The Naked Green

2005.4.20 Wednesday

Life Trickles By

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.11 pm

It’s when life gets busy and full of things to talk about that the blogging slows to a trickle. It’s sad that the best amateur writing is about the most boring things because there’s so much time to embellish. You have to have some pretty good material to make it interesting without embellishment and even that takes talent and time. I digress.

It’s official! Green Light Works, my business, now has a website and I’ve been littering the town with business cards. This is the time to try making money out of a hobby I love: web design. You laugh? Well, it’s also a time to help my Dad out with his flooring business. Add in a math class to meet the criteria for an electrician apprenticeship and you start to get the idea: I’m busy and my mind is working faster than it likes to. Emotions are…well…emotional.

I’m not at all saying that my life is somehow unbearable or “too busy". Others work hard for that title and I have no intention of taking it away. There is a lot going on in my life for me personally, though. More than the volume, it’s the alien feeling I get doing such crazy things. I mean, living the “American Dream"…who would have thought?

2005.3.24 Thursday

Goals or Ghouls

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 6.16 pm

Goals or Ghouls? This whole post may be a hodge podge of points on a flat landscape due to this very question. Where do I stand? Am I just reacting or is there some sort of goal? I have an idea where I want to end up in the end and what I’m going to do next, but the path seems non-existent. It may be a fear of commitment or some other neurotic aversion, but I think the question deals with more than the spelling.

Starting a “web design” business has set me to questioning myself and what I’m doing. I love doing web design and believe I’m good enough to start charging money to do it. I know it’s very difficult to make a living at it, though, which leaves me in this sort of temporary state. How can I define the path and where am I headed? I design websites and install hardwood floors for Pete’s sake!

That’s where the whole “electrician thing” comes in. It makes sense: A trade that I can make a decent wage while I learn how to do it and then provide for my family…happily ever after. It’s not that I’m against the idea, either…it’s a good one. I go into it hoping that some day I can bring it around to computers, the internet, design…the things I love to do (for now). No problem. So what’s the big deal?

I’m just thinking at the expense of anyone who reads this blog, that’s all. I was in a particularly down mood about the whole thing this morning and just now, I read an article: My Web Professional Career. I feel like he does: Not confident, fearing failure, and lacking direction. It got me thinking and I decided to write…about goals. Where are they? Well, what the heck, here’s a few:

  • I want my business and any work I do to have kingdom impact (God’s kingdom). That’s too vague though, isn’t it?
  • I plan to be able to be the sole provider for my family within…let’s say two years (from next year).
  • I will try to not delete these goals

I can’t even write them seriously! I suppose I can keep the last one, but why is it that I have such an aversion to being tied down? I think you could say I have effectively stepped out on the line quitting my job and starting a business. There’s really no risk, though. It’s more risky to commit to something…for the long haul.

That’s it for now. No closer to a solution, but I have a soup on the stove that needs stirring.

2005.3.23 Wednesday

Update from Code-Head

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.21 am

Only in Colorado does a geek ride his mountain bike up and down hills to get to the library only to pick up books on PHP & MySQL, take a drink from his Nalgene, ride back and actually enjoy it.

Soon, I hope to be designing database driven websites that are so simple to maintain, even the client can do it. Why I want to work myself out of a job, I don’t know. My new found knowledge will probably be used on my business website first. There is some serious learning to do before then, though, which explains why I picked up MySQL/PHP Database Applications. I hope to spend enough time with my head in the book to make some headway progress before I get busy again with two prospective jobs in April as well as some flooring.

Side note: Thanks to Simon Wheeler, creator of phpdev, who made it a breeze to get PHP MySQL and Apache running on my Win machine in minutes! I’m excited to get going and the last thing I need is to spend hours trying to configure programs.

2005.3.9 Wednesday

Floor One

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 9.46 pm

Work has taken on a new meaning as I’ve been pounding on a floor (very carefully) since Monday. My desktop calendar still says it’s Sunday, but my knees, hands, back…actually, my whole body tells me otherwise. We’ve been putting in long hours to get a small town home with enormously large floors covered in prefinished oak. Tom decided it would be good to throw in a border for free (called advertising or something…something like “my head hurts").

It’s all the debut performance of a well honed (we will be by the end of this job) new company on the block: Hardwood Cafe. Tom is the owner and has sentenced the two of us (my brother and I) to appear each morning as far away from 8.00 possible. We’re enjoying our duties, but the help gets a bit out of line (I’ll let Stephen tell you about it). Humor aside, it’s great to be working with my hands and I appreciate the job.

As hinted in previous posts, I am also the proud papa of as my first commercial project. I hope to add more clients to the list of “The Portfolio of Mr. Green” on my own company’s website (yet to be built (yes both)). An exciting new leaf is turned and it must weigh about as much as a box of hardwood flooring because I’m beat.

Jamie also has some work excitement, but that’s a story for another blog.

Now it’s time to finish up the laundry.

2005.2.28 Monday

Training Day

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 7.24 pm

My last day “on the job” was last Friday, but I spent the day today training my boss and a lesser manager. I will also spend tomorrow training another manager. Apparently, it will take three well paid managers to do my job for half days while they search for a suitable replacement. Is that an ego boost or what?

The position was great in that I had plenty of time to myself in a quiet room to play on a computer. I “owned” the position and could was very much in control of how things happened. It was also very detailed work.

