Monday, December 10, 2012

Random Ramblings on 2012

As we near the end of yet another year, I have to ask myself what stands out for me this year?

The biggest thing personally:

At the end of the first quarter of 2012 I resigned from my job of 3 plus years and started my own small business. It's been rewarding, frustrating and had ups and downs, but was definitely the right thing to do. I also have a local part-time job to cover expenses. If things continue to grow next year, I'll be pretty satisfied.

I'm learning year by year that although you need a job to pay the bills, money just cannot buy happiness. It's helps, but your true happiness comes from all the other areas of your life.

The presidential election will go down as a watershed moment in America. Regardless of which side you voted for, we should all try to remember that we are Americans first. The results showed a large divide both politically and geographically. The politicians need to work together, or my fears of this nation falling even farther from where we once were and where we need to be may likely be realized.

Whether you chose to believe it or not, our rights and freedoms as Americans are quietly being eroded. If you look hard enough you will see this to be true.

This year also reaffirmed to me that Wall Street and not just the politicians shares a hefty amount of the blame for why business and the our economy is in such a sad state in recent years.

I'm waiting to see how our universal health care will affect people like me who make very little and cannot afford health care coverage.

My girlfriend, partner and best friend is the biggest source of happiness in my life. More than a job, money or any other success. Being a good mate and partner to her is my biggest accomplishment this and any other year.

Something else that stands out is how volatile the middle east has become lately. That is saying something, because the region has never been known for peace and tolerance, but this last year or so has seen new levels of chaos and the whole region seems balanced on a very slippery slope.

As mentioned in another blog post... this year is the first time I look ahead and wonder if we will be better off in the future than we are now. I've always believed we would continue to prosper and be a world leader virtually across the board. Now...I'm not so sure. History shows that civilizations rise and fall. It's due to our nature as humans. So the real question is... where in that historical curve are we? Think about it for a while.

I didn't write as much as I'd hoped this year. I hope to change that in 2013...time will tell.

I wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday Season, and will post my goals for 2013 next month.

Peace Out...

Monday, July 16, 2012

The future looks...?

As we move through 2012 I look at my own life and feel pretty fortunate. Things are going well and I'm fairly happy with my life in general. When I look at our country and the world however, I find that for the first time in my life I look ahead and have serious doubts about whether we as a nation, as a people, and the world on the whole will be a better place ten years from now.

Our political system is broken to the point where it seems hard to even imagine it getting better, our economy and our educational system and is on the decline, the global economy is a mess, the "Entitled" generation is coming into a workforce that cannot find enough new jobs... I could go on, but you get the picture.

All this would seem bad enough if not added to by the fact that we just don't seem to "respect" each other as a society any longer. We seem to try to make everyone "happy" or be "P.C." at the expense of common sense.

So is it really that hard to imagine that for the first time in my life I look to the future with a sense of sadness, and wonder if the world will be a better place in ten, twenty or more years than it is now, or if we are headed towards even harder times. I'm not a pessimist, I'm a realist.... Realistically, the future doesn't look all that bright right now.

Time Will Tell... In the meantime, I'm thankful for what I have. :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's been a while, updates on life in general

When last I left off, I had decided I'd had enough of working my self to the bone for a ridiculous company that was rarely satisfied with anything I accomplished.

So I quit my job and went into business locally for myself. That has worked out well and I've done small but steady jobs over the last 6 weeks, plus... I found a part time job here in town three-four days a week to cover my expenses. I can ride my bicycle to work there as long as the weather is decent.

In less than two months my life has changed a lot and it's been for the better in almost every way. It was... and still is a big risk, but it was a change that needed to happen. It's been very rewarding to start from the ground up and build something that is your own. My customer's love me, and I'm one of the best at what I do. The difference in this situation is that now, my boss is ME!

The lesson to take away from this is that if you don't like where you're at in life, you have to make a change. Change comes with risk, but if you chose to change nothing about what's wrong in your life, expect your life to remain the same. It can be done! Even if your resources are limited (like mine were) you can make changes to make things better and find more happiness. I'm proof of that. :-)

Until next time, hope your having a good summer...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time For Something New From Something Old

I'd reached a place where I knew it was time to make a change in my career. Most people have been there at least once or twice in there lives. So this past week I resigned from my job of three years. My previous job/career lasted over 12 years.

In an earlier blog about two months ago, I mentioned giving the job another chance at a new location, in a slightly better position. What I came to realize is that the company itself was truly the problem. The "culture" they created was not a healthy one for most employees including myself.

I enjoyed many aspects of my job as a technician and helping people really was very rewarding, I just realized I cannot do it for this company.  So I made a change and I'm taking a two pronged approach to my next chapter. I had already put some things in place for starting my own small business, but never pulled the trigger on it. Now that I have it's exciting and a little scary all at once. I'm also job hunting for a decent part-time job locally to keep the basic bills covered while I build this tiny enterprise of mine.

I'll leave you with this... You can do things the same and nothing about your life will change, or you can choose to make a change and see where that takes you. The choice really is yours.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspiration from movies, games and life...

I've done a lot of neat things in my life including, Professional Diver, U.S. Marine, Amateur Motorcycle and Car Racer, Hockey Player, Mechanic, Computer Technician and the list goes on...

Having a lot of life experiences to draw from is always a plus. I've been up and down, and quite a few places in between. I've been to war literally and otherwise. Lately, the reading bug has caught me. I've read so many very good e-books over the last year and a half and even managed to make small, slow steps with some of my own writing.

