You May Have Noticed…

…that I’ve been pretty quiet lately.

It’s been a combination of things, but mostly because after three long months in that pot-and-patchouli infused hotel, Ben and I are finally moved and settling into our own place again.

Every evening since the move last weekend has been spent sifting through the hundred or so boxes that accompanied us on this journey, unpacking and deciding what to keep out, what to put away in the apartment, what to toss or donate (yeah, we should’ve done a lot more of that before moving, but you know how that goes), and what to put into long-term storage.  We’ve made excellent headway, and the place is finally starting to look like home.  Hopefully by the end of today, all that will remain (for next weekend) is buying new fish and setting up the aquarium.


Apollo 18


Saw it yesterday. It was entertaining. Neither Ben or I felt cheated for spending $5.00 on a matinee showing. We might have felt different had we paid full price.

Dark and brooding, based on the interestingif somewhat unbelievable premise that’s been floating around the dark conspiracy-ridden corners of the interwebs for years (just Google Apollo 18, 19, or 20)that the reason we’ve never been back to the moon is that we encountered something so awful there that it could never be publicly revealed.

It’s presented as “real” in the same manner as The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield—in this case the film having been “pieced together from footage anonymously uploaded” to a website.

But the overall believability was immediately diminished for me when I recognized two of the “astronauts” as being actors (Lloyd Owen and Warren Christie) I’ve seen numerous times before; Christie actually plays a regular character on SyFy’s current series Alphas

Of course, after you see how the movie ends, you immediately find yourself wondering how any of this “real” footage—a lot of it supposedly transferred from 16mm film—ever made it back to earth to begin with. When I looked at Ben and asked that, he just turned to me and raising a finger to his lips said, “Shhh!”

What Kind of Computer Should I Buy?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that at work.  I guess people assume that since I provide hardware support I know everything about anything PC-related.  Trouble is, they never really like the answer I give them:

“Get a Mac.”

The usual response? “I meant what kind of Windows computer!”

I tell them I really can’t recommend any computer running Windows, and then relate my own story of how, after being a loyal user since Windows 2.1, I reached the end of my rope with the OS.  When pressed, I usually say, “Okay, if you have to buy a Windows box, then go with Dell or HP, but be warned you’ll be stuck with Windows 7, a ton of useless presinstalled crapware and 30-day trials that will nag you incessantly when the trial period expires if you don’t uninstall them.  The first thing I would recommend if you insist on going this route is to find someone to completely wipe the box and do a clean reinstall of the OS without all the garbage.”

“How much would you charge to do that?”

“I don’t do any outside work.”

At this point they usually get a worried expression on their face and then come the excuses (all of which I used myself at one time or another since I saw my first Mac in 1987 and when I finally made the switch in 2009) and begin with, “I’d really like to get a Mac, but…”

  • They’re too expensive.
  • I’m replacing an old computer and none of my software will work.
  • Nothing I do on a Mac will be compatible with Windows.
  • My husband/wife/partner uses Windows.

So then I explain that yes, Macs are more expensive than your average PC, but you get what you pay for: beautifully designed hardware and software that always just works

It’s true that out-of-the-box, Windows software will not run on a Mac, but you can install Parallels or BootCamp and run the bug-ridden² OS on your Mac hardware if you insist. Or, you can go out and find equivalent native Mac software that does the same thing your Windows software does.  It forces you out of the “I could never live without…” mindset. (Although after two years, I’m still missing Thumbs Plus.)

If by “nothing” compatible you mean standard word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software, that’s totally false.  Not only does Microsoft have a fully-compatible version of Office for Mac available, Apple’s own productivity suite, iWork, both imports and exports files in Office format.

And finally, who cares if your significant other uses Windows? Do you share the same toothbrush?  If you bring home a shiny new Mac and show him/her how beautiful it is and how easy it is to do things on it, you might convert them.

And did I mention that Mac still remains (for the most part) virus-free? You can’t say that about Windows.

So what invariably happens? They go out and buy a $400 piece of shit laptop from Best Buy and wonder why it works so poorly or blows up after only a year of use.

