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.

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.

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.

Another Interview

So, I went to the interview in Pittsburgh.  Had a lot of flight issues and ended up spending about 6 hours at Detroit Metro.  I finally made it to Pittsburgh at about 11:30 and to the hotel at 12:30.  There was a message waiting for me that somebody would be there to pick me up at 6:55.  So, after about 4.5 hours of sleep I got up and dressed and went with the Bettis rep to Bob Evans for breakfast, then on to the lab.

At the security gate was a nice security officer with the Department of Energy holding an M16 (yes, really).  We then went on to the security office to check me in and have my bag searched, then to HR.  They got all my application info then I was office to another security office to be finger printed.

With all the security stuff done, they explained what they could of the position.  A big part of the position is classified, and requires Top Secret security clearance.  It will take 2-4 weeks to make a decision, then 2-6 months to get clearance (“We are they government, we go kind of slow”).  I was also told that they don’t actually do manufacturing on site, it’s contracted out, and the job would be largely engineering support to the contractor.

Through the day, I interviewed with 3 or 4 people, the final two taking me to lunch.  Hearing about all the advanced stuff they do and who they have (2000 engineers, several hundred Ph.D.s), I feel a little under-qualified, but know I could do it.  It sounds really exciting, and am crossing my fingers.  Should know in a couple weeks.

So, after all that, I got home about 9:30 Thursday night.  Friday afternoon, it was back on the road up to Alpena for Jenn’s shower.  We stopped in Atlanta to see the florist and go over a few things, then went out to eat with Jenn’s parents.  Saturday morning Jenn had a dress fitting and we went to the farmer’s market.  The shower was a couple hours later.  My Dad and Grandma made it up, so I went and drove around town with my Dad while the ladies did their thing. After a bit of driving, we went to Jenn’s parent’s house and my Dad met her Dad, then Jenn called and told us to come to the hall and eat the leftovers, so we all headed there.  After about another hour, they headed home and we packed up all the gifts.  We hung out at Jenn’s parents for a few hours, then went looking for a hotel near Lewiston.  Unfortunately, there was a wedding and a softball game in town, so all the rooms in town were booked and the nearest we could find was in Gaylord.  Sunday morning we went to mass and to meet with the priest who will perform our wedding ceremony.  He seems pretty fun, and an OK guy.  After that, we finally headed home.

Monday wasn’t much.  Tuesday we were offered to lease our apartment until Dec 31, which is longer that what we were hoping for, but better than May, so we signed.  I better have a job by then.  Hell, I think I have to at least have part time by my birthday if we want to stay afloat.

That about covers it all.  Will let you know if I hear anything.

nick

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.