worldoflucky: (Default)
My first couple of days have gone really well in San Diego. I figured instead of doing a “daily” update that I would just update every couple of days. It really isn’t that exciting. The one thing of note, it is now Tuesday (start of Day 3) and I it has not gotten above 59 degrees, pouring down rain and cold (that 59 was only for a short while). I feel like I am in Seattle.

Day 1: This was probably the most interesting day so far. I got up early, hung out with the hubby until he dropped me off at 6:45am.

While I was waiting at the Alaskan Airlines terminal things got a little surreal. About 10 minutes after we were starting to board there was still no plane at the gate (I was sitting at the window right where it should be). We all assumed no big deal, it was probably late coming in. That is when they announced that “they couldn’t find the plane”. You heard that right, not that it was late, but that they couldn’t find it.
Nope, no sign of it.
Nope, no sign of it.

After the initial murmurings happened from all of us customers they made a second announcement confirming “that the plane was not late, they still just haven’t found the plane.”

It turns out that the plane was one of several Alaska Airlines jets sitting on the tarmac overnight. It looks like someone forgot to bring it out in the morning. Talk about a surrealistic way to start your day.
Oh look, it was behind the flour.
Oh look, it was behind the flour.

The flight itself was pretty smooth, I definitely prefer the 2.5 hour flights as opposed to the 4.5-5 hour flights to Atlanta. Once we landed I successfully secured myself a rental car. I was about an hour behind, having arrived and secured my stuff at 2pm. I then decided to go visit the USS Midway Museum on the San Diego Harbor since check in wasn’t until 4pm. I will post about that separately as I have a lot of pictures I have to go through and I want to post.
USS Midway Museum
USS Midway Museum

Finally I got to my room, dropped my stuff off and went to In-N-Out for attempt number two. I figured the place needed a second chance, since everyone has a bad day. I got there and ordered a regular cheeseburger without tomato.
In-N-Out menu!
In-N-Out menu!

Of course it came with tomato, so I had to pull tomato bits off of it, I am definitely not impressed with their ability to modify orders. The people ahead of me evidently got their order after me and went back up to yell at them for something. I ate the burger and found this burger a lot better than the Double Double I ordered in Los Angeles. Even so, I wouldn’t really put it above a good McDonald’s burger, and definitely above a Dick’s burger.
Just a meh.
Just a meh.

I figure next time I will just go get two cheeseburgers from McDonalds for a little less than a single cheeseburger here and not be as disappointed. I then went by a grocery store on my way back to my room, worked a little then went to bed.

Day 2: Monday was less exciting. I woke up at 4am and starting working. Then around 7 I went to my Data Mining using Access class and it wasn’t bad. Honestly it is a helpful class, and I am not unhappy to get the info. Actually I am happy to get it, I learned some things already that will help with the “work session” I got for the SAS program last week.

We got out of class and I found Von’s, a grocery store that is evidently owned by Safeway, my Safeway card even worked so it wasn’t too bad. I then went by Carl’s Jr and was also disappointed.

So then I went back to my room, played around on my computer for an hour and a half and then fell asleep unexpectedly.

Thus ends Day 1 and Day 2.
worldoflucky: (Default)

The last two days in Los Angles were quiet. There wasn't much to say except I went to class on Thursday, went back to the hotel and talked with the hubby for about an hour. Even though I found Yum Yum donuts the night before, I have to say it was still way better talking with my husband then eating heaven on earth.
This beats everything.
This beats everything.

Friday was a 3/4 day of work. Don't get me wrong, there has been things I have learned, however it is called a "work session" and so there were many hours of just rerunning programs with no real goal. The highlight of this last work session day was going to lunch at chipotle across the street. It was like a contest, it had been raining heavily all day, and I had not realized that L.A. does not have the same kind of drainage that Seattle does and the streets were literally flooded 3-4 inches deep. The topper for our trip out, on the way back a truck slammed into a mud puddle beside my supervisor and I and a wave of water 4 foot high (no, that is not hyperbole) swept across us. The annoying part is I heard and saw him coming, but it was slow motion and I couldn't get out of the way.
yep wet, tired and ready to go home.
yep wet, tired and ready to go home.

We finally got back to the class and I was soaked. I couldn't dry off either because my clothes were packed in the car a couple of blocks away. So I sat there in the class for three hours and dripped. Funny enough my lightweight coat was soaked the whole flight. So by the time we left Friday I couldn't get out of there fast enough. We ended up driving back to the airport and it only took about 35 minutes on the freeways, so we were fortunate.
I was sad to leave palm trees... don't worry I will be back in San Diego in 41 hours.
I was sad to leave palm trees... don't worry I will be back in San Diego in 41 hours.

