An Experiment of Sorts

Jenn’s computer has been acting up, so we looked at replacing it but $999 for a new or even refurbished MacBook is not in the cards right now. We came upon the idea of an iPad, but she wasn’t sure she could live with just that. So, I got an iPad mini (32GB) and gave her my MacBook for now. Mine is 2 years newer than hers, but still 5 years old or so. It is temporary, I am sure we will get a new laptop in another year or two, but should work for now.

Shofar, I am ok with just the iPad. I have gone back to the computer a few times for goofy websites that just won’t work (namely Hulu, as I don’t see paying for Hulu plus just for Warehouse 13), and for resyncing a few items, but almost completely iPad for about 2 weeks now.

For saving files (I didn’t have all that many) I went with a mix of Evernote for PDFs and other read-only documents and Dropbox for anything I may need to edit. This may change to Dropbox only eventually. There is nothing wrong with Evernote, I just wonder if it may be easier to have everything in one place. I have read of many that swear by having both though, so am giving it a try.

I do not have an office app yet, but have been looking. I am waiting to see if LibreOffice comes to the rescue or if the rumors of Apple giving away iWork come true. I did by Grand Theft Auto III though (priorities, you know), but have not played enough for a review.

I got a case from someone at work, but not sure I like the bulk it adds. I had a case on my iPhone 4, but it ended up scratching the phone when dirt got caught between the case and phone. After that, I have been caseless on my iPhone 5. I have a feeling my iPad will end up the same, perhaps with a sleeve for travel though.

In other news, I took and passed my amateur radio exam last month, and have the call sign KD8VHX. Jenn was awesome and bought me a radio, 2 meter and 70cm bands. That gets me 10 or so miles range. It is a low cost option for now to see if I actually use it and if its worth spending for a HF radio with worldwide range (which are several hundred to a few thousand dollars!).

Jenn is going to Vegas with her mom and sister, on my birthday. I will make sure she makes it up to me later.

I think that’s about it for now, later all.

BREAKING UPDATE: Just noticed after posing, this is post 600 (in WordPress, it is probably a bit over that in post count).

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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

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.

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.

Wedding, Part 3 – Honeymoon

So, I left off at us getting home on Monday the 12th.  We stayed home Tuesday, then Wednesday left for Bay City to drop Jenn’s dress off at Clayton’s to be cleaned and preserved and leave her bouquet with my Mom to preserve it.  From there we drove to Novi to shop Twelve Oaks.  We arrived at the mall but decided to go look for a hotel first.  We found a nice hotel in Waterford, checked in, then went to dinner at Mitchell’s Fish Market in Birmingham.  After dinner, we decided to skip the mall and went back to the hotel for the night.

Thursday, we headed to the Detroit Zoo for the morning, which was rather dead due to being off season, a weekday morning, and rather cold out.  Still, we had fun, and saw some cool reptiles and amphibians.  Next we headed further down Woodward right downtown to Greektown.  You can tell you are heading deep into Detroit when you  stop seeing McDonalds and see only White Castle, Popeye’s, and Church’s.  So, we had lunch at the Greektown Casino buffet, played in the casino for a little while, then went out to the street and stopped at a bakery for some baklava.  From there, we left Detroit via 94 and headed down 23 to Dundee to walk around Cabella’s.  We went through the St. Julian Winery outlet, and walked around Cabella’s, then headed north to Milan for the night.

Friday we woke up and headed up to Howell to shop the outlet.  Picked up some cool stuff, then headed over to Okemos to shop the mall there.  I got two dress shirts and ties at a really good deal, and we stopped at Big John’s for lunch.  From there, we headed home for the weekend.

Tuesday, the 20th, I had an interview at Grand Rapids Spring and Stamping, which Jenn drove down to with me.  Interview was short, and I still haven’t heard back from it, so not seeming very promising.  We then dropped Jenn’s computer off at the Apple Store to have the palm rest repaired (free, even out of warranty, awesome).

Wednesday, we returned to GR to pick up her computer and drool over the new 20 and 27” iMacs. Also stopped at Robinette’s Orchard.  Tasted some wines, got some apples, had some doughnuts and cider, had a good time.

Thursday night, Jenn went back to work, and the honeymoon officially ended.  The week and a half since have been rather uneventful.  Applied to a couple more jobs, asked for info from Western Michigan on grad programs, not too much else.

In all, over 2 weeks, we visited Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Crawford, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Montmorency, Oakland, Osceola, Oscoda, Roscommon, Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.  Quite a list.

We got a new neighbor upstairs yesterday, apartment had been empty since August.  Kind of strange someone moving in in late October in a college town, but whatever.

So, that would be about it.

nick

Still No Word

So, I called Bettis today and still no word.  She said the managers haven’t made a decision yet so there is at least still a chance.  I am starting to feel like if something good was going to come, it would have by now.  All I can do is wait and see.

I went to Ferris Monday to see Joe Wist.  He had a few job leads for me, so I put in about 10 applications.  Will see if they lead to anything.

This Saturday will be my bachelor party.  Hopefully I see a good turnout.  Would be nice to meet up with everyone.

Speaking of Bay City, Jenn and I were up there on Sept 5.  Jenn spent the day with her parents and I visited with my Mom and Dad.  Had fun, but just spent the day.

Following that was my Birthday.  Nothing special.  I did get Snow Leopard as a gift though, which was really cool.

I called Bettis on the 9th and they said “very soon”.  As I said above, I called again today as I still haven’t heard anything.  Would be nice to know by the wedding.

I made some hard cider, which came out fairly well.  It has a bit of a funny aftertaste though.  Hopefully the next batch comes out better.

And I guess that is it.  Will post about the party next week, along with any update I get about the job.

nick

No Word Yet

I kind of put this off till the end of the week, hoping I might hear something, but no.  Yesterday was 3 weeks, of the “2-4” that they claimed.  I kind of figured 2-4 weeks would mean 27 days, but hoped it would be earlier.  If I don’t hear by Thursday, unfortunately the weekend is Labor Day, so Friday and Monday are out, and Tuesday is my birthday so I am afraid to call and get bad news, so I am giving them until Wednesday the 9th.

On another topic, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard was released today.  It’s only $29, but I don’t have it because a) I don’t have the money, b) All my back-ups are packed away anyway and c) From what I have read online, there are several apps that are not working right yet.  Truth though, is that it is all A, while B and C are just rationalizations.

Theory goes that I will be in Bay City possibly the weekend of the 12th.  My only question is that I would be coming again 2 weeks later for River of Time.  We will see as it approaches.

The cider is going well.  Has slowed down dramatically, which scares me a bit, but I think it’s fine.

That’s all for now.  Sorry, I have a boring life.

nick