Interviewing Madness!!! (T-53)

This is NOT for the faint of heart and the easy-to-stress.

I should know, because I was pretty damn nervous this morning when I woke up. But like I knew I would, once I got into my first interview, the battle face gets put on and I was fine. In fact, there was so little time to actually think about things after that point. I’m actually done with 4 of the 6 interviews already; I started at 8:30, had a brief break, then just had 3 interviews back-to-back. And it’s amazing how different the interviewing styles were. One guy talked a bit and then basically wanted me to ask all the questions (I was NOT prepared, mentally, to have to do that, so I was definitely having to pull random questions out of my ass!); one guy was all buddy buddy with me and seriously while in the middle of laughing launches into serious-face and peppers me with all the standard interview questions (that was a bit off-putting, to say the least; I hope I handled it well); The other two interviews were done by two people each, and in each of them, I think they turned the A/C off as I was sweating like a damn pig. Wearing a suit is not exactly like wearing shorts, and combined with nervousness and no A/C, well, there you go.

This has definitely been an interesting experience. I’m not sure how much of a fit I am to the jobs they’re openly advertising; I’ve basically had to explain that although I’m obviously IT-biased, I can still do the jobs they’re looking for. In the process of some of these interviews though, the interviewers have mentioned more IT-directed positions, which is awesome. One was even being in charge of a company’s entire IT division (but not starting till November). That would be pretty damn cool. Anyways, I’ll be back in a little bit!

————-WENT TO INTERVIEW #5—————————————————–

OMG LOL! (T-57)

For those of you not in the know, the above is shorthand for Oh My God Laughing Out Loud.

And here’s why I’m laughing out loud: I just came back from the Peterson AFB Med Clinic because I wanted them to check out a weird mole-y thing I have on my front waist area. I first show the nurse what I’m talking about and then she leaves; the doctor comes in about 20-25 minutes later and I stand up and show him, which requires me to pull the waistband of my BDUs down a little bit but not that much. Anyways, he takes a look at the mole thing and it turns out to be another damn cyst, which isn’t harmful but it is a tad annoying. Apparently my body likes to make those. So that’s a relief and as I’m buttoning up my BDU pants, the Doc segueways and says, “So, do you want to show me your penis?” I kinda stop what I’m doing, and look up at him with my most ‘WTF’ look I can give him. He sees the confusion in my face and continues, “No, seriously, while you’re here, you might as well.” What the hell is he talking about? Am I getting cruised? After my initial shock, I politely respond, “No, I’m good”. He then starts to realize something isn’t right here and says that his assistant said that I was visiting him for a penis thing. I reassure him that the mole was the only thing I was trying to get looked at. Then it really dawns on him what he’s been saying to me, and he goes, “Oh, I swear, I’m not trying to hit on you!” Thanks, Doc. So he starts just laughing, embarassed, and then starts retelling the story to all his nurses in his office, which cracks them all up and the more I think about it as I’m walking out, I’m freakin’ laughing my ass off as I’m leaving the clinic. It was just his matter-of-factness about the whole thing that made it hilarious.

Anyways, that was my funny of the day. I can’t believe I’m leaving for Chicago in a few days. I talked to one of the conference coordinators today and they gave me a preliminary list of those companies I’ll be interviewing with – some of them I’m interested in and some I’m not sure what kind of role I could play. I wrote myself an email after doing some preliminary research and I’ve put it below so you too can see what the Midwest opportunities look like. I wonder if this will be similar to what I can expect in San Diego? Like I said before, I’m using this mainly as a practice session; but if the opportunity and the actual position are interesting, then I may change my tune.

HOLYCRAP – Jenny totally warned me earlier this week but I totally forgot that BIG BROTHER 8 is starting tonight!!!!!!!! SET YOUR DVRs!!!!

