WPX Canceled!

Yesterday I had started composing a post discussing the downturn in the solar conditions from those 28 days ago. I learned just a few hours ago I won’t be able to put much of an effort into CQWW WPX this weekend. Call it an oversight on my part, but also a lack of communication on the part of “other” individuals.

Instead of having “BIC” time for WPX and working towards my 1 million point goal, I will be “BIC” at work, moving trains instead of moving a key, sending CW. Depending on my desire level, I will possibly have 10-15 hours to participate. Not sure I will take advantage of it or not. There is a good chance I will put in 2 hours at the start of WPX tomorrow, but don’t believe it will extend much into the night time and the low bands.

So much for 3 months of planning. What actually happened centers around my accrued “off time” at work, which is vacation time. For the past 2 years I have been working on rebuilding my bank, but with contesting and family responsibilities I have not been able to get more than 15-20 hours in the bank before using 8 hours a pop to take a day off from work.

Unfortunately I took a day off in April and another in May (for 7QP) but I forgot to subtract those 16 hours from my total off time. So while I thought I had enough in the bank to cover 16 hours (2 days off) for WPX, the truth was I only had a bit over 10 hours. This means I need to surrender one or both of the days. I decided to work both days and not put in sort of effort.

That’s life! I am suffering from a bit of a let down right now, especially with all the preparation I have put in to achieve my goals. Nonetheless, this means I start refurbishing my station this week, as opposed to next week. It should give me enough time to add some cabinets and extended the raised platform I currently sit at.


With the birth of my son, some 5 weeks early I had to take emergency leave from my job. My wife an I rushed to the hospital at speed of 90 m.p.h. (I never drive that fast!) on the evening of November 29. The following morning before she gave birth at 10:07am, I called my manager to inform of the situation. You see, up to this point (some 8 months), I had not told anyone at work about the coming addition to my family. Thankfully and with the help of the department scheduler I was able to get three weeks off, at the cost three of four weeks of my 2006 vacation. But it also meant I “got paid” while on maturity leave.

So I get to work on Christmas night and you know what? It was like I never left. Okay, so in my three week absence our computer systems were updated from Windows 95 and some old distro of Unix to Windows XP. But when it comes down to the job, as much as I put it out of my mind, I could still walk in and it was like I never missed a beat. I don’t know do you attribute that to me being experienced and knowing my job or is like riding a bicycle, once you learn you never forget?

Work can be best be described as “SSDD” that means “same shit, different day” because nothing ever changes in my work routine. I am sure many of you have a similar experience. Maybe that is why I can relate to Peter Gibbons in Office Space, “Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.

After just an 8-hour shift I am back in the saddle watching airplanes come and airplanes go and thankfully I do not have to be on any of them to get back home after this holiday season. Just remember when you stuck in BFE and you see your flight go from “ON TIME” to “DELAYED” or “CANCELED” I had a hand in it. That is how I explain to people what I do at the airport.

The REAL World

I feel spoiled right now being on maturity leave. Okay, so I don’t actually get a paid leave from my company (whom I hate to work for), but who would provide unpaid leave. Sorry, but unpaid leave doesn’t pay the bills. See, I had this all planned out at work. Up until a few days before my wife actually gave birth to our son, I did not tell anyone about our pregnancy. Why? It was not because I was not proud as a “soon to be” father or excited for my wife and I. I just did not want to share with the people I work with, who are work acquaintances more than they are friends.

So the first time they found out about our new arrival was that Wednesday, November 30 before we gave birth. Here in lies the problem. As it was nearing the end of the year, I was out of all my personal holidays and vacation days, I am not senior enough to hold Christmas off, so usually by October I have used up all my days. After passing along some information about the situation, I was give a week off. Well, seeing as our son was born nearly 5 weeks early, we had to deal with some minor complications, nothing life threatening, but it just added more stress to the situation, knowing I had to be back to work in three days once we arrived home from the hospital.

I was able, with assistance to get an additional 12 days off to extend my “leave” through the 19th of December. Only problem, I am sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul here, because these are my regular days off, so it could mean I will end up working two months (or more) straight in order to pay the time back. Just what every new father wants to do! I may have a reprieve though.

This would allow me to use my 2006 vacation in order to cover the time off. This is a good thing that means the mortgage gets paid for January! It also means that I will have been paid for these 20 days, but loose out on much of my vacation time for next year. This is a small price to pay for some a great moment in our lives, where we brought a son into the world.

It also works well, because now I will have used up my vacation time, so when it comes time to make an exit from this company (yes, I hate my job!), I can basically flip them the bird and walk out, into a better situation that will help provide for me and my family, even though they have been more than accommodating to me for the past month. Shit happens, sometimes it happens to you, and sometimes you do it to others. What matters most is the health and well being of my family.

He’s Back!

After a glorious trip to the South Pacific, Hawai’i to be exact, I am back in SoCal and not a moment to soon I see. Had to jump on that Anaheim Angels bandwagon, seeing as they were able to punk those fools from NoCal. Start crying Barry. The time away from the Internet did me well…I think.

I did have local dial up access and was able to keep tabs on a few things going on, but for the most part, it was sun, fun, hula babes and Long Island Iced Teas. Oh yeah…and golf!

Getting back into the swing of things here, as I unpack and try to get out of slacker mode being “stranded on a desert isle” for the past week or so. I did happen to check a newly released level out called ut_rumble. Not your conventional Urban Terror level.

It’s a URBAN TERROR FUN MAP (maybe TEH first)! its a maze, made of glass, it contains some booby traps, that can be activated my other players. Its the ultimate battle between blue team and red team,” says [=TM=] Duf ]{n!3n aka IVR. You can download the final version, here or check out more screen shots of this level and others from Team Mapness.

MAD-HORSE is reworking his level, ut_stoneville for good CTF play. “This is a big map, rich of details and it’s very different from the first “unplayable” version :-(… now the r_speeds value is about 7/9 kb and only in some points it’s about 13/14 kb,” says MAD.

As for progress on ut_streets, it has not made much progress, obviously because of my absence. But I am coming up with an error when I try to run the level, “ERROR: SV_SetBrushModel: NULL.” Now I have read the Q3A Error Messages and I don’t recall having any one unit thick brushes, nor are there any func_rotating to func_areaportals yet. So until I figure this out…


Aloha means ‘goodbye…’

I got my floral print, Aloha shirt on, my shades on my forehead and my fruity drink in the other and I am off to paradise (The word paradise, not to be confused with ut_paradise by eXKalibuR). I am taking a mini-vacation (and for the inquiring minds, yes I just got off vacation 4 days ago) to the South Pacific. Honolulu here I come! Hula girls and grass skirts and not a worry in the world (‘cept Beta 2.6). So if you do not see anything new or updated, as if that is not a shock sometimes, then you know where I will be. Of course I will try to check out the haps on the forums and maybe answer an e-mail or two.

With a five and a half hour flight, I might have some time to get a review done that I have begun, but I think this is time I really need off, for numerous reasons. Vacation was, well, not really vacation. But this…this is a tropical, freaking paradise. So until I get back (undisclosed period of time), “Aloha means goodbye…”