The Campaign For DA

4.20.2015

Random Monday Morning Thoughts




  • I'm loopy because I stayed up until 4:00 a.m, so stay with me here. We've got a modified Random Thoughts coming up. I'm about to fall on the Stupidity Sword and I'm about to get great sympathy from some of you and about to get kicked in the crotch by many others. 
  • You know why? The Junior In the House has a school project and asked for my help. (She gave me plenty of notice for a project not due until this week). This is from the instruction sheet that she handed me (paraphrased): "Construct a miniature three room component house with lights powered with a battery. The light(s) in each room should be able to be lit individually and also all of the rooms should be able to be lit at the same time. Draw a schematic to show when you used a series circuit and/or a parallel circuit. You can only use on battery."
  • Good lord. 
  • Let me tell you something. I think I'm really smart in some areas of my life, but I an idiot in a lot more areas. Stuff like that project is one of them. Series circuit? Parallel circuit? My head was spinning. I had (have) no idea what that meant. So I spent a lot of time on Saturday researching it on The Google.  I'll give Mrs. LL big credit. She went to a hardware store after researching as well and bought a bunch of items that she knew would help -- like alligator clips. (Alligator clips? I'll be dang. Love those things now.)
  • What's coming up is my Wheels Off/Life Lesson moment. The concept of a series circuit or parallel circuit really isn't that complicated. Basically, in a series circuit, because of the wiring, all the lights will go out when a bulb is blown but in a parallel circuit that won't happen. To create  both type of circuits you need the right size battery, lights, and copper wire -- which is slightly tricky but that's no biggee.  (Once again, stay with me here.)
  • But you know what went wrong in my science challenged brain? I watched a great video by this guy on series and parallel circuits but at the end of it he makes a statement (and demonstrates) that you could even disconnect the electrical line and . . . it would still work except for the next bulb down the line. At least that's what I thought he said. That made no sense to me but batteries and electricity make no sense to me either. For some reason, perhaps in trying to grab too much information too quickly or really wanting to impress everyone in the Family that I could do this or, probably, just being stupid, I didn't understand what he said. (Which was: If you cut the line, every bulb down line will go dead. Everything on the battery side will stay lit). At 3:30 a.m. that finally dawned on me. After hours and hours of jacking with bulbs and batteries and wires and alligator clips and electrical switches, I learned what I believed to be true was not true.  (It was a pretty impressive contraption of three batteries lights and switches I might add.) Edit: I told you I was loopy. 
  • Two thoughts: (1) What I went through is what learning is about. Trial and experiment. Research and understanding what you see  versus what  you believe.  (2) My real life lesson realization is this: I stupidly misinterpreted a youtube video on parallel circuits and believed something that was not true: I believed if  you cut the line  it will all still work except for the next bulb.  Here we go: In all aspects of your life, once you believe something is true when it is not, it takes waves and waves of ridiculous amounts of evidence to convince you to the contrary. 
  • OK, let's address the  Elephant in the Room: I'm up in the middle of the night and not the Junior In The House because I told her I would handle it and explain it to her later? That's inexcusable and completely my fault. She asked to help. Although I will admit that I loved every Wheels Off minute of it.
  • Epilogue: I went to bed at 4:00 a.m. after drawing a schematic and notes of how I think this project will now work. That's for tonight. I'll think I'll let the Junior in The House do most of the talking and working. 


Edit: This has gone through multiple edits since it was originally published which is proof I'm loopy.

44 comments:

Mr. Mike Honcho said...

I... ummm, I mean, Daughter Honcho got a 98 on her Electric house.

Woo Hoo!

Anonymous said...

B O R I N G !!

Anonymous said...

Were so tired of these type of stupid projects that are suppose to be done by our kids. Most of the time my wife ends up doing them because they're so elaborate and complicated. Funny thing is when you see others student's projects is obvious that he/her parents did the project; and is obvious also to the teachers that the (3rd, 4th) grader couldn't possibly completed the project by his/her self, so is almost if the teachers are assigning parents homework.

Anonymous said...

This worries me about you. And why are you doing her homework?

Anonymous said...

(It was a pretty impressive contraption of three batteries and switches I might add.)

Thought the rule was one battery only?

Anonymous said...

And the Jr. in the House will receive a high grade for the work YOU did (while she learned little to nothing about the project) the kid with Joe Blow (who spent most of Sunday night @ Rooster's Bar)for a dad, who received zilch aid from her dad, will more than likely get a lower score if the project works at all. And now the difference between Southlake Carroll ISD and Chico/Alvord/Paradise ISD.

Seymore said...

A+ for sticking to the project. And A++ for not going and punching out some teacher for giving the assignment. Let the Junior sllep and not destroy b-r-a-n-e cells.

Anonymous said...

What class is she taking with this homework? I never learned anything nearly as useful as this in high school.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell are you doing this project? Why isn't the kid???

You want to tinker with small-voltage electrical projects, fine. Carve out a little space in your garage, set up a workbench, and go to Amazon and buy one of those electric current experiment kits aimed at teenagers. But by wholesale commandeering the school project, haven't you just handicapped your kid?

You don't have to (and won't) prove to anyone how smart you are by being able to complete a teenager's homework.

Anonymous said...

For a professional guy who is helping to raise someone else's kids, you amaze me at the supreme amount of devotion you have to seeing them do well.

It takes some real love to be a step-parent. You deserve an award. I mean it.

Anonymous said...