Maybe I should start telling them to go buy an iPad. At least that way they’ll get more than a year out of a $400 investment…

¹First release of major upgrades to the operating system notwithstanding.
²Last week when I did a fresh install of Windows XP SP3 on a machine at work, there were 108 updates. ONE HUNDRED EIGHT.

Quote of the Day

“To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.”Mike Lofgren

My Thoughts Exactly

From Distributorcap NY:

When I went to the voting booth on November 4, 2008, I (and everybody else) knew there was no way that Barack Obama would be able to live up to all the hype and promise the media, the country and his own campaign had cast upon him during the electoral season. While I had much trepidation in voting for Obama, I was never going to vote for any Republican (more so with Lizzie Borden sitting a heartbeat away). I pulled the mechanical lever (NY still had the old machines) and actually thought that despite the over-hype and he potential let downs – Obama was someone that would bring about some change and some semblance of progressive principles to governing.

In 2000, when Bush was appointed king by Sandra Day O’Connor, we all knew what we were getting – an inarticulate, brainless simpleton who would pick up a lot of brush and carry out the orders of his billionaire check-writers and born-again disciples. In 2008, I thought as I cast that ballot that we were at least potentially getting rid of 8 years of Republican idiocracy and the enormous amount of destruction the Bush-Cheney reign of terror wreaked upon the planet.

I could not have been more wrong.

By the fact this country did not elect a Republican in 2008 – we should all just lay back and heave a big sigh of relief that no right-wing damage was not imposed on the country for the past 3 years. Stuff like:

Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Keeping Guantanamo open. Backing down on the debt deal. Gutting environmental legislation. Pulling the public option off the table before it even got there. Putting Social Security and Medicare on the table. Failing to prosecute Wall Street crooks. Failing to prosecute war criminals. Failing to repeal telecom immunity. Expanding the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and adding Libya. Giving up on green jobs and high-speed rail. Approving more oil pipelines and offshore drilling. Slashing the safety net. And letting the Republicans completely control the narrative despite their minority status and deep distrust among the populace.

Was I dreaming or did none of that happen?

I gave up on Obama when he caved on the Bush tax cuts last December. After that I thought he would go from being some minor spark of change to a benign and hapless speech giver that would at least prevent a total Republican steam roller.

Yesterday between the speech-gate and smog-gate, I guess I was wrong there too.

This President is a nothing more than Richard Lugar or Chuck Hagel or John Warner – a somewhat moderate 80’s Republican.  He is no progressive and I don’t think he is much of Democrat.  In fact I don’t think of much of Obama at all anymore.

In the back of my mind I have been trying to justify sticking with him, but the complete collapse on something as little as a speech date – and then a total cave-in to the GOP on the EPA rules – that is it for me.

He’s gone from being benign to actually enhancing the rightwing talking point machine. He is Rush’s biggest wet dream. I never thought a Democrat could cause so much damage to the very people who backed him –  he is actually setting back progressive principles decades. I truly never thought I’d get to this point and I can no longer kid myself.

People can bash me all they want for harshly criticizing a Democratic President.  The Democratic party can call me all they want for money – not one nickel for any candidate that does not speak out against the President’s current policies.  The Barack Obama party doesn’t need me or any other individuals for that matter – the endless Citizens United money stream coming from corporate America should be more than enough to pay for his 2012 campaign.

Lion, Tamed

I love Apple. Don’t get me wrong. But over the past couple weeks, I’ve become increasingly disenchanted with Lion, aka OS X 10.7.  The dropped wireless connections were the worst part of it, but the spinning beach balls and the never-ending stream of “The application has quit unexpectedly” messages were really getting to be a pain in the ass.  I never had the spinning beach balls under Snow Leopard like I’ve had under Lion.

A couple days ago I resolved to return to Snow Leopard (aka OS X 10.6.), where I knew that everything would work.  Once again I performed due diligence, not only having a complete Time Machine backup on hand, but I’d also manually transferred my profile onto a different external drive…just in case.

