First Day

Since I’m writing this right now, you are correct in assuming I survived my first day. I had just written a comprehensive report about the exciting parts of it, but IE just crashed on me. It’s good to know that even at Microsoft IE still crashes. On the bright side, you know get to read the abridged version of my first day.

So, yesterday was New Employee Orientation (NEO). Supposedly every Monday they have a NEO for about 50 people. That’s 50 new people at Microsoft every day. When I stop and realize there are 27,000 MS employees right here in the Seattle area, that’s not that surprising anymore.

NEO wasn’t that eventful. They threw a lot of info at us, gave us ID badges, and fed us really well. Some interesting tidbits: They don’t like open source software. “Microsoft Married” = my favourite phrase of the day. This place is huge! There are 83 buildings here in the Seattle area with shuttles that run between them.

After NEO we were supposed to get in contact with our managers and setup our offices. I couldn’t get ahold of my manager by phone, so I decided to drive down to my building. I’m working in Redmond West, which is about 10 minutes away from the main campus and is where all the MSN teams are.

My manager wasn’t there, so I wandered around and then headed back to Greg’s building so we could go drop off my rental car and pick up his. He was busy meeting with his team and told me I was on my own. So, I lost my ride back home and Greg lost his ride to the car rental place. But I needed to return the car, so I went off anyway. Luckily Avis has a guy who drives people around and he drove me back home.

Now, I still hadn’t met my manager or anyone on my team, so I was starting to worry. But if I went back to work, I had no way of getting back home. I figured I’d call from home and straighten everything out.

When I got home, I realized I forgot my keys. I tried finding a hidden spare key everywhere, but no dice. I even considered breaking in through the balcony in the back, but there were too many neighbours by their windows. So, I left Greg a note and went shopping. I also called my manager from a payphone – still no answer, so I asked her to call me at home.

When I got back around 6:00, still no Greg. So I wandered around the back again. It was dark now and there were fewer neighbours by their windows. I really didn’t want a run in the with the local police, but I was getting hungry, so I decided to do my best commando routine and scale the wall. I managed to jump up and grab the bottom of the balcony railings and somehow pull myself up and over the railing. Then I quickly opened our balcony door and disappeared inside.

Before I could celebrate my daring entrance, the phone rang. I had been caught…Actually it was my manager. She was sick all day and had just got into work. After talking to her for a bit, I hung up and started to make dinner. Then the phone rang again. Greg this time. So, in the end no police.

OK. That wasn’t that abridged. But I did have to retype it.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I’m off to the Emerald City tomorrow. Should the beginning of a grand adventure. My flight leaves early tomorrow morning and I arrive in Seattle around noon (30 minutes before Greg). Then we’re driving down to our condo in Redmond. I’m a little nervous about clearing customs and will feel better once I’m settled in our new place. Work starts on Monday morning.

I had a great stay in Winnipeg. It was great seeing everyone and spending time with the family and Roxie, Allison, Erinn, and the whole crew at Lorie’s. Unfortunately it will be close to 6 months until I’m back in the Peg – I’ll miss you all.

I don’t have a laptop or a digital camera yet. Once I get my first paycheck I’m going shopping. So you’ll have to wait until then for some pictures.

New Look

I got my braces off this morning and it feels great!

The new look …
No Braces

You’ll have to excuse the rosy cheeks and glistening nostrils – the picutre is taken after walking from the bus stop in the frigid cold.

I have to go back this afternoon to get my retainer. Joy.

In other news, I haven’t started work yet. Don’t start until the 17th. I’ve been filling my time with an addiction to an online game, Eternal Realms. I now know why people call these games things like EverCrack. It’s fun, but way too addictive.

Christmas Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from Christmas 2004 at the farm. Warning: Big pictures (400 – 900 K)

Gingerbread House (Baba and Alexander) – Kelsey also helped. Good job team!
Presents Everywhere (Trevor on couch) – I guess no one was naughty this year
Immunity Necklace (Mom) – Mom will not be voted off the island tonight
7′ Long Blanket (Mom & Dad) – Nice candy necklace
I’d Rather Be Sleeping (Kelsey) – Not everyone enjoys waking up early to open presents
Can I Go Back To Sleep Now? (Kelsey) Blame Wiener for the early morning
Bonfire Under Construction (Aunt Sheryl, Derek, Uncle Uke, Me) – Building a Ukrainian fuel cell
Ceremonial Lighting of the Bonfire (Trevor) – Notice the spent fireworks stuffed in there
Fire and Ice – Not enough snow to put out this puppy
A Rip-Roaring Blaze – Not as big as last year, but still impressive

So, how did you spend your boxing day? I spent it hauling dead trees from the bush and making a big-ass blaze.

New Year’s Eve is Cancelled!

Sorry to inform you, but New Year’s Eve has been canceled. If you had plans, I’m sorry, they’ll have to be rescheduled.

I did have plans to go out tonight. But I was informed earlier that New Year’s Eve has been canceled (or rather rescheduled to some time in the next two weeks). So, now it’s a night in with the parents. Yippee!

I think it’s a bad karma catching up to me. I spent most of the day laughing at Kelsey’s misfortune at being stuck out at my Grandma’s farm in Sandy Lake, MB. Her and a bunch of her friends drove out on Tuesday to do some snowboarding up at Asessippi, but a big snow storm came barreling through and has stranded them there for the past two days. We had 45 cm of snow here in the city (not that gave pause to most Winnipegers). And to top it off, my grandma’s sewage system broke on Wednesday and was just fixed today, so they haven’t been able to flush toilets or have showers until today.

So, making fun of my sister’s predicament couldn’t have helped my karma. Nor could bailing on Allison and Erinn two years ago for New Year’s. I guess I had this coming.

So, my night’s plans now include doing a puzzle with my dad and breaking high scores in pinball (9.5 million so far).

Hope everyone is having a better night. See you next year.

Christmas Review

Got back from Christmas at the farm on Monday. As always, it was a blast.

The highlights:

  • Oneupmanship in MS Pinball. Uncle Rodney was a machine. No one could touch his score.
  • Christmas Eve dinner – more food than you could shake a stick at, and enough beans and cabbage to make

    sitting around the fireplace dangerous.

  • Baba Luhowey wondering who the new girl was (sorry Derek, but you need a haircut).
  • Our Coulson-sized bonfire – a blaze that could be seen for miles (pictures to be added later when Kelsey gets back from her snowboarding trip).
  • Uncle Uke’s fireworks show – including the African Lions and the Statue of Liberty stunt.
  • A short, but lively broomball game on the lake at the Ponderosa.
  • Getting schooled in Hola (a card game) by my 98 year-old great-grandmother – she hasn’t lost any of her

    wits.

More of my Christmas review

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