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Thursday, December 25th, 2008
4:14 am - Merry Christmas everyone. Your present this year is Video's Anual Year in Review 2008 Edition
It's 3:31 am as I begin writing this. And it's hard to sum up the year, as it always is. My entire year can be broken down into two parts, one good and one bad. Normally I would try to sepeate the good from the bad, but they're intertwined in the year and co-exist, so I'll just go with how the year was.

The year began, as it always does, on January 1st, with a fondue dinner with my friends that we throw every year. The first few months of the year began with us preparing to buy our first hosue. We were getting pre-pre approval, meeting with our bank, who turned us on to a realtor that we ended up sticking with named Lauren, and the hunt for the house began. I'm not sure how many houses we looked at, many of them being a blur, but there's a few that stood out. We'd come up with little nicknames for each house to keep them seperate in our heads. Dirty House. Blue House. Ziggaraut House (seriously). They all had things we liked about them, but plenty that we didn't.

While we were searching for our house, the bad happened. In late April, my dad suffered a massive stroke. Nobody was home at the time. We believe he was found within the critical period, but he was in a neuro ICU ward for for a good long while while they worked on keeping him going. He lost movement in the right side of his body and the ability to speak, but back then that didn't really matter, he would be heavily sedated most of the time. So that's a life altering experience for the family.

So, with this hanging over me and being on my mind pretty constantly, we continued on with the home search, and eventually found one that we liked, and that counter offered us. The day that we were counter offered was the day that I went to visit my dad still in the hospital, but out of the ICU. I remember it because on the trip down Kim and I discussed if we would counter their counter, or go through with it. We decided to go through with it and begin the steps to buy the house.

We went and met with the owner, who was moving because she was getting married and moving her family in with him. We bought some furniture off of her, some of it which proved to be pretty worthless (a mower that died shortly after we bought it and a grill in such bad condition I couldn't do anything to get past its rusted and worn down bolts). The inspection went fine, few problems here and there, but nothing game changing. So in August we signed the papers and moved in to our first house.

It's a two story with attached garage, eat-in kitchen that's not used for eating in, dining room, living room, 2.5 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, 2 of which we are using for our offices for the time being, and a partial / partial finished basement. I have a fenced in backyard that we spent late summer taming, and a lawn out front that needs some weeding and reseeding, but the fundamentals are in place. We're really happy with it, and we have just kinda begun working on parts of it. We have a lot of things that we want to do in the spring and summer next year. I hope our motivation keeps up.

While we're doing all of this, my dad's been discharged from the hospital. From a medical standpoint, there's not a whole lot more they can do for him. He was placed in a kind of waiting facility with a friendly staff, but I was not at all fond of his doctor, nor the conditions that the rooms were in. Mom was waiting for a nursing home near their home to have a bed open up for him where he could start going through rehab. And while all that's happening, the effects of a recession in the economy become more apparent, and my poor mom feels the squeeze. It's really hard to be happy about a new home when your parents' are on the verge of losing theirs, so we helped where we could afford to, namely our Bush refunds that we just didn't need and felt would go better to them, plus some extra that could spare.

From here, there's not a whole lot more on the home front. We're all moved in and unpacked. We picked up some new toys for ourselves, and a bunch of things that you just need when you own a hosue, like ladders, and gardening stuff, and new furniture, and wall decor and stuff like that. We're living comfortably and are happy with how things are for us right now. Some things will change, but that's ok and will hopefully only make things better.

On the family side of things, dad eventually got put in the nursing home for rehab, and has been in and out of the hospital again with cases of pnemonia, I guess it's very common in stroke patients. Right now he's in the hospital again, but the last I heard he's doing ok. My mom and sister have even reported seeing him wiggle the fingers on his right side recently, so hope is always still there.

So that's been pretty much my year. I'm not in a real Christmas spirit kind of mood this year, some of it being that I'm perfectly content with what I have right now, and I would rather those that are having a hard time making ends meet spend on themselves instead of me, and part because of how my dad's doing. There is a very precious commodity that I'm discovering with age called "time". I just don't have enough time to keep everything running anymore. I try to stretch myself over a bunch of things at once, and I just can't keep it going. Tiny cracks form in each thing, and while most everything that matters is strong enough to handle a few small cracks, there's a lot of things that I like to do that have just been shelved because there's not enough days in the week to get to everything.

So, thinking of all of you and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, and especially a Happy New Year.

- Video

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Friday, December 28th, 2007
6:08 am - Year in Review 2007 Edition
It's late (early?), I'm on vacation, and just finished watching a couple hours of Top 100 songs of the 80's. So it's got me feeling all nostalgic, and made me decide to sit down, fire up the Itunes (starting with Breakfast at Tiffany's if anyone's curious), and jot out what I could remember from the last year.

I'm not sure what to make of 2007.

It was full of a lot of good things, and the bad, if there was anything that I could classify as bad, was in small supply. I think the worst part of the year was that it felt like I was going through the motions with day to day life, and trying to find brief interuptions to thwart any kind of madness. I think the thing that I'm proudest of this year is that I put honest efforts into bettering myself in various ways. I'll try to go into both now.

