Way back in the mists of time (circa 1980), I graduated college and started my first job as a member of a team designing CPUs for mainframe computers. After a year or so, two of the managers left to form their own company called Cirrus Designs – it sounded interesting so after a couple of months I joined them. I was the sixth person to join the company; I arrived the day after the desks and chairs, so everyone else (who had been sitting on the floor until then) said I was a lucky swine.
We were a young, happy-go-lucky bunch of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed engineers. During the next couple of years, we spent a large portion of our time writing test programs for GenRad 2225 functional circuit board testers. The idea was that a company would give us a "known-good board" (it usually wasn't) and a set of schematics corresponding to this version of the board (they usually didn't). Then we had to look at the schematics, desperately try to determine what the board was intended to do, and then write a program to test that it did it.
It was the best training of my life. But I digress . . .
Just yesterday evening as I pen these words, I received an email from one of the engineers I used to work with saying:
Dear Max, it's MEEEE! – Caroline from Cirrus – I'm back in London and I don't think you'll be surprised that I am now a full time professional clown (I'm STILL driving people nuts, but now I'm a professional!)
Well, that's certainly not the sort of news one receives every day. Apparently Caroline has turned out to be an exceptional "balloon artist". As she says: I've won awards and EVERYTHING, and I've only been at it a year!"
In fact, it appears that some of her balloon "sculptures" are to be used in Computing Weekly magazine for their 40th Anniversary edition! You can see Caroline, her clown partner Justin (there's something funny about him), and some of their work in the photo galleries on their website at www.magicclowns.com. The amazing thing is that – looking at the photos on this site – Caroline hasn't changed much at all (although perhaps her dress sense is a tad less extreme these days than it used to be when we were all young and foolish).
So, I can proudly proclaim that I know "Bubblz the Clown" – how cool is that?
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.