Tuesday, May 17, 2022

We have bike racks

 The other day I wrote: I've got the attached garage as organized as I can.  In a perfect world I would have been able to completely empty it out, and then put things in a logical position while simultaneously installing ceiling racks and even epoxy painting the floor.  unfortunately, life didn't roll that way so I had to retrofit as space became available.

Last week I finally installed the bike racks.  This allows me to move the bicycles from the detached garage to the attached garage, clearing up a little bit of space.  I'm going to try and better organize the detached garage because while it is a big space, it is not optimally organized.





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Friday, May 13, 2022

The Hot Weather Arrives

I completed another spin around the sun last weekend.  We were going to go get a steak dinner but we had spent Friday and Saturday morning "Peopling" and the thought of getting cleaned up and going out didn't appeal to me.  Plus we had a big Mother's Day dinner on Sunday, which required getting up early to get a table, so neither Stay-at-Home Days were sleep-in days.  We will have a raincheck later this month.  

I'm at the point where all I want for my birthday is minimal acknowledgment from family and friends.  We emphasize for our kids and try to make sure their birthdays are memorable, but otherwise, I guess I'm over it.

The contract gig ended last Friday.  I'm simultaneously relieved and a little discombobulated because I'm so used to a routine, insane as it was.  I was half expecting a last-minute, can you please stall on one more week, but I suspect the PM mismanagement of the project led to pulling the plug and letting the internal team handle the rest.

Of course just as I got a job when Nightingale ended hers, her new job started on Monday.  So our plans to explore Memphis while the kids are in school are once again put on hold.


Also, the weather is now starting to heat up so many of the projects I want to do around here require doing as much as I can before the midday heat sets in.  In another month or so, it will be too hot to do anything during the day.  

I've got the attached garage as organized as I can.  In a perfect world I would have been able to completely empty it out, and then put things in a logical position while simultaneously installing ceiling racks and even epoxy painting the floor.  unfortunately, life didn't roll that way so I had to retrofit as space became available.


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Monday, May 2, 2022

Don't look now, it's May

There isn't too much to write about and yet there is.  I should be posting updates about stuff we are doing at the new house.  For instance, we got a rain barrel, and a composter and planted some plants and vegetables.  We also finally hung a few more pieces of art around the house.


I'm slowly clearing out some stuff.  Take this painting for instance.  I bought it from a street vendor in NYC back in the mid-90s.  I thought it was cool and new agey, but really it was just a cheap piece of wall covering.  I don't really have a good place to put it here, so I'm gonna toss it.  What's cute is that Natassa said I should sell it.  

My contract gig ends this Friday and I have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I'm happy to be free of the insane-O Project Manager.  On the other hand, it was easy money, of which I now need to find a new source.

I had an interview last week which was okay but I doubt I'll get a callback.  The problem is most people don't know how to conduct an interview and when you ask a person who maybe does one interview every 2-3 years, it takes a while to get any momentum.  They tend to talk about things that no interviewee is interested in unless they get the job.  They often overexplain and over answer (sometimes the answer simply: The color Blue).  

As the interviewee, you have to be polite and not interrupt.   It wasn't until the very end, when we were out of time, that I realized what he was looking for.  I'll try to do better next time, but next time will be a different person, a different need, and a different format.  


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Friday, April 29, 2022

My mood right now

Recruiter: Hey we are looking for a LEFT-HANDED WIDGET Maker. I see that you are a Left-handed Widget Maker. Are you interested?

Me: sure.

Recruiter: Great, send me your updated resume. Because the resume I have, the one that shows your vast experience of being a Left-Handed Widget Maker just isn’t good enough, for reasons.

Me: !@#$.

My frustration is that 1) if I were still working at my last employer, my resume would be fine and 2) the contract gig I’m working on isn’t a game-changing experience. No one looking for a Left-Handed Widget Maker will choose me over another LH Widget Maker based on the 6 months of pushing a button on a lame project that I’ve been working on.

Friday, April 15, 2022

And now it's April

 I thought I'd do a quick update just for the sake of posterity.

My contract was extended until July, even though I still have relatively nothing to do.  The PM is a bit more polite but still asks us to do stuff she could and should do herself.  I understand and am all about delegating but in the time it takes her to ask us to do something and then explain what she wants because she didn't communicate it properly, she could have completed it herself.  It just boggles my mind that someone like her is gainfully employed and I'm struggling to find permanent work.

Speaking of, I had interviews with three places that seemed promising.   One was another contract job that would have kept me employed for the year at a decent hourly rate.  It wouldn't have been joyful work, nor anything I could really leverage to a future position, but it would have been steady income. 

