Opportunity in Chaos

Opportunity in Chaos

A little over a month ago, just as I had recovered from COVID, I dropped a 600 lb case of equipment across my foot, breaking my 5th metatarsal pretty good. I’ve been in a boot ever since and will for another two months as I write this.

Immediately the world looked different from my perspective. I’d never spent time considering just how to deal with stairs before breaking my foot. Now it was one of the most concerning things. How do I take a shower now? Or get in and out of my truck? All new problems to solve. In the last five weeks, I’ve gone from crutches to a combination of Scooter and Peg Leg, depending on what I need to do. It’s been challenging, as many things take much more effort to accomplish, not to mention the pain.

I’ve gotten better at other things too. I can get across our manufacturing plant faster than ever before. Since getting around takes more effort, I’m more efficient at deciding when best to move and what I can do without needing to move. I’ve become more focused and efficient, much more aware of my surroundings and perhaps most of all, more introspective of the process of change, and what to expect. For that, I’m thankful for the experience.

All of Texas is going through that right now. This last week of winter weather in Texas has brought untold damage and heartache for all who call Texas home. Texas isn’t unique though. All of us will certainly face our share of disaster, heartache, loss, and challenge. We don’t have the choice to completely avoid challenges in our lives. What we do with those challenges is the important question.

  • Feb 22, 2021 3:03:09 PM |
  • Jeff Olsen

Killing Conversations

One of the more interesting books I’ve read in the last twenty years is “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation,” by Debra Tannen. It outlines how common, predictable, and at many times extremely challenging communication can be. No matter your situation (quick plug), I recommend you take a listen to what she has to say.

I’m thinking about that book this morning as I meditate on communication breakdowns, not in politics or media, but in our basic person-to-person interactions we all have each day. It seems the most precious skill we are perhaps losing is our ability to listen with intent. And that intent is to understand the other person, rather than plan our verbal retort. Losing, or perhaps not valuing this skill bears a surprisingly heavy cost.

  • Feb 2, 2021 10:35:07 AM |
  • Jeff Olsen

An Overview of Floating Point Equality

As software engineers, particularly in the test and measurement industry, the singular purpose for many of our programs is determining whether a given DUT has passed or failed. How do we do this? Well, we measure things: voltages, currents, resistances, temperatures… the list goes on and on. But the measurements themselves aren’t sufficient. We need some form limits to compare them to. Is Vout >= 3.0 V and <= 5.0 V?

  • Aug 28, 2020 8:30:00 AM |
  • Christopher Stryker

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