Nose To The Grindstone

I had a busy day today. We celebrated the birthday of Gidget’s sister, April. She turned 50 years old today. Not too shabby for a girl who wasn’t supposed to live past the age of three.

I’ve been working hard on a new project, which I will hopefully be able to write about tomorrow night. Bear with me.

Until then, remember this…

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.

Muhammad Ali

A Day Off

Canadian GooseI just don’t understand why some people are the way they are. They can be real assholes sometimes.

When someone applies for a job, they usually want to work for the company they applied with. The potential employer usually interviews the person that wants to work for the company. Right? Isn’t this how it works? Okay, now that we have that straightened out…

I applied for a position with “Company X”. They contacted me for a phone interview. Obviously impressed with my responses during the phone interview, they contact me to come in for a face-to-face interview. During the interview process I am told all about their company. I am filled in on a current project, which seemed to be a bit of a crisis for the company. After the interview I was introduced to everyone at the company, and I mean everyone. I met everyone, from the designers to the support geeks. After the introductions we returned to the conference room where I was told about current projects, two of which needed completion immediately. I was told I would hear from them on Monday.

I don’t know if I am just being a dumb ass or what, but it sounded to me like I might be getting a job offer. It turns out I wasn’t. I didn’t. And from the sounds of the email I received, I won’t.

“Company X” led me on, they made me think I was going to get an offer. They took the extra effort to introduce me to everyone at the office. They took the extra effort to fill me in on projects that were pending. They hired someone else.

Who does that? I want nothing more to do with “Company X”. I will just say one thing about “Company X”.

They better watch out because they’ve lit a fire under my ass that won’t be extinguished anytime soon. I took today off to reboot and regroup. But, tomorrow is a new day, the dawn of a new beginning for me.

They will soon realize that one person’s dawn is another one’s dusk.

Jumping Through Hoops

Taylor CreekI started the day jumping through hoops and I’m ending the day jumping through hoops.

I woke up this morning, started my normal routine browsing job boards, and catching up on some email replies I have long neglected. Gidget started cleaning up the house almost immediately after her feet hit the floor this morning. I don’t know how she does it, but I am glad she does. I don’t know what we would do around here without her.

We made a quick trip to Fred’s for a couple things we needed for the birthday party today and then I was out the door to my Department of Labor “workshop” on Interviewing. Today was our oldest son’s 11th birthday. Yes, Gidget and I feel very old today.

The workshop was a joke, like all of the other workshops I have been required to attend since beginning to draw unemployment. I don’t see how pulling me away from my job search for 2 hours (which includes travel time) and making me waste precious funds on the fuel to get there, will help me find a job, but it’s a hoop I was required to jump through.

As the workshop concluded, I made a beeline for our favorite wing spot. Our kids get their choice for their birthday dinner. Sometimes we have tacos, sometimes fish, tonight we had hot wings. They were delicious as always, and we all had a good time. Check out the cake Gidget baked for the occasion.

birthdaycake.jpg

She used a German Chocolate cake mix, baked on cookie sheets and rolled like a yule log to get the “tree” effect. The birds were courtesy of Freds, and the nests were Chinese Rice Noodles boiled and then colored with food coloring. I thought she did an awesome job.

As the evening wound down and the kids climbed into bed, I checked my email to find out that the second job I had interviewed for (the one I really wanted), had chosen someone else and I was no longer in the running for the position. Talk about letting the wind out of your sail. I was so sure they were going to make me an offer. Heck, the owner of the company took me around from office to office and cubicle to cubicle to meet everyone in the office. Who does that if their mind isn’t already made up?

I won’t deny that I am pissed, and I admit I am feeling very down right now, but I will not let it affect me. I won’t let it keep me down. As I type this tonight, I am checking out a few other sources for job listings, jumping through hoops once again in an effort to end the economic recession in our home.

Have a good evening, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning. I’ll be the guy over here in this corner of the Internet jumping through hoops trying to impress the lion tamer.

Mixed Emotions Don’t Sit Well

Ada-Hi FallsI cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am this evening.

Today started like many other days around here, except it all started an hour or two earlier than normal. The dogs wake me up every morning to let them out. They do this roughly 30-45 minutes before my alarm would have gone off anyway, no matter what time I set the alarm for.

When I let them out this morning, the sun wasn’t even up yet. I let them out, stumbled back upstairs and climbed back into bed. Not 15 minutes later I woke to our little dog, Stitches, making some of the strangest noises I have ever heard come from a dog. It sounded like a mix of complete terror and sheer happiness. It was so strange.

I ran down the stairs to see what was going on, and both dogs came running from the back of the yard when I opened the door. I did not see anything (I wasn’t wearing my glasses anyway). When the dogs started acting up, Gidget woke up too, and she ran and looked out the bathroom window. It turns out, a few deer had jumped our five foot fence on their way through to the meadow behind our house. Of course, this startled our little mongrel of a dog and he didn’t know whether or not to be excited or scared out of his mind. I can’t believe those deer jumped the fence to get into the yard and again to get out. I don’t know who was more scared. Stitches or the deer.

