Week One Complete!

I’ve finished my first week at my new job. It’s a weird sensation. I feel like I’ve been there for quite a while already, but that time has gone by really fast. Maybe it has to do with the fact that i was totally sick for about half the week? The first three days were pretty much getting to know what the company does and how they do things on a very high level. Thursday and Friday were pretty much dedicated to scouring over thousands of lines of C#, ASP.Net, and Javascript to learn how their Consumer site works. Not the most exciting stuff in the world. Everyone is very nice and patient with our questions.

Boy, was i ready for saturday though! I guess my body was still used to sleeping for 10 hours every night. Instead i’ve been up by 7am everyday and out the door by 7:30. Yesterday i finally got to sleep in a bit, lounge around in my PJ’s, and then finally in the afternoon leave the house. Josh and I went up to Louisville so Josh could test drive a Infiniti G35. A very nice car! After that we went and ate pizza and drank beer at Za’s where we met up with some friends, one of whom neither of us had seen in years! After pizza and beer we went and saw Daybreakers, which was ok. It’s nothing to rave about, and I feel the previews mislead the audience to thinking the movie was something else. But exploding vampires are always nice.

Tomorrow starts week two! Hopefully nothing will go wrong, and the roads will stay clear!

A New Start

Today was my first day at iPay. We did the usual stuff you do when you start a new job. You fill out paperwork, you get oriented to where everything is, you meet your supervisor and the people you’ll be working with, all that fun stuff.

Tomorrow (or actually today since it’s 4am and i can’t sleep for some reason), we’ll be doing more onboarding as they call it. And we’ll also go more in depth into what the company does and how i’ll be part of that. The setup they have is similar to where i worked before in a few ways. First it’s a secure site, meaning only people that work there or have business there are allowed access. Second, they’re watched/audited quite a lot since they deal with moving money (electronic payments, not literally moving cash).

I’m a little anxious to actually start looking at code and tables, I want to know how big my learning curve is going to be. It always sucks knowing that you’re going to have to play a bit of catch up, but you don’t actually know how much.

Ugh. My brain is tired but my body isn’t. WHY IS THIS?!

Anyway, tomorrow is day two! I can’t wait to get in there and start doing stuff!

End of the Year wrapup

A lot of stuff has happened this year. I’ve gone from single, to in a relationship, to single again. I’ve worked on some really great ideas, though most of them haven’t really taken shape. I’ve gotten really close to getting violent at work (ok, not really, but i wished i could get violent at work :P). All those things seemed to climax into the events that have occurred in the last few weeks.

I’ll start with a quick recap of my previous post. Zach and I have been job hunting for the last few months, since the end of September/beginning of October. We’d even enlisted the service of some recruiting firms — TEK Systems being one of them. We had some meeting with our recruiting representative — or whatever they’re officially called — and talked about why we wanted to leave our current job, what we’re looking for in other places of employment, what kind of qualifications we have, etc, etc. Along with that we’d also put our resume’s up on job searching sites like Monster and Dice, and we even applied at some local positions online. That choice bared fruit in what happened next. iPay Technologies got in contact with both of us, as we’d both applied for some of the positions they had posted. We had our phone screenings, we even got interviews! Meanwhile back at work, nothing seemed to change. We’d told our management months before that we were job hunting, and now we’d told them we were interviewing with a company. They still didn’t seem to be doing anything — like collecting resumes or putting feelers out.

About a week later, Zach and I had another phone interview with someone else from iPay, and the next day there was an offer letter in our inbox. At first we thought the amount they were offering was a monthly salary until Zach noticed it was bi-weekly! So needless to say, we told our boss that we’d both found a new job, and we’d be starting there at the beginning of January. We then accepted the offer letters. Now is when things start getting interesting.Β  We told our bosses that we’d go through all our projects and document everything and write up abstracts on the projects themselves — we did this not because we were told to, but because it was the right thing to do — and we’d even screen any people they found as possible candidates. All these actions were done out of kindness and professionalism.

One Friday Zach calls me to tell me what he’s just overheard, management talking about how horrible we were, how none of our projects ever worked how they wanted, how all the reports were always wrong, how apparently we were just big pieces of shit! Even though it was Zach telling me this, I could feel that flame of anger building inside of me. We were going to help these people out, find them replacements for our positions, and they’re going to stab us in the back? In the big picture i shouldn’t really care, as i have a new job already lined up, and they’re expecting me after the new year. But just to hear what people really think of us after working with them for almost three years.. it just hurts. I thought some of those people were good colleagues if not friends. So in response to that action, i moved my final day of work up to yesterday. I still did everything else I’d promised, documenting code, writing overviews of our projects, going over submitted resumes. But i wasn’t going to work there for another few weeks in that kind of environment. I also wanted to cash out all my vacation time in one paycheck, heh. That’s almost 2 1/2 weeks of pay on top of my week of pay this week. Should be a nice paycheck indeed.

