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We love desiccant

April 13, 2015

What is desiccant?  Its that packet of stuff you find inside packaging and pill bottles that says "do not eat".  Its designed to absorb water so that items in shipment don't get damaged by mold or moisture.  You can buy them in industrial sized packages designed to protect giant shipping containers.  We bought 32 of them for $58 and put one package in each box.  Best money we ever spent.  Why?  Because putting one in every box that contained books, clothes, silk plants, etc, protected EVERYTHING from ANY damage.  When we unpacked our clothing boxes, there was not any mold, and they still smelled fresh.  Only one box of clothes we had shipped home from Alaska without any desiccant in it had a small mold patch and needed to be washed.  Mind you these were boxes that had been stored for two years - the first year in a cold damp hanger, and then the second year in a storage locker.  The desiccant packs were completely full of water - having been fully used up.  But then that was their job.  Go desiccant!



Dave is now where? Czech Republic?!

April 11, 2015

Dave left Monday on a flight to Czech Republic (Melissa had to look up the spelling).  When they landed at the airport, one of the guys got a ticket for picking them up at the wrong place.  They had to pay an $8 fine on the spot. Wonder how much of that actually made it to the government coffers...

What is he doing there you might wonder?  Turns out that the old Soviet Union decreed that airplanes would be built there back in the old communist days.  Since the renewal of the small aircraft building industry, those clever Czech's decided to make use of the factories there and build light sport aircraft.  So Dave is there visiting his customers as part of his new job at Dynon Avionics.  He will be there for about a week.  Then onto Germany for a trade show.  As you can see from the picture below, he and the gang are hard at work.  Didn't know the airplane factory was near a winery...

Nirvana Now Scuttled

April 9, 2015

One of the boats (Nirvana Now) Dave helped with some electronic systems issues while we were in Panama, headed out weeks ago to cross the Pacific on their way to French Polynesia.  Unfortunately they had issues with both their sail and rudder.  And its now been reported that they had to scuttle the boat mid-ocean.  Both Randy and Dawn are safe, having been picked up by another boat that heard the US Coast Guard call for assistance.  Randy was a marine diesel engine mechanic, and hence very handy.  So whatever happened must not have been repairable at sea or Randy would have been able to manage.  We can only imagine how scary it must have been to be disabled mid-ocean.  And our hearts go out to them - having just had to sink their home.  Very Sad.


What McGyver is good for

March 24, 2015

Ok, thanks to a friend, Miklos, we now have the best description of McGuyver's skills to date...

Note to myself: if the zombie apocalypse does hit, get Dave’s current address. He sounds like a useful guy to have around for everyday tasks, like when we will need to install a self-driving module in the truck that hauls the boat which will be used for launching the modified airplane that runs on cow dung (since kerosene won’t be readily available), to evade the zombies and find fresh water. And cow dung. 

Yep.  That pretty much sums it up.

Fun with the GPS tracker

March 22, 2015

Today Dave went to the track in Shelton to race about in his Infinity.  He had a GPS tracker in the car with him and was able to graph his speeds and location.  In the picture below you can see how accurate the GPS location is - and the shape of the racetrack in Shelton. The graph on the left shows his speeds around the track on each of his three runs.  The reason for the slower speeds is that the first run was on dry pavement and then it started to rain making the track increasingly slippy.  Top speed on the straight of way when the track was dry was 115 MPH.  That decreased to a mere 105 MPH in the rain.  Melissa says that is still crazy fast as far as she is concerned.

One stinkin' email

March 19, 2015

Back in February when we knew we would be coming home Melissa started emailing everyone she knew to let them know she would be back in town and looking for contract work.  About 100 emails later, she figured she might help Dave start to look for a job too.  So she looked up his favorite avionics manufacturer, Dynon Avionics, and they appeared to be hiring.  So she emails Dave a link to their jobs website page.  The next day, Dave emails her back a killer cover letter.  Mind you we sit about 10 feet apart.  But somehow email is still the best way to send stuff back and forth between our computers.  Anyway, the cover letter says how he is a pilot, owns his own airplane, understands all their technologies, has helped another small company grow to be larger, bla, bla, bla.  Dave then sends the cover letter through LinkedIn to the Dynon company president.  We then went to lunch at the marina and headed back to the boat an hour later to find Dave had already received a response from the president saying he wanted to interview him.  

At this point, Dave had to fess up and tell them we were still in Panama.  So they scheduled a phone interview.  And (no surprise) they loved him!  They wanted to in-person interview him, so that's why Dave scrambled to get Apsaras all settled and head back to Seattle faster than he had planned.  The first in person interview went well.  So Dave then attended a trade show with the president and the owner of Dynon.  Then another couple of in person interviews with some of the company engineers, HR, and marketing.  Seven weeks to the day of sending the killer cover letter Dave accepted a position with Dynon.  They did a small reorg to create a senior level position for him reporting to the president.  He will be running their sales, technical support and documentation groups.

So bottom line, Melissa sends 100 emails and is still looking, where Dave sends one stinking email and lands his dream job.  He gets to work on technology that he loves, in an industry that he loves right here in Woodinville.  He starts Tuesday, and he will be doing a bit of travel right off the bat (definitely Florida but probably also Germany). It is a small company (60-ish people), so he is looking forward to leading a small team in which he can really make a difference.

The reason that Dave was following Dynon to begin with is that his airplane is in dire need of a new set of avionics.  The company that supplied his equipment is out of business.  So he is looking forward to installing a new set of Dynon Avionics in his airplane - affectionately known as "Spike".

The upshot of all this is that we will be in Seattle longer than planned (likely 3 to 5 years), because this job means a full time employee commitment as opposed to contract work.  We don't yet know what we are going to do with the boat, which is still in Panama.  We may keep her and visit her on vacations.  We might have her shipped back to Seattle, or we might move her to Florida to sell her.  We will delay that decision for a year - since our marina fees are paid up till then anyway.

New Toy

March 16, 2015

Ok, we couldn't resist.  We have visited enough friends who have one of these gadgets, so we finally had to break down and buy one.  We love the little sucker.  It's a Keurig K45 unit.  And dang if it doesn't make great coffee...

A new place to live

March 15, 2015

Originally we had decided not to look for a permanent location to live till we both found jobs so we could minimize the commute.  But today we came across a one of a kind place - top floor with 20 foot ceilings in a central location.  So we couldn't resist renting it.  Move in day is April 2.  And this way we should be able to get the moving work behind us before we are both completely tied up with new jobs.

Its a 1000 sq foot with two bedrooms.  Open floor plan with a big kitchen and a built in desk.

Annual St Patrick's Day Concert

March 14, 2015

One of the fun things about being back in Seattle is that we can take advantage of the music and arts scene.  So one of the first things we did was to attend the annual St Patrick's Day concert in Kirkland by our favorite local artist, Geoffrey Castle.  Complete with Irish dancing girls and a rendition of Danny Boy, we enjoyed it immensely.

The box is more fun than the present

March 13, 2015

Our good friends Valentina and Mark hosted us when we returned from Panama for a week.  As a thank you, Melissa ordered up some steaks and cheesecake from the Chicago Steak company and had them shipped to their doorstep.  Apparently Valentina decided the dry ice that came in the box was more fun than the food!

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