Thursday, August 25, 2011

Once Upon a Time in Tallahassee

I went to FSU for two reasons; they accepted me by about Halloween of my senior year of high school and I was too lazy to jump through the hoops where I should have gone, and if I did not go right into college I would have no student deferment from the DRAFT (truly a dirty word in this context). Could have been 1 2 3 what are we fightin 4, don't know, don't give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam. Many of my friends and acquaintances went. Many got injured and a few never came back alive. I wasn't a protestor. For one thing I never hated the military just because they had short hair.

The period of time in question was the hippie era. Contrary to what you hear, the seeds may have been planted in the earlier 60's but it did not catch on big time until late 60's through early 70's.

No free country should have a draft, and no free country should enter a "limited police action" in which people can get hurt, go crazy, and lots of money is wasted. Thank you to all those who made Korea, Vietnam, Bosinia/Kosovo, Iraq, and all the others possible and a way of life. IDIOT BASTARDS.

If we conducted personal home security the way we conduct our "defense", people would be raiding other neighborhoods on the grounds that they are likely thieves and home invaders and if we wait they'll get strong and kick our ass.

Or we might go there because they just don't do things right and it isn't fair to their residents. Who knows

Sorry. This was supposed to be about a stout little Mr Potato Head of a man who was my first engineering professor. He covered the basics to get everyone up to speed on reading engineering drawings and drafting techniques; finding true angles and lengths from drawings of parts and such.

I think his name was E F Kumpe. Dr. Kumpe. Like most of my favorite teachers, he was so distant from pop culture or any thought of being cool, he had no clue what people were talking about if they made reference to even themost well known of things.

Dr Kumpe had a cheerful aspect but it wasn't like a smile in which he was smiling at anyone, but more just an expression of pleasure that most of mechanical engineering fits very neatly into Newtonian physics. He would get an extra twinkle in his eye after explaining something like the concept of a point in space. It is there but takes up no room.

The coolest thing he did--professors could smoke while teaching back then--was to take a huge, prolonged drag off of his Benson and Hedges 100 menthol cigarette, and never visibly exhale any smoke. He hit that thing like it was a big joint. His one drag would burn the cigarette halfway down. Then he'd commence to talking while using a wooden calipers that had chalk in both ends.

He'd walk that sucker all over the board which contained the plan in question, and with increasing rapidness saying, "this distance equals this distance, this distance equals this distance...", and pretty soon it just sounded like he was whistling--sss, ssss, sss, sss.

Oddly, what I learned form him was directly applied to a job I had later on. No one else in that place could find true angles and such on blueprints of exhaust systems for yachts. Well the prints showed the exhaust in the yacht.

The whole last half of this got lost due to connection issues. Here on ballistic mountain, it is no simple matter if you don't have satellite tv.

I'm not going to re-write it, but it was the best entry I've ever done and would have radically changed the world for the better, saving mankind at least 300 years of heartache, trial and error, uncertainty and over-use of helmets.


  1. Was Dr Kumpe old enough to have been a WWII vet? Col. E. F. Kumpe was with MacArthur in the SW Pacific

    1. Yes, he was the right age, I think, though he would have been a young Col. E F Kumpe Jr, I believe. Long time ago. Great professor at any rate.
      who are you?


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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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