Not Dead Yet

So, I looked at the clock, then the calendar, and realized I am about to go 6 months without posting to the blog.  It’s funny how you can go from posting every three days like clockwork  for years to suddenly making it months between posts.  Still, as the title says, it’s not quite dead yet.  I think I just need a reason to post.  I went for a long time treating this like a diary of sorts that happened to be open to the public.  Problem is, that really only appeals to a few friends voyeur sides, and not really to the larger crowd.  I haven’t figured out what direction to take yet, but I think once I pick a direction the journey itself will seem less daunting (that actually sounds a bit more “inspirational email signature” than I wanted, but will do).

The big news, I suppose, is that I am working, and have been since January 6, for Shape Corp in Grand Haven.  I am a Quality Engineer there on the GM launch team.  Shape, if you are not familiar (which you probably are not), is a rollforming and stamping company.  The main products are “impact beams”, the steel structure within bumpers.  The product line I am involved in primarily involves rollforming the beam then welding on several stamped components.  It is not a permanent position, at least not yet.  I am coming up to 4 months of a currently 5 month contract (originally 3 month, so thats something).  No real word on what the future might bring, though I kind of expect something next week (it will be 1 month from contract end, which was when my last extenuation was announced).  Honestly, even when my 5 months are up it may not mean the end, just a less certain future.

In other news, my 10 year high school graduation is this year, scary as that it.  Venue and date are supposed to be announced tomorrow via the FaceBook group.  It is rather exciting to look forward to seeing everyone and such, though it would be nice to be able to say I had a permanent job by then.

I am getting closer to my eventual backpacking trip.  I have been picking up supplies here and there for quite some time, and its high time to actually put it all to use.  This summer I really want to make at least one, mane two trips.  I actually even got into making and selling hammocks after making myself one.  I am not pre-making them anymore but will build them upon request.  It helped with the bills for a little while.

The SME Disc Golf Fundraiser continued on this year, for the third year.  Nice to see something I helped put together still going after I am gone.  Unfortunately, the current SME group doesn’t use the Facebook group much and none of use knew about it until it was too late.  Hopefully next years group will realize that reaching out to alumni during fundraisers is a good thing.  The Christmas Parade float also was built again this year, another tradition I helped get off the ground.  I went up to see it and ride along, and had quite a bit of fun.

The fish are, somehow, still getting bigger.  I occasionally walk by and notice just how huge Kitty and Jill are.  They need a bigger tank, but its just low on the list of needs right now.

Without job interviews, out travel has been semi limited.  Also, time has been factoring in as well, with both Jenn and I having off being semi rare.  We went to Bay City and Alpena for Christmas, NAIAS in January, and to Traverse City in March.  Not much else though.  I think a trip is due soon here though.

Jenn taught a Nursing CLinical course this winter for Baker College, Cadallac.  It was held at Mecosta County where she works.  She was also taking a class at GRCC over the internet at the same time.  It was one of the pre-reqs she needed to apply for her master’s degree.  Which leads us to…  Jenn was accepted into the Nurse Practitioner program at MSU earlier this month.  She will start in about a month with a spring/summer course, then get full bore into it come fall.  It is online with approximately monthly trips to Lansing for tests and such.  Very excited and proud of her, obviously.  Something like 800 apply, 200 are interviews, and 50 are accepted each year, so definitely something big to get in.

Obviously there is much more I could probably write about, having about 6 months of stuff that is unshared, but I don’t want to bore you with most of it.  I think 800 words is a pretty decent start after such an absence anyway.  So, I will leave it here and hopefully be back well before November 1 rolls around.

Slacking

Nick has been slacking on his posting, but with a good reason, so I thought I would post for him seeing as he hasn’t posted since last year.  First and foremost is he has a job.  Early January he started working at a company in Grand Haven as a Quality Engineer.  YAH!  That is the main reason for lack of posting.  Nothing to post and then when there finally was, he was too busy working to do it.

