Soccer, Party, Party

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My over-50 soccer team opened our fall season in fine form with a 3-0 win over the Mariners. My sister Alissa and Maya were both in the stands watching, Maya with a camera in hand. I am still miserably out of shape but managed to play a reasonable game. Afterwards, Maya joined me for an after game pool party at the Morrison’s before we returned home to prepare for a party of our own.

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We hosted a gathering of my direct reports and their significant others to welcome our new Director of Hardware Engineering to the company.  Jeanine prepared an exquisite menu, Maya was a great conversationalist (she is fluent in nerd) and I successfully brewed my first cup of coffee (ever) with the aid of a new Nespresso machine. I am very lucky to be wed to such a great cook and the father of such a socially confident child.

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Moon Rise

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The rising full moon was particularly beautiful this evening and I arrived home (a few minutes before 8PM) just in time to capture it while still low on the horizon.

Failure Analysis

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For the fourth time in as many days, I have spent a good portion of the day performing a failure analysis on a returned printer. I find it very satisfying to identify root cause for a failure mechanism and trace the sequence of events that led up to it. Using macro photography, I am able to “see” better than with my woefully inadequate eyes plus glasses.

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MIT Tour

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I took a break this afternoon to join Maya and her cousin John on a tour of MIT. She visited Dartmouth College yesterday with her mother. Maya goes back to school next Tuesday to begin her junior year and is putting her last week of vacation to good use by getting a leg up on college visits.

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Photo Forensics

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As MarkForged is still quite small, we all wear many hats. Today I spent a few hours doing a detailed failure analysis. It is important to document the process with good photographs and as my eyes get worse, I study the photographs to better see what is going on. In this case, our contract manufacturer failed to align a part properly before press fitting into another part. This resulted in the metal shavings that can be seen at the bottom of the receptacle. The loss of that material from the sides caused the press fit to fail allowing one part to rotate within the other. There is something very satisfying about solving a mystery and even more so when I get to use photography to help me do it.

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Automated Storage?

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I found this photo among the ones taken in California by either John, Rory, Mario, Kyle or Nicolai during their cousin reunion. I think it is an exceptionally good photo and would like to know which of the boys made it and the details of where it was shot. It appears to be some type of automated storage system with a robotic gantry used to retrieve entire boxes. Will the creator please step forward?

Leftover Party

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Every now and then Jeanine invites her friends over for a “leftover” party. In theory, each brings leftovers from their respective refrigerators to share. Of course these “leftovers” are anything but. I generally try to keep a low profile and pop up only to sample the food. This evening, I was specifically instructed to forget anything I may have overheard of their conversations. What is said on the Calabria’s sun porch, stays on the Calabria sun porch, so to speak. No such admonition was issued regarding photography, however, and I will leave it to the viewer’s imagination to extrapolate from this photograph.

CAD Man

Nylon Cartridge

The weather was distinctly crummy today and I spent a good bit of the day catching up on work stuff and doing chores around the house (hung new blinds in Maya’s room and replaced a leaky hose on our kitchen sink faucet). I also found some time to document an idea that I had yesterday. Normally, I communicate my design thoughts on a white board. Now that I have learned 3D CAD, I can quickly do so on a computer.

Outdoor Exploits

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Although I probably have the days wrong it looks like the cousins made their way to both the coast and the redwoods. I still have not heard any direct reports (Jeanine is the major conduit of communications) but I believe they had to abort their plans for camping. I am glad they still had a chance to enjoy some time in nature.

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Modern Men

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Not pictured is Nicolai who took this photo of his cousins and brother during their California reunion. To a man they are excellent cooks and judging from all the photographs they took, food was the organizing principle of their time together.  What I do not understand is how they eat so much and stay so trim.  It must be all the exercise they get including the yoga workout led by Rory, the youngest and tallest of the cousins.

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Cousins on the Coast

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The male, Calabria side cousins have gathered in northern California at Kyle’s invitation for what I hope will be the first of many similar reunions. The boys (technically, men; I will withhold the use of that term, however, until a review of their behavior over the next few days suggests it is warranted) are very similar in age and have been very tight-knit since early childhood. My understanding is that they will spend at least one night camping (Big Sur, I believe) and one day touring San Francisco. Johnny, visiting California for the first time, has lined up a couple of job interviews and will stay on for a few extra days.  Should Maya one day choose to extend this tradition, she will have an equal number of female Calabria side cousins to invite.  Adding Jeanine’s side of the family would bring the total number of first cousins to an even dozen.

The Bone Crusher

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The nature of working at a startup is that you wear many hats. In addition to my other responsibilities, I am occasionally pressed into service as the company’s photographer. Today I took some photos that will be used for a company blog posting which speaks to our obsession with strength testing of our materials. Pictured here is one of our top scientists (affectionately nick-named the Bone Crusher) conducting a strength test on a small carbon fiber beam that we printed.

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Thermal Imaging

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I have been testing a new thermal imaging device that connects to my iPhone. Pixels within the image are mapped to a color palette that reflects the temperature at that location. Pictured here is one of the machines we use at work to produce nylon impregnated carbon fiber.

Gunboat

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Jeanine and I enjoyed an exquisite dinner with former neighbors Gabby and Stephan aboard their Gunboat catamaran off one of the Boston Harbor Islands this evening. The 60 foot carbon fiber sailing vessel is a thing of beauty, equipped with state of the art electronics and all the amenities you would expect to find in a luxury home. The crew of Sebastian and Sophie prepared dinner and saw to our every need as we enjoyed the sunset over a distant Boston skyline. A better way to spend a late summer evening I cannot imagine.

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Bridge 2.0

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On a bike ride this morning I travelled under the railroad bridge on Main Street where work is underway to increase the height of the bridge over the roadway. The decapitation of more than one truck by this bridge has been well documented on this blog over the years and it is about time that something is being done to address the situation. It would have been far easier to lower the roadway, so I can only imagine that the water table was too high to permit doing so. Pictured in the foreground is the new bridge which has been staged on temporary supports. I imagine it will be lifted and placed by cranes when the old bridge is removed. What is not at all clear to me is how they will increase the height of the tracks to match the new bridge height without disrupting daily commuter train traffic. Rest assured I will be monitoring the situation carefully.

New Digs

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MarkForged, the startup I recently joined is expanding rapidly. We have totally out grown our current facility, an extremely funky converted machine shop in Somerville. Locating a new facility fell to my team which worked on a very short schedule to secure space in this building, located a stone’s throw from the Alewife station in North Cambridge. We will occupy the first floor (production and shop area) and half of the second floor (offices). We will make the move in phases starting in about 6 weeks. The location is as near perfect as one could hope for. The northern terminus of the MBTA Red Line, Alewife station is a short walk from the office which is equally accessible by car from Route 2. Bike riders will have easy access to the Minuteman Bikeway, Cambridge Linear Park, and the Fitchburg Cutoff Path. We will be right across the street from Fresh Pond which is surrounded by several parks and a golf course. The most important attribute of our new location is that it will greatly increase the pool of talent from which to recruit. Our current location is very attractive to urban dwellers (predominately recent college grads) but not very attractive to suburban dwellers (mostly more experienced folks with families). The new location strikes the perfect balance. My commute will be shortened from 17 to 15 miles. Amazingly this will cut my commute time in half because of the terrible traffic as you approach Boston.