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.

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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.

Little Late, lol

Well, I guess I should update.  I haven’t since November 16th, as the Christmas post was actually Jenn.

This past weekend we went to Bay City for Christmas.  We were going to leave Saturday, but was really foggy so we left Sunday afternoon and stayed through the evening.

Weekend before we went up to Alpena for christmas with Jenn’s family.  Drive home was really crappy as it was snowing faster than the plows were cleaning up.

Other than that, have done nothing for the last week and a half, and enjoyed the hell out of it.  It’s my last christmas break after all, I intend to enjoy it.

Exams were not bad, grades came out a 2 A’s, 2 A-‘s, and a B-.  GPA is at 3.72, would like to get it up to a 3.75 for Magna Cum Laude.  Just need 3 out of 4 A’s over winter, with no less than A- in the fourth.

During late November, I made a site for my SME group.  I  also helped organize our Christmas Parade float, which their are pictures of on the SME site.  We were competing for $100 prizes for most festive, most participants, and most lights.  We had a good chance at most lights, but haven’t heard yet (which presumably means we lost).

Also have not heard from UniSolar.  I interviewed with them mid November and was told I would hear by the holiday.  I emailed them 2 weeks ago and was told they would get back to me.  I’m not giving up on them though, with this economy (especially in MI) I’m sure they are looking long and hard before making any decisions.

You would think I would have more after 6 weeks, huh?

I have been watching DiggNation rather regularly now.  I downloaded it to watch on my iPod and got into it.  I had watched a few about a year ago but stopped after 2 or 3 episodes.  I used to watch all of Kevin Rose’s “the Broken” episodes, but with the death of TechTV I lost trach of his whereabouts for a while, and didn’t even realize he was the guy that started Digg.com until about 2 years ago.

Next week is MacWorld Expo, and Steve Jobs is not doing the keynote.  Further, it is to be the last expo attended by Apple.  In the past, Apple’s priority was to keep their user base from migrating away, so attended user expos.  Now, Apple has a large enough base that they can just use their TV spots and stores to build a bigger base.  So, its sad news for lovers of the keynotes, but understandable.  Many of Apple’s major announcements over the last few years have been at special events outside the expo anyway, and there is still Apple’s own WWDC in May-ish.

Only 16 hours left in 2008 right now.  That is a little scary.  Amazing how the year can seem so short and so long at the same time.

My beer came out decent.  Guys liked it, Jenn and I rather enjoyed it, Jenn’s Dad and his friend didn’t, lol.  Its not for people who are set on drinking one beer, and especially if that is a lighter beer.  My “Creative Juices #1” is rather heavy, and a bit bitter.

Fish are doing well.  We had a second Jack Dempsey (Buster), but he passed a few weeks ago.  Our unknown cichlid (Tiger) is doing well though.  Will need to get some pics.  I still really wat a bigger aquarium, and saw an awesome 65 gallon at PetSmart in Saginaw, but need to wait at least until after the move.

Finding a job is looking like it will be a royal pain.  most companies are laying off far more than hiring.  Still, I know they are out there.  Most of the layoffs are production workers while Manufacturing Engineers are exactly what they need to help trim inefficiency and reduce costs.

Went to Birch Run shopping with Jenn and her Mom and Sister a few weeks ago.  Was the first time I had been there in probably 5 years.  A lot of stores that have been there for as long as I can remember, and a few new ones.  I was excited to see a Merrill store, but Nordstrom’s Rack is still a better deal.

Other site work, other than SME listed above, is our wedding site.  Jenn made one up a few weeks ago, and I did a redo a few days ago.  I should have a final composite up within a couple weeks, as well as possibly its own domain.

I think, that is it.  I know there is more, especially after 6 weeks, but can’t think of it right now.  Will try and make my next most a little sooner.

nick

The Last of 2007

With just 3 hours left in the year, I think I can safely say this will be my last post of 2007. Here it is.

Friday, Jenn and I left for Alpena about 1:00. Just our luck, the snow rolled in about 1:00, so that made it more interesting. There were a few times where visibility couldn’t have been more than 500 ft, and others where it was not bad at all. The biggest annoyance was people being way too cautious, and going 25 in a 55 when the road was totally clean.

