November 5, 2008

My Effort To Make A Point

I know it was just one little vote but...

October 14, 2008

The End Of The Line...

I'll be brief here... I am done with this blog. I know I don't write much here anyway, but I just want to make it official that I will not be posting here anymore. I will not be taking the blog down as I may revive it someday, but rest assured that this is the last post you will see here for the foreseeable future.

September 29, 2008

A Thousand Words Indeed

Oh Barack, just when I thought I could not dislike you more you go and pull a stunt like this. Like the below picture hadn't already sealed my vote anyway...

August 7, 2008

I've Done A 180 On My 360

It has been a while, eh? If it makes you feel better, I haven't been writing much for my hockey blogs lately either. That doesn't make me feel better, but life goes on.

Part of the problem is that I have been really enjoying playing video games lately. At some point while Christa and the kids were in California my gaming hormones kicked in and I have been tapping my thumbs to the bone ever since. I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed gaming this much in a long time. Thankfully this period has coincided with a time when Christa is really engrossed in her BYU distance learning course, so I have more than enough free time to indulge myself once we get the kids in bed. I'm sure Christa thinks I am playing way too much right now, but this phase will pass. It always does.

One side-effect of my gaming renaissance has been that I have finally succumbed and decided to sign up for XBox Live gold service. This basically means that I will be able to play XBox online against other people. I have resisted doing this for a long time, largely because I subscribe to the theory that about 75% of the people on Live are not exactly the kind of people I want to play with/against (to put it nicely). I guess that's what the Friends list is for. In reality, there was one major reason why I decided to sign up for Live:

Once NHL 09 arrives in early September it is on! NHL 08 was by far the best hockey game ever and I am looking forward to this new feature to breathe some new life into hockey games. Now I'll just get to be my own guy playing with other people instead of just walking all over the CPU with the Penguins like I have been doing for about the last 16 years. I really can't wait.

I will also be able to play other games against people. I am guessing that I will probably stick to playing with people I know already instead of taking my chances on total strangers. Either way this should add a lot of value to some of my games and give me an outlet for some multiplayer gaming when I need it.

On a side note, I'm pretty stoked for the Olympics to get underway. All my feelings about the Games being in China aside, I really like the Olympics. I definitely lean towards the Winter Games, but the Summer Olympics are still fun. I look forward to being able to spend the next couple weeks watching the Olympics and blogging from the comfort of my couch. Good times.

July 8, 2008

The More Things Change... The More They Change

Just a semi-minor announcement to make. I am not going to be writing for RotoTimes again this season. I will however be writing some fantasy posts over at Going Five Hole during the season. You can read the whole drawn out story here if you want, but it basically amounts to the fact that I want to be able to have more freedom in my writing and to be able to focus more on my own blogs.

Things were definitely left on good terms though and I wouldn't be totally shocked if I ended up writing for RotoTimes again somewhere down the road. For me it just came down to wanting to be in more control of what and when I am writing and be able to take advantage of having more time now that I am done with school so that I can really see where I can take my blogs going forward.

July 3, 2008

WALL-E Is A Beaut-E!

So I took the girls to see WALL-E yesterday and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. It was just such a well done movie that it's hard to even know where to begin. Pixar has done it again.

The thing that caught me off guard the most, and I had read about this going in and I was still floored, was just how moving WALL-E is. You just can't help but care for WALL-E and EVE and their star crossed (literally) romance. I'm not exactly the most emotional guy, although by Yarbrough male standards I may be, but I have to admit that there was a little welling up going on at a couple points near the end of the movie. I have read a lot about what an adorable character WALL-E is, and he really is, but for me EVE was the star of the show. The way they used her character was amazing and I really felt like she was the one who really set the tone throughout the movie.

Bottom line, WALL-E is definitely in my Pixar Top 3. It's not quite up there with Nemo and it will take a couple more viewings to see if it comes out ahead of The Incredibles, but regardless it is an amazing movie. I am going to be hard pressed to find a better movie this year. Take your best shot Dark Knight!

June 22, 2008

So Where Were We?

Well, it has been a while eh? I think part of that has to do with the fact that I was starting to subconsciously associate my blog with the XBox ordeal and that whole situation was just getting to be too much for me. To wrap that whole saga up... UPS got my XBox back and promptly delivered it to me. Things were not resolved anywhere near how I would liked to have seen, but it got to the point where I was so tired of dealing with it that I didn't even care anymore. I have my XBox again and it works. That's enough for me at this point.

