The End of 2009

So, today is the end on December, of 2009, and of the 2000s.  2009 has brought my graduation from college and my wedding, unfortunately not my employment though.  The 2000s brought my graduation from high school, my near employment at GM, all of my college career, meeting, proposing, and marrying Jenn, Moving twice, the loss of a grandmother and grandfather, the birth of the blog, and much more.

So, I haven’t updated since October 31, so what has happened?  I had an interview in October with Gentex that seemed to go very well, and I was convinced I would be receiving an offer, but didn’t.  My best guess is that I lacked enough supervision experience as it was a supervisor position.  I had another on November 30th in New Baltimore with an injection molding company.  It is not exactly what I am looking for but could certainly lead to it.  No word from them yet.  I also had a phone interview with Sonoco (no, not Sunoco) but again lacked supervision experience as they were looking for supervisors as well.  I have applied to a couple dozen positions that I have not heard back about.

Thanksgiving Jenn and I spent together and made turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing.  The turkey was more a turkey meat loaf, came out similar to the turkey in a TV dinner.  I wouldn’t get it again.

Jenn totaled her car on December 8th, so has been using mine since.  We really don’t need 2 cars anyway.

December 18th we went to Bay City for Christmas, and from there to Alpena, getting back home on the 20th.  I got some money and gift cards, a gallon of Hawaiian Punch, a jar of pickled bologna, a knife, some cashews, and a Dust Buster.  While in Bay City we ate at Niko’s, that moved into the former Rudy J’s location.  They were pretty good, but its weird being in there because it isn’t Rudy J’s (though Rudy J’s is nothing like they were either).

Jenn and I got new phones on the 22nd.  We both got the Samsung Flight, hers red and mine grey.  They are pretty cool, just wish I could get isync to work.

Jenn and I spent Christmas Eve together as she had it off.  Made ham, sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon, and apple crisp.  Turned out very good.

And that pretty much brings us to now.  Jenn is off for the next several days so we are celebrating New Years together.  I think the plan is going out with some of her friends from work.

This is the 25th blog of 2009, so I did not manage to beat last years 45.  25 blogs in a your comes out to about one post every 2 weeks.  Well, I am fairly sure I can beat that in 2010.  I have actually been toying with moving the blog from hosting myself to WordPress.com.  They are free, but I would need to pay for my domain name still and for a domain hosting fee.  Nearlyfreespeech.net has been great, but they are raising some fees.  It is understandable and not by much, but for me it will nearly double my hosting fees.

I am closing in on 20,000 visitors, and should make it sometime next year.  Traffic has been too variable for me to make a very accurate guess but it should be around early March, give or take.  Also, this being post 584, I should hit 600 mid to late 2010.  As far as word count, I was at 168,265 as I started this post and have already added nearly 600 words in this post.  170k is given, but I think 200k is a bit of a stretch for the upcoming year.

I am trying to think if there is anything else I need to add, but am drawing a blank.

Well, I guess that is it then.  If I think of anything else I will post it, be it this year or next.  Have a happy New Year everybody.

New Theme

Well, as you can obviously see (if you have ever been here before) the blog has a new theme. I have been looking for a month or so on and off, and I think this one will keep me happy for a year or so.

Some highlights…

  • Links to my facebook, twitter, and youtube profiles at the top of the sidebar, more to come (Amazon wishlist, etc…).
  • Links to random posts about halfway down the sidebar.
  • Static page links (about, projects, etc…) have been reorganized and are now in a drop down at the top.
  • Comment links are at the top of the post, rather than the bottom where they were.  If people complain, this might change, but it was the default in the theme and for now I am leaving it.
  • Pretty little icons spread all over (comments, tags, author, etc…)
  • Total visits and word written moved from the footer to sidebar.  Clicking on “visitors” will take you to the visitors page, where you can see yourself if you want.
  • List of all pages at the bottom of each page.  Instead of just “Next” and “Previous”, actually specifies page 1 of 115, with links to page 2, 3, 4, beginning, and end.

That should be the gist of the new stuff.  There is plenty more new in this theme, some that I haven’t even found yet I’m sure.

