Archive for April 22nd, 2008

SCORE - 2 Fresh Baked Cookies!

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I have to report GE does have fresh baked cookies. I got two of them. I also got to see what is behind the special door. GE is cooking up some pretty amazing things at there exhibit. Go see what you can find out.

Open With Style

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I was waiting for my students to arrive when I heard bag pipes that got my attention. Bag pipes always grab my attention. I missed being born on St. Patrick’s Day by two hours. My Mother and her side of the family (Irish) was always a little up set over that, but the German side of the family (Father) was relieved. The Irish side was a handful – fortunately I took after the Irish side. I had forgotten the pipers were leading the attendees into the exhibit hall. There were Carl and Tommy in the lead. What a sight and sound. What could be more appropriate in Chicago; after all what other city dyes a river green every St Patrick’s Day!

Stop and Enjoy the Moment

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I got side tracked in my wanderings when I noticed a strange noise coming from the floor below me. I went over to the rail and looked down and what a surprise - dang, there is a water show going on at the McCormick Place. I stood there for at least 5 minutes and no one was watching except me. It is a great show. Everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. I can understand that, but don’t get so focused you miss beauty right in front of your nose.

Companion Activities

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This is Pam - Gene asked me to blog about my companion tour of Chicago’s Mansions of Yesteryear. On the bus I found my notebook, but no pen. Seat mate Elaine dug through her SUCCESS bag and found a toothbrush and a spoon, but no pen. When I asked the group, several offered pens. One lady did not request a return; she is our hero.


Without modern utilities, how were Chicago’s early mansions kept warm, cool, and lighted? Chicago’s Clark house, the oldest surviving house built in 1836, had floor to ceiling windows. Open a window in the ceiling of the 3rd floor and air was pulled from the “widow’s walk” on the roof through the house. Walah…air conditioning. 4 fireplaces heated the home, and mirrors set strategically through out the house reflected candle light to brighten the areas at night.


A huge 18,000 sq.ft. mansion built in 1886, the Glessner house had a fireplace in every room. The north side of the 3+ storied house had very narrow windows and a long servants’ hall that acted like a buffer to keep the interior rooms warm. The half basement school room had not only a fireplace, but a 5′ x 6′ wall hung metal radiant heater, to keep the children warm. The large dining room boasted a curved south wall with 5 large windows to receive the sun’s heat. Gas chandeliers and lamps provided light.


Which house did I prefer? The Glessner house. It had 10 servants!

Can you limit power flow down a transmission line?

The folks at Trench have been doing so neat things with series coils. They can install one of these on a transmission line and keep the current in manageable levels. That beats taking the line out of service to reconductor it. Stop by and ask Tony or Dave to explain how it works. It’s pretty cool and switchable.

Technology is so much fun

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In my latest wanderings, I stopped at the Southern States exhibit. They have some pretty interesting technology on display. Raj Anand calls it enabling technology. Things like the CMD (current measuring device) – watch it measure current, but not have to be part of the circuit. The Cap Switcher is pretty interesting, but the RL Switcher really got my attention. Ask them about it. Tell Joe that Gene sent me. He can explain anything – heck I understand it when he explains. I wish I had had an instructor like him in my under graduate work.

HVDC is Hot

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I just got back from the HVDC panel session. My buddy Wayne is making a great presentation. The room is full. When I stood up to answer my phone, someone jumped into my seat. I can’t blame them. It is a great session. I’m going back as soon as I finish this, but I wanted to get the word out to those of you texting.

Get Your Hands on the Equipment

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I was following my nose taking photos as I went when I ran into Mark Wells at ABB. He set up the exhibit and was really excited about the numbers of engineers on his floor. They were pushing buttons, pulling levers, and just having a ball with real hands on. I’ll have to get back there and play myself - Mark said I could.

Want to see something cool

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Have you ever wanted to see the insides of a transformer? Talk to Vince Paparo at MTC Transformers. His group is going to tear down a trashed core and coil (on the exhibit floor) and rebuild it. They will take a couple of days to let everyone see how it goes. Vince took some time out of his busy day to explain transformers to my student group. Thanks Vince. Everyone go see this exhibit.

Students are here

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My NMSU students found my hiding place. They are a great bunch of young engineers. We visited a lot of booths and they had tons of questions. S&C really wowed them with some new technology to save fuses. They had to run off to the luncheon, but we had fun while they were here.

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