Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, December 24, 2010

More Funny Bounces

I've written about funny bounces before. I guess it's time for an update.

Last summer, my wife and I were visiting a friend who had moved into a nice little condo overlooking a lake. She offhandedly mentioned that her company had an opening that our oldest daughter was well suited for. The hiring manager was a friend of this friend, so she probably would at least get an interview.

The older daughter applied, but didn't hear anything for a while as they had to go through all the internal applicants first. But she DID get a call, went in for the interview and did great. After some follow up phone interviews they offered her the job which she accepted and started last month.

Besides a very nice raise (she's making enough to have moved out into her own apartment), she'll be working for a company that affords a lot of different career possibilities and ideal for a young person and she'll be traveling. In 2011, she'll be spending a lot of time in London.

As for myself, something came through as well. I started working for another local engineering services company around Thanksgiving. The company has been particularly successful in telematics (moving data to and from a car without wires) and is spinning off a new division to focus on that. Besides a raise that puts me almost back where I was with the semiconductor industry (with a clear vision of catching up then getting ahead of that curve), I'm on the ground floor of a business that has the potential for a tremendous upside.

I like the work I'm doing and the people I work with. The product I'm working on ultimately saves the end customer money, so I think it will do well as the economy continues to struggle.

Science tells us that there is about 4 x 10 - 80th (4 followed by 80 zeroes) atoms in the Universe as we understand it. With the older daughter moved out and the younger one away at school, the Mrs and I have embarked on a reduce the number of said atoms that call our house their home. In short, we're throwing things out.

This has been an interesting, somtimes gruelling, exercise. It's just amazing how much stuff you can accumulate, find places to stash and then pretty much forget about. We always have a ton of stuff at the curb and the garbage men must really be beginning to hate us now.

Take my books for example. I decided to go through my shelves and discard pretty much everything that I also had on my Kindle. Also books that I read once and will never read again (it's not quite so easy to make that statement about some books), books that I bought that I intended to read but never did and I don't think I ever will.

I ended up with 6 big Tupperware tubs full of books. I didn't count them but I estimate there were about 300

I took off those shelves. Ironically, that's about the number I have on my Kindle. I took them to the local library which runs a used bookstore to raise funds.

Ultimately, with real estate prices and interest rates low, we'd like to downsize sooner rather than later, and maybe this is just the time to pick up a modest place on a lake as our residence. I have no issue commuting.
The kids may be gone, but I'll have an attractive nuisance to draw them back.

I've got a feeling that 2011 is going to be a very good year for us.


walt said...

May your feeling about 2011 manifest!

"Winnowing" (voluntary simplicity) is on my short list of Life Aims, and has been for decades. Personally, books are among the hardest objects to let go of, though I managed to remove about 130 this past year.

Thanks, btw, for all the fine posts here!

Rick Matz said...

Thanks, Walt! A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope that everyone who visits the kitchen will click through to Walt's beautiful blog.

Michele said...

Merry Christmas Rick!

Congratulations to you and your daughter on your new job opportunities! My husband started a new job in November after ten months unemployment. He is an electrical engineer and most of the manufacturing jobs left the area. He used to work for Lucent/Agere. He found a job based out of Oregon in the power industry.

Rick Matz said...

Does that mean you'll have to relocate?

R said...

We too had an empty nest for while. however, our youngest bounced back for a bit. But it'a all good.
Good luck with unloading some of your books. That's one aspect of non-attachment that I can't seem to overcome.

Merry Christmas

Rick Matz said...

Thanks. You're right; it's all good.

Michele said...

We do not have to relocate. He was hired to work the East coast. So far, he has spent time in DC, Tampa and Miami.