Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hitting the Road -- West Coast Dreams?

Hey everybody -- drove from Philly to Alburquque in 2 days. Now I stopped over in Northern Arizona to relax and do some touristy trips to Meteor Crater and Grand Canyon.

Google Maps rocks -- used their directions to plot a course from Philly to L.A. and this turned out to be a much more scenic route then my prior cross-country excursions. A couple of notes from my trip
  1. Worst State to Drive Through - Missouri. NOT EVEN CLOSE. At least Oklahoma had a hip-hop station (shout out to Tulsa!!) but Missouri sucked so bad.
  2. Best State to Drive Through - a 2-way tie between New Mexico & Arizona.
  3. Weirdest - an italian restaurant in Holbrooke, Arizona. This town is tiny with a handful of motels, gas stations and chain restaurants but I was referred to their "Italian restaurant" ... no way is there a decent italian restaurant or for that matter ... any real italians out here -- but one plate of clams in spicy red sauce served over a heaping portion of linguine, real italian garlic bread and one glass of merlot later -- I was thanking the Witness Protection Program over and over again. Big Shout out to the Mesa Italian restaurant in Holbrooke - the sauce was perfectly spicy and tasty.
  4. Coolest - the impressive array of windmills on the Texas/Oklahoma border (and some in Western Pennsylvania). These things were HUGE and there were at least 20-30 of these windmills in a row on the Texas border -- they were so damn impressive looking - they seemed to be standing guard over the wind-swept hills out there - who would of thought that alternate energy sources can look so cool.

    Sorry I've been gone for a bit -- but I was working a contract at CSC (XML, Oracle, PHP thin client) and it sucked pretty bad, most of the guys/gals that interviewed me resigned or were ready to resign and morale was horrid. I decided to leave after 6 weeks even though it could've been a lucrative "gravy train" assignment but I can't stomach another boring coding contract.... and I hate "gravy train" assigments -- I'll let the other consultants steal money from the taxpayers of this country ... not me.

    Decided to interview for Microsoft (2 different departments). Got through to the LiveMeeting portion of the interviews and bombed one entirely and received a prompt uhhhh .... don't call us ... we'll call you; the other interview went well but the recruiter pressured the hiring manager for a decision (obviously before he was ready to provide one) and replied to my email with "... Lakshmi decided to pass on bringing you on board, mainly due to the pressure of needing to make a decision due to your outstanding offers…" --- WHAT !! -- what type of bullshit is that?? I didn't tell anybody I had oustanding offers ... just some interviewes lined up.... I don't mind a hiring manager telling me they're not interested but if that really was the reason then this recruiter dropped the ball BIG TIME.

    After that debacle - I decided to pick up some part-time telecommute work from an old client and hit the road and take an "extended vacation / pre-retirement" trip. So I'm packing up my Honda Pilot and wrapping up my apartment lease and heading WEST. Probably hang out Northern Cal for a month or two ... maybe pick up a coding gig or two. Hang around Berkeley ... go hang with Billy boy in Redmond or Paul Allen in Portland.... who the hell knows ... but I'll be blogging more again.

    Wouldn't mind volunteering or working cheap for a science, space or gaming company/organization -- just something interesting. Maybe it's time to hang with some TransHumanist Extroprian Cryonics dudes & dudettes in Cali/Arizona or pickup a graduate degreee in compsci - maybe some AI work. Damn pre-midlife crisis ... this sucks.

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