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.

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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

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.

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.

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.

Stalling

I have been stalling on posting because I hopefully have some big news.  I am being a little superstitious about it even though most people know about it by now.

Anyway, I did feel that some update should be made, before I let the entire month of June slip by with no post at all.

Our camping trip went well.  We went up to Garland for our tasting for the wedding, stayed in Alpena at a hotel, Jenn did the fitting for her wedding dress, then we went to Clear Lake State Park for 2 nights.

On the way up I first got word of my possible good news, and on the way home I had the first bit of confirmation.  Now just to wait for more confirmation.

Jon came in Saturday morning and we went tubing, had dinner at Schuberg’s, and went to the gate for a while.  He headed back home Sunday just before noon.  Todd is supposed to be coming in late next week for a short stay to go to the county fair and check out the demo derby and figure 8.

OK, hopefully more info soon.  Next post should be less vague and confusing.