Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Does anyone still read this blog?

Just wondering. I obviously stopped writing posts a while ago :).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Q2 schedule

Woah, it's been a while. Life's been busy, though not with traveling. With the economy, my travel has been way down, as evidenced by the Q1 schedule I actually had (compare to the scheduled Q1 in the post below):

Jan. 26-30: Phoenix--the whole week happened, much to everyone's surprise.
Feb. 2-8: Miami & Cozumel--we still had our 25th anniversary celebration! While going on a cruise isn't really my thing, it was still a fun time by all.
Feb. 18-19: A 2-day onsite in Trumbull, CT--drove there.
Mar. 9-10, 12-13: A 4-day public at our headquarters in Natick, MA. Our local trainings are still filling up--Boston doesn't seem to have been hit as hard as other cities.
Mar. 27-30: My friend's wedding in Dallas still happened!

So I lost complete trips to Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis, plus also Chicago & Rochester trips the first two weeks of April. Ouch.

That said, it looks like things should be picking up a little bit in Q2. Here's my schedule as of now:

April 21-25: Training at an energy company in Boulder, CO.
May 5-7: Training at a communications company in Clarksburg, MD (NW suburb of DC)
May 11-15: Giving a public training in Minneapolis
May 21-25: My sister's getting married!
June 15-19: Public training in Seattle!! After almost four years in the group, I finally get to head to the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully.

So while travel is down, I personally praise God that I have a job at a company that's still making a profit, and is not going to be laying anyone off. My prayers go out to those who have lost their jobs.

In other news, I'm trying to commit to Boston. I've been reading Acts a bit and found a prayer that I'm trying to make my own:

"And being let go [from prison], they [the disciples] went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: 'Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD and against His Christ.

'For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.'

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."--Acts 4:23-31


Monday, December 22, 2008

Q1 schedule

Wow...sorry about the lack of updates. Been busy and a bit sick as well...but the Lord's been good to me. He's been showing me my reliance on myself and not I pray He will break that down.

As for the title, the Q1 schedule has been assigned, and here is where I am currently scheduled to go:

Jan. 12-16: Somewhere, most likely Houston
Jan. 26-30: Phoenix
Feb. 2-4: Miami for the company's annual Sales Kickoff
Feb. 5-8: On the company's 25th anniversary cruise! We'll be departing Miami, going to Cozumel, Mexico, and coming back.
Feb. 9-13: Cincinnati. Talk about weather shock.
Feb. 23-27: Chicago, baby!
Mar. 16-20: St. I know anyone who lives there? Can't think of anyone...
Mar. 27-30: Dallas for a friend's wedding

A busy Q1 for sure, though Houston, Phoenix, and Miami should at least keep me warm. As always, this is subject to change, so don't make too many plans around this schedule, Rusty :).

As for Christmas, I'll be headed home to Philly on Wednesday and driving back to Boston on either 12/30 or 12/31...Boston does have some cool things going on on New Years' Eve that I've wanted to check out for a while.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trip statistics

Just got back from an awesome trip to San Jose. Had great seatmates on the flights and a great class. Plus, went to San Francisco one night to boot :-).

Anyway, just for fun, I compiled some stats on where I've trained the most, organized by state. Here ya go:

1. Massachusettes: 11 training trips, 22 training days. A lot of one and two day trips when an extra trainer was needed.

2. California: 9 training trips, 32 training days. The most training days of any state. San Jose is the most common city in CA with three trips. Others are San Diego (2 trips), San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palmdale, and Sacramento (1 trip each.)

3. Texas: 9 training trips, 28 training days. Austin and Houston, 3 trips each, Dalls 2 trips, Ft. Worth 1 trip. Austin & Ft. Worth are two of my favorite cities that I've been to.

4. Illinois: 6 training trips, 27 training days. All in the Chicago area; Chicagoland is the place I've trained most often outside Boston and its suburbs.

5. Ohio: 5 training trips, 14 training days. Cleveland three times, Dayton and Cincinnati once each. I had three trips to Ohio in my first 9 months on this job, leading to joking in the training group that they were going to relocate me to Columbus.

