All posts for the month February, 2007

As most of you know, I am leaving Big Blue on the 15th of March. Since it looks like a sad severance package- I am need of employment. Luckily I appear to be in some amount of demand.

I had a meeting with a staffing service/head hunter last Wednesday that went quite well. From there I did a phone screen on Friday for a contract-to-hire position. It looks promising, but I need to talk to folks there in person before I can decide if I like the job or not. There has been no follow-up on that that phone call yet. I expect one shortly.

Yesterday I got an email from a recruiter for a high-tech software company in town. As it turns out, I know a few people who work there. I know the VP from reputation, we worked at the same company but not directly together. I also know one of the QA managers and one of the QA folks. I did work with them directly. That got me fast tracked and I went in for a on-site today. I think it went really well. I hope to know more by the end of the week. It got down to job role description and start date. That is a good thing in my experience.

My goal is to start on March 19th. That gives me the 15th and 16th to watch the first round of the NCAA basketball tourney. It also gives me the weekend to watch the round of 32. I have four days of flex-holiday which I will take before the 15th. That gives me plenty of time to hang out. I might even play a little golf. Mookie’s Weekend at Mookie’s is coming up in April; It would be nice to at least be able to *hit* the ball.

I am still on the wagon. 5 days left. There are several of us on this plan. One of them figures he had his last drink at 10PM Super Bowl Sunday. He figures one month puts it at 10PM Sunday. I, for one, will not be going out Sunday to have a beer at 10 just because the month is up. Most likely I will just hit a happy hour on the 5th. I figure two or three beers and I will be swimming. Last year I had three beers and one shot before I got on the plane to Vegas and was *hammered*. Lack of tolerance is a hell of a thing.

There is talk of a Vegas trip in April to play some golf and cards. I’m not sure of the time frame, I’m not sure of the job situation, I’m not sure of the cash situation, and well- I’m just not sure I can do it in April. Past that it gets too damn hot to play in the desert. I’ll stick to my 6:30 tee-times here in Austin and sweat it out before noon.

Still running. It is a slow week, with only 6 miles on the schedule. Today I did two miles in 18:26 (9:13s). I did four miles on Saturday in 40:24 (10:06s). I am pretty happy with those paces. Certainly, I would like to get my short runs into the mid to low 8s and my longer runs closer to 9 minute miles- but for now I am pretty content.

The torrent I mentioned in a past post finally worked. I had to change to the actual BitTorrent client and let it try for awhile. 3 gigs of data. 727 songs. 1.8 days of music. I have heard some interesting stuff so far and have only listened to a dozen or two songs.

One small note on poker: I officially suck. My FullTilt account is nearly drained and I reloaded Stars to, apparently, drain that one as well. Ick.

I ordered a new laptop from Dell Outlet over the weekend. It should come in this week since it is being shipped from the next town over. I’m hoping to make my next post from my new shiny laptop. And yes, I will be dual booting it with Linux, probably Ubuntu. I also avoided Vista. XP suits me much, much better.

Have a good Hump Day everyone!

I sit here at work content after getting my weekly greasy spoon fix of cheese enchiladas so it seems appropriate to post to my “Ghey Blog” ™.

Check out Wanky the Safety Cat (props to Gizmodo). I think I need one of those for my truck.

I was going to use a PPA donation to reload a little cash at FullTilt ($20 gets you $50) but after lasts night I am going to hold off. One “bad beat story” to explain my recent run. Bubble time in a cheap SnG. I get Jacks on the BB. Folds to the SB who doubles the blind to 800. I push for 1700ish. He calls with K9 sooted. I get another jack on the flop, but the turn fills his flush and I am done on the bubble. 21 events this month with an amazing ROI of minus 18%. Yeah. 8 cashes but only one 1st. Grrrr. How did I ever stay cash positive at this damn game?

Check out this CG image. Looks as good as a photograph- but completely done with CG. Simply Amazing.

