05/25/2006: "the big update"
Lots to update you all on!
1) What's happening with Not From Toronto in terms of reverting back to February.
2) Vegas, baby!
3) Yet more work stuff.
4) Dodging a financial bullet, and then some!
First, the site. Just as I was leaving for Vegas my friend that operates warpfish.com also left on vacation, so I didn't get any real answers until we both came home. Those answers aren't exactly what we'd hoped for.
What happened is that the ISP that hosts warpfish.com had a hard drive array blow up. Bad stuff, and nothing you can really get around. All their clients were affected. Unfortunately, the most recent backup they had was from February, so I won't be getting back anything from then until now, unless I can manage to scare it up through Google's cache, which I've had only partial luck with thus far. Once I have whatever I can find I may put it back up on a separate page, but we'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Meanwhile, there will always be a gap in 2006.
This makes me wonder if I should consider going "mainstream" with my blog and use LiveJournal or Blogger or something like that, but as my friend also lost 3 months of his stuff, he's starting to do weekly backups on his own, so moving probably isn't necessary by any means. Besides, I'm comfortable here.
VEGAS! Las Vegas is a very interesting town, and I gotta say, I could get used to the weather there. For the 7 days we were down there, there was a daytime high of 39°C with near zero humidity, and a nightly low of aroud 30°C. Niiiice. The only things I didn't like were the lack of any lush vegetation (it is the middle of the desert, after all) and the scorpions. One was found crawling on my stepbrother's arm (a little one), and his wife found another in the fridge. Yes, the fridge. Luckily, that was on our last day.
There is so much to see in Vegas, we were busy pretty much every day, and only saw less than half of what we could have. Things are a bit more complicated with kids, as anyone under 21 isn't allowed to loiter in any of the casinos. Moving through is no problem, just don't stop and try to play. You probably don't want to either, as you're just as likely as not to be sitting beside someone with a cigarette (or a big fat stogie). I missed the smoke-free areas that I've become so used to at home.
In any case, the kids had fun, and so did we. We saw the Shark Reef (VERY cool, don't you dare miss it), Celine Dion, the AdventureDome at Circus Circus, the Stratosphere, the MGM lion habitat, the dolphin habitat and Sigfried & Roy's Secret Garden at the Mirage, the Belagio fountains in all their glory at night, the Freemont Street Experience ("Our big screen can beat up your big screen."), the Hoover Dam... There was lots, and we did what we could. We could easily come back again and fill another week without repeating anything. There are so many shows to choose from, if you have the time and money. There are no less than FOUR separate Cirque de Soleil currently operating there, not to mention the Blue Man Group, Celine Dion, Penn & Teller, and all the other Vegas shows you'd expect (topless and otherwise). Certainly more attuned to adults, but rest assured, families can have fun too.
And after Vegas, back to work. For now. A few things are cooking on the work front. I still have work pending from Gerald's, but I also have been asked to do some work for someone that I've worked alongside many years ago, just before I got laid off. It won't be a lot of work, but it will be good experience and great to re-connect. That's the plus side.
On the other hand, I've been informed that if the company I'm at now doesn't land an order soon, I'll be off to somewhere else in a week. I'm not surprised at all, as I've been horrendously under-busy all this week and even before I left. But I guess that confirms that I won't be staying on, and missed the boat on that opportunity. Ah well, live and learn. I just hope that my next contract will be someplace local that also has the opportunity for me to be there longer-term.
Lastly, tax stuff. I got all my tax stuff in to my accountant the day AFTER taxes were due - my bad. Her office finally contacted me today to say that the paperwork was ready to sign. Jannette had the car today, so after she picked me up we decided to go and get it over with. As I had 7 months of "self-employment" where I didn't manage to save any money to cover tax, we were bracing for the worst. I had in mind that we might owe as much as $10k. You can imagine my relief and utter surprise when she told us that we had a REFUND!!! Great leapin' horny toads, REFUND?!? Woo-HOOO!! That is a HUGE weight off our shoulders. Now we'll be able to get down to some serious line-of-credit paying off, and then start saving up for school. (Assuming, of course, that I get another contract sooner than later.)
So, there you have it. There is other stuff (there is interest in the Cabrio, so I'm bringing it out of storage soon; I'm running for the local EDA for the Green Party; the basement is a sanding away from needing paint; happy 30th birthday to my brother out in Calgary) but I'll get into that later.