methods - I want to make something happen...

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methods
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methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 22, 2016 12:24 pm

Hey :)

I have spent the last 5 years bumping around in the startup community.
Before that I spent a solid decade in a very structured environment.

Patrick Schindler LinkedIn

Most recently (this month) I concluded a year at a startup where we grew from working in a garage on milk crates.... to a serious robotics company. For some reason there is still a shroud of secrecy around these stealth mode startups (eh... wonder why recruiting top talent is an issue?!?) but I suppose there is valid rational.

Over the last 5 years my comfort level with actuation/automation has blossomed. Pneumatics, Hydraulics, Linear Actuators... it boggles my mind now to think of what is possible. With a few thousand dollars in gear, a software license or two, and some time -> I am certain that we can build anything.

I am trying to find a way to balance work and home.

I live next to the craziest tek hub in the world... but to get there for core hours often means 2 hours of commuting a day. That to me is a very painful chunk of lost time - time that can be spent with my son, in my community, or just out in the water at one of our 10+ amazing beaches.

Im trying to find a way to work in Santa Cruz County, work out of my home part time, or somehow (dont say motorcycle) avoid spending 10% of my life commuting.

If you browse my linkedIn with a PC (mobile devices seem to not display it..) my Resume is available. Hourly I charge about half of what a contractor should to make ends meet. It works out to about a dollar a minute for engineering hours. At the moment I am toggling between signing up for a longer term commitment at a stable company or trying some odd jobs and contract work.

I will divulge that I am going through a nasty divorce where custody of our son is in the balance. It has dragged out over a year, cost in excess of $100,000.00, and there is a 24" pile of paperwork which breaks down to me fighting for access to our son and my ex fighting for money and ferociously attacking my character (she is on her third law firm across two counties). Let me tell you... the system is sick. Allow me to remind you that my Ex is a Laser Physicist and stubborn as hell. She basically leaves our son in daycare or with grandparents, works to make in excess of $100k/year, lives for free at her parents, and directs thousands a month and kicking my teeth in through lawyers.

You have no f'ing idea. :mrgreen:

thanks,
-methods


(P.S. Yes that is $100,000 and not $10,000. The only time I have paid into it was when absolutely forced in the interest of our son. Imagine if an adversarial person held your child hostage and threatened you. Its the most disgusting display of cowardice I have ever witnessed and I am blown away on a day by day basis as it continues. Imagine the lowest form of lawyer attacks, the greediest money grab, the harshest accusations. At one point she managed to convince the court to bill me $5,800.00/month <which they did> and to only let me see my son under supervision <which they also did>. When I write this one up people are going to hang.)
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Rassy » Mar 22, 2016 2:09 pm

Methods, glad to hear you are still with us, since I haven't seen anything from you for a long time. And, yes, when us ordinary guys see a genius like you just disappear we do worry about what may have happened.

Sorry to hear about the divorce, etc., but sure you have the ability to land on your feet.

Good luck with your endeavors.
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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 22, 2016 2:27 pm

My word to the wise is this:

Keep hobbies as hobbies, business as business. :wink:

Although I learned A TON starting up a company... the cost of those learning was a hit to my free spirit excitement. I pretty much can no longer contemplate a venture without all the negative thoughts of monetizing it (sigh). Trying to profit is a major drag on innovation.

Kids too... boy do I have a new perspective on what a stark difference there is between those in the workplace who are with and without children/family. It really changes things.

Exercise... Thats one that I finally figured out. These days I am getting into the ocean nearly every day. As we get older exercise is absolutely mandatory. No bullshit... this is what I have been swimming in:



I literally... stone cold literally... jump off a 30 foot cliff and swim in that ish all the time. In the summer its like a lake - but this time of year it gets close to whats in that video at least a few days a month. Let me tell you... there is nothing in the world that can clear your mind like the feeling you have after you have "committed" and face the power of those waves. On many occasions, after paddling the 200' or so to the break zone, have though to myself "omg... omg... what was I thinking". At that point there is one and only one choice... ride one of the waves or spend 30 seconds in the gnarliest washing machine you can imagine.

