Friday, July 30, 2004

The most satisfying thing in Kerry's speech last night:
"I don't wear my religion on my sleeve, but faith has given me values and hope to live by from Vietnam to this day, from Sunday to Sunday. I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, 'I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side.'"

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Tomorrow, immediately following work, I'm flying up to Green Bay to meet up with Emily and my parents. Then we're off to Iron Mountain, Michigan for the quasi-annual McLaren family reunion. It should be a lot of fun and a great way to relax after a stressful week at work (ha ha). But it's the last week-long vacation I'll be taking for a long time, so I'd better enjoy it while I can. Anyway, if you need to reach me, you can try my new cell number, but don't hold your breath because I'm told service is sort of iffy up there. Anyway, have a good week everyone, I'll be back on Sunday, August 8th.

At long last, pictures of my new apartment are here. I apologize for the darkness/washed-outedness of some of them. My digital camera does not cooperate with other light sources very well so I had to adjust teh contrast and brightness of individual images which tend to make the shot look blurry and washed out. But enjoy anyway! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

On the plus side, I'm getting downstream speeds of 2614Kbps and 239Kbps upstream. Not quite the published 3Mbps/256Kbps limits, but close enough all things considered. And at least I have internet now, so who am I to complain. Oh right, I'm me. ;)

Cox = Cocks. But, with enough hassle and enough phone calls and enough telling them they're retarded, my internet finally works. "Hi, I need my account number to set up my new internet account." "Oh, you can get that number online sir." "Um, no, I don't have an internet connection yet, that's the problem, and I need my account number to enter into the box so I can set it up." "Oh, okay, I'll just need your PIN then." "I haven't set up a pin yet." "Oh, you need to do that online." "What the hell is wrong with you people???" Grrrr... But at least it seems to be working now. We'll see how long this lasts before something goes wrong and I have to drive out to Herdon with my friend Mr. Baseballbat and his girlfriend, Sweet Lady Brick, to rememdy the situation.

Monday, July 26, 2004

And while I'm thinking about it, thanks to everyone who pointed me in the right direction while job hunting, gave me contacts even if they didn't pan out, submitted a referral on my behalf, gave me an interview, gave me the time of day, provided moral support, told me I wasn't worthless, or otherwise helped me in any way to get a job that I'm ecstatic about. =) Especially Brian, Tim, Mr. Taylor, my entire family, Craig, Tiffany, Caryn, Kristin, Tommy, Steph, C. Webb, Chris's Dad, Matt, Chu-Chun, Mr. Casipit, The Plates, Michelle, Kayre, Dan Dave and Gregg @ Coke, and my uncle Bobby, especially my uncle Tommy and aunt Lisa, and Salvador, but especially Emily. ;) And of course anyone I forgot, I'm sorry, I suck, and viewers like you, who put up with all my bitching on a somewhat daily basis. Thanks!

So... Tired... My first day of work went great though. =) I have an office and a phone and everything! And I should have business cards by the end of the week. All subject to change of course once my security clearance comes through. They want to move me into an office in the secured lab as soon as I get my clearance, so that'll make my life and their's a lot easier. I have a ton of benefits paper work to fill out still. Tonight my parents decided it was convenient to finalize "selling" the Contour to me for the grandiose price of $1. Which unfortunately thrust me into finding a new insurance provider tonight and having to go to the DMV as soon as I get back from vacation. Blech. Let me tell you how much I wanted to look for an insurance provider tonight... Grrrr. On my slow slow laptop at my parents house. Grrr. It needed to be done eventually, but I wish I could have done it tomorrow after I got internet set up at my apartment. Grrr. Oh well. What's done is done i suppose. At least I own my car now. As of tomorrow night, when my cable and internet get setup, I will be completely independent of my parents for the first time ever. Whooo!!! But for now, I'm taking my new temporary insurance cards, and all my benefits paper work, and going back to my apartment, throwing it all on the floor, and going to bed. Maybe I can get up at 8, do paper work for 45 minutes and still be at work before 9. I love living 5 minutes from the office ;)

