Monday, March 30, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welp, it's almost over

Since mid-February, I've been winding down the family business. Mom and Dad started the business back in 1981. It's been a part of my life for just over 27 years. In 5 days, it'll be done. Computers & Applications will cease to exist.

At least physically, that is.

You see, I have to be out of our space by 4/1. The past few weeks have been spent selling, Craigslisting, recycling, shredding, dumping, and just plain moving. The next few days will consist of more moving and selling, some cleaning and possibly some relief.

Things have been bad at C&A for a while now. It wasn't until mid-Feb that I realized just how bad things were. If I had more of a business mind (M&D always said I should've taken more accounting courses) it's possible I would've seen this coming earlier and perhaps made changes, or even pulled the plug then, but I didn't. So I'm pulling the plug.

I've had a long time to think about things. I've had time to point fingers and get advice. At this point, there is no blame to be put around, other than with myself. I'm pretty sure if the two guys who left in Oct/Nov 08 didn't leave, I'd still be in the same boat, only with a lot more drama then there already is.

Speaking of drama, as if closing the business and being out of work isn't dramatic enough, there's the little matter of all the money owed to creditors by C&A. I'd get into it more, but it just doesn't seem the place to do so. So I'll just say that things will continue to be interesting even after I am out of the building and working on closing out C&A. Not looking forward to that.

So, having said all that (and believe me, that's brief), it's not to say that everything sucks and is horrible. On the contrary. Besides the fact that I haven't been paid since Feb. 1, well, things aren't too shabby.
  • Luckily we have money saved up. It won't last forever, but it'll get us by for now.
  • We have Riley's Make a Wish trip coming up in a few weeks. Timing is bittersweet. It's good in that we get to get away at a most stressful time. It's bad because I need to find a job and I probably won't find one in Florida.
  • Everyone is healthy and doing well.
  • Spring is here and it's going to get nicer out soon.
  • Friends are really helping out and being there for us.
  • Though I don't have any job leads yet, something positive may be coming my way...
This period in my life is just a little speed bump. Or perhaps a fender bender would be more appropriate. It's not going to be a lot of fun, but I'll come out ok in the end. When I'm 80+ and shuffling around the retirement home, this period of my life will be long gone, but it'll definitely be a pivotal period, and it may go a long way in determining what I'll be doing and who I'll become.

Should be interesting, no?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

AWESOME!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Trying to stay positive

It's not that hard for me to do so. I get bummed, so I think of others who have it worse. Then I don't feel as bad. Then I see what I'm up against and KAPOW! A little overwhelming.

So, I'm thankful for the help, support and love of others. I wanted to give some shouts out to people who have been completely awesome in this time of EPIC FAIL for me. In no particular order:
  • Yumei: she showed just how awesome she was when Dad died. Now that we're going through what we're going through (and I'm sorry for the vagueness. It'll come out in due time), I'm just glad she's here with me, doing the grunt work so I can do some of the important (re: NOT FUN) work.
  • Rich L. & Ed: they went above and beyond the call of duty, basically out of loyalty and a desire to serve. Incredible.
  • Knight: There's a reason that after 1. Voice Mail, 2. Marci Home, 3. Marci Cell, Knight Cell is Speed Dial number 4. He's my go-to guy and his help, advice and occasional butt-whompings have kept me pointed in the right direction.
  • Evan: He's gone rough trials of his own recently, but he's found time for me. I wish I could say all my calls to him were for fun reasons, but more often than not, it was for advice. As he says, "that's what friends are for." Indeed.
  • Mom: she's been a pretty much constant companion (if not car-pool buddy) through this. The more I talk to her, the more she channels Dad. It's funny. Now she's on a cruise to Italy (I think) and she left her digital camera battery here. Ugh. Kind of my fault. I forgot to tell her to take it. Oops.
  • Rob: someone who's been through a lot and has been willing to share his experiences and knowledge with me. Sometimes, I think of how he might handle a situation and try to do the same. Believe it.
  • David: another friend who's been helping me professionally. Normally I don't like working with friends for fear of letting them down, but David has been nothing but straight forward with me and his advice and friendship has meant a whole lot. Not to mention we make music together, so that's cool too.
  • Mark: his cool demeanor and willingness to help has helped me get perspective on things when I'm feeling overwhelmed. This kid (I have 10 years on him) teaches me something every time I see him. I don't know if that's good or bad.
  • Ted and Judy: yes, the in-laws make the list too. They've come across tough times of their own in this economy, yet they find time to advise us and share their experiences.
  • Jill B.: it was short and sweet, but seeing Jill was a definite pick-me-up. Plus it helps that her parents are super cool. And that the kids love them. But definitely, Jill will pick you up when you're down.
  • Jill C.: her friendship and professional advice to me has been very stabilizing. Again, someone I call only when I need something, it seems, but I hope she understands that she's more to us than just someone we have a business relationship with.
  • Haley and Riley: every night when I get home, I come up the stairs and say, "Hi friends!" and more often than not, I get ignored because they're watching TV. No big deal, as that just means I'm in Daddy Attack Mode and the tickle time begins. I recharge with a couple big ol' hugs and all is good in the world. Plus, those kids have been with me the past 3 weekends when I've been at work and haven't complained yet. Have they?
  • Marci Chang: my rock steady wife has been so awesome through this whole ordeal. A lot of the time, how Marci goes, I go. This time, she's been solid and I cannot tell you how important that is to me. In this time of uncertainty and worse, she has held it together remarkably well, all the while managing this house, the kids, the PTA, groceries, cooking, planning dates (she shared a massage with me this weekend!), talking to all sorts of unfun, but necessary people, and so on and so forth. Once we get through this, Marci will get a big gold star. She's the best.
Now I know how Oscar winners feel. I'm sure I've left some people out, but, truth be told, I'm gassed right now. I am going to go chill for a little bit.

