Happy Holidays! This was the first year “away” in Arizona. Damien’s second Christmas. Nanny was still with us. Lots of change happened since the last long night.

Photos: Yule 2005

I Have a Commute!

Well, I started at Countrywide today, commute is 35 minutes, not bad! The group is just forming, so everyone is new at this.

I miss the DHL folks already. We had a great time on Friday. Partying until 2 a. m.

So much fun, we did it again on Saturday until 3 a. m. The Devil's Martini was hopping! Everyone made it home and slept it off. So, this morning was rough.


Brett at the Canyon

Brett made the trip to Arizona. This was the first family visit since we moved. The highlight was a trip to see "The Canyon" with his Aunt Karen.

Photo Album: Grand Canyon, AZ

Gizmo 12?

What can be said for owning a dog that has not already been proven through many studies. They provide happy when you are sad. They comfort you when things are bad. No wonder they offer health benefits.

When you have a long haired Chihuahua that lives for over 12 years you get a relationship, too. Whether it is running laps around the house chasing a tennis ball made for cats, forcing you out of bed in the morning for a walk (even though he has a dog door and doesn't require your assistance) or that silly contented look after an afternoon of sun while you swim. My photo essays would be incomplete without Gizmo.

Photo Album: Gizmo

Countrywide Mortgage

Did I mention Countrywide?

I finally got an interview for a Documentum position. At Countrywide Mortgage. It is a support position, but it has management potential and pays 30% more than my current gig.

I start Monday! Drinks at Rock Bottom for my last day at DHL. See you there.



We got to play on Sunday!!!

It was painful to have to recall all the rules, we fumbled a but we managed to complete the run. In the usual style, we played until 1 in the morning, on a work night. I suffered on Monday morning!

Brian had a great time and wants to know when the next run is happening!


Brett Graduated from Kutztown

Brett graduated from KU today. Twerp got a 3.45 average! That's .7 more than I got.

Well, congrats to Brett. I will be seeing him on Thursday. I will harass him then. BTW, he thinks my "ride" is sweet.

New Truck

I change cars every few months! The Nissan Frontier set a record of 36 months for me. In the time Karen owned 3 cars, I had owned 7 and borrowed one!

Normally I go for sports cars. Especially small cars with small high rev engines. After catching the arcade bug I switched to a pick up truck. I did not turn back this time. Possibly because there is a Corvette in the garage. I am know to borrow it on weekends.

Apparently pick up trucks are no longer "uncool" utility vehicles. With GPS Navigation, Drive by Wire steering, 20" stealth black wheels and 270 HP the Ridgeline is a "sweet ride" according to my nephew.

The Frontier was fine, but tiny. I saw the Honda pick up debut at the Javits Auto Show in NYC in 2004. It made it to production with a similar look. Especially the biggest HONDA logo I ever owned.

The Nissan Frontier was a fine truck but it was noisy and very narrow. This is a Honda. It is much wider. The bed is 49 inches wide inside, I think the Frontier was that wide at the wheels. The Frontier’s sound system was much better, but horsepower, quiet and comfort are much better in this one.

Photos: Reggie
Essay: Compared to my Nissan Frontier

Another Lifetime

Continuing the annual tradition of taking a “vacation of a lifetime” we went to Sandals Whitehouse. I wanted to return to St. Lucia, she wanted more Royal Plantation, this was our compromise.

It is a very nice property and very beach focused. It is a large property so I was entertained by the variety of bars and restaurants. I even got back to a pool bar, my favorite amenity!

Photo Album: Whitehouse

New Container

So, the City Solid Waste Department has a website! I submitted a "concern" about my recycling bin yesterday. Today I received a very kind note informing me that the repair crews are quite busy, but this repair order has gone on too long and will be expedited!

When I got home I had a working container. The lid is attached and whole! It's not a new container, but it is clean and working. I am just putting trash, er, um, recyclables in it anyway.

Recycling Update

Assuming we count the day of discovery (Friday) as Day 0, we are approaching the deadline! This message is sent at the conclusion of business day two. The notice specifically states I am required to keep the container at the curb for 2 - 3 business days.

If it is not fixed tomorrow evening I have to contact the City of Scottsdale. Then "someone will fry" for this!


