Tuesday, July 08, 2008
So I spent $28 we don’t have for gas to go meet with a recruiter for 15 minutes yesterday, throwing in a stop for Sadie’s birth certificate on the way. It was kind of an obligatory thing they do because they promise their client companies that they have personally met and screened the prospects. It mainly consisted of a get to know you slightly better and discuss what want to do. Which, as I told him, is part of my problem, but the obvious option of project management sounds good to me. He could get me DBA (database administrator) work with SQL Server if I were more qualified. That’s a case of probably could, but wouldn’t be what they really want. Trouble with me is my tremulous “probably could” is probably more capable than half the people who assertively put themselves forth as such.
I have no idea whether he’ll really come up with anything for me, and it’s got to be just one basket. Today I need to start invoking my plan weeks in the brewing for which now it may be too late, which includes begging for work here and to a mailing list of contacts*, begging for help with the gas & electric bill, and holding a fundraising CotC most of which would also go to the gas & electric so it doesn’t get turned off before I have more income. All of this was supposed to go hand in hand and happen a while ago, though originally I hadn’t thought of having people send money straight to the utility and the emphasis was one fundraising CotC and hello, need work.
Today I also might want to run to storage for a while. It’s paid through the 16th, so there are 3 more days on which I can go inventory it and remove stuff before it gets overlocked pending being able to pay for it. Or clean it out completely and put the stuff somewhere else pending sale of whatever can and should be sold.
Anyway, if the recruiter gets me work, I can expect it to pay in the 60-100k range, sounds like most likely around 80k. I’ll believe it when I see it, but it’d be nice to be in that kind of turnaround territory.
* I tend to assume most people already know my situation - needing work, if not the about to be homeless part - but recently one of the former colleagues I am closest to, to the point of being in the group of friends I get together with periodically, chastised me because he had no idea. So apparently I have to advertise heavily.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Jay: Not the Post I’d Planned
Have to go meet a recruiter today. The kids are crazy.
Sadie woke crying in wee hours with apparently a sinus headache. Which happened to Valerie 24 hours before, though she’s prone to headaches and it may not have been sinus.
Henry a little while ago drank a substantial amount of Valerie’s coffee and has gone all puffy and squinty-eyed and a little rashy, but he’s also been miserable, as has Deb. and for that matter me. People burning? No! Something blooming around the corner, smells like maybe honeysuckle, so strong it can be hard to sleep.
So we’re not sure how much is the coffee and how much is that. The coffee is about 1 part coffee, some sugar and dry creamer, and 5 parts cold water. He’s had black coffee with sugar before and not blown up, but the non-dairy creamer has dairy in it, along with whatever else, so who knows. At least it’s not almost pure milk as it would have been before we realized Val had a problem with the milk.
Anyway, I have to go get ready to go to the Stoughton town hall for Sadie’s birth certificate to sign up for RomneyCommunistCare and decriminalize ourselves in the eyes of the state, then the recruiter in Burlington. And other errands.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Jay: I Keep Forgetting
That I haven’t posted anything else today. I’ve thought of it a few times and meant to, but nope, still the same birthday post. Nothing about needing to examine and update my resume for a recruiter I talked with today. Nothing about the need to raise money rapidly for one more major hurdle or still risk being being homeless (and we may have two vehicles now, but the car still isn’t as good as the van would have been for that). No pictures from the ones pending. Nothing about trying dairy with Henry to see what happens, starting with Deb, then him if he doesn’t react to that. I think the dairy thing may have been a red herring, between the cheese being histamines and the milk containing strawberry syrup, which is more suspect than it might be since we know he can’t drink any Kool-Aid flavors due to something in them. We’re also not convinced beyond a doubt about bananas, which also don’t fit the primary issue and which he loves enough to have begged for by name today. Which doubles as practice of his mastery of the “n” sound. As in “no.”
All the quickie items have gone elsewhere, where I can post more easily. And not even all of those there could have been.
Sadly, it feels like it should be 4:00 and I have several hours ahead, so it’s shocking to see it turning 9:00. The girls are fighting on my office floor, while Henry cheers them on gleefully. Guess I should break it up, but it’s kind of funny.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Jay: On The Agenda
Herding kids per usual.
