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Christmas 2006




Hello from California (again)!

Below Niagara Falls (High Resolution)

This was taken the first day in the Spring that they allowed visitors out on the stand under the American Falls. It was very cold at the base of the Falls and the spray coated everything with a sheet of ice.

What a strange year it has been. In last year's letter from Boston , I hinted that I was thinking about heading back to California after three years in Massachusetts . At the end of 2005, Axsun was heading in a new and different direction, and I didn't think I could do a lot more to help the company. So, I announced my resignation at the end of the year (after putting in three years), did three more months to resolve some company issues, packed up, and following Horace Greeley's advice, headed west.

This time it was going to be different. After countless transcons, I decided to take the car and leave the driving to me (and my friend Janet). In early April, we jumped into the Lexus and “motored west” (sometimes on Route 66). See my website for a day-by-day account of the trip with some pictures along the way ( http://www.johnarcher.net ) including this one of Niagara Falls from below the American Falls (taken on the first day of the season). The drive took ten days, and we saw a lot of this great country.

What was I going to do in CA? I didn't know. I had a few companies that had expressed interest in using me as a consultant, and I wanted to work on a few ideas for starting new companies. But, the real plan was to take 6-9 months, and think about something new.

However, the plan didn't work out. Another friend asked me to consult nearly full time for a local company ( Irvine ), and the company ended up offering me a job. So, within a month of showing up, I was back in the grind. The company is Networks In Motion, responsible for VZ Navigator and other products that provide location-based services on a cellular phone. Think GPS on your phone instead of in your car. It's a neat product, and the company which had struggled for five years, now has lots of demand (VZ Navigator has been quite successful). The product's recent success makes for very long days as we try to meet customer expectations (almost worse than in a company that is failing).

But there's more… Before I started working at NIM, I began laying out a plan for a new company, one that would use location-based services to protect people. Since then, the company has been incorporated and another friend (and former boss) is running it. We hope to have a product shortly.

On the home front, well, there isn't one. Work takes up 65-75 hours per week. Add in my second business and a volunteer stint on the Board at YES, a youth employment counseling service for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa , and I haven't even had enough time or energy to see a movie since I arrived. But the weather is still great and although I miss New England in autumn, life, for me at least, seems better in SoCal.

I did buy a new carbon fiber road bike (great for going up the hills out here), and try to get in at least a few rides per week. I also continue to exercise, although I have picked up some of the weight I lost two years ago. Time for some New Year's resolutions…

Here's wishing everyone a great holiday. Please keep those cards and letters coming!

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!


Last Updated: Sunday, December 17, 2006 6:26 PM