Outside of the blog update, I have just been relaxing and looking for jobs.  With the rumor of GM announcing bankruptcy and closing 14 plants and 22,000 lay offs tomorrow, I think I am leaving Michigan.  With that many GM layoffs and closings, even spread nationwide, Michigan is going to be hit really hard.  Add in the effect on suppliers and them issuing layoffs and closings and you are left with a bleak outlook for job seekers, especially new grads without experience yet.

Alright, thats more than I have written in two months right there, so I will leave it at that.

nick

Six Years

So, Today marks six years since I started the blog. The future, though, is a little uncertain. With Facebook and Picasa, low visitor count, and my complete loss of habit of posting here, I question the reasons for continuing the blog. I’m not saying I am quitting, just that it is in the back of my mind. At the minimum, there will be a rather major redesign. This would include more obvious links to other places you can get info, like my twitter feed, picasa updates, and facebook page.

Moving on, I still have no job.  Still looking, but really not even much to apply to.  Hopefully some company opens up a lot of jobs soon.

I’ve been reading some books on backpacking and it’s getting me excited.  I want to try it, perhaps this summer, but need money to be able to do it.

Thats all for now.  Will try and be a little more regular since I have nothing else to do until I am working.

nick

It's Spring

OK, lets begin the time machine…

Spring break I sent out my MacBook on Monday to have the palmrest repaired.  The next couple days I read a decent amount of “the Watchmen” as I had no computer.  Tuesday I drove to Bay City for the day.  Went to William’s Cheese and The Turkey Roost with my Mom, then installed RAM for my Dad and Grandma.  Meanwhile, my brother was driving to Bitely, just a few miles from me.

Thursday my computer returned, but my initial excitement was quickly squashed when I started it up and found they had formatted my HD.  Thankfully I had backed up to my new flash drive I picked up Sunday at Staples (for really cheap too).  Still, I only had my files, not a full backup.  Reinstalling all my Mac apps, plus Windows and those apps is a pain.  Why they needed to erase my HD to do a case repair I have no idea.

Saturday, my Dad and Grandma came here to visit.  We took them downtown, to Schuberg’s, pet store, shoe store, Old Pioneer Store.  Following that, we played some Wii here (Grandma is really good at bowling, who knew?) and they headed home.

Then, it was one more day off and back to school for this week.  School was hum drum.  We talked about the disc golf tournament at the SME meeting Tuesday, most of my friends spent Tuesday in various bars while I tried to enjoy the weather.  We got a couple games of disc in over the week.  Thursday I got my Lean test back and pulled off a 102/105,  which he counts as a 100%.

Still no job yet.  I would be happy with a few more decline letters so I at least know they are getting through.  All I can do is keep trying.

Edited a few pages on the site today, and got a pair of new themes.  The About and Project pages just weren’t real organized.  Haven’t tried the themes yet.

Jenn and I were going to head to Bay City today for the St. Patty’s Day Parade.  We woke up and didn’t feel it though, and weather looked rather blah.  I may head in next weekend though, as Scott will be in town on leave.

Watched a few movies.  “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was meh, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” was really good.  Saw a few other but can’t remember them right now.  Guess they probably weren’t that great.

I think that wraps it up for now.  Will try and get another post up over the week, maybe this weekend.

nick

MacWorld '09

So, in the final Apple keynote of a MacWorld conference, Apple introduced iLife 09, iWork 09, and the 17″ Unibody MacBook Pro.  The only one I care about is iLife, particularly iPhoto (I don’t own a digital video camera, other than what phone or point-and-shoot can do, and have never really touched GarageBand).  So, part of iPhoto is now the ability to do facial detection, geo tag decoding, new slideshow themes, a new book, and the ability to sync with FaceBook and Flikr.

I use FaceBook, but seldom put pics on it, as when I started on FaceBook it required the person viewing to be a member as well, and made sharing a pain in the arse.  Instead, I put all my pics on Picasa, owned by Google, which I generally like except for very poor iPhoto syncing.

The idea of Flikr has crossed my mind several times in the past, and the new features of iPhoto make it even more appealing, except for one issue: Yahoo! owns Flikr.  Since about a 18 months ago, I have been rather anti Yahoo!, and am actually closing in very near deleting my Yahoo! account, as it currently is used only for a spam email box, which I can obviosly do without.

