We haven’t posted in a long time. Sorry. There hasn’t been much to say really, but I feel like I should post something… so here goes.

As for the MINI, I am still in love with it and am still plotting all the things I want to do with it. With the job situation though, money has been a little tight so I haven’t been able to do much yet. I did add a KP Technologies One Touch sunroof module though, which allows me to open the sunroof without holding the toggle button. I also added an NM torque arm insert, which is nice. The plan was to add a sway bar and rear end links before MINIs on the Dragon, but now with the unexpected water heater expense I am not sure that will happen.

The above picture is of the water heater spewing water. Luckily it is in the garage, so the water damage was minimal. We knew it was going to need replacing soon, but we were hoping it would make it a bit longer. Basically, the top of the unit was rusted out and the expansion tank was no longer functioning properly which, from what I gather, means there was a build up of pressure in the water heater that caused the weakened rusted area to give. Apparently you have to replace those expansion tanks about every three years. This would have been good to know a couple years ago, especially since the service guy said that tank was most likely the original one. Fortunately I was offered the chance to leave IBM a couple days early, so I was home when it happened. And it seems like I caught it before it spewed water too long. So all in all this could have been much worse. As it was, we had to remove a portion of the drywall behind it in order to pull out wet insulation. Looks like we will be doing some repair work on that this weekend. But, it was caught before water soaked through the wall and damaged our floor in the kitchen. A little insulation and a sheet of drywall is definitely not bad at all compared to the expense of repairing/replacing hardwood floors and painted interior walls.

On the job front, I will be starting at the new company tomorrow. I am excited about it! And I am so glad I am excited about it. The last years at Mo were terrible, I hadn’t realized how much I hated it really. I mean I knew I was miserable, but somehow the full extent of it didn’t really sink in. It was to the point where I considered changing career paths after I was laid off. It is part of why I dragged my feet a bit about looking for a new job. However, for this new job, as a test I was asked to write a few test cases from requirements. It was actually fun!! I realized I still really love software QA and I really miss doing actual QA work. The past couple years were this terrible downward spiral where nearly all the actual work was offshored and it was a fight to do anything meaningful. By the end it felt like I was reduced from “engineer” to “button pushing monkey.” So right now, for the first time in years, I am looking forward to going to work in the morning.

Overshadowing my happiness at starting the new job though, is the news from Japan. Luckily all my friends are safe, but I can’t comprehend the images of the devastation in northern Japan. The enormity of loss is unimaginable and it seems the news is worse every day. I keep wishing there was something I could physically do to help, but there isn’t.