Inspiration can come from the strangest places sometimes, and my current job/position although not working out as I had hoped has given me the idea to work on a book/story/whatever that relates to how truly ridiculous jobs and careers can often be.  Then there are my chickens, my little flock of hens deliver a steady source of eggs and are often the thing that de-stresses me the most. Sometimes they even give me crazy ideas about animal/chickens point of view on how things might go down in a catastrophy!

In the mean time, I will wait for authors like Vaughn Heppner and Michael G. Thomas to release their next tales and keep working on one of my four unfinished stories. Also saw a really neat movie the other night called Pandorum with Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid. It reminded me a little bit of Event Horizon. It's worth checking out.

Thanks for stopping by....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How to relax from being a computer technician... fix your own computer!

It's true... after working for 11 days straight, I finally got two days off and decided to replace the motherboard in my desktop that runs Windows XP. I need XP to run an older racing simulator that I love, so I spent a leisure morning getting the machine back up and running with a fresh Windows XP install.

During the few lunches etc. I've had at work, I've been reading through Black Legion by Michael Thomas (think ancient Greece in space) and taking down ideas for one of my own stories characters.  I'm still not sure where this new position will lead me, or if it will be a short to mid term solution, but at least the money is good for now!

In my next life I wanna' be a writer! :-)

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Job, Same Company, Writing a Little and Reading a Lot

Ever had to give something one last shot before you called it quits and moved on?

That's where I'm at with a new position and location for the company I work for.  Three years in and I was about to go in a different direction, when an interesting opportunity presented itself in a manner that I least expected. The job fits most of my criteria for the type of position I wanted to find to stay in the company, but also comes with high expectations and will require me to expend a lot of energy to be successful. I'm going to battle hard and give it everything I can, if this doesn't pan out, then I know what I'm doing next.  I just felt like I needed to give it one more try in the right situation.

I've also been reading a lot, and enjoying Vaughn Heppner's "Invasion Alaska" and I just started Michael G. Thomas's "Black Legion" which are both great reads by talented authors.

I've managed to put a little time into two of the three stories I've been working on, but find myself jumping back and forth between them due to time and motivation/creative issues. One story draws heavily on one of the darkest times in my life and will be a powerful read when finished, but it seems I can only write it in small doses. The ultimate story idea came from a song by one of my favorite bands "Cold Driven".

I must also confess that my GF and I have got the "Star Wars The Old Republic" bug and have spent a good amount of time in the evenings playing that game. A new friend wrote me and told me they were interested in SWTOR, but thought that it would negatively affect their other priorities... they are right in that assesment! ;-)

So as we draw closer to Spring, I want to remind everyone to remember to take time-out to stop, look around, take it all in, and realize that there is still a lot to be thankful for. It's the journey, not the destination.

Best Wishes To Friends, Family and Readers!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lots of changes, time will tell how that works out.

It's been a few weeks since I posted, but there has been a lot of things going on. I'm cautiously optimistic how things will turn out.

On top of that, I've caught the bug for "Star Wars The Old Republic" MMO/RPG and have spent a bit too much time wielding lightsabers, blasters and completing space battles recently. :-)

A full blog update will be up soon, along with progress updates for one of the stories I'm writing. I also bought the latest release from Michael G. Thomas "Black Legion: Gates Of Cilicia", which I hope is as good as his other works.

Hope everyone is well!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Do your own personal "SitRep" ...

So 2011 is now in the books, the world looks even less friendly than it did at the end of 2010 and if you believe the Mayans, civilization as we know it will come to and end before the new year is out. Far fetched? Yes, but who's to say anymore?!

So I enter 2012 with a full plate of things to do, goals (some left over from 2011) and hope for the future. Rather than talk about resolutions, I'd like to take some time to take stock, or do a "SitRep" as we used to say in the Marines. Without getting too personal take stock of the bad, the good and the reality of where your at.

For me, I can look at personal fitness, lack of health insurance, a stressful, crappy job and the lack of financial stability that comes with that as my main negatives. However, when I assess my overall happiness... I find myself in the best place I've been in my adult life, great girlfriend... check, happy, relaxing home environment...check, family and friends...check, the means and motivation to lose 20lbs this year...check.

A few years removed from the 60k a year job and financial stability... how is it that the past few years have been among the happiest of my life you might ask?

More than ever I've taken time to enjoy the things I "DO" have, the camping trips, the backyard projects, our tiny flock of laying hens, cycling, jogging, working on my writing more frequently, yes...playing video games with my GF. You get the picture I hope. My girlfriend has been the biggest part of it all though. Finding that right person for you, that person that makes you happy to come home to, to just be around is really the ultimate gift of happiness. If you had told the me of ten years ago where I'd be today...I might have responded that I probably wasn't that happy, but younger me would be wrong!

I'm not saying my life is ideal, or that I don't want to find ways to improve certain areas of my life, what I am saying for anyone who reads this blog is that when you do your own "SitRep" you might find that you have a lot more to be thankful for than you might realize. I heard one of my fellow Marines say to me once, "These aren't real bullets." What he meant was, we weren't in combat, are lives were not in immediate danger (that would come sometime later!) and that the everyday problems we faced at that moment were small compared to combat, battling cancer or losing someone close to you.

So do your own "SitRep" and unless you're one of our fine service men and women, remember.... "These aren't real bullets!"