POSTED AT 6:17 AM ET, 12/14/2010
Keep on trucking
I am sitting up late in my hotel room in Newport News. I was able to take a break from my work before going to bed and am able to get a blog in. I don't know if you have ever been to Newport News, but there isn't much to do. I am working from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then end up working on paperwork for the rest of the evening. I guess the only thing I can do now is keep on trucking and hope that my network engineering firm will send me somewhere nice--like San Diego or perhaps overseas. I hear Tuscany is nice this time of year.
POSTED AT 6:28 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010
I need more time!
Well it has been a long couple of weeks. I realize that I always talk about how busy I am with work. Well, my schedule has brought a whole new meaning to the word. It seems that all I do these days is wake up, leave the house, go to work and come home to sleep. Lately, it even seems like I haven't even been sleeping at home.
I have spent more time in southern Virginia than I ever thought I would. I have been deployed on several projects over the course of the last few weeks. When I am not being deployed for my network engineering job, I am busy driving all over the state doing network assessments and presales presentations. My time from 7:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. is typically booked solid. When I get off, I am working with the band. When I get home, I am so exhausted that all I do is go to bed. I can't wait for my schedule to finally open up.
POSTED AT 6:06 AM ET, 11/ 3/2010
I was away in Virginia for the last week or so working on my first project as a lead engineer at my network engineering
job. I have worked on projects in the past. I have shadowed other engineers or worked on small projects that didn't require going out to the customer's site. I have also worked on several pre-sales engineering engagements where I went with sales folks to sites and answered whatever technical questions they had.
This was the first time there was a post-sales project and I was the main engineer running it all. We installed a wireless system into a military warehouse. I won't give away the details on which branch of the military or where exactly it was located, but I will tell you that it was kind of crazy. The stories I heard while out there about the security they have when the warehouse is full shocked me.
Since there are some sensitive things that get stored there on occasion, they said that they would put up 50-caliber machine gun nests
that were designed to take out vehicles near the facility that don't stop when they are supposed to stop. In fact, they told me that a few years ago, an enlisted man was late for formation and when he didn't stop, they took out his engine block and his car ended up in a ditch.
Luckily while I was there, there wasn't anything being stored. There was still a lot of security and I needed an escort at all times, but no guns took out my car as I drove in.
POSTED AT 6:00 AM ET, 10/21/2010
Busy in the federal space
I have been very busy at my network engineering job. I will be going to Virginia next week. We have a customer that I will be installing wireless into in Newport News. In addition to that, I have been filling out some forms for a background check for another project. I am hoping that with all of these projects, I will be able to get a security clearance.
Security clearance means big money in the world of IT. If you can get that, you are pretty much set for a job, especially with less competition in the market now that big names like GTSI
have lost their federal contracts. I'm sure The Washington Post did a story
on it if you haven't heard about it. Since my company only deals with the federal government, this means I will be busier helping the sales folk close deals and providing post sales engineering services.
This means that I will reach a senior level position faster, especially if I get clearance.
POSTED AT 6:20 AM ET, 10/19/2010
Playing in the middle of nowhere
Last Friday, we played down in Solomon's Island. This was my first time even being on this island. Apparently there is a tiki bar down there that is extremely popular in the summer. When it opens for the first time each year, they throw a huge party that is on par with Mardi Gras.
We have played a few shows in La Plata at The Crossing at Casey Jones. The last time we played there was when this tiki bar first opened this summer. There were only a handful of people at Casey Jones then because everyone else was at the tiki bar.
This weekend, we played at the Cheeseburger in Paradise in Solomon's. It wasn't extremely packed in there, but there was a decent-sized crowed. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we even sold a couple of CDs. The manager really loved the selection of songs that we played and said he was going to petition to get us back there ASAP.
I must admit, despite having to drive an hour and a half to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, I had a fun time.
