Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Tag Archives: work

What’s the Haps, Jack?

Once again, I go a while without update. But, there is a good reason for it. I’ve been busier than a, well, I’ve been pretty damned busy.

Let’s see, last you heard, it was early March and I was just working a job as a contract/temporary mechanical designer while still getting the house done. Here’s what’s happened since:

Ris and I got all the painting done that we wanted to do. The living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, 1/2 bath, and den are all done. Thank God! That just sucked! I’m so glad it’s done.

We hosted Passover and Easter at the house this year (the two reasons why the painting got done) and they went off without a hitch. We could use a bit more furniture in the house for folks, but it definitely fits everyone. It was nice to have everyone at our place for a change. And the wife made some GREAT food!

Now that the weather has warmed a bit, our attentions have turned outside. We planted a couple of vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, eggplant, red peppers, and green beans). I think we planted a little too early though. The peppers seem to have died and the eggplant and tomatoes seem to be clinging on. We do have a few sprouts of green beans though! I’ve got some more tomatoes, peppers, and a few other items that I’ll be planting now that I believe the weather is warm enough. Actually, I had this great idea for this really big garden, but when I went to till the soil, I found out that the area I chose (which was marked off by the previous homeowners) actually had a tree in it. The previous owners ripped down the tree, but didn’t remove the stump or roots. So, now I’m going to spend my entire spring working this big f’ing stump out of the ground. Yippee! I probably won’t have it out in time to plant either. Pisses me off.

Other than that, all is well with the house. The yard is being maintained nicely (it’s in dire need of a grooming though) and the rest is good!

I got a job! A real “you have benefits and vacation” job! I’m working as a Manufacturing/Reliability/Mechanical Engineer at a company out in Westhampton Beach. So far, all is well. I love it. The best part is that I’m working with a lot of people from my old company, so it’s quite comfortable.

That’s about all for now…more updates later.

Long Time, No ‘See’

Once again I find myself being more than delinquent in my frequencies of updating this page. So much has happened in the last few months. Let see if I can get a quick update…

I moved to a start-up nanotech company (we’re still trying to keep our anonymity – although it gets harder by the day). I’m absolutely, 100% loving it. We’re really starting to spread our wings and could have a break-out moment any minute now. I’m not stuck in the same, coddled rut that I was before. Right now, I’m the primary design engineer on our tools (we’ll be hiring a more senior guy eventually) and I’m also highly involved with the Motion Team and the CAD/PLM Implementation Team. My hands are in many pots and it’s keeping me busy, but I honestly couldn’t be happier.

The people I’m working with are just awesome too. I can honestly say that I wake up every morning looking forward to going to work. Hopefully it stays that way – I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

WOW! Where do I start. Well, back on my birthday (March 16th), I got the coolest present of all – a black labrador! We adopted him from the North Shore Animal League on Long Island. I wanted to name him Bruschi after the most kick-ass Patriot on the current roster, Tedi Bruschi. My wife didn’t like the beer double entendre, so we went with naming him after my favorite Red Sox, Jason Varitek. This dog is the shiz-nit! He knew all his commands and he is really, really smart (sometimes too smart for his own good). He loves playing catch, is great with kids (Marissa’s cousins had a blast with him at a family barbeque), and is absolutely enthralled with being in the water. I couldn’t have asked for a better pet.

My workout schedule has gotten much better since I started at my new gig (almost wrote the name of the company there). We have a Gold’s Gym right down the road from us (walking distance) and at least two of us – sometimes three – get in there about 3-4 times a week. It’s great. I’m really starting to get back into shape, although tightening up my diet would really help that. Once October rolls around, I’m gonna start a 5×5 workout and see if I can kick it up a notch. I don’t think I’m gonna be playing flag football this season as I’m busy with other stuff. I’ve been surfing as much as possible too…this current flat spell is driving me batty!

The wife and I are doing good. We’re seriously starting the house hunting process – basically getting our finances in order right now. We can’t get real serious until after my sister’s wedding in September due to all the craziness that we’re involved with in that. Other than that, we’re just cruising.

I’m sure there’s a lot I left out here, but these tidbits have been the basis of what’s been up with my life lately…hopefully I’ll be a bit more consistent than doing quarterly updates here.

Greener Pastures

Here I go again. I can’t sit still. I can’t create a foundation. I can’t enjoy consistency. I can’t stand the status-quo. I always wonder what-if. I can’t say ‘no’ to a potential change. I can’t stand stagnation.

That’s right, I’m changing jobs again.

For those of you that know me, this shouldn’t come as any great surprise. I have this tendency to go to a job, do a great job up front, make good contacts, get bored and move on. Hey, give me credit. I lasted about 2.5 years this time.

I’ll write more about the new job later – I’m on a (current) work computer right now. Needless to say, it’s a move in the right direction for my wife and I. I’m very excited/anxious/curious/scared about the new position. But, that’s nothing new. Those are all emotions I’ve felt every time I’ve switched jobs. OK, more new later…I’m going home soon.


Management in Training?

