December 30, 2002
Long Distance Blogging

So part 2 of our 2-week vacation is about to come to a close. Janine and I have spent 4 days in Lake Tahoe skiing, shopping, and soaking in the hot tub outside. Oh, and need I mention the gallons of wine we've both been drinking this week. Good LORD... someone get me a beer!

Anywho, Janine and I spent three days on the mountain with wonderful snow - two days were spent skiing, and we just got back today from a round of snowboarding. I'm still a skier at heart, but Janine really likes boarding... even though she spent about as much time on her ass as she did on her feet. ;-)

Tomorrow we drive down to the Bay Area to drop off the rental car and stay at my mother's house through Saturday. It'll be nice to see her and my step-father, plus I'm looking forward to spending time with my hometown friends who I haven't seen in ages! Yay for fun times!!

I'm gonna go jump in the hot tub... my legs are killing me! Talk to y'all later!

Posted by Austin at 08:01 PM
December 24, 2002
He's a Travelin' Man

Umm... yeah... a little bit delayed in blogging. Sorry, but that's what you get for a traveling road show. ;-)

I am currently in Mighigan, staying with Janine at her parent's house. Nothing too bad - we've spent time shopping, relaxing, playing video games (I finally finished Soul Reaver 2!!!) and the like. The delivery/installation of the new stove was fun to watch, even if the trip to the hardware store for the missing power cord wasn't.

Wedding News - I've taken care of ordering the tuxes. I did it really early because of a special deal I got where we get pretty much everything (tux, vest, shoes, etc.) for $58 with tax. Not too shabby. Also, Janine and I will be working on the guest list over the next couple of days so we can shove it in a specific somebody's face. *Cough* Bonnie *Cough*

The next 2 weeks will include a LOT of globe-trotting - we head to California the day after christmas and will spend 10 days traveling between Tahoe and home. Looking forward to introducting Janine to real skiing, not these little bumps scattered around the mid-west.

After we get back from Cali, I drive back to Chi-town, only to fly down to Texas for work the next day, returning 3 days after. I'm not even going to have enough time to buy milk and let it go bad!! ;-)

Good thing I get frequent flyer miles!

Posted by Austin at 09:16 AM
December 18, 2002
Work Ramblings - Feel Free To Ignore and Move On

I've been a very productive little bee today. Lots of crap at work that absolutely positively had to be done today, dinner out by the office with friends, lots of shopping near work where the sales tax is almost 2% less, and a good hour on the 'puter at home setting up electronic bill payment through my bank's website.

A little note on work - it feels like the shit is hitting the fan, all in this last week. Granted my boss just got back from 3-weeks vacation, I'm gone for two weeks after Friday, and I leave to build a new prototype one day after I get back from vacation.

My job - to make sure we have all 170+ parts from 40+ companies to build with. If we're missing a part, guess who's ass hits the burner... :-)

The Good News - Between my calls to suppliers and the plant, we've got most everything. What we don't have now I can get, so I'm not worried.

The Bad News - My boss is pissing bullets worried that we won't have everything. I keep telling him not to worry, but that's what managers do best, right?

The Best News - Only two more days until I'm free (yet still attached by email and pager... crap)...

Sorry about the rambling. I'll try to make the next posting a little more interesting and less work-related.

Posted by Austin at 10:55 PM
December 16, 2002
Long & Windy Roads

I made the trip out to Michigan this weekend. It wasn't the 3-day weekend we're normally used to spending together, but it was sorely needed. I could tell that talking on the phone wasn't good enough for either of us... especially when the gal has been sick for the past week. Chicken soup can only go so far.

We had fun this weekend - snuggle-time at home, made gingerbread men, and made a day trip down to Frankenmuth for shopping and yummy chicken dinner. I probably ate the equivalent of a whole chicken this weekend... *bawk*

5 more days until I'm on vacation. 2 weeks off. Visiting Michigan and California, both Tahoe and the Bay Area. Damned if that isn't going to make returning to work any harder...

Posted by Austin at 10:49 AM
December 12, 2002
Where's my baby?

So it's 8pm CST and I'm still at work. It's not all bad, though. I ended up leaving at 6pm to go to dinner at a very good italian place nearby. The tiramisu was to die for! After that Kelly (coworker/friend/drinking buddy) and I went to a local nursery to buy plants for our new offices... I figure that I have a corner office with plenty of windows, so I might as well take advantage of it. Pretty soon I plan to have a full-scale rain forest complete with it's own ecosystem and rare species.

Being that I'm at work and I have a phone at my desk, I try to give Janine a call. The phone just keeps ringing and ringing. No message machine, no nothing. Just ringing. I'm thinking that there's a power outage, 'cause otherwise the machine would have picked up.

So, the question of the hour - "Where's my baby?"

If you say it like Ralph Wiggam, it's funnier.


So my phone tells me I have a voicemail. It's Janine confirming what I thought the problem was - power outage. It affects all of two blocks and has done so since 4pm. Earliest it'll be turned back on is midnight. Good luck waking up tomorrow, cutie!

The bad news - both phones in her apartment are wireless... i.e. she can't use either of them. I think I know what else I'll be buying you for Christmas, Tink - a land-line phone that works in power outages!


