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Could I have been anyone other than me?
"We are human. A bit lower than angels, a bit above the French." -Mark Twain
It was quite celebratory up here a couple nights ago, to say the least. =)

Boy, it's been so damn long since I posted, I've forgotten how this all works...Collapse )
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This could be almost as good as the day LJ died... where, oh where, will people go for their hookups now? =)

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Hey, everybody. Been a while.

Just wanted to take a second and say that if the world implodes (or something equally fun) when they fire up the Large Hadron Collider tonight, it's been nice knowing y'all. =)

More of an update soon, with pics and stuff, I promise... maybe this weekend.
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Finally in my new apartment in Seattle. Woohoo. =)
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I'm home in Portland this weekend, starting the nasty process of packing up for the 3rd time in less than 2 years. I'm REALLY not looking forward to moving in general - again - but I am looking forward to being up in Seattle.

My first week went pretty well, except for the fact that due to a paperwork snafu, they don't officially have me on the books. I can't get a badge to get in the building, I can't get an e-mail account (or any accounts, for that matter), but I can show up and work. The folks who've been around this week have been great in finding stuff that I can do without being able to get online... some of it wasn't exactly fun (matching up thousands of timestamps from performance data so that the graphs look right) but some was interesting to do, stuff that I went off and researched that I've never done anything with before. Once I'm actually able to get into the building on my own, go to the cafe on my own, that sort of thing, I think it'll be nice.

From what I've gathered, it seems like a really fun place to work - the explanation given was that they work hard and play hard. A far cry from Intel, where you worked hard, then you worked some more. I'm only a week gone from there, and I can't say that I really miss it - and I know for certain that I won't miss it at all if I get hired on full time. =)
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Drat. Just because he gets out of bed early, Jon beat me to it.

Happy birthday, jazzfanatic! Hope you're not too jet-lagged to party! =)
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Why does #4 on this list not surprise me in the slightest?

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No need to worry about jinxing things anymore... I've accepted a position with Xtreme Consulting up in Redmond, as a vendor doing Active Directory work for the Windows Live group at Microsoft, starting March 10th.

I just finished the chat with my boss re: giving 2 weeks' notice and such - which she took a LOT better than I expected her to - and my last day will be March 7th. It's been a long, and quite bumpy, road... and I hope I'm making the right decision.
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Couldn't sleep last night... at all. Even after a couple drinks and some melatonin. I tossed and turned, slept 30 mins, woke up, tossed and turned, etc. Finally dragged my ass out of bed at like 5:30 and got online to do work stuff. Didn't have any time to review the couple things I wanted to review - which is really, REALLY disappointing, cause it could have helped me out today.

Met with the consulting company that I'd be working for... it was a pretty casual meeting, discussed the benefits, my resume at a really high level, what my schedule for the actual interview looked like. I was in my suit - he said I should lose the jacket, and probably the tie too - sounds like things are pretty casual all around. I agreed to call him after I was done across the street, and packed off to brave the wilds of the Microsoft campus.

Got there really early... sat playing solitare on my phone in the lobby for 30 mins. Met up with the hiring manager, had a really good chat about the non-technical end of things. Some behavioural stuff, nothing horrible. We grabbed lunch and had a good chat there, too. He spent part of last night in the emergency room for some stomach pains, and I'm just shocked as hell that he was upright (much less in the office and working), but they're busy... and he wanted to meet me, since I'd made the time to be up here.

Then I got handed off to their tech guy. He really, REALLY knows his shit... which is great, I'm almost hoping that I get the job just to be able to learn stuff from him. He managed to pick the things to ask about that I have the least practical experience in (and thus remember the least off the top of my head)... stuff like GPOs for desktop configuration settings, the differences between Local System/Network Service... and it didn't help much that I was nervous as hell. A couple of the more detailed questions were on things that came right off of my resume, things that I said I'd done, seemed like it was just to check and see if I'd actually done em. A couple things he had to give me a little lead on (like how Network Service authenticates on another computer)... but then I did ok in answering his questions. And... the bad part... there were a couple that I really should have nailed - things that I know pretty well (like "How Kerberos works") - that I totally blew. I'd start to answer, get part-way thru it, then stop and say "That was totally wrong, and I'm going blank on what the right answer is". He was nice enough to let me off the hook when I'd totally blank out and not keep nailing away on those.

Of course... the thing that I really, really blew, the thing that I think was possibly the most important question he asked me, was the thing I'd been planning to review this morning (Kerberos). I had the material open on my laptop, ready to read, and ran out of time before the interview, because I'd been doing work stuff all morning. *sigh* See what I get for trying to be a good employee? ;-)

After that, I was let loose. I thought that I'd totally blown the important parts of the tech interview, and that I was screwed. I had that nasty feeling in my stomach, which was soon increased by the re-appearance of the low coolant light on the car, sitting at a dead stop in the parking lot at Microsoft. =(

Called Dan, said "go find me a BMW shop in Redmond or Bellevue", and headed in the direction of one. They couldn't get me in, said the dealership around the corner likely couldn't either, but there was another independent shop nearby that might. I went over there, looked pathetic and totally beat, and the nice service manager agreed to get me in. Turns out that my expansion tank on the side of the radiator was cracked, and leaking, as well as a part inside of it (called a thermostat, but it's not a thermostat of any kind). So... they got me all fixed up, for a reasonable price... even with sales tax. =D Thanks, Autohaus-Vick! You'll be getting my business if I end up moving up here! They also, quite likely, identified the source of my intermittent burning smell - the rear diff seals are leaking, likely right onto the exhaust at the rear of the car. Since this has been going on for many, many thousands of miles, in all sorts of climates, I'm gonna take a risk and wait till I get home to fix that bit... but it's nice to have possibly nailed it down.

