days_unfolding: (flower opening)

I got in touch with Lincoln to see where they were in the hiring process, and they said that they're finishing interviews this week and will be in touch next week. So I'll hang tight....

Funny how when you get into something, you see it everywhere. I've gotten into classic movies, and The Killers, Ava Gardner's first big starring role, is on Turner Classic Movies tomorrow night. I'll probably watch it. Also, I pulled out all the classic movies in my mom's collection and need to watch them too. My mom is going to give me some classic movie DVDs for my birthday next week.

days_unfolding: (flower opening)

I feel like I'm playing a version of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? finding out where the colleges and universities to which I'm applying are located. The latest is in Fort Myers, Florida, which I thought was in the Florida panhandle, but turned out to be on the Gulf side of Florida at roughly the same latitude as Fort Lauderdale. It has some beautiful beaches. At least my geography skills are improving....

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A while back, I reapplied for unemployment payments. At first, the unemployment office sent me a note stating that I was not eligible because I didn't work last year. Then I received a Notice of Unemployment Claim Award. Then I received a note stating that I needed to attend an interview at a local employment office.

The interview was really a demo of some online tools. When I told the interviewer that I hadn't received any unemployment checks yet, he called an office in Sacramento to check on the status of my claim. They said that I wasn't eligible because I didn't work last year. When I asked why I received the Notice of Unemployment Award, they said that the system was sending out false awards. (My tax dollars at work.) When I asked why I received the note stating that I needed to attend the interview, they said that the computer picks Social Security numbers at random. Bah.

The interview wasn't a total loss. The interviewer showed us a tool that lists all the companies in the area that employ people with a certain job title. The information includes a telephone number and street address. That tool was worth the price of admission (in this case, aggravation). He also told me that all the resources in the employment office were available to me even if my unemployment claim is invalid. I might go there for some extra interview practice, although I've had plenty of interviews.

I left to find that a bird had shit all over my car. Clearly not my day -;)
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The guys came today to install the bathroom floor. They did a good job. The only thing is that the floor appears pink. It's beige with butterscotch and black flecks under most lights. I'll try replacing the bathroom light bulb, but I'm stumped as why the floor is pink. Anyway, that's the floor that I've got. The plumber is coming by on Monday to install the new toilet.

They also installed hinges on a couple of cabinet doors. I've had the doors off for so long that it seems weird to see them on.

He charged me less than the estimate. The price was quite reasonable. Maybe he gave me a low price to encourage me to call them again. He was advocating that they paint the place, but he didn't give me an estimate.

Harlee seems to have had enough with the parade of workmen. After the guys had left and Harlee came out of hiding, she paraded around meowing. Nima was brave and stayed out of hiding in the office with me. Occasionally she went towards the living room to see what was going on, but I chased her back into the office to keep her out of the way.

A recruiter called, but I missed the call because of all the chaos.

I also had a screen replaced. It's a little smaller than the window, but it matched the old screen that the window had. It should work. One of the owners came over, picked up the screen, and brought it over to a nearby site at which they were working so that I wouldn't be charged for the service call. That was nice.
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I had a face-to-face interview today. It went well; I'd call it the best interview that I've had since I lost my job.


The interviewer said that she interviewed another candidate that had more applicable experience than I had. She said that if the offer to the other candidate fell through, she'd let me know.

Oh well.

I guess that I just should enjoy having had a good interview.
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The technician refinished my shower/tub yesterday and today. He seemed not entirely with it, but I have to hand it to him, he knows his business. The shower/tub looks fantastic:

The tub before the shower hardware and shower doors were put back

It would be more dramatic with a "before" picture, but I don't have one. The tub was stained. I learned that fiberglass tubs are more likely to stain when the top surface is rubbed off.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to watch the technician at work. There wasn't room enough. If I wind up selling the condo and moving, I'm thinking about finding a franchise to buy into rather than finding a job in, say, retail. The refinishing company that I used has franchises available. I don't know how expensive they are though. Food for thought.

The bathroom floor was supposed to be delivered today, but the guy whom I talked to didn't enter the delivery into the computer. So now it's supposed to be delivered on Monday. (No big deal. I just wanted to have a reason to say "Dude, where's my floor?" Crazy, man.)

