Thursday, December 28, 2006
I went from tri-weekly to try weekly to try weakly
"Christmas, how was that?" you ask. It went well. My bride got nearly twice as many gifts as me (but I gave her quite a bit and she has giving friends so I didn't expect equity), and I got stuff I wanted -- including a record player. I was given the Crosley that I hoped for, or rather the one I had expected, and discovered that it didn't have any way to plug it into anything else (no speaker jacks in back, no earphone jack in front) so it wasn't going to be suiting my needs... my intention was to rip vinyl and tape to the computer. I replaced it with an Innovative Technology brand device with an earphone jack, and I'm really enjoying listening to my records and creating high-quality MP3s. Funny, IT's website isn't mentioned in the manual, only on the bottom of the box; the page hasn't been updated this year so it contains the 2005 product lineup (which doesn't include this ITRETRO-401); email sent to the address on the site bounces as "no longer accepts mail"; the manual and site do not mention anything about replacement needles, though I suspect the one Crosley lists for sale in their pack-in materials will fit. Christmas itself was as expected spent at home (we got up at 1 p.m.!) having a very nice quiet time together in our jammies the whole day. We liked it a lot.
Job search... As you can imagine, last week was not a good time to look for work because there wasn't much up my alley (or most people's) listed. I discovered a stupidity about the Unemployment Dept's online weekly filing thing: Question number two is "did you actively look for work?" Yes. Question number three is "you certify that you put in 3 applications or participated in 3 programs or a combination thereof for 3 contacts?" No, I make no such claim. And it bounces back to question two, as though Looking equals Finding. Great job, guys. Anyhow, so I was contacted a week or two ago about meeting with someone to go over my job search list for a particular week. ZOMG, an audit!!!1! But I had put in three applications that week so I had nothing to ph34r. So I show up at the appointed place at the appointed time to talk to the appointed person, who presumably does this very task several times a day and is better versed in where to look for employment than I. Eventually I get called back, sit at this desk and hand the guy my search list, and after a cursory glance Manure [or something like that, it was an Indian subcontinental name] leans forward and gives me a patronizing look, then tells me I can't list the same job twice. Look again, dipstick; the first line of the two entries say they were found online at Jobdango.com, but the next two lines after that on each says what agency they were through and what the business being served was. He'd never heard of Jobdango.com despite the fact that every streetcorner in Pierce and King County has a sign with that name poked into the ground or nailed to a pole (and when I visited Portland OR last summer, it was written on every streetcorner and sidewalk in chalk!), and you'd think that dozens of people he's talked to have used the site. So he pulls out the White-Out and erases the 'Jobdango.com' from the Who column and writes it in on the How column -- in the email address blank, though he noticed earlier that I'd checked the 'from website' box directly below it. Right-o. I rolled with his punches, making sure he was clear on the fact that I had done my three contacts. He moved on to the you-need-a-résumé portion of his rote presentation, and luckily there was something that sounded like "do you have one?" at the end of one of his sentences (though I'm sure that's not what he actually said) so I pulled mine out cheerfully. Much like the college professors my friend Emil had a decade and a half ago when he'd hand in 5 page papers that were entirely composed and written by me (on subjects for which I had never taken a class), he didn't actually read my résumé so much as eyeball it to make sure it looked like it had a table of contents, a thesis statement, a body, a conclusion, and a bibliography. Passed his sniff test. He printed out a listing for some "technology tech" job with a community college's 'puter lab, had me sign a form saying that either I'd apply for this job by the end of the week or not get paid (mentally I'm hearing the voice of my bud from my last two major support jobs, Marcie, saying "I'm a little pink poodle and I LOVE to jump through hoops!") and that I'd call his voicemail once I'd done that, and away I went to put in an application at a craft store a mile away to be a framer. I hope they call, that sounds like a cool change, though I have to say their (front of store) staff organization was about as disorganized as the state office I had just left... maybe the framers, in the back of the store, are more elite and snobby. :) So that's where I am; two apps for this week, one to go. The next day was more amusing, I went to a mostly-unannounced auction at a defunct furniture store and it turns out the auctioneer (who has a storage building in the Lower Yakima Valley) knows my parents. It's a small world afterall...
Now go see the January 2007 update to Laughter is the Spackle of the Soul!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
doom and destruction
Paige's brother Boyd came over with his trusty chainsaw, and within two hours he had both of the trees cut up into manageable pieces, which Paige and I dragged into our own yard, and both of our neighbors' yards are free of major debris (or ours anyway). Yeah, now what to do with the piles of crap in our yard? I'm not sure what will be done about the fence; I'm willing to buy supplies and fix it myself, with or without Lillian's son's help (this is the guy who was supposed to replace the short fence separating our properties in the front yard last summer and hasn't), but she said she's had her insurance company do fence repairs before so they might take care of it. Ruben's fence was not harmed at all, because the trees landed on Lillian's apple tree and didn't make impact on the planks.
There have been some amusing stupidities encountered in the shopping binge I've been on in the last few days, but as usual I can't think when I'm at the computer. Okay, here's one that wound my clock: I was in this thrift store in the Hilltop neighborhood that I'd never seen before, bought a flock of ornaments and such, and I found a couple records I wanted. (You can never have too many musicbox albums, though some would reason that even one is too many.) For some reason I decided I needed this Christmas album by Living Strings, but -- totally unlike me -- I didn't pull the record out to confirm it was the Living Strings Christmas album. I got home, turned on the turntable, and... uh, it's not Living Strings, it's this German children's chorus (oh boy, screechy kids and an accordian!). At least it was still Christmas music, but the kind I prefer to go to Leavenworth to hear over loudspeakers while shopping rather than play in my own home while wrapping gifts. And on that note, I have finally decided upon a gift I want this year: my record player sounds horrible lately, like there's a short or something inside or my needle is blunt (well, that part I already knew), and Crosley [you're there!] has been marketing some CD/tape/record/radio consoles -- one of which will burn CDs of your records -- that we've seen in catalogs and for half-price at a department store chain locally. I dropped that on Paige yesterday, now let's see if she gets on the ball and goes shopping for one while they're still (hopefully) in stock. Anyhow, witness the photos.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
another old memory found and new thought lost
So a couple days ago my Christmas tree went up. Shortly before I wrote the previous Stupidities entry, I brought all the ornament boxes in the house and sorted through them, as mentioned, to get anything related to snowflakes and snowmen (and the cardboard Christmas village from the 1950's) gathered for the display case, and green, white, and clear lights and ornaments assembled for the tree in the livingroom. Nearly two weeks later, I brought in our wonderous artificial arbor and spent the rest of the night screwing in lights and putting up the strings, then we decorated it. Lights aren't a simple deal for me; since there was a theme to follow, I picked up every greenish, whitish, or clearish C-7 light in the house to put on the tree somewhere. Having taken nearly all the glass flake-ish stuff to the library, this meant we had to run out and buy some more -- oh, and we made our own crystal flakes out of borax detergent and
Also last week I pledged to show you the house lights. Here ya go! There's been one addition, a very large twinkling snowflake in the livingroom window, but I'm sure you've seen plenty of those lately so just envision it on the left side.