Archive for December 2014

Re-Invent Your Career with Transferable Skills   Leave a comment

wayne yoshida tech writer screwdriver image

Here’s an example of a re-purposed item. An ordinary Phillips head screwdriver became something new by adding a few bends in its shaft. The bends were transferred from some other screwdriver ideas . . . .

Everyone has a set of skills and expertise, no matter who they are or what they do. Think of your skill set as a collection of things you learned from your earliest memories to present day. This is especially important when contemplating your next career move: All of us can jump from one career or position to another, but the jump must be realistic and make sense to anyone looking at your profile and work history. I call this our inventory of transferable skills.

Take a close look at everything you do and everything you know, including any personal, time-off activities such as sports and hobbies. Make a list of your skills and knowledge, then think about how these elements can transfer into your next career. You may discover more possibilities as you examine your list.

IMG_0764 wayne yoshida Tech Writer

While helping my friend Peter decorate his boat for a Christmas parade, we talked a little bit about work and career events over the last year. Of course, I had to mention LinkedIn and how it helped me. Peter is not on LinkedIn (yet) but I hope he decides to give it a try.

Peter’s extreme Christmas decor aboard his boat includes thousands of individual lights, four microcomputers two generators and hundreds of feet of wires.

Connecting all of these elements together and making them work on a short schedule is a demonstration of Peter’s knowledge and skills. Many, if not all, of these skills are transferable to several career paths.

Here are just some of the skills and expertise needed to create an award-winning Christmas boat entry:

Project planning/project management
Advertising and marketing
Public information/public relations
Computer/microprocessor programming
AC circuitry
Ocean navigation
Programmable logic controllers PLC
Electrical safety
Computer software and hardware

The list is impressive, and it is even more impressive when you remember this is just a short list of things based on one hobby-type of activity.

So as this year comes to a close, I encourage everyone to make a list of transferable skills and expertise, and remember to include both work and non-work activities.

Learn more about leveraging LinkedIn as a career management tool at the LinkedIn workshops at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. If you are out of the area, watch for postings about our live, online sessions. Check the “Calendar & Events” page for dates and times.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and see my other LinkedIn Publish posts.

My Mentors Rock!   2 comments

As 2014 comes to a close, I’d like to thank the special people who have either supported me in some way, or taught me new skills or life lessons. These are folks that really rock, and deserve some recognition.

My You Rock Awards for 2014

Wayne Yoshida tech writer YOSH ROCKS

I report to Yosh Coy at Agility Fuel Systems. I always learn something new from him each time we have a conversation. Yosh has an incredible depth of knowledge on LNG and CNG technology. Yosh rocks!

David Crowley You Rock 2014

Dave Crowley is a technical instructor at the Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi). His session on CNG inspections were informative and included plenty of hands-on demonstrations during the class.

wayne yoshida tech writer Sabrina Dodd - You Rock 2014

wayne yoshida tech writer Jamie Johnson - You Rock 2014

Sabrina Dodd and Jamie Johnson, both from the NGVi, deserve special recognition for their support and customer care before, during and after the NGVi classes in Long Beach, CA.

wayne yoshida tech writer Paul Pate You Rock 2014

Paul Pate (then training manager at NGVi), lead an excellent class on natural gas vehicle technology – from the fuel storage cylinders to the exhaust tailpipe, his session was interesting and informative.

Here is an update on Paul: Paul now has two careers, first joining a family business called CNG Elite Inspection Services, an inspection and compliance company for CNG vehicles and is also the Technical Training Director at Automotive Research and Design (AR&D) and Panoptic Training.

Here’s a Look at Past Winners of the You Rock Awards


wyoshida - colleen jones 001

A special award goes to Colleen Jones, then a counselor at the Orange County, CA One Stop Center. Colleen presented her views and explained how the applicant tracking systems (ATS) in widespread use work. Learning about these systems proved to be a huge asset in my job search toolbox. Colleen is now the Human Resource & Talent Acquisition Leader at Go Rentals, Inc. Click here to see the original special award post.

wayne yoshida tech writer Rock Awards 2013

Debra Faris is a career coach and LinkedIn expert. She is known as “Ms. LinkedIn.”

Greg Johnson is a career coach, his company is called Above the Rim Executive Coaching.

Sven Johnston is Partner Sr VP Business Development at GigaSavvy, an advertising agency with a core focus on search engine optimization (SEO).

Ted Robison is now retired and enjoying life. But he is still leading workshops on LinkedIn, and is known as “Mr. Link-Me-In.”

