State of the Joel

It has been a few weeks since my last blog post. I have what I consider a valid excuse for that -- I moved across the country.

In the spirit of the new year, and inspired by the various State of the State/Union addresses that have occurred or will occur, I have decided to provide you a "State of the Joel" address.

The State of Joel is a calm after the storm.

We have completed our move from North Carolina to California. We met with some old friends who have helped us as we settled in (thank you very much -- you know who you are). We have made our rental house into our new home. And things are starting to feel "normal". Being back in California feels right, and visiting San Francisco yesterday just affirmed that even more. By the way, I highly don't recommend flying across the country with two near-two year olds on a regular basis ;-)

My wife starts work next week, and I watch the kids for a week (see below as to why only a week). After that, we have a trusted person to watch the boys for 3 weeks. Then they go to part-time daycare starting in mid-February.

On my job front, I just finished one consulting job. That lasted around 3.5 months. I have another 3-6 week consulting job that starts in two weeks, related to the work I just finished. I like the consulting work that I am doing as it provides some new challenges and great flexibility.

I received an email last night from an old friend and colleague of mine asking me if I would like to partner on a business venture with him. I am in the midst of reviewing the idea. I have a lunch meeting tomorrow with another friend and colleague to talk about other venture possibilities as well. These startup ventures may never pan out, but it is very cool to even consider things like this.

I still have my initial business projects to focus on. However, I will continue to examine new ventures and consulting work as they come available and make appropriate decisions.

Oh yeah, and we bought a Panasonic 50" Plasma TV as our Christmas gift to each other. I didn't go 1080p -- I figure the prices will come down in the next couple of years and we are sitting 13' feet away and thus will not notice any noticeable difference. So I went 720p for a very good price at Costco. Watching the NFL Playoffs in HD is awesome -- and I cannot go back! My next home entertainment decision is whether I should go get a Blu-Ray player now that it seems like it is leading the charge in the hi-def DVD war (although I have friends who work in HD-DVD land, the other competing format).

So, what do I see for 2008? I see this as a year of clarity, specifically with respect to the careers of me and my wife. I also see us buying a house.

Westward Bound

State of CaliforniaGolden Gate Bridge Well, it is official. We are heading back West; California to be specific. This is going to be happening in mid-late December.

California has appeal for many reasons:

  1. My wife got a part time job at our old company. She has been wanting to balance adult interaction with being a mother for a while now, and, honestly, this is a perfect opportunity to do it. We couldn't have asked for a better offer (and, since I am not bringing in a "stable" income yet, this is a great way to keep food on the table while I get my business off the ground).
  2. We will be living close enough to one of the tech hubs of the world (Silicon Valley) that it can only help me in my business ventures. But we will be living far enough away where we can afford the cost of living. ;-)
  3. While low probability, there is still a chance I can partner up with an old colleague of mine back in California in a business venture. There is zero probability if I stay in North Carolina.
  4. Personally, from a general landscape (e.g. mountains, coast, etc.) perspective, I like the west coast much better than the east coast. I have missed that.

What makes this hard, of course, is the family situation. One of the reasons we moved from California was because most of our family is in North Carolina and on the east coast. They will be missed.

But, I think, in the end, this is what is best for the four of us, and when it all comes down to it, that is what has to drive your final decisions. I hope our family members understand and decide to come and visit us in California more often. It is a wonderful place to visit, that is for sure.

It is very possible that California becomes our final "landing" point. And that wouldn't bother me. After living in 4 different residences in the last 1.25 years -- and this will make 5 (and maybe 6 if and when we decide to buy a house) -- I am kind of tired ;-)

For the next 2 months or so, the blog name "Life of Constant Flux" takes on a literal meaning, as a move across the country with two young children is crazy!!!