Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Puzzle Update 2014!

Yes! The long awaited puzzle update!  How is it going? Well, I can tell you that I'm avoiding the very large elephant.  I'm going to probably try to do the entire rest of the puzzle before tackling that crazy thing! Since I've been unemployed, I've had plenty of time to work on it.  I got the lion's family pretty much completed ... as well as the *most* of the crocodile/alligator. I did some work on the 'smaller' elephant earlier before I was "Arnolded". There are just random pieces I find that I can place. I'm currently finding that this one is not as bad as the 9000 piece puzzle I did - less of the same colour. Its a very colourful puzzle and there are a lot of distinct looking 'areas'.  I say this now before I even attempt to tackle the large (similarly coloured) elephant.  By my estimates right now - I think I'm just over 50% completed. I'm not really sure though.

Next steps? Complete the giraffes. Zebras and then the rest of the 'green'.

Oh yah! You want pictures! So, I couldn't get the entire thing in with one picture (right now). So its in 2-parts.

Right, don't use those little foamy play mats.  They suck as puzzle place holders on the floor.
(I think I'm going to get some plywood to put the puzzle on soon)

Lion family - check!

Main body of the little elephant - legs not done (too much black)

Alligator/Crocodile - last 4 days of work!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Stop the bad news!

2014 hasn't really turned out to be a good year for me so far. However, we have some awesome good news. Crystal and I have a new addition to our family. Meet Brodie Jacob Leopold Marui!  (Yes, we actually gave him two middle names).

We adopted him from the Stratford-Perth Humane Society. He was born on August 23rd, 2010. According to the humane society, he is a Basset Hound, Welch Corgi mix.  However, with his colouring, we suspect there may be some German Shepherd in him.  He has a massive head and neck! So we needed to get a harness for him for his walks. He is well trained (sit, lay down, stay, high five) and house trained - yay! He loves to play with his squeaky toys and to run around the house with them. He seems to dislike water (puddles and rain), so I'm not sure how he is going to react with the pool. He is very friendly and seems to only want bite when he is in a playful mood.

Since I'm unemployed, I've been hanging out with the little guy. Crystal is a little jealous ;)

Queue the pictures!

For all of you puzzle fans out there ... I promise I will have a puzzle update in the next few days. I Promise - "Its not like I have anything else to do."

Monday, April 07, 2014

Not a rockstar ... But a one-hit wonder ...

A few weeks ago, I went to a mandatory meeting. The meeting was quick and brutal. After 9 years and about 8 months, BlackBerry terminated my employment.  I use the word "terminated" because that's what it says in the form letter in my package.

Luckily for Crystal and I, we have been quietly preparing for this.  So, no one should really be worrying about us.  Even though that I had really thought it was impossible for BlackBerry to actually let me go. But the impossible had happened (Hmmm, I should have really bought a lottery ticket that day).

Now, I would like to say that while I am very disappointed I didn't actually get to 10 years.  I'm actually not bitter at BlackBerry.  I really do not think I could be.  I still have a lot of friends there and I still hang out with them. So, I cannot hate the company that it turned out to be a simply a cost-cutting move. I still have a BlackBerry (Q10) and I absolutely love it! I had been using a Z10 for the last couple of years ... but I hated the touchscreen keyboard. The Q10's keyboard is one of the best (it reminds me of the old Bold 9000 or the Torch).

One of the things that people first ask me is, "Is BlackBerry going to make it?"  I can't really say.  Most of the work I was involved with did not contribute to the future product roadmap - so I actually really do not know.  I hope they do "make it."  I don't think they will be a dominate player like they were a decade (or so) ago.  But I still believe that the company will exist in some fashion.

I've been unemployed for a few weeks now and thus have a lot of free time on my hands. So, I've been working on my puzzle, going to baseball games, and doing a lot of housework. I'm not sure when I will start looking for work, or what my new job will look like. I'm looking at this as an opportunity for me to figure what I actually want to do next ... but for now, there will probably be lots of puzzle updates. Stay tuned ... maybe I'll actually finish this monster of a puzzle!