11 May 2009

Buffalo NY: ASES 2009!

My God, things have been hectic!

Lion King finished up the 1st week of May. Been back and forth between that, and another (100% fucked) job that really...I don't know how a job could get any worse...plus more PV calls coming in so I'm really hoping that I'll be able to start installing solar arrays full time coming up soon.

In the meantime, I'm attending ASES 2009, a solar power conference put on by the American Solar Energy Society. It's my 2nd year here, and I've got classes and seminars up the yin-yang but I absolutely love it. (Except the flight in, but I'll get to that later.) This time last year so much of the industry was still foreign to me, and now I'm finding that some of it is actually a review for me. What's strange is that guys with 10 years field experience are just learning the theory I learned before I touch a module for the first time. It's ego-boosting and humbling at the same time.

I went to Niagara Falls, and got pics of the falls and of the Nicola Tesla statue (I'm a geek, I know)...gonna head to Anchor Bar later in the week, and see what there is to see. I'm actually staying with a friend in a small town right outside Buffalo, but it saves me tons of money, plus I get to see her little town after hearing about it for like 5 years. I forgot to bring the cord to connect the camera to my laptop to get my pics on here so I'll have to do it when I get back but still...some good ones. :)

Okay my flight: I left Friday morning, and it started getting really turbulent sometime after we passed the Rockies -- which were amazing by the way. And it went from regular turbulent to OMG turbulent, where the it felt like a roller coaster and the pilot was like, "Um...we just called Chicago O'Hare and they said it's even worse to Cleveland so we're going to divert." So we diverted. Then undiverted. Then diverted, then snuck over to Cleveland anyway (like the storm wouldn't see us??), then waited, then waited...and waited...then we were going to connect straight to Buffalo, then they decided against it and we went to Newark (what a shitty little airport!) and after running from one gate to the next I barely made it to my connection to Buffalo and landed only an hour after I was originally supposed to. I think. Time zones are a bitch. And I slept for about 15 straight hours and awakened to a supposed "springtime" that felt more like a "dead of winter in Vegas" to me, but aside from all that...I've had a blast so far. :)

Oh, but I will say that the airline food I had was seriously above par. Kudos to scientific advances in that area because honestly, I've never in my life had better raisin bran, and that really says something.

03 May 2009

Lion King FTW!

Since the first week in January I've been on the remodel crew at Mandalay Bay, turning Mamma Mia! Theatre into Lion King Theatre. It was actually pretty demanding; the as-builts were completely wrong, for instance, since in-house apparently came in to change things as was needed and their version of as-builts didn't match what the architects gave us. I was in charge of turning over the dressing rooms, and I re-routed so many circuits, it isn't funny...and in one particular dressing room, not even ten minutes after I signed it over, it was decided that all the vanities were moving to opposite walls. This included the lighting and power circuits. It was maddening.

However, it was a good experience, nothing like the monotony of building towers that comprised much of my apprenticeship. I even liked coming to work, though alot of that had to do with who I was working with and working for. (My foreman, in his own words, is both firm and fair. I quite appreciate it.) But it came with an added bonus: comp tickets for a matinee show today.

Usually, when a theatre is turned over, the general foremen and foremen get comp tickets to see the show on a soft opening or final dress rehearsal. However, for whatever reason, Disney saw fit to give tickets to each person who worked on the project, plus a guest. I took my husband, of course. :) I was actually really surprised, since it's incredibly rare that we, as construction workers, are ever recognised; however, right before the show started, Thomas Schumacher (president of Disney's Theatrical Group) came on stage and thanked us for our hard work and dedication. It was really amazing.

But not as amazing as the show!

"Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba!..."
I'd always adored the beginning of "Lion King": the Zulu chant, the animals making their way to Pride Rock...all of it. The full 3 minutes or whatever it is. So much so, that often I'd put in the DVD, watch that part, then take it out, as the rest of the movie has always been mediocre to me. But this show...somehow was a seamless African-themed Noh drama. Just breathtaking. And oddly, the character I liked least in the animated version -- Rafiki -- is now my favourite. I know it's going to sound girly, but I cried during the opening and ending. Just the beauty of it. I felt very close to Ogoun then...

Disney's Lion King: Las Vegas will open to the public in about a week, so far as I understand it. It's incredible, the cast here is vibrant and the theatre is basically new, since we basically rebuilt it from an empty shell. Mamma Mia! Theatre was, quite realistically, annihilated. So when in Vegas, check it out at Mandalay Bay...and try to get a lower level seat, there's all kinds of action that takes place in the aisles from time to time. I won't ruin it. :)

25 April 2009

Photos from work.

The job I'm on is completely fucked. The following pics are not the reasons; they're the results.

Sexxxy dance!
He asked that I don't reveal his identity, and that's why I used the neck-down approach. Basically I was treated to a homoerotic pole dance, without the pole.

Skillz yo!
My apprentice Sam put his hoisting and rigging skills to good use; our Gatorades made it to the roof safely.

14 April 2009


Earlier today I attended the dedication ceremony of the new wind turbine at the Electrical JATC, the same from which I graduated nearly a year ago. It kinda transforms that apprenticeship hall into a renewables hub, what with the four solar arrays that were installed a few years ago as well. Senator Harry Reid was present, and tons of journalists. I was massively underdressed, since I came straight from work, but it was (gratefully) overlooked.

Wind power isn't my deal, I'm a dedicated solar whore, but it was still cool. In fact, our JATC's wind turbine was the first wind system in the state of Nevada to receive a rebate from NV Energy under their WindGenerations program; that makes it a little extra awesome.

