Thursday, March 16, 2023

2023 Bears Playoff Prediction: take it with a grain of salt

 I was asked the following on Quora so here is my answer.

ATA OQ: Will the Chicago Bears be able to make it into the playoffs next season? This answer is for the 2023 season.

The Chicago Bears have two ways to make the playoffs: Win the Division, or via WildCard.

Winning the Division:

Currently, in the NFC North, the Lions are trending up, the Vikings are trending down and the Packers are in disarray. Whether Aaron Rogers stays or leaves, they are not the juggernauts they have been for the last decade.

Therefore it is possible that the Bears could win the division but they have to win at least one game against the Lions and sweep the Vikings and Packers, along with winning more games than the other teams in their division. Because the Bears often do not control their destiny and lose tiebreaker scenarios.


In theory, this should be easier. Last year's Bears lost a majority of games by one score or less. It was only a combination of bad luck, bad execution on final drives, turnovers, and not playing to win (to get a higher draft pick) that led to their fate. They are making some good moves in Free Agency and we will have to see how they do in the draft, but I'm gonna say they are only gonna get better than last year's team.

We know who they are playing but we don't have the schedule set yet. A lot of winning in the NFL depends on when you play a team as much as how you play them. Catch a team before they find their identity and it looks like an easy win. Catch them during a winning streak and they blow you out. Or if they haven't won in 5 or more games, you are the trap game.

We have to see what moves all the teams make during and after the draft but based on what we know, here is what the Bears would have to do based on last year.

HOME (6 - 2, worse case 5 -3)

Lions - gotta win.

Packers - gotta win.

Vikings - gotta win.

Falcons - they almost beat them last year and the Falcons are with a QB committee. Should be a win, especially at home.

Panthers - they are rebuilding. if this game is early in the year, the Bears win.

Broncos - We all laughed at Russell Wilson last year but now that he has had a year and a new coach, I think Bears are upset at home.

Raiders - The Raiders had a lot of pieces last year but bad luck. I think with Jimmy G at the wheel, the Bears lose this one.

Cardinals - This team starts hot and then fades so if Bears get them later in the season at home, in the cold, count this as a win.

AWAY (4 - 5, best case 6 - 3)

Lions - Last year the Lions were in most games until the end. I expect very few losses at home. Bears lose a close one.

Packers - gotta win and it's possible the Bears win in Lambeau for the first time since 2015.

Vikings - Last year was a fluke. This year Bears sweep.

Chiefs - This is expected to be played in Germany. If the Bears arrive early and the Chiefs fly in late, Bears take this one.

Chargers - Chargers seem to get hot later in the season so it depends. I'll count this as a Bears loss.

Saints - I'm gonna say Bears take this in an upset only because they have lost to New Orleans over the last half-decade, including the playoffs.

Buccaneers - Baker Mayfield has something to prove and the Bucs' defense is still stout. Bucs win.

Commanders - Bears should have beat them last year. I think they take this one.

Browns - It seems if the Bears play the browns early in the season they lose, if it is later, they win.

So conservatively they go 9 and 8 (I cannot calculate potential tiebreakers at this point) that might get them the last wildcard. It comes down to the Browns and Cardinal games. Anything better than 9–8 likely gets them in.

If my optimism is correct, they are 12 and 5 and easily secure a wild card berth well before the season is over, and might even be able to rest players if the math shows they cannot improve their position.

Note: I do not believe they can make enough changes in 2023 to go to the Super Bowl or deep in the playoffs. Most likely they are one-and-done in the playoffs. Best case they move on to the divisional round.  

Sunday, March 12, 2023

an incesstrious industry

 This happened.

Senior recruiter reaches out to me at 12:24 pm 3/8/3023

we talk at 3:30 pm.  I explain how it's very likely one or more persons in his organization know me and doesn't like me.  he says he's going to submit my resume anyway.

this morning at  8:06 AM

Hi, I spoke with the team this AM. At this time, they are moving forward with another candidate already in the interview process. I appreciate your time yesterday. Feel free to keep in touch!