Christmas was fun, it was nice to see all of the families and spend some time.  We had turkey and ham dinner in Bay City which was delicious.  Played some dj hero which was harder than it looks but had better songs than the guitar hero game that we have for the wii.  Then at 3am we went up to Alpena with a 2am stop at Walmart in Tawas.  Oh and there is a 24hour Tim Hortons in Tawas which was really surprising because it’s Tawas.  Spent Christmas Eve at my Grandma’s party, it was nice to see everyone, some of my cousins, i hadn’t seen since the wedding.  Also got to meet my little cousin Eva, she was adorable but still not ready for kids yet.

New Years was pretty uneventful.  I worked so I celebrated it with the girls at work with some bubbly apple cider.  The countdown is not as fun when there is no alcohol involved, lol.  Nick went out to dinner with a friend from Ferris and then called me just after midnight.

We went to the auto show this weekend.  We went down friday night and stayed in Auburn Hills.  In the morning we got up and went to Great Lakes Crossings Outlet Mall.  Got some really good deals including a pair of Timberland Boots for Nick for $30 which are 120 online.  Then we went to lunch at Joe’s Crab Shack.  That was awesome as usual.  We split the classic steam bucket and an add on of cocconut shrimp.  Even wore the bibs.  From there we headed downtown to the auto show. Nick got tickets from work, so admission was free.  We were going to park in the casino garage and ride the people mover like we always do, but forgot that we always go during the week and it was a Saturday.  There were people and police everywhere and the garage was closed, so after taking ten minutes to go half way around the block, we paid 10 dollars to park in a lot and then went through the casino to the people mover.  There were three DHS agents and a canine at the stop and we were packed in like sardines.  The auto show was also packed, making it difficult to look at the cars.  Nick got to see the car that he is working on at work, and we got to sit in the Impreza which is one of the cars he wants.  I also got a chance to see and sit in the 2012 passat diesel which is the car that I want.  We plan to go to the GR auto show next week where there should be a lot less people and we can spend more time actually looking at the cars.

ok, I know I am missing lots of stuff but at least a partial blog is better than none:)

October 2010 (late)

Dang it, I missed October.  Oh well.  I update at this point because I feel obligated, having lost the passion I once had for it.  With luck, one day I will have a life and said passion will return.  Until then, you get this half-assed update.

The major two events in October were out Anniversary and Jenn’s Aunt’s funeral.  Our anniversary was fun, we celebrated it for 2 or 3 days.  On the actual date, we went out to The Melting Pot, and later that night went to Muskegon to see if their Wal-Mart had fabric.  We also went to Rak Thai, which was really good as as semi-anniversary dinner.

The funeral was this past weekend, we were up in Alpena Wednesday night-Sunday night.  It was Jenn’s mom’s sister Phyllis.  Wake was Thursday and Friday, funeral was Saturday.

Earlier in the month we visited Jenn’s Mom, Dad, and Aunt Mary in Ann Arbor.  I learned I can comfortably sleep in a window sill.

I started Hinter’s Safety on Tuesday, but had to drop out due to the funeral.  I am set up to join the next class on Nov 10 and 11.

I took the hammock up to Alpena with me, as there are trees up there to hang it from.  I am now convinced that an extra foot of length would be useful.  I also want to work on figuring out how to add a foot box at some point, but that will be later.

Apple showed off the first previews of 10.7 Lion earlier this month.  I have the feeling 10.6s rumored interface update will come, at least somewhat, in the coming previews of Lion.  10.6 had no real upgrades, just under-the-hood stuff, so Apple has a lot of pent up ideas ready for 10.7.

And that is, unfortunately, about it.  No job yet, just some more denials from a couple interviews, and no word at all from others.  I do occasionally kick myself over Pilkington, but nothing I can do about it now.  Here’s to hoping something else comes.

Til Thanksgiving…

nick

September 2010

So, September is at it’s close.  It began with, of course, my Birthday.  I spent it at an open interview session for about 8 hours.  Jenn took me out to Logan’s for dinner, and bought me 4 yards of rip-stop nylon (explanation later).

