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Category Archives: Personal
MacArthur's Photo on Nimitz's Desk?
Quote of the Day Asking for help isn’t giving up, it is refusing to give up. — Charlie Mackesy I have been reading a couple of books about Admiral Chester Nimitz and his conduct of the Pacific War during WW2. … Continue reading
Posted in Management, Military History, Naval History, Personal Comments Off on MacArthur's Photo on Nimitz's Desk?
Willie Mosconi and How Pool is Like Life
I was talking with my neighbors yesterday about motivating students. They are both teachers at a local college and are finding it difficult to excite their students over Zoom. While I am not in education, many of the companies I have worked for have struggled to motivate staff (local and remote). My employers would occasionally have occasionally brought in motivational speakers to try to fire up the workers, most of which were good but not great (Lou Holz was great). Continue reading
Posted in Management, Personal 4 Comments
Maple Sap is Sweet This Year
I am being a good citizen and am socially distancing at my cabin in northern Minnesota – avoiding people is easy in the dense forests that surround my residence. When I went out for my daily walk and I saw the maple sap bags that my neighbor put out (Figure 1). Most folks around here collect their sap in these blue bags. Continue reading
Web Scraping Sailboat Reviews Using Power Query
While it is true that I worked on US Navy contracts for twelve years and spent some time on ships testing new underwater vehicles, I know very little about recreational boating. However, I have always been fascinated by sailing, though this fascination has been limited to reading books about the Age of Sail. Continue reading
I have now started on my next employment adventure. I can only say thanks to the wonderful team of people that I leave behind. They created the products that allowed the Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTTH) market to flourish. Tens of millions of FTTH products are now manufactured every year by companies around the world. These products are amazing in that for very low-cost they can contain such diverse technology: high-speed digital electronics, FPGAs, RF video, telephony, battery backup, and wireless. The team can be proud of what they have done. You succeeded where many others failed. Continue reading
Posted in Personal Comments Off on Thanks Team
Cabin Is Complete
My cabin construction project is now complete. My wife and I are now beginning to furnish our new home, which will take some time. I continue to work on the garage construction myself, which will take until sometime in May to finish. Overall, our planning was good and there were no major surprises. The one area of difficulty that I did not fully appreciate is the remoteness of the site. Before you go to the site, you need to plan out every possible tool or part that you will need while there. Continue reading
Posted in Construction, Personal 12 Comments
Time for a Job Change
My company is changing its approach to hardware development, and after much soul-searching, I have decided to volunteer for layoff. I do not have any immediate plans – it is just time for a change. I will continue to write on technical topics because math, electronics, and software are in my blood. Continue reading
Posted in Personal 6 Comments
Santa Rosa Fires And My Coworkers
I work for a company that is headquartered in Petaluma, California, which is just south of the Santa Rosa fire region. Six employees lost their homes in this fire. One employee, Danny Pomplun, and his wife, narrowly escaped the fire by sheltering in their pool. Their dramatic story is told very well in this Washington Post article. If you cannot gain access to the original news article, try this PDF of this story. Continue reading
Posted in Personal Comments Off on Santa Rosa Fires And My Coworkers
Baby Name Frequency Ranking Using Power Query
You may have noticed that many of my recent posts are focused on data processing and analysis. These recent posts reflect the fact that I am preparing for a career change as I near "retirement," and I plan on working in the data analysis arena. This means that I have been in serious Python, R, and statistics training. While I love working with Python and R, I keep finding myself drawn back to Excel and Power Query (aka Get and Transform) for quick, ad hoc analysis work. While this blog will look at the frequency over time of the name Mark, you can use the tool to generate the same chart for any name. Continue reading
Posted in History Through Spreadsheets, Personal 2 Comments
Largest Counties in the US
I am currently building a retirement home in Itasca County, Minnesota. While at the construction site, I spoke with with a sheriff's deputy about law enforcement coverage for my area. He told me that there were only two deputies on duty at night covering an area larger than the state of Delaware. He also said that if I the deputies are tied up in the southern part of the county it can take a while for them to get to my place, which is in the the northern part of the county. I had never thought about the size of the counties in northern Minnesota, but there are some large pieces of real estate there. Continue reading