One can only hope/dread… The long story turned short is that my boss, the Mechanical Engineering Supervisor, had jury duty last week and is in Malaysia this week for work. The guy under him with the most seniority was finishing up his last week here (off to greener pastures), so I was left in charge. Apparently my robust 2.5 tenure here as allowed me the benefit of being the most suited for the job.

It was actually a good experience for me. I’ve been thinking about which direction I’m looking to go in – management or technical – and this gave me a flavor of the management side. I, obviously, have a feeling for the technical side. Now, after being able to eat from both sides of the table, I’m not sure which way I want to go. The technical aspect is great – I get to be on the leading edge of technology and build the ‘machines of tomorrow.’ Meanwhile, the management side is very interesting because I can help mold the direction of the company while being responsible for certain projects.

I tend to lack a general confidence in my technical ability and that, along with my innate sense of needing/wanting organization, is actually making me lean towards the management side. There are a LOT of things I need to work on, however, if I’m going to be a manager. Just to name a few:

  • Ability to say NO: I’m a pleaser. I always have been. You need that print? Let me stop what I’m doing and get it for you. You need a solid model of that assembly? Give me 15 minutes. I need to be able to step back, access my situation and be able to tell someone that I’ll have time at the end of the week or that I simply can’t do that in the time frame they are dictating.
  • Quick Thinking: My thought process is a bit more plodding and methodical than most and I tend to not be able to think quick on my feet. It’s something I need to build on.
  • They aren’t going to eat you: Upper management is a fear of mine – I’m afraid to say the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. It takes a great build up of nerve for me to disagree with a superior. Going back to my thought process – I tend to try to think what they are thinking before I disagree and that tends to make me look slow and more like a ‘yes man’ than I need to be.
  • Total Recall: There’s a reason why I write things down – my memory is shot. I don’t remember specifics at all. I know exactly where I need to dig to get specs, technical info, notes, etc. BUT, I suck at recalling them off the top of my head. I’m horrible with names as well.
All that being said, management is looking like the option for me – at the moment (I reserve the right to change my mind). I like organizing everyone and having my hand in the pot a bit more. I guess there’s also a little bit of ego/power-trip going on there too. I like being the go-to guy – as long as I have the info. That was the hardest part of this week. I was the go-to guy, but I didn’t have access to schedules, data, budget, or product specs like a normal manager would. That made making some of the decision rather difficult. All in time though.

So, guess I should start looking into that MBA a bit more now.

Getting Pulled In a Million Different Directions

This week has been crazy – all kinds of stuff pulling at my mind, body, and patience. Here’s just a few things that have been pissing me off!

The weather has sucked, plain old sucked, this week. We had frigidly cold weather this past weekend with about 4″ of snow on Saturday (which made house hunting – see below – oh-so-much fun on this past Sunday). But, for the most part, it’s been dry and cold. Well, we finally get some precipitation roll in. It’s the middle of January, so you’d expect it to be snow right? NOPE! It’s freaking rain – and tons of it. As I type this, we’ve gotten about 4″ of rain in the last 24 hours. Now, mind you, we had an exceptionally warm January, so the slopes (most notably Mtn. Creek) haven’t exactly been dripping with snow. This storm is not helping them by any stretch of the imagination. Speaking of imagination – could you image what this storm would be like if it was snow. 40″ of snow would do wonders to the ski/snowboard economy in the area. I’m just hoping to break even on my season pass at this point.

Working Out & Diet
With the cruise we’re taking about 5 weeks away, the wife and I jumped back on the South Beach that we had so much luck with before. It’s been two days, and I’ve already dropped 6 lbs. My body totally responds to this kind of diet. I’m also trying to get back in the groove of working out. So far, so good – although I kicked my own ass yesterday. Too much, too soon – I think. I’m trying to do a combination of weights, cardio, and yoga as a way of training for my main sports – snowboarding and surfing. I’m gonna try to put some swimming into the equation around March so that I won’t be spent for surfing – although, I said that last year and it never happened.

Right now, I’m just going through a bit of carb withdrawals, so I’m sure that my mood and petulance for all things before me are partially due to that. It’ll all be worth it in the end though as I’ll look good and be healthier when it’s all said and done.

I’ve just started looking around and playing with these. I figured they’d be a good way of learning about what’s going on in the world while I’m at work – better than having Ozzie blasting into my ears all day long. Not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with Ozzie, but learning something here and there won’t hurt either.

I can’t wait until this project is done – too much crap and not enough recognition. I don’t even way to get into it.

Home Buying
This activity is something we just got into. This past weekend our landlord upped our rent by $60/mo. Now, that’s nothing – $15/wk. Totally affordable. BUT, we’ve gotten to the point where we are sick of paying rent every month in an amount that would take up the vast majority of a mortgage payment. So, we’re looking. We attended about five or six open houses last weekend and will do so again this weekend. Long story short, we beginning to define what we do and do not want/need in a home. Unfortunately, we’re looking at spending $400k – $450k for a home and putting down, maybe, 5% down payment. That’s sad.