Safer than a 50mph ebike? Meh... depends on ones skill set and a pinch of chance. :)

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 22, 2016 2:37 pm

Here is today's cam... wait until it pans right
http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/departme ... nd-weather

Report is showing double overhead to 14 foot... which means that every 10 or 20 minutes a set of monsters come in that can eat a boat :mrgreen:
http://www.surfline.com/surf-report/ste ... rnia_4188/

How to blow off nervous energy when in big life transition??
Watch the cam in an hour or two :)
Im the only guy out there with a white helmet and red boogie board. For that matter... the only guy riding a body-board 99% of the time. The drop down the face is like laying face down on the edge of your roof at home... neck in the gutter... looking down... then sliding off. Lol - if you dont catch an edge and start carving left or right you get to meet the reef.

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Hillhater » Mar 22, 2016 6:49 pm

Stay strong Methods.
There is light at the end of every tunnel, you just have to tough it out to get there.
Take care on those waves,
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 22, 2016 11:02 pm

I must be getting old... I took a nap instead :D

There is always tomorrow.
Tonight... I am headed down town to play pool and watch the USCS kids having fun on Spring Break. Beerpong?!? We had no such thing at my university.

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by migueralliart » Mar 23, 2016 3:55 pm

Good to see you back and having fun hitting the waves..

I used to do that a lot while growing up in Puerto Rico. A word to motivate you:

I can only remember a couple of names from this forum as "true" innovators and yours is in that list so keep pushing.

Orlando

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by The fingers » Mar 23, 2016 4:27 pm

I remember surfing waves that big, but that was 40 years ago. :oops: Will keep your situation in prayer. :wink:
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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Lurkin » Mar 24, 2016 6:42 am

Ah, but theres a trick to it all.

Find something you like doing and other people want
Work out how to do it better than anyone else
Charge the maximum you can for it.

Win.

Worrying about the last point will sacrifice perfecting the first two. Yes, its really that simple.

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by wineboyrider » Mar 24, 2016 8:47 am

Glad to hear from you again. I had to spend $16,000 of money I didn't have to share custody of my two children a winemakers salary is pretty miserable in these parts. You are a brilliant mind hold your head up. 8)
ES IS SAVED! THANK YOU JUSTIN.

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Lebowski » Mar 24, 2016 8:56 am

fresh of the press: I just got canned too :D

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Lurkin » Mar 24, 2016 9:20 am

Sooo... fully automated robotic production of programmable/ modifiable lebowski controllers and motors? 8)

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Lebowski » Mar 24, 2016 10:37 am

I still get paid next few months but don't have to show up anymore...

Means I'll be able to start building the kA controller I've had in my head the last month now. :D

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by parabellum » Mar 24, 2016 9:26 pm

Methods, I envy you, you are a hippy. :D (cant "touch water" unfortunately, health related). "My family" comes few months a year here due to climatic conditions, I believe. Most of the year over 10,000km to my son, 4 years old now (and here now :)), not speaking about federal reserve maculature. You are engineer, compromises are in you blood, I am certain to see you here in better mood soon.

Kudos

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by kfong » Mar 24, 2016 10:08 pm

Patrick, I haven't been on the forum much but decided to pop in, been busy with my van conversion. Sorry to here about your divorce, hope you get it worked out. Good to see you still finding thrills in the wave. Wish Michigan had consistent waves, Kiteboarding and windsurfing is still a passion of mine. My van conversion will enable more of that while still doing the 9-5 grind. Nothing like adrenaline to feel alive.

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 24, 2016 10:39 pm

Lebowski wrote:fresh of the press: I just got canned too :D
Bummer - what happened? Did you pull a Fight Club at work?!?

