January 22, 2018: Getting Ready for Marketing

Monday. Just normal work today.  Yesterday’s meeting and waiting for a follow up meeting tomorrow (which I strongly suspected is made up and no one plans to attend, as per form) makes today a generally stressful day.  No word on progress on the house yet, either.

I put in a full day preparing for marketing stuff to do tomorrow, continuing on the work that I was doing since Friday.  I’ve learned so much about what is currently going on in Wyoming and Niagara Counties, back home, this week.  It was a bit nostalgic researching street by street back home.

That was the bulk of my day.  I worked into the evening on that.  Dominica has been watching The Facts of Life on her own when she has time.  When together, we’ve been slowly working our way through The Thin Blue Line, the 1990’s BBC sitcom that we watch together every few years.

January 21, 2018: The Meeting

Sunday. We took it relatively easy today.  I worked most of the day on collecting marketing research as I have been working on for the last few days.  I did that for the morning.  Then this afternoon Dominica and I watched some Thin Blue Line which we had been watching for the last few days after having wrapped up watching Grace & Favour.

This evening I ended up driving down to Irving to have a long many hour meeting discussing why I had not been paid for the last four months and what was going to be done about it.  I’ve been demanding my pay for the last couple weeks and have now learned, not that anyone is entirely surprised, that the entire job that I was given starting at the end of September was a complete and utter scam.  What’s amazing, though, is the completely openness with which the scam was admitted.  Apparently, working for Indian nationals operating out of Qatar has given them the impression that they operate with impunity and have absolutely no fear of the US legal system or the government.

It was an oddly friendly, and extremely adversarial, discussion.  He ended the night by stalling and saying that more people needed to be in the discussion and that we’d had a meeting with them on Tuesday to go over it.  But he made it clear that he felt that US employment law and both his legal and ethical obligations were irrelevant and that he was untouchable and no matter what the law said, he felt he had no reason to have to pay my salary, ever after being happy to employ me for nearly half of a year – not to mention regularly raving about the unbelievable results that I was producing.

We ended up having dinner and drinks at Olive Garden before I went back home.  Bottom line, just as we feared since the beginning, the project in Qatar was a scam.  The fact that the project didn’t make sense, all of the managers were bluffing and had zero technical skills (not to mention no management skills), and couldn’t bring themselves to do the slightest bit of work were red flags, but given so many other things we were unable to really determine how much of a scam things were.  Given the timing, the existing situation, the holidays, and so forth, we had decided to give it a try even knowing that there was a good chance that we would get scammed.  So we aren’t surprised in the least and, realistically, we’ve been 100% certain that it was a scam since early December, but to protect other people and because of the holidays, we rode it out until now as there was really nothing to lose by doing so at that point.

At least we know now, for sure.  No questions whatsoever.

One thing that constantly amazes me, though, and I ever said this directly to them – that if they believe that they can go back in time and decide long after the fact that I have not been an employee all of this time, and since they had declined to provide development environments and all work was done on another company’s servers and platforms, and nothing had ever been owned by them, and as I had done the bulk of the design myself: that left me as the key copyright holder, the physical owner of all of the work done, and under no NDA or similar contract.  Meaning either I was an employee and they owe me a lot of money, or I wasn’t an employee and all of the work that they’ve been paying other people for actually belongs completely to me and I am under zero obligation to not sell it anywhere that I want as they didn’t do any of the design, didn’t have me agree to any limitations, and I paid for the system to be made without them actually being involved.  Which is a bit insane.

December 30, 2017: The Freeze Is Coming

Saturday.  Dominica and I got up this morning and packed up the Nissan Quest.  We got on the road relatively early so that we would have a clear drive up to Dallas.  The cold spell was pushed off a few hours so there wasn’t the panic to get up to Dallas, anytime today would be fine.  It won’t be super cold until very early in the morning, so we are good for the day.

The roads were pretty decent, we didn’t have a bad drive at all back up to Dallas.  We had worried that we were going to have to deal with bad conditions on this drive but it turned out to be just fine.

We got to the house, got the heat turned up, unpacked what we had to from the car, got the water dripping, opened the cupboards, inspected everything that we could, did a little cleaning, and were off to bed before all that long.

The predictions for this week are that we are facing the coldest stretch that we have ever witnessed in Texas.  Not just the longest freeze, but the deepest one.  Last year our pipes froze at twenty four degrees after one day.  This year we are looking at being that cold for about six days and going as low as seventeen degrees!  We have no idea what Dallas is going to be like when it is that cold.

This also starts our long stretch at home without our kids.  Hard to believe that Dominica and I have the house to ourselves for several days, this has not happened in a very, very long time.  Even just one evening to ourselves is pretty rare, but most of a week on our own is unprecedented.

It will likely be frozen out by the time that we wake up in the morning.  We are really excited to be back in our own, super comfortable bed today.  It is amazing how quickly you miss it.


December 12, 2017: Tuesday Alone

DuoLingo Streak: 101 Days

Tuesday.  Home alone for nearly a week at this point.  The house is very cold.  There is only me here and I am using almost no electronics so there is practically no heat being generated in the house and it has been in the forties all week.  So I have been all bundled up trying to stay warm, without running the heater at all.  Why waste the electricity?

I’ve discovered that Jack and tonic water actually works pretty well.  We have some Jack in the house that no one ever wants, so I have been working my way through that.

December 11, 2017: Full Week Alone

DuoLingo Streak: 100 Days

Monday.  One hundred days continuous on DuoLingo Spanish!  I am quite proud of that.  That has been so much work.  Boy can I tell that my Spanish is really improving.

It will likely be a week without news.  I’m home alone more or less without human contact.  Lots of work being done every day.  That’s all.