What a month! I just got back from Chicago, my first trip in the Active Directory migration project. This was the training trip for Brian, Matthew and myself, the new members of the team. We had a good part of the work complete before hitting the ground, thanks in no small part to Artie, Tony and Nick, the on-site IT crew. Because of this, we had probably 80% of the job done on the first day, leaving us with plenty of time, not to mention plenty of reason, to hit Rush Street in earnest. So much has changed since the last time I was in the Windy City, eighteen years ago or so, but so much for the better! We started out at Hugo’s Frog Bar, where I tried frog legs for the first time. Tastes like chicken…chicken scampi. I also had this huge porterhouse delivered from Gibson’s Steakhouse, next door. We visited The Terrace at the Conrad, had an excellent meal at Tavern on Rush, ate the Bucket of Boat Trash at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. at the Navy Pier; oh, and we went to Hooter’s (yaaaaawwwnnn…). Brian and I also sampled many a fine pint of Guinness, notably at some of the aforementioned eateries, and also at Charlies Ale House on the Pier. Monday evening we stopped by Sluggers Sports Bar prior to visiting famed Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs get trounced by the Brewers. Afterwards we took in Bar Louie to sympathetically drown our sorrows. If it seems like we partied the whole time while we were in Chicago, well, we did actually put in some hours to get the job done, but describing it really wouldn’t be all that interesting.
In other news, as the commercial goes, I’m now officially in debt up to my eyeballs – I bought a house! I guess I’ll be sticking around the Phoenix metro for a while. More on that later. The two or three of you out there in cyberspace that read my useless drivel on occassion will also notice that I finally upgraded my menu system to the left. Much spiffier, but you’ll definitely need to enable javascript in order to navigate the site from now on.

It’s “Fry’sday” once again, and for the uninitiated, that means the big multi-page ad for Fry’s Electronics comes out in the newspaper. The last couple of weeks has seen a flurry of activity in the Phoenix job market, and I had two firm offers, in addition to my current employer wanting me to extend my contract! Ultimately I’ve decided to sign on for a longer-term gig at US Foodservice , where I’ll be traveling around to various cities migrating Windows NT sites to an Windows 2000 ActiveDirectory domain. I think I’m going to have lots of fun. I always tell people, ‘You Buy, I’ll Fly’. What has me most concerned, however, is that I am now down to one case of Quilmes, one of my favorite beers when I’m not partaking of the Guinness. When I was in LA a few weeks ago, I stopped by Trader Joe’s in Oceanside and picked up a couple of cases. I haven’t yet been able to find it here in Phoenix, but I’ll keep looking. It’s easy to drink, and actually has a flavor in contrast to a certain popular Mexican beer that shall remain further unmentioned. But speaking of Guinness, something I’m fond of doing, Fox and Hound Pub & Grille in Gilbert pours a very nice pint. Michelle and Staci are the best! My friend Mike C. and I have been performing quality checks every Thursday for the last month, and we both agree. (I just noticed my email link was being sent to a non-existent address – it’s fixed now – sorry ’bout that, folks!)

05/20/2006 – Happy Saturday! I’ve been spending most of the day updating various content pages; haven’t quite gotten around to the redesign I’ve been planning. On the job front, I’m now two months into my contract, and K&S is thinking about extending me through September. I’ve also had a few interviews that seem very promising, so it looks like I’ll be sticking around Phoenix for a while. Time to start looking for my own place; although my friends have been extremely generous in allowing me to stay with them, I need my own space.
I spent last weekend making a run to Carlsbad and LA, to visit my crap (most of which is currently in storage) and to spend Mother’s Day with me poor ole mum. We had a grand day. I took her to one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast, the Saddle Ranch Chop House in West Hollywood, then we went shopping at Farmer’s Market and The Grove.

03/17/2006 – Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I claim some Irish heritage, but my paternal lineage is predominately Welsh; the equivalent feast day for us is Saint David’s Day which is March 1st, but no one makes a big deal over it here in the U.S. I’m still working on the redesign but I have been adding new content pages here and there, and I suspect I will be adding quite a lot more here very soon. Just today I’ve signed on to a new gig that will relocate me to the Phoenix area, something I’ve been contemplating, and have been urged by friends to do for some time. It’s always a little scary making a major move like this, and I loved living in Carlsbad for the last couple of years, but the cost of living is prohibitive. While I will miss my family in California, they won’t be so very far away that I won’t be able to hop on a plane and be back there in a few hours, most likely to work on their computers 😎

01/13/2006 – A major redesign is in the works! I find myself with a little time on my hands, seeing as how I’m in between gigs at the moment…I’ve been studying the style and structure of various websites and I now have a slightly less vague idea of where I want to go with this thing. First off, I’m planning to eliminate the use of frames and use more HTML and CSS to open up the audience and improve speed. I’ve also been working up some ideas on how to incorporate some JavaScript into the menuing system, so that’ll be coming soon. I’ve been wanting to incorporate a blog here for some time, and while we’re not there yet, I’ve taken steps towards that goal, mainly moving all my websites to a new hosting provider. I was previously hosting with a good, long-time friend of mine who runs an ISP, but the time came for him to start charging for his services and for me to require more functionality. I would have been more than happy to pay for having him continue to host my sites, but I also needed some software upgrades on the server to allow me to incorporate the new functionality I’ve been planning. Alas, he wasn’t able to provide me what I needed, so I have now relocated my sites to 1&1.com. This has allowed me much more control over my environment, and will provide the infrastructure to greatly expand this and my other sites.
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