last day at work

It is done. Today was my last day of corporate employment (for now) and it feels great. I was set to leave tonight but the traffic drastically reduced the time I needed to get things ready for my scheduled departure. I also had an unexpected email last night which contributed towards my delay in a big way. I'll write about that later as the story is still unfolding. Instead of being on the road right now, I'm drinking some delicious Shiner Bock Wild Hare pale ale before we go out to devour a tasty Thai dinner tonight.

I'll spare you all the gory last day details and will only say that it's a bittersweet parting. Yes, that just happened and I went Shakespeare on you. Digressing. The company isn't a bad overall and is one of the best to work for in the country despite my recent posts about the changes going on there.. It's the people that make a place great and they've  been fantastic to me. Hence the bittersweet. Regardless, I'm done and begin tomorrow morning my next adventure.


cake day & new toys

On Friday while packing for the trip a birthday gift arrived from my sissy. My birthday was yesterday. The timing was perfect since I needed it for my upcoming as well as future trips. She got me a map bag I had on my Amazon wish list that I'd forgotten to order a few weeks back. I'm the proud owner of a man purse, or murse now. Now I have a place to toss my glasses, phone, backup battery, checkbook, notepad, pen, bluetooth headset, thumb drive, cables, rechargers, and keys into. I used to carry this all around in a laptop backpack along with a few other items, but is impractical when it came to easy access and overall weight.

At work there was a company wide fear that we would not be getting our quarterly profit sharing checks due to a change in how it pays out. Turns out the fear was unfounded and it paid out only 3% less than the year prior. This was great news and timing. It allowed me to treat myself to a tablet. I bought the Google Nexus 7 and absolutely love it! I didn't even have to configure it to my liking since it did it on it's own. I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 which also uses the android OS, and that is configured to use the Google backup service. Once I signed on with my account Google backup automatically reconfigured the tablet as well as installing all my (relevant) apps onto it. One last plug. Office Depot (where purchased from) offers a two year protection plan that will replace it for almost any reason at extra cost of $39.99. I got it since I'm going to be out there somewhere and will most likely break it at least once. Twice probably.

I'm really pleased with how far mobile computing has come along in the last four years. Because of it I can now carry less on my person while still being able to do everything I did and more than before. And just for fun here's a montage of me modeling the new bag with all my junk in it.


pre-packing it in

I spent Friday taking inventory of my belongings and then packing everthing I could in advance. I accomplished so much then that I spent Saturday lounging while watching Kitchen Nightmares. God I love this show! This morning I took all of the non-essential stuff and loaded it into the trailer which made up three quarters of my belongings. All I'm left with now are my clothes, electronics, and a few random kitchen items which will be packed well before this next Friday arrives.

I'm beyond excitement at this point and cannot wait to hit the road!


it's about time

These last two weeks have been a bit of whirlwind. It went from the dull drab day to day life I've been experiencing to my sudden decision to return to CA to be with my family for the summer. I was offered a rare opportunity to continue my employ while there, but on a very very limited basis. After sleeping on it for a night I decided to opt out and rip the band aid off by tendering my resignation. Friday the 31st of May 2013 is my last day at work and the first leg of this journey I've been preparing for. I took today off originally to go camping because it's a four day weekend, but am packing instead. More to follow ...


portable power solutions

Thought I'd share something I recently discovered with you today. Since I began playing Ingress a few weeks ago, I've seen and learned a great deal about the local history where I live. I've also learned what a power hog this game can be and how to overcome the issue from the players. When they turned me onto it I immediately recognized how much of a godsend this will be for the full timing crowd.

The first item is the car charger. This one has a micro USB port like the last one and also includes a full size USB port so you can charge something else simultaneously. This has been designed to work with Android or Apple products, but an adapter is required for the latter one. The power output is high which means you'll recharge faster, and there's also circuit protection built in which means it stops charging your device when the battery is full. Anyone who has ever purchased one of the cheap rechargers can tell you how it has damaged their phones. I've made the pics clickable links to the mfg website for those of you wanting to read up on or see what else they sell.

This next item is for those times when I'm not driving around. For the game this allows me to wander freely for the day without having to stop and recharge once every few hours. In terms of full timing this can carry you through the night if you need to power a tablet, phone, or any other USB powered tech. I can conserve laptop battery power by not having to power the phone from it when being used as a portable wifi hotspot. 

In addition to the first hand recommendations I got from the Ingress players, there is an overwhelming amount of customer kudos on Amazon to back them up. There are a few instances where something didn't work, but Anker customer service was very quick to respond and rectify matters. They went as far as contacting unhappy customers who wrote bad reviews to make it right. The prices are very reasonable and I highly recommend their products for their quality and excellent customer support they offer. All in all I'm very happy with them and recommend them highly.

ding, you are now debt free

I made the final payment today and officially have zero balances across the board. I meant to do it last month but decided to spread out the payments to last Friday. With all the uncertainty going on at work I decided it would be prudent to keep my savings above a certain dollar amount lest I not have and need it later.

So, this is what freedom feels like. Not bad, not bad at all!