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Doug Zimmer

 

A thumbnail sketch:  Finished Gonzaga U and Bishop White in ''75.  Went to work for Spokane Parks & Recreation as-- a Carrousel attendant.  During a visit with Armando Guzman at St. Thomas in '78, he introduced me to Dianne Durand, the co-chair of a young adults group in Seattle's Eastside.  I was attracted but, living 300 miles away, I forgot about her.  The following fall, we ran into each other at a Rel Ed conference in Spokane and my memory improved.  We started corresponding and getting to know each other.  She convinced me that my job was just spinning in place, so I packed up the Datsun and--

...Moved in with Armando in an apartment in Bellevue, in the summer of '79.  I got a job soldering boards at Sundstrand Data Control.  (I wasn't working for Boeing, just for a company that was working for Boeing.)  Being over here helped with the phone bills and allowed Dianne and I to meet more often.  She had been finishing up a dispatching job with the Kirkland police department and was now getting on as an administrator at the UW.  We got married in March of '80, then moved from Kirkland to Woodinville the following winter.  Nate was born in '82 and Emily in '86.

I worked up into mechanical assembly at Sundstrand (projectors for in-flight movies, data cartridges for military and hardened systems) and ended up as technical lab support for an optical disk engineering team.  Then an economical cycle came through and I was laid off in '91. 

I floundered for a year or so until I got a job at a tiny robotics design firm in Redmond.  They had recurring, severe cash-flow problems (paychecks were 2-1/2 months late at one point), mostly because they didn't have a specific mission.  Basically, they would ask a business what they wanted automated, design it, add in features as the customer thought of them, take out features when the customer saw what they would cost, sell the prototype and go on to the next project.  So we were losing money fast.  We built cement shingle presses, ink cartridge testers, golf ball molders, transmission valve rackers, windshield inspection systems, air bag filter makers, you name it.  After nearly closing twice, they decided on a single product, a computer-controlled, electronically activated, pneumatically operated, hydraulically powered, vacuum placement system for the machining of aircraft skins and other large, floppy parts that needed precision drilling and cutting.  Despite its complexity, it was a revolutionary design that stood to greatly simplify airplane manufacture, and to stabilize and improve our bottom line.  Unfortunately, the airline industry takes about five years to make up its mind about anything, and our lease was up in a couple of months. 

Despite being one of the "old-timers" (!), I finally couldn't take it any more (or Dianne couldn't), and I got on at AT&T Wireless, doing technical support, manual writing and webpage design.  And that's the world I inhabit now!  Unfortunately, it's Dilbert's world too, so a lot of crazy, non-sensical stuff happens here.  I think I've even met the pointy-haired boss!  At least the position is stable.  This month.  I think.

Meanwhile, we've seen Nate through high school and Emily through junior high.  In preparation for an early retirement (public sector, sheesh!), Dianne has spent the last year looking for a simpler, lower-maintenance house and finally found one in Snohomish, so we moved in in March this year.  She ends the commute in December, so we have to find her a local part-time job to keep her from driving us all crazy after that.

We've been involved in Churchy things too, parish liturgical commissions, religious ed boards, initiation teams and such.  It's not as much fun as it used to be, but these things have cycles too.

There was some other stuff but you're probably asleep by now.  I'll check in with the old web page more often, watching for your name.  (You might give your classmates a nudge, if you can.)  It updates in fits and spurts but I'm still glad it's there.

Later,

Doug
425-288-6135 desk
206-369-4235 cell
360-568-7988 home
zimmerville@usa.com (work)
doug.zimmer@attws.com
917 19th St
Snohomish WA 98290

 

 

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