N'awlins at heart

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I know, I know...

Once again, it's been a while. But life has been busy as usual. I started in a new department last Wednesday and it has been a lot to learn. I think I'm finally picking it up for the most part but still moving slower than I want to. From what I can tell they all seem to understand it will take a while for me to pick up on a whole new way of doing / testing EVERYTHING. But I still want to know it all now. As S1+o knows very well, this is the crappy transitioning part. The one where you feel like a complete idiot the whole time.

I'm at a Power Management test, which is apparently the longest section. The computer puts itself to sleep, hibernate, and power off states repeatedly. And I, in turn, sit here and wait (or blog). LOL. The new lab isn't bad though. Not as much micromanaging going on which is nice. The one down side is as follows... I have been here since last Wednesday. The guy sitting behind me looks like your typical contractor just like everyone else. So I have been BSing with his as such. Since Wednesday. No big deal. Until he leaves for lunch today (along with the guy he is training). The other guy that got moved from my lab came to look at an issue I was having and made the comment "Paul's training someone by you today?". I was like "Yeah, if the guy behind me is Paul, then yes, he has been training someone today". It was about that time that I was informed just who Paul is. Once he said the last name I knew it. I have been BSing with my bosses boss for the last week like we were best friends. I don't know about everyone else, but I would have to assume common courtesy is to inform the new guy when he is seated right next to the big boss. Maybe that's just me. So, while playing catch up and trying to learn, I am running through all the conversations I have had with this man trying to remember how many times I've put my foot in my mouth. On a positive note though, apparently I have just shown him that his "status" doesn't intimidate me. So I guess I should keep going along the way I have been. I don't recall ever pissing him off, so that's a good sign. No need to change the way I treat him now, right? Although I want to grab a few of the guys in the lab and give them the (as Happy Gilmore asked of his caddy) "Where were you on that one guy?" I mean, for real.

Speaking of last Wednesday, the visit from the Spinney Clan was a lot of fun. We went to a few nice restaraunts, and "play" places (namely Dave and Busters). I have been talking to a few of the "Stunt Guys" form Outerlimitz Freestyle and Houston Delinquents. They use to stunt at public places on Wednesday Bike Nights, but the popo were not impressed. So the public stunting has been pretty much shut down. I mentioned to one of them that I had family coming in town who would LOVE to check them out and he gave me directions to one of the "007" spots where they practice. It was nice to get to see them up close without a crowd. And to just hang out and chat with them between "practice". These guys are SICK! I am definitely going to have to set that up again when H2 comes in town. He will absolutely love it! The stuff these guys do is unbelievable.

We were also treated to Fogo de Chao. It was awesome. The food just kept coming. The Spinney's left on Saturday, and it poured the rest of the weekend / holiday. I actually checked the weather and it seemed like the huge storm was just "hanging out" right over Houston. New Orleans seemed to have pretty decent weather the whole time. So W1 and I more or less hung out around the house all weekend and got some much needed rest. We watched the Sopranos marathon all day yesterday. It was pretty interesting, but i'm sure seeing it from the beginning would help a lot. Oh well, there are always DVD's to rent.

Well, it's starting to get "busy" around my area so i think that'll have to do for now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

And the bonus.

I forgot to mention while I was riding around yesterday, on the way home, I passed a car. When I realized what he was doing I immediately slowed down than matched speed with him. I rode next to him for about 30 seconds and I don't think he even realized I was there. He appeared to be reading page 2 of a 5-6 page document (Stapled and folded over). All this while driving up the road. When I saw a girl flying over the MRB steering with her knee and using her hands to braid her hair I thought I had seen it all. But for the 2nd time in Houston, I have now seen 2 people driving in traffic reading. What is wrong with these people?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

You could use a cold shower.

Okay, I know it's been forever. My bad, my bad. So here's a little of what's been going on. ChiaPop is still in the hospital. Not very impressive. But I did talk to him last night and he said he felt better. I can't wait for him to get better. We went to visit last weekend and it sounds like he is doing better off than he was then. So that is always a plus.

