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.

New Fish Pics

I threw up some new pics of the fish Friday night.  I took them on my phone, so are unfortunately a bit grainy.  Jill is getting huge, and Tiger is doing well.  Surprisingly, the snails are still alive, though I can see some chips in their shells.  Pictures really don’t do Tiger justice, her colors just don’t show up right.

You can view the pics on my picasa album.

Busy Busy

You can always tell when mid semester has come. Reports are due, projects are due, you have tests in every class over a 2 week period, and it sometimes seems like none of you professors realize of care that you have 3 other classes. And, you stop updating your blog after being decent for a while. The good news is, it should die down in a week or so, at least a little bit.

So, 2.5 weeks ago…

Jenn and I went up to her Aunt’s wedding, was fairly good. Wedding in East Jordan, went to Gaylord to check into hotel and found a nail in Jenn’s tire, so watched that rest of weekend. Reception in Elmira just outside Gaylord, then hotel for night. Sunday morning we shopped around Gaylord with Jenn’s sister and had lunch at Gobbler’s. Place is similar to Turkey Roost, but more expensive and not as good, I was disappointed. Next, we headed to Lewiston for our “free” night at Garland. We got a room upgrade, and had to pay tax on the would-be value, but was still less than much crappier Baymont the night before. Pics of room are on Picassa. Monday we headed home through Greyling, we we tried to get tire fixed. They quoted up to an hour wait so we risked it and made it back in time for me to get to class with an hour to spare. Jenn took car in following day, and nail was broken off, just stuck in tread, no actual puncture.

Weekend of 11th was stay at home weekend. Did laundry which was a major project. Worked on quite a bit of homework as well. That Sunday we did our SME barbeque, but turnout was not what we expected. No juniors, no sophomores, no freshman, just a few of the seniors. Week was busy, report due and work on project.

This weekend went to Bay City Saturday, saw Mom and Dad and Grandma, nothing real exciting. Actually, there was, I took apart my Mom’s old swing which was rotten and falling apart using a sledgehammer. Was a little excessive force, but oh well. A wrench would have took less energy, but much more time. Sunday night we had an SME BBQ redux. Decided it should be a regular thing. Jenn was up in Alpena Saturday and Sunday, got back around 7pm. They threw a surprise party for her Dad’s birthday.

Last night, I was up till after 3 working on statistics project. Finally got it done, sleep for 4 hours, in to class. Everyone starts complaining about how they couldn’t finish and didn’t figure out this or that, so he moved it back to Thursday. Grrrr! On one hand, I worked ass off to finish, I should get credit for that. On the other hand, things were brought up that I can change in my report to make it a little better. Oh well.

Played some disc golf here and there, but not a lot. Between school and people going hunting on weekends, just hasn’t been the time. We did get to see part of a Pro Ace Race here on Sunday, but was kind of pathetic. We actually could have been contenders.

This Saturday is our SME skeet shoot. I am not shooting, but Jenn will be. I think I am photographer, but not sure. We are, unfortunately, unorganized. Sunday, I am hosting the weekly dinner, making a big pot of stew.

Over the coming weeks, when I have time, I plan on making Jenn and I’s wedding site, and making a site for our SME group. Will be a very part time thing.

Also, looking ahead, we will be heading up to Atlanta, MI for SnoDrift the last weekend of January, and possibly to Detroit for NAIAS around the same time.

In addition to the Garland pics I mentioned, I finally added the pics from the Ren Fair to picasa also.

I think, that wraps it up. As I said, should die down some and updates will come more regular again soon.


36 Days, Ouch

Well, to be honest, not much has happened up to this weekend.

Back on the morning of the 10th, I woke up and went to feed the fish, and noticed Bubba was missing (the crawfish).  I searched through the gravel, looked for bits in the tank, even looked around the apartment.  Finding nothing and running out of time I got ready and left for work.  When I got home, I looked some more, and still no sign.  We pretty much concluded he was eaten by Jill and gave up, though it seemed weird that there were no remains at all.  Saturday (the 12th) I was getting the pop cans to take in, and noticed something behind the can.  It was actually pretty far from the aquarium, and I can’t believe there was no smell.  At least we found him, and he wasn’t eaten so we can try and get another crawfish without worrying what Jill will do.  Still, kind of amazing he crawled out of the auarium, that has a hood.

More nothing up to this weekend.  Work, sleep , eat, work, work.  heck, I even picked up a Saturday (the 19th).