RESEARCH EMAIL TO MYSELF FROM WORK:

You did some preliminary research on each one and found a website for each; also, you figured out some interesting facts about each one that may prove useful in the interviews. Here they are:

JF Ahern:
Website: http://www.jfahern.com/index.html
What I can figure out: A Fire Protection technology manufacturer that is primarily focused on the Midwest region of the United States. It looks to be definitely a manufacturing/industrial company; not sure what I could bring to the table here, to be honest. Need to do more research and also see what position is being offered.

CITGO:
Website: http://www.citgo.com/Home.jsp
What I can figure out: Obviously, this is the petroleum products giant. They not only make fuels for cars and high-performance applications, but they also are involved in plastics and asphalt production. Again, much like JF Ahern, I’d have to see what position is actually being offered. But in this case, it’s because it’s such a huge company, I am not at all certain as to what they are in need of – looking at their online listings, it ranges from financial, managerial, engineering, IT, etc. Definitely a global presence, so perhaps that is a possibility for travel. Have to wait and see what is being offered on Monday.

BVR Technologies:
Website: http://www.bvraero.com/about/
What I can figure out: Looks to be an aviation-type manufacturer; I think they make the parts that go into what the big guys (Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc) overall manufacture, as they say they’re involved in commercial and military endeavors. But since I have not heard of them before, I assume they are part of the ‘guts’ of a plane, and not the overall plane designers. They are located only in Rockford, Illinois, which is almost smack-dab in the middle of Illinois. It appears to be a smaller company, but since it is involved in the aviation industry, I’m sure it’s lucrative. They are a subsidiary of EsterLine Aerospace and Defense, so perhaps it’s possible to
move around in the company. Again, don’t know what they’re looking for, and not sure what I can offer them yet.

TAMKO Building Products:
Website: http://www.tamko.com/
What I can figure out: A large and (seemingly the) industry leader of
making construction materials; used to be just roofing but now is involved in much of the materials that go into buildings. They are a national company. While reading the website, it became overwhelmingly obvious that they are wholly invested in the Six Sigma methodology of Quality Improvement. Memories of Total Quality Air Force came flooding back when reading this. Like I said, it definitely will pay off to come across as somewhat knowledgeable about Six Sigma, so here’s the Wikipedia link to it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Sigma. Be prepared to answer intelligently about this at an interview because of how overwhelming they have drunk the Kool-Aid.

Sterigenics International:
Website: http://www.sterigenics.com/sterigenics_international/Home.aspx
What I can figure out: A global company that focuses on the sterilization aspect of the healthcare industry, food safety and advanced applications. Who knew such a company existed? But it does, and the fact that it’s globally-known and an industry leader is very interesting. They offer many products, but one of the ones that caught my eye was an online portal called WebVantage
(http://www.sterigenics.com/SiteFiles/Library/Information%20And%20Answers%20
24-7%20WebVantage.pdf
) that allows companies to conduct their quality assurance/sterilization auditing (which looks to be FDA-mandated) through that portal by inputting data/relevant information. This effectively saves the customer the trouble of either paying someone to come to them or having to go somewhere to do this. The interactiveness I have not witnessed just yet, but I am intrigued.

– Littelfuse
Website:
http://www.littelfuse.com/cgi-bin/r.cgi/en/index.html?LFSESSION=8SZCb1zBvr
What I can figure out: Littelfuse makes circuit protection devices that help protect circuits from electric overload. Apparently Littelfuse’s products are in almost everything that has a computer chip in it, from automobiles to PCs to production equipment. It is very expansive. I did read their quarterly report and while their sales aren’t going down, they are staying level with last year’s, despite predictions for an increase in 2007. Not sure if that is a ‘sign’ of anything, but it makes you wonder. This is a global company as well, so there are perhaps opportunities on a worldwide scale.

– Kraft
Website: http://www.kraft.com/default.aspx
What I can figure out: Yes, this is that Kraft. It’s a freakin’ huge
company and #2 in the world in food production. You probably already know as much if not more than I do about the company; it’s involved on such a huge scale that I really don’t have a guess as to what they are looking for just yet. Could be IT, could be just management, etc. But it looks to be an interesting company to work for.

