Jul 292004
 

The trip to San Fran was great; I’ve rarely had a better vacation, especially one where I get proposed to. 🙂
Jamie was the sweetest, most generous, and patient host you could ever ask for, and we can’t wait to have him come to Detroit so we can show him the (very limited in comparison to SF) sights.
I’ve realized I really need a laptop or a pocket PC with a keyboard when I travel. I had all kinds of observations and insights during our trip that I wanted to write up, but now that I’m back I can’t really remember most of them. Plus I’m still bleary right now so I couldn’t remember them anyway.

Like evanrudemi said, coming back to Detroit is very unpretty. It’s flat, it’s ugly, it’s boring, and the air smells bad; the same as just about any other part of the United States of Generica. We were constantly amazed at how the air smelled. Even driving down the highway at 80 mph you could clearly smell sage, pine, cypress, even mustard plants. There were hills all around, a lot of wildlife, and even the strip malls were attractively designed. I’m sure there must have been some bleak, ugly stretches in the Bay area, but you have to look for them. Here, they’re right under your nose at every turn. All this applied to both San Fran and Santa Rosa, where we stayed at Jamie’s and is about 50 miles north of the city.

What was even more fascinating (and frustrating for Aaron) was the weather. In Michigan we say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour.” In San Fran it goes more like, “If you don’t like the weather, drive a mile.” It changes that drastically from place to place and minute to minute. Bright and sunny to cool and foggy, and from perfectly calm to really windy. It got a lot more stable as you got away from the water and in Santa Rosa it was very Mediterranean: warm and dry (although it did get kind of chilly for the end of July).

Aaron mentioned that there was a certain “spark” to San Fran that was missing in Michigan, and I had been thinking pretty much the same thing. There’s a sense of energy and purpose; an “aliveness” to the whole place that Detroit and it’s environs lack except in rare, isolated pockets. The energy around here is more harried and stressed. Granted, this is only from 5 days of observation as a tourist, but the differences are that glaring. I wonder how much of it is influenced by the unstable dynamics of the earth and weather in the Bay area. When everything could be wiped away in minutes, I imagine it would make living much more intense.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been down on California for years. I knew this wasn’t fair; that I’d been stationed in a complete backwater (40 miles from Fresno in the middle of nowhere) and my experiences in the rest of CA were very limited, but knowing it and feeling it were very different. This trip certainly changed my views a lot, and I could be happy living in the city, if we could afford it. I would like to be an urban dweller in a cool city at least once in my life.

While I was there I kept thinking of a line from the song “Sunscreen”, which was a graduation speech given by Kurt Vonnegut set to music. The line went, “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.”
Living in the Detroit area for so long has made me hard; I think I’m way overdue for a change.

 Posted by at 11:30 am
Jul 292004
 

No big surprises here…
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Your Results:
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do? Discuss your results on our message boards.

1. Secular Humanism (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (99%)
3. Liberal Quakers (85%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (79%)
5. Nontheist (77%)
6. Theravada Buddhism (71%)
7. Neo-Pagan (65%)
8. Taoism (52%)
9. New Age (48%)
10. Bahá’í Faith (46%)
11. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (39%)
12. Reform Judaism (39%)
13. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (38%)
14. Mahayana Buddhism (37%)
15. Orthodox Quaker (36%)
16. New Thought (32%)
17. Scientology (27%)
18. Jehovah’s Witness (26%)
19. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
20. Sikhism (25%)
21. Jainism (21%)
22. Seventh Day Adventist (15%)
23. Hinduism (11%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (9%)
25. Islam (9%)
26. Orthodox Judaism (9%)
27. Roman Catholic (9%)

 Posted by at 10:41 am
Jul 232004
 

It is way to friggin’ early to be getting up on a day I don’t have to work. Good thing I already have everything packed so I can just brush my teeth, throw on my clothes, and pile into the car.

See you all when we get back; we’ll take lots of pictures and video, most of which we can even show publicly. 😛

 Posted by at 6:08 am
Jul 222004
 

Today is my last day at ISS, and I just got done writing up my goodbye email. It took me quite awhile to get started since I had no idea what to say, but once I got going it started to flow. For posterity’s sake I pasted it below, just to remind me.

