Hello from Kearney, NE

Hello from Kearney, NE

Thursday evening – February 14, 2019   (First post of this travelogue)

I am in Kearney teaching a four day class that includes bearings, lubrication, and shaft alignment.  The class is being held at the Ockinga Conference Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska, Kearney (Google map link). 

The customer is the 309 Task Force (same as the Lincoln assignment about a month ago. 

The following is an excerpt from my travelogue for the Lincoln trip:

The 309 Task Force is a very interesting organization (link).  It was created via state legislation over 30 years ago.  Here is a description of the results of that legislation:

”The Mission of the 309 Task Force is to address the state’s sizable need for deferred building repairs and improvements to the extent possible with available funding, utilizing those funds wisely and efficiently.  The Task Force was created to be an independent entity to prioritize on a statewide level, and then fund the highest priority building renewal projects.  The four types of projects allowed are deferred building repair, fire/life safety, energy conservation, and ADA projects.  The Task Force works with state agencies on over 3,000 existing state buildings.

A significant part of their funding comes from cigarette tax.  One of the major functions of the task force is to fund training for the state employees who are charged with maintaining/updating the building.

This class had 5 students.  That is a mixed blessing.  Less cats to herd, but less experience shared among the students.  As was the case with the Lincoln class, these folks have a pretty significant variation in their background.  The class went well and we even had enough time to evaluate a different dial indicator alignment process.  The process seemed to work at the Lincoln session but we had some issues with this evaluation.  I will have to contact the company that wrote the software and see if we can figure out what is going on.

I am staying at the Holiday Inn Express hotel which is a mile or two from the college (Google map link).


Rather than fly, I chose to rent a car and drive here.  I requested an AWD or four wheel drive and they rented me a 2018 Ford F150 truck.  It is a fun vehicle to drive.  The drive out here on Sunday was uneventful.  It is around 380 miles from our house and a bit over 5 ½ hours driving time. The weather was good and the radio has a USB port, so I could listen to my music.

Monday the weather was terrible – black ice everywhere.  The sidewalks were covered as well as the side streets.  The main streets were not too bad.  However, walking anywhere resulted in sheer panic.  The truck was covered by a sheet of ice that was almost ¼ inch thick (and no scraper in the truck).  The past days have been cold, but no black ice.  It is scheduled to snow tomorrow which is the day I drive home.  Hopefully it will not be too bad.

That is all for this trip.


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