Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jay: Perhaps I Can Sneak In a Post

People are eating or occupied.  I managed to spill blood and have to bandage my foot last time I started actually doing something away from the computer or without a kid on me.  We need to resolve the kid on one of us problem, but I fear that’s a matter of waiting it out for a couple more months.

Or not.

Okay, done with Valerie and talking.

I was going to tell about the whole interview thing, in some detail, if not in a single post.  Let’s do the short version, even though I closed my door, since I closed the door to do work, and 2/3 of the kids can open it anyway.  (Okay, maybe not such a short version, ultimately.)

Train arrived on time.  I was hopelessly confused about where to go, even on foot, even with good directions, because it’s the city.  It was cold and sleeting, which didn’t help.  I managed to find the building and then had to call when I was on the right floor, because I had the wrong company name.  He’d never said, but I found him online under the name of the business before he merged with a larger firm.  I still almost made it by the tentative time of 11:00.

We talked apparently for close to an hour.  I figure it’s possible but not likely I will get the job.  If I do, it may start as a 1099 trial basis, or be because of what he hears from references.  He’s mulling it over a few days.  The biggest problem is lack of focus.  Ideally there’s a label he could apply, where I’d be the X expert - setting up servers, deploying desktops, programming, whatever.  That’s a matter both of my skills and my preferences, and my preferences, weak in the first place, don’t fit well with what there’d be demand for at their size.  On the other hand, my location is good for where they are starting to expand - most work being from home to clients, rarely involving the office (though many clients are in Boston).

Frankly, I could see being called in on a temp basis to help on projects, if I were continuing to otherwise freelance, and I might suggest keeping me in mind for that in any event.

It did go reasonably well and I liked the guy.  We had a fairly animated discussion.  I was embarrassed at how poorly we did focusing and marketing XTreme, and how little client base we had, but the whole thing was weird and I was there so long mainly out of stubborn inertia and sense of obligation to the one big client.  I tend to downplay myself, so it was interesting near the end when I talked about having setup SBS (Small Business Server) 2003 for a client, from scratch, with e-mail and so forth, and he was impressed because he considers that hard and requiring comprehensive knowledge.

Look for post(s) soon where I muse aloud about focus and what I want to be when I grow up.

When I left there, I was only mildly confused getting to my other destination.  I’d noticed funky cherry pickers with bright lights shining on a building at High and Oliver Streets, but thought nothing of it.  Even asked a couple of guys manning one of them for directions, thinking they were construction, and they pleaded having just come in from out of town.  On my way out, at that corner a crowd of people were watching the windows a few floors up, where the lights were directed, chattering about Sandra Bullock filming there.  I saw her on my first look up there, then once more after a while, but I saw a lot of an unfamiliar actor.  They were filming something called The Proposal, which is apparently shooting mainly in Gloucester, according to IMDB.

That gave me an excuse to stand around less obtrusively, pecking at the Blackberry and being amused by the crowd and the situation.  Having gotten my bearings, I headed off to the building where Rob Sama works.  I met a friend of Rob’s on one floor, to discuss a possible two week temp gig covering a vacation.  We immediately concluded that he needed someone more up on the latest stuff and able to hit the ground as an advanced admin, but it was great to meet him, and he went up with me to see Rob.  Then I hung out with Rob for a while, talking about this and that, until I thought I needed to move it to get the train.  It was great to meet Rob in person after “knowing” him since 2003, early in my blogging.

Turned out it was closer and faster than I thought, getting back to South Station, but that’s not a bad place to hang out.

I’d been thinking it’d be fun for the kids to ride the train sometime, but it made little sense without a destination.  Turns out the Children’s Museum is right near the station, so there you go.  Eventually.  If we can keep a roof over our heads and everyone fed in the meantime.

Other takeaways, besides the focus thing, included the need to do the blogging version of the resume ASAP, the need to push the side work, and a heightened perception of the side work as being potentially more than side work.  That and an appreciation of my former colleagues, and good turns apparently coming around.  The resume got to my interviewer via a guy I used to go out of my way to give rides to work, back in 1994.  Wow.

