Friday, June 28, 2013

Three Years

I spent three years of my professional life with the development and testing of the Ares-I J-2X thrust vector control system. My team designed and built the most sophisticated test stand ever attempted. It was a full kinematic, geometric, and electrical simulator of an Ares-I upper stage in flight.

As much as this was a technical achievement, it was a growing experience for me to lead such a wonderful team of professionals. It was this experience that made me think that, perhaps, I'm not half bad at this.

I am in the middle of another, similar project. Oh, the technology is different. The people are different, and present a whole list of different challenges.

We haven't quite replicated the lightning in a bottle that the TVC project had, but we are doing reasonably well - incredibly well from a project standpoint.

But I'm going to need a break after this, too. I pour so much of myself into such projects that I get tired. Tired of the stress, tired from trying to please and not disappoint.

It reminds me of that walleyball tournament my tribe entered. My team was undermanned and over-aged. We just wanted the game to end. But we couldn't not try, and we were able to get off the court quicker by just winning. Then, of course, we'd have another game to play. Each time, it was easier to just win quickly. At the end of the tournament, we got nothing for our trouble other than exhaustion.

I will be profoundly disappointed if there's nothing at the end of this project except an attaboy and another project.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Closet Organizer

My wife has sweaters. Lots of sweaters. A dresser full of sweaters.

And I want to dispose of that dresser. It was my grandfather's and it was a lousy piece of furniture when it was new. Age has not improved it in the slightest.

So the deal was that she would let me throw out the dresser if I made her some shelves in her closet to hold her sweaters. Naturally, I wanted to match the decor of our kitchen and master bath, so it would be cherry with a face frame. Clear coated, to age and color naturally.

It took a week, but it is done now.

I hope she's happy with it.

Edge banding the shelves with cherry strips

Pocket and shelf pin holes done

Installing the top and bottom

Sides installed, finishing the carcass

Face frame installed

Closet shelves installed

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shifting Gears

I am transitioning myself from remodelling to vacationing. The major project I'm running, at work, is moving from design to construction (starting with demolition).

I am shifting gears.

When this happens, there is that moment of uncertainty. That period of time where you do not accelerate. You coast and prepare for a lurch. That is how I feel now. Right now, my days feel wasted. I try to convince myself that it's okay. I deserve a break. But I don't believe myself. I can tell when I'm lying, because I no damn good at it.

A couple years ago I wrote about being at an inflection point. Things will turn up soon, because they always do. I guess I'm still waiting.