Another birthday and Father's Day have come and gone as well and both were great (despite the Red Wings taking a dump on my life the night before my birthday). Christa and the kids came and met me for lunch at work on my birthday, which was fun for them. It always amazes me what a kick they get out of coming to my work. I have to admit though, from a little kid point of view the NI campus is probably pretty cool. Plus my team showed up right before them with cake, so that never hurts.

Speaking of work... I've been at NI for about a month now and I am really enjoying it. I am on the WSO (Web Support Operations) team and I am fortunate to be working with a lot of very smart, capable people. My manager Tom is also great. We seem to have a lot in common in regards to our general philosophies about how work should be and I think we are going to work well together. So far there has been a lot to take in and some of it can be a little overwhelming at times, but at the end of the day I am being out in a position to analyze and solve a lot of different problems and I think that is what I am best at so it should be good. I am getting close to wrapping up my first project, and when I am done the NI forums will never be the same!

I finally figured out how to blow most of my birthday/graduation/RotoTimes money. At first I was planning to buy an ultra mobile PC (think mini-laptop), but then I decided that didn't offer enough value to me to warrant a $400-$500 investment. So instead, on Thursday I ordered one of these instead. Now I'll be able to play games in HD (which should be a big improvement), and we'll get our TV channels in HD now which will be nice. It was a little more than I planned on spending, but I was able to subsidize it a bit by dipping into my RotoTimes money a little more than originally planned.

Which brings us to RotoTimes... I spoke to my editor earlier this week and it looks like I will be back with them this season. They are still working out the format they want to use, but he gave me all indications that once things are squared away on their end, that if I want to write for them again, they want me back. Beyond that I am looking to kick things up a notch over at TOFTT and I have a new little side project as well. So I'll have plenty to keep me busy from a writing point of view. Which is a good thing.

I think that is everything for now. Christa and the kids are heading to California in a couple weeks. I'm sure Christa is looking forward to getting away from our record heat wave for a bit, and the kids can't wait to see their grandparents. It is never fun having them gone, but it will give me a chance to really pour a lot of time into my writing so it should at least be somewhat productive if nothing else.

June 6, 2008

Signed, Sealed, And Delivered

So I submitted my last RotoTimes article last night. I saved the best for last and got to write an article dedicated to my Penguins. I am slowly starting to get over the loss in the Finals, but the last abomination of a goal is going to haunt me to my grave. I genuinely feel bad for MAF and the boys.

Anyway, there are some other things going on that are starting to look up, but I don't want to write about it yet. Just know that things are better than they were a day ago in many ways.

June 3, 2008

My Microsoft XBox 360 Support Nightmare

As many of you know, I have been dealing with a very unhappy situation regarding my XBox 360 and Microsoft XBox Support. It has gotten pretty ridiculous the way I am being treated by them and how unreasonable they are. Things finally reached a boiling point last night and my (almost) last resort was to send this e-mail off to the Microsoft Customer Advocacy Group. It gives a pretty comprehensive history of the whole situation. Enjoy!

I am writing you in an attempt to resolve an ongoing problem that I have been having with Microsoft XBox support. My Xbox 360 got the 3 red lights problem in late April and was no longer working. I filled out the necessary claim online and proceeded to send my XBox 360 console to your service center once the shipping materials arrived. My console was fixed and shipped back out for delivery to my home. This is where the problems begin...

It was taking much longer than I expected for the package to be delivered to my home. I checked the package tracking online through the UPS website on 5/21 and was shocked to see that the package was listed as delivered on 5/19. This was very surprising to me since I had not received the package. Further examination of the tracking showed that the package had been delivered to the town of Dale, TX which is approximately 50 miles to the south of where I live. The tracking (which you can see for yourself by going to UPS tracking and entering the following tracking number: ## ### ### ## #### ### #) also showed that the address on the package was initially incomplete and that UPS had to correct it for delivery.

