Of Slugs II

blog post
Slug defined for this story:
the ferrite[mfn]iron[/mfn] core of a variable inductance coil [mfn]slug tuned inductor[/mfn] used to change the frequency response of electronic equipment.
As I mentioned before, my teaching experience actually started when I was in the Army. Frankly the first day I stood in front of a class was mentally horrifying and gastronomically disturbing. I was a staff sergeant with the academic administrative authority to recommend flunking a bird colonel aide to a base commander, a GS-13 embassy civilian, a political appointee, or some whose status and rank was purposely kept from me.


Several months into my teaching assignment at Vint Hill Farms Station, VA, I gave technical background lesson for those who would operate or supervise operation of specialized signal intercept electronics. Dedicated radio receivers were part of the instrument array used to demonstrate and give practice for operation in the field[mfn]in that case Vietnam[/mfn]. The technical background was not training to maintain the equipment.

I arrived early for my presentation of the day and found a Lt. Colonel hovered over the equipment set with the cover removed from the radio. We’d removed the covers to dissipate heat more efficiently. He said,[mfn]This isn’t a direct quote, but as I remember it.[/mfn] “Morning Benson. I was just getting caught up on what you told us yesterday. I noticed that several of the screws were loose and tightened them.”[mfn]Nearly the same thing happened when I was in Chitose, but it wasn’t a classroom incident.[/mfn]

Well, those screws to which he referred were the tuning slugs for the radio related to the instrument set. It would take at least an hour and perhaps more to retune it, but his being a Lt. Colonel, I said nothing about what one of us maintenance persons would have to do.

I faked it. “I’m in early to change out the radio for routine calibration sir. It’s easier to do on the bench than bring the test equipment out here.”[mfn]Again not a direct quote, but as I remember.[/mfn] I replaced the receiver and retuned it later.

Maintenance people got a good laugh when I told about the incident, and we decided all equipment would be secured in the maintenance shop or supervised at all times.


Next –
Of Slugs III will be about the interesting experience of taking a hit[mfn]slug[/mfn] in my junior high school classroom and a tale[mfn]not tail[/mfn] of an escargot in the junior high school.


From Echoes of Nam: Absence from war is not the same as peace of the soul: “I appreciate your[mfn]Hacker Lee Goor[/mfn] time and commitment to tell our story. It has helped a little for me to understand that for the rest of my life I’ll probably go to sleep wondering which twin he will be in the morning. For the three of us, Annie Brax”