Thursday, February 26, 2009

Qimonda voicemail message goes viral

My buddy, Jim Ellis, who I spent the last 7+ years with at Qimonda, was let go a couple of weeks ago.  He left a parting gift for those left behind and, as it turns out, half the country.  He recorded a parting voicemail answering message.

As of tonight, his work phone number is still live:  804-952-8984.

I heard this was on the CBS Richmond News last week, but the station did not contact Jim at all - he didn't even see it!

Check it out on youtube with some pictures of mostly former Qimonda employees.  By the way, Jim's the one in front in the last picture.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Everything is going to be OK

Thank God!  I now know everything is going to be OK.  Really!

Last night we watched a very important address by President Obama.  I'm willing to make sacrifices for the greater good and I'm hoping that others listening will do the same.  I'm sure he will help us through this crisis.

Then, today, the ultimate sign that the impending apocalypse has been averted happened.  

Tiger's back.  His first two holes after an 8 month layoff?  Birdie - Eagle and a crushing win in match play.

Let the optimism begin.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Most Boring Reality Show Ever

See our hero wake at 2am, wondering how the bankruptcy petition will work.

See her toss and turn for 3 hours - flipping channels - watching "The Grapes of Wrath" and getting new fears about this economy.  Please no massive drought, please!

See her smash the alarm at 7, searching for the elusive snooze button.

See her go through Qimonda's version of tribal council, where you must prove your usefulness or be dismissed.

See her close the financials with 25% of the original staff.

See her try not to be depressed and cynical.

It's "The Accounting Manager", coming this Fall.

I keep expecting to see Jeff Probst's dimples somewhere, but he hasn't shown up.   Someone should tell him to stop coloring his hair (not that I know he is).  I bet he'll look distinguished if he goes for the aging gracefully look.

PS, we won't even talk about the plodding hours of triathlon training and now the added excitement of golf.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Favorite Pictures I have Taken

Canada really is tough.

This squirrel was tougher than Canada.

I do not think that means what you think it means.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

NYC Redux

Yes, we went to New York and saw several shows for my birthday in January.

Yes, I am about to get laid off from my job.

Yes, we went back to NY last weekend anyway.  Someone has to stimulate the economy.

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to see an advertisement for "Broadway Backwards", which is a benefit for the NYC Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgendered Center.  Packed with stars, it is Broadway love songs with a decidedly different portrayal.  Tickets were expensive, but available, airfare and hotels were really cheap, so we went!

We saw 5 shows in 3 days!  I think Anita & I may have to go to Broadway Anonymous to curb our addiction, but I'm pretty sure that BA is Bulemics Anonymous.  That won't work for us.

So we arrived Saturday morning, checked into the Doubletree on Times Square, then went directly to the TKTS 1/2 price tickets booth.  We saw "Speed the Plow" with William H. Macy, Raul Esparza and Elizabeth Moss.  It was funny and very short.  It's a pretty cynical dark comedy about how things get done in Hollywood.

We got out of the show and headed back to TKTS to pick up tickets for the evening performance.  We decided on something lighter - "Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps" which is supposed to be a farce with 4 people playing a bunch of different roles.  TKTS always has tickets for the long running show.  We get up to the window and kablammy - they're sold out!  Since they always have tickets, we didn't have a backup picked out, so we decided to see 2008's Best Play Tony Winner, "August: Osage County".  We then saw that it was 3 hours and 20 minutes long!  We got a couple pieces of pizza and headed back to the room for a nap - we hadn't had much sleep in days.

I think we were both pretty worried about a 3 hour play.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that Elizabeth Ashley, John Cullum and Estelle Parsons were in this family tragicomedy.  They were all excellent.  There's a special place in my heart for Elizabeth Ashley from my childhood.  She starred in a horrible movie of the week, "One of My Wives is Missing" with James Franciscus and Jack Klugman.  It was awful, but I loved it and fell in love with her.  

We loved the play.  It was hysterical and dark at the same time.  No laughing through tears like "Steel Magnolias", but pretty close.  We had no trouble staying awake during it and though the seats are pretty cramped, the show kept us entertained from start to finish.  We even got autographs at the stage door, which was a lot of fun.  We missed Estelle Parsons and John Cullum - John was only in the very first scene and didn't take a curtain call.  I guess it wasn't really worth it to stay 3 more hours!

Sunday we again headed to TKTS!  I've promised Anita that we can go to NY sometime when it's warm and not just go to Broadway!  She seems OK with it though.  We got tickets to the normally sold out, off-Broadway show, "Becky Shaw".  This is also a dark comedy, what a surprise.  It was great and we laughed a lot.

The comedienne, Kate Clinton and her spouse, Urvashi Vaid, sat in front of us for Becky Shaw.  I urged them to come to Richmond - she asked if I was just trying to get rid of her or if we were from there.  We chatted quite a bit after that and funny thing that Richmond was referenced in the first 5 lines of the play!  They both turned around and stared at us at this!  We chatted more at intermission and they are both extremely charming and humorous folks.  Both are extremely active politically.   Check out Kate's website to see what she's got to say about the state of the world.

After the play, we decided that since "Broadway Backwards" was a benefit, perhaps we needed to be more dressed up than we planned.  Naturally, that meant we had to shop!  yes, we are REALLY good at stimulating the economy.  But I'm afraid we added to the deflation woes as we got some incredible deals at Macy's.

Sunday night, we saw "Avenue Q" for the second time.  It's really a fun little musical if you can stand the R rated puppet sex that is performed and all the talk of porn.  Being from NY, this is not a problem for me, but it's funny how uncomfortable it can be to watch puppets having sex.

I know my posts are too long.  Sorry.  I'll save the description of "Broadway Backwards" for another time!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm OK, Qimonda Isn't

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I'm actually still employed at Qimonda, though 500 less people are than on Monday.

I don't have an exit date and probably won't know more for a month or two as they ramp down production & shut down the factory. People will be let go as the workload decreases.  Being in accounting, I'll be nearer the end as we close the books and the business.

I'm fine.  I've felt this was coming for a long time.  Sure, I'd hoped the company would make it and failing that, that they'd take care of their employees on the way out.  That isn't working out for anyone laid off this week and in the future - our parent company in Germany has seen to that as they try to continue life as a leaner semi-conductor manufacturer without the "weight" of Richmond.

But because I've seen the writing on the wall, we've economized some (I know some of you that know us are laughing) and changed some things around too.  I hope to take some time off while I search for a job that is as fulfilling as this one has been financially (ok, still want the new one to be financially fulfilling too).  I have enjoyed much of my time with Qimonda - it has been a good company.  Most importantly, the people I've worked with have truly been very valued teammates.  They are all good folks and I will miss working with them.  I'm hopeful we can stay in touch (though that's mostly been a challenge for me in my work life).

Really though, I just wanted you to know not to worry.  Anita & Spot & I are and will continue to be fine.  OK, Spot's going on 18 and has a heart murmur, but he's still running around here, bumping into everything and doing his spot on (heh, heh) impersonation of a Roomba.  I just wish he would actually vacuum.

All the best,

PS  I was told today that I should consider stand up comedy.  So I am officially announcing my availability for birthday parties, bachelorette parties, triathlon parties, etc.  No, I don't intend to entertain, I just like parties.