Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sleepy Sunday

Another sleepy Sunday here, with a few random notes:

1. I have a job again ... sort of. I start Monday with a small husband and wife software company out of Oregon, MO. It's not a real job yet, but it's 90 day probationary with a review at the end of 3 months toward hiring me on full-time. Even though the commute is less than half of what I had before (52 minutes vs. 2 hours), the job so far doesn't have benefits. For now, I've got COBRA continuation to cover the short-term, but I'm hoping that the job will ultimately lead to full-time and lead to having some sort of health coverage down the road.

2. Lauren is resting and recuperating from a case of cat scratch fever caused by our resident semi-feral cat, Stinkerbelle. More antibiotics for Lauren, and we're both going to have to learn to stop petting Stinkerbelle altogether.

3. Internet service here is sliding toward very subpar. Our cable provider, Suddenlink, has at least one outage per day now, and Embarq DSL service apparently isn't much better. I'm worried about what will happen when school starts up and Suddenlink oversubscribes off the influx of college students.

Even our iPhones aren't much help, because EDGE data service is getting worse on our side of town and there seems to be no effort on AT&T's part to expand 3G service north of St. Joseph ... I wonder how long it will be before we see an upgrade?

-- Posted From iPhone

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Exercise in Creative Problem-Solving

I'm starting to look at the job search as an exercise in creative problem-solving, given the limits of the situation:

1. I would like to work locally, if possible. By local, anything within an hour (unless the employer allows a telecommute or some sort of flex) is a possibility.

2. We know what minimum salary and benefits we need in order for us to sustain our current living standard without any serious belt tightening. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it does stress looking for a job with benefits.

3. I would like to look at venues other than corporate, if possible.

Apart from that. I'm open to ideas, alternatives, or opportunities.

-- Posted From iPhone

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Staying Busy

It's funny. When I was employed, I never had enough time to do anything. With the commute and the workload, I didn't have much time to help with the housework, didn't have much time for cooking, and I always felt a little tired or short of sleep, even on weekends.

Now that I'm not working and job hunting, I'm getting plenty of sleep, the chores are being done, and the house is cleaner than it has been in months. All that's missing is finding a job I enjoy ....

-- Posted From iPhone

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leaving Corporate

For anyone who hasn't read my Facebook page yet, unless something comes up by August 2nd, I'll be leaving corporate again due to a layoff. Once again, a bad economy and a reorg have taken a job.

In retrospect, even if the reorg hadn't happened, I'm not sure I would have survived more than a couple of more years doing the same thing. The work hours were climbing, the stress was increasing, and the commute (2 hours down, 2 back) was getting painful. Lauren was asking for her husband back. I was losing ground and the work-life balance was sliding toward more time at work and less time at home. I felt like a failure for not being able to keep up in both areas.

At this point, I'm mulling what to do next, regrouping, reestablishing references, dusting off resumes and cover letters, and getting ready to file for unemployment. And I'm rediscovering life ... the simple pleasures of being able to sleep in and not be on the road at 6, of having the time to go somewhere and not cancel a trip because of a project.

With Lauren teaching 4 extra class hours this fall through November, I'll even be home to help keep up with the household work while I look for work.

This time, I'm not sure I want to go back to corporate again. I've seen my profession, technical writing, devalued and turned into contractual hourly work with little benefits, or the job function itself deemed unnecessary, so I'm not sure yet where I want to go. I may want to pursue alternative certification and become a teacher. I might find something closer to home. I honestly don't know yet.

In the meantime, I do want to do some volunteer work in town at the local food pantry. I want to reconnect with my wife and strengthen our marriage.

I want to live.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Twitter Feed Part 2

It looks like we have the Facebook to Twitter problem fixed, but in a way that wasn't as convenient as I would have liked.

Originally, we used to use the fb2twitter Facebook app, which relied on a bot Facebook account to send a FB status update to Twitter. That broke first when Facebook switched to their new feed system, and then died permanently when FB banned the use of the Twitter Updater bot accounts under their TOS.

For now, we're going at it from a different direction. I installed a Facebook app that will let you post selected Tweets to your Facebook status (indicated with a hash tag at the end of the Tweet). It works, but it's not as elegant an approach as I would like, because I would rather be publishing from FB. Also, I'm not sure we can get it to work with one Twitter account feeding two Facebook pages.

So for now, you will be seeing my FB statuses and not Lauren's, but I'll continue to look for a workaround.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Twitter Feed

If you haven't noticed any Twitter updates off the blog recently, it's because the recent Facebook upgrade broke it, so no dual-posted Twitter and Facebook updates. We're still waiting for a fix.

The Weekend That Might Have Been

We had planned to stay in KC this weekend for the Spring Home and Garden Show, but the weather had other plans. With KC facing a winter storm warning of 6-12 inches in some areas, we cancelled our hotel reservation and stayed home. So much for a nice Spring day!

So we're home today; it's a sloppy mess outside, as we've gotten a mix of rain and light snow, rather than the 2-4 inches that had been forecast. Still, staying home has given us a chance to stay-in, sleep late, make brunch, do some in-house projects, and also rest as well.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Welcome to Web 2.0

Just a quick blog update:

We've gone Web 2.0 in a big way. Besides the Twitter account (see the sidebar to keep up with us on a daily basis when we don't have time to update the blog), both Lauren and I now have Facebook pages, so you can get in touch with us there.

So for now, we can be reached by:

  • Following or responding to our Twitter account.
  • Leaving a posting on one of our Facebook pages.
  • E-mail.
  • Leaving a comment here on the blog.
  • Text or IM.

About the only things we haven't started experimenting with are posting vids from YouTube and setting up our own wiki (and given that I routinely update a wiki at work, we're covered there).

EDIT: Lauren mentioned that she's had students use YouTube in class projects, so we've already covered that base as well.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Out For a Walk

Since the weather has improved since New Years, we decided to get back to regular walking. Here, Lauren pets the very friendly German Shepherd down the street.