“New Year’s Day — Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year’s is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion.”
– Mark Twain, Letter to Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, Jan. 1863
Here we are! We’ve made it another year. With the Presidential election coming up in the fall I’m sure it’s going to be a doozy, but my more immediate concern will be getting back into the rhythm of working as my vacation has come to an end and I return to the grind wheel this morning. After three weeks off I’m sure I’m going to have a ton of stuff to dig through. Not to mention there’s a big swap of company phones and a refresh of older PCs that are probably ready to go. Alas, my plans of hitting the lotto over vacation didn’t come to pass so I’ll have to go back, but at least it’s to a job I enjoy and where I seem to be appreciated. That’s a lot more than some folks can say.
Beyond that I didn’t have a lot to say other than Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable holiday season, whichever ones you were participating in. As for myself, I think this picture of Cuddles, the official SEB cat, sums up how my vacation went pretty well.
So we’ve made it through another decade. Back in 2000 I started the year being retained at the General Motors Design Center in Warren after participating in their Y2K migration the year and a half before. I was living in Canton, MI and my daughter had moved in along with my fiancée. Then in 2001 I moved to Ford Motor Company for the next four years and got married on April 21st. December of that year was when I started the blog that would eventually become Stupid Evil Bastard. It’s also the year when I earned the most for the first and last time. That was a good year.
Things were going pretty well up until 2005 when I got laid off from Ford and was out of work for almost a year. The contract house I had been working for brought me in-house in a paid intern position just before Christmas of that year to help me out while I tried to find a new job. It wasn’t enough to allow us to keep our apartment in Canton, however, and we ended up moving in with my in-laws for a couple of years. During 2006 I got called to come back to Ford only to have the job last a mere 2.5 months before I was back to looking for work. A short stint at the local Meijers led to a position back at the General Motors Technical Center campus in 2007 which led to Big Dot Com (still can’t say what company it was due to the NDA) in Ann Arbor for two years which ended last April. Another stint of unemployment over the summer followed by underemployment doing PC refreshes for PNC bank finally wound up with me finding gainful employment at a company in Brighton that makes brakes and suspension systems just in time for Christmas 2010.
It’s been a wild decade with some major ups and downs and some of you have been there through the entire ride. Or at least the parts from when I started the blog. You have helped me out when I was in need on more than one occasion and you have been more than generous over the years. My best friend, William Owen, was tragically taken from us in 2003 by a glorified meter-maid with delusions of grandeur. My daughter moved out in 2009 to live with her mother and go to college in Grand Rapids. We went from a two car to a one car family at least twice over and are back at just one at this moment. We spent 8 years with a President who could barely string a coherent sentence together and who like to start wars for others to finish. We went from a stock market so high it was hard to believe to an economy in ruin from too much excess.
I start 2011 with a new job that pays decently considering what the job market in Michigan is like at the moment. My wife continues to do well at her job. We’re worse for wear after the last 10 years, but we’re still kicking and screaming with a roof over our heads and our bills mostly paid. Could be better off than we are, but we could be a lot worse too. Whatever the new year brings you’ll probably hear about it here so long as I still have fingers to type with.
Here’s hoping you’ll stick around to see what happens next.