The VA Tech Hokies whooped-down the BC Eagles last night. Tied for 2nd in the ACC with only three games to go. It does look like they can pull a 5 seed with a reasonable showing in the ACC tourney. They seem to have UNC’s number this season so maybe they can even do the unmentionable. They have not been this good since Ace Custis in the mid-late 90s.

I had a screening interview with a contract-to-hire service yesterday. It went pretty well, there is a Linux Lab Admin job in town that I should do well at. I’ll probably know more in the next few days, and maybe even get the interviews going. It would be nice not to have a job gap.

As part of my running regime I am supposed to do “cross training” which is a lose term uses to describe anything but running that involves movement. 30 minutes of spirited Wii tennis probably counts. I am choosing to use the Concept2 rower that I have and has been under-utilized since I got it. What I do is row in 10 minute chunks. If I am supposed to do 30 minutes of cross I do 3×10 minute rows with a 5 minute break. Yesterday that turned into 6+ km of rowing which is good for legs, abs, backs, arms, and overall strength and endurance. The only caveat is that blisters happen. I need to toughen up anyway.

XM vs Sirius. I have XM in the truck and really enjoy it. I need to renew my subscription in March anyway- but this merger/acquisition seems very interesting to me. If they combine programming and I can get NFL, MLB, NPR, and the music I get now I will be pumped. I don’t really give a flying eff through a rolling donut about Stern or O & A or Oprah so hopefully their overly inflated incomes don’t kill the normal programming.

11 days of “On-The-Wagon Travel” left. 16 days of Big Blue employment left. 4 days of floating holiday I need to take- hmmm… what to do?

Has anyone got the torrent from the SXSW website to work?

I am getting an error using BitTornado about an MP3 not existing. Duh. I’m trying to download the collection, it *can’t* exist yet.

I have a meeting with a recruiter tomorrow. Hopefully good things come from that because both jobs I was vying for internally dried up due to budget concerns. I am going to be laid off on March 15th and I would really like something lined up by then. It does not look like the cash part of the severance package is very good, so I will need to be gainfully employed shortly. Of course I have some fairly major expenses in the house and truck. I have emergency funds (as everyone should) but they are in CDs making decent interest and I really don’t want to raid them.

I decided that some live poker would be a good way to waste a Saturday evening so I headed over to Mookie’s (and Mrs. Mookie’s) for some re-buy madness.

There were 20 runners and 23 rebuys in the 80 minutes of re-buys. I was, unfortunatly, one of those when my aces were cracked by 56 sooted when a 3 on the river sealed a straight. I chipped up for the 2nd half of the re-buy period, did not add on, took my bonus chips and was about 2/3 of average. When we lost two players we moved to two tables where I continued to bleed chips. I was able to double though Rico and then held my own to the final table. (…time passes, now bubble time…) The blinds were 4k/8k and I had about 55k. I made it 30 to go and Rico made it 60. I was pretty much commited with pocket tens. Looking back, he showed his jacks before I said call- but it wasn’t an angle. The blinds were going to 5k/10k the next hand with me on the BB so the money went in. No lucky outs for me and I was done.

Total cost: $20. Time spent: 5 hours.

I really am not a fan of re-buy events. Some may recall the last time I played there that I won with no re-buy or add-on. It just isn’t my thing. This particular event had an extra round of re-buys and the initial chip count was reduced from 15k to 10k. [note: this is from the last time I played, chip counts and rounds have been modified since then] It basically forces re-buys. I would prefer a $20 or $25 buy in, larger stack, freeze-out event. In this case the money would not have been as good because the average buyin was $30; but that is what I prefer.

All in all, a pretty good time. I’m going to try and make at least two more events so I can play in the $50 invitational this spring- if I feel like donating that much cash 🙂

I’m still running. I am using a Hal Higdon plan. Total last week (week 2) was 8 miles (yeah, I know, pretty soft). The plan calls for 9 miles this week starting with 3 miles tomorrow. Week 5 is where the mileage really starts to pack on- 12 miles. Right now it looks like first week in April is when I culminate my ramp-up training with a 16 mile week. Once I get there I will have to work on a maintenance plan. I would like to get it closer to 20 or 25 miles a week long term.

