Well Hello Everyone,
Right now it ia about 3:30 in the afternoon in Romania. Yep I am here on business and I am just about finished with my day while all of you are just getting started.
I leave on Saturday at 8:30 AM and I arriving in Las Vegs Saturday night at 8PM. Deb will be joining me there for a few days, we will be home on Wednesday the 7th.
Some time in the future I will have to post about my experience here. This is the first time I have been to Eastern Europe, so it has been preety interesting.
Two days ago I ate at KFC and today was McDonald's, a little taste of home. BTW - They really have good Pizza here, not bad at all.
My trip over took about 32 hours and my trip back will take about 20.
Hope you all are doing well.
Well I thought it would be good to go ahead and post my third installment of this story. I have been very busy with living phase 4, it has not been easy.
Well our story continues in January of 2006. After the company called Catcher pulled their project and did not pay their final bill of $250,000, we had a real mess on our hands. Several of the employees had conspired behind my back with the founder of Catcher. All in all I lost 5 employees to Catcher and I ended up letting go several more. My partner and I cut our salaries to $30,000 per year in order to keep our employees and most of our vendors paid. We felt responsible for the welfare of our employees and their families.
We fell behind on our payroll taxes and this is where the real problems began. For the months between March and December we were not able to make the payments to the IRS. We filed all of the forms required and we never tried to hide from the IRS and for the most part they did absolutely nothing.
2006 was very difficult, we basically started all over again. I began working very hard to generate new sales for the company and we had some real blessings in that area. We won several new customers that provided enough revenue to the company for us to survive, if only barely. In October we won a new project from a company called Isys Technologies. This project was something new and exciting. The founder of Isys went to Intel and asked if they knew anyone that might be able to develop a new computer for him. Intel looked at the design specs and told him that the project could not be designed. He asked who were the top developers in the country, Intel pulled out a 3 ring binder with 300 companies listed.
After going through the notebook, the founder of Isys picked out 30 possible companies. Out of the 30 selected he looked at web pages and did research on the companies. Out of the 30 he picked 10 companies to call and talk with about the project. Out of the 10 companies he picked three to visit with his customer. Out of the three we were selected to design this product and I was the only one who said I thought it could be done. The computer uses Intel chips and it is 3.5” x 3.5” x 4”. It has no fan in it and the complete unit weighs 1.5 lbs. If you would like to see what it looks like go to www.isys-tech.com.
We began the development in October and by the middle of January our first prototype (Alpha) was ready for testing. We were so excited to have this developed. We were told that this was not possible and yet, my team had accomplished what Intel said couldn’t be done. Cash was starting to flow into the company as we were doing the development and our customer was thrilled with the progress. His customer began to review what we had accomplished and we were told they already had 300,000 units sold. It was an exciting time in the company, people were happy to come to work, we were designing a product that everyone felt could not be built, and we did all of that in a unit about 1/20th the size and power of computers being sold in stores today.
Things were great, we had finally turned the corner, business was rolling in and we were making money again. One problem, we needed to get back on track with paying our taxes and to get the taxes we missed caught up. We knew it was a big job, but we were up to the task and ready to roll….
Next time will be Part 4, the real challenge begins.
Well I am a little behind on getting Part II out so here it is. Part II starts on March 21, 2005. At about 7:30 AM a nurse came into my room and told me that they would be doing an ultrasound on my heart to determine the damage caused by the heart attack. For the next couple of days I just laid in bed wondering what happened. On Wednesday morning March 23, my doctor came to see me and told me that the reason my heart attack occurred was because of a small slit in one of my arteries. The red blood cells began to clot but because the fat in my blood was so high, almost off the chart, the fat also collected there as well causing a 95% blockage. The doctor told me that after reviewing my ultrasound the damage to my heart was minor. In fact he said that if he hadn’t known I had had a heart attack, he wouldn’t have been able to tell by the ultrasound.
I went home Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday, Debbie and I were running around town. Over the next several months I had a few scares that sent me back to the hospital but every time things checked out OK. Part of the reason I had my heart attack was because of a project I had been trying to win at work. Shortly after returning to work we won this project and it provided enough money to the company for us to add some additional people, pay our bills and we were blessed with paychecks for the rest of the year. Things went very well during the last half of 2005 and I thought that the bad things were behind us and smooth waters were ahead.
2005 ended pretty well, but as 2006 started, things became difficult very quickly. We had developed a product for Homeland Security that did a lot of really cool stuff. If you would like to look at the product go to www.catcherinc.com. In December we had some problems with some software we received from Texas Instruments and a company call AMI. Both companies had sent us software that didn’t work and I had reached the point where the problems had reached a critical point. Our next challenge was about to begin.
I contacted the customer and told our contact, the founder of the company about the problem. I told him that we would need additional funds to solve the problems. I wanted to send a unit and one of my engineers to each company to resolve the issues. I had contacted him on a Thursday and he was to be in my office the following Monday. We agreed to discuss it in more detail the following Monday.
When the customer arrived at my office on that Monday he walked into my office and handed me a letter from his attorney. The letter said that I would be sued if I didn’t turn over all material, units, documents etc. as it related to his product. I was stunned! I refused to sign the document and called my attorney to review the document. After reading it my attorney told me not to sign it and that he would send me something I could sign later in the day. He sent over a document that released my company from all liability and stop them from ever taking legal action against my company, forever.
