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19 July 2007   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

Cousin Erin, me and Auntie Helen
A little less ready this time
Cousin Erin (7 months pregnant and beautiful!)
Finn chowing down


18 July 2007 - San Diego Airport

The security line ended up being like 3 football fields long
Me keeping my cool for 2 hours

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!!!!!!!


11 July 2007   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

Driving on the highway from O'Hare to Chicago
Another view
Sears Tower in the distance
Street shot in the Armitage area
Jeremy in his vehicle that lived to see Chicago
A pic towards downtown while walking (aimlessly) around town
An actual Chicago EL station!
While in the El train, looking towards the Hancock Tower
Better view of Hancock Tower
And a cool view of the Chicago River
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
There it is!
Me pointing at it - but it's so tall, you can't even see the top here
Me again, with the Sears Tower growing out of my head
And a third time
I made Jeremy take some 'touristy' shots
Getting closer to the tower
And closer
Now at the base of the Sears Tower
Here's the lobby/foyer of the Sears Tower
That is 110 stories there
Tallest occupied structure in the U.S.!
Me and the giant Sears Tower sign
Jeremy at the sign for the observation deck on the Sears Tower
A pic in the lobby of the views you'd soon see 103 stories up
The elevator display
Now at the top! Looking south towards Soldier Field
More south-ward looking
More cityscape views
Looking straight down to the river
Now looking north towards the Hancock Tower
An entire shot of the North side of Chicago
ME again
Jeremy too
More view of the north shore
Hancock Tower goodness
Looking down again
You can just see the building also seen in the movie Adventures in Babysitting
There's the shadow of the Sears Tower
A giant mass of people can be seen; they were there for the Taste of Chicago festival
On the right edge of the big red building, you can see the Married with Children fountain
What the Skydeck looks like inside
What it looks like under the El
Another El station, this one in the Chicago loop area
Driving on Lakeshore drive south towards the Hancock Tower
More Lakeshore drive view
Jeremy driving
Me taking a shot forward
Hancock Tower
Hancock Tower, but closer
The Sears Tower in the soft light of sunset
A pic while down near the Taste of Chicago - utter chaotic gridlock
A final view of the Chicago skyline while driving back to Rosemont

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.


9 July 2007   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-----------------------------------------------------


5 July 2007   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!!!!


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.

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

- 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
) 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
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.


3 July 2007   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!



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.


1 July 2007   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
The trademark point
Dad walking to the bridge
Dad likes to point too
Nice picture of the bridge over the 1000-ft deep gorge
There's dad walking across the bridge
A nice vertical panorama of the gorge from the bridge
Detail of the bridge - notice the WOOD planking. No gracias.
Looking straight down - notice the bridge's shadow
There's dad on the edge
Me on the bridge
A look towards one of those SkyCoaster things - Definitely NOT on my list of things to do
At the middle of the bridge
There are the wires that hold the bridge up
Some info signs re: the bridge
There's Dad
Me and Dad
Looking to the aerial tramway
That puppy is WAY up there
The eponymous view of the Royal Gorge bridge
Another view of the river below
Here is the funicular at the top of the track
Heading down the funicular
At the bottom of the track - notice the rafters in the river
Looking up the funicular track to the top
There's the railroad that winds its way through the gorge
We were there when a train came through
Very loud and smelly
Looking up at the bridge from below - pretty tiny from this vantage point
Me at the river
Dad too
Looking up the stairs
Better view of the river
Another shot of the bridge
That small black dot is a crazy helicopter tour - that guy swoops into the canyon very kamikaze-like.
A car of junk we saw on the drive back

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

The group at KD & Eric's house
Another group shot
KD and Kayce begin one of many wrestling matches
Jeff, Susan and Erin are the entertained audience
KD & Kayce at it still
Never a dull moment
I think KD lost
Wedgies on display
Kayce, KD & Me
Kayce and KD
Jeremy and Me
Kayce and KD still
Still entertained
Jeff and Susan
I love this pic of me and KD
Jeremy is about to get licked
Jeremy, KD and me
Jeremy is crazy
About to leg wrestle now
Match in progress
Jeremy sings!
Erin laughs!
KD and me (a bit drunk)
Kayce, KD and me
Susan and Erin laugh at the silliness
Aww...KD and Eric go kissyface on us

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
Smiling Erin
Me and Kahlua
Kahlua laying down but Magnum looking cute
Bye Kahlua!

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
Our first cracker customer of the day
Me feeding our first brave giraffe
The giraffe as coy
Extreme closeup - giraffes are actually kind of cute
Wood lickers
More giraffe goodness
Erin taunting the power giraffe
That's the Will Rogers Shrine as seen from the Zoo
Giraffe in Shadow
He's ready for his closeup
Giraffe Cliques
Giraffes love their crackers
Here's the new baby giraffe at the zoo - so cute!
Baby giraffe!
A look at the Giraffe pavilion
Another shot of the baby giraffe
Me and the giraffe pen
There's Billy the Zebra (that's what I named him)
The view of the city from the zoo
A cloesup on the downtown of Colorado Springs
Just wanted to take a picture of Highway 24 cutoff through town
Erin at the petting zoo

Long distance view of the Giraffe Pavilion
And a goat

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?????!!!!