Sunday, July 25, 2004

I've got chairs for my dining room table now, and a table cloth and even some plants! I feel all grown up now. Today Ben and I went to DSW to get some new shoes and then I went grocery shopping and spent an outrageous amount of money. My family was planning to go mini-golfing tonight, but the weather is being rather prohibitive. It didn't prevent them from having an ice cream social last night with way too much ice cream though. But the upshot is that now I'll have plenty of ice cream since they don't want it in the house. Went to go see Bourne Supremacy with Chris and Matt last night. We had to sit too close, and teh camera was too jittery, but otherwise I thought it was an awesome movie. I feel like I should have watched Bourne Identity again recently though since i last saw it in Santa Barbara before leaving for Warped Tour in 2002. In other new, my new job starts tomorrow. People keep asking if I'm nervous, and I'm really not. By bed time tonight I might be a nervous wreck, but I actualyl feel very comfortable with the company and the people and teh job and I'm anxious to get started. =) So tonight I'm enjoying my last night of "freedom" for the next 50 years by watching a movie and eating pizza with my family. Tomorrow morning bright and early I start the next 2-10 years of my life at General Dynamics.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

As long as everyone knows that if Children of Bodom were a possible outcome, I'd have been them, hands down...

What metal band are you?

Iced Earth

You are Iced Earth! Your music stems from classic heavy metal with slight thrash roots. You love melody in your music, and you definitely love adding the element of fantasy with reality when you write your songs. Rhythm speed, heaviness, and melody are what you're all about!

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
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My apartment is coming along nicely. I spent the night there last night and took a shower there this morning, so it feels like home now. I have no food, so I'm at my parents' again to mooch some breakfast and lunch later. Also, I'm stealing some more furniture to take over since I don't have enough stuff apparently to furnish an 886 sq. ft. apartment. Otherwise things are going well, except my dealings with Cox (go figure) so I won't have cable or internet until Tuesday night. *sigh* At least I have a lot of stuff to unpack to keep me busy and there's always Mega Man.

Went to go see I, Robot with Matt last night. It was vastly better than the commercials made it look. Will Smith generally makes good movies so I figured it was worth a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. Much like Paycheck, the movie easily overcame my low expectations.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

All my stuff is in my apartment now. It's by no means organized or put away, but it's all there. I still need to get *shudder* Cox to come out and hook my cable up and I'm trying to wrangle a *shudder* D-Link cable modem from my mom so I don't have to buy one or lease one. I might swing by Best Buy though and pick up a Linksys anyway, just so I know it will function properly. I still have a car load of stuff at my parents' house that I've been using that needs to go over, but by the end of the weekend I should be marginally settled just in time to start the daily grind or full time employment. I ordered a new cell phone last night and am getting a new plan and number that I'll pass along shortly once I'm happy with my phone and service. Everything's fallen into place nicely for the most part, let's hope it stays that way.

Monday, July 19, 2004

This Just In: Moving does not rox0r. It does not rox0r at all. Moving does, in fact, sux0r, quite severely.

Last night was so awesome. Emily and I reheated our leftovers from Macaroni Grill (our dinner locale on Friday) and we got some nice romantic music on NPR, set up a box with a pillowcase for a table cloth, light a candle, and had a quiet candlelight dinner for two down in the basement. =) I guess some people would say that's really corny, but I'm so lucky to be with someone who can appreciate the romantic value of sitting on the floor and eating off a box in the dark (color-coordinated dishes and "tablecloth" notwithstanding). Then we had cherries, strawberries and kisses for dessert (both Hershey's and the kind with our lips). The caramel ones are really good by the way. Anyway, this next year plus a handful of days (Emily graduates tentatively on August 5, 2005) is going to be hard being so far away from Emily, but I love her and I want to be with her and we're going to try our best to make this long distance thing work. Knowing that she wants to move up to the DC area after graduation to be with me is a very comforting fact that will get me through many lonely nights. Here's to the (and our) future!

Moving Progress:
Phase one: rent truck
Phase two: empty storage unit into truck
Phase three: empty basement into truck
Phase four: shower and drink a gallon of water
Phase five: submit address change to USPS
Phase six: drive to Fairfax (stopping at all weigh-in stations. I call bullshit on this one.)

Saturday, July 17, 2004

My celebration over getting a job is now officially complete! =) Now comes the less fun part of loading all my stuff into a truck (Monday), driving it and my car to Fairfax (Tuesday), unloading everything (Wednesday), getting settled (every other day until July 26). But today I'm off to a Braves game with Emily and her parents and tomorrow I'm going to do nothing but relax and play some Mega Man.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Mmmmm... Chilis... =) If there's a better celebratory restaurant, I haven't found it.

