Cruising and Retirement

retirement   I’ve been woefully negligent in updating this blog.  I think that I’ll post about our cruises and vacations as we enter retirement. I’m not much of a writer, but maybe this will be the start of something big!

As some have heard, back in July, the VP of Information Technology Systems called seven of us into his office individually and told us that we’d be laid off at the end of October. Two were told they were being kept until February.  While one of the ‘February folks’ has subsequently successfully posted for another job in the Fed, the rest of us have a week and a half left until we’re OUTTA THERE!

Luckily, I’m able to retire, though I don’t know how much cruising we’ll be able to do in the future. The financial manager has said that we’ll be able to continue our lifestyle as we now enjoy it, so I’m hoping for a couple of cruises per year.

The ‘bad news’ of this whole thing is that when we were talking to the financial manager, Pam looked at her pension and saw that it would nearly double what it would be today if she waits another 3.5 years until she’s 62. That sucks, but really, she pretty much likes her job and I think she’ll be able to breeze through the next few years.

So . . . I hope to post more here in the future.  And as far as the future is concerned, we have one cruise booked so far, but are looking at a couple more. The booked cruise is a Disney cruise from New York City to the Bahamas with a stop at Port Canaveral for a day at Disney World. I’m looking at trying Celebrity for a Caribbean cruise out of NYC also. We’ll have to see how that goes.

Stay tuned, and let’s see if I actually post more here!


Next Cruise – WDW Radio Cruise with Ridley Pearson

Ridley Pearson, the author of the “Kingdom Keepers” series, will be on the November, 2013 Disney Fantasy Eastern Caribbean cruise sponsored by WDW Radio podcast.  I’ve read a couple of his books, and have the latest on my Kindle to read during our Disney vacation in August.

It looks like we won’t be doing Fish Extenders this time around as we only have 3 months to go and there hasn’t been any word on them yet.

Goodbye Lotus Notes

The company I work for has decided that Lotus is no longer the provider of choice for email (Notes), instant messaging (SameTime), document sharing (Quickr) or social networking (Connections). So we’ll be moving to ‘another’ well known provider for most of those needs.

As far as I can figure out, this is not a technical nor financial decision. Well, not true. The decision was based on FUD provided by an outside source that was wrapped up in technical and financial blarney. What I mean is that this was all started for political reasons. Someone got a bee in their bonnet (wow, is that an old saying!) about Notes in general and after being wooed by a larger software company, decided to drive Notes from our company. Ok, let’s face it. IBM doesn’t care too much about keeping customers, just trying to win new ones. So no one came to call or help until the decision was about to be put in front of the board. I’m predicting that we’ll be in a mess for about 5 years, maybe more. And after that, the email system will STILL not be as stable as what we have now.

And to top this all off, the only solution that I’ve heard for replacing Lotus Notes applications is SharePoint. SHAREPOINT? Umm, did anyone really look at the capabilities? Or did they just take MS and the outside source’s word for it? Oh well.

So what does that mean for me? I’m not going to go back out there as an independent contractor. That was great, but I had to finally call it quits when the jobs became scarcer. I don’t like marketing, and you REALLY have to get out there and market yourself to keep the jobs rolling in. Looking at job postings now, Lotus Notes is dying off quickly. There’s still a core group of Notes developers that show up at all the LUG meets, but the circle has shrunk quite a bit and seems to be imploding.

I’ve recently started working with WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management along with Java in general, so that’s where I’m headed. I want to stay here because of the security, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to the level of expertise in WebSphere technologies as I had in Lotus Notes. I am however having a lot of fun learning. So maybe bidding farewell to Notes won’t be so hard after all. Although, I really did want to learn XPages – it holds so much promise.