Back to school (going back, back to school)

Today is a day of minimal productivity. Nothing’s getting done from an actual work perspective.

Now, if you consider spending the whole day trying to cram as much NCAA basketball info as possible into your head to be productive, then I’m having a banner fucking day.

Join the pick pool. The link is above and, due to complaints from the masses; I have included the league ID number. Again, I don’t care if you don’t know what the whole stink is about. It’s easy. Pick teams to win games. I plan to have Shmuppie pick a set. She’s likely to beat my picks.

I didn’t get the job at Company A. They said I was very qualified and would have done a great job. They said they found someone a little bit better. OK…can’t argue with that. So, we move on. Maybe Company I will come through, but I doubt it. Back to square one I shall go. But, it’s still OK. I think I mentioned it already, but RedVendor is now hot after me. They basically assume I’ll be working for them come July. It may not be optimal, but it will be a steady paycheck. And that’s a good thing.

I’m sun burnt. It was like summer here all weekend so we went to a local lake on both Saturday and Sunday. I’m all burnt-like. What I should do is post a topless picture of myself and put it here. Not because I want people to throw up, but because it’s funny. And it’s not funny just because I look like the disastrous result of Human/Wookie breeding, but because I’m striped. Because I have a flabby underbelly, when I sit in a beach chair and read, parts of me start folding under other parts. Those folded under parts don’t see the sun. Hence, the alternating red and white stripes no my torso. It’s quite amusing. In a scary way. But, all for a good cause I guess. The weekend was glorious. The weather was unfairly nice. I shant complain.

I should go do some work, but A: I don’t care and 2: I need to figure out which bracket is going to collapse. Usually, UConn’s bracket has a way of doing so. I’m usually quite happy about that. I won’t be shocked if neither UConn nor Duke makes the Final 4. UConn, this season especially, has a tendency to play down to competition and just lollygag their way through games. I’m honestly not in the mood for any shit like that. I’d like a nice, clean run to the title. Then, I can hang a flag outside the house and moon my neighbors.

DUCK FUKE!

Nothing remains quite the same.

2nd interview with Company I yesterday. IT went very well, but I don’t think I’ll get the job. After the first, they seemed a little disorganized. Yesterday, I met a Regional VP and he really explained what they want out of the position. It’s more than a production manager who runs from fire to fire. They want someone, in his words, to be at “10,000 feet” and watch the operation and make improvements to the process. I think I could do it well. But, they brought in 10 people for 2nd looks. They’ll whittle that to 2 and go from there (likely with a trip to Atlanta to see their main offices).

The guy conducted a very thorough interview and I think I did well. At the end, he told me that if this didn’t work out, that someone with my skills and poise should be able to find a great job in the Raleigh area. (That was my hint that I may not make the cut).

Looks like Company A dried up. I’ll contact the recruiter again to see if she’s got anything else in the works.

You never know.

Also, the General Manager of RedVendor’s site in PA emailed me yesterday to tell me that when I was up there next week (by the way…I’m at home next week) that we should get dinner and discuss life after HealthCareRelatedCompany. Could be something, but I get the feeling it would be an “on the road” job. I’d take something in the interim if the alternative was unemployment, but I don’t need to be away from home all the time.

Seatbelts on, everybody…

I, however, have a real problem on my hands. This is serious.

Yesterday, UConn lost to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament. I may be to blame. I’m trying to figure out if it was me or someone else who caused them to lose. I hope I didn’t do it. How could I cause them to lose, you ask? Well, if you’re even asking, you’re not much of a sports fan. See, my “rooting rays” don’t seem to be properly calibrated to the new house yet. I watched the game from in the office. This room seems to have bad mojo. I won’t watch another game in here…ever. And, my good luck chair and ottoman were destroyed in the flood. I watched the ’99 finals from that ottoman, rocking back and forth like an autistic person. So, I don’t know where to watch this year’s tournament. They staged a nice comeback against LSU while I was kinda hanging off the blue couch back in January. But, I had to keep like my shoulders on the sofa and then hang my torso in mid-air. My legs were on the coffee table. Think I’m crazy? All I have to say is that it worked. It’s quite uncomfortable, so I’m hoping it was someone else who caused them to win that game. I’ll try out the early rounds next week from a new seat. But, if they need me, I’m back to hanging my ass out in mid air.