Okay, enough writing and resting the gouged foot, on with the day.

05:16 PM | BloggingBusinessGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMoneyMovies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jay: Why DVD Sales Are Poor?

Too expensive.  And the studios are impressively unclear on when they have on their hands a $20 release versus a $10 release versus a $5 discount bin release.

I keep seeing older films I might buy from the $5 bin, still as high as $15, and shaking my head as I continue to wait.  I walk in the store and see new releases at $18 or more and all to often I snort at the audacity of trying to get that much, even during a brief early adopter phase.

I did almost buy Jungle Book for the kids for Christmas recently, then decided that, on top of whether I ought to spent the $14 or whatever it was, it was way too likely someone else would buy it for them.  They have too many toys, but more videos don’t hurt, and are a common gift from some relatives in particular.  At least Jungle Book is actually worth that kind of money, being a classic.  It’s the first movie I can remember ever seeing in a theater, rather than a drive-in.

08:07 PM | BusinessKidsMovies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jay: “I Know He Can Do The Job, But Can He Get The Job"*

I know I’m just a tad slow, and it’s funny after all the resumes I have written or revamped for other people.  Along the line I started with a completely blank page and created a resume designed to be vaguely blog-like, with sections/pages and posts.

Along with that, since it became apparent there would be more need for it than my original plan to do one as an afterthought anticipated, I started with a resume oriented not technically - besides that it can’t help but show some of that, but to blogging, writing-related activities, and management, which also can’t help but be there to a degree whatever the intended orientation.

In the first draft, listed second below, I let myself be whimsical.  In the updated draft, listed first and quite possibly ready for prime time, I eliminated most of that.  These were done in Word 2000 and should be openable by most of you.  I am not going to take the time to turn them into viable HTML.

Current draft blog resume

First draft blog resume

Next up, in fact already started though I may want to meld it with changes I made in the above draft, a version that is tech oriented, but in a similar format to the above.  If that seems untenable, I may revert to another format I was trying.

I managed in the wee hours last night to psyche myself up to some degree of normal.  That helped me a lot today, but I can feel the brain cloud trying to settle back in.  Hopefully I can dissipate it again and breeze through the tech variant.  Stay tuned…

* Okay, so I inverted the quote to fit remembered it wrong.  Here’s a WAV file of the actual movie quote.

07:39 PM | BloggingBusinessJob HuntingMovies • (1) CommentsPermalink

Friday, November 16, 2007

Jay: Size Matters

In early 2000, after I’d settled into the Quincy apartment and my reliable old 13” black and white TV from 1979 died, I finally broke down and bought a new color TV, my first brand new one, and a VCR, my first VCR ever.  Before I did, I asked my friend Bob’s advice on brands and such, the such including screen size.  He asked about the size of the room and distance from the screen and opined that 23” would be about right.

I ended up at Sears in Braintree.

After looking at the offerings forever, I settled on a fancy VCR that still works great.  As well it should, having had a price to match its high end nature.  I also settled on a 23” TV of a recommended brand.

The sales guy for that area ended up fighting with the warehouse guy, who refused to look for my TV in stock, so he had to do it himself.  Something like 40 minutes later, they didn’t have any.  But wait!  Here’s a different brand, same thing, and it’s on sale like $80 lower!  It cost less than the VCR and was an amazing price, even with what I will note later in this post.  I decided I could accept the substitution, especially having had luck with the brand, even if it was not top tier in Bob’s recommendations.

Another wait ensued, now in the pickup area, by which time I just wanted to be out of there.  Finally I got the TV and VCR, to go with the antenna I’d also bought, and dragged it all home.

Fast forward to yesterday.

