Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday the 13th in the afternoon, the Uri grandparents came over for a round of babysitting while Rebecca and I flitted off to the wedding of Anya and Matthew in Leesburg. It was a fun, classy affair at the Rust Manor House, with passed hor d'oeuvres and a s'mores construction kit as a wedding favor.

On Saturday morning, we caught the final few minutes of the Reston Farmer's Market (so Rebecca could get her fresh nitrogen-infused ice cream) and then walked the trails of Reston until mid-afternoon. The evening was bath time for Maia, to ensure that no mushrooms were growing in the shade of her neck folds.

On Sunday, I got a little work done in the morning while Rebecca made it to a yoga class. In the afternoon, she and Maia went off to a cousin's wedding shower while I stayed home and took a much-needed nap, followed by up to 3 games of Overwatch (which I hadn't played in over a week!)

How was your weekend?

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

12 pictures of your day on the 12th of every month

7:46 AM: Treadmill time while refreshing my memory on season four of Orphan Black.
8:28 AM: Showered and ready for the day.
8:38 AM: Buttermilk Eggos for breakfast.
11:05 AM: Cleaning the house while no children or mothers are underfoot.
11:40 AM: Maia returns from a brisk nature hike with Rebecca.
12:25 PM: Story time.
12:29 PM: Working lunch.
1:32 PM: Using my powers of persuasion to elicit a nap.
3:19 PM: Bottle service.
4:40 PM: Second nature hike of the day for Maia.
6:16 PM: Post-bottle milk coma.
8:00 PM: Preparing suffed peppers for dinner (pre-fab from Costco).

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

American Vandal:
This is a pitch-perfect satire of the true crime documentary genre (such as Serial and Making a Murderer), with a small team of high school students investigating who drew 27 dicks on cars in the teacher's parking lot. With a setup like that, it would be easy to stick with the obvious jokes -- the reason this 8-episode season works so well is because it's played completely straight, allowing you to get swept up into a fun snapshot of modern high school life in the days of social media and Youtube stars. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

Fortitude, Season Two:
The second season of Fortitude strays a little too far into mysticism and meanders through several disjointed storylines before jumping the shark in the last two episodes. The final episode felt so poorly written that I actually thought I'd missed a few scenes somewhere along the line. Watch the first season and stop. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: C-

Raven Locks, Act 3 by Dirt Poor Robins:
The Dirt Poor Robins have been releasing this pop musical one act at a time over the past few years. The final act seems to have the more memorable songs, like Welcome to Lady Hell, front-loaded. Listening to all 3 acts together reveals a nice, cohesive whole.

Final Grade: B

Falling and Flying by 360:
I bought this CD because I thought the single, Boys Like You was pretty catchy. However, it turns out that 360's songs are catchy solely because of the backing vocals and arrangements, as he's a pretty forgettable rapper. Many of the songs on the CD start out interesting then turn bad as soon as he starts rapping.

Final Grade: C-

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Monday, October 09, 2017

New Job FAQ

As I mentioned in last month's Highlights post, I got an interesting job offer from my old company last month. Since I've now accepted it (and start tomorrow), here are a few FAQs to describe what's going on.

What's this new job you're starting?

I will be a Solutions Architect, which is essentially what I was doing in 2015 - 2016 but with a fancy title. I'll provide technical writing and reviewing skills on proposals and whitepapers in the hopes of winning new government work for Novetta, and will distill complex concepts into understandable chunks for audiences of varying technical levels. There will be no software development involved (but I could go back to it in the future).

The key portion of this job is that I'll be classified as an hourly part-time employee who is allowed to work as few or as many hours as necessary each pay period. Based on my baby responsibilities and the amount of work available (proposal work generally ebbs and flows), I might surge one week or go a few weeks with no work at all. I'll probably end up averaging around 18 hours per week (with 1 morning in the Tysons Corner office and the rest from home). Rebecca is still our family's medical insurance breadwinner, but I can also negotiate to go over 30 hours someday if I ever need to qualify for medical insurance again.

In addition, the hourly rate is not too shabby, and I get to work for the two bosses that I enjoyed working with most in my previous tenure.

Didn't you just decide to be a Stay-At-Home-Dad?

Yes, and I still am, mostly! The new job is more flexible than I was in 1989, and is very compatible with my desire to be a SAHD. I will still be taking good care of Maia throughout the week while Rebecca is at work or getting some self-care time at yoga. Plus, I'm pretty sure that it will be much easier to write and review prose with a distracting child than it would be to write working software.

Did this new job have anything to do with you leaving your last job?

No, I intentionally kept the two positions discrete from each other. I left the old job to be a SAHD (because the "startup" lifestyle is not conducive to placing family first). I selected the new job because it was compatible with SAHDing.

Do you regret leaving Novetta last year since you're just going back now?

No. I loved the people I worked with and the work I did at Novetta. The reasons I left were (1) I was getting pushed towards a non-software proposal-writing role but wasn't quite ready to stop writing code, (2) I was unsure about how my code-writing skills were faring, and (3) I wanted to make sure that I could survive and thrive in an environment where I didn't already have an established reputation for getting stuff done (or in other words, "was this guy at the same company for 17 years because he couldn't cut it anywhere else, or because both he and the company had a good thing going?").

I feel like I was exactly where I needed to be on my 10 month Novetta break -- I proved that I could still write code and get stuff done, and I can now more easily embrace a proposal-writing role knowing that I won't be permanently shutting the door on my coding skills.

Have any other questions? Ask me in the comments section!

tagged as deep thoughts, day-to-day | permalink | 1 comment

 

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