Once at the airport I had time to look around. The first thing I noticed was how run down the terminal. It was a bit dirty everywhere, things seemed to be falling apart and it was lacking in any real food/store selection. The Sea-Tac and Atlanta airports both have several stores, restaurants and fast food. There wasn't any fast food at all in the terminal I was in at all. The biggest disappointment though was the swag in the airport shops. I tried to find the hubby his travel spoon from Los Angeles but no luck. There was only two shops in the area to begin with and they were bare of almost anything I was interested in. That was a real disappointment and the first time I couldn't find a spoon.
crowded and dirty ;(
crowded and dirty ;(

The flight back was ok. It was very short (only about 2 hours and 12 minutes in the air) but this was a Boeing 717 which means absolutely no leg room. Seriously I never once could touch the ground with my feet when my legs were straight forward. The flight was short though, and I had the aisle so I did survive it.
Yep, leg room is just an illusion.
Yep, leg room is just an illusion

Finally I rolled into the Sea-Tac Airport and the hubby picked me up. I can't tell you how much I missed him. We crawled in bed, talked for a long time then fell asleep. He definitely made everything all right.
I missed that look when I photograph him randomly.
I missed that look when I photograph him randomly.

There are probably a few little stories I forgot to tell. I will probably bring them up later. However, overall my trip wasn't the worst. I definitely like Los Angeles better than Atlanta. The people are very similar to Pacific Northwest, with a bit of gun loving that was a surprise. Tomorrow morning (today is the Saturday after coming home) I fly back down to San Diego. I will post more about that as I go.
worldoflucky: (Default)
The second day was a bit unremarkable. It started with going down to the "breakfast nook" of the hotel. There they had a waffle maker and a breakfast bar. I grabbed a waffle and a yogurt and eat quickly.
self-made waffle.  
self-made waffle.

Then I went back up to the room and worked a bit on one of my audits and it wasn't pretty. Also my hair wouldn't spike up...
Tired... so tired...
Tired... so tired..

The first two/thirds of the day was spent in class learning how to use SAS. It is a pretty cool thing to do, I am really hoping we actually use it at work. I think it can be a pretty good tool. Also both of our presenters/teachers were easy to listen and it was a fairly relaxed environment. If only my work computer would quit blue screening on me.

not a bad spot for lunch
not a bad spot for lunch

Originally we were going to go to the Disney store since we were next to Disneyland, but I needed a bit of space to myself so I begged off. I went to my room, sat around for a few minutes and decided I needed to get some exercise. With no workout gear I decided a walk would work just as well as anything else. I haven't really walked around here and wasn't sure where to go. I have been to Jack in the Box for lunch, but this time I decided to turn right and take a walk down that direction.
Lots of creepy underpasses around here.
Lots of creepy underpasses around here.

I did find something awesome on my walk. I had gotten about a mile down and was getting ready to turn around when I came across Yum Yum Donuts. Evidently it is a chain of donut shops down here in California. I hadn't heard it before, but the place looked inviting.

         Yum Yum Donuts!
Yum Yum Donuts!

I walked in and was overwhelmed with a most beautiful sight. A whole display case full of wonderful smelling fresh donuts.
I would have to take three pictures to catch the whole row of donuts.
I would have to take three pictures to catch the whole row of donuts. Mmmm... Donuts...

I went in and bought a couple of donuts. I have been fairly good so far, and honestly I do eat my emotions (well my stress is probably a closer approximation) so I had to have some. They were better than they smelled. I haven't had donuts this good since Lafeen's back up in Bellingham in the late 1980s. They are better than Voodoo donuts, and I think I have had Rocket Donuts and they are better than that as well.
So much tasty goodness...

While I was sitting there, I decided I needed to bring some milk back to my hotel room for my cereal I had bought the night before. So I traveled just a short distance further. There I was confronted by a sign you would never see here in the Pacific NW.
Can you guess which part of this sign didn't match? I will give you a hint... not 7-11.

It is always interesting to see how even though we live on the same coast, both Washington and California are very progressive/liberal, but there are just small things that do show the minor differences. I then went into the 7-11 and got some milk. The store had more food in it then I am used to seeing in a 7-11. Not quite as good as larger bodegas, but obviously at least this location sold some food, and I assume that is because there are not any grocery stores within walking distance of the hotel.
I didn't want to freak the lady out and take a picture inside.
I didn't want to freak the lady out and take a picture inside.

Finally I went back to the hotel room. There I was inundated with Shark Tank on the TV. I don't think I have mentioned this before about L.A. but I am always surprised at how TV is slightly different in each town. However, evidently California is pretty similar overall to Seattle on that part. The stations are pretty similar and there is a wonderful lack of 4 different FOX stations I got stuck watching in Atlanta. Also the ads aren't objectionably conservative like they were in Georgia.

Then my little brother called and after he was done talking to me I got to do the only thing I wanted to do today... talk to my husband.
Talking to hubby, and watching Shark Tank.
worldoflucky: (Default)
I flew down to Los Angeles yesterday for the first time. Work decided I needed training and I needed it "NOW". The flight down was definitely a delta flight that had a bit of anxiety inducing mechanical sounds grinding. It reminded me of the first time I flew to Atlanta a couple years ago on my first flight ever.
Everyone wanted off as soon as possible

The first thing I noticed upon landing is that it was low 60s. Obviously people here consider that a cool temperature as the guy at Thrifty Cars was wearing a sweater/hoodie under his yellow safety vest. My two coworkers and I both from Seattle were already warm, so the difference was interesting. The one thing I have noticed is I don't mind the weather down here in January. This would be a good time to go to Disneyland.

