Sunday, March 18, 2007

A friend sent me this video and I laughed my ass off. I did a search and found it on YouTube for all of you to enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Back in Colorado

My trip to San Francisco was a big success... well, at least I think so.

My trip started off bad. I had a VERY early (6:15 a.m.) non-stop flight out of Colorado Springs. I set my alarm for an even more ridiculous time, but forgot to turn the damn alarm on. I woke up at 5:20 in a panic. I skipped the shower since I had showered the evening before. Threw the remaining items I needed into my bags and headed downstairs. Then I hesitated. I started thinking I shouldn't be freaking out, and that there is no way for me to get to the airport, bags checked, and through security in time to make the flight.

I got online to see about switching to the next flight out, which of course has a stop in Denver. Then I looked at the clock one more time and figured FUCK IT, I'M GONNA TRY TO MAKE IT.

I through my bags in the cars and tore out of the neighborhood. I parked the car in long-term parking and there was no shuttle, or it wasn't in the area of my parking space anyway. So I walked at a very quick pace to get to the terminal. I approached the United counter and informed them that I am trying to make my flight. She checked her terminal and informed me they had JUST called final boarding. I would have made it if I hadn't stopped and checked other flights.

I asked them if they could get me on the next flight possible. There was a 7:00 a.m. flight to Denver, but I had to be in first class. Little did I know, but the put me in first class for the Denver flight and the San Francisco flight (WOOHOO BABY).

It was unfortunate that I was losing out on about 4 hours of time at the client office in SF, but I tried not to stress about it. Next time I'm offered a relatively cheap upgrade to first class I am going for it.

Work was interesting because it was very unstructured. I didn't have a detailed agenda of what I needed to do, but I had a short list and accomplished those things and more.

My first day I was in SF talking to some of our guys at our biggest clients office. The client has us doing custom software changes right in their office. I guess they felt they needed to micro-manage. This is also the office that I am STILL trying to hire someone for. I have no idea what the status of that is (SHIT!).

This was the cheapest real hotel (real meaning not a flee bag) in the area. I thought it was strange that my company recommended it, but I think that recommendation came because it was the closest hotel to the client office that I had to visit. The A/C was incredibly loud (yes, I needed the A/C on at night). I woke up every 20 or so minutes when the A/C would turn on, then again when it would turn off. That was frustrating. The the power outlets were only 2 prong. I needed 3 prong for my laptop.

I spent the next 2 nights in Oakland at the Marriott in City Center. Very nice!! Then again I might have been swayed by the fact that the A/C was quiet, but that bed felt incredible. The fact that the girl manning the front desk that reminded me what room I was in was cute and kind of flirty might have influenced my grade too.

Working in the Oakland office is quite a bit different than the Denver office. There's hardly anyone there. Half the people that work their are the President, and a couple VPs in the company, and a few software developers. It was a little un-nerving to have all the big wigs coming by my cube to say hi, and see how I'm doing. The fact that they knew who I was is kind of freaky to me. I am used to being very low on the totem pole.

While I was at work Tuesday I got a call from Chrissie. I hadn't heard from her since I initially told her I was coming out there, so I assumed she was going to blow me off (get your minds out of the gutter people, I meant she wasn't going to meet me). Well, we made quick plans to get together that evening. She suggested we meet half way. She lives in a small town a few hours from SF, so it made sense. Half way ended up being a pretty small town as well, but they had a Chili's.

Getting there took me some time because I was driving through city traffic while she wasn't, but I finally arrived. She showed up a little bit later, she decided to visit some old friends of hers since I was running late.

Meeting Chrissie was a real treat for me. We've been friends for about 2 years, so finally talking to her face to face just felt great. She didn't quite look the same as her now non-existent HNT photo's but she is stunning. Now I know she is real flesh and blood. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my new camera with me (IDIOT).

I was probably obnoxiously loud when laughing during our conversation. I can't hear myself, especially when I'm drinking. She always has me rolling. I am sure I had my stupid grin going full blast. I didn't want the night to end, but we both had some driving to do, and I had to be up at a ridiculous hour for a teleconference. Fucking work. I need to win the PowerBall.

The next day was filled with meetings that we kind of pointless. I had testing to do on my groups new system. I don't have time to hear people whine about how they have to do system backups. Just figure it out. I was pretty fried by this point.

Terry and I were going to meet in San Francisco in the Mission District. One of her favorite bars is there. She had e-mailed me very detailed instructions. I had to take the BART into SF, which was a new experience for me. I asked the front desk clerk at the hotel where the nearest BART station was, and she pointed to it right outside the from of the hotel. She asked me where I was going. I told her 16th and Mission. She got a worried look on here face and told me to always be aware of my surroundings. My immediate thought was "Where the fuck is Terry dragging me?"