At that point I contacted Xbox support by phone and told them my situation. I was told to call UPS and confirm that the package had indeed been delivered and that they did not still have it. I called UPS phone support and they confirmed that the package had been delivered. I called XBox support back as instructed and told them that the package was no longer in UPS' possession. At that time the agent on the phone confirmed my address and said that they had the correct address in the system so there was "no way the package could have been incorrectly delivered". I was told that they would look into it and I would get a call back, but that I was probably going to have to file a claim with UPS as the agent on the phone insisted that your service center had shipped the package correctly. At that point I contacted UPS again to look into filing a claim and was informed that only the shipper could file a claim for the package and that I could not.

A few days later I got a call back from XBox support and was shocked with what I was told. The agent on the phone told me that they had contacted UPS and were told that I had called UPS and changed the delivery address myself, to have the package delivered to my office. I informed the agent that this was not the case. Not only was the address the package was delivered to not my place of work, but I had not contacted UPS at all, let alone to change the delivery in any way. The agent on the phone finally (after much discussion) agreed to investigate the matter further and that I would get a call back on either 5/25 or 5/26.

While waiting for the call back I contacted UPS to find out what kind of information a person would need to give in order to change the destination address of a package that was en route for delivery. I was told that only the shipper could change the delivery address of a package out for delivery. There was no possible way that I as the intended receiver could have changed the destination address.

After I had not received a call as expected I called XBox support again on 5/28 to try to find out what was going on. At this point I was told that the investigation was still ongoing and that I would be contacted by 6/2 as I had been previously told. At this point I informed the agent I was talking to that I was told I was going to be contacted by 5/26 at the latest. I also explained to the agent that I had talked to UPS and that it was not possible for me to have changed the delivery address for the package. I also told the agent on the phone that at that time I was no longer comfortable getting my original console back (in the event that it was recovered) due to the fact that it had been in the hands of strangers for nearly two weeks at that time. I stressed repeatedly that I wanted a replacement console due to complications in the delivery that were no fault of mine. The agent on the phone told me that there was nothing they could do but wait for a response to the e-mail that had been sent to the service center more than a week prior. I was told that they had no other method for contacting the service center and that they could not approve sending me a replacement console without permission from the service center. At that point I was assured that a note of my entire conversation that day, which was well over two hours long, would be made and that I would hear back by 6/3.

On 6/2 an XBox support agent called my home while I was at work and talked to my wife. The agent told my wife that they had concluded their investigation and determined that I had contacted UPS to change the delivery address and that they were going to take no further action to support my situation. They told my wife that I would need to deal directly with UPS to solve the problem. When my wife told the person on the phone, as I already had many times, that only the shipper could file a claim with UPS and that I could not the agent refused to discuss the matter with my wife. As she continued to try and talk over the situation with the agent on the phone she was again told that I needed to deal with UPS and when she again told the agent that I could not file a claim with UPS she was then hung up on by the agent on the phone. At this time my wife called me at work and told me about what had happened.

While on my lunch break I again called UPS to see if there was anything that I could do on that end and I was given some shocking information. First I was told that the problem with the package was that the address label did not have a street address on it. It had only my name, city, state, and zip code. I was then told that Microsoft had initiated a tracer to try to recover the package, but that they had only done so that very day (6/2). You can imagine my surprise as I had been told many times by multiple XBox support personnel that the investigation and recovery attempt had been initiated approximately two weeks prior. I was also told by UPS support that again, there was no way that I could have changed the delivery address for the package in this situation.

When I got home from work that evening I called XBox support again to attempt to straighten this matter out. I ended up talking to a "supervisor" who was extremely rude and refused to discuss the situation with me in a rational manner. After I described what had happened to her she told me that her notes showed that I had called UPS to change the delivery address and that there was nothing more Microsoft could do and that I needed to file a claim with UPS. When I explained to her all of the points that I have previously outlined in this e-mail she insisted that there was nothing that could be done and that I was at fault and needed to deal with UPS myself. When I informed her that the problem was caused by the service center not putting a street address on the shipping label she then told me that that was "not possible" and again refused to even discuss helping me in any way. After much effort on my part, and after her refusal to contact a UPS agent to discuss the matter with, I finally got her to look at the online package tracking. She then preceded to tell me that the entry on 5/16 said that I called to change the address. I told her that this was not the case and that it said that "The receiver's address is incomplete" because of the incorrect label. She told me that was not what it meant and went back to her stance that there was nothing more she could do and insisted that there was no way she could contact UPS to discuss it with them. I tried to continue to discuss the situation with her hoping that she would begin to listen to reason and at that point I was hung up on. It was very upsetting to me that I would be refused help in this situation despite the fact that your company is still attempting to either recover the package or be compensated for its loss by UPS, especially considering the fact that it was an error on the part of your service center that caused the problem.

