Sunday, August 26, 2012

Life Decisions...

...made here.

Everyday SGG and I wake up, make some coffee (Cafe Verona unless she has found a better "deal" which never tastes as good), and then sit in these two chairs.  We hold hands, drink coffee, watch the sun come up and the world come to life.  The boys aren't up, but the animals have been fed.  The dog runs around the yard, patrolling for intruders and that the cat sits on the sills squeaking at the birds.  We sit here and we talk about our day coming up, our week, our future.  On Sundays, SGG scours the paper for coupons and we talk about what we are going to eat that week too.  Every day we have 30 minutes to an hour to ourselves to talk about anything and everything.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Some life decisions that have been made lately...
We made the decision to take a job in Richmond in April and move there, but after four weeks of working there I ran into unresolvable issues and decided to quit that job and not move.  So we are still in Virginia Beach.  I took a job working for a Navy command that does vulnerability assessment testing for all new Navy programs (with my previous employer) and I believe that is going to work out very well.  The only real problem has been that we had to get caught up on testing and that put my co-worker and I on the road in California and Hawaii for a month.  More about that in the next post (coming soon I swear).

With the job transition and transition back, we made some other rather big decisions.  My son did ok in our public school here for his first year in High School.  He didn't do great though, and he certainly didn't take full advantage of the opportunities he had.  The school has over 2000 students in it and can be a bit daunting.  During the decision to move to Richmond, a new place for all of us and a move to a new school with 2000+ students, we had to make a decision about my son's future.  His mom really wanted him to come down and live with her and her husband.  His mom works at a private school and he would go to school there.  He has a large network of friends down there already because he spends the summers there.  The teachers aren't as connected to the parents in the public high schools, but with his mom, the teachers work with her at the school.  I talked to the school and went through their curriculum.  My new job also involves some travel for the first time, which Brandon never responds well to.  The end result is that SGG and I believe that Brandon moving down to be with his mom and in a smaller school would be best for Brandon and his future.  So far that looks like the right decision, but it is still very early.  He has a lot of good friends and had a great summer.  He has already started school there and had a great first week.  He is also playing on the school's soccer team.  Helping him get his stuff together to move to his mom's was very difficult and very emotional.  Much more so than I was anticipating.

Earlier in the year, Christmas/New Years to be exact, SGG and her ex-husband made the decision to have the middle child (her eldest) move to NYC to be with his dad.  There were a number of factors going into the decision that I won't go into, but he seems to be doing well up there.  He is also 6'4" tall, still growing, and not quite 14.

That means that starting the school year here, Labor Day basically in VA, we only have one child with us.  It is certainly going to be  a different year.

Fortunately, the other two boys are not all that far away.  I also spend a LOT of time on Google+ now and the Hangout feature there is great for video conferencing with the boys...when I can get them to use it.  :-)

We have also been replacing the carpet in the house with laminate hardwood type flooring.  I got two bedrooms and a hallway done before I had to leave for the month for work.

Leaving you with these two shots from my trip...will do the write ups later:

San Diego Skyline on my last night in California

Pt Mugu - 8 hrs of driving for a 1 hour meeting....

Six days in Hawaii and we only got about 6 hrs to explore the island....this is from the Pali Pass...
Delicious juice drink I found in CA...

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Hello world....

Hello World.  It has been a while since I have logged back into blogger and quite a bit has changed.  We've been quite busy with some good things, and some not as good things.  I wish I could say that we had solved most of the problems in the world but that would not be the case.  Mostly we have just been getting by, happy to just deal with the day to day ups and downs of every day life in a mixed family home. 

The big news is that I have decided to take another job.  This one is a private sector job in Richmond, VA.  After some interviews last summer I realized that I was stagnating were I was.  I was dug into my work and I hadn't realized what was happening.  In March, a number of strange and unintended events had the net effect of my company losing the contract with the military command we were at, and the government scrambling to get us back.  That took some time.  There were several of us that were temporarily displaced, and we came together as a team to win the work back or find other work.  We are all adeptly skilled in doing network vulnerability assessments and security engineering.  We quickly realized that we had no idea that there were so many opportunities all around us.  We even picked up and did a small penetration test for a commercial company as a side job as 1099 self contractors.  In the end I had to make a choice between three jobs...staying on as a government contractor, going to a government civilian position, or taking a job back in the commercial sector with the regional power company helping them to protect their networks.  SGG and I discussed it at length and we went with the third option for a variety of reasons that will become more clear in the coming months.  We are very excited about the opportunities that surround this position and the move to Richmond.

Also, I write a lot more on Google+ now, but it is almost all about network security stuff.  There are some funny stories I need to post when I get some time...things like the dog chasing a squirrel into the house one day and the chaos that ensued.  There are the ongoing chronicles of the boy that won't do his homework, and so forth.  :-)