Day 180 – life after work no longer

Today is a monumental day – six months since I left my former employer.  As I wandered through this journey, I wondered where I would be in six months, and now that I’m here, things are hopeful and God is good.  Really, I can’t complain at all, and I can really no longer call this blog “Life After Work” because I have found a new job.

Though I haven’t technically signed the document that makes me part of the company (I asked for changes to be made), that document is in existence, and all I have to do is sign it once it is presented to me.  When that happens, I will then officially be employee #4 (or #6, since I didn’t sign right away, but I will be retroactive to #4) in addition to being a partner/owner in this company by way of investment.

My next task will be to make this start-up successful so that the six of us can get paid!  One of the things we all agreed to is that none of us gets paid until next April, so I’m really going to have to save my pennies between now and then.  We already have our first sale, and it looks like we will be profitable by Christmas, so things appear to be on track.

Day 180 mood: Yeah!  I think I’ll continue my blog, but under a new name, and maybe/hopefully start doing those Bible Study blogs I used to do so long ago.

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Day 173 – a new monitor for the home office

When I got home last night, my new monitor was sitting on the table, so I installed it this morning.  It’s really hard to balance the color/brightness with the monitor next to it.  What was my main monitor (a Dell 20”) will now be my auxiliary, and my new main monitor will be a Viewsonic HD LED 24” monitor.  This is the same monitor I got for the office a little over a week ago.

I now have so much surface area for doing layout that I might get a headache.  The white is so bright, and I’ve toned it down even.

My old 17” auxiliary will now go to work to become my auxiliary there.

I also took my car in to the shop today.  It needs a new catalytic converter so it won’t be back until Tuesday.

I didn’t finish my schematic project, as I had hoped, so I guess I’ll be finishing it on Saturday.  It needs to be done by Monday morning.

Day 173 mood: Yeah, a new monitor!

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Day 172 – another start-up day

Learning some new skills today (a new schematic program), and I came home with homework and a big old college book to study.

Band practice tonight!

Day 172 mood: A very satisfying day.

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Day 171 – I’m getting my EE through independent study!

Today was all about research.  There are some new technologies out there, and some new materials and some new methods for manufacturing.  I have to get up to date!  Fortunately, a lot of people write “white papers” about these sorts of subjects, so one can learn a great deal quickly.  I felt I learned enough today to talk intelligently about the technologies.  We will no doubt use some, if not all, of these methods/technologies on our newest stuff.

I also continued my search for the perfect fab (wafer manufacturer) today.  They’re out there somewhere, I just haven’t found one yet that is perfect, though a few are close.

Tonight is another stick-shift driving lesson for Brandi.  I believe the plan is to also bring along my son… who may finally get interested in getting his permit.  So far, he doesn’t want to get a license because it would cost him money and he’d have to get a job.  The easiest way to avoid getting a job is by not driving.  He does want to learn how to drive a stick shift though… so he can drive my yellow car, and not so much the blue one.

Day 171 mood: Independent study started today!

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Day 170 – still hot

Yeah, the first day of summer.  It was supposed to be 100 degrees today.  It sure feels like it.

I was in the office today, chatting with a potential vendor.  Our team was really impressed by their presentation.  I had worked with these guys in the past, and in the past they were less impressive.  Now that they’ve been bought by someone else, they really shine!  My “handler” for company #2 is also the representative for this company.  The look on his face was simply priceless when I walked into the room.  He didn’t know that I was now with company #3.  He must have seen an instant loss of revenue on his part – He gets paid when I work for company #2 (or any other work he finds me), but doesn’t get paid if I work for companies #1 or #3.  Serves him right in a way – I suspect he is using another of his associates (my former, former boss) for company #2’s current layout project… the project that I was supposed to be doing about now.  He was also trying to get my former, former boss a contract position at company #3, but they found me instead (but not through my handler, so I don’t have to pay him part of my earnings… which are zero right now anyway)  Well, now that I’m with company #3, I guess I’m no longer his associate. If he brings me work – unless something changes at company #3 – I will turn him down.

Over the weekend, and possibly even before, for some reason, I kept forgetting to take my routine medicines.  By Sunday, I was having allergy issues, and my stomach was boiling over with acid.  It wasn’t until Sunday evening that I connected the two.  Rarely do I still have allergy issues in June, but this has been a weird year.

Today was also the first spare the air day of the year.  I guess I shouldn’t breathe too deeply.

Day 170 mood: Hot!  It’s hot around here!

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Day 169 – it’s hot around here!

Day 169

I had to go into the office today to discuss a shift in strategy.  I like the new strategy, but I’m now even more out of my area of expertise than I was on Friday.  In many ways, it will be like going back to college again, except without an instructor – more of a self-study program.  Until we can get a designer (for bipolar chips) in here, I will be the guy modifying designs.  God help us all!

Hey, what do you know, my friend Wes invited my family over for burgers and the use of his pool; perfect on this 95 degree day.  I drove straight to his house from work.  After dinner, I gave his daughter (my goddaughter) another lesson on how to drive a stick shift.  She’s getting better all the time.  Soon she’ll be ready for the streets, rather than a parking lot.

