Sunday, November 8, 2009
Anyways, this will be a rather short post. Just checking in really, and a bit anxious now to finally hit the slopes again in the upcoming months (might be the year I conquer snowboarding).
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
As we start this trip back through time, even though this post is recent as of today, the next few posts after this one will actually precede this. Now that this is all crystal clear, lets move on.
Starting with the exciting happy news first. Work has been going amazingly well, and not only work, but I have some exciting leads for An Easier Life as well. Starting with Design-PT, I got a promotion to Account Executive, which means I will be in sales and working closely with clients and new prospects. The catch, however, is that I have to dual-wield job positions. I still have to maintain all of my old job responsibilities as a tech until I strike up enough business to wean off of the old position.
There is lots to learn, and I definitely have some skills to develop. Especially with leaving voice mail messages. For example, today I was making my first calls and while leaving a message at one of the companies, I lost my train of thought, followed by some silence, followed by me missing the prompt on how to review/delete the message, ending in flames with the half message half awkward silence being sent. Oh S%&T! Right? Well, I promptly called back and blamed it on a phone glitch. Not my smoothest moment, but hey, I call it a newbie mistake.
I did redeem myself, because the next prospect I called was interested and requested more info. Cha-Ching.
The next exciting bit I have to share is the awesome opportunity I have with my personal business. I've been in talks with the management of my apartment complex in regards to them using me as a supplier for a large portion of their office and maintenance crew goods. The complex as a whole is owned by a larger corporation, but if approved, and I get signed in as an official vendor, this will open the door for me being able to sell my services to every apartment complex the company owns, which is a lot. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
On Curry's life. She had an awesome 6-month review, received a nice raise, and feels pretty stable in her career as well. She deserves some juicy kudos too for all the house hunting work she has been doing. Even though the near nightly pursuit of TV shows and internet searches about everything homes and real estate tends to wear my interest thin, I know it will pay off huge when we're ready to buy.
On a final note of not so happy news, which should give you east coasters, and anyone who doesn't live on the latitudinal equivalent of Alaska, the last laugh, snow appeared on the mountains this week, and the short season of Autumn is in full swing. I really love Fall, but the fast approaching winter feels a bit heinous.
While it is hard to see, the mountains are becoming covered in snow.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
We awoke to other residents covering their cars with tarps outfitted with masks to protect the lungs from the glass-like shards of chaos that is volcanic ash. Although ash is very fine, it's very unhealthy; this pretty much ruined us going out for the night. Luckily most of the ash had fallen by the time we woke up, although you could still see the haze of it in the air. To try and stay on top of this problem, since we don't have tarps of our own, we took buckets of hot water to pour over our cars' air vents to try to minimize build up.
**Tip** Don't use a brush or broom to remove ash from a car - it can really damage the paint**
Tomorrow we'll try to find a brushless car wash, but for now, we're watching The Amazing Race online. We love us some internet.
But I digress.
In anticipation of our belongings arriving, one of the pieces of furniture that I would be needing to buy is a desk chair. We went out looking two weekends back and turned into our own worst enemies. The first stop we went to was Bailey's, which I think may be the largest dealer in the state. We agreed before we left that we wouldn't let ourselves be talked into buying anything, but we failed to account that we may end up talking ourselves into the very thing we were trying to avoid. Upon arrival we found out that the store was having a 20% off sale. Great - cheap chairs! Right?
Turns out that the office chairs they did have were a bit disappointing, but we did stumble upon a 'breakfast nook' which went great with the stuff that we already own and created seating for about six around the table in a relatively small space (huge improvement from the table we shipped that is half the size with only 2 chairs). Bonus added: the seats lift up on the bench portions for storage!
We were pretty much instantly sold when we saw the table, and reasoning that with the sale going on, we should probably look at some sort of couch, sectional, etc, since the futon we shipped is nice, but may not last much longer. After placing our butts over and over again on our final decisions, and taking a break from it all at the Subway next door, we deciding on the plushy and voluptuous chair and a half with autaman (spelling?). Our pieces were shipped last week, and its wonderful to not have to chaff my ass on a metal chair.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Yes, they close streets downtown, and cover them with snow so they can hold sled dog races in the city!
