Updates from January, 2005 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Vanberge 3:07 am on January 30, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Block russellteee 

    There hasn’t really been anything to “inspire” me to update this wretched web destination. However, I have accomplished a few things in the past few days.

    I installed Gallery, finally. so look for pictures to be uploaded accordingly here. I bought a new domain name just because I couldnt believe it wasnt taken yet. http://www.thesciontc.com. For those of you dont know, that is the car I drive. I purchased Millenium season 2. I purchased more dress clothes at JC Penny (now own 12 neck ties).

    Other than that, it’s been a standard week. Although I have been pondering much whether or not to go to vegas. But that decision may have made itself when I got my most recent credit card statement.

    Finally, the reason I started this post. Russellteee. block russellteee. He wasnt even talking to me, and he messages me solely to say “brb” and sign off. Horrid person. He did the same thing to vanlandw also.

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  • Vanberge 7:26 pm on January 24, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    D-town || rethinking 

    In an absolute championship weekend, I’d like to give you a general rundown of what transpired.

    Flo and myself depart for ryan payne’s house in Oxford michigan on friday evening, arrive at payners, go to BW 3’s with payner and drink beer and have wings, go to sleep, get up at 7 am to go to the car show, leave for car show at 8.30, drive in this, get to car show at 10.15 (it should have taken 20-30 minutes). Look at / sit in cars for 2 hours, spend 8.50 on the worst meal ever, remain at car show looking through every section and display except for “kia”, leave car show at about 4 pm, ride people mover to greek town casino, spend 20 minutes blowing $40 each, eat delicious greek meal, drive to payners abode arriving at approximately 7 pm, watch dodgeball, go to bed, get up and go to breakfast, drive back to GR.

    Now, D-town and the auto show have altered my perspective slightly regarding the month of “late” march. I was all set to go to Vegas with my fam because my aunt is getting married. I was looking forward to vegas on the whole. However, this trip to detroit has “swayed” my judgement in two different ways. A:: I blew through 40 bucks in 20 minutes at a casino. This leads me to believe that I would have no problem blowing through 600ish during 3 nights and 4 days in the vegas. B:: going to the car show and seeing all the “nice” cars made me want to make my car nicer. So, I’m currently debating whether to take a trip to vegas with my fam as planned, or to blow the 1100 dollars on my car. I would tint the windows (classy like, not ultra black vin diesel fast furious style), and add a few other things that I considered during purchase of my car. (namely, neon light kit, performance exhaust, cold air intake). Or, maybe a stereo.

    Basically…. this is a case of “what would make me happier”. Blowing 1100 bucks on my car, or taking a trip to vegas losing hopefully only 1100 dollars.

    input from the panel is always welcome.

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  • Vanberge 7:54 pm on January 16, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    “La Villa”– My first attempt at cinematic criticism 

    Today I rented “The Village” which is written by, produced, directed, and starred in by M. Night Shyamalan. What a mistake I made.

    First let me say this: Although I find it quite tacky that he just has to star in every movie he makes, I have been a big fan of all three of his prior films. The sixth sense was generally liked by all (myself included, so I wont explain why i liked it). His others have all had sort of “mixed” receivance. I will tell you why I like each one of the latter films.

    Unbreakable: The storyline for this film is truly unique. Perhaps geared towards the target market which I fall smack in the middle of, this movie brings the likeness of hero vs. villain to light with an intentional comic book relatedness. I really liked this film for two reasons: (1) – It is a creative idea. (2) – It was pulled off very well. The characters develop fluidly, so you relate to them easily. But more impressive is the fact that this film really is able to “suspend belief” for the audience. Similar to the way a theatre audience is able to watch a play. A theatre audience “suspends” belief by looking past the fact that they are watching other people on a stage. The theatre audience almost unconsiously goes (mentally) to wherever the play is set. This is a much more difficult thing to do with film. You, the audience, typically will not feel “a part” of a movie you are watching. Maybe it is just for me, but I felt like I was a part of this movie. I cant explain how or why, but it is done in a fashion where I have myself believing that I could be a super hero. That it is in fact a real possibility for a normal man to have some sort of super human capability. Of course this is not the truth, but during “Unbreakable” I almost was convinced.

    Signs: Almost everyone hated the movie Signs. I thought it was great. I liked mainly because of its writing. Many would criticize that aspect specifically, but I really thought it was well written. It ties together every loose end with some tidbit of information from kid-kulkin’s book that he buys during the movie. For example: “Why cant the aliens get into a boarded up house?” was a common critical point. But Shyamalan answers this before it was ever asked. It is read from the book that “They concentrated wholly on intellectual development” and not physical. There are plenty of examples, but every minor detail is given a specific reason. I liked that.

