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In mid-February, I took a new job. I now work for Healthgrades as a web developer in downtown Denver. Numerous factors prompted this change, but number one on the list is that I now get to see my son Felix every day. I could not be happier about that!

Certainly I will miss travelling for work, and especially all of the perks that go along with it. My "going away" present from Hertz was a very nice Mercedes SLK 250 as my last rental in L.A. I made 1K status with United last year, although in the last few years upgrades on United have become almost a myth, so the status doesn't mean what it did just a few years ago. I also made Diamond status with Hilton, which always has and still does treat me quite well. So, I will be saying goodbye to all of these niceties, as well as all of the points that have afforded me many a free vacation. Fortunately, I still have plenty saved up.

I will also miss the people I worked with at Avanade and Accenture. My project in L.A. lasted longer than any project I have ever been on, and I developed some great working relationships while I was there. I can't say I will miss L.A. much though, especially the mind-numbing traffic. The one exception is the always fantastic Blue Crab Hand Roll from Irori Sushi.

Now, I feel like it's time to plan our next vacation.

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 10:48 AM

So much has changed since I last posted, I don't even know where to begin. First and foremost, I am now engaged! At the end of May, the 26th to be exact, I asked Nhu Nguyen to marry me. We were in Tucson for the week, as she signed up for a biology field study class there. While she was exploring Saguaro National Park with her classmates, I worked from the hotel. I spent most of my time inside the room, as it was a very warm 105 degrees for most of the week. Thankfully, it cooled down considerably for the weekend, reaching only the low 90s. On Saturday, we drove up to Phoenix to visit friends and relatives. We first met up with Tracy, a friend of mine from college who has lived in Phoenix since graduation. After some good Thai food, I introduced Tracy to the delectable Frost Gelato, a chain in Tucson and Phoenix which serves the best gelato I have ever had outside of Italy. After saying goodbye to Tracy, Nhu and I went to visit Nhu's aunt and cousins, who also live in the Phoenix area. I told them that we had to leave at five o'clock, though, because I had somewhere in Tucson to take Nhu for sunset. They told us to check out out Hole-in-the-Rock instead so we could stay longer, but ultimately we decided too much hiking would be involved. So, Nhu and I left for Grant's Pass soon thereafter. Of course, once we got there, we found out that the sun was far enough north that we did have to hike just a bit to be able to see the sun go down, so I helped Nhu along the trail, since she was in sandles. A few minutes later, we found a good spot to sit, and I began, of course, to take some pictures. While doing this, though, I dug the engagement ring out of my camera bag, and gave it to Nhu. The look on her face was priceless. I asked her, "so, is that a yes?" to which she responded, "yes to what?" I then said, "will you marry me?" And the answer was yes!

Another recent change in my life has been my departure from IBM. My last day there was the 30th of May. I am now working at a much smaller consulting company called Neudesic, a small tehnical consulting firm that focuses on software development using Microsoft technologies. This change should see me near home much more often, which has its pluses and minuses. I still have a passion for visiting (and photographing) new places, but I do like the idea of going where I want to go. Most importantly, though, I will be able to spend more time with my fiancée! So far the new job is enjoyable. My first project is using the latest and greatest from Microsoft: ASP.NET MVC 3, with Razor views. Unfortunately, my first project is all the way down in Centennial, which means I have a rather colossal drive. I was told that it is the exception to the rule, though, as most projects allow much more remote work, so we'll see. I do have high hopes for my role at Neudesic!

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 2:57 PM
Filed under: Travel, Nhu, Phoenix, Tucson, Job, Arizona

Two weeks ago, I experienced my first ever emergency landing. And I didn't even know until we landed.

The flight was proceeding normally, despite the snowstorm that had just started in Denver. The captain announced that we would be landing in Denver fifteen minutes. Denver has six runways, so there is hardly ever any delay in landing. However, five minutes later, the captain turned off Channel 9, so we could no longer hear the air traffic control communications. Ten minutes later, some of us realized that we were circling the airport. About fifteen minutes later, we did indeed land. However, after landing, the plane stopped, and we were greeted by emergency vehicles. Finally, the captain got on the intercom to let us know that we had just had an emergency landing. Apparently the front steering was out, and they had to land the plane using the rear breaks to steer. How nice of them to tell us! The captain then told us that since we had no steering, we couldn't drive to the gate. Instead, we had to wait for a "super tug" to come and tow us in. Forty five minutes later, we finally made it to the gate. While we were waiting for them to pull the jet bridge to the plane, I was talking to the purser who told me this was her first emergency landing in twenty two years. Meanwhile, a rather rude guy who was sitting next to me interjects, asking why United can't be on-time like Southwest. It was all I could do not to laugh at the guy; Southwest is fairly notorious for having late flights, especially when the flight is later in the day. However, given the snowstorm, I decided to let the guy know that I had checked flights on my phone just a few minutes prior, and guess what! Most of the canceled flights were Southwest flights. That shut him up in a hurry!

Posted by nick.steinbaugh at 4:58 PM
Filed under: Travel, Job