Stories's Log
This log represents the Life and Times of the Las Vegas Dude.
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07/17/2009 16:35:51
 jim  A Cool Goodbye
I was standing outside, talking to my buddy as he loaded up his car with the last of his belongings from his cubical.
We shared a smoke, and I watched him drive off for the last time.
Standing alone, I felt a cold breeze at my back.
In less than five minutes, the sky turned into an orchestra of thunder and lightening. The streets flowed with mud.
When I left work soon afterwards, it was still pouring outside.
I looked at the parking lot and I realized that out of the hundreds of people I work with, I was the last person to leave. 
I have five weeks and three days left on my contract. This past year has been full of magic.
07/16/2009 18:16:39
 jim  Cabana Bar - Jeffs Going Away Party
Bon Voyage, Jeffrey We celebrated Jeff's goodbye party at the Cabana Bar (lots of fun). The Cabana Club has a thatch covered bar in an outdoors setting with sand, lots of tables, fire pits, and a water fall. After two drinks, we wanted something to eat. If you want food at the Cabana Bar, you have to order take out from the restaurant, and bring it down. That seems odd, since it is right next to the restaurant. County codes make businesses do some very odd things. So our next stop was Walnut Grove. The party broke up probably around 7 pm. It sure is nice having friends. It's been a fun year with you buddy! We celebrated at the Cabana Bar then went to Walnut Grove. These guys are the greatest!
07/14/2009 21:49:45
 jim  Robinson Cracker Barrel - Becky, Jen
I stepped out, bought some shirts and a jacket, had them gift wrapped, then brought to the table - Just Because
07/14/2009 06:50:55
 jim  So Sad to Say Goodbye
A fellow contractor got the axe yesterday. I'm going to miss him a lot.
It's pretty common for us contractors to come and go.
It can happen at any time and as a general rule it should be expected.
For me, contracting makes the most efficient use of the time we have here; if there's work, I work. If there is nothing to do, I play.
It's not like my fellow contractor did anything wrong. It's always difficult to say goodbye. But we'll bump into each other again.
We picked a high paying profession.
We knew we'd be travelling a lot. We knew we'd be changing contracts every year. There's always the chance that when we come in, all of the security codes will be changed, and we'll be out of work.
We knew we'd be giving up our rights of employment and we signed them away.
While the road, I've lost loved ones, forgotten what it is like to have a home, and I can't say for sure who I've become. Last year I lost my fortune.
I could never do this alone.
To contract nationally, you have to give up a normal livestyle.
It's an exchange. You trade familiarity for a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience.
And I've got to say, I've met some GREAT People along the way.
07/13/2009 20:26:02
 jim  West View - Football Fields
07/11/2009 19:42:04
 jim  Splashes of Kennywood
07/11/2009 19:18:24
 jim  Kennywood-Fountains
07/11/2009 17:47:46
 jim  Kennywood-Becky,Jen
07/11/2009 17:33:48
 jim  Kennywood-Views
07/11/2009 15:35:13
 jim  Kennywood-Rides
07/11/2009 15:32:32
 jim  Kennywood-SkyTram
07/11/2009 08:04:12
 jim  Wexford Apt Critters
07/10/2009 20:55:53
 jim  New Castle - China Buffet
07/10/2009 20:30:34
 jim  New Castle - SummerFest
07/10/2009 20:24:54
 jim  New Castle, Pa
07/10/2009 18:59:06
 jim  Boating in Moraine State Park
07/10/2009 18:47:22
 jim  Moraine State Park - Lake and Sky
07/10/2009 18:04:18
 jim  Moraine State Park - Jen, Becky
07/10/2009 18:03:38
 jim  Moraine State Park - Beach
07/09/2009 12:51:12
 jim  Somewhere in Pa
My Cubical Area - To some it may sound strange to actually enjoy their job, but me, I love mine. There is a feel of comradery here. There is humor, excitement, and a feeling of importance I get when I'm working in my cube.
Contractors generally don't get much attention on the job. We usually sit, read, code, test and document. Our contacts exist in the form of emails, instant messages, and word documents. But this contract is so very different. I actually understand most of the system at this point. That is because, to the people, I'm not just a body, I am a real, live person. And these people, no matter how far they get promoted, they know the system's nuts and bolts.
Today, an analyst pulled up a program by its number, moved through the code, and called it up by its server name (not so cryptic). There are over a thousand programs in the system I work with, and he had this one memorized. Many of those who worked on this system have been promoted levels beyond programming.