Sent the following messages at 8:38 AM

I had a feeling.   :-)   Things do change and directors come and go so if there is a changing of the guard, please keep me in mind for future opportunities.

I give the recruiter props for reaching back with the best letdown message he could come up with under the circumstances.  He is lying and knows that I know he is lying.  

I've burned many bridges in my career.  Some of it was my immaturity.  But some of it was also standing up for myself, setting boundaries and not letting people treat me like crap.  

I cannot say who this company is but I did apply with them in 2015 and also got this after a first-round interview:

It was a pleasure speaking with you to discuss your background and interest in HBR Consulting.  We appreciate your time, attentiveness and patience throughout the interview process.  While we were impressed with your qualifications, we are unable to offer you a position at this time.  We will retain your resume on file and should our needs change, we will contact you.

And then a few months later I was hired by a Big Audit and we engaged said company to work on a project.  It doesn't look like lightening will strike twice though.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Dusty old blogs

In order to avoid wasting time on LinkedIn, I'm spending time reading the archives of a blog I enjoy.  I don't recall when I first discovered Gin and Tacos, but Ed reminds me of at least two of my close friends and also myself in some ways.  I'd like to think we'd actually be friends in real life.

But the point of today's post is Old Blogs.  As I've said before, people dust off their old blogs every January, promise to publish more, and then quickly lose steam before Spring is even on the horizon.  

When it rains, it pours down here

But even beyond those who keep trying, there are countless blogs out there that have just been abandoned.  Some are still hosted while others show the Domain For Sale page.  And because of that, how many blogs site to these dead pages with links that now go nowhere.

It's sad because often times the post needs that link or image to pull off the point.  I'm sure some of my ancient posts are the same way, though I think less so than most.  I try to write in a way that the link or image supplements rather than augments the post.  Although obviously there are times when I didn't.  I'm going to try and make an effort to avoid that in the future.  

Of course, I've already broken that by linking to Ed's dormant site instead of spelling out the URL. And that brings up something.  While there are no hard and fast rules for blog posts, there are best practices, AKA things that bring you more success than other things if you are looking for that sort of thing.

On a post I'm working on, I have a reference to a movie on a page that writes about movies.  I should link directly to that page, but instead, I was lazy and just linked to the site.  If the site goes bye-bye, it doesn't matter.  But if the page is taken down, or the blog reformats in some way, a curious enough reader can still find the reference.   

hahaha.  Readers are too lazy to do that much work.  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Another Month bites the dust

There really isn't a lot to write home about these days.  I'm still job hunting but with all the tech layoffs saturating the market, I don't believe I'll find anything soon.  That job I really wanted that turned me down at the start of the year reposted the position about six weeks later.  Slightly different Job Description but essentially the same role.  There was no stronger candidate, if there were, they would have reached out to me.  

Here’s my job-hunting story that I have to share, least I just cry into the Abyss.    

For at least two jobs I interviewed last year,  I made it to the last round but wasn’t selected (one ghosted, one used the old “we are pursuing stronger candidates” response).  I did some LinkedIn sleuthing and found that in both cases, the last person to interview me left the company a month later.  They literally said “don’t hire this guy, oh, and here’s my 2-week notice!”

And yeah, I know that it’s likely they might have left later but fudged the LinkedIn timeline but it’s funnier this way.  I'm at the point where I need to pivot.  But, that will take time and perhaps money.  And I have to pick something that I can learn and is marketable.

At least my cats are cute

I don't have the exact numbers and am too lazy to try to figure them out, last year I believe I averaged over 9000 steps and there were 270 days where I was above the 10K threshold.  This comes to missing about 8 days a month and that jives with my missing days because of weather or kids being home from school.  Or the days we traveled somewhere and spent half the day in a car and the other half at a hotel pool.

In any event, 10K steps a day isn't going to decrease my weight.  I need to get some running in.  My knee doesn't hurt like it did a year ago so I'm going to see if I can incorporate a 1-mile run in every day or so.  The weather is getting warmer too so I can add biking.

My car is still working so I don't think the battery was beyond rechargeable.  

