Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Update on my Life

So there's a few things I wanted to cover here and I think that it would be a little long for a Facebook post. I'll dive right into it.

For the last... I don't even really remember how long... almost a year? I've been either commuting to American Fork or Ogden (specifically Riverdale) for work. It has sucked. I still live in West Jordan so it's either 45 minutes to American Fork or just under an hour to Riverdale (assuming I don't hit any traffic.) In addition to that, I only got to work one day a week as a PC agent in American Fork and two days a week as a PC Double Agent in Riverdale (I transferred to Riverdale for the promotion and then hoped to transfer back into the Salt Lake area at some point. It became clear after six months in Riverdale that my boss wasn't going to let me transfer because I did a really good job attaching service money in Riverdale, customers liked me, and he didn't have a backup plan for me up there.)

When I wasn't doing PC work, I was working as a home theater assistant to a Home Theater Double Agent. It was occasionally interesting... but it usually just bored the living hell out of me. The other problem I ran into was my car. I still drive a 1999 Z28 camaro. Horrible gas mileage and... it's just old. The brakes are shot and it has several other major problems that will require the attention of a auto repair team very soon.

I realized that my car was going to cost me a lot to fix, I was tired of commuting an hour each way to work, I was sick of doing home theater instead of PC jobs... and I decided to make some changes. I started looking for a new job and called in some favors to several of my friends. The great thing is that I still had friends that were willing to help me out. I had several job offers (or tentative offers) within about a month. So I finally decided before my two week east coast history vacation that I was going to quit Best Buy and the Geek Squad after six and a half years.

I have a new job as an IT hardware specialist at ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake (basically it's right on the University of Utah's campus.) Comparable pay, my medical insurance costs went WAY down since I'm working for a medical lab, and I don't pay Social Security anymore because it's a government contracted facility. Plus my commute time is cut in half. I know I'm going to miss the Geek Squad a little, but I'm excited to start at my new job (which means I'm back to working on computers five days a week... which is pretty awesome.)

I've also put law school on hold for another year. I had a great GPA from BYU and decent LSAT scores and I'm pretty sure I could have gotten in to BYU or the U of U's law school but I pulled my application from both places before they made a decision. My car is going to drain almost all of the money I saved. I may take the LSATs again before applying next year, but only so that I can study this time, get a higher score, and take a shot at a scholarship. I'm not worried about getting in.

To those of you who looked into finding me a job, thanks a ton. I'm glad I still have good friends. To those of you that I've worked with for almost seven years at Best Buy... good luck to you. I don't wish any harm to the company... it just isn't a place I can work at anymore. I honestly hope Best Buy continues to succeed.

One more thing... I'm working on a new photo-based tour after our east coast history vacation but I have a lot of pictures to go through and it'll take a decent amount of time to throw some text in there too. The three that are already available as ebooks are soon going to be available as paperbacks if anyone wants to purchase them that way. I'll update everyone who wants to know as soon as everything is available.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nostalgia: Bringing Back the 90s - Netflix Style

As some of you have seen on Facebook, I recently found Goosebumps the TV series on Netflix. 13 episodes of about 21-22 minutes per episode. I worked Monday and Tuesday and I have other things going on (I've made some decent progress on Minor Demons, the novel I'm working on) so the Goosebumps marathon took me three days. The graphics were pretty bad and the attempt to scare was pretty laughable but I still like the series. I guess since I watched it as a kid and thought it was awesome, a part of me will always think it's awesome. I'll admit that I enjoyed all thirteen episodes. Part of the entertainment factor was the nostalgia it brings since I grew up in the 90s. The Goosebumps series is from 1995 and I was 9 at the time. If you haven't seen them... it's worth watching. Good for a few laughs but also for reminding you what things were like before technology hit us like it did.


There's a few things I realized when I watched the series. Things have changed a LOT for kids born in the 21st century. Here's a few of the noticeable ways that life has changed for kids:

-In Goosebumps, almost everything takes place outside. Kids are chased by monsters or run into weird situations outside. They usually have a dog. Dogs in the 90s were always part dog and part hero. Kids transitioned between video games and playing outside. They didn't just sit down and play video games all day. They went outside and played basketball and baseball and beat up other kids. They played with the dog. They rode their bikes. Some kids are still that way... but I don't think outside plays as big of a role in kid's lives now.

-None of the kids had a cell phone. I don't want to sound older than I am (remember that I'm only 27) but I think it's ridiculous that any kid under the age of 10 needs a cell phone. I understand them bringing one with them if they're going over to a friend's house but I don't see why 7 year olds need iPhones. That just doesn't make sense to me and I don't know if it ever will.

-Corny jokes and puns were apparently in. The friend who is deemed "the funny one" usually has a lot of kids that shake their heads at him. Mostly because he wasn't funny. His jokes were pretty terrible. Insults weren't all that great either. There was one episode where a little girl called her brother a "krej" and explained that it was jerk backwards. I heard people insult each other by calling them a geek a few times. Geek is not an insult now... it just means that you're smarter than lots of other people.

-SPOILERS BELOW if you plan on watching Goosebumps on Netflix. Shit didn't always end up tied with a nice little bow on top. There's an episode where a little kid is tormented by his little sister and he goes back in time using a cuckoo clock. He eventually goes back to the present but ends up erasing his little sister in the process. She doesn't exist anymore. He's cool with that. The episode ends with him just being cool with it and saying that he might go try to fix it eventually. I was pretty amused with that ending. There's another episode where two kids just accept that they're the children of two monsters. They're totally cool with it. I know some kids now would be ok with that but I've heard kids too many times say that something was bad because it didn't resolve itself all nice and neat. That's teaching kids poor life lessons. Stuff doesn't always resolve itself cleanly in real life and TV and books shouldn't always teach you that it does.

I'm sure there's more... but those are the big differences that I noticed. Don't get me wrong. I love Netflix and my iPhone and my sweet home theater system. I also miss the 90s a little bit. I'm betting some of you do too.