When It Snows, We Shut Down

Five years of driving in Colorado winters is great preparation for times like this in Seattle:

DSC_0299
40.0 mm || 1/800 || f/4.2 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Last week1 Seattle got an amazing 2-5″ of snow.

Unfortunately, while I can get around with such practice, my experience is unable to magically transport itself into others. Thus I am still stuck in a city that can’t clear roads with drivers who still do stupid things:

I digress.

The snow started in earnest Monday morning. We were in a cold snap the previous weekend, so I was pretty sure the snow would stick. I left work early on Monday so I wouldn’t get stuck in the traffic, which turned out to be a good call. I heard it took some people as long as 12 hours to get home.

I decided to work from home on Tuesday, which was a good call as things remained frozen overnight and I heard it was a nightmare to get to work.

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35.0 mm || 1/800 || f/4.2 || ISO100 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Meanwhile, I commuted five minutes on foot my local Starbucks and camped out.

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18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO640 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States


  1. November 22-24th 

What Are You Going To Do?

On Monday, I found out that I guy I worked with1 who retired earlier this year was diagnosed with kidney cancer a week ago or so. By time the doctors found it, it had already metastasized to the rest his body and doctors were giving him three weeks to live (without treatment) or up to three months with chemo.

Just this morning I found out that he had passed away.

Fuck.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Death is a bitch, cancer even more so.

My heart is heavy this morning and my prayers are with his family.

I think this also points out an important aspect of life that we sometimes like to overlook: tomorrow could be your last day. We are pretty fragile beings, all things considered.

I once read a report detailing how placing the human head at the top of the body was the worst design flaw ever2 because of how much it exposes a supremely vital organ to all sorts of dangers (falling, impalement, low-hanging ceilings, etc).

I’m not saying that tomorrow is going to be your last day, so don’t act like it is. Just recognize that it could be.

Do I really want to spend all my time working so I can retire and really start living? Shouldn’t I really start living right now, if I’m not already?

Carpe diem; ad proximum convivium.


  1. I knew him by name, but I didn’t work with him on a regular basis 

  2. well, maybe not ever 

A New Project

I signed up for a new project at work. It’s a part time position that also requires some volunteer hours, but I think that it will be an excellent experience. It’s part of an engineering career development program that allows engineers to gain experience by working on projects outside of their assigned program. I’ll be working as a test engineer on a project to develop and execute a R/C aircraft flight test program.

We haven’t started yet, but I’m already looking forward to it!

The First Two Years, Sort Of

Today marks, among other things, my two year company date at Boeing. I know what you’re thinking: It hasn’t even been a year since you graduated, how can you have two years at Boeing?

Behold, the power of the internship. I actually started at Boeing on May 26th, 2006 as a summer intern for the next three years. I started full time on August 14th, 2009. Anyway, my company start date is 5/5/2008, which makes today my two year anniversary.

I’m expecting my china plates in the mail any day now.

Working with My Former Self

I’m doing some verification of specifications at work that involves going through documents and making sure that stuff is up to par. A couple of times, I’ll come across a document and think to myself, this is a pretty good document (i.e. it looks well formatted, has at least most of the information I need, etc) and I’m generally impressed with this persons work.

One of the other things I have to do is go through and update the document properties, and this is when I see that this persons who’s work I’m so impressed with is me! As an intern! Some three years ago!

Kind of crazy.

I think this is an excellent example of how long projects can last, especially at a big company. It’s also amazing to think back four years ago and how much I knew then about this project and how much I know now. It’s a pretty complex project and understanding how everything fits together, from a technical and from a business standpoint, takes lots of time.

Apply for My Old Job

My group at work, Mission Computing Hardware, just had a requisition posted for a new intern! The last intern was hired in 2006 and would later go on to get hired to full time. The last intern also happened to be me.

Now, I obviously can’t make any guarantees about you getting hired (or even getting the internship). However, I would recommend that you apply if you are at all interested. And if you do get the job, you get to work with me! But don’t delay; the position closes by June 10, and I think it can close earlier if they find someone earlier.

From jobs.boeing.com:

Position Description: Engineering College intern to support 40/45 AWACS Program Mission Computing Hardware. This individual will work with guidance from other members of the IPT framework, supporting the development of Qualification Procedures, Analysis, Test Reports, Data Packages, Safety of Flight Memos, COTS equipment evaluation and selection prior to technical refresh cycles, Ethernet architecture development and implementation, Storage Area Network and Network Access Storage architecture and implementation, encryption/firewalls, and servers.

Competencies:
Collaboration, Communication, Continuous Learning, Customer Focus, Managing Work

Other Job related information:
Prefer candidates seeking electrical engineering degrees.

Image: Air Force file

You Are Not Eligible to Donate

I tried to donate blood last week during a drive at work (interesting side note, Boeing pays for time spent donating blood). One of my coworkers asked me and I thought it would be a fun experience, especially since I haven’t donated in a while.

I knew that because of all my recent travel, there was a chance I couldn’t donate, but I thought that enough time had passes and that at least I hadn’t been to Africa.

I told the nurse what areas I had been to, Europe, Eastern Europe, and Haiti. She was pretty sure I wouldn’t be eligible to donate, but we went through each country I visited just to make sure. The nurse meticulously wrote down every single country and major city I visited, from Moscow, Russia all the way through Frankfurt, Germany, and Haiti. As it turns out, all of Haiti is at risk for malaria. And despite the fact that I had taken chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, I have to wait an entire year until I can give blood again.

I understand the need to be safe, and I promise I’m not complaining, but it seems like the odds of someone actually getting malaria are low enough that it should be worthwhile to collect the blood, test it, and use it if it’s clean. What diseases are tested for anyway?

GWU: General Work Update

Some change at work:

Several weeks ago (the day before I left for Haiti, actually), our division was renamed Boeing Defense, Space and Security. Interestingly enough, the TLA1 is only BDS. I, however, am going to call it BaDaSS.

I also moved cubicles. I’m now sitting almost directly with the rest of my group. I used to sit in a completely different bay across a hallway and through two doors. Now I’m within shouting (and launching) distance of everyone on my team.


  1. three letter acronym, something Boeing is notorious for