Archive for April, 2008

What a Great Day!

Friday, April 18th, 2008

The day started off pretty good, it’s 60 degrees and sunny (supposed to hit 75), I get to hang out with Magellan tonight, it’s payday, and our director just said “It’s awful nice out today …. don’t come back from lunch if you don’t have anything pressing going on.”   Awesome.

The grain it takes to fill an SUV tank with ethanol could feed a person for a year.

Monday, April 14th, 2008

The title really has nothing to do with the contents… just something to consider:  alternative fuels usually have alternative consequences.

What a week… busy, hectic, jam-packed with all sorts of stuff. Work was busy, had something going on every night through the week, sometimes work even spilled over into and screwed personal stuff up a little. Even put in a few hours on Sunday. Not bad though… as long as it only happens once every six months or so, I’m good 😀 I did discover that I can virtualize a system with ~ 15GB drive in about 30 minutes. On the downside, the weekend blew – 30 degrees and rainy. Was anxious to try out my new toy but the weather wasn’t going to let that happen.  I did watch a few movies / play some games though… and I haven’t done that in awhile.  Unfortunately, nothing really stood out.

Gone Baby Gone – I’ll give Ben some credit for his first time directing he did pretty good.  Casey wasn’t too shabby in the lead here either.  It was a good story – when you thought you knew what was going on, it changed.  One of those movies that seems to have 3 or 4 endings.  Not bad, but not great.  Actually haven’t seen a good movie in a long time.  I had high hopes for No Country for Old Men but was sorely disappointed.  I’ve been catching up on all the Harry Potter movies since they all just came out on Blu Ray.  I knew I’d never really get into the books, so I thought I’d at least watch the movies and see what all the hullabaloo was about.  They’re ok I guess… entertaining at least, but I never would have actually read through all the books.  In the past couple of months, the only movies in my rental history that have made it past 3.5 stars (out of 5) have been Run Lola, Run and The Kingdom.  They both squeaked out a 4 for either being different or for lots of explosions.

In more disappointing news, Assassins Creed wasn’t nearly as cool as I was hoping.  The game play was innovative, the story seemed to be decent, and the controls were tight.  The whole thing just got repetitive really fast though.  And slow.  Entirely too much talking in the game, and you can’t skip it.  And what’s with the walking around in the future so much.  I have to walk (you can’t even run) to my ‘bedroom’ to make the storyline continue?!  Meh.  The missions are decent, there’s just not enough variety – save a citizen, pickpocket (which is impossible), climb up all the lookouts, and sit on a bench and eavesdrop.  Everyone once in awhile run and hide from the guards.  I just thought it was supposed to be this epic game… but I was bored with it inside 3 hours.

Oh well… that’s it for now.

