Another snow storm???

IT seems I have the most rotten luck when it comes to traveling to New Jersey.  I stayed home the week before because I was sick and I just missed another “bombocalyse” that decided to hit the north east with crazy amounts of snow.  Since I was feeling better I went up to NJ for work and little did I know but there was another snow storm coming.  I had already been trapped by snow in NJ in early January when I first heard the term “bombocalypse” which caused me to go all the way to Philly to catch a flight home the next day.

This time the snow storm hit on a Wednesday and it was a whopper.  One of the heaviest snow storms I’ve ever experienced in the north east ever.  I made the mistake of going into the office with the intention of going home in the early afternoon.  As usual work decided to rear its ugly head and I stayed until about 5PM.  I attempted to leave work but only made it maybe a mile before I turned around to go back to the office to wait it out.  The snow was so heavy I didn’t even realize that I had crested a hill.  It was true white out conditions, could barely see in front of me, the road didn’t even exist and there was at least 8 inches of new powder on the ground.  It didn’t help things that I was in a Mercedes Benz CLA250 instead of an SUV.  I will admit though, the car was able to drive in the snow like a champ but I would still never buy one myself.

I decided to take some pictures during the day to show the progression of the snow.  It started nice and slow but as the afternoon crept up it got really bad.  Apparently the office lost power because the diesel generators in the parking garage were on but it was pretty seamless, I never even knew the power was out.  Some of my co-workers who decided to stay at the hotel sent me a text message that the hotel had lost power and its generator ran out of gas.  Well that wasn’t encouraging in the least since I didn’t have any dinner that evening.  I ended up leaving at around 8:30 from the office, the snow had generally stopped which was good but there were lots of places where there wasn’t power and this was really wet and heavy snow.

The following day the roads were pretty clear but one of my usual paths to work, the road was closed due to downed power lines and downed trees.  Needless to say it was very pretty to drive through and I took a picture from my car when there was no one on the road with me just to capture the moment (using my iPhone 7 of course).  What was nice is that they cleared up the roads and more importantly the airport so I wasn’t stranded this week.  That would have really peeved me since I don’t like flight delays of any kind especially ones caused by weather.  This coming week there is no travel for me so I won’t have to worry about getting caught in another freak snow storm.  The only place I’m interested in seeing a ton of snow is at Breckenridge in about 2 weeks.  Thats when my spring break begins (yeah I’m going skiing in spring) and I want lots of fresh powder to ski in.

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Heading back to Cali! Well for one week

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I’m done for now with New Jersey and heading back to Cali!  It seems that work always takes me out to the Bay Area when its for work.  There is never any work in San Diego or Los Angeles no matter what firm I join.  I am only going out for a week this time around so it won’t be one of those really long projects where I’m there for a few months on end and can make a killing on points and miles.  I like the Bay Area a lot, SFO always has nice rental cars and I’m hoping to score another Camero that I can speed around the area in.  Hotels are alright, they’re way too expensive but thats because there is a lack of rooms available and there are always tech conferences or consultants running around all the time.  Me included!

Best part about going to the Bay Area in Feb?  Its not as cold as New Jersey and there is no threat of snow, maybe a fire or a mud slide but no snow!  The snow might be on the route my plane takes to get home but thats something I can’t really gripe about, all that matters now is that I can leave the winter jacket behind in my closet until my ski trip in March.  The only issue with being in Mountain View is that there isn’t a lot that I want to see in the area in terms of sights.  And the sights that I would want to see are more parks than anything else and its heavily urbanized.  If the Bay Area has one thing that peeves me to the core its bad traffic and they have it in spades.  Although maybe I’ll have some time to visit some friends while I’m there.  Maybe I should charge up my bluetooth selfie stick for the trip?

I’m all packed up and ready to go, and one last perk….. I don’t have to wake up before the sun to catch my direct flight to Cali, we’ll just wake up together instead.

 

Last flight from Jersey?

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I finished up at my New Jersey client today but the picture I took yesterday as I left Newark. I was potentially going to another New Jersey client but I got out of it somehow (for now) so I’m hoping that this will be the final shot of New Jersey for 2018 and that my firm will send me somewhere else for the rest of the year.  I try and get nice shots from the plane like this during sunset, which is normally when I travel.  I had some really great shots over the years that I’ve touched up a little bit here and there with Camera+.  This one happens to be untouched and straight from my iPhone 7.  I normally don’t sit behind the engines on the A321 but for my last flight I was unable to get score a main cabin extra seat.

The iPhone 7 camera really is pretty awesome with its image stabilization and overall great quality.  I still haven’t figured out how to take really good night shots of the moon or anything like that but its only a matter of time.  My wife recently got an Aukey zoom lens for the iPhone 7/8 and it works quite well.  If I could take it with me I would but I already keep too many things in my work bag.

I’m hoping that the next trip (I already know that I’m going to California at least for next week) takes me to a different city that I haven’t been to.  I’m always going to the NYC area, somewhere in Cali, Chicago, or Atlanta.  I need to see some place new so that I can take some new pictures with my phone,  Well technically I did go to Kansas City but I forgot to take any pictures there and it was after sunset when I used to take off so I couldn’t take anything decent.  LA or San Diego would be cool or maybe some other place in the mid west just to shake things up.

Tomorrow is soccer championship day, I’m going to take some pictures and hopefully my daughter’s team will win it all.  I have plenty of storage space left on my phone so maybe I can take some 4K video (well at least 1080P).  The only weak part of this setup will be the battery of my iPhone 7 which drains a lot when taking tons of pictures or video.  If next year’s iPhone has a ridiculous camera I just might upgrade from the iPhone 7 but if not I’ll try and wait another year since I can only spend $1000 every few years for a phone.

