About me

My fitness story, and goals

In spring of 2012 I weighed 355 lbs, and had various weight related health problems. I began to think on my father who died early and this gave me the motivation to make fitness a priority in my life. Today I weigh 260 lbs and hope to weigh less in the future. I run 5k's I currently have a PR of 40:30. I also have been doing 10k's in training. My goal is to turn in a respectable 10k time by the end of the summer and to hike to the top of Mt. Timponogos. I also have considered the possibility of doing a half marathon.

Hobbies and interests

I recently returned to Utah from Nebraska where I played billiards on a billiards league, and I enjoy shooting pool. I also enjoy watching collegiate football, both Big 12 and my BYU. I am a bit of a foodie, and enjoy finding new places to eat. I also have been known to cook a few things. I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife Michelle. I also enjoy going to and watching movies. In Nebraska I was an EMT Basic. I also had a wood shop (complete with wood lathe) where I would enjoy making things out of wood.

Before

355 lbs

After

260 lbs

Projects

A look back at some of the projects I have worked on
Thank you to everyone I have worked with along the way!

  • There were 3 types of feed lots at Adams Land and Cattle. 1) Connected with high speed LAN / VPN to the data center. 2) Connected by high speed LAN but needed a custom serial based communication controller. 3) Connected by low speed DSL or unreliable network connection.
  • Statistical calculations that determined how we expected cattle to gain, and when to market had to be consistent between locations. These calculations had to have the ability to change quickly as the research team was involved in refining this process. Reports had to be generated based on these changes.
  • Each animal would get a different list of drugs depending on the animal type, size, and management direction. Drugs could be varied in order to randomize output on a trial format in order to determine the efficacy of drugs.
  • Treatments to cattle had to be recorded in a database that would allow for easy retrieval and checking of withdrawal days.
  • The system would act like an assembly line process and would require interaction with several serial devices, such as a scale, RFID tag reader, and Hip Height reader.
  • The system would have to have the ability to add new animals to the system and provide initial treatment. This animal record would have to be linked up with previous animal treatment records at different feed lots.
  • In version 1 there was no network connectivity. It was required that this would run out in the middle of the feed lot and powered by car battery (from an old Ford Bronco).
  • RFID tags would be scanned rapidly. There may be two or more RFID tags scanned at the same time. The animals had to be scanned in motion without stopping.
  • In version 2 there was network connectivity. There were two types of locations those with solid network access to the database, and those with a less reliable connection to the database.
  • Three modes were planned for this program.
    • "Network Connected" mode, this was the first version completed. It required a thorough understanding of the new cattle database. (which we purchased from another company). The programming required coordination with the software manufacturer to get and write custom stored procedures to get the data that we needed. I also created an object relational mapping (ORM) that I used to populate with the results of the stored procedure. I also wrote the PLC code to control the automation.
    • "Network Disconnected" mode. Knowing that I may or may not have some network connectivity I developed a WCF service and consumed that service link in the program. I leveraged my existing ORM which I created for the network connected mode, and the stored procedures to populate the data. Knowing that I may not have any network connectivity at all I allowed this mode to not use the WCF link and export the resultant data to an XML extract file. An import utility had to be written once the data file had been sent to a location with stable network access. This batch import process required an employee to handle situations where data was entered incorrectly.
    • "Flowcon" mode. At Adams Land and Cattle their main sorting facility was controlled by a low level program written in C that ran on MS-DOS and communicated back to their UNIX server via a serial port link. During the migration it was necessary for me to write a serial based communication controller. I was able to use the infrastructure that I had set up for the previous 2 modes to ensure that this communicated properly.
  • A .DLL was written to allow for rapid changes to the statistical calculations and change by the research team. A test program was developed to allow the research team to view the results of their calculations before they were released to the production system. The .DLL was referenced in the website reporting application in order to present consistent calculations across the board.
  • Tables were created to hold recommendations for drug treatments for separate animal types. An interface for managing these drug treatments was developed.
  • An audit log was created where we were able to record the input provided by the sorting crew. This audit log served two purposes. It was another record of what drugs were given to a particular animal, but it also helped differentiate between end user error and system error during the beginning stages of the software development life cycle.
  • A preferences screen was setup where the COM port and speed was recorded. Test interfaces were developed to validate proper functioning of the Scale, RFID reader, and Hip Height reader. The interface between the PLC and the computer also had to have a communication .DLL developed where we leveraged the .NET libraries provided with ADAM.NET Devices.
  • There were two modes to the sorting program one called "Induction" which was the initial add of an animal to the system and one called "Sort" where we were able to sort cattle according to weight, potential weight gain and many other factors.
  • The program was designed to package up data into an xml file on a flash drive that could then be brought back into the office and uploaded through an upload program.
  • The program was written to run mulithreaded. This allowed me to service the requests coming in off of the RFID reader (serial port). As well as poll output for controlling a signal light
  • Later we introduced the Adam .Net controller to handle the light output. But still had to interface with the .Net library in order to drive the device.
  • WCF link was set up for modes where the network connenctivity was not 100%
  • The ability to upload via USB device later in a network disconnected mode remained and was quite useful.
  • Cattle treatment history could then be updated on the fly in network connected mode.
  • Investigated the possiblity of using proximity sensors to verify cattle, as well as determine the amount of time they spent eating
  • Investigated the possiblity of recording treatment informaiton electronically and embedding this information in the cattle RFID tag.
  • Get in touch

    Have a question about me? Want to chat with me?

    Feel free to email me, or drop me a line.

    donwyatt@donwyatt.com