The Onion (T-21)

is making me laugh the hell out loud.

The headline that is truly making me cry just by the headline alone though:
Butterfly Fuck-Swing Filled With Junk Mail

And there’s more, especially the video segments, which are so damn funny and so damn true to how news programs present the news. Some of the recent videos include a Congresswoman proposing a bill for a Ladies Night at the new DC country bar and a story on the crash of the Internet. Awesome. Go explore the Onion’s website and laugh like hell.

I Heart New York… (T-22)

…but definitely could have done without the completely ridiculous adventures I had getting there and coming back home.

So first, we all had a great time in Las Vegas! I didn’t lose all my money, ONLY half, which for me is a mighty accomplishment. It is actually due to me not playing craps the way I was supposed to be, and I lost my money accordingly. But the last night I was there, I played for 5 hours doing the things I was supposed to and outlasted tons of people at my table. It was sweet. But of course there was a lot of stuff that went on, but I’d rather wait till I put together all my pics and then do a proper Las Vegas update. So hold your horses on that, wouldya?

As for the debacle that is also known as my New York City interview trip… Well, let’s just say that if I don’t get a job offer, the signs were definitely there to back that decision up. So I was set to leave on the 7th of August, a Tuesday, from Colorado Springs, flying to Denver first, and then taking a direct flight from Denver to LaGuardia airport in New York, arriving around 6:30 in the evening. I was planning to check in to my hotel out near the airport and then take the train in to make sure I knew how long it would take to walk from the subway to 30 Rock, and also just to get a chance to be a tourist again in NYC and take some pictures (please note, I have NO pictures from NYC, so you now have an idea of how things went in the future…). I get to the check-in counter at Colorado Springs and the counter agent makes a face and goes, “Oh, that’s not good…”. Wonderful. I was beginning to think of my Puerto Rico travel nightmare, which up until these past two days was one of, if not THE worst, travel experience ever.

So why wasn’t that good? Because it turned out United (who I pledge to never fly again on if I can help it) had cancelled my flight from Denver to LaGuardia. No reason given, just cancelled. And the gate agent could not find any other flights to get me to NYC that day. She would get real real close to finding something, then nope, not available. We even tried going West first, going to LAX then maybe flying direct to NYC that way. Not happening. Finally, 30 minutes later, she found a way: Take my original flight from CS to Denver, then fly from Denver to Dulles Intl in DC, then Dulles to LaGuardia. But of course that many flights means I get there later – and yes, amazingly, all those flights actually flew as expected and I got to town around 11:45 pm. So sightseeing and studying my notes and reviewing stuff for the interview…didn’t happen. Then I thought I’d take the hotel courtesy shuttle from LaGuardia to the Holiday Inn Hotel I was staying at in Queens (btw, I was totally in Ugly Betty’s neighborhood). About 35 minutes later, the shuttle finally comes after I had called in a request to get picked up. So now I finally get to the hotel around 12:30 or so and then end up having to pay for the hotel room myself because the hotel needs to see the physical card that it was booked on, but of course I didn’t book it with a card of my own, GE Travel did. Whatever, I am hoping to get reimbursed for that. The cool part of the day was getting travel advice from the very New Yawker hotel guy Mike at the front counter, so I felt confident in getting into the city the next day and having plenty of time for an on-time arrival. So I get my clothes ready for the interview, and promptly pass out in my bed (which was in a suite, sweet!)…

