Weekly status for 5-15

Well, I haven’t posted much over the past 2 weeks, but I have been doing things.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Rom 8:28

Prayer and study

Not perfect here, but I did read Esther. I  read Job earlier this year. I did not read Psalms or Proverbs, although I hope to do Proverbs soon. Next week is Ecclesiastes so I’ll start working on reading through it. I can use the time over the summer to catch up and read Isaiah and Jeremiah for our monthly Tree to Tree studies.

I am also working with a friend on the Bible study preparation for the Women’s Beach Retreat in Nov.

Outplacement Agency

I haven’t checked in over there in the past few weeks.

Job Search

I put on my new suit and met with a local contract company. At the least I figured I should see what is going on here with local jobs. I have one so I’m not desperate, but it is nice to see what the market looks like, how my skills transfer, what salaries are like, and just have some more connections. The time with the two recruiters was really nice, good practice talking about myself and my career history. I like the way the company works and it would be a good way to get into consulting under their management and direction.

Work

I am working on 3 projects now as a contractor. In the final testing stages of one, which is great to get me back into creating test cases, thinking about all the different ways to try to do something wrong or right, and get the results documented and then retested when the developers put a fix in.

The other is still near the beginning, creating use cases and documenting the scope and requirements so we can all agree on what we’re doing. This is a bit more complicated because it is a local project based on a global project so we can’t customize a lot and there are still gaps being worked on at the global level. This reminds me how frustrating a project can be, and how much is dependent on a few people to either get the right information or make the right decisions.

The third is just documenting the solution after it’s all done so the steady state support team can take it over. Much of the work is done and I am just providing coordination so the developers can write up the last few pieces.

I needed a new way to handle long distance phone calls, and just calls in general without tying up the home phone line. I didn’t want the expense of another phone line into the house. DH mentioned he had seen a thing called MagicJack which is a small VoIP that you plug into your computer and then plug the phone line into it. We picked it up for $20 a year for unlimited long distance. It works really well for outgoing calls. I have stored some most used numbers in the contacts list and the reception is great. People haven’t noticed any issues with hearing me and I can always hear them. My only issue is that often (but not always) when people call me it forwards to the home phone instead of ringing the phone I have hooked up to the MagicJack. I have verified that I don’t have forwarding turned on so I’m still investigating.

Physical

This has been great! I have worked out 4+ times last week and this week. I bought a road bike last week and have spent some good time on it using the trainer. I’m building up my stamina, toughening up some of my muscles and sore spots, and getting accustomed to clicking my shoes in and out of my pedals.

I am also working out with some strength and core exercises. Of course, I am also doing my Egoscue exercises and seeing more progress there.

Other

I had to spend some time looking at health insurance. I have access to really cheap COBRA (thanks to the money our gov’t is spending) for the next 6 months, but only if I didn’t have access to a group plan through a job or my spouse. This turned interesting and ended just like it did 9 years ago when I self-insured instead of going through the contract company.

The health insurance for self + 1 through my employer cost about $630 a month. I was only paying a portion of that, of course. This was a high deductible plan with an HSA, so the cheapest plan offered.The contract company I’m working for now provides a group plan but I pay 100%. Health insurance for self+1 was somehere between $600 and 830 a month.

I checked out BlueCross BlueShield NC, Aetna, United, and a few others and ended back at BCBSNC where our plan for self+1 will cost $450 a month. Makes me wonder if I should have stopped getting insurance through my employer years ago. I liked the COBRA cost of $18.50 much better!

Dental is not as easy a fix. I can get it with BCBSNC but it is more expensive. The group plan through the contract company is actually pretty good, but I may not be able to get just dental coverage. Oh well, not as big an expense or concern as health insurance.

And the life insurance contract is in place, with an even better rate than was quoted.

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