In day to day life, I could literally write down on a calendar what I was looking forward to any given day. Mondays had new Virtual Console games and Heroes, Tuesdays were new game releases, Wednesdays were Xbox Arcade releases, and it pretty much goes on from there. Every month I had set goals at work that I had to meet, and I would schedule things out to make sure I hit those goals, so I kind of think that's where it stems from. I always felt so busy in everything that I did that I never had time to do something different, but I know that's not true. I think it's a form of laziness that I need to get over (mask laziness with routine, odd, but yeah, sounds about right). I'd like to say this is something I want to change in the next year, but I'm pretty sure its going to be changed for me because of a new house we're planning on getting next year. More on that later.

I tried improving myself this year with a few different tactics. I had gained some weight as some of you may know, and I wanted to cut some of that out. Well, after dropping out the majority of my fast foot eating, I'm happy to say that I've lost 20 pounds this year, and I'm looking forward to slimming it down more next year. I've been told that I carry it well, but part of me misses being 170 pounds in great shape like I was 10 years ago, not that I'm looking to get back down to that again. I also have made a huge effort to step up and help out more around the home. When I switched to the later shift, Kim picked up pretty much all of the slack, almost completely without complaint. So this year I tried to step it up and do more, like putting away dishes, taking out garbage, picking up things, doing the occasional load of laundry at night, feeding and medicating the cat, and probably some other stuff that I'm not thinking of right now. Kim really appreciates it, and has noticed the extra hand I've been lending, so I'm happy about that.

In gaming, it's been a heck of a year. I've got the Wii60 combo (Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360) in the living room, and a lot of great games have come out for both systems. Of course, I'm not quite as good as I used to be, but I'd like to think that I give the whippersnappers a run for their milk money. These days I focus on odd games, classic games, and the occasional blockbuster. I'm still a Press Ganger for Privateer Press, and running weekly events at my local game store. It's been getting kind of hard to keep these going with the on and off demand of the group that I have, so I've enlisted some much needed help from one of the players, and we'll be splitting up the events in next year. I'm hoping that the new set of pieces next year will relieve some of the burn out that I've been experiencing. This year's GenCon was fun, and I'm the new True Dungeon Arena champion. The creator of the game gave me this special piece that I think he said only 12 of which were made, so I'm hanging on to that. I also have a 70 Shadow Priest in WoW, and am working on my first alt, a Belf Rogue.

The Bug is no more as of sometime in June or July (can't quite remember which). I had taken Kim out to an all night place that's near us one night, and as we went to leave at sometime around midnight, we couldn't get the bug to start. So we decided to go out and find me something new, so I'm the very very happy new owner of a Mitsubishi Raider. When asked by my dad why I got a truck, I told him it was because I remember growing up not being able to bring big things home in the small cars, and since I was planning on a new house, I wanted some way to bring those things home without having to pay extra for delivery. Also, the four wheel drive in winter rocks hard.

Kim and I have been together for going on 7 years now. and we're just as good as ever. Such geeks are we. Kim and I will play games like WoW or Puzzle Fighter, or Carcasonne, or Rock Band or even Warmachine together. And she'll show me what she's got. I remember years back saying that whoever I married would have to be able to beat me in something. Well, I'm not sure how often it happens, but when she beats me, it's a whuppin, and while I'm not immediately happy about it, I'm always proud that she can and does. But that's just one part of our relationship. The typical evening consists of me coming home, figuring out dinner, eating while watching some Tivo, and then curling up for the rest of the night. Sometimes she drives me nuts. Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky. I think it's the perfect balance.

So we're planning on getting a new house this year. We've been busily eleminating debts and saving up for a down payment. We're still on track for a late spring / early summer move, we know what we want, we just have to figure out where we want to look for it, and then of course find it. I'm really hoping that this high priced housing market decides to pop and help us in the next few months with more reasonable prices. I think that the house hunting and then getting everything setup in the hosue is going to really be keeping be busy. Since I've found out that I really enjoy putting together miniatures, I imagine I'm going to have a a great time fixing up and upkeeping a home that if I'm really not happy with how something works, I can just take a sledgehammer to it.

Work's been going really well. I started with a good boss to show me the ropes. About 5 months in, one of the supervisers moved on to another department leaving a position. I applied for it for the sole purpose to make sure that somebody wasn't brought in that didn't understand how things work in the department. I didn't get it, but a good person from our department did, and after a shuffle, he's my new boss. He's assembled together a team dedicated to a particular product that would be really hard to keep up on without working on it every day, so I keep myself to the other products and helping others on the floor with those. It's been a good year, and I've learned a lot about being in a leadership role, and what's expected of me, and how to bring performance out of my team members. I still feel like the rookie, but with my age, I'm hoping to get rid of some of the misconceptions (and downright correct observations) that come with being young. I don't know when I'll be ready to move on with my career, but for right now I have a lot more to learn and grow into.