This and next week are my favoritest times of the year. Next Thursday and Friday are my 2 favorite days of the year. And, for the first time since high school, I’ll be home for them. I may go buy a wireless router this weekend just to be able to watch on the better TV in the family room. It’s all basketball, all the time for me. Today, I have the ACC and Big 10 on at Noon (I’ll watch Duke from the office in hops that they lose). Patriot finals at 4:30 and more ACC and Big East tonight. You can only imagine how excited JewelrySlut is. Saturday is a kid’s night out at the Y. We didn’t sign Shmuppie up because UConn was supposed to be playing Villanova. SHIT! To make matters worse by a facto of a billion, the cheap airfare hit this week. I would have flown up to NJ on Saturday morning. My father and I would have gone into the city and scalped tickets. But, no…they were going to Ft Lauderdale this weekend. Naturally, they cancelled the trip because my mother’s sick.

SHIT! Not only do I miss out on the Big East, I miss out on Linguine Estoril at the Estoril Sol. It’s a restaurant on 8th Ave at 29th Street. It’s where we eat when we go to the Garden. Ugh..

Buckle up again…

I made mention the other day of Shmuppie’s upcoming adventures. Yup…she’s going to Bermuda. Why? You ask. I’ll tell you.

When we go to St. John in August, we need someone to watch the kid. She’s not invited. The plan was for my mother to come down here (we’d pay the airfare and everything) and have her spend a week with the kid. As of January, she was all for it. They’d play in the pool and make little trips in the area. It sounded too good to be true because it was.

From there, it began evolving into: Can Shmuppie come up to NJ for the week? Fine…

Then it became: Can Shmuppie come up to NJ and then we’ll take her on a cruise to the Caribbean?

Then I said: WHAT!

My mother apparently dreams of taking the kid on a cruise. But, we were powerless to do anything. I mean…who would watch the kid? So, last weekend, I started looking up cruises for the week we’d be away. I found a Sun-Fri that goes out of NJ and goes to Bermuda. It’s the shortest thing available. At this point, we don’t think we care. Shmuppie is either going to love it or be insufferable. We’ve tried to warn my mother, but she’ll have nothing of it. I keep trying to explain that she’s only going to be 4 and spending $1500 to take her on a 5 day cruise may not be a prudent expenditure of capital. Of course, my mother then launches into the “Well, your father and I want to take her away with us when we travel. She’ll need a passport” She’s only 4. As I said “you could put her in front of a mirror all week and she’d be just as amused. She’s only 4″

So, we now have to figure out how to get the kid to NJ. My mother’s plan was originally to have her fly down here, get the kid, fly back and they return her a week later. Well, that changed. Now, apparently, she’ll drive to DC and stay with my brother. JewelrySlut will then drive the kid to DC, drop her off and come home. When we get home, she repeats the trip. The only problem is that JewelrySlut has sworn never to drive from here to DC ever again. So, is it worth $300 to buy 3 R/T tickets on Southwest and have them shuttle back and forth to Baltimore? It may be.

If I’d known this was going to be the case, I could have adjusted for it. We’re flying from RDU-ATL-STT. We meet up with ChurchBomber and MerlotMan in ATL. They come down from EWR and we all go to STT on the same plane. I could just as easily have booked the 3 of us up to EWR earlier in the week, gotten on the same flight to ATL and just come back to NJ. We’d get the kid and fly home. I would have finagled my SkyMiles to make it work. But nooooo, we had to change our plans. I’m not happy.

Am I bitching when I shouldn’t? Yup.

Is my mother watching our kid for a week while we go “get drunk and screw” on St John? Yup.

