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Josh Zamzow

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My 10 favorite albums of 2011 [13 Jan 2012|12:36am]
10. Dredg - Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy

9. Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning

8. Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues

7. The Dear Hunter - Color Spectrum

6. Hail Mary Mallon - Are You Gonna Eat That?

5. Primus - Green Naugahyde

4. Red Fang - Murder the Mountains

3. Opeth - Heritage

2. The Black Keys - El Camino

1. Mastodon - The Hunter
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10 Favorite Albums of 2010 [10 Jan 2011|02:33pm]
10. RJD2 - The Colossus

9. The Roots - How I Got Over

8. Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears of Angels

7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

6. Flobots - Survival Story

5. Ghost - Opus Eponymous

4. Atmosphere - To All My Friends: Blood Makes the Blade Holy, The Atmosphere EPs

3. Powerglove - Saturday Morning Apocalypse

2. Coheed and Cambria - Year of the Black Rainbow

1. The Black Keys - Brothers
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My 20 favorite albums of 2009 [20 Dec 2009|04:08am]
[ mood | awake ]

20. Modest Mouse - No One's First And You're Next
19. Goblin Cock - Come With Me if You Want to Live
18. Mars Volta - Octahedron
17. Omar Rodriguez Lopez - Old Money
16. Cage - Depart From Me
15. Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
14. Doom - Born Like This
13. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
12. POS - Never Better
11. Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2
10. Mos Def - The Ecstatic
09. Shadows Fall - Retribution
08. Cage the Elephant - Self Titled
07. Baroness - Blue Record
06. Porcupine Tree - The Incident
05. Clutch - Strange Cousins From the West
04. Them Crooked vultures - Self Titled
03. Brother Ali - Us
02. Mastodon - Crack the Skye
01. Dredg - The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

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NBA Predictions - 2009-2010 Edition [27 Oct 2009|08:01am]
MVP: Lebron James

DPOTY: Dwight Howard

MIP: Ramon Sessions

ROTY: Tyreke Evans (this was Blake Griffin until about 8 hours ago when it was announced he's already missing the first 6 weeks of the season. The Clipper Curse is alive and well)

COTY: Gregg Popovich

All-NBA 1st

C: Howard

F: Lebron

F: Dirk

G: Paul

G: Wade

Scoring Title: Durant

Rebounding Title: Howard

Assists: Paul

Steals: Paul

Blocks: Howard

WCF: Lakers over Spurs

ECF: Cavs over Celtics

Champs: Lakers over Cavs
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Raise time at work. [09 Jul 2009|11:36am]
To make a long story short I'm getting about a 3% raise after only 8 months of employment, so that makes me pretty happy. It's not a terribly huge jump, but it's something nonetheless.

What IS exciting is that my boss is navigating the red-tape to promote me to Operator 2 (and Brent as well, actually), which would translate to about a $6,000 raise when you factor in the shift differential that I get for working nights. This would make absorbing the additional 3 grand we'll be paying a year for Lindsay's new car (more on that in a moment) barely register as a blip on our spending budget.

Lindsay is getting a new car! I filled out all of the paperwork yesterday, actually. It's just a matter of getting it here from (As Maynard Keenan would say) "Almost Canada." We were pretty specific in our wants for a 2009 Ford Escape with regard to options, and the nearest one that fit all of our criteria was all the way in Northern Minnesota.

It's Blue with black leather (a bonus actually, we would have been fine with cloth), 4wd, v6, moon-roof, and Sync. It was a bitch to find one that was both blue and had black interior for some unknown reason. Anyway - we should have it by this weekend - and because we are making a colossal down-payment on it I'm fairly nervous about writing the second biggest check of my life (behind the 10% down payment on the house from last year).

That's about it. I'm picking up an extra shift next week, which is going to result in me working six out of seven days. That translates to 72 work hours in a seven day period. Despite the 30 bucks an hour I'll make on the day I'm picking up, I still feel mildly insane for agreeing to do it.

With that, I'm going to begin re-playing Fallout 3. I have about 31 hours until I have to be to work, and all I really have to do between now and then is some laundry.

