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November 12, 2005

I Missed My High School Reunion Again. Damn.

By: 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.

The first 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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at November 12, 2005 6:54 PM


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