Guess I must give Greg in SoCal some props for reintroducing me to Skype this last week. I knew it existed and had used it previous when I hosted my radio show, allowing people to “call in” to the show. It seems this new version is much improved and with the Logitech 9000, it makes for a very solid package.

Greg and I talked Tuesday and Wednesday and I was taken back with the clarity of the picture. Very little delay or lag when talking to him. Of course he had a few issues when he was on his game PC, his image was a bit degraded and there were some latency issues. Nothing that really cased too many issues and most of them cleared up within seconds.

I got my parents in San Diego to install it on the Mac laptop yesterday. Now they are somewhat behind the technology curve. Facebook is a completely new experience for my mom, while dad is pretty much up to terms when it comes to technology. So thankfully they had no problems installing and using the application.

This will now give them the chance to see their grandson more often. That is if I can tear him away from “Mars.” No, not the planet, the video game. You might know it as MarioKart for the Nintendo Wii. That is what is calls Mario. Regardless he likes being in front of the camera and although he wanted to get back to his game, he did say hello and talk to his grandparents.

Now to get my sister connected and using Skype. If you use the application, e-mail me and I’ll look at adding you.

Where Will The Time Go?

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the surgeon who will perform my ACL surgery. I have already had to visits with him and look forward to getting the procedure completed. I have been reading blogs and Internet sites about recovering from this sort of injury/surgery. While I was initially quoted 18 months to return to full strength, that might be the “worse case scenario.” With any luck it will be half that time, depending on my commitment and determination, as well as work ethic to get my knee back into shape. I guess if I have any ideas about playing footie again, then I will do the most I can to work on my knee back into playing form.

My parents are on the way in order to help around the house for a few days. Since my wife won’t take any time off from work my parents will be able to help us take care of Zoom, as well as other “duties as assigned” (LOL). I look forward to seeing them, as I always do, especially this time, since my father is bringing me new (used) equipment for the ham radio shack. but that is another story.

Hopefully I will be home on Tuesday, not having to stay the night to recover and I can get some images of my knee posted. I have some preconceived ideas about how it will happen and how I will feel when the surgery is complete. Hopefully things go as well as planned, or better yet…BETTER than I imagine. Anyway we will see on Tuesday.

Meet the Parents: Part Deux

My parents are making the roadie to NoCal this week, they will arrive sometime Friday afternoon. I am looking forward to seeing them. Always enjoy being with them, be it down in San Diego or when they are fortunate enough to visit Christal, Zachary and I in Oakley. This will be their first visit in ’06, their last was prior to Christmas when Zachary was a few weeks old.

With their impending arrival, I decided to burn a few extra days off from work this week. Since I can’t take them with me if and when I quit my current job, might as well use them all. But not to look too far ahead [more on the job situation in a bit]. Since the weather is supposed to be relatively clear and not raining, I should be able to finish cleaning up the backyard in preparation for some landscaping I will be doing starting next month.

Not much on the schedule while they are up here for parts of four days. I figure I can use my dad to help me finish a few projects around the house, like fix a door that I mis-hung. Was hoping to get a round of golf in, but it does not look like the weather will hold through the weekend and there should be showers by Saturday.

I will be preparing dinner on Friday, “comfort meatloaf”, mashed potatoes and salad. What is comfort meatloaf? Remember the chicken spaghetti I made a few months back? This meatloaf is similar in terms of how it makes you feel, or so they say. I will use ground beef, veal and pork, along with oatmeal [not breadcrumbs] and spices to create the loaf and then top it off with catsup and bacon. I’ll report back on this dish!Switching gears here, I went and visited BART OCC again last night. I coordinated with Paula, the manager I met a few weeks back and I was able to sit with a senior controller named Wanda, on a recommendation from Paula. So after spending another 2 hours observing and asking very few questions I do understand the job. While I am not overwhelmed at the amount of work they do, I was told last night that it is not uncommon to have 1000 computer inputs per hour [during peak commute]!

I am still excited about this potential opportunity, so much I have really stopped looking for other jobs the past few weeks. Should I have done that? Eh…I have not had much luck recently on the Internet job web sites, so it really cannot hurt to stop the search until there is a Train Controller position(s) posted at BART.

I am far from being the “chosen one” for the job. I do know there will be many others from inside the company who will probably be as viable or more so than I. But I do feel I can be very competitive, thanks in part to knowing two managers and making the effort to observe, read manuals and ride the train [in the cab] with a train operator I know. It’s the waiting that sucks…no idea when a position will become vacant. From what I was told it could be within weeks and by the end of the year there could be a total of three open. Cross your fingers…