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Two quick Vehicle Updates

 For the longest time, Nightingale's minivan had a Check Engine Light (CEL) warning on the dashboard.  At first, it would come and go like most of those CEL messages but eventually, it became a prominent fixture.  So Nightingale ordered one of those code readers and we figured out the problem after a quick Google.  

It's incredible how robust Google and YouTube have become.  Twenty years ago YouTube wasn't a thing and web search engines were more like slot machines where if you were lucky, you'd get something you could use.  Remember Alta Visa?  Babel Fish?  Good Times.

This is a PITA to get to

Anyway, we ordered the part from Amazon and it finally arrived.  There was a good weekend to do this repair, which was a medium-to-high level of effort because of where the part is located.  Unfortunately, either my Father in Law turned the wrench too much, or the part was crappy because it broke.  We had to run to an AutoZone and get a standard part and do it again.  This one worked better.  In fact, had I realized AutoZone was an option, I might have got the part sooner....or not since it was $8 more. 

So now that light is gone.

My Element must have got jealous because the other day, I was going to run an errand when I found that the battery was dead.  This a common occurrence with my car because I don't drive it every day so if a light is left on, it drains the battery.  If I drove it every day, the battery would recharge enough, or I'd notice the light and shut it off.  

I tried using Nightingale car to recharge the battery and it was a no-go.  So I called Triple-A and then sent someone.  He tried to sell me a new battery but  I decided to go the let's see if you can recharge it route.  It worked and if everything is fine for the next few months, I'll consider this solved.  If it happens again, I have to decide if I want to buy a cheap $80 battery or a top-of-the-line one.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Two Dollar Omelet Anyone?

 Eggland's Best Three Cheese Cage Free Omelet  14.48  / 8 = 1.81

One of the smarter moves I've made in recent months was finding these Eggland's Best Three Cheese Cage Free Omelet at Sam's Club.  

At  $14.48 for 8, that works out to $1.81 per omelet.  I got these for days when the cleaning lady has been here and I don't want to dirty a freshly clean kitchen.  They are also good for days when we're just not in the mood to cook breakfast for any reason.  They actually taste pretty good and better than any 3 cheese omelet I might attempt to make.  

Monday, February 13, 2023

Nothing to see here

 This is a reply to a tweet from May of last year.  I find that I often have need to search for it so I'm putting it here for ease of access.  If there is a better way, someone please let me know.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Job Hunting Update

 I did a little LinkedIn sleuthing the other day.  I discovered that not one but two people that I interviewed left the respective company shortly after our interview.  By shortly, I mean the very next month.  

Now LI isn't exactly a bedrock of accuracy and as both interviews were early in the month, it is very possible they didn't leave until the last week of the next month (or later) but put it that way on their profile to make things look better i.e. avoid large gaps.

Still, it's very likely these people were looking to jump ship when I was interviewing and they literally said: "yeah don't hire this guy, and by the way, here's my two-week notice".


One of the jobs I made it to the 3rd round has been reposted.  This was one I really wanted and thought I could thrive in.  Here is the rejection email, which is quite honestly, one of the better ones I've ever received:

Thank you for making time to meet with our team for the Solutions Advisory Director - Collaboration & Content role at XXXXXX. We’re truly inspired by the talented people we get the chance to get to know and consider.

The team really enjoyed learning about your experience. While your background is impressive, we had more talented candidates than roles open. We've made the decision to continue the process with another candidate.

It’s never an easy decision or one we take lightly. Please know we appreciate your time investment in us, and now that we know you better, we hope you'll be happy to hear from us if we contact you again for future roles.

Please keep an eye on our careers page for future positions. We look forward to the chance to consider you again.

Companies tend to avoid giving feedback to avoid lawsuits and usually send out a generic We are going with another candidate at this time, please feel free to apply to future roles that we can also reject you for email.  That is if you get anything at all.

I like this one because it swings both ways.  We might reach out to you if we find out we hired the wrong person and if you see something else please reach out.  Of course, in practice, that door is likely closed.  Unless they really rejected you because Another Candidate was too good to pass up, they are not going to reach out to you the next time a position opens unless you made a magnificent, unforgettable impact on the people you interviewed with.