We've been doing some thinking and it's time for Big J and Brittany to move here. Houston apparently has a shortage of knowledgeable firemen. Last week around 9:30 PM the fire alarm went off in our complex. When it goes off in one apartment sirens go off in all the apartments. It is a piercing scream that I can guarantee we will not be sleeping through. 45 minutes later the firemen show up. They were able to silence the alarm (but the box, which is conveniently located on the other side of the wall from our headboard, kept beeping. So that made for a lovely nights sleep). The firemen then decide they need to go into every apartment to find out who the culprit was. I was by the front door when I heard him telling W1 we were the cause of the alarm. Now I knew this was total bullshit. I have set the alarms off cooking bacon. They are on a different frequency and out of sync with the building alarm. And they have a bright red light that blinks. So, this genius commences to calling his Captain to ask him about it. And he states "You see how the light is solid? That means this one went off right?" His Captain looked at him like he was an idiot and responded "That's the power light". After hearing this I had to look at it. Sure enough he was talking about a tiny green light that was labeled "Power". The larger red light was not on. You know, the one that blinks when it goes off. Yeah, part of the button you push to test it. Great. I have a lot more faith in these guys now. As soon as I smell a match I'm gonna commence to chucking every expensive piece of electrical equipment I can get my hands on, out the front door.

The weather has been gorgeous this weekend. W1 and I took a short ride yesterday to a BBQ joint up the road. It was pretty good. Probably not as good as the Crawfish we missed in NOLA today. But still some damn good cookin. W1 had to work today, so they could finish installing her furniture at her new office. I was sitting around bored so I decided to take a short ride. I jumped on Google Maps and found a relatively large circle of roads. I was out for about 2 hours. I would much rather have taken the river road to Kenner, then back to NOLA, but it was still a nice ride. Tons of bikes out today. I saw one of the stunters out, with his bike in the back. It wasn't hard to miss the bright Red and Yellow paint job.

Later, after W1 got back home, we ran out and got some boiled crabs. We ate a few of them and then she went for a nap. That is when I went to rinse the bowls and discovered, for the 2nd day in a row, WE HAVE NO HOT WATER!!! We called yesterday around 2:00 PM and they said the guy would be out around 4:00 PM. Apparently they didn't mean the same day. So it looks like cold showers all around. Yaaayyyy! W1 is calling and leaving a Voice Message every hour, on the hour. Since there is only an answering service. It made me think though, when the fire alarm went off last week, the Manager of the complex showed up. I wonder if she would show up again if someone were to pull that alarm.

And speaking of the fire truck. This will clue you in on the Houston drivers. Apparently, once the fire truck got into our complex, they almost made a wrong turn. So the driver hit the breaks. One of the great Houston drivers was obviously not paying attention, and ran right into the back of the truck. How bad of a driver do you have to be to not see a giant, bright red truck with blinking red lights and sirens. So they got to sit outside our window with that diesel engine chuggin away for 2 hours while they waited for HPD to show up and write a report.

I guess all in all things haven't been too bad. We got some much needed sleep Friday night. W1 got off early and they are starting me temporarily in a new group on Monday. Rather than start a project I may not finish I left a few hours early. When I got home at 5:30 PM on Friday night W1 was taking a nap. I decided to take one too, and woke up at 8:00 AM Saturday morning. But being so energized we went out and washed the car, the bike, and the truck. And trust me, they all needed a bath. (Much like I do if they ever get us our damn hot water back.)

The new department I'm going to Monday? Oh yeah, I never mentioned what it was. Here's the kicker. A few months ago I got offered a $10 an hour raise to move to a different department. I was all over it however the contract company I work for has a tendency to sue. Apparently there is a rule against jumping from one contract to another. So I backed out. Now here we are 2 months later. They decide our work is dwindling, and rather than close the lab for a week, they are going to "loan" 2 of us out to a different group. Of course I was one of the selected ones. Can you guess which group I get to go to? Yep, you guessed it. The one I was going to take the job with originally. The best part is, I get to move to that group at the same pay I'm making right now. $10 raise, what $10 raise? Well, life goes on.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tonight's entertainment brought to you by "Glad Tall Kitchen Bags".

Oh great, another Monday. That was my first thought this morning. After showering, brushing teeth, etc... I put on a new pair of Jeans.

Lets flash back a week to last Wednesday. Helping W1 move her office to the new building. Last trip, probably close to 11:00 PM, and of course the boxes at the bottom were all full of unopened printer paper. So I'm lugging a box across the office and I hear a strange sound. One that caught me off guard. It turned out to be the sound of my belt breaking. Now anyone who has spent time around me knows most of my jeans are "hand me ups". One of the good things about having younger brothers who are taller than you is when they outgrow their jeans, you get them. Unfortunately the pair I happened to have on was about 6" too wide in the waist. Are ya ready to do the math? Big Pants - Belt = NO PANTS! That's right, with every step my pants came further down. So I didn't have long to set the box down.

