Sunday, December 31, 2006

Am I losing it?

My friend Mike called me Thursday to invite me and the boys to go skiing with him and his family this Sunday. I said as long as the weather clears up that would be great. MS is taking her daughter to the Bronco game, then coming over that night with her son to start the New Year with us (including spending the night).

Mike called today to confirm if we were going. It looked to me like the weather was clearing, but would be too cold and windy to have too much fun (I worry about my kids freezing to death). He suggested we move it to Monday. I figured "GREAT!" and we planned on meeting at the Woodland Park McDonalds on the way to Monarch.

When I got off the phone I realized that if MS and son spend the night on Sunday it would be rude of us to leave to go skiing the next day. I had to call Mike back and cancel. With all the travelling and storms these last couple weeks I have not seen MS (just her and me) since the 16th (I think). I felt I shouldn't let her down.

My kids both had a fit about it. They keep coming to me with ideas of what they think would be a win-win situation for all. None of those ideas are truly any good. There are other days that we can go skiing.

All of this makes me wonder and debate within my own head about where I see MS and I. To be honest, I can't figure it out.

The last night that MS and I were together she was just getting over being sick. She was sleeping in my bed and snoring to the point where I could not sleep anymore. I tried every trick I knew to get her to stop, but I know how it is when dealing with a cold or sinus problems. I had to get some sleep, so I went to my son's room and crashed there.

I was having an incredible sex dream that seemed to last forever. One of those that when you wake up you try your damnedest to get back to sleep to continue it. Well, that finally happened, but instead of trying to get back to sleep I was worried that I might have shouted out someone's name... the dream did not include MS. I guess it's probably a good thing I was in another room.

How would you interpret that?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It Just Keeps Getting Better

The initial plan was that we would be heading back to Colorado sometime on Thursday, and arriving late Friday. We didn't need to rush too much, but Mike was going back to work Saturday night.

As typical whenever Mike and I are in Michigan, we were recruited to take a look at my Mom's and also my sister's computers.

My brother-in-law John bought Mom a decent Dell laptop and got her hooked up with DSL and a wireless router after we moved her there last Spring. When we got there Mom was complaining about how slow it was. Mike and I was both puzzled since she was used to dial up on a relatively slow computer we built for her. Our initial assumption was that it was probably because of some malware of some sort. What we actually found was that this laptop was seriously lacking memory. It only had 256MB. We ordered some memory from Crucial to be over-nighted, but even with that it wouldn't get there until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

As for my sister's computer it was more for her husband Bruce, who can be such a pain. We build them this computer a year or so ago, and it sounded from the description like the DVD burner we installed was not working properly. After I ran some tests it was confirmed. The drive had gone bad.

We had shopped around a bit for a cheap replacement. I ended up buying one at CompUSA in Ann Arbor on Tuesday evening. I decided to pay for it because the last thing I wanted was for him to bitch about our quality of work. I wouldn't get a chance to install it until Wednesday or possibly Thursday.

So we had been enjoying a few days in south central and southeastern Michigan and then the news came Wednesday morning. Another large storm is heading for Colorado. All I could say was "FUCK!". I think my mom is finally giving up on trying to get us to clean up our language.

Mike and I decided to head back that day as soon as we could get ready. I jumped in the shower, and right then FedEx arrived with Mom's laptop memory. Mike had it rolling within minutes. I took care of some stuff with the car and Mike and Mom told the rest of the family what was going on.

I got the oil changed in my car and picked up some things at the grocery store for the road when I ran into Bruce and my nephew. He heard we were heading out and was thinking we wouldn't get a chance to install that drive. I told him we would come by when we were ready to leave town.

We loaded up the car and headed over to my sister's house. It took me a whole 10 minutes to install the drive. I know I could have walked him through it over the phone, but that can be very aggravating.

Off we went at around 4 p.m Michigan time. I started off again, and drove for about 3 hours before wanting a break. Mike took over, but that only lasted about 2 hours and he was having trouble staying awake, so I did another longer run, but I took some Vivarin to keep me awake. Mike took a shot at a driving again in the early morning, but could only take it for about 90 minutes. I was hardly getting any real sleep since Mike needed the volume up so loud to help him stay awake.

We debated about crashing there for a bit, but I decided I was alert enough to take another run. Surprisingly I had enough to get us well into Kansas. That was about a 4 hour run. I pulled into a rest area and we crashed for a bit just past 5 a.m. After an hour of trying to sleep and actually only sleeping for about 30 minutes max, Mike was awake. The sun was going to be coming up and he thought he could drive, so off we went. We took a short breakfast break in Goodland Kansas and continued on into Colorado.

The further west we went the thicker the clouds got. We did not see any new snow falling until we got to Limon, and that was very light flurries. We gassed up for the last time and Mike continued driving because he felt bad for making me drive almost all night. We were on the outskirts of Colorado Springs when the snow finally started. A few minutes more and the flakes were getting big. I kept thinking to myself how lucky we were to have left when we did.

We got home around 10:30... and really tired. Mike headed to his house and I rested a bit before getting in the shower and eventually taking a nap. By the time I woke 3 hours later about 4 inches had fallen. I got dressed and picked up my kids. We went to dinner, and then picked up some groceries for the next few days. I had no idea what I needed, but I figured it doesn't hurt to stock up if the storm is going to be bad.

My stomach is not feeling too good, which is probably from all of the caffeine. Something is keeping me awake... I wonder what it is?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Didn't mean to make you worry

OK, Here is what I have gone through...

I drove to the Denver airport (DIA). The parking stucture only had space on the top (uncovered) level. I then had to stand in a huge line to check a bag. Yes, I had liquids in bottles more than 3 ounces. I haven't travelled in a while, and this trip came up kind of fast at a busy time of year.

I flew to Des Moines with my boss to assess how F-ed up their Software Configuration Management system is (I am not going to explain what SCM is). We already knew is was bad, but we wanted to see how difficult it would be to get it up to our standards (which we don't even meet, but that is why I am so damn busy).

The people I talked to were nice, but there was this feeling of paranoia in their undertones. Their whole software development organization is being reorganized. Change can be scary, I guess.

So our meetings went .... well

But during all this, the weather in Denver went to shit. I was only to stay In Des Moines for one night. My boss was staying an extra day, so he was going to take me to the airport. I had been keeping track of flights to Denver. My flight was still going, so I started getting ready to go. I checked one last time before shutting down the laptop... CANCELLED!!!!

I went through Expedia (our corporate travel crook) to get my flight rebooked. The only thing they could get me was the next day (Thursday) to Milwaukee, then from there to Denver. So then I called the hotel to let them know I would be staying another night. She said that since my first resevation was through Expedia I could get them to extend me on their rate, but if I wanted I could just do a new booking for $99. I called Expedia, just to stay within the rules of work travel. After taking a while to get through they said they could do it at the same rate of $210. Yes, that's right $210. I told them "nevermind". Can you believe that shit?!

My new flight was to leave about an hour before Bob's flight, so he was going to drop me off and take the rental car in. Again we checked right before leaving for the airport, and again my second leg of my flight was cancelled. Bob's flight was still on, but then it was cancelled just a few minutes later. Now I had to decide whether to take the flight to Milwaukee and hope for a different flight.

I decided to get to the airport and deal with it. Bob was on the phone trying to reschedule his. He got a really nice lady that was trying just about anything possible to get him home by the next day. He dropped me off at my airline check in area. I went over options with the ladies at the counter about whether being in Milwaukee was better than maybe being in Chicago or maybe Atlanta. I held off on checking in.

I called Bob to check on his luck. I went straight to voice mail. I got on the phone with Expedia (what a worthless bunch of idiots). I was having a hard time hearing this last one so I had my head stuck in this little barrier between a wall and the outside window. Then I got a tap on my shoulder. It was Bob.

He said we're screwed. He said the next flight he could get into Denver was for the 25th. That didn't work for either of us. He said let's go rent an SUV and drive it. "OK!" Fifteen minutes later we were on the road. We tried to get a large SUV, but all they had was a KIA. I don't remember the model. It was ok.

We headed west on I-80 in Iowa and were making pretty good time. Once we passed the Nebraska border the variable highway signs were saying that I-80 was closed about where we would be connecting to I-76, unfortunately not quite to I-76. When we got to within an hour of the closure we hit a Holiday Inn. It's nice to be able to surf the web from my phone on the road.