There was one little mistake in Terry's directions that got me headed the wrong direction. I realized the problem when none of the landmarks she had told me about were anywhere to be found. Lots of drug addicts and hookers though. I got Terry on the phone and worked my way back to the Bart station to start over. I really got turned around at another point all by myself. So even if you give a guy instructions (although we NEVER need them) we'll still screw it up.

After a nice brisk walk I finally caught up to Terry at her bar. We had some really funny conversations about each other's friends, jobs, my girlfriend, and had some VERY tasty Sidecar's. Apparently most of her blog readers thought I was some sort of perv way back when. I'm glad she realized I was harmless early on (I never said I wasn't a perv). After the second round (or was it the third) we figured we should get some food, so we hit an Indian restaurant across the street. Another favorite of hers. The food was great. I've had some Indian food that I didn't like in the past, but this stuff was excellent. Good call Terry!

We ended the night with another drink at a bar around the corner. We had to kind of scream at each other to hear, but it was still great fun to see her.

I slept in a little this morning. My flight was at 1, so I figured I'd take it easy for the morning. I got out of the hotel around 10 and headed for the San Francisco airport. I gave myself extra time because I didn't want to miss another flight. I found the rental car return with no trouble. I love that you take a tram from the terminal to the rental car facility.

I was in the terminal with lots of time to spare. I put my credit card into the check-in kiosk, and it said it couldn't find me, so it told me to try my confirmation number. I enter it and was told to contact an airline representative (HOLY HELL!). I flagged a woman down and gave her my ID. She tried to looked me up in the system, but couldn't find me. She asked if I had a boarding pass from the flight out to SF. Luckily I kept them and handed her one. She asked if I had a change to my itinerary. I told her about missing my flight out, and that they put me on the next flight out. She said it looks like when they scheduled me for the new flight the cleared out my return reservation. Breathing... staying calm. I asked if there was still room on the flight. She was apparently already working on this and kind of indicated to me to be quiet.

I got one of the 2 remaining seats. No first class bump this time... bummer.

Time to crash

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What is a home...

... other than a house with your shit in it?

One of my blogger buddies has been going through a divorce and she is dealing with the feeling of her ex that has kept the house they were in together.

I back her 100%, but I can also relate very well to both side of her dilema. She has moved on, he has not. He is still reminded of her everyday because he sees the things they did together with their house. Most of these feelings are gone from me, but once in a while they still come out.

I kept the house when I split with the ex. I had no choice really. I had just gotten word that I would be laid off. This was Oct 2001, and the job market was shit after 9-11. I knew that the house was a huge asset for me. We bought it below market prices and it was at the time worth 80% more than what we paid 7 years before. Unfortunately this meant I had to pay her half of that equity.

I was out of work for about 3 or 4 months, living on my severance pay. I took the first job I could get. It was a 35% pay cut. I was barely squeeking by and had to refinance the house. I debated about selling. I had good friends in the neighborhood. I was depressed. I decided to keep the house.

After a few job changes in the past 6 years I am back to what I was making in 2001. After just getting laid off from Agilent last June and getting a new job a month later I paid off all my debts except for the car and house. I have quite a bit in savings.

I live a pretty comfortable life, but I continue to wonder if I should get a smaller house. I certainly don't need all this space. It's nice that I can have a party once in a while, but my parties are usually very small. I have 5 bedrooms, a living room, dining room that I use maybe twice a year for an actual meal, a rec room that I have turned into a computer shop, and 4 bathrooms to clean.

My kids are with me every other week so I need to have rooms for them. I have 2 bedrooms that I do not use except for storage. I have been thinking of selling again. Right now it's a buyer's market. Lot's of houses for sale, and they aren't moving very quickly. I am sure that will change when more military troops get stationed at Fort Carson. The military here in Colorado Springs drives the economy. Unfortunately it also drives the political pulse of the area.

I don't take care of the house all that well. Sometimes I feel bitter about being left with the house in the divorce. I tend to ignore problems until I either get motivated, or the problem gets a lot worse. Maybe I'm just lazy.

I am certainly not going to be moving out of the area. I do work in Denver, but I can't (and won't) take my kids from their mother. I see myself eventually moving to Denver once the boys are out of the house, but should I move into smaller accomodations until then?

I don't really want to keep the house and rent it out, although I could. I just don't think I want to deal with that burden. So IF I get a new house I will more than likely sell this one.

Is anyone out their more of a financial expert. Is now a good time to make this kind of move, or should I wait?

The debate in my head continues.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I must remember I am going for work...

My San Francisco trip is already upon me. It's nice to be able to plan a trip at the last minute and not worry about the cost. I head for the city by the bay on Monday morning, bright and early. I'll be there until Thursday.

I have a list of things to accomplish while I am there, but what has me really pumped about going is getting a chance to hang out with Chrissie and Terry. I hope it all works out so that I get to see both of you.