Well, I've been writing for some time, and it's just after 6am here. This is what I've been up to, and what I'm going to be up to in the next year. Life is good, I'm happy and comfortable. So here's looking forward to a 2008.

- Video

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Friday, July 27th, 2007
1:27 am - Island back up
Island is back up, but according to Mil, still not in great shape. Thoughts?


- Video

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Thursday, July 5th, 2007
2:08 am - In case anybody's wondering about Island...
Straight from Subnigra:

Further to the server upgrade, all steps have been completed, however there has been an unforseen side effect. None of the EW based talkers will compile on the new server. Any help that you may be able to give with regards to solving this problem would be gratefully appreciated. Please email support at subnigra dot com if you feel you may be able to help.


We'll still shoot for the 8th, but we may have to try again when the server's working correctly again.

- Video

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Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
12:17 am - Upcoming Island Reunion
Ok, so I've been to the island a few times of late, and yes, it's actually still there, but pretty much dead. Looking at the last lists, however, people are popping in, but they're not staying. So being my sentimental self, I've decided to call for an Island Reunion. So this goes out to the islanders, post to your journals, tell the islanders you keep in touch with, get the word out that we're all wanting to get together to see how we've been the past 5 or 6 years.

For those who have forgotten, here's the island website:

http://island.subnigra.com/

I've tossed out a date of July 8th. If that's not working (I know there's plenty of us in Oz and other parts of the world) then somebody else toss out a date, or better yet, join in the news discussion on the island and see if we can't set something more solid.

Hope this ends up working out great!

- Video

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2007
3:24 am - 3am...
Sometimes, late at night, I sit at my computer, turn on my Itunes, and surf the web a bit. Sometimes I get nostalgic and hit old places, like livejournal, archive.org, and the island. And sometimes, an old song comes on, and reminds me who I am. Who I truly am. I can feel parts of old come back to me, lift to the surface of my soul, and I can feel everything around me.

It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but its nice to know that I'm not completely out of touch with the world.

Sometimes I sit here and wonder where you all are. I see your names, I see your posts, and I read them, and I remember how we were all intertwined with each other's lives for such a long time, and now, nothing.

Sometimes I look back and can pinpoint life changing moments. And I smile, and wonder for a moment where I'd be if that didn't happen. And then I don't care because I'm so happy with how things have turned out for me, and how they are going in the future.

Sometimes it's 3am.. but it's been a long long time since I've been lonely. And I'm so happy with that.

- V

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Sunday, February 4th, 2007
1:52 pm - Are you ready for some football?

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Saturday, December 16th, 2006
4:09 am - Year in Review - 2006 Edition
Testing... Testing... 1 .... 2....3?

It's that time of year again. When Video makes his one post of everything that's happened to him during the year. That's right, folks. It's time for The Year in Review 2006 Edition


There's no clear way to sum up 2006. Things happened. Good things. Couple of questionable ones, but all in all it was pretty decent.

I started the year continuing to work in my position, trying to make something of myself. A rumor had come up that we would begin taking calls until 9pm instead of the 7:30 that we currently were, and they were interested in putting a lead in that position. I decided that it would be a good career move if I did that, and took a new shift at work, 12pm to 9pm. It was only me, another person, and a supervisor, and it was pretty lax after 7:30. It gave me plenty of time to work on things like Warmachine and any kind of projects I may have been given.

Since I was moving to a new shift and had really gotten into TV since some good things were actually coming on again (My Name is Earl, The Office, Attack of the Show), Kim and I decided to get a Tivo. These things are gods gift to the working man. I tell it to tape a bunch of stuff, I get to watch prime time tv at 2am. Totally worth it.

Also, Demoness was on her last legs (fans were dying out at this point) so I got myself a new breadbox computer. Her name is Void. Everybody say hi. Since I wanted to see what she could do compared to my old one, and I needed something to do between the time Kim went to bed at 12am to the time I went to bed, 3am ish, I decided to try out World Of Warcraft. I had played some MMORPGs before, but was never really impressed with any of them. This one hooked me completely, and it was a few months before I hit level 60. Kim also got into WoW, and she's currently got a mid 50's undead warrior that we can go questing with. It's nice to have a game that both of us like to play together.

Kim and I had our one year anniversary and celebrated by going out to a casino. This was a new experience for both of us, and we lost a good sum of money (no more than we planned on). It was a lot of fun playing the slot machines, and I can totally see how people could be addicted to it. In any case, we played enough that the hotel comped our room, so we called it a wash. :) My relationship with Kim is as strong as ever, and I still find myself falling in more love with her a little more every day. Even though she can completely drive me nuts sometimes. I'm sure I do the same to her. :)

After our anniversary celebration, an interesting tidbit at work popped up. We would be opening a new office in South Dakota, and were interested in interviewing me for a lead position out there. I'd have my own team that I would work with to develop into a new web team to take on programs the company was inheriting later in the year. We put it up to much debate, and decided that whatever gains I was going to get from going out there would be outweighed by the losses of friends, family, and area that we have now. We decided that we would likely stay, but would listen to any offers being made. Fortunately, one of the team leads we had was very interested in going out there, and accepted the position. This opened up a team lead spot at our location.