But, I could have planned for it and not needed to either send my wife on a 13 hour odyssey to DC or have to shell out more money for plane tickets. That’s the kicker. The change in plans that was never really considered beyond my mother saying “I want to take My Peach on a cruise”. So it shall be. We’ll be in St John, and they’ll be on a ship. We’ve warned my mother, the rest is up to her.

Time to go. I should pretend to do some work now. I actually have a little of it to do today. Otherwise, I have to get to the gym and drown myself in basketball.

PS: Join the freakin Pool. Click the picture at the top of the page just like it says and you go straight to the entry page. JOIN NOW!!!

It don’t give no warning signs

I got some strange emails in the old inbox today, so I thought I’d share them.

From: Your Arms (yourarms@nogooddaddys_body.com)
To: NoGoodDaddy
Subject: What the fuck was that?

Hi,
It’s us. Your arms. Remember us? Yea. Your arms. Um. Wanna tell us what happened yesterday? We’re a little confused. We thought we had a deal. After the knee decided to become the center of attention, we thought that we’d decided to never lift anything heavier than a glass of wine. That was the deal, wasn’t it? Because, getting back in the water never was in the agreement. Sure, you had us fooled for the first 100 yards. That was slick of you sneaking back into the pool while we were napping. Nicely done. But, you’d better not try that shit again any time soon or what you’re feeling today is just the tip of the pain iceberg.

Fuck You,

Your Arms

From: Your Quads (yourquads@nogooddaddys_body.com)
Cc: Your Hamstrings (yourhamstrings@nogooddaddys_body.com)
To: NoGoodDaddy
Subject: Thanks!

Hey Big Guy,
Thanks for the day off. We’ll admit that we’ve been feeling a little abused lately. We mean, enough with the biking and the weights. But, that was sweet. Back in the water again. No vertical resistance. It was cool. The kicking thing was nothing. We really appreciate the break and look forward to going back to our old selves.

One thing though. LeftKnee was talking about you. We don’t want to start anything between you two again, but be careful.

Thanks, dude!

Your Quads

From: LeftKnee (leftknee@nogooddaddys_body.com)
To: NoGoodDaddy
Subject: I’m warning you

Dude,
Don’t make me go visit my friend Lateral Condyle again. Didn’t like that, did ya? So don’t fuck with me. That little trick I played when you got out of the pool? Nothing. You know what I’m capable of. Do not fuck with me. I will fuck you so hard; you’ll wish you were never born. I’m telling you, you don’t mix in some time in the gym we are going to have problems.

You’re on notice,

LeftKnee

See…really strange emails. I’m not sure what to make of them. I mean, how did they open the accounts?

Anyway…if you read this drivel and have not yet signed up for the NCAA basketball pool, do so now. Like I care if you don’t know anything. Let’s be honest here, this is all about me and Smed duking it out, but it will be fun. Sign up!

Not much else happening. Still waiting for the 2 places to call back for further interviews. I should head from Company A in the next day or 2, and will probably call Company I tomorrow if I have not heard back. I still really don’t know which direction I would prefer. It’s quite possible that neither liked me; hence rendering my decision process null and void. I answered an ad today for a Project Manager, and the recipient had an “@duke.edu” extension on her email. I seriously would consider not taking a job at Duke because it’s at Duke. Have I mentioned that I hate Duke? Or, I’d just show up for an interview decked out in my UConn garb just to be an asshole. Probably won’t have to worry about it in any case.

I’ve started coming to a startling revelation. I’ll share it with you. While JewelrySlut was away, I slept really well. Lately, we haven’t been doing so. Then, she got home and we were not sleeping well again. Then last night, we slept like babies. I think I’m on to something, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. It seems that when we DON’T drink, we sleep well. When we do, we toss and turn all night and are both very hot. So, do we cut back on the sauce or start taking drugs to stay awake all day? I’m asking for your input here, people. I rely on your sound judgment in such matters.

It’s supposed to be in the 80′s here this weekend. I wanted to share that with everyone because it will not be in the 80′s up in Hackettstown, NJ.

It’s almost time to go. Remind me to tell you all about how my mother is taking my daughter to Bermuda on a cruise ship…this August.