….and wake up to the sound of torrential rain on my window around 6 in the morning. I think, “Oh great” but realize, okay, fine, I’ll take a cab instead like the NBC people had suggested. But I turn on the local morning news and find out that the rain had been part of a torrential storm that NYC hadn’t seen the like of in forever. Trains were stalled in floodwaters, tunnels were closed – the city’s transportation infrastructure was basically down to a standstill. Ohhh…..kay….. So I eat some breakfast (a bowl of cereal cause I was a bit nervous about the whole interview) and then get the front desk to call me a cab around 7:45 am to ensure I’d be down to 30 Rock by 10. I rush up to my room, change into my suit, pack everything fast, check out of my room, and realize I’ve just “hurried up and waited”. Because my cab didn’t show up till about 9:15am, because basically everyone in New York was cabbing it in to the city and there were no spare cabs around. So by this point, I figured there was no way in hell I was going to be on time, so I repeatedly called the POC who I was supposed to call in case of problems, and no answer any of the times. So I’m thinking I’m screwed. But I get in my cab, which turned out to be a towncar (leather seats, nice!!! – what a way to go to the city for an interview in a nice suit – I’m totally ready for NYC), and my crafty driver drove us through the back streets of Queens (to avoid the completely stalled Grand Central Parkway) and over one of the bridges into Manhattan and onto one of the highways at the perimeter of the island. Manhattan is huge. Anyways, after all that great speed and progress, the slowest part of the drive in ended up being while driving on 49th St from the shore towards 30 Rock, which is between 5th and 6th Avenues. By a miracle of God, I ended up at 30 Rock’s plaza at 10:05, which for all intents and purposes was on time. I walked briskly by all the hordes of tourists who wanted to go take the NBC tour and look at the Today Show’s windows and made it into the inner sanctum of the NBC elevators – and the interview began! But not before I realized I had no idea how to operate NY elevators – I got in one that was open and discovered there were no buttons inside to press. So I exited and figured it must be a private elevator or something. Then I see a guy get in another elevator and jump in with him. I was to go to the 2nd floor – we went to the 7th. There again were no buttons to press inside the elevator. I really began to think I was not nearly as sophisticated as I thought I was, and in fact quite a retard. Then it dawned on me – there was a bank of buttons off to the side of the many elevators that had numbers on them – and you press the number of the floor you want to get on there and then a little display tells you which elevator to wait in front of that will take you there. Definitely not what I was used to!

The guys who interviewed were totally cool about the small delay I had and didn’t seem to hold it against me. I ended up getting interviewed by 5 different people throughout the morning and afternoon (each on their own – it wasn’t a panel interview) and throughout the interview we would walk around to the main guts of the NBC broadcasting facility, which was amazing. The NORAD command center has nothing on this place, seriously. I saw where they put together and distribute all the feeds for each of the different time zones, as well as the ‘Live’ control booths where people monitor and edit the Today Show, NBC News live broadcasts, and Live Sports events. It was pretty cool. Anyways, I think the interviews ended up well (my recruiter called me this afternoon and said that he received positive feedback from the NBC folks today and that they liked me a lot….we’ll just see if that equates into a job offer). Around 2 though, I left from the 2nd building I had to go to (the last person was in a building on Madison Avenue, so I hoofed it over there looking like any other number of NY business folk) and decided against a cab this time as I still wanted to go on a subway. So I walked down Madison Avenue towards Grand Central Station – which was incredible. I was literally in one of the world’s most recognizable transportation centers, and it didn’t disappoint. So that was about the extent of my sightseeing – NBC and Grand Central Station – yes, that’s not a lot but that’s all the time I had. I did find the subway station I needed to go to and got on a train easy enough to take me right back to the Queens area near my hotel. Of course, the weather was ridiculously muggy now that it had rained all morning, so my suit was not exactly keeping me cool. But I got back to the 111th St & Roosevelt Ave station for Subway #7 and walked my way through definitely the most hispanic part of Queens I could have found, me, the white boy in a suit, strutting my way as if I had no care in the world. And honestly, there was nothing to care about at that point, as my interview was done and now I got to go home…..

