work


I’ve been slowly moving my office toys into my new office. Here is part of the current configuration:

That's me paddling sweep

Gumby & Daffy’s flotilla


About the only advantage of working in a cube is that it makes mounting toys to the wall a lot easier.

There’s a real river just outside the office (though I can’t see it from my cube). I went outside at lunch today and took this shot.

Jefferson Mill on the Merrimack

Jefferson Mill on the Merrimack


Maybe someday I’ll bring a kayak and see if I can attain this rapid. But I think I’ll wait until it’s warmer for the first run.

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Well, I’m back. Not only to this blog, but to New Hampshire. But let’s start with this photo I took back in October while camping under a full moon with the Pathfinders on my friend Ken’s farm.

A full moon lights Ken's farm

A full moon lights Ken’s farm


That was a 15 second exposure.

Anyhow, I had been working down in Virginia since May, commuting (by car) back home every weekend. I’d leave there Friday around noon and get home around 10:00pm. Then I’d get back in the car and drive back down on Sunday, leaving between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, and arriving between 11:30pm and 1:30am.

It was brutal. Those 20 extra hours of driving every week pretty much took all the spare time and energy I had, so blogging had to take a back seat while I was confined to the driver’s seat. We thought we might have to move down there, but the housing market here (flat) and the housing market there (insane) dictated otherwise. Also, I am still very much in love with New Hampshire.

I had intended to stick it out for a full year, but an opportunity came my way. A friend of mine from where I worked until last November was interviewing at a company in Manchester, NH, and while they were talking to him, he kept thinking, “they are describing Jim, not me.” And he told them so. So they called me and set up an interview. I happened to be on vacation that week while my parents and two sisters were visiting (they came to see the foliage). They had to head back on a Thursday morning, so the interview was set up for Thursday afternoon. The company liked me enough to make an offer, and the rest is history. I’ve been there for a week now, and I must say that I really like it so far (even apart from the much better commute). I’m back to doing digital signal processing work, which is really what I like to do best. I find it challenging, fascinating, and fulfilling. The company is small (which I prefer) and dedicated to work-life balance (which I value).

I do have to say though that I enjoyed the actual work I was doing in Virginia. I gave them my all while I was there and am proud of the work I left behind. I got to reconnect with a lot of old friends (we had lived there for 18 years), and I made several new friends too. Hopefully I can do a better job of keeping in touch with them.

But it’s good to be back.

Well things are going to be a lot different for me starting yesterday. I was released from employment. It was a good ride – 13 years and 3 months. It was my job that brought me to New Hampshire, and for that I am thankful.

I bear no ill will to them. They were a good company to work for, and there were a lot of good people there, all the way to the top. I will miss them.

This sort of thing, though necessary, is still very painful. I am glad that I have put my trust in a Higher Power, and I will continue to lean on Him. Certainly a little harder now though!

My mind has been drawn to this text from Jeremiah.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. – Jeremiah 29:11

I know in my heart that the Lord has something better in store for me. I just don’t know what it is yet. I do wish the rest of my being would catch up with that thought sooner rather than later.

I don’t know who did this – but it wasn’t me!

Men's room at my office

Men’s room at my office

A while back, the sink at our office started leaking. Unfortunately, the landlord has not been terribly responsive to repair requests, so nothing happened. Someone wrote a note on a yellow sticky that said “Turn handle slighty to the left to stop dripping” and hung it above the sink, but that only lasted about two days before it got wet.

And since our landlord had done nothing by then, we got a better sign – laminated in plastic to protect the sign on a more long-term basis.

Before

Before

Months passed, and still nothing happened. I began to worry that our plastic-laminated sign might not be long-term enough, so I sprung into action and enlisted the services of a professional.

After

After


Hopefully, the faucet will be fixed before we need to switch to a marble sign.


When I got to the office today I could not help but notice that they had begun to frame up the roof for the tower they are adding to the Concord Food Co-op right outside my office window. I figured the ideal thing to do would be to put my camera on a tripod and take images throughout the day, and then mix them into a time-lapse video.

But… I have not fully addressed the stripped out tripod mount on my camera. I had drilled it out, packed it full of “Quick Steel” (an epoxy-based product), allowed that to cure, and then drilled it out. Then I tried tapping it, but… I didn’t stop turning the tap when it hit the bottom of the hole. So I stripped out the new threads before they were even finished.

Oh well. I can drill it out and try again. But that wouldn’t help today. Instead, I got out my tiny little tripod and jammed it in. It was tight. I applied some torque to screw it in, and it cut its own threads. “Quick Steel” says it cures “hard as steel” but that’s not even close to true. Anyhow… I was able to get the camera mounted somewhat securely on my tripod, and as you can see from the embedded video above, I was also able to take several pictures.

Too bad I didn’t have a more stable base to set the tripod on. The image moves around more than I would like. To get semi-decent shots, I had to shoot through the top part of the window (rather than through the idiotic Jalousie slats that block up to 80% of the wind). Don’t get me started on why someone thought it would be a good idea to install those in New England.

Anyhow, to get the camera above the slats, I had to set it on top of a tissue box, and that is on top of a cardboard citrus crate (where would I have gotten one of those?)

In spite of all of that, it might be post-worthy.

It’s kind of bizarre that I titled a post “The British Are Coming” earlier this week. That was before I knew I’d be in Lexington, MA a few days later.

That day was today, when I went there on a work-related mission. I was hoping to have a little daylight while I was there to hunt down a multi-cache covering the route of Paul Revere’s famous ride. But it was not to be. I didn’t get out of there until after dark.

That makes photography kinda difficult too. This was all I could manage.

Massachusetts Avenue

Massachusetts Avenue

I still haven’t drilled and tapped out the tripod mounting hole in my camera – which I stripped a loooong time ago, and then packed with epoxy putty, thinking “as soon as this sets, I will drill it and tap it.” I think it has maybe set by now.

Lacking the ability to take a tripod-stabilized shot, I balanced my camera on a garbage can. That while I balanced a box of electronics on my knee with my laptop bag slug over my left shoulder and my camera bag slung over my right.

I didn’t have time to research Paul Revere’s route. I guess I could just make up some new facts about it (that’s not unprecedented 😉 In that spirit, I’m just going to assert without proof that he rode down this stretch of Massachusetts Avenue. Feel free to update Wikipedia with this information.

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