Monday, March 28, 2011

The Life of a Contract Engineer: Week 9

Well, some weeks are better than others, and this was a rather nice week. I was offered a long term position! Of course I took it! A week and a half ago on Friday I was interviewed by some engineers at John Deere. Tuesday I was offered a job. Thursday I accepted it. I will be moving to Dubuque, Iowa to start work April 18th. For now, that is all I will say because the papers have not been signed yet and during unemployment I had my hopes rise just to be dashed so many times that I feel it is not real until I'm there long enough to get that first paycheck. There are so many things that could happen between now and then that are totally out of my control, and few within my control, that I will still live one day at a time with the knowledge of how fragile my personal economic situation really is.

I am so excited! I mean this is a contract position, but it starts at one year in length and will most likely be renewed. That kind of job security is nearly unfathomable to me right now. There is so much to say about this that I won't even try in this post. I will be using HyperMesh and Abaqus to do almost exactly the same thing I am doing now (stress analysis).

How does this affect my work at Kohler? First of all, I am incredibly thankful for the Kohler opportunity. The least productive three months of my entire career are the first three months, I expect. To have a company that was willing to take that kind of a chance on me and allow me to learn two new pieces of finite element software is phenomenal. No company will probably ever be as generous to me as Kohler was. If I am as productive in May, June and July as I was in January, February and March I will be terribly unproductive. Additionally, I worked with an amazing group of people who exceeded my expectations and taught me all sorts of things. I will miss the people most, I always do.

My running had a bad week that ended with the best workout I have ever had. I was tired all week and I ran a 4 mile tempo midweek and I ruined it by going out at 5:10 pace for nearly a mile and putting myself in anaerobic debt. I even had one day where I ran only 2.5 miles. Finally, Saturday I ran 14.1 miles in 1:21:54. That's a 5:49 average on a breezy 31ºF day with flurries. I set personal records at every distance from 7 miles through 14 miles including a half marathon PR of exactly one minute to 1:16:06. Setting a half marathon PR in practice and running a little farther is generally a good indication of running fitness. In total 85 miles with 18.3 of that at sub 5:50 pace.

What else? I am up over 51,000 words on my book. A slow week for writing. I watched the movie Inside Job and it, as well as two chapters in my book, and the newspapers I've been reading lately inspired me to do four articles this week about economics. I'm doing a review of Inside Job, one about CDOs, and then I'll probably do one about the economic recovery that we are experiencing 2009-present as it pertains to unemployment because it pertains directly to my book, and I have no idea what a fourth will be about.

I will be writing a number of posts about Iowa and such in the future, but I feel talking economics this week is more pressing. Thank you all for reading and hopefully you had a week even better than mine.

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