Monday, June 29, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 210

Weeks can be good or bad for totally different reasons. Also, the definition of good or bad seems to be always changing depending on our goals of the moment. This was an above average week, for two reasons.

  1. I ran 27 miles! I know that's not a lot, but it's more than I have done in two months. Also, Friday on my run I didn't have any sort of bad feeling in my achilles, for the first time in this recovery.
  2. We solved a pretty big issue at work! I didn't personally solve it, but I was one of the first three people to agree from looking at the data that yes, that was our problem. Part of the problem now is, the root cause (the specific part, the design) is unavoidable. However, when put into our system there is some damping missing, or perhaps we just optimized everything else too well...
On the work side, solving problems, especially the ones that take months, is very rewarding. I wanted to walk out of that two and a half hour meeting Tuesday and jump for joy, expect that I had been at work for like 9.5 hours and in meetings like 7 of those hours, so I was exhausted. Still, the problem has a root cause now, and it's even more interesting because it might not actually be a problem. HA! Oh engineering...

This stress fracture/tendonitis on my left leg that led into achilles tendon issues on my right leg is the longest injury I have dealt with since plantar fasciitis in 2008. Coming back is not easy. I ran every day this week, which is an accomplishment. I did a "workout" on Thursday of 3x30 seconds at a moderately fast pace, which ended up being about 4:50 pace, downhill of course. Still to be able to pick up and do that for the first time in months was great! Then Friday having no pain or tightness at all... amazing!

In other news, wow space is getting interesting! Philae is slowly making contact with Rosetta. Dawn is spiraling down to Ceres and those bright spots keep breaking up into smaller spots. New Horizons is finally getting to Pluto and returning the best pictures we have of the planet so far, including colored pictures! 

One of my friends was teaching in Taiwan the last year and I had a chance to talk with her this past week, and it's funny how across all disciplines and cultures communication is always a bottleneck. The challenges she faces teaching middle school and high school kids are some of the same challenges we as engineers face simply talking to each other. 

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