The following weekend, we went to Bay City on Thursday and visited, went to Uno’s, stayed at my Dad’s house, visited some more Friday and stopped at Turkey Roost on the way out of town.  Got a call for an interview at Turkey Roost even.  Then we drove up to Alpena and stopped at the Hospital to see Jenn’s Mom, then went out to the house.  I learned how to shoot, and turned out to be semi decent for a first timer.  Got enough in that I won’t be totally green when I take hunter’s safety at the end of October.  Went to the Posen Potato Fest (imagine St Stans and Munger merged together) on Saturday, then up to Mackinac City and St Ignace Sunday, then drove home.

This past weekend I returned to Bay City, sans Jenn, for the River of Time.  I was there Friday and Saturday.  Went to Birch Run with my Dad Friday (Coleman had 30% off everything in the outlet) and had some Tony’s, then spent Saturday with the Library staff at Rudy J’s (which has gone downhill) and then to the River of Time.  I was going to head out to Johnson’s Giant Pumpkins but didn’t make it.  I then headed home Saturday evening.

I had 5 interviews this month, at ConAgra, LG, Magna, Corlett Turner, and Bata Plastics.  Haven’t heard back from any of them yet.

I have decided that I am going hammock backpacking next year, hence the strange birthday gift.  I haven’t made it real far yet, but should have everything I need to get started.  I just need to find some space to work at this point.

In October, we have out anniversary coming up.  Its hard to believe it has been a year already.  We are still bouncing around ideas for what we are going to do.  I also have hunter’s safety the 26-28th.  Yes, at 28, I am just taking it.  I figured it was about time.

Oh, we went to the Allegan County Fair early in the month, and if you live in the area and have never gone, I have to suggest it.  It was easily the largest county fair I have ever been to.

We were going to go for another camping trip, or at least to the beach early in September, but never got to it.  We had a lot of fun in Petoskey though, and definitely want to get back out to a beach next summer, Lake Michigan is just SO much nicer than Huron (especially Saginaw Bay).  It was just a bit close to the end of the season.  Though, maybe there will be a small October camping trip, it has happened before.

I think that covers everything.  More next month.

July/August 2010

So the funny thing was, I was going to post like 3 times in early July but put them off, then life happened, then suddenly it was August and I had never made a July post.  Now, here it is the last day of August and I almost missed a second month.

So, July was honestly rather uneventful.  At least until the end of the month.  I had an interview on July 22nd in Indianapolis, IN with Pilkington Glass.  I almost didn’t go because of the location.  Drove down Wednesday, stayed the night, interview Thursday morning.  Standard stuff, but they seemed kind of impressed that I had some glass experience, even if it was only 3 months.  Was getting the feeling the quality manager was unimpressed though.  The HR rep took me on a plant tour, then back to the conference room where he told me that I should expect an offer the next day.  I was rather blown away, as I have been waiting for 14 months for this, but I really didn’t want it.  I left, started the drive home and about an hour later got a call from Disher Design who wanted to hire me on contract for the Johnson Controls battery facility in Holland, MI as a quality tech.  I got home, and went to the JCS interview that was essentially “This is the position, do you want it?  OK”, then got the call from Pilkington with the formal offer.  So, that weekend consisted of me going crazy trying to decide on a local contract position versus moving for a permanent position.  If I wanted JCS, I started Monday morning.  If I wanted Pilkingson, I had to let them know Monday, and would start August 9.  One of the most important decisions of my life, and one I would probably regret to some extent either way.  So, I ended up choosing JCS.  Even it didn’t turn permanent, things have been looking up, with more interviews lately and I didn’t see the need to relocate further away.

So, I was working 40-50 hours a week for the first part of August, up to the 19th.  I may get called back, may not, only time will tell.  Yes, part of me regrets not taking the sure thing, especially after I left JCS and have not had any interviews since, but I wasn’t really applying anywhere while I was working, so no interviews can really be expected.  At the very least, I picked up some experience and some cash to tide me over until something else comes along.

Tomorrow is 1 week until my birthday, go that!

This past weekend (Aug 27-29) Jenn and I went camping with her family in Petoskey.  We had wonderful weather, and it was a beautiful state park, located at the east end of Little Traverse Bay.  We were already planning for next summer’s trip before we left, and Jenn has mentioned maybe just the two of us going in a couple weeks somewhere closer by.