At that point I tried to contact the normal Microsoft support line, which gave me the phone number to Microsoft Corporate, who then gave me this e-mail address to contact. I am hoping that this matter can be resolved in a timely manner as this whole situation has been very upsetting to me. I have been a loyal Microsoft customer for many years and have purchased many Microsoft products, including both iterations of the XBox console, but this whole scenario has left a very bitter taste in my mouth to the point that I would definitely not be inclined to purchase any more Microsoft products after seeing how Microsoft customers are treated. I don't feel that I am being unfair in wanting my XBox 360 console to be replaced and I feel that in light of recent events that that is the least that you can do to make this up to me. I hope that we can resolve this matter soon and in a way that all parties will find acceptable.

-Chris Yarbrough
Hopefully this will actually get me somewhere. If not, "7 On Your Side" will be getting a very similar e-mail from me.

May 20, 2008

Just Put A Bullet In My Head Already

Microsoft and UPS have conspired to lose my XBox. Actually, that's not true... they just decided to give it to someone else instead. I would go into more detail right now, but after wasting close to 2 hours on the phone with XBox support over the course of today I don't even have the energy.

But they've assured me that they're going to make it all better. Don't I feel relieved. This sucks!

May 7, 2008

Cue Alice Cooper!

I am done! I literally just submitted my last assignment and I am done. There's nothing left to do except strut across the stage and sit in traffic on the way home. It feels weird to finally say that I am actually done. I have been in school for so long now I really don't remember what it is like to not be in school. It is definitely going to take some time to decompress after all of this.

This last semester was really a challenge for me. Things started out well enough, and the whole NI saga gave me a bit of a boost, but then there was a big letdown that I never really shook and I was pretty much hanging on for dear life at the end. But I made it, passed all my classes, and can now finally get ready to start at NI, get back to being an adult, and more importantly get back to being the type of husband and father I really couldn't be for most of the last 4 years. It bums me out to think that I have been in school for Landon's whole life and virtually all of Kaylee's life too. I know I missed out on a lot (though not as much as I could have thanks to keeping school in its proper place on the ol' priority list), but I think this was a necessary process and I know the end result is worth it. Still, I'm looking forward to really being able to be there for Christa and the kids all the time.

For those of you keeping score, here were my grades for this semester:
  • American Lit - A
  • Program Translators - B
  • Computer Networks - C
  • Computer Architecture - TBD (My prof. assured me today that I passed. I could realistically get a B in this class, but I wouldn't be too shocked to see a C either. Who knows, maybe he'll shock the world and give me an A for being such a swell guy.)
Anyway, the deed is done. Thank you to all of you have have supported me, and more importantly Christa and the kids, over the last 4 years. I know it hasn't been easy for most of us, but we finally made it.

May 2, 2008

Well I Didn't Need That Tonight

My Xbox just got the Red Ring of Death. Not what I needed heading into finals week and then some actual time to wind down. Crap with a capital 'C'!!!

April 30, 2008

Let's Get A Couple Things Straight...

Yes, I am slowly starting to get excited about graduating. The amount of work I have left is still a bit daunting, but I have reached that point that I always get to where I realize that it will all get done and life will go on. So the end is in sight and all will be well.

Having said that...

I am a hundred times more excited about what the Penguins are doing right now then I am about graduation. I almost can't even explain it. I just love this team! And, without going into too much detail so as to avoid any type of a jinx scenario, let's just say that I am the biggest fan the Dallas Stars have right now. I'll leave it at that and let you all (or is it y'all?) do the math on that one.

April 28, 2008

I Have No Class

Nothing but finals left to attend. What? What did you think I meant?

April 21, 2008

One Shining Moment

For just a second there I was actually getting excited about graduating. Then I remembered how much work I still have left. GUH! At this point I'm more excited about the new Speed Racer movie than I am anything school related.

That should change by the end of this week though.

