I used to work for IBus when it was a fully owned subsidiary of Maxwell Technologies under the name IBus/Phoenix because Maxwell was trying to squeeze synergy out of the coupling of Phoenix Power Systems and IBus. Maxwell gave up on IBus and intended to close it down but the VP of engineering and his friend who was also my supervisor asked if they could buy it. They asked me to continue working for the company and I agreed, but this was before they told me they were moving to San Jose. I refused to commute from San Diego and allow them to pay 30% of my salary to me as travel and living expenses.

I looked for a software engineering job for three months but discovered that most hiring companies were looking for people already pigeonholed in a specific technology. My expertise is broad and I think that's why no one was interested. Abbot Labs interviewed me and then forgot about me, refusing to answer all my inquiries about what the problem was. They had five guys interview me and they all said I was great. I went back for a second interview. But after that, neither me nor my headhunter could get any info out of them.

Finally I got my current job implementing XQuery with RainingData using Java. It's a lot of fun. It's the first time I worked for a company where I didn't quickly become the one who knew the most about what we were doing. It's nice when there's someone there besides me who is supposed to be able to answer the tough questions.

I had written a complicated management system for a product line of IBus. Now they're calling me because they don't know how to use it. I tell them to read the docs I wrote, but they won't read them until I say "Oh, I don't remember that - you'll have to look it up in the docs I wrote." Then they send me the docs I wrote. Ok, there's a bit of exaggeration in there. Anyway, I hope they take me up on my offer to fly up and help them for a weekend. I can make a lot of money that way. All I can get for spending a half hour on the phone with them every day is a good talking to from my supervisor and dirty looks from the guy I share an office with.

A friend of mine runs a little consulting business on the side and he's asked me to help out a few times. Since I tend to solve problems in my sleep, I don't like charging by the hour. Instead, I tell him what I think it'll cost and he agrees or talks me down. We're good friends and I'd help him for free if he really needed it, so we don't have much of a problem in that area. He was looking for a job too and landed one with Amgen in Thousand Oaks. Since we have no family there, I'm not applying like he suggested.

I'm currently working on two pieces of a job he got, and apparently neither of us is sure exactly what the 2nd piece requires. This is the black art of consulting. Your client won't pay you to listen to them try to explain what they want you to do, and unless you spend the time to nail that down, you can't bid the project. I guess once the client is established, they feed you enough work that you don't really care that you aren't getting paid a good 20 or 30 percent of the time. But I think if the company is big enough, they'll realize the value of that on-the-fly design work that you have to give them for free and start exploiting it. So I've spent about three hours working on figuring out what that 2nd piece of the work involves and sent the details of my two theories to him. My friend said he might have to go back and talk to the client.

Montecarlo told me that my writeups make more sense as parts of a whole while some of them, by themselves, don't really stand up on their own. I've been pondering this. I think it's just fine. When I realized that the easiest way to view a list of writeups in order of reputation is to look at the list of writeups from one noder, I realized something important. Everything is made up of people, and they are the most wonderful thing the web has to offer. I thought it was information, but it is not. How could I miss this important fact? I met my wife on the Internet. I don't think she's an E2 reader yet, but I'm working on her.

I had fun picking phrases out of my daylog to hard-link. I suspect that quite a few will lead to nowhere, but consider them as invitations to write. This reminds of something I read a long time ago (probably in the E2 FAQ) about justifying nodeshells. I also remember reading that it isn't a really good idea to hard-link for emphasis, but there's an aspect of that with which I disagree. If the word you chose to write is especially appropriate, it's kind of neat to give the reader a simple way to go see what has been written about it. Besides that, many single words have at least one writeup that is really fantastic.