Fancy meeting you here, huh?
I bet you thought I didn’t post here anymore. Truth be told, I guess I can’t argue much with you. Things have been so crazy lately that slowing down to write out a few thoughts seemed like the last thing on my mind.
But, fall always makes me feel contemplative. So, I’m sitting here on a chilly (or is it actually cold??) Sunday afternoon, enjoying my first mug of mulled cider this season, contemplating.
So, what am I contemplating? A lot, but, in many ways it can be summed up in one thoughts: I’m a really lucky guy.
There has been a lot going on in both my personal and professional life that has really made me appreciate everything that I’m blessed with.
Professionally, my employer (like many other places) has been going through a downturn over the past 12 months or so. My department has lost something around 20% of its workforce. Thankfully, I wasn’t asked to leave. In truth, I was never too nervous because I’ve been so unbelievably busy lately.
For the past few months, I’ve been working on a project that I can’t say much about. The project involves testing a vehicle. I was asked to create a data acquisition system to record data while the vehicle was operating. I had a budget of around $30,000. So, I bought some really cool gear. When it was all said and done, I had a system that could acquire 40 channels of strain, 28 channels of acceleration, and 5 channels of string potentiometer data at 1000 samples per second. The system also used GPS, the vehicle’s CAN bus, and an Inertial Measurement Unit. All told, I had around 120 channels of data that we were taking. Some of the runs were 3 hours long. That meant some of our data files were on the order of 3 gigabytes. A single file, mind you.
All that above is just nerd speak to say that, in my not-so-humble opinion, the data acquisition system was dang awesome. So far, it is working pretty well. During the more tame environments, it worked almost flawlessly. The system is now operating in a more challenging environment. Occasionally, sensors get damaged or what not, but in general, the DAQ system is chugging right along.
Unfortunately, supporting this project has required me to travel a lot lately. I’ve been up to Detroit twice and out to Reno, NV twice. I’m hoping that travel is just about over with.
But, that brings me to another thing I’m thankful for: my family.
We’ve had some close friends lately that have lost family members unexpectedly. I’ve watched what they’ve had to go through. Combine that with being on the road and just plain ole missing my wife and kids and I’m feeling especially lucky today. I love my wife and our two boys. Even though I just had to get on to Tyler for getting up from his nap before he should have. Both our kids are pretty wonderful if you ask me.
So, that’s kinda where my fall-induced contemplative mind is at today. I’m very thankful for all I’ve been blessed with. I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve it, but, I’m not gonna argue.