    Secondly, I liked it for its own hipocracy. Specifically religious hipocracy. The entire plot of the movie is based on a faithless preacher regaining his belief in a higher power and a presence of “fate” or something like it. Now, this is odd because almost all religions say that “God created man in his own image”. The preacher fully believes in this god when the movie ends. The odd part is, if there is a god, and he created heaven and earth, and created man in his own image, who created the aliens that just invaded his planet ? It couldn’t possibly be the same god who created man. He wouldnt destroy his own image. Would he? For me, it spun me into this deep thought process of “Why?“. And the answer simply is…. Because

    Then we come to The Village. This movie genuinely may be the worst movie ever. I give it the fact that it is another creative and unique concept for a film. His message is clear. But it is absolutely too clear. He spells it out for you to the point of boredom. But the movie quickly jumps from one gear to another, without even allowing you the time to draw to that conclusion. It just blatantly screams >:O it in your face before you have the chance to reach it yourself. So, that really frustated me. More over, by the time the movie does “climax” the viewer has all but lost interest by the complete boldness for which his message is conveyed.

    I am sort of being vague intentionally so as not to ruin it for anybody who may want to see it, because it has just recently come out. Draw your own conclusions.

    Swing and a miss Mister “Night” — in my opinion.

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  • Vanberge 10:08 pm on January 14, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    Read between the lines (&& 24) 

    Before I begin, I shall point out a general bullet list of what this post shall include: (bulleted list russellteee style)

  • 1. Finally, monetary apology
  • 2. Brief Account of 24 [since everyone i know has transcribed some account]
  • 3. A revelation
  • 4. Literature
  • 5. Comments
  • Let us begin
    1 Finally
    Today marked a week and a half since I had sent that hate inspired email to my former employer. Since it takes about 4 minutes to write, address, and mail a check…. I began to grow quite angry. I decided to send a follow up email to make sure they didnt “forget“.

    Evidently they did not, here is the response. Yay for unexpected income

    2 Twenty Four
    24 is the best thing ever to be on film. I shall not point out things I enjoyed, because that is far too much to write. There is 1 item that i find to be of an “undecided” origin in the script. I am not sure yet of how i feel regarding Jack’s “GF” being kidnapped. His wife and daughter were kidnapped in season 1, and now his “woman” and “boss”. Although the circumstances are quite different, i feel this to be a slightly recycled plot line.

    But, that really doesnt even matter because it really is the best thing to ever happen in real life or “fake” life. Apparently im “quote” happy tonight.

    3 I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had
    I’m staying at my job for ever. This decision is absolutely certain, and comes from two recent sources. (A) – I got a bonus. I have been with the company for 1 month, and gotten a bonus. This is 17 percent of salary earned in 2004. Although that is merely 186 take home dollars this year, next year should be in the 4 grand take home range. Correct me if I’m Wrong – but thats a big bonus. Goes well with the backed vacation pay from progressive. Well, will go well with the money from progressive when I am in Vegas in late march

    (B) – Last night marked the first “late night” of problem solving at work. Basically, we upgraded and things went haywire. At progressive, this would be high stress and just a terrible night that would make me want to drink bleach. But with Mercantile, I actually had fun. We went out to eat at Steak and Shake, and my two bosses drove around with me to some of our branches so we could make the necessary fixes. We worked until about 11:30, and I didnt mind a bit. I could be myself, I had fun in the situation, and it all worked out. So, instead of hating every minute of every hour of every work day at progressive… I even have fun in the “bad” days at mercantile. If any IT guys are curious, we upgraded our domain controllers from NT 4 to 2000 and Active Directory.

    4 – Literature
    Just a blip about some self reflection I have done. Back in August and September of 04, I was reading alot of books. I read “the Forge of God”, “The Legacy”, “The DaVinci Code”, and “Lullaby”.

    Not only is this odd because I used to hate reading almost as much as I hate running…. But more odd is the fact that I have had no interest in reading since then. The last book i read was Lullaby, and I really got into it. I couldn’t put it down. I got up at 5:30 a.m. so I could read more (yes, seriously). Not sure what happened or changed to do this, because it has not been intentional.

    5 – Comments
    Apparently everyone forgets or doesnt know that I have comments via msg boards. You dont even have to create an account anymore!!! come on!

    comments

 
  • Vanberge 11:53 am on January 8, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    It pays to send email 

    I realized today that I have never publicized the specifics of me leaving my last job.. I wanted to take the chance and do it here because of recent developments. I urge the reader to embark, even though it may be lengthy. (hopefully longer than 4 paragraphs, since nearly every one of my posts in this journal has been 4 paragraphs–completely unintentional).