The news later that night made it sound like I-80 was now open. We decided to hit the highway at 5 a.m. and pass on the free breakfast. After a screw up with my room alarm clock being set to the wrong time I ended up awake and ready about 45 minutes before Bob. Just my luck.

We got rolling in the dark and cold. An hour down the road and we saw nothing. No snow at all. Why was it closed? We continued on and got into a little snow on the edges of the road. I kept thinking "This is it?", but then all of a sudden the roads started showing more signs of snow and ice. Then there was not, one, not two, not three, but FOUR semi trucks in the median and the shoulders of the road. Two of the trucks were over turned. Some serious ice must have caused this. I would bet that once they cleared the wreckage from the highway and laid down some sand they opened it back up.

We made it to I-76 and started the southwestern trek through Colorado. Once we were a few miles into Colorado it was clear that things were just going to get worse. We saw dozens and dozens of cars and trucks buried in the snow, some flipped over, others just stuck. The roads were very hard snow packed. Traffic was not too bad. I think we beat the rush.

We came upon one panel truck that must have just crashed. It was on its side and there were people there climbing on the vehicle trying to help the driver out. I didn't see anyone on a phone so I called 911. They dispatched rescue vehicles, and we just kept on rolling.

Another truck we saw in the median had just spun out. Steam was pouring out from under the hood. So we knew that even though we were getting through this, we had better be careful. We continued on.

About 10:30 a.m. as we got to our connection to E-470 we stopped to gas up the car before returning the rental. This was our first time getting off the highway in the snow. The gas station was a mess. A semi was stuck in the driveway. A woman in a 2 wheel drive pickup was tring to get around the semi, and was just spinning. We got around the building and came in through another entrance. It felt like we were cutting in line, but I was not going to feel guilty about it. Ten the lady that works there informed us that the only fuel they had left was premium and that was close to running out.

Gassed up, and back on the road we headed toward the airport. We dropped off the car and got on the bus to take us to the terminal. ABout a third of the people getting on the bus we just going to the parking structure. We weren't the only ones that drove in. Flights were supposed to start taking off in the next hour or so.

I got to my car and this is what I saw


It took me about 10 minutes to dig out enough snow from behind the tires to pull it out. Driving out of DIA was kind of surreal. I was the only car driving out of their. It felt like I was in a zombie movie.
It took me about 2 hours to get home. I immediately finished wrapping gifts, but got word from my kids that my ex wouldn't be bring them over right away. Some choice words entered my mind, but I held my tongue. I called my brother and MS to let them know I was home. I took a shower and started packing for driving to Michigan.
The kids arrived as well as MS and her son. We exchanged gifts and hung out for a bit before my brother pulled up. He and I loaded my car. MS took the boys back to my ex's house since my car no longer had room for them. Mike and I got on the road, but had to pick up some food for the road and get gas. We had a real problem finding gas in town. I guess the blizzard cause a gas shortage. We found one gas station with only half of it's pumps open. We were in line for about 30 minutes waiting for our turn. Then off we went... at 5:30 p.m.
Believe it or not I drove the first stretch. We decided right then to try and drive straight through. We traded off every few hours. We finally had to stop in Illinois at about 5 a.m., but we just pulled into a rest stop and slept in the car for about 2 hours. Then we found a shitty little greasy spoon for breakfast. It was pretty bad and we had to wait 45 minutes for our food.
We finally arrived at mom's apartment. Our drive time was 19 hours.
Now some time to relax

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stuck

I'm on my business trip, and was supposed to return to Colorado today, but as you all know we got a blizzard. That is 2 this year already. Awesome for the ski areas, but damn it, I need to get home. I am supposed to have Christmas with my kids Thursday night and hit the road with my brother heading for Michigan.

Needless to say, I am frustrated. I want to go home.

I hope that all of my friends in Colorado are safe and warm.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tired and ready for vacation

Can you believe 2 posts in one week???

I've hired 2 guys and STILL trying to hire that guy in Oakland, but that whole situation is F-ed up.

My boss decided yesterday that I needed to go with him to Des Moine on Dec 19th to assess their situation as far as software configuration management and process goes. I'll only be there a day then come back. Then on the 22nd my brother and I leave for Michigan. Then while I am in Michigan I'll be working a bit to make sure things are running smothing at work. I feel guilty because the 2 new guys are going to be stuck holding down the fort. I am guessing that there won't be any issues the week of Christmas, but you never know.

I am puzzled. How much do I spend on a Christmas gift for my girlfriend? She was talking about buying a couple of things recently including what I wanted to get her, a Sirius Stiletto 100 (portable satellite radio). I told her not to buy anything the month of December if she can help it. HINT HINT! She is a gadget freak like most guys are. Well she figured out what I was planning on buying her, and told me it was too much to spend on her. Is $350 too much to spend on someone you've been dating for 8 months (I know, 8 months... hard to believe)?

My finances are great now. With my severance from Agilent I paid off all my credit card debt and am making a dent in my home equity line of credit. I think I need to refinance that before rates go up to much more. I am just so lazy about that shit.

I am not sure why, but I am feeling depressed still. Other than gaming night I have been very anti-social. MS has been out of town for work a lot lately, but I was kind of releaved by her absense. I guess I kind of feel like I need to be entertaining her more. Other than going to see the new Bond flick (which we loved) we haven't really gone out much. I can't quite put my finger on why I am feeling down about things.

As I meantioned, I had my gaming friends over this past weekend. As always we had a blast and a few drinks. MS's daughter came buy to play for a bit with us before going on on a date with a new guy she is dating. They were going to head downtown to watch the parade of lights. Well he showed up and joined in some of the games before they had to go, but when that time came they decided they would rather hang out with us. I was pretty impressed by the guy coming to a stranger's house to meet his dates mom, then joining us for most of the night.
________________________________

I meantioned a few posts back about a recruiter we have at work. She and I have had more than a few talks about the hell we are going through trying to hire someone for my Oakland position. Because of this we've kind of become friends.

The other day I found a mens sock just outside of my cubicle. I was kind of grossed out by it, but figured someone must have dropped it on their way to the workout room. A few of us in the area joked about it a lot. Then I decided to be funny and send out an e-mail about it to the whole office. As expected I got a shit load of joke e-mails back. I don't think the owner would dare claim it now.

Well one of the jokers was Rhonda (name changed, just in case). Just like with other e-mails we sent to each other, we had a lot of back and forth messages to each other. She is quite funny. Did I mention she is also extremely attractive? Anyway, during all of our e-mails she invited me to come to a party she is having at her house. She said I could bring a friend, but it seemed like "bring one of your buddies". I could totally have been reading too much into this, but it seemed like she was being more than just friendly about me coming over.

I know from a previous conversation with her that she does not have a boyfriend. I thought I had told Rhonda about MS. Maybe she forgot. I sat at my desk wondering what to do. The devil and angel jumped onto my shoulders and the debate started.

"You have MS"
"Rhonda is so funny and easy to talk to"
"Don't have another office romance... remember the last one?"
"But Rhonda is so gorgeous"
"You sure you would want to risk losing MS?"
"It's not like we're in a 'serious' relationship"
"What if you're reading too much into what Rhonda said?"
"Are you and MS going to get serious?"
"You're not going to know anyone their except Rhonda"
"Why can't shit like this happen when I'm single?"

I decided to tell Rhonda that I have a girlfriend, but I am not sure she could make it because she gets her kids that night. Her next e-mail became much less playful. She said we could bring the kids with us. Some of her other friends bring their kids. I told her that would probably not work, but I could ask.

I asked MS if she wanted to go. She has a sinus/respiratory infection she is fighting, and with her just getting back to town after 2 back to back business trips she was not feeling up to it. Plus she wanted to spend some time with her kids. She told me I could go if I wanted.

I was very tempted to go by myself, but I decided that nothing good could come of it. Plus she lives in Denver, so I would have to limit my drinking because of the long drive home.

So I am sitting here writing this instead of having a few drinks with a beautiful woman and her friends. I am pathetic.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I was tagged by TME. She wants me to list 6 weird things about me. How am I supposed to limit myself to just 6?

"THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you.' People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

1. I am somewhat loud. My voice carries, and a lot of the time I don't realise how I am talking or laughing out loud at an inappropriate time. A lot of people think I am just trying to be funny, but honestly, I just don't even get it. I feel bad for the people that work near my cubicle.

2. Because I am pretty loud I think that most people don't know that I am also very shy. I have learned to force myself to be outgoing and talk to people, but for the most part it makes me nervous. I do hide my nervousness well, I guess. I think my shyness is why I had so few girlfriends prior to getting married at 23.

3. My eyes have changed color over the years. They used to be very blue, but now they are kind of a pale green. I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my optometrist once told me that I have retinas almost like an albino. You wouldn't notice that from my dark brown hair.

4. I am pretty forgetful. There are times when people remember really funny or stupid things that I have said and I don't even remember saying it. I am starting to think that how smart people are is in direct proportion to how well they can remember everyday events. I can't remember shit.

5. My ankles crack when I walk up or down stairs. It is so normal to me that the only time I really notice it is when I am going to bed and the house is extremely quiet. I like it when a person giving me a foot rub squeezes my feet and makes them crack.

6. I have no ass. When I buy a pair of jeans that fit me in the waste, they are baggy in the ass. Sorry to ruin the fantasy ladies ;)


So, that was my six weird things. OK, more sad than wierd...
Now, I tag:

Chrissie - I can never get enough of her (and I know she doesn't like being tagged).
Stacy - She thinks I'm a perv.
Terry - Us dorks need to stick together.
Grace - If I was 15 years younger... okay, maybe Stacy was right.
Jodes - She is awesome and you all need to know it.
Echotig - I miss her posts

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Progress Being Made

I have a new employee that as far as I can see is going to work out great. He is very enthusiastic and has a lot of knowledge. He's been with us for a week and a half, and I am starting to be able to delegate some work to him HURRAY!!!

I have another new employee starting the 27th. I worked with him a few years ago. I was glad that he passed all the interviews and accepted the position. He is a great guy. He's a little more green as far as his depth of knowledge goes, but I know he is good and will learn.

I still have to fill the Oakland position. This spot is very hard to fill. the person I hire has to have a very wide variety of skills that are not easily found in a single person. We had been suggesting that we hire 2 people.

We flew a candidate to Oakland to interview for the position. I interviewed him over the phone., while other managers there at the site interviewed him as well. The interview went way better than I expected. This guy is perfect for that position. I gave the managers there my thumbs up, and I knew they were very pleased with him. Last night I found out that the managers in California need to get the client's approval before hiring someone. Why the fuck would they go through flying a guy all the way out to California for an interview if they didn't know the client was ok with filling the position?

I just about hit the roof. But instead of blowing my stack I waited. I just got finished e-mailing my boss and our recruiter asking if they knew we didn't have all the approvals in place. I let them know how frustrating this is for everyone, including the guy we're trying to hire.

Would you accept a job from a company that obviously doesn't have all their shit together? Let me also note that this guy has a stable job for a very big company. I would put money on him turning the job down IF we get the approval to hire.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bitch, bitch, bitch

Geez Roxi, you're so demanding. I'm starting to feel like I'm married again :P

Yes, we got a shit load of snow on Thursday. About 18 inches at my house. The wind was blowing so much that it created snow drifts that were 4-5 feet tall in places. One of the limbs on my big tree out front broke. That tree is looking kind of lop-sided now. There were limbs breaking all over town since the snow came so fast and was so heavy. It's just a few days later now and almost all of the snow has melted.

Things at work are as stressful as ever. I mentioned that I have a few jobs to fill. Well, I have hired a new guy. He seems very good although a couple of the guys that interviewed him with me do not recommend horing him. They have this grand idea of what this position should be and so intense qualifications that go along with it. Well, if we were to change our focus to what they want we wouldn't be able to fill the position for 6 months or so.

The resume of a guy I worked with a couple years ago dropped on my lap a couple weeks ago. I met him when I was doing some consulting work. He and I got along great. I am hoping to fill my other Denver position with him. He passed a phone screen with other guys, and is coming in this week for a face to face.

My Oakland position might be filled soon as well. It seems we missed out on a guy that was available a couple weeks ago, but we have a line on a lady that would be good. She is going to be reporting to me, but I have to interview her over the phone. I don't like that. I am hoping to be able to get out to the bay area to meet the person I hire sometime, but it seems so hard to get the time.

MS and I went to her best friends Halloween party Saturday night. She was in the Seattle area for the majority of the last 2 weeks so we had no time to come up with a costume. She got back to town around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning. We had 18 hours to come up with a costume. She stopped by the house one our way to a costume shop in the early afternoon. On our way there she said she has an idea, but didn't want to say what it was in front of my kids.

Her idea was that we go as a couple that just got busted having sex. Our clothes and hair would be messed up. I would have lipstick marks here and there. As I kept driving we started brainstorming other ways of doing this couple costume. Here is what we came up with...

For me:
Seriously messed up hair
Light colored dress shirt with buttons misalligned
Lipstick on cheek and collar
Shirt tail not tucked in on one side with lipstick mark down there
Pants buttoned, but not zipped up, and belt not buckled
Shoes untied
A couple condoms hanging out of the shirt pocket

For her:
Hair mess up only in back
Lipstick smeared
Missing one earring
Blouse on inside out
Skirt not on straight w/one part of it in the back is tucked into the waste exposing her slip
... and the best part
Bright red thong stuck to the heal of her shoe

It was awesome!!!

We didn't win the costume contest, which I was not surprised. There were some great ones. The person that one the contest was a really tall burly guy dressed as a school girl. Wig, full make-up, and a school uniform. He shaved his legs and had white knee-high stockings with white bows at the top, and high heels. I personally thing the guy is a cross-dresser. He said he did the make-up himself, and was able to walk way too well in those shoes.

Second went to a woman dressed as an Oompa Loompa (original movie version). But I think the funniest, besides ours was a guy dressed in all red with a little kids bike handlebars strapped to his chest. He was a Menstrual Cycle.

Good fun!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

How many of me are there


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
8
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Memefication

Ya, I stole it from DZER

* -- wasn't on original list of questions, added by DZER.

1.The phone rings. Who do you want it to be?

A woman with a sexy voice not trying to sell me something.

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
I do, to the corral. It became a pet peeve when my truck got slammed by a run away cart at the grocery store 3 months after I bought the truck.

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
Depends on if I like the people around. If I like I talk, or if there's a woman I want to get to know I'll talk. Otherwise I shut the hell up.

4. Do you take compliments well?
I guess I don't, or at least I have a hard time believe the sincerity

5. Are you an active person?
Depends on the day

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, do you survive?
Yes, if I know roughly where I am I could probably find a way to survive or get found

7. Do you like to ride horses?
I like to, but can't. Allergic :(

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Yes, and as a counselor in high school

9. What was your favorite game as a kid?
Baseball or kickball

10. If a sexy person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was married would you?
Probably not, but who knows

11. Are you judgmental?
Usually no, but I have my days

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
I always do.

13. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
By jackals? The paparazzi? Police? A crazed mob? It's all about the situation. I left DZER's answer since it was perfect

14. Use three words to describe yourself:
Geek, anxiety, kisser

15. If you had to choose, would you rather be deaf or blind?
Deaf, then it doesn't matter if I don't answer the damn phone

16. Are you continuing your education?
I need to

17. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
Yes, and I have killed big furry critters

18. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you tried to save?
My kids

19. How often do you read books?
Seldom

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future?
Future probably

21. What is your favorite children's book?
"Ferdinand The Bull"

22. Have you kissed any of your MySpace friends?
Yes, a couple, but I wish for a couple more

23. How tall are you?
5'10" and shrinking

24. Where is your ideal house located?
On about an acre of land somewhere near where I am now

25. Boxers, briefs, thongs, panties, or grannies?
Boxer briefs

26. Last person you talked to?
A guy from work... woohoo

27. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes

28. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
About a month ago

29. What are your keys on your key chain for?
Car, truck, house, cabinet at work.

30. Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
To Best Buy, about 1 mile away. I worked from home.

