Hello all, John Here.

It’s been a while, so I figured I probably should post something…

School is almost over!  Yeah!  Wow, long 16 months, but I finally completed my Bachelor’s Degree, only 18 years later than I should have.   Not entirely sure about grades yet, probably won’t see them until end of next week for sure, although I do know I have passed both classes, and will graduate.  I really do hope I did well enough to grab A’s in both, as I will be severely depressed if I miss the 4.0 GPA, but the good news is I only had 5 credits this session (1/2 semester) and coupled with all the credits in my program even if I received C’s in both classes (highly doubtful) I wouldn’t drop my GPA low enough to not graduate Summa Cum Laude.

The tough part is now finding a job.  I have been applying to everything remotely close to my field, even if it means a major step down.  My goals are pretty simple, something outside of transportation, and something that will allow me to pay back the $29,702 that I had to borrow in terms of student loans.  This isn’t the “cost effective” choice in school, and all done and totaled up ended up costing over $41,000.00 for 5 semesters of classes.  Crazy.

Overall, I think I am happy with DeVry, and would recommend them, and will most likely seriously consider Keller when I decide to go to grad school.  I would like to do that, however, the Return on Investment at this stage is pretty questionable, and honestly, I need a break.  In fact, I am a little surprised my attention span held out this long, and if it wasn’t for the structure and short class periods, I am not sure I would have completed it.  I really did like the format and structure of DeVry, the 8 week classes were intense, but kept the pace going fast enough I didn’t loose focus.  Yes, there are lots of things I didn’t like, but as most of you know, I am a pretty critical person, and could find something to bitch about in any school!

So, I have been scouring job boards, craigslist, and several large Des Moines area companies in search of that first job.  I have found some interest, and even had an offer from the trucking company in Marinette, WI.  I turned the offer down, which I of course question, but the bottom line was the offer wasn’t good enough to make me want to change my mind about changing careers.  I may have a different opinion if I am still unemployed a couple months from now, but the fact is I did this to get out of trucking, and expand my horizons, surround myself with people and “things” that interest me, and sadly, transportation has lost it’s appeal.  I do have a phone interview setup for next Tuesday, and had one this week as well, so hopefully someone will snatch me up.

Outside of that, we have an apartment opening up, and I have been showing ours in place of that.  The current tenant is leaving at the end of the month, so we are doing what we can to get ready to flip it.  We have had a lot of lookers, and a couple applications thus far.  I will hopefully be able to close the application window soon, and make a decision.

Sometimes I question paying for the management software we use for the building, as it is a small monthly fee, and I mostly just use it for it’s accounting functions, however, it has really proven itself for the application process.  It has a very nice integrated background/credit check tool that works quite well.

Internet– ARGH.  We have been having problems again with our CenturyLink DSL.  We have there 40/5 meg plan, which is the best you can get here in WDM, and most of the time it is awesome, until it isn’t.  Seems that about every 2 months we have this period where the modem freaks out, and doesn’t like to stay connected very long.  Another call to tech support, and finally got someone who is in this country, and was open to hearing my frustrations…  They sent a tech out to check the lines.  All was good with the lines, but it was good to talk to the tech.  Our switch it literally just across the street, and it is fiber up to the switch, and then VDSL2 to the house. The tech gave me his cell number and said to call him direct if we had any more problems, but he didn’t see any line problems.  He thought it might be our surge protector, so over the weekend, I left it plugged directly into the wall.  No help.  Then I started monitoring the modem status pages a little more closely.  Just before it would crash I noticed that the Modem’s Ram was at it’s limit.  Called him today, and he brought out the newest updated modem, which does have 8 megs more ram in it, and it seems to be better tonight, but I am sure with our usage it is a short term solution.  I decided to bite the bullet and bought a separate router for the home network.  I wanted to get one that matched the Cisco gigabyte switch I bought a few months ago, so I went with the Cisco WRVS4400N, which is a Gigabyte 4 pot router and wireless N device.   The plan is once it arrives to put the modem in bridge mode, and let the router handle the internet traffic, and the switch to handle our internal LAN.  This way the load will be spread over three devices, and all three with their own purpose, as well as all three having gigabyte speed up to the internet connection.  Hopefully my plan works out.  The Switch and Router are Cisco’s small business line, which are basically Linksys designs, and while they are far from pro-grade stuff, they are cost effective, but yet get better reviews than most consumer grade appliances.  I do like the linksys interfaces, and web accessible controls, as the pro grade stuff all uses command line interfaces, and can be a real bugger to configure.    Looping back to school– one of the best classes that I took (that I whined constantly about while I was taking it) was the Networking course.  It gave me a much better understanding of how the internet really works, and how net traffic flows through our devices.

Anyhow, I am sure I bored you enough!  Derek says hello, and that he is working too many hours trying to get a project wrapped up.

Have a good night, and I promise, I’ll try to post more often!


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