This Has Nothing To Do With Alan Greenspan | - Part 5

Goodbye Teradyne (Revisited)

Saturday marked the 7-year anniversary of my departure from SoCal semiconductor test equipment manufacturer Teradyne and the end of a 20+ year career as an engineer.

I don’t miss it a bit and echo the comments made the last time I looked at this post a couple years ago when I noted, “… it brought back lots of memories and, after clicking on the link to “maps” at the end of the post, I can’t help but recall the scene in Top Secret when Val Kilmer was having a bad dream about not having studied for a test in high school, only to be relieved when he woke up and found himself being beaten by Nazis”.

Anyway, here’s that post I had all cued up prior to going into work on that last day in 2007.


After more than seven years, today is my last day at Teradyne, Inc. (NYSE: TER), a major manufacturer of test equipment for the semiconductor industry.

I’d like to thank all the great people I’ve worked with over the years and I wish you all the best of luck in the future.

Since joining the company in January of 2000, time spent here has been mostly enjoyable – writing software for a world-class semiconductor test platform has had more than its share of excitement and challenges.

I can’t say that the last year or two have been as enjoyable as some of the earlier ones. Maybe it was because I was distracted by other interests.

Maybe too it was because “perpetual fire drill” is no way to live and there’s been a steady stream of talented engineers out the front door. Despite assurances heard by employees, the attrition rate doesn’t look normal to me.

Yes, I know things are changing – good luck with that.

I really can’t complain – Teradyne has been pretty good to me. I’m just tired of software and tired of Southern California – it’s time to move on.


The Miracle in Missoula

This must have been terrifying. Lots of snow, a steep mountain slope behind a residential housing area, and possibly some snowboarders going where they weren’t supposed to go all contributed to this avalanche in Missoula, MT.

As detailed in this item at the Missoulan, two adults and one child were pulled from the wreckage caused by the Mount Jumbo avalanche at about 4PM local time on Friday. Both of the adults were buried for over an hour, surviving only because they were lucky enough to end up in a large enough air pocket that prevented them from suffocating. About the only bad news was that the couple had just remodeled their home.

Progress in Food Labeling – Baby Steps

Given the miserable results in what have clearly been misguided attempts to inform Americans about how what they are eating affects them (as evidenced by just about any chart on obesity in the U.S.), any improvement in current food labeling is welcomed and that’s what the Food and Drug Administration is doing with the proposed change below.

Fat is still the bad guy, though less so than before as the “Calories from Fat” item has vanished in favor of an enlarged Calorie count. Of course, the real problem with high-carb America is in the %DV area but, fortunately, only math geeks will be able to crack that code and discern any harmful information from it.

Most overweight and obese Americans will continue to buy what tastes good and highlighting the calorie count in the food label is certainly progress if it will give them a better idea of how many calories they’re consuming.

Unfortunately, for most fat people, the mix of calories is as important as the number of calories and that’s where the %DVs aren’t helping people since they are based on official government guidelines where carbohydrates get too high a share, due in part to the errant 1960s thinking that reduced fat in the American diet would help reduce heart disease.

[Note: I'll soon have my 3-year anniversary for "livin' la vida low carb" - I'll never go back.]

The Russians Have a Sense of Humor

We didn’t watch much of the 2014 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies last night but we did get to see the Russians poke fun at themselves for the glitch in the opening ceremonies that resulted in one of the five mechanical Olympic rings failing to expand.

This time, it was more than a hundred people on the ground who were instructed to temporarily mimic the mechanical glitch of the fifth ring as shown below.

Of course, the Russians probably aren’t laughing about what’s been going on in the Ukraine in recent days as the Putin-backed government was ousted over the weekend. The Russians won the medal count by a fairly wide margin over the U.S., Norway, and Canada, but the body count in Kiev overshadowed the games.

This Spiegel commentary looks back at the last two weeks and attempts to gauge the lasting impacts of the games in Sochi and the unrest in the Ukraine while noting that the Olympic games almost always involve politics somehow.

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