Monday, March 9, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 194

We're creeping up eerily on 200 weeks in Iowa. Wow. I've lived here almost as long as I have lived anywhere.

Having a weekly column, even if it is very self centered, helps me parse the week up into accomplishments, lessons learned, future direction and progress in general. Maybe that seems obvious, but sometimes it's worth saying the obvious. I fear getting stuck in a rut. I fear not being innovative and not pushing what is possible. This weekly update is one small way to help motivate myself.

Work become a hassle again. We technically had an "off" week, with only about 40% of the assembly line working, specifically working on reworks. However, it meant I was in the factory five full days and then a few hours in the office on Saturday, getting the other stuff done, the stuff that I consider part of my normal job as a design engineer. Yep, after several weeks of not working overtime I worked overtime again. This week the plan is to go to overtime for the assembly line, which most likely means I'll work overtime again. Hopefully some of the mistakes we had been propagating will not be propagated this week, thanks to the down week last week. Although I fear for this week. We have reached a short term stability which is to say, we are building products at a moderate pace with moderate quality. The goal is to build products at a fast pace with high quality, and I am afraid we just aren't there yet. This is the worst, and best ground up product launch I have been a part of. (I was part of a small product launch two years ago, but it wasn't exactly ground up, it was much much smaller scope, and we did some things differently, which I feel greatly helped. So it is hard to compare the two directly.)

I have a new great respect for ground up new products, and companies too. Tesla, wow! It is amazing what they have done in such a short time! The fact that their model X is delayed again, ha, that's small potatoes, and it only speaks to raising the quality of the vehicle, and the ignorance of the people that set the original timeline. Same great respect for SpaceX. Programs often take longer than they are initially planned to last. I am happy that setting a goal of ten years to get to Everest, I met the goal with months to spare. This is spurring other ideas, tomorrow I will blog about timelines.

Exercising was not my proudest week. I don't even want to give any numbers. I only ran 11 miles in two runs. I spent seven hours on the bicycle and two hours on XC skis and took one day completely off because I was tired. I feel like I am trying to fake the 24 hour world championships. However, as I always say: 1. Stay motivated, 2. Stay Healthy (having trouble with this one now) and 3. Train Hard (oh how badly I want to sacrifice #2 for a little bit of #3 right now!) so I must be healthy if I will run and walk for 24 hours.

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