I don’t need to sleep tonight, do I?

Climb too fast and shove too hard, You’ll be pushin’ up the daisies in the old boneyard

My adventures in bachelorhood are over. And, not a moment too soon.

I managed not to hurt myself in the time between Tuesday and yesterday, but not for lack of trying.

See, I locked myself out of the house on Wednesday. That’s not a good thing to do when your wife is 500 miles away. Not that she’d have been able to do anything for me, seeing as her keys were in the house at the time. But, I locked myself out of the house and had to figure out a way back in. I’d done it a few weeks ago, but was smart/stupid enough to have left one of the basement doors unlocked. However, since then, I’ve always taken care to lock those doors. Oopps.

So, I was headed out to the Y for my noon-time anger relief valve known as a stationary bike. It does wonders for me when HealthCareRelatedCompany is making me want to cry. So, I gathered up my gym bag and phone. I also had some garbage to take to the dumpster. I locked the door, pulled it shut and stepped outside. No sooner than I got to my car, it dawned on me…”Hey asshole. Your keys are inside.” Oh shit.

I had just closed the basement doors so I knew they were locked. Fortunately, after the last episode, JewelrySlut said that she would have used the ladder out back to climb up to the deck and hop over the railing and go in one of those doors.

(For reference, the house is on a hill. The basement is a walkout, but the deck that’s off of the main floor of the house is one story above ground level. The doors from the deck are always unlocked.)

So, I trudged out back to get AP. AP is the name of our ladder. It was my grandfather’s (his initials were AP) and is older than dirt. It’s an old wooden ladder that has been living outside since June. Basically, it’s not exactly the sturdiest of ladders, but it has sentimental value. This is also a good time to discuss the topography of the back patio. Under the deck is a cement slab. From the deck to the back of the little fenced in “yard” is a ground-level deck. The only problem is that there’s a huge tree growing along one of the side fences and its roots have buckled the decking. It’s quite slanty. In fact, we want to talk to our neighbor to get the tree cut down. We want to flatten the ground, rip out the decking and sod the little yard. We think it would be cute to have a little 12′ X 12′ piece of grass out there.

So, back to the ladder. I got it out, scraped off the growth, and put it alongside the deck. It was about as straight as Johnny Weir (I can’t resist making Johnny Weir jokes). I scaled it and got to the top. The deck was within reach, but kinda farish away.

I’ll also note that the deck is a little on the old side. When we moved in, it would sway back and forth when you walked on it. It was so bad that you’d almost get seasick on it. We had it reinforced from below, but it’s still not exactly what I’d call sturdy.

I was scared of scaling the railing. I was quite sure that either my knee or the rail would go and I’d fall to my death. I climbed down and put the ladder under the deck. As I climbed it, I popped out from under it and was a lot closer to the railing. This was better, but not good. I still had to turn around and figure out how to climb over the railing. All the while, the ladder is wobbling and creaking. And, to make matters worse, there are 2 wooden crates on the deck that hold JewelrySlut’s plants during the summer. I had to decide to either use them or kick them aside. I opted for “use”. Not a good idea.

I was going to stack them up and step up to them from between the slats of the railing. I figured that would start me off higher, hence lessening the climb over the railing. So, I stacked them and stood on the top crate. It promptly started cracking. I guess it was never meant to hold me. I had visions of my foot falling through, me losing balance and falling. I’d be hanging by my stuck foot because the crate would somehow lodge up against the railing. In the end, I’d die.

So, I moved the crates aside. The only way I was doing this was all in one shot. I’d have to step off the ladder with my left leg (the bad one) and swing my right knee up and over the railing. I figured I had about .1 seconds to do this before the wood remembered it was rotting away in the North Carolina sun.

Somehow, I managed to do it. Judging from the pain that radiated out from my testicles, it was not a graceful move. But I made it and lived to see another day.

Yesterday I changed the locks on the front door and hid the spare key out back. I’ll need it.

On another note, the job search seems to be going well. I had 2 interviews last week and expect call backs on both for 2nd interviews.

