It's been a little tough in the Strange household the last year or so. My wife is doing well and I'm very excited about the startup enterprise I'm involved with, but we're still bootstrapped and the majority of my salary is deferred until we're fully funded or profitable. Six weeks ago, I took a job with UPS at their air freight facility at O'Hare, working from around 3:00 am to 7:00 or 8:00 am. For some late career professionals, especially those with post grad educations, this could be a head-shot to the ego, but I jumped into this with enthusiasm and I've had a blast. My work team is a mixed bag of young gang bangers, old Teamsters and professionals like myself, looking for extra income and/or benefits. Most of all, they're just a great bunch of people. There's obviously none of the cut-throat corporate BS. We actually look after each other. That's important given the hazards of the work environment. I sprained my wrist the second week on the job. We're outside on a raised metal grid covering about an acre alongside the O'Hare runway. We move cargo containers offloaded from jumbo jets across the surface and into waiting tractor trailers. It's been an unusually cold December, mostly single digits, but three or four days with ambient temps just below zero and wind chills of 20 below. I've never worn so many layers in my life. It's just really exhilarating working around jets, pushing tons of freight, looking inside these containers at all the crazy expensive stuff people ship. We even handle money and jewelry. A couple of times I've had to handle the "money can" which entails slinging big bags full of money and boxes of jewelry from a freight container into a Brinks truck. This was supposed to be a seasonal job, but they called me yesterday and told me they were asking a few of the seasonal people to come back as permanent employees and my supervisors had recommended me. The money is crap, it's 20 hours a week and the sleep schedule is playing hell with my mental health, but I was really thrilled to be selected and I accepted the offer. I'll be a Teamster, which is sort of weird, but the health benefits are better than what I get from my wife's job (She works for Human. Go figure!) There's always a lull in business right after the holidays, so I don't start back until February. In the mean time, I'm going to invest in some proper cold weather work gear. I finally feel like a real Chicagoan.