I wiped the drive, reinstalled Snow Leopard, and applied all the patches.  Everything transferred from my backups except my emails.

Seriously, Apple?

I tried importing through Mail.  I’d get back all my folders, but they’d all be empty.  I tried transferring them manually.  Same issue.  Did Apple change their mail format?  I don’t know, but after a couple hours of this nonsense I said fuck it, and wiped the drive a second time, in preparation for doing a fresh install (not an upgrade) of Lion, hoping this would also solve the other, myriad problems I’d been having.

I knew full well I’d probably lose the ability to use my Verizon air card, but at this point it was either that or my emails.  I chose to lose the air card.

The install was fairly painless, and everything (including iTunes) transferred back from my manual backup without incident.  I had tried to use the Migration Assistant, but apparently you can’t overwrite an existing profile with one of the same name. Seriously, Apple?

Whatever.  I got everything back.

On a lark, I plugged in the Verizon modem.  It worked.  Fuck me in high heels and call me Sally, the proprietary software wasn’t even needed.  Good thing, too, because they still haven’t gotten an update out for Lion.

If I’d known this when Lion came out I would’ve done a clean install from the very beginning.

Since Ben is having the same wireless issues, I’m now trying to talk him into doing the same thing…

Do Not Be Alarmed…

…if Voenix Rising goes dark for a few days.  The monthly payment for my hosting account is overdue and I do not get my first full paycheck for another week.  This ought to be interesting…

Quote of the Day

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.” — Lawrence M. Krauss

Two Months

It’s been a little over two months since Ben and I arrived in Denver, and it’s been quite a journey.

I was reading back through old posts last night and it made me realize just how much has happened.  And now—finally—we are only weeks away from being permanently settled.  I can only hope the next three weeks pass as quickly as the last three.

As I mentioned in my last post, work is going well. I’m starting to wrap my head around the way things are set up there, what applications are needed for each department, and what tricks are needed to ensure they’re installed properly.  A lot of this has been very trial-and-error, because the person who I’ve replaced left without leaving much in the way of documentation.  I even had to dig deep into my memory banks and remember how to set up Procomm Plus (yes, Procomm Plus) so that it opens in a specific mode to a specific directory item. (That scored points with my boss, as it had been something he’d been hoping could be set up so make things simpler for the users.)

I’m also reaching the point that I know the major streets well enough that I don’t automatically panic if I take a wrong turn or get lost.

Driving the I-25 still works my last nerve, but I’m going to have to get used to it because it’s half my daily commute and will remain so even after we’re moved. I dread to think of what it will be like when the first snow falls.

Prior to our move we’ve started exploring our new neighborhood, and we’re liking what we’re finding. With Ben having to be at school an hour earlier than he had been when classes actually begin next week, this location will definitely help by cutting an hour off his commute.

There’s an Einstein’s directly across the street from the apartment, and a Starbucks a block away.  We’re even close to a Super Target for grocery shopping.  That’s a good thing because the Kroger brand here, King’s Sooper, is a big pile of suck.

All in all, I think we’re going to be happy with our apartment decision.

Yes, I'm Still Alive

I’m sure many of you were about ready to send out search parties.

Anyhow, work is going well. I’m actually working at a place that does not make me dread Sunday evenings.  And—dare I say it—I actually kind of look forward to going to work in the morning.  Or maybe it’s just because it gets me out of that hotel room.


Though this was initially presented to me as a 30-60 day contract, I fully expect it to end up with a permanent job offer.  Last week the I.T. Director asked me if I thought I’d be open to making this into something more “long term,” and the recruiter who placed me there called Friday afternoon and told me that the company “loved me.”

While there is the possibility that this gig will not go permanent, the fact that I’m not acting as an addition to the staff, but rather as a replacement, gives me some hope that I’m not misinterpreting things here.

Speaking of long term, yesterday Ben and I started looking for an apartment.  We both fell in love with the first place we saw, but to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything, we visited two other communities.