31. Where is your current pain at?
Deep in my brain

32. Do you like mustard?
Absolutely

33. Do you prefer to sleep or eat?
Sleep. I wish I could cut back on the eating.

34. Do you look like your mom or dad?
Dad mostly, but some features from mom's family

35. How long does it take you in the shower?
10 minutes max

36. Can you do a split?
Only banana. Again, good one DZER

37. What movie do you want to see right now?
"The Departed."

38. Do you put lotion on your dog or cats?
Are you fucking kidding me?

39. What did you do for New Year's?
Stayed home. No fun

40. Do you think "The Grudge" was scary?
Didn't see it

41. What was the cause of your last accident?
Incontinence... just kidding. The very old lady that rear ended me because she thought she could see through her iced over windshield.

*42. How much money do you have on you right now?
$41 if you don't count the check from my girlfriend for $130

43. What are you drinking?
Diet Cherry Coke

44. Was your mom a cheerleader?
No

45. What's the last letter of your middle name?
"N"

46. Who did you vote for on American Idol?
Never watched a single show

47. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
Maybe 6

48. Do you like Carebears?
beheaded, yes

49. What do you buy at the movies?
Ticket, popcorn and a Diet Coke

50. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes, but DZER would clean me out

51. Do you wear your seat belt?
Always

52. What do you wear to sleep?
See #25

53. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?
Yes...

54. How many meals do you eat a day?
Usually two

55. Is your tongue pierced?
Hell no

56. Do you always read MySpace bulletins?
No

*57. What's you favorite NFL team?
Broncos

58. Do you like funny or serious people better?
Funny.

59. Ever been to Vegas?
Many times and want to go again soon

60. Did you eat a cookie today?
No, but almost made some

61. Do you use cuss words in other languages?
No

62. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
Once in a while I will download a song that has been recommended, but if I like it I'll go buy their CD.

63. Do you hate chocolate?
Only dark

64. What do you and your parents fight about the most?
When dad was around we would fight about his being such a dick. Mom and I never fight.

*65. Is anyone mad at or irritated with you right now?
I am sure a couple people at work, maybe one or 2 of you

*66. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? (apologies to those who don't celebrate Christmas)
Day

*67. What's your favorite preparation for eggs?
Scrambled with a little cheese

68. If you could have any job (assuming you have the skills) what would it be?
Professional Powerball Winner

69. Are you easy to get along with?
Yes. Maybe I should be more of a dick

70. What is your favorite time of day?
Until starting this new job... right after getting out of work. Now it is right after I get home from my 75+ minute commute

71. Who was your best girlfriend/boyfriend?
Hard to say. Many have great qualities. MS is definitely the most like me

72. Who do you hate?
People who hurt others

73. Would ever date your first love again?
"Again" assumes that I dated her to begin with.

74. Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
Yes, but not serious like we are talking marriage or anything

75. Current mood?
Scattered

Sunday, October 15, 2006

So much to write, so little time

Work hasn't eased up much in the past couple weeks. Getting some of my priorities done just means I need to work on the next ones. This week should be interresting.

It sounds like I'll be doing some travelling in the future. Now that we've been "acquired" there is talk of some of the work I have done has been noticed and needs to be done with other projects in our "division". I certainly didn't expect this job to get even more crazy. Hopefully these projects won't need my attention until I get some of our local issues dealt with.

I've been shot down on taking my kids to Michigan with me for Christmas. This is a major bummer for me. I have never been without them at Christmas. She is kind of upset about it because the kids knew before she did. She doesn't like being put in a bad light if she says no. Unfortunately my mom let it slip on a phone call a while back, so when they talked to her next the issue started to boil. I was upset with my mom for saying anything. I tend to forgive her because of her age. I haven't gotten a flight reservation yet. I am waiting to know if my brother is coming. If he is but can't afford to fly we may drive it together. If he doesn't make a decision soon I will get a ticket and let him fend for himself.

I let my ex know that we may be going to Connecticut next yet. She has more than a year to prepare herself for the fact that she will not have her kids for Christmas. Too bad, it's only fair.

Thursday was Erik's birthday. The boys were with my ex, but she invited me and MS to go to dinner with them at Texas Roadhouse. I wasn't sure how MS would feel about it, but she did want to go. It was a good evening, but one funny thing did occur. We were sitting there waiting for our food when in walks a neighbor, her boyfriend, and her girls.

I don't like this neighbor because I was good friends with her ex. He is a great guy. I have not talked to her for about 6 years. She lives right across the street, and not a word. She knew that Irene and I had split of course. The whole neighborhood knew what happened. It's kind of hard to live in a neighborhood that knows that your wife slept with one of the other neighbors.

Anyway, she saw us there... all 6 of us. She had this "WHAT THE FUCK!?" look on her face.

For some reason that felt good. She is one of those crazy bitches that has to freak out on whomever she is breaking up with. She did it to Joe (her ex), which ended with her getting carted off to jail for a night. That was fun to watch. I've also witnessed other breakups with other guys since. I guess the concept of being civil with an ex just doesn't seem to fit in her twisted sense of reality. I guess to someone like that the only way to end things is to blow a gasket.

I had a great weekend with the boys. Saturday morning was of course bowling league. Unfortunately, this meant not sleeping in. I gave Erik a new bowling ball for his birthday, but unfortunately it wasn't drilled yet. They both got awards from the previous week. That was pretty cool.

Afterwards we had to rush home and get cleaned up for Erik's party. We weren't having the party at my house. We just needed to get our stuff together. The ex and I had a party for him at a laser tag place here in town. The kids always enjoy that. I did very well compared to previous outing. I was ranked 10th of 25 for the first game, and 7th of 25 for the second. I think all that PC war gaming paid off on my tactics :D Mike's son is a freakazoid in laser tag. He was 2nd both games. That little shit. My friends Mike and Irma finally got to meet MS. I took a load of shit for not taking her out to their house yet. MS's kids were their too.

Afterwards I invited MS and her kids to come over for dinner. Unfortunately, her daughter had to work, but MS came with her son. Our kids get along fairly well. Her daughter is 17, so she doesn't hang out with us too much, but once in a while she does and she is a lot of fun. Her son is 14, and should never eat sugar. It's like giving a crack pipe to a junkie. He can be hard to take at times. I try to be patient.

Her kids are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Her daughter is a straight A student. She is hoping to get in to MIT next year. She has a good shot. Her son on the other hand will be lucky to graduate. At least one F on his report card is the norm it seems. He was this way before the divorce, so you can't blame that. He is not stupid. I think he just lacks the ability to absorb much information. He joined the ROTC program at the high school. I would bet that he'll be joining the Air Force after high school.

My kids are on their Fall Break from school. They were off all last week with my ex, and they are off all this week with me. My ex took the entire week off. I can't do that for obvious reason, but I did get clearance to work from home Tuesday and Wednesday. I am wanting to talk to my boss about working from home one day a week, but I can't justify it withthe amount of turmoil there is. Hopefully soon. One of the guys that reports to me put in his 2 week notice last week. Can I send this dish back, there just isn't enough stress on it. Thank you very much.

I now have 3 open jobs to fill, one of them being in Oakland, CA. I just hope the other guy in my department doesn't decide to leave. I would be screwed.

My friend Michelle from Arizona contacted me. Remember her? She asked me to send her the newspapers from here and in Denver. I guess things have devolved there to the point where she is ready for a location change. Why does that give me butterflies in my stomach? She knows I am seeing someone and I know she would never do anything to cause any problems.

Here's an odd note...

I have a friendship with a woman here that started out as dating, but we both ended it after just a couple weeks because of various incompatibilities on our lives. We remained friends and talk to each other about everything. She is a hair stylist and cuts my hair. I would not say we're close because I only see her about once a month (mostly only when I need a haircut), but we talk on a regular basis. To be honest, now that I know her better I am sooooo glad we ended a romantic relationship before it ever got off the ground.

I still enjoy spending time with her once in a while. She cuts my hair, we go to dinner and talk. But lately she's been demanding more time. She needs help with this and that, blah blah blah. I have not been there for her on these occasions because I am afraid that she'll get used to leaning on me for things. I do feel guilty about not being there for her. To be honest, if it was a guy friend I wouldn't have hesitated to help.

