Archive for the ‘Chadslife’ Category:

Change is Good

August 2nd, 2008

Here I am, the day before the SF Marathon and about to move to Chicago. The marathon has always been something I’ve wanted to do, and I’m glad I’m running it, but will be happy to have it behind me. Running has always been about exercise and stretching so my back doesn’t cause me trouble again.

After various goodbye parties and dinners, it finally hit home this week that I’m leaving San Francisco – perhaps because we finally started packing. 10 years I’ve lived in in SF, 13 years in California. I’ve grown up alot in California, met a ton of people, and had more fun than most people have in a lifetime. Yes, I’m sad to leave. I’m sad to leave a beautiful city – the parks, the victorian architecture, the awe-inspiring golden gate bridge, the wonderful hikes within a short drive, the myriad of outdoor options for weekend adventures. And the bay area people are smart, creative, helpful, tolerant, fun – almost too fun. And my friends .. too many to name, but they are all like my family. I will miss them but plan on seeing them by coming back SF often. We already got tickets for Halloween in SF.

I am looking forward to Chicago. A new chapter in my life. I must admit that I have felt like I haven’t grown much the last few years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had alot of fun, met new people, and went traveling around the world – great things which I am grateful for. Give Thanks. However, Chicago will bring a new city, new friends, and a new job .. hopefully something that I can sink my teeth into. And hopefully Shayna and I not just survive, but flourish together.

A Toast To Change.

Oh, and for the record, Shayna and I are driving my Jetta to Chicago, leaving Tuesday August 5. Our route includes Salt Lake City, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Fargo, Minneapolis, then Chicago – I’m really looking forward to some chill time camping in Yellowstone. On August 15 I fly back to SF while Shayna stays in Chicago and looks for our new apartment. My solo time in SF includes a wedding, packing, seeing beck in GG Park, more packing, and having one last beer with friends (watch out). My last day as a SF resident will be Wednesday, August 27, when I fly out of SFO.


May 7th, 2008

The votes are in .. I’m moving to Chicago !! Yeah, I know. Big move. I love the bay area. I’ve been in San Francisco for 10 years – It’ll be just over 10 years when we move in August. That’s right, August – gotta get Shayna to school in time.

Why Chicago? Of course for the lovely Miss Shayna Cohen. Shayna is pursuing a MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College of Art, a 3 year program, starting Tuesday, September 2. I’ve been considering going with her ever since she got in a year ago, and I just recently made the decision definite. I’m committing to a year in Chicago, and if it goes well it’ll be more than that.

Shayna is definitely the main reason I’m going, but not the only reason. Last year I was gone from California for 6 months traveling. When I came back, I realized that I missed my friends and certain aspects of the bay area, but I was down for trying somewhere else to live. The same itch to travel is pushing me to live in another city. I’ve grown some roots in the social scene here in SF, but career wise I still feel like I don’t know what I want, perhaps chicago might give me some fresh perspective.

When I get to Chicago I plan on working full-time again, another big step. Exactly where or what, I’m not sure – I haven’t worked a regular job since April 2006. As of now my general plan has not changed, find something on the tech and business tip. More on that in my april job post.

Leaving San Francisco will be hard. I haven’t thought too much about that, I mostly look forward, but will spend some time looking back over the next couple months. I do know that my friends here (including my brasstax crew) have influenced me more than anything else out there, and I will miss them dearly. But we’re still got a long life ahead of us, relationships will come and go, and the strong ones will remain. And a weekend in SF is only a plane ride away.

We’ll have a going away party in July most likely – ping me for details.

SF Marathon

San Francisco Marathon Course Map, 2008

I just signed up for my first marathon – the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, August 3, 2008. It seems only appropriate to run my first in my favorite city ever. I’m not sure how much real training I’ll do – I ran a half-marathon over thanksgiving, and that went well. So i figure i’ll stick to my hour runs 3 times a week, using my gps watch and heart monitor, with the occasional long run every now and then. If anybody else out there is running it, lemme know !!

Job Search Is On

April 4th, 2008

My 2 years are up – I am now actively looking for a job. The last 2 years have been great, as planned. I’ve done lots of traveling in the US and around the world, I’ve spent time with family and friends, I’ve enjoyed music in many forms, got more into cooking, hiking, photography, green business, and tried new things. The only thing that didn’t happen that I wanted to happen when i quit my job in April 2006 was to “find myself”. That is, figure out what i wanted to do the rest of my life. But in a way, I did. I figured out I’m not the type to do some thing for the rest of my life – I’m the type to do many things. For instance, I loved traveling and want to do a lot more, but after 6 months around the world I wanted somthing else – I missed sinking my teeth into a project. I also figured out that I like challenges and learning more than I like any one specific field. So on that note, back to job search post …

Specifically, I’m looking for a job that will advance me towards my goal of learning more on the business side of things while harnassing my 10+ years experience in the internet architecture and computer engineering space. I still love programming and hacking, always will, but the last 3-4 years I’ve found myself reading more business articles, trying to understand why from the business perspective, looking at financials and how they motivate companies and affect global markets. I would love to get my feet wet in a job on that tip – either marketing, sales, business, or management, as long as I get to use my techie experience – and not compete with MBA’s fresh off the block. I’ve considered getting an MBA (when I researched Green Business), but I concluded it would be better to get a “transition job” – one that will teach me, pay me, and still let me use what I’ve learned so far in my career.

