Lorena and I both got new telephones earlier in the month. We were very impressed with their shininess. Now I am beginning to wonder if something else is going on with them. A little after we got them, I started getting more calls then usual about on subjects that are not so common for me and from people I had not expected to call. Some of them have been great, but the sum of them all has put me on a schedule where I do not get much sleep and I am getting older, so I need all the rest I can get.
I have been working on a big project for the United States Geological Survey for about four years. It is a very interesting project that involves some new and innovative methods to test water quality in streams. I do the machine vision part of the system and actually had the bulk of the code written about four years ago. A couple of weeks back, I got a call from Dan, the USGS guy telling me they had finished the device that feed the water to the cameras, they had hired an intern to start taking images, and could I work with her to make sure the numbers were coming out right. Ever since then, I have spent probably two (very interesting) hours per night on average to make adjustments to the program and add functionality so it will analyze the images properly.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have received calls from four serious recruiters or companies that would like to determine whether it would be a good match if I went to work for them. I say serious because I differentiate them from the kicking tires types of head hunter calls I receive two or three times per month. I am really planning to stay where I am, but the work they have at the places that need someone like me is very interesting so I actually got to the point where I had technical discussions about the work they were doing and the problems they had with all three. I found out that, if I were ever to move to California, I would need to make about double the amount of money I now make just to break even at just about any of the places where I could get a job. I cannot imagine what it must have been like before the downturn.
Bryan, one of my best buddies in the whole world (he stood up for me at my wedding) called with a GREAT idea for a product that uses machine vision. I hope that all works out, but there goes another two or three hours per night if it happens. That is in addition to Troy’s water inspection project that Christian and I work on at North Carolina State University. Surprisingly, my phone has not rung so much for that project, but I think that is only because Troy is buried with too many classes during a short summer semester. His classes are scheduled to come to an end in less than a week.
Of course, I get my normal calls from Lorena, the kids, Dad and Mom, etc. If my phone keeps ringing like this, I am either going to give up sleeping or just go back to using my less shiny, but quieter flip phone.
Update for Bryan and Lyle: I am back down to 200 and on a roll!