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).

Ten Years

Yes, today marks ten years since my first blog post.  Around 2:21AM, so you could argue it was kind of yesterday, but whatever.  This is post 599, with an unknown number of words, since I no longer have a way of tracking that.

I really do want to post more, it just has a habit of slipping my mind.  When I had no life, I had nothing better to do but nothing to really say.  For the past few years though, I have plenty to say, but no time to say it.  I tried to blame Facebook, as I would just post there, but I barely even do that anymore.

I think not posting also brings on the issue you have with friends you don’t see for a while.  You have a million things you would have told them, but you need to prioritize what to say and can’t pick, so wind up with nothing to say.

I have decided I am going to better utilize Flickr, especially with their new nearly limitless storage.  I will post a link to my album prominently once I have it better set up, but for now you can view my photo stream here.

I have a few ideas for posts.  I have some projects I did around the house I may try posting, or recipes or whatever.  We will see.

I can’t say how much longer I will be blogging, but I do plan to keep it up for a bit longer, and take a serious stab at being more frequent.

Any thoughts, leave a comment.

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.

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.