I understand why Apple made the choice of Flikr though, and it’s related to a release from the day earlier (Monday).  Picasa is a 2-part operation, the downloadable program as well as the web-albums.  On Monday, finally, Google released Picasa (the App) for Mac.  This program, for storing, sorting, categorizing, and sharing your pics to the web sounds incredibly similar to iPhoto, and is its newest competitor.

So, despite the fact that one of Google’s founders is on Apples board of directors, and that Apple uses Google maps and search as the default in over 20 apps on both Macs and the iPhone/iPod touch, there is no support in iPhoto for Picasa Web Albums, because it is a competing product.

So, I have 3 options:

  1. Keep iPhoto and live with poor Picasa Web support.
  2. Keep iPhoto and switch to Flikr
  3. Switch to Picasa (the App) and keep Picasa Web Albums.

None of these are ideal, but I will most likely end up with #1.  I like iPhoto, and I generally like Picasa Web Albums.  Maybe I will give Flikr at least a try, before I end my Yahoo! account.

Anyway, moving along…

I went to Bay City today, was gone about 12 hours.  Nothing real big, visit  with Mom and Dad, fix Grandma’s computer, come home.  Roads weren’t bad, but other drivers seemed to think differently.  One guy was actually going 30 on the freeway at one point.

Watched several movies: “Zombie Strippers”, “HellBoy II”, “The Dark Knight”, as well as the entire series of “Clone High”.  All were pretty good.  I must recommend “The Dark Knight” to all, and “Clone High” as well.  “Zombie Strippers” was pretty much just as fucked up of a movie as it sounds.

Bought my books for school yesterday, $208 and change for 3 books.  Good nes is, thats the last time I have to by text books (until grad school, 3 – 5 years maybe), yay!  School begins on Monday.

By my count, there were 45 posts in 2008, averaging to a post every 8 days or so, so not even once a week.  I think I can beat that this year, but who knows.  It is already the 8th, and I am only making my first post.

OK, thats enough for now.

nick

Freedom

I am free!  Yesterday was my last day of work at PPG.  We tried to work out something for the fall but my school schedule just didn’t allow for much.  Despite feeling like the $10/hour peon sometimes, I did enjoy it.  It’s too bad it took so long for them to start giving me more engineering assignments though, as that was sort of what I was there for.  I did get a lot of quality management though.  I should be back for a visit with SME in October or so.

I just checked Nearly Free Speech and my bandwidth has finally exceeded 1GB, which now means I pay under $1 per GB of transfer ($0.991 currently).  It goes down in a log type formula as I use more bandwidth.  Sadly, this deal began February 1st, so it took me six months to get in that first GB.  It goes down constantly, so I keep paying slightly less to transfer every single page load though.  Once I reach 10GB of transfer, my cost will be down to $0.50 per GB, in about 5 more years.  Unfortunately, bandwidth (obviously) is not my primary cost but server space.  Still, I only use about $4 or $5 per year excluding domain name.

Jenn managed to plan about half of our wedding in the last week.  She gets a little obsessed sometimes.  Tentatively (very), it is scheduled for 10/10/09 at Garland Resort, but that could change overnight.

School is down to about 3 weeks away now.  August 2nd.  I am looking forward to it, nerd that I am.  It’s my last year of school, it is very sad.  😦

Sunday morning I went to feed the fish, and we had lost another one.  Rosy, the remaining rosy barb had perished.  Not sure how, but somehow overnight.  She was oldest, now it is Kitty.  She was about 2 weeks over a year old.  Was much smaller than Jill or Sunny, and were kind of expecting her to go in the next couple months as Jill keeps growing.  We still haven’t replaced Bubba yet, but maybe in the next week or two I will go to the pet shop since I am off.

I watched MST3K: the Movie tonight.  I was never a fan of the show (not that I didn’t like, but just never watched) but that was funny as hell.  A lot of the comments are very so-so, but they just throw one after another after another, and suddenly you break out laughing at the stupidest one-liner.

Uhm…

Apple has refurbished iPod touch for $199.  I really want one, but my extravagant spending for the year was my kilt.  There are nanos for like $149 too.

On that note, my birthday is one month from yesterday.