I'm exchanging e-mail about a job at a company that was bought by Google. They want me to attach copies of my college transcripts to my e-mail response. I have my work cut out for me trying to find them. I know that I've seen them recently, but I'm not sure where they are. I had a phone interview with another company on Friday and have a face-to-face interview with them on Wednesday.
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When I received my last unemployment check last year, the form said that "if unemployed", I could apply for benefits during the week of 2/16/08. So I did apply, although from looking at their Web site, I thought that I wasn't eligible because I didn't work last year. I decided to apply anyway because the requirements weren't very clear. I received a letter stating that I wasn't eligible because I didn't work last year. About what I expected.

Well, today I received a "Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award". The award based my claim on 4th quarter 2006, in which I worked and got severance pay, and the first three quarters of 2007. The notice also stated that I need to meet "further eligibility requirements" without stating what they were. I'll wait and see what happens. My concern is that they'll pay me benefits, then change their mind about whether I'm eligible, and ask for their money back.


Feb. 16th, 2008 11:47 pm
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The cats are taking a nap to rest up from their daytime nap. Usually the cats will come into the home office when I'm in there, but tonight when I got home, the only reaction I got was an ear twitch from Harlee. They have a tough life -;)

Gratuitous cat picture showing their bed and the new blinds:

Well, I had the phone interview on Wednesday, and they said "Thanks, but no thanks." I haven't heard anything about the face-to-face interview.

The new blinds are installed, and they look terrific. The only thing is that they make the walls look worse.

Someone's coming to resurface the master shower and tub on Friday and Saturday. And yes, they are removing and replacing the shower doors.

I've ordered the new bathroom floor. I need to contact the contractor to tell him that I'll need him to install the floor, but he doesn't need to fix the shower door.

I had my second dentist appointment. They deep cleaned the other side and put in a filling. I have an appointment next Friday for my root canal, but I forgot that the shower resurfacer will be here, so I need to reschedule.
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Today, I had my interview at the company that almost hired me before. I think that I did well at the beginning of the interview, but fried out a bit at the end. At least it's over, which takes some of the pressure off. (I had been studying for the interview.)

Yesterday, I had my dental appointment. Well. They came up with a treatment plan that involves about six visits and a fair amount of moola. I liked the dentist and trust her judgment that this work needs to be done. The one big problem that I see is that she wants me to go to an oral surgeon and get my wisdom teeth removed. I don't have anyone who will drive me to the appointment and pick me up afterward. I'll need to talk to the surgeon what my options are.

I'm going back there on Saturday (to finish the deep cleaning started on Monday).

Monday night, I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The movie was good at showing what Bauby's life was like after his stroke. I wish, though, that they showed more of his life before the stroke. I didn't get a good feel for him as a person.

Busy, busy

Feb. 10th, 2008 07:13 pm
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On Thursday, I had a phone interview for a contract job.

On Friday, the new contractor came to look at the bathroom floor. He pried up a corner of the floor and said that there was no water damage underneath. He asked if Home Depot was going to lay the new floor over the old floor, and I didn't know. He recommended that we pull up the old vinyl floor because of the water damage. He also said that one side of the shower door needs to be resealed. He gave me an estimate for replacing the floor, fixing the shower door, and replacing some cabinet hinges in the kitchen. So I have questions for Home Depot. I also want to find out when someone resurfaces the shower, will he or she take down the shower door and reseal it.

On Saturday, I found a note in my door asking me to call my mortgage company. They've been switching us over to a new account and new automatic payment plan, so I guess that it's possible that there's a missed payment somewhere. I also bought a book on mashups that I'm reading for an interview on Tuesday.

On Monday, I have a dental appointment. It's not far from Santana Row, so I'll probably hole up at Santana Row and let the commute traffic die down.

On Tuesday, I have a face-to-face interview at the company that almost hired me.

On Wednesday, I might have a phone interview. Also someone's coming to install new blinds.
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The knob on my oven is fixed, so now I can make frozen pizza....Mmmmm.

The kitchen faucet, garbage disposal, and bathroom faucet are installed. They took my old master bath toilet away. (The new toilet is in my living room right now.) I had to soothe some upset kitties because I let in not one, but two strange people who were making loud noises.

