June 2010

Well, its June 30th, and unless I want June to be blogless its time to update.  I almost updated a few times earlier in the month, but they were put off, then forgotten.

So, I updated the domain for another year.  I also moved from self hosting to wordpress.com which should save me some money, and I really wasn’t really doing anything outside of wordpress for the last year or so anyway.  The downfall is I lost a few plugins, including the wordcount, so I am unsure how I will trachea that for the time being other than adding on to the old count.  I also tagged a LOT of older posts, but am only about 40% through.

I had two weddings this month.  The first was Jeremy Pawlak’s on the 5th, then my sister-in-law Belinda’s on the 13th.  Both were very nice, and it was nice to see all the library guys again as we haven’t met up since, I think, my wedding.

All my interviews have fallen through.  I have another tomorrow (it was supposed to be Tuesday but was moved to Thursday).  I have also heard rumors from JCI but that is just rumors for now.

Jenn and I went to the Muskegon Renaissance festival last weekend.  It rather stunk.  Was just too small and overpriced.  We are looking forward to Silver Leaf in Battle Creek starting up this weekend and running for the next several weeks.

We picked up a Weisbier kit from Siciliano’s, but haven’t started it yet.  Hoping it turns out though.

Futurama is back, in case you didn’t know.  It premiered last Thursday and is on at 10 PM.  That’s exciting.

OK, that’s enough for now.

Seven Years

So, it was seven years ago tonight that I started my blog.  Since then, I have posted over 587 entries (I say over because some have been deleted, but the current number of entries, not including this one, is 587) containing just shy of 171,000 words.  Unfortunately, I seem to have lost interest over the past two years or so.  Some changes are coming, I am sure of that, but I don’t see an end.  Yes, few people blog anymore, (and I seem to be becoming one of them) but I was never one to follow the crowd.  I can certainly see a 10th anniversary celebration in three years.

In other news, April is now the second month to contain zero posts (Nov 2009 was the first).  May could well have suffered the same fate if not for the Blogversary.

In jobs news, I had an interview today that went rather well, have a phone interview Tuesday as well.  Still no response from the Sandusky or GR interviews last month.

In an attempt to improve my job chances, we decided to move closer to where they seem to be, and have been living in Grand Rapids (Comstock Park, to be exact) for nearly three weeks now.  We moved in on May 8, having gotten the keys on the 7th and signed on the 3rd.  It does seem to be helping, based on the two interviews I mentioned above.  It is also nice having so much more around to do and see than we had in Big Rapids.

Jenn and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary (of “going out”) on May 13 by going to Kobe, which we thought would be like Genji but wasn’t as good.  We also celebrated our 6 month anniversary (since the wedding) on April 10 by making a meal at home, of shrimp scampi and sautéed vegetables (note: the OS X spell checker put in that accent mark itself).

Apple’s  iPad is certainly making some noise.  I have played with one and though I was originally in the “what the hell is it?” camp, I have to say it is pretty awesome.  Yes, it has its flaws like no multitasking (until fall) and no user accessible file system, but it does 90% of even what I do on a computer.  I can see it covering everything a person needs for several people I know.

In other news…

Yeah, I lead a rather boring life.  I wish I could think of more but I can’t right now.

So, hopefully I will have some good news to post soon, but until then I am out.

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.

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.

Jenn's Additions

So Nick left out some important information in his last post.  We we were in Novi and decided to head to the waterford hotel, it was quite an adventure.  It was only 12 miles, and it was a good deal on a really nice hotel with a jacuzzi suite, so we figure it was definitely worth the 12miles, however it was quite and adventurous trip.  It took 45 minutes to get there and was 5ish on a weekday in detroit.  We were frequently in stop and go traffic with crazy people passing on the shoulder.  There was also no straight route between the two areas so we were frequently turning and going around lakes.  But we made it alive and it was worth it, the room was really nice.  Also  for the last couple of years nick and I have really wanted to try good lobster, which we did at dinner.  It was good but not really worth the price, I would be just as happy with good jumbo shrimp.  ~Jenn

Wedding, Part 3 – Honeymoon

So, I left off at us getting home on Monday the 12th.  We stayed home Tuesday, then Wednesday left for Bay City to drop Jenn’s dress off at Clayton’s to be cleaned and preserved and leave her bouquet with my Mom to preserve it.  From there we drove to Novi to shop Twelve Oaks.  We arrived at the mall but decided to go look for a hotel first.  We found a nice hotel in Waterford, checked in, then went to dinner at Mitchell’s Fish Market in Birmingham.  After dinner, we decided to skip the mall and went back to the hotel for the night.

Thursday, we headed to the Detroit Zoo for the morning, which was rather dead due to being off season, a weekday morning, and rather cold out.  Still, we had fun, and saw some cool reptiles and amphibians.  Next we headed further down Woodward right downtown to Greektown.  You can tell you are heading deep into Detroit when you  stop seeing McDonalds and see only White Castle, Popeye’s, and Church’s.  So, we had lunch at the Greektown Casino buffet, played in the casino for a little while, then went out to the street and stopped at a bakery for some baklava.  From there, we left Detroit via 94 and headed down 23 to Dundee to walk around Cabella’s.  We went through the St. Julian Winery outlet, and walked around Cabella’s, then headed north to Milan for the night.