Off I go.
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Quick synopsis of how seeing NIN in Chicago went for Adam and I: [02 Jun 2009|03:29pm]
[ mood | shocked ]

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The 15 best albums of 2008 [27 Dec 2008|06:01pm]
15. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip
14. Portishead - Third
13. Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple
12. The Roots - Rising Down
11. Tricky - Knowle West Boy
10. Slipknot - All Hope is Gone
09. Opeth - Watershead
08. Eagles of Death Metal - Heart On
07. The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath
06. Jake One - White Van Music
05. Akrobatik - Absolute Value
04. Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt
03. Metallica - Death Magnetic
02. Flobots - Fight With Tools*
01. Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold.

*Yes I know that technically this was first released in late 07 but hardly anybody heard it until it was re-issued in June of '08 when Handlebars got popular.
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[22 Nov 2008|03:45am]
[ mood | ecstatic ]

I'm about 3 and a half hours from completing my second shift of this week. Had to work an extra one Tuesday to make the hours work out right and now I'm doing 3 in a row (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) after which I'll have four off (including thanksgiving which I'll get paid for 8 hours for).

My paycheck was only for 60 hours, and it was still 100 dollars more than my ING paychecks were (those were for 88 hours of work). Needless to say it's a tad shocking to have so much more money coming in. I really, really like my job.

I ordered some new computer parts with my newegg preferred account. Since I sold my secondary computer to Levi for 300 bucks, I decided to spend just over 1,000 on building a new system, and with my newegg preferred account I have a year to pay it off with zero percent interest. I'll drop that 300 on it immediately then make meager payments for a little while, and probably finish off paying it to zero once tax refund time comes. I have until December of next year, so no rush.

I got an E8500 processor, EVGA Nforce 750i mobo, EVGA GTX260 (i'll get a 2nd one for xmas from somebody), 4 gigs of DDR2-1066, another 500 gig HD (to RAID with my current one), a new case, a couple of SATA burners, annnnd...an Arctic cooling freezer 7 Pro.

It's gonna freakin' scream, 'yo. And it will also allow me to keep the system I'm presently typing on up and gaming as a complete system as well. That will work out nicely.

Anyway - my hour and fifteen minute break is almost over. Need to be back at 4:05 to finish off my work day. Only 3 hours until I'm zonked out.

ALSO: I didn't need an energy drink tonight to be roughly at roughly...80% awareness?

That ain't bad for 4AM.

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Week one down. [14 Nov 2008|05:58pm]
[ mood | good ]

After the extremely boring first two days at Shazam, during which I learned very little about my actual job and spent most of my time at the other building (out past the crib) which houses their HR, I finally got to work my first night shift last Friday. Then two more Saturday and Sunday.

6:45PM to 6:45AM really, really isn't as bad as it sounds. After the first one, anyway. Try as I might, my attempts to preemptively change my sleeping schedule prior the shifts was not possible. I ended up getting about 4 hours of sleep before my first night shift, which did result in me being extremely tired at about 1:00AM.

Then I downed a 5 hour energy shot which was a bad idea in it's own right. It took about an hour to take effect and was still working when I was trying to fall asleep at 7AM. Never, ever will I drink one of those again.

Needless to say, nights 2 and 3 went a lot better. I didn't start to become exhausted until about 5 o'clock, and it's fairly easy to run on autopilot after that anyway.

The job is easy but complex, if that makes any sense. It's mostly seeing things and contacting the correct people to fix it, as opposed to fixing it yourself. I've only worked on the HP Production monitor so far, and to be honest I couldn't tell you what half of the data that comes my way is. I still don't always know what to do when a given error comes through, but I'm assured that will come with time. It's a job of repetition when you look at it from a veteran's point of view, from what I'm told.

It was nice training with Brent, as he worked all three of the days I did last week. We're actually in the process of trying to get on the same schedule, but for the time being I'm working Friday, Saturday, Sunday until my manager and I can talk about transitioning me to my full time schedule.