And the rest:

6. PA: 4 trips/18 days. All Philly area.
7. NY: 4/17. 3 Rochester, one Buffalo.
8. MD: 4/16. 3 Columbia, one Aberdeen.
9. Sweden: 4/10. Stockholm, Gothenburg, Linkoping, and Trollhattan.
10. MN: 3/12. All Minneapolis.
11. CO: 3/11. Two Denver, one Ft. Collins.
11. DC: 3/11. Doesn't include the one in the Virginia suburbs.
13. NM: 3/10. All Albuquerque.
14. VA: 2/9. One Newport News, one Falls Church (DC suburb)
15. FL: 2/8. One Pensacola, one Cape Canaveral.
16. Quebec: 2/7. Both Montreal
16. NC: 2/7. Both Raleigh.
18. NJ: 2/6. One Annandale (20 miles east of Phillipsburg), one Mt. Laurel (Philly suburb.)
19. Webex: 2/4. Training given on-line.
20. UT: 1/5. Salt Lake City.
20. NV: 1/5. Las Vegas.
22. IA: 1/4. Cedar Rapids.
23. Ontario: 1/2. Toronto suburb.
23. AZ: 1/2. Phoenix.
23. MI: 1/2. Midland.
23. CT: 1/2. Trumbull.
27. WI: 1/1. A one-day trip to a Milwaukee suburb.
28. MO: 0/0. Just to let you know that you need to visit me, Rusty, since me getting to Missouri isn't happening :-).

That totals 88 trips and 292 days, for an average of 3.32 days per trip.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Driving the Last Spike"--Genesis

This song is about what English workers went through to build the rails in the 1800s. It's from their 1991 album We Can't Dance. This is one of those songs that really hits me...I take the train every day to work and relied almost solely on rail (trains & subways) during my two stints in Europe, so thinking about what the workers went through means a lot to me. Plus the passion in the song is unmistakable. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Now that IS White & Nerdy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The past & the future's been four years in Boston and one year in the South End. What a great year it's been! Praise God. First, here's my upcoming schedule:

9/15-16: Teaching a defense contractor in Denver
9/22-26: Teaching a Canadian military supplier in Montreal. Oui oui!
10/2-6: Teaching the public in Albuquerque. Coincidentally, the same week as the Albuquerque balloon festival. Woo-hoo!
10/27-30: Teaching the public in DC. My first time teaching our hardest course, and my fourth time in the DC area this year.
11/3-7: Teaching the public at our headquarters in Natick.
12/1-5: Teaching the public in Los Angeles. With luck, I'll be able to see another Price is Right taping!
12/8-12: Teaching the public in DC again. My 5th time in the DC area this year.

Now as for the past year, when I moved in to the South End (check out the link--my first attempt at a custom Google map!), it was a risk. I'm paying 50% more rent than I was living out in Allston. This is due both to the neighborhood (the South End is one of the most up & coming places in Boston) and the upgrade from a studio to a one bedroom. Thus, to justify the increase, I had set a goal with God & myself: that it would be a place for others to come and be comfortable. In particular, here have been some specific goals I had set:

1. That I would keep the place relatively clean.
2. That I would have others over to share common interests.
3. That I would have a place that people would want to come back to.
4. That I would have a place men could stay overnight who wanted to/needed to.

Other goals in the past year included:

5. Getting more involved at church
6. Running a 5k.

So how has it gone? Well, there have been some disappointments:

1. The 5k never happened, nor did it come close. The best I did during any training was one consecutive mile running. I just don't like running. I wish I experienced the "runner's high" that others talk about, but nothing of the sort ever happened.

2. I've gotten somewhat more involved in church, but I'm still nowhere near where I'd like to be. In particular, the weekend community group that I had been part of dissolved, and I haven't plugged into another one due to my travel schedule.

More importantly, though, a lot has gone well:

1. I have kept this place relatively clean; clean enough that when I have friends over, it takes no more than 30 minutes to get it in a state for people to come.

2. Praise God for! I've gotten involved in a couple of groups there; the key ones have been a Settlers of Catan group and a Killer Bunnies meetup (thank you Rusty!). My niche here in Boston really has been all about the gaming. Anyway, I've hosted both those meetups at my place several times, to the point where the regulars now know exactly where to go when they need to get utensils or napkins.

3. I had my first real test at having someone over when a great, goldy friend and college roommate, Matt Patton, came and stayed at my place for two nights a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time. He seemed quite comfortable on the futon and the day we had together went really well. I actually had the Settlers of Catan meetup group above over that night and made Swedish Meatballs and garlic bread for everyone...good stuff.

