Random Thoughts 1


Hello again from Miami. This time I drove down here since I needed to spend a couple of weeks on my current project, upgrading a juice and beverage compounding system.

When I’m out of town for a long time its difficult to keep up with this blog, but I always feel obligated to put something out every couple of weeks or so. Since the holidays are fast approaching, I figured I’d just talk about random stuff.

1. On the topic of “How Long does it Take”, I can actually give you all a couple of interesting measurements.

Drawings for the project I am working on took about 40 hours spread through a week. The drawings were 31 pages long and I did have a set of the original schematics to work from. This was schematics only, though I did work some on a panel layout during the same week.

It took 6 hours today to write a communications program for a Compactlogix I/O collection system to communicate from Ethernet/IP nodes to a SLC 5/05. It’s not a whole lot of code, but I also had to go get several EDS files.

What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. What do you call a fish with no ears? Doesn't matter, he won't come to you anyway.
What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A fsh.
What do you call a fish with no ears?
Doesn’t matter, he won’t come to you anyway.

2. I went scuba diving in Key Largo Sunday and it was awesome. I usually bring my camera and take a few pictures of fish or whatever, but this time I took video for the first time. It turned out a lot better than pictures, I think I’ll keep doing that.

My last two dives before this one were pretty rough. Very choppy and nauseating on the rides out and back. It almost soured me on diving since I was seasick both times. This trip was very nice, excellent weather and lots of fish. Kind of gets me motivated again.

3. Night before last I was awakened at about 1am by the hotel security guard. He informed me that my car had been broken into. I got down to the parking lot and sure as heck, my back window was busted out, glass everywhere. The only thing they took was a small daypack with all of my project notes in it. There was also a small notebook I have had for about three years with lots of notes, passwords and random stuff in it. The thing is, all of my diving stuff and some fairly expensive Christmas presents for my family were in there too. They were all wrapped up in a tarp though and I guess the thieves didn’t have time to get into it. It reinforced the fact that you shouldn’t leave valuables in your car overnight. Other than the pain of having to get my window replaced I was pretty lucky. Sure wish I had those notebooks back though. Fortunately most of the project notes had been documented in various drawings and spreadsheets.

4. It is amazing how much of what I do is really pretty simple and mundane. For every hour of technical stuff that I probably need to do myself, there is probably five or six hours of boring clerical stuff that just about anyone could do. Lots of spreadsheet work and duplication/iteration. Even the CAD could be farmed out to someone with just a little training. Maybe I need an intern or something.

5. I am a bit worried about my workload next year. Between this project and teaching classes around the country, things look pretty booked up. At the same time I have two or three other companies that may want me to do some work for them. A vision project, a robotic welding workcell and more stonecutting OEM stuff. They all seem interesting, but I only have so many hours. It is hard to turn people down.

6. I am soooo ready to go home and take some time off. I am driving back through St. Augustine, FL and Savannah, GA, and then I have two weeks off until coming back down here. I will be driving again since I will be in Miami for a week and then teach a class in Orlando.

Really looking forward to some good family time over the holidays. I wish every one a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, prosperous Kwanzaa and Feliz Hannukah, or however you celebrate wherever you are!


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.

2 Comments on “Random Thoughts 1

  1. If you can, spend some time in St. Augustine; it’s a cute little city.

    I know about blogging difficulties; I’ve got over 3 posts in varying amounts of readiness, but December is always busy for me because of family commitments.