….or did I? Basically, I got to LaGuardia and immediately saw that my departing flight from LaGuardia to O’Hare (another airport I will do my damndest to avoid if at all possible – that is the worst airport ever for delays, EVEN over Atlanta) had been delayed about a half hour. Okay, I should still have time to make my connecting flight from O’Hare to CS. So I check in, get through security, and find that LaGuardia is the worst airport ever for in-terminal food. Seriously. They had nothing, so I decided to go to Auntie Em’s pretzel place and the service people tell me that not only do they not have any food for another 10-15 minutes, the sodas from the fountain are almost hot. What….the…..FUCK???? So I tell them to go fuck themselves like a true New Yorker (okay, I didn’t do that, but in my head I did) and find a bakery-ish place and get a croissant and once again, a god-damn WARM bottled soda. But fine, I was thirsty, and wanted the soda. Anyways, I then discover that LaGuardia is the world’s worst airport for seats in the terminal. This place was a madhouse and apparently all the flights out had been delayed. Joyous. I do find a seat and soon realize that I’m sitting across from the Food guy from the Queer Eye guys. That was possibly the only highlight to the trip home. Because I soon realize that my flight has been delayed for not just a half hour, but a full hour and 15 minutes. That’s a potential problem. But I’ll play it by ear. So eventually we board the plane and as the plane taxis out, I nod off…only to wake up and realize we’re still not flying. At all. Then I hear the captain say that basically the ground traffic controller had directed us to one runway only to not let us take off and direct us to another! WTF? We finally get in the air around 7pm, a full 2 hours after I was originally supposed to leave, and unfortunately I had about 50 minutes for a layover in Chicago. So naturally when I get to Chicago I see I’ve not only missed my flight to CS, but there are no more for the rest of the evening, as by now it was around 9pm. I then go wait in the ridiculously long and slow customer service line to find out my options to get home. I see there’s still a Denver flight that leaves Chicago around 10:25pm….I may have a chance to get home on that, as I’d just ask a friend to come pick me up. So I slowly make my way through the line till it’s about 9:40pm – and the lady tells me that there’s no confirmed seats on that flight but did I want to know what I was rebooked on? I say, sure, thinking that if I can’t get on standby for tonight’s flight I’m surely going to get home the next morning. Well, she kind of chuckles in a way that means it’s about to preface bad news, and it was: not only was I not rebooked on any flights the next day (Thursday), I wasn’t going to be confirmed on any flights even on Friday (whether it be to Colorado Springs OR Denver)! Basically I couldn’t get a seat for sure until about Saturday. And because it was a weather delay from LaGuardia, United was not going to pay for a hotel. I think she realized how fucked this was so she signed me up for a United Mileage program which she told me entitled me to a higher position on the standby list (WHO KNEW?! So a lesson to all you out there, like me, who find that you fly standby a LOT more than you ever expected to, especially this summer! Sign up for those damn membership mileage programs, it’s in your best interest). So I walked over to the gate, praying to all the gods I could think of, to just get me home tonight. I did NOT want to spend the night at the airport. And amazingly, I ended up getting a seat and got to fly to Denver, where thankfully Jeff was willing to pick me up.

So seriously, the interview turned out to be the easiest part of my trip. And that doesn’t make much sense to me. But apparently I’ll hear back, yay or nay, by early next week if NBC is interested in making an offer. Cross your fingers.

Vegas, then New York City! (T-30)

I’m off to Vegas for a few days of fun and debauchery – then I’m off to NYC for my 2nd Interview with NBC!

I’ve been writing about my career search in the Shooting Gallery and will keep it up to date as things go down. NYC will definitely be an awesome opportunity, but if I can’t sell my house…it will be much easier honestly to stay here in Colorado, perhaps. Now that I’m exactly 30 days away from being out, well, it’s a lot more of a reality that I have to find a job!!!! Anyways, here’s the link again if you’re interested:
Shooting Gallery Thread on my Career Search

Besides working on finding a career, there hasn’t been much going on, to be honest. Especially since I was all Mr. Joe Travellots when I went to Chicago and San Diego. But this upcoming week will be interesting, for sure. And then it’s time to say ByeBye to Air Force. Crazy! In the meantime, I seriously can’t wait to go to Vegas – in store for that vacation: gambling, drinking, Hofbrauhaus, pool-lounging, dancing, etc. It’s gonna be awesome.

