On the heels of yet another successful Pump Guy Seminar earlier this month in Pittsburgh, Flow Control”s Larry Bachus is taking a much-deserved breather to rejuvenate for 2010 and a fresh dose of “Pump Guy” columns. However, before his respite, Larry filed this online exclusive, offering a humorous look at the creative process gone awry. For a full archive of Larry”s “Pump Guy” columns, search on the term “Pump Guy” using our “Site-Wide Search” function. For upcoming Pump Guy Seminar dates and locations, visit www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/events.asp.

Larry Bachus
(a.k.a. “Pump Guy)

I have two projects today, a “Pump Guy” article and my yearly physical. Matt Migliore, the editor at Flow Control, wants about 1,000 words and the deadline is today. I have plenty of time.

Before writing, I search for my favorite reading glasses. They are in none of the usual places. And the TV is too loud. I can’t find the remote control.

I toured a new water treatment plant the other day and saw examples of incorrect piping. I could write a “Pump Guy” article about “Proper Piping,” but the TV noise hinders my flow of ideas. This is not good.

I always do my best writing while sipping on a tall glass of ice water. I bring the water to my office desk and sit down at my computer. I notice the monitor screen is smudged and dusty. I decide to clean the monitor screen and keyboard. I need glass cleaner and a cloth.

The glass cleaner is in the upstairs utility closet. As I march upstairs, I remember my printer is low on color ink cartridges. The cloth will come in handy to change the ink cartridges. The cloths are in the laundry downstairs. I change directions on the stairway.

I walk downstairs to the laundry and find only seven dirty hand cloths. If I want clean cloths, I need to do a washing. I can’t justify the soap and water for only seven hand cloths. So, I decide to wash the bath and hand towels in the bathrooms and the dishcloths in the kitchen. These will fill the washing machine for a full load.

I return upstairs and gather the bath and hand towels in the bathrooms. Trudging into the kitchen, I notice the kitchen trashcan is full. I drop the towels on the floor and take the kitchen trash bag through the garage and out the back door.

Marching through the garage with the kitchen trash, I notice the air pressure is low on my car tire. This is unacceptable.

I think of the differential pressure inside the car tire compared to the atmospheric pressure outside the tire. I could write a “Pump Guy” article on differential pressure across the faces of a mechanical seal. Yep! That’s what I’ll do … as soon as I add air to my car tire.

I drop the trash bag on the garage floor, and go for my hand pump. My hand pump is missing. I had loaned it to my son to inflate his basketball. So I drive to the gas station on the corner to add air to my car tire.

Driving to the gas station, I pass the post office. I remembered the price of postage stamps rises again soon. I need to stock-up on those generic self-licking postage stamps. They’ll be good forever. I circle around the block and go into the post office. Approaching the counter, I remember it had been a few days since I had recovered the mail from my PO Box.

Waiting in my box are three invoices. Two are marked “Urgent.” My checkbook is with me, so I decide to write the checks for the bills and mail them now from the post office. Besides, I’m also going to buy stamps at the counter.

I open my checkbook, and there is only one blank check. I need more checks. That’s OKAY. My bank has a neighborhood branch down the street.

Driving to the bank, I see the computer store in the corner of my eye and remember I need new ink cartridges to replace the ones I’ll install in my office printer. I stop at the computer store. The clerk asks, “What model number is your printer? You don’t want to buy the wrong cartridges.” He’s right. So I drive home to get the model number from my printer.

Back home again, I enter the garage. Someone left a full trash bag on the garage floor. In the kitchen, I see a load of hand and bath towels on the kitchen floor. Someone should wash them.

At my office computer, I notice the cold glass of water is sweating and the ice has melted. I still have to write those checks for the urgent bills, and I have more blank checks in the drawer. So, I just saved myself a trip to the bank.

I sit down to write checks and sip my water. The water is warm and a stream of condensation sweat is snaking across my desk.

I could write a “Pump Guy” article on condensation pumps. But first, I take the water to the refrigerator in the kitchen for more ice.

As I head toward the kitchen with the water, a vase of flowers on the hall counter catches my eye. The flowers are dry and need water.

I pour the room temperature water from my glass into the flower vase. Then, I realize why the flowers are dry. They’re plastic. Oh well! I proceed to the kitchen with the empty glass. This time I’ll wrap the glass with a paper towel to soak-up any more condensation. I open the freezer door for more ice. And, there it is!

The TV remote control was in the freezer. Who put it in there?

I turn off the TV, fill my glass with more water and ice, and return to my office.

Back again at my desk, with an insulated glass of ice water, the phone rings. The editor of Senior Lifestyles magazine calls and wants an article on “Multi-Tasking”. I’ve never been one for “assignment writing.” I need freedom to be creative. Besides, I don’t know much about multi-tasking. Maybe I can develop a few thoughts for the magazine.

Now I’m ready to write the next “Pump Guy” article. But that stream of condensation sweat continues snaking across my desk, toward my pencil cup. I move the pencil cup and find my reading glasses. I take the paper towel from my cold glass and wipe the condensation from the table.

Now the paper towel is wet. That’s OKAY! I use it to clean my reading glasses, the monitor screen and keyboard before I compose my next “Pump Guy” article.

Let’s see! Do I write about mechanical seals or pressure differential? Or, condensate pumps? Or, process piping? I’ll decide after I check my e-mail.

Strange! The morning had slipped away from me. I know I’ve been busy all day, but I haven’t accomplished much. Who put the TV remote in the fridge? Oh well! At least I watered the plastic flowers.

Before long, it is time to go to the doctor for my yearly physical. I save my words, shut off my computer, and go to Dr Major’s office.

Dr. Major examines me. He says I’m fine. He asks if I wanted to discuss anything in particular. I said, “Not as I remember”. He said people my age begin to suffer AOADD. I asked, “What’s that?” He said, “Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder”. He said, “Sometimes people your age might lose track of time or forget where they put things.” He said, ”If you notice any developing symptoms, I can write you a prescription that will help.” I asked, “Help what?”

Arriving home, I return to my desktop and the “Pump Guy” article. I had plenty of ideas: pressure diffs, proper piping, condensate, or mechanical seals. But, none of them calls my fancy now. That’s OKAY! I’ll just write that multi-tasking article for Senior Lifestyle magazine.

But first, I’ll check my e-mail. Where are my reading glasses?

Uh Oh! I’m approaching 1,300 words. Matt wanted about 1,000 words. He’ll be mad if I keep writing, so I’ll wrap-up and say, “Mind your pumps!” And may I be the first to wish you all Happy Holidays and a better 2010.

Cheers,

Larry Bachus – The Pump Guy