Once in Alpena, we had our gift exchange. We got new dishes, a new digital camera (Olympus FE-230), a few candles, some Christmas ornaments, a gallon of Hawaiian Punch, a set of binoculars, a pair of gloves and a scarf, a hoodie, and memory cards for out phones. That was the stuff for Jenn and I, and for just me. There was some more for just Jenn, but I don’t really remember that. We gave Jenn’s family their presents too, including a Transformers voice changing helmet for Johnny, which turned out to be the most annoying gift possible. After gifts, we had dinner, sat around and played with everything, then went to bed.

Saturday morning we awoke, had a little breakfast, and headed down to Bay City. It was the first time we went from Alpena to Bay City since Easter. Once in Bay City, we exchanged gifts with my Mom, played with the Wii for a little bit, then went to Kingfish for dinner. Following that, we went to see my Grandma and Dad and exchange gifts with them, then back home and a little more Wii.

Sunday we woke up and headed to Rudy J’s for dinner, then to Midland for a little shopping. We realized we didn’t really need anything and continued on home. I never got to see my brother as he was out of town, and got back a little after we had left.

Today we sat around. Jenn works tomorrow so in bad early, no new years celebration here.

I will update tomorrow with some things I have been forgetting to mention, and to make the first post of the year.

nick

Merry Christmas

So, Jenn and I spent Christmas together yesterday. We woke up, exchanged gifts, talked about making breakfast, played with our gifts, took a nap, made dinner, ate, and watched TV. I got her a bathroom water filter with drinking fountain and a video adapter for her MacBook. She got me a new wallet, a Lego set, and a watch. After assembling the Legos, I spent far too much time looking up Legos online.

Our Christmas dinner consisted of sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, roasted pork loin, biscuits, apple pie, green bean casserole, and jellied cranberries. It was pretty good.

We did learn though, that Christmas is not the same alone. It just seemed like it was done really fast. We really didn’t have a lot of choice though. Jenn worked the day before and day after, so driving to Bay City or Alpena were out, and I wasn’t going to go home and leave her completely alone on Christmas. Next year hopefully will work out better.

Friday morning we plan to leave for Alpena, spend the day and night there, then down to Bay City Saturday and spend the night there, then back here Sunday for a rest on Monday.

I think that about covers it.

Maybe an update before we leave if something good happens, if not when we return Sunday or Monday.

nick

Trip Home

So, Friday I went home to see the family. Was rather uneventful actually, sat around and not much more.

Saturday I met with Dan, Jeremy, Dave, and Matt at Hooters around 6, had some food and a rather craptastic waitress, then headed to Hooligan’s around 8. We sat there until close at 2 having drinks, singing Karaoke, and bullshitting. You can view Dan and Jeremy on YouTube actually, I posted videos of their attempts under my account. Since I had not been drinking, I gave Dan and Jeremy a ride home, as Dan’s mom is just a few blocks from my mom’s house.

Sunday I awoke on the couch and called my mom as I was alone, and found she was at Rudy J’s just finishing breakfast after standing in front of Circuit City and Toys R Us, and had gotten a Wii. Once she got home, I spent most of the day playing Wii sports, and ran with my brother to Target to get WiiPlay, where we found out they had had 60 Wii systems come in that morning. If anyone wants a Wii, they seem to be getting easier to get, especially if you show up early Sunday morning.

Todd came over later Sunday and played a few games with me. He had been at Hooligan’s too, and met up just by chance. After he left, Chris and Brandon played some game till Chris went to bed, then Brandon and I spent a few hours playing WiiSports some more. I was really getting good at baseball and golf, and decent at bowling. Tennis and boxing I was consistently sucktacular.

Monday I woke up, packed everything, and headed back here. I spent the day with Jenn who had it off doing not too much. Tuesday jenn worked, but only until 3. I made Chicken Kiev and cheesy potatoes. Wednesday we got up, she packed, we made a frozen pizza and did some laundry, and then she left to Ann Arbor to be with her dad for his surgery. I have just sat around and enjoyed the nothing since. Her dad was scheduled to go in today at 2:30.

We planned on me going to Bay City tomorrow, and she would meet me and spend the night there, then meet up with her parents in Alpena Saturday. however, the current word is her dad won’t be released until Sunday, so we are holding Christmas off until next weekend.

I got some Christmas gifts while in Bay City. A set of CorningWare from my Dad, a Chicago Cutlery knife se from my mom, and a set of glasses from my Mom to Jenn. Out gifts to them I didn’t take, and are waiting until next weekend, along with whatever I get from my Grandma (a pair of Dockers gloves, just like the ones I got 3 years ago but I had to send back for repair and never saw again).

And I think that is all.

nick