June 2009 Archives

Greetings, friends! Just checking in to give you a brief update on how things have been going now that I'm a "northerner" again.

The new job is going really well - I've jumped in with both feet and have two projects underway: an Exchange 2007 upgrade and a Remote Access Optimization project. Unfortunately, both start and finish around the same time, so that means I've got to really hit the ground running, as there's no time to waste.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the new job is that I actually have time for a life once again. I do have to wake up incredibly early every day - I'm staying with my folks and have a 1.5 hour commute each way every day. So, I wake up around 5:00am, run for 45-50 minutes, take a shower, and then drive to work in time to be there by 8:00am. We get an hour or so for lunch each day, and then we finish at around 5:00pm or "whenever your work is finished." Some people leave around 3pm, others around 4pm, and most folks around 4:30-ish. Since I'm new and I've got two major projects rocking, I stay until at least 5:00pm.

I've had an opportunity to enjoy some fish fry... ;-) Loyalists of the blog know how much I enjoy a good fish fry, so last Friday I went to the Esquire Supper Club for some ocean perch. Wow - it was delicious!

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After eating far too many plates of fish, I hit the restroom and learned a valuable lesson - never post your business card in the restroom of a bar. Why? Here's why:

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Not exactly "good advertising" for that poor guy.

Speaking of fish fry and favorite foods, one of my other favorite foods is cheese curds and a few of us went out after work the other night to grab some dinner together. We decided on The Great Dane, where I stuffed my gut with jambalaya, bacon pasta pizza, and cheese curds. The only photo that really turned out was the cheese curds picture:

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Look at those little nuggets of deep-fried dairy greatness. Yum. Unfortunately, I'll have to lay off of them for a bit; I discovered I've gained 5-lbs over the past 2 weeks! Eeeek! I'm not sure if it's water weight, but there's no denying I'm a bit heavier than I'd like to be. So, I'll have to cut out the cheese curds, the pizza, and the cookies for a while. Booo. Although, I deserve it - I've been on a terror lately... donuts from Greenbush, drinks at Capital Brewery, Culvers, and so on. Just proves that my metabolism hates me.

Finally, I ran a 10K race today. It was HOT.

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The race was supposed to start at 8:00am, which seemed late to me - most races start at 7:00am or earlier. But, the race was delayed due to road construction in the area... not the best idea to delay a 10K race when it's scheduled to hit 100F. Not to mention a bunch of people plan their nutrition and hydration around the scheduled start time... thankfully I'm a hack runner, so I just show up and plod my way through the course so the later start time didn't bother me too much.

I finished the race in 51:00 minutes. Averaged about an 8-minute mile - the course was slightly longer than 10K. It was getting pretty toasty near the end. Here I am after the race - I grabbed a volunteer and asked them to snap a picture.

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So, that's about it. I'll try better to update the blog on a regular basis, but the next few weeks or so will be busy, so I can't promise much. Between trying to ride my bike after work and catching up with people that I haven't seen in 10 years, the nights are fairly busy.

Back in WI

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So things didn't quite work out as planned in Austin... long story short, I'm in WI - I drove up here on Sunday, have been hanging out at my parent's house, and am enjoying life here in cheese country.

I had an opportunity to meet up with some friends tonight - I met with Jed and Kevin, two of my good friends from way back in the day when I used to work at Marquip. I haven't seen Kevin since sometime in 2005, and I haven't seen Jed since sometime in 2003, so it was great to catch up with them.

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We met at one of my all time favorite places, The Great Dane Brew Pub. We had a few beverages, and for dinner, I enjoyed some scrumptious fish tacos. Lightly breaded Tilapia, some pico, and a cute little habanero sauce made for some tasty eats. :-) I was going to go with the seared tuna and salad, but the fish tacos sounded better... I figure I'll run off the calories during my 4:30am morning run tomorrow. EEEK!

My new job is located a solid 60-odd miles from my parent's house, so I have to be on the road by 6:30am each day in order to arrive to work on time (7:45am). It's murder, but with any luck, I'll find a reasonably priced apartment in Madison before too long. The new job is going well - I'm already pretty busy, as evidenced by my calendar:

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Those "blocks" are meetings and/or events that I have to attend this week. They have a few nice projects already assigned to me, so I've been busy getting acclimated with the new company and my responsibilities. It's nice to be busy, but even nicer to still have a life... Trigger Point was a wonderful opportunity, but the hours, low pay, and constant stress were too much to handle.

With the new job, I arrive at work by 7:45am each day, and am done by 4:15pm. Just in time to enjoy one of these:

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:-)

Nah, that won't happen too often, but today was amazing - it was about 70F outside, slightly overcast, with a light breeze - absolutely enjoyable. We all sat outside, talked about the good 'ole days, and had a blast. I really enjoyed seeing Jed, Kevin, John, and Tiffany (my brother and his wife). I can't wait to do it again.

I'll definitely miss Austin, but I won't miss Texas, if that makes any sense. Nor will I miss the 16-18 hour workdays, constant stress, and crummy, over-priced rat-hole apartment. Word of advice: if you're looking to rent a place in Austin, avoid Woodmoor at all costs.