Making beans to supplement leftovers. I love cooking two nights and then having two nights of the leftovers making it easier.
Dealing with bureaucracy.
(Pause for literally hours to do aforementioned herding and post a couple items that were easier or whatnot...)
Nursing my hand that’s too sore to want to use the mouse and isn’t so thrilled about typing.
Work on composing and preparing a bleg, of it can be called that, for work, in context of explaining what we have in mind and why, subject to possible change or serious traditional offers considered, depending how serious and what happens with Deb’s career.
Work on the same basic thing to mass quantities of contacts, some of whom may not know even peripherally about the situation, and many of whom would be well aware my abilities.
The usual dishes and cleaning and organizing.
Work on a more traditional bleg on the possibility there might be any additional sympathy when I explain the next major hurdle we have to get past in order not to be completely screwed. The PayPal button is still here, in any event, and won’t stop being useful for a long time, or appreciated ever.
Look at the washing machine, which seems to be acting up, and try to find the info for the service plan we paid for, if needed.
Test our electric usage to see if something is draining excess power, including the possibility that something not in our apartment or on our cellar outlet might be tapping it.
Clean the office. Still. Again.
Clean the bedroom.
Go through our stuff to purge/segregate/organize for sale more of it.
Run the car before the battery has a chance to fade out again.
Find a plate holder for the front of the car without spending any money, since there is none to spend. Don’t want to drive it too much with the front plate sitting in on the dashboard.
Backup some pictures.
Reorganize some site hosting stuff.
Post ad info regarding our sites, maybe try to sell more to existing accounts, and pimp that further in any event.
Put together a “back from hiatus” fundraising Carnival of the Capitalists edition, speaking of raising money and advertising. A couple people donated to us a while back and mentioned it as a thanks or hoping for return of CotC, so it’s partly for them, but also both to let people put their money where their interest is, and help me determine whether that site should remain ad-free or ad-limited, or whether I should load it up or seek sponsorship more vigorously. In any event, that’s been part of my plan for trying to raise about $3000 in the next six weeks, some of which would be needed no matter how much I can make conventionally.
Update my LinkedIn profile and my resume and extend some of that to other networking-oriented sites. Update the business site to reflect what I actually intend, until such time as someone makes me a serious enough offer to back off of that.
Probably a slew of other things I’m forgetting or that are trivial or that are implicit.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Jay: No Birthdays
No birthdays I know of today, a rarity in June, so this’ll be my obligatory post for the day.
The car remains stranded in Sharon. I called my brother and left a message last night, as it was rumored he could help me with it today, which is possible because Deb is on all early shifts now. Meanwhile, I suppose I really ought to work on getting stuff for the yard sale ready, even if I have to drop it off and have it sold by others, or get a ride, or whatever. That all hinged on having the car, but I also needed to spend pretty serious time working toward preparing. If we can’t do much with this one, we may ask the landlord if he’d object to our having one here. Probably not, as he seems to object to little besides having a pool for kids. But then we’d feel like we had to ask the neighbors, too, see if they wanted to participate. Damn politeness!
I’m trying to organize the whole “do what I can to make money from home” thing better, with some explicit unfettered time allotted me evenings and Deb’s days off. Some things can be done in those minute or two or five interludes I get between kid demands, but I need to have them listed and planned out enough so the whole effort isn’t wasted on “so what did I need to do next?” There’s a lot more ad revenue available, and while we won’t live on that, not without serious content and traffic buildup at least, managing that is one of those little things, and boom, there’s the money for, say, utilities each month.
Posting more actively, even if it’s quick links to interesting stuff, makes the blogs more viable for ads, so you’ll see more of that. At least on the WordPress ones, since I can post so quickly via w.bloggar, which doesn’t work with Expression Engine. That’s about the only thing it doesn’t work with, and there’s even a version now that doesn’t use Internet Explorer in the background. It was always annoying, that links in preview in the editor would open in IE, and of course IE was used programatically for the HTML rendering in the editor. There’s now a version that uses Firefox instead.
