Job Search!

So, for the first time since I was 15, I find myself without a job.

Back in October of 2007 I left the large EDA company I had been working for on and off for much of my career to join a small, local startup.

This startup had a very cool idea which involved a mix of hardware (a custom chip) and software (both tools and application software) for a device called an MPPA or Massively Parallel Processing Architecture.  They were looking for someone to manage their Software Tools group.

I got the job and happily did so for the next 13 months or so.

As October 2008 rolled upon us, two things were clear:

  1. We were running out of money.  Our Round B financing had come up short of what had been promised, so the runway we’d been planning to run till April 2009 was suddenly pulled in to mid-November.  This meant going out to the investor community to ask for more money.  Which led to the second conclusion.
  2. November 2008 was a lousy time to be asking for investor money.

Though our CEO made every reasonable effort to try and get us the money, it was clear that there was not money to be had.

Even though we had product (production hardware), software, applications, customers and big name partners, it was just too risky for investors.  So, in mid-November, the money ran out and the doors shut.

I’ve been unemployed since.

Up to this point in my career, I’ve been fortunate in that any changes I’ve made, be it from one company to another or within the same company, they’ve been by my choice and on my timeline.  I’d take a couple of weeks off between jobs or start directly, but was never without work.  Till now.

And now, we have a triple whammy making things more difficult: The economy, the season and (locally) the weather.

So, I have updated the resume to reflect my most recent experience and have been floating that about.

I have made contact with my network to beat the bushes that way.

And I’m still looking.

As a result of all this, my focus these last few weeks has been less than perfect.  The holidays have helped, giving me something else to do, but it also serves to remind that we have less money to work with during the holidays.

Now, with the holidays moving behind, the weather (locally) improving and people going back to work after the holidays, it’s time for my focus to more effectively shift to finding that next opportunity.

We’ll see how it goes.

New Things

Painting is hard.

A recent article I read determined that it took roughly 10,000 hours to become good at something.

If you do the math, that’s 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year (vacations are good) for five years.

So, a full-time jobs worth of work for five years and most of us can become good at whatever we set our minds to.

It’s no wonder that most of us lament that we can’t write, can’t paint, can’t draw, can’t make wood furniture or sculpt or whatever.  We can’t do those things and we are unwilling or unable to put in the five years to change that and unwilling to accept whatever spped progress we can invest towards that goal.  So, many of us give up.  Or, better yet, I suppose, putter around as and when we have time and just do what we do and let the rest work itself out.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Painting is hard.  (Worth mentioning twice)
  2. Patience is hard.  And a virtue, I hear.
  3. Observation is critical.  Certainly I have plenty of snow to look at, yet the result is less than satisfying.

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas

This was written after a long day of dealing (unsuccessfully) with the incredible weather we’ve had around here.  Worst storm in 40 years, according to the weather wonks.

‘Twas The Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas, in old Portland Town,
And the cars and the busses were sliding around.

The stockings were sitting on a chair by the tree,
Had they feet in them ready, they’d probably flee.

The kids were still nestled for warmth in their beds,
‘Cause the power was out, no juice from o’er head.

My wife in her socks and me in my mukluk,
Were trying to phone PGE with no luck.

When out in the yard there arose a large crash,
I fell out of bed and proceeded to dash

Away to the slider I stumbled half aware,
Grumpily, crankily, ready for bear.

There may have been a moon somewhere out on the snow,
But since everything was covered, you’d really never know.

When what to myopic eyes did appear,
I’ve really no clue, where are my glasses, right here!

There was no driver of sleds or of plow,
Though we certainly could use one, right here and right now!

Heavier than dandruff, white as can be,
the snow it did fall, oh deary me.

“Now, Crap! And Oh, poop!  Now someone must clear it”,
I wonder if Christina will do it if I claim to not see it?

Like dunes of sand in places far warmer and south,
the snow was everywhere!  I cursed with my mouth.

There up on the house-top the snow it did sit,
waiting to fall if I even touched it.

There was four inches of snow and a half inch of ice,
And more snow piled on top, this was great, really nice…

As I pulled in my head and wished I could go back to bed,
Snow did fall down the chimney instead.

So there was snow in the house and snow on the stoop,
Snow on the dogs and snow on their poop.

The things sitting under our fake Christmas tree,
did not include a shovel for little old me.

Nor boots for my feet, nor a weather proof pant.
“Who needs that stuff here!”, I miserably rant.

Now what to do in this world gone so white,
With no power, no shovel, no boots and no light?

So I shambled outside, ill prepared for the day,
ready to grumble, complain and to say:

“This weather ain’t normal, it’s nuts and it’s crazy,
I just wanted to stay home, be warm and be lazy!”

But this I do wish before the snow melts out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

-Darrin Mossor, 12/2008