So after three interviews, the top 3 candidates were told they were such, and would be working together for a week acting as leads. I was one of them. After a stressful week of holding the call center together by thread and duct tape, they named me as the new team lead. I'm really happy about this, and have been doing it since mid October. It's a whole new set of challenges while still holding onto the knowledge and skill that I developed over the last 4 years. I still kinda feel like a dog that finally caught its first car – not quite sure what to do with it, but pleased as hell with myself.

That'll bring us up to when I found out that my parents were going to be selling their house and moving up to my dad's side of the family in Michigan. I hate to see the house that I grew up in go to another family, but I know they're doing what they have to do. It gives me an excuse to go up to Michigan, anyway. As a side thought, I really hope the people who get the house take care of it. I can only imagine what our spiritual tenants would do if they let the house fall back into a mess.

From here we have the Nintendo Wii launch. Kim, my friend Marc, and I stayed up all night (I napped) to stand in line in 30 degree temperatures in front of a Target at 6am to get one. We were number 28 of 33 in line, so I'm the happy owner of a Wii. :)

We found out recently that our cat, Neko, had a thyroid problem that was causing her to lose weight. She's on medicine for it now, and went from 6 pounds up to 8 points in about a month and a half, so we're really happy about that,too.

As always, I'm sure theres things I missed. GenCon was a blast as it is every year, I've got great friends, I've got an amazing wife, I've got the promotion that I've been gunning for for 3 years. My bills are on their way to being fully paid off. The next step is a new house, which will hopefully be happening in the next year or so.

So that's my year. I'll see you all next year for the 2007 year in review. Until then, keep posting. I read them whenever I can :).

- Video

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Wednesday, May 10th, 2006
12:44 am - 26 is a big number
I'm getting to the point where I'm feeling older and that there's another generation behind me waiting to grasp the world. My birthday was yesterday, and I hit 26. I'm probably over a quarter done with my life. I don't know how signigicant that is, 1/4th of anything isn't that much, it seems. But yet I feel old. At least older. I'm all for nostalgia and stuff, but I don't quite feel like dwelling on becoming older as being a bad thing. Not yet, anyway. Let's see how I do when I hit 30.

So anyway, my birthday was well spent. I took a 4 day weekend to relax a bit. Saturday and Sunday were spent downstate with Kim's parents while I fixed their computer (yeah yeah, big vacation, I know). Monday and Tuesday were pretty much spent relaxing. Today I slept intil 1:00 without quite realizing it (I'm on a new 12-9 shift at work for a bit, so it's not that bad). I woke up to find Kimbee taking the day off of work. We then went and played World of Warcraft for awhile on my new computer (birthday present to self). Kim took a nap while I watched Tivo (I've got all these neat new gadgets :)) and then we went out for Pizza and to see the Benchwarmers (great movie, highly reccomend for the comedy value).

I head back to work tomorrow, and this weekend I have a big tournament I have to get ready for for Warmachine, and then my friends and I will be heading to Dave and Buster's for dinner, drinks, and games.

So all in all, it's been a good 26th. Yeah, I feel a bit older. But that doesn't seem to change anything. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Oh, and a happy E3 to everybody :) Such a great time of year.

- Video

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Friday, December 23rd, 2005
8:39 am - 2005 Year in Review
2005 Year in Review

The extra-special extra-long year in review post is back, and while I may currently be too bitter to do this properly, I also think that the retrospect might put me in a better mood. It also helps that I've been planning this for awhile, in a time when I've been in a better mood.

So here goes.

2005 Was an awesome year, with a few exceptions.

In the beginning of the year, Kim and I had made plans to go on vacation to Disneyworld. We put aside a little bit of money every week to go. I had purchased tickets to go see Final Fantasy: Dear Friends, which we went to, and I proposed to Kim after. She said yes, and set into a flurry of wedding plans.

Fortunately we decided to keep it simple, inviting friends and family to an outdoor reception at the forest district. But that happens later in the year. In the meantime, we continued to go on about our day to day lives. I qualified for the Mage Knight National Tournament, and continued to practice my craft. I was demoted from a level 3 envoy to a level 2, because I didn't want to learn a second game and run events for it. But the biggest shock was when I went to the Envoy appreciation night at Origins and was told that they would be ending the game that I spent the last 5 years of my life playing.

That threw me into a shock, so we all went down to the Privateer Press booth and learned how to play Warmachine. We're still learning all of the ins and outs of it, but I've recently been made a Pressganger, which allows me to run official events and get loot for it.

I went to Gencon without Kim because she couldnt make it because of work, and I won the MK National Championship. I'm the last National champion for the game, and part of me wonders if anyone will remember me because of it. I went on to play in the World Championships, which was interesting playing a game with people who don't speak english. I ranked 9th in there, I got kinda hosed a few times, but I had a good time.