It sucks having my weekends taken away, but it's also nice that until about 40 minutes from now, I will have been off work since Monday morning at 6:45AM. 84 hours of free time in a row is a beautiful thing. That said, it's also nice to have freedom while at work. In addition to the hour and fifteen (45 minutes of which is paid) minute break we get, it's also no big deal if we want to take 10 or 15 and run to Hy-Vee or just take a walk around the building to wake up. It's nice to transition into this more laid back world from the financial services industry I've been a part of for most of my working career - where sneezing needs to be logged and manager approved (this was more true at Wells than ING, but I digress.)

I used my breaks last week to come home and take an hour nap. It worked wonderfully. Made the last four hours much, much easier. As for tonight, Lindsay is visiting Kayla in Cedar Falls so I may come home and play a game of 2K9 with Brent, or go to Perkins or something. Perhaps the latter as it's good to get my eyes off a display device for that hour and a half. Sometimes I think my sleepiness is just eye strain manifesting itself.

Anyway - I'm off to fill up my 52 oz soda.

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Moving on. [15 Oct 2008|09:32pm]
Tired of being severely underpaid and bored and work, I'm switching jobs. My salary is jumping from around 25,000 a year to just a hair under 38,000. It's the second largest pay-grade jump for a person under my current manager that he can remember.

I'll be working with Brent at Shazam as an overnight Computer Operator 1. It involves working three days a week from 7pm to 7am. The nice part about that is after the three days I get four days off in a row.

It's going to be a good change for me. I'll be making more money while not being so bored and dissatisfied, and I'll be working just a tad outside of walking distance from home (it's near my mom's house).

I put in my two weeks at ING today. As of the 29th of this month I will no longer be employed by ING. I'm eyeing a November 4th start date at Shazam.

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Welp, I'm a homeowner [10 Aug 2008|10:53pm]
..a homeowner that finally has internet service, as well.

We managed to make our close date of the 30th, despite it looking like we wouldn't even early that morning. We ended up actually signing the ppwk around 5 o'clock on that day, and were moving stuff well into the night. Once everything was moved it was fairly easy to get everything unpacked. I was exhausted for the 4 or 5 day process of moving (starting with packing at the apartment through unpacking here), but it could have been a lot worse. Having my dad's truck was a big help.

The house itself is freaking sweet. We sold the black sectional that we've had since we were still at my mom's place. That money got put towards the couch we now have in the basement, which is more suited for being in the middle of room - which is exactly what we needed. My mom got us two la-z-boy black leather couches for the upstairs as well, in addition to the washer and dryer she bought us about a month ago. So we're pretty much set in the way of furniture, besides needing a few end tables and odds and ends.

The theater stuff is all set up downstairs, though I just bought a new receiver so it can be a cleaner set up. Right now we don't have HDMI inputs on Brent's receiver, which is making things rather difficult and complicated. I picked up a decent Onkyo receiver for a good price on newegg today, and it has tons and tons of inputs. It should make our speaker wire hiding expedition worth the time we put into it.

Anyway - I don't really know how to cap off this extremely disjointed and information-lacking post, but I'll just say that if anyone wants to come see the place please feel free to give me a ring. We'll probably be having a house warming party in a month or so, so there's that to look forward to too.
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18 days... [12 Jul 2008|03:28pm]
It's only 18 more days until we close on our house.

We're to a point where we pretty much have everything that needs to be set up, set up. All of our paperwork is good to go. The only thing left on that front is coordinating with the realtor and the bank so Bank of America can do a final inspection and appraisal. That should happen within the week.

I've spent today getting the particulars of convenience set up. I called DirecTV - they'll be coming on the 30th (the day we move in) in the evening. Mediacom is coming the next day to install internet service. I would have had them come on the 30th too but I wanted to avoid having to hear the Mortal Kombat theme begin to play as the two installers eyes meet, and then I have to watch a fight to the death. It's just not good for anyone.

Called Midamerican today also - the power switchover should go smoothly.

And that's it...