Company A is a small printer about 20 minutes away. They’re looking for a production manager/ general manager. I’d have 10 people working under me and I’d have full authority over them. My background fits them well. I know their product mix and have a lot of experience with the vendor they use for their electronic storefronts. At my last job, I set up 3 of these “stores” and know their system inside and out. They seem like a good shop and want a person who, in the face of adversity, will work to solve problems through process improvement rather than going out to run a press. I’ve done that at HealthCareRelatedCompany, so I feel confident I could do it there. The whole “managing 10 people” thing is a little daunting though. That’s where I have almost no real experience. I’ve done some supervising and managing, but never was the MAN. Here, I would be. The salary is good and the benefits and hours are also good. I think it would be a challenge, but life ain’t supposed to be easy. They’re growing and need someone to get the shop in order to be able to take on more production.

I went to Company I on Friday. They’re a smaller printer than Company A, but are looking for a production manager also. They have a cool mix of products and are also growing. They seem a little more “fly by the seat of their pants” and I think they want someone to come in and corral things a little bit. They almost seem to be growing too quickly. They need to be better organized. I’d report in to a general manager, so I’m not entirely sure of the structure and what that person would do. But, they seem like a cool place and they’re right up there from a technology standpoint. They print some cool stuff. They also have one HUGE, and I can’t stress exactly how HUGE this is, thing going for them. They’re 2 minutes from RDU and right in the flight path. You can almost see the people on the planes as they go overhead. I could see myself working there and saying things to myself like “Hmmm…that’s odd. It looks like Continental 1226 is 3 minutes late today. I wonder why?” Or “The wind must be blowing from the West today because we’re having fewer flights overhead.” Basically, I’d be in airline nerd heaven.

Then, there’s HealthCareRelatedCompany. I’m still scheduled to be let go at the end of June. I’m looking for a job now because, I’m probably going to be on the road for all of May and June and don’t feel like doing all that if the end result is unemployment. Of course, on Friday, someone on the finance side of my project sent an email that got everyone thinking. RedVendor plans to charge us $200 per print job that requires someone to set it up and perform the data merge.

That’s really my main job…setting up jobs like those. The vas majority of our work is mainframe-driven, so that step is taken care of in advance. But, I’ve been building an empire. See, last May, when they tried to do away with me, my customers went bonkers. If we go and tell them that it’s going to cost $200 + the cost of the job to do the work that they get today for free, they’ll go bonkers again.

RedHead and TiniVP were on the email on Friday. It essentially said “If we do the data merging ourselves, we stand to save $150000 per year”. I called the guy and kinda broke the bad news to him. I had to tell him that I’m scheduled to be terminated in June and as I go, so goes the data merging. I didn’t put this out there in an email; instead, I chose to sit and wait. I got the call at 4:30 from RedHead. Turns out that they all got their calculators out and realized that my salary and $150000 have a lot of dollars between them. They surmised that if they keep me, I can do the pre-print work and still save a lot of money. But…I don’t know if I want the job anymore. I’m bored as hell lately and the project is sapping my life away. The mainframe people are not cooperating. The people who run the check writing programs are griping to their bosses that I’m bothering them. (When RedHead told me this I responded with “If they don’t start working on this, their checks will not print. Do you understand? They will NOT PRINT. No checks = no HealthCareRelatedCompany.”) The whole thing is a mess.

What I’d love would be to really learn more about jobs A and I. If one looks like a good fit, and were I offered a job, I’d take it. Hell, I may take one even if it’s not a great fit and then go a-negotiating with the folks in NJ. Or, I could take one, and then tell HealthCareRelatedCompany that I’ll do the pre-print work for them for $50 a pop. That would be the easiest $750 – $1000 a week I could hope for. I don’t think they’d go for it, but it would be worth asking.

So, in a nutshell, things are looking good. The ladies are back and both look good after a week in the FLA sunshine.

Now I need to go start cooking dinner. I think I’m making some sort of Creole chicken and sausage stew. I have some chopping to do.