55) Extreme Animal Sounds in the Lab and Another Big Change

Welcome new reader!

In my last post you read about my amazing new career – in spite of razor-slim credentials – in Silicon Valley California. In this post I will share – in the space of about 250 words – the next three years of our life in the San Jose area and another big change.

Life at Micro-Linear Technology and Another Big Change on the Horizon

The next three years passed quickly for us living in San Jose. I was working normal hours at Micro-Linear and learning as much as possible about semiconductor design, electronic design automation tools and the dynamics of working in a group of diverse semiconductor design professionals.

Life In the “Barnyard”

Mask Designers are known for being quirky. The best example of this was Mike Bisgood. Many times during a mid-afternoon Mike would make the sounds of barn-yard animals. At first, a cow. When he got to know us better, chimps. And so on. We are all at our work-stations in a darkened room and the sounds begin. No one knows when or which sounds will emanate from Mike. Even funnier, two individuals tried their best to ignore Mike. They remained silent for several of Mike’s “events”. Mike saw this and worked harder to refine his act. Vocal control and unfailing authenticity were Mike’s trademarks. Closing my eyes, I can see Mike sitting at his workstation, looking around the room for just the right moment, then beginning his act. Priceless.

Unable to Leave “Just Good Enough”  Alone

One of my characteristics is, when things go stale, I feel compelled to stir them up. True to form, decided I wanted to be a home owner, even if it meant leaving California.

San Jose to Brooklyn Park, Minnesota – Complete Cultural Transformation

I had been in touch with my brother Dean in Minnesota and located a Mask Design position at a company called VTC in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis. Feeling a very strong pull from my family – most of Nadine’s family had roots in California – I accepted a position as a Mask Designer at VTC Incorporated and we left California to live in Brooklyn Park, another suburb of Minneapolis.

Beginning of 25 Year Salary (and Stress) Ladder Climb

My new salary would be $5500 more than what I was making at Micro-Linear. But more importantly, houses in Minnesota were affordable. We made the trek across country and purchased a house three blocks from my brother at 7709 Perry Avenue. The move felt right.

Some of my best achievements in life have been through very bold moves following my basic instincts – nearly always without support or approval of others.

When  making a big life change do you sometimes go with “what feels right”, or do you always work from a preset plan?

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