Case in point, this company that rejected me 38 days ago, didn't reach out.  Instead, they reposted the position and are likely hoping I have moved on.  I'm connected to the recruiter and one of the interviewers who I thought I jelled with. You just never know.  

The most likely scenario is there was never Another Candidate.  They didn't like something and decided to take a short break in the hopes that perhaps I'd find something else.   If they had a candidate and she changed her mind after getting the offer, they had an avenue to reach back to me with an offer.  

Garage Door Update

 The person from the garage installation place came on Wednesday.  I asked him what the plan was and he looked at me like I was crazy.  He said, "I'm installing a panel."  I asked about cutting the concrete and he said "we are a garage installation shop, we don't really cut cement."  

I left him alone. I thought about calling the shop and asking them to have him leave and take his attitude

with him, but I decided to just cool it for a minute.  Because then it happened.  He realized that installing the panel wasn't going to magically make the garage door level with the floor.  

He told me that he was just told to come here and replace a panel.  He had no further info, he assumed it was a dinged panel during delivery as that happens all the time.  I think once he realized how much they upsold us on that door, he knew he needed to be politer.  

instead of installing the shorter panel, which would bring the windows down a bit so they can be seen from the outside (curb appeal), he installed a weather strip.  This doesn't really do anything except look ugly.  He said he is going to get an adjustable strip that can be lowered on one side.  Then he will install the shorter panel.  This was probably just a way to get out of there.  

so our plan now is to wait about 2 weeks and see if they come back to us.  If they do, fine.  If they don't, I give them a call.  

Monday, February 6, 2023

Back to That Journaling Thing

If I have any readers, steady or otherwise, you may have noticed I've hammered out some posts with more frequency than I have than I have in recent years.  

This is in part due to my having more time on my hands while unemployed.  But it's also because I occasionally go back and read posts from years back and love discovering something I had forgotten.  

Whether it was during our kid-free days or just when the little dbags arrived, it's cool to read about something my feeble mind has long forgotten.  
I want to get back to that archiving and journaling. 

What I'm not sure of is if I want to keep it here or move to a better platform.  Blogger got rid of the email subscription and the WYSIWYG editor leaves a lot to be desired.  They (Google I suppose) made some changes a few years ago but I didn't pay much mind to it since I had ChicagoNow to feed my need to be read publically.  

I don't know when it began, but I find that when I stream something, especially on my iPad, I can only watch in small chunks of time.  I don't know if it's advanced ADHD or what.  When Nightingale and I watch something on tv, I'm able to watch it straight through, but when it's just me on my iPad, which is my preferred method, I find myself pausing every few minutes to go do something else.

This is also kinda how I go about my ToDo List.  When I have a lot of items on it, I knock things out.  When I only have a few items, I tend to get complacent.  

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Trapped by the Ice

Our kids have been home all week because school has been canceled.  We have a long driveway that slopes down and it was too icy to risk driving our car on the last couple of days.  If we needed to, I'm sure we could have done it, but a trip to McDonald's playroom hardly qualifies as "necessary".  We actually did go to the McDonald's with a playroom on Friday.  We were there for 2.5 hours and ran into a friend from school, which made it more fun.

Soccer practice started last Saturday, but was canceled because of the rain.  If Natasha had an earlier time, she would have got it in.  But our practices are 4 pm Saturdays and 5:30 pm Tuesdays along with some extra/makeup days on Sundays and Thursdays.  It seems like the practices and the games are later Start Times this season, probably because the kids are older.

We got a late start on leaf raking.  I put it off.  Some days the weather could have been better.  Some days I had other things to do.  whatever you want.  When I finally got around to dealing with them, there were too many to realistically corral.  I managed to get a good load down by the road so that my neighbor could put them in his composter.  but there is a second load that I haven't been able to move yet because of morning frost making them too wet.  we don't get a good day of sunlight/warms and the blower struggles to move the leaves, essentially wasting gas.  then there's every third day it rains obstacle.