The bad news is that I got the estimate on the bathroom floor. They said that because there was water damage by the toilet, I need to get a general contractor in to look at the floor. I e-mailed the people who administer my HOA to see if they had a recommendation. If not, do you have any ideas where I could find one? The phone book isn't very helpful.

Some good news is that I'm exchanging e-mail with someone at the company that almost hired me. The person with whom I previously interviewed recommended me. The bad news is that the job isn't the greatest fit, but I'll talk to her and see what happens.

Addendum: I found a plethora of general contractors on Craig's List.
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Now someone else is talking to me about a contract position. I figure the surest way to ensure that I get a job is to make plans for my mom to come out and visit -;) Along those lines, I've come up with a possible itinerary for the Wine Country trip. (Mom, let me know if you want to change anything. Nothing is written in stone at this point.)

First leg--San Jose to Napa

Try to leave by 10:00 AM (gasp!).

Take the 101-680-780-80 etc. route. As well as the route being direct, it also gives Mom a chance to see I-680, which I think challenges I-280 for the title of most beautiful freeway.

Arrive at COPIA, 500 1st street, Napa. Have a late lunch or early dinner at COPIA's cafe (unless something else looks more interesting).

Spend the rest of the afternoon in Napa.

Second leg--Napa to Santa Rosa

Leave for Santa Rosa in the evening.

Stay at the Motel 6 Santa Rosa South, 2760 Cleveland Ave.

Spend the day in Santa Rosa. See downtown, the Peanuts museum, maybe the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens, and anything else that strikes our fancy.

Third leg--Santa Rosa to Fort Bragg

Leave for Fort Bragg in the evening.

Stay at the Super 8 Motel at N. Harbor & Main St.

Take the Skunk Train in the morning?

Visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Spend the afternoon there.

Fourth leg--Fort Bragg to San Jose

Head back to San Jose unless we decide to stay over in Fort Bragg. Might be a longish day. Take CA-20 to 101, 101 to the Golden Gate Bridge, 19th St. to 280, and I know the rest of the way.
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I've been discussing two contract positions with recruiters. One is only for a month, and one is for 6 - 12 months. (Of course, I'm hoping for the 6 - 12 month one.)

My mom is planning to come visit, but I first need to find out about the jobs. (Everything gets complicated.) We're talking about taking a trip to the Sonoma/Mendocino area. We'd stay in Santa Rosa and drive wherever we want to go. Any thoughts about what to do in the area that doesn't involve wine tasting?

So far, I have visiting downtown Santa Rosa (which is supposed to be pretty), maybe the Peanuts museum, a train ride from Fort Bragg that winds through the redwoods, Quarryhill Botanical Gardens in Sonoma, Mendocino Botanical Gardens, and an exhibit about the relationship between food, wine, and art, which sounds right up my mom's alley.
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I feel like everything that I have to say is redundant. No, I still don't have a job. Yes, I'm still looking. Yes, I'm still working on getting the place organized.

I suppose having nothing to say never stopped me before.

The car is now being fixed. The rental car is a cute Dodge Neon that's fun to drive. The only problem is that I left my parking permit in the Honda, so I have to park the Neon out on the street.

I'm not sure if my air conditioning is working or not. It doesn't seem to cool the place off very quickly. On the other hand, it got really stuffy in here when I turned the a/c off. Either way, I shouldn't run the a/c often. I've turned on my oscillating pedestal fans in the living room and the bedroom. Harlee was really dubious about the fan in the living room, but now she seems to realize that it cools her off. I looked for another fan for the home office, but WalMart didn't have any out yet. Hey, it can get hot in May. It is hot (high 80s and low 90s).

I talked to a recruiter about a job that didn't pan out. Now I'm talking to another one.

I gave away a medium-sized box worth of stuff on Freecycle.

I'm investigating ways of hanging clothes to dry (indoors) instead of drying them in the dryer, but at a cost of 40 cents a dryer load, most solutions have a long break-even point. I did see a picture of a jury-rigged setup in the Tightwad Gazette, but I'm not sure if I'll try it or not.

And yes, I've been reading the Tightwad Gazette before I go to sleep. It's amusing reading and I've learned a few things.
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I am shocked. I thought that the interview went well.
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I thought that the interview went well today. It wound up being conversational in style; there was a lot of give and take on both sides. I seemed to hit it off with the other two writers. All three of us started tech writing in the same year. What are the odds of that? I said, "Oh good, I can admit how many years of experience I have (18 years). I leave it off of my resume so I don't scare people." They really liked my writing samples. I really would like this job.