After the championship, I got married to Kim. We ran off to the courthouse with our families and got hitched. My ring looks so scuffed already, but I guess it will eventually balance itself out. Marrying Kim was one of the reasons the year was so great.

Besides my favorite game being cancelled, the only bad things that really happened this year is that for the life of me, I can't seem to get promoted in this place. No matter how hard I work, how much extra I put in, somebody else gets put right before me, and its really getting frustrating. In the beginning of the year when I didn't get promoted, I kinda expected it because I wasn't in the favor of the management team. The next series of interviews were for a product specialist, which I was told that I was "too confident, to the point of potentially intimidating the audience that I'm trying to reach". I'm not sure what exactly that means, because the job dealt with having to stand up to 10 year veterans of the company and tell them what was wrong with their ideas, but oh well. This last one is bothering me right now, because I worked hard for this last one, but was told yeaterday that I'm not going to get it. It drives me nuts when they tell me that they want me to keep doing the job that I'm doing, and that it was a hard decision and very close... but if that was true, they'd want me to be doing SOMETHING differently. I've come in second best 4 times now, and it's really getting frustrating.

But to get back to the happy...

I went on honeymoon with Kim to Disneyworld in Florida. Her office payed for our hotel room for the week, and with the money we had stashed away over the course of the year, we didn't really have to worry about what we spent, so we had a really good time. I went on as many rides as my back allowed me to (the Rockin Rollercoaster did me in, curse you Aerosmith!) and relaxed the rest of the time.

Beyond that, it's the same thing as ever. Wake up, get ready for work, have a mini discussion on wether or not I should go into work, end up going in, work my 8 hours, come home, nap or watch tv or play a game, eat, spend time with kim and work on my various hobbies right now. Nothing hugely exciting, but nothing bad, either though.

So if the only bad thing that's happened to me all year is that I'm not getting promoted at work, and the good things are that I got married, I'm a National Champion, I'm a Pressganger, I'm getting better at Warmachine every week, I'm living comfortably, I've got a good paying job, I'm getting all of my debts in order, and I've got a lot of good friends, I think that equates out to best year ever.

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Monday, December 5th, 2005
8:38 am - I'm actually pretty proud of this...
With as bad as I am at math anymore...


You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!

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Saturday, October 8th, 2005
12:49 pm - Alright, so this is a shot in the dark
It's time I admit something to all of you. It's not something I'm particularly proud of, but it's time to admit it to all of my friends.

I'm a wrestling fan.

I watch Monday night RAW and Smackdown every week. Yes, I know it's fake. Duh. I like the moves that these guys can do, and it's a man's soap opera.

So with that out now, I'd like to pull a few other people out from the shadows in which they hide. I've started a private league for the WWE Fantasy game. It's free to join, and you pick a new roster every week, and they get points for matches, wins, foreign object hits, finishers, etc. We had about 5 of us playing in the league last year, I'm just wondering if anybody else on my friends list would be interested in joining us.

The fantasy page is at www.wwe.com/play/fantasy

Leave a comment here if you're interested!

- Video

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2005
10:17 pm - It's a shame nobody is watching
Dear Diary,

Chinchilla sure are nocturnal!

<3 Trev

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Saturday, September 17th, 2005
3:23 pm - Where have all the Video's gone?
I know I haven't updated in awhile, the last time that I tried, though, I found out that my account had been hijacked. Thanks to the quick working LJ crew for getting it back for me!

So what's going on in my life. Well, the biggest thing is that I'm married now. August 5th was the trip to the courhouse, and August 6th was the reception. I've got a shiny band of titantium on my ring finger now that's quickly becoming scuffed up. I guess it'll all even itself out, eventually.

So with the whole marriage thing, I've been pretty busy. Kim left for Florida this morning, and will be down there for a week before I go to join her for our honeymoon. Her work hooked us up with a ton of freebies, namely the hotel stay for the week within shuttle of all the cool places to go. So we're going to Universal, Disney, tickets to Circue Solei (sp?) and then we're also going to head down to the beach for a night.

In gaming news, Mage Knight is officially dead. Five years to the very convention that I started it in, I played in my last events. Funny enough, these last events were the National Championships, which I won. So I'm the last National Champion for a soon to be dead game.

In its death, however, I have started playing Warmachine, and have moved my players over to that game instead. So we've been running that for the past couple of months. I've found much fun in putting together all of my pieces, though I'm still shying away from painting them. I'm sure that'll pass when I have nothing left to assemble.

Work is going pretty wellf or me right now, too. The management team has told me while they can't promise me anything, it's looking good for me for the next promotion to lead. So I'm just trying to wait that out.

So there's the update, so you all know what's going on right now in my life :)

- Video

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Sunday, February 20th, 2005
1:01 pm - Just a quick post
In an astounding lapse in judgement, Kim has agreed to marry me.

:)

- Video

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Monday, September 13th, 2004
11:09 pm - Proving one's self.
Last week, my annoyances with my job and the direction it was going came to a boil. I'm one who advances fairly quickly in my job, and yes, I did go up basically three levels within a year, readers and my friends will know that my goal is to get back into a leadership position.

