2008: Year in review

This post and the eventual resolutions post are very boringly the normal posts that most blogs do.  But it does give me something to write about.  While 2008 was the year I finally got a decent job working on software, the year as a whole was a stressful pain in the butt.

I finally got fed up with crappy non rewarding jobs in mid-January and started taking steps to rectify that.  I started relearning useful Java technologies.  The end result was supposed to put me somewhere around Columbus, but in the end that never quite panned out.  I’d resolved that I wasn’t going to find a rewarding programming position anywhere near L-town and the family and I finally accepted the need to possibly move.  Also, attending my first real software developer conference showed me a lot of cool technologies and things you could do with them.  (Sadly, I won’t be able to attend that in 2009.  CodeMash is definitely worth paying for yourself, but I’m not ready to lose 3 vacation days so early in the year.  Maybe next year.)

The wif-al unit’s grandmother passed away in February.  We also played tag with strept for quite a while.  Eventually, the wif-al unit needed to have her tonsils removed.  A few weeks of shear hell for her from that, mixed in with a couple job interviews for me, got us through March and April.

End of April/early May, I got offers from two companies.  Neither of these related to the possible position that started me down my path.  Thank goodness it did though or I wouldn’t have been ready skill wise.  One position was nearby at a tire manufacturer doing very narrow focused programming in C for a specialized tool used in that industry.  Not really a growth path there, and I’d already left one job because of narrow focused dinosaurian technology.  The other position was working on an ERP system under development that would require a move.  You already know which one I took.

May and June saw us working feverishly to get the house ready to sell.  If I can give any advice for people looking to sell, do all this prep work before putting it on the market.  Yeah, you’ll tell yourself that people will see the potential.  But trust me, people looking for a home to live in aren’t wanting to have to do work right away.  We corrected all the problems that had been hanging there for years and in the end it paid off.  The first (and only) people to look at it bought it.  It was a stressful 5-6 weeks getting it ready but I know it made a difference.

Something for me to remember.  If people can’t make it to something I’m putting on, don’t make a big deal out of it.  They may have a lot going on in their lives and don’t need extra stress from me acting real dissappointed.

I started the new job June 2nd, and drove 66 miles morning and evening for two months.  My back and butt are both glad that’s over.  As usual with my timing on most things, I picked the best time gas price-wise to be driving those long trips.  I’m being sarcastic.  Upper $4/gallon, keeps that tank hungry.

We sold the house and closed on our new house mid July and started the move late July.  A couple U-Hauls and multiple full vans later, all the junk had been moved.

Fall and winter came much too quickly for our tastes.  I coached the eldest girlywog’s 4th/5th grade soccer team for the first time and the youngest tried out karate.  We’ve tried to take advantage of our access to all the new things that are now close to us, minor league baseball, art museum, zoo, etc.  It’s been fun.  It still feels like it’s not real yet and we all miss the old stomping grounds and friends quite often.  But I’ve been told by people that they notice a change in me for the good.  And unlike the last job change, this one has stuck around.  I’ve been on the new job for over 6 months now and I’ve not woken up once complaining about the work I’m doing.  I think I may have mentioned that here before but it’s true and important for me.  Being miserable in your job, no matter how much you’re being paid, doesn’t do your family any good.  It takes too much of the good, fun you away from them.

The last month and half saw age old problems in my family resurface again.  I tried to make some people see things from a different point of view, but probably should have stayed out of it.  But then I’m enabling.  You can’t win either way.  It’s a shame when non-blood family’s stubborness and tunnel vision can ruin a whole family.

I did finally get to do some gaming and the family unit didn’t have to go anywhere on Christmas, which is a big plus.  We got a Wii for Christmas which is a very interesting system.  Yesterday we had another Christmas get together and in a couple weeks, we’ll get the last one out of the way.  Tomorrow the kidlings head back to school.  At work, we go into code freeze and begin the first of many testing and bug fixing cycles until a pilot install in May.

Should be an interesting and busy time, but I’ll give one of those outlook and resolution posts in the near future.  For now, I need to have that last Hell Hath No Fury…Ale.  Laters!

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