Archive for category Work

For the First Time… In a Long Time…

Here I am, sitting at the airport waiting for my flight. I have not been on a plane in almost a year and a half at this point, which seems weird considering I used to be on a flight 2-3 times a week at a minimum. The last time I was on a plane it was on my trip to Fantasy Camp for a vacation, so if we skip that trip it would be almost a full 2 years since I have been on a plane for work.

Logan airport hasn’t changed much, although the construction that was going on in Central Parking for over 2 years appears to be finally completed so the whole garage is now accessible for parking, and surprisingly, the cost to park a car has only increased by $2 a day in the past 2 years.

The ads are new and there is a Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill in Terminal C, but the kiosks and everything are still the same, and the same escalator is still not working to get down from the skyway to the concourse to check in. I still think it’s a conspiracy by the repair companies to keep them busy, same as with the T, fix them just enough to work for a bit and then break again.

Same carpets, same white rocking chairs, same vinyl rows of seats. It feels good to be back. Only trouble is that I have lost my frequent flyer status, so no free upgrade and I needed to wait in the standard security line, unlike in the past where I was able to take the super special speedy line.

I did notice one change though, what used to be the candy and nut stand halfway down the ramp to the gates is now some kind of health food stand with dried fruits and fruit juices. Yay?

I think the shoeshine guy was the same guy, although he was falling asleep and kept doing the head bob. You know the one, head resting on a hand and then you fall asleep so it slips off and then you wake up because of the jerking motion of your head falling, then you look around suspiciously to see if anyone noticed and then go back to snoozing, then repeat over and over again.

I have missed this, and while there is not much currently scheduled, I certainly hope that there is a lot more of this to come. The job looks very promising and I think this is going to end up leading to a whole lot of good things in terms of travel, professional life and personal life.

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Ahhh, Arrived at Last!

Well, I was up nice and early this morning to finish packing and get to the airport….

That went off with no problem, the problem came when the plane I was supposed to be getting on decided to have it’s left engine stop working, in Washington DC at Dulles. SO, what was supposed to be a 11:55 flight, turned into a 2:15 flight, which meant that I could not make my connection in Chicago at 3:30…. so I ended up scheduled for a 5:05 flight instead….

On a positive note, I decided to skip taking up the option to jump onto the 1:35 flight to Chicago which was getting quite full and I would lose my window seat…. Plus, what is a half hour anyway? I will still make the connection to my flight in Chicago either way…..

It was a very unique experience when the 2:15 flight actually ended up leaving, IT WAS PACKED! 11 people on the flight! They felt bad about the delay so we got a free meal, a turkey wrap which was pretty tasty actually, and hit the spot just right.

It was nice to have an entire row to myself for the flight, the only trouble were the 2 dinks sitting in the row in front of me, 2 wise ass wannabe power execs talking to each other how they were god’s gifts to their company, the exact type where you want to just slap them across the back of the head and tell them to shut the fuck up and stop masturbating their own egos.

So I arrive in Chicago, make it over to my connection with no problem, only had to wait 5 minutes to board 🙂 perfect timing! AND I got an exit row so I had like 10 feet to stretch out in my row, and no one in the seat directly next to me!

Well, 10:15 here, so I am heading to bed since it is 1:15 my body time.

55 and raining here, people here drive worse in rain than people in MA drive in the snow! and I was just listening to the news and they had some woman who was complaining about how cold it is, it is 55!! talk about wimps! This is T Shirt weather as far as I am concerned, and wow, a 50 lb meth bust out here… that’s some crazy shit… meth is some fucked up shit, blows my mind when I think about the ingredients to make it….


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Photo 365 – 1/14/2010



Originally uploaded by Nedster78

This is a programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller, it is a digital computer used for automation of electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or lighting fixtures. PLCs are used in many industries and machines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time, otherwise unintended operation will result.(1)

1- From Wikipedia since I didn’t feel like typing out a description.

We use these at work for the Panels we build for our customers. Some pretty cool stuff, I can’t program them now, but maybe at some point I will learn, they are super cool with the stuff they can do.


