So today at work, a colleague was commenting on experience.

The comment was "...if we lose the experience gained from a leaving member, then we have only really lost time, the time it takes for someone else to get that same experience!" (slightly reworded to protect the innocent 🤣)

Which reminded me of a story...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Sooooo.....a younger me.....a very VERY younger me.....went home to Phoenix for my brother's 21st birthday!

Me, being the ever caring brother, had purchased a bottle of Dom Perignon (at 100USD a bottle...back in the 80's!) as a gift and nervously was carrying it through airport security! I was in my dress blue (USAF) uniform, to pre-answer many security questions. It worked. Never got asked about the large bottle in my flight bag until I boarded the Denver to Phoenix flight.

Security: "What's in the bottle?"
Me: ".....liquid....."
Security: "What are going to do with it?"
Me: ".....give it to my brother....."
Security: " I see.....so.....military then?"
Me: "What gave it away!?"

BUT(T).....I digress....always do.....deal!

So I'm at home, with Dad and Brother, generally getting hammered. Dad makes the comment "...have you seen those new portable CD players? What will they think of next?"

Yeah.....it was that long ago....

So me and Bro go out and buy a new CD player for Dad. In addition, we picked up an adapter to port the audio from the CD player 1/8th inch jack to the RCA input's of his (even older) home stereo system.

Which worked great! He could play CD's, through the larger stereo speakers and it sounded amazing.

But....when he wanted to use the normal stereo features (Radio, Tape, Record player) he had to pull the stereo out, disconnect the adapter to the CD player and re-connect the normal stereo cable.

Now most folks would have said "...it takes 10 seconds, just deal..."

As most of you will know, I rarely take that approach.

So my brother (whom had just finished his degree class in Electronics Engineering, same degree I got many years later) and I sketch out a circuit diagram for a switching unit that, at the flip of a switch, would automatically make the connections! Basically, flip up for stereo mode, flip down for CD input. Pretty fancy!

So we go out to the local Radio Shack and get a handful of audio grade relays, some pretty lights, a project box and other "let's build something dangerous" paraphernalia!

And we get to building.

About an hour into said build, I notice my brother had connected all the grounds together. So I tell him you can't do that. The potential difference in ground from an old analogue stereo to a digital device is immense. The ground have to be isolated. He responds by saying that, in an electronic circuit, ground is ground. So connecting them together is fine.

Then...for about the next half hour was an argument between my brother and I about above stated topic.

At some point, after he stopped laughing his ass off, Dad stepped in and said...

"Look....Your brother has the education to back up his argument, and you have the experience to back up yours. There has to be a common solution!"

So...after taking some readings (with a 5 dollar meter) we agreed that connecting all the grounds together should be fine.

So we build it, plug it in, and it works. No noticeable interference, seems to work just fine.

About 2 months later, I'm back on base doing my USAF thing and call Dad to see what's going on. He tells me everything is just fine, nothing really going on. And oh, by the way, flipped the switch to listen to a CD and the stereo exploded!

So that was the early 90's, back to "the now" and we have talked on that "learning experience" many times.

And back to the point of this article...

Having all the knowledge to fix something, is useless unless you have the experience to go along with it. While having that knowledge does make things a little easier, sometimes it can confuse the process of gaining the experience because the real world just isn't so black and white (unfortunately).

My point.....never be afraid to try something without all all the knowledge (you think) might be required. The act of trying will give you the experience so that next time, you don't blow up Dad's stereo! More than likely, all you lose, is a little time!


P.S. - notice I did not say "I told ya so" even once! 🤣