I welcome all suggestions. If you know any people or jobs that might be a good fit, email me – chad at chadnorwood dot com. For more info about working chad, check out my resume or my linkedin profile. Click on ‘About’ up top to learn more about me. Thanks for helping out!

Sober April

March 26th, 2008

Shayna and I decided recently that we’re gonna have no alcohol for the month of april. Wha?? I know, i know. I enjoy a delicious Racer 5 beer as much as the next guy, but i like to change things up. Plus i’ve been running alot and maybe this will get me to my next level – so i’m ready for the SF Marathon August 3. Our friends Jason and Monica did it in January – and they felt great. Now its our turn. We still got the last weekend in March to have a brewski (or seven) down in LA. Thats right, going to LA this weekend with Juan (birthday Friday 28th). So untill April .. Bring it.

Green Abort

March 5th, 2008

This here is an update on one of my winter projects – “Understanding Green Business”. In short, its an attempt to by me to paint a picture of the current green landscape fueled by my interest in a green career. My plan was to put together a mini website with information I’ve learned over the last few months about green mba’s, non-profits, events, and other things. However, I realize that I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg and am definitely not qualified to paint any kind of accurate picture. Instead, i will summarize what i’ve learned in my green business blog post. This post i’m going to give a little more on why i’m aborting my original plan.

First I’ll go into a little background. In 2006 I quit my job in order to try new things, travel, spend time with family, and possibly switch careers. In 2007 I spent 6 months traveling around the world, returning to San Francisco in August, with a desire to make a difference. My trip reinforced that the world still needs alot of work, and i’m educated and living in a wealthy part of the world (read: lots of resources), why not apply myself to something that makes a difference?

Green Business seemed like a logical choice – its growing in popularity and lines up with some of my values like sustainability, social equity, and harmony with our environment. But what does it mean to be green? Do I need a degree? what jobs are out there? what can i do to help? What types of people, organizations, and events are in this space? These are not easy questions, and at this point i’ve come to realize that it is not a good time for me to jump into that. When it comes to careers, financials, and my life long-term .. I’m quite conservative. It’s totally different when it comes to fun, but i digress. Basically I concluded it’s better for me to gradually try new things – first get a job where my experience and skills help, learn new skillz, then slowly green myself.

On that note .. I am now considering jobs. Let the games begin.

A New Year

The New Year has arrived. And with it people pause, look back, look forward, figure out where they want to be and what changes are needed to get there. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing the last two years. Mostly looking back on my career and trying to figure out where i want to be in 5 years. So far nothing has presented itself as the clear winner. But during this time I’ve lived life – traveled, learned, had fun, and did what i wanted to. Here’s what I’ve concluded

  1. Spend time thinking about what’s really important to you. Be honest. Write them down. Look at it everyday. Make changes as you need to so it is accurate, but work towards a final list. Revisit only when you have major life changes.
  2. Implement it. That is, do things that are directly related to what is on that list. For example, If family is important, do activities with your family (watching TV does not count). If they are not around, make something for them. The point is to consciously spend time on the things that matter.

The steps are simple, but they have definitely improved my life and reduced some of the anxiety I’ve felt about “what do i want to do with my life”. Here is my list, still in flux, and kept concise – note the last one – more of reminder on how to live life, to be applied no matter what i’m doing. Likewise, i can combine things like have fun listening to new music with friends (triple play).

– Friends, Family
– Fun, Music
– Learning, New Experiences
– Exercise, Nature
– Giving Back
– Love, Honesty, and Respect

This is not a “New Years Resolutions” List. This is just a list of what’s important to me. I also made a new years resolution list – some of it is personal, but i’ll quickly list a few things

– Work on patience – especially for those i love.
– Perfection – Be more comfortable with lack of it.
– Start getting paid again (5 year plan)
– Be more Green (see Understanding Green Business, coming soon)
– Spend more time appreciating friends and my blessing (thanks to Otto for reminding me to give thanks)

2007 In Review

This was another big year for me. Not as life changing as 2006, but still very significant. The 2 biggest things were traveling around the world for 6 months and getting serious with Shayna Cohen. Most everything else could be lumped into 2 groups – working on my 5-year plan and having fun (and how).

