Friday, May 29, 2009

money.cnn.com!













BREAKING NEWS: I was interviewed by CNN yesterday and today! Here's the deal: I read CNN.com pretty much everyday and lately they have had several articles about people getting jobs, losing jobs and the economy, etc. On several of the articles and on the Hired - CNN facebook page, they wanted readers to send in their stories about how they got a job recently in this bad economy. Seeing how "being on CNN" is on my life-long bucket list, I wrote a pretty good email to them and explained how I used Google Maps to search for jobs all over the country! They found my story and my short unemployment stint pretty interesting and called me up this week. People at work are excited because it is good advertising for our firm. The CNN reporter who interviewed me is the same lady who recently interviewed one of the top executives for my firm! So it's a pretty big deal and I am excited to see what is published. Stay tuned to money.cnn.com!

In other news, my car insurance just went from $356 (edit: I guess it was only $286) to $141! Yeah Illinois. However, state sales tax went from 6% to 7.75% as a result of moving from MI to IL.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Logo!?

It is rainy, so I came up with a logo for the biking group I started. Give me some feedback!?








Sunday, May 24, 2009

More FourThirteen Pics





See last post for description.

FourThirteen Cycling





















So I started and am the leader of a cycling club/ministry called FourThirteen Cycling through the church I have been going to. Some of the people I have been meeting expressed interest in it, so I decided to organize it and keep it going each week. The name "FourThirteen" is derived from Philippians 4:13 and also we plan on leaving at 4:13 pm every Sunday. Today we biked roughly 15 miles total. We started near my apartment and took the Interurban Trail to Chatham. I think we are going to continue this same path until we really get the club going and branch out to other locations. We are hoping to get more people at each experience level and branch out that way too. Our first day had a pretty good turn out. We are planning on advertising on screen before or during church and putting something in the bulletin this coming Sunday in addition to our Facebook invitations. Here are some of the pics from our first ride...I should get some better pics soon from my new body-builder buddy Dave.
























































































Funny Story : On Saturday I went to check out another singles biking club from Westside Christian Church. They meet every Wednesday and Saturday at the same location my club is meeting at. I thought I would see if there was anyone my age, but it turned out to be a roughly "50 year old singles biking club" hahahha. I still went with them and had a good talk with a retired business man who knew a lot of people from Arthur Anderson and PwC (2 huge accounting firms) They told me more about their church and about the activities for people my age. So I went to that church this morning, met a ton more people and plan on going to a big memorial day party with them tomorrow evening!......and in case you were wondering...no "cougars" hit on me during the singles biking.




Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just Taking a Break from Biking

I'm exhausted from biking already and decided to take a break to upload some pics from my first ride on the new bike.  These shots are just a glimpse of Washington Park.  The park was huge and extremely nice.  It has a golf course next to it and a tennis lodge within the park.  It looked like they had some tennis tournaments going on today.  I'm planning on playing some ultimate frisbee at this park tomorrow afternoon with a bunch of people from church.




































Sunday, May 10, 2009

Short Bike Ride, but Cool Pictures



I went for a short bike ride intending to read a book outside.  There were too many bugs.  I found a mountain biking path.  I took cool pictures.  The end.






























"Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't, and believe that everything happens for a reason.
If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it."














Feliz día de la madre!

Spanish titles make everything sound cool.  Happy mother's day to my mom and other mother's reading my blog.  Just got back from church...the front desk girl at my work gave her testimony in front of everyone during the service!  She just lost her mom this year to cancer and this is her first mother's day without her. :(





Here is the best mother-son pic I could come up with right now...it is in Bar Harbor, Maine back in 04'.
















My sister requested a few pics of the crib.  So here it is.  My 2 story townhouse I share with my roommate Molly.  There are 2 bedrooms on the top floor along with my bathroom.  The kitchen, family room and another bathroom is on the bottom floor.  It is really spacious and seems far better than the last 2 apartments I have lived in.










The kitchen area.











Me grilling up a massive steak for lunch.  Thanks mom!  I just soaked it with some more A-1 marinade.  It smells delicious.













The family room.








I changed a few blog settings, so you should be able to leave me a comment - even if you are not registered.  Let me know if it is still not there....if it is there - leave me some love.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gary Fisher AR Super!

I decided to really get into my hobby of biking, so I ordered a new Gary Fisher AR Super road bike with the recommendation of my friend Jim and his buddy.  The bike shop threw in a free helmet and water bottle cage.  It should arrive on Monday or Wednesday at the latest!  I am excited to take it out for a spin!  After I get used to my new bike I am planning on checking out some of the Springfield races and bike clubs.






Michigan unemployment money well sp
ent!  Go ahead - click on the picture to enlarge.





There are a lot of really nice trails around my apartment.  One of them ironically leads directly to my work.  My goal at some point is to bike all the way to St. Louis because my parents laughed at the thought of me biking that far....I'll show them.














