Career hop

There are hunters and there are gatherers.  I’m more the latter, my wife the former.  I like to settle down and dig my roots in.  What can I say, I don’t like change.

The same goes with my job choices.  My first job post-college lasted 10+ years.  It basically fell into my lap — a recently graduated upperclassman contacted me during my senior year, asking if I wanted a job.  I said yes, and so did the company.  MTSI was a fantastic experience for me; great people, great training, great experiences.

liteye Then I moved on to Colorado.  And what a wild, dizzying path that has become.  Liteye Systems brought me here, and I am forever grateful.  I found my wife here, and my life is all the richer.

Soon after Sarah and I married, we moved into our first house together in the old part of Colorado Springs.  Liteye is located in Denver.  The distance from point A to point B is about an hour’s worth of travel time.  On good traffic days with perfect weather.  It’s been a long 6 years of commuting. Again, I settled in and stayed perhaps longer than was necessary.

ThermoFisherAnd so, this summer became Project Find-A-New-Job.  Enter Thermo Fisher Scientific smack dab in the middle of Colorado Springs.

I had been wanting to branch out a bit from Liteye.  Having been immersed in the rugged military product development world for quite a while, I wanted to see what else I could do.  Thermo Fisher fit that bill.  It’s in a completely different market: high-end scientific and laboratory products.  It’s a branch of industry that I had no experience in, so I was excited to take part.

It’s also a very large company with a small local branch.  This was something I was looking for specifically too.  My previous couple job experiences ranged in the sub-50 employee size and were both startups.  Though those environments can be very exhilarating and dynamic, they can also be occasionally chaotic.  I was craving a larger company culture, where processes and infrastructure were more fully developed.

And what can I say about a commute of only 15 minutes?  As the snow steadily fell this week, I revealed in the fact that I wasn’t stuck on I-25.  Being a true “local” of the Springs now, I’m eager to settle in here and reinvest all this extra time I have on my hands into my family and friends.

Dyson vaccum fix

Is your Dyson Animal vacuum cleaner sucking, like mine was?  There’s a good chance you can fix it cheaply.

In my case, the vacuum head — in Dyson speak, it’s the “soleplate” — was not seating down fully on the floor.


Dyson soleplate, DC07
the culprit: the soleplate on my DC07

Because the soleplate wasn’t fully flush with the contact surface, the suction was greatly reduced.  Here’s the sad thing: I knew this for some time.  Like years.  And I never got around to doing anything about it.  I was just vacuuming in mediocrity.  Well, I finally did something about it today.

Required Tools:


Required Parts:

rubber band, x1 1

It’s tricky to describe where to apply the rubber band, so the pictures below will help you visualize.  But in words, the basic problem was that the intake hose (first two photos below) was making the soleplate assembly tilt up, away from the floor.  I didn’t see any abnormal wear signs of the hose, or any other reasons to believe that this was something that happened with age.  It makes me seriously wonder if this was a design flaw (gasp!) — a little hard to believe since Dyson’s legendary design esthetics resemble Apple’s.  Regardless, a simple apparatus to force the assembly back down toward the floor was really all that was needed.


The results?  I kid you not, this thing has never — NEVER — cleaned this good.  I was seriously astonished.  My rugs are finally spotless; with three fur-bound pets in this house, I see a lot of deposited hair, and the rugs were totally clean.  To quantify, a small family living room of about 15′ x 20’ used to equate to about a half full dirt chamber.  Post-rubber-band-fix? The chamber was more full than I’d ever gotten before in that same room.  Amazing!


Colorado’s Miller moth season is one of Biblical-plague proportions.  Nothing can quite capture the sensation of retching disgust when one of these dusty insects makes its way into your hair, bed, cereal, or clothing.  My homicidal rage only comes out on rare occasions.  April is one of them, appropriately after tax season.

Continue reading “Mothman”

headset truth table

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that like keyboard shortcuts 1 and those that don’t remember endless lists of keyboard shortcuts. My wife is the latter, while I am the former (CTRL + LFT ARW). I would like to think that this proclivity of mine is borne out of a desire for greater efficiency. Sarah just thinks I’m OCD, and she’s probably right.

That brings me to the topic at hand.
Continue reading “headset truth table”

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