I spent a few hours waiting on the car, feeling like shit - I'd blown the interview, and I was shelling out an unexpected $400 on the car, etc etc. Talked to my mom and a couple other people. Then the contract company guy called back. He'd talked to the manager at Microsoft, and they "really liked me" and I'd done "very well" on the interview... and they wanted to know if I'd be available for some additional interviewing on Monday afternoon. Luckily, I didn't have to give that one a second of thought, and said "tell me when and where, and I'll be there".

So... it's on to round 2 on Monday. I'm going to do a little bit of review this weekend on the stuff I totally screwed up, and be a bit more relaxed going into Monday's interview, knowing that today was likely the worst it'd be. I confirmed that I would be available 2 weeks from when the paperwork is signed, should they decide to extend me an offer - which seems to work out quite well for everyone. =)

Off to downtown Seattle now, to meet up with mea532 and some other folks... I'm hoping the traffic on the 520 bridge has gotten a bit more reasonable, cause I don't want to deal with going all the way around the lake to the south (or the north) just to avoid it...
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Hey hey, happy birthday, galadrion. I'd bring some cigars and scotch over, but it'd be a bit of a drive tonight...
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Room service at the hotel is from the little attached restaurant/lounge across the way. They have a full bar. And they deliver. It's a beautiful thing.

I'm here, finally. Left home at 5:00, didn't make it into Washington till after 6:30. On the other side of Vancouver, traffic opened up, and everyone starting going at/near the speed limit. A couple miles later, my "Low Coolant" light comes on.

Which doesn't please me... at all.

I pulled off at the next exit to check it out, and the light went off. Looked under the hood, it looked fine, no leaks, so I kept going. A few miles later, the light's on again. So I swore (again), got off the highway, stopped at a gas station, and checked again. Nothing leaking at all... totally clean under the hood. I bought a jug of coolant, got back on the highway, and did the only reasonable thing - called Brice and said "help!"

He guessed that I was low enough that it was fine at low speeds (i.e. the entire drive from the point I left home till the other side of Vancouver), but as soon as I got up to speed it lowered to the point that the sensor triggered. After talking me down off my ledge (at 75mph), he assured me that as long as the temps on the engine didn't go up, I'd be fine to make it to Seattle.

And now, I'm here. Food is ordered, homework is being worked on, and I'm trying to relax so I can get a good night of sleep and wake up ready to face the fun tomorrow. =)
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There's a setting on MySpace that makes people pass a "reverse" Turing Test before they can request to add you as a friend... friggin awesome. =)
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Yaaaaay Brice is gonna come up and visit for my birthday! Now I can prove to Dan that he actually exists! =)
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I'm home, and I'm exhausted. Didn't get enough sleep last night before I drove back from Sac this AM... and I think I'm getting sick - most of the family was the last couple days. =( Gonna grab a quick bite and get to bed.
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For all you coffee lovers/addicts out there (like myself): The Most Expensive Drink at Starbucks
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Ugh, the family's here for christmas dinner. =(
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Oh... and the *official* Cingular/at&t Windows Mobile 6 update for Samsung Blackjacks is making a VERY good showing on Wired Magazine's 10th Annual Vaporware Awards.

For anyone (other than whizistic) who's got a BJ, and doesn't know what's up, WM6 is a major upgrade for the software on the phones - and it's been promised for months, and months, and no one's telling the customers why it's not available yet. CSR's for at&t have been giving bad dates and conflicting information about the release - so no one really knows anything about when, if, or ever. The common assumption is that the delay was to get people so pissed off that they'd go buy a Tilt or a BJ2 and never actually release the update to consumers. Which has a lot of customers pissed off, because they were told (erm... I was told) that the update would be out soon when we got into a contract and bought the phone. Oh, and European BJ's have had the update for months, as have corporate customers... it's only normal consumers that can't get the update.
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Bleh.

In other news, I'm outta here on Saturday AM for 3 fun-filled weeks working back home - I'll be in Sac from Sat afternoon thru sometime around New Years.
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Just got this GREAT comment from the Prof in my telecoms class that I'm in right now, regarding my last assignment (which is the bulk of the paper that we have to do for the class):
"I must say, I think think this is one of the best I've ever seen. If I could give it 200 instead of 100, I would!!!!" (copied/pasted directly - the !!!!!!'s are hers, not mine)

Got this in the mail today, too. It's nice to see that the Police Bureau in Portland are doing stuff...
The parked car winner is...Collapse )

We're having some folks over tomorrow for dinner - then another round later over the weekend to try and get rid of all the leftovers catch the folks who couldn't make it tomorrow. I don't know about y'all (well... I know how iconoclast feels about it), but I always look forward to the day where we get to give thanks to Pocahontas, or whoever, for teaching us how to mill corn to make stuffing for our turkeys. Without it, we'd be lost!
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