On another note - my new job is going very well.  So far I have just been filling out HR information and getting settled in, but I am off to my first client on Monday already.  My schedule is rediculously booked through at least September.  August is going to be really busy.  I will be traveling primarily around Illinois, down to St. Louis and Texas in the fall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco (y cuatro) de Mayo in Oak Brook


Just got back this evening from ORIENTATION in Oak Brook IL. Some good times were had. This is the O.B. office on the southside of the building. It was a really nice building. We were on the 7th floor and could barely see downtown Chicago on the first day when it was clear out.


It was interesting meeting people/new friends from all over the country. I sat next to a new hire from the Orange County, CA office. He said I could come hang out with him sometime later this year in Cali. I told him I want to transfer to his office next and to let me know when there are any clients out there that could use my assistance.






I thought the ball diamond and park out behind the office was pretty nice.








This is the nice restaurant we ate at on Monday night. The OC kid's bill turned out to be about $85 dollars and he was rather afraid to turn in that receipt when he got back to Cali. I don't think this would have been acceptable at my last job....but they recommended this restaurant to us!











This is the nice Hilton they put us up in for the night....OC guy didn't get to stay on the top floor like the rest of us executives.















"Whatever you are...be a good one"
- Abe Lincoln
















We didn't get to eat out on the roof of the office because of the large birds hanging out there and they were fixing the tiles.









That's all for now.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Centennial Park, Banksy & Hope Church





During my daily bike ride yesterday, I also checked out Centennial Park. It has a pretty sweet skate park, tennis courts, biking trails, and playground.







I went up on this hill right here and met a few young lads sitting on top of a large man-made hill just enjoying the scenery. I could tell they were natives to Springfield, so I started some conversation with them. I asked what they like to do in Springfield? They replied, "This. Just sit here." They were very friendly, but that was not exactly the response I was looking for. They continued, "Sometimes we sit at another park near the Wabash trail too." Ok...not too much to do in this town huh?
























The skate park was interesting, but no one was that great. Not saying I could do much better, but I was hoping for more. After a while I got bored watching these 8 year olds and hearing their Grandma calling them over to the car, so I got my 21 speed huffy down in ramps and showed these kids who's boss!














Some of this "art work" in the skate park reminded me of the legendary pseudo-anonymous artist who calls himself Banksy.
He is a graffiti artist who paints huge stencil-like artwork on buildings and no one really knows who he is.


http://www.banksy.co.uk/





Finally, the church I was planning on checking out first was right across the street from the park. I went to the Saturday night service and really enjoyed it. I met the pastor and a couple who runs the 'young adult' groups. They invited me to dinner at a restaurant and over to their house later that night. I met a ton of people my age already and plan on going to the Lincoln Museum with them today (Sunday). They get together every other Weds, every Fri and there is another group that is studying these incredible films called NOOMA! They are produced in some town called Grand Rapids by a guy named Rob Bell. Hmmm....I may have to join that group.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beverly Hills of Springfield


While I was test driving some Mazda's, Ramacio Douglas told me all about his life and points of interest in Springfield. One of the hot spots he mentioned was a wealthy sub-division called "The Reserve." Naturally, I added this destination to my biking schedule, brought my camera and awkwardly took a few pictures , hoping theirs guards or dogs did not come after me. The Reserve is only a few miles from my apartment and pretty interesting to see. Many of the houses have tiki huts by their pool. One even had a full-size fireplace and chimney for the tiki hut. Another one had a driveway through the house and garages on the backside. Here are a few of my pics:



This is the entrance.
















Rod Blagojevich government fraud money??? His former office is in the video on my last post.










This one was huge! Looked like they had their own theme park out back and an olympic size pool.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Let the blogging begin.

Hola!

So I felt compelled (or obligated) to create a blog. I believe it is pretty much expected of West Michiganders when they move out of the state. So here it is folks. Please subscribe to my blog, leave a few comments, drink some coffee and follow my new life in Illinois. I am not promising too much here though...I'm pretty bored at the moment with a lot of unemployed time on my hands. Monday will be a different story when I start my career at ***Company Confidential***

So anyway, I am all settled in my townhouse with my random craigslist roommate named Molly and her dog Harry. My new address is:

***Email Me for Address***

I have been exploring my new habitat for the past week on my bike. My daily adventures came to a halt today with the rain and I had a flat tire. My Huffy should be up and running early tomorrow morning....after 3 trips to the DMV, I am officially an Illinois resident; however, I still need to figure out how to put a license plate on the front of my car.

Well that's enough bloggin' to get me started...and now a video tribute to my first few days in the Land of Lincoln including exclusive, never before seen footage of Abe's tomb, house, the state capital and my new office building at the very beginning. Cheers! -Tim


video