I walked away from work today feeling very very different.  In some ways I was ecstatic, but in others kind of sad.  The last 12 months have not been easy for me.  I have had a very tumultuous time on the personal side.  Heidi has been there through all of it by my side and I know that she is happy the last 12 months are over.  I won't go into too much depth online but let's just say that today was a day that some people have wanted for a while. I walked out of the DUA office today, never to return.  As of this moment I am currently unemployed, something I have not been for quite some time.  When I left Australia just under 3 years ago, I had a plan, I had a goal to work in the USA for a couple of years and return home.  That obviously has changed, and for the better of course.  But although the last few months at work have not been easy, they had to be done.  I don't hold bad feelings towards my old work, but there was a lot of negativity for a while.  But they helped me get here over to the USA and without them I never would have met the love of my life, I wouldn't be married. So right now as I sit here in front of my pc on a Friday night, for the first time in 3 years I have no job to go to on Monday, who knows what the future will bring.  I need to start applying for jobs and get some focus in my life, but either way, there is a future ahead.  I just need to work out what that is.

This is not the post I was going to write this week, it was going to be full of Avgeek Porn, but that didn't happen (haven't finished the photos yet) and then I was going to write something else about the visa process (that can wait too).  Since the reason I am behind in my photos is because I skipped going for a run yesterday morning, I should at least talk about that. Right now, Thursday morning, my body despises me.  It hates my guts!  Why? Well because I decided to sleep in yesterday morning (only an extra 30 mins) instead of going for a run.  What I decided to do was keep that run for when I got home.  Yeah, not a good idea.  In the past I might have gone to the gym in the morning and then maybe a short run in the afternoon.  Everytime I did that, I only lasted about 2-3km before my legs where just crap.  A day at work with my legs stuck under a desk, or having to be cramped in a bus for an hour to get home (yep, yesterday took an hour and a quarter to get home thanks to traffic and rain & delays), never leaves my legs in good shape.  So running in the afternoon never happens properly.  Except yesterday I pushed through it and ran the full 5kms (in the rain as well). This was the dumbest idea I have had in a while, and right now my legs hate my guts.  My shins are tight and feel like someone has been jumping up and down on them.  My calves feel like someone has been stabbing needles into them, and all of this because I decided to get some extra sleep.  Since I run at least 3 days a week and Friday morning is always a run day before the weekly weigh in, I have no choice really but to run tomorrow.  I hope to god that my legs are better by then or I will just be making it worse.  Well the main thing is that I did run and I got out there, but I seriously am not doing that again... my legs just can't handle the afternoon run.  I don't know why but a morning run is always more refreshing to me. Eh... maybe I should just stop whining?

It's Friday.  All over the USA (And some parts of Europe as well) people are hopping onboard aircraft, jetting their way towards Seattle.  I am sure there are many people heading here for business or for the Seattle Food & Wine Expo or for Alton Brown Live this weekend.  But some people are heading their way towards Seattle for some Avgeek time.  This weekend is the Annual Aviation Geek Fest (AGF) and this will be the third year running that I will be helping out. Although this year I didn't help as much as the past for planning (since I believe a lot of it was done behind the scenes) I will still be there over the weekend, running around like a crazy person I am sure.  But the weekend is also great for the fact that I get to meet so many people.  I get to share my passion for Aviation with many like minded people, and also get to just be open about all of it.  No need to hide the fact I like planes when everyone else at AGF does too!  Catching up with friends on this annual visit is also fairly handy and I can't wait to do that. Although this year I won't be able to make the social gathering on Saturday night (since I will be at the aforementioned Alton Brown Live.  Heidi & I bought tickets last May) it means that social time with everyone won't be as great as last year, and my first AGF as a married man will be spent without Heidi around (she will be working most of the time).  It doesn't change the fact that I will be having a heap of fun but it would have been nice to have her around, so she can experience some things for the first time. It's a big weekend, I can't wait to get up to Everett tomorrow and get on that factory floor again, have a blast with everyone  and just enjoy myself.  Everyone who is coming to Seattle for AGF should have a really good time, and if you don't, well... take a look at yourself!

Everyone knows Valentines Day is about the ladies.  It is a day that is very commercialised, and is meant to be full of flowers and chocolates.  To be honest, I have never been that much of a fan.  But I do enjoy the day where I get to spoil Heidi.  So that is what I did.  I was determined to make up for last year when we didn't plan anything and it was really just a day where we ended up catching up at the last minute and had Teriyaki.  Classy!! Well this year was much better as I had a few different things planned.  I made sure to keep Heidi entertained and made her breakfast anything she wanted.  I also made sure she could do whatever she wanted in the morning after some errands (she wanted to study so I gave her total peace and quiet while I was doing chores by having my headphones in and staying silent the whole time).    I then took her for a picnic to an undisclosed location, well the location of the picnic was disclosed, what food we were having was not since we were going to get some takeout for lunch.  So Heidi had decided she would spend the entire car ride there trying to guess where we were going.  I even drove in the wrong direction to what I normally would to get there to confuse her.  She was sooooo excited to go to the Aussie Pie Company for lunch and then as I turned onto I5 North she was even more confused.  I had the time of my life confusing her.  We picked up some Japanese from a small asian deli in Georgetown and then headed over to West Seattle for a truck picnic by the water. I then took her to downtown for an activity I knew she would want.  I ended up telling her the activity the night before but I was originally just going to not tell her.   I took her to the Seattle Meowtrapolitan Cat Cafe.  They were having a pop up to help raise funds for some charities and get started for their cafe which is due to open sometime soon.  A cafe where Heidi can play with cats is like the best thing ever to her.  I was a little Meh about it, but hey, if it makes her happy.  She got to play with 1 or 2 cats and the coffee was fairly Meh.  All in all to keep Heidi happy for 30 mins of Cat time, well worth the $$$. We ended off our day with some games on the wii at home, and then a special dinner of Heidi's favourite foods, Mac & Cheese and Ice Cream (not together of course).  All in all a pretty good improvement over last year and getting to spend the evening in with a movie is always a good thing right? To next year!

