Friday, January 28, 2011

The Friday Report

I have completed my third week at my new job and am finally actually doing some useful work. So much to learn, and much of it needs to be on the job training as things occur, so when something comes up that I can do, I am all over it.

I have audited over 1000 pages of reports in the last three days.  I figure, in a way, it is sort of like doing discovery if I was a new associate - sorting through records, looking for abnormalities.  For now, it is kind of fun. Eventually, maybe tedious...but that is only part of the job. As I said - lots to learn!

So, on the BIG NEWS front, Vicki and I have decided we need to get out of our small one-bedroom apartment as soon as possible. We are tired of the noise, the transients urinating in our garage, and the lack of space. Last weekend, when the kids were with us, we happened across a really nice older home duplex while we were out walking.  We called the guy, he came right over, we all looked at it and loved it.  We have spent this week wondering if we should....the timing is a bit sooner than we were ready for...and then the rental sign went down. We figured we had lost out, and it just meant this was not the place for us. Yesterday - the for rent sign was back up. A sign for us?

Tonight we are going back to look again with a fairly serious intent to rent.  The owner really wants us in there - a government contractor and a lawyer (we look good on paper!) - but made it clear that one posting on Craigslist and he'd have 150 emails by tonight. He want a renter soon.  He is asking a fair price in a very desirable neighborhood where not a lot of openings come up. So.....stay tuned. We may be moving!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday

Thanks for the suggestions that I received on an off-line about where to get pictures blown up, and for the idea of keep them small and doing groupings.  I may do a bit of each.  Now the hard part - deciding which pictures to use!

I cannot say that I am really doing much in my job yet, as far as actual work goes, but I am learning a lot. It is strange to go from knowing everything there is to know about a position and how to get things done, to knowing nothing.  It does take the pressure off though - no one expects anything from me at this point!  I am excited to be learning so much about the natural gas industry. This was a great place to have landed!

I have finally learned enough about Portland to know where the restaurant is that my old law school classmates occasionally meet for get-togethers. I found it on a walk during lunch yesterday. It appears to be a nice Irish pub that would have good beer, tasty food and fine  Dutch Masters cigars.  Well, maybe not that last part, since there is no smoking in any restaurants or bars, but you get the idea. that I work about a 5-minute walk from there, I wonder when the next planned lunch will be?

I have spent the morning reading about standard procedures and finding educational information on the web. My brain is full, but my stomach is not. Now, in search of food! Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blowing Up Pictures?

We have a little art on our walls, but we need more!  Vicki and I decided a while back that we should blow up a few of the nature pictures I have taken over the past year and call them art.  There are a few really good ones taken on nature hikes deep in the woods - great color and depth.  The tricky part is we need to find a company to send them to that will blow them up into poster-size without charging a ridiculous amount. I have considered Walmart, but I know there are lots of options out there. Does anyone have any experience with this?   Web surfing for companies can be so confusing with all the ads about diet supplements, choline supplements, getting more energy and saving more money.

Thanks for any advice!

January is Flying By

OK, so I have set some goals for the year.

I have started my new job, and I am excited that there is so much to learn!  I am even more excited that my supervisor is all for me learning all I can, meeting lots of people and doing "ride-alongs" so I can learn about what work out in the field looks like, after all, that is where it really all happens.

This month has gone by so quickly. How did it get to be the 19th already?  It can't possibly be that far after Christmas....there are still boxes of Christmas decorations in the living room that we have to make room in our storage area for!  I still have professional journals piled up that I wanted to go through while on Christmas break.  There are still a ton of junk emails to clean out of my account on everything from creating the life I really want to live to colon cleansers that work.  Nope, we can't be nearly done with January!

Just in case we really are, though, we are making plans for February already!

New Year's Resolutions - Part 3

I actually did write down some fairly specific goals yesterday and I feel good about them.  I am about to start a 90-day meditation course, and I want to complete that with at least a 5/7 day participation rate. I plan on doing at least 10 pages of creative writing each month. I also want to find two mentors at work and participate in at least three career-development activities that are not directly job responsibilities.

I plan on getting more exercise - I was doing great for a while last year, but really slacked off.  I don't want to be worrying about needing to do diet pill reviews!  My goal is at least 20 minutes of exercise 3 times per week. I have not set a timeline on that, but feel OK about that fact.

I plan on taking the kids on a nice vacation this year. It is a goal.  I did so much cool travel last year, and this year, I would like to include the kids. We are hoping to be able to make a trip to Disneyland a reality.