Anyways, just wanted to check in and let you know what I’m up to. I’ve been watching Big Brother 8 like a fiend as well and commenting on it in the Shooting Gallery here:
Shooting Gallery Thread on Big Brother 8

Also, I finally started posting on DVD Talk’s forums, specifically on Big Brother 8. I’ve been reading that site since 2000, and hadn’t posted until now – it’s a fun audience to discuss the show with, that’s for sure. Especially since no one here in my little crowd is willing to admit they watch the show!!!! Here’s the DVD Talk Big Brother 8 forum thread if you’re interested. They’re already up to 700 posts!!!

Back from San Diego (T-43)

Holy Shit! I really only have 43 days left in the Air Force. It’s actually hard to believe.

But at least the future looks decently bright! Why, you ask? Well, this last conference was a bit more successful than the one in Chicago, as in the industries I interviewed with were a lot more interesting. What was even more interesting for me though was that I was attracted most to the sales jobs that were being offered! I know, go figure. No, I wouldn’t be selling vacuum cleaners or the like, but rather technology. I think I did pretty well in those sales interviews as both companies are interested in having me on, and I think I’m on to the second round, but I’m not sure when I’ll be hearing from them next.

By the way, here’s a link to the Shooting Gallery’s forum link in which I keep as up-to-date as possible on my career search:
Shooting Gallery Thread on my Career Search

In addition to the opportunities found in San Diego, a real exciting opportunity may lie in New York City with NBC! Yep, I interviewed with them last Friday afternoon over the phone and while I wasn’t sure the interview was going very well, at the end of the conversation the interviewer invited me to come to an on-site interview! I hope that it’s not overly technical as in they sit me down in front of a computer and say, “Make it work”. But if it is, well, let’s hope I have my act together and do my best. I would LOVE to take an opportunity in that area for a few years. How exciting would that be???? I just hope it pays decently, if I were to be offered it.

It’s definitely been exciting the last few weeks!

In addition to job hunting this past weekend, I also got to see family! Yep, Mom and Harv came down to San Diego and visited with me on Saturday and a bit of Sunday before I headed off to the conference prep-session. I was staying at Auntie Helen and Uncle Steve’s house in La Mesa, so that saved a LOT of money to stay there and it was also a lot more fun to stay with family than at a boring (expensive) hotel. It was definitely a quick visit, but it was great to see them all. On Monday night, Helen and I went out to dinner with my cousin Erin and Eric plus their son Finn, which was great, as I really haven’t seen them since I don’t know when. And then on Tuesday, Helen and I went to the Indian casino at Viejas, which was quite impressive. It actually reminded me a lot of Red Rock Station – and the casino is definitely high-caliber as opposed to something found in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Just still no craps tables though. But I ended up playing blackjack and for about 4.5 hours, was able to play with $100 and while I was up and down throughout the session, I ended up walking away with a $10 profit! (and that is stellar for me, let me tell you!) I just hope that is a good sign of things to come in Vegas in a few weeks!

Oh yeah, I also had another travel debacle on the way home from San Diego. I was at the airport and going through security, and I was about 4 people back from the actual x-ray portion when my line pretty much stopped. The other lines were going still, and I started getting aggravated. As I started contemplating moving to another line, it dawned on me that then the other lines weren’t moving either. In fact, all sorts of TSA agents and cops started showing up and looking at the monitor on my line’s x-ray machine. And the lines stayed shut down for 2 hours. Yep, they shut down the lines plus also brought everyone in the terminal and some planes back outside to security for a re-screening! It turns out that a TSA agent had noticed a bottle of something in a woman’s bag while it was going through the machine, but somehow the TSA agent ‘lost track of the woman and the bag’….. WHAT THE FUCK????? How do you lose track of someone? If you notice that shit in a bag, you immediately pull that person over to the side and make them dump the bottle. But no, instead, you realize you ‘lost track’ of someone and that means we shut down the airport. Yes, it was fun. Fortunately there was a cool woman to chat with for two hours while we were waiting, but when I finally got to my plane and it took off, I didn’t make my connecting flight in Salt Lake City to Colorado Springs. Luckily I made it on the standby list for the next flight a few hours later, but seriously, how annoying was that? But I (and all my belongings) made it back to the Springs and my house was still intact. yay!

