It's been an unusually cold and snowy winter thus far in Minnesota. We've had more snow in December than has been seen for some 50 years. In addition, we had almost 3 straight weeks of below-freezing temperatures. Therefore, it was surprising to get a sudden thaw in early January. Needless to say, it's been a very welcome thaw since the ice dams on the roof were getting pretty bad, despite the hours I had spent raking and shoveling the snow off of it. Running has been made a little tricky with some spots of deep slush and others of partially frozen ice. However, the warmer air is easier on the lungs. The thaw has also made the deer here more active. There is a family of four that are frequently seen in the woods off the back of our house and it's been a daily occurence to see them out there foraging for food.
Alright, enough writing about the weather. Time to write about what else is happening. The job search has still been pretty bleak. I now have five recruiters looking for jobs and have only gotten one interview thus far. Fortunately, I received good news yesterday that one of the recruiters managed to get me another interview this Friday with another company. Since I felt I didn't get the last job I interviewed for because of my lack of preparation, I have spent a good portion of today gettting ready. The interview will be for a Lean Manufacturing Engineer, which is an engineer whose primary focus is on streamlining manufacturing processes and reducing costs. This was a particular area of engineering I was very competent at when I first became an engineer. So, I have high hopes for this position. I've been brushing up on my Lean Manufacturing terminologies and methodologies in preparation. In addtion, I've made an itemized list that highlights all of my Lean Manufacturing projects and their results. Can you say "obsessive"? Personally, I prefer organized and detail-oriented, but hey, you can call it what you want. Anyway, wish me luck!!
Other than job-hunting, most of my time has been spent working around the house. I have spent quite a bit of time rearranging things in the lower level so that we can utilize the living room with the fireplace. Now I have a nice seating arrangement set up along with a television, dvd player, and stereo which we now use regularly while warming up to a nice fire. I've also been cleaning out the "office" and the downstairs guest room in anticipation of one friend, and possibly two, renting them out for a few months. Our friend and former neighbor Anne's boyfriend, Chris, will be moving in shortly unless Anne can find a place for the both of them in the next week or so. Anne sold her house in anticipation of moving to North Carolina for her job. However, things changed and she was offered a position with a local company and has decided to stay here, which we were very happy to hear.
Joy (my wife) and JJ (my son) are doing well. Joy spent some time with her friend Deana who was visiting from Portland, OR. Both ended up with the flu but managed to get out a few times to do some shopping and other "girl stuff". JJ also got sick with a bad head cold and the start of pinkeye, which we nipped in the proverbial bud with antibiotic eyedrops. So, he only missed one day of daycare as a precaution. Other than that, he has been doing very well and loves to call Ya Ya and Gi Gi on his play cell phone every day. His latest excitement has come from working on the "project" with daddy. The "project" is a Lego robot that we put together following the instructions given by a CD-ROM. JJ sits on my lap and helps pick out the parts we need for each step and then puts the parts together with my guidance. It's been a great learning tool for him to practice spatial relationships and develop his hand-eye coordination as well as his finger dexterity. Plus, he's excited to do it and gives him something to look forward to each day. Yesterday we finished the first robot and I programmed it. Then he got to turn it on and watch it work. The look of amazement on his face was priceless!!! Our first 'bot was a climber that can climb up a wire grid (Kylie's kennel). I'll be sure to post a pic of it and possibly a video.
Well, that's about it for now. I've finished eating my lunch of salami-and-cheese sandwiches, pickles, and V-8 juice. So, it's time to do a few things around the house before going out for a run this afternoon. Until next time...................have a nice day, unless you have other plans.
A Very Rough Start
5 days ago