MS knows all about her. I was up front about my female friends I have here. MS doesn't seem to mind, but I certainly am not going to put MS aside if a female friend "needs" something. MS isn't the jealous type, but what does that say about the friendships I have made with these women? Am I a bad friend? I know that part of my hesitation is because I am worried that these women may get re-attached to me and I would have to break off even the friendship. So I keep them at a safe distance.

Why do I feel so depressed?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Finally, a minute to write...

First of all, thanks to all of you for your well wishes. Its' been a rough month or so, and it is probably going to continue for many weeks to come. I am thinking I might get a break around Christmas. UGH!

I have had some great successes in the past few weeks. I have changed how software development is proceeding with this company. Previously they had a very limited ability to work on multiple software releases at once. They could not easily work on the software from multiple sites, now that is almost possible. Should be working this next week.

There are plenty more challenges for me to overcome, but I am knocking them off one by one.

The kids have really been great lately. They are a little frustrated with me bringing work home, but at least I can sit in the family room with them and interact while I work.

I have been pretty consistant with them as far as their school work goes. It has really paid off for Kevin this year. Kevin has As and Bs, and he is really motivated. I hope we can keep this up. I think the threat to not let him go snowboarding with the high school ski/board group if his grades drop helped too. Yes, he's still in middle school, but they allow a few in his grade to go with the high school kids.

I bought myself some skis a few weeks ago. I bought boots last year because I was having a hard time finding rentals that were comfortable around my big calves. I knew I was buying skis this year, I was just hoping that I would have a job before THE big ski sale started. So now I am totally outfitted.

Then Kevin was asking about checking out snowboards. He won a couple mall credit cards when he did some things with my ex's boyfriend last summer. He had $100 to spend. I bought the cards from him and took him to the ski sale a week later and got him set up as well.

Yesterday after bowling leagues I took the kids to get Erik rental skis for the season and to pick up mine and Kevin's equipment from getting mounted and tuned. We are ready for the snow. I have not been this excited about winter in many years.

Did you guys all watch Heroes last week? I thought it was pretty cool and has great potential. I was a little freaked out about seeing Ashley on the TV again. I don't know if anyone noticed, but she has some paralasis in her face. I can never remember the condition she has. I am glad she is working though. This Monday's tag line for the episode " A stranger in a strange land, an evil about to unfold"

My PC gaming friends are now wanting to play some different games. Luckily the first choice is a racing game that I found on-line cheap (~$15). Could be fun, but I am still waiting for Battlefield 2142.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Joining in on the meme

I'm borrowed this Chrissie who stole it from Dzer who got it from Heather who got it from Robyn...


1. What's your opinion on sex without emotional commitment? In the beginning I don't need much emotional commitment to have sex, but the longer I know someone I had better feel some emotion or it is doomed.

2. Do you bite your toenails? It grosses me out to peel them. I am certainly not going to bite them.

3. Are you a jealous person? No, unless I know I have been cheated on.

4. What are you allergic to? Animals, pollen, dust, mold... work!

5. What books, if any, have made you cry? Chrissie, you should not have told me about the Harry Potter book, DAMN IT!!! No book has ever made me cry.

6. Does it get annoying when somebody says they'll call you, but doesn't? Sometimes, but then again I figure most people have better lives than I do, so I feel guilty for expecting much. I know... stupid. I do have a good life.

7. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Moose Tracks

8. If someone you had no interest in dating expressed interest what would you say to them? "I'm sorry, your a nice person, but I just don't think we're compatible.

9. What would you rather be doing right now? Watching The Daily Show, having sex, watch a movie, sleep

10. What song lyrics, if any, are stuck in your head at the moment, if any? Mexican Wine

12. What did you dress up as for your first Halloween? The 1st one I remember I was a mouse with huge ears.

13. What's your favorite TV show, now or in the past? Currently it's "24", when I was a kid it was "Star Trek". I was a geek at a young age. I just didn't know it yet.

14. Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex? Opposite, most of the time.

15. Can others make you cry easily? No, but thoughts of others can.

16. Who was the last person to piss you off? I haven't been really pissed off for quite some time.

17. Are you picky about spelling and grammar? I try not to be

18. Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages? Sometimes.

19. If you could be any type of fruit what would you be? A nice juicy peach

20. Were you a "planned" child? No. I was told early on that I was a mistake.

21. How many pairs of shoes do you own? 6 or so.

23. How many hours of sleep do you need to function? 5 to function, but I want 8 or more

24. What is your favorite alcoholic drink? Tequila

25. When was the last time you saw a rainbow? 2 weeks

26. Have you ever been attracted to someone physically unattractive? Not that I thought, but some have said they didn't understand why I was with someone.

28. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos? Sure, but I don't want one

29. Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date? Absolutely

30. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos? No, none

31. Which do you make: wishes or plans? Both

32. Can you speak any languages other than English? Nope

33. What is your favorite salad dressing? Creamy Italian

34. Have you ever fooled around with someone and not remembered? No, I always remember, even when I don't want to

35. Have you ever dated one of your best friends? Yes, and it ended up ruining our friendship

36. Has anyone told you a secret this week? Yes, and it made me blush.

37. When was the last time someone hit on you? Gee, I think it was earlier this evening

38. Did you notice there was no #11? Yes, and 22 and 27 as well

Thursday, September 07, 2006

After much bitching...

I am writing a new post.

So work's been kicking my ass. This place has a lot to offer, but they also lack in foresight. I am working on that. I think they get it. So I have been working some ugly hours trying to get things fixed and on the right track as well as designing a database system for tracking their software bugs. Ya, it's been a real geek fest.

Other work news. My company has been "acquired". Yes, we are being asimilated. I can't say by who, and quite frankly you would probably not care. Everyone that was hired prior to August 1st got a certain number of shares of the current company. So they're making a few bucks off the deal. I was hired Aug 7th. I am shit out of luck.

I finally got off my ass and reconnected my stereo in the family room. Yes, I've been watching HDTV without surround sound. Somebody shoot me. But here's the big problem. Now that I have done it, I see the need to upgrade my receiver to one that has optical audio for the satellite and DVD. Call me crazy.

Since I am on the road so much I have ordered a new stereo for my car. I lose most of the Colorado Springs stations about half way to Denver, then the rest right before I get to work. Some of the Denver stations are good, but I don't get them until I get their. It's time for an upgrade. I am getting a MP3 deck that also has a built-in Sirius tuner. It's back ordered from Crutchfield's, but I am WAY excited about getting it. I am also upgrading the speakers to Infinitys. I am holding off on a separate amp or sub. I did that with the last car and was sorry I did that.

The boys start in their first bowling league this Saturday. They are VERY excited about it. I am excited for them. It kind of makes me want to join a league. I haven't played in a league since I was 12 years old. I am much better than I was back then. I would say I average around a 150 these days.

For those of you that haven't heard The Sci Fi channel is airing almost all of the episodes of Firefly Monday, Sept 18th during the day. If you don't own the DVD, record this show. If you don't know about this show then you should watch it. It is probably the best TV show I have ever seen.

The movie Serenity was a follow up to the series. It looks like there are plans for 2 more movies if they see enough interest. If you love this show get all your friends to watch on the 18th, then go buy the DVD set from the series and the movie Serenity. You won't be disappointed.


OK, now there's very little time to catch up on your blogs before heading to bed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Heroes

Terry posted about her idoling over David Cassidy today which reminded me about how I have forgotten all about my brother's former "stardom". He is no longer acting, but I think it is better for him. It just reminded me of times we would be out and he would be recognized in public. Very surreal.

What surprised me the other day was that I was at the movies with my kids, seeing something I would rather forget (Zoom), when during the commercials prior to the movie I see my ex-sister-in-law pop up on the screen. It brought chills down my spine. She is in a new TV series starting this fall called Heroes.

Her name is Ashley Crow. She is a really nice person despite the problems that she and my brother had. They were married for a couple years and split on good terms (at least as far as I know). I love my brother's current wife, but I do miss Ashley. She was always so nice to just hang out with.

You only see her for a few seconds in this promo, at the 2:10 mark. She plays the mother of one of the major characters. The show looks pretty cool. I encourage you all to watch when it airs.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Deep breaths

Again, thank you all for the kind words.

I know some people have this need to see a person that has died to say their last goodbyes. I am not one of them. Seeing someone displayed in a coffin creeps me out more than anything else I can think of.