Of course I am supposed to work while I am there. What can I say about work. Maybe something like "Holy shit this place is stressing me out!!!"

The VP of our area was very pleased with a presentation about the new tools and processes that I am putting in place. I was worried because the word around the office was that she was pissed that it wasn't already up and running. I think she is just frustrated because they have spent a lot of money so far, and I have spent a lot of hours customizing the tools. The good thing is that she knows it can't be put into production without licenses for the software. I was told they would be here in January once the budget was approved along with a slew of hardware that I need for the project. Well this deployment is getting a lot of attention. This is costing the company millions of dollars, so it had to go all the way to the top for approval.


When I started here I understood that they needed this done, but this was before I knew about the merger with the BIG COMPANY. Now, not only am I responsible for the Denver office with plans to expand to Oakland. Now I have to get Des Moines and Cedar Rapids done, and by the way "WHAT'S TAKING SO FUCKING LONG?!"

I have never felt so much pressure. The only saving grace is that I hired 2 awesome guys, Mike and Jason to work with me. If it wasn't for them I would be totally blowing a gasket. We've all bonded well. Jason is a major perv, just like me. We try to break up the stress by noticing what the hot women are wearing at work that day. We have nicknames for all of them. There is The Librarian, who has that sexy "during my off hours I am a dominatrix" look. There is Red, who seems kind of ordinary, but you know she is sporting a killer bod under all the loose clothing. There is Sin, that towers over me at approximately 6' 2". Her "large tracks of land" make J drool. Then there is CT, which is short for something I'd rather not say ;)

I know, we're pigs. I think the fact that we're way over stressed makes us do these things. Well, that's the story I'm going with.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sucked into another meme

What curse words do you use most? Damn, shit, fuck (that may be my heaviest use lately). Then all kind of variants like fucktard, fucknut, fuckzilla

Do you own an iPod? No, I own a 40GB Creative Zen Xtra MP3 player. I will NEVER own an iPud

What time is your alarm clock set to? 5:45 am (looks like Jodes and I are actually waking up together)

Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture? Take, but it would be nice to be in one once in a while. I have so few pictures of me.

What was the last movie you watched? Theater: Bridge to Tarabithia ... DVD: Rush Hour

What CD is currently in your player? An MP3 CD with a mix of a ton of music. But I still listen to Howard Stern a lot while I drive to work on Sirius.

Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk? Chocolate, of course

Has anyone told you a secret this week? Yes, one of my friends told me how he and a woman he used to work with would use someone elses office and watch porn DVDs on her laptop over lunch. He said they never did anything physically sexual together.

When was the last time you had Starbucks? This morning. I have a conference call every Mon, Wed, and Fri morning at 7 a.m. Today I stopped for a Chai while I had the meeting muted.

Can you whistle? Yes, but not impressively

Did you watch cartoons when you were little? Constantly. That and 3 Stooges, and Abbott and Costello movies

Do you own any band t-shirts? Yes, Train. I used to have a bunch of others. The Police, Genesis, The Romantics, Paul McCartney, and t-shirts I helped design for a friend's band.

What will you be doing in an hour? Probably watching South Park

What was the last song you heard? The song is called "Highness", from a band called Envy and Other Sins

Last time you cried? Big cry or little cry? I shed a tear during The Bridge to Tarabithia.

Desktop or laptop? Both. I am a geek you know! I have my desktop which is where I do most of my blogging and gaming. I have a laptop for work, and a laptop that is mine that I hardly use (it's quite old in computer years). Then I have a server, and my sons share a computer. I won't count the numerous computers in pieces in my shop.

What’s the weather like? It kind of sucked today. Overcast, and around 35

What were you doing an hour ago? Watching an episode of 24 with my kids

How many hours of sleep do you need to function? 5 to function, 6 to be relatively rested, or 9 to be completely rested.

Do you eat breakfast daily? No, unless you count a Diet Dr. Pepper on the road to Denver

What did you do last night? Worked all day from home (sick kid) until 7:30 pm (dropped him off at his mom's around 4), then played BF2 until 10pm

Do you use sarcasm? Only when my mouth is open

Do you sleep on your side/back/stomach? Yes, Yes, No. I change positions a lot. It's probably a good thing I have this really nice king size bed.

Do you watch the news? Yes, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

Do you have any scars? Yes, mostly on my hands from slicing open fingers, but I do have a few interesting ones. I have a couple scars on my wrist from when I was a kid and we were roasting marshmallows. My friend's caught on fire, and he waved it around to put out the fire. A chunk flew off and landed on my wrist. The other good one is on my forehead at my hairline. When I was a baby I used to pull on electrical cords. Yup, you guess it, I pulled the toaster down onto my head. The sharp corner of the toaster hit me hard. I don't remember it at all. I've just been told the story.

Anyone else wanna steal this?