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Cooler Day… A Magical Time

Today is what is known as “Cooler Day” here at my office.

The company I work for is a small family owned operation, the 3 main people in charge are brother, sister, and father. There is something quaint and warming about cooler day because it brings back the feelings and the ambiance of “the old days”. “The Old Days” were a time when people were more than just worker bees and you felt like you were really someone at the company you worked for instead of a faceless drone spending your time working for the man who has no idea who you are or what you do.

All 3 of the main people know me, know my name, and treat me with respect. Joe, the father, comes into the office and says hello to everyone by name, and always says hello to me since he can’t get into his office without passing by my cube. He is a happy fellow who is just a ncie guy, but can certainly throw out a jab or two when he feels like it. He often jokes with our outside IT Consultant when he sees him in the office, comments like “Oh, you’re here today, must have another kid who needs to go to college now” or “I see you felt it was time to come by so you could upgrade from a 3 series to a 5 series”

So it’s a really really great place to work.

but back to Cooler Day, today is the day when everyone in the office brings a large cooler to work. No, not so that we can go pick up some beers and throw a “wicked pissah bendah” but so that the company can give everyone their Thanksgiving Day turkey. The tradition was born long ago, sometime back before the 1960’s when the original owner would give out a turkey to all the staff. Joe came to the company in 1963, and they were doing it then. He has continued the tradition since he purchased the company back in 1986. In his own words when I queried him about it this morning”

“It’s a tradition, it’s one of those traditions that reminds of the way things used to be, it’s something to hold onto and let’s people know that you are thankful for the effort and work they put into their jobs. That’s why everyone who works here gets one, as well as some of our customers and our vendors, it’s our way of saying thank you in a more personal way.”

There is a reason I like smaller companies, the paycheck might not be as big, but the people and the atmosphere of a functional small company is something that can’t be beat. Sometimes work really is about the people not just the job.

and for the record, these aren’t just frozen turkeys from some supermarket, these are some locally raised, never frozen, fresh from the farm turkeys. They are honestly the best tasting turkeys I have ever had in my life. Now I just need to figure out what to do with all my leftovers this year, I have a total of 3 people(including myself) who will be having Thanksgiving Dinner at my house, and I have a 22 pound turkey that will be cooked. HELLOOOOO Leftovers!

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How Much is Too Much?

How much information is a prospective employeer entitled to while doing a background check as part of the hiring process?

Let’s think about this, they have our name and our email address since you likely emailed them your resume. Who uses paper nowadays right? On top of that you have probably filled out an application which included your phone number, social security number, previous employers and address.

So that would allow them to find out some information through traditional channels as well as general Google searches, unless a Google search is now considered traditional? What about usernames or alternative email addresses? What about a list of all forums, chat rooms, groups or social sites that you use? What about the login and password to those sites?

Did that last line catch you off guard? Did it make you do an “OMG WTF LOL” at the very idea of giving someone your username and password to a website?

Many people have felt the same way about the City of Bozeman Montana who is requesting that very information as past of their standard “CONSENT AND RELEASE TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND and REFERENCE CHECKS” for all prospective employees to the city.

Needless to say, I won’t be applying for a job with Bozeman anytime soon, but I wonder if this idea will start to spread out to other places as well. Is this really a set of information that an employer needs in order to do a background check into someone prior to hiring them? I don’t think so and I think it’s a huge violation of personal privacy.

Should an employer also be allowed full access to do a search of your home? Read all personal diaries? Get the full lowdown on why you left previous jobs?

No to all of these, public information is what should be relevant to employment. Private information should only be considered if it is relevant to something that would directly affect yoru ability to perform the duties of your job, these jobs are few and far between.

On top of the personal privacy issues, there is also another point which needs to be addressed, the Terms of Use/Service of the websites for which they are requesting username and passwords.


3.4 You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.
4.6 You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.


