Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In 7 Days will be

one year of employment at my new job.I must say that I think I get more job satisfaction out of this job than any job I have had before....ever. Is it perfect....no. If I could get paid to stay home I would in a heart beat! But that said, I love my job. Sure there are a few days here and the that I dread going to work....much less though that when I worked at Fords. I have only missed 4 days in this year and they were ALL because I did not feel good. At Fords I took a day off because I knew I could get away with it. Not here. Generally I look forward to EVERY day at work! I have learned sooooo much since I started working here. As I have said before, 1 year as a road tech is like 4 years of apprentiship with Ford Motor Company. That is not to knock Fords, because I wouldn't be where I'm at with out them, but the depth of knowledge that you get from one year as a road tech is soooo much more than you get even working 9 years at Fords as a truck mechanic. There is no comparison.

Two months after I hired in at the new place I( got a new boss. I was worried about what would he think of me and my skills....And it was indeed rough for a few months but I have found him to be some one that is quick to help yet slow to critisize. He has been in the trenches as a road tech and knows that you cannot know everything! I work with a great group of people who are more that willing to help when you need it. It would be nice to know everything but in this field its just not possible.
Not many people know that I took a pay cut shortly after arriving here. I was embarresed to tell people about it.

Not many people know that I took a pay cut shortly after arriving here. I was embarresed to tell people about it. In reality though I began to realize that
"I didn't know what I didn't know" meaning I didn't realize how sheltered I was at Fords......

That said I have outlasted 2 mechanics and a PM tech since I've been here. They have said that(with out me asking) they are going to give me some of my money back in October. They said that they are pleased with my progress and with me as an employee in general.
Overall I work for a GREAT Company!!!! Pay cut not withstanding, I don't regret it at all. I feel that I have a future here that depends on my abilities(which are groing every day), not on my latest union contract.

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Karen

has a full time job now, well compared to Bath and Boy Works 6 hours every two weeks it seems like a full time job.....She is working at Lane Bryants now and will be getting 15-20 hours a week and make more per hour than at Bath and Body Works! Now, because she has two jobs, I have to find another one also. I can't let her beat me! She also has another job interview for Friday........

Not much else going on, its getting really HOT out here, although last year we were almost 10 degrees hotter at this time. We are hitting about 106F to 108F for the high. Last year we were about 115F for the high. So much for global warming.

Unlike in Michigan, where they re build road when they reach a point of being 90% pot hole, in Vegas they re build road because they are not big enough. Currently they are tearing out a 5-7 mile stretch of I-15 that back in Michigan would be considered new, to expand it to 4 lanes in each direction.

Just this year they finished the "beltway" aka: State Route 215 that runs on the outside of Las Vegas from the southeast to the northeast. Its not really even finished and they are already tearing it up to get rid of all of the stop lights. If your from Michigan you can think of it as I-275 with stop lights at every other intersection. Now that it is complete they are tearing it up to replace the stop lights with overpasses to make it like an actual freeway.

This weekend I'm going to go bird spotting. I may go to the Henderson Bird Preserve but, even though I was initially excited about that place because it offered some pretty good bird spotting, having been there a few times I much less excited about it.

At Crosswinds you were pretty much free to do as you pleased. There were a few rules, mostly regarding not disturbing the nesting eagles. It was open from dawn to dusk allowing you to pick the time/lighting conditions that you liked.

At the Henderson Bird Preserve, not so much. They are open from 6AM until 3PM. This is due to, get this, National Security Reasons. Granted it is a water treatment facility also but really, National Security???? Oh, I know, terrorists only get up amd moving around after 3 PM. So, just close it down before 3PM and we are all safe!!!! Really, just say that we don't want to pay the staff to be there later than that. That much I can understand.
The bad part is that because of the layout of the place, the afternoon is the BEST time to take photos.

The staff out there is a mixed bag.(maybe I'm just a mixed bag). I had one staff member come up to me and offered to drive me around in his cart and show me where the cool birds hung out at. He offered his expertise as to when was the best time to look for their resident owl and where to find him. He took me to see the road runners as seen here:
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He was a retired (Deleted to preserve his identity) and was as nice and helpful as could be. When he explained the National Security reasons for closing so early he kind of rolled his eyes at the same time. It was very cool with me and him riding in the cart, both of us taking photos as we went.

The second staff member I met was a lady who rode up on a cart to me and said "I saw you!" I was like, "huh?" She said "I saw you go off the path! Your not allowed off the path!" I suppose that, being that the rule is clearly delineated in the literature for the park, I just didn't like the rule. She indeed did come off as rude, but being that I didn't follow the rules one could say I was being rude too! I guess I just don't like all of the rules they have there......