The wake was fine otherwise. I got to see some relatives that I hadn't seen in a long time. One of my aunts flew in from California. I guess the last time I saw her I was about 18 months old. Funny how time flies. She is in her early 90s, but has a ton of energy for her age. She amazed me.

I loved catching up on all the stories with my cousins and their kids. I just wish we got together more than an occasional holiday, and now due to the death of their mom/grandmother. As with all occasions with relations on my mom's side their was a lot of laughing when we got back to my cousin's house. This is the way I would want to be remembered.

My sister being in town was great. We didn't get to just hang out except for Monday evening when we went to dinner with my brother and my kids.
___________________________________

I've been back to work for 2 weeks now. My predecessor was a total fuck up. I asked my boss stright out in our one-on-one meeting (we have them every Friday), "Did Jim leave on his own?" He knew what I was asking. Yes, it was an inappropriate question, but I had to know. He got shit-canned. I explained that I was assuming so with the state of things.

There is so much for me to fix that I asked my manager and our vice prez if we could bring in an IBM consultant to get some of the bigger things fixed since this would make it happen faster. They were all for it.

I met our CEO the other day. He's a really nice guy. Very short, but really nice. He does a "orientation" meeting for all the new employees to kind of give the new folks an understanding of where the company came from and where it is headed. I was impressed.

I have been getting a ton of resistance for the software developers. Many of them are not happy with the switching of the tools (to the ones I am in charge of). I have found that the same folks that drive to change our lives with better software are the worst at accepting change in their own environments. Many of them were happy with the old tools, but the company needed some features that the other tool didn't provide. Well, with their switch to the new tool it didn't get any better because the implementation was so screwed up that half the shit didn't work, or they were never trained in how to use it.

I have won some people over just by sitting with them and showing them what they needed to do. A couple of them were thrilled to see something work for them. Yes, it was a lot like baby sitting, but I needed to win over some people. I swear, if I have to hear one more person say "StarTeam was so much easier to use", or "How come ClearCase can't do this?", I am going to drop a duece on someone's desk. Oh what the fuck, people? Give it up! I am here to move things forward, not move you back in time.

I am starting to think my boss doesn't like having meetings with me. Everytime we meet I have to tell him about the new problems I uncovered. I think I was going to cause a heart attack the other day.

Needless to say, it's moving along. Every day I have a few victories that make me hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully that isn't a train coming to run my sorry ass down). I think I have uncovered the moajority of the problems. A priority list is already in progress.

People ask me, "Why don't you do this kind of work as a consultant?" Well, I did for a while. There are good things and bad things about being a consultant. You can step in, set people up and get them working, then walk away knowing you did a good job (and not have to deal with the problems that people (developers in particular) eventually cause). You just move on to the next contract and take on their challenges. The bad thing about that is it wears on you. You are constantly bombarded with problems to solve and you never get time to just sit back and watch the process work. I like seeing it work. I enjoy the feeling I get when I witness the milestones that we hit. Celebrating the victories, or picking ourselves off the floor when something goes wrong.

Now I just have to remember to breath.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The good and the bad

The good:
New job is going well. Very stressful do to the previous idiot that I replaced not knowing what he was doing. It's been a rough week. Please forgive me, but I am not able to post more just yet due to the bad.

The bad:
My Aunt Sue passed away on Monday, so between working my ass off and taking care of the kids I have been getting my house ready for my sister coming for the funeral. My mom can't make it. They all (including my sister) were driving back from Maine when the news of my aunt came.

Mom was exhausted by the time they got back to Michigan, so she decided it wouldn't be possible to get her on a flight out. Her oxygen needs and such really make plane travel difficult.

Patti arrived yesterday evening. We're heading up to Wheatridge (sub. of Denver) for the wake/viewing/visitation (whatever you want to call it) in a couple hours. I am having to pass on the actual funeral tomorrow. I don't do well with funerals, especially having mass for it.

Aunt Sue has been deteriorating for a few years now. She used to be a very heavy lady. For a woman barely 5 feet tall I knew that her weight was going to be the cause of her eventual death. I was very wrong. A couple years ago she completely lost her appitite. She only ate when people told her to. When I saw her last year before she moved to Denver she was tiny.

She lived a good, long and bizarre life. She was the oldest of my mom's 7 siblings. I loved hearing the stories of their childhood in Maine. There was usually an arguement going on because Sue remembered things differently than the rest of the family. My mom's side of the family was quite crazy at times. At least they seemed that way to me.

Well, I better get myself cleaned up.

Is it ok to go to a wake in just Dockers and a nice shirt, or is a suit required? I am sure Mike will not wear a suit. I usually dress down a bit just so he doesn't feel too out of place. I totally understand not wanting to wear a suit or even a tie.

Poof* ...I'm gone

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bowling and School and work

I took the kids bowling a couple times last week when the weather wasn't so great. I don't know why we don't do this more. We enjoy it so much. And now with the smoking ban in place we can bowl in clean air (OK, it still smells like a stale bowling alley, but without the smoke).

Kevin was asking about joining a junior league, so we checked into it. He took the initiative and called around to all the good alleys in town and got the scoop on the leagues for each. We found out that they have leagues for Erik's age as well. Saturday mornings are not going to be lazy, sleep-in mornings coming up.

He was also asking if it would be possible for him to get a new bowling ball. The one I bought him 4 1/2 years ago is now too small, Erik is now using it. We got on-line and bought him a new ball (yes, that is his ball on the right), bag, polisher, and I broke down and got him some shoes as well. Yes, I spent a lot of money, but he is pretty damn good, and the house balls and shoes just plain suck. He is ready!

Kevin starts school tomorrow. He is excited about the new year. He is the big 8th grader this year. Kind of scary how that creeps up on you. Erik's school (3rd grade) starts on Monday. He is not as excited. He has a teacher that supposedly gives homework every night. He had a great year last year, so I hope this year goes as well.

I am feeling a lot of anxiety about the new job that starts on Monday. I know I can do the job, it's the same thing I do everywhere I go. I just get this way every time I start a new one. I am sick of starting new jobs. I have never had a job for more than 5 years my entire career.

I need to sock away a lot of money into my retirement funds. That is something I am going to be focusing hard on this year. I am way behind where I should be on my 401k and IRAs. Time to focus.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Jon's Bad Vinyl


OK, I was 13 years old. I loved the band Chicago growing up. My brothers and sisters influenced me a lot in my music choices as a youngster. Chicago’s first 8 albums were great. I think it was because of Chicago that I took up the trombone. Unfortunately, Chicago started becoming a very elevator oriented band. They could still rock, but the only hits they could make were crap like “If you leave me now”. I bought Chicago XII - Hot Streets (the only album with their pictures on it) trying to find 13 albums that I really wanted through Columbia House. It was the first album after the death of their original guitarist Terry Kath. Maybe I bought it hoping that Terry’s death might have spurred them into some real music again. No such luck. One of their big hits off of it was “No Tell Lover”… ARGH!!!

I am sure there are more

Copied from BWH

Friday, July 28, 2006

What died in here?

I came down from taking a shower and was overcome by a serious stink. "What the hell is that?". My kids looked at me like I was losing my mind (maybe I am). Now I need to do a major cleaning in my kitchen. I think I tracked it down to being a combination of the trash and that one of my kids left a big stink in the bathroom off of the kitchen. Sometimes I feel like buying a new house just to get away from the cleaning.

My carpets need cleaning, my floors need mopping, my windows need cleaning. Then I need to repair the cabinet surrounding my sink. I had a leak that has totally buckled the base of the cabinet beneath the sink. On top of all this I need to have half of the windows (the entire frames) in my house replaced. When does it end?

I got the offer package from FedEx yesterday. My benefits through these guys is going to be cheap. That is awesome.

My best friend moving is getting me down. I can totally relate with how Terry felt (well, not totally). But I feel like there is going to be a hole in my life. Mike and his family have been close friends with me and my ex since we first met 9 years ago. We did large landscaping projects , constructed swing sets and sheds, worked on vehicles, and of coarse went camping and riding quads/motorcycles together. He has been the best friend I could ever want. Obviosly we're going to be visiting them (and they us) from time to time, but Idaho is a long ways away.

