Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Going to the Big City

Our company is sending all of the engineers (about 30 of us) to New York City for a big exposition for air conditioning, heating and refrigeration tomorrow. They've rented a bus, ordered box lunches and registered all of us. We need to show up at the office at 4:45 AM and won't get home until 11 PM that night. They want us to not only see what our potential customers are interested in but also to look at what our competitors offer. The air conditioning and heating industry is only one of the industries we sell to. Actually, we do most of our business with environmental resources companies. But our company wants to get into industrial applications more than we have in the past.

Many of the folks who are going are upset and I can see that they are worried that it takes a whole day away from the projects they are working on. But I am actually kind of excited about it. I've always enjoyed going to things like the Embedded Systems Conference and walking around the exhibits floor. You get to see all the latest developments in a field and get to talk with some pretty smart people. You can also pick up some pretty neat toys. I'm planning on taking my camera so maybe I'll get some interesting pictures to show here. I haven't been to New York for a long, long time. As a matter of fact, the last time I visited the city (rather than just passing through), was over 25 years ago when I was taking a bicycle trip from Richmond, VA to Boston, MA. I ran out of money in New York, though, and ended up taking the bus home from there. But the funny part was that Pope John Paul II was visiting the city just as I got there and I got to see him in the parade. Afterward, they still had Broadway shut down and I was able to ride my bike right up the middle of New York with no traffic around me! If I ever find the old slides I took of that trip, I should try to convert them to digital pictures and put some of them on this blog.

It is nice to think that our products could be used to help monitor buildings to reduce their usage of energy. I'd like to think that the things we design and build here will have a positive influence on the world. Our products have always been used by researchers and engineers in a wide variety of fields. Our products have been used in, under and on the ocean. They've been sent to Mars and used in the Space Shuttle. They've been used to track the movement of moose in Yellowstone Park and record the sounds that dolphins and whales make as they swim in the ocean. They've been used to help in human powered flight and in solar powered airplanes. They've been used to ensure that Patriot missiles are ready for action and that the temperature of food has not risen too high during its trip from the farm to the store. I hope our trip tomorrow will help us find more ideas for things to help in more ways.

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