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TOT _ My Swan Song

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  • TOT _ My Swan Song

    Today I retired. After 43 years in the designing of industrial controls, the last 32 with the same company, today was my last day. Yesterday was my wife's last day in her job - we are free!

    I get to go out on a really good note - for the past year I have been working on absolutely the coolest possible project that a controls engineer can imagine - bringing industrial robots to do back breaking work that has traditionally been done by hand. My company supports the fruit industry and apples and other fruits are shipped in 25 to 45 pound boxes that are stacked on pallets, the top about 8 feet high. Young strong guys lift 1500 or more boxes per day above their heads onto these pallets - an average year will see 3 or more back injury claims that result in "permanent partial disabilities".

    We have installed four robots that are designed for the automotive industry - welding, painting, assemblying cars - in a fruit packing warehouse, built the conveyors and safety equipment and all of the controls and are now palletizing 16 to 24000 boxes a day. Don't worry, most of the young guys where were previously doing this have moved up to better jobs within the company - in every case they welcomed the technology.

    I wish I had videos of my robots doing their dances, but a couple of still pics will have to do..

    Now back to your regularly scheduled guitar talk. Mrs K and I have a bottle of champaign to attend to.

  • #2
    Congrats to the both of you!


    • #3
      Congrats on joining the rest of us old geezers !!!

      Automotive robots, huh? Are we to assume that apples will soon be available in a variety of "trim options" and perhaps Corinthian Leather packaging with twice pipes?

      See you at the lawn bowling tournament .....



      • #4
        Cool. Congrats!
        -SteveWell, of course I bought guitars that are better than I am! I need something to grow into, right?


        • #5
          Welcome to the club, Freeman. You're gonna love it!

          Now you can just take each day as it comes. Just keep up with your hobbies, stay active and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

          One of the things I enjoy the most is when there's a foot of snow on the roads and I don't have to be out in it playing bumper cars on the beltway with the rest of the idiots! I can sit back and watch all the traffic action I can stand on TV and have another cup of coffee while I do it.
          Three Dreads......2 Martins and 1 YamahaA fiddle, a mando, a uke, eight harmonicas, a Zoom H2, a Panasonic recorder, coupla penny whistles, an Italian made Titano accordion, three handguns, at least a dozen chess sets, more power tools than Bob Vila, and one old Westclox "Big Ben" wind-up alarm clock that still works! Oh, BTW, I forgot to mention my ocarina and maracas.


          • #6
            Great Freeman!! Happy for you! I retired myself this year too! It's a great feeling, and I don't have any free time anymore! Love your robot too! What fun to be a part of making stuff like that. I did some robotics working in the movies and just loved the problem solving. We all deserve this time for ourselves and I look forward to seeing more of your musical creations!

            Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. -- Dr. Seuss
            Guild GAD JF-30
            Guild D212 12 Westerly,RI 1981
            Lyle Hummingbird
            Holloway Harp Guitar
            Lyle ES335
            HCAG Civil Posters Society #10
            My Music:


            • #7
              Great times Freeman, have fun.


              • #8
                And now more time to build and play guitars. If there's anyone who's sure to enjoy a productive retirement, it's you.

                Congrats Freeman!
                She's the lady of the light
                Yellow incandescent night
                Tiger eyes burning bright
                In the understory
                I can't see the forest
                For the branches and the leaves
                But I believe
                I do believe
                by me:


                "Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn."
                Charlie Parker


                • #9
                  Good for you FK! Enjoy your time. I envy retired people, I'll never be able to.


                  • #10
                    Are you going to now consider your luthiery as your 2nd career? You really should!
                    God(s) bless the rest of the world(s), too


                    • #11
                      Congratulations Freeman. Enjoy your retirement. I second Terry's suggestion - your talent as a Luthier is something that can provide you rewards on all levels. In any case, stay well and stay happy.
                      Originally Posted by Samilyn

                      Can't put a price on the love one has for an instrument, the mojo it gains from being played by you or good friends, or the good feelings it produces when you pick it up and it feels like an old friend, no matter what the the numbers on the price tag.

                      Listen to my CD on iTunes: The Girl With A Pearl Earring by Steve Z

                      One of my songs done by a friend:


                      • #12
                        Thanks, all. I'm not too worried about not having things to do (altho my wife thinks I'll miss some of the structure of my engineering career). I've got a couple of old cars that need attention, an old house that needs attention, an old wife that needs..., er better not go there. My climbing shoes and bike and kayak want to get out and play more.

                        Quote Originally Posted by Opa John
                        View Post

                        One of the things I enjoy the most is when there's a foot of snow on the roads and I don't have to be out in it playing bumper cars on the beltway with the rest of the idiots! I can sit back and watch all the traffic action I can stand on TV and have another cup of coffee while I do it.

                        On days when there is a foot of snow on the ground I'll be able to grab my skis and head to the mountain instead of going in to the orifice. Skis are over in the corner quivering with anticipation - they can smell the snow.

                        Quote Originally Posted by Terry Allan Hall
                        View Post

                        Are you going to now consider your luthiery as your 2nd career? You really should!

                        It will stil be a hobby, but I'm sure not going to stop building. Got some very nice mahogany and plans for an L-00 and you are on the short list if you want a new 12 string.

                        Who knows, I may actually find the time to learn to play guitar


                        • #13
                          I'll add a personal note here. They had a nice little cake and ice cream function for me at the office yesterday. I looked out at the sea of faces and realized that I had been working there longer than some of the guys had been alive. I also knew that several of them would be happy to see me go - I've been a tough taskmaster on this project and I knew a couple of guys kind of resented that.

                          I gave my little speech and one of them stood up - he said "I'd like to say something". I thought oh,crap, here it comes. Instead he talked about how much he had enjoyed working with me and that if I hadn't pushed him the project would not have been a sucess.

                          I'm particularly touched by those of you on the forum who I consider my friends. You know who you are - we've never met but I value our conversations here and I value you wishes for me and Mrs K. Life is good.


                          • #14
                            Hey, good for you, FK! And nice job on the robots!
                            I.K.F.C.- O.T.A.- W.T.F.?.C.- E.S.C.
                            Member of the T. D. & H. faculty



                            • #15
                              Congrats on your retirement, FK! I think I should share something with you and the wife so it doesn't sneak up on you. Most people, including myself, go through a type of depression shortly after their retirement. It usually lasts a few months. There are periods of boredom where one really doesn't feel like doing anything at all. For me, I also questioned whether I was worth a damn to anyone anymore.

                              Retirement is an interruption of a person's internal schedule that has been set over years, and it can be tough, in the beginning, for some people.

                              But you have a lot of toys and it shouldn't be a really big thing for you. You are also very fortunate in that both of you are retiring at the same time so you can help each other through it if it happens.

                              But after that little bit of depression passes, PARTY DOWN! You got all the time in the world!!!!
                              Jack1969 Martin D12-20 12-string1984 Martin HD-28