Courtney was laid-off from "Harding-Lawson" about a year
and a half ago. He cooled off for about 5 months working on a project
around their home in Santa Rosa, a nice larger house on 1/3 acre backed-up
against a hill with some redwoods and live oaks. He had to go back to work
so he started his own CAD and Graphics production and consulting business.
He has a few repeat clients that keep him busy about 30% of the time, so
he also does temp/contract work through agencies. Sometimes it is
good sometimes not. He's been looking around for permanent work but the
companies are generally small, 3-30 people with the majority under 10 employees.
These small companies can't afford the "luxury" of a CAD manager. The larger
companies that can are in S.F., Oakland and Walnut Creek....all over 1
1/2 hours drive plus tolls. He/They made the decision not to do that
so he's doing alot of production and some design for a variety of clients.
Its less money overall, the price one pays to work in the country. He's
getting a variety, everything from Architectural/commercial renovation
to environmental mapping/database to manufacturing mechanical to timber
falsework. About 1/3 of the work is at home. He's running AutoCAD
r14 on a Pentium 166 (and looking
to upgrade in the next 4 months). He's pushing to get all his work
His current assignment began last week and after another week of "orientation"
he should be able to work at home and just go into the office once a week.
This office by the way is just outside Sonoma, a 25 min. bucolic backroad
drive through wine country, past Kenwood, Rutherford, Benziger Kunde, etc.
Cheryl left her postion (way too much travel, she was gone 3 to 4 days
every other week) and started some consulting with a new friend - a nurse
practioner. Cheryl is mostly working on a new business with their oldest
son Ken. Ken will be moving up there next month with his wife to
be (in June) Tricia. They will also be opening a coffee/espersso house
(hopefully by May).