My $26 Car Wash

Friday, April 4th, 2008

I went to the Cascade Car Wash a few days ago.  My car was still covered in road salt and other Wintery goodness.  It’s a nice little wash – only two automatic bays, a little more expensive than other ones in the area, but it always seems to do a really nice job.  One bat was occupied so I pulled right into the other, put my $9 in the machine, and pulled in.  The under-carriage wash part didn’t actually spray anything so I just figured maybe I pushed the wrong button.  The “hot soap presoak” was dumped all over my car… then nothing.  The machine kept going back and forth and saying “… now rinsing with HIGH PRESSURE fresh water”  (I think the all caps is really supposed to impress the fact that it’s REALLY HIGH) but no water actually came out.  The spot-free rinse portion of the wash actually worked, but that doesn’t really rinse soap away very well.  Not to be discouraged, I pulled around to the other bay when I was finished.  I assume that the car that was in there before me didn’t have any problems, so maybe just the one side was broken.  There were a couple orange cones by the building so I stopped before I pulled in and blocked the bay I just went through.
Alas, the other side had the same problem.  So now I was out $18 and still had to go rinse my car off someplace.  I circled the building once more and blocked off that bay as well.  I’m really not sure why no one else did that.  I mean, the cones are right there… why wouldn’t you put them up so someone else doesn’t get screwed like you did?  I just don’t understand people … really, 30 seconds of your life to save countless other people the same inconvenient fate as you and you can’t be bothered to do it?!  The car wash as a commentary of the amount of selfish assholes in the world.
They had one of those signs on the back of the building “If you like us, tell a friend!  If you have problems, tell us!” wiith their phone number.  So I called, not expecting much.  Of course I got an answering machine.  I left my sad story, my phone number, and the fact that I blocked off both bays (with an apology if that wasn’t the right thing to do in their mind)  I headed off to the Bubble Brush Car Wash across town to see if I had better luck there… I didn’t have much of a choice, I at least had to go rinse my car someplace.
I’ve been avoiding this one ever since their automatic wash ripped me off and I couldn’t get so much as a return phone call from them.  I called 2 or 3 times and never got anywhere with it.  Yes, sometimes I hold a grudge over silly things… but this is one of those where them not calling me back just annoyed me.  I won’t go back and I badmouth them every chance I get (that’s the Bubble Brush Car Wash 322 Union Blvd … heh.)  They could have even just called and said “Sorry, but we don’t give refunds” and that I almost could have accepted.  Their wash does a crappy job anyway, and Cascade is a lot more convenient.
Imagine my surprise when I got a call the next day from Cascade.  He apologized a couple of times and even thanked me for blocking off the bays.  He said he had been on the phone for over 30 minutes calling all the people that had been ripped off, and mine was the last name on the list.  So at least I stopped the barrage of angry customers.  He gave me 3 car washes for my troubles.  I probably would have rather gotten my $18 back instead… but a free wash I guess is ok.  I mean, I did at least get soap twice … so my car is really clean now 😀  I was just happy I got a call back and the guy was truly worried about his customers.  So thumbs up Cascade car wash guys 😀 …. I’m such a dork.

Let’s see…. what else is new?  Job is going really well.  I still call it my ‘new’ job even though it isn’t all that new.  I can’t believe I’ve been there 5 months already.  I guess it just still seems new to me – I’m still learning new things and meeting new people every day.  I just really can’t believe how well this has all worked out for me.  I still sometimes just walk into our data center and look around and just think “This is cool”  I still compare it a lot of times to my old job.  I think I do that a lot so people maybe have a better understanding of why I’m almost giddy about the whole thing.  Hell, at my old job I couldn’t get a UPS approved for a single server and here I have a whole freakin’ APC InfraStruXure setup.  I put the finishing touches on a new VMWare ESX server yesterday that will eventually host more servers than the entire server room I used to be responsible for.  And we do things that make sense – there’s been probably a dozen occasion where I see something we do and I think “Huh, I tried to implement that at my old job and it always got shot down”  It just makes you feel good when after a couple of years of feeling beat down and like you didn’t know what you were doing, you finally feel appreciated.  So yeah… everything from actually being trusted to use my brain, being in the size of environment that I want to be in, learning something new all the time, the laid-back (most of the time) atmosphere.  I think I even get along socially with a greater percentage of people here.  Nothing against anyone I worked with before… it just wasn’t an environment conducive to any real social interaction.  Hell, I’ve been to my director’s house to play cards – in 10 years at the other place I don’t think I ever saw the inside of a “higher-up’s” house.  I’m actually considering getting back into some self-learning stuff again.  Might continue with my Cisco certifications… makes it worthwhile when you can actually use it and you’re recognized for trying to better yourself and your skills.
Ok, I’ll shut up now… it just honestly hasn’t worn off yet 😀  It’s just nice to enjoy my job again… I highly recommend it.  Probably too much sometimes – but it’s hard to not share or hide it when you’re having a good time.  I make no apologizes if my happiness offends you.  I’m not trying to boast or anything… pretty much everything I put on here is for my own benefit.  Sometimes I’ll go back through this “Secret Public Journal” of mine to remind myself of where I’m going and where I’ve been.  If nothing else, it’s been an interesting trip so far.