16 July 2007 – Dinner with Erin, Eric & Helen

16-Jul-2007 20:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
16-Jul-2007 20:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
16-Jul-2007 20:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
16-Jul-2007 20:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
16-Jul-2007 20:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

18 July 2007 – San Diego Airport

18-Jul-2007 11:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
18-Jul-2007 11:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec
 

And oh yeah, don’t bother me on Saturday. I plan on picking up and reading the last Harry Potter with absolutely no media connectivity till I’m finished reading it. I will NOT be spoiled by the well-intentioned or not media. If it takes me all day and a lots of pizza and soda to read it in one day, then that’s what it will take!!!!!!!

Addicted to WSoPC! (T-51)

I’ve actually got to pause for about 10 minutes shortly to play the online version of WSoPC (World Series of Pop Culture) – I could win $2500 if I answer all 25 questions right!

I do have a lot to report on though – well, it’s really just my overall thoughts of how Chicago’s hiring conference went; but also about what’s been going on with my job search since I’ve been back. These hiring conferences got me very motivated. But first, I’ve got some Chicago pictures to put up because I’ve been ordered to stop being lazy. After doing that, then I’ll get to the latest in my job search. And then finally, I’m going to sleep!

As you’ll see in the pics below, there’s a LOT of scenery shots. New city=takes lots of pictures’ scenery. BTW, the damn Trivia Dome online game on VH1 totally didn’t work tonight. LAME.

7 July 2007 aka 7/7/7 – Pics in Chicago on the Luckiest Day Ever

Our official photo at the Sears Tower
Our official photo at the Sears Tower
Driving on the highway from O'Hare to Chicago
Driving on the highway from O'Hare to Chicago07-Jul-2007 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
Another view
Another view07-Jul-2007 12:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Sears Tower in the distance
Sears Tower in the distance07-Jul-2007 12:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Street shot in the Armitage area
Street shot in the Armitage area07-Jul-2007 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
Jeremy in his vehicle that lived to see Chicago
Jeremy in his vehicle that lived to see Chicago07-Jul-2007 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
A pic towards downtown while walking (aimlessly) around town
A pic towards downtown while walking (aimlessly) around town07-Jul-2007 13:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
An actual Chicago EL station!
An actual Chicago EL station!07-Jul-2007 14:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.01 sec
 
While in the El train, looking towards the Hancock Tower
While in the El train, looking towards the Hancock Tower07-Jul-2007 14:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Better view of Hancock Tower
Better view of Hancock Tower07-Jul-2007 14:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
And a cool view of the Chicago River
And a cool view of the Chicago River07-Jul-2007 14:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
Had to actually look for the Sears Tower while on the ground - yes, it's tall, but hard to see when amongst lots of tall bldgs
Had to actually look for the Sears Tower while on the ground - yes, it's tall, but hard to see when amongst lots of tall bldgs07-Jul-2007 14:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
There it is!
There it is!07-Jul-2007 15:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
Me pointing at it - but it's so tall, you can't even see the top here
Me pointing at it - but it's so tall, you can't even see the top here07-Jul-2007 15:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
 

Okay, I’m a dirty liar. I don’t have the awakeness to write up all the other stuff going on. But perhaps I’ll have even more information to share at that time! Quick newsflash: I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it was excellent. Very good adaptation of one of the more difficult books, and I was thoroughly entertained!

See what happens when I watch random TV channels? I’m watching G4 to see stuff about the E3 show in Santa Monica and now this crazy ass show called Code Monkeys is on and I’m cracking the hell up. It’s in 8-bit graphics and is totally hilarious.

Since 2001 or so, sharing stuff