As far as bog news, I changed my registrar from NFSN to GoDaddy.  I also extended my domain registration through 2013, which will be the blog’s 10th anniversary as well as the 5th anniversary of nicholasyax.com.

Jenn and I got a Costco membership, so if anybody is interested in a shopping trip let me know.  We have been considering it for a while, and finally broke down and went for it.  There is a lot of stuff that is an awesome deal, and some that if you just watch for a Meijer sale you can beat.  It depends a lot on how long you go through stuff, nd how long the item is good for.

I finally signed up for a hunter’s safety course, in late October.  I figure turning 28, it is about damn time.

Well, I think that is all the important stuff that was missed.  See you next time, whenever that is.

June 2010

Well, its June 30th, and unless I want June to be blogless its time to update.  I almost updated a few times earlier in the month, but they were put off, then forgotten.

So, I updated the domain for another year.  I also moved from self hosting to wordpress.com which should save me some money, and I really wasn’t really doing anything outside of wordpress for the last year or so anyway.  The downfall is I lost a few plugins, including the wordcount, so I am unsure how I will trachea that for the time being other than adding on to the old count.  I also tagged a LOT of older posts, but am only about 40% through.

I had two weddings this month.  The first was Jeremy Pawlak’s on the 5th, then my sister-in-law Belinda’s on the 13th.  Both were very nice, and it was nice to see all the library guys again as we haven’t met up since, I think, my wedding.

All my interviews have fallen through.  I have another tomorrow (it was supposed to be Tuesday but was moved to Thursday).  I have also heard rumors from JCI but that is just rumors for now.

Jenn and I went to the Muskegon Renaissance festival last weekend.  It rather stunk.  Was just too small and overpriced.  We are looking forward to Silver Leaf in Battle Creek starting up this weekend and running for the next several weeks.

We picked up a Weisbier kit from Siciliano’s, but haven’t started it yet.  Hoping it turns out though.

Futurama is back, in case you didn’t know.  It premiered last Thursday and is on at 10 PM.  That’s exciting.

OK, that’s enough for now.

Seven Years

So, it was seven years ago tonight that I started my blog.  Since then, I have posted over 587 entries (I say over because some have been deleted, but the current number of entries, not including this one, is 587) containing just shy of 171,000 words.  Unfortunately, I seem to have lost interest over the past two years or so.  Some changes are coming, I am sure of that, but I don’t see an end.  Yes, few people blog anymore, (and I seem to be becoming one of them) but I was never one to follow the crowd.  I can certainly see a 10th anniversary celebration in three years.

In other news, April is now the second month to contain zero posts (Nov 2009 was the first).  May could well have suffered the same fate if not for the Blogversary.

In jobs news, I had an interview today that went rather well, have a phone interview Tuesday as well.  Still no response from the Sandusky or GR interviews last month.

In an attempt to improve my job chances, we decided to move closer to where they seem to be, and have been living in Grand Rapids (Comstock Park, to be exact) for nearly three weeks now.  We moved in on May 8, having gotten the keys on the 7th and signed on the 3rd.  It does seem to be helping, based on the two interviews I mentioned above.  It is also nice having so much more around to do and see than we had in Big Rapids.

Jenn and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary (of “going out”) on May 13 by going to Kobe, which we thought would be like Genji but wasn’t as good.  We also celebrated our 6 month anniversary (since the wedding) on April 10 by making a meal at home, of shrimp scampi and sautéed vegetables (note: the OS X spell checker put in that accent mark itself).

Apple’s  iPad is certainly making some noise.  I have played with one and though I was originally in the “what the hell is it?” camp, I have to say it is pretty awesome.  Yes, it has its flaws like no multitasking (until fall) and no user accessible file system, but it does 90% of even what I do on a computer.  I can see it covering everything a person needs for several people I know.

In other news…

Yeah, I lead a rather boring life.  I wish I could think of more but I can’t right now.

So, hopefully I will have some good news to post soon, but until then I am out.

March 2010

Well, I put it off for another month, but time for an update.

I had two interviews in Wisconsin mid month that went quite well.  Both were with the same company but they were different positions at different locations.  I really liked the one position and its location, but I received the no letter about a week later.