– Smurfit-Stone
Website: http://www.smurfit.com:8080/content/
What I can figure out: A leader in the development and production of packaging products, typically on an industrial level. Think cardboard boxes. But it looks like they are also making in-roads on the Supply-Chain model, as they are incorporating RFID technology into their products, as well as developing RFID displays for retail, that enable client companies to better track inventory and ensure inventory is managed/ordered on an as-needed basis. That is a very interesting aspect of what they do that would make me interested in working at this company.
So it definitely seemed that while I was a bit underwhelmed at first with the names of companies given, after doing some research, many of these companies would be pretty damn cool to work for. I’m not so sure about what my role would be at some of these places, but some, it’s not too hard to see where I might be able to fit in. Plus, I’m interested in traveling, and some of these companies look like that would be something that is possible to do.

Listed (T-59)

Spent this morning officially listing my house on the market. Time to sell sell sell.

Also went to work for about an hour. It was cool. Then we had a going-away luncheon for TSgt Iannotti – he is a pretty cool guy and it will suck to see him leave. Afterwards I went to Best Buy and Men’s Wearhouse – I got my suit pressed for free there (it’s a nice perk) in preparation for my Chicago trip and also ended up getting another white dress shirt, another ‘power’ tie, and a cool ivory lightweight sweater. As I was asking about recommendations for taking a suit on a flight, the clerk showed me this awesome travel bag that is basically a rolled-up suitcase that protects your suit from getting creases, holds your ties securely, and has room for two pairs of dress shoes. SWEET. So I totally bought it.

Anyways, yesterday I wanted to update on the fact that I had gotten in touch with a few people from my past that I hadn’t talked or written to in a while. First I heard back from my old boss at Nellis – I had asked him to be a reference as I need to compile those before heading out for my interviews. Then I had been talking to Robbie the other day and he mentioned that a guy I used to work with at Kelly was in the Reserves now and was down in San Antonio: Keith Piwowarski. I hadn’t heard from him in forever and so I sent him an email a few days back to see how he was. From what Robbie said and how his email sounded, it sounds like he’s doing good and hasn’t changed too much. It would be interesting to talk to him again. And finally, I got back in touch with Dave Fox again after nearly 2/3ds of a year. I’m so glad to have talked to him again – he really was an awesome friend to have out in Vegas, and it looks like I may get a chance to hang out with him on the Sunday night I’m out there in Vegas and play some craps. Let’s just say I’ll follow his lead on craps – the man has done well. 🙂 He also helped me out with some contacts on possible jobs out in Las Vegas. As I have been alluding to recently, I would really like to live back there again. With my clearance, it probably won’t be hard. But I’m jumping way ahead of the gun (mixed metaphor?). I really need to see how these next two weekends go. I’m not against seeing the opportunities available in the Chicago area nor back in LA. But I also know I want Plans B – Z at the ready just in case.

Here’s a picture of newly reorganized living room. I ended up moving it around because of my realtor’s suggestion to open up the room more, and damn, I should have had her come over earlier. I freakin’ love that room now as it’s so much more of an open space to go into and relax. I also cleaned the carpets in the high traffic area near the porch door, so that room is immaculate. I really hope this house sells sooner than later!

Oh, and before we get to that pic, I have put up DAY SIX OF THE EUROPEAN PHOTO PICS. This page has a lot of Crepeau shots at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, plus our Paris Lunchtime cafe fun. Good times!

AFTER:

070703---Redone-Living-Room

BEFORE:

Okay, so you can barely see it in this picture. But I found out I didn’t take any pictures of it in its ‘before’ state. Go figure.

060108---2---Furnished-nook

 

Photo Download (T-61)

There’s plenty to catch you up on, but I also have a task ahead of me: get these damn photos up on the site.

Well, first and foremost, my best friend Jeremy has gone back to Illinois for a sweet job and for a great change of pace. It definitely sucks that he is gone, but I think that in the long run it’ll be for the best. He was a blast to have around though, and he’ll be missed.

