Archive for June, 2011

Saab to acquire Sensis

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

As most of you know, I work for Sensis Corporation a company of about 600 people based in the Syracuse, NY area. Sensis has been generally growing steadily since its founding some thirty years ago. In the last few years or so from a combination of economic stress and some other factors we’ve been reorganizing and working to acquire capital to continue our growth. After months of speculation and rumors, the official announcement came yesterday that Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab Groups has agreed to acquire Sensis in a cash offering. Sensis will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swedish company. We do business with Saab already, and have recently announced a major project to provide air surveillance throughout Sweden… so this pairing doesn’t come as a complete surprise.
I have to say I’m rather excited about this match. Sure there is the apprehension involved in any transition, but my only point of comparison is the chaos and bare-knuckle brawling associated with the Raytheon & Hughes merger of 2000. By comparison, I expect this to be almost completely painless. Looking at the Saab portfolio[1] I think it’s a pretty good match. We give Saab a larger base of operations in the US[2], access to our world-leading air traffic control business and expeditionary radar technologies. In return, Saab gives us access to their world wide marketing operations, strength of size[3], research and development operations and hundreds of complementary technologies. Personally though, I tend to do well in a changing environment. I’ve always had the tendency to become bored quickly doing the same sorts of things so I look forward to the opportunity to learn new products and technologies. Besides, I am 1/4 Swedish so maybe this is just getting back to my roots.
I suppose I should add some disclaimer that this post does not reflect the views of either corporation and is my own personal opinion.

  1. Which doesn’t include the auto brand of the same name, that was divested some 20 years ago. []
  2. I understand they have roughly 250 US employees now. []
  3. Some 12,500 employees worldwide, with roughly 10k of those in Sweden []

Washington Part 1

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

As most of you know, and the rest are about to find out, we took a trip to Washington DC a few weekends ago. The primary motivation for the trip was the ordination of my cousin William Schierer. It was an impressive ceremony held at the cathedral in Arlington, VA. From my background in somewhat less involved religious functions it was both interesting to see and somewhat amazing. I’m particularly impressed that the officiants and the ordinands weren’t coughing and sputtering around the altar since apparently more incense is better at events such as this one. Perhaps there’s a class in shallow breathing at the seminary.
In any case, it is with true respect that we all congratulate the Reverend William Schierer.[1]
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(more…)

  1. I understand that Reverend Father may be the more correct written salutation, but that somehow won’t quite fit in my head. A few intentionally silly examples from the reception: “The Father’s father was my father’s brother.” Or the oft repeated “Father Cousin” and “Father Uncle”. []

Playset 2.0

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

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Although R is just starting to work her way around the Little Tikes playset we have, N has clearly out-grown it. This is obvious because his feet practically touch the ground before he even begins to slide.

So after checking into options of reclaiming/rebuilding a friend’s playset (thanks anyways!), we decided to procure one from a local distributor. They brought it out and set it up and it was ready for play in about 3 hours.
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The new owner is clearly pleased.
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(PS: We have a whole bunch of pictures from our trip to DC as well as some family portraits that I haven’t gotten around to posting yet… stay tuned for a big bolus of digital imagery.)

A380 Arrives At Dulles

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

On my way to San Diego today (hello California!), I happened to be at Dulles when the first A380 arrived there for passenger service[1] Air Frace had the A20 gate decked out in red, white and blue balloons with signs showing the amazing interior space in this double-decker behemoth. Unfortunately, we needed to be back at our gate to board the flight to CA about the time it was scheduled to arrive from Paris.

As it turns out, this gave us a great view from the terminal windows of the bright and shiny new aircraft taxiing.

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I didn’t bring my camera along, so you’ll have to survive with these phone-snaps of the arrival ceremony, complete with fire-brigade salute.

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  1. According to the Air France attendant that I spoke to, an A380 had visited for show, but this was the first in commercial service. []

Public Service Announcement

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Now having the benefit of a fully awake brain (and the appropriate precautions and concerns of our friends and family), I feel obligated to remind everyone that if you should ever find a bat in your house, do not release it. The animal should be captured (if this can be done safely) and provided to an appropriate authority for rabies testing.

Unfortunately, my instinctive desire to protect the poor critter from our cats prevented me from even considering that some harm could (or had) come to us. What was an amusing sleep-deprived anecdote has the potential to be a legitimate health concern. Come to find out, there are reported cases of people being bitten in their sleep and not even knowing it. This is extremely unlikely mind you, and by my unpracticed eye the animal seemed to behaving normally (for a small creature trapped in a foreign environment being chased by predators).

So we will resist the desire to freak out while we consult with the appropriate health service agencies to determine the appropriate course of action.

A crazy night.

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

So I was out late gaming with friends last night and got home a little after midnight. I was surprised to see K was still awake (she’s typically zonked out by 10) and we talked for a while. I put the fan in the window, managing to let a June Bug in. I chased it around the room for a while before releasing it out the open window. With the hot humid air in the house, and the cooler night air blowing in the windows, neither of us seemed comfortable enough for sleeping.
A seemingly short while later (close to 1:30 AM) the cats starting making strange meowing noises, but I was too sleepy to recognize them for what they were.
Each cat would jump onto the bed, dash to the other side and jump off again. In seemingly random directions.

Eventually I woke up enough to figure out they were chasing something in the room. Clearly something flying because they were looking up.

“Great. They’re chasing a bug. Probably a moth or another beetle,” I thought.

I fumbled with a flashlight and started playing it about the dark room. After noting where the cats were staring intently I highlighted a dark shape against the white crown molding. “That’s a really big…”

“Oh! It’s a bat!” said K tremulously as she quickly pulled up the blanket for protection.[1]

Now bats are awesome, so I didn’t want to hurt it, so I stood there thinking about how to capture it when it started doing laps of the bedroom.

You could see the cats were thinking: “It’s a bird! It’s a mouse! It flutters temptingly! I must have it!!” They resumed dashing around the room in fits and starts.

Opening the bedroom window I hoped it’s sonar would see the opening and bail… but no joy. Eventually it landed to rest above the bathroom window and I was able to contain it in a cloth grocery bag[2].

Once it realized its predicament I was assaulted with the most penetrating series of electric clicks, whirs, buzzes and chirps I’ve ever heard. Take the pulsing crackling noise of a spark plug firing, combine that with the staccato of a frustrated astro-droid and kick the pitch up into the TV turning off register. I can only imagine what was going on in the ultrasonics, but this thing was seriously annoyed with me.

I managed to open the bathroom window with one hand and hold the bag out the window. After some shaking and manipulation, I finally just held the bag wide open for a minute or so and the poor bugger flew out to freedom.

Happy bug munching… and stay out of the house please.

  1. Now if you know K, you know she isn’t really of the easily frightened female stereotype, but this seemed to pin her mind rather effectively. []
  2. Thank-you Wegmans! []