Thursday, March 27, 2008

Trip to Maine...

In case you didn't know... I am in Maine for a couple of days this week... I am here to look at a building that some of our company will be moving into, and determine how we can meet the Telecom needs etc...

The trip hasn't been too eventful, but I do have a couple of items to share :)

We were awesome when it came to reviewing the facility, and figuring out some of the big questions we had...

We went to lunch yesterday at the Birthplace of Maine which is also known as The Jameson Tavern. The food was good, and definitely a building with some history... We then proceeded to some LL Bean store that everybody was all excited about... I guess I don't get it :)

Last night, we went to Portland, and looked at the ocean etc... Then we went to dinner at a place called The Street & Co... The first exciting event of dinner was when when our waiter stated that he was married, and that "he was a chef" referring to his spouse. We are from Michigan, so that caught us off guard a little bit, but in the end I was ok with it. However, it does cause me to wonder if they are both each other's husband, or is one of them referred to by a different name.

Also, at some point in the discussion about specials, and items on the menu he subtly drops the comment, "we don't serve great quantities of pork or beef here". At this point I got extremely scared, because as you should know by now I don't eat seafood... So, at dinner with the executive and my manager, I have to find a way to tactifully say, hey what can I eat... Keep in mind I am largest person at the table :P I finally just said that I am not a seafood person, so what would you recommend... He tells me that they can do pasta with alfredo sauce, or a red sauce, but the red sauce has anchivoe's (sp?) in it for flavor (but he could have that taken out just for me)... I decided on the pasta with alfredo sauce, and then proceeded to have the bourbon pecan pie for desert.

After dinner, we went out with Josh, and headed to Gritty McDuff's for a few beers, and some good conversation. Adam and I like to drink beer, but the waitress was giving us a hard time for not wanting to try anything other than "light beer"... I tried a couple of their brews, and all in all it was a good evening...

I fly home this afternoon... I can't wait to see the kids, and of course the wonderful wife...


Sunday, March 16, 2008

*sigh* Busy Week!

WOW! It has been a week since my last post... We have just been crazy busy! This will be a classic jumbled up post about several topics...

I cleaned my desk at work... I should have taken a "before" and "after" picture, because it is just awesome, and I am going to try and keep it that way. I finally took the time to go through some cabinets in my cubicle that had stuff from the person before me, and throw a bunch of it away. When I first started I didn't know what I needed to keep, so I just kept everything that was there... Now, I have some overhead room to put that various clutter that sometimes just happens. The interesting thing is that I have received more praise from cleaning my desk than I ever get when working on a project. So, either I don't do that well on the projects I work on, or cleaning your desk is more important than doing a good job on real work. *steps off sarcastic soapbox* Anyway, the desk is clean, and I am going to try and keep it that way.

Project Completed! - Speaking about work, I did implement an ACD setup for a group this week, and they were happy with the results... They even sent an email saying that I did a good job, so snaps for me (or high-fives... up to you).

On the personal front, I went to the Red Wings yesterday with my Father-in-Law Paul, Brother-in-Law Scott, and Dawn's Cousin Adam (not first, but I don't understand that mumbo jumbo to properly classify him). The Wings lost, but more importantly it was $1 Hot Dog Day, so we indulged! We ate a total of 19 dogs, and Adam only ate 1, so 3 of us ate an average of 6 a piece. Scott and I had 7 each, so my public education tells me that Paul ate 4. The best part is that we did our part to set a new record for Hot Dogs eaten at Joe Louis Arena!!! 12, 119 (I think this was it) is the new record. They had announced early on that the old record was 11k and some change, and then in about the 2nd period they mentioned that we had some work to do, because we were only at 5k Hot Dogs eaten. The dogs were supposed to be $3 each, so people in attendance saved about $24,000 on Hot Dog costs, and can now proudly say that they are part of the Hot Dog eating record for Joe Louis Arena. Maybe they can hoist a banner up there with the Stanley Cups, and President's Trophies etc to honor the occasion!

Today, we went to watch Dawn at her Hockey Practice... She did pretty well, and definitely isn't embarrassing poor Tommy. Then we stayed for open skate, because one of Tommy's old teammates was having a birthday party. Austin did pretty well skating, and actually used one of the walkers today. Finally, we headed to the Saginaw Spirit, and they won in a shootout versus the Plymouth Whalers 4 to 3.

In the last week I have done some "techy" stuff, but those of you that are normally bored might find this a little interesting...

Twitter ( - Micro-blogging - I am giving this a try, but basically I can blog about something in 140 characters or less. I think it will be cool, because I can give some updates on things I am doing, or a random thought about something in the news etc... It is subject to be dumped at some point, but for now I am giving it a whirl. You can view my Twitter on my webpage.

Remember The Milk ( - This is my new task list. It is a web-based task manager and I think it will work for me. It allows you to get reminders via email, im, and text messaging... You can utilize Google Gears to take it offline, so you have it without a connection to the internet.

Jott ( - This is the component that makes Twitter and Remember the Milk come together for me. Jott allows you to call from your cell phone, and do speech-to-text conversions... So, on the way to work I can call Jott, and utilize Remember the Milk to add a task, add an appointment to my Google Calendar, or update my status with Twitter. The text to speech is good enough for leaving myself a note, and as I get better I will feel more comfortable with having it email or text somebody directly.

YouMail ( - I am testing this out based on a recommendation from a buddy... It allows you to have your cell phone voicemail come to you in email, and to do customized greetings for various callers (which I haven't tried yet).

Gmail - Email Heaven Update - I just wanted to re-iterate that using Gmail as my primary email has definitely allowed me to enjoy email again. It filters the spam so nicely on my email address that I have used to sign-up for everything on the internet.

