Welcome to Jim's Place

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Jim at rest in Key West

Pull up a keyboard and let's get aquainted

stud muffinHi! I'm Jim.
I want to share a wee bit of my personal life by virtue of this wonderful communication medium called Al Gore's Information Super Highway, or what we commoners call the "web".

Ahh "Change is the only constant" in my life. I lost my job of 8 years in November 2009 thanks to the economy. I was extremely fortunate, however, and now I work for the government, yep -- a G-man of sorts. Actually I work as a printing procurement specialist with the Dallas Regional Government Printing Office. It's a bit different from my last two roles, but I get to use my understanding of the printing industry and my favorite skill -- customer service, to assist government clients get the printing they need at affordable prices.

The house we purchased in 2002 is coming along fine. We've replaced most of the carpet with wood flooring, so its about 30% tile, 50% wood and the carpet. Julie did an outstanding job re-designing the kitchen/breakfast nook. Now we have tons of cabinet and storage space, a beautiful quartz countertop and neat place to cook and eat. Rooms To Go keeps a map to the house posted at the warehouse. We are beginning to look at some interior work, and then Julie's doing a wham bang job on the yard! We also painted in the last year, replaced the roof and many windows. The dining room is Julie's next project and I am tasked with placing the old kitchen cabinets in the garage.

Now for me, I was born 56 (YIKES!) years ago in Cameron, a very small central Texas town.

My childhood was fairly basic, except for the fact that my father was in the Air Force and we traveled quite a bit. I spent my first nine years of my educational experience in 21 different schools. After graduating from Yoe High School, Cameron, Texas, I joined the Air Force. The Air Force career was super. I lived in Kansas, Guam, Washington (the state), California, Turkey and finally Indianapolis. All my tours were special in their own way. I was even able to retire at the tender young age of 37!

Soon after enlisting, I met my first wife. I think the military actually issues those!

precious onesmy little man

While the marriage didn't last, I was blessed with two wonderful children. Jennifer Marie, who joined the Air Force -- followed in dad's footsteps and made him so proud -- but don't tell her!

She completed four years in the Air Force where she was a certified Air Traffic Controller at Shaw Air Force Base, S. C. Jenn moved from Albuquerque to Flower Mound last year. It is so good to have them close. This child always has her head in the clouds! Her greatest gift to Julie and I so far has been my grandson, Christopher. He is almost 12, quite the jewel. He keeps us busy with his baseball games that seem to go year round.

My goodness I have FIVE grandbabies now -- where does the time go?

And, my youngest daughter, Shannon Liegh escaped the surly bonds of her California imprisonment in 1999 and landed (on her feet, mind you) in Texas. She has blessed our family with three absolutely gorgeous girls and the latest installment, a BOY!: Tara Elizabeth (10) and not long after came Kyla (9), and very cute (not-so-baby) Zoey, who turned 4 this year. Colt rounds out this very nice family, having joined us in May. All four are absolutely darling and so very different. Congrats to them! They all live in nearby Grand Prairie. I'm blessed to have them so close! Life is good!Just plain angels!

The best thing to ever happen to me, next to the birth of the girls, was meeting my wife, Julie. We dated for many years before Julie vacationing in Germanymarrying in 1994. Yep 18-years of a life-long great adventure!

Julie has a son from a previous marriage. Mister Luke or Lukie-J as we call him! Luke was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, spending time in Japan and North Carolina. Luke finished his tour of duty and is now living at home, just snagged a real IT job. He's always been smart and quite the tinkerer, and now gets paid to do it. He hopes to continue his education at TCU soon. Go Frogs!! He also turned cowboy on us. This guy was always into Hip Hop, Rap, you name it. Suddenly he got some Texas religion. He now has his own horse, a beautiful Paint named Decker, big ole pickem up truck, saddle, horse trailer, boots and hats....you know, the whole cowboy nine yards. Plus you can see him at a few of the old cowboy honky tonks around DFW, doing the boot-scoot boogie or whatever they do at those places!

the clap

I finally earned my bachelor degree in Journalism at Indiana University, Purdue University in Indianapolis, after many, many years of working several jobs and attending college. And then, promptly began my master's program in Public Relations at Indiana University. After nine hours into the program, I figured I'd just work.

-- go figure..

I jumped at the chance to return to the classroom by starting my trek towards a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer plus Internet certification at SMU. Completed the coursework in 2000! Naturally Microsoft changed everything right after the class, and I really did not see myself as a network administrator, but the experience has been helpful in all my roles over the past several years.

I thought 1997 to 1998 were great years when I had the absolute greatest job in the world. I taught digital printing and computer hardware-software operations for 17 branch offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and seven others in West and East Texas. As the Technical Trainer, a new position for Kinko's at the time, it was my responsibility to ensure co-workers were ready to launch the company into the digital print arena. Cool, huh?

In 1998, I took advantage of an internal opportunity with Kinko's. I became the Technology Manager for the Oak Lawn branch in Dallas. This branch finished sixth among nearly 1,100 stores in our Chairman's Club in 1999. I enjoyed the experience and believe I made some serious contributions to the team. Unfortunately, Kinko's direction and employee development opportunites began to deteriorate rapidly so I was forced to consider other possibilities. This was some time before FedEx gobbled up Kinko's and eventually made it a business unit completely dropping "Kinko's" from the name. Shame, it was a great company!!!

So, since Kinko's couldn't decide what they wanted to do with me, I joined the FASTSIGNS International, Inc., team in 2001. Yep started on 9/10/2001, in a job that demands travel about 20-25 weeks each year. Boy was that scary. I was promoted to Director of Technical Services in 2004. What a great opportunity. The position was quite stressful, but I had a great team behind me and we are set the standard for the sign industry from a technological standpoint. It was great fun!

But, alas, the economy came knocking and my position, along with one third of my tech team got the ax the week before Thanksgiving, 2009. I guess eight years of bringing 540 locations from cutting vinyl to inkjet printing using aqueous, solvent, UV and latex inks wasn't enough. I hope all the vendors and franchisees I've worked with flourish. It'll be interesting to watch! Just remember the "constant change" comment you read earlier!

Check out mySee that resume.

This project started as a classroom requirement, but I'm havinga blast!

If you have any suggestions or corrections please e-mail me. Before you leave, please sign my guestbook before you leave, please!

Home, James