The next thing I noticed are palm trees. I have never been to a place that has palm trees that grow naturally. I mean I grew up on 80s tv that showed California and Florida palm trees but I had never seen one in real life that wasn't in Seattle, freezing and on life support because it couldn't survive. I am not sure why that caught my attention specifically, but it was interesting.
Palm trees everywhere.
Palm trees everywhere.

We then drove down from LAX to La Palma where my office is. Its about 26 miles so we drove the freeways and it took 40 minutes. I was surprised, I have heard how bad traffic is here in LA, but I-405 in Seattle is WAY WAY worse at the same time of day. It would have took me half again as long to get that far on I-405 in the Renton Curves. Funny enough one of the highways we took down here was also I-405.

I got to the La Quinta. A bunch of my coworkers were freaking out we had to use them. I found it a little worn around the edges. It obviously had a heyday sometime in the 90s or earlier, but honestly its fine. The bathroom was the tiniest bathroom I have seen in a hotel, but still not bad. The people who work here are nice. The biggest advantage is lots of cheap restaurants/fast food within walking distance. I appreciated that.
Really not that bad overall
Really not that bad overall

Then later in the evening we went to get food at a store and dinner. We decided to stop at In-N-Out. I have heard nothing but people extolling the virtues of the restaurant. I mean that is all I hear "you have to go to In-N-Out and get a double double".
meh... that ball of lettuce didn't help any.
meh... that ball of lettuce didn't help any.

I ate it, and found it wasn't bad, but nothing special to write home about. In fact I still much prefer Dick's at home. I also noticed that "the greatest sauce ever" as it was called by others, was actually only Thousand Island Dressing. Seriously, I like Thousand Island, but its Thousand Island... not really a secret recipe. Maybe next time (if there is one) I will try just a cheeseburger, something that is more equal against a Dick's cheeseburger.

Finally we went to the grocery/warehouse store next to the In-N-Nout named Smart and Final Extra. It seems close to the Cash and Carry's that are near where we live, except there are more single serve items as well. It was funny, when I originally asked the hotel staff if there was a grocery store nearby they said the name and I asked if it was a bodega, for some reason the name just didn't fit with a preconceived notion of what a grocery store was.

Finally I got home, worked on a couple of credit hours for work, and went to bed.

worldoflucky: (Default)
dodI have been quiet for a couple weeks because of work. I got selected to become our office’s Data Analytics Expert. I am good with this, it will be really nice on my resume and I will get to do what I like and dig into data. The hard part is the training. I have a lot of experience with data analytics at my prior state jobs (it hasn’t been done before now with this fed agency) so I have seen it. However, I am out of practice by several years so I can use the training, even if it is at a bad time.

The frustrating part is most of my coworkers are reluctant or even hostile to the idea of focusing on analytics, data mining, and other forms of analysis. They just want to do what has been done for the last 20 years even though it is slower, longer and not as effective. Doing analytical procedures will help sift through the multi-gigabyte size exported files. Personally I think it is a great thing. I look forward to it, but I hope that it isn't avoided by everyone else and this turns out to be a pointless exercise.

There is however some issues with the timing of this. As seems to be the case for all things in my agency, things need to be put off and off and off, then all of a sudden they have to be done NOW! They decided to give me the data analytics expert position more than three weeks before they even told me. They had "forgotten" to tell me, so it was a last minute decision right before Christmas that we need to have all this training. We are currently on a very restrictive deadline for our forward pricing project. We have to have the audit done by end of February. The hard part with my new position is the almost 100 hours of training I have to get done in addition to be done with my portion of the audit.


I have spent a week at work doing online training (the prep courses) and I got some of my auditing done. However, next Tuesday I have to fly down to Los Angeles, stay there and fly back to Seattle on Friday. Saturday I will have off with the husband and then I fly back down to San Diego Sunday and will be down there until the following Friday. I won’t really be able to touch my audit until after the first of February, meaning everything is tight at work. Although I am fairly fast and I suspect I will be ok. I just hate the idea of being behind by 100 hours worth of work.

I am thankful for several things though. The first being that I stay in the PST time zone. I absolutely hate trying to get used to getting up at 5am EST (2am my normal time, that is even earlier then my actual early wakeup). Second, and more importantly, I am excited I am not in the deep red south. I don't think I could handle being down there while I feel like I am in a week of national mourning for the inauguration day next Friday. It will be hard enough in our conservative agency, but to put up with the red south this month isn't going to work (and honestly won't work for me for at least the next four years). Let's hope we all survive the coming apocalpyse

worldoflucky: (Default)

As part of my work, I travel for training. For two weeks in October 2014 I was in Atlanta Georgia. I missed my husband, but I was able to visit Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, GA. The largest cemetery in Atlanta with Confederate graves.

