Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, May 22, 2006

Summary of the last year

My father was hospitalized around July 1st, 2005, after falling down. He spent a couple of months in the hospital, and then a couple of months in rehab and then moved to an adult foster care facility. He was well enough to come over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. After that he deteriorated. He passed away January 16, 2006.

Sometime around August my brother Andy's wife got a job in Fairfield, Iowa and moved out, asking for a six month trial separation. She has now filed for divorce. Andy is a basket case. He was here for a few days last week and is now headed back to Iowa. He needs something to do, something else to focus on, but he has not been able to do that. Has not been able to do it for years. As near as I can tell, this is why his wife has filed for divorce.

My oldest son Ross applied to a couple of colleges and was accepted. Drexel in Philadelphia wanted $50,000 a year. He will be going to the University of Oregon in Eugene, a state school that we can afford. He wants a laptop computer to take to school. An Apple, loaded to the gills, costs $2800. Budget Computers, a local used computer shop, has laptops for $200. I am not sure what to do here. I am leaning towards the Apple for a couple of reasons. 1) I am sick of dealing with Windows. Maybe Apple is better. This happened once before. I bought a Mac thinking it would be better than a Windows machine. It wasn't. It was just as unreliable and flakey. Has anything changed? 2) $2800 is a heck of a lot less that $50,000.

Kathryn and some of her friends at school have been suffering with a hostile relationship with the star of the dance team. They were too polite, or too afraid, to say anything about it. The whole thing boiled over when they TP'd the star's house in the middle of the night last month. What a storm! Phone calls, conferences, meetings! Things finally settled down, and then we got our cell phone bill for last month: $150 in overtime! Normally our bill is $80. I think this a pretty good indicator of how much of an uproar they caused.

John, my youngest, is very active and very involved (track, zoo, paintball, building computers) and hasn't caused us any serious trouble, other than a trip to the ER for small cut in his eyebrow, which they super-glued together.

A couple of weeks ago the owner of the company took the engineering staff to lunch. This never happens. He tells us that our head engineer is leaving the company. The purpose of the lunch is so we can figure out how best to spin this so the company won't look bad! Yea gads! What an idiot! I am feeling sick to my stomach, I want to leave, but I do not want to walk the mile and half back to work. I think I will sit, and be diplomatic, and wait for a ride back to work.

The head engineer, Roger, my boss, is basically the guy holding this operation together. He knows a million details about our operations and our customers that nobody else knows. This is not good, but it is the way it is. You could look at it like this: our company is an old ship that has a lot of leaks. Roger is the guy who has been running around plugging all the leaks. This ship has been slowly sinking for years. Without Roger, and without drastic measures, this ship is going to sink. And the owner wants to talk about what color we should paint the ship. This goes on for a while, and then for a while longer, and I am starting to get impatient. The owner finally asks me a direct question, and I lose it. I let him have it with both barrels. The manager of the restaurant comes over to talk to me. I leave and end up walking back to work anyway. Of course now I am so steamed up the distance seems like nothing. Three days later the owner announces that there will be raises in June. This is the first time this has happened since he bought the company.

Other than that, I am fine.