Now i can’t wait until my first day at my new job. I’m kind of anxious and nervous, but i think it will be a big step in the right direction for my career.

New times are a-comin’

Over the last few weeks things have been changing for me. I started working with a consulting company, TEK Systems, which will help me find a new/better/more fulfilling job. I had a meeting with my representative and talked about what I was looking for and what my current work environment is like. I have the feeling that I ranted a bit. I then updated my resume (both physical copy and the ones online, including on this site) and she found some possible employment opportunities for me, which I reviewed and gave her the go ahead to submit my resume. I also applied for a bunch of jobs online on Dice and Monster.

Last week I got an email from iPay Technologies. They wanted to do a phone screening for their interviewing process. I accepted. I had my phone screening on Thursday, and Friday morning there was another email in my inbox stating they wanted to call me in for an interview. Zach went through the same thing. And now we both have interviews with them. Good thing they have two job positions open :P, maybe we’ll be the ones filling them. The only thing i’m concerned about right now is the compensation. They never said how much or what range the pay would be. I’m hoping they’re not going to try to hire me for what I’m being paid now.

Depending on how the interview goes, I may or may not be giving my boss a two weeks notice here in the future.

In other news, my dad got his M1 Garand. It’s beautiful! I could only imagine lugging that thing around through a combat environment though. It’s quite heavy. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to go shoot it! I kinda want one now. ^_^

Over the weekend I played lots of Left 4 Dead 2. I’ve finished all the campaigns on normal, and am now working on some of the achievements. The game really takes the feeling you get from when you first played Left 4 Dead and refines it. The chills, the excitement, the freak outs. They’re all there! There were a few times where I actually yelled/screamed like a little girl! The new zombies really do add a whole new dynamic to the game, by not letting you take advantage of the tricks that you could in L4D. The new melee weapons are also awesome, there’s nothing like beating a zombie over the head with a guitar or frying pan. And Realism mode.. oh so awesome.

I also finished reading Helix by Eric Brown. It was a good read. It really sucked me in, which is probably why i finished it in two days (or so). The characters were really believable, and the environments were well detailed. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s into science fiction and likes a story about a mission gone bad, crash landing on a strange alien structure filled with thousands of different alien races.

Yes, yes, i’m still alive

I’ve realized that i haven’t made a post in quite some time, partly due to my own apathy. I feel that i haven’t really had anything to talk about in the last few weeks. It’s all been SSDD, seriously. I wake up in the morning, I go to work, I come home, and then i might watch some TV or read a book and then I’ll go to sleep. In reality i might do a little bit more than that, but that’s what it feels like.

Work has been pretty stressful these last few weeks. Not so much the workload, more so the constant inability to achieve consistency.Β  I like being able to have my boss give me a task to complete, which i then complete and return the results. What i don’t likeΒ  is being told to do something, spend a week or so on this task, just to have it thrown away because certain people don’t like the results (not because they are wrong, but because they didn’t show the high numbers they were unrealistically expecting).Β  So basically i’ve been throwing my work down the drain no matter what i do.

whatever though. I’ll just do what they tell me to, collect my paycheck, and not take any initiative on anything since it never pays off anyway.

Last week i was pretty sick, I guess I’d caught the flu sometime the week before and it then went active the night after Halloween, I guess the constant temperature change from going in and out of bars was enough to lower my immune system so it was susceptible to attack. I spent the next week in bed pretty much. Sunday through Tuesday were pretty much a blur of half-consciousness, headache, and sleep. I stayed home on wednesday too just to make sure i didn’t get sick again. Thursday i went to work and wished i’d stayed home. And then there was the weekend again. I took it easy this weekend and stayed home. Friday and Saturday were just filled with chilling on the couch and watching TV shows and Anime. I ended up reading an entire book this weekend too. The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove wasn’t too bad. If you’re into that kind of story. It was a little hard to wrap my head around a world where the ancient Egyptian gods were real and the whole world was ruled by them. Other than that though it was a good read and worth the 7 dollars or whatever i spent on it.

On sunday i went to the range with my dad to shoot stuff down range. It was lots of fun, even though i’m still not a fan of his rifle πŸ˜› Kicks like a mule! Instead of going to Knob Creek like usual we went on Post and used French Range. It was a lot nicer than where we’d shot before and fewer rednecks too!Β  We also shot my dad’s new ERMA, i think it’s a KGP-69. It needs some cleaning, and probably some parts replaced, but it was neat to shoot something different.