The project was about to start it’s final phase that was part of the contract. Because the project was cancelled we were not paid the last $250,000 and much of the work and material had already been done and ordered. The bottom-line, we did not get paid for the last phase and we were short a quarter of a million dollars! This is where Phase III starts and the beginning of or most serious challenges. We will cover that in a few weeks.
Until next time….
This story is very long and I am not going to try and write everything at once. What I thought I would do is to offer the story in short segments, that way it won't take as long to read. So let me start the story about 4 years ago....
We were approached by a company to do a project for Homeland Security. This product was really neat. With this unit you could be on the internet wirelessly, be on the phone using Bluetooth and find your location with GPS. It had 2 cameras, one facing the user the other facing away from the user.
The customer had a lot of difficulty raising money for the project. We had even received a PO from one of their partners that ended up not being paid. Later we received a PO from the customer and work began. Through this process we had a lot of starts and stops that really caused a lot of problems for my company. I have learned that contracts are written by attorneys so when needed, they can be terminated without liability. Not a very pleasant thing to learn, but when understood, a very important piece of information.
Through this process I became incredibly stressed, I was not eating correctly, I was not doing anything except sitting at my desk for hours and hours in a very stressed out state. On February 20th I hit a low point. I began to write some of my feelings down and worked very hard just to keep myself out of being depressed. I had never known depression like that, and later it became much worse. Finally, it came to the point where medication was prescribed to control the depression. I understand why people feel the way they do while on that medication. It dulls everything you feel, you don't feel happy or sad, you’re just alive. After being on that medication for sometime, I decided I never wanted to be on it again.
From February 20 to March 20th was really difficult. I was always depressed about what was happening and things looked very bad. I tried to keep up with everything, but things always seemed to fall apart. On Saturday March 19 we went to a color guard competition where Chelsea performed. I was not feeling well that day, but I drove to Dallas and supported my daughter, that has always been important to me. Sunday was going to be a tough day, so I was looking for a little distraction.
Sunday March 20th was hard. I went to services not wanting to do what needed to be done. You see as an Elder we are sometimes called upon to discipline members that are not walking with God. This day was one of those days. A young lady that I had known for a long time had fallen away and that day was the day we need to withdraw from her. This young lady was like a daughter to me and her parents are members where I attend. It fell on me to announce her withdraw to the group. I couldn't get through it without crying my eyes out.
After that we went to our classes. I was teaching a men’s class and we began class as normal. About 10 minutes into the class I began to feel really bad. I told the guys in my class to continue while I stepped outside for some air. While outside I began to feel worse. I felt a crushing pain in my chest and I knew I was in trouble. One of the men in my class, Keith Cryer, a doctor, looked at me and I told him I was not feeling well. He took my pulse and told me “we are going to the hospital”. In about 10 minutes, at about 4:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday, we were on our way to the hospital. When we arrived the emergency room was packed. Keith went to the nurse’s station, talked his doctor talk, and in about 30 seconds I was rolled into a room where they took my insurance information. About 3 minutes later I was in an emergency room being hooked up to several machines. It was determined within minutes that I was having a heart attack. The doctors and nurses were running around me like crazy people. But they were very professional and caring and I wish I could find them all today and say thank you for taking care of me.
Once they were able to get my condition stable, I was told that they needed to transfer me to another hospital. The procedure I needed couldn't be done at that hospital, so I was moved. I left the first hospital at about 5:30 PM and arrived at the other hospital at around 6 PM.
Before I left the first hospital, I was told that they had contacted the second hospital and found out that a cardiac team had just finished up with a person and would wait for me. Remember that this is about 6 PM on a Sunday, and a team happens to be standing by. Later I learned that if that team hadn't been there, it would have taken 30-45 minutes to get them to the hospital.
I was rolled out of the ambulance and into the operating room where a stent was put into one of my arteries. That artery was 95% blocked! By 7:30 PM I was in my room recovering. A very short period of time from start to finish.
During this time the members of Round Rock followed me from one location to the next. Later I found out that about the time I was being moved into my room, the members were singing hymns directly below me. It was an amazing example of God's love for me and his desire for me to stick around for a while longer. I was told that several people stood around to listen as the church members began to sing. I have been so blessed by the Lord in so many ways and as I look back on this time, I can truly see his hand working in my life.
In a few days I will post the next phase, the course I am on becomes easier for a while, then much more difficult. I make several decisions that were done for all the right reasons, but as I look back now, it is the source of my current difficulties. As you read these things my hope is that you will keep an open mind, try to understand why I did what I did, but most importantly see how the Lord has worked. It really is an awesome story of the Lord working in my life.
I know it has been a long time since I have posted, but I thought I would ask for your prayers this week. Those of you that are close to me know the difficulties Debbie and I have been going through. I hope some day soon I will be able to post what has been happening so that you can see how the Lord has worked in my life. As I have gone through the trials I have learned that only God knows the reasons why, and I am not God! For those of you who know me well, you know that I like going Mach 2, but trials sometimes take years to get through. For me it started about 8 years ago, three years ago this week I had a heart attack, and the last four months have been more painful than anything I have ever faced.
I found it interesting that three major things are about to happen this week, three years ago the Lord spared my life, my hope is that he will once again protect me from Satan and allow blessings to flow into our lives.
Please pray for Debbie a d me this week. Good or bad, happy or sad, the Lord watches over our souls. May he bless his children in Round Rock, my employees, and my family.
I so much want to tell the story of the Lord working in my life. But as with ever good story the ending is key. I believe the Lord will deliver the final chapter this week. Please pray that he have mercy on me a poor and horible sinner.
I love you all very much. Have a fantasic week serving the master!