Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Moving On

So as delightful as that was... Please do go read the comments. I'm delighted to know that other people (at least 1, anyway) have criteria for voting for president that describe the person, not their stance on particular issues. The only reason I care about the particular issues is because of how it speaks to what type of person they are and help predict how they'll vote. Someone who cares about the populace in general would, to my mind, work to promote policies that allow every adult as much freedom as they can get in their personal life, while restricting business enough to protect individual people from unnecessary risk caused by the businesses and other people, and showing the people how they go about doing it. (Individual privacy, Governmental transparency more often than not, and some mechanism to protect the weak from the strong when the strong start to encroach.)

Moving on to the stuff that affects me every day.
Today (and yesterday) at work I was floundering around on my most important task. I'm getting more and more data, less and less clarity. I was supposed to discuss the data with my boss at 4. I didn't have it collated. I thought about avoiding it. But then I thought, WTF, she needs to know where I am and where I'm not. Like usual, it turned out to be a really good talk, she helped me clarify things without saying "wow, you're a dumbass", and I have just as much data but a lot more clarity. I also have enough other things going on that we were able to talk about other mostly substantive stuff I'm working on for about a half hour more. Including whether to create a separate two letter designation to fit the naming convention for a deposition step, coming up with a reason it's necessary, and deciding to call it "MB" for "metal, backside" instead of "BM" for "poop".

I also meant to post earlier about something which made me inordinately happy (but I was off reflecting on politics or hibernating). One of my tools uses metal carriers to ferry normal sized test wafers into a tool designed to hold larger, thicker, mounted wafers. We're moving from 4" wafers to 6" wafers and I have to supersize my holder too because the handler won't run two different sizes. My equipment engineer and I discussed various possibilities for recreating the current version in larger format, but there are issues there we wanted to avoid. So we wrote up some success criteria, took the list and the small version to a local machine shop, discussed possibilities and together with the machinist, were able to come up with a design that should both carry the wafer and solve the other issues. When I picked up this $300 disc of metal with a couple of bends and holes in it, I was totally thrilled. Not only does it seem to be an improvement (it fits in the regular cassette!, it's cheaper and less prone to warpage but we can't test it yet) but it makes me feel happy to just look at it. *I* made that happen! It took the combined brains of 3 engineers and 2 machinists to bring it about, but I drove it, and fostered those discussions to make it work. Something that didn't exist before does now because we worked together. And it's shiny! As independent as I am, I really like working together with people to create stuff.

It occurs to me that I like glass for the same reason, although I often think I get more enjoyment from the process than the product. I should look up those various LA glassblowing contacts I went to such effort to get and go back to sticking arms on vases. What's kind of funny is that one of them keeps popping up "Linked In" as "someone I might know" but I'm determined not to add her until we've met in person. I don't know what would possibly drive the connection on LI, though. She's a minor exec for a movie studio or something and my other contacts are engineers not artists.

Now I'm rambling. To summarize: I'd like a president who values people more than power, I enjoy working for my boss, we solved a problem at work that gives me joy, and I need to work on getting in touch with people, not just posting to the ether.

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