Archive for 2006

    Knackered Knee

    Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

    Its been 2 weeks and my knee has been gradually getting better, still wouldn’t pass any fitness tests though. I’ve been on the 800mg ibuprofen and for the last few days been cutting down on it but it’s just meant that since I cut back there’s more soreness. Still nowhere near playing sports again, not decided yet whether or not to go back for more scans.

    Job hunt is still ongoing, I think everyone is biding their time and will all call to offer me an interview at the same time.

    Trip to the doctor’s

    Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

    I had my first job interview the other day, was invited back for a 2nd interview but it was selling insurance benefits to companies which isn’t really me but at least its a start in meeting employers.

    I made my first visit to an American doctor today, it was a lot easier than the NHS! Brenda has health insurance through her job so I went along and had to pay the $10 fee to see a doctor. In 35 minutes I saw the triage nurse, had a few x-rays on my knee and saw a doctor and left. I hurt my knee a year ago throwing a ball and I agitated it playing tennis the other day – it seems I sprained my medial collateral ligament. Got to rest it for a couple of weeks and if its not better go back for an MRI to see how badly the ligament was stretched.

    The ibuprofen is starting to kick in now so its not so bad. The most annoying thing was that I had finally got back into exercising regularly!

    Permanent Residency

    Thursday, June 15th, 2006

    I got a “Welcome to the United States of America” letter from the immigration people today telling me that my application for permanent residence has been approved. At this point I don’t think it really makes much difference to my everyday life other than the fact that I have to carry an permanent resident ID card with my everywhere I go. I have just over 2 years until I can apply to be a US citizen but I’ll look into that closer to the time – I think it will let me move more freely between the US & UK as currently I need to spend a certain percentage of my time here otherwise I’ll lose my status.

    In the football today the commentators seemed to get all the player’s names correct but they went very quiet when they showed shots of the player’s wives & girlfirends, I don’t think they had a clue who they were. They did say however, that getting booked for timewasting was a waste and they should save the cards for a professional foul.

    I think ESPN have been getting complaints about their coverage, they didn’t show any of the national anthems until it came to the USA game, then they went to a commercial break straight after the US anthem so we didn’t have to sit and listen to the Czech anthem. It seems that some people found this a little offensive and they have started to show the full anthems, added nicely to the build up to today’s game.

    Excitement is building amongst the pundits who keep saying how badly the US did on Monday and then are upbeat saying they can still beat Italy. I just hope they don’t go back to US ‘sports’ stop showing all the games after they get beaten again.

    US World Cup coverage

    Monday, June 12th, 2006

    Its been an interesting start to the TV coverage of the world cup, the first build up show is on today as a run up to the first US game, all the others start 5 minutes before kick off and more than 4 of those minutes are ads. The main commentator, ESPN’s answer to Motty is a baseball commentator who’s never commentated on football before the tournament. So far he’s done well recognising players but spends most of the time spouting irrelavant facts, almost as if he doesn’t know what else to talk about. During the England game (he did call us Germany at one point) he mentioned how popular Michael Beckham is in England. Fortunately the commentators all have an ex-pro as co-commentator so at least there’s usually one person who has some idea of what they are talking about.

    Today’s USA match should be an interesting one, the commentators keep talking about what a great oportunity the US have to beat European opposition on European soil. At half time in the Oz v Japan game the analyst was saying that it will all be about the goalkeepers and the US will do well as he believes Kasey Keller is a better keeper than “Peter” Cech.

    I am grateful that I don’t have to watch all the matches on the internet with Chinese commentary though!

    Internet connections

    Monday, June 5th, 2006

    I’ve been having a lot of connection problems recently. Last weekend the router stopped working for 4 days because of settings on the modem, I don’t know why the modem decided to change its settings but it succeeded in frustrating me for a long weekend. I was so relieved when I fixed it and then Friday evening the line went down for a couple of hours. I tried to log on to watch the England v Jamaica game on Saturday (having woken up at 5.45am to do so) and found that the modem stopped working again and would work even with a restart. I spent the entire duration of the match on the phone to Verizon which ended in them telling me they’d send me a replacement modem. I thought I’d try resetting the modem today and it all seems fine, I do hate the modem though.

    In other news my free copy of the new Tomb Raider game has arrived (its a bundle with my new graphics card) but I can’t install it yet as it requires 10gb of hard drive space. I remember when Doom 2 was released it was regarded as a huge game at 12mb.

    Oh and its hot here, really hot. As in 95-100 degrees every day. Looks like summer has arrived just in time for the World Cup – only 4 days to go!

    Job fairs

    Thursday, May 25th, 2006

    The job fairs were a little disappointing. The first one I went to was mainly manual labour – building work and driving trains and I don’t think I could cope with getting my hands dirty. Still, I found a couple of companies recruiting for IT so I handed out some resumés. The second one looked like it would be better but in fact the first room (I thought out of three rooms) was the only room and I only got rid of one resumé. Pretty much the best thing I got from that one was a pen that lights up and I had to feign interest in a job in the railroads to get that.

    I think there is a bigger fair coming up in a couple of weeks, people have been looking at the resumé on Monster but for now I think its back to looking through company websites.

    Busy Times

    Sunday, May 21st, 2006

    It’s been a while but I’ve been pretty busy during the last few weeks. Charlie popped over for a visit after his business trip to Florida and became the first passenger in my car when I picked it up. I’ve been driving all over the place, I’ve taken it out to LA a few times and we went to Vegas for a weekend where a fine time was had by all. I now have my advance parole, which means that if I leave the country I will be allowed back in and my permanent residency application has been forwarded to California to speed up the process, but they still say it will be about 270-300 days. Still I can do pretty much everything now that I will be able to do once I’m a permanent resident with a green card.

    The search for a job has started and I’m going to a careers fair on Tuesday to see what’s around, hopefully there will be plenty of IT companies wanting to hire mid-July, the day after the World Cup final would be great.

    Work permit

    Sunday, April 30th, 2006

    I finally got an email from the immigration services telling me that my application for a work permit has been approved. Now comes the fun part of finding jobs to apply for and going to interviews.

    In other news my car is now paid off and I’ve got to transfer it into my name, I’ll soon be driving around despairing at the mentality of other drivers again.

    Driving again

    Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

    I found out the other day that I am considered a visitor by the DMV (US equivalent of the DVLA) until my permanent residency papers come through. This means that I can use my UK license until then so I took my car out for a drive last night. Its quite a shock when the turbo kicks in if I leave my foot on the pedal too long in 2nd! The car has almost four times the horse power of my Fiesta and the whole thing feels great – I’m going to be getting a lot of driving done in the coming months!

    Sun burn

    Sunday, April 9th, 2006

    It seems that summer is on its way. I got my first sunburn yesterday, in fact I think its the first time I’ve been burned since being out here – I was constantly wearing sun cream when I arrived so I avoided it then. We put the top down on Brenda’s car while driving around, I was enjoying the sunny day and by the evening I had a glowing red face. Looks like I’ll be carrying around the sun cream with me now until about Novemeber!