We recently got a hand me down 27” TV, which is fantastic and makes us want to watch Transformers again.  Not to mention other things, for which there should be ample time during the writer’s strike.  That’s going to be a boon, ironically, to DVD sales and rentals.  In our case, we could go weeks watching a movie we already own each night from the neither have seen it, she hasn’t seen it, and I haven’t seen it subsets of the combined collection.  That’s without starting rewatches of movies and going through TV shows on video.  Not to mention presumably catching reruns of things we missed, like Life and Reaper, and the convenience of fewer new shows competing with what has to be a better season of American Idol this year.  But I digress.

Yesterday I looked again at the juxtaposition of the old TV near the new one and remarked how small it seemed.  Deb got the measuring tape.  The new one really is only 27” and not some unexpected larger amount.  The surprise?

The old TV is only 21 inches!

Apparently I never noticed this when I unpacked it, or else I mind wiped myself and am completely deluded about what size I thought I was supposed to have bought.  That’s possible too.  It would certainly explain why the price was so dramatically lower than the out of stock one.  It would also explain why I’ve kept wondering over the years why Bob told me to get such a small TV, as it seemed small even at the distance from which I watched it in Quincy.  The size recommendation was based on where it would be relative to me in that room.

And so I say… DOH!  But at least it has been a superb TV, which will be a spare in the bedroom once I get an antenna for it.  For now it’s just set aside.

04:30 PM | BusinessGeekeryHumorMoviesTV • (2) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jay: Transformers

We watched Transformers last night.  Sadly, before I switched us to the new TV, so all the more reason to rewatch it soon to see if we catch more of the jokes.

Highly recommended.  It was vastly better than I had expected, and Deb nailed what is probably most of the reason.  They had tremendous fun making it, setting out intending it to be a B movie, even poking fun at [big pause here to talk to my father on the phone and then help with a poop incident and then have a philosophical discussion, now getting back to the quick post I am dashing off between cleaning my desktop so I can find my resume docs and trying to work on the resume) I think I was going to say the very movie conventions involved, as well as past movies like Independence Day.

It was sort of like Chuck, which wouldn’t work so well as a TV series if it tried to take itself seriously while harnessing absurd plots and concepts.  Instead of saying “what a silly show,” I look forward to Chuck almost as much as Heroes.

07:48 PM | MoviesTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Jay: Submit the word you see below

Hey comment spammers, fuck off.

The rest of you, disregard this post.  I am attempting to mess with the results the manual comment spammers from Ukraine, Russia, or wherever they may lurk, get by searching Google the title of this post in quotes for this domain only.  That is why I am marking this post as being in every available category, because then every category should come up as a link in Google that is not a distinct individual post page with comment entry available.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jay: A Buying Experience

I went shopping for Sadie’s birthday last night.  She’s very hard to buy for these days!  For various couple reasons.  Are there too many pieces?  Will it be too messy or immediately destroyed?  Will it take too much space?  Is it young enough for her but bad with the other two a factor?  Will she have any interest?

I got three more of the $1 cartoon DVDs I’d probably have grabbed anyway.  Figured I could wrap and call them presents for her as something extra.

I considered getting her some kind of flashlight of her own.  Another dinosaur?  Maybe, but seems too little at 88 cents.  Doll?  But what?  And she has Dee Dee, is utterly devoted to her, but may well be a one doll mommy.  Play guitar?  She just got a Disney keyboard (which they both love and seem to be taking care of).  Sketch toy?  Maybe, but the ones that aren’t 5 and up seem a bit cheesy.

I ended up settling on a 10-pack of particularly nice steel Matchbox vehicles.  It seems redundant, but they both always like those.  Between that, the cartoons, and a wooden puzzle Deb got, she should be all set.  Especially after the gifts from extended family.

Sadie reminded me to write this post by buzzing this morning about her cake that would have twooooooo bluuuuuuue candles.  I told her three candles; she’s turning three.  She insisted; two candles.  She’s so funny!

On another note, I never saw the last Star Trek movie.  Wal-Mart now has a display of $3.92 DVDs, and that was one of them, so I grabbed a copy.