Here are some pics from the Henderson Bird Preserve:
An American Coot:(Common in Michigan Also)
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I used to know what this was:(found in Michigan also)
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Here are some Oclets, a Snowy Egret(I think) and something else...lol(Not found in Michigan)
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A Rudy Duck:(Common in Michigan)
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Scenic Shot:
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Compared to Crossinds:
A Bird

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Belted King Fisher



There are a few other choices available to me though. There is the newly completed Springs Preserve but it is not free, and is fairly expensive.

I may also try the Clark County Wetlands Park.

I'll have to keep looking. Granted in the middle of the desert you will likely not find a marsh but you never know!!

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Its not often

that you see a quail sitting in a tree but here is one I snapped a photo of at Sunset Park last weekend:
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This little guy seemed like he was posing for me:
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In reality I think he was dreading what was coming...mainly 108F!

If your going to drive a cop car, it might as well be unit 420!
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Oh the irony!!

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Sadly

we lost an F-15 pilot today from Nellis AFB. He and his companion ejected from their F-15 and he unfortunately did not survive. As much as I see them flying I'm certain I've seen him piloting his F-15 around northern Las Vegas. It always looks like so much fun but this serves as a reminder that it is indeed a very dangerous job.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

If

you watch the mainstream media you are sure to have seen images of Obama speaking to a 200,000 person crowd in Berlin. The interesting thing is not what they tell you about the rally, but what they do not tell you. This was actually a concert that sported two popular German bands performing for free for the audiance. While you can't decipher who was there for the concert versus who was there to see Obama, the fact that it was nowhere mentioned by the media about the free concert does say a great deal about the media.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

In no particular order

Sparrow Hawk in Sunset Park
Probably one of the best pics I've gotten of a Sparrow Hawk. It was taken at Sunset Park. I think I saw more Sparrow Hawks on Sat. at Sunset Park than I have in 30 years of living in Michigan.

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Storms a breweing.

Somewhere near the Cali Nevada borderWe decided to go storm chasing. We had to go to the Mojave Desert in California to find rain!

Storm from Jean Nevada
Actually we found it on the California/Nevada border by Jean Nevada.

Stormy in Las Vegas
Monsoon season in Vegas! Let it rain!!!!!


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Our Bayby!!!!

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Anyone have a dog they want to get rid of??? We really, really could use a couple more!!

For Mom:
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Red Rock Canyon in the monsoon season.

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Wow! I guess I am sun tanned or sun burned! I look like a lobster. Ok, Ok! I look like a well fed lobster!!!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

My first paid photography job...

...unles you count the roughly $8.00 I have made from sales off of my micro stock images that can be seen here. Its not much of a job but it is a start. One day Karen was shopping at Targets. I had asked her to pick up a CF card for my camera. While she was getting that a lady came up and asked Karen what she was buying. Karen explained that she was buying a card for my digital camera. The lady's name was Joan. She makes her living from grooming dogs. Joan asked about the type of pictures that I take and Karen explained that I mostly take scenery, wildlife and pet pictures. Joan became excited and said that she has been looking for someone to take photographs for many of her customers who have been requesting it. And thus it begins...I hope....

I did a bit of research on pet photography to see what people charge and how they structure their business. There seems to be two ways that people do it.
1. Charge a low $20-$30 sitting fee and then have the customer purchase prints. The profits from this type of set up come from the print sales.

2. The other way seems to be to charge a higher sitting fee around $100-$120 and then to turn over a print quality "CD" to the customer allowing them to use them as they see fit.

I am leaning to option #2 at this point, although since I am just starting out my fee would be more modest at around $50-$70 I think. I spoke to Joan today and she will be calling me later tonight to make arrangements to get this going. So we will see what happens with this.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One year later

Hard to believe but one year has passed since we moved to Las Vegas. We arrived at our house in Vegas about 2AM on July 9th, 2007 after driving over 2,000 miles in 4 days. Here are a few sights from that trip:

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Tigger and Pooh. They were very freaked out not knowing what to make of what was happening.



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Mom trying to be strong. While not happy about our move, I think she has accepted and understands it now.



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Me driving somewhere between Detroit and Vegas.



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Don't remember where this was but it was at our first stop.



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Tom at the world famous I-80 truck stop.



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Somewhere in Iowa.



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We ate here. Note the gas price!



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Colorado I think.



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Milford Flats Fire. Biggest fire in Utah history.



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The traffic jam on the detour from hell!



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Finally out of it!!!!

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Dream Cruise Part 2

One of the things I missed about Michigan is how GREEN it is! I miss the color green. Sure you can see bits and peices here and there in Vegas, but mostly it is comprised of shades of brown.


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We had a cook out the next day. Here is Tom. You can see that is a nice day in Michigan.

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Not sure who this is, he just showed up at the cook out.

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Head of Sleep Studies.....

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