I resigned, so no landing strip of cash for me.


So far I looked into:

Local Companies
- Zero Motor Cycles
- Joby Aviation
- Slick.Video (gimbals for GoPro, Indigogo)
- Plantronics
- Full Power
- Inline Skates (Electric scateboard - also crowd funded)
- and a few other locals

Over the hill its
- Google X
- Tesla
- and the rest

Check out Zero's employment listing... they are looking for 4pcs EE. I applied for all 4 positions as one :D Thats the work that closest to this arena.

Tesla has some nice listings... one or two helping with the Giga Factory :twisted:

Google X of course has interesting work, good pay, good food, googly environment.

I got a hit from a recruiter for work from home involving National Instruments Test Stand. Pay is insufficient but the idea of working out of a home office again sure is tempting. I am toying with the idea of dropping my monthly expenses by a couple thousand and living the island life. But... then there is the payments to the two lawyers, rent, bills, debts, travel expenses, sigh...

How did I end up a debt slave again? Lol... Chasing higher and higher salaries to pay bigger and bigger bills.
First world problems.

All that matters is that I have a spot in Santa Cruz to raise my son. :wink:

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by Lebowski » Mar 25, 2016 1:56 pm

No, no fight club, more of a company with big plans starting an ASIC group (I'm an analog mixed signal design engineer) but then not much coming
of the plans and now shutting down the ASIC group...

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by bigmoose » Mar 25, 2016 2:12 pm

Good to have you back methods!

Out of curiosity, did the previous employer require your "blackout" on all boards/media? ... trying to figure out how tight those types of shops are tying up employees.
"Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God..." all the best, Dave

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 25, 2016 2:46 pm

Since I left I worked at a few companies... Some were more secretive than others.

At Methods Technology my attention was pulled away from the pure R&D of our efforts here to Customer Support, Logistics, Business, and all the tears of uprooting from one life to another (leaving government) to rough it in the wild. My passion was basically squelched in the interest of meeting customer expectations.

At Zero they were mainly concerned with the basics. I could have participated then but I was super swamped with a bitter wife, winding down methtek, a baby, and a big shift from living in Livermore working for the man... to living in Santa Cruz. Even the though of tinkering brought on a deluge of guilt over work that needed to be done (like building our second home).

At Tesla I was a contractor. Pretty much just a tiny gear in a big machine. They probably would not have cared much about ebike stuff. Through this period I was mourning my failed marriage, fighting over custody, and focusing on getting grounded back into my community (sand, surf, exercise, community activism around homelessness) - and of course - jamming hard to meet my deliverable at Tesla.

At Electric Movement I was deep into the hell called Divorce Court, custody dispute, and wrecked-busy trying to manage the growing pains of climbing out of a garage and into an engineering facility. Things were pretty uptight there in regard to OpSec.

So... now that I mono-logged a bunch of personal stuff... To answer your question.... I would say that most employers have very tight regs regarding their specific product line and ecosphere but could care less about other stuff. So long as someone was not perceived as representing the company. From my perspective this sort of activity can only be a positive indicator of an employees overall value.

A lot of really smart people silo up and become less efficient and overly focused. An open board like this (where you put your balls out to be slapped) toughens folks up.

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by nicobie » Mar 27, 2016 1:09 pm

Nice to see you on the boards again and sorry about the divorce.

I still remember the pic of your ebike and the lawnchair trailer.
Image

May your tote always stay tight and your edge eversharp :wink:

my eTownie build thread: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... =6&t=23701

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by DanGT86 » Mar 30, 2016 2:07 pm

Methods,
Its good to see you back here! I was a total noob right around the time you began your retreat from ES. The more I learned about all this stuff, the more I realized what a contribution you had made to the community here. I ended up with one the 9c motors from your old group buy in a wacky 12turn winding and the ghost of methods in thread form was a great help understanding this uncommon motor. I also learned how valuable of a product the lipo protection system was and as far as I know nothing like it has come along. I just noticed a few threads where you are again pushing development of new products like the stackable affordable holy grail of a BMS. It's exciting to see you back at it and willing to take on projects like that.

