Archive for the 'Minnesota' Category

Cemetery Pictures

After being home for three months, I have finally gotten around to locating and uploading the pictures I took of the Fort Snelling National Cemetery. I took these images on the first day I was in MN while I was out trying to find my way from the hotel to work. This is the first, and so far only, National Cemetery that I have been in and both the size and uniformity of it was astonishing. Unlike the pictures of the other cemeteries I have been to, this one does not really have images of individual headstones, but rather panoramic views of the vast sea of white stones. They can be found here

Home At Last

After a long drive I have made it home safe. I had a little bit of trouble going through Indiana because of some construction and my directions having some minor errors. I was able to figure everything out though and did not have any real issues. I made pretty good time too, I got on the road in Burnsville at 6am (7am EST) and made it back here about 5:30, making the totally trip including stops in about 10.5 hours. I guess I was averaging faster speeds on the way home then on my trip out to Minnesota, because I made it home about 1.5 hours faster than I made it out there. Not surprised though, I really wanted to make it back to Michigan so I could be that much closer to Kylie. Tomorrow I get to see Kylie again for the first time in about a month and a half!

One Last Night

Well tonight is the last night I will spend here in Burnsville, in fact I only have a few hours left. I will be leaving tomorrow morning, hopefully by 6am, this way I will be able to make it back home by no later than 7pm. I already have everything in my truck except for my laptop, work laptop, camera, and a few things I will need in the morning. I plan on getting up at 5am and getting the rest of my stuff ready and leaving. I will need to stop off and get gas first though, and most likely go over to McDonalds for a quick breakfast.

I have to admit that even though I am very excited to be going home and especially to see Kylie; it does feel a little strange to be leaving. For the past 7 months Burnsville has been my home. I have gotten into a very comfortable routine here and I have enjoyed my job. Along those lines, I am also a little upset because as of right now I am returning to my old job. Though I did enjoy that position while I had it, one of my goals in coming out here was to move up to a new position at the end. I am sure something will turn up though, as Rick keeps telling me they are just taking their time with my position; after all I am not going to Denver like he is.

I guess I will just have to be patient, but for right now it’s time to go to bed, I have a long day of driving tomorrow.

Voice mails

Ever since I have been out in Minnesota I have been saving voice mails on my cell phone, well not all of them, just the ones I get from Kylie. I have been doing this because it allows me to go back later on and hear her voice when I am feeling lonely. Hearing her say “Hi Daddy!” and “Miss you.” always make me feel better, there is just something about that little voice that seems to stave off the loneliness. Well, for a while now I have been saying to myself “I really need to find a way to get these messages off my phone and into a format that I will be able to, hopefully, save for ever.” Today I found my solution! It is a free service called GotVoice. Once you sign up and fill in the info the service needs (phone number, voice mail pin, email account, and some other stuff) the service verifies it can connect to your voice mail by leaving you a message and then retrieving it. When this is done you receive an email letting you know you can access your account. The service automatically checks throughout the day for new messages and sends you an email saying if you had new messages or not. You can then log into the website and listen to your voice mail right off the site. This is helpful if you are having it check your home phone voice mail and have access to email when you’re away. For me, however, the good part is that it can also retrieve saved messages! Once I had it get those (it leaves the messages on your voice mail as well) I found that I can then email the message (which is in MP3 format) to my email account, thus allowing me to have MP3 (digital audio) copies of my daughters voice mails! I have not yet decided if I am going to post the little audio clips here or not yet. Using this service and my email account I now have a way to save these memories basically forever and not have to worry about my voice mail box filling up. Isn’t technology great?!

I’m Coming Home!

So I found out today when my tour of duty out here in Minnesota is going to end. It turns out that my last day of work in Eagan is going to be Monday April 9th and I will leave here early morning on Tuesday April 10th. So that will put me back home in Michigan sometime later that afternoon or early evening. I am so looking forward to coming home and being close to Kylie again. The only problem is that I have no idea what I am returning to as far as work is concerned. I am told that I will have a position but no one seems to know what that will be. I do not particularly want to return to my old position, as I feel that would have been a failure to me coming out here, yet at the same time if that is all they have then i really do not have a choice as I have bills to pay and a daughter to take care of. None the less coming out here has been a very good learning process and I feel that I have learned a lot and developed skills that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to develop. I just hope things continue to move in a positive direction and the sacrifices I have made to come out are worth it in the end.

Primetime

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to see a few local bands perform over at Primetime, a sports bar that is basically across the street from my apartment complex. I have seen the following local groups:

The list is in order of my preference for the bands, and while they were all good in there own way, I just enjoyed some more than others. I am sure I will see other bands before I leave, but for now this is all.

Questions without answers

For the past 4 months I have been living in Eagan MN in an attempt to both further my career and provide for my daughter. The time has been difficult for one reason and one reason alone, I am far from Kylie. Though I talk to her almost daily and am surrounded by pictures of her, I am not able to hold her. Though I knew this would be hard, it has proven to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. As my time here in MN draws near its end I find myself with many questions on my mind, the most dominant one being what next? Although I am told that I will have a job to return to in MI, when I ask what that job might be, the answer that I receive is “We don’t know.” I find this very disheartening, and yet I must go along with it. Yet I am also faced with another problem, this one being that MN is beginning to feel like home. And why should it not? When this is all said and done I will have been here for half a year, and being in one place that long will easily make it feel as such. The only thing missing, is my daughter. Yet I have found myself kicking around the idea of potentially staying out here, and admittedly it has a lot to do with my work. The following article is taken from the Thomson web site, and can be found here.