In other news:

– I’m fully booked the next two weekends for hiring conference goodness. The first conference is this upcoming weekend – I’ll be flying out to Chicago on Saturday afternoon and return on Tuesday afternoon. I don’t know anything yet about who I’ll be interviewing with, but honestly, and between you and me, I am not all that interested in that area to work and live in. If the opportunity is awesome, then I’ll have to rethink, but this is mostly a chance to practice interviewing and visit Chicago. Like I said, I’m still going to do my best to knock the interviews out of the park, but I think I’m mainly focused now on what is scheduled for the weekend following: a trip to San Diego for another hiring conference. That’s the one I’m hoping pans out, as it will include opportunities for the entire West Coast and Las Vegas. The more I think about it, the more I’d LOVE to go back to Vegas now. Weird, isn’t it? I was so done with that city. Or so I thought. I think I was just done with the job and needed a change. But the area, its conveniences, …gambling…, closeness to LA, …well, it’d be cool to go back. Speaking of which…

– Finally made the Las Vegas trip a concrete event – heading out there the first weekend of August and staying at the Flamingo this time – in one of the newly renovated rooms that are now called the GO rooms. Totally swank, with multiple plasma HDTVs around and all sorts of upgrades. It’s gonna be SWEET. Can’t wait to use the pool too, not to mention gamble gamble gamble!

Alright, so I really didn’t have ‘plenty’ to catch you up on. Here are some pictures to make up for my grievous lie:

So yes, I know this first set of pics is awful late in coming. But they’re cool to look at.

24 May 2007 – Went to visit the Royal Gorge with Dad and Pat

Dad at the bridge road
Dad at the bridge road24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 400
The trademark point
The trademark point24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Dad walking to the bridge
Dad walking to the bridge24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Dad likes to point too
Dad likes to point too24-May-2007 11:46, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Nice picture of the bridge over the 1000-ft deep gorge
Nice picture of the bridge over the 1000-ft deep gorge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
There's dad walking across the bridge
There's dad walking across the bridge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
A nice vertical panorama of the gorge from the bridge
A nice vertical panorama of the gorge from the bridge24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
Detail of the bridge - notice the WOOD planking. No gracias.
Detail of the bridge - notice the WOOD planking. No gracias.24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
 
24-May-2007 11:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
24-May-2007 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.002 sec
24-May-2007 11:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
 
Looking straight down - notice the bridge's shadow
Looking straight down - notice the bridge's shadow24-May-2007 11:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
There's dad on the edge
There's dad on the edge24-May-2007 11:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.003 sec
Me on the bridge
Me on the bridge24-May-2007 11:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 

Now coming back to June. Which was last month. Okay, so what. KD & Eric threw a little party at their house when they came back from their honeymoon. I thought it would be a great time to drink heavily. It was awesome. The videos illustrate how silly it got. Good times.

22 June 2007 – Drinking at KD & Eric’s

22-Jun-2007 19:57, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 19:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:13, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
22-Jun-2007 22:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

During the last weekend that Jeremy was here, we all went to the restaurant Buca di Beppo – didn’t take too many pictures actually, but it was a great, HUGE Italian dinner. I hadn’t been to a Buca di Beppo since Carras’ going-away in Las Vegas back in 2004, so it was cool to go back to one. Also, before Jeremy left, I took some pics with his adorable dog, Kahlua. Magnum, Jeff’s dog, also got in the pics as that guy is a total camera hog. 🙂

22 & 26 June 2007 – Miscellaneous Pics

A true Buca di Beppo feast
A true Buca di Beppo feast23-Jun-2007 19:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Smiling Erin
Smiling Erin23-Jun-2007 19:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Me and Kahlua
Me and Kahlua26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 
Kahlua laying down but Magnum looking cute
Kahlua laying down but Magnum looking cute26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
Bye Kahlua!
Bye Kahlua!26-Jun-2007 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 141
 

And finally, my most recent photo set from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. No, there’s not a zoo at my work. But the area of Cheyenne Mountain does indeed have a zoo, which is nestled up against the mountain. After having now been there today, I gotta say it’s a pretty incredible zoo. Not a huge zoo by any means, but it’s a well-designed zoo with just enough animals to see. They actually have one very noteworthy exhibit: this zoo has the largest collection of Reticulated Giraffes (which means spotted giraffes). They’ve built a really amazing pavilion for people to visit them, so that you can buy crackers and feed them to the giraffes at their head level. You’ll see what I mean in the pictures below. Anyways, it was fun!

