Archive for January, 2008

6 Months After Leaving School I Can See Some of the Differences

January 28th, 2008 Comments off

So it’s now about 6 months after I left school and I can now see some of the differences between having an education and not having one. The biggest difference is money. Yep, over the course of the last 6 months I have come to realize that I am in the very bottom spectrum in regards to salary for what I do.

Now I cannot attribute the lower pay that I receive directly to the fact that I do not have a degree, even a degree from an online school. I mean this is the first position that I have received in this new career path that I am in so starting some where near the bottom is expected. It is just that the people around me make a good deal of money more then me.

So there are a couple of different ways to look at this. The first is if I had gone to college right out of high school that I would be somewhere near the rest of my peers that I work with right now making the same type of money. But that did not happen and cannot be changed. That is what I would like my kids to do and I will do everything I can to try and make sure that they are able to do that.

The next perspective is that I could go back to school now and I could be “caught up” over time. This is what I was trying to do but when you get older you have other responsibilities (like family) that can (and should) take priority over things outside of work and family.

There is also the whole cost factor that you needs to consider in regards to going back to school. I raked up almost $10K is school loans for the couple semesters that I was going. When it was all said and done it would have been about $40K that I would have need to pay back. For me I had to compare how much potential income the degree was going to get me verses the cost. When I looked at it I was not entirely sure that the cost justified the sacrifice of time with my family and cost of repaying the loans.

The final perspective is staying at my current education level and putting my efforts into doing my job really well. With this decision you look to yourself to make personal improvements in order to advance in your job. For me that was getting more familiar with what we sold and volunteering to take on more responsibility along with my standard duties.

I think this aspect needs to happen whether you are going to school or not. Even if you have a degree you still need to bust your butt to get noticed and move up the food chain in your company. I have done this where I am at right now and have begun to take on some higher level projects. For me not having the extra burden of having to go to school has allowed me to take on this little extra at work without impacting my family the way that school did.

I believe that the experience that I am gaining will over shadow the fact that I do not have a degree when I am out in the job market again someday. In fact it was my experience (8 years of experience) that got me into this job in the first place as opposed to a degree. There are several job posting that want a degree or equivalent job experience. To most companies that is interchangeable.

I guess I said all of the above to say this – your best bet is to go to school right out of high school. If you don’t do it then it only gets more difficult as you get older. You gain more responsibilities as you get older and you will pretty much always be behind those who did go to college right out of high school. For me I accept where I am at and will do the best with it that I can. Will I go back to school? There is not a very good chance of that, I have accepted where I am at and I think I will get more return on my investment of time and money by not going to school.

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Air Hogs Nano Hawk Review – A Joy to Fly

January 19th, 2008 Comments off

This is one review that I could not wait to write. I picked up an Air Hogs Nano Hawk this evening and immediately came home to fly it. My excitement was fueled by the fact that I have not gotten to fly in quite some time due to the weather outside. The Nano Hawk offered to fill my craving since it is an indoor Micro RC toy much like the Air Hogs Havoc Heli.

Initial Impressions

The overall design of the Nano Hawk is not really new. Silverlit (or Spin Master) has had one of these out for some time. In fact a friend of mine at work has one sitting on his desk that he flies everyone once in a while. The thing that makes the Nano Hawk different from the previous version is that it has a Lipo battery in it. The previous version had a capacitor that would charge but would give you less then a minute of flying. With the lipo battery I got a good 5-6 minutes of flight!

Charging the Nano Hawk is much the same as the Havoc Heli. The airplane charges from the remote control. There are a couple of nice differences between the Nano and the Havoc when charging though. The first is that the Nano is actually cradled by the controller while charging instead of of a wire coming out of it like with the Havoc. This is nice because on more then one occasion I have forgotten that the Havoc was attached to the controller and picked either it up of the controller which left the other piece dangling. The other difference is that the Nano Hawk actually has a separate choice on the switch specifically for charging. When the charging is done the light goes off and the controller is off. On the Havoc you turn the controller to the on position and then plug in the Havoc. The controller stays on even after the Havoc is charged up.

Charging time was about 10 minute.

First Flight

My first flight with it was exhilarating as I did not know what to expect. I had never flown a plane like this and was not sure what to expect. At first I was not giving it enough throttle and the Nano was doing a see-saw up/down motion which made it hard to control. That coupled with the fact that it was veering off to the right sent the Nano into the wall a few times. It did not sustain any damage at all from my encounters with the wall as the plane is so light and durable that I don’t see it ever being damages from your basic crashes.

I set the trim on the controller a couple of clicks to the left and gave it 3/4 throttle to see if that would help. This is where the Nano became a dream to fly. It was no longer doing the see-saw action and was flying strait. Left and right rudder input from the controller was responsive and within a minute I was able to put the plane where I wanted in my living room. I was even able to fly around a column in between my family and dining rooms! I was never able to do that with the Havoc!

After a couple of minutes I decided to push it a little and see what a full fixed right rudder would do. The Nano started turning quickly to the right where the increased air speed gave it more lift. I gave it a little more throttle and was able to maintain my altitude while rapidly circling. Even more amazing was the fact that I was able to pull out of the circle and continue to fly!

As mention before my flight time lasted around 5-6 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Flying the Air Hogs Nano Hawk was some of the most enjoyable flying that I have done. The Havoc Heli is fun and and looks really cool but the Nano Hawk is far more controllable. I think with a little adjustment and maybe a mod or 2 you could start doing some cool tricks with it.

At the around the same price as the Havoc Heli it would be a difficult choice to have to decide between the 2. I’ll put it to you this way – the Nano and the Havoc are sitting right next to each other on my desk. I know the Nano is going to get some serious flight time in this weekend and I think the Havoc is going to be watching from my desk ;-) .

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