We still have some furniture shopping to do I guess. But other than that we're just playing the waiting game.
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So.. [23 Jun 2008|09:32pm]
It's rare for the death of a celebrity to have any effect whatsoever on me.

However...it's really bothering me that George Carlin passed away.

He's a huge, huge, HUGE part of what has influenced the way I approach humor in my every day life and I've read his books and listened to his albums since I was about 10 years old - enjoying every minute of it.

I'm feeling a sense of regret that I didn't try harder to see him in concert one last time (I'd only ever seen him once), but now it's too late.

RIP Georgie Porgie. I can only hope you're somewhere kickin' it with Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.
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[08 Jun 2008|08:08pm]
[ mood | good ]

We're buying a house.

We have an offer in.

We should be moved in by August 1st if everything goes well.

Brent is going to be living in the basement bedroom for a year or two.

...cool, huh?

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The severely shortened Christmas of 2007 [26 Dec 2007|07:40am]
So, this was probably the worst Christmas ever for both Lindsay and I. We spent all of Christmas Eve (including the day part of Christmas Eve) either in bed writhing or in the bathroom purging liquid from the two places where liquid is liable to get purged from (I guess there's three if you count peeing). We had one of the more severe stomach flus I've ever experienced in my life, which basically ruined Christmas for both of us. My mom also got it, which basically meant that between the three of us there was no chance of Christmas Eve happening at all.

Christmas day we woke up and felt slightly better - good enough to give the day's events a go. We basically ended up with shortened versions of all the Christmas Festivities we usually go to (including my mom's). So that sort of worked out.

I've had to take the day off today as well though. I still feel horribly weak, and my stomach is still not digesting properly. I'm very much hoping I'm back to normal by tomorrow.

We got lots of cool stuff for Christmas, though....I'll speak on that at a later time, though.
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The ten best albums of 2007. [23 Dec 2007|01:05pm]
1. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass

2. Brother Ali - The Undisputed Truth

3. Busdriver - Roadkillovercoat

4. Coheed & Cambria - No World for Tomorrow

5. El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead

6. Queens of the Stone-Age - Era Vulgaris

7. Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet

8. Common - Finding Forever

9. Soilwork - Sworn to a Great Divide

10. RJD2 - The Third Hand
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NBA Predictions, 07-08 edition [30 Oct 2007|08:04am]
MVP: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
ROTY: Kevin Durant, Sonics
6MOTY: David Lee, Knicks
MIP: Gerald Green, Timberwolves
DPOTY: Tim Duncan: Spurs
COTY: Mike D'Antoni, Suns
EOTY: Danny Ainge, Celtics

Scoring Title: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Rebounding Title: Kevin Garnett, Celtics
Assists Leader: Steve Nash, Suns
Blocks Leader: Marcus Camby, Nuggets

Western Conference Semis:
Rockets vs. Suns

Eastern Conference Semis:
Celtics vs. Pistons

Suns vs. Celtics

NBA title: Suns
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I am not unwell, thank you. [20 Sep 2007|08:40pm]
Things are going good. I've found my niche in the new position. Well, maybe not my niche. I'm going to try to get into my niche by utilizing the ING Independent Learning Center to learn all I can about technical writing over the next year or two so I can truly find my niche. Niches left aside, though, I do like my job. The people in New Business miss me quite a bit, as they remind me every day on breaks and lunch - but I was going to be miserable working in that department, so that's how it had to be.

Working downtown is starting to fit me better, though my preferred route to work has been fucked over by the City of Des Moines. They're resurfacing 7th street, and I don't like driving my car over bump after bump after bump. As such I've had to jog over to 9th street to get to my parking garage at 8th and Mulberry. It's a minor inconvenience, but it's a little annoying. I've been experimenting with routes home, because with the interstate entrance on 6th closed, my preferred route is unavailable. Usually I just end up taking the back way (MLK/Beaver) home.

The work hours are good. 8:30 to 5 with a half an hour lunch. I could have gone for the full hour and gone in at 8, but why? I don't even use the full half hour to eat lunch as it is. I've been asked if I could do 9 to 5:30, but I want to start riding the bus eventually, and the last bus for Johnston leaves at 5:19, making the 5:30 thing impossible.

