Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Cindy, Sarah, Kathy and Uncle Joe have birthdays at the end of January.

My own birthday is at the end of January. We make plans that fall by the wayside, myself included. I have planned to take cousin Kathy and her husband John to "the hills" to gamble for the afternoon, one day this weekend. Similar plans were made with Sarah. I pictured myself sitting in a bar in Aguillar with many cousins, a few of them new 3rd cousins, and enjoying the celebration of Uncle Joe's birthday.

Though the celebrations have not begun, I can see them already, a good time enjoyed by all.

The cousin most close to my own age is Cindy. Recently Cindy, Sarah and I went to Black Hawk on the casino bus. It was cold that night, about 5° all night. Sarah and Cindy played side by side on the slots. I played video poker. We had been there for about 5 hours when Sarah thought it might be a good time to check the return bus status. We had 5 minutes to catch the last bus of the night. At the same time Cindy hit a jackpot, so we had to cash out and get to the bus stop. There were not many gamblers out that night, so there was only one cash-out machine that was turned on. Our plan was for Sarah to go upstairs and redeem Cindy's winnings ticket for $160 and meet us on the street. Sarah made it but we were late and we missed the bus. We enjoyed the extra time. I had a nice nap on the bus ride back to Denver. 'You know when you fall asleep when everyone else is talking about random stuff, and when you wake up the conversation is still in full force? That is the absolute best sleep possible. The best part of the trip was hearing Sarah and Cindy laughing from across the casino floor.

Uncle Joe has been around for as longer than I can remember. He and Uncle Junior were Dad's hunting buddies. Dad would make trips to Colorado to hunt and we would get to hear the stories. Each time we would visit Mom's family in New Mexico and Colorado, we would visit Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe. Until then Uncle Joe was my uncle that hunted with my dad. Since then I have enjoyed more time with Uncle Joe and now see a man that has worked hard, is working hard for his family. I enjoyed the Falcons football game at the Academy, the story about how goat cheese is made, the story of the wine trade in the middle of the last century, and hearing the correct pronunciation of the city Pueblo. It seems to me that Uncle Joe can not go more than 5 minutes without a smile burst! He sets the mood.

My mother introduced me to my dad's cousin Kathy several years ago. On a visit to Colorado, Mom, armed with a phone number, on the spur of the moment, called Kathy. 15 minutes later, we were saying our hellos. Kathy and Dad were part of group of cousins that "hung out" together as teenagers. They called her "Little Sis."

It would be nice to be everywhere with everyone, but it is nice enough to be somewhere with someone.

Happy Birthday!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What do you do when you get laid off?


Tell your significant other. Tell Mom. Tell your friends, start with the last one you have talked to.
Next, Tell the Unemployment Office.
Then, Tell a neighbor or two.
Tell a couple of family members, be selective. One cousin can broadcast or one Aunt can be consoling. Of course you want to broadcast your news or feel the love to varying degrees... do be prepared for what is to come.


OK, now you only have to answer the same questions, over and over and over again for the next few months.

This is the first question you will face. It is easy to answer but the dialog gets tougher now.

Well now you have to explain, and explain well. A vague answer will lead to wide open interpretations and more questions.

Why did you get laid off? This question could really be, "Were you fired?" or "Why did you not get fired?" or

Will you be able to sign-up for unemployment benefits?

Can you get Unemployment?

Job Search

Register at the .gov sites for your city, county, state and federal. Every available new hire position for jobs funded by your taxes will be posted. Nearly all government agencies post online as opposed to only in newspapers.

Consider your local community...
Can I walk to work and save an hour of commute every day?

Keep in touch with your old coworkers.
There will be new news at the old workplace, some of due to layoffs like yours and new hiring there and at like companies in the industry.

Work at home
with your talents at sites like Elance and uTest.

Offer your skills
on, monster.

Use your state's Department of Employment job services.

Review Your Budget

Forbear, defer or cancel student loans.

Document communication with your loan handler as it happens. It will make your next conversation much easier. Email, SMS messaging, phone calls, FAX, mail, courier services, and face to face conversations can become a puzzle to recall without record keeping. The institution that handles your loan might not have a record that matches yours. It helps to provide dates and times for previous interactions.

Loan managers will want evidence of qualification for UI Benefits. How do you send evidence of an online qualification confirmation when Sallie Mae wants a copy of a letter? Call your loan servicing client and explain.

Consider your current credit card usage.
Consolidating multiple cards may reduce monthly payment required. Credit card companies still offer low interest for transfers. Transfers may not be best in all cases. You may have one card that has a low interest rate with a considerable balance that will not allow the same low rate for transfers. In that case, just leave that card as it is. Pay less on the cards with the lower interest rates.

Consider refinancing your mortgage. If you know that you will lose your job in advance, it will be easier to refinance then. Consolidate other loans and credit to your new mortgage to benefit from lower taxes and interest.


Join the Peace Corps.
Use your job skills to start a new business.
Continue your education.

This could be a time for new oportunities.

Code Android
Learn Apple Apps
Farmers Market
Workout for Health
Help Your Community