Friday, March 29, 2013

It has only been a few days since my last post but things have been busy, busy, busy.  First off, it feels good to be back in CA and to know I will be here next week.  That coast to coast flight is long.  5 1/2 hours return flight.  I worked for about 3 hours on the plane then realized I had 2 more hours of sitting there. 

So what's been going on?


Work has finally picked up and I now understand why everyone likes to brag about there hours.  Basically, lots to do and not enough time.  when looking at the work that must be delivered over the next 10 weeks it's a little daunting.  I have know doubt we will make it through though.  They say that 1 consulting year is like 3 years in industry from a learning standpoint which seems to make sense. Every day you learn something new and stretch your self that much more.

House Hunting

As of Thursday I am under contract for 1933 18th St NW.  It is only a 30 day escrow so lots to do.  First up is Condo Docs which I am in the thick off.  Need to sign off on those by Monday evening.  After that is inspection which takes place on Monday.  Also this weekend I need to start getting info to my loan officer for the loan and I need to work with my 401k to figure out how to loan myself fund which will be required because I am putting 10% down.  With all of that going on I think the hardest part will be getting my stuff packed up and moved out to DC.  Move in date is any time after 3PM on April 26th.  Not much time.

Personal Life

Non existent.  Well that's not true.  Heading to a party tonight and I think I will head to the roommate's for Easter.  Also, I will be attending opening day at Dodger Stadium next week. 

I took some pictures over the last week.  I think I'll upload them into a separate post for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Schedule for next week

It looks like I will be back in CA next week which is nice. I fly in tomorrow for the weekend, working in LA Monday, up to SF Tuesday through Thursday then back to LA next Thursday night. It will be good to be back in CA for a bit. Lets hope I get a little sunshine.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

First offer is in

An offer is in for 933 18th St NW, DC. The offer is $520k with 10k for closing costs. I should hear tomorrow from the seller.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The LA to DC part is happening

Today was a long day out looking at properties in the DC metro area.  Specifically I looked in Falls Church, Arlington/Ballston, and DC/Dupont Circle.  They are all very different areas and as expected I found a place that I like in all three ares.  So here they are.  If you are wondering the aren't ranked in any order.  Right now I am torn between the two condos.  I need to make the call tonight.

1121 N Vermont St, Arlington VA
Ask price: $575K
Sq-Ft: 1504, 3 levels, 2bed/2.5bath, 2 car parking, deck
Pros: Next to the metro, In a nice young area with parking and the deck is cool.
Cons: It went on the market today and all ready has 2 offers and I've and it's not quite DC

840 Monroe St, Falls Church VA
Ask price: $519K
Sq-Ft: 1310, Finished Basement, 3bed/2bath, Screen in patio, deck
Pros: Cool hour is nice neighborhood.  Lots of space for people to visit
Cons: Not close to metro and married couple/mommy central

840 Monroe St, Falls Church VA
Ask price: $535K
Sq-Ft: 1000, 2bed/2bath, Recent Updates
Pros: Cool area of DC and really urban setting, Close to metro and walk everywhere
Cons: No parking and small

The final count down

It's Saturday morning and I'm jumping on the metro in 30 minutes to meet my agent for a house hunting extravaganza. I must admit, I am pretty nervous about this one. Last night there was a work happy hour and I was excited about the prospect after talking to some coworkers and having some beers. This morning it's back to that same old feel of why?  The plan is to look at about 10 houses in 3 areas. Arlington, crystal city, and dupont circle. The first two N VA and the last is in DC for those that are keeping track. My next post will be a big one with the outcome of today and a bunch of pictures.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Jersey..... The Garden State?

After driving across NJ over the last week all I have to say is that it's brown and dreary this time of year. Not much sunshine at all. Oh we'll,  Im at the airport waiting for my flight to dc to to buy a house.

And by the way, my flight has been delayed. That's 0/4 for flights being on time for those keeping score!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

No Jet Lag Here

Like the title says jet lag hasn't been a problem.  I've been sleeping like a baby come 11pm.  I guess that's what happens when you take the red eye and don't get into a bed for 48 hours.

It's the beginning of day 3 and I am starting to learn the rhythms of the project a bit.  the standard at this point seems to be about a 12 hour day.  Most people get in around 8am and leave some time around 8pm.  I'd imagine when it really gets down to crunch time those hours will extend a bit.  It's not that bad when you consider you get to go home on Fridays although I'm sure I'll be working a bit on Fridays too. 

The bad part is that I have yet to make it to the gym.  The reality is that I am going to have to do it in the AM.  I have just struggle to motivate myself to get out of bed.  I have a plan in the works though.  I've been in contact with a local crossfit gym.  Stay tuned for updates on that front.

So what about the project?  We have our kickoff meeting next Wednesday so until that happens things will be a little slow.  At this point all about learning what you can and doing random tasks.

The Bad News....  not much.  I guess maybe that I haven't been to the gym at all.

The Good News...  The project is going to nave me traveling to a bunch of different airports over the next weeks to see their operations first hand.  I think this is pretty cool.  Especially when you look at the list of airports.  Most are in warm weather locations including LAX.  I will know more after the kickoff next week.

Hello Snow Storm!  (Monday Night)

Monday, March 18, 2013


It's snowing.  Where's my board?  Oh ya,  this is Jeresey, there aren't any mountains.  Bummer

My Agenda the Next Two Weeks

So what's my upcoming two weeks look like? 