That would be it I think.

nick

New Name

So, the prize I promised is… nicholasyax.com.  atomicow.org will continue to work until is expires on October 07, 2008.  I realized mostly that atomicow says nothing about me, and my actually name says alot about me, so why not.  At some point in the next 4 months you should change the link you have saved, though for right now going to nicholasyax.com actually redirects you atomicow.org.  I should have that changed in the next few days or so.  I will also start to push the point more in about August, possibly with JavaScript popups to those that go to the old address (if I can figure out how).

At work, I am starting to figure out what I am doing.  Working with Quality department for now, doing capability studies on gages and processes as needed, and starting on some process documentation.  Has been going smooth so far, though it’s hard not having a computer yet to do work yet.

On Saturday, Jenn and I went to Grand Rapids for some shopping.  I needed some shirts for work, and we felt like some non-Big Rapids dining.  We went to the chinese buffet that was so good last time, but this time was a little more disappointing.  I did get 5 new shirts though.

Jenn and I went fishing Sunday and I actually managed to hook something.  Unfortunatley, I did not hook it very well and it got off.  Fish nibbled a few more times, but I never managed to bring anything in.  Will try again next weekend likely.  There is actually talk of me meeting my Dad in Clare as Jenn will be working all weekend and he will be at my Grandma’s trailer in Gladwin.

Apple started their Back-To-School promotion today, and since they hate me, are giving away a free 8GB iPod touch to students with a computer purchase, or $299 off any iPod.  Oh well.

OK, that is pretty good for now.  Later…

nick

Five Years!

Well, I survived the first day of work.  Still not real sure what I do, but I am doing it.  Today was a lot of orientation, not much actual doing actually.  Will learn more over the week.

So, Five years.  That’s a lot.  I should be at 609 posts, based on every 3 days, but that went out a long time ago.  I am happy with this being 540.

Not a whole lot else.  Worked all day and kind of not feeling like a long pst, and not much to say anyway.  Will try for more later in the week.  And maybe a prize?!

nick

The Neglect Continues

Hmm, 3 weeks, suck.

Something HUGE I forgot last time, was that Jenn bought a new car.  I came home from class that Monday I spent working on Amerikam and there was no Escape in the parking lot, but instead an 08 Jetta in is place.  She gets REALLY good milage and it is a very nice car.

Trip to Bay City was fun.  I was the drunkest I have ever been Saturday night.  There was a point I ate a french fry and though I could taste it, I couldn’t actually feel it.  I stopped drinking about at that point.  That Monday I went to go see Iron Man with Scott, which was really good.  Nice to see Scott too.

Big news recently is I got a job.  Had interview on the 14th with PPG in Evart, which was a good 3 hours, drug test right after, and following Monday they told me I had it and go get physical on Wednesday the 21st, start on the 27th.  Physical was actually my first, and I got abnormally excited at the hernia exam.  Not real sure what i will be doing, but will let you know when I find out.

This past Thursday Jenn and I tried fishing, though we didn’t have any luck.  We also did a bit of shopping downtown, and bought a crawfish for our aquarium.

Yesterday we went to the <a href=”http://www.almahighlandfestival.com/”>Alma Highland Festival</a>.  Was decently entertaining.  The games were pretty good, we missed the herding.  Not sure it was worth $15 each though.  From there we went to Mt Pleasant for food (the Green Spot I think) and then to Clare for Jay’s and home.

So, for anyone who doesn’t remember, Tuesday, May 27th, is he Blogversary.  Something I just found out a few minutes ago though, is not only is it the Blogs 5th Anniversary, but it is WordPress’s birthday as well.  Seems kind of fitting that I use it I suppose, even if the first 2.5 years I didn’t.

So, next post will absolutly be Tuesday, for the Blogversary, and to let you know more about the internship hopefully.

Unrelated, I am not 99% sure that my cousin Cindy has a Mac.  I kind of wondered if the stats program was just goofing up, but have had repeated confirmation from it now.  Strangely, it reports OS 10.4.11, and 10.5 has been out since October, but the Mac didn’t show up until January or February.  So, either I missed it for 2 months, which seems unlikely, or she bought used, which also seems possibly unlikely.  Maybe is something Sam or Rach used at school, and left home after Christmas?  I don’t know.

Uhm…

That may be it for now.

I played Halo Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.  Is done now.

Yeah, thats about it.

Tuesday…

Nick