One of the reasons Carnival of the Capitalists went on hiatus was the time it took me that was annoyingly uncompensated. I miss the structure it gave each week, with a publishing schedule, but TANSTAAFL needs to rule. I’m planning to revive it, starting with a fundraising edition, the success of which will help determine to what degree it continues, and the amount of advertising I deploy at that site. Another project, which isn’t impossible to do in small chunks so much as it’s annoying.
Anyway, off to it. Need more coffee, and a glass of water. Have to keep drinking to combat the gout, which seems to go hand in hand with some swelling and water retention, duh, from getting underhydrated.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Jay: Gout Attacks
I haven’t had trouble with gout to speak of, lately, until today, when it came on suddenly and at least as severely as ever.
As I may have mentioned, from peak weight to recent low weight I lost 55 lbs, 45 this year. The diet is a bit different, if not as much so as you might think, and more fully natural. Still, I’d expect if I ate pinto beans for a few days, I’d get an outbreak.
My first thought was limited fluid today, though I drank plenty yesterday, and stayed in AC a lot, and the weather in general. That’s likely a factor.
However, the cookout Sunday saw me sent home with a banana bread with cranberries, a bunch of sour cream bars, and most of a loaf of homemade bread. Deb and the kids ate the bread, though I had a slice or two at the event itself. However, I ate most of the banana bread and most of the squares in a binge of wanting them not to spoil and, hey, free food. Kind of weird, as I don’t eat much for sweets these days, and even carbs are only moderately from bread.
I’m intrigued by the possibility that the binge on that stuff was a factor. If anything, I’ve had less than usual that should contribute. Heck, I had salad two nights in a row, so I suppose I could speculate about that.
I just hope it goes fast. Now back to stuff I need to get done while I have the chance. I started replying to a job solicitation around 10 hours ago and it’s still on my screen, partly written. Figured I’d reply, even though I don’t think I have the qualifications they want.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Jay: Then There’s…
The advertising-related stuff, and the plans to do a CotC and try to restart that. If people will contribute above a threshold when I do a fundraising edition back from hiatus, I’ll not only believe they are interested, but also delay advertising on that site for a duration depending on donations. If not, that’ll be added to the stable, and it’s the most potentially lucrative one. Plus I’ve started posting there again, even aside from restarting CotC or not. The other thing is a hardcore “hire us, dammit” post and associated features across blogs, along with updating of the business and resume sites.
All of which will be relevant, even if I get the support job I’m up for that can be done from anywhere, including if we were to move anywhere in the country with decent broadband. Obviously, I’d prefer to stay somewhere with FiOS, so it’s good that’s an increasingly widespread option.
Anyway, off to working on something, even if it’s dishes and a shower to start. And maybe something for lunch, since I feel hollow. As well I should, given that I fit OK in a T-shirt I’ve seldom worn because it’s too tight. Oh, about to post more pictures, too, which I started working on at an adjacent computer, after forgetting this post was in progress.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
There was some discussion of karma lately, and what it is exactly.
It’s not tens of thousands of people killed in a natural disaster because the government, of which they individually may or may not approve, forcefully annexes and treats badly a sovereign country and culture, a process of which they individually may or may not approve.
Karma is when you tell your brother’s wife that he’s old and fat, and therefore will never land another job in his life, and shortly thereafter lose your own job, facing the possibility of having to change fields, accept even lower pay, or both.
That’s the way karma works outside of activist celebrity fantasies.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Jay: Betrayed By Weather!
Oh wait. I mean, what a wonderful day it appears to be, and how nice it got for a large chunk of yesterday. Hooray for sun and warmth, and their power to dry previously soaked grass. Yeah, that’s it. Assuming the 50% chance of precipitation, focused in the afternoon and beyond, is worth the risk.
Which means it’s looking sadly, I mean happily, like the family gathering Easter egg hunt thing will happen today. That means getting a ride, which appears to be all set. That means preparing and bringing something the baby can eat. That means getting cash I can’t afford to contribute to the purchase of pizza, which means dairy, which means “hey, what’s Deb going to eat?” That means sitting here trying to remember what lyrics my brother wanted me to locate online and print for him, so I don’t have to be like “oops, forgot” or whatever.