They're going to interview two more people and get back to me on Tuesday.

In the meanwhile, things are still falling apart around here. On Monday, I found that I had a flat tire. I had a can of Fix-A-Flat in the car. I used it, and it helped. Tuesday, I put more air in the tire, and it seems to be holding the air so far. I don't know if it's really fixed or has a really slow leak. It was a little scary to drive up to San Ramon today on that tire. I told myself that I must must remember to take the cell phone.

It's even scarier that I don't have the money to fix the tire if it needs fixing. Wells Fargo put a two-week hold on a check that I deposited. Why, in this age of computers, does it require two weeks for a check to clear? Mom said that she would help me out. (Thanks, Mom!) Now I can buy oatmeal.

So now I need to finish my homework. This week is the last week of class. I also need to get my act together to sell a couple of guitars. I've been busy working on a writing sample up to this point. I still need to finish the sample, but I was jamming to finish some of it for the interview. (Why are there still not enough hours in the day when I'm not working?)

Right now, I'm wiped out, so I should go to sleep.


Apr. 3rd, 2007 03:14 pm
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I talked to the recruiter about the job. We had a really good interview, and she said that the tech writing manager wanted to have a face-to-face interview. Then she asked what salary I was looking for, and I named a figure that was 5K less then I made on my last job. She said that the top salary for the job is 15K less than my last job, and suggested that I think about it overnight.

The thing is that I'm really interested in the job. It's less technical than other jobs that I've had, which might be good given my cognitive problems. Money is also starting to be a problem.

What you do think that I should do?

Gotta run.....
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I was expecting a check from the Unemployment agency, and I really needed the check to pay my mortgage on the 1st. Tonight, I opened my mail to find that I hadn't signed the form for my claim, and they want me to fill out a duplicate form, SIGN IT, and mail it. This delay means it'll be about 10 more days until I get the check. No one's fault but mine, but I flipped out about it.

Later, I was buying a newspaper at a newspaper rack in a shopping center. (For some reason, I'm no longer getting the paper at home.) My car was parked in the parking lot. I heard a crunch of two cars colliding, turned around, realized that my car was hit, saw the other car take off like a bat out of hell, and yelled, "Hey!" The front passenger side was damaged, but the car is drivable.

I called the police, and he took an hour to get there. However, he turned out to be a really nice guy. He apologized for the delay, and told me that because the accident took place on private property, and I didn't get the license of the other car, that he didn't need to fill out a police report. But he called my insurance company and talked to them first, and then passed the phone to me. They're calling me back tomorrow between 10 and 12 to tell me what to do next.

The one good bit of news is that a recruiter left me a message about a job that I had applied for. The humorous or ironic part is that the company makes insurance claim software. I didn't think that the job was a very good match, but maybe it's a good match after all -;)

I'm going to call the recruiter back on Monday morning. I hope that I don't have to bring the car somewhere on Monday morning. Well, the car will just have to wait.
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I received a message from a recruiter who saw my resume on Yahoo HotJobs or He asked me if I was interested in a contract position. I said, "Yes," and I haven't heard from him since then. What's up with that? Sheesh, this is like dating -;)

This week is hell week as far as my class is concerned. We have to set up our machines to run Javadoc. We also have to critique a set of API documentation. So I'm plugging away at it. My teacher asked if anyone would be interested in a class on Java that prepares you for Java certification, and I'm probably going to say that I'm interested. I hope that it's not too expensive.

And speaking of money, my finances are going to be really tight over the next month, so I'm stockpiling stuff. I now have 60 pounds of cat litter. I already have way too much food in the house, so I can scrounge.

There is a movie that I really want to see that is opening this weekend--The Namesake, so I'll probably let myself see it. I also plan to sell some books at a used bookstore in Fremont. I went last weekend, and found the store empty and dark. It turns out that they moved, and are reopening on the 15th. I also need to sell a classical guitar and a silent guitar on Craig's List.

And, oh yeah, job search stuff. So I'm keeping busy.

Far out

Feb. 8th, 2007 03:04 pm
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The company with whom I had the phone interview asked me to come in for a face-to-face interview.


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