I'll try to get a photo up soon...it's just your run-of-the-mill SkyStream turbine but to me it's exciting. :)

11 April 2009

Good day.

Well, I still have a job, for now. It's a good thing. Lion King has started rehearsals amd the performers are in and out of the theatre. We just try to make ourselves scarce. Either way, it's a paycheck.

I get to help mount a solar array tomorrow--yes, I'm aware it's Easter. We'll start with mounting the Unirac system and I'd really like to get some modules up, as well. The job might carry into next week but if the bulk of it's done tomorrow, then that gives me time before class starts up again. There's only a week or two we (as instructors) have between classes. Three days a week, for five hours each time, for 6-7 weeks is hard on anybody.

Since I'm attending ASES in Buffalo this year, I'll be out of town on Mother's Day. I worked it out with my mom and we did Mother's Day today. It was really nice: no drama, totally relaxing. We went to the International Market and really, I love it there. Not only food from all areas of the planet but dishes, furniture, clothing. I can literally spend hours there. (And today, we did.)

So a lovely relaxing day...I miss those. I don't forget, however, that life is good nonetheless. Amazing, sometimes.

03 April 2009

A little help from my iPhone...

So yeah. I've been über-busy lately. Aside from working my regular job (which, right now, is at the new Lion King Theatre at Mandalay Bay), I've started teaching classes in photovoltaics. A little extra cash helps in a time where work in construction has pretty much dried up completely for now. But also, I'm rarely home; there's no access to computers on my jobsite and although the JATC has computer access, it's restricted and honestly, I couldn't teach and blog at the same time anyway.

Enter the iPhone.

I downloaded an app called "iBlogger" which supposedly will let me blog via my iPhone...this is the test post and if it works, I'll be far more regular at posting again. The posts will likely be shorter, since I can really only type with one finger on this thing, but now the newest iPhone update allows a copy and paste function so...

Basically, I'm hoping this works so I can get back into blogging. I've seriously missed it.

Here goes nothing!

12 March 2009

Our PV class in the news!

Just a few hours ago, NBC Nightly News came in to film our photovoltaics class, as a national model in the renewables industry. It was really exciting. Cliff (my apprenticeship study-buddy) was interviewed; he's currently unemployed and the interview had to do with how taking solar classes is expected to help him gain and keep employment as an electrician. Snow was teaching, and he just happened to be going over the formula for sizing a PV system, so it looked extra impressive.

For anyone who wants to see the story, it'll air on MSNBC this Saturday. :)

Edit: You can find the video here. Enjoy!

26 January 2009

Yeah. It's been over a month.

Somewhere in between working some overtime, extending the photovoltaic class by a week, a site survey, a job transfer, the need to switch from Coumadin to Lovenox, and life in general, I got drastically ill--likely due to exhaustion--and fell behind on blogging. Now I only need to edit my half-written posts, peppered with misspellings and completely devoid of capital letters and punctuation, and then I can publish.

I intend to get back into blogging pretty regularly again; my apologies for falling off the face of the planet and many thanks to those who checked in every once in awhile, and left comments. :)

Soon, I'll be up to date very soon...

16 December 2008

School-related stuff.

Firstly, I've been put in charge of testing, in a roundabout way. I grade the exams, and from those exams, I take the most-missed questions and am currently forming a massive pop quiz. More like a pop exam. Now, these tests (including the pop exam) don't count for grades, they only serve to show the instructors and students what is lacking as far as given information goes. For instance, nearly half the class is confusing a string with an array. That's going on the pop exam. Unfortunately, I'll be grading them as well, so I'm sure that'll eat up an entire Saturday. Ah well.

Some other stuff too...There are other conventions coming, ReTech in February (in Vegas) and a CPV--or, concentrated PV--convention in San Diego sometime soon as well. Not sure I can swing another San Diego trip when ASES is in Buffalo this coming May. (Speaking of which, I need to get a new passport so I can go to Niagara Falls!) Just too many travel expenses. We'll see what happens; this could all hinge on whether I pass the NABCEP exam. Luckily, NABCEP is being proctored locally in March, so not only can I save big as far as travel, but I have more study time.

Completely unrelated, Logan's been around more. I've missed him. I hope he intends on coming back in a more permanent fashion sometime soon. We'll see, I guess...he's disappeared before. Maybe if I let it be known that Molly and Niven will be in charge of holiday care packages, he'll make his presence known... :)

13 December 2008

Wish I'd been that brave.

I don't have too many regrets throughout my life, because I've learned that every experience--even the less than stellar ones--can serve to mold us and make us better, stronger, more resilient. However, the few regrets I do have center mainly of events before I was adopted. (Otherwise called the Before years. Easier for me to identify that way.) I've been told I shouldn't have regrets, that I was adopted at age 14 and anything I might find I regret can't be my fault, since I was, in essence, a child. And I understand that in an intellectual sense. I also understand that I'm looking back at those events with an adult mind that's capable of forming adult solutions.

Mais parce que j'ai été élevée de cette façon, puis j'ai connu seulement ce type de vie. Mon enfance était normal, et quand j'ai suspecté qu'il ait été erroné, je me suis forcée à le feindre étais encore okay. Néanmoins, j'ai été punie pour parler trop, et j'ai gardé des secrets. Parfois cela a signifié que d'autres enfants ont été blessés. C'était nécessaire...un cercle répugnant de la vie. J'ai peur: je souhaite que je pourrais échapper à cette vérité mais après 20 ans, je ne peux pas encore me cacher. Un certain jour que la porte ouvrira, et avec tant tristesse je sais que il n'y a pas assez de punition dans le monde pour ce que j'ai fait.