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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


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.

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.


I used to play racquetball. I never liked playing the same person continuously.  I preferred to play the challenge games. This allowed you to walk into a new guy each game. If you played to 11, you had maybe 3 – 5 points to figure out this player. His weak points and his strong points. Then you needed to exploit this to get to 11 before he did.

I would like to use this concept in my work. I would like to take up temp jobs, 6 months or less. I figure after 1 to 2 years, I should have picked up various techniques that would raise my skill level to where I can take on any challenge offered.

The problem I’m having, is getting started.

My skill set is front end web development, and to a lesser extent, design. I have a personal site, and have done sites for organization on a pro bono basis. I have yet to do this professionally.

Pet Peeves

Do I have them = Yes.

My wife has here own business. Works from a makeshift room in the back end of a tandem garage space. She has a direct entrance to the outside. We built a porch in front of her shop. If you are interested to see what I’m talking about =

We have customers that come to our house for her business.

Do not park in, or block our driveway. I find it very frustrating trying to work both not to yell at the offender and not offending my wife by yelling at her customers.

Just today, as I am coming home, I see a customer park at the curb, half on the curb and half in front of our driveway. Right in front of my wife’s car. If Anita needed to move her car for any reason, this woman would be in the way. There was plenty of room on the curb to pull forward another 5 feet and clear the driveway altogether.

I wonder about the consideration some people have towards others.

Fixed the new ride

Had to pull the tank, remove the top carb , air filter, and the intake mount.

Then I was able to reach the hose clamp that was giving me trouble. I then tightened it, as well as some of the others I wasn’t able to reach either. Put the carb back on and its related components. then prior to remounting the tank, I started it up to see if the repairs worked. They did.

Then put the tank back on and took it for a spin.

No more leaks.