Friday, April 19, 2013

Dream worker from the past

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Updated: Saturday, April 20...   

Merchant Seaman Karl in 2005

On April 1, 2013, Karl B surprised me with this message:
Hello, this is a voice from the past, going back to E.C.P. days [1976-77] in El Segundo. We worked together on the Brayton Cycle Turbine project. This is your assistant, Karl B... It has been a very long time. I was thinking of you and how you enlightened me on using dreams to solve technical problems. I have never forgotten that, or you. Thank you so much. 
I see that you are in New Mexico. I am now in Northern California. Retired from merchant shipping. The WORLD is indeed a wondrous place, as shipping provided me with the experience and means to explore the people and places I'd only imagined. 
Before becoming a merchant seaman, I continued on shore with technical aerospace positions including work as a mechanical tech. for TRW in San Clemente on the Alpha 1 SDI Laser project. That was a fascinating job. 
I know you must be busy so I'll end here. Just wanted to touch base with an old and very unique friend. I hope you can find time to write. I'd like to hear from you. 
Very respectfully Karl
After several subsequent email exchanges, I asked Karl to relate his experience with dreams as applied to work-related subjects. His note (below) brought to mind a time in 1975 when I consulted for Semco, a small company in North Hollywood, which made zirconium-cladded thermocouples for the nuclear industry. Semco was having difficulty solving a contamination problem which had shut down production. It took many weeks to isolate and identify the contaminant by a systematic process of elimination to finally and surprisingly arrive at the last possible and least suspected cause: the certified cleaning agent itself. Something that the company had been using successfully for years.  

I had begun the search by carefully interviewing all company employees who had anything to with production. But, shortly after solving this problem over about six painstaking weeks, I happened upon a clue in my dream journal, which I'd had only a day or so after my initial interviewing process. There it was in my notes: "contaminated alcohol"!! Had I considered that as a clue at the very beginning, we could have saved the company much time and expense! 

It was a lesson learned, which I was to apply at ECP (Engineered Ceramic Products, Inc.) a few months later in conversations with willing workers like Karl! I asked him to be specific in his recollection of our conversations, which he has graciously done.

On Apr 19, 2013, Karl responded:
 I worked for ECP with Akbar Ali on the Ash/Glass ceramic Power-Pole project beginning in, I believe, 1976 and also your Brayton Cycle Waste Heat Recovery Project into 1977. We were having problems with the Garret Air Research Turbines exploding when introducing highly heated air from the glass furnace waste gates in Vernon Ca. You gave me guidance in how to concentrate my thoughts (work related) on the problems as I entered sleep,  with a notebook and pencil next to the bed, and to write down any related dream input I might have. I did,...and it WORKED 100%! It turned out to be a problem internally with the metals used in the turbine, housing and blades being dissimilar with different heat expansion rates resulting in direct contact between the two, resulting in turbine failure/explosion. Remember we used to pile sand bags around the test equipment for protection.... scary! I believe you presented this to Garret engineers who were able to build us workable units for our test applications. I think this was about the time I was involved in the unfortunate incident where I was robbed and consequently stabbed quite severely (August '77) which eventually ended my career at ECP. Let me also say that beyond the work-related dream problem solving techniques you taught me, I was able to solve other non work-related problems to quite a remarkable degree. I have never forgotten that, and have remained in awe of man's mental ability, if applied correctly. Thank you Eugene.  I've held you and the knowledge you enlightened me with in a very high and respected place ever since. I am VERY glad that I was able to look you up online after all these years.

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