Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A drawback of working at home...

There are admittedly plenty of positives of working out of the home. Casual dress code, "flexible" hours, a crazy greyhound with questionable digestive issues always wanting to go for a walk, etc. However, it also leaves you wide open for...

Jehovah's Witnesses.

J&L's place is full of windows, which usually provide tons of natural sunlight but in this case left me nowhere to hide. The two men in their 60's were nice enough (well the one was; the other was definitely wanting to do some convertin') but it was like trying to get two car salesmen off the front porch. They were obviously trying to get in the door but between myself and the dog we had the entryway pretty well blocked. I did tell them I'm take one of their pamphlets, which are related to this website.

Just a random little story for the day. We apologize for not updating the site a little more often. Becca and I are both working on entries so hopefully we'll get something new up soon. In the meantime, enjoy the works of a Dutch Master.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is not your typical Oregon driver...

The weather has been a bit rough the last few days. As a result, Becca, my sister in law and I have been having our own little party at home being semi productive and doing cool stuff like baking cookies. I even got to go rescue my brother in law from Wilsonville yesterday, therefore fulfilling my driving requirement for the week.

Here's what happens when you don't use common sense:

Two things of note about the video. First, this happened right next to my old work. I half expected to see my old co-workers car get plowed. Second, this totally reminded me of the glory days of living in NW Portland. We'd go buy a 12 pack, sit out on my friend Matt's porch and heckle the people trying to parallel park in the neighborhood. I can imagine they were doing the same thing, only with Irish Coffees on Tuesday.

Finance class is starting... Now. Gotta run!


Thursday, January 11, 2007

I did move... right?

Portland has been in a tizzy this morning thanks to a very small amount of snow last night (so much so that it only stuck on vehicles) and some intermittent black ice (more of an issue out here since you don't see it until it's too late). My sister-in-law, a high school English teacher, sat dutifully in front of the TV hoping for a 2 hour delay this morning. She was left disappointed (she works in Tigard, a Portland suburb) however the Portland city schools were two hours late. As I watched the whole thing unfold I was amused at the huge deal Portland makes over the temperature gauge hitting freezing and the mere threat of snow.

Well, they're going to have fun now!

(The Great Blizzard of '07)

As of about 8am here it start coming down heavily; still not enough to put more than a half inch to an inch on the ground but I'm predicting gridlock and general hysteria the rest of the day. And here I though by moving from Minnesota I was running away from the snow. Instead I suppose Mother Nature is just gradually weaning me off the white stuff.

Just as I'm being weaned off one thing, I'm slowly getting addicted to another. Unfortunately that addiction is school. The first week of class is in the books and I'm a bit on the overwhelmed side. It's not a case of subject matter; if anything I find that both my Marketing Strategies and Finance are both things that I have a little bit of experience in so I'm able to comfortably add to the discussion. In addition both professors have strong personalities and have a very good understanding of how to teach to us "mature learners" (our MarkStrat prof's term).

Instead for me it's more the issue of the workload outside of class. Suddenly there are cases to read, chapters to highlight and all these other things that come with being a student. Unfortunately it's been 10 years so I'm a wee bit rusty. I'm hoping my ability to learn new concepts quickly will bail me out but as of now I see my social life for the next two years quickly shrinking. In the meantime, I am getting very familiar as to the locations and business hours of our local libraries and coffee shops. And Becca is getting very familiar with me having my head buried in a book and cursing under my breath.

It's 9am now, the snow has stopped (in fact it looks like it might even be melting), the sun is out and for me, my work day has officially started. Time to go find a job.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

The MBA Experience Begins...

Yesterday was orientation day for the Willamette University Professional MBA program. A few brief thoughts:

  • When orientation starts at 7am, one should most likely not start out with the tech guy. Although most of us could space out during his spiel (given it included describing what a URL was) it was still a rough way to start the day. At the very least it made me wish that I drank coffee since drinking a Mt. Dew at that time of day has been deemed socially inappropriate.
  • Strangely enough, there was never a formal introduction of everyone. Although people got to know each other during the day it seemed unusual to not at least have a basic intro at the beginning of the day.
  • Our cohort, although small at 15 people, has quite a diverse set of backgrounds. Ages seem to range from 25 to 40ish and employers from big companies (Nike, Intel) to smaller companies to non-profits to none at all (me!). This should make for a wide variety of experiences to draw from during class discussion.
  • Our personality test facilitator had Lasik eye surgery a few weeks ago and evidently they over corrected her sight. As a result, she's gone from one pair of glasses to three. Plus as an added bonus she could barely read our nameplates so occasionally names were a little slow in coming.
  • Most of our day was spent dealing with learning more about our different personalities and how they all integrate into our group dynamics. I had been dreading this as I'm not usually keen on these sorts of exercises. However, it went by okay enough and the various breakout groups they did allowed us to learn about our fellow classmates and ourselves. In the end, much better than expected.
  • Our Finance professor gained points from the class by answering the question of what was his biggest mistake teaching to date: "telling a Lewinsky/Clinton joke as an Indian guy in Australia to a Chinese audience. I've never seen more blank stares in my life"
  • Our Marketing Strategies professor, on the other hand, casually dropped in our homework assignment during her spiel. I'm predicting the velvet hammer treatment from here even if she does look like my sister in law Lori in 30 years.
  • In both good and bad news, it was made very clear to us that there would be no "Gentleman's B's" Both professors are expecting us to put in a lot of work which is good as I'm there to learn. That being said, I'm quickly watching my free time dry up even before I have a job!
  • I truly think the concept of being in school hit me once I received my books. It suddenly made me realize I need things like hi liters and note cards, etc. Ugh.
  • Finally, I'm one of three people in our class to have spent the last year or so traveling. The other two are a) writing a book and b) already employed. Guess my trip wasn't so special after all :-)
I'd love to write more, but I have two chapters and a few cases to read for next week. More from the halls of academia soon!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

We wanted to briefly wish everyone a happy new year. We hope that 2007 has gotten off to a good start for everyone. Though no one has had probably quite as good of a start as Ian Johnson, the Boise State tailback. After scoring the winning two-point conversion against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl Monday night, he proposed to his girlfriend who is the head of the Boise State cheerleaders. Sadly, no YouTube video as of yet to link to.

Still a pretty full start to 2007 for Mr. Johnson. If I was him, I'd be sleeping in this morning.

Cheers to 2007!

Brian & Becca