Thursday, July 28, 2005

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

They say that breaking up is hard to do . . . remember that old song? Well, leaving HP feels a little bit like breaking up. I remember a relationship that I had with a girl during high school. We dated for a whole school year, then she went back to the states (from Japan where we were living at the time) for the summer.

When she came back she broke up with me, well, sort of. For about 2 weeks it was on and off again, and finally off for good. That's a little bit what I have felt like during the last 4 weeks at HP. The relationship is really over, but the girlfriend (in this case HP) is sort of tugging me along and saying "you can find another job with us" while the whole time, they know it's not possible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry at all. I just kind of flashed on that old girlfriend and the parallel between that and HP.

I delivered my 1 year old Toyota pickup truck to its new owner today, and watched him drive off with the second new car that I've ever owned in my whole life. I liked that truck, but it wasn't all that difficult to let it go. I will miss the ability to easily haul my drum kit around though.

I got a letter from LBCC today saying that I've been accepted into the Culinary Arts Schools, so I'm pretty jazzed about that. Let's pray that this program will be paid for by the Trade Act retraining program.

So, things are moving along, and life is a continual, changing process. And it's good.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I had my ultrasound this past week, and the results are in . . . drum roll please.

It turns out that the sonographer (and the doctors) did not find anything; no lump, no tumors, etc. So the good news is there is no news, but there is still tenderness there. Jane said that maybe I should cut down on caffeine intake. Chya, right. Like why don't I just quit breathing too?

I will be leaving HP on August 5th. I requested an earlier separation date than the original September 30th date. I don't want to wait that long, especially knowing that I want to go back to school and retrain.

I sold my year old Toyota pickup truck on eBay yesterday. I'll be sad to see it go, but can't afford the monthly payments, so there you have it. Later . . .

Saturday, July 16, 2005

More About Change

If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. (Steve Jobs)

Well, I have just two more weeks left in my current job at HP. I have been working at this specific job for about 3-1/2 years now, so I've settled in pretty comfortably. It seems to me that just about the time I get comfortable with something, God decides to shake the sheets a little bit.

It dawned on me the other day (and this may sound stupid) that my job will be over in 2 weeks. I won't be doing what I am doing now for HP anymore. It saddened me a little, because I've put a lot of hard work and creativity into my job. But at the same time, I recognize that nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to computer, online, website-related stuff.

I am excited now because I took some time to look into the opportunities and benefits that may be available to me once I am laid off. There is lots and lots of help in the local community, and with the state and federal government agencies, relating to displaced workers.

My biggest dilema now is, what to do with the remaining 15-20 years of my working life? I have thought of a wide variety of options, so far. In the brainstorming stage that I'm in, nothing is too far-fetched to pass off right now.

On another level, I have been battling my third stomach hernia in about 5 years. I had surgery for the first two, and each time the hernia has come back worse than before. It looks like surgery again for me. I am trying to loose weight, and hope to drop 30 or 40 pounds so that I can reduce the possiblity of reoccurance.

I also have a painful area in my left breast which the doctor has scheduled an ultrasound for. It began about 3 months ago and has not gotten any better. Not sure what's going on there. When I called for the ultrasound appointment, the nurse asked me if I had had a mammogram. Oh boy, what a thing for a man to have to do! Maybe now I'll have some compassion when my wife complains about the procedure.

I read a very interesting article the other day about a commencement address that was given by Steve Jobs at Stanford University. One notable quote that he attributed to someone else was: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."

It reminds me of one of my favorite movie lines from "What About Bob" starring Bill Murray. The psychiatrist's son is a bit of a morbid, gothic kid and says: "You're going to die, I'm going to die, we're all going to die." There's nothing we can do about it."

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Summer of Change

Well, it certainly feels like the summer of change to me. Our postman of 12 years has been assigned to another route, and he won't be delivering our mail to us anymore. We've known him from our daughter's class in school too, because they have a boy in her class.

It may be one of those situations like, when you're pregnant, everyone is pregnant. But I don't think so entirely. Lots of things are happening, and change is in the air. It is exciting and disconcerting at the same time.

Our worship leader at church is getting married, and we just hired a new worship pastor, so the timing is great.

I just received my severance package information in the mail today. Not much that I did not already know, but again, I must say that HP is going to great (in a real good way) lengths to see us through this change too.

My aunt (mom's sister) is visiting this week from Minnesota, so that's a nice change. She comes out once a year or so. My mom's oldest sister; she's a wonderful lady, and I love her dearly. We're gonna go have dinner at a Chinese Buffet, so that will be fun too. -All for now . . .

Monday, July 04, 2005

4th of July

Happy Independence Day!

I woke up early this morning, as I usually do, and I am having coffee, clearing my head, and updating my website and blog, etc.

We went to visit Matt yesterday, he's in the Oregon State Correctional Institute (read: prison) for various crimes, including drugs. I have to say that it is pretty unpleasant visiting there. To top it off, Matt is in "the hole" meaning he is in Disciplinary Segregation. He was in a minimum security place for awhile, had a job, and was doing great. Visiting was easy for us and him.

Then, he was caught with tobacco, which is not allowed in prisons in Oregon, and was sent to another medium security prison. About a month or so ago, he was moved to OSCI, where he is now.

Being "in the hole" means that he is segregated from the rest of the population, which is probably a good thing. When we visit him, he is placed into a 4 x 4 room, locked in, and hand cuffed and ankle cuffed. We have to talk with him via telephone through a 18 inch x 24 inch glass window. The window is divided into small panes with flat metal bars between the panes, so we can't even get an unobstructed view of him

Matt has grown a beard while he's been in the hole, it's the first one I've ever seen on him. It looks pretty good; he's always had a very thick head and face of hair.

All in all, Matt seems to be doing pretty good under the circumstances. It must be pretty tough being in prison, I know it's really bad just visiting there. Some pretty messed up people and their families. It is our continual prayer that Matt will recover from this downward spiral, and get his life back on track.

Well, it's a beautiful morning out. I'm going to wait until about 9:00 am, mow the lawn, take a nap afterwards, and then go to my sister's house for dinner and celebration later.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Life at HP

I have been working for Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) for almost 13 years now. It has been a great experience so far, and I have nothing but good things to say about HP.

This week, on Tuesday the 28th of June, 2005, I found out that I am in the workforce redeployment program. I have 13 weeks to find another job in HP. If I don't find one in that time (deadline, September 30, 2005) I will be laid off.

I decided to revive my blog due to this new life-changing event. My postings over the next 13 weeks will be heavily laced with my feelings about this layoff, what I am looking into for my new career (if any) and how things are going in my job search.

If you're reading this blog, you can pray for me and my family as we go through this transition. Mostly pray for wisdom, and that God would reveal his desire for this family.