So, the Fur Rondy (or in its full name the Fur Rendezvous) is a carnival held near the end of winter that commemorates two events. The carnival itself evolved from a 74 year old tradition of a gathering of fur traders. The second is to start off the Iditarod, which is seperate from the in-city sled dog races.
|From February 2009|
We didn't get to the carnival, but here's a picture of it while I was driving past.
And for anyone who is curious how the Iditarod got started:
The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.
In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs. (src: http://www.iditarod.com/learn/)
Ok, so the first thing I'll post is some pictures from when I went ice fishing a few weeks ago. I don't really have any good shots, but it adds to the story, so I'll throw them up here anyways.
|From February 2009|
The name of the frozen lake we were on more or less completely escapes me at the moment, but I think we turned on to 8 mile road, so maybe it's 8 mile lake. Or it could be that there was a road at the 8 mile point - can't really say. Anyways, it was pretty cool to be standing safely on a frozen lake. I remember as kids, playing in the snowy fields around our house and finding big frozen puddles to try to walk across, usually pretty unsuccessfully, mind you. It was a nice change to stay dry.
We began, or I should say Roger began by using a big red auger to drill through the ice.
|From February 2009|
After he had the holes drilled, he took some egg shells out of his coat and cracked them up into the fresh openings into the waters below. It's a clever way to illuminate the bottom. If you lay down and cover your head, you can see the bottom of the lake and all the fish swimming around from the light reflecting off the white of the shells. It was pretty neat.
We fished for about two hours with nothing more than some fishing line wrapped around a basic fishing rod. I should have gotten a picture of that, come to think of it. Actually I should be getting some really decent photos from this day, and I'll post them to my web album when I get them. One of Roger's friends who is an amateur photographer came along with us that day; a couple of the fish that were caught were thrown out near the tree line to try to lure in Bald Eagles, which is what the photo man was hoping to be able to snap some shots of. There was another family out on the ice with us though, and the dogs they had probably kept the eagles at bay.
I was out-fished [Roger: 5-6 | Me: 1].
Thursday, March 12, 2009
notice the spongebob tie
And for some competition from Pittsburgh, for those of you have not yet seen our rival bad commercial:
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
She told North Star she needed a few days to decide due to other offers, and being that she wouldn't have started until February 16th, they were fine with that. So, she interviews with V of A and then we played the waiting game. With no word back from V of A, and nearly a week passing, North Star put on the pressure for a decision. Curry accepted the offer of course, being there was no guarantee from the other job. After going through the formalities of signing some basic paper work, they wanted her to have some blood tests done, etc., that she had a week to complete before the start date. This leaves her hanging on a thread because there was still a chance to get the other job, although it seemed dim at this point.
And then the clouds parted.
She receives a call for a second interview from V of A, and she sold herself F.T.W. (stands for "for the win" for you non-gamers out there). She was of course, ecstatic, and landed the job over someone with more experience due to her excitement and apparent passion for the work.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I don't know, maybe lot numbers are confusing to read?
Anyhow, the staff that normally handles this stuff is back on Monday, when we're supposed to call back. I'm hoping that ship is damn close to docking, or is already here, because I'm rather tired of living like a hobo.
Monday, February 2, 2009
This weekend was pretty good (regardless of our stuff still not arriving even though we were told it should be here by saturday so obviously someone was just handing out answers and we're calling back today to raise some hell). We did some shopping on Saturday to get out of our barren apartment, and I ate at my first Mongolian BBQ. It's kind of like a mix between a Chinese Buffet and a restaurant where the Hibachi Chef cooks at your table. There's a salad bar type of area where you can assemble meats, veggies, and sauces together in a large bowl that you hand over to the chef. He then throws it on to the very large flat cast-iron type of surface to cook it up fresh for your enjoyment. Its basically really good, fresh lo mien. There's also a small buffet with your typical chinese food, in case you're still hungry.