We tried to go back to sleep, without any luck, and our day started a whole lot earlier than it normally does. I spent the morning checking in with all the job sites, checking email job subscriptions, and submitting resumes and applications. It gets old, but I figure I will hit on the right job at the right time sooner or later.

As the morning turned to afternoon I sent out a few emails and was completely knocked over with one of the responses. One of the positions I had interviewed for (both phone and in-person) notified me that they had extended an offer to another individual. I wasn’t ready for that.

I have been out of work for three months and we are at a very critical point around here. The creditors are just beginning to call, and if things don’t pick up soon, things could get very ugly. I think I was more shocked with the blunt response via email than I was about the job itself. Don’t get me wrong, the job would have been nice, but this obviously is not the one that is waiting for me. It’s almost like I am happy and sad at the same time. Now I know how the dog felt this morning.

I am still hoping to hear some good news tomorrow about the second position I was interested in. I really like the company, and I met everyone in the office last Thursday, so I am anxious to see if they will make me an offer. Until then, I will keep moving forward.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney

A Whole New Week

Muddy ToesThere was no news today on the job front. The one call I was hoping to get did not come, but I was told they might not call until Tuesday or Wednesday. I was really hoping that call would come today.

I spent the morning checking in at all the online job sites, filling out more applications and submitting more copies of my resume. After lunch I sent emails out to all of the recruiters I have been working with. Hopefully I will hear back from some of them tomorrow and get up to speed on things this week.

We had some pretty strong storms come through last night, but we got just enough rain to make our new garden very happy. I can hardly wait for those tomatoes to come in. There is nothing like walking out to the garden, picking a vine ripe tomato and just eating it. Yum.

I was pretty busy sending out all those emails this afternoon, but I did find out that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that state and local governments cannot circumvent a citizens constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

The Constitution’s protection of an individual right to have guns for personal use restricts the powers of state and local government as much as it does those of the federal government, the Ninth Circuit Court ruled Monday. The opinion by the three-judge panel can be found here. This is the first ruling by a federal appeals court to extend the Second Amendment to the state and local level. Several cases on the same issue are now awaiting a ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court.

Ruling on an issue that is certain to reach the Supreme Court, the Circuit Court concluded “that the right to keep and bear arms” as a personal right has become a part of the Constitution as it applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause.

I’m quite shocked that this decision came down from the ninth circuit, but as the SCOTUSblog indicates, this case will go all the way to the Supreme Court. There is no doubt about that.

We had our first hummingbird come up to the feeder today, although we haven’t been able to get a good photo yet. We’re not sure, but he looks like a ruby throated hummingbird, but we’ll see.

That it for tonight. I am off now to watch 24 and Heroes, which I recorded on the DVR. Have a great night.

Passing The Test

Tree HoleJust a short post tonight. I’m still sore from the hiking yesterday and planting our garden today. Now, to cap off our great weekend, we have strong storms coming in. We’re in a severe thunderstorm warning, and have already been under one tornado watch, so I plan on shutting things down here in a bit when the storms get a bit closer.

As I mentioned a moment ago, we planted our garden today. I should say, my wife planted our garden and I helped a bit by digging a few rows and helping to get the last of the tomatoes in the ground before the rain hit. We still have a few things to plant, but thus far we have spinach, carrots, radishes, lettuce, peas, cucumber, pumpkin, squash, sweet onions, red onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers planted. Gidget also got the new blackberry bushes in the ground, and we’re waiting on the blueberries to arrive anytime.

We still have some tomato, celery and artichokes to get started, but we’re well on our way to a wonderful fall harvest. I can hardly wait for those tomatoes to come in. Yum!

I was reading tonight that the federal government is going to put restrictions on banks that want to repay their TARP loans. Are they kidding? Read this following quote.

Strong banks will be allowed to repay federal bailout funds, but only if such a move passes a test to determine whether it is in the national economic interest, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing a senior U.S. administration official.

The report said banks that had plenty of capital and demonstrated an ability to raise fresh capital from the market should, in principle, be able to repay government funds.

But the judgment would be made in the context of the wider economic interest, the report said.

I knew this was coming. The feds are “banking” on the fact that none of the banks in question will past their so called “test” and therefore the federal government will take an equity stake in lieu of payment. How much do you want to bet? You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. The whole TARP idea was nothing more than a ploy to begin nationalizing our banking industry. It started with baby steps by the Bush administration and will be carried to term with Obama at the helm.

The only reason the government wouldn’t allow any bank to repay their TARP funds is because they want a stake in that bank. It won’t be long now. I said it before and now I believe it more than ever… It won’t be long now, soon Bank of America will become The Bank Of America. The only bank in America.

I’m hoping to get a few phone calls early this week about those jobs I interviewed for last week, so keep your fingers crossed and say your prayers. I really want to receive and offer or two this week. Now I am out of here. I’m going to shut things down now that the lightning is getting pretty close.