We need to address a lot of yard issues and this is the time of year to do it, but until I get a stable form of employment, I'm hesitant to spend the money.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Garage Door Invoice

 This is the invoice I got for my garage door.  I'm putting it here for posterity.  

Garage Door Disaster

Yesterday Boris was coughing badly and we decided to keep him home from school.  In keeping with the twin tradition, we kept Natasha home too.  They are only in Second Grade so they aren't missing anything important and it eliminates the after-school pickup.

Today the Mid-South is experiencing cold weather and expecting Ice Storms.  The Powers-That-Be made the call last night to cancel school.  So another day with Moose and Squirrel at home, full of energy but not able to go outside and burn it, at least until the snow arrives.

[For anyone new to MOL, I fluctuate between referring to my kids as either Moose and Squirrel in the general sense, or Natasha and Boris when being specific.]

I don't think I've shared this yet so here goes.  Last summer our garage door bit the dust.  It was an inevitability that was accelerated by a delivery person accidentally kicking the door sensor such that it wouldn't sometimes close when desired.  Usually when we needed to close it the most.  We would have to close it manually and that caused some problems too because it's a heavy door and closing it with a car parked under it is challenging.  

One particular day when we had to leave on a trip and were down to the wire because that's how we roll, Nightingale bent the door such that it made it harder to close subsequently.  I finally had to surrender and get a new door and opener.  $5000.  

So the timeline is Precision came and looked at the door on 10/12/22 and ordered me a new one.  Like everything it takes 6-8 weeks.  It actually was available the week we were in Chicago for Thanksgiving.  Since we had already waited over a month, what was another week.  I scheduled them to come to install on December 1st as that was an easy date to remember and would push back the balance payment another month, or so I thought.

It turns out, the person who came to look at the door failed to notice that one side of the garage entry was lower so when the installer put in the new door, there is a gap.  The installer said that they would have to order some new panels that would hide the gap better. 

That white is the outside light

He asked if I wanted to pay the balance now or after the Gap Remediation.  Guess which I choose.

He also said something about grounding the concrete as well, but he didn't go into detail.  His manager was supposed to call me which never happened and I was not in a hurry to remind them that I exist still owing them $2500.

We finally got a text yesterday asking me to call and schedule the installation.  As I'm in no hurry to shell out more money, I scheduled for next Wednesday, as the weather will be in the 50s again.  

Monday, January 30, 2023

January Thoughts

As the first month of 2023 comes to a close, I can safely report that the job market sucks.  Every day on LinkedIn someone is posting that they were victims of the massive layoffs at Google, Microsoft, and other big tech companies.

Last Year's Ice Storm

I'm running out of options and losing any semblance of faith I had.  I've reached out to a couple of former colleagues from the No-Name Software Company and their silence has been deafening.  

I need to remember that last year I still brought in $50K via two contract short-term roles.  It just feels like I've been unemployed since 2020 because of no benefits like 401K or Healthcare.

In other news, we are in what passes for winter in the Mid-South.  It's not crippling cold, but it's not exactly pleasant to be outside.  We are supposed to get some ice storms this week.  I'm told things shut down when those occur, so there's a good chance I'll cart Moose and Squirrel off to school, just to have to pick them back up shortly after.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A Few Rediscovered Blogs

 Relatively recently, I rediscovered three blogs I use to follow with some frequency.  In no particular order, they are:

Alexis' blog is private so this link won't work, but I'm putting it in for posterity.  20 years ago, I actually knew Alexis when she lived in Chicago.  We have mutual friends and I enjoy reading about her life as an Ex-Pat and her children.  They are a tad older than Natasha and Boris and often I'll read something and think "okay that station is gonna come up soon."

I've never met Lakeview Coffee Joe but he is a Bears fan and our political viewpoints seem to overlap so I'm gonna bet he would be fun to watch a game.  I likely found his blog through Alexis but I suspect the interest was because of some posts about home repair or DIY that piqued my interest.  It appears he doesn't blog as much these days and I suspect it is for all the usual reasons.  

