Life’s been hectic as of late.

Little back-story: A couple of months ago, I sat down and thought, really thought, about where I was professionally, where I wanted to be, and fleshed out a job description that was realistic and appealing. Not the “if I win the lottery” or the “if I drop everything and spend the next couple of years back at school” job description; this was the “I’ve seen a lot of cool stuff, and know what interests me and what does not interest me” job description. Complete with consideration given for actually having a life the 14-16 hours a day I’m not at the office.

Great mental exercise if you haven’t done it lately, by the way.

Based on that, I fired off a couple of extremely targeted resumes (and by couple, I literally mean less than a half-dozen) and directly approached exactly two people. I didn’t want to shake the boat with where I was – I knew that i was in a good spot professionally, and, absent the moon-shot, I was going nowhere.

Well, boys and girls, the moon-shot paid off. I got the job; started a week ago, and it is looking like all that and the bag of chips. So, I’ve been busting the last two weeks, making sure I left the last company happy, and hitting the ground running with the new position. I’m getting somewhat back into the nuts and bytes side of engineering, which pleases me to no end, while still leveraging my MBA. Somewhat of a step up responsibility-wise, but, since I walked off the brow of USS ANNAPOLIS back in 1999, I’ve missed being “The Man”, and actually having weight on my shoulders. Give a 20-something real power and responsibility early in his life, and you’ve ruined him or her for the rest of their careers.

There was also a little matter of a trip down to Norman, Oklahoma to see my little brother graduate from Law School. Granted, the last thing the world needs is another lawyer; but if someone’s got to do it, I’m glad it’s my little bro. “Doc” (his first two initials are MD, and everyone needs a nickname) is going to be doing title law, specifically for oil and gas. He’s a runner – ran Mystic Places with me, and has done the Austin marathon several times.

The trip was unexpectedly great – Norman is every bit as cool a college town should be, and Oklahoma gave me the same vibe as Texas used to before it went all suburbia – the vibe of the possible and of community all at the same time. Did some good running, and had a great time spending a night camping in the Witchita Mountains Nat’l Wildlife Area.

I took last week off from running. Got to go to the Bluff Point trail race – saw Susan, Dianna, Michelle, and April-Anne (who completely thrilled Jake by wearing #100 and being a school teacher), and proved that my wife isn’t just a figment of my imagination. Our sitter couldn’t get off of work in time to support the race, so I didn’t run, but it was good to go huddle in the rain, and even better to see the rainbows as the sun set.

And T-Ball has been completely great. Practice was rained-out on Tuesday; we had a great time on Thursday, and a good game on Saturday. There’s a ton, ton, ton of energy on the team. If we were playing soccer, this team would be killer. As it is, I’m happy – my biggest job as a coach with these kids is to stop them from all trying to pile on the ball after it’s hit, which is infinitely superior to having to watch it dribble past the kid drawing in the dirt. And they all seem eager to get back on the field each week, which is progress towards the larger goal of giving them a life-long love of sport.

So, next week is a new week, with hopefully less life-related stress. The new job gives holidays on top of vacation – I’m looking forward to my first Memorial Day that hasn’t counted against vacation since 2001.

As an ironic aside, Missy’s been watching the help-wanted ads in the newspaper for the last few weeks. Yesterday and today, after I’ve started the new gig, there were two ads that I could have written as pie-in-the-sky jobs:

1. The New London School Board is looking for a physics teacher, specifically with an engineering background, to start a program at their magnet high school. Luckily for me, they aren’t offering any alternative certification paths…

2. The Cannondale Corp is advertising for a Mechanical Engineer with experience with composites to do frame design at their lab in Connecticut. The ad mentioned something about “passion for cycling”… I wonder if building a plywood/fiberglass/epoxy kayak counts as “experience with composites”. The downside here is that I don’t think I could pay the mortgage at the lowest salary to which Cannondale could get me to agree.

Stupid gift horses…