Thomson Looks to Expand on its Eagan Campus

$100 million project to add 2,000 jobs

Eagan, Minn. 01/24/2007
The Thomson Corporation (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC) announced today its intention to expand its facilities on the Thomson West Eagan campus to include a new office building and data center. Thomson expects the new office space will house 2,000 additional employees by 2012.

The expansion will add approximately 425,000 square feet of office and 80,000 square feet of data center space to the campus, and represents a capital investment of more than $100 million, to be paid over two years. The new office space will house technology, finance, service and other professional jobs in Eagan.

Thomson Vice Chairman Brian Hall said the company expects to add 1,100 technology and operations jobs to support growth of the Thomson West business, as well as additional positions that support pan-Thomson services. “The decision to grow in Minnesota affirms the importance of the Eagan campus and ensures that it will continue to be a critical center for Thomson operations in the future,” said Hall. “We think this is great news for the community, and for all Thomson colleagues who live in the area.”

“Thomson’s plan to add 2,000 good, high-paying jobs in Eagan is great news for Minnesota’s economy,” Governor Tim Pawlenty said. “Their decision shows Minnesota is an excellent place for employers to grow their businesses. We look forward to working with Thomson on their expansion.”

“For 30 years, the City of Eagan and Thomson West have enjoyed a long and successful partnership,” said Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire. “Thomson’s continued investments in Eagan enhance Eagan’s reputation as a technology leader.”

State Senator Jim Carlson added, “Thomson West has been an important part of the Eagan area for more than 20 years, and these are the very kinds of jobs that help to support the economic vitality of our area. We’re pleased that the company has made the decision to expand its presence here.”

“Going back to my days on the city council, Thomson West has always been a model corporate citizen,” said Minnesota State Representative Sandy Masin. “I am confident their investment will benefit the citizens of Eagan, residents of Dakota County and the state of Minnesota as a whole.”

The Eagan campus is the headquarters for Thomson West and the Thomson North American Legal business unit, and also is an important operations hub for Thomson. The campus has more than 6,800 employees, including 1,400 technology professionals and 800 attorneys.

The company expects to break ground on the data center in April 2007 and the office space in August 2007; the data center occupancy is planned for November 2007 and the office space for October 2008.

If I choose to continue my career with Thomson and wish to stay in technology, than Eagan may very well be a good place for me to be. But there is a problem with that, the distance from my daughter. I know that in the course of life we are required to make some very difficult decisions, thankfully I do not have to make this one, yet.

Savage Beatdown

Since I have been out here in MN I have rediscovered the UFC, as it is really popular out here. The world of MMA in general is very popular out here, more-so than I realized back in Michigan. Since I have been out here I have been able to watch a number of pay-per-view UFC fights, but tonight I had the opportunity to see one of these fights first hand.  Rick and I ventured over to Neisen’s in Savage and watched Savage Beatdown 3, a cage fight presented by Savage Entertainment. It was an excellent evening consisting of 14 fights, including a title bout. Though it was not of the same level as the UFC fights, the fighters that fought are on there way to enter the ranks of that devision. I look forward to having the opportunity to see more of these events live.

Back in Minnesota

Tonight I returned to Minnesota after my extended stay back in Michigan. It is getting harder and harder to say good-bye to Kylie when I have to come back here. Being out here wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to be so far away from her. I just have to remind myself that being away from her will hopefully allow me to provide a better future for her.

I have had a lot more exposure to other people within the company out here than I ever would have had back in Ann Arbor, and I know that other people that I have not personally met have taken note of the fact that I am here. I have learned a lot of things in my time out here and though I enjoy my job here more than my previous position back in Ann Arbor, I hope that these next three months go as quickly as the last three seemed to.

In the mean time I will just have to look forward to my next trip back home. At this time I am not sure when that will be and I am sure it will not be as long as this one was, but any time spent with my daughter is precious. So I will just take it day by day, and try to learn and do all that I can to try and provide that better life.

Cheeeese

Over the last few days Kylie has had a lot of pictures taken, with it being the holidays and all. As such a lot of people have been telling her to say “Cheese” before taking a picture. Today Kylie picked up Tiffany’s camera held it up to her face, pointed it at Tiffany and said “cheese”, so Tiffany replied by saying “cheese.” Tiffany then said “click” and Kylie repeated it and then said “cheeeese.” Tiffany said that Kylie even had the camera pointing in the right direction and apparently got a really big kick out of taking a picture. She picks up on things so quickly now, the more I think of it I know there are things that she has learned and picked up on that have never been mentioned here. For instance over this last week while watching a Pistons game I got Kylie to almost fully say “Detroit Basketball”, and that was with her only hearing it twice. She really is like a little sponge, absorbing new information and acquiring new skills all the time. I regret that I cannot be around more due to my current assignment in Eagan, but hopefully it will pay off in the long run and allow me to provide a better life for her.