April 16, 2008

Best Prank Call Ever

Courtesy of Freaks & Geeks:

April 15, 2008

At Least I'll Get One Good Grade This Semester

I got an A in my correspondence Lit class. If I took one thing away from that class, it is that good writing skills make a nice substitution for reading. Or in other words, sounding like you know what you're talking about is more important than actually knowing what you are talking about.

In any case, all eyes on the countdown. And no, I am still not getting excited about graduation, so don't ask.

April 9, 2008

Mission Accomplished - Phase 1

Well, I finally wrapped up my correspondence Lit course when I took the final down in San Marcos today. That only took a year...

Anyway, the point is that the class is over and done with and there is one less thing in the world that I need to get done in the next 3-4 weeks. Which is a step in the right direction.

April 7, 2008

The World Can Suck Sometimes

The fact that my four year-old daughter is in tears because I have to teach/warn her about strangers is lame at best. It just kills me that there are people out there that are willing to harm children. I'm all about forgiveness, but people who do bad stuff to kids should be killed as slowly and as painfully as possible.

So yeah, there's your uplifting thought for the day...

April 2, 2008

The San Marcos Death March

Ugh! I am so drained right now it's not even funny. April may truly prove to be the death of me before all is said and done. I have progressed well beyond "burnt out" and into currently unseen territory. There's just nothing in the tank right now. I can't even explain it.

People continue to ask me if I am getting excited about graduation, and I try to down play the whole thing, but I really am not excited at all. I can't wait for it to come, but I am so filled with dread that I find myself wondering sometimes if it will. Perfect example... my announcements arrived yesterday. After opening the box and checking them out you would think I would be excited/giddy/whatever, but I was not. The first thought that went through my head was "How bad would it suck to screw this up now?" That is how my mind is working right now. I just keep feeling like something is going to come along to keep me from graduating and ruin everything. I know it's crazy, but that is how my mind is working right now, and I am so drained that I'm not performing up to my best in my classes and that just feeds into it more.

Doom and gloom, doom and gloom! I know that a month (give or take a couple days) from now I'll look back and laugh at all this, but in the meantime I'm probably going to be pretty miserable to be around. It's weird, I'm not stressed or depressed or anything like that, I'm just spent. Maybe after graduation I'll pull a Bilbo and run away to the mountains to finish my book.

Good times...

March 25, 2008

Senioritis Outbreak

I am so tired of driving down to San Marcos twice a week! It doesn't help that I'm going down there for one class and that it is a really boring class. This semester really can't end soon enough.

March 24, 2008

Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

So I turned in my acceptance paperwork to National Instruments today. I still need to go take a drug test and take care of a few other minor things before I start, but nothing major. It is soooooo nice to have this settled and dealt with you don't even know.

If only I could wrap up my classes so neatly and quickly.

March 9, 2008

Best Case Scenario?

So I had my day-long interview bonanza at National Instruments on Friday. The day started at 7:45 and proceeded as follows:
  • Meet host and have breakfast
  • Presentation about the company
  • 1-on-1 interview
  • Peer discussion with the other IT candidates and all of our hosts
  • Lunch
  • 1-on-1 interview (the dreaded technical one!!!)
  • 1-on-1 interview
  • Meet and schmooze with all the VPs in IT
  • HR benefits presentation
That all went up to 4:30, at which point I raced home to change and pick up Christa. We then met back up with my group (all the IT candidates and their hosts) at Buca Di Beppo. It was a pretty cool place. The food is served family style so we ordered 5 or 6 dishes for all of us (there were probably about 14 of us) and everyone shares and there was still plenty left over when all was said and done. After that we all went across the street to Dave & Buster's to hang out and play some games for a while. At one point I ran off about 8 wins in a row on the air hockey table. Good times!

At about 10:30 Christa and I decided it was time to call it a night and said our goodbyes to everyone and headed for the door. Jason (the main recruiter for IT and a Texas State alum) walked out with us and informed me that they are going to be making me an offer. They are going to put it together tomorrow and overnight it so it should be in my hands some time Tuesday. Obviously this was the highlight of the day since I really didn't expect to find out if I was going to be offered a job for at least a couple weeks. I was actually quite shocked that he told me right then and there. Definitely made for more lively conversation on the way home.

