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Dispatch: Six Months On


William Maley

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Hi there, it's your favorite staff writer! Okay, maybe I am embellishing this a bit.

It has been about six months since I have announced that I would stepping away from my full-time role as a staff writer for a job with JATO Dynamics as a specs researcher. This past week marked six months at the new job and I thought it would be a good time to give an update of where I stand. 

To start, the new job has been working out very well. Most of my work deals with taking data from automakers on various vehicles and putting into our systems. That may seem tedious (and there makes and model where it is that), but I am oddly enjoying. I think a lot of comes from figuring out what automaker means by one feature and translating it to our nomenclature. Blind spot monitoring is a good example as a number of automakers have their own to name to make it seem exclusive, even though it is just sensors around the vehicle - see GM's Side Blind Zone Alert as an example.

It doesn't hurt that writing a bunch of news and driving various new cars also helps out.

The major downside has been traffic. Our illustrious Road Commission decided to start some extensive road construction along various parts of I-75, which makes up a majority of my commute. Instead of taking 20 minutes or so, it takes now around a hour because I want to avoid driving in gridlock. This means waking up a bit earlier than I want to and being quite tired at the end of day. I've been taking quick cat naps to help me not feel as tired. But what this has done is made me not do anything when I get home, such as writing or anything else. I know some of this construction is bound to wrap-up before winter and hopefully I'll be able to get back on track with other stuff.

You may have notice that I'm not been here as much, in terms of commenting or writing much. Some of that is self-imposed to give my mind a break and hopefully allow the creative juices to come in. The past few months before starting the job, I could tell that I wasn't enjoying writing. Instead of words flowing out, it felt like I pulling them out. I've been getting stuff up here and there, mostly reviews (and I still have more incoming, the manilla folder of doom has around 10 or so vehicles).

Right now, it feels somewhat easier to get stuff out. But it is taking a much longer time. Hopefully, I will be caught up towards the end of year.

This also stinks because there are various opinion pieces I would like to get up such What's going on Cadillac and Is Mazda making the right call with Premium? These ideas are just in my head, but haven't gone much further than that. I should just write down the various bits somewhere that I could look back on whenever my mind is somewhat recovered.

But it has been a nice break, to see stuff happening and not feel like I NEED TO GET THIS STORY UP RIGHT THIS SECOND. Breathers are a good thing.

So it is a mix of good and bad, but that is a good metaphor on life. You have the ups and downs - how you deal with them is the question. One I still haven't come up with an answer.

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