I will miss this place and these times.
From Becky, Jennifer and myself, I'd like to express a special appreciation to Jeff, Lonnie, Georgia, Cynthia, Cindy, Arden, Rob, Scott, Dave, the people at Ericsson, and all of the people that we've met in Pennsylvannia so far. Pennsylvannia is beautiful by itself. Add you guys to it, and it is my heaven. Too bad it all has to end.
07/08/2009 16:19:04
 jim  Soergel Orchards
07/06/2009 09:47:26
 jim  Apt Critters
07/05/2009 16:34:06
 jim  Pittsburgh Cemetary
07/05/2009 15:14:27
 jim  Jim, Becky and Jennifer
07/05/2009 13:46:28
 jim  Shadyside, Pa
07/04/2009 21:38:36
 jim  State Pt Park - Fireworks
07/04/2009 20:27:19
 jim  State Pt Park - Three Dog Night
07/04/2009 18:45:36
 jim  Boat Races
07/03/2009 20:26:22
 jim  State Point Park - Becky, Jennifer
07/03/2009 19:48:46
 jim  Forbes, Pa
07/03/2009 19:47:08
 jim  Pittsburgh, Pa - Bldgs
07/01/2009 20:12:22
 jim  Vestal Park
07/01/2009 06:51:54
 jim  Number, Numbers, Numbers!
Click here to read more: Pittsburgh dips to 60th in population among U.S. cities
Is it just me, or does this sound INSANE! I've been all over this country, and no way is Pittsburgh #60. If they'd quit using the boundaries drawn by whomever/whenever, and start using a circular reference from the city's center, these statistics would change immensely.
The way the census is run today, the population of Pittsburgh could easily double in one day based on the decisions In a Meeting! Don't believe me...check out the population of Louisville over the years, at a time when people are moving away!
Statistics people...don't trust them.
Half of the people quoting statistics state half of the facts, which is twice as many as those who don't.
Oscar Wilde - "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple."
Mark Twain - "First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure."
Benjamin Disraeli - "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics."
Bill Gates - "Then there was the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches".
"There is sanity in knowing you are insane."
"The four most important things you should learn in life are:
Learn to listen, pay attention, and to count".
06/28/2009 17:13:20
 jim  Little Italy, Pa
06/28/2009 16:44:10
 jim  Natural History - Indians
06/28/2009 16:38:18
 jim  Natual History - Egypt
06/28/2009 16:21:40
 jim  Natural History Displays
06/28/2009 16:03:28
 jim  Pittsburgh - Museum of Natural History
06/28/2009 15:55:30
 jim  Natural History Museum
06/26/2009 20:23:50
 jim  Mt Pleasant, Pa - Evergreen Drive In
06/26/2009 07:17:40
 jim  Michael Jackson Dies at 50
He preached music, love and peace. His performances rocked the world. Michael Jackson Dies at 50.
BTW - He was found innocent in court of child molestation, and he did pay out $20 million to quiet the whole thing. Money is a strong motivation.
After being on a grand jury, I don't believe most of the news
06/26/2009 07:13:46
 jim  Farrah Fawcett dies at 62
She was my dream girl when I was growing up.
 My first wife had Farrah hair.
06/24/2009 18:37:12
 jim  Wexford, PA - Car Show
06/24/2009 07:13:01
 jim  Its Beautiful
I see natures overwhelming technology. It is more profound than a cell phone, a plasma TV, or a computer.
I see harmony. All the living things seem to know their tasks, and they do them very well.
I see love in the animals, mostly amoung their own species, but sometimes they share their love with me.

Sometimes, I walk on the soft grass with my bare feet, and I feel like everything here was made just for my pleasure.
But that is a mistake.
All things are given the choice of whether to love or hate their lives.

What I am saying is, Heaven and Hell isn't something we experience after we die.
It is something we create while we are alive. It is our choice to see what we want to see.

I used to want to live forever, but that would be greedy.
There are many others waiting to take my place.
And I hope when they come, they will see this life as I do.

For me, when the beautiy of life seems distant, when life becomes about bills, work, chores, and responsibilities,
I look at my sweet Becky sleeping, then walk outside. I hear the birds singing, smell the honeysuckle, feel the moist breeze, and see another day begin.

-- It is Beautiful --
06/22/2009 20:27:32
 jim  Pittsburgh Skies
06/22/2009 20:15:40
 jim  Duquesne Incline
06/22/2009 20:02:44
 jim  Duquesne Incline Area
06/22/2009 20:02:12
 jim  Pittsburgh View
06/22/2009 09:59:14
 jim  Pittsburgh - Becky-n-Jen
06/20/2009 21:04:38
 jim  Lake Erie, Pa

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