Date: October 2014



Nov. 25th, 2011 07:23 am
worldoflucky: (Default)
This week has been an awesome vacation. Although I only spent one vacation day (the other three days were extra time I worked and built up). I am tempted to take the rest of the year off (currently I am at 285 hours of vacation and I collect 15 hours a month with the furlough days)......its a big temptation :). 
I won't do that, I will take another week's vacation in December between Christmas and New Years Day though.  After that time off I still need to spend three weeks (or possibly more) vacation by June, otherwise I lose it (we cap at 240 hours of vacation. Also, if finances pan out, I will need at least three days of vacation next Halloween (probably a full week) so we can go get remarried by Elvis in Las Vegas.
My anxiety about  losing my job has lessened a lot over the years, but its still sort of there so I will hold on to the vacation in case the Governor decides to make huge cuts. That currently has me a bit worried. We are looking at possible 5% pay cut again, plus a step freeze (meaning the salary range that we go up yearly until we max out in 7 years will freeze, so people who aren't as good at auditing will do my job for quite a bit more, as I am still on the lower end of the scale). They are also talking another 5 days of furlough (on top of the pay cut), plus our pension portion is going up 50% and our health insurance may go up 65%.

Sadly, I already make below the median and the average for my profession (state workers get paid less than public firms, local governments and federal government). Don't get me wrong, I am able to keep the wife and I going and that is something that wouldn't have happened without school, but the additional student loan debt comes due in 14 months. We are hoping by then if I triple up on car payments that we can at least get the car payments finished by then.

Also, if I can keep my max vacation (6 weeks) or close to it. When I do find a new job (looking at Fed jobs in 18 months, DCAA, IRS, OIG are the biggest options), they will cash me out and that would be an extra six weeks of pay. Enough to help us move wherever we need to go, or to help pay off debt or to put into savings. I am waiting 18 months so I will have five years in and I will vest my paltry 10% pension. :)
Wow, this has developed into a long rant, I will stop now :) 

edited note: Evidently I am in whine mode right now about work.
worldoflucky: (Default)
First update, I got a job interview at the Health District on Monday at 2pm!!!!
It is amazing how the mind works. I got a call today and the prospective new job said they had put the wrong salary range in. Its not supervisory like it was listed so it reduces the top of the range by 10k. However, it still starts more than what I make now and tops out just above the range of an Assistant Audit Manager (which is honestly the furthest up I can go in my office, not many Audit Manager positions open).

They were worried it would change my mind, I reassured it wouldn't since that was not my primary motivation to apply ( I didn't say what I would be hoping to get was still above what I make now and room to go up another 15%).

Yet, I feel slightly disappointed because of that change. I know logically it makes no difference, its still above what I can get at my current job, and I am still not even considering asking for close to the upper limit (my original request still puts it about the halfway mark of the range, originally it was the lower third mark).

Yet the normal human condition to feel disappointment at something I never had to begin with. Its kind of funny how humans operate that way. I know I haven't lost anything, yet I am still disappointed by it.
worldoflucky: (arabic demon girl)
This week has been fairly stressful. Well to be honest the whole summer has, with the amount of travel and lack of relaxation has meant my summer went by for the most part without me realizing it. I am lucky now, I am working in Arlington so its only a 30 minute ride each direction. The audit there is going well, we finally had our brainstorm on Thursday and we also had the County exit on Thursday.

Also as a side note, I applied at the Health District as a Financial Systems Accountant. Basically its the person second in charge of the finance department for the Health District. The good points is the job is only a mile away, wouldn't require any travel, would start at more than I max out at my current position (about 10-15% higher) but itself tops out near 85k a year (sadly enough I would be making 85k a year now if I worked in the private sector). The Business Manager will be retiring in three years and they are looking for the Systems Accountant to hopefully step into his shoes so it would be a move up higher into that position if things worked out. I have audited them for three years (and I am the Health District Specialist for the State of Washington's Auditor Office) so I have worked with those people on a semi-regular basis. Also the duties they perform for the public are something I can believe in. In addition to providing health inspections, food handling permits, biohazard emergency response, CDC emergency programs, they also provide a lot of medical services to those to the poor. As a side note, if I do get this job I am going to probably have to get my CPA, which would be even more valuable in future job searches.

The disadvantages to that job is that I will be at the same place day in and day out (one of the reasons I enjoy auditing is I don't get in a rut). Although, I have discovered now that I have worked three years and three months at my current job, that even though I move around I am still in a rut. I would have to learn the other side of auditing (being the auditee not the auditor) and it would also mean I will be living in Everett indefinitely. It is not that Everett is bad, I actually like living here, but we were planning on moving to Portland in a couple of years.

