Category Archives: Personal

New Beginning

It has been just over a year since I last posted on this blog. As faithful readers know, I lost my job in July ’09 in a corporate downsizing. Since then I’ve had a temp job working out of my home. The pay was meager, the work was not satisfying, and the lack of paid holidays/vacations was a drag, but it allowed us to hang on — barely. Giving up on this blog was a symptom of a lot that was going wrong during that time.

But all of that has changed now. Today I started a new job at a local high tech firm, a role that will really challenge me. After a year and a half of struggling to see through the deep fog of my future, I finally have a career to be excited about again.

I’ve learned a lot over the last eighteen months, especially about myself. I’m an humbler, wiser man now, with a deeper appreciation for the simple things of life — primarily because that’s all I had. I hope to keep that perspective as I head into this new endeavor.

And I hope to be more active in maintaining this blog, although I suspect the focus might shift somewhat. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the direction our country is heading, and the factors contributing to that course. Politics can be entertaining, but there are other issues that deserve more attention. Stay tuned.


Looking for Work? Be a Kid!

Tomorrow will mark the fourth week of searching for a new job after my lay-off. No luck so far.

But in my online prowling I ran across this article that offers good advice on how to maintain the right perspective when looking for a job: Learn to be a kid again.

Kids believe in the best. Adults expect the worst so they won’t be disappointed.

As a mother of a toddler son, I watch a lot of kid’s shows. What strikes me about these shows is the positive messages that come across; messages of hope and encouragement.

Why is it that as adults we lose hope when it comes to our careers? Did career setbacks or the economy make negativity more prevalent than being positive?

Remember back to a time in your life when you believed that anything was possible? A time when you looked forward to the day and all you could do and learn. What happened to that belief? What happened to that person? Do you want that person back?

Frequently when things go bad, we blame it on other people or their childish ways. But in some ways, being childish is not such a bad trait. A lot of things that kids do can be applied to your career.

The author suggests five “childish perspectives” that job-seekers should adopt in order to improve their chances:

  1. I will try, try again.
  2. I know it all works out.
  3. I will ask for help.
  4. I will have a good attitude.
  5. I’m growing and learning.

Read the whole article for the details on each of these perspectives. Great advice!

The Recession Just Got Personal

I lost my job this morning.

Over half the department got laid off, along with a good chunk of the rest of the company.

So when you hear the next unemployment numbers, know that my name is buried in there somewhere.

Thank you, President Obama. Your stimulus plan is just peachy.

Bell Labs Holmdel Facility

Last year I wrote about the sad fate of the former Bell Labs facility at Holmdel, and my personal experience with it. At that time, a developer had bought the property with the intention of converting it to a large residential, commercial, and retail complex.

I recently ran across this article in Preservation Magazine describing the battle that is currently being waged to save the site. The developer, Somerset Development, still wants to follow through on their original plan. However, the local civic leadership, fearful of the impact of such a mini-city on their quality of life, wants the entire structure to be razed.

The article includes a fascinating history of the building and the architect who designed it, Eero Saarinen.The article also recounts the memories of several former Bell Labs employees who once worked at the site, and still live in the area.

Ralph Zucker, the president of Somerset Development, says concerning the building,

We know this is too significant for Holmdel, for New Jersey—it’s a worldwide resource—it’s too important to get bogged down by political passions. When you come up here that’s when you know that you can’t let this thing be knocked down. It’s simply overpowering.

Tea Time!

I hope to be at the Wichita Tea Party this afternoon. Organizers expect about 800 people to show up. I’ll bring a camera and post some photos.

Springtime in Kansas

South-central Kansas is getting pounded by an early spring blizzard. We had over two inches of sleet fall between Friday afternoon and dawn Saturday. Now it is snowing furiously. And it is cooooold.  Check out a photo gallery here.

Without doubt, this is solid evidence that global warming is a myth. (Hey, if the GW alarmists can play that game, so can I.)

The Music of My Youth

The other night Melissa and I were eating at Spangles, a local retro burger restaurant, listening to the oldies music they play. A song came on that I hadn’t heard in a long time: “I’ll Never Find Another You” by the Seekers. This song is a classic example of the kind of folk music that was popular back in the 60s, when I was coming of age.  The song brought back a lot of pleasant memories.

The Seekers were an Australian group that had several big hits, then disbanded, and over the years has reappeared in various forms. This YouTube clip is from their farewell concert in London in 1968.