Rocketman on January 06, 2010, 06:34:54 pm
I've had the same problem.  When I worked at Pratt and Whitney years ago I got a couple of individuals that was assigned to me on a long term job.  One was just the biggest screw up you ever saw in your life.  "Bob" (not his real name) was so incompetent that he couldn't even get a lunch order right.  That's not an exaggeration, he really did screw up a written down lunch order of about 15 guys that had the exact amount of money for it handed to him.   Any work that he turned in was so badly done that I would spend 85% of my time instead of doing my job fixing his errors   He just didn't give a flying fig.  I was never so glad in my life when the assignment was finished and he was transferred back to the group that had "loaned" him to us.  Some loan.  We would have been better off being a man short on the job.

KBCraig on January 07, 2010, 10:07:05 am
A handy task for such people: fire watch. They are to sit there in a chair, not be distracted by any written or electronic entertainment, and make sure the place doesn't burn down. Even the biggest doofi can't handle it without violating their instructions, which lets you build a case for termination.

dough560 on January 08, 2010, 04:38:03 am
KBCraig, Unfortunately, I know of a case where such an individual had fire watch and the WWII style barracks burned down.  Not my unit, and fortunately no one died.  Several people were hurt though.

I also know of several tents burning down during field problems.  And incidents where people nearly died due to carbon monoxide poisoning during winter field operations.

People involved in these incidents, ended up assigned (permanently) to the post police call detail.  Most of them were chaptered out of the service as unable to adapt to military life.

Rocketman on January 08, 2010, 10:13:16 am
And rightly so.  I sure as hell wouldn't want one of them sharing a foxhole with me and having to depend on their alertness to protect me while I was sleeping.   >:(

wdg3rd on January 09, 2010, 12:52:47 am
I spent four years in the USAF and was honorably discharged and will state without shame that I was never able (or particularly willing) to adapt to military life -- I enlisted because I had no useful training or skills and was hungry.  I was able to fake it for much of that time.  It helped that I was the best around at fixing the instrument systems in the flying buses at Travis (C-141, C-5, the odd C-131) during those years, so they didn't give me too much bullshit.  Those two letters of reprimand did mean I didn't get a Good Conduct badge (though that was after the three year mark, so I should have got it anyway).

The two LoRs were for pure inactive Eristic situations.  Part of my OM project.  (If you haven't read "Illuminatus!", do so -- I did about the start of my three years at Travis when it was just out in the Dell trilogy).  I also did a couple of active situations that were ignored to cover up the embarrassment the brass would have suffered.

Oh, yeah, most of this was after the fall of Saigon, so I was generally screwing with a "peacetime" military bureaucracy.
Ward Griffiths

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

dough560 on February 21, 2010, 05:34:19 am
Know the feeling.  People I worked with called me the "Fireman".  Whenever stuff hit the rotating osculator, I was the person to fix it.  Got a Problem, see SSG......  Unfortunately I didn't do well with politics and trusted the system to work.  I ended up with a Field Grade Article 15.  Got forced out with Clinton's Peace Initiative.  Tried the civilian job market at the time and didn't fit.  So I drove semi's several years, met a gal and got married.  After a couple of years, separation stress began effecting my marriage.  I changed careers again.  Currently I'm working for a convenient company which keeps the wife happy.  Unfortunately they are one of the better paying jobs in the area.  I have two daughters, 7 & 9 and the wife doesn't want me to go independent or change vocations again.  I know I'll never get ahead working for this company.  Their policies and my inability to kiss what some people think is an important piece of anatomy, prohibit that.  If I say with my current position with the company, the repetitive motions will leave me crippled in a few more years.

I tinker on the weekends and sometimes teach small arms.  There's a lot of competition and not enough market for me to teach full time.  One of my projects has got to the point I need to build and experiment with prototypes.  My choices are to try to limit the possibility of my idea being stolen by hiring  the machine work done at a variety of machine shops so hopefully no one can figure out what I'm doing.  Or save up the money for a table top lathe and mill combination and do the work myself.  In a lot of respects the table top unit will be less expensive and I can use it for gunsmithing  projects.  I'll get there, but it'll take time.  I've looked into restarting my bullet casting business.  I'll have to start small and completely rebuild the business in a new market.  Again it'll take time.

Rocketman on February 21, 2010, 11:07:38 am
Dough: I'm sure you know this already, but bullet casting as a business can have long term effects on your health even if you take the proper precautions.  In addition, it's very possible that where you living might not like what your doing and send the EPA inspectors around.  My opinion is unless you live in a fairly remote area of the state and have both automated machinery and a extremely good ventlation system it's not worth it doing it as a business.    
     As far as designing firearms goes there's an individual named Bill Holmes that can tell you about how gun companies treat independant designers.  In short, they rip them off.  He lists a couple of examples in his books.
     My advice is that if you want to do something gun related is to get a gunsmithing license from one of the better schools (several are mail order) and once you have them go to the gun shops in your area.   Get work from them until you get well known and respected and then eventually open your own shop with your own equipment and lathes.  There is work out there for individuals who know what they're doing.  Let me add one last thing.  The laws concerning independant gunsmiths not in a fixed residence may have tightened in the last few years since I looked into it.  Be careful and lawful.  The absolute last thing that you want is to have the BATFE coming after you for some minor infraction.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2010, 11:13:52 am by Rocketman »

dough560 on February 21, 2010, 08:40:49 pm
Rocketman, Thanks for your concern.  The system I'm working on is intended to be interactive with gaming systems and the Army's Miles System.  We're not talking about weapons design per-say.  When I make it work, training applications will be what ever I can imagine.  The problems arise over possible existing patents and software licensing. 

I've got more than enough experience with bullet casting to know just how dangerous it is.  That's why I'm not placing it in my short list of options.  I really don't want to do it for personal use.  A friendly bullet company I know is willing to cast any bullet design I want.  I'd have to pay the mold costs for what would essentially be private product runs.  Frankly I'll go back to driving semis or expedited freight, before that.

Bill Holmes, the guy who designed what we know today as the Desert Eagle?  Believe me I know his story.  I remember reading articles about his 45 Colt prototype.

A related story. Back in the very early 80's, a friend and I designed a pistol sight.  We knew nothing about manufacturing, patents or anything else.  We were in Germany with no access to anything.   A VERY close analog of that early sight is now the Novak Sight System.    Parallel development?  I'd bet on it.  The design was just so obvious, someone would  build it.  I still wonder what if. 

I'm taking a home gunsmith course and intend to take a machinist course after this.  Following that I'll get the appropriate licenses.  A friend of mine who currently works on the NASA super gun project, laughed when I told him I wanted to go to gunsmithing school, twenty years ago.  He'd seen my wood working skills and knew about my gun knowledge.  I used to trouble shoot guns on the range and send them to him for repair when I was serving in his area and he had his own shop.  He told me then to take a machinist course and be done with it.  To do that, I would have to leave my home area.... events, precluded that option.

Believe me I know what kind of trouble is out there.  I've spent years collecting BATFE abuse stories.  BATFE just loves an easy conviction with their change daily regulations and rules.