I will update you
Ok since last we spoke a lot has happened, so pay attention. I will try to go roughly in order to keep things straight.
While still in Omaha I replaced the spark plugs, oil, oil filter, and air filter on my car. I did it all myself, with only a tiny bit of help from a neighbor. He helped physically loosen the oil filter. Then in my next repair attempt I got new brake pads. After removing my front tires I found both shoes to be incredibly rusted and the rotors to be gouged beyond any reasonable limits. Also, I couldn't get the pads off. So I put the tires back on and had a professional do it. A hundred and change later, I had new brakes.
Flash forward: Here, in Ames, yesterday I replaced my squealing alternator belt. Except this time (unlike the last two times) it wasn't the alternator belt. I already own a replacement serpentine belt, looks like I'm going to have to go through the pain in the ass of installing it.
For the move back I used Budget instead of uHaul. They were about $50 cheaper. My two friends in Omaha, Justin and Sam, each helped me load my truck up. I drove it to Ames and then the plan was to pick my sister up and go back on Saturday to finish cleaning. She backed out, so I went back on Saturday myself and spent all day there cleaning. On Sunday I unloaded the truck, with a little help from Hanna.
All of my stuff is still pretty much packed up. It'll be easier to move again come August.
The Carpet Saga
So when I moved back in my landlord and her husband were here renovating the place. No problem; they thought we were all going to be gone. Anyhow, they had ripped all the carpet out of the living room and dining room, replacing it with a rolled up carpet and a rolled up carpet pad. So I can't put anything in there; carpet installation is imminent. A couple weeks roll by. Finally, on July 3rd, a guy shows up and tacks down the padding and rolls out the carpet. He does not stretch the carpet or tack it down. He'll be back.
It's been a couple more weeks. Wtf, mate?
Oh, also due to the carpet saga, I can't really cook either. I can't set up the kitchen table I have, and I can't really prepare food on the 1.5 square feet of counterspace in the kitchen proper. It's frozen pizzas, tv dinners, pb&j, and eating out for me until I move.
The New Job
Ok, so you've been dying to hear about it. I work for Palisade Systems. We make packet management appliances. It's great; basically nothing like my old job. All of my coworkers are nice. No, really, I'm not just saying that because they might read this. They really are. That's good because there's about 20 of us, give or take, in the entire company. So far in my month I've been there we've had a lot of meetings.
No, its great. See, we're actually designing the software before we start coding it. Pretty amazing, huh? Also, it is a great opportunity for me to learn about the inner workings of our appliances; everyone asks questions (they're so complicated that no one person is 100% how everything works) that I don't feel too stupid to ask questions. Also, they actually take my thoughts into consideration, so I don't feel stupid making suggestions. It truly is a great place to work. Wow. Just wow.
Been rather frustrated with this topic lately.
World of Warcraft
So right now in order to save money for the phenomenal cost of breaking my least / signing up for housing in ames at the same time, I don't have cable TV or internet service. However, the best phone in the world comes through like a champ. I've been using this as my sole internet connection for the past month. I can even play WoW.
Speaking of that, things are still going alright. I've decided to write an AddOn for Wow. See, they provide a way of changing how the interface of the game works via a programming language called Lua and an API. For the non-programmers, an API (Application Programming Interface) is a way to interact with something. The best analogy is that the programming language (Lua) is like English, and the API is like ordering a burger at McDonald's. You can't just show up and wave your arms around and spout gobbledegook; you have to say "I want a cheeseburger", then you have to give them money, then they give you the cheeseburger, then you can eat it. Same with an API, but instead of cheeseburgers, you get the program (in this case, the game) to do something for you.
He Works Hard for the Money
The friday after I left West was payday. Normally I have direct deposit (rock star!) but for some weird reason, West's policy is to always mail a paper check for your last pay period. So after about 3 weeks I started to question where the hell my money was.
See, I had to write 2 post-dated checks to my ex-landlord, and I severely needed that paycheck to cover them.
The story is, after about 3 days of emailing back and forth, that the check was printed and given out for normal distribution. However, Khem, my former manager, went home to Nepal on a family emergency. So my paycheck was probably locked in his desk. The day after I finally got ahold of a real person in payroll (previously I was introduced to every single person at west in payroll who assured me that my problem was not their responsibility before forwarding me onto the next peon), maintenance broke into his desk and my check was in the mail.
Earlier today I recieved 2 important pieces of mail. 1. My paycheck, which contained 2 weeks of pay + 1 week of PTO pay. However, due to the extra week triggering some kind of red flag in the tax withholding compumotron, Uncle Sam took out enough that I only saw an extra hundred bucks or so. No shit? Yeah, no shit. 2. My first check to my ex-landlord, as returned from my bank for NSF. Motherfuck that's embarassing.
Saving for Car
One of the reasons I moved back to Ames was to decrease my cost of living in order to get a car in the near future. I've recalculated my budget and it will happen. However, it'll take me about 4-5 months to actually save up a respectable 10% down payment. I have $0 right now; all my money is going into lease breaking, deposits, etc. I hope to fix this real soon.
The Roommate Situation
As a further measure to decrease my monthly bills, Beth (future roommate) and I have been shopping around for a 3rd roommate. Surprisingly we've had a great response to our pleas. I've narrowed it down to 4 candidates:
- Cool dude from strangetalk, nice guy, but has a backup plan and doesn't really need a place to live.
- A friend of a friend, one of Joel's good friends. He really needs a place to live, and he's totally cool too.
- A hot chick. She's got a boyfriend anyhow. Shouldn't let my dick decide. That's part of how I ended up with the first roommate. (Just kidding Beth, you know that!) No, not really. heh.
- Another dude from strangetalk. Philosopher-type. I dunno about him; my gut instinct is that I don't want my philosophy-peen to be challenged in my own home.
We've also contacted the new landlord about moving in early. Hopefully that's a possibility so I don't have to move in on a monday night / tuesday morning.
Not much to tell. I'll be creating a website for a part of the ag department or something like that. It's a windows platform, so I'll be using ASP. Yuck, but at least it's a resume stuffer. And more importantly, it'll pay me a little over 1/3rd my car down payment.
Things I Find Out on the Internet
This thread made me start poking around on the internet looking for stuff. You can read the thread to find my reply, but I'll just cut to the chase: