March 11, 2006: Working in Ithaca

It is really hard to believe that in just two weeks I will be moving to Somerset County, New Jersey and starting a new job. It has been so long since I have done the “new job” thing with it being anything more than just a short project that I don’t quite know how to react. Dominica has never known me with a regular job. IBM layed off all of the contractors and consultants in the beginning of June, 2001 and we only met on June 9th – just days after IBM. I have been full time with Niagara ever since then so life has been strange. This will be a major adjustment for us. Andy might be the most excited person of all since this new job also guarantees (as much as anything does) his position with Niagara so he now knows that he is not going to be job hunting for a while. Hopefully a really long while.

I was up at 7:00 this morning. I took a little time out of my morning routine to try some additional ideas out on that server but still nothing. Hopefully I will have some time to get to that tonight. But probably not. It is going to be a long day.

I was ready and out of the house by 9:00. Off on my drive to Ithaca. Dad is coming over to pick up Oreo sometime around 9:30 or 10:00. Oreo will have fun playing on the farm. He loves chasing after tennis balls that dad hits with a tennis racket. He really wears him out for us so that he just comes home and sleeps for two days. He will probably only have so much energy today from having done the same thing a few days ago.

Today is a really beautiful day. The sun is shining and it is really, really warm. Today is a winter day in Western New York that does not require a jacket. Now that is weather that I can appreciate. I am really looking forward to New Jersey weather. New Jersey is dramatically more mild than New York. That is a change that I am definitely ready for.

I got to Ithaca just a little after 11:00. John Stephens came up from Endicott at noon to meet me so that he could see what we do with this client and so that I could introduce him to them. There is a lot of that kind of preparation that I have to take care of over the next two weeks. There is going to be a ton of stuff that gets forgotten.

The guy that John and I were working with today had to leave the site for a little while. He ended up only making it a mile or two down the road before he got into an accident and ended up getting towed back to the shop. He is fine and no one was hurt but there was some car damage. He is not exaclty having a good day.

The work in Ithaca took about as long as I had imagined that it would. These things always end up taking a really long time. Most people think that a computer install is a short process but it really isn’t. The CD based portion of an XP install takes at least an hour. The updates that you really need to do immediately after an install really take several hours even with a really fast connection. Then there are all of the different software packages that need to be installed. User preferences. Automated maintenance to set up. Permissions, security, etc. There is just a lot involved in getting a business desktop ready for someone. None of the work is really intensive and there is a lot of just waiting around for things but still it takes a lot of your day.

I got done working around 5:30 and ran over to Borders at Triphammer Mall to do some quick shopping. There has been some items that I have wanted to find and haven’t been able to recently so I wanted to check there. I did find two books that I wasn’t able to get in Rochester and picked those up. Then I went down to downtown Ithaca and met Bob at the State Street Diner and we got some dinner.

On the way back to Geneseo I decided that I wasn’t very tired and that I wanted to get the trip to New Jersey out of the way so I called Dominica at work and convinced her to come home, pack quickly and to leave for New Jersey tonight. It will make for a really long day but it will let us come back on Sunday night instead of on Monday and I will get a day at home to prepare for things which will be really important. I have just been so busy and with spending the entire day today in Ithaca I just need time to get ready for Pittsburgh.

I got home at about 9:45 and Dominica had been home a few minutes before me. She was in process of packing and moving along quite well. I threw a few things together – we are only spending one night in a hotel – and we were out the door, in the car and pulling out of the driveway here in Geneseo at 10:01 pm. Pretty late at night to be starting a drive down to New Jersey but I was wide awake and anxious to get moving on things. I think that this is the best option overall. Still, this week is just nuts.

The drive went really well. The weather was great and we made really good time. We had to stop in Dansville at the McDonald’s so that Dominica could grab some dinner, we stopped at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center on route 81 for a restroom break and we stopped once for gas and we managed to arrive at the Comfort Inn in Easton, Pennsylvania right on the New Jersey border at 2:30 in the morning. Boy were we tired but we were so relived to have that part of the drive over and done with so that we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow.

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