The first place we visited is a relatively new development on Colorado Boulevard in the Cherry Creek neighborhood, about a half hour bus ride from Ben’s school and a 40 minute commute by car to my workplace. It has all the amenities we had in our place in Phoenix (washer/dryer, microwave, soaking tub, ceiling fans, off street covered parking), plus a few that we didn’t (an elevator, hardwood floors, granite countertops).

The second place we saw was a little older (built early 90s) but was undergoing renovation.  It was nice enough, but one of the first things I noticed was that the new cabinet doors in the kitchen didn’t even line up with each other and the edge of the new flooring in the bathroom was rough and uneven, making me wonder what other corners were being cut in this community. Ben wasn’t especially impressed with the place either.

The third property was very nice, and both Ben and I agreed that if we didn’t qualify for the first place this would definitely be our second choice. It was a cute, much smaller development built at approximately the same time as our place in Phoenix, but had more of a townhome feel to it.  In addition to a washer/dryer and an over-the-stove microwave in each unit like both of the other places we’d seen (an absolute must for me after having had them for the last eight years) these units also had fireplaces and individual attached garages.

Ultimately we were approved for the first place (which is awesome), but we can’t do anything about it until I get my first full paycheck and Ben receives his student loan disbursement, both of which happen the first week of September.  While we have the money now to put a hold on a place and the building currently has an apartment we would jump on in an instant (third floor on the south side of the building that faces a quiet side street), they can’t hold anything longer than ten days and that doesn’t fit our September timeline. They also have three other apartments available, but none of them are as ideal (one on the third floor that faces busy Colorado Blvd. and two on the first floor that face into the pool courtyard) as that one. Since the leasing agent was really trying to get us to commit to one of these units and potential renters weren’t exactly busting down the door to get in while we were there yesterday, this leads me to believe they’ve been on the market for a while and will hopefully remain that way for at least another three weeks.  In any case, I’m sure there will be something available and acceptable to both of us when the time comes for us to lay the money down.

Be Careful What You Ask For

…because you may get it!

I like my new job.  It reminds me a lot of the health plan where I worked for the last two years.  The environment is very similar, although about a third smaller. Ironically, my duties here however, will be much expanded from what I’d been doing in Phoenix.

In addition to the usual desktop stuff, I’m also assisting the one very overworked I.T. manager with systems support.  I’m in a little over my head here, but he understands this and is more than willing to do a little hand holding until I get up to speed. The systems side of things is also something I wanted to get into, but in nearly every company I’ve worked for there has been very definite dividing line between systems and desktop. But not here.

There’s no help desk; trouble calls come in by email and phone.  There was a long list of outstanding issues when I arrived this morning, and by mid-afternoon they’d all been resolved.  My supervisor was thrilled. He asked me more than once if I felt overwhelmed or if any of the calls had left me scratching my head.  I told him not at all. (Apparently the guy who I replaced not only lacked customer service skills, he was technically inept.)

There’s also no imaging solution in place, even though they’re licensed for Norton Ghost. That’s something he wants to rectify and I’m more than happy to get it set up.

It’s also a reasonable commute, located in the Denver Tech Center, about 8 miles southwest of where we’re staying; exactly where I had hoped to be working.

If things continue like they are, I fully expect that this 30-60 day contract will turn into something much more. There is a lot of work to be done, the I.T. Manager is open to new ways of doing things, and I have several solutions for issues I noted just today that I gained over the last 7 years that would work great here.

Did I mention I can wear jeans?

Touched By His Noodly Appendage

Praise the Flying Spaghetti Monster and all of His Noodly Appendages, it finally happened.  I got a job.

Hopefully this will be a decent place, not requiring me to immediately reach for the abort button.  It’s healthcare related, but it’s on the insurance side of things (no hospitals involved), and it sounds more or less like what I was doing at my last position.

Speaking of my last position, I secured this gig through the same company that had placed me there those many years ago.

This is another emergency placement that supposedly has only a 30-day life expectancy, but the recruiter stressed that it could turn into something more because the client was looking for “a good fit; someone who understands the meaning of customer service.” Apparently the last person they had in there was expressing her problems with the customers to the customers, instead of sharing them among the tech staff and anonymously on blogs (cough, cough).  In addition, the paperwork I signed indicated it would last through the end of September, so even if this doesn’t go permanent, it relieves the financial pressure I’ve been feeling and will keep the wolves at bay.