It's now official - I'm going to be working for General Dynamics' Advanced Information Systems division here in Fairfax making 55K. The office is in Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks area. My new apartment is a mile away from my office and catty-corner from my old apartment when I lived here while filming A Way You'll Never Be with Webb. I'm moving in on July 21 and starting work on July 26, then taking a week of leave without pay for the McLaren family reunion in Iron Mountain, Michigan the first week in August. Then I'll be here pretty much into the forseeable future. I'll be sending out a mass email with new contact info in the next few days, so keep your eyes posted. Hooray for a job, finally!

Things to do today:
Fix the basement lights
Get my windshield replaced
Get a job (I have an appt. at 2 pm to sign my papers)
Get an apartment (My deposit is non-refundable after 5 pm)
Book a flight to Green Bay
Rent a moving truck in Atlanta
Call Casipit with the bad news (I won't be teaching now)
CELEBRATE!!! (My celebration won't be truly complete until I get my congratulatory hug from Emily)

Nothing says "good morning!" like a 120V electrical shock.

Monday, July 12, 2004

For all the times I'm embarrassed or saddened to call myself an American, going to the ball park on a nice summer day is one of the few occasions that I'm genuinely happy about being an American citizen. There's just something about baseball that's so uniquely American and so great. The way the field looks, the grounds crew, the rain tarp, the vendors price-gouging but you don't care and pay it anyway, the camaraderie with your fellow fans who you've never met before and will never see again. You don't get the same thing from football, hockey, or basketball, even on a college level. Baseball is unique, and it's awesome. After The O's lost to KC (despite a desperate but ultimately inadequate comeback in the 8th and 9th), we went to see some family friends out near Great Falls on the Virginia side. They had a small pool that was perfect for cooling off after baking in the sun at the afternoon game. Then when the temperature dropped in the evening, the hot tub was the place to be. All in all a great day :)

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Blog-worthy animation from via Brian.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Apartment news: I put a deposit down today. I know I know, that's a little pre-mature. But it's only $200 and $150 is refundable if I change my mind with in 72 hours. I've certainly wasted $50 worse ways before. And the other $150 can be applied to my move-in expense/rent if I do decide to live there. By Tuesday, I should have an offer letter in my hands and be able to say, okay, I can afford this. Yes, it's more expensive than Atlanta, but I knew that. But my nice fat pay check should help out with that aspect. The best part is that the apartment is ready for me to move into tomorrow if I wanted to, so I can get in there and get settled a little bit before I start working (tentatively July 26). Assuming everything falls into place the next 2 or 3 days, here's how it will shake out: I'll be living in the Ambassador floor plan at The Jefferson at Fair Oaks. And you can't beat the convenience to where I will (theoretically) be working. Oh, and it has a big, deep bath tub. ;)

So apparently General Dynamics has an offer letter prepared for me and is sitting on the the desk of the head of HR waiting for his signature when he comes back from vacation on Tuesday!! WOO!! I'll be more excited when the paper is in my hands though. In other news, my interview with MAR yesterday went fine, but I can't see myself working there. And I completed my Gallup interview for FCPS. Right now though, if indeed the rumors of an offer with GD are true, I'd have no qualms about taking that job. So I'm looking for apartments in the area. My mom reneged on her prior offer for me to live in their house while they're in Tel Aviv rent-free in exchange for being their property manager, and get a couple friends to pay rent to partially cover the mortgage. Now it seems that they want me and a couple friends to come up with market-value rent ($2200/month) in addition to the added responsibility of being the property manger. That doesn't seem fair to me at all given what they would be paying an outside agent for that service. So screw it. I'm looking for an apartment instead. And I'm going to drag Ben along for company and because it'll be good experience for when he has to look for an apartment down the road. So... I'll be heading back to Atlanta on Wednesday, presumably with an offer letter in my hands, to start packing up things at Tommy's and bring more of my things up here so I have enough to get started with until I can move into an apartment and bring all my furniture up from Atlanta. Hooray for (almost) having a job!

