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INSIDE CI: Hurry Up and Wait

May 1, 2008
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The monthly roundup from Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.

At a recent checkup, my doctor recommended a series of tests to determine if I had an ailment that in her view could range from “very serious” to “not a big deal.” She said that she wasn’t terribly concerned, but I should have the tests taken as soon as possible. I’m generally a pretty healthy person, so the possibility that something could be seriously wrong sent me into a bit of a tizzy. I scheduled the tests right away.

Two weeks have now passed since I had the tests done, and though the doctor told me that she’d get back to me in about a week, I still haven’t heard a thing. I called last week only to learn that she wasn’t finished looking at the results. That was five days ago. I’m telling myself that if the results pointed toward the more serious end of the spectrum, she wouldn’t be quite so cavalier with her response time.

Something similar, though not quite as alarming, also happened in the last couple of weeks. I’d noticed a month or so ago that the paint beneath one of the windows in my living room was cracked and a bit bubbly. I’m not a very handy person, but it seems fairly clear that water is getting in somehow. I finally got around to calling a handyman, and he scolded me for not taking care of it right away. Imagine the damage that could accumulate over a month! He said he’d be out in two days to take a look. Well, that was over a week ago and he hasn’t shown up.

I’m beginning to think that either I’ve somehow lost the ability to understand the English language, or there is a far-reaching conspiracy to erode my mental health. I hate that breathless in-a-rush feeling, but it’s even worse if nothing is accomplished.

You don’t have to wait, though, since the great editorial in our May issue is at your fingertips and ready when you are. Kiln expert Ralph Ruark illuminates tips on how to achieve cost-saving heat recovery almost by magic in his popular “Kiln Connection” column. Research was recently undertaken to better understand the effects that different forming processes have on porcelain insulator manufacturing. Read the results in “Forming Porcelain Insulators.”

Our special instrumentation section this month details how thermal analysis techniques such as thermogravimetric analysis can be used to optimize properties of materials used in ceramic and glass manufacturing (see “Thermal Techniques for Material Characterization”). Please also keep in mind that each issue’s columns and articles are generally posted online by the first of each month, while industry news, personnel announcements and new product information are updated on a daily basis.

I did have one pleasant surprise last week: I actually picked the right line at the grocery store. Those poor people in lane seven were still waiting when I walked out the door. I wasn’t in a hurry that day, of course, which explains everything.

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