New England Adventures

Looking for Bush, Sr.

Looking for Bush, Sr.

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been traveling a lot lately. By my calculations I’ve been out of town for all but four weeks since last September. I work for myself, so there’s no-one to blame but me; besides, three of the weeks were vacations to California (November) and Florida (February).

In addition to the normal machine-building and systems integration work I often do, I have also been teaching PLC programming classes for Automation Training, a Canadian company. I have taught classes in Raleigh, NC; Denver, Chicago, Ardmore, OK; Atlanta, two small towns in Missouri you’ve probably never heard of, and Boston. All since September! I also did about four weeks of programming work at Evana Automation in Evansville, IN.

My current adventure started when I taught a Siemens class in Boston in early March. Since I arrived on a Sunday, I decided to drive down to Rhode Island just to check it out. I drove through Providence and ended up in a town called Bristol out on one of the islands, had dinner and drove back to Marlboro, a suburb of Boston where the class was to be held.

Bristol, RI

Bristol, RI

The class was fairly uneventful; I am getting used to doing these trainings. They last for about four days and follow the book fairly closely. I always try and put my own spin on the lessons; structured programming, reusable code and that sort of thing.

A few notes on Boston: Its very crowded so traffic is a pain. There are toll roads everywhere, including a whopping $3.50 just to get out of the airport to downtown via the tunnel (Google the “big dig”). Between the airport and my hotel I had to pay a total of four tolls, though none were as big as the first one. All in the space of less than thirty miles.

While I was there I received a call from someone I used to do some work for when she was at a different company. She told me about a great opportunity in New Hampshire to do some consulting and standards development on a very large project. After discussing it over dinner I agreed to come up and take a look at it.

I flew back to Boston the following week and drove up to the facility in Merrimack. One of the great things about traveling is the opportunity to do things like lay around the pool…
IMG_0757

Play golf…IMG_0779

And even spend a little time at the beach…IMG_0777

Of course when its 37 degrees (Fahrenheit for you C-people) and the wind is blowing about 40 miles an hour its really hard to stay on your surfboard, so I didn’t get a lot of sun.

I went back home to Nashville after signing on to do more development work up here. I returned last week and am doing some long days, but I took today (Sunday) off and decided to drive to Maine. For those of you not familiar with this area of the United States, states are very small up here in New England. It is possible to drive across three or four states in just a few hours.

I left at about 7:30 this morning and was back by about 4:00 pm. I was able to visit a lot of cool places along the beaches south of Portland. It was very rainy and cold, with a heavy wind, but I managed to take a few pictures below to show you a little of what its like up here…
MaineNMachinery

Yes, that is a lobster sandwich in the lower right. They call it a “Lobster Roll” and it seems very popular in these parts. I think I prefer my lobster warm, but it was interesting. The lighthouse is called “Nubble Light” and I got pretty soaked while taking the picture. The octopi (octopuses?) in the middle are actually at the Boston Airport but they were on my camera from the Boston trip so I threw them in there to help hide the secret machine in the background.

Shhhh…

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