I live in Plasticville! My recycling container is in bad shape, the lid is hinged and the hinge is failing. I really was thinking about replacing it and just had not figured out who to call. It's not actually my bin, it's Scottsdale's bin. I am just using it, as is my right, as a resident and taxpayer.

Anyway the bin is broken. The driver (sanitation engineer) "noticed it was broken" probably because the lid fell off when the mechanical arm lifted it over the truck to invert it. This probably put a serious cramp in the reclamation specialist's day. He had to exit the vehicle and the delightfully cool air within to fetch the separated parts.

Now for the Plasticville moment... he had to fill out a form! The form explains in very legalese script that he noticed the container was not functioning properly! I am then duly informed that I must keep my Scottsdale issued container at the curbside for 3 days until a repair crew can visit my site, asses the damage and repair or replace the malfunctioning unit. There is a tear off section of the form which serves as the requisition for the repair crew.

The remainder of the must be affixed to the recycling container. This portion will serve as my "hall pass" for not storing my recycling bin in a timely manner! You see there are Home Owner's Association rules governing the appropriate amount of time a container may linger at curbside. If the container lingers and I do not remedy the situation, I will receive a stern warning in the mail. This gives me 10 days to rectify the situation before penalties may be applied. Apparently the City of Scottsdale can issue this nice little pass so I will not receive the warning.

Yes, that's right. Someone gets paid to drive around my neighborhood and check to see that my trashcans are properly stored. This task is so vital to real estate values that the Association Inspector must make the trip within 3 days of trash collection day and recycling day so that they would notice a pass affixed to the container. They must also receive training about the pass. This is how they would know not to mail the stern warning letter.


DHL Employee

I am now an employee of DHL. I am no longer just a contractor. Great commute, good people, fair benefits. I have no other leads at this time and need the paycheck, I signed up.

I am trying to keep the search alive for a management position.

Assist Isn't Interested

I don't know what happened, but they are not planning to extend an offer at this time. That was a fantastic waste of 3 months. Well, off to other opportunities.

Putting this with Intel's decision to seek more candidates, I am feeling a little undervalued.


I experienced monsoon for the first time. I mentioned the drainage concerns earlier. The July rains are heavy here. The clay soil will not accept water. Check out this formula: Heavy rain + no soil absorption = flash flooding.

The real estate developers must set aside land to collect the water until it evaporates or slowly sinks into the clay. The rains are so rare that most of the year these areas double as parks, basketball courts and gardens. When the July Monsoon hits you quickly realize their purpose!

Roads that cross these "washes" become impassable under 18" or more of water. The small yard at the side of the Sharon Drive house becomes a lake for days after a rain.

Photo Album: Monsoon

Interviewed with the Owners Today

I think it went well. We had lunch together at a Carlsbad Tavern. It was a fun place that I may have to visit with Karen. We talked about running development shops and owning your own business.

Direct Alliance called back to say my salary was not out of range and I was still being considered.

Intel seems to be out, though.

Assist Technologies Interview

Tomorrow is ON! Reduced from a full day of interviews to lunch with the principals, but it's on. I am stoked! (I am old enough to use the word stoked. I have a license, really)

Wild Woman's Wheels

Karen got a Corvette. We relocated to the deserts of Arizona. We found a house. Now it was time for “the car” and here it is.

Photos: Corvette

AssisTouch On Friday

One more time I travel to Assist Technologies for a Multiple interview. I think. They keep canceling these interviews so we will see.

Palladone Voluntarily Pulled

Purdue has now voluntarily pulled Palladone from the market due to an unknown interaction with alcohol. This is like watching a plane crash onto an auto wreck. Where is this stuff originating? What else can go wrong for my friends at Purdue?

Sharon Drive

We finally conceded I was not getting a good job until after the house purchase. With expectations reset, we looked and found a property similar to Cedar Rock. It was very close to JDA (1.7 miles) so Karen's commute was great. It was 12 years old (we never had a "used" home).

Photo Album: Moving In

Don't Use Valley North American Van Lines

Well, our stuff arrived, mostly. A few things were lost in the move and we need to file claims for them. Several things were damaged in the move. They crushed our curio cabinets by placing "too heavy" things on top of them. The particle board gave way around the cams and shafts. I don't think I can repair it, just replace it.