Overall though I think its worth it, if I could make a bit more money I could take care of my parents better. We might even look for a house if I made a little bit more. If we got a house I think I could convince my parents to come live down with us in a separate mother-in-law suite so we could offset a lot of their bills. It would also be working for a cause I could believe in and once you get into a position like that, its easy to get jobs anywhere in local governments as a Finance Director.

I think part of my problem lately is that, I am a little disillusioned. Our office is meant to audit local and state government agencies, unfortunately lately my office has been concerned with "customer service" with those agencies and in my opinion has "softened" up on our reviews (and on some issues) in order to not rock the boat. With all the budget cuts I think there is a fear that the local governments may lobby the legislature to slash our ability to audit. This seems sort of counter to what we should be doing. Times are tough, and instead of lowering budgets, softening our responses I think this is the time we need to be reviewing to our fullest extent. This is the exact economic environment that would pressure local governments into doing things with their funds that are not allowed, to cut corners in violation of RCW (state law) and to perhaps take position on financial/RCW issues that are more "grey" in their interpretation. I am sure my disillusionment will lighten, but I am a little frustrated on some issues.

So that was earlier this week. For some reason all week I have been unable to sleep much, enough that even though I had yesterday off I was up at 3am (so was wife), but we ended up going to bed around 4am and slept until 9:30am. I then get a call at 1pm yesterday and my dad told me that my mom was in the hospital. Evidently last night her shoulder hurt so she took her nitro, then she woke up again hurting, took more nitro and did this three or four times. My dad asked her to go to the ER, but she was too embarrased to have the ambulances come up. So my dad took her in this morning.

She is fine now, they put another stent in, one of the stents from her original heart attack in 2005 was closing again and she is feeling better. My dad is pretty angry with her for not going in the night before and I doubt he will let her get away with it. So I found all of this out yesterday, was a bit stressed but calmed down and I got to spend a great afternoon with my wife. Last night I had a cider, but as every time I have a beer or cider before going to bed I had stressful dreams and I ended up not sleeping well. I am not meant to drink :)

So here I am, early morning and feeling tired. I may go visit my mom this afternoon (she is coming home today), maybe while we are up in Bellingham (if we go) we will stop by the Lynden Fair, we haven't been there in three years (actually four now that I think about it).

So overall I am having a stress reaction, but the wife is helping me battle it. I did a bit of meditation today and I feel a little better. I am starting working out again, that helps a little too. 

Edit: I am evidently tired so if my above post came out redundant, at least you know why.
worldoflucky: (tired)
Today was a long day. The last three weeks I have been working out on Island County. Since I am avoiding the ferry (it has been backed up a lot and costs more out of pocket before reimbursement for ferry fees) I am traveling about 156 miles round trip daily. I do get reimbursed mileage, so that will help at the end of the month for our debts, but the $15-20 a day in gas is blowing apart our budget. I could stay out there in a hotel, but I want to sleep in bed next to my wife so its worth the effort. The side effect is I also collect 1.5 hours a day of travel time and my work days are now about 12 hour days, 5 days a week (plus been working weekends to plan for the City of Arlington in August). 

So I am a little nervous. Today I was informed I would be interviewed for the Team Vancouver Assistant Audit Manager position on Monday. There was a bit of good and bad news with this.

Good News: I am only one of two people being interviewed for the job. I have been told there were a couple more applicants, but they didn't make it through the cut process. This position would be in Vancouver, where we want to eventually move. It would also consist of a sizeable pay increase (which is especially valuable considering I am taking a paycut starting last month). 

Bad News: The person I am going against is already the temporary Assistant Manager for this team. In the formulized points system the state uses this gives them some extra  points. I will have to drive to Island County, then to Bellingham in the afternoon after a full day of work, then back to Everett (a little over 200 miles). Its good that it is paid for the entire time and I get mileage, but I am going to be exhausted.

So this weekend I will probably be a little tense, I doubt I will sleep much, but you never know. Maybe I will be promoted Monday and be moving. Oh, and as I got home, landlord got a hold of me and said our rent is going up in October.... that sort of bites along with my paycut for two years. We are going to see how the interview turns out (it wont matter if we have to move in October). If I am still in Everett we will consider looking at a one bedroom apartment that might actually have a washer/dryer.
worldoflucky: (Default)
This morning has already been extremely productive (and I haven't even hit 9am here). I woke up at 5am bright and bushy. This is strange considering I have quit coffee and my tea isn't the largest habit. I woke up, fixed myself some oatmeal, worked on my CPA study material for about an hour and then deleted almost 2,000 duplicate photos in my iPhoto. I then backed up my photos. At this point I turned on Burt Lancaster's 1964 movie "The Train" because I felt in the mood for an old school World War II movie. I then got on my exercise bike and did 30 minutes there.  Then I showered and am now backing up the rest of my stuff and I should be good to go, all before 9am.

Earlier this week was a little strange. I have been working out in a county school district doing their annual audit. Wednesday I got to work and noticed two older high school girls standing outside the window. They were probably 16-18 range. The little blonde noticed and and walked up and knocked on the window. I looked up and she waved at me. I smiled back and waved. Something told me I had just done the wrong thing.