Yesterday was fun as well. We went to the Sea Galley / Peppermint Grill (sister restaurant attached to the same building) to watch the game. There was a fairly even mix of Steeler's fans and Cardinal's fans, so it created an entertaining atmosphere. The appetizers were good, and we won one of the raffles to be entered into another drawing (which ended up being a pre-raffle for the real drawing; confused? so were we) for a trip to Mexico.
After the game, we trekked over to my co-workers place, who invited Curry and I over for dinner with him and his wife. We had a great feast and played a game called Settlers of Catan after dinner. I played it once in college, and it's a really great back-stabbing strategy game.
So that was our weekend, and now I'm at work on a Monday, instead of where I really want to be, in a bed. I'll have to get pictures of my car and our finished pottery that we painted later this week.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I asked Roger if he noticed anything, and while he said he didn't, we may have only been able to feel it because Curry's bedroom is in the basement. The quake was only a 2 to 3, and from what I could find out, was about 100 miles away.
Here's a link to what I found out about it.
Anyways, it was pretty cool.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
So, Curry and I had a date night tonight - we had to get out of the apartment and do something just for fun for a change, since all we have been doing for the past month is either sitting around, packing and unpacking, or running errands. After starting the night off at Wal-mart to pick up a few things, we went to get a couple of sammiches at a deli chain called Schlotsky's; it was a pretty good place. Our original plan was to go see a movie, but now we had a lot of time to kill, so we went to the mall and wondered around for a while before we stumbled across a place called Color Me Mine. It's a paint your own pottery place, and being that it was their 2nd birthday, you got a free mug to paint when you painted another piece. So, after getting scolded for touching the unpainted pieces before washing my hands (apparently oils from the skin get absorbed really easily and paints and glazes don't stick as well) we got to work. It took about 1.5 to 2 hours to finish 2 pieces each, and it was fun to do. We get to pick up our finished works of art in about 10 days (more pictures of the night are in my web album - this mall also has an ice skating in it).
After we finished there, we walked up to the theater and after some debate, purchased 2 tickets to go see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - really good movie. The movie has great actors in it, and in general is just a great fantastical story. It really is one of those movies that makes you think about your life and where you've been, what you've done, and where you may end up.
I think many of us always dream about going on great journey's in our lifetime, but when it comes down to the decision to get up and go, it takes a lot to leave. But once you get over the hump of whatever may be holding you back and say 'Yes, I'm going to do this,' and you end up where ever you end up, its nice to be able to look back and realize that it wasn't so bad after all. And for me, since I've realized that 'wow, I actually did this,' I kind of want to taste more. I'm very curious of where else I may end up in my lifetime, now knowing that anywhere is possible with little more than a decision to do so.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
What a change from UPMC, too:
week or 2 pass
Called the next day
Interviewed the following monday
called the same day for a second interview
2nd interview on tuesday
called that night to be offered the job.
Every company should work so efficiently. When you need a job, how horrible is it that it can take months. A couple weeks I can understand if there are many people to interview, but c'mon UPMC, with all that money and clout, get yer act together. And what is equally as horrible (emotionally) is the same thing that happens when you are being dumped by an ex-lover; waiting around not knowing what the outcome will be...
Now that I am done ranting, I am just happy and incredibly impressed that it all happened so fast. I'm also super excited for my brother who got his first, of what we hope to be many, law school acceptance letters.
So, I think it is fair to say that it has been a great week so far for the Mohr's. The only thing I'm a little bummed about is missing the live presentation of Obama's Inaugural speech (no TV yet), but I'm sure I can find that online within a day or two, so no biggie.
