Friday, June 05, 2009

Observations from 35K feet

  1. Flight turbulence and Linkin Park on the iPod are well matched companions. Like the chairs built for gaming, maybe we need chairs that react to the music being played.
  2. Sunsets at 35k are like no others. The sun is a blazing orange button on the edge of a bowl. The top rim of the bowl discretely fades from orange, through purple, to gone.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Mini

I splurged this past weekend. About to be away for four days on a business trip without a computer in my possession (yes, I'd have one at my company's branch office that I'm visiting but not at the hotel) I decided to buy a netbook. Welcome to 2009. Welcome also to the 1990's.

Now that I own one, I think the word netbook is mostly marketing hype. What I'm typing on right now, is a small, lower powered, lightweight laptop computer. It's a bit of a throwback machine, because of the small screen and keyboard. It's not quite as small as a Sharp Zaurus (yes, I had one of those) and the screen technology is way better than the early laptops, but it's certainly not a desktop replacement. In fact, on all the store netbooks, they had a little Q&A to make sure you really wanted one. For example, "Is this machine going to be your only computer?" If you answered "yes", it would tell you that it doesn't have an optical drive or any way to expand the machine itself.

I went in with eyes wide open. After a recent trip to Baltimore with family, sans machine, I decided I wanted something I could use when I traveled. I wanted to be able to check a map on Google, or Yelp a restaurant. I know a Blackberry can do all that, but the one my company gave me is so locked down that's it's useful only for company email. Plus, I do enjoy the 10 inch screen over the 3 or less inch screen of my Blackberry bold. The downside versus Blackberry or iTouch is that I'm not able to connect unless I'm near a wireless port. Well, I suppose I could connect, but I'm too cheap to pay for a phone network data service for my netbook.

I did a bit of research before I bought, but as with anything else you research before buying, you find your tradeoffs in terms of specs and your favorable and unfavorable reviews. I was ready to buy a eeeMachine but since I wanted one before leaving on my trip and Best Buy was out of those, I ended up with a very capable Dell Inspiron Mini 10. So far so good. I do enjoy the somewhat larger keyboard than some of the competition and the screen seems nice. And goodness, the 3 pounds or so it weighs makes it almost as light as the paperback books my wife loves to buy. I have yet to really explore the machine, but that will come with time.

Anyway, I hope that having easier access to a computer (yes, I'll probably become like Kreblog and have It on my lap while watching TV) along with it's form factor will make it easier for me to get back to things I did before I got a job. Namely, blogging, posting on Facebook and a bit more communicating through email or IM to friends.

I mean I'll do these things after I come down from 35,000 feet.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Business Trip

I work for a company headquarted in Bermuda. They have offices in the UK. I am very involved with a project for our Scottsdale AZ company. And yet, here I am on my first trip for my new company, in WESTBOROUGH MA. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. I added 30 miles to my normal commute to come to Westborough. Woo hoo.

But it's good. I'm at a vendor conference for a software product that I'm supporting as a project manager. A couple of AZ employees have come east to the conference and it's been great to meet them. And I am staying overnight at the conference so I could fully partake in the evenings festivities.

I'm sure the more distant travel will come and I'm not really complaining. Just laughing at the irony.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Learning my Lessons

It’s been almost two months since I started my latest job. Two months that I haven’t looked for work. Two months of focus on my current employer and situation. Two engaging and fun months. But even as I try to turn my “temp to perm” situation into “perm”, I wonder if I should have throttled back on the job searching as much as I did. I do want to dedicate my time to my newest employer, and I have been giving them 10+ hours per day. My commute soaks up another 2 hours per day, leaving me with little spare time. In my job hunt days, I’d put in 8 hours searching but my commute was easy (bedroom to family room). So I haven’t had the time I would like to do the other things in my life that are also important.

I am still staying in touch with my core group of associates. I have been attending a monthly networking event. However, the conversations have turned from “what opportunities do you know about” to “here’s what’s happening with my new job”. I do read two or three job agent postings per week and I read two or three emails from a networking group I belong to, but it’s not with the same sense of purpose. Oh, and my resume is up to date with my latest accomplishments. So I’m not totally slacking.

I guess this is normal. I am happy in my new position and I do feel like it will work out. In my experience, I’ve learned that it’s more important to invest in the current opportunity than to always be looking. But I remember how far behind you feel when you have to initiate a job search. While I’m hoping not to be searching for new position any time soon, I don’t want to be unprepared. I want to keep applying the lessons I’ve preached through this blog. It’s the least I can do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ice Out 2009

It's that time of year again. Yep, ice out 2009. As I pulled out of the driveway this morning, there was one small piece of ice left floating on the pond. With today's predicted 50+ degree sunny weather, I'm pretty confident it won't be there when I get home. It's a bit early this year. Drop back to last year's post to see prior ice out dates.

Now, if only the snow piles left by plowing and snowblowing would melt...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I can feel it fade

I’ll be starting my fourth week of work tomorrow and the unemployed feeling is fading. I have some place to go every day. I’m commuting. I only have weekends to get things done. I’m no longer dependent on other people to read my resume and make a decision on me – a feeling that although you own your own job search, you don’t own the results. At my job, although I work with others, I can own the results of my efforts. My contributions have more predictable results. While I’m still meeting people and “networking” at work, the co-workers more often than not need something from me. It’s not just me needing something from them (a lead, some information about a company or an industry, a job). And time passes much more quickly. I mean really fast compared to working at home on finding a job. I get to the end of a work day and I wonder where all the time went. The fade feels great.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It Happened

I've told several people this, and certainly, my loyal friends who were with me the day I was laid off from my last job heard it, but on the day I was laid off I said, "Someday, I'll look back on this (layoff) and feel like they did me a favor". That someday was last night.

I met up with a few former co-workers from my last job. As I sat there and listened to them discuss the problems with the project that I left, the consulting firm that continues to take over, the management of the department and the disfunctional executives at the company, I thought of my new position. I'm still new and I'm not an employee yet, so anything I say should be tempered with the joy of a new job. But I really like working at my new place. The people are very helpful. The work is interesting. My boss expects me to know what I'm doing and doesn't look over my shoulder. It's so much more like a start-up than an old line company. I don't miss what I was doing at the old place. Yes I miss the people. But they did me a favor. There, I can say it now. It happened.