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

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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.

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.

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.

Wedding, Part 2

So, where did I leave off…

About 4:30 Saturday we headed over to the Tiki Bar to wait for the ceremony.  Chris, Todd, Scott, and I waited there chatting and directing people initially to where the ceremony would be, but the weather wasn’t really cooperating.  So, we started pointing people into the restaurant to wait inside.  Come 4:50 I sent them all down to their chairs and Todd and Chris got them all seated.  Several other people who were staying at Garland for other reasons realized a wedding was getting underway and started offering shots and drinks, and hanging out on the patio to watch.  About 5:00, planned start time, Louann came by and I asked “We all ready?” to which she applied “Not exactly, have you seen Pastor Toby?”  Hmm, of all the things that can go wrong at a wedding, the top three include crappy weather (check), missing bride or groom (good there), or missing minister (check).  So, we wait for him, until about 5:15 when I go and let everybody know whats going on, and ask them for 5 more minutes.  As I walk back up to the patio, I look behind and see not a single person in a seat.  Oh well, it was cold out.  So, just as we all get back into the restaurant, it starts to rain.  It had been a light sprinkle, but was getting heavier.  Then, we notice, it changed over to snow.  Louann continued to run between her office calling our minister, and me and Jenn giving updates.  She called her own pastor and asked him to come up as a replacement.  Around 5:45, Jenn called me and asked if we want to move it inside, and I agreed.  So, we moved everybody from the restaurant to the Great Room (where the reception was to be held) to take their seats there.

Standing outside the Great Room, a minister comes up to me and starts explaining he is the replacement.  Louann quickly comes over and escorts him away, explaining to me that he is our ministers replacement and that her replacement was also there.  We had already mentioned that should both arrive, we wanted to go with hers, as we weren’t really happy with Toby.  So, I spoke briefly with the DJ and new minister about how Jenn and I wanted things to go, and at about 6:00, an hour behind schedule, we got under way.

We were married in front of the fireplace, which was lit, in the Great Room.  Several people later remarked that it was beautiful, and we should have planned that from the beginning.  Jenn and I then took our leave for pictures and returned at 7:00 to begin dinner.  Following dinner was our dance, Jenn and her Dad’s dance, and the wedding party dance.  Rest of the night all went to plan, with everyone having a wonderful time.  Around 11:30 most people were gone so we sent the DJ home, helped with some of the cleanup, and Jenn and I went to our villa to open cards and relax.

Sunday, we met up with a couple people, packed, and then took Todd and Ashley to breakfast in Lewiston.  We saw some guys from Ferris there also so chatted with them for about an hour, then all went our separate ways.  Jenn and I headed over to Alpena to separate what was ours from her parents from what her sister wanted for her upcoming wedding in June.  We opened our gifts there also, then headed back across to Gaylord, where we stayed for the night.  Monday morning, it was back in the car and we headed home where we stayed for two whole nights before running off again.

So, honeymoon to come tomorrow.  Though, pictures of it are already on Facebook.