Barry, your story taught me something (indirectly), as well: Debby Boone spells her first name with a 'y' rather than the more common 'ie.' Who knew?

You light up my life...

Anonymous said...

A) I'd love to bash you for doing her work, but that will happen to her when she tries to explain all the things she does not know.
B) I sympathize! Long ago, my father-in-law convinced me that when an electric appliance cord got twisted, the appliance quit working because Reddy Kilowatt could not crawl through the wire. LOL

Anonymous said...

So the junior is going to be a builder. I guess that is what the school is teaching. An old hippy friend of mine lives off grid up in the hills of eastern Oklahoma and uses wind and solar for power. He could wire that for you.

Anonymous said...

Teachers are heroes.

Anonymous said...

Wow. There are some real know-it-alls on here that can't seem to remember that teachers, believe it or not, know well the difference between a project that was all kid-done and one that was financed and accomplished primarily by moms or dads. They account for that. And, they don't mind parental help...that's part of the whole reason these projects are assigned; to get kids working together with their parent(s), older sibling, grandpa, each other...whoever. The know-it-alls on here forgot that, too.

Anonymous said...

9:04, hey if you hate being with your kids, fine. Go grump somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I'd give a whole lot to be able to go back just a few years and be able to do another of these projects with my kids. Almost out of college now...those days are gone. At least, unlike some commenters here, I realized at the time how fast it goes, and enjoyed all the headaches and trips to the hardware store while it was happening; knowing it would not be long until today.

Wordkarl said...

Respect dawg.

I thought she's ur step not blood.
Gotta respect a man that can treat 'em like his own. You done what most wouldn't do wit they own blood.

Andrew Kuppinger said...

Holy Smokes. When I was in High School I don't remember a electrical engineering project or anything else this complex when I was in school.

wordkyle said...

This reminds me of long-forgotten Pinewood Derby nightmares. The first ones where I did the "good parenting" thing by letting the kid do it himself with a little supervision, only to get creamed by the Goddard rocket cars bought and made by the other kid's dad. The following years where I joined the Goddard club myself to give my sons a chance.

Sometimes on these projects there are lessons to be learned beyond what's assigned.

Anonymous said...

Alligator clips = roach clips.

DF Its 4/20 brah!

Anonymous said...

This is why we are all going to miss Radio Shack.

Anonymous said...

We've got a modified Random Thoughts coming up.

I thought we were going to be asked what had been modified on the RTGs.

Anonymous said...

Pro tip: once everyone is out of the house, hook the wires to the batteries and the alligator clips to your nipples.

You'll get a charge out of it.

Anonymous said...

Noticed in the update there are many school board meetings tonight. I hear Chico's could get very interesting. Supt trying to get principals hired, trying to justify a bond that isn't needed for reasons listed, and dealing with a personnel issue that has multiple mug shots.......smh

Anonymous said...

So, did you include an Arduino?

I love the smell of rosin-core solder in the wee hours of the morning...

- DF Col. Bill

Anonymous said...

"Here we go: In all aspects of your life, once you believe something is true when it is not, it takes waves and waves of ridiculous amounts of evidence to convince you to the contrary."

How much evidence do you need to say that Hillary Clinton should be in prison? How much evidence do you need to say obama is a socialist and is incompetent?
How much evidence do you need to know that another democrat in office would be a disaster?


I keep hoping these sheep(democrats) will see the light one day. Stop believing that being a democrat is the answer!

DD



Anonymous said...

Tanner Electronics beats Radio Shack any day.

Anonymous said...

good story baron.
stupid comments never cease to amaze me

Anonymous said...

Yep, too bad you didn't attend Tarleton State University! A man by the name of Carl Chumney would have taught you all you need to know about wiring with those damn house frames! Good to know that could have come into use at some point in my life--now if my kids just have to do that project!

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes on these projects there are lessons to be learned beyond what's assigned."
While I'm not generally a fan, WordKyle says a mouthful, here.

Let her do the final hookups, BG, and make sure that she understands why they work. Circuits are pretty easy to understand, on that scale. You should have been playing with those when you were a kid. Did you never line in a wall switch for a pull-string light?

Anonymous said...

Hope her teacher isn't a reader...

Rage

Anonymous said...

Make sure you have home owners insurance before you hit the switch.

Anonymous said...

Best comment award from me goes to 9:56. I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

alligator clips can also be used....happy 4/20 day!

HarveyLee said...

LL: I thought this blog would never end. Was that your intent?

Anonymous said...

Anyone have the scoop on the person hanging out in the old Blockbusters parking lot? They've been there since at least last Friday.

Anonymous said...

Attention Everyone:
What's the deal with the black man sitting in the old Blockbuster parking lot sitting on a bucket and wrapped in a blanket ?

Anonymous said...

The third graders at my kid's school do projects building series and parallel circuits -- and those are concepts that some of the young adults in my freshman EE classes 25 years ago couldn't grasp.

(and for the guy who mentioned Tanner's -- Tanner's is great, but my favorite back in the day was Electronic Parts Outlet near 75/Campbell).

Anonymous said...

This sucks
This sucks
This sucks
This sucks
This sucks
This sucks
This sucks

DF Danny Balis

Anonymous said...

Great story Counselor.

F--- the haters.

Anonymous said...

2:35 I think most folks call it homelessness!

Anonymous said...

HINT: There should be no series circuits in this project.

Anonymous said...

2:34, I am a jedi waiting for my galactic starship to come back and pick me up. Should only be a few more days. Sorry about the inconvenience.

DF NOT a homeless