But hey, it’ll make my brother and the other kids happy, so it must be worth it.
If it’s happening, and we have no idea for sure yet. As of yesterday it was completely up in the air. Not only does it depend on the lack of rain long enough for the grass to be dry, it also matters whether the grass was cut recently enough, or couldn’t be because mumble mower fixed mumble come do the lawn mumble, or it was too wet at the wrong time.
We also have no idea what time it is scheduled, since nobody in the family who schedules these things ever announces a time for them. Apparently naming the date is considered sufficient.
Oh well. Guess I’d better start frantically scrambling to be ready to go, rather than taking advantage of what for me is a work day with someone else to help redirect the kids.
I relaxed when my look at the weather told me it’s likely to be raining again by 2:00, but I’m told we should show between 12:30 and 1:30, so I really do have to scramble.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Deb: This is what you do…
if you haven’t managed to find a job that pays all the bills: you find a job that pays some part of them, however small. So tomorrow morning I’m due to show up for orientation for my fancy new gig stocking shelves at a local branch of America’s most hated RetailMegaCorp.
So many things I could say about this, starting with how amusing I find the full-circle aspect of the job and ending with how much I hate so much of the bashing on this particular company. But I’m short on time today, so I won’t.
Just wanted to share a little update with y’all, since you’ve been hanging in with us through all of the drama.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I feel lousy this morning. Got enough sleep, even if much of it was in Sadie’s bed because she apparently decided our bed would be better and warmer. Well, “even if” makes her bed sound bad, and actually it’s awesome. I may have gotten deeper sleep there. I noticed Valerie eventually abandoned her bed too, presumably joining the crowd in ours.
I woke up from one of those crazy mashed up dreams. It involved starting a job, and the place or aspects brought in elements of multiple past employers and situations. The place was named Halliday, which is one job. The lobby was right out of Corporate Software, which later became Stream. I was supposed to start at $8.00 an hour, which happens to be minimum wage in Massachusetts currently. I speculated they might start at slightly higher, which Flatley Company did when I worked at Waterford Village. Minimum wage then was $2.90 and they paid $3.00. Then minimum wage went to $3.10 and they paid… $3.10, which completely destroyed some notions I had.
I was talking with someone, speculating that the company might pay me a little above the minimum. Sure enough, it was going to be $8.02, which somehow morphed into the exact same thing as the $12.02 I started at with Corporate Software. Anyway, even the reference to pay rate is a reference back to prior jobs.
The exterior of the building was some kind of generic cross between places, hard to say one more than another, but there might have been elements of a Christy’s Market, adding another old job.
Later, when I was on the job, there was a scene in an apartment. Apparently apartments were part of what the place did, which goes back to Waterford Village. It was vacant, had been mine, still had some of my stuff in it, and was not going to be rented any time soon. This was like the office I had in Easton, which took me a month extra to move out of after the last official month, with them in no hurry for it. A guy named Matthew showed up in the dream. We once shared an apartment in Greenfield, and I was telling him he might soon want to get his stuff out of this one that he’d left it in with me. He hadn’t even realized I’d moved. Shades of former partners having left stuff in the office in Easton, which had to go to them, be disposed of, be adopted, or be stored.
Confusingly, in a related sequence, I was showing someone how many bookcases I was going to be able to fit, in a ridiculous arrangement, in just the entryway/kitchen area alone. The someone was an amalgamation of a former partner and someone I didn’t work closely with at Stream, but who was similarly brilliant.
Very strange. I also remember thinking that I could crash in the apartment if needed, like if I needed to stay over at work since the place was vacant, I had access to it, and they’d made me welcome to use it, short of actually moving in.
Lots of stuff to do today. Hope I can remember what it is! I have some e-mailing and calling and going and researching and writing and food storing and cleaning and organizing and so forth to be done.
We received a book yesterday that we’d order super cheap from Half.com, a used copy of Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons. I need to do more than skim the intro, but it should be interesting. Sadie is beyond ready. She fell asleep last night with a book named “Ted” open, pages down on her chest. She studies and recites books from memory. She knows the letters. She has an idea of some words, like the Q thing she identifies with closing a program (Quit), that made he so excited to learn about how q and u go together.
