When I stopped the last post, I had just arrived in the Netherlands, ready to start a whole new job in a new land with a new new new . . . . new everything.
The first thing was trying to get my visa, my permission to be here, straightened out. After the nightmare of dealing with the INS for Sylvia's green card, I expected the worst. Years of waiting and thousands of dollars. It took about 20 minutes on a Tuesday afternoon. That's it. 20 minutes. They mailed my visa to me the next week.
Everywhere here is full of people. That was the first big jump from NC/TN thinking, lot's of people. Everywhere. You have to cultivate a feeling of isolation/privacy internally.
It took about 2 months before the feeling of alien-ness left me. My job working for the father-in-law was not enough to pay all of the bills, so I took a job in Rotterdam as a programmer.
3 months later, the work for the father-in-law (we'll call him 'Bert' from now on) WAS enough to keep me busy full time. Which meant that for a few weeks I was working two full time jobs!
2002 was busy. Language lessons "Ik kan Nederlands goede spreken!". Work. Adjusting to the Netherlands. Just busy.
I met my good friend Jason Lawrenson. An Englishman that shared the same language classes as me. Nice guy. He is listed on my friends in facebook.
Lot's of things happened in 2003. Personal things that really don't belong here on this page. Sylvia and I were this close ][ to getting a divorce. I actually did move out of the house with Derek for about 6 months. In the end, we got back together, so the whole experience had the ultimate result of making me realise that to much work-work-work could lead to a serious depletion of family-family-family.
The business starts hitting its stride. Online Talent Manager has a wide range of tests, the code I wrote in the depths of 2003 depression just happened to be totally fucking awesome. We were on our way.
http://www.onlinetalentmanager.com or http://www.talent8.nl to read some more. But actually, all of those pages were written by other people, the magic under the hood is my domain.
2005 through now:
I cannot think of much that really stands out for a big swath of time there. Lot's of things HAPPENED. Visiting Paris. Trips back to the states. Jumps in the business. More babies being born in the family. Derek growing up, seemingly, faster and faster. I think I just need to work on parsing these years out a little more thoroughly :)
Maybe in a future post.