The Ferris Job fair was last week, and was as weak as the last few.  A lot of employers looking for welding and plastics tech and not interested in much else, despite how you try to explain your qualifications.  This was the first time I didn’t see John Deere in attendance though.

I have a phone interview in the morning with a machining company in GR, and an interview next week in Ohio.  Both of them the employer actually found me, which is hopefully a positive thing.

This weather is beautiful, and making me want to get out and do stuff.  I could definitely go for some camping soon.  Too bad I know next to nobody here in town, I can’t even go play disc.

Jenn and I went to Traverse City last weekend for the RV show and some shopping.  We looked and dreamed of a time when we have money.

The 20th I went to Bay City and saw Mom and Dad, then spent the evening with Jon.  We went to the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Bay City, then I headed home.  Had some good times.

I think that is about it.  Just 45 days to the 7 year Blogversary.  Looks like I will post the 589th post that day and hit about 171 or 172 thousand words.  I did pass 20,000 visits already though.  Unfortunately, I have no idea who it was.  Probably some bot or shit anyway.

OK, that would be all for now.  Hopefully I will get a life and have stuff to post about soon.

February 2010

I keep saying I am going to update my blog more, and I keep failing.  The problem is I keep having good news coming that I wait for to post, but it just gets more and more delayed and then never comes.  Well, it is February 28th, and I want to get a post out before the month ends, so when the good news does come it will just need to get its own post.

Regular visitors to my blog (are there regular visitors to my blog?  I don’t think there actually are, as you all just read this via the Facebook feed.  It is at nicholasyax.com, in case you didn’t know) may note that I no longer show posts on the front page.  I turned it into a static page with some links to my resume and such, in hopes of having a place to direct prospective employers to some of my school projects.  You can just click the “Blog” link up top though to see all 586 posts, and growing.

Since we are kind of on the topic of blog statistics, I am just 333 visitors from crossing 20,000 in the blog’s nearly 7 years.  I also just passed over the 170,000 word mark.  Not too shabby.  Of course, if I followed my original “every third day” schedule, I would be at nearly 850 posts come the blogversary in May, not the mere 590 − 600 I will likely reach.  Oh well, such is life.

So, important events from February…

Jenn and I got to spend Valentine’s Day together, and went to The Blue Cow for dinner.  I had lamb chops for the first time, and they were pretty good.  She bought me a backpack (a hiking backpack, which I hope to use this summer) and I got her a scrap-booking bag.

We went to the Grand Rapids Boat Show which was pretty fun.  I particularly enjoyed the old wooden boats over the new ones.  There was also a wake boarding demo put on by the folks building the new waterpark in Allendale.

Jenn’s parents came in this week, for the first time in almost a year.  We went to Schuberg’s, did a bit of shopping, they got a hotel, had breakfast the next morning, a bit more shopping, and they were on their way.

I have been doing some genealogy lately, and doing rather well.  I have followed three of my grandparent’s lines back to about 1700, but my Grandpa Don I can’t even get to his parents.  I will need to try and get whatever I can from my Mom and see if I can find any little hints.  I know others have tried before me and got pretty much the same, but there is more info going online all the time, and there must be something new out there we are missing.

And I think that covers it for February.  I am right around 500 words, so good enough for now, I say.  Will report back by March 31, or when I get good news, whichever comes first.

January 2010

So, being the last day of January, I think its time for my first blog post of 2010.

My New Year’s was fun, celebrated at the gate with Jenn and her friend Amanda from work.  The gate was very unorganized though, and never turned a single TV to the ball drop.  We found out it was midnight from the DJ’s cellphone, which is rather sad.  Jenn forgot about “bar time” and tried to celebrate 15 minutes early.

The first several weeks of the year were uneventful.  Applied for jobs, got rejected for jobs, rinse, repeat.