Next, there is a guy named Steve Manes who is an IT guru who bought a fixer-upper brownstone in Brooklyn when prices were reasonable and has completely renovated the place.  I use to read him in the late 2000s.  He stopped posting for a while and I had my own stuff to deal with so I didn't check in after enough time had passed since his last post (years).  It looks like he started up again, but hasn't posted since 2019.

A picture to break up the text

None of these people really know I exist and Alexis has only commented here once, on a post about Fiancee 1.0 leaving me.  And while I wish they visited my blog as much as I visit theirs, I long ago gave up trying to get commenters and an audience here. I use to get my page view fix at ChicagoNow where I would get that many a day, occasionally more when I posted something that went mini-viral.

One of the things I often suspected, and have somewhat confirmed, is that many of the people who had successful blogs -- high traffic and earned money -- were in the right place and the right time and had connections that made it "easier" to achieve that. 

 I'm not saying that they didn't have talent or desired content.  They just got there first and capitalized before the rest of us figured it out.  The early big names who were snapped up by legacy media outlets in this manner had an enormous First Mover advantage. 

As a point of reference, I get According to the dubious stats on the dashboard, I get about 1-2K visitors a month for some reason.  At Chicago now, I'd get that on one day.  I'm the same writer. it's just the Tribune Ecosystem was able to reach a larger audience without really doing anything to promote my particular blog.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Final Touches on the Work Room

When it comes to Home Improvement Projects, there are two animals that are common, though entirely opposite.  First, there is the Might_As_Well.  If I'm gonna do X, Might_As_Well do Y.  If I'm gonna paint the walls, I should do something about the floor.  

And then there is Home Stretch Complacency.  

"The symptoms of HSC are, after spending years on a difficult and time-consuming renovation project, crashing on the last lap. That final room doesn’t get done, the trim doesn’t go up, and the primer doesn’t get painted. You sink into lethargy and just live with it."   Brooklyn Row House

I really should finish painting the floor of the workroom.  When I started last year, I knew I wasn't going to have enough paint to cover the entire floor but I didn't realize just how much "not enough paint" I would be short.  It is less than 9 sq ft.  

This was too little to justify buying another gallon of paint from the Big Box Store.  I would have had enough if I hadn't used two coats for the front porch stoop, one was enough.  I did find a local shop that mixed me a quart of paint, so I'll see how well it matches when I finally get over the HSC.

The other reason I'm not in a hurry to paint the floor is the last part is also where the water heater is, and that will slow down what would otherwise be a quick painting project.

The good news is that I installed a frameless mirror that was lying around (behind the water heater for its own safety) and not being used for anything.  I have some floating shelves that I want to install and place some of my frequently used power tools and their batteries on.  I'm waiting to see how the flow in the room works now that it isn't as cluttered as when I inherited it.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

More Decluttering

 The other day I wrote: " I want the attached garage to have at least 15% fewer things in there and most of them off the floor."   

Well, I would say that I have managed to do that.  I moved the white cabinet to the deck and moved the Billy Bookcase to its place.  I hope to install some adjustable shelves in that spot because Nightingale likes to have everything close to the door.  Which means the bookcase likely gets moved again.  Then I have to find a home for the red shelves.  I'm hoping a few more things leave the other side and then the shelves can go there because they are pretty convenient.

I would really like to do something about that floor.  There has been the removal of enough stuff that it would be easy to clear the floor and epoxy it in theory.  In practice, it would still be a bit of a herculean task.  Nightingale would insist everything be moved into the detached garage while waiting for things to dry.  The good news is, if I pick the right month, it dries faster than it did up north.  That may be a late April or May project, something to try before the kids are out of school.  Hopefully, I'm working my then so I can justify the expense.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Attached Garage Organization

The other day I wrote that I wanted to better organize the garages.  I've managed to get all the Christmas stuff and most of the Halloween decorations on the Saferacks I installed last spring.  We also managed to get rid of some things and move some stuff so the garage is as organized as it is going to be until I can install some more overhead storage.  

I moved some things outside the garage to take this picture.  this is what it really looks like.  