The problem is that our center gets very busy, and they've taken some of my suggestions such as spreading the projects among people to make them more confident in their own abilities. Of course, with that, it means that my projects are becoming fewer are more far between. I had just recently updated the ghost image that we use for new hires, and that was my big to-do for the past several months.

What's really annoyed me is that one of the people who came in after me was being delegated for several things. Originally he was drafted as a trainer for one of the products that I'm the specialist for. This didn't annoy me too much. Things were busy, they were spreading the wealth. What annoyed me was what they kept piling on his plate. He kept training. And he still is. And he was given a spot award (spot awards are awards given by management, yeah, big deal, right? well, they come in the form of cash bonuses, usually $300-500). That pissed me off right there, as everything I had done was once again looked over, and this was the first award I saw given to a support rep in a year.

What brought it to a boil was Shannon (the one who barely edged me out to become the new team lead) was going on Honeymoon, and they needed someone to help cover his shift. I wasn't even considered, they went straight to this other tech. That did it for me. Yes, he's a great guy, but damnit, they keep over looking me. I decided to have a chat with my lead, and express my concerns. My lead is a very nice lady, who fully understands the position that I'm in and knows how hard I've worked. She said that she didn't even realize that things kept going to this tech, and she knew how annoyed I was that he was given an award, and said she'd speak with our superviser about it.

Just letting it out made me feel better. But then it came up in a meeting that I had with the superviser on Friday. He was going over the monthly stats and goals, and I had once again improved on my numbers, and met everything above and beyond what they wanted from me. And he casually sets one of my goals for the next month to be more approachable.

"Excuse me? I don't think I quite understand what that means..."

He goes to explain that he doesn't see people coming to me asking for help. That's when I rattled off a list of people who had come to see me that day. He told me to bang on his window or something, because he's not seeing it. So I tell him this. I tell him that I will make a list of every person who comes to me asking for help the next two days, and he'll see what I do. He likes the idea, asks me to be sure to time stamp them, and sends me off on my way.

For the most part, over the weekend, I had forgotten about it. But when I came in today, I immediately remembered. I began writing down the names of every person who came to see me, and what time they were there. And to help things, my superviser made me the Call Back person for the week (Call back is a more relaxing paced job where I can take my time, figure things out, and work out problems. It's a gift to be on this position for a week)

And at the end of it all, I showed my superviser the list. By the end of the day, I had 18 names written down, time stamped on average about 20 minutes apart from each other. And he was surprised. Happily surprised. He mentioned that he had heard people say that I was hard to approach, but the list just blew those words out of the water. In my hands I had proof that just today, one out of four people on the floor needed me. Some several times. I offered to keep it up for the rest of the week. He accepted, and looks forward to my findings.

So this week is about proving myself at work. It's funny, that every person who came to me and I explained this to thought the superviser was out of his mind. They wouldn't know what to do without me. They all see this, and yet somehow, he missed it. Hopefully this will be the push I need to break through to the next level of my career.

Oh, and don't get me wrong. My superviser is great. He's giving me goals, he's working with me on issues. I wouldn't want to be on any other team, because I and the two other supervisers don't quite always see eye to eye on things. But this one actually understands what's going on. And I respect him for that. I just wonder how he could have looked over how much value I'm adding to his team.

I guess we'll see at the end of the week what it all looks like.

- Video

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Sunday, July 25th, 2004
12:08 pm - Resurfacing.
Ok, I'll admit it. I miss Kim.

Kim's gone down to Nashiville for a week for work. So I've been without her since Friday. She'll be back this Thursday, which leaves me with only a few days left to go. The final days will be no big deal, I'll have work to deal with, and there's always keeping the place looking decent. It's the weekend that's killing me. It's just boring around here with nothing to do. I'm trying to keep on top of things, but that only works so well for so long. At least when she's here, there's somebody to llay around and do nothing WITH. Ah well. Miss ya, hon. Get back soon.

We're preparing for a move in a few weeks. Found a huge apartment that was close to work that was just expensive enough to make us justify our current costs and realize that the time and money from the commute easily makes up for the $80 or so extra we're going to be paying.

So this apartment has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a decent sized kitchen, living room, and dining room. The master bedroom will be ours, but we're turning the second bedroom into a gaming room. I've been eyeing plasma tv's to get a nice full gaming experience for some time now, but it never quite fit the budget. So I found a Projector that displays it's image at 100", and I found a great deal on it. So the past couple of weeks, Saturday night gaming has been hooking up the consoles and stereo to that baby and casting it on an 80" screen that I have. It's beautiful. I can't wait to set it up more permanently.

In the process of packing, I've been stumbling over a lot of old things that are assoicated with exes, and old memories and such. I had been keeping them for reasons I don't quite comprehend why. I looked them over, realized they were part of a past that I didn't want anything to do with anymore, and got rid of the vast majority of it. I kept a couple key things, like prom pictures. Those things are life events, but other than that, I got rid of so so much. The original plan was to burn them, but that would be giving more meaning to them then they had anymore, to actually need the symbolic gesture of burning them, so I just tossed them out instead. I'm trying to come up with a sentence that encompasses all of this, and tie in a reasoning of doing this was my love and dedication to Kim, but I can't quite find the words. I'll just leave it at that, and hope she gets the meaning behind it.