4.   Password. When you sign up to become a Member, you will also be asked to choose a password.  You are entirely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password.  You agree not to use the account, username, or password of another Member at any time or to disclose your password to any third party.  You agree to notify MySpace immediately if you suspect any unauthorized use of your account or access to your password.  You are solely responsible for any and all use of your account.

Now above and beyond the privacy issues, there are also personal security issues with giving this information to someone, especially on a sheet of paper that will be seen by who knows how many people and be stored in who knows what manner? This is a security nightmare of epic proportions for anyone in my opinion. Google and Yahoo are not just social clubs, chat rooms or forums, they are also email providers, so not only would someone have access to that, they could potentially have access to every website you belong to by simply going and having your password emailed to yourself, or scanning through old emails that are still stored within your account.

On top of all that, there is also the risk of whoever is doing the research getting caught up in unrelated social drama where another person could be posting things that aren’t true.

When do we say when? Where do the boundries of personal and professional stop? Who decides what is or is not relevant and do they really have that right?

I honestly question some of the legality of this request in the first place, and while I am sure the city had lawyers that have cleared it; I am sure there are lawyers out there who could find some references that could help clear up the murky waters of legality.

Just to be fair, there are plenty of other parts of this consent and release form that I have issues with, but they don’t really apply to IE, so I won’t go into them.

If the city of Bozeman is interested in hiring me, then they can go get their own Facebook account or Myspace account and become my friend if they want to know what is on my profile.

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It is now ok for me to criticize it…

Not only is it one of the fucking ugliest cars out there, I now have the ability and qualifications to say that a Prius fucking sucks to drive!

Horribly uncomfortable, awkward, and absolute crap for sight lines.

Power is iffy at times and I really dislike how it doesn’t slow you down when you take your foot off the gas since the electric part takes over to keep the car moving more than you would in a normal car.

Just another car to add to the list with minivan and HHR on my no drive list with Avis.


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They Really Mean It!!

So they say it every flight, as you are landing and taxining and they are covering the don’t get up til the light goes off, blah blah blah blah, be careful objects may have shifted, etc etc etc

Well, they are right, sometimes they do.

We landed tonight, taxied, pull up to the gate, people sprint up from their seats, someone opens the overhead compartment and BOOM, laptop bag falls out, knocks a woman on the head and knocks her our cold in here seat…

that’s gotta suck…. just add one more reason to why I always like to sit in the window seats….

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wicked messed up movie… but good…. been watching it on Showtime late night while waiting for my laundry to be done here in the hotel….

laundry is all done… I was so twisted up over the weekend and Monday I had to pack a suitcase of almost all dirty clothes for my trip this week… insanity!!

3 day weekend to catch up this weekend though… that is my goal…

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Check Out the Ass I Got When I Was In Kentucky!

How fucking awesome is that?


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Been Drivin All Night and Hands Wet on the Wheel

and no, not just quoting a great song, that is actually what I have been doing since last night…

To sum it up Reader’s Digest style…

I had a flight, Montgomery to Memphis to Boston.

That was canceled so I was moved to a Montgomery to Charlotte to Washington DC flight in hopes of getting me closer and then just taking Amtrak back to Boston so I could be here in order to work today in Burlington doing a rebuild on a live system.

Well, my DC flight from Charlotte was canceled, and with the likelihood of the 9:45 flight not going either so I could get my 5:30 train in Washington to Boston I needed to improvise…

Ned rented a one way rental to Boston!

So Ned drove all last night from Charlotte, NC back to Waltham.

almost exactly 13 hours.

2 stops for gas, which included food at one, and a pee break at another

3 stops to pee on top of those 2 stops for gas, and I grabbed food at the last pee stop.

I was a slightly nice person and gave a ride to 2 people who were stuck on their way home from Cancun and were stuck there because their flight back to Boston was canceled and they could not get a rental car to get home. Lucky me, they paid for gas, tolls and gave me a few bucks as a thank you, but I am going to expense tolls and gas anyway, not that it is a huge amount of money, but a nice little bonus as far as I am concerned.

Definitely an early to bed for sleep night tonight for me.

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