December 12th, 2009



This was posted originally at my WordPress blog, here.

This post comes in three parts.

Part 1: Travel: New Jersey/New York/Chicago

The trip was quite interesting. I don’t feel the interview went well, but that’s my own assessment. I’d like to have finished the refactoring task that was in front of me, and I really didn’t have a chance to get my head in the Ruby zone–I was still a bit thrown off due to a travel mishap earlier in the day and was getting sick due to nerves. Yeah, I missed my first bus connection and wound up using the Newark light rail system to catch the train. Ultimately that worked out for the best, though, as I didn’t have any more one dollar bills.

After the interview, I went in to state number 10: New York, catching the train all the way in to Penn Station. I walked around that neighborhood for a bit, winding up at Macy’s, then having a slice of pizza before hitting the train back. I gave myself a blister on the back of my foot from walking in the wrong shoes. That said, having actually spent lunch in Manhattan meant that I completed my last travel goal of the year: I stood in a city larger than my hometown.

I will say that should my instincts about the interview be wrong (and they could well be: I thought I bombed an interview three weeks ago as well, and ultimately the company did fly me to New Jersey for an in-person interview), I wouldn’t mind living in New Jersey based on what I saw. Sure, Newark was reminiscent of Pasadena (but colder), but the rest of the state wasn’t the cesspit it’s shown to be in popular media. Besides, the state has a proper train system, which I thought was awesome.

The return flight was a bit more harrowing. I caught an earlier flight to Chicago, but was still delayed an hour and a half because the aircraft was coming in from bad weather at Dulles. The plane from Chicago (where it was snowing) got delayed by an hour and a half as well due to a snowstorm in upstate New York, turning from an evening flight to a true red eye. It was 1:00a before I left Bush Intercontinental Airport.

I’ve still got to make up my expense report. I’ll have to do that tomorrow.

Part 2: Books

On the trip, I took Terry Prachett’s Guards! Guards! as reading material. It didn’t last the whole trip, and the flight to Houston was spent shopping SkyMall (the sudoku in the airline magazine was already done in both seats) after noting that O’Hare is nice this time of year. Those of you who haven’t explored Discworld before would probably do well to start here. A competent cop is a dangerous thing when the law isn’t held in high esteem. Also, dragons are awesome when they aren’t exploding.

Part 3: Weight Loss

I am no longer trying to lose weight. In fact, I need to gain a pound then start maintaining, based on what I weighed in at today. To celebrate, I had a late breakfast at IHOP (I love their pancakes, so sue me, and their light menu isn’t too bad), then decided to go shopping for a couple of mementos to commemorate hitting my goal. Ultimately, I picked up a copy of Mario and Luigi: Bowzer’s Inside Story and the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya on DVD. I was hoping to find an acceptable replacement for my guitar from Rock Band, but alas, I couldn’t find anything.

Ultimately, I lost 78.8 pounds.

Part 4: Movies

I saw “Blind Spot” today. It was a good movie, certainly the right film for the winter season without being an exercise in Oscarbation. Besides, you know I like football. It was worth the price of admission, at least.

The moral of this blog post: you can’t trust Weird Al, but JoCo is nothing but honest.