As I've detailed in previous posts, I was having a very challenging 2011. I say "was" because the second half of the year is turning out to be great. Three things have shaped the rebound.
The first thing is I won a charity poker tournament. The charity proceeds went to a relative of a poker league player that needed a kidney transplant. The top four players, me included, "chopped" the pot. "Chopping" is a poker term for splitting the pot. I made over three times my money. There were 40 players in the tournament. I then went on to win in my league nine days later. I also won a league game a month earlier. I hope my hot streak continues as I'm playing in two more charity tournaments in October and November.
The second thing is that I got a new job. I know what your thinking, "didn't you just get a new job in June after being unemployed for a few months?" Yes. Back in June, I got a job with a defense contractor working on a contract with the Postal Service (USPS). If you watch the news, you know that the USPS is having major financial trouble. Their fiscal year ends September 30th and the contract was up for renewal. I was doubtful since every financial transaction was being scrutinized. The wife and I were concerned if I would be out of a job just a few months after being unemployed for 4+ months earlier in the year. I had other concerns as well. I was using outdated software and there wasn't much work to do. This job was not good for my career. At most it was a stop gap. At the same time, a company I interviewed with back in March contacted me about the same position. I never heard back from them after the March interview. It seems that they were having a hard time finding a senior ColdFusion developer. They went back to review all the resumes they had obtained and contacted me in September to see if I was still interested. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The position offered me an opportunity to get into object-oriented programming using current technology and software that was new to me. It would be a positive challenge that would be good for my career. I was offered the position and happily accepted. And it turned out to be in the same general area of DC as the USPS job, so my commute would be the same. It was lucrative as well.
The third thing is the most exciting-Jennifer is pregnant! Shock Jr. number two is on the way. She is due May 18. We go from double coverage to man-to-man. Keep up with the family and the coming attraction at the Shock Family Circus blog.