Ok... wow. Two-years plus is a long time. It's time for an update.
So... it's funny, but my last post here was pretty much produced by the same situation today. I upgraded Ubuntu to 10.04, PHP got upgraded, and Wordpress exploded. Now it's generally functioning, and my server is doing ok too, barring a few quirks.
A lot has happened in two years. I finished school in May 2009, found a job at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems in Akron, and bought a car... and a whole lot more.
Well, from the time of my last post until the end of 2008, I don't think I can say much about it. I was in school, working my butt off for the ultimate payoff. I finished the summer semester and rolled right into two more. I remember anticipating my return to school in the fall to begin working on my senior design project, and to be able to finally finish my education. A few tough classes awaited me that fall, mostly elective like Digital Communications and Embedded Scientific Computing. I thoroughly enjoyed both of these classes, but senior design was what dominated most of my days.
Finally I had finished school. August 2003 to May 2009, it seemed like an eternity at the time, but now looking back it feels practically like a blink of an eye. Time is funny like that I guess, never moves fast enough when you want it to, but then before you know it, too much has slipped away. At any rate, my last two semesters at The University of Akron were enjoyable. My senior design project, which we dubbed the "RSS Enabled LED Marquee" was a blast to work on. I'll try to write another post dedicated to this in the near future. I made a lot of good friends that semester and truly reveled in the time that I spent working along side of them.
Most of my classmates had either taken jobs before they left, or quickly found jobs after we had our final days at the U of A. It took me until August 2009 to finally find something. I made a huge "mistake" that summer, around the beginning of June... I bought a copy of World of Warcraft.
To anyone who reads this, do not let a game run your life. World of Warcraft is fine within itself, but scheduling real life time around gameplay is... well... not a good habit to practice on a regular basis (IMO). I'm not saying that running a raid in an MMORPG or having a clan match in an FPS at scheduled times is a bad thing, but when your guild wants to raid 3 nights a week, and you feel obligated to do so... it might affect other things in your life. People close to you start to wonder if your OK, and have concern that maybe you're spending too much time in a virtual world. Everything in moderation. This truly is the key. At any rate, as of March 2010, I haven't logged any more hours in that game, and I can't say that I miss it all that much. Listening to the soundtrack makes me feel a little nostalgic about when I leveled my first character to level 80. I remember running though the zones, observing all of the scenic views, listening to the music in the background and just being in awe of what Blizzard had created. But once you reach the cap, the game turns into a monotonous grind for the "best" equipment, which is the mechanic of the game I like the least and the reason I stopped playing. Anyhow, I made a few friends that I used to play with and I hope that someday in the near future I can actually interact with them in real life.
So enough about games, like I said before I went off on my WoW tangent, I found a job at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems in the fall, after I graduated. My position at the company was (is) a software test engineer. So basically, I would take the Brake Control Units into a laboratory environment and subject them to tests to validate that the software is working properly and can detect issues with the entire braking system on the aircraft. Software test wasn't exactly the position where I envisioned myself when I graduated, but after looking for a few months, I figured I would give it a shot. I was hired in as a contractor, with no benefits, at an hourly rate. After repeatedly extending my contract, once in December to February and again in February to May, I decided that I wanted a stable, full-time job. If I couldn't get it at Meggitt, than I was going to go elsewhere. Originally, when I had been looking for a job back in the summer and fall, a friend of my parents had mentioned to them that Rockwell-Collins often hired engineers. So, in March I submitted application to about 10 Rockwell-Collins positions. I had some interviews, two of them, in Iowa. Now don't get me wrong, I do have some love for the midwest states, (Ohio is after all in the midwest) but when the population of the largest city in your state is outnumbered by the Akron/Cleveland metro area... At any rate, after having two really good interviews (with some exceptionally nice people by the way) and seeing lots of corn, I came home with hope that there was something other than a temporary position in a job that doesn't really fit my career goals. A week later, I got a call back from Katie in talent acquisition at RC. I was offered both jobs. I was so happy, someone wanted to commit to me! Unfortunately my biggest decision was yet to come... I told my boss the next day that RC had made me an offer for a full-time position, and he explains that he had put in for two full-time salaried contracts for my coworker and I. Three days later, I have both offers in my hands. It was time to decide if I wanted to stay in Ohio and stay near to my friends and family, or to venture out into the far midwest (OK maybe its not that dramatic...) to start a new life with a new job (one that I believe fit my career goals more closely than my current one). Now typically, like most people, I'm a creature of habit. I don't hate change, but given the choice I prefer sameness. This was the first time that I really had a chance to redefine what my life was. It was definitely an eye opener. In the end, I apologized to Katie at Rockwell-Collins for not making my decision sooner, (this was due to the slowness of Meggitt's hiring approval policies) told her that I truly appreciated the offers, and signed a full-time offer with Meggitt.
So here I am today. Contributing to society through joys like income tax and enjoying daily rush-hours. I can't complain too much though, the job is good and as far as I can see, stable. I keep a running tally of all my time-cards electronically, and in that spreadsheet there is a calculation for number of years of service. I just hit "1" a few days ago. As much as I like the job and the people I work with, I hope that number never hits "6". By that time I hope I have moved on to something different, something I LOVE to do. For now, I'm happy.
I've dropped my callsign off of the title of my blog. Just like Cliff Blizinski I think "it's time to grow up a bit".