Overall the day was really enjoyable. The two behavioral interviews were pretty easy (the beauty of being an older/experienced graduate is that I have more stuff to draw upon for all their screwy questions). I think my favorite question that I got was "What was the most unique decision you ever made?" That one definitely caught me off guard and made me stop and think. The technical interview also went better than expected. I'm starting to come to the realization that I'm more technically competent then I generally give myself credit for and that I need to stop psyching myself out in anticipation of stuff like that. The biggest thing for me about the day is that the people were all great. If the people I met on Friday were an accurate sampling of the people working in IT at NI, then I would definitely feel at ease there. They were just a great group of (mostly) guys.

I don't really know what else to say right now. I'm just kind of in a holding pattern waiting for their offer. I really hope everything works out well because this is without question where I want to be working after graduation. Stay tuned...

February 18, 2008

Burning The Candle At Both Ends (In A Good Way)

So I had a phone interview with a different group within NI today. It was pretty general stuff and seemed to go fairly well. The dev teams don't actually hire from Texas State, but I guess if you know the right people on the inside they'll look past that.

It sounds like these guys will try to sit in on a couple of my interviews when I go in on the 7th. Maybe I can get multiple job offers out of NI. That wouldn't suck!

February 16, 2008

Let's All Go To The Movies

Well TV may be pretty much shot until the fall (new episodes of The Office on April 10th!), but movies are here to save the day! Here's a look at some good stuff coming this year:

Be Kind Rewind (Feb. 22)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)

WALL-E (June 27)

The Dark Knight (July 18)

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Aug. 15)

Also, there is plenty to be excited about beyond this year:
  • Next year's Wolverine has much potential as it promises to tap into Wolvie's more savage past.
  • And news is out the Tim Burton is not only remaking Alice in Wonderland for Disney, but he will also be putting out a full-length version of Frankenweenie after that.
  • Oh, and there's that little film Transformers 2 coming soon.
  • And the freaking Hobbit movie!!!

February 8, 2008

Redundancy In Action

So I had another interview today. Basically, I interviewed where I already work for the job I already have. It was for the position I've been serving in for about the last year, but this would make me a salaried employee and all that. Assuming I get it. I don't really plan on being at ACC after graduation anyway, so the whole thing is just one big "whatever" as far as I'm concerned. If I already had an offer from somewhere else I wouldn't have even bothered to interview.

So there you have it...

It's Friday Again...

My newest article is now posted on RotoTimes for your reading pleasure. You can also read it on if you so choose. I won't go to much into why it is in both places. Just suffice it to say that both sites are owned by the same company and they are in the process of merging them, along with a couple others. You should be able to count on finding my stuff at either location.

This is probably the last time I'll post a direct link to my articles. Just know that you can find my new one every Friday until the end of the Finals.

February 6, 2008

The Road Goes Ever On And On

So I heard back from National Instruments today and apparently I did "really well" on the technical evaluation. So now I go back in a few weeks and spend a whole Friday interviewing with managers and touring the place and stuff like that. There will also be dinner and "entertainment" involved. I'll have to do some advanced scouting to make sure I don't end up at some random bar with a bunch of happy-go-lucky 22-year olds.

I'm guessing that I will almost definitely get an offer from them at this point, but I'm still going to be applying to other places in the meantime. IBM and Google are both hiring here, so I'm gonna look into that and see what else is out there.

February 2, 2008

Just Because I Can

If you don't get a kick out of this I don't know what to tell you...

February 1, 2008

I Gotta Say It Was A Good Day

So, I just got back from taking my technical evaluation at National Instruments and I think it went pretty well. At this point, judging how things have gone so far, I'd be pretty surprised if I didn't end up working there after graduation. Of course I may have actually tanked it and I'll end up working at Best Buy.

Also, my first article is now up at RotoTimes (read it here). I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty excited by this. It's nice to be recognized for doing something you enjoy. Hopefully I can make a good impression and land a regular gig doing this.

January 28, 2008

Overdressed and ready to rock!

So I had my preliminary interview with NI (National Instruments) today. It went pretty well, and I am going back in for a technical evaluation on Friday. I have to say that everything I have read and heard about NI has me really excited about the prospect of working there. They actually seem to treat people like people. This is a place that ever since I started back to school I have targeted as somewhere that I would want to work at and on some level it is very satisfying to have finally come to that point in the process.