Wednesday the 20th Jenn and I drove to Bay City, picked up my Dad, Brother, and Todd and went to NAIAS.  We stopped at White Castle in Flint on the way down as I have had a craving since our honeymoon and trip to New Baltimore.  From there we continued to Detroit, parked at the Greektown Casino parking garage, and took the People Mover to Cobo.  Auto show was decent, but smaller than past years I have gone.  You can tell the economy is making a dent on the level of prototypes and concept cars.  The Ford Fiesta and Focus were pretty cool, as were the diesel Audis and VW.  The VWs are largely unchanged from Jenn’s Jetta though, which was a little disappointing.  Pictures of NAIAS are already up on FaceBook if you want to have a look.  After the show, we drove up to Joe’s Crab Shack in Auburn Hills then headed back to Bay City for the night.  Thursday we met up with Jenn’s parents so Jenn could get the Rav4 from them and do all the transfer stuff.  I hung out at my Mom’s then Dad’s, then we followed each other home.  We stopped in Evart at Connor o’Malley’s as we keep hearing about them and were interested.  We were expecting a sit down authentic Irish restaurant, but got  bar with some irish named food, rather disappointing.

Heard back on the 25th from my interview with TransNav, which was a no.  They said they may be looking for another person in a while though, so will keep my info handy.

Friday Jenn and I went down to Kalamazoo.  We stopped in GR first to drop my MacBook off at the Apple Store to get the palmrest replaced (for the 3rd time) and shopped Macy’s and Barnes and Noble a bit.  Then off to K’zoo where we started with some Cici’s Pizza buffet.  They were disappointing at first, as they were slow and had few pizzas out.  More people came soon after us though, and they quickly filled up the buffet for a better selection.  Buffalo chicken pizza was horrible (very bad sauce) and no mac and cheese pizza ever made it out, but the BBQ pork was good as was the apple streusel pizza.

From there we headed to our hotel to check in and rest, then went for  a bit of shopping at the mall.  This Macy’s had some good deals, including $150 Columbia coats for $37.50.  Alas, I don’t need a winter coat and wasn’t thrilled with the styles remaining anyway.  We shopped a bit more, I got a hat from Eddie Bauer, and we then headed for the Fire Keeper’s Casino in Battle Creek.  I broke even, which is an accomplishment for a Friday evening, and we headed back for the hotel.  On the way, we stopped for dinner at Steak n’ Shake, which was excellent as always.

Saturday we went to the Air Zoo.  We went in, were offered a tour but declined, and walked around for about 10 min and realized we had seen everything.  We headed back to the front desk and got tickets for the 4D movie (which was meh), then went and found a tour guide.  He was quite informative, gave much for info on the use of the planes than the technical specs, and took us though all but one item in the building (skipping the helicopter for some reason).  The SR-71B is the most awesome thing I have ever seen.  Unfortunately, the keep the lights strangely low so the photos came out weird, but they should be uploaded to FB sometime today.  there was a second building, but we had been there about 2 hours and decided to save it for another trip.

Next up, we went to Bell’s Brewery downtown for lunch.  We were expecting standard sit down, but from what we could gather you were expected to order and pick up your own food cafeteria style.  There were no open tables and no signs anybody was nearing leaving, so we passed and drove around, finding Olde Peninsula Brewery.  Turned out pretty good, though Jenn learned she doesn’t like red beers.  From there, we drove up to GR to pick up my MacBook, fully repaired, then on to home.

We were going to go to Sno*Drift this weekend, but due to memories of last year kind of sucking, we backed out.  Sounds like Jon and Greg had fun though.  Maybe we will go next year when I have a job and money.

I think that was it for January.

As far as job prospects, I have plenty of applications I haven’t heard back from, but no interviews scheduled or that I haven’t heard from.  I guess I am just waiting right now, and applying to more as I find them.  Ferris’s job fair is coming up in late March, though I would like to at least get an interview in before then.

Apple released the iPad last week, and I’m not sure what to think.  On the one hand, thinking about what I do on my computer, it would probably cover 80% or so of my needs.  On the other hand, if it had MacOS rather than iPodOS, it would cover about 99% of my needs.  Will need to wait for it to come out so I can play with one at an Apple Store.

I ordered a couple books from Amazon using my Harrispoll points.  Scats and Tracks of the Great Lakes and Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America.  Both look good so far.

Alright, thats all for now, and will update if anything fun happens.