Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's been a while since I gave an update on my career transition, so here goes.

My venture into entrepreneurship has been enjoyable.  For those who don't know, I purchased an ownership interest in a small manufacturing business last year.  I spend two days a week working there, and it has been fun.  I enjoy the people I work with immensely.  I get to pick and choose the tasks I perform, spending time mostly on things that interest or motivate me, and little on drudgery.  I avoid all the crazy stuff that goes on in larger corporations, where you have a boss, board of directors and competitive peers to worry about.  And it has been pretty financially rewarding as well.

Writing continues to be very enjoyable.  I just wrapped up final edits on a non-fiction book "Navigating Corporate Poltics", which is now off to a proofreader for improvement.  I hope to have it out and available for sale shortly.  Prior to that, I wrote the first draft of what will ultimately be my sixth novel, which is named "Pursuing Other Opportunities."  The other books (the first three of which are out), in order of publication are/will be:  "Leverage," "Incentivize," "Deliverables," "Heir Apparent," and "Empowered."  I've got a design for "Synergy" all ready to go, and the basic concept for "Supply Chain" is in my head and awaiting design. And there's another non-fiction work, "Lessons Learned the Hard Way" that will eventually see the light of day.  I'm very much enjoying my work as a writer, which the investment in time probably makes obvious.  When I exited Corporate America, I had a draft of "Leverage" completed.  Everything else has been done over the past two years.

The other activity that absorbs my time is parenting.  We have two batches of kids (three each) at home.  The youngest of the big kids is getting ready to go off to college for her freshman year, and the oldest moved into an apartment a few days ago.  They don't require a lot of energy, but there is a bittersweetness to seeing them move toward independence.  And then one of them will demonstrate a complete lack of understanding about how something works, and I worry...

The batch of little kids can be draining, but I've certainly grown to love spending time with them.  There seems to be a constant "bicker-fest" going on at our house, and I do end up getting involved in breaking up a lot of inane kid arguments.  On the other hand, they are still at that age where they love to spend time with Mom and Dad, and they find wonder in discovering the world.  We spend a lot of hours swimming in the lake, and watching TV together.

Lastly, is my new hobby -- home-brewed beer.  I love learning new things, and this has been particularly gratifying as I can easily share it with others who enjoy the beverage.  I've gotten quite a bit more sophisticated in my brewing efforts, but still have a lot to learn.  I'd certainly be happy to share a cold frosty one with anyone who might be interested in sampling...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hawaii was Beautiful, but...

My family spent a week in Hawaii recently, and it was a pleasant experience.  We stayed at the Aulani Disney Resort on Oahu, in the Ko'Olina area.

The resort was opened in October of 2011, and while all the recreational areas were open, not all the rooms have been completed.  As a result, I think things were less crowded than they will be once construction of everything is finished -- a nice, if not sustainable, feature.  Even saying that, we still had some difficulty locating shady places to sit in the afternoon -- woe to those who follow when the resort is more crowded.

The resort featured plenty of water fun -- two slides, a "lazy river", a saltwater "reef" complete with tropical fish, a stingray pool (extra fee required -- more on this later), a huge pool, multiple spas two of which had terrific views of the lagoon, and a semi-private beach on a constructed cove.  We spent most of our time taking advantage of the water, and only briefly experienced some of the "other" features of the resort (not counting eating and drinking, of course).  There were several dining choices at the resort, all of which served tasty food -- our favorite was 'Ama 'Ama, situated near the beach.  The resort is located only half a mile away was Paradise Cove, which had a nightly luau for you and 700 of your closest friends.

We spent one day on an excursion to the "Big Island" to visit a waterfall, Mona Loa Nut Farm, and Volcano National Park -- a wonderful, though exhausting, experience.

So what were the "buts?"

Hawaii's a long way away.  Duh.  I knew that already, but the point was emphasized over and over by the three small children with us on the flights.

The ocean is cold.  I suppose some would say 75 degrees isn't all that cold, but I wore a shorty wetsuit to snorkel, and would have been out of the ocean in twenty minutes without it.

The sun, on the other hand, is intense.  Even our three little kids (who are from Ethiopia, for those who don't know) were sunburned.

Traffic is terrible in Honolulu.  We didn't have to deal with it much, but every activity that required driving had lots and lots (way too much, in most cases) of padding in the schedule.

Everything was expensive.  I realize it's Hawaii, and it's a resort, but $16 for a cheeseburger?  Really?

All things considered, however, we had a good trip, and I would recommend the quality of the Disney Aulani resort -- at least while the crowds stay manageable.