The Dude on the Right
Last weekend was my 20 year high school reunion and I didn’t go, and the more I
think about it, I’m a little bummed I missed it. The worst part about it,
as things ended up working out, in hindsight, I could have gone.
hindrance in making any plans was that by the time I found out when the reunion
was, I had already put in a request for concert clearance for Bon Jovi.
Jovi was playing in Chicago last Friday and Saturday, and when I put in the
request, I said either show would be fine. Not knowing if I would get
clearance for Friday or Saturday, or get clearance at all, I couldn’t make
definite plans. And in a case of unbelievable coincidences, I missed my 10
year reunion, because of, well, a
Bon Jovi concert. Anyway, my plan was that if I got clearance for the
Friday show, or didn’t get clearance at all, I would head back to the homestead
Saturday morning for the reunion on Saturday night, then head back to the Windy
City on Saturday. As it turned out, I didn’t get clearance at all, so
could have gone, but something else got in the way.
In addition to this web
site, I also do some business consulting, and one of the companies I do work for
was having problems with this GPS unit they recently purchased. They
wanted to use it to find manholes for a construction job they had, and got the
manhole coordinate files from the General Contractor. I got it installed,
but something wasn’t right. When I installed it at their office, I knew
that the manholes were anywhere from 30 to 40 miles away from their office, but
the GPS unit kept saying the manholes were about 500 miles north. That put
them in Canada. The G.C. files also contained a "coordinate system" file,
saying the coordinates were in something called a "Stateplane
Illinois East 1201" system, yet every time I entered that into the GPS unit, I
kept getting the same thing, manholes 500 miles away. Not being a mapping
dude, I tried to do some investigating on the internet, but no matter what I
tried, the result was the same. Then one of the computer dudes at the GC
said they had problems getting the right distance out of their office, but when
they were actually in the near vicinity of the manholes, it worked fine.
Well, the company was really jumping to get this thing to work right, so I
agreed to go up to northern Illinois on the Saturday of the reunion, pretty much
cementing my missing the reunion. The thing is, in my gut, I knew it
wouldn’t make a difference. I figured something was wrong with either the
coordinate file or the coordinate system they said it was, but I went up to the
north shore of Illinois to do some testing anyway. Sure enough, I get up
to the North Shore and the manholes are now around 470 miles north of me.
Yup, according to the GPS, they are still up in Canada.
As things worked out,
on Monday I got a hold of the engineers who supplied the original coordinate
file, and low and behold, the coordinate system was in something called "UTM
NAD83 ZONE 16," or something like that, and the coordinates were in meters, not
feet, like the G.C. supplied file said they were. I popped that into the
GPS unit, and yup, everything was right with the world, or at least the manholes
were right where they were supposed to be.
My problem, still to this day, is
that at times I don’t listen to myself. Everything told me not to waste my
time heading to northern Illinois last Saturday, it wouldn’t make a difference,
and it didn’t. No Bon Jovi clearance, the GPS unit still wouldn’t work
right, and in the end I could have gone to my reunion. I will give the
folks that organized the reunion credit, though, because they put it together
even though my
high school closed down, and they posted some pictures from the shindig, but
I have to say, that for the most part, after checking out the photos, I’m having
a hard time recognizing most of them. Me, I look in the mirror and I don’t
look like I’ve aged a day after high school. Well, alright, maybe a year
or two. The hair is the same, I’ve still got the svelte body I had back
then, and figure I would have walked in the door with everyone saying something
like "Dude, you look exactly the same as I remember you! What’s your
secret?" to which I would reply back "Who are you?" All I know is I hope
Bon Jovi won’t be in Chicago the same day as my 25th year reunion because that
started the entire process of missing my reunions ten years ago.
That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!