These four talented experts taught me how to optimize my LinkedIn profile for maximum effectiveness. It must have worked, since LinkedIn said I am among the Top One Percent most viewed profiles in 2012.

Take a look at my other LinkedIn Publish posts for more information on careers, technology and other things.

D25 – A Boat in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade   Leave a comment

Celebrating 10 Consecutive Years of Winning

Peter Barbour, a fellow ham radio operator and volunteer of the Huntington Beach Fire Department RACES group, has been sharing his holiday cheer and enthusiasm of the Christmas season by decorating his sailboat and entering the Newport Beach (CA) Christmas Boat Parade. As this is being written, winners for 2014 have not been announced, so stay tuned and cheer for D25!

Peter combines his computer programming and hardware-hacking skills with his knowledge of sailing that result in a series of award-winning and crowd-pleasing displays.

I am proud to be one of Peter’s helpers in constructing some of his award-winning entries.

2014 marks Peter’s tenth entry and it continues the D25 tradition of “more is better.”

Here are some pictures of D25 under construction:

IMG_0756 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 1


IMG_0753 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 light matrix 2


IMG_0751 wayne yoshida D25 light matrix 3


IMG_0748 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 Peter inspecting


IMG_0755 wayne yoshida tech writer - clock discussion


IMG_0766 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast day


IMG_0771 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast work at night


IMG_0775 wayne yoshida tech writer D25 mast


IMG_0779 wayne yoshida tech writer - computer




Where is D25 Right Now?

D25 is equipped with an Amateur Radio tracking system called APRS. Click here to see D25’s real-time location and map.

For more information on ham radio APRS, the Automatic Packet Reporting System, click here.

D25’s Records
D25 2004: 2nd Place Best Use of Lights and Animation
Theme: Santa’s Sailing Sled

D25’s debut design was inspired by the idea of Santa’s sailing sled being borrowed by a mischievous elf.

D25 2005: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Classic Christmas

D25’s second design was inspired by a classic Christmas living room scene. A large decorated Christmas tree with presents stacked below the bows and a star atop, red brick fireplace with a roaring fire and stockings hung below a mantle.

D25 2006: Best Boat Under 30 Feet
Theme: North Pole Holiday Magic

In the middle of November, Original Productions, Inc. asked Peter to appear on a documentary on intense holiday decorations for TLC: The Learning Channel. The episode “More Crazy Christmas Lights” premiered on December 8, 2007.

D25 2007: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Surf’s Up – Light Wave

Surf’s Up on D25 features over 5,025 lights brilliantly illuminating a holiday surfer’s dream wave. D25’s strobe light marks the lip of the wave and a hot-doggin’ holiday penguin is in the cave catching some gnarly tubular action.

D25 2008: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality
Theme: Tropical Island Cheer – Lanterns to Lights

D25 for 2008 was inspired by the origins of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade on July 4, 1908. John Scarpa, an obscure Italian gondolier, led a parade with eight fellow small boat operators. The boats were illuminated by Japanese lanterns.

D25 2009: 1st Place Best Animation & Special Effects
Theme: Joys of Christmas Toys

In 2009, D25 demonstrated one of the most complex designs in the series. The entry included a matrix of colored ornaments, made with hundreds of individual bulbs. The matrix enabled the computer controller to make an amazing array of “bouncing ball” images that danced across a black background.

D25 2010: Best Boat Under 30 Feet

D25 2011: 1st Place Best Humor & Originality

D25 2012: Best Sailboat

D25 2013: 1st Place Animation & Special Effects

Some facts and figures of the Christmas vessel D25

The boat: 11-foot dinghy with a Nissan 4-stroke, 5HP engine. Oars for backup

Typical number of lights: Over 10,000 (Peter counted them once, but now simply adds lights up to the generator capacity)

Current consumption: Approx. 33 amps at 120 VAC

Power source: Two Honda EU2000i generators providing a total of 4,000 watts at 120 VAC

Wiring: Over 625 feet of custom extension cords

Safety items: GFCIs (ground fault circuit interrupters) on all circuits and an automatic bilge pump

Communications: A 5 Watt VHF ham radio is interfaced to a GPS for reporting location, and is available for emergency

Sound system: 150W audio power with wireless mike for music and personal greetings

Computer controllers: Four Light-O-Rama (LOR) controllers 

Other items:
A masthead rotating strobe
An automobile classic “AH-OO-GA” horn
Fog Machine
Simulated flames & coals in fireplace
Chasing rope lights