Monday, February 13, 2006

February 13, 2006

We are terribly behind on the blog, so I’m going to try to sum everything up in this posting, and cut our losses.

Home sweet IBM. It’s so good to have a real job again. It was touch and go for a few months, but we’ve come out of it better for the experience. As Stony always says, “life is wonderful.”

For those of you that don’t know, I recently started working as an inside sales rep for IBM Rational development tools. Software development is a whole new world, and I have tons to learn. The environment at IBM is great. I’ve never worked in a place were the people are so interested in helping everyone succeed. There is a real sense of teaming, and empowerment. In addition to being measured on attainment, we are measured on our contribution to the teams that we are on – ie our extended field sales team, and our inside sales team.

The result is that people are always thinking of ways to improve and sharing those ideas with others. It’s really great. One of the reasons IBM acquired Rational, was for their sales program, and they are patterning the rest of the inside sales organizations after the Rational model. We get a lot of great press. I really lucked out.

January 23rd I went to Las Vegas for a partner meeting. I stayed at the Venetian resort, and it was actually pretty fun. The place is amazing, despite the fact that it’s a casino. Truth to tell, the casino is really only a small part of the resort. I was working most of the time, but I did get a chance to go to the aquarium at Mandalay Bay. I tried to take some pictures but if I used the flash, it reflected off the glass, and if I didn’t the pictures were too dark. My favorite section of the exhibit was of course the shark tank. They had several sharks ranging from one to seven feet. I snapped this picture in the glass tunnel. It’s not very good, but you can really see this guys teeth.

I left Vegas Friday night, stayed in Colorado Saturday, and left for San Jose Sunday morning for my orientation. San Jose was not what I expected, and I’ll say that I’m glad I don’t live there, and leave it at that.

I had a two week break between ending my last job, and starting at IBM. Hannah was jealous (As I would have been if the situation had been reversed), so she kept me busy with things around the house. However she did let me go snowboarding with two guys from the ward. We went to Copper Mountain. The resort was cool, and it was great to get on he slopes again. It had snowed the night before, and there were still some sections of fresh snow. I didn’t ride really hard, but I had a great time just being there.

House project number one was organizing the garage. I build a work bench from the scrap wood pile at Home Depot, and really lucked out. It’s exactly what I wanted and I only spent $15. We also bought some sturdy metal shelves for food storage, and will be restocking our supply at the end of this month. When I was laid off, we didn’t have a year supply, but we did have several cases of caned goods that we used up, and were very grateful to have them.

We also decided to go all out and build a cat tower for Sally and Reggie. I was a little apprehensive, because I didn’t want to be one of those people that has their house decorated with cat furniture, but the cats didn’t have anything to play on, and we didn’t want them scratching up the carpet, so we decided to go for it. Hannah designed, and we both build it. The cats absolutely love it. They spend all day up there looking out the window and sleeping.

A few months ago, Hannah was asked to coach the young women’s basketball team. While Hannah played basketball when she was younger, she hadn’t played in a long time, and was wondering why they had asked her. She found out that none of the other women in the ward played basketball, and Hannah was tall so they assumed that she knew what she was doing. By the way, that last sentence is almost a direct quote from the young women’s president.

At their first practice, Hannah found out that half the girls in the ward had never played basketball before, and she was going to have to start teaching the basics. Now when I say basics I mean basics – like how to dribble. They got creamed their first game, but they kept on getting better, and better. I was really impressed with how much the girls had improved. And the best part is that the girls love playing. They won’t let Hannah cancel practices, and go long every time they do practice. The one game they won was really intense. I couldn’t have been more excited if I was watching a play off game. They had worked so hard, and we knew that if they didn’t win this one, they weren’t going to win one all year. It was a close game, but everyone did really well, and they pulled it off.

Well that’s all we have time for so we’re going to sign off.

We love you all.

Eric and Hannah

And now your moment of ZEN……