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.