Posted by Austin at 08:02 PM
December 11, 2002
It's Only Wednesday? WTF!?

So, let's see how my day turned out...

- 2.5 hours of commute traffic covering ~70 miles
- 3 wedding "artwork" samples (ask and yee shall see)
- 4 checks written
- $50 to the cell phone co.
- $300 donated to good causes
- 540 minutes of work

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to bed. Hell, it's almost 10pm and I need to be up in 7 hours.


Posted by Austin at 09:29 PM
December 08, 2002
Needs Ice Cream

Ah hem... Pi is exactly 3!

Posted by Austin at 09:36 AM
Saturday Night's Alright

So here I am... techically it's Tuesday morning, but for me it's still Saturday night. I had one hell of a time hanging out with friends from work and a new friend who is currently dating one friend from work. Sorry if that sounds so discombobulated, but I had a drink with 151 in it, so I'm not all that coherent right now.

I've got one of said work friends sleeping on the couch, and I'm about to hit the sack myself. Don't expect me to be up bright and early tomorrow morning... although my internal clock may have something to say about that.

I must publically congradulate Abby-riffic on walking in her graduation. Way to go, girl! You're more than welcome to come out and have a celebration in Chi-town! First of many drinks are on me! Now just finish your thesis and final and you'll be all set!

One more thing - Janine, I love you. :-)

Okay... I'm going to collapse into bed now. Nighty-night!

Posted by Austin at 02:34 AM
December 06, 2002
Movin' On Up

So today's move-in was smooth in some regard. I had most of my stuff unpacked, computer hooked up and assorted crap put away within 3 hours, which wasn't too bad. The labs are a completely different story... those are gonna take a while to get set-up.

The best part about the new office - My Cube... if you can call it that. I sit in the corner of the floor, giving me two windows to look out of facing North and West. One side doesn't even have a cube wall. It's actual glass and wall, and that's it! The glare during the day is okay, sunset requires the blinds to be closed, but it's sooo worth it. People kept coming by today to look at the view... and then look over and see me working at my desk. I had the following conversation no less than a dozen time:

Oogling Co-Worker: How in the hell did you get this office?! Me: Sexual Favors. 634 sexual favors. I'm actually quite tired. OCW: Oh. *Slowly backs away*
Posted by Austin at 05:48 PM
December 05, 2002
"Day Off" #2

To cap off a great 2-day work-at-home stint I decided to spend the morning playing drop-in hockey at an ice rink just outside of downtown. Needless to say, I wasn't the star player by any right, but I did my part and had a couple of assists and a few break-ups.

Everyone at the bench got a great laugh after I went for a break-away shot, missed, and managed to slam full-speed into the boards behind the goal. I bounced off, stayed on my feet and kept skating, but when I skated back to the bench everyone was laughing up a storm. Side Note: I may have cracked my big toenail after that. I'm okay, but it looks a little dark under the nail...

One thing I definitely know - I can barely last 2 minutes on that ice rink before I feel like I'm exhausted to the point of throwing up.
Today's Lesson: Need to play more hockey to build up my endurance. *wink*

In other news, special thanks to Abby for the letter. You win. ;-)

Okay - time to eat lunch and then get ready for a pre-move party at someone's house. There's free food and beer, so like hell I'm not going!

Posted by Austin at 02:01 PM
December 04, 2002
Voice E-mail

So I got this funky email when I logged into work's Outlook server from home today. It wasn't your normal email or meeting request - it was a WAV file. Specifically, it was my voicemail for my new phone number at the new office. I haven't even moved into the damn building, yet someone has already called and left a message, which was sent directly to my inbox as a huge-ass email attachment.

VOIP. Now that's some funky shit! (I know Steve must be loving this)

Posted by Austin at 10:06 PM
"Work" From Home

So Thanksgiving was good. We ended up going to my step-sister's mother-in-law's house for dinner (as well as "encores" on Friday). Lots of little kids to play with. I ended up playing a soccer player, pack mule, and a plant killer.

I ended up playing golf with my step-brother-in-law. I beat him by 3 strokes, but he won $5 off me through the betting process. Don't ask.

Getting back to Chicago was the third-worst travel experiences I've ever had.* I had a 6-hour delay in Nashville before flying out on a completely different airline. I was planning on getting home around 9:30pm or so... try 2:30am. Like hell I showed up to work at 6:45 that morning. Try 11am. ;-)

Good news about this week - I don't work today or tomorrow. We're in the process of moving buildings, and they don't want us to show up at either office until Friday. Instead, they want us to work from home. Well, most of my work is done in a lab, so I don't have much to do until Friday. I'm thinking Christmas shopping, maybe a Blackhawks game, and a game or two of drop-in hockey (since I haven't played in months).

That's it for now. Gotta get back to "work" (Read as: "Go get out of my PJs and into the shower before hitting the Mag Mile).

* Worst was during marching band where we stuck on the tarmac for 6 hours without food/drinks before a 4 hour flight. Second was a 12-hour delay for yet another marching band trip to the Rose Bowl.

Posted by Austin at 11:01 AM