Before the call came in this afternoon, I had even gone so far as to run up to our storage unit and open nearly every fucking box to find the elusive Dell laptop I had stashed away, as well as the original boxes for my camera and lenses in hopes of extracting some much needed cash via Craigslist.  Now it appears that will be unnecessary. I don’t mind parting with the Dell; I knew it would be much more difficult to let go of the camera.


I did not get the job at Arapahoe County like I was hoping for. “They decided to go in a different direction.”

I have the experience. I have the knowledge. Am I coming across as complete dolt in the interviews?

Thankfully I have one more definite interview lined up this week, as well as having two potentials in the mix.  Of those two, one sounds like it might be a perfect match, even better than the county job.  Still, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t chosen for that one.


102 Things NOT To Do If You Hate Taxes

So, you’re a Republican that hates taxes? Well, since you do not like taxes or government, please kindly do the following:

1. Do not use Medicare.
2. Do not use Social Security
3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars.
4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster.
5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt.
6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home.
7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home.
8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge.
9. Do not use public restrooms.
10. Do not send your kids to public schools.
11. Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors.
12. Do not live in areas with clean air.
13. Do not drink clean water.
14. Do not visit National Parks.
15. Do not visit public museums, zoos, and monuments.
16. Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines.
17. Do not bring your kids to public playgrounds.
18. Do not walk or run on sidewalks.
19. Do not use public recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts.
20. Do not seek shelter facilities or food in soup kitchens when you are homeless and hungry.
21. Do not apply for educational or job training assistance when you lose your job.
22. Do not apply for food stamps when you can’t feed your children.
23. Do not use the judiciary system for any reason.
24. Do not ask for an attorney when you are arrested and do not ask for one to be assigned to you by the court.
25. Do not apply for any Pell Grants.
26. Do not use cures that were discovered by labs using federal dollars.
27. Do not fly on federally regulated airplanes.
28. Do not use any product that can trace its development back to NASA.
29. Do not watch the weather provided by the National Weather Service.
30. Do not listen to severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service.
31. Do not listen to tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake alert systems.
32. Do not apply for federal housing.
33. Do not use the internet, which was developed by the military.
34. Do not swim in clean rivers.
35. Do not allow your child to eat school lunches or breakfasts.
36. Do not ask for FEMA assistance when everything you own gets wiped out by disaster.
37. Do not ask the military to defend your life and home in the event of a foreign invasion.
38. Do not use your cell phone or home telephone.
39. Do not buy firearms that wouldn’t have been developed without the support of the US Government and military. That includes most of them.
40. Do not eat USDA inspected produce and meat.
41. Do not apply for government grants to start your own business.
42. Do not apply to win a government contract.
43. Do not buy any vehicle that has been inspected by government safety agencies.
44. Do not buy any product that is protected from poisons, toxins, etc…by the Consumer Protection Agency.
45. Do not save your money in a bank that is FDIC insured.
46. Do not use Veterans benefits or military health care.
47. Do not use the G.I. Bill to go to college.
48. Do not apply for unemployment benefits.
49. Do not use any electricity from companies regulated by the Department of Energy.
50. Do not live in homes that are built to code.
51. Do not run for public office. Politicians are paid with taxpayer dollars.
52. Do not ask for help from the FBI, S.W.A.T, the bomb squad, Homeland Security, State troopers, etc…
53. Do not apply for any government job whatsoever as all state and federal employees are paid with tax dollars.
54. Do not use public libraries.
55. Do not use the US Postal Service.
56. Do not visit the National Archives.
57. Do not visit Presidential Libraries.
58. Do not use airports that are secured by the federal government.
59. Do not apply for loans from any bank that is FDIC insured.
60. Do not ask the government to help you clean up after a tornado.
61. Do not ask the Department of Agriculture to provide a subsidy to help you run your farm.
62. Do not take walks in National Forests.
63. Do not ask for taxpayer dollars for your oil company.
64. Do not ask the federal government to bail your company out during recessions.
65. Do not seek medical care from places that use federal dollars.
66. Do not use Medicaid.
67. Do not use WIC.
68. Do not use electricity generated by Hoover Dam.
69. Do not use electricity or any service provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority.
70. Do not ask the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild levees when they break.
71. Do not let the Coast Guard save you from drowning when your boat capsizes at sea.
72. Do not ask the government to help evacuate you when all hell breaks loose in the country you are in.
73. Do not visit historic landmarks.
74. Do not visit fisheries.
75. Do not expect to see animals that are federally protected because of the Endangered Species List.
76. Do not expect plows to clear roads of snow and ice so your kids can go to school and so you can get to work.
77. Do not hunt or camp on federal land.
78. Do not work anywhere that has a safe workplace because of government regulations.
79. Do not use public transportation.
80. Do not drink water from public water fountains.
81. Do not whine when someone copies your work and sells it as their own. Government enforces copyright laws.
82. Do not expect to own your home, car, or boat. Government organizes and keeps all titles.
83. Do not expect convicted felons to remain off the streets.
84. Do not eat in restaurants that are regulated by food quality and safety standards.
85. Do not seek help from the US Embassy if you need assistance in a foreign nation.
86. Do not apply for a passport to travel outside of the United States.
87. Do not apply for a patent when you invent something.
88. Do not adopt a child through your local, state, or federal governments.
89.Do not use elevators that have been inspected by federal or state safety regulators.
90. Do not use any resource that was discovered by the USGS.
91. Do not ask for energy assistance from the government.
92. Do not move to any other developed nation, because the taxes are much higher.
93. Do not go to a beach that is kept clean by the state.
94. Do not use money printed by the US Treasury.
95. Do not complain when millions more illegal immigrants cross the border because there are no more border patrol agents.
96. Do not attend a state university.
97. Do not see any doctor that is licensed through the state.
98. Do not use any water from municipal water systems.
99. Do not complain when diseases and viruses, that were once fought around the globe by the US government and CDC, reach your house.
100. Do not work for any company that is required to pay its workers a livable wage, provide them sick days, vacation days, and benefits.
101. Do not expect to be able to vote on election days. Government provides voting booths, election day officials, and voting machines which are paid for with taxes.
102. Do not ride trains. The railroad was built with government financial assistance.