For about a week now, we have been watching Firefly on DVD (I bought the series).  Tonight is episode 6 of 14.  Too bad it was such a short series.  It’s an incredibly good show (which I have seen numerous times) that now my family gets to enjoy.  After we finish that series, we’ll move on to the much larger Battlestar Galactica series (the new one, not the old one).

Day 169 mood: It’s out outside, and not much cooler inside!  Good thing that office has AC.

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Day 166 – pressure

It’s getting so hard to write these updates!  I’ve been putting in some extended hours, and my evenings have been full.  This is really the first time I’ve had enough of a break to write!

I’d like to say that things are going right, but I still don’t sense that I’m an absolute fit for company #3.  I have a huge learning curve to overcome, and it’s beginning to affect the schedule.  I sense that the others feel this too.  Hopefully, I can learn enough, quick enough to be a positive contributor.

The family is now out of school.  They will be enjoying their summertime activities while I work; sometimes at home.  Today was one of those days, and so far, it’s not too bad.

Day 166 mood: Feeling a bit pressured to succeed.

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Day 163 – My happiness is fighting my migraine

Sort of a mixed bag today, though on the whole, good.  Yesterday, I finalized a process environment for the new process within my selected free layout tool.  Today, I would need to create an environment for the old process.  It was pretty easy, even without a design manual.  Good news!  While learning this new tool, I ran into something the tool couldn’t do, so I went to the online manual to see if there was a work-around.  The manual said that the command existed… because there is a new release of the software.  The new software is a whole lot better – reasonable even.  I have definitely found my short-term solution tool.  Thank-You Jesus!  None of my environment creation time has been wasted!

My migraine (from yesterday) was indeed a migraine.  I didn’t get to bed until 1:30 last night; taking migraine meds at 1AM when things started to get bad.  At least I got to finish off a book while waiting for the medication to kick in.  Throughout the day today, the pain was still there, though in the background.  It’s manageable, but far from over.

I also set up my new docking station and a 24” HD monitor at work – plenty of real estate to do layout!

Day 163 mood: My happiness is fighting my migraine.

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Day 162 – another day in the home office

The weekend was nice… and now it’s back to work.  My day didn’t start off so well, and it sort of set the mood for the day.  Even so, I learned a bit more about ESD, I went through the latest design manual with a fine-tooth comb, and I re-reviewed the three free layout tools at my disposal to see if any of them would be even minimally serviceable.  I don’t want to work in Linux all the time and I don’t want to bring two laptops with me on vacation.  If I can use one of the free tools, then I can start layout soon, allowing me to slowly build up my Linux environment with the help of friends who are much, much better at that sort of stuff than me.

Good thing I checked the new design manual today.  It turns out that the foundry changed the way they did things.  They are now using something called “datatypes,” for their layers.  Not all layout tools do datatypes, including two of the three programs in my possession.  In a way, it made my decision easy – I’m going with the one tool that does datatypes.  It’s a “clunky” tool, but it’s simple to use, just not very powerful.  It’s very basic.

The girls were out for a while this evening, so I spent some quality time with my son.  It was very enjoyable, so my day did end well.

Day 162 mood: It would be good, except I feel a migraine coming on.  Those things usually last a few days.

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Day 159 – God at work

Band practice was incredible last night.

Over the past week, I have been getting the sense that Company #3 is where I belong right now and in the future.  God does not seem to be pointing me anywhere else (though I’ll not stop asking for His daily direction).  As I prayed about this, I got the sense that I should initiate a discussion with company #3 on the possibility of me coming on-board full-time (since I’m working for them full-time right now anyways).

I have been surprised by their patience over the past few months.  They have not asked me to join them again since I said “not now” back in April.  It would appear that they consider me full-time already, official document or not (maybe because I’m also an investor).  I decided to ask some questions – to feel them out.  I was satisfied with their answers so I asked them to put a few things in writing — things that matter a great deal to me, but that no “normal” company would generally grant.  If I get those items approved, I will join them without hesitation.  (BTW, I got 2 of 3 of my requests granted at my last company, but they were never put into writing so when my boss left, the new boss and subsequent bosses did not honor the verbal agreement.  Lesson learned: Even if you are friends, get all the non-standard stuff in writing because things change).

The other thing that went on today at lunch was that we talked to another engineer about joining.  She would get the same employment package as me (minus my addendums, should I get those) and she would have to supply her own computer; like me.  Surprisingly, she said yes (I shouldn’t really be surprised: me and company #3 got together and prayed about it before we met with her – praying leadership is another huge advantage of being with company #3.  That’s got to be rare in the Bay Area!).  By Friday of next week, she’ll be on board.  Also by next Friday, I hope to be officially employed, Lord willing.

Whether or not I become “official” at company #3, I turned down the contract offer at company #1 today.  I didn’t want the distraction, and they were asking for several months of work on a process that I’m good at, but I don’t like too well.

Day 159 mood: Seeking God’s will.

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