Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Last Day

Tomorrow, Jan. 29, 2009, is my last day working at Micralyne, Inc. I started there late November 2005 as a contractor, engaged to help hire 30 new employees. I started a full time salaried position with Micralyne February 1 , 2006.

It has been a very good three years. I have learned so much about MEMS in general and MEMS processing in particular, and also about business to business sales. I have had great coworkers and a wonderful, supportive and intelligent work environment.

And yet, I have made the decision to move on. I have a new job starting Feb. 2 that I know I will enjoy, but my decision to move on wasn't motivated solely by the new opportunity. The decision came because I believe that I had reached the end of the growth available to me at Micralyne.

So it was time to move along, down a different path on this journey of mine. I am very hopeful that this path will have many photo ops along the way, and that I can take advantage of those to explore this passion of mine and really start to get creative with it.

Tomorrow will be a melancholy day. The hardest part is over - making the decision and then letting people know was very hard. I have some very good friends at Micralyne and I hope I will be able to maintain those friendships. Saying farewell to customers has also been difficult. Tomorrow will be hugs and maybe a few tears, and hopefully a few beers as well!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Dentist

I have a totally irrational fear of dental work. Avoid it like the plague. No regular check ups in this girl's daytimer! And it is truely irrational, as I've never really had a bad dental experience.
Last fall, a molar that was giving me 'grief' for many months finally broke. There was just no way around it, I had to finally go to the dentist. Hadn't been in something like 12 years! (If it aint broke, why fix it!).
I have pretty good dental benefits, so not only did I agree to having the tooth fixed, I had them all cleaned. Fixing the tooth required a root canal! Yikes! Memories of my last root canals just aren't all that pleasant.
Dr. Frank had some really cool gadgets at his office, including a very slim syringe for freezing. No more giant silver needles in your mouth, just this unobtrusive needle on the end of some very thin rubber tubing. The root canal was no where near as unpleasant as the anxiety before hand would have predicted. The freezing came out quickly, with far less trauma than I remember.
Step two was prepping for crowns for that tooth and its neighbor, also a root canal tooth. That happened Thursday, and that was more unpleasant, more uncomfortable, but still not equivalent to all of the fear and loathing that I have for dentists.

So, what about that wisdom tooth Ms. McRae? You know, the one that was supposed to come out 15 years ago, the one that has erupted sideways and pretty much hurts all the time? Well, thanks, but it can stay where it is for now!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

Well, here I sit, attempting for the third time to start this post! I am torn between the classic New Years type of message, reflecting on the events of this past year - and there are many - or a more forward looking post, outlining my goals and hopes for the year ahead. Perhaps both are necessary: the past lays the groundwork for the new year.
I read through last years posts: frequent in the first half of the year and then non existent in the last quarter.

Some things have not changed: I still hate winter!

Others have: I no longer attempt to follow the 'Eat to Live' diet, my mothers health is greatly improved.

My garden was an unmitigated disaster!
20' x 30' and a yield of one meal of potatoes! The raised planters were much more successful, and I ate fresh baby lettuce all summer long! I cannot even say that I grew a good crop of sweet peas this year! Didn't finish any other garden projects. Didn't finish any other house projects!

I have a new boss, new job description as the whole department gets a shake up. I am still not convinced that this is the right job for me, for many reasons (decision making structure, my lack of technical expertise, the whole desk job thing, and the list goes on). However, with the media perpetuated 'economic downturn', I may be lucky to have a job. And, this job has many positive attributes too. I have travelled to Boston twice, Chicago once, Toronto, Vancouver & Seattle, for work. I've managed to incorporate photography on each one of those trips! I enjoy working in a scientific environment, with some really great people and truly great clients. But, I was too long my own boss, setting my own hours and making my own decisions. I want that kind of responsibility and that kind of freedom again. The call of photography is sooooooo strong.

The kids continue to grow up and have each had many 'life lesson' moments this year. Both Colin and KT got their drivers licenses this spring. They also both bought their own cars. We are now a four car family, and as ridiculous as that sounds, it does have benefit in that it greatly reduces the amount of time I spend on the road.

Colin has had some driving 'experiences' that have hurt his bank account, but not him. Katie, so far, has a clean slate in the driving department. And Alex has just turned 14 so is actually eligible for a learners permit....I am certainly not ready for that.

Colin returned from Germany in December 2007, and finished Grade 12 in the second semester (Feb - June 08) this year. He made the decision to apply at the U of A, Faculty of Engineering. Initially I was really put off by this - he could be off somewhere more interesting than Edmonton, playing soccer and doing an undergrad degree. However, he is here and really seems comfortable and to be doing well in engineering. The U of A is among the very best Engineering schools in North America, so there is no fault to be found in that decision. He isn't playing soccer right now; however, he did finish his 'youth' soccer days on a high note. His team won Club National Championships in October; a gold medal finish to so many years of dedication.

One of the biggest 'life lessons' this year was experienced by KT, and by us as it was probably our most difficult parenting thus far. At the end of it all, the only damage was to property, the offender has served the deemed punishment and is expected to make retribution, and we all (I hope) have learned from the experience. It has forced KT to return to the workforce, giving her spending money ( & money to pay for retribution & speeding ticket money) which she relishes.
KT does well at school, could do better, and currently has aspirations of med school.

Alex has changed soccer teams; he moved on from the team he had been with since U10, and from being coached by his dad and some close friends. He is on a team that he really enjoys (with a better record than his old team) and thus far the move seems like the right choice. The old team certainly provided him with familiarity - perhaps too much. With the new team he needs to earn his spot and the respect of his teammates, and he seems to be doing so. What this has meant for us is a move outside our comfort zone, away from friends that we have spent so much time with. We miss that group dearly, but must say that the new team has certainly given us a warm welcome!

We also travelled as a family a bit: to Medicine Hat for Alberta Summer Games with Alex, to Tofino for a vacation with KT, Alex and KTs friend, to the GTA for soccer nationals and finally to Vernon for Christmas with the Burd clan.

So, what will 2009 bring? Who really knows?
My goals?
Do more photography, maybe even earn a significant portion of my income from it! Actually carry through with a PAD project. Travel and shoot more.
Get into shape! The Wii fit that we got for Christmas is going to kick start that! (So much fun!)
Travel more.
Get somewhere with the house - renovate, remodel, rebuild....pick one!
Shoot more.
Continue to watch the kids grow up, and be amazed at how time flies.
Travel more.
Continue to watch mom thrive under dad's care, continue to be amazed by dad being retired. What will he do next, now that the garage is organized?
Shoot more.
Visit all of the relatives again!
Travel and shoot more!
Grow a decent crop of vegetables.

Enjoy my days. Relish the moment. Do something that matters.

Happy New Year!