With them leaving I am wondering if I want to keep my quad. I hardly ever took it out unless they were with us. It was never as much fun. He's bugged me for years about selling him my quad. He has a couple 2 wheel drive sport bikes, while mine is a 4x4 workhorse. He has borrowed it numerous times to do some work out on his 40 acre property. Why don't I do it? Maybe I am hoping that since both of my kids have motorcycles of their own we can go riding on our own more. I am still really nervous about Erik riding a bike. I may just sell the bike Mike sold me last month and buy Erik a small quad.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

50 boring things

I stole this from TequilaGirl who stole it from Lori along time ago.

1. My roommate and I once: Shoplifted while grocery shopping. We were very broke.
2. Never in my life have I: scuba dived
3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile is: My ex-girlfriend R
4. High school was: fun at times, but mostly a pain in the ass.
5. When I’m nervous: I talk too much one-on-one, or stay real quiet in a large group.
6. The last time I cried was: a few weeks ago
7. If I were to get married right now my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: non-existent. I am not having a big wedding, if I ever have one again.
8. Would you rather run naked through a crowded place or have someone email your deepest secret too all your friends? E-mail my secret
9. My hair: brown and straight, with just a touch of gray
10. When I was 5: I figured out that my dad was an asshole
11. Last Christmas: I hosted Christmas at my house.
12. When I turn my head left: I see drywall.
13. I should be: going on a trip. Anyone want to meet me in Vegas?
14. When I look down I see: a hair on my desk
15. The craziest recent event was: driving across country with my brothers in a moving truck
16. If I were a character on Friends Id be: Chandler
17. By this time next year: I'll be needing a vacation
18. My favorite Aunt is: Charlene
19. I have a hard time understanding: Why women date men that are idiots
20. One time at a family gathering: my dad announced to our whole family that he was leaving my mom because of me and my brother fighting all the time (refer to #10). He didn't leave, but it was the first in many big blowouts.
21. You know I like you if: I can stand to talk on the phone with you for more than 5 minutes.
22. If I won an award, the first person (people) Id thank: My family
23. Take my advice: and finish college
24. My ideal breakfast is: scrambled eggs, bacon, buttermilk buscuits with strawberry preserves, and orange juice
25. If you visit my home town: the drinks are on me.
26. Sometime soon I plan to visit: many places
27. If you spend the night at my house: please don't puke in the bed
28. I’d stop my wedding if: I want to
29. The world could do without: Jerry Springer
30. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: go back to my ex.
31. The most recent thing I’ve bought myself is: a computer game on eBay.
32. The most recent thing someone else bought for me is: a Swiss Army Knife
33. My favorite blonde is: Chrissie
34. My favorite brunette is: MS
35. My car must have a sign on it that reads: "please don't signal. I am insignificant and deserve to have you cut me off".
36. The last time I was drunk: two years ago.
37. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds: fish flying through the air after jumping out of the water on my fishing line.
38. I shouldn’t have been: so shy when I was young. I missed out on a lot of dates with great girls.
39. Have you ever shaved your pubic hair? Yes, but only to shorten it. Me with bald pubes would be freakish looking since I have hair everywhere else (sorry for that visual).
40. Last night I: took MS to dinner after she returned from Europe
41. There’s this girl I know who: is totally insane. I am worried that she is watching me.
42: I don’t know: why I have a low self-esteem
43. A better name for me would be: Dr. Simon Tam
44. If I ever go back to school I’ll: get some certifications, then a degree
45. How many days until my birthday?: I don't know. It's Nov 30... you figure it out
46. One dead celebrity I wish Id met is: Johnny Carson
47. I’ve lived at my current address since: March 1996
48. I’ve been told I look like: Tom Cruise... or my brother. The TC thing happened when I was 21. I never believed it, but I did go out with that girl... eventually (yes, I was a chicken shit).
49. If I could have any car, it would be: Pontiac Solstice GXP (buy american)... but I'd get a different color.
50. If I got a new cat tomorrow, I would name it: Sneezy (I am way too allergic to cats)

Monday, July 24, 2006

When it all comes together

I was heading up to Denver for my interview. I couldn't eat breakfast, I was nervous. My phone interview with some of their managers the other day seemed to go very well. I wasn't sure what they were going to throw at me other than the fact that they had some issues with developers not being able to work from home, and replicating the source code (software under development) to India (why do companies keep screwing themselves over by contracting shops in India. Their telecom sucks which means sending data back and forth is not reliable).

I was told that it was a 6 month+ contract to hire. I was going in for 2 interviews. One was a technical interview with a developer, a manager, and a guy that I guess I would be his manager if hired. The second interview was going to be a management interview with a senior manager. This position isn't technically a management position, but it is a very important one. I will have 1 guy and possibly another under me, but I would not have specific employee management responsibilities (I kind of like it that way).

These 3 guys in the conference room were throwing some of their problems at me. I was able to give them a number of viable solutions we could implement (if I am hired... hehe). It was pretty clear that their processes are fairly immature, and that they were needing a number of improvements in both process and infrastructure (more servers) right away.

They seemed to like me. We joked a lot about how developers can be lazy. I felt pretty comfortable. They didn't have much of a problem with what I was saying. My answers just seemed to spur more questions. I was in with them over an hour. It felt good that I wasn't possibly going into a place that had problems I was not familiar with. Some of the solutions I suggested were new to me, but it just meant I would have to learn even more about the tools that I am already extremely comfortable with.

Once they passed me off to Bob I kind of felt like I had things fairly well covered. Bob asked me some of the same questions, but some were totally different. I think Bob has some plans that the rest of the guys are not aware of. He was pretty easy to talk to, unlike the interview I was on a couple weeks ago.

One thing that came up that threw me was that Bob was refering to this as a permanent position. I was under the impression that it was a contract to hire. I showed him the e-mail from the recruiter. He said the recruiter probably just screwed up. He told me they were trying to get away from hiring contractors. I had already decided that I was ok with a perm position in Denver prior to even starting the interview process. Then he asked me what my salary requirment were.
I was quickly trying to rewind my memory to what I had told the recruiter. I remembered the conversation, but forgot the number. I threw out a number about 10 percent higher than what I was making at Agilent (hey, I deserve a raise). He response was "I think we can work with that without any problems". Which I replied, "Well that was too easy for you, make it {____ +$15K more}". We both laughed, but in truth I was thinking "Damn it! I should have pushed higher". He said that there are scales they need to stay in.

He said there was another guy they were interviewing and that they should have word back to me in 1 or 2 days. I have been dealing with people unable to make decision to hire after weeks and weeks. I was relieved to know I didn't have to wait long to know.

I left feeling really good about this interview. I phoned my recruiter on my way to the interstate and let him know how it went. He asked me "When do I start"? I told him about the other guy they were going to interview. He said he knew about the other guy and that he was from out of state. He said they've been trying to nail down a date for him to fly in for a face to face. It sounded like my wait would be more than just a couple days. He said he would get back to me as soon as he heard anything.

When I got home I got online and over the next hour or so I let the few friends I saw logged in know that it went well. Mel and I were discussing the interview, and some movie stuff. Then Lee, one of my Agilent co-workers came on asking me how it went, and was bitching about some of the crap they are trying to get the people that are still on the project do before their end dates. I had just told her that I was hoping to hear in a day or 2... then the phone rang. They offered me the job!!!

Not only did they offer me what I initially told Bob, but they threw in a $5000 sign on bonus. KA-CHING!!!

I start August 7th

Saturday, July 22, 2006

5 Things

5 Things always in my purse/briefcase/backpack:
1. Keys
2. Sun glasses
3. Pens
4. Headphones
5. VPN/SecureID Card

5 Things always in my wallet:
1. Driver's license
2. Credit Card/Debit Card
3. Cash
4. Receipts
5. ATV Ownership Card

5 Things always in my refrigerator:
1. Diet Dr. Pepper
2. Beer
3. Fruit
4. Cheese
5. Many Expired Items

5 Things (at least) always in my closet:
1. Pants/Shirts/Shoes
2. Maxim & Playboy Magazines
3. Ironing Board
4. Spare Cell Phones (I probably have 5)
5. Fire Safe

5 Things always in my car:
1. CDs
2. Garage Door Remote
3. Blanket
4. No Doze
5. Credit Union Envelopes

5 (or more) Things always on my desk: (at work)
1. Laptop/Mouse/Keyboard
2. Notepad
3. Blank CDs/DVDs
4. Altoids
5. Juggling Balls

5 People to tag
1. Chrissie (I have to tag her... it's a tradition)
2. Terry (She's moving up in the world. We have to keep her humble)
3. Wicked (Got to get her to post somehow)
4. Grace (It's about time I tagged her for something)
5. Laurie (Because I didn't get to meet her when I was in Michigan)

If you don't want to do it I'll TRY to forgive you

Is getting exercise really worth it?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Grace is craving me...