POSTED AT 6:05 AM ET, 10/18/2010
Working full time for my NFL pool
First, I started working at Best Buy selling musical instruments. Then I started full time at my network engineering job. Now I am running the NFL football pool at work and it seems like a third job. We have been averaging anywhere from 15 to 25 people each week. The total number of people depends on how persistent I am at getting people involved.
I am also responsible for collecting everyone's picks and then putting it all into a spreadsheet that I send out before the1 p.m. game each Sunday. Couple this with the two fantasy football leagues I am in and it feels like I am spending 20 hours a week doing work.
Fortunately this is fun and only for the next few months, otherwise I wouldn't do it.
POSTED AT 6:08 AM ET, 10/15/2010
Sales don't seem so bad
I got to sit down with a Cisco
AM and a Cisco PSS for lunch today. A Cisco
AM is an "Account Manager" and a PSS is a "Product Sales Specialist." These two handle the entire Capitol Hill for Cisco. If the House of Representatives or the Senate want some new Cisco technology, they are the ones responsible for getting it to them.
I am not impressed by their positions per se, since I have met people in much higher positions within Cisco
. I was more impressed by what they make for a living. I was talking with one of the sales folks from my network engineering company and they told me that some of these AMs can make as much as $500,000 a year. That is ridiculous. In a time when people are lucky that they even have a job, these guys are making that kind of loot? I can tell you right now, I thought twice about being on the technological side of the game and I even thought twice about being in music
. It kind of made me want to get into sales, but then I remembered how much I hate to sell things.
POSTED AT 6:28 AM ET, 10/14/2010
Sick as a dog
This past Monday, I thought would have several blogs to write. It was Columbus Day and I was off from my job at my network engineering job and sick as a dog. I played my show at T-Bonz
, but I barely made it. The next day, I was unable to even make it out of bed. I had to call out of work and just sleep for the next 24 hours. I hate it when this happens. I feel so unproductive. Now I feel as though I have to make up for the lost time both with my network engineering job and with Maybe Not Even
POSTED AT 9:45 AM ET, 10/13/2010
I had a medieval weekend
I had a chance to go to the Maryland Renaissance Festival
last Saturday with DJ. I don't know what it is, but that place is so much fun. There is nothing better than walking through the woods, shopping for stuff that I will never wear or use until next year's festival and watching people pretend that they are in medieval times.
I saw the jousting for the first time in a while. Usually I just wander around the festival with friends getting drunk and playing little games here and there, like the axe throw or dunk the wench. This year we did that and we caught a few of the shows as well. The jousting was cool, but it would have been better if someone had gotten knocked off their horse. I can see how that would be dangerous, but there is nothing more entertaining than someone else getting hurt--that's why America's Funniest Videos
was so popular for so long.
POSTED AT 6:47 AM ET, 10/12/2010
Busy bee me
I have been very busy lately. The busy season that I thought was going to end last week, turned out to not end at all. From getting demos ready for customers last minute, to interviewing new candidates, I have been working at my network engineering job non-stop, which is good, since we have not had many shows with the band recently. I hope things slow down soon so that we can get focused on new music and recording.
POSTED AT 6:34 AM ET, 10/ 5/2010
Blast from the past
This past Friday, our former drummer, Jason, came by the practice space. We were supposed to be practicing for our gig the next day at T-Bonz, but Doug never showed up. We hadn't seen Jason in over a year and we hadn't played with him in almost four years.
Jason has been in the marines for the last four years. He has been deployed to several places including Taiwan and Iraq. He hasn't had much time to play the drums. Before he left, he was one of the best drummers I had ever played with. He was a studio drummer and has been credited on several albums released by Virgin records.
The last time Jason had played was about two months ago, he said. But when Brian asked him the other day to go ahead and play with us, he hopped right on up to the kit and began playing. Sure he was a little rusty, but the muscle memory from playing with D.J. and me for so long in our last band kicked in and he barely missed a beat. He doesn't own a kit anymore since he sold his when he went into the service.
That means we won't be replacing Brian, but it was good to play with Jason again.