Metrology specialist Thomas Nakashima practices flycasting
in his spare time with his
handmade bamboo flyrod.
(Click on image for larger version.)
Thomas Nakashima came to SLAC in 1981 to do mechanical work for Martin Perl’s research group. But it is his current job as a metrology specialist that satisfies his appreciation of quality workmanship. Nakashima is also an avid fly fisherman, and he says both pursuits appeal to his fascination with high-precision crafstmanship.
“Precision in flycasting is different from metrology,” Nakashima says, “but the two relate in a big way. Everything has to be exact.”
SLAC’s metrology department is responsible for measuring tolerances in the dimensions of machine parts, often to within a ten-thousandth of an inch. In special cases, metrologists must measure tolerances to a precision of two-tenths of a micron.
Nakashima can often be seen practicing his casting on SLAC grounds during breaks, feeding out looping arcs of line with his exquisitely crafted, vintage 1945 bamboo fly rod, handmade by legendary rodmaker Lew Stoner.
Last July, Nakashima and a friend trekked to the backcountry of Alaska to test their angling skills
during a nine-day fishing trip. The two paddled 45 miles down the Arolik River, camped and ate the trout they caught along the way. According to Nakashima, the two did not encounter another person the entire time.
Nakashima says it was the superb detail and precision workmanship that led him to purchase his vintage flyrod in 2005. He says he's just getting back into flyfishing after a few years off.
“After I got into metrology I learned just how imperfect everything really is,” he says. “With some things—like fly fishing—you might come close. But nothing in life is truly perfect.”
Farewell to our Friend and Colleague
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The SLAC family has lost a dear friendRichard P. ("Rick") Yeager, who died on Saturday, September 2nd after his courageous fight with cancer.
Rick had served as SLAC's Security Manager in the Business Services Division since 1992. Rick came to SLAC with over 20 years of security background in both the military and industry. In his 14 years here, he had direct contact with many hundreds in the SLAC community as he managed the full range of security services so well.
We will miss many things about Rick, such as his untiring spirit and professionalism, his courtesy to everyone he encountered, his great sense of humor, and his deep appreciation and caring for those who touched his life.
Rick’s family invites his friends and colleagues to a special celebration of Rick's life at the Chapel of the Chimes Reflection in Hayward, California from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 10, 2006. The street address is 32992 Mission Boulevard, Hayward, CA 94544.
This will be a sharing of Rick's lifehis love of music, his favorite things, and many pictures from over the years. People wishing to share their thoughts and memories about Rick will be welcome to do so.
The family would like attendees to know that the preferred dress for this event is to be informal and bright.
Safety and Security
SLAC employees and users explore the expo tables at last year's Safety and Security Briefing.
Everyone in the SLAC community is asked to attend the SLAC Annual Safety and Security Briefing in the Panofsky Auditorium tomorrow, Thursday, September 7th. Speakers at the briefing will discuss the importance of integrating safety and security into all aspects of work at SLAC.
Information about SLAC's Safety and Security Integrated Management program will also be available at "expo" tables set up in the Auditorium Lobby and Breezeway. Subject matter experts will be manning the tables to answer questions about such topics as counter-intelligence, site security, property management and protection, fire protection, computer security, safety, and emergency preparedness.
Please plan to attend one of the four sessions. Suggested attendance times are broken down alphabetically (as follows) to ensure adequate space in the auditorium at all sessions:
Last name starting:
A - F: 9:00 a.m.
G - L: 11:00 a.m.
M - R: 1:30 p.m.
S - Z: 3:30 p.m.
If you have questions about this event, contact Doug Kreitz at Ext. 4550, firstname.lastname@example.org.