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Bill Dog's Journal: the decade from heaven 13

Journal by Bill Dog

Supposably (heh) that trashy mag Time has the Decade from Hell as its irrevelent cover this month or week or whatever. And pictured a little baby having a crying hissy fit. I guess that part applies, now.

People in meatspace often think I'm a pessimist. I'm not, of course -- I'm a realist. What people really don't like is things being called as they're seen. So I suppose this might not endear anyone to me either, but I had a fantastic decade.

Did it suck at the end? Absolutely, and beyond my wildest nightmares. In the last year and a half my dog began dying and I lost her, then I lost my job (at the end of last year!), and recently I lost my beautiful car. I'd been sick pretty much consistently for 3 months since mid-Sept., and had sharp, stabbing chest pains earlier this week. My savings, as expected, has taken a humongous hit, and so has my health, both mental and physical.

But this is all only in the last 18 months. The other 9 years of this decade I've had full, gainful employment. At my last job, which only lasted a year when this downturn hit hard, I was making darn close to six figures. Since I live cheaply, that means with the extra I was saving some for retirement, plus paying down some on my condo. After of course saving up a decent emergency fund. My dad advised me to have upwards of $n0K in liquid savings, to weather any potential coming downturn. I saved targeting the upwards part, thankfully. He said don't put it in CD's, but in stocks, for a better return. I already have my 401K in the stock market, so I didn't take that part of his advice. Glad I didn't, too, as I obviously needed a bunch of that money, and before the market had recovered some later this year.

But even tho my 401K went down precipitously, it's come back a lot. Oh and he advised me not to pay extra on my home, just put it in the market. But again, I have all of what little retirement savings I've done in the stock market, so I didn't take that part of the advice either, and glad I didn't, because, no downturn can erase the principal I've paid off on my home (unless I lose it), nor the future savings in interest it'll afford. With my paying it down aggressively this last decade, I actually have only two years of payments left on it, and then it's mine all mine. Now granted I bought extremely modest, and in '97 before the bubble began inflating, so my payment is only a little over a grand, which is a joke by today's standards. But I'm very debt-averse, and esp. want to be free of having any big financial obligations to anyone if things get any worse.

Aside from a very good decade economically, this was the decade I had a dog of my own. She was supposedly 4-5 years of age when I adopted her, and I had her for about 9 years, which is a good long time and long life for a large breed. I had my awesome Mustang GT with V8 and (and this decade I learned to drive (on it) a) stick shift for 8 years, that I absolutely loved. My sister (and only sibling) and her husband moved back from northern California, and she finally got a diagnosis for what was crippling her life, so she was back in my life and happy again. My parents are still alive, and live here locally, and doing okay. Except for the recent (uber-)suckage, and things so drastically changing of late, I can't complain at all about the 2000's. Okay I had the repeated ankle sprains, one about every 11 months for about 4-5 years there, as I recall. Oh I'm definitely cursed, with absolutely ridiculous shiite happening to me. No one would believe all the kinds of things that happen to me. Not really serious things, I can still walk (that's really it, tho), but just super unlikely series of events.

But anyways, overall it's prolly been the best decade of my life, and I'm definitely way better for it. And I have high hopes for the 2010's. I just finished the last in a series of C#/.NET night courses at the local uni and completed their certificate program, and I'm hoping that'll open my employment possibilities wider in the new year. Hopefully everyone, including businesses, are getting sick of malaise, and will start ramping up again, despite the savaging that's being done to the country by our elected and esp. unelected leaders. To the next generation, sorry, you're unquestionably fscked, you have no future, and I prolly have a miserable one ahead, but I refuse to assume it's here yet, and I want many more years of normal, happy life ahead of me. It's not like I worked my butt off these last 9 months cramming .NET stuff into my head under the assumption that everything was going to go to crap soon. You see, I, sir, am an optimist! :) And extremely thankful for everything that I have and have had.

So I hope everyone reading this can reflect back on the decade and find it overall a fairly good one (if you look hard enough), and are thankful for being alive, overall. Since it's doubtful I'll have this good of a segue the rest of this month, Merry Christmas to everyone and to yours, Happy Hanukah if that's your thing, and happy believing there is no God if that's your thing, either way I hope the end of this year and decade is a joyous time and I wish you happy new ones!

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the decade from heaven

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  • Certainly been my least favourite decade (and the most disappointing one as well.)
  • by zogger (617870)

    Always had a decent enough place to live, always had some sort of check coming in, started stacking coins, got a nice little amount now, always had food on the table and long term stored away, and have a lot of pets, which give me great comfort for some reason. Get to be working semi retired and not have to really beat on my body that much compared to previous employment (although I made four times what I make now), another good point. Got going on energy independence with our solar, computers sure got a lo

  • Sorry to hear of your recent trials, but I confirm it is also wonderful to hear of how many ways you are blessed.

    Ciao,

    Pudge_Confirmer

  • I've journaled about it enough. Here's hoping your optimism pays off better than my learning .NET in 2001 did!

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      If you're referring to the dot-com bubble bursting, yes, I was laid off that year from my 2nd dot-bomb/startup that imploded on itself, but got very lucky and got (unwittingly) pulled into govt. contracting that carried me for the next 6 years, while other engineers were experiencing much pain on the jobs front. Now it's been my turn to be feeling it.

      If you're referring to what you learned being quickly deprecated, yes, I for example got in on the ground floor of Java, near the end of my first job, and v1.1

      • A combination of both- It took me 3 years to find that government contracting job, which lasted me the next 5. In that time, all of my studies on .NET Beta and V1.0 framework disappeared, for exactly the reasons you state. 3.5 was a drastic change from 2.0 as well. I kind of get the feeling that Microsoft is attempting to build a set of programming tools on shifting sand.

        It's getting hard to stay caught up- and I might not stick around for the next bit if I can get some of my other ideas to work.

        • by Bill Dog (726542)

          Actually 3.0 and 3.5 are just add-ons to 2.0, and not changes. I.e. in .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 you're still using the 2.0 framework, and the WinForms 2.0 book I'm going thru right now is matching perfectly. It's just that the older WinForms 1.x books are no longer the preferred way of doing things. So if you know .NET 2.0 you're still fine, 3.x just added the W*F stuff like WCF and WPF, and LINQ, which I don't think are widely adopted yet in teh real world. Like Sun, MS seems to have made their init

          • They're widely adopted at my current contract- and boy did it make the project a mess......but it's not Winforms, it's web based.

            • by Bill Dog (726542)

              I'd be curious to know which one(s) made a mess of things/what to be suspicious of.

              • Too many to put in this thread. But LINQ and WCF object trees are used quite extensively- I think they were doing an early version of Silverlight, but I'm not sure.

                They're using inheritance in a strange way in this application; so strange that Visual Studio Debugger can't really trace what is going on. Worse yet, making a change as simple as adding a column to a report fails to check out the proper files downstream in the inheritance- instead making COPIES of them and checking out the copy instead, which

                • by Bill Dog (726542)

                  Very interesting -- thanks.

                  5 tiers, eh. Well 3 usually being DBMS + DAL + presentation layer, I can only think to de-couple the data access and presentation layers by inserting two communicating web services or .NET remoting layers, to get to 5. I can think of a couple of reasons to do it that way.

                  Maybe the strange inheritance stuff is due to an ORM tool, that creates .NET classes at runtime based on the DB schema. Have phantom classes in the middle of a hierarchy and that might throw the debugger and sourc

  • by dedazo (737510)

    I don't know about everyone else but I pretty much just had the best decade ever. Warts and all.

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