This morning she spent some time on my lap while I didn’t write and I did an impromptu tiny lesson on m and s, which are the first ones covered in the book. She can point them out on the keyboard (and sound like I’m stupid to ask her) and I had her say the sounds. The actual lessons take about 15 minutes. Not a bad amount of time to devote, once or twice a day. I doubt she’ll need the whole thing or want to be held back to that speed once we’re rolling.
Anyway, I need to go take care of stuff in the kitchen. And post the birthday I didn’t know about before I started this. Sooner or later I’ll have no birthday-free days.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Jay: Thinking Aloud
This is an exercise in helping me figure out what I am going to tackle today, and beyond, and wrap my head around what awaits my attention before I get all scattered.
I probably don’t need to mention the usual dishes to wash or load into dishwasher, of which there are relatively few because I’d caught up. I’ll want to just almost from this post right to the shower, so Deb can do laundry if her back is up to it. Poor back. (Sounds like it’s not.) Going to the store simply is, without option to avoid it. I could go to the bank while I’m out.
I have to take the registry thing to the town hall for an abatement on one of the excise tax bills, and pay the two of them. That needs to precede any visit to the registry, which needs to be preceded by contact with the insurance company. In Texas. Which probably means simply not possible to register car this week, before the gathering Sunday. Annoying. Also annoying that said gathering is at the same time as something else we were invited to first, which worst case I could have gone to with Sadie alone, since she’s the one near Dale in age, and it’s his birthday party.
I have e-mails to answer. Some are going on two weeks old.
We’re expecting my father to swing by late in the day, so I have to plan around that, even for a quick drop off of some stuff. That influences the timing of errands.
Yesterday I discussed a web site update with the former big client, who has realized that my original preference on something was right. I’d proposed to them a month to month flat fee for site maintenance and updates covering most anything short of a complete redo, since it’s not covered under the current support contract they have and I did the original based on their marketing/design person’s plan. They managed to get me to do a one shot update for the monthly rate, which ended up working out to no more than $12 an hour and required a ton of waiting. That’s long paid, but the last tiny bit is still not done, waiting for a photo. Obviously I am not going to make another change, which could involve changing every page, without another modest fee. I suggested an additional change to include and will hear back eventually.
I did site backups across the empire and was going to update WordPress on all the blogs that use it, starting with Dan’s, which I didn’t update last time. I was falling asleep at my desk last night when about to do that, so figured I’d better wait. I’ll want to do those before much time passes, so I don’t feel like I must do the backups over again.
I have some paying work I need to get cracking on, which among other things will require me to get more familiar with RSS. I have dabbled with RSS readers myself, but none have “stuck” and I always revert to reading from links. How 2003 of me! I guess I need a reader I like enough, and then to be careful what I include, or to be able to categorize it well. I could almost see an automated system being useful, so your daily reads would appear every day, keyworded stuff would appear daily even if it’s not a daily read, and a measured amount of “check weekly” and “check monthly” stuff would automatically be included in your daily reading, perhaps varied by day, so if you want to do more reading on the weekend, it can play catch up then.
That probably exists.
I also need to learn all there is to know about measuring RSS feeds subscribed/read for a given site. Heck, I have no idea how many people read us that way.
Perhaps I can fit in some of that project today.
I also need to work with/learn more about Facebook and some of those.
I’m still on the office reorganization, which spills into the kitchen, where I still have stuff on the table that was once in the office. That seems to work okay by pecking away at it, like when I crave physical work and need to get up from the computer.
Shoot, that about covers today, doesn’t it? Not even getting into posts to write, my book/series of posts idea to work on while timely, CotC, the business site needing updating, etc. and so forth.
Well, off to it. Don’t be alarmed it there’s a lack of posts or if I revert to drive-by commentary.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I was working on a post about recent work experiences, but decided I’d cut to a this and that post and save the other for later.
Things got more interesting again with the baby. Henry is apparently allergic to milk. He got into a sippy cup one of the girls had, got a meaningful amount, and where it dribbled down his front, he got contact hives.