Similar to last year, i like to look at flickr pics to give me a recap on what i did. Starts off with a couple events before my Round The World trip – Dinner and Trivial Pursuit at 126 and My sendoff. Then there’s Round The World 2007, My return, Fred and Megan’s Wedding, Burningman, Moving into 116 San Jose with Shayna, Treasure Island Music Festival, halloween and Brasstax Renegade, Birthdays (Shayna, Eumi, Rick, Carrina, Sarah Bates) and Quality time with the Family over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Besides all the fun with friends and family covered in those pics, I also spent time looking inward. Organizing and Prioritizing my life. Some of the fruits of this led me down paths such as getting an MBA (postponed for now), Understanding Green Business (lots more on that later) as well as starting my own business, among other things. I also got closer to Shayna. I feel so lucky and blessed to have her in my life. Looking forward, she is moving to Chicago in August to attend grad school. So the big question is .. do i go with her?


November 12th, 2007

(Updated list of runs below)

I’ve always craved exercise regularly, whether its been mountain biking, backpacking, or dancing all night. But these days i want easy, cheap, regular exercise that doesn’t take too much time – and running fits the bill perfectly. I find myself doing things “runners” do, like checking out running websites, looking for interesting runs around SF, looking for “good” running shoes, and .. yes .. running races. Thanksgiving day, I’m running the 4th largest Half Marathon in the United States in Atlanta with my sister. Hurray.

I’m actually surprised that i’m able to run these days without the knee problems i used to have. I attribute that to my more disciplined approach of exercising more regularly and ALWAYS stretching after I run – i never stretch before. I also have coffee in the morning, then run before lunch while i’m still got that delishous caffeine in my system. I’m surprised by how much energy i have to run – an hour is over and i’m not even tired. I usually just run for 30-60 mins around the mission, castro, and noe valley, but heres a few of my longer runs:

2008 UPDATE – find my runs on motionbased, super easy with new GPS watch.

Sun, 12/2/07, I ran a DSE 4 mile run along Embarcadero in 30 mins exactly (7.5 min/mile).

Thur, 11/22/07, I ran a Half-marathon in Atlanta (13.1 miles) in 1:55 (115 mins, 8.1 min/mile).

Tues, 11/6/07, I ran from 116 to Ocean and back (11 miles) in about 110 mins (8.2 min/mile).

Tues, 10/24/07, I ran from 116 to Heron’s Head Park and back (7.3 miles – extra mile in park) in about 70 mins.

Also, check out the SF bike map – it shows how steep streets are – good for runners and bikes.

2006 In Review

It was a big year for me. I quit yahoo, travelled, had alot of fun, got back together with shayna, and was happy most of the time. That last part is key, being happy. However, the most significant event was quiting yahoo to find myself. I opened that can of worms 9 months ago and have not made much progress, but intend to over the next couple weeks before my travels kick off again.

Looking at my Flickr sets, I’ve been pretty busy. I’ve definitely enjoyed friends and events in San Francisco and the bay area as well travels in the U S and A (borat) and Costa Rica. Best of 2006Travels include many snowboarding trips to tahoe, my cousin’s wedding in Ft. Lauderdale, Dusty in Sarasota, WMC in miami, Coachella, Hikes to Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite; New Orleans, The Carolinas, Pirate Summercamp, Swimming Priceless, Raindance, Burningman, Road Trip USA, Lusty Wedding in Tahoe, Rick and Zetta wedding in Costa Rica, and Christmas in Atlanta. Other fun stuff includes many amnesias, Checkoway’s bday, Class 6.2 Cycroan, brewery tours, QUITING YAHOO, Bay to Breakers, Many Jason and Monica events, and just being with my friends. My family also had a big year – We had one death (my grandma) and one birth (my sister’s baby katherine) last year, in addition to 3 weddings already mentioned. I even summarized my pics in Flickr Best of 2006.

Those were the broad strokes. Here i am, January 2007, reflecting the past and envisioning the future. What does it mean to quit your job to find yourself? I’ve been asking myself that for a while. Most people don’t really know what that means, implying it’s a rare thing. Do people think about stuff like this or do they just go through the motions of life. Hop in the raft and float on down the river and see where it takes you. Perhaps they have found themselves – floating down the river is what they want. But i’ve tasted things that make it hard to go back. I know what it’s like to really enjoy your job, even though most of the time i didn’t. I know how to put my all into something. I know how to really have fun. REALLY. I know it is possible to change your life significantly for the better, and that makes me question my current life. I feel extremely lucky and blessed. So what do i do with myself? The only thing i conclude is that i have to find myself – be confident in who i am and what i’m doing so i can put my all in it and feel good about it. Put my all into what? Not easy. Could be a careers. Could be a woman or a family. Could be a calling to help others. Could be something i have yet to discover. Could just be doing a bunch of little things the best i can.

2007 will also be a big year for me. Cheers to hoping for a good one.