Now Houston has a lot of things. Stores on every corner that sell belts at 11:00 PM on a Wednesday Night they do not. Being the geek that I am I improvised and held my pants up the rest of the evening with an Cat 5 cable. Yep, a network cable. It was at the moment, I had an epiphany. I knew it was time for pants that fit. So, last weekend, we picked up a couple pairs in my size.

So, heading out to work in my new pants I hopped on the bike. The Beltway was typical traffic. Coming up behind an 18 wheeler I got hit in the leg with a rock. It felt pretty jagged. The kind of rock that would star your windshield. And do you know what the first thought was running through my mind? Not "Ow, that hurt!" Not "Man, I hope I'm not bleeding." It was "Damn it! If that ripped my new pants IT'S ON!" Luckily, it did not.

The day went by typically for a Monday. It was quite busy but I can't complain because it made the day go by pretty quick. Towards the end I was getting tired of being there, the driver I was testing was not going well, and anything to get me out of there would be appreciated. At that very moment I saw a flash. It was like a camera flash. Then another, and another. There was no sound at first but that didn't matter, I knew exactly what was happening. I reached for my jacket and helmet just as the announcement was made over the PA, there was a fire in the building. (Or another drill just like the one last week). So I headed for the stairs. (There's really no point standing around outside for 15 minutes just to come back and work for 10, so I headed home.

After gassing up I got onto US 249 headed to the belt. (Much like Orlando I've noticed they feel the need to number all the roads in Houston). I made it to the 1960 overpass and just over the top our daily excitement reared it's ugly head. Directly ahead of me in my lane was a glad tall kitchen bag, floating around in the breeze. I slowed down to see where it was heading, but it just darted back and forth in my lane. I gunned it trying to swerve at the last second but to no avail. The large white bag wrapped itself around my left arm. Unfortunately it was not raining, so I had no need for this free rain gear. I looked to my left and got away from traffic, then reached back with my left arm and let it soar. Needless to say I was a little more cautious the rest of the ride home.

I did post this yesterday so I will continue today. Today went fairly easy. Woke up this morning to get ready for work. Took a shower then decided work wasn’t a good idea so we called in. Went back to sleep until about 2:30 PM. Then we got up, ate some cereal and went back for another nap around 4:00 PM. Woke up at 7:20 PM and I think we’re up for a few hours now. I have to admit today was not very stressful at all.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


One thing I hate about living in Houston is the price of seafood. Along with the way it is prepared. Basically, last night, we moved most of W1's office to their new building. Not too bad, but I will admit I am exhausted. Afterwards, we went to a local "watering hole" (Informal definition of course) and had some food. W1, her boss, and I all got burgers. Not bad, especially at midnight. Her other boss, however, ordered 2 lbs of crawfish. Now, the problem here is that Houston seems to cook their crawfish like Hooters does their wings (Crappy! Ok, just kidding). But what they seem to do is boil them in plain water, then "dust" them with cayanne pepper. (Much like Hooters frying their wings then "shaking" them in the sauce.) Which leaves you with a giant mess. I guess they do this because mud bugs just ain't messy enough. Who knows? I think W1's boss made the best comparison. And I quote "Hmmm, I'm really in the mood for some coffee. I guess I'll chew on a coffee bean then gargle scalding hot water. Yeah, it's just not the same."

The weather here has been pretty strange to say the least. They forcast stoms and you get nothing, they forcast 10% chance of rain and it pours all day. I'm starting to think maybe weather man should have been my calling. I can take guesses that are wrong 90% of the time. Ok, I'm sorry. That is a little mean. I'm sure they spend lots of time and money on schooling to "guess" at the weather. Is it too late for a career change?

Is it time for coffee? Indeed it is not! Not any more today anyway. Short story long... We have 3 "business size" coffee pots on our floor here. One of the guys was getting coffee and a roach ran out from under the spout. That sort of ended our coffee from there. So we started bringing our own pot and brewing it ourselves. I have never made the coffee in "that" machine until today. How did that work out you ask? Not so well! The co-worker told me to use 6 scoops of regular (1/8 cup). He did not realize I was using regular strength, not that sissy 1/2 Caff they have there. He also didn't realize I was adding flavored grounds to it (another 4 scoops). By the time it was done creamer couldn't lighten this stuff up. It was like syrup coming out of the brewer. I had 2 cups, and now I'm sitting here with a stomach ache and the shakes. How much do you want to bet they won't ask me to make the coffee again. On a good note though I am WIDE AWAKE! Ha Ha Ha!

Not much else going on for now so that's all ya get!