Impending Fatherdom

I’m going to be a dad in less than two weeks the people in the doctors office tell me. Two weeks till my life is going to be completely different. Two weeks until I’m partially responsible for making sure that my son grows up and stay’s alive long enough to take care of me. I’m going to have to teach him useful things, some of which will be fun (doing his shoelaces) others will be a trial (how to use a toliet, though that has an upside of no more diapers). In short I’m incredibly excited and terrified and a little mystified all together in one.

Jess, my wife, is doing very very well. She’s tired, of course, of lugging around a baby that loves to kick her in the ribs, and sit on her bladder, but has had an overall great pregnancy with all the horror stories we’ve had to endure from people. She’s started the nesting phase, tearing out part of our kitchen at 8:30 on a Friday night because it seemed like a good idea, even though we are not remodeling the kitchen until at least next spring.

It’s been interesting going with her places and seeing people. People love pregant ladies. They’ll talk to a complete stranger and share details of their family life with you like you were an old friend, just because of your belly.

So soon. Things will be different. I can’t wait, but I don’t think I’m fully ready, but then when is anyone “ready” to be a parent? Go Ash William Anderson, can’t wait to meet you.

Job Hunting

I’ve been job hunting for the last month or so. Was laid off from my last job doing pharmaceutical sales (yea, I know, it’s an “evil” industry, but at least I was selling drugs that make people live longer and were not something like Viagra). The timing of the whole thing really sucked, with a baby on the way and needing health insurance, let alone an income to provide for the guy was at the top of my mind every day.

It’s interesting working more now in the career style jobs now. It was always growing up and through school, one interview and you’re hired, come to work next week to fill out this paperwork. The further you progress up the pay scale the longer it seems to take. Phone screening, then phone interview, then paperwork to fill out, then in-person interview #1, in-person interview with someone else #2, then maybe an offer, or “We went with the person who has experience in this field already.” was my primary source for finding interviews, and where recruiters seemed to find me as well. It’s amazing how many more calls you can get when you have 2 years of experience, versus 2 1/2 years ago when I first started down the career path route. Companies that wouldn’t touch me were calling me now. Though it was for things like financial planning, insurance sales, copier sales, or a good favorite one was selling house siding at 100% commission, no benefits and you start in the territory in the winter (which of course is when everyone thinks of doing home improvements!).

I’d get down from time to time. It’s funny. You miss working sometimes. You miss having a place to go and do “work” even if it bores the hell out of you sometimes, or if you love it, it’s worse. The other reason I’d get down is the fact that, here I am, supposed to be the provider financialy for my family and I don’t have a job or income. Great. I’m such a good husband and dad-to-be! You get over it, and then look some more.

A Challenge and social networking?

My wife challenged me to something and I’m going to take her up on it. Write here on Cinder Inc. for a week straight. At least once a day. “It’s your blog, you can be self indulgent and get away with it really easily. Just write though.” So why not.

Social networks. I’ve always liked the idea. Friendster and Live Journal have been around a while. I’ve tried them out in the past. Hell, I’ve got pages on both. I think I may even have one on, though if I do it was done ages ago. So I’ve tried out some in the past, but never really gotten into it. So why am I starting a MySpace profile? Good question.

So far after just signing up last night, I now have MySpace. Uh. Yay? Dunno yet, but it seems to combine a bit of the above networks into one. I’ve found some family and friends from school days already. Kinda fun in a way, but I really need to finish filling out the page and getting it put together. May be a way to keep track of people I suppose. It might even get more than two people to visit here from time to time. We’ll see.

Tacoma Coffee – The Mandolin Cafe

The first entry into my quest to find good coffee here in Tacoma, WA, and generally anywhere else I go. I’ll keep a running page of all the shops I go to here with links back to these stories.

First up is The Mandolin Cafe, located on 12th Ave. just up the street from Union here in Tacoma.

It’s a good atmospheric place, lot’s of tables, plenty of room to spread out if you are studying or working. A nice fireplace with a few comfy couches around it. Even a conference room type setting that can be reserved for meetings and the like. Art for sale surrounds you on the walls, available for purchase. All in all a good place for atmosphere. In fact that’s what initially drew me in.

The coffee is roasted in-house by the owner, AJ Anderson, under the label Vahalla Coffee. Seems a good guy, always in the store when I’ve dropped by, working on roasting and picking up small things around the store like owners tend to do.

Let’s get down to the coffee though. The store’s baristas make up the coffee on a 3 group La San Marco machine. I’ve never been a fan of the machine, working on one at The Kickstand Cafe, but it does have the ability to make decent coffee. Does it here? Short answer: no.

The americanos I’ve recieved have tended to be either overextracted, or way under. Shot times are kept short it seems usually, and they seem to miss out on pulling just the right shot. I’d like to play around and really taste what their espresso roast is like. With their light colored and thin crema, it just leaves me wanting in their preperation. The barista’s have been trained, but seemingly only a bit.

As for their milk based drinks, my wife gives their foam two thumbs down. We’ve given it a few go’s, as we plan to do for others, just to see if it was a particular barista. Nope. Foam tends to be bubbly and thin, and not much up there when a drink is poured. I will say though from the few sips I have had though, the espresso is strong, and is not overpowered by the milk.

It all comes down to this: I continue to go there because of the large table seating area in which I can spread out whatever I am working on at the moment, certianly not for their coffee. I’ve even started to not get coffee and get tea (of which they have a very nice selection, and with the ability to get pot’s of it as well, so more bonus points). In the end, it’s a place to study, work, and bring a larger group of friends or family to because of the room. Stay for the space, and enjoy your coffee, but I know there has to be something better out here in Tacoma. I just have to find it!