The fact is, we pay for the lifestyle we expect. Without taxes, our lifestyles would be totally different and much harder. America would be a third world country. The less we pay, the less we get in return. Americans pay less taxes today since 1958 and is ranked 32nd out of 34 of the top tax paying countries. Chile and Mexico are 33rd and 34th. The Republicans are lying when they say that we pay the highest taxes in the world and are only attacking taxes to reward corporations and the wealthy and to weaken our infrastructure and way of life. So next time you object to paying taxes or fight to abolish taxes for corporations and the wealthy, keep this quote in mind…

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Unemployment, Day 50

I had a good interview yesterday afternoon. It was with a new agency I hadn’t previously worked with.  They’re submitting me for a support position with a healthcare provider that doesn’t require any direct hospital work.  It’s pretty much exactly what I was hoping for, and while the pay rate is below my desired minimum, it’s a 3-month contract-to-hire gig that will undoubtedly pay more if I’m hired on as an employee.  This put me in kind of an up mood, because not only does it sound like a job I’d like, it’s only about a 20 minute commute from anywhere Ben and I could conceivably settle.

The recruiter also told me she’d gotten glowing recommendations from my two past supervisors. This was not unexpected, but it was still nice to have it confirmed.

They’re going to try and get me in front of the client for an interview the first of next week.

I also got a call from a recruiter in New York regarding a 3-4 month contract position working through an outsourcing company to image and roll out new PCs “for a military client.” I asked if it required a security clearance, and was told no. That sounded kind of odd, but I’m not in a position now where I can just automatically dismiss things out of hand. I’m meeting with a representative from the outsourcing company (that looks completely legitimate but doesn’t have an office in Denver) at a Starbucks Monday afternoon.  If I had not personally witnessed several job interviews taking place in that venue since arriving in Denver I would’ve though it very odd, but now…not so much. Maybe it’s a Colorado thing?