Crazy Travel

Lately I have been put on this pretty insane travel schedule for work. I’m not exactly pleased with it but its what I have to do to keep the money flowing into the ole bank account. Right now I’m doing alternate weeks for travel. Under normal circumstances that would mean one week at home and one week at my client. This is a bit different. I have to travel Sunday through Thursday and Monday through Friday the other week. Needless to say that really cuts into family time since I’m not doing the regular Monday through Thursday.

This is the second week that I’m doing this schedule. It’s weekend I was really only home for a day and 12 hours before I had to go to the airport and catch a flight to New Jersey. In reality I’m catching a flight to JFK so that I can spend as much time at home as possible. I’m actually writing this blog post while I’m in the air to JFK which will get me into the NY Metro area at around midnight. After that, it’s a nice long drive to New Jersey and then an early morning wake up to walk to work. Needless to say things could be better but I just have to roll with this until the holidays. I also have a good amount of PTO scheduled so that I can spend some time at home instead of being at my client.

I’m just trying to stay awake long enough to get my free drink so that I can pass out for an hour or two before I have to wake up and deplane. Hurry up already flight attendants, I’m thirsty!

Finally I can eat Malaysian every week!

After some long years of suffering without Malaysian food in South Florida, my client work has taken me to lovely New Jersey (insert sarcasm) until the beginning of July. One of my co-workers was able to suggest a Malaysian restaurant fairly close to work. It’s not close enough to go there for lunch but it is close enough for us to go there for dinner which is pretty awesome. It’s technically only two stops away on the light rail from Jersey City to Hoboken and then about 2-3 blocks away from the station which isn’t bad at all.

The name of the place is called Satay and I would have missed it if someone didn’t point it out to me since the place is so small. I’m fine with hole in the wall places personally as long as the food is good. I have to say that this place is on par with the other Malaysian restaurants I’ve frequented over the years in the NY area. I was actually intending to go to Nonya in Little Italy last week in order to get my Malaysian food fix but now I don’t have to go all that way and burn so much money taking the subway and PATH trains just to get to Manhatten.

I think I’ll go there tonight or tomorrow to get my Malaysian fix before I head off to the Hawaiian islands for a week. I know there is no way I’m NOT getting my fix before the week is out.

Heading back to the Garden State

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Late last year I predicted that I wouldn’t be traveling to New Jersey for the rest of 2011and on that prediction I was pretty spot on. Oh how the travel and consulting gods love to tease me, it would appear that I will be spending a significant amount of time in New Jersey starting next week. Doing work for my client is fine but I really don’t like the location. I’ve spent a great deal of effort trying to avoid Jersey due to the numerous flight delays I’ve experienced in the past, the crazy traffic that always seems to meet my taxi when I need to get to the airport, or the general unpleasantness of the air quality because there seems to be a cloud of pestilence in the air near the airport at all times.

My travel schedule for the next month is going to be quite crazy due to the availability and cost of flights into Newark. In this month alone I have to fly United, American, and Delta. In addition to flying to Newark, for one week I have to fly out of LGA because there were no flights available into Newark. Due to my lack of travel last year, I’ve lost all status on all the airlines so you can bet that I’m going to be traveling in crappy seats and will most likely have to gate check something which will add even more travel time than I want. I have managed to find a Hilton property fairly close to my coworkers who all like to stay at Starwood and I registered for a challenge with Hilton so I can at least get back my Gold status with them in only 4 stays or 9 nights. Until I make Gold, no free Internet or breakfast for me.

I’m hoping it’s not all bad. I am fairly close to the path train that leads into Manhattan so I figure every once in a while I should be able to make it into the city for a meal or something. There are a few places that I want to go back to where I’ve eaten before just to try some new dish. I’ll also cruise food network to see if there is any place that I really need to try out. Maybe I can bring some food home for the family on the weekend. After all, my hotel room has a fridge and a microwave and it’s only a 3 hour ride back to lovely South Florida.

I don’t know how long I’ll be in Jersey, right now it’s slated for about 3 months which isn’t bad but it could go as far as 12. I’ll have to be careful not to pick up a weird accent, a spray on tan, or some gelled up hair during my time there. I know my wife’s friend is going to enjoy making fun of me because of all those times I teased her about constantly working in Jersey and she’s a proud New Yorker. I should probably try and invest in a rebreather mask to filter out the airborne pestilence that will consume me the moment I step foot off my plane in Newark……

I still hate the Garden State

I have been staffed to a project in New Jersey for the past few weeks and I can’t say that being in New Jersey for a longer length of time (more than a day trip to see family or go to Ikea) has changed my opinion of this place.  It might be because I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere with no ability to go out and eat and stuff since I share a car with my co-workers but I think its because this place is just so damn miserable all the time.  There are limited eating options which hurts (I’m getting really sick of Subway sandwiches all the time or hole in the wall bagel shops that don’t take credit cards) or the fact that whenever we try and get anywhere you need to go in a few hundred loops to actually get there because some fool decided that cars can only turn right and not left on a given road.

I’d say that NJ still holds the crown on the most hated state list that I keep.  I thought Virginia was going to take the crown but after being here for a bit, it still holds the title!  The one shining aspect which is really surprising is Newark Airport.  Granted its a really really small glimmer because only Crumbs (an awesome cup cake store) is the best place to get food.  There is a Jamba Juice somewhere but other than that, all the other places are crap.  I actually went to a pub with a co-worker for wings and they microwaved them and charged us like $10.  So not worth it!  Big silver lining is that I’m not coming back here for work for the rest of 2011.  I got to stay home this week to do my training and then I’m off to San Francisco for a different client which needs my expertise.  The only downer is that I have to leave on Sunday both weeks which is a big BOOO in my book

Goodbye Jersey!  Can’t say that this was fun in any way shape or form.