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November 18, 2005 - Friday, 1:10 a.m.

The Brain...

I got home today about 4:30 pm. Driving home I found I was very cold and a bath sounded nice. When I got home I sat down on the bed realizing just how tired I felt. Philip came in wondering what was for dinner. I followed him out to the kitchen. Gah!! What a mess!! We ended up cleaning up the kitchen and I put some rice on and some hot wings in the oven. I wandered back to my room. I wasnít cold any more just tired. It was already getting dark. I put on my pjs and crawled into bed. I watched a little TV and then got a little to eat. By about 6:30 I was done, I turned off the TV.

There is something absolutely lovely about climbing under the covers and snuggling up with a soft pillow. I have flannel sheets and the blankets weigh just enough that I can feel their weight upon me. It makes me feel like I am in a little cocoon. I drifted off to sleep very quickly. I had tiring dreams. It seems I was busy all the time that I slept. A few hours later I woke up. I watched a few episodes of ďEnterpriseĒ. Iíve finished Season One and started on Season Two again. I think last night I must have watched about 6 Episodes. It was 3 am before I fell asleep.

Iím tired, sitting here yawning. Itís just after midnight. Iíve been up a few hours now. The house is quiet. I think most everyone is asleep. Curtis is on the computer in his room, and Justin is at work. I love that it is quiet. It feels calm and restful. Iíd like to fall asleep, but Iíd really rather not have the tiring dreams. It seems I am trying to get things done in my dreams. As busy as my days have been at work, it feels the same as I sleepÖ at least this evening. This afternoon as I fell asleep it seems there was a dull roaring in my ears. Itís seemed loud, though it was silence. Itís strange. Did you know you can hear electricity? At least I canÖ and some nights it really bothers me. You donít really notice it until there is a power outage, and REAL silence falls over the house. Itís pretty high pitched and seems noisy. Iím sure I am more sensitive to it, because I am so tired. Iím sure that is part of the roar I am hearing tonight.

Iíve worked the last couple of days with an engineer that Iíve known for a few years. He is the gentleman that was responsible for a nice promotion and raise I got about 4 or 5 years ago. In passing I had talked to Steve about the fact that I was looking for a job, and had gotten a verbal offer. Iíd decided not to mention it to my boss until it was official, and whatever he and I were talking about it slipped out. He really didnít want me to leave, and he felt something needed to be done. I remember he asked me what it would take to get me to stay. I guess he went to his boss and then his boss went to mine. I was incredibly lucky. The promotion and raise was approved and I was notified. Within a few days the bottom fell out of the market in my industry. All merit raises were cancelled, and the job offer dried up immediately when that companyís hiring requisitions got cancelled. I guess my promotion and raise was the last one to go through personnel. It would be two years until we got a merit raise again.

Anyway Steve is starting on a new project. The silicon has just started into design, and the final product will be a custom IC chip stacked with a Flash memory chip. We tend to do that a lot anymore. Rather them try to recreate the Flash memory on a custom chip it is easier to use a Flash chip that is already working. Most of the projects I work on anymore involve two or more chips in a single package. This project however is getting started before anything is designed. Neither the silicon nor the package is designed yet. In these instances we have the ability to actually line up the signals between the custom chip and the Flash memory. However, it ends up being a chicken and egg kind of project. Nothing exists and decisions have to be made. It seems the chip designers donít know where to start. Their software is unable of taking into account two separate chips and without a package layout it is hard figure out how to route it. These are the projects that I love. I figure out how they will stack up and between Steve and I we are able to come up with a list that tells the die designers how to layout their chip. We did that yesterday. It took around three hours. The useful information comes from the designers AFTER we give them a list. THEN they can see things that have to be routed together in the chip and close or far apart as the signals come out of the package. So we reworked the list again today, making sure that there were enough powers and grounds. I know that this is complete gibberish to almost everyone. It is almost impossible to describe what I do without falling into a lingo that most people donít understand. Suffice it to say that it is like a puzzle. I get to think in a couple of dimensions. Fortunately I am able to look at a spreadsheet layout and envision what is will look like in two dimensions. Itís like a two dimensional maze. My mind loves the exercise. Routing a package, actually designing it, is like drawing a maze where two lines canít ever cross unless you drop that line to another layer up or down.

Itís all terribly analytical with a dash of artistic ability. It fits my mind perfectly. You see, my mind, if you do testing, tells you that I work from the middle. It seems that you either are a visual learner or an auditory learner. In the other axis you are either artistic (sensory) or analytical (hands-on). I test right into the center. My parents are at the two opposite ends. My mother is Sensory and mostly auditory, my father, a true engineer, analytical and hands on. I completely sit in the middle between them. Some days I lean one way, other days I lean the other. I need a combination of these things to learn and to keep my mind balanced. When I am in my analytical brain for too long, the need to be artistic makes me very unsettled. These types of projects tend to feed both sides, though are more analytical, and my need to artistically express myself thrusts itself upon me. Writing helps. Working in the yard helps, digging in the dirt envisioning the flowers that will eventually bloom. I could be completely off base with my ideas, but they seem to make sense to me.

I just went out and did one of those brain tests. It says I am 38% left brain and 34% right brain. Left brain is: linear, sequential, symbolic, logical and verbal. Right brain is: holistic, random, concrete, intuitive, nonverbal, fantasy-oriented. I think the numbers are TOO close to rate me in either side. A test I used to take over and over again at work, Iíd shift back and forth from right to left, based on the day.

Boy did I go off on a tangent!! I was just going to say that Steve took me to lunch today and it was nice. When suddenly I was contemplating my job and the Brain. LOL.

Gah! Itís past 1 am. I need to crawl under the covers again and go to sleep. The TV is drowning out that high pitched noise.

Sweet dreams. M.

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