——————————————–

For those of you who may not have heard, I have decided to leave ISS. The PC expression would be “to pursue other opportunities”, but really I just got a new job. 🙂
It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since I wandered into Deployment and wondered what Derrick had gotten me into. I’m not very good at saying goodbye, but definitely want to thank some people before I go.

Derrick Karteczka, for convincing me to give this a shot and putting in a good word for me. (not to mention sharing his referral bonus)

John Wheeler and Dan Ackerman, for taking a chance on a guy who could barely pronounce TCP/IP. (it must have been the interview suit)

Bridget Weidenfeller, for making sure I was awake on time. (five hours early, but who’s counting?)

The entire Deployment team, for all the help they gave to a total newbie, and for encouraging me to drink myself stupid in Chicago. Strange that the Chicago team never wanted a rematch…

Ron Fricke, for all the lunchtime world conquests.

Everyone in the SOC (Implementation and Threat Analysis) most of all, for teaching me almost everything I know about network security, for putting up with my endless questions and brain-farts, and for letting me share in your bitter (but witty!) cynicism. You’ve all been more family than coworkers, and I’m going to miss working with you.

And to anyone I missed or is no longer here.

Before this gets too mushy I’ll wrap it up here. I’ll still be online and staying in touch, and here’s my contact info if anyone wants to say hi:
(edited)

Take care and so long,
Ryan

 Posted by at 9:17 am
Jul 212004
 

Agent00Groovey, you REALLY need to have a talk with your wife… ;P
And Roadster_Guy, I don’t see YOU on this list anywhere, oh partner of mine. This scientific quiz proves you don’t really love me! *SOB*

which one of your LJ friends loves you
LJ Username
enough to be friends jenn5k
hates you to death jamie95
has a crush jermicideclean
loves you SO much odysseyseven
dreams of having sex with you jenn5k
wants to marry you jermicideclean
This Quiz by someone_lover – Taken 19690 Times.

New – Help with love and dating!

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jul 192004
 
Your LiveJournal Love Life
LJ Username
You are lusted after by: jenn5k
You will be seen naked by: agent00groovey
You will have casual sex with: jamie95
You will be loved by: psychesdesire
You will fall in love with: odysseyseven
You will end up with: odysseyseven
This cool quiz by butterkitty – Taken 46008 Times.

New – Kwiz.Biz Astrology and Horoscopes

 Posted by at 6:20 am
Jul 162004
 

Now that I’ve given notice at work and only have a week to go, I’ve found that I’m a lot less stressed. Before, you worry about doing a good job so you don’t get fired. Now, who cares? There’s no pressure because I’m leaving anyway. My computer is cleaned off; I’ve saved everything I wanted to save; I only have a few tickets to turn over. Basically they could tell me to leave now and I’d be thrilled.

Okay, anytime now….

I’m ready, hello!

Throw me out already!

Damn….

 Posted by at 9:03 am
Jul 152004
 

Well, it’s official. The job offer has been made! I sign the paperwork and enroll in benefits tomorrow afternoon, and start my new job in network security support on August 2nd, which will give me about 4 days to recover from the trip to San Francisco.

I’ve been climbing the walls waiting for the phone call, which I got while already on the phone with a customer. Not surprisingly, it made the rest of the time working with that customer much easier to bear. 😀

I’d love to say “screw the two week notice.” I wanna leave NOW! hehehe…..

 Posted by at 1:01 pm
Jul 152004
 
which of your LJ friends would come to see you perform at a strip club?
LJ Username
slips you a 20 _kosh_
receives a lapdance from you jermicideclean
gets extra favors after the show jamie95
buys you a drink odysseyseven
gets kicked out by the bouncer for licking the pole odysseyseven
doesn’t tip you at all,that fucker roadster_guy
This Quiz by MODernSlut – Taken 12425 Times.

New – Help with love and dating!

 Posted by at 10:41 am
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