12:11 PM | KidsMovies • (1) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger De Doc, who has some great travel posters for exotic places like Persephone and Miranda.

10:16 AM | BirthdaysMoviesTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger and celebrated director Kevin “Silent Bob” Smith, who will be directing an episode of Heroes this year.

11:37 AM | BirthdaysMoviesTV • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jay: On Another Note

In the post below, one of the songs, Timothy, is about survival cannibalism.  Disturbing enough, but you know what freaks me out when I imagine it?

It was raw.  Yuck.  Give me Soylent Green instead any day.

Okay, back to writing the “about” page.  Just had to share that thought after the song in question played…

11:39 AM | Food & CookingMoviesMusicTotally Random • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Helo of Drumwaster’s Rants, who liked Transformers.

11:10 AM | BirthdaysMovies • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, July 06, 2007

Jay: Appropriate Age

I was wondering a short time ago when is an appropriate age for first seeing the original Star Wars.  Sadie was waving around a small flashlight, before I recaptured it.  I told her she was forgetting the sound effects and made light saber buzzes.

02:12 PM | KidsMovies • (2) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 15, 2007

Jay: V for Vendetta Stub

See also the preceding post.  Heck, all the more appropriate, considering the basis for V for Vendetta is a backstory in which fascists take advantage of world events and build on them to take advantage of a crisis to expand and totalize their power.  Unlike the immigration post, this didn’t say anything substantive before it stopped, and it stopped mid-sentence.  I’ll blockquote it and then add a little:

Last night we watched V for Vendetta.  About time, since we bought it just after it came out, since it was one of my most looked forward to films ever and I missed it in the theater.

You see, I am one of the hundred or so people in the world who actually bought and read the ten-part comic version as it came out.  In fact, I bought a complete extra set to have to loan people, after seeing what had happened to my

That was, what, three weeks ago?  Anyway, it was generally well done.  I did not appreciate the degree to which it was used as an anti-Bush, anti-war political vehicle.  There were significant changes to the original storyline, though much of it was there - enough to make it surprising the film ever got made - with just enough modification, including to the core political/philosophical point, to annoy me.  It had the look and feel of the comic to a remarkable degree.

12:50 PM | Movies • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jay: Filed Away

John Eddy has finally started a new blog of his own: Filed Away.  About time, eh?  Except it wasn’t so bad; he could always post at Dean’s World, or at Weekend Pundit, which he actually founded way back.

He suggests a film version of Dark Shadows, which sounds like a good idea to me.  I was kind of young, but that show was a huge favorite of my sister’s, and I remember vampire chic way before vampires were “in” many years later.

12:31 PM | BloggingMovies • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, May 14, 2007

Jay: Spider-Man 3

I still say it’s Spiderman and the hyphen is weird.

Anyway, I went to see it yesterday.  Deb and I had it pegged.  In the absence of the first two, the third would be considered a good to superior comic book movie.  It’s not as good as the others, but we were lucky to get anything as good as the others, ever, from anyone.

I was worried about the excess of villains.  It ends up being essential to the plot.  There was clear bookending going on, tying it off as a trilogy and as a stopping point.

There was not as clear of a positioning for Mary Jane not to be in a hypothetical number four, allowing Dunst to be free or have a break before either she comes back or they replace her in a hypothetical number five, six or more.  At the same time, despite introducing Gwen, they didn’t leave her as such a clear replacement for when Dunst doesn’t come back if there’s a four and beyond.

It can legitimately be said that it was big on CGI and small on character aspects, and that was part of the problem.  Unfortunately, the villains in question required massive CGI, and invited more.

One could be excused for thinking Peter ought to forget MJ and Gwen and go with Ursula instead.

Anyway, if you like that sort of movie, it’s at least worth hitting a matinee, and will absolutely be worth getting the DVD.  It’s not a Must. See. Now. though, so waiting for the DVD would be reasonable.

03:14 PM | Movies • (3) CommentsPermalink
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