So we are up to milk and presumably milk products, with it all the clearer the big incident was cheese-related, bananas, apples, grapes, juice of the above, apparently broccoli, and I could swear I’m forgetting something else. The seems to be able to eat/touch column includes rice, oatmeal, potatoes, chicken, beef, pork, butternut, carrots, and sweet potatoes. We’re reasonably confident about pear. He tasted Valerie’s cranberry strawberry juice today with no obvious or immediate consequences, but hard to say. The girls aren’t going to be easy to train. I got cranberry specifically because we know apple and grape juices are bad, and in case it’s good for Val’s urinary system. At the same time, wanting it so tasty she drinks plenty and stays hydrated.
Good thing he loves rice cakes.
This means Deb is back off dairy again, and I’ll avoid it for cooking anything we’ll all eat. We really need to find margarine that contains no dairy products.
I have so much on my plate, I’m lucky to slip in a post. I had a crazy, way underpaid bit of work Sunday and Monday. I helped someone with a computer speedup and de-infestation yesterday. Apparently I have some big fans at the old stomping grounds. The bit of work yesterday might lead to more. I have some work we’re calling tech-marketing that I need to ramp up and spend some real time on, getting a handle on it. The cool thing is it reminds me of my favorite college class, which was named management seminar, and was a graduate-style case course on strategic management and, by extension, business development. It’s like being handed a case to work on for real. There’s some writing work still pending, which I need to check on, status-wise.
There’s everything being made interesting due to the baby’s medical/diet issues.
There’s an ongoing, fits and starts reorganization and cleanup of the office and the house generally, purging stuff we don’t need, traveling a bit lighter.
There’s the project of thanking all the awesome people who donated to us recently, which is up near the top of the priority list for today.
There’s marketing. It looks increasingly like I may be able to piece together a living from this and that, and may be able to do that and spend a lot of time on the home front, while Deb has the potential of some supplemental outside work. However, the marketing includes of her, on the idea we can both do this and that without more than part time or hit and run outside the house work.
So that’s the stuff I’m working on or concerned with, that may mean a post is slow to appear if it’s somewhat extraneous.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Jay: Busy Today
In an odd sort of way. It’s so nice, I should probably take the kids outside, but I think Deb may do that for a while to help along my attempt at productivity. At the same time, I’d wanted to try to give Deb some less encumbered time to work toward restocking the shop, which did land office business the last few days. We’ll get there.
I’m writing thank you e-mails to people who donated, as a big priority. We’re still just blown away.
I have a bit of work lined up for tomorrow, late afternoon. The rate is reasonable, as far as a flat rate that makes it worth an estimated 2 hours or so, plus a half hour or so round trip. However, there’s a huge amount of time involved in reading and digesting the red tape to be handled, and the instructions for something unfamiliar, easy as it may be (swapping POS system components). It’s probably closer to 4.5 hours total work. Reading that material is on the agenda, though I relaxed when I became reasonably sure I did not have to call anyone involved until I arrive on the scene.
I have a smaller bit of work at a time to be determined the first three days of the week. It’s pleasing that between them it’s most of a week’s rent, or enough to put the car we all fit in on the road, or whatnot. The smaller bit of work is likely to lead to a little more of the same, when every little bit matters.
I managed today to get back to the guy I’ve been discussing a different sort of work with, involving blogging, social media, and business development types of activities on a tentative, exploratory basis. I’m psyched about the possibilities.
There are some WordPress sites we run that I need to upgrade. One needs a different template, as I suspect that specifically of being a security hole.
Then there are other work-seeking efforts to be done, and so forth. I may be a little scarcer about posting here than otherwise might be the case, though I may put some pictures up, as it’s been a while and there’s an accumulation. Back to work…
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Jay: Interview With Carly (No, Not the Irish Singer from AI)
Sean Hackbarth interviewed Carly Fiorona, with economic policy questions for John McCain. It’s interesting and not all that long, so you might like to check it out. It includes a question from me, which I gave to Sean phrased as:
Maybe ask if he’d do anything to stop the ethanol-from-food madness, encourage waste biomass or alternatives instead.