After the next period (I could hear the bells) the girl shows up with three of her friends. They all knock, wave and giggle. I am now uncomfortable. There is something very predatory about a gaggle of teenage girls. I have always been uncomfortable being looked at by teenage girls, first in high school because I was attracted to them and felt shy, now because I am old enough to be their dad and am even more weirded out (not for the same reason). The flirting then commenced for the next 2 hours. I ignored them and didn't respond but they came by every break. One of the admin people at the office commented that something had the girls in a strange mood.

This eventually stopped when another auditor arrived (a woman) and they left me alone for the day. Of course [personal profile] ethicalcannibal gave me a hard time. At least I am not stupid enough like many guys to think they liked me (nor would I want them to). Its just a pack of girls testing out social boundaries. However, this morning I hadn't had caffeine and I wasn't in the mood to be nice (but I wasn't mean). As I walked up to the building with my laptop the blonde came running over. She started asking me questions but I shushed her and said I had a question. She stopped and a huge smile came across her face. I then asked her what lipstick she was wearing, she said something (but I have no idea what it was except red). I smiled at her and said thank you, that my boyfriend would really love that color.

I had never intended to say that, I was tired and wasn't thinking and that came out of my mouth. She just stared at me for a second, then the howls of laughter started up from her friends behind her. The laughter wasn't directed at me, it was directed at her. I had evidently won some sort of exchange (not sure what it was). I wandered into the building and haven't seen hide nor hair of her the rest of the week. Part of me feels a little bad, but I don't have the time to deal with it, and honestly last thing I need is someone else seeing me talk to a high school girl.

Other than that, everything has been going fairly well. I hear the wife moving around so I should go :)

Small rant

Oct. 19th, 2010 09:45 pm
worldoflucky: (Default)
Why is it always people who have never looked at the government's financial statements (any, city, state, etc) scream how the government has too much fat? Please, do me a favor and actually do some research before spouting off facts that I know are not true just by my profession. There are areas that need improvement (and I highly recommend all governmental agencies need performance audits). However, the whole idea that you can keep cutting expenses is ludicrous. You are only cutting off your nose to spite your face. Civilization needs taxes, people have to pay in, and currently we pay the least amount of taxes in 60 years while in a two front war and excessive public safety (police) expenditures.

Oh, and no you can't selectively decide you don't like a part of the governments expenditures and scream your taxes shouldn't go for that. I am against both wars we are in and against paying for police to restrict crimes that have no victim (moral based crimes) which I disagree with, but I don't scream you can't have my money. Just suck it up and play like you belong in civilization, otherwise go up into the mountains and live on land without power, emergency services, roads, environmental protection or FEMA.


Just a small irritation (and no, no one that can read this is who I am frustrated at, these were public people's comments to me while I was working today).


Jul. 3rd, 2010 08:36 am
worldoflucky: (Default)
I have been reluctant to start drawing again. Mostly because I think I suck and its a waste of time. If I had been smart and kept doing it at 18 the last 20 years would have added up to a lot more skill. I think this week I am going to get the supplies I need and just draw, even if it sucks big time. I am tired of not doing the things I am interested in because I think I am either bad at it, or not worthy.

I think I am going to spend the money I have saved up to buy [ profile] ethicalcannibal and myself a scanner. Then we can buy a wacom tablet. I hadn't realized that tablets for drawing on computers were cross platform compatible. I thought that none of them worked for mac. I was wrong, so going to pick one up of those for the wife and I (two if we both end up using it) probably after next paycheck.

Other than that, today I am heading up to Arlington to check out my next audit site (City of Arlington), I may also stop by the graveyard. My grandparents (on father's side) and the rest of his side of the family is buried there, along with my little brother who was stillborn (John Bradley Jr.). I haven't been there in 20 years, I should see if he ever got a proper headstone and if not look into buying one.
worldoflucky: (Default)
Work has caused a little bit of anxiety. Not in the normal way, I still like it, everything is smooth and even though I am wrapping up my biggest audit this year, I will have this done with no problems. The anxiety comes in a different venue. The County is desperately trying to hire one of the auditors on site as a Financial Analyst. They are so interested in us that they pulled the opening until we can apply (which would be this week).

I don't think I really want to work there. Its not auditing, instead it would be in charge of specific County funds, and the responsibility would be to approve/review the transactions and prepare the financial statements that the County puts out (basically the other side of the audit I conduct).

You might ask why I would even worry about not applying for the job. It comes down to money. State workers get paid a good chunk less than local governments. After I have topped out here at the Auditor's Office in a couple years (maybe up to 3 more) I will make around 63k a year. This is plenty of money honestly. However, the County job starts at $64k immediately (possibly 68k if they decide the person has experience, I am only doing around 50k now here at the office) and within four years will be making 78k a year. In addition after being at the County for four years you become a Senior Financial Analyst and that puts you on a different payscale that starts out at 78k and goes up to 89k a year. In addition the County benefits are better and cheaper than state (state benefits have been slashed, and costs have gone up).