This is some scary shit

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8278026.stm
While I totally support any country wanting to become self-sufficient, when that country has a history of making threats and posturing against the country where I live.. that’s a different story. For years the world has been working toward getting rid of nuclear weapons, and now Iran is just the latest to try and develop their own nukes. And with long range missiles it’s really scary.

If they were really wanting to use the radioactive material for nuclear power, more power to them. But weapons? Don’t we have enough on this planet already? ..stupid humans.

I have my computer back!

So at work they’re distributing a new baseline for all the computers. My machine got it about 2 weeks ago. The updates were pretty simple, upgrade from Office 2003 to 2007, IE 6 to 8, Security Updates etc etc. Last week at some point my computer died, it would start up and as soon as the windows loading screen would appear I would get a BSOD and the computer would reboot. That was on a tuesday. Wednesday, Desktop Support comes and picks my computer up to try and recover the machine. I don’t have a computer for the rest of the week.

Over the weekend I didn’t do much, played Eve on Friday and Saturday morning, then ran some errands and in the afternoon drove down to Nashville to see a show. The show was alright, the venue could have been better, but the bands made up for the fact that there was no drinking, smoking, moshing, crowd surfing, cursing or any other fun activities that one usually partakes in while at a show. Rcktwn is the fail. On sunday we drive back and once i get home I play some more Eve πŸ˜›

On the topic of Eve, i figure i’ll give an update of the goings on of Krandor delMarniol. Krandor’s left Legion of Black Mesa because many of the members have left or stopped playing. Krandor has found a new home with some old friends in UKM (United Kingdom Mayhem) who have many more active players than Legion of Black Mesa did. So far things are pretty good, besides the whole Circle-of-Two getting reset by Northern Coalition thing. While things are pretty turbulent up there UKM has decided to pull it’s industrial assets out of 0.0 and try to find a good empire home for them. After that is done, I think i’ll take Krandor back out to 0.0 to help in the effort to keep our home constellation.

OK, back to real life. This week starts and i still don’t have a computer. I don’t get it back until Wednesday (a whole week later). So I took some half-days and went home early, did laundry, ran some errands, etc.

Now it’s Thursday and I have my computer back up and running (though still not completely updated). It’s good to be able to get back to work πŸ˜›

OKLAHOMA

Some of the songs i really like lately. What can i say? Prodigy is excellent driving music πŸ˜‰

Invaders Must Die

Omen

Colours

Ok, so now that you have tunes to listen to while you read my tale of the weekend, let’s get started. While i was at work last Thursday I got a phone call from my dad letting me know that my uncle had passed away the night before. He’d been fighting kidney cancer for about two years. My dad had already sprung into action looking at flight information and getting itineraries ready for our trip out there. I informed my boss(es) and told them I’d be gone all of the following week since we weren’t entirely sure exactly what dates were set for the wake and the funeral.

Friday night I went out with some friends and I ended up drinking a bit too much, I had to stay the night there at the house. I awoke the next morning with intense hangover pains. I drove home and went back to sleep. Later that night i went over to my parents place, since we were leaving early Sunday morning for our flight out to OK.

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Sunday morning came a little too early πŸ˜› We all made sure we had all our stuff packed and then headed to the airport. Everything went pretty much without a hitch except for when Nick tried to bring his half-gallon of lotion through security.. they didn’t like that too much (I wonder why?.. Baka). We get to Houston and wait for our next flight, and then we were off to Oklahoma City. The flights were routine and nothing major happened. Once we landed in OKC, we got the rental and hit the road. I pretty much stayed plugged into my iPod the whole time. We met up with everyone at Anita and Frank’s house and we met a bunch of the other side of the family. Mike was my Aunt Lisa’s husband, so there was a whole other side of the family i’d never met. All of them were very nice people. Mark, Syndey, Nick, Danny, Emma, and I ended up racing around the yard on a Gator and Golf Cart throwing water balloons at each other for a while, until they were confiscated from us.

Monday night was the wake. Everyone attended and many tears were shed. It was surreal seeing someone who’d just been alive a few days earlier laying in a casket, and being the prankster Mike was you almost expected him to pop up and say, “just kidding guys”! That didn’t happen though. Afterwards we all headed back to Frank and Anita’s and ate. Everyone was sharing stories and laughing at the memories.

Tuesday was the funeral. We all met up at the funeral home and then convoyed to the cemetary. There must have been close to 100 people there! Family, childhood friends, former co-workers, current co-workers, all came and paid their respects. I saw cousins I hadn’t seen in years there. It was good to see them, too bad it was under such curcumstances.

