Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis

Why did it stop working, or why doesn’t it work?

Precocious doesn’t begin to define my childhood.

When my alarm clock stopped ticking, I carefully removed one screw at a time until all hell broke loose. Yes, gears and parts flew across the room, some lost forever in the dustbin of history. I never understood why the clock stopped working, as there was not much left to forensically examine.

The lesson learned was, don’t mess with clocks or things with springs. I didn’t understand that lesson as I have repaired more clocks than I can count.

Curiosity drove me to take more things apart that were discarded. I can admit now that I walked the alleys home from school on trash days to see what treasures were abandoned by our throwaway society.

TVs to Stereos, lawnmowers, edgers and a host of other things filled my storage shed with parts galore.

  • Why did they toss it out?
  • Why did it stop working?
  • What does it take to repair it?

I started a lawn service business using discarded lawn equipment I learned to repair. Knowing nothing about running a business, I cobbled together a plan. I made small advertisements to canvass the neighborhood using carbon paper, a ruler, and the best printing I could muster.

My teenage years were spent walking around the streets of my neighborhood, wagging a recycled lawn mower. My first car was paid for by my lawn-mowing efforts.  

When I moved out of my parent’s home, they were delighted as my collection of treasures went with me. I found a modest place to live where I rented a mobile home.

Millennials today would not step foot in such a place as they don’t understand the value of doing it yourself. I digress… I tried many jobs, from press operator to managing a Radio Shack and TV repair. All self-taught. I learned how to spell autodidact, the personification of who I am.

The library was my home away from home. From history to how things worked, they knew me well.

For years I worked as a field service engineer. I met some of the most significant people during that time. Presidential candidates to high-profile attorneys and even rich villains who were later sent to prison for murder.

Befriending some of the pioneers in heart surgery was rather unique. I was intrigued enough to overcome my repulsion with blood and gooey things. Had I had the funds, I would have become a doctor. I witnessed surgeries, autopsies, and a host of other medical procedures.

I could name-drop, and many of you would know the names.

One of the doctors I knew was at Parkland working in the emergency room when Kennedy was brought in after ‘one loan bullet did so much damage to so many people.’ Pfft

I await the day that our leaders tell us the truth. I won’t hold my breath.

We have dumbed down society to the point that people willingly buy that story. We have stopped asking questions that are critical to the community. If we studied the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, we would see that we are headed down that same path. Instead of worshiping Athena or Mercury, we worship the dollar and cheap shit from China.

Since I funded everything in my life with a job of some kind, I had to settle for jobs where one didn’t need a license or certification.

With the invention of the throwaway razor, society has transformed into a disposable mindset which is as catastrophic to the climate as private jet travel.

We fill landfills with things that should be recycled. Apathy rules. Nobody calls anyone out on it.

Other than those idiots destroying artwork to vilify those who actually work and drive cars, the educated have taken a back seat to chaos and victimhood.

I was known as the guy who could fix anything at my church. I ended up with all kinds of home appliances from my extended family. I did this to assist those in my extended family and to keep shit out of the landfill.

While that is another story, I had to leave the church and find another and then claim ignorance so I could have time to myself. Ying and Yang…we need balance.

I made notes on why so much of this Chinese-made stuff was suddenly on my bench to repair for them.

Cheap stuff from China has taken me back to my days of digging through the trash. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

The Christmas tree this year has been adorned with the usual lights. Finding the one bulb that doesn’t work takes up more time than the tree is worth, but…why fill the landfill with a pre-lit tree for one 2-cent bulb?

We complicated the event with these little motors that twirl the ornaments around as if by magic.

Amazon delivered a package with these little plug-in devices, and guess what? They didn’t work or stopped working quickly.

The problem with this is equivalent to who I am. Most would take them back to where they would end up in the landfill. The makers of these things most probably have slave labor making them. The question was, are you smarter than a five-year-old Chinese kid?

Tiny clips held the front together, and this plastic thing on the back had the back together.

The root cause analysis of the failure is the gears on the lower part of the mechanism were assembled in a faulty shell. The pin that the gears spin on allows the axel to slide down to the motor.

Moving the gears to the other side, where the casing was in good shape, fixed the problem.

I found similar issues with the other motors, which surprised me.

If you look at some of my other blogs, you will find similar stories about cheap SHIT from China.

Why am I mentioning this?

I have examined many things from China that would not pass the Underwriter Laboratory or be UL-approved. They are not looking at things like this if they are still around.

Could this get hot enough to start a fire?

Maybe so on a real tree, which is a tinderbox in the making. The moral of the story is, don’t leave the tree unattended.

There are other devices that people should pay attention to, and those are what I call WALL WARTS.

Looking around your home, you will find many things powered by these square boxes that take up both outlets.

Many of them are not even fused. If your pet chews through the wire and it shorts, there could be a fire. Unplug those things that are not in use. They consume electricity even if they are not currently attached to an apparatus that is powered on.

Put down the video game and the remote control, and pick up a book.

Have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Scott

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