Jersey through Thursday, DC on Thursday night, in the office on Friday with a NCAA tourney happy hour after work, house hunting Saturday, back to Jersey on Monday, then back to LA on Thursday the 28th.
Well, I finally made it to the client site and I am definitely feeling the red eye.  I think it should be renamed black eye in my case though because I look like I have 2 black eyes right now.  I did get as much sleep as possible of the plane though.  I am thinking I got about 4 hour last night.  Not bad, not great.  I can say that the noise canceling headphones are worth the $300 I spent on them.  I feel like I've all ready gotten my moneys worth.

So... on to the good and the bad.

The Good...
I am finally here although I am not really sure what I will be working on.  I have a meeting with my manager this afternoon.  Also I get early checking at my hotel.  It was nice to lay down for a bit and take a shower before I came in.

Great form! I want one too!

The Bad....  Why is this always longer
I guess I'll start with a mellow St. Pats day.  It was to get out but not to fun to watch the roomie pound out the beer bong without being able to join in. (picture coming soon :) ). 

What else,  the cab didn't know how to get to LAX for Porto which was odd.  On the way to the airport I look up at my phone to notice a plane flying overhead as we seep towards Playa del Rey.  One U-turn later we were back on track.  Also the flight was late of course.  Only 15 minutes this time but still late.  Right now I am 0/2 for flights leaving on time.  On the bright side the guy sitting next to me what the sleeves optional type.  Really?  Who doesn't wear sleeves on a red eye to Jersey.  It's 25 degrees here and supposed to snow!  At least he only smelled half as bad as he looked.

In summary, I am on site, Jersey is cold and dreary, and I am tired.  Time for lunch.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Northrop, The gift that keeps on giving

So yesterday I received a nice little surprise in the mail from Northrop.  It was a nice little $1000 check for their ASPIRE system which is basically profit sharing.  I totally forgot that I was eligible for it.  When I still worked there I found ASPIRE to be a bit of a joke.  Lets be serious.  a 1% bonus isn't going to make anyone work harder.  Especially when no one has gotten a real rase in 3 years.

Oh well.  I'm happy to have it and I am guessing this is one of the last years they do it?

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Good News, The Bad News, Or The Other Bad News

So, it's 8 pm and I'm sitting in SFO waiting for my flight.  I guess that's the life of a consultant.  It's been a busy day so where to start.  I guess with the the good news.

The Good...

The visit to the SF office went well.  The office is on the edge of the financial district and from the 18th floor has some great views.  It was good to do some networking with the SF peeps too.  The reality is that if I every want to return to CA as a part of ATK it's going to be as a part of the SF office.  The stronger I can build that network the better.  The day started off slow but it was good to sit through the all hands and hear what's going on. 

The over arching theme of the day was health.  At 3:30 one of the principles tried to make Kale smoothies for the office.  Not surprising they tasted like a grass field smells.   Luckily there were a couple of bottles of Grey Goose in the office freezer so smoothies quick turned into cocktails. 

After some drinking in the office I headed to happy hour with 2 coworkers.  After two minutes in the bar it became clear there was some serious sexual tension going on between the two of them.  Can you say awkward and third wheel three times.

The Bad...

I am now sitting in SFO waiting for my flight but.... it is delayed by 3.5 hours!  Really!  Who delays a flight by 3.5 hours  I could rent a car and drive.  I guess I should have voted for that hi-speed train last year.  My flight now departs at 11:45 PM.  Technically this day trip turned into a 2 day trip.  Time to download a movie and rock the $300 Bose headphones I bought this week.

More Bad...

My flight is schedule for New Jersey on Sunday night but there is no work to be done.  My project has been pushed another week.  It's a little frustrating that it has been pushed twice now.  I am ready to start all ready.  Oh well, another week of Kickball.  If they want to pay me all this money to sit on my ass that is there business.

Here's to the weekend and getting back to LA... eventually.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day trip to SF for drinks? Sounds good to me!

So today I got some random fun news.  It looks like I am heading to San Francisco for the monthly all hands and happy hour.  I guess that's one of the cool perks of the job, flying across the state for what will basically be some food and drinks.  Flight leaves at 8:00 am for SF and I get back to LA around 9 PM.  Then I get a day and a half before I'm on the red-eye to Jersey.

On a serious side I am looking forward to meeting the people in the SF office and doing some networking.  After this trip I should have met most of the west coast Private Sector folks.

Finally Assigned. Off to Jersey

Well, today I finally received my first assignment. It looks like I'm going to be heading to New Jersey for 10 weeks.  Seeing as I'm still located in Manhattan Beach, this is going to be quite a commute.  I've been told that I'm supposed to be in New Jersey by Monday in the a.m. I'm guessing I'm going to have to leave sometime on Sunday to make that happen.  Taking the redeye might be the best option for me because that way I can preserve as much of my Sunday as possible.   Hopefully if I do decide to do the redeye, I can do business class. It technically is within our company policy for such a long flight.

Now that I'm going to be traveling, I guess it's time to start looking for place in DC too. I'm thinking Northern Virginia is actually where I'm going to end up. Most likely Arlington.  I need to decide pretty quick whether Im going to look at places that weekend or the following weekend. The problem with this weekend is this short turnaround, and that its St. patties day.  I'd much rather be hanging out the beach drinking green beer and looking for places in DC.  I guess I should really just be an adult, and look for a house instead of getting drunk.

I'm off to book my travel!!!