And to make things even better... researching NI also led me to this:

Oh yes, it will be mine!

January 27, 2008

Onward and Upward

So I have an interview for a position in the IT Department at National Instruments tomorrow. Should be interesting. Apparently this is less of a technical screening and more to see if I am a good "fit" for a job at NI. Hopefully it goes well, it would be nice to start to have some options in place for what to do after graduation. NI is actually somewhere I have been targeting to work at for a while. I know a lot of people who work(ed) there and they've all had great things to say about it. I mean, it really seems like they know how to take care of their people.

Anyway, your fingers may now resume their crossed position.

January 26, 2008

Dyslexia: The Silent Killer!

Apparently there are some people out there that can't see the difference between "Should the Penguins trade Crosby?" and "The Penguins should trade Crosby!" Because of this I managed to ruffle a few feathers this week with a post on TOFTT that I wrote. My response; people need to lighten up and get a grip.

The exposure was welcome though:

January 24, 2008

People need to learn to drive!

I couldn't even tell you how many times I almost got run over on the way to work today. People really can't drive here. I-35 is like one giant, super-long death trap.

This is on top of all the idiot drivers I see driving down to San Marcos twice a week. If I live to see my 31st birthday it will be something of a miracle.

January 20, 2008

It's Put Up Or Shut Up Time...

So I have long touted my knack for fantasy sports and love to, when I'm in the right mood, brag about how I "know so much more" than all the so-called fantasy experts out there. Well, now it's time for me to put somebody else's money where my mouth is.

I've signed a deal to write a weekly NHL fantasy column running from Feb. 1 until the end of the Stanley Cup Finals for This came pretty much out of nowhere for me but is a welcome challenge/diversion. Their new managing editor had been scouring the web looking for writers to put on his fantasy hockey staff to kick off new coverage starting Feb. 1, and he liked what he saw over on Taking One For The Team (my hockey blog) and asked if I was interested. After trading some e-mails and a brief phone call the deal was sealed and the official contract arrived in my inbox on Friday. So I am now the newest Associate Editor for!

My editor (I get a kick out of saying that) says that there is an opportunity for a longer term and better paying gig with RotoTimes if things go well this season. Apparently the company that owns the site owns some TV and radio stations so there is possible exposure there in some way. He has also indicated that he wants to get them to do a full print NHL Fantasy Draft Guide this summer, so I could get to write for that if they decide to do it. Could be cool.

Overall I'm just looking at this as a chance to get some more exposure and maybe increase my TOFTT audience. It would also be really cool to have a nice side-career as a fantasy writer. The modest amount I'm getting paid to do this is really just a bonus to me. I probably would have done this for free since it's not much of a departure from what I was writing for TOFTT anyway, except now someone's paying me for it. It's pretty much a win-win no matter what happens as far as I'm concerned. Anyhoo, I'll try to post updates on how things are going here, and I'll link to my articles both here and at TOFTT, so they shouldn't be hard to find if you want to read them. Though I wouldn't blame you if you don't. Fantasy hockey isn't exactly the "cool kids table".

January 18, 2008

I Hope You Like The New Look

So I set up a new template for this blog. Let me know what you think of it (just leave a comment).

This is the first step in resurrecting this blog. I have a lot going on right now, and some of it's pretty exciting. So stay tuned for more (hopefully soon!)...

January 17, 2008

4 out of 5 Yarbroughs Endorse Super Mario Galaxy

Well, Super Mario Galaxy fever has officially infested the house. Everyone except Landon is racing to save Princess Peach from Bowser ASAP! In a shocking turn of events, Christa is the most obsessed with the game. I thought she wouldn't like it at all with all the crazy 3D camera action, but she's hooked. I think she just has a soft spot for short, chubby, Italian plumbers. What can you do?

January 9, 2008

We Have Liftoff

So I finally started playing Super Mario Galaxy last night. So far it's pretty freaking sweet. Just another reminder that Nintendo is still way better at making video games than anyone else.

Not to be outdone, Kaylee Wii bowled a 178 yesterday. We're quite the "athletic" family!

January 3, 2008

2008 is off to a good start...

The Winter Classic was AWESOME and I bowled a 205 on the Wii yesterday (played a strong 9 holes in golf too). 2008 could turn out to be alright.