There are more, but those are some of the major ones.  Sometimes it feels like I will never have enough time or energy to do all the things I want to do, but it is funny how the busier you are, the more that gets accomplished! It is also amazing how much more time there is in a day when the TV does not get turned on!

New Year's Resolutions - Part 2

Yes, so I am thinking about goals for the year. Vicki and I were talking about them a couple nights ago, and I realized that most were still too general in my mind. In order to be achieved, they should be more specific, that way, I will know when I have reached the goal, right?  I hate to throw out the term SMART, but I will because it  is actually useful. That is the thing where goals should be Specific Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (uh..something about setting a timeline, anyway).

I have been thinking about all areas of my life - family, career, physical and mental health, spiritual - and considering what I would like to have done or learned.  One thing I would like to do is take a weekend course in glass blowing or glass tile.  I have decided that does not have to be a goal for this year, but if it happens - great!  Might be better to hold off until we have more room where I can safely display something that is glass!

New Year's Resolutions?

I heard a statistic on the radio yesterday.  The third Monday in January is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. By that point people have started receiving their Christmas spending credit card bills, the high from any vacation time has ended, the weather is usually not great, and most people have already given up on their well-intended resolutions.

I have never been a big New Year's Resolution fan.  It seems like a lot of hype - and really, there is no reason that any day of the year that I want to start doing or changing something, I can. No point in limiting it to one day a year.  Besides, I wouldn't want to break a Resolution, so if I don't make one, it can't be broken!

I am not calling them Resolutions, but I am thinking about goals for the year. More on that in the next post. How about you? Any big NY's resolutions out there?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

So, once the Black Friday craziness and other Holiday shopping was over,  Christmas with the kids was fun, as always. They both received pretty much everything they wanted.  After that, I had a few days left of my old job and then I was off for a week to celebrate New Year's Eve and prepare to start working full time again.  No one made any preparation for me leaving my old job, which was disturbing, but not too surprising. A couple hours before I left they had me show someone a few things.  Crazy.  I have found out I will not be replaced and my job is being divided up amongst various departments and people who already have too much to do.  All I can do is let it go and know I did a good job while I was there.

New Year's Eve was a blast!

Vicki and I went to visit our good friends, Bonnie and Dave, in Seattle. (They are the ones who got married in England last year.)  We stayed at a very nice hotel in downtown Seattle, and indulged in a dinner cruise that concluded with a spectacular view of the fireworks that are set off, literally, off of the Space Needle.

The food was really good, the jazz band pleasant, and the company excellent!  This was definitely a great way to spend the night - away from the crowds, lines and drunken craziness, and in a beautiful setting with friends.  Bring on 2011!

Where Have I Been? - Part 2

Where was I? Oh, right, the new job.  I am not going to be working as a Mesothelioma lawyer or any lawyer, actually. I am going to do pipeline code compliance for a natural gas company. This is the perfect opportunity to dive in to what was was most interested in - which is administrative law - applying federal regulations to a highly regulated industry.  It is going to be a great chance to learn a ton...and then figure out where I want to go from there.

I started the job on January 6th, so barely a week ago. So far, so good! I keep having people come up and, unsolicited, tell me what a great company this is and how wonderful the people are.  People that have been there for 10 years are still considered "babies" because there are so many that have been around much longer. I am meeting people who are very excited about what they do and are eager to share their knowledge - which is very exciting.  I am really happy that I waited for the type of job I thought I wanted, at the place I wanted, and that it all seems to be coming together perfectly.

Where Have I Been? - Part 1

Wow! I cannot believe it has been since before Christmas that I last blogged!  Guess between being busy and just posting random updates on Facebook, I lost track!  It was a wonderful Holiday season spent with kids, family and friends.  Shopped lots, played lots, ate lots...seems like between Christmas and needing things for a very special New Year's Eve celebration, we shopped for everything except. new slipcovers Oh, right, maybe because we still do not have a couch!

Let's see....the week before Christmas week, I got what was possibly one of the greatest gifts I could have received - a job offer from one of the top three companies for whom I wanted to work. It was the same company that I did an internship for while in law school, so as you can imagine, I was thrilled! It was nice after so much time and networking, that one of the things that is "supposed to work" to get a job did - namely, doing the internship to prove myself, meet people - oh, and check out the working environment.

I am in between cooking breakfast, so will post this. Look for Part 2 soon!