Now, I am not going to apply, that is because working for the SAO is the first job I have ever had that I hadn't considered bailing on after three months (yesterday was my two year anniversary there, wow does time fly). I like the staff, I like investigating other people's books and the only organizations I might be more interested in are IRS, DCAA, OIG, or OIC.

However, I wonder if I am making a mistake. I would immediately make about $15-18k a year more and top out at almost 25k more a year than I make at my current office in about 6 years.

I know its not about money, but I worry about taking care of my parents and [ profile] ethicalcannibal. It doesn't help that people at work keep pushing and not understanding why I don't apply. I think that is the current "American" outlook is we should jump jobs for more money. It creates a weird pressure and that is probably what makes me uncomfortable. I still wont do it though, I will just sit here feeling uncomfortable.
worldoflucky: (arabic demon girl)
I had a strange dream this morning, woke up from it at 4:30am. I dreamed that it was the first day of class and the teacher handed us a test. It was hard to read the test, for some reason I didn't understand the questions, or even what subject it was for. After an hour of dinking around with it I thought I had finished it. Just as I turned it in, I realized that it wasn't the actual test, it was the test booklet and I needed to fill out the scan tron (but there were no multiple choice or anything). The class was letting out and I had to refill it out hurriedly still not able to read the questions. To top it off when I did it on the scan tron, the lights in the room were shut off and I had to use a tiny flashlight that didn't work well.

It was a strange dream. Still not sure why I dreamt that, but it kind of sucked.

Other than that, life is going fairly well. I have finished an outstanding audit that should have been done by beginning of last September (they finally got their info to me) and I am close to being done with the audit after that, that should have been done in October. Of course I had to pull off Skykomish due to problems there, and I probably wont get to finish that until July or August (or later). I have 7 more workdays at the City of Snohomish, then its time to start the 3 month County audit.

Today I am going up to my parents. We are going to pay for and register for a time for my dad to take his driving test. Don't get me wrong, he has been driving steadily, but hasn't had a valid license for over 20 years due to warrants (a side effect of me growing up with bikers, warrants were fairly common). He is completely legal now and has to take the test to get it back. He will drive my car around (our car is the only completely legal car in the family, everyone else has car problems or no insurance so they are unable to pass the State Trooper's inspection).

Once we have a date settled, I will go back later this week for him to get a little more familiar with the car and to take the test. When he passes, we are going to give him our truck and if need be I will help him get insurance. Unfortunately their health is not good enough to allow them to ride buses. My dad's back is so messed up, as is his breathing, that he can't walk the three blocks to get to the bus stop, let alone ride one.

When I get home today I will finish up my notes for the game tomorrow. Perhaps [ profile] ethicalcannibal will feel like running the solo game for me as well. If not, no worries I will just hang out with her. That is my favorite thing to do is just be around her.


Feb. 8th, 2010 06:23 am
worldoflucky: (Default)
This weekend was great, albeit tiring. The event went really well, people were incredibly nice and we had a ton of people show up. It was only a one night event with no plot, but I was still exhausted. I hadn't realized how weak my ankle was. Even today it aches (albeit a lot less), and I just feel winded. It was great to see everyone, and very cool to meet new people. I have also started putting together the plot threads from different factions, I think it will be a great season for plot.

[ profile] ethicalcannibal had a flare up with Grave's Disease. That always worries me that it might become a full blown thyroid storm. We did everything we could to reduce the stress level on her. I feel bad for her, she gets frustrated when it flares up, there is no control she has over it and all she can do is try to survive it.

It helped that this is the first event that didn't cost us an extra couple hundred dollars (or a lot more) on the credit card. We can even put a tiny bit of money back on the credit card (we still owe for almost all of last year down payments, and all of this year's down payments, about $3,000 worth at 30% interest - Chase upped the rates this month just because they are dicks). Of course we still have to pay the second half of each event after we get the money, but it will let us start making payments back on the card. I am thinking by the end of this season, we may have most of the DL credit card paid back up. Next Season we will actually break even and maybe be able to put back into the game.

Today I have a meeting with a Director at the entity I am auditing at 7:30am, then a meeting with a principal at 9:00 am and then more meetings this afternoon. This might be ok, except I was awake at 4:00am worrying about the wife. I try not to stress her out more with my stress over her health, but sometimes I can't do anything.

Been nice

Jan. 27th, 2010 08:30 pm
worldoflucky: (Default)
The last couple of days have been nice. I got to spend all of last night hanging out with [ profile] ethicalcannibal and even though it totally threw off my schedule for working on Mechwarrior, it was worth it.

