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Camel at Sunset

01/25/06 | by JAdP | Categories: Personal

So, there I was, pulling out the logjam of mail that fills our company post office box between my weekly visits, when I noticed the yellow card stating that I have a package to pick up. I go up to the counter, and hand my card to the clerk, who goes into the back and begins searching for the package. 'Tis not in the normal storage area, so they all begin looking for it. They finally find it way in the back leaning against a wall. It wasn't in a bin, because it wouldn't fit. The clerk comes towards me carrying this obviously heavy, long, wide, but thin package.

Having talked to my old college chum, Mike, over the holidays, the package struck an eerie chord of familiarity with me.

As she comes out of the back into the counter area, the package strikes the wall switches, plummeting the entire post office into darkness.

When the lights come back on, I see that it's from my pal Bunkey currently working as a project manager in Iraq. "On no" I think, "it can't be". I carry it out to the car, and before I even open it, I call Mike.

"I just got this package from Iraq"

Mike: "Have you opened it?"

"I'm afraid to"

Mike: "Is it about 3 feet long by 18 inches wide?"

"Yes, and only about two inches thick."

Mike: "Well open it already."

So, I move to back of the Highlander, and using my trusty leatherman, slit the tape and slide out this long wooden plaque, and a simple handwritten note in red ink "Dec 2005 - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Bruce".

Wooden Name Plaque with a Camel
Click to view original size

My name with a camel in front of a setting sun... or is it a rising sun? Mike got tanks. I did the reliability study for the A1E1 tank recovery vehicle back in the 80's. Do I get tanks? No! I have my pilot license. Do I get planes? No. Maybe it's time to take up camel racing. I love learning more than doing, and that definitely seems like an hobby I wouldn't pursue long. &#59;)

After some discussion, Mike and I decided the best use for the plaque. Let's see, too heavy to hang on a wall, especially in earthquake country. Attach four legs to the back, add a glass top, and use it for a laptop table, so in my dotage, when I'm blogging, I can look down and remember who I am. That's what I'll do; yep, yep, yep.

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1 comment

Comment from: Police
Police

A laptop table? Haha that’s funny! Camels are so cool, I wish someone would carve my name in a camel for Christmas. Hehe

01/30/06 @ 13:54
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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

View Joseph di Paolantonio's profile on LinkedIn

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