This weekend Jenn and I went to Battle Creek.  Went to the Silver Leaf Renaissance Faire Saturday.  It was pretty darned cool.  Was our first Ren Fest actually.  There were alot of people dressed u, vendors, good food, and even jousters.  The real kicker though, is I finally got my Utilikilt.  Yes, I now strut around in a black original model.  Following the fair we went to the mall for a bit and used her B&N gift card and we headed to the hotel.

Sunday, we went to Binder Park Zoo.  That, too, was really fun.  We got to feed a giraffe, watch a tortoise walk really slow, and see a 4 horned sheep’s lips vibrate really weird (should have got video of that).  Following that we headed toward home stopping in GR to see Dane.  We ate at a XO which was interesting, and fairly good.  I had green curry scallop, which was a little too weird.

This week, more work.

Also last week, Jenn started at Mecosta Medical Center.  Cuts her commute time by about 50 minutes.  Seems to be liking it so far.

Will update on Monday with info on our trip to Bay City Friday and Saturday.


Oh, duh, pictures of Zoo on Picasa, sadly none of Ren Fair.  Maybe the Holly fair in August…

Oh, the Miles

So, first up is another weekend trip.  Jenn and I wanted to go somewhere Friday night and decided on north.  We packed up and headed out around 7:30, and by 10:30 were in St. Ignace.  Saturday morning we started at the casino and with our $40 in free tokens ($10 each for joining players club, 1 each for staying at a hotel in St Ignace, and 2 for Jenn for birthday in June) we won $31 in cash.  Next was breakfast that took a while to find, but ended up being at King’s Fish Market in Moran.  The food was very good, and the smoked fish was very tempting, but we knew we had a while till we headed home and thought it best to wait.  We continued further north to Paradise where we stopped at a roadside park to get a look at Lake Superior.  next we turned west to Taquaminon Falls.  We checked out the falls, took lots of pictures, and had a stop at the brewery on site.

Our next destination was Sault Ste Marie.  We looked at taking a ferry through the locks, but the price was a bit high.  We also considered the museum ship but it too was pricy.  So, we went downtown and headed into the locks viewing area.  As there were no ships at the time, we headed across the street for dinner at Goetz Lockview Restaurant, which included the best and probably freshest whitefish I have ever eaten.  Following dinner we went back across to the locks and watched as a ship began to enter.  Unfortunately, this is a very slow process, and as jenn is impatient, out time came up and we ventured on.

Next stop: Canada.  We crossed the International Bridge and once across the border headed to the visitor center.  Here, I did something really funny, but that I feel I should not mention.  We then went to a Canadian Tim Horton’s (the most canadian thing in the US, in Canada) then to the Duty Free Shop, and back to the US.  On our way to St Ignace, Jenn’s parents called to see if they could meet up with us, so we returned to the casino to see them for a while.

Following the casino again, we went to see if we could find some smoked fish and pasties, but everywhere was closed.  We stopped off to look at the Mackinac Bridge, then returned to the hotel for the evening and ordered a pizza.

Sunday, we headed out early and got some pasties.  We then crossed the bridge and in Mackinac City we ate our pasties, then bought more and some smoked fish.  We did a little more shopping and then headed toward Big Rapids.

On the way home, we passed some of these, which we had seen Friday on the way up.  We think they are pretty cool.  We then went to Cadillac and had dinner at Pizza Hut Bistro, then, finally, home.

So, The rest of the week, so far, has just been work.  Except today…

Back on Friday we sent out some glass samples to a PPG facility in Troy for testing.  This morning, we received an email that they had broken in shipping.  Due to the need to get new samples there quickly and to avoid more breakage, Dvid (Engineering Manager) asked me to drive them there.  Yes, from Evart to Troy, 3 hours each way.  Alright, why not.  Three hors down, here you go, 10 minutes, and 3 hours back.  I did stop and see my mom and brother quickly, since I went through Bay City, but that was like 5 minutes each, and those were my ONLY breaks.

So, today, between the trip for work, and actually driving to and from work, I drove 400 miles.  Plus, the miles we put on Friday – Sunday, plus the 50 miles I drive every day, comes to probably over 1000 miles this week.

OK, thats all.  I need to sit around and not move for a while longer.


Oh, pictures of the weekend are up.

Fun Weekend

So, last week was working, and that’s about it.  But, the weekend, that was better.

Saturday, Jenn and I wanted some adventure, and we found it.  We began with breakfast at Ala Mode cafe, our newfound little pleasure.  They have great breakfasts including a quiche served with biscuits and gravy and hashbrowns.  Following that, we went to Meijer and got not much, then returned home.