Well, that's it for now...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mite Championship Game

We had the Mite Championship Game today at 9 AM. The team we were playing has been at the bottom of the standings most of the season, but has a really good goalie... The other team scored 15 seconds into the game, and then there were no goals until we scored early in the 3rd period to tie it up. The game then went into overtime (5 mins), and then into double overtime which was 4-on-4 play. We scored with probably about 3 minutes left in the 2nd overtime to win 2 to 1. The game was just awesome, and a great way to end a wonderful season.

We have the team party at Noon, so we are just at Barnes and Noble looking at books, and being "trendy" in the Starbucks cafe... Here are some pics from the MacBook PhotoBooth :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Pinewood Derby

The Cub Scouts held the Pinewood Derby today, and somehow over the last week we were able to get Tommy's car done. We had the race, and he took 3rd Place for his Den of Tiger Cubs. We went into it just hoping that the car would go down the track, but he won a trophy so that is cool :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

*sigh* Tag I'm It

I never participate in chain emails, but I can't let my good friend Jill down, so I will play along...enjoy :)

10 years ago-- Dawn and I were still Newlyweds, and were living in the mobile home. I was about 5 months into the job that took me from being "entry level" into a fairly successful career...

5 Things on my to do list today were:
1. Work on painting the Pinewood Derby car with Tommy
2. Go to Knights of Columbus meeting
3. Work on ACD Project at work
4. Go to the hardware store to buy the paint for the Pinewood Derby car :)
5. Pack my lunch (btw - I ended up going out for lunch)

Things I would do if I were suddenly a Billionaire:
Hmmm... This would be an easy one... Host my own vacation convention at Disney World for a week :) Then, I would build the dream estate which would be sizable, and setup such that on the 4 corners would be a house for each of our parents. Our house would be centered on the estate, and behind it would be a complete gym (yes hockey arena also), and the entire estate would be connected by golf cart trails. So, the boys could take their golf cart to any one of their grandparent's houses... See, I told this was easy :)

3 of my bad habits:
1. Stay up too late
2. Eat too much
3. Bite my nails

Jobs I've had:
1. Boy Scout Summer Camp Counselor
2. Chuck E Cheeses - Game Room Attendant - Yes, I wore the costume on occasion :)
3. *Customer/Technical Support
4. *Project Engineer/Sr. Project Engineer
5. *Manager
6. *Project Manager
7. Telecom Analyst III - current :)
* - these were all at Concentric Network/XO Communications

5 Things people don't know about me: hmmm - this is a hard one...
1. I am scared of heights
2. My first car was a VW Rabbit
3. I waved to Dawn and said, "Hey Dawn, I Love You" while in the audience for the Today Show
4. I was born on the same day as my Great Grandpa (his name was Joseph) that I was named after
5. I wore special shoes as a kid, because my left leg turned in. I think it still does that sometimes :)

Ok, I have to find someone to tag... I am tagging Mike and Sherri...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Red Wings Game - Mr. Hockey

Tommy and I went to the Red Wings Game tonight thanks to Grandpa Paul, who got Tommy 2 tickets for Christmas. The Wings lost 3 to 2 to the San Jose Sharks, but the evening had plenty of excitement anyway...

Mr. Hockey - Shortly after we arrived at Joe Louis Arena we learned that Gordie Howe (#9), yes, Mr. Hockey was there signing copies of his new book. The book cost $30, but to have it autographed the total came to $70. It was Tommy's first Red Wings Game, and the line wasn't long, so I sprang for it. We took a couple of pictures before Tommy got up there, but the interaction when it was our turn was awesome. He asked Tommy if he played hockey, and what position he played. Tommy answered that he played defense, and Gordie wanted to see what his shot looked like... Tommy backed away from the table, positioned his hands, and proceeded to "air stick" a shot. Mr. Hockey proceeded to tell me that we need to work on using both hands to both push and pull the stick simultaneously to increase the speed. Here I am (who has never played hockey) getting tips for my 7 year-old from Gordie Howe.

The interaction was going well, so I decided to ask if Tommy could step behind the table to get a quick picture. Gordie said, "sure if he doesn't get caught." I was encouraged by this, and then Gordie proceeded to ask one of the crowd control people, and then mentions that Tommy is a relative, so it should be all right... I was dying inside, because Gordie was showing that subtle disobedience that you would expect from a hockey player. The one crowd manager said, no, but before he could finish the other guy pulled Tommy behind the table, and the picture was staged :) Of course Tommy was nervous (partly because he was "breaking the rules"), so the picture isn't the greatest, but still we have a picture of Tommy with Mr. Hockey... I really love the one of them talking across the table... I had the Canon point and shoot, so not the fancy camera, but it was ok because my arms were already full of coats etc...

We settled into the game, and after the 1st period we decided to hit the pizza station. We bought a pepperoni pizza, large drink, and a bottle of water for $19.50. We got back to our seats, and while Tommy was holding the pizza, so I could remove my coat, it fell off his lap and toppled onto the floor. Of course, for the $12.50 Hot-N-Ready Pizza they don't give you a box, yes that's right you only get a paper cookie sheet to carry around your overpriced pie. I should have taken a picture, but at that moment Tommy was almost in tears... So, I calmed him down, and cleaned up the mess... We did end up getting some pizza between the next intermission...

Finally, after the game I was getting Tommy's sweatshirt and coat on, so that we could leave. I turned around, and some guy was taking the 2nd of our two mugs from the free giveaway. I called him on it, and he handed it back. I then proceeded to wait a few minutes, and found a completely abandoned mug, so we did end up with two. I was just disappointed that the people I sat by all night were trying to rip-off our mugs.

Oh well, it was awesome to have Tommy see his first game, and meet Mr. Hockey...