I was at Origins last month, playing in the Mage Knight National Championships. I did really well, going 3-1 the first day and 2-2 the second. I was originally calculated into the top 16, to play in the single elemination finals on Sunday, but Wizkids made a mistake and forgot to factor somebody's bye win into their scores, effectively knocking me into first alternate, and needless to say, everybody showed up. I had a good time though.

Work is work. Things have become a lot more stressful since I've been promoted to UTSR, everybody in the office, management included, looks at me as a leadership figure. I went for a team lead position, and made it to the top three considerations for two positions. myself and another canidate were so equally qualified, it came down to a few times I was tardy (tardy within company policy of not being late). That one really pissed me off, and combined with being overworked, turned me into my current negative attitude I have about everything at work. Management keeps saying they're working with me on improving my attitude, but my response comes along the lines of that they need to fix everything that's weighing me down. Once that's taken care of, I'll be their little ball of sunshine.

I don't see that happening anytime soon, however.

So that's my life in a nutshell. I know it's been awhile since I posted, but my thinking about Kim just sorta drove me to it. So this one's for her.

- Video

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Wednesday, December 31st, 2003
9:02 am - 2003 Year in Review
Well, it's that time again. Every single year around this time, I look back and reflect on the year prior, and think about all the major events that happened to me. Obviously I forget some things, as I try to do this all at once, usually while doing something else (for example, helping somebody fix their system over the phone, as I am now). So here we go.

Last new years started out with doing shots with Kim and Joe. We were playing the first ever game of Mario Party shots, and I was winning/losing with the most stars/most shots. After the game finished and I had gone through about 7 or 8 shots, they decide to test my knowledge in Trivial Pursuit. Alright, sure, I'm pretty tipsy. During this game, the classic trivia answer "Andre Agasi" is born. It is the one answer... to rule them all! Even as tipsy as I am, I show that I am a wealth of useless knowledge, and win at trivial pursuit. So started my year.

I was working again, and I had just gotten out of training. I was learning the ropes, asking questions, and such. Nothing really big was happening yet, and wouldn't be for awhile. I kept up and learned more and more as time went on.

A bit of time passed. I was gung ho about making it to the Mage Knight nationals, and I qualified for it and decided to go. So come June, Joe and I head out to the first of the conventions, Origins, for the tournament. After a 10 hour road trip, we arrived, and got ready for the match. We sucked. We sucked so bad. But that's where we met the bunnies, Elisa and James. After the last match of nationals, we went back to our room and begun another new tradition, Mario Party, Dice gods vs 3 Fanged Bunnies. Somehow, during this weekend, they got the idea in our heads that we should go to DragonCon in Atlanta. C'mon, it's in Atlanta, there's no way we're going to that... or so we thought.

We went to GenCon a couple months later, and had the usual GenCon blast. Afterwards, I worked for Wizkids at Wizard World here in Chicago (about 15 minutes from where I live), and then we decided to go to Dragon Con. It'd be good to see the bunnies again, and the Dungeons World Championships were open and being held there. And as anybody who's ever played me knows, I'm just plain evil at Dungeons.

So to DragonCon we went. And it was tiny. It took place across two hotels, but we spent almost all of our time in the Wizkids room playing games. We met up with the bunnies, and once again had a blast, and continued the tradition of playing Mario Party after James and I had both placed in the top 8 for dungeons. I ended up placing in the top 4, losing the now world champion. They gave me some prizes, and took my picture, which can be seen on the Wizkids site. I'm the evil looking one on the far left in red.

So we said our goodbyes to the bunnies and head home, where not too long after we found out that my company was reoriganizing itself, and my job was on the line. Well, enough has been said about that, I'm currently in their new location, doing the new job, making more money. Nuff said.

To wrap up the year, Elisa came to Chicago to visit a couple weeks ago. We all went to a museum down town, and played Mario Party shots (I once again, won/loss with ... somwehere between 9 - 11 shots, I can't remember, everything's kinda foggy after bowser put 5 star spaces on the board...). The next day, I took her to the MK game I was running, and then we went out for lunch, and she made the mistake of wanting to try out DDR (she thought she'd be using a controller, nuh uh, I've got the pads for it :)). Then we played killer bunnies, and zombies with the rest of the Dice Gods and Kim. The next day we went out shopping at the mall, and just generally hung out. It was good to see her again, and hopefully we can get together and do it again sometime. Maybe under better weather conditions ;).

Then there was Christmas, in which I got a bunch a neat stuff, games, a mist producing water thingy, a weird clock, pajammas with the 7 duffs on them, an RC car, among other things. And tonight is new year's eve, where we'll probably do the same thing we did last year. I'm looking forward to it.