Not content with sitting, we packed a bag with general stuff and set out west.  Our fun stared quickly, just past Paris, when we passed a farm.  This particular farm has 4 horses and a donkey, so I always look for the donkey.  Today the donkey happened to be rolling over.  I have never seen a donkey roll over, and I have to say it is quite enjoyable.  It reminds me a it of watching Molly, as the legs are too long and body too large, so any chance of grace is right out.  Next we stopped for snacks in Reed City including a bag of T.G.I. Fridays quesadilla chips which were really good.

Up next stop was at the Amber Elk Ranch near Ludington, where we took the 1 hour tour.  If you are ever in that area, we highly recommend it.

Once in Ludington, we went to the dock to look at the ferry, then to the Jamesport Brewery for dinner.  Very good food and drinks.  It was my second time, after visiting during our SME trip.  the dinners are better than the sandwiches, though the rueben looked pretty good.

Following dinner, we went to the city beach to maybe do a little swimming.  Because of the heavy rains and flooding, there are rather strong rip currents and some sewage overflow, so the beach was unfortunately closed.  We decided that we will need to return later in the summer.  Still, we walked the sand and watched a thunderstorm coming in before heading on.  We drove around and found it is a hard thing to do around Ludington right now.  Twice we had to turn around because of a washed out road.  On our way back to US 10 we saw a lot of flooded yards and forest turned to marshland.

We got on 31 despite the signs advising us it was closed, and headed north as far as we could, finally being forced down a detour as it too was washed out.  Finally, we ended up in Manistee and spent some time in Little River Casino.  We $24, then Jenn joined the players club and got a free $15 credit, won $3 with it, and we left just $6 down, which isn’t bad.  We considered staying in Manistee for the night as it was about 10 PM, but decided to just head home.

Sunday, we cleaned up the house some.  Not clean yet, but cleaned up.

Monday I returned to work, and that will be about it for this week.  Jenn’s birthday is Thursday so maybe something else fun this weekend.  We will see.

Pictures of Saturday are now available on Picassa.


Shopping and Snow

So, the shopping trip went OK. We went into Nordstrom’s first, and saw a few things we kind of wanted, but no gifts. Jenn bought something for her aunt at Lane Bryant, then we went for lunch.

First, we went to BD’s, but were told about a 20 minutes wait so we went to Grand Rapids Brewing Company. The two beers I tried were so-so, but their sausage plate was very good. Homemade polish sausage, onion bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato pancake, whole grain mustard, and horseradish.

After that, we went to the Woodland Mall and shopped Eddie Bauer, the Apple Store, and Macy’s to name a few. I got Jenn and my Mom’s gift then while we were in JC Penny I thought of getting a throw blanket for my grandma, however they had a very poor selection. So, rather than walk back to Macy’s, we drove to the mall in Grandville.

We found the throw I wanted at Macy’s, then as we walked through the rest of the mall we quickly got irritated by the thousands of people and decided to get out of there.

On the way home, we stopped at Rosie’s Diner in Rockford. I had the chili cheese fries and a slice of dutch apple pie a’la mode. it was all really good, but the chili was really coney, but still good.

Sunday we went to Meijer, Lowe’s, the Dollar Store, and the Old Pioneer Store downtown.

Yesterday was my Statics and Strengths exam, today I turned in a lab and our project for Industrial Engineering and my CNC project, and tomorrow is my Statistics exam.

Snow has been falling here all day, probably about 5″ by now. It’s really wet stick snow too, which is good for snowmen and snowballs, but quite slippery. The fact that they seem to be waiting for it to stop snowing to plow isn’t helping either, especially because it doesn’t seem to be stopping.

OK, that is all I have to say. I will leave you with a pic from about 4:30.


Snowy Trees

It Snowed

Jenn and I went to Applebee’s tonight for dinner. They have a new menu, and to be honest, I was rather disappointed. Gone is my beef stew over mashed potatoes thing, as well as Jenn’s grilled shrimp. As I flipped through the menu, I honestly felt that there was a whole section missing from it. I considered paying for our drinks and going somewhere else, but being the blustery cold evening it was, I didn’t feel like walking back to the vehicle only to drive a block or 2 and need to get out again. It wouldn’t be that bad, but the quality of some of the food we had gotten one of the last times we went there was rather poor, and we already lost Ruby Tuesday’s to a poor menu change (including price hikes beyond what the items are worth). At least we still have Bennigan’s (please don’t let them go to the dark side too).

I had a test yesterday in Industrial Engineering, and after turning it in I realized just how much I had gotten wrong. Will find out just what I did tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow is the trip to Ludington with the SME group.

In case anyone missed it, it snowed today, and some yesterday. That is the first of the year I believe, around here anyway.

I posted a few new pics on Picassa, you can check them out by clicking Gallery at the top.

OK, suppose that it all.