But of course, I’m still hoping to hear on Monday from the recruiter who’s been on vacation this past week regarding my interview from a week ago. That’s the place I really want to work.

You Might Be a Republican if You Believe…

1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Barack Obama

2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s Daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.

3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Viet Nam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority for years was enforcing U.N. resolutions in Iraq.

5. A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational drug corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.

7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.

8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

10. Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools. Evolution is a lie, but get a flu shot every year because the virus evolves.

11. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which tens of thousands die and the nation is plunged into debt is solid national policy.

12. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

13. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

14. You support “Executive Privilege” for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born (in perpetuity.)

15. Support hunters who shoot their friends and blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

16. You can vote to raise the debt limit as long as Obama is not President.

17. Officials should allow Christian prayer and Bible studies in schools and government buildings as a matter of Religious Freedom, but Muslims should not be allowed to build mosques or be elected to office because they practice Islam.

18. You have an argument why every one of the above is sensible and not hypocritical, and besides look at all the terrible things the Democrats may have done.

Unemployment, Day 49

Ben’s class started an hour later today, so in addition to sleeping in a bit longer than usual, we had breakfast together.

I’m now back at Starbucks, once again filling out applications and cruising job boards.  I took to heart a suggestion left by one of my readers, and also posted my resume on Craigslist.  I figure it couldn’t hurt.

I still have a feeling I’ll get called about the interview from last Friday. The fact that the hiring manager as well as my recruiter are both on vacation this week has got to be the reason I haven’t heard anything; or at least that’s what I keep telling myself to keep from slipping into a deep depression.

I know from previous experience that in order to keep from ending up in an blue unemployment funk, I need to keep busy while waiting for that phone call that puts me back to work.  And keeping busy in my case means doing something I love: taking pictures.

Gully Homestead
Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
26mm, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/60 sec

Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
26mm, ISO 100, f5.0, 1/60 sec

Flower Garden
Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
30mm, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/60 sec

Abandoned Property, Aurora CO
18mm, ISO 100, f4.5, 1/40 sec

Bridge and Barn
Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
70mm, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/125 sec

Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
50mm, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/100 sec

Abandoned Property, Aurora CO
150mm, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/250 sec

Delaney Farm, Aurora CO
30mm, ISO 100, f5.0, 1/60 sec

Abandoned Property, Aurora CO
45mm, ISO 100, f8.0, 1/60 sec

Unemployment, Day 47

And so begins another day of sitting in Starbucks, applying online for jobs that I never hear anything more about after clicking “submit,” and waiting for calls from random recruiters who “saw my resume on monster” that on average offer up one decent job for every five that are blatantly ridiculous.

The winner in today’s ridiculous category was a call from an Indian guy whose accent was so thick I literally could not understand half of what he was saying. Thankfully he simultaneously emailed me the job description so I could see what he was calling about. It was a part time contract that involved using my own vehicle to drive “on average” 750 miles per week (with no reimbursement) to service PCs. And the outstanding rate they were willing to pay for this? $13.00 per hour.

That might cover fuel costs.


I could have said many things, but instead simply thanked him and said I was looking a full 40 hours a week.

This reminded me of 2003 when I got calls from recruiters who were trying to fill positions that required Bachelor’s Degrees, multiple certifications, and 5 years of hands-on experience—and were paying a whopping $8 an hour.  I laughed at them and told them to call back when the clients were serious.

On a more positive note, I have a meeting scheduled Friday afternoon to meet with yet another new recruiter at a well known firm I haven’t worked with before. While she doesn’t have anything definite to offer me at the moment she assures me they “get desktop positions all the time.” Even if she doesn’t have an immediate position to offer, I think it’s still worthwhile to put a human face on this increasingly-frustrating process, and since I have nothing else going on at this point, what have I got to lose?