Zefrank is one funny man: the show with zefrank: 02-14-07

I signed up with Mookie for his home game on Saturday. I have not played their in quite a while (October 6th according the archived results) so it will be interesting to see how I fair. I have no plans to drop a ton of bank out there, so I will probably be starting from quite a disadvantage.

No bad beat stories from me. They are happening, yes I am still playing, but it does no one any good to just bitch. I did get quads on the opening hand the other day. I actually got paid; I may have been able to get more from him (his sixes full of aces vs my quad sixes) but I did end up winning the SnG so in the end it did not matter too much.

My “contract” with Big Blue is ending in about a month. I am starting to actively look. My group has a DBA-type position open which I am considering; but I want to keep my options open. Rumor has it, BB has a crappy severance package so I will need to step into a new job quickly. Any one have leads on a IT/Lab Administrator type position in the Greater Austin area? Hook a white boy up. I’ll buy you a beer when I start drinking again.

I am on day 10 of my On The Wagon Adventure ™. I only bring this up because I was invited to a going away party for my friend Kristen on Friday night. It is downtown and starts at 9:30. It is not the kind of event I can slip into, have an iced tea and leave gracefully. Chances are I won’t go. A shame, because she is headed to ATL and I will very likely not get a chance to wish her bon voyage.

Googe. I got some googe for you.

So I was treading water in the Hammer Day Poker Event when I woke up with pocket tens in mid-late position. Fishiswa raised from 80 to 280 in early position. I re-raised all-in to 1700ish with my tens and he insta-called with The Hammer! 7 on the flop, 2 on the turn. No board pair to counterfeit his two pair and I was down to 20 chips. All in next hand with J7o and ran into Aces and Nines. Shlee1112 ended up with quad 9s and I was out 101 of 158. Ouch. That is enough poker for tonight.

So I am officially into my second day of my annual On-The-Wagon Adventure ™. Last year’s ended when I got drunk in the airport after two beers on my way to Vegas. 30 days really did screw with my tolerance.

I got back from Mexico with no really exciting stories. We did get back to Galveston 6 hours late because a “young traveller” got very sick and we had to return to Cozumel in the middle of the night. I got to see a sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico because my cabin mate was snoring like a space shuttle launch. My thoughts on this Royal Caribbean trip: I’m glad I did it, the food was very good, the company was great, the prices were not obscene, and Mexico in January is great (85 and sunny). I’m not sure I will do it again, certainly not without a good sized group. We had 18 or so with us and that was a good number.

January Poker Results. Certainly not good, but not bad. Here is a result chart:

Games Played: 21
In The Money: 7 33.33%
Return on Investment: -6.49%

I’m hoping for better in February.

Although I said I was running several weeks (months?) ago. That went by the wayside when it got into the 20s and 30s. I’m a wuss, sue me. But it is *really* nice in Austin today, so I am back on it this afternoon.

I picked up my processed deer meat this weekend. It is about 70 lbs worth of sausage, links, steaks, fajita meat, and backstrap roasts. Good eating.

Geek Moment. I wanted to firewall my Linux box at work (I no longer control the network- seems like a good idea). I found FireHOL at SourceForge which quickly gave me exactly what I wanted. I used the client-all.conf example which blocks all incoming traffic. I wanted to allow http and ssh so with two added lines of configuration my Linux box is locked down. Nice. I’m going to be reconfiguring my network at the house this week so I’ll continue to geek out on my poor readers.

Since my old company was acquired by IBM, we had been working on moving to the main IBM Campus here in Austin. That happened last Friday. I’m now in my new cube. My only work now is getting the lab up and running which really isn’t a full time gig. I will be working on my resume and contacts for the next 5 or 6 weeks since my current official last day is in mid-March.