I’m glad to be moving on, though. It’s hard to do something day in and day out that is losing your company money. It was a dead end job and I could feel it. The satisfaction was just not there. Working tomorrow will be good because it means I get medical insurance for March, but I need to get on to my web design work. The first phase deadline is this Friday…that’s more exciting.

2005.2.21 Monday

Homemaking Practice

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.19 am

I’m home from work today for President’s Day, but instead of vacationing, I decided to do some other work. It’s in preparation of my last day at my job this Friday when I’ll be free from the “nine to five” and will have to cajole myself into the self-discipline of the foreboding “freelance” work.

I’m working today on our church website as well as cooking, cleaning, and preparing for guests tonight. Of course I have to do some obligatory “work time” blogging as well.

2005.2.13 Sunday

Two Weeks

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.41 pm

I sent an email to my boss on Friday with that magical phrase: “Two weeks notice". I believe it’s time to move on and I’m looking forward to what God has in store for me.

There will be plenty to do as I have my first paying client for web design and others on the horizon. I will be working with my Dad who just started a flooring business and of course, snow plowing when it comes. I’m also looking forward to taking some of the load off of Jamie with house work (can you believe it?).

This move will give me much more flexibility to explore different venues of work and education. I will remain open to missions work in the near future and be able to work toward that. I’m excited about the change! Hey, change is good (if it’s smart change). :)

2005.2.7 Monday

How I Love Changes

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 10.09 am

Changes in my work schedule mean more work and less blogging. I’ll be spending about an hour and a half each day at my company doing the billing for the orders I do here. How I love changes!

2004.12.3 Friday

Not one order

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 12.02 pm

I haven’t had one order come in today and I think it’s about time for my lunch break. As much as I enjoy free time to browse the internet, I need some work to feel like I’m accomplishing something. All my web design work must be done at home, so I really can’t be that productive here at work.

I know what I can do! I’ll start reading this book I’ve been lugging to work every day and not looking at. Mmm…lunch and a book sounds quite appetizing right now.

2004.11.24 Wednesday

Bountiful Harvest

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 5.42 pm

I guess it’s harvest time at work because yesterday three massive files came down which has made me busier than ever. I spent all day today copying one file. I guess file is not a good word for it because it conjures up images of a folder. This file took up three boxes and they wanted two copies. Hopefully I will be able to get everything done on time.

It wasn’t a bad day overall, though. I was in fairly good mood and made some good money for My Company which I’m sure they’ll enjoy.

Tomorrow I get to enjoy another bountiful harvest from the lovely fields of supermarket with my family. Jamie and I are going to my parents’ house for food, fun and festivities. Stephen is back from college for a few days and Andrew and Natalie will be paying a visit all the way from Illinois! I think I’ll miss opening Christmas presents on Thanksgiving like we did here last year.

God is good and I have a lot to be thankful for!

Edit 2004.12.01: I changed the name of my company to “My Company” in light of this article on Personal Blogs and The Workplace. I have taken care to hide the identity of “The Company” I work at, but it’s good to keep my employer anonymous for now.

2004.11.15 Monday

Work a Tired Man

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 3.10 pm

I’m feeling tired and all wacky, like I’ve been using crystal meth. This of course is due to the snow plowing I did on Sunday morning, not drugs. I was called at 1.00am and didn’t get to bed until 5.00pm not wanting to go to bed too early. At least I got a couple hours of sleep before getting called this time. It’s not so much that I didn’t get enough sleep, just that my schedule is all wacky. Now I don’t feel so good…maybe it’s something else too.

I took some pictures at Intel (where we plow) so maybe I’ll put them in our Gallery.

Of course, wouldn’t you know it…. Now they have me working hard all day here. I’ve been working almost non stop all day (unusual and annoying) and I have a stack of nine orders! I was going to wait until i had free time to blog, but i don’t think that’s going to happen today. Needless to say, I had better stop writing and start copying. blah. :(

2004.11.2 Tuesday

The First Plow

Colored in: — Mr. Green @ 4.10 pm

Holloween brought with it plenty of cold weather as usual here. I had a pretty good idea that we would be getting enough snow to plow, but didn’t know when I would get “the call". It came shortly after 11.00pm when I was just about asleep. I drove through blinding snow in our Cutlass Cierra and made it to work a little before midnight. What a night…morning…day…whatever! There were only three of us and two trucks because Zach (the boss) is out hunting and didn’t bring all the equipment down.

I plowed in a beast of a truck and spent most of the night plowing one road because the snow kept coming down. Some time before sunrise (if you can call it that) I started feeling quite ill, but once it got light I felt better. I did call in to work to let them know I wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t show up which I ended up feeling bad about after I woke up at 3.00 that afternoon. At 8.30am I was relieved by someone fresh and went for breakfast (for some strange reason) where I tried to eat food when all I wanted was bed. The drive home was probably the worst and I nearly wrecked after I sloshed around on some slush without realizing I was speeding. :| Last night I was back at it for a couple hours cleaning up the parking lots.

Today, I’m feeling a bit ill and quite tired today in a sort of “what kind of drugs was I on last night” sort of way. I did have a good talk with Joe (my day job boss) and may be getting a night job that pays more than what I’m doing now. I told him why I called in and that it wouldn’t happen again because it’s importnant to me to be honest. Honesty, in my opinion, is more than not lying. It’s about telling someone truth that you think they want or need to know, not just truth that makes you look better.

At any rate, plowing was kind of fun, very tiring and pays nicely. I plan to try to keep it up for a while. The next time I plow and actually force myself to come into work may tell a different story, though.