 The other two were consulting gigs with benefits that would have kept me busy and gotten me back into the No-Name Software ecosystem.  There are some law firms that have remote positions available but the caveat is you have to work in a state where they have an office because of taxes.  Or so I'm told.

Both consulting gigs eventually reached out to say they were moving forward with other candidates. That's about the best answer you can get legally.  The first consulting firm said they were trying to fill multiple positions and had a backlog of projects, so it technically doesn't make sense that they didn't bring me on.

I'm still going through the PSTD that my Office Nemesis from the last job put me through.  

On the homefront, I'm going through the stuff in the box called Memory Vault.  I have scanned some old stories that I wrote ages ago and now they will collect digital dust instead of paper dust.  I'm also reading and shredding my old Journals.  Honestly, I should just shred and skip the reading part...do I really need to read 8 years of journals?  And that was before I switched over to typing my journal on a computer in the 90s.  



Finally, my weight is hovering between 206 and 212, give or take. I managed to damage my right knee, so even running a mile is out of the question right now.  

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Monday, March 28, 2022

It Feels Like

In the years that my in-laws lived in Olive Branch, Mississippi, we visited them numerous times throughout the year.  Usually for Christmas but sometimes for Easter, which floats between March and April for no good reason.  We also made some other off-holiday visits now and again.  

The point I'm trying to make is that while we couldn't speak to the temperature of Mississippi in the day-to-day experience, we had a decent sampling of what the climate would feel like most months, give or take.  

My FIL says that the seasons here are about six weeks earlier or behind what we are used to back home.  That seems to gel.  While spring here is much warmer than in Chicago, which got some more snow over the weekend but will be 80 on Thursday, it still is chilly.  My weather app tells me that the "Feels Like" temperature is often colder than the indicated temperature because of wind chill. 

This is a very long way of going about saying that while it's good running weather (could I still run), it is just a little too cold to hang out outside without a jacket or sweater.  There are a variety of things I need to do outside but by the time it warms up enough to deal with them, it's time to get the kids from school.  I expect that will change in April and May.  And in June it will be too hot to be outside much past 11 am, I suspect.

Those Blue things still need to go


So we got the kids these loft beds for their room.  We also moved the spare TV into it and now the room is 7-year-old Heaven.  They now spend more time in their room than any other room in the house.  To be fair, they always spent time there on their tablets, but now they have even more options.  



We also got ourselves a piece of furniture.  We struggled to find an appropriate sectional and finally settled upon one from Costco.  Throw in a nice rug and now the room feels more like ours.  We still need to put up some artwork and I'd love to get rid of the leather sofa the in-laws gave us.  We could even move the Entertainment Center there.  For Father's Day, I'm going to invest in a new TV.



Our next project will hopefully be redoing the fireplace.  We need to replace the gas logs and we really should replace that door from the 80s.  I'm not crazy about the mantle, the surround, or the brick.  The problem is there really isn't anyone around here that seems to do this kind of work and it might be just a bit much for DIY.

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Organizing, cleaning, and cleansing

After a few false starts, I finally got the attached garage clean enough to install the overhead hanging racks I purchased back in December.  I tried to install them myself but found quickly that it is a two-person job and it is best if the other person is someone who is very good at installing things in a straight line.  Even so, my handyman, Mark made a goof or two (quickly resolved) that vindicated me that this isn't the easiest thing to do.



The thing about these racks is you can either put a lot of light stuff or a few heavy items on them. Each rack can hold 500 lbs.  Optimally, you want to put things you don't need to get to very often, like the Christmas tree.  I could put a couple more things on these shelves, but for the most part, that's about all I can do for now.  There are some plastic crates that need to go away, some stuff for goodwill, and a Farm Table that no one in the family needs but we are not allowed to get rid of for sentimental reasons.  

I've been working on clearing a lot of the clutter as well.  I have this box called Memory Vault.  it contains a crapload of stuff from my early Emo years.  I wish I had the good sense to just chuck it but I have to look through it first.  I've already thrown out my Jr High memorabilia.  that wasn't a good time for me and most of the people I knew then had no redeeming values.  I also chucked most of my Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity stuff.



Now I'm in the process of scanning a lot of documents that I haven't looked at in years so they can live, unread, in electronic format.



Take this photo.  I'm connected to about 20 of these people on Facebook (not including the ones I deliberately defriended over politics) but only interact with 3-4 per year.  I didn't do a stellar job of staying in touch in the pre-internet days, but keeping in touch is a two-way street and they certainly didn't do much either.  And that's okay.  Not every friendship or relationship is meant to last an eternity.  I just wish I had realized that sooner.  


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