Things have been quiet on the life front as of late.  My life has really consisted of the usual things.  Wake up, Work out, Work, Cook, Eat, Sleep.  Rinse Repeat.  Add in some fun random times with Heidi and that is pretty much my life right now.  But this is really the calm before the storm (couple of big weeks coming up with Valentines Day and Aviation Geek Fest over the next two weekends). One thing that has surprised me this week has been the process of looking for a new job (yes my time at DUA is coming to and end, that is a story for when I finish up, not after).  I haven't been through a proper interview process since before my time at Sunlover, well over 10 years ago.  I haven't even really updated my resume since I started the process for working over here in the USA, and even that was the first time I had done it since I started at Sunlover.  This whole process is new for me.  Thankfully I have some help. I have David helping me out with interview tactics, resume preparation etc coming from his perspective as a Career Counselor.  Something he does all the time, on a day to day basis.  Then I have Heidi helping me from her teachers perspective, which to be honest can sometimes put me on the defensive when I shouldn't be.  She is trying to teach me speak American and also helping me to translate my resume from Australian English to American English.  This isn't an easy process for Heidi as I am a stubborn person at times, really stubborn. But either way it is a long road ahead of me.  As I play the waiting game with the USCIS (anything involving an immigration process is heavily spent waiting, lots and lots of waiting) I have time to prepare all the things that I had taken for granted back home.  One thing that caused me to have a bit of a meltdown with Heidi yesterday was all over a folder for my resume.  Over here that would be called a Portfolio but the folders I wanted don't exist over here and by the time I had conceded and gone with Heidi's suggestion, I then realized nothing would work over here because the folders are all the wrong size.  Why can't the USA use proper paper sizing! It will be an interesting couple of months as I work towards getting a new job and earning some money.  It is a time to decide whether I stay with the career I have or the kind of jobs I have stuck with over the last 10 years, or do I go for something different.  Time will tell!

It is Saturday morning, you are lying in bed, looking out the window at fog that comes all the way to your window, what do you do?  Well on Saturday we had planned to go hiking on Cougar Mountain, but with fog all the way to the window and so thick that you couldn't see a single thing, that was off.  It was a little bit dangerous.  It seemed to be fogged in just about everywhere in Seattle.  Friday night it was really foggy as well so it looked like it was going to stick around.  Heidi & I just had no idea what to do and were bouncing ideas off each other.  I didn't really want to be cooped up inside the apartment all day so suggested about getting out of town.  Neither of us wanted to drive our car though, purely because the truck eats so much gas it isn't funny and Heidi hates putting unnecessary miles on the Mazda (totally agree with that purpose too).  But then what do we do?  I had a free day from our Honeymoon with National Car Rental (they gave us a freebie for the hell of it and we never applied it).  Well thank you National because we used it!  We both agreed a free car rental for the day would be fun and grabbing something sporty from the Executive Line would be fun.  If it failed, we could just cancel the reservation on my phone and walk away from it, nothing lost. So Heidi dropped me at the SeaTac Rental Facility and parked just down the Street at the big park and ride (where we could return later that night to grab Heidi's car back) and after a while of waiting, the National staff were able to bring around a nice Black/Grey Challenger for us.  Now back during our Honeymoon Heidi had told me she wanted to drive a Challenger and that is what I tried to get for her.   Unfortunately  LAX at the time had none at all in attendance, and they checked everywhere.  So unfortunately we had to settle with the 300C (which was a fantastic car anyway).  But I was able to deliver the Challenger for her and she loved every minute of it.  The car was fun to drive and we had a blast in a nice little two door car for the day (be it in the fog and cold for part of it).  We headed off down to the coast south of Aberdeen down towards Long Beach and over the border into Oregon (not to Portland). We spent more time in the car than out of it at times, but it was still fun anyway.  We finished off the day back in Seattle at Federal Way for dinner and then doing the grocery shopping with the Challenger.  It was a fun day and many laughs were had.  We dropped the Ghost back on Sunday morning before doing some of our morning chores (Heidi was happy she got to drive the truck since she wanted me to return the Challenger) and I was sad to see it go.  Maybe when I have my Mid Life crisis I can have a Challenger? <table style="width:194px;"><tr><td align="center" style="height:194px;background:url(https://www.gstatic.com/pwa/s/v/lighthousefe_20150128.00_p0/transparent_album_background.gif) no-repeat left"><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleLife2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SEpCO1TzWuo/VKnjiC7OY4E/AAAAAAABtNA/RYs_Cp7CZJM/s160-c/SeattleLife2015.jpg" width="160" height="160" style="margin:1px 0 0 4px;"></a></td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center;font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px"><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/109346098513022744611/SeattleLife2015?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite" style="color:#4D4D4D;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;">Seattle Life 2015</a></td></tr></table> Pictures in the Above Folder