Monday, March 21, 2005

Some recycled thoughts...

From the old MSN group. It's been a while since I've actually done anything over there; actually the last post was made when I'd decided it was time to make a career change...

Life is a journey... Not a destination.... or as my old motorcycle (greaser) buddy Tim and I used to say, "ridin"... when asked where we were headed...because the fact is... for most of us that ride.... "the ride *is* the destination" where we wind up is secondary, and a direct result of only the decisions we made at the 'moment' the road presented us with a choice.

Tim and I shared an interesting year or so, traveling on two wheels. . . We'd pack up and head out every other weekend or so for a full weekend ride... we took one 'epic' journey in 1997 which should get a page of its own... and we met an incredible assortment of interesting folks who somehow always made the stopping enjoyable.

For those of you who don't (or haven't had the opportunity to) ride... it's the ride that's usually the most enjoyable part... the open air, the quiet, the 'alone-ness' you feel even when there's a rider on the back... or you're riding with a group. You're never quite as alone as you are when you're carving out a lane on a twisty mountain road. It's you, the bike and your skills keeping you on the pavement and off the asphalt.

I'll be attempting to relate some of our tales here as they come to mind.


Well, it appears my buddy Tim has become MIA out there in Kansas City, so it's going to be up to me to attempt to remember and correctly relate our tale.

It's my intention to get back to this project over the holidays, and prepare this site to be moved to 'BillCoupe.Com' at some point in 2003.


Well another five months have gone by and I've not found much time for this place. I do hope to get back into relating my stories, and keeping my journal up to date as this year progresses from here!

I'm planning another ride late this summer. Once again up into the Northeast to visit old friends and family, as well as get a much needed rest from work ".NET" and 'Systems' and so on. It's been a very busy year so far.

I had back or more specifically, neck surgery in late March. Everything went better than I could have ever expected. I felt better from the moment I woke up and had to struggle to remind myself that I was NOT supposed to do things. My body was definitely writing checks my Doctor did not want cashed just yet!

I got the all clear last week from the Doc, so the trip is definitely a go... Details to follow...

Also this year I'm getting a job change, and that process is just about to begin. Same company just a lot more responsibility and more people to manage. Oh... yeah... I get a new and impressive title to go along with that "Chief Financial and Information Officer" (CFIO). I'm excited about the challenges... but planning and project administration will be the keys to our success or failure... and those are not inherent strong points in this organization. My skills as a vehicle for change are about to be tested I think!!


Well... things did not go exactly as expected this summer.... While the 1st surgery was a great success, I blew out yet another disk in mid-July, about two weeks before the planned summer bike trip. After all was said and done I went in and had the surgery done, again, August 20th. I'm at just a little under two weeks of 'post-op' recovery and things are going fairly well.

This round took a bit more out of me than the last one did... but all in all I'm glad I had it done. If I can get just one more big bike trip out of it, it will all have been worth it!

That new job change, well it took place and we're at just about 4 months and things are going fairly well there as well. Although the surgery is definitely a setback, in my professional as well as my personal life... I'm happy about the changes and progress on the job as well.

Probably the most significant thing that's happened was our taking advantage of the opportunity to bring and old friend and co-worker Kenny on board. Having him here will mean great things for the development efforts at the job and it might mean I'll actually get back to some custom/specialty work as well.


An odd day for me to be writing... but why not... Things have been very hectic at work, too many projects and way too little time in the day.

The .Net work is going extremely well and I remain impressed with the completeness of the Visual .Net environment. Our XML import and conversion project is well in hand and I think this will be the single most significant project the company has let us do in several years!

I've healed up completely from the second surgery, my step-son has moved back in and he and I are in the gym everyday and have been splitting firewood on the weekends... so I'm losing a few pounds and feeling stronger everyday!


What a difference a month makes! While I'm 'healed up'... I'm not exactly 100%, seems I've developed yet another cervical nerve problem... I guess only time will tell!

The .NET project(s) are growing quickly and coming together nicely. We're finding more and more ways to integrate the UI components into our projects and I continue to be amazed at two items in .NET:

1) The amount of code it takes to do *anything*
2) The amount of code it takes to *do* anything

At the same time it has the most powerful single word commands I've ever seen built in, it also takes a ton of verbose code to do anything *not* built in... Regardless it's very powerful, and very complete... we remain excited!

On the home front all is well, couldn't be better actually!! We're a decorated up for the holidays, are beginning a small addition to the living room


Well here we are... one month into the New Year and not only haven't I spent much time *here* writing, I've not been finding time for my book either.

Life it seems has a way of getting in the way of our best laid plans. Work has become very hectic, again... and once more has me thinking and longing for those consulting days...

To paraphrase Willie Nelson... "The life I love is making software with my friends" - it may well be time for me to seriously consider going back to that. I don't miss the hotel rooms, road time etc... But I do miss the challenge, the constant honing of skills and learning new techniques...

On the other hand, it may well be time to hang up my keyboard and find another way to make eats... maybe custom paint jobs... or a web based business... or something I've not even thought of as yet... time will indeed tell!!


Well... I start in on a new planning session Friday night. I've got some friends coming by and we're going to put our heads together and try to create the 'seed' of a new venture.

We've got a couple computer apps in the can... some others in the works.... but we might strike off in a whole other direction... who knows? The one thing I do know is that in order to move forward I may have to be willing to take at least one (or more) steps back to get the 'big picture'.

What do I like? Creating things that make people happy when they're done... that solve a problem, or simply make life a little better because they exist. That could be a computer application, a utility, a custom car/bike... anything that makes the person paying for it happy they bought it.

I still haven't cranked out much on the book... mostly because I've been 'too busy'... maybe life is going to take care of that for me, if I'm really supposed to write it.... Hmmmm

Anyway... until next time... I'll just keep on 'doing my thing' and thinking my way through the current crisis.


Well, last fall I transported and old friend and colleague here from Upstate NY... last month, despite great work on his part, the owner of the company laid him off. With the amount of work in the hopper, and all the additional responsibility I took on, I found this a very strange, not to mention saddening, turn of events.

It makes me wonder if the overwhelming desire I began feeling in January to get back into contract work was more than sentimental memories. More like my subconscious tryin to tell my conscious mind there's trouble on the horizon.

It certainly seems to me, that this decision is but an indication that the owner intends to shift the corporate IS direction.


Well... what do ya know... seems I did know!! I'm officially out on my own again having parted ways with my employer (where I spent the last 11 years!). Seems the owner no longer wants an internal IS/IT staff, and I had no desire to be the corporate finance guy, (at least he knew that much about me) we agreed to part company.

I have to admit to mixed feelings about all of this... Every discussion I ever had with him, he indicated he wanted me to plan on retiring from that company. I made the mistake of thinking he and I were friends, and we could, and would, discuss anything and everything. Turns out, we only discussed what he wanted me to know... that hurt, but in some ways I know he's acting in ways he believes are protecting his company and therefore his family.

It's a brave new world... Time will tell, but I'm very optimistic about jumping back into the 'game'.


Amazing... I ended up the year much better financially than had I stayed employed, and I'm currently under contract until the end of June... maybe in January of 2004 my brain was telling me the right things... I need to start listening to that 'inner voice' more often!!


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