Really sorry to hear about the family trouble. That is definitely not the answer anybody wanted to the what ever happened to methods question. Hope the forum can be a healthy distraction/motivation for you during all the drama. A good friend of mine is going through an ugly custody battle and the most important thing he has learned is no matter how bad it gets you absolutely can't lose your temper or do anything out of anger. Ultimately the courts really respect the parent who always looks out for the child and never puts animosity towards the parent ahead of the needs of the child. The courts have seen their fair share of spite and even if she is very well funded her anger toward you will be transparent to a judge and wont help her if its totally baseless. Way easier said than done but always keep your cool. Stay distracted and as mentally healthy as you possibly can.

Best of luck to you and I look forward to seeing what kinds of stuff you come up with in the future.

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Re: methods - I want to make something happen...

Post by methods » Mar 30, 2016 5:58 pm

Hey Dan - thanks for checking in.

Those 12 motors really wake up when you hit them with 100V. In a 20" tire you can produce phenomenal torque. Even paired with a tiny 6 fet controller you can rip them hard... and Justin's 6 fet controllers come off the line with 100V fets. You can crank them up to 40A or even more... and given the match of Voltage to KV to wheel diameter... the controller can take the hard off the line punches and settle into a cool running temp. It all adds up to an ebike that is not "coggy" off the line, has tons of stall torque, can reach speeds in excess of 35mph, run reasonably efficiently, and you dont need a giant 24 fet controller or huge 30Ah battery to make it happen. Some low cost high rate cells... mmmm.... :D

As to BMS... I was lucky to be contacted by a recruiter just today who is looking to fill a BMS R&D position here in the valley. Distributed high reliability low cost systems that can help us settle on a standard sooner rather than later. Tesla has been rocking it... and their Palo Alto facility advertises (in a double life size poster) that any and all are welcome to step on their patents... but... its still a bit of a closed protocol that I am not seeing in too many other places. We need to get the show on the road and get everybody using the same "legos" so that we can get some interoperability between manufactures.

For this technological revolution... Ford can work with Chevy, Toyota can work with Honda, China can work with the US, -> We can all work together and the end result will be good, cheap, sustainable power.

As to divorce court... yea - uh - I have had to learn a whole new level of patience and mindfulness. Family court is unlike criminal court. If one co-parent wants to come out swinging with bad-ass lawyers then you are basically guilty until proven innocent and no amount of logical arguing can undo the mess. The take home from family court is this:

* They are not there to solve family problems. They are basically there to mediate, enforce, and hit the brakes when requested.
* Lawyers come in 3 flavors: Skilled negotiators, Paid fighters, and straight up disruptive blood sucking psychos.
* The name of the game is staying cool, jumping through hoops, following direction, co-parenting, being patient, and playing the game.
* Even the lawyers will tell you... there is no solution to family issues in court. It will empty your retirement accounts, drag everyone through the gutter, and it disrupts childhoods.
* The only resolution comes when both parents agree to drop the bullshit, accept reality, co-parent, and move on.

In my case... its been in excess of $100,000... 24" of paperwork... endless court appearances... the worst kind of money grubbing...

I just focus on my son. We video every day since my ex absconded with him to her parents 400 miles away. He and I maintain our connection while his mother comes to terms with the new reality. My lawyer is ready to retire. Fighting my ex wife is like trying to tear a T-Bone steak out of the mouth of a pit bull. Sometimes I just have to walk away for a while and let her have her gnaw on the bone.

In the end the only thing that matters to me is how well adjusted and capable my son is when he starts integrating with society... and that he is not an emotional wreck that requires big pharma medication just to cope.

K... off to my next meeting for the day.

-methods
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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