We made our trip back on Wednesday. The drive seemed longer than the one down. Things were fine except for the layover in Houston, it was longer than on the way down, almost 2 hours! I almost finished my book on the flight if it hadn’t been for another passanger that kept distracting everyone. Nick and I surmised that she was either totally drunk, or on pills. As soon as we landed we headed to the baggage claim and got our gear and drove home. I left the house pretty much as soon as we got there. Once i got to my house I talked to Sean for a bit and then hit the sack.

Today, I’ve been unpacking, catching up on all things online, and planning what i have to do over the weekend so i’m ready for next week. I don’t even want to think about what happened at work this week. I’m sure there was some sort of drama going on.

Weekend Near Chicago

So my weekend was a long one, a whole 4 days πŸ˜€

Thursday

It started on Thursday where I drove up towards the great state of Illinois. The drive wasn’t too bad, I had loud music, energy drinks, and the anticipation of getting to hang out with Michelle. The roads were another story though. The areas which were under construction were everywhere. At one point we were down to one lane, and then a bus had driven off the road, which just made traffic worse! I was sitting there thinking to myself, “Great, we’re down to one lane and someone decides to total their car in the only lane left..” Needless to say I was astonished to see a passanger bus in the ditch as traffic crawled passed. I get to Chicago and learn that traffic there is always an adventure. It wasn’t even rush hour and we were bumper to bumper all the way through. I make it to Great Lakes around 3pm local time (they’re Central Time.. i didn’t know that :P). I set up in my room and then went and got some Chinese food.

Friday

Friday I was up at 6am, got showered and made my way to the RTC (Recruit Training Center) Gate. There was a line going out the gate, but it was moving slowly. They came through, asked for Drivers Licenses and told us some simple rules of the training area (like no smoking, 15MPH speed limit, etc etc). I find a parking spot and head over to where you check in. After they stamped my hand I headed over to the main drill hall where I found my seat and proceeded to wait. I checked the Itinerary brochure they’d handed out just to see that it didn’t start until 0900. I checked my phone and saw that it wasn’t even 0700 yet. So i waited and waited.

Finally the ceremony began. They showed a little video and had all the recruits march in. Then things got really extravegant! They had a rifle team and band perform and there were some pretty high ranking officers that spoke. This was all much more of a production than when I graduated AIT. After they recognised some of the best recruits in certain areas (including Academics, which blew my mind.. the military rewarding smart people?! ..maybe the Army is the only one that doesn’t do that?), they released the recruits on Liberty. It took me a while to find Michelle, and then we went on a hunt to find her dad.

Once we’d all met up, we went off to find a place to eat, it was lunch time afterall πŸ˜› We went to Olive Garden and had some good food. After that we headed to one of the local malls and killed some time while also looking at nice and shiny things. They put a curfew on the recruits so Michelle had to be back fairly early in the evening, around 1900.Β  After we dropped her off and made plans for the next day I got dropped off at my hotel (Mike, Michelle’s dad, had been driving us around) and I surfed the internet and watched a movie, War Games: The Dead Code. The movie was actually pretty terrible, don’t watch it. Ever.

Saturday

On Saturday we went out for breakfast at Denny’s and then went and got ourselves lost for a bit. Mike had to check out of his hotel by 11, so we got dropped off at my hotel and said our goodbye’s. The plan after that had been to take the train into Chicago and spend the day there, but we came to the realization that we had no idea how to get around Chicago once we got there, and we only would have had about 3 hours to do whatever we wanted to do down there before we’d have to head back.

So instead we went and saw the new Harry Potter, which wasn’t as bad as i was expecting. The last few had disappointed me a bit, and I wasn’t really expecting anything from this one. After the movie we got something to eat. We’d seen a Japanese place the day before and had taken an interest in trying it out. The sushi was delicious, but what really surprised me was the fried rice! It was so good!! After we’d finished our food we headed back to my hotel and watched The Hangover. Neither of us had seen it and we’d both enjoyed the movie very much!

Sunday

Sunday I picked Michelle up and we hung out for a few hours. After we’d said our goodbyes (I hate goodbyes..) I hit the road. The drive back seemed much longer than the drive up. I think it was because I was a bit meloncholy and tired. What made things worse, I’d discovered that I had hit something, like a pothole, or crap in the highway, and put a nice gouge in my rear drivers-side rim. I’m not too happy about that I must say.

Anyway, I made it home around 6pm. 6 hours on the road can really take it out of you. I talked to Sean, offered to help him mow the lawn, and then went into the garden to pick some fresh goodies. We’d picked our first Jalapenos and man were they HOT! There’s more on the way, so I’m sure i’ll be talking more about those later.

I then cracked open my new book and went to bed.

Now it’s monday, and I don’t want to be here πŸ˜›