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Day #21 Technology
Ken Eaton
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Panther Nation,

Well, after a day at school of dealing with budgets, COVID-19 agendas from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act program, and grants.gov-- I headed home yesterday.  As I drove up to the house I saw good ole #23 (a second calf heifer) on the wrong side of the fence.  This is year number two for her to be the lead cow in charge of finding a weak spot in any fence.  It was 5:30 and I didn’t get a chance (or take the chance I should say) to eat breakfast or lunch.  She was munching on some good green grass, I don’t blame her she has been eating hay bales since November in the dry lot.  I was starving so I decided to change clothes and eat a bit before tending to getting her back in and finding the new escape hole she made.  When I finished and went out to take care of her she apparently wanted back in with her calf so I didn’t have to chase her down.  I then found the escape hole and promptly fixed it.  I got back to the house and was reminded that “wally” the self-propelled vacuum cleaner that I (Santa Claus) bought Mrs. Eaton and few years ago for Christmas, wasn’t working.  He had a bad whisker thing that wasn’t turning.  I grabbed some tools and started dissecting “wally.”  Turns out after several pieces, screws, cogs, moldings, fittings, etc. were laid out on the kitchen table, it was as stripped plastic gear that was the culprit.  Seriously, a plastic gear?  Why would anyone make a gear out of plastic?  Made in China is what it said on the bottom of the machine, I understand now.  Out of the literally hundreds of small intricate pieces in this robot I couldn’t find a replacement part especially since the website of the company said they were closed for COVID-19.  Yes, the website had that banner scrolling across their webpage.  Well, Ebay then.  Nope nothing but new filters and brushes there, same for Amazon.  I started to haul all of it to the trash and had a thought -- Google plastic gears? ………. and there it was!  An 80-piece plastic gear set of all kinds for some small racing cars and some of them “looked” like the one I needed.  So, for $3.89 with free shipping I took a chance and ordered them.  Of, course it is after I hit the “pay now” button it told me that I would receive my order by JULY 19TH!  Stay tuned!

My point is that technology is most times wonderful (we shall see by July 19th) in this new era of our teachers trying to educate kids from a distance and a lot of us trying to do our jobs the same.  It is a more challenging task, but it is working.  Students keep up the work of staying engaged, I am so proud of the reports I get from our teachers and principals about how the overwhelming majority of you guys are getting it done!  Parents/Guardians this wouldn’t be possible without your great support in this “new normal” venture.  To that, we say thank you!

Stay healthy and technology connected!