When did bookshelf systems get so ugly? Philips FWC777 Mini Hi-Fi Audio System w/5 CD Changer

Thursday, July 08, 2004

So I'm back in Fairfax again, barely, no thanks to VDOT (who decided they needed to close 2 of the 3 lanes of I-95 for no discernable reason tonight) and a huge (but very cool) thunderstorm in Fayetteville, NC (figures don't it?). I had a wonderful time with Emily just being our regular goofy selves and doing nothing of any particular importance other than just being together. Sometimes the simplest things really are the best things in the world. =) I did get to see her pictures from Brussels though and now I know why she's so sick of traveling. I was exhausted just getting the photo tour. ;) She seems to have adjusted pretty quickly to Eastern time again though and I know she's glad to be back. And I'm so happy she's home because I'd been missing her like crazy, and so even if I can't be with her 24/7 like the last couple days, at least I can talk to her on a nearly daily basis without costing an arm and a leg. And the way the summer is shaking out, I think we'll be able to spend some more time together before school starts for her. As for my fall plans, I have another job interview tomorrow, and the Gallup portion of my FCPS interview in the evening. And General Dynamics called today to verify some info for the background check they're starting because "they're prepared to extend me an offer." Woooo!!!! *crosses fingers* I'll keep this updated as I hear more on the subject.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Mmmmm... It's so nice to have Emily back within arm's reach. :) I missed kisses even more than I realized.

Monday, July 05, 2004

I'm off to Savannah to see my baby! :D
Hit the cell if you need me, otherwise I'll be back in Fairfax on Wednesday or Thursday.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

From a few minutes ago:

emilytsav: so you're really going to be in savannah on monday?
XchaosdawningX: barring some huge catastrophe, yup! :-D
emilytsav: flying or driving?
XchaosdawningX: driving
XchaosdawningX: I figure it'll be good to get some long-distance miles in my new car
emilytsav: so you're getting up at dawn's crack to be at the airport with my parents at 5?
emilytsav: i love you
XchaosdawningX: awww
emilytsav: it's the nicest thing anyone has done for me :-D

As if there was ever really any doubt that I'd be anywhere else in the universe but the Savannah airport at 5:21 pm on July 5... It's not that I'm trying to be a good boyfriend per se, it's just the byproduct of missing Emily like crazy. But the important thing is that I'll be there and we'll be together. :-D

Today's Trivia Question: What do Moses, Superman, and Pound Puppies have in common?

In accordance with established policy, tomorrow, July 4, the following topics are off-limits and I will not discuss them with anyone who does not want to be pissed off at me (however unintentional it may be): America, patriotism, neo-patriotism, US foreign policy, terrorism, Bush, alcohol, Chinese chemicals, rednecks, the Constitution, the founding fathers' intentions, religion, the November election, NASCAR, gas prices. I think that is all.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Job seach update: my interview this morning with Casipit went really well. He seems to genuinely think that I would make a good teacher, so I told him that pending the outcome of my other interviews, he could go ahead and start recommending me for openings and I could start interviewing with the necessary principals and their staffs. My other interview this afternoon was much less of a success. It was, in fact, aborted. From the house to Tyson's Corner, a trip which normally takes 15-20 minutes, took an hour and 15 minutes. After the beltway was a parking lot I tried to weave through Vienna on 123 only to get stuck because of backups on 66, 123, route 7, and so forth. I only made it 1/4 to a 1/3 of the way to Rockville where my interview was. And at the current rate of travel, it would have been at least 3:00 before I reached my 1:30 interview, so we rescheduled for next week. What does this mean? It means I will be on my way to see Emily on Monday!! Then I'll be coming back up here on Wednesday for a rescheduled interview, and to be in the area in case I am needed for anything else with General Dynamics or FCPS, or if another interview comes along. So, yes, this afternoon was a bummer, but it means I get to go meet Emily at the airport, and spend more time with my dad. So in the end I think it's worked out pretty favorably.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

My dad got home safe and sound from Afghanistan tonight! Yay!! He's back in the area for close to 2 months before he heads off on his next assignment/adventure to Tel Aviv. At least this time my mom will be able to accompany him.

My interview(s) today went great! I'm fairly confident that they're going to make me an offer in the next couple days. It seemed like I fit exactly what they were trying to hire someone to do and my ballpark salary would be in the 50K range, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It's an interestign project with a lot of room for growth and development. I'd be working on a system to monitor a submarine's noise levels while underway and pin-point the source to it could be eliminated. Today went great thanks to a reference from Sal and a certain lucky monkey. ;)

Well, I'm off to Home Depot for materials to make my next project.

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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