Today I had something interesting happen. I had a head hunter contact me about a job as a controller at a small firm in downtown Seattle. I forgot I am still on some of the business networking sites (Linked-In was this one). She was asking if it was something I was interested in. Honestly I could probably do it, but I am happy being a State Auditor for now, its steady work, I move around a lot, plus I don't have to work under anyone directly. Being a controller would be a big step in pay, but with a lot more responsibility (probably 50-55 hour weeks), same office day after day and unlike my current place of employment I would have to worry about market conditions (my agency is going out of its way not to lay any of us off, whether on the state team, or the local teams -  I am on the local team). Our office had to reduce the state budget by 30%, but not a single layoff (they just offer to move people to other teams in order to keep everyone working), that kind of effort to keep us working is worth my loyalty, at least until the wife graduates in a few years.

I told her thank you, but it would not be a good fit right now. She seemed suitably impressed and asked if I would be interested in upcoming positions. I said I would, as long as she wasn't offended if I said no thanks. She told me she appreciated it, it makes it easier for her to find a good match that way, and indicated they try to find better jobs for people they can work with easier.

It was weird, I have had the IRS email me and ask me if I was still interested (same with DCAA), but this was the first time a professional head hunter contacted me.

Besides, sometimes I don't feel like someone who can have that responsibility, I still feel like the dorky 17 year old working at McDonalds. Its weird to realize I have an actual profession.


Dec. 4th, 2009 06:48 am
worldoflucky: (Default)
I woke up feeling disorientated. I get to go audit the low-income apartment complex I spent most of my childhood in, that is surreal as well. That is because the organization that helps run it received federal grant money to help run it.

In addition I had a strange dream that I was helping Dog the bounty hunter try and find out what was killing people (was some sort of horror dream, but I don't remember now exactly what happened).

Maybe I shouldn't watch multiple episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter at a time (DONT JUDGE ME!!!).


Apr. 16th, 2009 07:18 am
worldoflucky: (catgirl)
Just thought I would pop in and say things are going fairly well. We have quickly adopted our college budgeting system (except we have more free money then we did then) and things are sailing smoothly. Its funny how easy it is to adjust to making less money, I think [ profile] imake1tgirl is much happier and in turn that makes our life much less stressful. I am definitely happier about our situation.

This week I am working at the City I actually live in, working on Single Audit planning. Its a new thing I am learning and its going smoothly (and already it looks like I will finish it with less budget then the fastest time before). I am also wrapping up the School District that was my first AIC. I have to do some edits and then we will conduct an exit interview with the entity.

Next week I start the county's financial statements. I am a little worried, its our biggest entity we audit and I am running the Financial Statement and CAFR audit for it. Although its a great learning experience and I am finding I do like my job. This is a rarity, out of the 50+ jobs (and that is not exaggeration) that I have had in the past, this is the first one that might be longer then a year I have worked at (there was one job that was 2.5 years, but it was a very part time web design job, so it doesn't really count). Of course this makes me a little nervous that the other shoe will drop, but I highly doubt they will lay me off :) especially with the recent promotion.

The only thing bad about all this new stuff I am learning and in charge of, is trying to study for the FARS section of the CPA exam. I have about 40 days left, and they say it takes about 140 hours to use the computer study program. Now I have read 1600 pages of textbooks for this already so it might not take that long (nor does it usually take me as long as average anyways), but it does have me worried I wont have time to study. I guess my life will be work, [ profile] imake1tgirl time, study and gaming with not much more (although that is a lot anyways). Maybe I will do a count down for the studying like I did for tax season last year. Put it in a calendar and just do it. Ya I guess that is the best way to go.

I just need to not get stressed, and not worry about the passing rate. Although I appreciate those of you who have taken similar professional tests support, thanks :)

worldoflucky: (Default)
This weekend I finally finished reading all of my CPA exam supplements. It encompassed approximately 1600 pages of textbooks that took me almost 6 weeks to read. I now have 6 more weeks before my exam to do the computerized course of that same material. I will need to reread all that material and then take the practice tests. There is now part of me that is debating pushing my CPA exam back until the next testing period (as long as I do it at least 30 days before my test date, it doesn't cost me anything). The next test period is July and August (June is the "exam" grading period, as is the following september, it goes two testing, one grading months and then continues). 

Originally I wasn't worried if I had fully studied, the pass rate for the FARS section of the CPA exam is less then 40% to begin with. I know several people that had to take it two or three times. I figured I would study however much I could, and then take it with the knowledge that I will need to retake it. Now that I got the textbook reading done, I am not so sure I have enough time to cover that amount of material along with practice tests. On top of this coming up with $300 for each retake is a bit harder (definitely can still be done, but not so cavelierly). I keep wondering if I should push the test back until the end of the next testing period (or whenever the six month limit is that my testing window is open). It would give me weeks more time to study and not be too panicky. I just worry that I may get lazy from doing this, and that is something I don't want to happen.

So i will continue to debate this in my head.

Oh, and I found out the state will pay for additional education. However, because my promotion came before my year probation, it pushes out my education waiver/reimbursement benefits another year until 4/2010. That is a bit frustrating to say the least, but it is just a tangent.


worldoflucky: (Default)
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