The black bags will be gone this week are gone and soon will the boxes.  

That white cabinet will be moved to the deck and the black Ikea Billy Bookcase will be put in its place.  Hopefully, that wall will soon have some adjustable shelving so that we can better store things.  The red rolling shelves will need to find a new home.  Ideally, they could live on the other side of the garage as things go away but that remains to be seen.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Witness this Fully Operational Work Room

Our house comes with a small room off the attached garage.  I'm told, by Mark the Handyman, that this isn't a common feature down here but who knows.  My inlaws used it for extra storage and it also houses one of the water boilers.  I decided to convert it into a more usable workroom.  A place I can go when I need to assemble a small toy, change batteries, or whatever.

Edit from the future:  I found some pictures of the workroom in its previous form so I redid this post.

In my perfect world, I would have completely emptied the room, painted it, and then moved stuff back in.  It's not a perfect world.  I had to paint around stuff that had no place to go.  Other projects had priority, some unexpected things came up and the weather is a factor as well.

While it doesn't get Chicago Freezing down here, it does get cold in the winter that hanging out in there isn't pleasant.  And in the summer the opposite is true.  

But I've finally reached a point where it is now operational.  My inlaws had the makeshift desk on the North wall.  I originally positioned it against the West wall.  But then I decided that if I cut it, it can fit against the South wall and take up less space.  As they say on those House Renovation shows, It truly opened up the space!

I also realized that I can use the wall to mount all my battery chargers which also frees us space.  the inlaws left behind this mirror which I really don't have a use for, so I'm going to mount it next to the cabinet they also left behind (which I paid Mark the Handyman to install for me).

The last thing I may do to this room is run the internet through it.  I have an old VPN switch that should be able to do the job and then I can run CAT6 wiring to each of the bedrooms in case we ever need a hardware connection.

My next project to focus on, which I've been working on since we moved in, is to better organize the attached and detached garages.  I want the detached garage to be a Work Shop where I can work on bigger projects like stripping and staining furniture.  I want the attached garage to have at least 15% fewer things in there and most of them off the floor.  

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Troubleshooting 101: read the manual, repeat as necessary

 Against the advice of my Facebook consultants, I purchased a monitor with a built-in webcam about two years ago this week.  An ASUS BE24E series.  Everyone said that not only is the quality of standalone webcams better but built-in ones tend to break leaving you with useless hardware.  Think TV/VCR combos.

Well, the webcam worked for a while until it didn't.  Sometime in the late fall of 2021, it stopped working.  I'm not 100 % sure when it stopped working because I don't use it every day.  I just remember

testing it out for an interview, it not working, and me going to my box of cords and hardware and using one of the many detached cameras I've come across over the years.

Periodically, I'd try to troubleshoot it but it was never a priority.  This week, however, as I was working on another home project, I came across the manual that came with the monitor.  It's mostly pictorial but I noticed something I hadn't before.  If you are using a VGA connection instead of HDMI (or DVI I suppose) you need to use a USB firewire for the camera to work.

This might be common knowledge among my nerdier tech friends but I apparently forgot this step.  I'm guessing that when I first got the monitor, more detailed instructions came with and I used a firewire.  I must have forgotten it when I moved the computer from the middle bedroom to the office.  

It's nice to have a fully working monitor again.  It would be nice to be fully working myself.  

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Welcome 2023

 Happy New Year all.

Alas, 2023 is starting off on a bad foot. I was interviewing for two similar yet different roles between Thanksgiving and Xmas. Got to Round 3 with each. My backup gave me the bad news day after Christmas. The one I wanted waited until Jan 2 to send me the rejection email. This cycle is getting old.

I am assuming that it was the final round that did me in.  The person just didn't like my answers or didn't connect with me or whatever.  It certainly makes sense because interviewing has costs and going through multiple rounds if you already decided you're not hiring a person is wasteful.  But what do I know?

I'm running out of places to apply.  Even with remote work, some places won't hire if you don't live in a state where they have an office because of tax purposes.  And there have been so many layoffs that even if anyone is hiring, the competition is fierce.  

Stay tuned...