Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Well, That's Better

     Managed to work only eight hours, actually made some progress, learned about 1950s elevator controls,* discovered we would not be using the tower elevator in the downward direction that day  -- "Kid, we don't carry parts that old on the truck," which I will take from someone who is both my senior and so obviously knows his trade -- got out roughly on time and made it to the drive-thru doc.

     I drew a physician's assistant, who didn't hear any crackling from my lungs (I did, in bed in the middle of last night, but I've got to be listening close and I had to experiment to make sure it wasn't my sinuses) but wasn't at all happy with the sore throat, cough etc.  Symptomatic treatment was the order of the day, some good strong cough syrup I can only take around bedtime and Prednisone as an anti-inflammatory: a "stop hurting, stop coughing and buy time" approach that makes sense to me; the Tincture of Time cures a lot of things if the symptoms don't drive the patient to distraction.  The corticosteroid isn't without its own set of possible effects but it's not for very long, in a hit hard and taper off regimen that ought to help.

     The Ancient Greek were probably right, though -- for serious doctoring, there should be some incense and a snake or two around, just so you can be impressed more.  There's a boatload of headology in regular-type medical practice: they're mainly arranging things so your body can do the work.  It doesn't hurt to breathe on the dice before you roll 'em.

     However she did it, I was able to get a decent night's sleep and my outlook this morning is considerably less dyspeptic than it had been.  This is a good thing, as I was about ready to sell a kidney, pay off the house, and retire.
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* From the 1920s onwards, unless it says "Otis" on the elevator controls and possibly even then, C. J. Anderson built it.  Sure, there's someone else's name tag on it, but those beautifully-wired slate or thick metal panels full of open-frame relays, with everything dressed neatly, flat roadmaps of wire held by soft-metal strips?  Odds are good C. J.Anderson built it up near Chicago, IL, and odds are they still have repair parts for it.  Don't try this at home; elevator repair is a job for experts, and that's who they sell to.

7 comments:

mostly cajun said...

It's not just elevators. I've worked in a lot of Forties-vintage (wonder why they had that sudden spate of building?)powerplants. Looking on the back side of a GE or Westinghouse (and WASN'T anybody else! - Well, there were, but...) generator panel is a step back to when craftmanship was king. As you said, every conductor laid parallel to its mate, all held down by clamps, sold conductors hold form exactly as installed, all neatly controlled by clever arrangements of iron and copper, and not a sinlge firmware update overdue on any of it.

MC

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I should take you up to visit the elevator penthouse at the cubical building where I used to be on the building committee :) That elevator and machinery came out of a downtown department store in the early 1950's and is still running and costing an arm and a leg every year in maintenance. Oh, and the building is so old that the penthouse has no floor -- it's wide open to the shaft, with everything sitting on H-beams above it. The next thing to go wrong will be the final failure of an adjustable Babbitt-metal bearing that's already been adjusted as far out as it can go...and at that point, I think they're going to be out of luck.

We were told it would be close to a million bucks to replace that one and the original 1908-vintage "freight" elevator on the other side of the building...

Oh, and did I mention that the elevators in that building are still DC, and running off of IPL-owned rectifiers in the basement that only one old, practically-retired IPL tech knows anything about? :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, opening a panel on 'ye olde contol gear' and seeing proper open-frame relays (the way God intended them to be!), properly loomed and lashed with waxed string wire harnesses, and you get just a general overall impression that when they made it, they actually cared how it was built.

But for those that whine 'they don't make 'em like they used to!', some things, they actually are made better now than then.

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I distinctly remember my parent's bought-new automobiles breaking down far more often than today's cars, especially the Japanese made ones.

One takes the good with the bad, I suppose...

Old NFO said...

Glad to hear there is at least 'some' improvement!

FrankC said...

Isn't it comforting to be referred to as "Kid"?

Raqndy GC said...

What Old NFO said.

Rich P said...

I confess to having dressed #0000 "wiring" on a contactor panel-with a hammer.