1 July 2007 – Visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Erin at the Zoo's entrance
Erin at the Zoo's entrance01-Jul-2007 10:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
Giraffes!
Giraffes!01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Our first cracker customer of the day
Our first cracker customer of the day01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Me feeding our first brave giraffe
Me feeding our first brave giraffe01-Jul-2007 10:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
The giraffe was coy
The giraffe was coy01-Jul-2007 10:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Extreme closeup - giraffes are actually kind of cute
Extreme closeup - giraffes are actually kind of cute01-Jul-2007 10:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
 
Wood lickers
Wood lickers01-Jul-2007 10:43, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
More giraffe goodness
More giraffe goodness01-Jul-2007 10:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
Erin taunting the power giraffe
Erin taunting the power giraffe01-Jul-2007 10:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.006 sec
 
That's the Will Rogers Shrine as seen from the Zoo
That's the Will Rogers Shrine as seen from the Zoo01-Jul-2007 10:45, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 9.0, 10.487mm, 0.005 sec
Giraffe in Shadow
Giraffe in Shadow01-Jul-2007 10:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.005 sec
He's ready for his closeup
He's ready for his closeup01-Jul-2007 10:47, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.004 sec
 
Giraffe Cliques
Giraffe Cliques01-Jul-2007 10:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 8.0, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
Giraffes love their crackers
Giraffes love their crackers01-Jul-2007 10:48, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 2.8, 7.7mm, 0.008 sec
Here's the new baby giraffe at the zoo - so cute!
Here's the new baby giraffe at the zoo - so cute!01-Jul-2007 10:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SD900, 4.0, 15.599mm, 0.001 sec
 

And that’s the extent of the pictures, for now.

And before I end this post, I just wanted to also put it out there that thanks to all the advice you have provided, I’m going to be putting my house on the market – to sell. As my Uncle Richard succinctly put it: “Just sell the fucking house and move on”. No truer words have been spoken.

My private dream: I’d love to buy one of those high-rise condos in Vegas to live in, if I end up back there. How freakin’ cool would that be?????!!!!

What to Do? (T-73)

It seems every time I have a clear path ahead of me, that unexpected bend in the road knocks me off track.

Like I talked about last week, I had my first interview with Oracle – and while I haven’t heard anything about that in definitive terms, other stuff has served to make me confused. First, today I met with my realtor Stacy. She didn’t have exactly happy news to tell me – but it’s not entirely surprising news either. Basically it comes down to the fact that I’ll barely be able to break even if we sell the house for about $12K more than I bought it for, because in the year and a half I’ve lived here, I’ve paid very little towards principal. Not good for me with respect to trying to make much money come selling time. So now that really makes me have to consider – do I stay another year, pay more principal, and hope that the market turns around so I can possibly sell next year? But if that’s the path to go down, then I need to find a job here…and who knows how much I can get for one out here? Then I’m headed out to Chicago in a few weeks for a hiring conference… I’m SOOOOO overwhelmed / confused / scared / undecided.

So that’s my dilemma for the time being in the big picture. In the little picture, today I actually was tasked with stuff to do and it felt nice to be needed again. Truly needed. I can’t wait to have a real job again.

And finally, I’ve resumed putting up more pictures of the Europe trip – although I’m drained after this last page, which is of Day 5 while we were in Paris. There were a ton of pictures. And the next day has just as much, which means it may still be a while till I get that done. Anyways, that’s the latest. Oh yeah, I drank a lot on Sunday and didn’t hike Pikes Peak. But maybe next week?

Since 2001 or so, sharing stuff