, they dictated the VFI, an intranet web based application, was to be a deliverable with each tool sold.
Our VFI was used by the technical support team that maintained each tool sold to a customer.
The divisions like it as well, now every department that has a salable item wants our VFI to support its product.

Corporate determined the company saved $500,000 in the first six months of application,
just by not ordering the wrong parts.

BTW, would you like to see an example of what this PAR is about?
VFI Concept


Unemployed Again

It happened, I am now unemployed again.

I just finished month 13 of a 6 month contract. It went longer than I thought it would, which was a good thing.

When I first came in they said you have approx. 500 images to work. I took a look and came up with over 1000. The response was ‘wait a second, let us take a look and see what you have found’.  They said the 1000 images was filled with duplications, out of date images, and was not to be considered as viable. We will review the list and start sending you good images. I was fed new images each week.

I was then given my first extension, another 6 months. Then we found out that wasn’t enough, I was given another month. The story I was told was that the department I supported could not fund another extension. I was down to about the last dozen or so images anyway. I do not know what they will do with the last few images required.

Well, that then puts me back into the job market.


Where have I heard the following before?
The ability to purchase a $25,000 motorcycle and gear, does not make you an instant motorcyclist.
Here it is November 7, 2011, and I am the only motorcycle on the morning commute.
Where did all the other riders I have seen during the course of this year go?
You don’t suppose that the current temperature is around 45 degrees and partly cloudy has anything to do with it?

I had an incident happen about mid summer this year that I keep thinking about.
I was coming home on my regular commute on the back roads of Livermore.
I saw a full dresser several miles ahead. As I got closer, I could see it was a Kawasaki Concorse.
He had the full riding gear. He had the proper jacket, boots, pants, and helmet. It looked like all new gear. I saw that his bike was new as well.
Then what hit me, he was riding right down the middle of the lane, right on the grease spots.
On the turns, he would move to the outside of the curve, then once back on the straights, back to the center of the lane.

I pulled up behind him, and rode to one side, offset, for about a mile.
At one curve, as he pulled to the outside, I pulled abreast of him on the inside of the curve.
As we got to the straight lane, he started to move to the center again. So I backed off to a staggered position again.
This is when he noticed me, and it scared the shit out of him. You can tell by the way his bike went into a wobble.
He backed off the throttle and move to a position behind me.
He blasted his horn and I could hear him shouting.
I signaled that we pull over, park and have a conversation.
When we did so, he blasted me with a series of insults.
When I replied, he gave me a ‘wait a minuet’ gesture and reached down to turn off a switch, then removed an earpiece form his ear.

He was listening to the radio all this time! I wonder if he had both ears on the headphones?

I asked him if he had seen me, as I had been following him for over a mile.
I figured we could ride two abreast for a while on our commute.
He replied with more high pitched insults.
I tried to tell him about not riding in the center of the lane, as this is the slickest part of the lane.
I also tried to tell him, as a motorcyclist, he needs to be aware of his surroundings.
All I got was more insults.
I couldn’t talk to this guy, and he sure didn’t want to listen.
So, with him there yelling at me, I took off.
About 30 seconds later, he zipped past me at a high rate of speed. Again down the center of the lane.

Thinking about what happened, he must be a new rider, new bike, and full gear.
Some dealer talked him into getting a radio and all the amenities that go with the bikes they are sell these days.
He was in his own little world, riding the road, listening to his favorite sounds, completely oblivious to the world around him. Till he realized some bike was right next to him. And the reality check scared the hell out of him.

I have been watching for him again on my commute, and have yet to see him. It has been over six months now.

I figure his concept of the adventure of motorcycle riding hadn’t turned out to be what he had envisioned.

I wonder if he is smart enough to try to further educate himself, of if he is trying to sell off all that new gear he bought.
If he is smart, I should see him again sometime.

The Beast

Man, if I didn’t like riding motorcycle so much, this commute would get tired fast.
Each morning I dread the 56 mile commute.
About 20 miles in, I feel great. Zipping and zooming around the turns, making that bike purr.
Nothing like doing a 90 degree turn and accelerating out of it at max throttle.
There a couple of S turns just before I get to work that are rather pleasant to take at the speed limit of 35mph, but a blast at 85.

The Suzuki is back.

Commuting to work about 3 weeks ago, the bike got really loud real quick. I found that the header pipe on the rear cylinder had cracked all the way around at the flange that mounts into the cylinder. Now I was running with a straight pipe on the rear cylinder.

Was able to ride it home, about 15 miles. There it sat while I searched for a replacement pipe. Nothing on CraigsList, nothing on the Marauder Yahoo Group I belong to. Found something on eBay. A salvage yard in Ohio had a full exhaust set for my year bike.

Asking $25. Cool, what a deal. Made a bid. It sat for 3 days, and I got a notification I was loosing the bid. Someone else wanted my pipes.     I raised my max bid, and so did he. To end this story, I maxed out at $106, plus $48 for shipping.

I guess it was OK, the dealer wanted $365 just for the one piece I wanted.  Not counting labor, I guess I saved some money.

Took 3 days to deliver, and got it on tonight. I will be riding tomorrow.

Now I have 2 sets of exhaust pipes for this bike I cannot use. Both are on CraigsList.

The Cobras are here ->  Ref:

Bottom line – I’m up again.

Yahoo, I have been plagiarized.

The original =         I am the web author.
2nd photo down, select the link under, and view the images in the student speaker contest selection bar.

The Popularization =

Big link – huh?
Go to page 6A, the photo in the upper right of the page look familiar?
Someone PhotoShoped it some. Lightened it, but lost some quality, that happens with JPG graphic formats.

This paper is free to view on-line, so I guess there is no $ lost on my part.
My photos on the Lions website are meant to be copied for personal use.
I guess I should put some kind of statement specifying this.

How does the saying go? The best compliment is to be copied.

Lordy, I got a comment!

“I shot an arrow into the air, where it fell . . . ”

Evidently there are targets out there. Somebody is reading. Cool.

Now it looks like I might have to increase my content.