Friday we woke up and headed up to Howell to shop the outlet.  Picked up some cool stuff, then headed over to Okemos to shop the mall there.  I got two dress shirts and ties at a really good deal, and we stopped at Big John’s for lunch.  From there, we headed home for the weekend.

Tuesday, the 20th, I had an interview at Grand Rapids Spring and Stamping, which Jenn drove down to with me.  Interview was short, and I still haven’t heard back from it, so not seeming very promising.  We then dropped Jenn’s computer off at the Apple Store to have the palm rest repaired (free, even out of warranty, awesome).

Wednesday, we returned to GR to pick up her computer and drool over the new 20 and 27” iMacs. Also stopped at Robinette’s Orchard.  Tasted some wines, got some apples, had some doughnuts and cider, had a good time.

Thursday night, Jenn went back to work, and the honeymoon officially ended.  The week and a half since have been rather uneventful.  Applied to a couple more jobs, asked for info from Western Michigan on grad programs, not too much else.

In all, over 2 weeks, we visited Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Crawford, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Isabella, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Montmorency, Oakland, Osceola, Oscoda, Roscommon, Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.  Quite a list.

We got a new neighbor upstairs yesterday, apartment had been empty since August.  Kind of strange someone moving in in late October in a college town, but whatever.

So, that would be about it.

nick

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.

Wedding

So, last Wednesday Jenn and I packed up and headed out on the road.  First stop was in Bay City to drop off a few items to make room in the car, as my Mom and Sue said they would bring them up for us.  Then, we headed south to Romulus and checked into our hotel right across from the airport.  It was kind of cool, because the planes heading to DTW flew rather close, and we got to see them closer than anybody normally would.  After checking in and resting for an hour or so, we headed over to Ann Arbor and ate some Joe’s Crab Shack (amazing place, I had never been there but Jenn had with her mom) and then to the Ann Arbor Mall for some bumming.  We also went to Moose Jaw and REI looking for my Julbo Sherpa’s, but I decided they were just a little too out there, even for me.  Whole Foods was next to REI, so we also walked around there.  Quite an interesting store, not like your ordinary super market.  Wish there was one closer to us, their selection would be nice to have.  After that, we drove through DTW to make sure Jenn could find the pickup area and headed back to the hotel.

Thursday morning Jenn picked up Gwen and her baby Gabe and brought them to the hotel to sleep for a bit.  Once we were all up (again for some) we packed up and were back on the road.  We made it up to Bay City and stopped at the mall to get my tux and Johnny’s vest and tie, then stopped at Target to pick up some Theraflu and Mucinex for me (had been coming down with a flu or something for few days, wanted to make sure it was gone by Saturday) then headed north again.  Finally, we made it up to Alpena, and stayed the night at Jenn’s parents.

Friday morning Jenn had errands to do, including her dress and Gwen’s.  I stayed with her Dad and we picked up some items for the centerpieces.  Come the afternoon we al headed for Lewiston to check in at Garland.  Garland had us in a single villa, which was beautiful.  Jenn’s parents had the double villa right behind the Great Room, which was nice for Jenn to change and have somewhere to run back to during the reception.  We got checked in and met up with Todd and Ashley ow were there a little before us, then had our rehearsal out back at the ceremony site.  Our reception dinner was then at Subway, as Lewiston has few options, and Subway is nice and cheap.  After dinner we went in the big hot tub for a while, then as they arrived I met up with my Mom and Sue, then my Dad, Grandma, and Uncles Craig’s family.

By this point in the night, my thumb was killing me.  To make our centerpieces, I had to bend 2 dozen wires, which I bent largely using my hands.  I had created a blister on the outer edge of my thumb and being sick, it was infected and filled with puss.  So, I lanced it myself after 3 days of soreness.  It looked rather like chinese mustard actually.

Finally, we were at Saturday morning, W-Day.  We woke up and headed to the Great Room to decorate for the reception, with Todd, Ashley, my Mom and Sue, and several others helping.  My mom and Sue took the chair covers to the laundromat to try and de-wrinkle them while Todd, Bill (Jenn’s sister’s fiance) and I working on center pieces, and Ashley doing place cards.  We also set out our pumpkin (Todd had brought it up for us, and was the only person to touch it until Jenn and I got it home) and the mini pumpkins, got the chair covers on, and the girls went in turns to go get their hair done.  As people got up to Garland through the day, they would stop in to say hi, including my Uncle Steve and family who got in around 6 AM and got what sleep they could right after arriving.

With everything seeming to be set up, I headed back to our villa to shower, but realized I had some time and invited some Jon and Greg from Ferris to the hot tub first.  I went back to the villa and changed, then to the Hot Tub to soak a bit with the two of them plus Dane and Andy that they had found on their way (also from Ferris).  Then , back to the villa which I couldn’t get into.  I run back up to the main lodge (which is not a short stroll by any means) and they inform me I was checked out, and in a different villa that night, wtf?  So, I straighten that out and head back to change, passing the photographer on the way and letting him know I won’t be ready for pictures at 3, about 10 min away.  Get up there, shower, change, back to Main Lodge to find Todd and hopefully my brother, the best man, who still wasn’t there yet that I knew of.  So, I found them all, go pictures of us taken, find out flowers are there and get our buttoners and deliver corsages to my Mom and Grandma, then meet whoever I find and wait for 5:00.

And that, is enough for now.  The exciting part next time, followed by the honeymoon (well, parts of it) following that.  Yes folks, a 3-part series.