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(Kiri offers suggestions on how to improve on engineering skills and works with a guest on an almost unconscious skill that comes out when working on something. She talks about the improvement she had made on with a portable channeling unit and how the job will never be complete because of each new improvement leading to improvements on earlier work.) 

Shane: hello.

Kiri: yo.

Russ: hi Kiri.

Skip: hi Kiri.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: anyhow, how can I increase my engineering abilities? Honey I’ve lived…..I’m at the twilight of my life and I’d still like to increase them.

Kiri: no, you’re not at the twilight, you’ve got tons of good years left in you.

Skip: true but I’m on the second half (laughs).

Kiri: says who?

Skip: well according to our 3-D…..

Kiri: uh-huh but maybe you’re going to prove them all wrong, you’re going to live to a 150.

Skip: I doubt that very much.

Kiri: all right okay, how do you improve your engineering skills?

Skip: yeah right.

Kiri: okay what are the main questions that you always ask yourself? How does it work, why does it work and how can I do that? Those are the three main questions.

Skip: yep.

Kiri: how does it work, why does it work and how can I do that?

Skip: and how can I fix it?

Kiri: there’s some times where it’s not necessary.

Skip: or improve on it.

Kiri: improve it, good. Okay that’s part of tapping the knowledge.

Skip: okay.

Kiri: okay? How can I improve on it, what’s the next step?

Skip: uh-huh.

Kiri: what’s the next step? Come on, what’s the next step from there?

Skip: redesign.

Kiri: re-engineer it. What’s the next step from re-engineering?

Skip: invention.

Kiri: doing it. But how can you re-engineer.........?

Skip: miniaturize it.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: but they’ve already done that.

Kiri: yeah but you can look at something and say how can you improve upon it. For example, that piece of antiquated equipment.

(a laptop Russ was using)

Russ: yeah?

Kiri: how can you improve it?

Shane: make it pocket-sized.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Russ: more powerful.

Kiri: more powerful.

Russ: bigger hard drive.

Kiri: okay?

Shane: more information.

Kiri: more information storage. Think of all the possibilities of an item, all the possibilities that you can think about that one item right? What can you do? And then what realistically can you do with the knowledge that you have? And in using that knowledge that you have, you learn. By thinking the process through…..

Skip: I think what my biggest drawback is I build everything to last for a century.

Kiri: uh-huh, you build it to last which is the correct way to do things. For example, there is a piece of electrical equipment in this abode that was built to last, technological equipment. It is now getting close to being obsolete and it was built to last and lasted very well, what was that?

Russ: radio in this room?

Kiri: no, it’s in this house.

Russ: oh in the house, the Amiga.

(an early computer we both used at the time.)

Kiri: correct.

Shane: what’s an Amiga?

Kiri: it’s I believe Mark's thingy he uses.

Russ: one of three we have around here.

Kiri: uh-huh, it was built 10 years ago and it is only just becoming obsolete. In the technology world of those things, that’s incredible, that is phenomenal.

Skip: but the technology is moving forward so fast you can’t even keep up with it.

Kiri: that’s correct, that’s why that up there in the other room is so incredible, the fact that it lasted for 10 years.

Shane: and it’s still up-to-date or almost up-to-date.

Kiri: almost up-to-date and it is now starting to become out-of-date just because the software isn't available for it. That’s fantastic, by building something that lasts for a computer, 10 years is a century. And you’re doing something, you’re building something to last, that will last maybe more than a century, maybe two. And one day your great, great, great, great grandson goes, "my great, great grandfather Skip made this. We’ve had it in the family, this huge sword has been in our family for 200 years."

Shane: dang.

Kiri: it was made by my great, great, great, great grandfather. Now, isn’t that great?

Skip: I never gave that a thought when I made it.

Kiri: isn’t the highest compliment on your planet to be remembered by your descendants for your deeds?

Skip: yeah, everybody tries to make their mark.

Kiri: uh-huh and making an heirloom, something that now maybe is worth what, how much? Two, three hundred of your earth currency?

Skip: that’s stretching it.

Kiri: okay maybe worth 150 of your earth currency?

Skip: yeah, I would say so.

Kiri: okay, in 200 years, how much is that going to be worth?

Skip: I have no idea.

Kiri: set at antique.

Skip: there is no way of computing that at all, no way.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Shane: depends on how good of condition it is in.

Skip: because it’s one-of-a-kind.

Kiri: exactly, it’s a one-of-a-kind, it’s made for a specific reason. Now that is an heirloom.

Skip: yeah, it’s just one-of-a-kind.

Kiri: uh-huh, that is something to be very proud of. That piece of engineering to make that, to design that and it took engineering skill. It took planning of what you wanted it to look like, telling the person where to put the blood groove, filing it and that’s all engineering. Building the handle, building the sheath for it, building the belt for it, that’s all engineering. It’s nothing to sneer at, nothing to downplay, that is something to be very proud of.

Skip: well yeah but……yeah okay.

Kiri: Russ, could you do that?

Russ: not in a million years.

Kiri: Shane? Maybe.

Shane: depends on what is. I could probably do it because of what it is.

Kiri: uh-huh, I know that I could do it but it wouldn't be as much care and love that was put into it because weapons like that, things like that don’t fascinate me.

Shane: if it was a weapon, I would put a lot of care into it.

Kiri: yep, that is the important thing.

Skip: darling, I do that with everything I do though.

Kiri: so you’re not leaving just one incredible piece of engineering…..

Skip: well no, no, that’s not what I’m trying to say.