The have the screws to assemble some of our lights. They don't know where they are, but they have them. As predicted they "lost" my hand truck so my arcade is still in the garage and I have to go buy another hand truck or wait until they find it in their warehouse.

They mashed my new work lights, again by placing something on top in a stack that was more than the top bar could bear and it began to tear out of the support pole. They took apart my nice new tool chest for some reason. then managed to bend the it in a way that prevents me from assembling it again.

They bent several floor lamps so much that the threads in the pole section stripped. So now I have wobbling lights. Some even have bent metal shades that will never return to round.

Moving In

I am moving the stuff from the apartment to the house. My car thermometer reads 116˚ and I needed a break in the air conditioning.

The Nissan Frontier doesn't fit in the garage. I will have to remove the cabinets the previous owner built in to the front of the garage so I can pull the truck in.

Intel Interview Went Well, I Think

The interview for the Documentum job went well, I think. Intel will be closed Monday and Tuesday so no word is expected until WEdnesday at the earliest.

DHL wants an interview next week and Direct Alliance is ready to talk on Wednesday. All good things for the Job Search.

Intel Interview Today

I have a technical telephone interview with Intel for the Documentum Job. I should be able to answer their questions easily. Here is hoping...

Modis Interview

That went well. I don't think I will get the position for which I applied, but they have another position in mind. It was a vicious interview, three interviewers, rapid questions, kinda like the average user requirements meeting, only very short.

Interview with Modis IT Today

I got a call from Jason at Modis. THey want to do the interview today at 3:30 and that will lead to the DHL interview (I hope).

Assist Touch Interview

Well, it was OK. The interviewer did not seem excited, but he didn't seem excitable, either. I don't really know what to expect.

The guy was from Boyertown, PA. Small world indeed!

Purdue Cuts Today

It's been Bloody! At least half are gone or on 90 days to gone. It's been an emotional ride. I was on IM with some survivors, some short timers and a lot of Ex-employees.


I have a lead on an Intel job. It's a Documentum administration / implementation position. I am well qualified, but I need to get my resumé read. I have a contact and I spruced up the document for them. Let's hope!

Getting Fat

I am getting fat again. I have no scale to check but the belly looks larger! I really have to get back on the South Beach Diet again.

I noticed that Scottsdale seems a bit more body conscious than Norwalk was. It's almost New Canaan like in it's expectation of how everyone should look.

Purdue Is Falling

The news is slowly coming in about the Purdue staff reduction. Some close friends are getting hit already. This will not be pretty!

I am trying to keep in touch. I am also encouraging everyone to get LinkedIn so we can stay in touch and maybe get these folks some jobs!


Assist Technologies finally called. I was working with them before I left CT to get a job here in Scottsdale. They were too busy to interview me, but now they have the time. I am set for an interview tomorrow. Let's hope.

House Shopping

Cedar Rock is still my favorite home. I will miss that place. We lived in a one bedroom apartment for a few months this year. I had forgotten the amount and kind of noises I had grown accustomed to hearing in my apartment years. We quickly decided we needed a place without neighbors above or below us.

Great decision to buy a house. Painful process this time. I had no job and therefore no income. We looked for a while in Fountain Hills at properties that were much nicer than Cedar Rock. We should have been able to afford them on our old combined salary, but I was not able to keep that bargain.

Photo Album: MLS and Shopping

Bloom in the Desert

It is a hot dry desert. Anyone who contradicts that is either trying to sell you a home here or is suffering from dementia. It is not all that bad. The weather is very tolerable all year. Our pool is "operational" all year. We installed a water heater to extend the actual swimming time well into October and as early as April.

It is not a Saharan sand dune style desert. The soil is a hard clay. Plants can grow with irrigation. Water does have to be pumped in form the mountains north and east of the valley. We only get a few days of rain a year. Strangely drainage is a huge problem.

We took some pictures from our temporary home in the Dakota Apartments.

Photo Album: Bloom

Kyle Graduates from High School

Four years until the Vacation of a Lifetime, but an important event to mark. Too bad we were in Arizona.

Photos: Kyle Graduation

Purdue Offsite

No budget for an expensive, offsite, team building session? Come to Cedar Rock

Photos: Purdue Offsite

NYC with the Oxenford Sisters

We were leaving the East and heading for Arizona. Last chance to see a show before “going to New York City” involved airports!

Photos: Movin’ Out