“I feel important, just like a king…”

May 30, 2015, 12:49 PM

So today is my birthday.  I am officially 34 years old.  I rang my birthday in doing one of the things that I always enjoy doing, i.e. driving the bus, and watching out for Virginia drivers (yes, Virginia drivers are, by far, the worst drivers in this area as far as I’m concerned).  Then I took my birthday as a floating holiday, so I don’t have to work my birthday (yaaaaaay!).

But at the beginning of my workday on Friday, my friend Elyse met me at the location on the street where I pick up my first bus, and gave me a birthday card.  Check it out:


And of course, I immediately made sport of the grammatical error in the handwritten message.  But no worries – I did it with a smile, so it’s all in good fun.  Then down at the bottom is an Edwards Integrity fire alarm horn/strobe, like they have at work.

And all in all, 33 wasn’t a bad year.  Things really got turned around after a pretty crappy 32.  After all, when I turned 32, I was working in an office for an organization full of special snowflakes.  As that job dried up, I went hunting for new sources of income.  While I initially was going after more of the same, i.e. more nonprofit work, I realized that my heart just wasn’t in it, and that it would be pretty meaningless work.  Thus I got a commercial driver’s license, and went in search of transit jobs.  32 ended with my being offered a job with a major regional transit agency, and starting their onboarding process.  Then after I turned 33, I got offered a job at a second, more locally-oriented transit agency as a fallback, just in case the regional agency fell through for whatever reason.  Everything resolved well, with my beginning training with the regional transit agency, and politely telling the local agency “thanks, but no thanks”.  I “grew out my beard” quite well at work, and completed my probationary period.  Now, as I begin 34, I have job security in a union environment, a plan for career progression, and most importantly, I’m having fun every day at work.

Then I also had lots of fun outside of work while 33.  I went to the Outer Banks for the first time since high school, power washed a bunch of stuff at my parents’ house, and engaged in much geekery.

And I got a resolution to what made me sick a few months ago – so sick, if you recall, that I blew out a few blood vessels in my eyes.  My body will no longer tolerate coffee.  I’m sure that the aforementioned special snowflakes at the nonprofit, who were too delicate to deal with real coffee, are shocked about it, considering how I always started my day with some very strong coffee.  I kept that up for bus driving, and then all of a sudden, on March 28, my body said no more, and I got sick.  I replaced my coffee and the equipment, and the first cup with new equipment made me feel bad.  Even 7-Eleven coffee made me feel funny.  So that was it.  The new equipment went back to the store, and I gave whatever coffee I had left to my friend Melissa.  And I soon realized something else: I don’t miss coffee.  I am just as perky as ever, and can get along just fine without the massive amounts of caffeine that I was taking in before with my morning coffee.

However, with all of the driving that I’ve been doing as of late, I feel as though I’ve been neglecting the website.  While I still update the photo feature and splash photo on a regular basis (weekly and monthly, respectively), the Journal has only been getting 2-3 entries a month as of late.  I’m all for quality over quantity, and my Journal entries are a lot longer than they used to be and have much higher production values, but I think I can do better than the current level.

I also have a backlog of miscellaneous photos that stretches back six months as of this writing, and I’ve been trying to work through that for my Flickr and Panoramio pages.  I also want to revamp the Online Store, to make one store for swag, and another for photo licensing, in order to make the licensing work more self-service.  Currently, it’s “contact me to discuss pricing”, and that doesn’t really work well.  Too many places wanting are all, “Oh, we’ll give you credit!” while asking to license my work for commercial use.  My usual mental response to that is, “F— you, pay me,” as I ask them to give me a number for what they will pay to license the desired image.  I never hear back from them, and that’s fine.  If they just want to take advantage of me for free material, then they can go pound sand, and find some other sucker to swindle out of images for their for-profit publications.  Then of course, I also need to do a good photo shoot, which I haven’t done in a while.  I haven’t produced a proper photo set in far too long, and I need to.

And then I also want to refresh the design of the website.  I’ve been on the current design since October 2012 with a minor update to things in August 2013.  I like the way it looks now, but I think it’s time for a change.  Not sure where I want to go with that yet, but we’ll see.

So there you have it, I suppose.  Now it’s time to make 34 the best year possible.