Thursday, January 31, 2008

With any luck, I’ll be unemployed by Saturday

Well, not totally unemployed. I’ll still have that store I own with my brother, but that’s not making any money yet so I barely count it. My job, the thing I’ve done from 8:30 til 5:30 every weekday for the past seven years will cease to exist with just a few swift flourishes of pen. You see, if everything goes as planned, the company I work for (and own some infinitesimal portion of) will be sold to a massive company that makes its bread and butter munching up small companies like ours. It terrifies me and excites me and basically has me turning circles in my own head as I try to plan ahead. We’ve been working on this deal for just about a year, during which time my family could make no real long term plans. With such massive change looming on the horizon, I was hesitant to commit too much of anything. “Just another month,” I’ve been telling myself for far too many months, "and the deal will either collapse or go through, either way, I’ll know how things sit.”

Uncertainty sucks.

Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure, I guess I won’t be truly unemployed right away. There will be wrapping up to do. The corporate equivalent of folding up the chairs and pulling down the streamers after a wedding reception. It’s not work I’m looking forward to, a bit depressing actually to box up everything and close the lid. But, I’ll be around for that for a couple weeks after the stores and employees are all gone. And then? Well, first I’ll need to spend some quality time with the company JET and I own together since I’ve been negligent on that front recently. I’ll focus my energies and hope we can start turning a profit off that business before the financial cushion I get from Saturday’s sale dwindles down and my daughter starts wondering why we’re using old newspapers on her bum instead of diapers.

To tell the truth, I’m actually kind of looking forward to this aspect (no, not the newpapered bum, the working in our store.) JET has done a wonderful job of running everything up there in my absence, but taking more of an active roll in that investment will be good for my stress level. Plus, even though I haven’t been spending as much time as I should have with that enterprise, I did work at it. It was a second job that took time away from my wife and daughter. It will be nice to have just one occupational focus. Who knows, maybe it will give me more time to write.

What’s that? You noticed my lack of recent blog posts? Yeah, between the race toward the sale on the one hand and handing the year end financial duties for the JET partnership (W2s, W3s, 1099s, 1096s, 941s, 942s, etc, etc, etc until you start tugging at your hair and scratching at your eyeballs) on the other, I’ve been spending enough time staring at my computer screen that when the day is done, no part of my mind finds it desirable to spend even one more second typing. I’ve even been rather absent at quite a few of the sites I usually made a point to visit and converse on. I look to remedy my rudeness when things settle down.

Anyway, that’s about all the time I have to spare. I need to get back to telecom transfers so the new owners can take over our accounts. It’s not thrilling…but it’s one of a million things that need to get done before Saturday if I am to make my goal of being unemployed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Final Christmas of 2007

As it is with so many of life’s memorable experiences, there were good things and bad things about Christmas in Iowa with Moonshot’s family this year. On the plus side I’ll stack family togetherness and almost a foot of pristine snow that sparked a child-like twinkle in this gren’s eye. On the down side I’ll mention the countless hours of late night screaming our Little Lutine inflicted upon us. It seems routine has become quite important to the little miss and sleeping in her Pack-N-Play in a strange room was not on her list of acceptable alternatives to her own bed. The only thing that made her stop crying was to pick hr up and let her play. We were, inexplicably, unable to muster much enthusiasm for playtime at 3 in the morning.

Eat your heart out, Mark and Simon!But that’s enough about the down side. I’ll distract myself from the horrible memories by mentioning that I got one last present for the season. The bike previously mentioned was a combined gift from Moonshot’s family and had already been received, so Moonshot saved one of her presents for me so I’d have something to rip open in Iowa. A Star Wars Pop-Up book finished off my holiday season just right. It may well be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The light sabers actually light up for god’s sake. I would keep singing it’s praises…but the New York Times did it much better than I could.

Norah's new wheelsNorah received (among other things) a dump truck of her very own. And while she would, on occasion, fill the loader with her toys…she would typically just use the dumped loader to form a bucket seat for her oversized self.

It took some convincing to get everyone out in the snow. It seems not everyone shares my love of snowy fun. But, eventually they were convinced. Warm clothing was borrowed from Husker since I had failed to look at the weather before heading north. Had I known there would be so much snow I would have packed all my Colorado snow gear that sits unloved in my basement. Regardless, though…we trekked out to make a snowman.

Mouse and Moonshot: The proud parents of a tiny Rastafarian snowmanSadly, the powdery snow refused to stick. There would be no snowman. We amused ourselves for a little while with snowballs until I was distracted by the huge snow pile created by the plow. It was probably eight feet tall and at least 20 feet wide…a full sized adventure land of frozen joy. For a while it was fun to climb up and slide down or throw myself off the top in a white, powdery explosion. But eventually I found myself raiding Husker’s garage for digging tools. Moonshot and Mouse ignored my engineering efforts and contented themselves by making a miniature snow fried from the compacted snow I was removing from the bottom of the pile. An Exhausted Moksha, a bemused FreddyJ, and a lunar view of HobbesFreddyJ pretty much just stood there and laughed at me in a good-natured way. My goal was to burrow all the way through the pile…but after I realized that Moonshot and FreddyJ had gone inside and that Husker and Mouse were pretty much just waiting around to keep an eye on things in case the snow should collapse on me, I called the job complete after I connected the main entrance to the exit that was originally designed as a cave-in escape tunnel. It was much shorter than I had envisioned…but by god, it was a tunnel.

I would have swore everyone loves a snow tunnel...but apparently it's just meAnd I was proud.

(Clicking any picture reveals its true Christmasy goodness)

All Pictures by Husker