10/14/06 - A Celebration

My wife and I decided to have a date this evening. Although we are getting too old to have a typical dinner and movie date, we at least had dinner. Also, we wanted this to be sort of a celebration for my new job at Midland Loan Services. So, for our celebration, we decided to go to Capriccio GrillĀ® Italian Steakhouse located at The Peabody hotel in downtown Little Rock. I don't know what it is about our ability to have at least something go wrong anytime we go out, but this time did not disappoint. Cristi made reservations for 6:00 pm and we made it right on time. As we approached, we noticed that it wasn't very busy. In fact, there was only one other occupied table. Well, guess where we got seated?...right next to the table with the husband/wife and LOUD four year old. That's right, our nice evening out went from exciting to miserable. Luckily, I went ahead and ask our waitress if we could be reseated, and she gave us our choice of seating. She kind of put us on the spot and without really thinking I selected a table a good distance away from the child. The seat I selected just happened to be right next to the entrance and a very high traffic area. The good news is that for some reason, during our meal, the other family left and only 3 couples came in. Apparently, they were having a slow night.

The food was very good. I started with a tomato soup with sausage, onions and a bit of garlic (very tasty). Cristi had a salad of sorts that consisted of mozzarella cheese and red and yellow tomatoes. For our entrees, Cristi ordered a shrimp and pasta dish while I ordered the cannelloni. Both of our dinners were incredible and I have no complaints other than I wish the red pepper sauce on mine was not quite as bold. Also, I wish I would have realized what cannelloni was so I wasn't so surprised when my food arrived. (I was thinking ravioli the whole time, so you can imagine my surprise).

After our meal, we decided to order some dessert and requested to see a menu. Our waiter instead came out with a rack of 10 shot glasses filled with miscellaneous dessert items. We thought at first it was an interesting method of displaying the options without having full sized samples on display. What the waiter then told us was that these were in fact the actual desserts. Sure enough, the items he held were called Dessert Shooters and these large shot glasses were filled with layers of dessert including strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, tiramisu (which we got two of) and key lime pie (which Cristi also wanted to get).

It's been a while since I've updated my website (over a month I think), so it's a long update, deal with it. Back to the job. Without released too much information, I'm very excited about the future I might have with this company. I'll be under a 6 month contract at first sort of as a trial period after which I'll hopefully be asked to stay on permanently. The first thing that got me excited about the job is that Midland is a member of ThePNC Financial Services Group and therefore gets off for regular holidays as well as federal holidays (including Columbus day and presidents day among others). On top of that, I will get 80 hours of vacation time, 1 personal day and 8 sick days. The extra leave comes on top of a sizable pay raise as well as some other perks such as Midland offering a pension plan on top of an optional 401k plan. From my understanding, there are several team building exercises where the branch closes early and does something together such as seeing a movie or going to the park. Next Wednesday, they have offered to take me to Gaucho's for lunch as an opportunity to meet some of the other programmers and get familiar with my surroundings. They also require 40 hours of training a year, which they provide and they have a book club of sorts that reviews different programming books. Overall, I don't think I could ask for a better situation for myself and really look forward to what this new job will open up for me.

I think that's all I need to cover, because hopefully, I'll slowly introduce pieces of my new business coming up, which is tentatively going to be called "Raider Lawn care".

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