The Path – New Jersey 2005

New Jersey sucked.  The job was supposed to be Federal consulting in Virginia but Prolifics couldn’t follow through.  I got tricked again.   I ended up as an SME in a bizarre contract/dispute between IBM, Verizon and a 3rd party vendor, spending a few hours each day in conference calls for two months.

Verizon headquarters is a corkscrew.  It has elevators but you can walk clockwise/counterclockwise to each floor.   I met the “Can You Hear Me Now?” guy from the commercials and he had a small entourage.

The restaurants sucked, the public transportation sucked, the highways were poorly designed, so I sat in the hotel bar but drank little.  Central New Jersey is rural, more like Connecticut than a city and the roads are unpredictable so I avoided them.

I spent a weekend in Atlantic City which sucked.  It was expensive and there’s only drinking and gambling, no shows or distractions like Vegas.   I visited the Jersey Shore.  i spent a weekend in Allentown, PA because of the Billy Joel song.   I bought a new cell phone because lengthy conference calls burned out my Virgin pay-per-minute.

I spent time on my website, upgrading it from home-rolled (and poorly written) PHP to Sun’s roller blog, and on data-mining and memes.  Then the contract ended.

Prolifics forgot about me for several weeks.  I spent one week in Fredericksburg, VA and hung out at a country karaoke bar.  I spent a week in Virginia Beach walking the boardwalk and got my first acceptance to DEFCON.  A week in Norfolk walking the new riverwalk, toured a couple of 19th century churches, toured a decommissioned battleship, rode a ferry to the aircraft carriers, including a Russian carrier.  Two weeks in Charlotte walking the downtown, a couple more church architectures, gold dental fillings and then Prolifics remembered me and sent me to New York City.