Starting A New Life Adventure

Most of the regular readers of this blog should know by now that I have accepted a position at Amazon.com. I start my new job as a Software Development Engineer in the Enterprise Applications Development group on April 2nd.

Although my consulting business, Aona Systems LLC, has been doing well, I felt that I was capable of working on much larger projects. I knew that I wasn’t going to be satisfied with my work as a consultant, or frankly any technology work that I could find in Bakersfield. Plus, I found out what I truly love to do is create elegant software to solve challenging problems… and not worrying about marketing my services, finding clients, and convincing people I am worth spending money on.

Owning my own LLC, and being able to get it off the ground and profitable, is definitely not an experience I regret. I got to learn a lot about different tax laws, how to put together a business and marketing plan, and all the government hoops you need to jump though. The best thing I discovered is that I am a scientist and an engineer in my heart, not a businessman. My passion is discovering creative solutions and creating beautiful works of software engineering. It is the chance to create and discover that will get me up each morning and drive me to be a success.


Woodland Park Zoo – Seattle, WA


Nick and Jessie’s Wedding

Congratulations on your wedding Nick and Jessie! The ceremony and reception was great! Hopefully you are enjoying your honeymoon.


AJ Wants a Duck


We’re Having a Baby

Most of our family should know by now, so I think it is a good time to share our news with the rest of the Internet. Aliciana and I are having a baby!

baby ultrasound 1

The baby is due at the end of April. We are very excited… so much so that I am even open to the possibility of changing diapers.

baby ultrasound 2

The baby is already acting like a little monkey. Look at it already standing on its head.


We Are Having a Boy!


Where is all the stuff going?

For the people who actually read this blog and haven’t heard yet, my little family is moving from Mercer Island, WA (by Seattle) to Bakersfield, CA.

Gavin is supervising the packing laborers to make sure we do it all correctly.


U-Haul Sucks… Ryan Rocks

Moving out of Seattle was a less than desirable experience. We got behind a day because everything didn’t fit into the U-Haul. We lost a second day because our apartment’s elevator broke down for 4 hours while I was repacking the U-Haul. Then, we finally get ready to hit the road, I gas up the U-Haul across the street, and we are making the trek off Mercer Island when the back wheel flies off the auto transport!

I’m lucky the wheel didn’t kill somebody or fly off while I was going 60 mph and kill my family, who were traveling right behind me. We end up having U-Haul bring out a new auto transport and we reload the truck. That cost us 6 hours which made it too late for Aliciana to drive alone with Gavin. He was carted around all day in his stroller and has had it with moving.

My buddy Ryan came to the rescue by driving the U-Haul and new auto transport for 21 hours straight to Bakersfield. Did I mention that Ryan is crazy?

Aliciana, Gavin, and I, in our Acura loaded with baby accessories, made it to Eugene, Oregon at 2:00am. We had another stop over in Redding the next night and finally made it into Bakersfield at 8:00pm on Friday. Ryan flew back to Seattle on Friday morning and was back in Seattle before we even got to Bakersfield.

I hope I never have to move long distances again.


Rest In Peace Pumba

Yesterday, in the early morning hours, our cat of 16 years passed away in her sleep. Pumba was extremely loving and loyal. She was a constant companion anytime someone was outside. All she ever asked for was an occasional rub of the stomach and a few kitty treats.

I could tell her years were catching up with her over the past several months. During the last few days of her life, Pumba was growing very lethargic and didn’t seem to have the energy to even stand up to greet you. But, she wasn’t in pain and still purred up a storm when we pet her. I am very thankful that she was never in pain.

My family and I are sad that she is gone but we are glad that she passed on peacefully among loved ones. She will be greatly missed by all the family members who cared for her during her long life. We were all blessed to have had such a loving companion through all these years.


Ladd Family Birthday Party

A family gathering in the park to celebrate Gavin’s 1st birthday and Michaela’s 2nd one.