OK, maybe I'm overstating things a bit.

This has been a slow week. I am not feeling like myself. The job situation is still bugging me.

I had a phone interview yesterday (Thursday) that went VERY well. I talked to a VP and an engineering director for a company in Denver. I seemed to have all the right answers and fit as far as the job requirements go. If I get the position I would have one guy "reporting to me". It is not really a management position, but I would own my portion of the software development process (meaning if something goes wrong, it's my ass). They seemed open to making some changes.

When I go into an interview I don't just see it as they are checking me out. I am also checking them out. Early on in my career I took jobs because they liked my qualification. I didn't ask too many questions about their operations. This lead to me having to learn a lot, eventually being unhappy. Now I scrutinize the companies a lot more. I have turned down jobs in the past because it sounded like they didn't have a clue what they were doing.

Well, they liked me enough to now schedule a face to face interview in Denver for Monday. I am pretty excited about it. They scheduled me to be there from 11:30 to 2. Do these people not believe in taking a lunch break? Just something else to consider when making my decision.

=====================

It seems to me that there are a lot of people dropping their blogs lately. Some are switching to other blog sites while others are fed up with the drama.

Hmmm drama...

Yes, life is full of drama. I have had some people say some relatively nasty things about me this past year and a half in Blogger. This amazes me, because I think most of what I have to say is pretty mundane. Maybe it's just me, but I tend to let those negative comments just go away.

I used to play on an on-line game service (Pogo). The games were fun for the most part, but the people were fairly interesting. I met a few nice people there. I even met one of them in person. The drama there was amazing. People would flirt with each other all the time. Sounds like Blogger quite a bit, huh? The jealousy and drama was more than I could take. There were guys threatening me because I would flirt with a woman they wanted. It was so stupid. Eventually I tired of it. Most of the people were in their 30s, but they sure acted like a bunch of teenagers.

I hope this place doesn't end up like that.

My kids get back from Chicago tomorrow and MS gets back from Europe Monday. I hope that livens things up around here.

I AM SO BORED! Not even my normal hobbies have any appeal right now.

I think I'll head out to ride my bike. I hope you all are well.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Weekend stuff

I am tired, but i can't sleep. Forgive me, but I would guess that this is going to be one of those long posts that jumps all over the place.

I had 2 interviews this week. One of them was at an agency up in Denver. I drove an hour and 20 minutes to their office for a 30 minute interview, then an hour and 20 minutes back. I tried to hook up with some old work friends from up there for happy hour, but no one could make it.

The agency liked what I had to say. They called me about 30 minutes after I left to inform me they were submitting me to the client. I am not too hopeful since I am a relative expert on one tool and they use others that I will have to learn. But who knows.

The week had passed and the biggest thing I had planned for the weekend was getting together with a few (former) work buddies and play a game or 2.

Saturday came along and I had to prepare for game night. It was my turn to host. It was going to be a low turnout because one of the guys was camping, and another is getting ready to get married next week (and he wouldn't let us throw him a bachelor party). MS has been included in the last couple board game nights, but since she is in Europe I guess she misses out on all the fun (yeah, right).

Everyone started showing up around 2 p.m. Dan wanted to start earlier than usual because he had a new game that was going to take a while to learn and play. The name of the game is Descent. It is very Dungeons & Dragons like, but is not considered a role playing game because it doesn't continue on and on like D&D would. I would say it is like the computer game Diablo 2, but in a board game. I am clueless when it comes to this sort of game, but since only Dan knew anything about it we went long. We started playing around 2:30 and got very involved. We had planned on barbecuing some chicken, but forgot until about 6:30 in the evening.

We were only about half way through the "dungeon". Dan was right that this could take a while. We took a break to prep the chicken. Jason works as a volunteer EMT in one of the nearby small towns, so I guess he gets some cooking ideas from the firehouse. On the menu tonight, whole chickens cooked upright with a 24 oz beer can shoved in the opening.

It was quite a site to see. Jason prepared the chicken with olive oil and a poultry rub. I got the grill warmed up, then watched as he violated these chickens with the beers cans. The chickens stood straight up sitting on the beer can. My grill is fairly large, but the lid is not supposed to be closed when you cook on it. Whenever I forget about that I burn whatever I am cooking, even on low. We had to cover the chickens a little so that they would cook better, so I propped the grill lid open enough to accommodate the standing chickens. I wish I would have remembered to take pictures. Jason figured that since we couldn't close the lid entirely it would take longer for the birds to cook. We went back to playing the game but kept an eye on the grill.

We rotated the chicken about every 20-30 minutes. After about 90 minutes we decided they were probably done. Extracting the beer cans from the orifices was a 2 man job, but we did it without spilling anything. The chicken tasted incredible. I guess the beer boils and steams the inside of the chicken while the grill does the outside. It was incredibly juicy and fell right off the bones.

After about a 30 minute break to complete dinner prep and eat we continued on with the game, which lasted until around 11:30. Yes, that's right 9 hours of gaming including breaks. Dan said this was one of the smaller dungeons. I just checked the web site. It states that it takes 1 - 3 hours to play. BULLSHIT!!! WTF people? Over all it was a fairly fun game, but that is just way too much time.

My brother was coming by to borrow my truck on Sunday. His friend Jay was in town and Jay needed to buy a new stove for one of his rental units that he owns. Mike called on his way over and I hear Jay talking in the background about bringing over some mushrooms for me. I told him no fucking way.

Tonight my brother was having a barbecue with a bunch of his friends, so I headed over there for a bit. As soon as I arrived Jay started telling the story of when I tried mushrooms at a huge camping party we had in the mountains a couple years ago. Some of the people at the barbecue witnessed me at the party, while others were hearing about this for the first time. Everyone had a big laugh. That was quite embarrassing.

I hung out, had a brat and a few beers and talked to my brothers ex-girlfriend, Jackie. They are still friends. She was a bit shocked to hear that I did any kind of drugs. It's not really a proud moment in my life. She then asked me how the job search was going and has someone that she is going to hook me up with for a possible job lead. Always good to have an inside "friend".

Friends of my brother are always surpised at how little they see me around. A lot of them don't even know I live in the same town. I don't go out drinking very often, and I am certainly not "in" with this crowd. They are all nice, but they are my brother's friends, not mine. I guess Jackie had heard about my big relationship blunder last summer. She didn't know any details so she asked me to fill her in. I don't really like thinking about that, but gave her enough to make her jaw drop.

She then started asking me if I was still doing the Internet dating "thing". I didn't want to go into any big details. Chris, one of the other ladies there at the barbecue had recognized me a while back on a site I was using about 3 years ago and wanted to get together. I turned her down at the time which makes it twice that I turned her down. Previously she had hit on me (about 5 years ago) when she was drunk at my brother's bar. She gave me her number. I tried to tell her no at the time, but she was too drunk to understand. I think she is too embarrassed about the whole thing. She doesn't talk to me much anymore.

That reminds of a funny incident. A while after Mike and Jackie stopped dating when I was at Mike's bar. Jackie was there, and a bit drunk, being jealous because Mike had a new girlfriend. Jackie proceeded to hit on me. I turned her down just on principle.

So I'm sitting there talking to Jackie at my bother's house tonight, and she starts telling me about another lady on the other side of the deck from me, Melissa. Things like Melissa goes to a lot of these parties and barbecues, and tends to leave with someone she meets there. Was Jackie suggesting I cozy up to Melissa so I could be the next one she takes home?

Melissa is a VERY pretty lady, and maybe in other circumstances I would have gone for it, but I felt wierd about the whole evening already. I ducked out around 11. My brother gave me shit because "it's not like I have to go to work".

WOW, my prediction was right about me jumping all over the place. Maybe I shouldn't drink before I post.