So this last year, my life has mostly concentrated on work and gaming. Yes, there's other things that happened, no I can't remember them off of the top of my head. If I could, I'd write them down. But otherwise, I keep fighting forward. I'm going for a promotion at work right now, and I'm starting to plan out the conventions for next year. Probably do the same thing we did last year, but who knows what the future holds for me. Or anyone for that matter.

- Video

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Monday, December 8th, 2003
11:24 pm - A watcher with nothing to watch
I've always considered myself a watcher. I've kept eyes over my friends, and have had my influence stretch from one side of the nation to the other. You name a state, I've probably influenced somebody in that state, whether good or bad. Sure, I may poke jabs here and there, but they're in love, not to annoy. If any of my friends were to be seriously challenged by anybody, I would be among the first to stand by them to help.

With me living away from the computer now, I don't feel that I stretch out quite as far. I don't feel my influence is as strong. I don't feel as much of a presence in people's minds anymore. I know, to a few of you, that's not true in the slightest. But to some of my other friends, I wonder sometimes if you've forgotten me. The bonds that were there arent as strong anymore. I don't know if it's just me, growing up, and putting the magic behind me, or if it's just that it's hard to keep the kind of power I once wielded with friends if I just don't talk to them as much as I used to. I don't know. Maybe I never will.

In other news.

Work has been a wild rollercoaster of a ride. Several weeks ago, I was complaining about one of our terrible programs, and predicted that it would cause problems with the new hires. Well, sure enough, a few days later, it did, and had to be uninstalled. The director noted this, and set me to work on creating a new master image for all computers to follow with programs that would work. I worked on that a while, and in all, that was turning out rather well.

So while I'm working on this, the director comes to my desk, and asks me what my schedule looks like the following wednesday (before thanksgiving). I said I was pretty well open unless something came up. I became assigned to being the move coordinator, to make sure all the tech gear for the new hires got out to our new location, no problem. Sure, no problem. I'm invited to a meeting the next day about this, and make a few observations and help with a couple things, and next thing I know, the director has assignmed me as lead tester for the equipment at the new location.

Ok, so now I'm in charge of the original image, move coordinator, and lead tester. Sweet.

All of those projects go off so smooth. The master image is finished and fully functional 3 days early, the new hire computers are fully corrected, moved, and tested with my documentation within a few hours, further impressing the director. One of the trainers told me that the director had said that she was going to take me under her wing. I can deal with this. While we're at the new location, I ask her how she would feel about me applying for the newly opened Team Lead position. She thinks that I should absolutely go for it (heh, she asked me today if I'd been able to apply for it yet). Seeing as she's the hiring manager for this position, I think I'm in a good spot.

So all my projects go off without a hitch. Now the training manager has taken notice of me, as well as one of the company's "powers that be", apparently she was called at home after the move and testing and told how smooth it went because of me. Anyway, the training manager works it out so that I spend a couple days in the new location, just making sure everything goes okay, and as a point of reference for questions. The new hires almost broke me, but everybody appreciated my work.

After spending a couple days at the new location, I come back to find out that they want me as a technical reference on our newest release of our product. I have to review a 3 hour presentation, and see if I can break the software, and how I would fix it in comparison with our current products. I'll have a couple days this week that I can work on that, and the presentation I have to be a part of is next wednesday.

All in all, work has been insane. I'm definately making a name for myself, and I've got all sorts of neat accomplishments to put on my resume now. But I should really get some sleep. So I guess I'll see you all in the morning.

- Video

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Sunday, November 16th, 2003
11:35 pm - Another week gone by.
Another week of training has completed, and tomorrow I return to my soon to be ex-coworkers and go back to supporting 70% of our products. *shudders* Slowly they're giving me more and more, and I don't know where the line will be drawn. We were told that a company that we aquired a few months back is being consolodated, and support is being turned over to us. Oh well. It's better than being unemployed.

Thanksgiving is coming up soon, I'll be spending it with my familiy this year. The year before we were at Kim's, and the year before that I had to work, so I thought it'd be nice to see the fam for thanksgiving. I have to start thinking about what I'm going to be doing for Christmas. I haven't the slightest idea of what to get who (with an exception or two). And I have a credit card bill to deal with still. Having to replace four tires on the bug was expensive, and I'm going to need to pay that down. Luckily my massive bonus hits in February, so that'll be used to pay it down quite a bit.

I'm not real worried about money right now. I'm a bit down because of the car and my couple cases (and then some) of MK 2.0. That'll all recover in a month's time. I'm more concerned with the upcoming awkwardness of being out on the floor with people losing their jobs. More and more are leaving, and it's just going to get busier and busier as we're waiting for the final axe to drop. And the Christmas party this year is just going to be downright weird. One week before everyone gets let go. Who came up with that idea?

Otherwise, not much else is going on. Next weekend is a marquee weekend which I'll be very very busy in, and I'm already finding myself planning for con season next year. The loot was fantastic at each con that I went to, and who knows what memories next year will bring. Time will only tell.

- Video

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