Positivity! It's the new black!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Playing around with the new camera

A month or so ago we got a new camera. I bought a book. I've tried learning about apertures and shutter speeds, composition and the 1/3rd rule.

It's kind of fun!

The camera we got is a Canon SX110 IS. It's a point n shoot, but not totally entry level. I like it a lot and I've been trying to get my photog on with it. Here are some samples.

Trying to get fancy with depth of field on a bike rack.

My favorite recent picture of Haley. She just got her hair cut.

I saw the badge and wanted to make it artsy.

My favorite recent picture of Riley.



Monday, March 09, 2009

I am writing a resume

Jesus, what a drag.

Come the end of the month, I will be joining the masses of the unemployed. I'll save the story for a later date, but suffice it to say, it's time to get my rear in gear and "market" myself.

I am sitting here, listening to a Boston bootleg of their songs from the Boston record. These are pre-production and they are raw, but they are genius. It's pretty amazing to hear just how complete these songs are.

Anyway, I better get back to work. Just wanted to check in.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Haley's Blog

For anyone interested, I did start a little blog for Haley a few months ago. Marci has Riley's blog pulled to her FB account and I have my own on mine, so unless we have a third parent, Haley's will not be included.

Until now!

I was gonna make something using Yahoo Pipes, but it got too convoluted and I didn't want to have multiple entries. Anyway, if you want to read up on Haley, check her out here:

Haley's Blog

We promise not to disappoint!

OH MY GOODNESS MARCH SUCKS SO FAR!

I love Caps Lock.

Interesting things I've done in March:
  • Contacted a lawyer (then uncontacted him)
  • Spent a Sunday at work (yesterday)
  • Thought my ceiling was leaking (see above [no pun intended])
  • Fixed a computer at home (usually done at work)
  • Canceled band practice (hate doing that)
  • Worked on a resume (wait. what?)
  • Cried (though technically that was 2/28)
  • Got an ice cube massage (from Riley. Don't ask)
  • Made big ass changes at work (more detail in the future)
If the rest of March is like this, and I have reason to think it will, well, I'll be dead.

APRIL FOOLS!

Right now, it's all a "situation", as a wise sage told me last night (a friend working on refinancing our mortgage). Many of us are going through "situations" right now, right? Money's tight, between jobs, etc, etc. Will we survive? Most definitely. Will it be easy?

HELL NO.

But, what doesn't kill makes stronger, blah blah blah. What happens if I'm not stronger at the end of this? I'll wish I was dead? I don't think so. Does an optimist ever wish he was dead? That's a weird thought.

---

In completely unrelated news, I have some shows coming up in April. Both are with the Bros. and they happen in back to back weekends. First up is 4/3, at the New Frontier in Tacoma. That should be boss.

Next up is 4/10 at the Skylark. That will be boss as well. And, to top it off, my birthday is that Sunday, so I'm thinking of promoting it as a birthday show. This could be very cool, or completely deflating and depressing (what optimist?). I'd like to think people would want to come regardless if it was my birthday or not. My experience would show that I'd have 1-2 or .5-1 or .25-.5 people at any given show. Though, my last Bros. show at the Mars Bar, there were at least 3 people there for me.

So, I'm thinking if I say it's my birthday that weekend, maybe instead of 1-2 people, I'd have 3-5? More? Less? I don't even want to think about it. The potential of MAJOR FAILURE is always there and to get my hopes up that even 1 or 2 people would show up is not worth the crushing defeat later.

It's like I'm Charlie Brown and they're the Little Red Haired Girl. I just want them to notice me. That's all.