Also in running in place news, it's been a year since I traveled for work. I've been traveling, but it's for seventeen_year_old, doing college tours.
She has a dilemna, she's good in and likes several different fields. She wants to major in photography, or history, or illustration. So, we've gone afar to visit art schools, and visited local schools. I like road trips, and she's a good traveling companion. Coming back from Cleveland, my car started smoking, or rather the switch I used to bypass my broken fan controller module started smoking. While we were driving bumper to bumper on the I-90 bypass I was able to calmly disconnect it, and she wrapped the ends of the wire in cough drop wrappers, then wrapped the whole thing in vinyl tape. Yay, not panicking and not burning to death.
She's got good taste in music, including some 80's new wave, like Cindy Lauper and the Bangles. Everyone in the car would get their choice of music for an hour or two, and it worked out well. She does have an odd preference for Canadian bands, like The Dead South and a Tribe Called Red.
April was the busiest month, with three separate trips. There was a day trip to the Utica branch of Pratt and a quick stop at the Saranac brewery store. Then a two day trip to Cleveland with a drive through of SUNY-Fredonia for the Cleveland Institute of Art, and a two day trip to Rhode Island to visit the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
PrattMWP was the smallest college campus I had ever been on, at the time. There might have been seven university buildings. It's a two year program for the main campus in Brooklyn, and had about 400 students overall. Seventeen_year_old liked the Utica pizza, but didn't feel great about PrattMWP.
The Cleveland Institute of Art ended up being the smallest university campus I've been on, maybe three buildings. They share some facilities with Case-Western, and are right in the middle of many Cleveland museums. All the classrooms were in one big building, which may have appealed to seventeen_year_old. She wouldn't have to walk far.
On the way home, we visited the Cleveland Aquarium, had to exit I-90 near the Ohio Pennsylvania border for a bridge issue, and stopped on the res for less taxed gas.
In Rochester is a small city news, one of my co-worker's daughter just started in CIA.
Mrs. Ha was able to come with us to RISD. Since we drove by Utica, we stopped for lunch and macarons, seventeen_year_old really likes macarons. Like CIA, RISD shares some facilities with Brown, and it's about three times bigger than CIA. I was disappointed the campus tour didn't show any studios, which was a favorite part of the visits to PrattMWP and CIA. The library at RISD is amazing, probably the prettiest university library I've been in. I was also disappointed that RISD didn't mention the Talking Heads, are there more famous alumni?
That was my first visit to Rhode Island. I got my picture taken near REH's birthplace, found his headstone, and watched seventeen_year_old get yelled at for taking photos in that cemetary. Providence was very hilly, and the drivers were unusually polite. But, RISD isn't on her list.
I took a day off in July for us to visit the University of Rochester. She likes how easy it is to get a dual major, but doesn't think the arts are very special there. If she can get in, she would get free tuition. She would probably consider majoring in history there.
The end of July and the beginning of August was the big trip, to New York City and the surrounding area. We fit in a short visit to NYU, and longer tours of SVA (School of Visual Arts), FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), and SUNY-Purchase. This time twentytwo_year old went along with us.
It's hard to find cheap lodging near public transportation in the NYC area. We ended up with an AirBNB for two nights in Jersey City, about a mile from a PATH station. Seventeen_year_old had always wanted to ride trains. We'd get up, hike to the station, go into Manhattan, and do college tours. Twentytwo_year_old went on her own, she met up with newspaper_girl in Brooklyn, and did some shopping.
Because Rochester is small, one of the newspaper_boys goes to SVA, and newspaper_girl attended Purchase.
Of the three Manhattan colleges, FIT is on her list, though they make it hard to graduate in four years if you switch majors. In between tours, we hung out in the air conditioned NYPL branches, rode subways, visited the Nintendo store, a big candy store, and even went to MOMA for a too short visit.
I can remove "drive the surface streets of Manhattan from my bucket list", sort of. The drive from Jersey City to Armonk took us through a corner of Manhattan along the Henry Hudson parkway. Twentytwo_year_old came through with Waze, to help us around an accident. By the time the visit to SUNY-Purchase came, we were exhausted.
Later in August I took seventeen_year_old on a tour of RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), and she and twentytwo_year_old went on a tour of Buffalo State together.
Right now, she's leaning towards CIA, UR, RIT, FIT and Purchase, with different potential majors. I'm hoping she gets some good offers.
Mrs. Ha is still working as a cashier, and likes much of it. She gets the socialization she missed as a nanny, the chain is very professional, and she's good on a register. It's still physically
demanding, and the pay sucks, but it will do for now. If you're in her lane, keep the heavy stuff in the cart, and if you use a handbasket, empty it.
In Rochester is a small city news, one of her co-workers in the bakery is the daughter of a good friend and former roommate.
The work at my job is slowly declining, which is not unexpected when your chief competitor is handed control of your product. I'm using my free time to get caught up on all the mandatory training, and to learn Python. We should still have work for another five years or so. Maybe I'll get a chance to be contracted to my chief competitor.
Also, I was a manager for a few months. It's somehow Trump related, our corporation wanted as many people onshore to report to onshore managers, so my cow-orker was my direct report. I didn't get any training, and it scared me. I was worried I would forget to do something, and he and his family would be broke, or deported. Soon enough his visa wasn't renewed and he went back, and I stopped being a reporting manager.
At my former corporation, which I am still contracted too, the layoffs and shrinkage continues.
In other skill news, I've learned some soldering and desoldering skills. The Impreza uses a fancy MOSFET transistor to control fan speed, instead of a bunch of resistors. The MOSFET died, but it took
me a while to figure that out, and then it took me a while to figure out how to fix it. Part of the problem is that NEC doesn't make that one anymore, and I found it confusing finding a valid replacement. Another part of the problem is MOSFET transistors don't work when you solder them in upside down. But, my climate control fan works now, for a cost of about $40, including a new soldering kit, as opposed to $200 for a new assembly. No more smoking switches!
I'm also conquering pie. I've been smoking chicken breasts in our Weber grill, they taste great but Mrs. Ha and I can only eat so much. The last time we were faced with excess smoked chicken breast, I decided to make a chicken pot pie. It was good. Recently she brought home a rotisserie Korean barbecue chicken, I made a second pie. It was better, I'm even getting an adequate crust.
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