We're expecting a gargantuan push in business in October, so we're going to be starting a mandatory once a month "Work on saturday" thing. It's only 4 hours (minimum, more if you want), and it's only once a month. One thing about that though is there's going to be plenty enough business that any Saturday can be worked, and even now there's an open "Work overtime any time you want" invite from the managers.

As such, I've stayed late a few times already just because I didn't have crap going on. Time and a half paid overtime is a great thing, and I'll probably work some 8 hour Saturdays fairly regularly for the extra money. Working on the weekends takes away the only mild annoyance about my job anyway - the fairly long walk from the parking garage. We get access to the executive lot (out front) on weekends...

Other than that, things are good. Been playing a fairly decent amount of video games, though the fall is when the good stuff should start coming in. I'm pretty excited about NBA 2K8, Crysis, Time Crisis 4, Assassins Creed, Halo 3 (sort of..), and a few others.

Oktoberfest is tomorrow. I'm going in to work a little early and not taking a lunch so I only have to take an hour of PTO but still leave at 2:30 so I can be at the tapping of the golden keg at 3:00. I have a feeling Lindsay and I may need a DD tomorrow night - just a hunch. I'm not saying come be our DD, mind you. I'm saying come drink with us - we'll figure out the DD stuff later.

I don't know if you can overdose on Bratwurst but I'll find out.
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So I've changed jobs... [01 Sep 2007|11:56am]
After 7 days of training for the "New Business Coordinator" position I realized that I really wasn't going to be happy doing said job. I was ready to quit at ING and go find another job if I had to, but I really liked the company and was hoping they'd be able to give me another shot in a different department.

I told my manager that I didn't like the job on Wednesday morning, and he just let me take the rest of the day off. He figured (rightly) that there was no use of me sitting in training if I didn't think the job I was training for was going to be for me anyway. He told me he was going to get in contact with some other departments and see if they needed any help, and that he'd give me a call later in the day. He also mentioned that if he can't find anything he'd just need a letter of resignation and my badge the following day.

Granted that little caveat at the end made me think I might be job hunting the following day, but he actually called me back in less than an hour. He told me that imaging needed some help, and that I could come job-shadow on the following day to see if the job was something I'd like to do.

In short, I did like it a lot. I took to it a lot better than I did the previous job, where knowledge of the entire annuity industry, and specifically the products ING Sells, seems to be a necessity for the job. It's just not something I can get interested in.

In the new job I can be a little more disconnected from all of that, which I like a lot. Imaging mostly works with getting the new business documents themselves where they need to be, and my department focuses primarily on tranfsers between ING and other Annuity companies. So it's basically just a lot of different communications; whether by E-mail, UPS, or Fax. I'm taking to it a lot better.

Same pay, same benefits, same everything. The only thing that's really changing is my job title. In the end a week that started out extremely stressful (Wondering if I'd still have a job after I told them I didn't want to be a New Business Coordinator) has turned out quite well.
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ING: Day One [20 Aug 2007|04:59pm]
I think I'm going to like working at ING. I can't speak to exactly what my job duties are yet, because quite frankly I don't know. That's because the first three days of the job are spent with people from all kinds of different jobs, and are meant to introduce the company as a whole to employees.

It's actually been less boring than it sounds, and the company is a pretty interesting one to learn about. I'm happy with the way things went today, and I look forward to being back tomorrow for more general info before job-specific training starts later in the week.

Parking was okay - though I'm looking into riding the bus. The facilities lady I talked to told me that they are working on getting permanent bus passes for all of the employees (as opposed to the monthly ones that you have to request, which can't be combined with your ability to park for extremely cheap). Eventually I'll be able to have my cake and eat it to, which will be nice. For now, I'm going to be driving to work, and parking in a parking ramp that has skywalk access to ING.

That's all I really have for now - I need to get my benefits all figured out tonight (done online, from home, which is nice), but that's going to wait until Lindsay gets home.

For now: I game.
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