I shall sleep easier tonight.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Tomorrow's interview is the scary one, not because I'm meeting with the owner and president of the place, but because it is the technical interview, and you never know what kind of crazy questions could be asked. Although I feel pretty confident about my skills, I haven't had experience in 100% of the systems they use, but really, has anyone? |:-) I don't like to think so. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, and hopefully you will be too, that when asked something rediculous, I will be able to weasel my way to an answer satisfying enough to land me this position. It's a small company (40 + employees) which I love, and I'd love to work for this place.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We're in Seward again for the weekend, and it's been great having a real bed to sleep in. The air mattress in our apartment just isn't cutting it, and I cannot wait until our stuff arrives.
We haven't been up to too much the past couple days; we have applied to jobs, ate good food, and relaxed. A fun little event going on this weekend, however, was the 24th annual Polar Bear Jump which is a fundraiser for cancer research. As you can see, those who get sponsored and raise the money dress up for the big plunge, and the whole thing is kicked off by a small parade that goes through the town. Besides the Jump, this has been a pretty chill weekend again. I did get a call Friday for an interview, so I'm pretty excited. I just submitted my resume Thursday night and got the call Friday morning. Hopefully all goes well.
Here's the link to the photo album:
|Polar bear jump 01-09|
Studded tired are the secret ingredient. Since it was so cold last week (20 below) and so warm this week (around 40 - an 80 degree difference!) ice was melting and everything was rather slushy and lake-like. As anyone who has driven a fair amount in winter weather, slush can be worse than ice, but I held my own driving around. I'm just thankful that we finally have the car and can get around town on our own. We're 90 % put together now; once our furniture arrives and we have somewhere to actually sit in our apt, life will be much better
Friday, January 16, 2009
Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I'll chat a little about the concept of local reality (taking an example from the book). Let's say we have a can sitting on a fence post, and we want to knock that can onto the ground. As most of us know the universe and how it works, the can has to be struck. To accomplish this, we can pick up a rock, and by throwing it at the can, transfer our energy into the rock, sending it hurling towards the can, and when the rock strikes the can, it will be knocked down. A directly manipulates B to directly effect C. Local Reality.
Now, here's the good stuff. Two particles that are entangled (as when a photon of light is split into two by some means) can directly effect each other no matter the distance in between. The easiest way I can explain this also comes from the book. If we want to measure the spin state (up or down) of these particles, the mere act of observing collapses the entanglement. However, since the particles are said to be occupying both states of up AND down until observed, when we do finally look at them, the probability of being in a state of up or down is 50 / 50. So, we have 2 particles (A and B) both occupying spin states of up and down simultaneously. We measure the spin of particle A, and discover that at the time of measurement, it's spin is down, and instantly particle B would have a spin state of up, no matter the distance in between. Crazy, right?!
Even though my examples are a little shaky, this is a great book. It goes into detail of time travel, super fast computers, and teleportation technologies (as well as fun things about how your reflection you see in a mirror isn't the original reflection of light) all based off of quantum entanglement. I recommend it because it will learn you some things that you never would even know that you didn't know. Also, the author explains these concepts much better than I.
Friday, January 9, 2009
We're actually a day late getting in because Curry had a last minute interview this morning which is turning out to be very promising. I haven't had any call backs myself as far as jobs go, but some more positions did open up with the state so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. If I don't hear anything soon, Jenne (Curry's Dad's girlfriend) can probably get me a job as a Probation Officer. Being a P.O. is probably the last thing I've ever seen myself doing, but the pay is actually pretty good. Also, it would probably have a benefit added in that it would help me become more assertive and less of a pushover in less than amicable social situations. :-)
Anyways, it is nice to finally have a couple of days to relax. I feel that the packing and repacking from place to place is never going to end, but we'll finally be pretty well settled into our apartment next week which will be just about perfect as long as our car arrives someday this year.... I have to add that all this moving around is exhausting. Yesterday, when trying to organize some of the chaos in our place, I hit the wall. I got so tired that I could hardly think. I finished up whatever it was we were doing and I just collapsed in our hole-ridden air mattress. The air cushioned rest was short lived however, due to escaping air and having to ride back to our temporary home where we ate, drank some wine, and passed out.