Kiri: you want to know how to access that information.

Skip: yes, because everything that I do……

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: even for other people, I try to build it so it will last or try to fix it so it will last.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: not…..I see so many people that are not….

Kiri: they fix it to break, to keep themselves going.

Skip: well they don't fix it to break but they don’t do the complete job.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: they…..well I call it Rube Goldberg engineering. In other words, it’s Mickey Mouse the way a lot of people fix things......

Kiri: yeah, uh-huh.

Skip: and I can’t do that.

Kiri: okay, do you want to know why?

Skip no, I mean yes excuse me, I’m sorry.

Kiri: because you’re using your engineering knowledge, the stuff that you can’t access consciously comes out subconsciously. When you sit down and fix something to make sure it lasts being fixed, that is engineering, that is accessing the information that you think you can't get at.

Skip: okay let me give you a for example. I’m working for a doctor’s wife, she asked me to build a plastic lattice cover for their air-conditioning.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: I did.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: I could’ve put it together with half a dozen screws in each edge, I didn’t, I put probably 20 screws in each edge. I don’t want it to fall apart, I don't want it to come apart.

Kiri: that is called craftsmanship, that is called taking pride in your work. That comes from your engineering skill and background that you claim you can’t access.

Skip: okay, all right. So in another words, I’m doing it without even thinking about it.

Kiri: uh-huh, which is the best way. I know what you want to do, you want to be able to go, “hmm, okay I want to build a better mousetrap and I want to make it so that my heirs will never have to work again.”

Skip: uh-huh, uh-huh.

Kiri: doesn’t work that way unfortunately. I know, I know it would be nice if it did for you but who knows, maybe you’ll have that brief flash that will make that happen but there again what would they learn if they didn’t have to go….....what would Shane learn?

Skip: well I done that years ago but I never took advantage of it.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: I developed self-contained trailer brakes for camping trailers and other trailers.

Kiri: uh-huh and you didn’t take advantage of that because you saw it as wrong to put a price on other people’s safety.

Skip: that’s about it, I drew it up and I knew exactly what to do with it, how to make it work and everything.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: and about five years after I figured it out, it came out on the market.

Kiri: it’s the way it goes. Part of engineering is being able to sit down and think about things and it's sort of like, “okay, I’m not going to be able to do that today, I’m not going to be able to do that tomorrow, let me think about it, let me see how it’s going to work." "What is going to work is a.....", I don’t know what your measurements would be, "very, very micro thin piece of wire, would that work on what I’m working on? Okay it doesn’t so what is going to be a good conductive material that will work?”

Shane: depends on what it is.

Kiri: exactly, depends what it is, it depends what you’re thinking on. You see the thing is that when you’re designing something, whether it’s on a piece of paper or it’s in a kit form, you have to plan, think and analyze where the objective is on what you’re designing. It's like.......I have a project I’m working on and I’ve been working on it now for about maybe four years and I know for a fact that I will probably never finish it completely.

Shane: what is it?

Kiri: it is an improvement for the channeling setup that we have up here and basically I looked at the old one and I go back and look at the ones that they’re still using and I look at it and I go, "okay what can I do to improve that?" The thing is I have a quarter of it built of the new system and I’ve already seen things that I can improve and make better so what I'm going to do is I'm going to strip it back back down and improve those things that I know I can improve and then I will start on the next quarter part which will be the first half. And I know for a fact that whilst I’m doing that I will see things that I’ve learned whilst working on the second quarter that I can improve on the first quarter so it will take me a long time to do. And I want to design the best possible channeling setup. It’s not as a legacy, it’s not as to make myself well known or highly thought of, it’s because I want to do the best setup I can. And if I can’t finish it, I want it to be left so that somebody else that is smarter and brighter can pick it up and continue from where I’ve left off and improve upon it. That’s the most important rule of engineering, designing something that is an improvement and knowing that somebody will come along and improve it. It’s like that piece of equipment over there that Russ is so fascinated with. The person that built that knows for a fact that it will be improved upon, it will be made better, it will be enhanced, it will be rearranged, it will probably in a 100 years look nothing like what it does right now. Who knows? Maybe it will be the size of this thing but yet you’ll be able to press a button and you’ll have a screen and a keyboard that you interact with.

Skip: yeah, mentally interact.

Kiri: hopefully, if not physically.

Skip: they’ve already developed part of that.

Kiri: yeah, the thought process ones.

Skip: yeah.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: it will get to that point.

Kiri: oh yes it will, it will if things don’t get messed up. Now I think the tape is getting close to being at an end.

Skip: yeah I think it is darling.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: well thank you very kindly, I appreciate your input.

Kiri: oh no problem at all.

Shane: thank you for answering my questions.

Kiri: you’re welcome but remember, don’t get frustrated because you can’t have that ability to access your past life in engineering. But remember also that when you look at something and you fix it better than it was, guess what you’ve just done?

Skip: yeah, you’re right. I just get a little frustrated because….

Kiri: you want to be able to sit down and design that damn warp core engine.

Skip: yes I do.

Shane: must be pretty nice there.

Kiri: uh-huh.

Skip: yes I do.

Kiri: you want to be able to bend and fold space.

Skip: yes I do. I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

Kiri: all in good time, all in good time.

Skip: not in my lifetime.

Kiri: not in this lifetime.

Skip: okay.

Kiri: but remember, to me, a hundred years as I’m only 64 of your Earth years.

Skip: you’re the same age as I am.

Kiri: uh-huh, I’m a youngster.