Friday, December 07, 2018

New job; vacation; apartment; business cards; Christmas

New job

Possibly the most interesting thing to happen to me in a while is that I've got a new job (with the same company). Incidentally, I'm going into my seventh year of service next May, which would be meaningless if not for the fact that I get awarded my fourth week of annual vacation starting in January as a result!

 Lately things have been picking up at work; we have been building and acquiring new power plants and so some positions were added to handle  them. I applied for a few internal jobs and finally one stuck. Briefly, this job was in the "business" side of power plant management - for example, renegotiation of power sale or other contracts, evaluating various upgrade initiatives at the plants, coordinating regulatory/compliance issues, etc. I was hired and given a portfolio of wind farms across North America to look after.

My nascent career in this area was cut short, however, because the chief of the budget group (my old manager) decided he had seen enough, packed up his personal belongings and simply walked out the day after Thanksgiving. He himself was new to the company - we calculated he had worked for us for about forty days - and took his leave during the busiest period of the year. I had previously been offered that job and didn't take it. In one of those peculiar instances where you didn't know you wanted something until it passed you by, I regretted turning down the position, and here it was, being presented to me a second time. It's a rare thing to get another kick at the cat for this sort of thing, so held my nose and plunged in.. New title: Senior Manager, Budget & Forecasts. It's likely the better move career-wise, since the other role was a lateral move and this is a promotion, but it's undoubtedly less interesting and less rewarding. I'm not planning to stay in this job for more than a couple of years so I should be able to manage it. My peers at this level are mostly in their 40s and 50s, so it's an interesting dynamic.


In early January, Nancy and I are heading to Mexico for six days. Our destination is a resort in Playa Del Carmen. Neither of us has been on a sun vacation before, and I'm looking forward to it. I chose the Quintana Roo province as it's Canadian Blood Services-certified malaria-free - I gave my 60th blood donation last month and am trying to get to 100 by age 40. Nancy wants to go on an African safari this summer, and if that's the case then I unfortunately can't avoid a deferral from blood donation, but want to keep this to a minimum.

New apartment

Nancy and I moved in together almost exactly a year ago, and it's going rather better than I had expected. It's an apartment a few blocks north of the Save-on Foods by AJ's old condo. We got a good deal on rent and it's convenient for both of our work locations.

In a rare bout of fiscal abandon, we impulse-bought some teak furniture for the place at K-Days. It looks striking in the living room, though the overall effect is dampened by the presence of Nancy's bike trainer set up next to it.

Business cards

When I was home last Christmas, I brought back all my old business card materials and rekindled a latent interest in collecting them. It's quite interesting to see what progress can be made one applies adult resources and experience to a childhood hobby. My big focus has been on bishops from the Anglican and Catholic churches, a surprising number of whom respond to my mailed requests. Occasionally my brother of the cloth is called on to vouch for me to Anglican prelates.

Big wins include:
-The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Parolin
-Major Archbishop of Trivandrum (India), Cardinal Cleemis
-Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Cardinal O'Brien
-The Vatican Prefect for the Economy, Cardinal Pell
-All five of Austalia's Anglican archbishops, including the Primate
-The Anglican Bishop of London, considered to be a potential future Archbishop of Canterbury
-A note from the Duke of Northumberland, one of England's largest landowners
-Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff
-Premiers and state governors
-The Commissioner of the RCMP.

Surprisingly the Prime Minister, known for his glad-handling ways, is not inclined to contribute. I had better luck with his predecessor.

I still collect all types of cards, so if you see them somewhere and remember, please grab some for me.


Looking forward to heading back to Rocky for Christmas. Nancy is likely to come this year, which I attribute to the curated stream of food pictures I sent last year.


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