This will be a great weekend; nothing to do and nowhere to go =D
Or Click Here to see the album
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The past few days here have been so busy. Shopping, errands, running to and fro, sleeping on a futon, etc. etc. has been pretty tiring. I finally got in a decent nap today, and I have coffee brewing now, so hopefully i will be able to stay up later, so I can sleep in later to finally be fully adjusted to the new time zone.
Due to my life being indefatigable since we've started the process of packing back home, and it's continued up here, "bulleting" my thoughts seems the easiest way to keep it all straight.
- Our flights were amazing. Being able to fly first class for most of the trip was top notch. It is totally worth the extra expense, hands-down. From the bigger seats to the better free food to the free wine, liquor, etc., it really is just better. Just don't be like me and while standing up smack your glass of wine off the little table only to splatter it on the airplane wall, yourself, and your girlfriend...
- We lost 20 dollars in the vegas airport casinos.
- Walking out of the Anchorage airport was like walking into a winter wonderland with what I call high-def x-mas lights strewn throughout the snow/frost laden trees.
- The house we're staying in and housesitting for is cozy and great. And living with an ex-chef/baker makes it all the better. We were also greeted by three dogs upon arrival: Rascal (aka firefox), Newbuck (aka bear), and missy (curry's family's dog) They're great animals, although they're all a little off. Newbuck is the dog version of eeyore, rascal refuses to go outside, and missy is pretty highstrung.
- The mountains look amazing during the sunsets when fog is laying across them.
- There are A LOT of accidents. Most probably from newbies driving too fast. Daily we drive past cars in a snow bank, overturned, and/or in your run-of-the-mill fender benders. The main roads are mostly clear, but the ice that is left over is ingrained with gravel and has been grated to have texture so that you can get traction.
- To get a drivers license, you have to take the written driving exam. I failed the first time due to not knowing some stupid laws about insurance and DUI penalties. psh...
- Our car still isn't here (most likely due to the high winds in the gulf). Curry's dad has been nice enough to shuttle us around everywhere. One morning though, we broke down in the middle of a highway (alternator went) but some good Samaritans stopped, towed us, and helped us fix the problem. Thanks again guys!
- Our apartment is perfect. We have an awesome view and we're in the rental office building, which means nicer units and better neighbors. Plus, the sauna, whirlpool, gym, and tanning bed are all in our building. Score.
- Pics coming soon on picasa; I was going to use an awesome service called memeo, but you only get 1 GB free :-\
- Curry has had two interviews so far, both of which went pretty well.
- This weekend, we go to Curry's hometown of Seward to gather more supplies and to cook up some food since we'll be starting to stay in our apartment next week most likely.
HELLO to all of my family and friends that are going to be reading this.
(The picture to the left was taken around 9 a.m. from the porch of the house we're staying in)
I've successfully survived my first couple of days here in the chilly north, and I gotta say, it ain't half-bad. Sure, we've had consistent temperatures below -10, but being that it is what's expected, it's really not half-bad (famous last words). Dressing warm and bundling up is just how it goes here, so being dressed correctly really keeps the blood from freezing (unlike in Pittsburgh where you can half dress warmly because there's always a chance it may warm up during the day). Also, it has been nice to hear that stretches of days this cold is pretty rare in Anchorage.
One more note on the cold. It's different than in Pittsburgh. It could be that I've never felt temperatures of -15 or colder without the help of a wind chill paired with the fact that the air is really dry - it definitely is an interesting sensation. I think I've been lucky though that it hasn't been blustery because that probably would have made me cry. A lot.
Here's another interesting tidbit that I wasn't expecting. Yes, we get daylight everyday, but the sun doesn't start to rise until about 8:30. I kind of like it though; for whatever reason it's really peaceful and relaxing to wake up around 7 or so (still fighting jet lag) and having it be as dark as when you went to bed, and about an hour later getting to watch the sunrise every morning. It's beautiful here.
Here's some final thoughts for this post:
If you don't plug your car in, it won't work.