    This warm story begins in May of 2003. I had just graduated from GVSU with a BS in Information Systems. I had just started a new job (with Progressive Distribution Services, Incorporated), and I realized during my first day that there was something very wrong with that company. My workspace had not been readied for me, no training was involved, it was really a complete hack of a company.

    Some background: The work environment at progressive distribution services, inc was absolutely nothing short of pure communism. Upper managment (and by upper management, I mean the one owner of the company) used intimidation into making employees work extra long hours, and attempt to handle ridiculous work loads. When anybody fell short on any task, they were cussed at, and completely disrespected. It was absolutely disgusting. It was impossible NOT to fall short with the workloads that were spread amongst the staff. In the year and a half that I worked there, I never took any vacation. Not even one single day. Never-the-less, yelling, screaming, cussing could be heard from anywhere since it was a small office. This all stemmed from one point, one man–my nemesis.

    Fast forward to September of 2004, when my then manager (also the company’s owner) was absolutely berating myself and a programmer for a systems problem. This was no variance from any norm. And we were already working to fix the problem. This time was different for me. I felt a boiling rage. My gut instinct and reflex was to grab my “pager” from my belt and toss it to this disgusting human being. As it flew through the air, I yelled: “I AM DONE WORKING FOR THIS COMPANY… AS OF RIGHT NOW”. I went to my desk and began packing my things… I was done. He asked me several times to go into his office and talk about this privately. And to the first 4 or 5 times, I flat out said “Nope”. But then, I agreed. I started screaming at him.. And anybody that knows me knows that this is the furthest from the kind of person that I am. “DO YOU THINK THAT SCREAMING AT ME IS GOING TO GET THE JOB DONE ANY FASTER!?!? — “YOU NEED TO STOP RIDING MY ASS AND LET ME DO MY JOB!!” etc. Then, i left. I drove my car and called my girlfriend and parents to decide what to do next.

    The rage had subsided, and I was starting to think logically again. Based on some advice and support, I drove back and said “This is the start of my 2 week notice” which I only did because I didnt want my coworkers to have my responsibilities dropped onto them with no notice. After that discussion with my boss, i took the rest of that day off. I barely spoke to him again during the two weeks that followed.

    Basically, that day in early September was my “Point Break”. And I had pretty much all but backed the memories out of my head. BUT…. This week it all came back. Before I had gotten a new job, I had filed an unemployment claim because money was starting to get pretty tight. Shortly after I filed that claim, I was offered a job that I accepted- So the claim was not pursued. I would have had to answer a questionaire, and call to claim my funds once approved. So….. This week I get a letter from the unemployment agency, essentaily it was Progressive’s response to my unemployment claim. It follows: “The employee quit for personal reasons, and inability to handle the stress of the outlined position”. Basically, he blamed it on me. I can handle the stress of a job. What I couldn’t handle was Joseph Stalin being my boss. Reading this letter sent me over the edge. I decided to give John a piece of my mind via email… Check it Out.

    Man that felt good… I didn’t really figure on getting a response, but sure enough…. here it is.

    He made no reference or rebuttal on the personal attacks I made on him, but
    apparently is just issuing me a check. I feel that is some warped attempt at
    an apology, but I dont accept it. I will take this money and blow it in Las Vegas in late March.

    comments

     
  • Vanberge 7:03 pm on January 6, 2005 Permalink | Reply  

    And it’s official(warning, techie post) 

    Today I spent the entire morning with one of my bosses. We went to an ITMA meeting. Let me start by saying that ITMA stands for Information Technology Management Association. Basically, large companies pay to be members, and there are monthly meetings regarding different topics.

    Just to give you a quick visual picture of how out of place I felt at this meeting: It was performed by Cisco Systems Engineers. They demonstrated different router and network steps to make remote connections more secure. They were security professionals. To the point that they had thumb print recognizers to log into their laptops. And following the meeting (from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.) they sat at our table for a catered lunch.

    Next, alot of big companies in the Grand Rapids area had their CIO’s (chief information officers) and I.T. directors there. Companies included Steelcase, Spectrum health, Herman Miller, and Bissell Homecare Inc, etc. “Wait, vanberge… didnt you interview with Bissell” ? Yep!!

    So you dont have to scroll down, I had just completed my second interview at Bissell when I accepted the job with Mercantile bank. So I called Paul @ bissell to let him know he could take me out of the running.

    I chatted with Paul from Bissell during the intermission… And he got to meet my current boss, and I got introduced to the Bissel big wigs. Paul from Bissell also told me that they ended up hiring a guy that had worked with them before as a contractor. But, if he was not in the running, I would have been one of the top two. It just really was a good feeling overall. I felt like a real “professional”. I felt like I was meeting “colleagues”. I got free breakfast, lunch, and coffee. So, hopefully by now you can see how I felt a bit out of place. But, I did learn alot about Cisco networking products!!

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