So I've renewed the lease for another year (no rent increase!) and am working on my goals for this next year. One of them will be to get to know my neighbors better this year. Other things I'm learning right now:

1. That once I have feelings for a woman, they can be rekindled even if I think you're over the person. You can see my post from last year detailing a crush I had on a non-Christian. Well, I had been mostly avoiding talking to her to protect myself, but last week ran into to her and chatted for a while. Yup, the feelings rushed back. They seem to be gone for the time being, but I know I need to be careful about doing that again.

2. To focus on the future, not the past. I'm reading Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, and this is one of the key points he makes. It's easy for me to think about the way things were in Illinois and wonder why they aren't the same in Boston, but I can't think that way. I'm learning to be joyful for what God has given me here (a lot of which became clear when Matt was here and we talked about how I've been doing.)


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another 10 points available!

5 points each to the first person to name the band and the title...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

JFK's having a bad day

JFK (the airport) is having a really bad day...apparently thunderstorms came in right when all the international flights arrived, and they've been diverted all over the place. By my count, Boston--almost 200 miles away--has gotten 14 of these flights, from all sorts of destinations, including Rochester (NY), San Fran, L.A., London, and even Seoul, South Korea (I wish I could've seen the Korean Air airplane at Logan!) Other airports that got flights appear to include Pittsburgh, Hartford, DC (Dulles), Providence, and Atlantic City, NJ (which doesn't even have commercial service!)

Man, I'm glad I don't have to use that airport!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Greetings from Albuquerque! I just attended my 10th wedding since 2002:

1. Matt & Trina Patton (Sept. 2002)--the first of my friends to get married. They now have four kids.
2. Thang & Katie Tran (June 2003)--Reception was a 5 minute walk from my apartment.
3. Andrew & Allison Sommers (August 2004)--Andrew had been my roommate for 2 years.
4. John & Vieylana Kim (August 2004)--drove through a hurricane to get there.
5. Peter & Erin Krol (Sept. 2004)--drove through another hurricane to get there.
6. Jeff & Jenni Marner (Oct. 2005)--reception was at an Amish kitchen in Illinois. Yummmmm :-).
7. Gina & David Patten (July 2006)--spent an extra day in Chicago. Awesome.
8. Tom & Beth Gentry (March 2007)--Richmond, IN, and I barely knew anyone. But it was good to catch up with Tom & Val.
9. Jonathan & Becky Evenden (Nov. 2007)--the surprise of the century :-).
10. Greg & Valerie Mackey (June 2008)--Set a record for fewest people I knew at one of these weddings, two. Greg was one.

Wow--10 weddings, not counting the one I couldn't make when I was in Sweden and several other friends who have gotten married as well. I do admit I'd like it to be my turn soon, but we'll see what the Lord has planned. As of now, the next wedding I'm attending is my sister's wedding, next May.

Oh, you're wondering who the other person was at Greg's wedding that I knew? Nancy Parks, a former teacher & colleague at Parkland Community College in Champaign, IL! I knew she had moved here to Albuquerque, but I had no idea she knew Greg, so I was quite surprised when I saw her appear at the church. I finally got to meet her husband as well. They also kept the whole thing short...the ceremony started at 4, and the reception ended at 7:15. No dancing. I didn't complain :-). to figure out how to spend my free day here tomorrow!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Upcoming schedule

It's been a while, so here's my upcoming schedule...

June 6-9: In Albuquerque, NM at a friend's wedding. Congrats Greg!

June 19-20: Teaching Stateflow at a NASA contractor, Houston, TX. I'm staying an extra day to take the Johnson Space Center tour (I took the Kennedy Space Center tour in Florida last year.)

July 1-3: Teaching MATLAB & Signal Processing at Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, IL. I taught there last year and had a lot of fun. To my Chicago-land friends, will you be around?

July 21-25: Teaching the Signal Processing courses in Toronto. Yay!

August 8: My 30th birthday! I don't know what I'll be doing, but it sure will NOT be training! :-)

August 18-22 & 25-29: Training somewhere (or much more likely, two different somewheres.) Don't know where yet.


Saturday, May 31, 2008

The long way around

Check out this flight path from Charlotte to Boston.

That's the long way around. According to my calculations, a flight that's normally 727 miles took 1192 due to storms in the northeast.