Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Comments & news

I guess I'm not used to this. I've had this blog for years without the slightest comment and now a couple from Canada (ahem! you know who you are!) seem to be "checking" here often enough to find my posting to be too slow.

Well, I'm sorry. You have to remember that No news is good news. Even if it's not strictly true. Still, all is well with me, thanks for asking. I just got back from seeing the surgeon this morning for my post-op checkup with him. He said everything was "normal" and different concerns I had were perfectly normal. It's now been almost three weeks and he said I should be good as new in about 4 or 5 more. Whew, longer than I had thought.

Mathis is here visiting us down from Belgium where he's taking studies to be a luthier and liking it. He's a childhood sweetheart of Becky so they're spending a bit of time together when they can. She was hired at Microtec at the beginning of the year -- her first job of course. At the same time she's taking driving lessons but won't actually be able to get her licence till she's 18 after June of 2010. But at least all the paperwork will have been done.

Her working in the family business means that five of us out of ten come from the family which is good to keeping it family-orientated and small.

Raph and Jonathan are going to London next week for a five-day training session on new aspects of Java. Then in a couple more weeks Raphael will have to go down to Spain again to service a good customer we have in Barcelona. Luckily we don't have to actually go there too often or it could get expensive. Jonathan was up all last night trying to get a new version of his CopyCat program finished for a customer in Switzerland -- adding SQL capabilities. If you're interested in CopyCat you can read about it here.

All this makes us sound pretty international but it comes and goes. The vast majority of our income is derived locally but some of our customers are part of larger groups with centres across the country and even further afield.

For example, we have a program that generates manufacturing conditions and loading instructions for makers of steel-reinforced concrete. We started out with making it for a big, but local company but our reputation spread by word of mouth till a couple of years ago we sold the exact same thing to their sister company north of Paris. Last year Pascal and Raph made contact with yet another company in the same trade -- this time between Toulouse and Bordeaux, making a three day trip down there necessary. Some people wonder why we need so many cars ...

We still haven't gotten our yearly results in for 2008 yet but according to my stats we did fairly well and I reckon about a 17% increase on 2007. I'll let you know here once the results are official. Of course as long as personnel is up, turnover has to be up -- or else!

The things I am hearing and picking up through the Internet coming from America are not good. I don't think this will be a good year for that country. Of course, I'm no prophet but I usually know sensible commentary when I hear it and I fear there is much worse times in store. Of course all North America will be affected – as will the whole world to some degree – but I can't help feeling that a "correction" (as the stock market pundits like to call it) is long overdue. I recently bought Peter Schiff's little book. If he's new to you, you can easily find him on the web.

Anyway, I'll not be a prophet of doom and gloom. We just have to do what we can. A wise man forsees the evil and hides himself, says the proverb. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. No, things are not going well in America. Especially with their new man-in-charge, but I won't go there. The thing is that whatever happens there will affect and is already affect us greatly. But it seems like the whole world is approaching economic crisis (if you believe the news you hear).

    I had no laptop for almost 2 weeks, hence I haven't been checking this like I should...love you!!