April 8, 2008

I can't believe I haven't had a job and still haven't had a chance to update this site. Sigh. But here I am now, so let's see if I can catch up on the latest.

First, the job situation. The contract with SmartDrive ended in February, and I've been very diligent job-shopping. But the economic slowdown has hit Silicon Valley also, and jobs at my level simply aren't as plentiful. The good news is that there are jobs out there, so I wasn't too worried. However I still haven't been able to land something long-term. However the SmartDrive experience exposed me to contracting, and I decided it definitely had its benefits. So while I'm probably still going to land somewhere as a permanent employee, I've decided to accept a position as a lead designer on the redesign of Genentech's new web portal for their Commercial drug sales operations. I'll be starting in a week or two. It's initially a 6-month contract, with the possibility of extension or conversion to a permanent role. The great news is that the office is only 10-15 minutes from home – very important given the price of gas these days! I'm working through a staffing firm called Aquent, which offers the advantage of good benefits for long-term contractors, so that helps make contracting more attractive. I start on April 21st (need some time to get the paperwork processed), so I have a couple of weeks of leisure left.

About the other family members...

Val continues working at Triton, through Perot Systems. She's still got some challenges at work, but really enjoys the technology, the people, and the company. She's working on trying to improve her back problems, recently undergoing a couple of cortizone injections in her lower back. Hopefully this will help the constant pain she's in, especially when walking. Val is also keeping very busy as the co-coordinator of our club, the Exiles, and helping out with conferences and with other vounteer activities.

Katelyn sees the end of her elementary school years on the horizon. She's working hard, and struggling a bit with the extra demands the 5th grade teachers place on the students, in preparation for middle school. But we're good partners with her teacher and are supporting her as best we can. Her digestion trouble has also abated. She is on daily medication for Reflux, which she hates but which seems to help a lot. She is also spending a lot of time on karate these days. She transferred to a new dojo when her previous instructor moved his dojo too far away. She loves the sensei, Peter Johnson. Katelyn is also continuing her flute, and is in charge of the school paper.

Haley is loving second grade. She is doing well, but has some occasional behavior problems - something about wanting to be the center of attention a lot, and not enjoying it when she doesn't get her way or gets bored. Does this sound like someone you all know and love?? But she's doing great in school, although her favorite subject is recess! She's also been doing Tap and Jazz dance at Tiffany's, and really enjoys that. We're looking forward to her recital in June.

And I have to mention Mom also, because she's so busy and having a good time. In addition to lunching often at the senior center, going to dance classes several times a week, and visiting us overnight once a week, she's also helping Susan out with her bookkeeping so she's in Morro Bay a lot.

We had a great time earlier this year at Cirq de Soleil. We splurged and got the Tapiz Rouge (red carpet) tickets, for great seats and special treatment (hors d'ouvres and other perks). In fact, we liked it so much that Val and I took Mom there for her birthday.

Recently I took the girls to see Nana Frances in Mission Viejo. She is now 101 years old! Her hearing has taken a turn for the worse, but she's still got a lot of spunk and can carry on a (loud) conversation.

Here are the other things we've been up to this year: