Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Monday, April 27, 2009

I started drafting an ad to post on Craigslist trying to start an original band, but I haven't yet finished it and posted it. I did just send off a message to a lady who said she was looking for a band. She didn't really specify whether she was looking to do original music or not. Her little demo on Myspace was all covers, but she says that she writes lyrics on that page, so I figured I'd send out a line and see what comes back.

I've also started doing a serious rework on my resume. Not sure it's going to help all that much, but it certainly can't hurt. I think I'm going to go talk to either someone at the Texas Workforce Commission or someone in the admissions office at NCTC tomorrow. I also think I have a few more books that I can take down to Half Price to try to sell off. I think I'm a little further away from being able to pay the rent than the girlfriend expected, and I'd really rather get as close as possible, even if she can make up the rest of it by borrowing it from her mom. I just really don't feel like sponging off of them. Damn, I need to find a job, and I really hope my 401(k) distribution check comes soon...

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And all of the hunts continue...

I woke up early this morning, after not getting to sleep until about two last night. My sinuses feel like crap, and I've had fluid draining from my nose for the past hour. I'm not really sure whether it's a cold or allergies. After sitting down in the park for the past couple of days, it might very well just be some kind of spring pollen or grass issue, but I don't really know or care.

I got a reply back from the guitarist/steel guitar player I wrote to last night. He said he's looking for a singer/songwriter first, but he'll keep me in mind once he gets that part lined up. I wrote back and told him that sounded good, and that I could also help out with collaborating if he found a writer who just needed a little help with getting stuff finished. Because I'm so damned good at finishing stuff myself, right?...

I still haven't heard back from one of the people whose ad I responded to, and I haven't heard back from the guitarist who I replied to yesterday, probably because he now thinks I'm just far too old. Little bit of a double standard on that one, methinks...

Guess I'd better get back to the old job hunt now. I was just reading an article about how current college graduates are facing one of the toughest job markets ever, and that they should get out of fields that are shrinking, like finance, and into ones that are growing, like healthcare and computer science. That's just great, as I'm thinking about going back to school to get out of computer science and into finance. I still just don't know what the hell I'm going to do, but I'd better damned well figure it out pretty soon...

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's another day, and I still just feel listless and depressed. I have no idea what the hell I'm doing lately, and I really have no idea what the hell I even want to do. I've been thinking that I'd like to go back to school and get an accounting degree, or at least study accounting and get into that gig.

In the meantime, money continues to run out. I haven't posted as much stuff for sale on Craigslist as I wanted, and I didn't make as much money selling books at Half-Price as I wanted, and it's probably going to take a couple of weeks before I get the money from my old 401(k). Guess I'd better get to trying to post some ads...

I've been looking through the Craigslist musician ads for the past few days, too. I found a few here in Denton that looked interesting, and I've bookmarked them to write back. I just haven't even felt the ambition to draft a few e-mails to people lately. Damn, I feel useless. I should get that done today, too, and maybe I'll actually be able to play some more music, unlike the past several years...

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Planning for the day...

So, after doing almost nothing that I wanted to get done yesterday, and almost nothing that really needed to get done, I'm going to give it another try today. The girlfriend just got up and is taking a shower, so I'm going to wait until she heads off to work in half an hour or so, then I'm going to take myself a shower, have a cup of coffee, and get my show on the road.

I have to finish filling out the form for the distribution of my retirement, and then get that sent in to the people who manage the fund. Fortunately, it's not that much of a form, really. While I'm mailing that off, I need to find out how much these stamps are worth, so we can use them for mailing off stuff in general. I'm not sure if they're the ones that are good for the cost of a first-class letter no matter when you bought them, or what. I got them a few years ago, and I don't know if they had that program going then. Guess I'll find out when I stop at the post office on the way down toward Lewisville.

She has a rebate form for her new cell phone, and she wants to get that mailed off. Which I'll do after I get back from hopefully making some money at Half-Price Books. I also need to see if I can find the next book in her series. In her line of work, having some reading material isn't really a luxury. It's pretty much a necessity for keeping one's sanity. So, I'll try to see that she gets her next novel. That's about the only thing I'm going to be buying down there, though...

And, if I'm feeling good when I get back here, I might go out and start working on the patio or vacuum the floors. Of course, I also really need to update my resume, since the one I'm sending out now obviously isn't doing me a damned bit of good...

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting ready to face the world...

I'm having the morning cup of coffee, getting ready to head down toward Lewisville. I'm going to try to sell the rest of the books in the back of my car down at Half-Price Books. Hopefully they'll at least take some of them and get me enough money to be able to pay both the rent and either the car payment or the car insurance, at least. It would be wonderful if I got enough money to pay both, but I'm really not counting on that.

Prior to heading down there, I thought I'd check out the job listings in the Sunday paper I picked up last night, just to see if there was anything good that direction that I could hit on the way down or back. And as I was looking for the classified section, I saw a picture that looked kind of familiar. I sort of wondered if they were so desperate for something to print that they were re-running stories. But, no, it turns out that I bought the Sunday paper not from last night, but from last week. That's what Walgreen's had out on their display. I'm not terribly happy about that, but I don't think I'm going to head in there and demand a refund or anything. Next time, I might just make a few pointed comments, but I have enough other things to do to try to find work to not stress that much over that. I've got to stop at the gas station anyway, so I'll see if they still have a copy of the right paper...

In reading my mail this morning, I heard that J.G. Ballard died. He wrote some really weird sci-fi stories, many of which I really enjoyed. "Billennium", "The Terminal Beach", and "The Garden of Time" come to mind, but I know that I've read several of his short story collections and liked them a lot. I just can't remember all of the quirky details right now. He wrote what almost seemed to be hallucinations put down on paper, and it's rather sad to see the loss of one of the really original minds out there. I need to go back and read more of his work...

Anyway, I guess I should quit stalling and get my coffee chugged down so I can get out into the world...

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sports report, 4/18...

I got to see the Montreal Canadiens play the Boston Bruins, but I almost wish I hadn't. Montreal looked just awful, and wound up losing the game 5-1, giving Boston a 2-0 lead in the series. They move to Canada for the next game, so maybe the Canadiens will be able to give them a bit of a challenge, but I'm really not feeling like they're going to make any kind of a serious comeback in the series. They just looked bad out there last game.

In other hockey playoff results, Detroit dominated Columbus with a 4-0 shutout, to bring their series lead to 2-0, too. The visiting Rangers shut out the Capitals 1-0, to bring that series to 2-0. New York has pretty much completely turned around the "home ice advantage," and the Capitals look like they're going to be in dire straits as they move the series to Madison Square Garden. And Chicago edged out Calgary, 3-2, to also take a 2-0 lead in that series.

In baseball, the Blue Jays outlasted the Oakland A's in Toronto. It took them 12 innings to finally outscore their visitors, 4-2. That win brings the Jays' record to 9-4. Everyone else in the AL West followed the A's lead: The Angels lost in Minnesota by a final of 9-2; the visiting Royals knocked off Texas, 2-0; and the Tigers also made themselves unwelcome guests in Seattle, knocking off the Mariners 2-0. That leaves the AL West standings pretty much the same as before: Seattle leads the division at 8-4, Oakland holds down the middle spot at 5-6, and Texas and the Angels pull up the rear at 4-7 each.

Ichiro was hitless in the Seattle game, striking out twice in four at-bats. As usual with a goose-egg performance, he had no RBIs. Surprisingly, he also had a throwing error in the game. I know it's not realistic to think he'll go completely without an error all season, but it's still kind of surprising to see it on the stat sheet. He's now 4-for-17 for the season, stuck at 5 RBIs.

And, not that it really matters to my AL West standings, but the final score in that Yankees game wound up being 22-4. That's just really got to make the people with their spendy season Yankees tickets feel great about paying for that new stadium. Heh...

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh, my...

I'm watching the Indians play the Yankees on TV now. And the Indians just finished shelling the Yanks for 14 runs on 13 hits in the top of the 2nd inning. That's gonna hurt the ol' ERA, methinks...

According to the announcers, here in the third game in the Yankees' new stadium, they just got shelled for the all-time team record in both runs allowed in an inning and hits allowed in an inning. Heh...

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Sports report...

In hockey action last night, Carolina managed to wrest home ice advantage from New Jersey in a 2-1 overtime win, while Pittsburgh held serve with a 3-2 overtime win over the Flyers. And Vancouver had little trouble taking a 2-0 lead over the Blues, shutting them out 3-0 in a testy, physical sort of game.

In baseball, a double negative for my teams happened in Toronto, where the A's knocked off the Jays, 8-5. That drops the Blue Jays to an 8-4 record, still at the top of the AL East. Texas knocked out three solo home runs in their game against Kansas City, but that was their only scoring. The Royals, on the other hand, pounded out 19 hits while scoring 12 runs to knock off the Rangers in Arlington. The loss knocked Texas down to a tie for third in the AL West with the Angels, who lost a high-scoring game in Minnesota. The Twins just nipped them, 11-9.

Meanwhile, up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Ichiro went 1-for-4 with one RBI, putting his overall batting for the season at 4-for-13, and his RBI total goes up to 5. That was in the course of a 6-3 win by the Mariners over the Tigers, despite the fact that that Tigers outhit them 9-8. Combined with the Toronto loss, that result gives the Mariners the top record in the American League, and tied for the second best overall in the Major Leagues, after the Marlins, who are burning it up at 9-1.

In the AL West, the standings are:
Seattle, 8-3
Oakland, 5-5
LA Angels, 4-6
Texas, 4-6

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Plans for the day, perhaps...

The girlfriend was asking me last night if I thought we could get all the stuff from my storage unit and be able to store it in the two rooms upstairs, but still be able to actually use those rooms somewhat. That would save us $65 per month that I'm paying right now. I told her that I thought it could probably be done, so she said we might want to use today, which we both have off, to get some of that stuff over here. I think the main things we need to move, if possible, are the two bookcases. The two reasons I'd like to get them today, if we can, are that they're bigger than most of the other stuff, so having her car available will give us more options; and they can be used to hold other things, like books and such, which will actually let me clear out more space that I currently already have taken up with boxes of books and such.

I was looking around the room upstairs when I was feeding the wee beastie this morning, and I'm honestly not sure how much more stuff I can fit in there. I guess if I can get some of the shelves cleared out and such by bringing some of the books down here and putting them on the bookshelves, I might be able to clear up enough room for another few boxes, but all of the computer stuff is going to be a total nightmare to fit into that room. And I really don't want to start taking up a bunch of space in her room upstairs, because that's her craft room. What I really need to do is try to get rid of a bunch of things, to make room and for the money I need to pay the bills. Damn it...

She's still sleeping now, and I'm trying not to wake her up, since she doesn't get nearly as much sleep as she needs these days. We'll see what gets done with the day whenever she gets up...

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Sometimes I feel like I just can't win...

One of the things the girlfriend asked if I'd do today was to go shopping. We came up with a bit of a list, mostly just the basics and a few things that I thought would go a long way on not too much money (like beans and pasta). She left me $20 which she had budgeted for groceries, but after a few additions, she went ahead and left another $20 just in case it was more than $20 total.

So, between periods of the first hockey game of the day, I headed off to Kroger to pick stuff up. I got pretty much everything on the list, trying to keep the spending down to a minimum. In all, it wound up being right around $30. Instead of breaking the other $20 bill she gave me, I went ahead and paid part of it with ten bucks that I've had in my wallet for a few weeks.

She got home a little bit ago and saw the $20 I left on the counter. I told her that, yes, I'd gone to get groceries. "Oh, it was all under $20?" she asked. So I told her that I just used the extra money I had to pay for it. And now she's pissed that I spent the money that she wanted me to keep for emergencies. I told her I could go ahead and just use one of my credit cards in case of an actual emergency, but she said that she wanted to avoid using those. So do I, but if it's an emergency, I don't think it really matters all that much if I have to pay a little interest. Anyway, we live together, and all the money pretty much goes to the same places regardless of whether it's originally mine or hers, so what difference does it make? I should have just lied and told her it was all under $20... Sigh...

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Broker and broker, more and more useless...

Makes me feel really great when the girlfriend is home for lunch and we start talking about buying groceries and such. The topic turned to paying the bills, and the realization that I basically have enough to either pay my car insurance and car payment, or enough to pay my half of the rent, but certainly not both. Fuck. Now I'm taking a break from looking around for things that I might be able to sell, since it doesn't look like I'm going to get that damned paperwork from the 401(k) managers in time to help. Damn, damn, damn...

Might have to go down the street to the day labor place and see if I can haul some buckets or dig ditches or something for a week or two...

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Yesterday's sporting news...

Texas and Oakland didn't play baseball yesterday. Toronto spanked the Twins 9-2 behind a 7-run 7th inning, bringing them to an 8-3 record. The Angels beat the Mariners 5-1. Ichiro went 1-for-4 with a single. That puts him 3-for-9 for the season, with 4 RBI still from the grand slam yesterday. He also set the record for most hits by a Japanese player, with 3086. The loss still leaves Seattle in first place in the AL West, with a 7-3 record. Everyone else in the division is tied at 2.5 games behind at 4-5. It's still very early in the season, of course, but it's a promising start...

Hockey didn't have a whole lot of good results for me last night. Boston beat Montreal 4-2. That was one of the games I really would have liked to see, but of course that was the only game that Versus didn't have any coverage of last night. Looks like it was probably a pretty good, if somewhat testy, game, too. Detroit beat Columbus 4-1. That was pretty expected, being a battle of #2 vs. #7. But then, in the #1 vs. #8 opener, Anaheim managed to beat San Jose to take the home ice advantage away from the President's Trophy winners. And, in the only overtime game of the night, Chicago beat the Flames by a final of 3-2, scoring about 12 seconds into the first overtime. And more hockey will be played tonight, of course...

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It's drizzling down rain outside. A few thunderstorms rolled through last night, and we had a serious little squall drop a few buckets this morning, but mostly it's just gray and miserable looking. I still have a sort of disconnect with the weather, though, because whenever it would look like this in Oregon, it would be nearly freezing outside. Here, it can look gray and overcast and the sun will be nearly totally blocked out, but it's still warm and muggy. Right now I think it's about 60 degrees outside.

Regardless, my throat hurts, I feel a little sore, and in general I feel like a useless sack of crap like I have for the past month and a half or so. I have no idea what I'm going to do, or what I even want to do. I guess I'll just keep filling out the applications for crap jobs until I get something that will at least pay some of the bills and keep food on the table, and I'll just keep plodding along toward nowhere, like usual...

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

I don't know what the hell I'm doing any more...

I just feel depressed and disconnected. Seems that the only people I talk to lately are people I'm asking for jobs and the girlfriend. I know a big part of that is my own fault, because I don't keep in touch with people one I've moved away or left jobs or whatever, but it still rather sucks. I feel like the world has just closed in on me and I'm sitting in a closet in the dark...

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More sports than news...

In baseball yesterday, Boston beat Oakland 8-2 after the Red Sox lit up Oakland's bullpen with 6 runs in the 8th. Baltimore started strong in their game in Texas, but things fell apart for the O's starting around the 3rd. They gave up 8 runs in the 4th, and wound up losing the game 6-19. Ian Kinsler managed to bat around and went 6-for-6 in the game, becoming the first player to accomplish that task since 1894. Toronto bounced back from their extra innings loss by pummeling the Twins 12-2. 4 of the Blue Jays hit homers, and they had pretty solid scoring all through the game. Their record improved to 7-3 with the win.

Seattle beat the visiting Angels 11-3 in a game that had some historic hits. Ken Griffey, Jr., hit his 400th home run in a Mariners uniform. Also, Ichiro returned to the Seattle lineup after spending the first 8 games of the season on the DL. He hit a grand slam in the 7th to tie the record for the most professional hits by a Japanese player, with 3085. That includes a single he hit earlier in the game. He's well on his way toward that typical 200 hits per season record, going 2-for-5 in the game.

That leaves the AL West standings as follows:
Seattle 7-2
Oakland 4-5
Texas 4-5
LA Angels 3-5

Hockey playoffs started yesterday. I watched most of the two games that were on. Aside from the fact that I like Montreal and I want Detroit to lose, I don't really have a whole lot of teams I'm really following this year. I guess I'll go for Vancouver in the West, since I think it would be kind of cool to have an all-Canadian Stanley Cup final.

Anyway, Pittsburgh beat Philly 4-1, and New Jersey beat Carolina by the same score. The Rangers edged Washington 4-3, and Vancouver beat St. Louis 2-1. Of those, the Rangers were the only road team to win. The remaining series begin tonight, and of course the game I'd really like to see (Montreal vs. Boston) isn't going to be televised. Damn it...

The girlfriend and I watched the new episode of Mythbusters last night as something of an interlude to the hockey games. It was the second Alaska special, and they oddly only did two myths this time around. Usually they manage to get in at least three, but I guess these were larger ones than usual. The "kids" did the myth of a car that hit a parked snowplow directly on the point of its wedge-shaped plow. This supposedly split the car in two, and the passenger and driver both walked away unharmed. While the second crash, at 70 MPH into a reinforced and sharpened snowplow, was incredibly dramatic to watch, there ain't no way that anyone would have walked away from it unharmed. Probably not at all. It was almost disturbing, actually.

And the main myth was about the substance called Pykrete. During World War II, a British engineer named Pyke (I forget his first name) came up with the idea of creating some aircraft carriers out of a substance he named for himself, Pykrete. Basically, it's sawdust mixed with water and then frozen. Apparently, according to the tests done by Adam and Jamie, the stuff is much stronger than regular ice. A one-inch thick slab secured by clamps at one end held approximately 350 pounds of weight and still took a few hits with a hammer to break, as opposed to a similar piece of ice which broke after only 40 pounds. And bullet tests showed that the Pykrete was seriously bullet resistant, losing a conical chunk an inch or so deep to a point-blank 45-caliber shot, compared to a piece of ice which pretty much just turned into a snow cone when hit with the bullet. The Pykrete also took significantly longer to melt than regular ice. Jamie made a serious improvement to several of these properties by substituting newspaper for the sawdust in Pykrete. This made it less like particle board and more like plywood.

For their main experiment, the two went to Ketchikan, Alaska, and got a group of lucky high school students to soak a bunch of newspaper in water. This was then layered into a plywood mold and frozen solid in a freezer truck. A motor and steering were mounted to it, and it scooted along the bay quite well before melting down too much to remain structurally sound. So, the myth was considered plausible, but impractical.

Now, my complaints, or comments, at least. One was that they commented that this was the first boat like that made, but I think they actually did make a demo model of such a boat in Canada during World War II. I'll look for the details, but I seem to remember seeing something about them making a demo version but finally deciding that it wouldn't be ready in time to be very useful. I don't recall if that's the whole reason, but I think it was most of it. And the second comment, made by Jamie, was that a carrier made of this stuff wouldn't work very well because it would melt in the tropics. But that wasn't the original intent of the idea. It wasn't supposed to be an all-purpose carrier that would go anywhere. It was originally intended to be a nearly stationary platform which would close the gap in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where U-boats roamed at will because of the limited range of Allied patrol and antisubmarine aircraft. And the carriers would also be much larger than their little boat, plus it wouldn't be traveling through the water at much speed. Thus, for a particular purpose, namely being a fairly stationary base in the middle of the North Atlantic, they would have been quite feasible.

In addition to watching Mythbusters, we watched Toy Story before going to bed. I hadn't seen it before. Kind of a cute story, and it seems to have actually held up pretty well in the twelve or so years since it was made. Certainly not something I'm going to watch over and over, but I'd definitely recommend it to someone with a little kid...

And now, I need to get off my ass and go fill out some more applications. Damn it...

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ideas...

So this morning, I called the company that handles my old 401(k) from back in Oregon. I talked to the guy there for a little longer than I had anticipated and got some good information from him. Part of the information was investment advice (diversify, and go into bonds), but the majority was just some of the information about what I need to do in order to access the money that's in there.

Unfortunately, what is involved is getting some forms from my old work, which I should already have but which I've probably thrown away, and getting them mailed back to my old work, then having the fund management company cut a check. So it's probably going to be something like two weeks before I can actually have the money, and I think I might be running out of cash by then, damn it. Linda, the HR manager at the old company, said that they management company might be able to send the forms via e-mail, so that would cut the time about in half. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I haven't seen anything just yet, and I called four or five hours ago...

After I made that call, I ran down to the storage unit to do a little organizing and pick some stuff up. I really need to take some photographs of stuff that I have and get to work trying to sell things. People certainly aren't going to beat a path to the door when they don't even know there's anything to be had inside. Sigh... I also paid the bill for the storage unit while I was there, racking up a little more on the credit cards, and I paid one of the credit card bills before I headed over there. But the cash is still getting mighty low...

I was thinking about a couple of things while I was driving to and from the storage unit. I would like to either go back to school or start a business of my own. I just don't know what I want to study or what kind of business I'd like to start. And those are pretty large problems, honestly. I would like to either start a bookstore or something to do with cooking, but I don't know what would make either of those businesses better than any of the ones already out there. And I think I'd need to differentiate myself from other businesses in order to make some kind of a serious go at it. Startups tend to go under if they don't have something that really sets them apart from the crowd.

As far as school, I'm thinking either an accounting or library science line of study. Of course, to get any kind of degree or anything like that in either of those fields is going to take a couple of years, at least, and that's time that I'm just not sure that I have to spare. I'm not getting any younger. Fuck, I've just pretty much wasted a lot of my life, and it sucks...

Oh, and the Rangers gave up a 4-run 10th inning yesterday. They put up a valiant effort with two runs of their own in the bottom of the 10th, but wound up losing the game anyway, 7-5. I got to see the end of that game on the tube. Toronto also lost in extra innings, losing 2-3 in Minnesota. And despite having given up three runs in the top of the first, the A's came back to beat the Red Sox 5-6 in Oakland. They took 12 innings to win, so pretty much every team I'm following this year went into extra innings.

AL West standings:
Seattle, 6-2 (.750 win %)
Oakland, 4-4 (.500 win %, 2 games behind)
LA Angels, 3-4 (.429 win %, 2.5 games behind)
Texas, 3-5 (.375 win %, 3 games behind)

More later...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wasting another evening...

I watched the season premiere of Deadliest Catch, as well as the "Best of" for the last season. The girlfriend got home while the premiere was going on, so I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to parts of it. I'm sure they'll show it again anyway. We had leftover Easter dinner and Salisbury steak for dinner, which hit the spot pretty well. I should probably cook dinner more often, but I'm just not feeling all that ambitious about anything lately...

I saw that the Mariners took 10 innings to beat the Angels, 2-3, but at least they managed to win it. That puts the M's at 6-2 and the Angels at 3-4. Remaining games are going on. Texas is currently on the tube, tied with Baltimore at 3-3. The Blue Jays are tied with the Twins, 2-2 at the end of regulation play. And early in the game, Boston is smackin' the A's around, 3-0. We'll see how all of those games play out, though...

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Damn, I hate job hunting...

I just feel like I'm having to go around with my hat in hand, doing my best to pimp myself just to get someone to even bother to look at my application. Of course, it's my own damned fault for getting fired at what should have been a great job for me, so I really shouldn't complain that much. Instead, I should get back to the papers, get back on the street, and keep filling out those applications online. Crap...

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Another day's useless energy spent...

I've been sitting around watching history shows for a few hours now. The girlfriend and I watched another episode of Freaks and Geeks, and then I watched the last couple of outs of the baseball game I'd been watching earlier. After that, I watched the debut episode of Doing Da Vinci, where a group of engineers and such try to build weapons designed by Leonardo. This episode they built the giant round conical tank, and it seemed to work pretty well, although it certainly would have been loud. During their tests, firing one of the cannon in the tank generated a sound pressure level of 116 dB. I'm quite sure that any soldiers manning the vehicle without serious hearing protection would have certainly been deaf. But, aside from that, the vehicle did appear to be a viable war machine.

Following that show, I switched over and watched the debut episode of Patton 360, which details the battles of General George Patton during World War II. That show was interesting, and told me a lot of things that I didn't know before about Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa during World War II. I haven't really ever seen something that just follows his career in the war that way, so I think it should be pretty interesting to watch the whole thing. Actually, now that I think about it, I think the movie The Big Red One might follow his unit through World War II, but it's a dramatized version, not a documentary. In any case, I'll keep watching it unless we decide to cancel our cable to save money...

After that, I watched a repeat show about the Battle of El Alamein, and now I'm watching a repeat show about Kublai Khan's failed invasion of Japan. Both interesting shows, even though I've seen them before. The girlfriend isn't tired, so she's making some chocolate chip cookies. I'm not sure when she's going to want to go to bed, but I'm getting pretty close to that time myself...

The baseball game I watched today was National League, so not all that important to my teams, but here are the results that do matter. Texas continued their losing streak, at the wrong end of a 10-9 result against visiting Baltimore. That drops them to 3-4. Toronto went to 6-2 with an 8-6 win in Minnesota. Toronto's in first place in the AL East, half a game ahead of Baltimore. And Oakland moved to a 3-4 tie with the Rangers by mauling the Red Sox 8-2 at home. Seattle and the Angels did not play today.

AL West Standings:
Seattle, 5-2 (.714 win %)
LA Angels, 3-3 (.500 win %, 1.5 games behind)
Oakland, 3-4 (.429 win %, 2 games behind)
Texas, 3-4 (.429 win %, 2 games behind)

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Monday, April 13, 2009

A useless, depressing kind of day...

I did a little test a few minutes ago, and I found that, unlike with some of the blogging software I've used, Blogger apparently allows you to insert older posts before you're more recent ones, so I don't need to update all of my vacation posts before doing my regular postings. That makes things a little bit easier for me...

Anyway, yesterday after getting home from the Easter festivities, the girlfriend and I lounged around for a bit. Neither one of us really felt like moving all that much after all we'd eaten at dinner. I didn't actually eat anything else except one of her cookies for the rest of the day. Definitely had more to eat at dinner than I'd had for a while...

After we'd rested and digested for a bit, she called Hastings to find out if they were open, which they were, and we headed down there so she could find a book to read during her downtime at work. They were indeed open, so we headed on down. Unfortunately, they didn't have the next book in the series she's been reading, plus they didn't have the book that we're supposed to be reading for our next book club. And they really didn't even have anything else she wanted to read. So we headed over to Barnes and Noble.

Even if it wasn't Easter, B&N would have been closed. It was already almost eight by the time we got there, and they close at seven on Sunday. So we had to admit defeat and headed back home.

After we got home, she wanted to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition, and I didn't, so she headed off to the bedroom and I sat out here in the living room and watched a baseball game. After the game was over, I went in and watched some of her home shows with her before we tried to get to sleep. It was another one of those nights where neither of us could sleep very well.

She had to be at work at nine this morning, and I should have got up at around the same time, but I didn't. Instead, I drifted in and out until almost noon. I finally decided I'd better get up and do something with the day. When I got up, I saw that there was something taped to the door. Turns out it was the new utility bill, even though we only received the last utility bill last Sunday. I guess the landlady is a little behind in getting the bills distributed. That made me feel even a little more depressed than I already was, because I certainly can't afford to pay even my share of that bill, let alone the whole thing like I've been trying to do for a while. I did finally write out the check for the last utility bill, figured out how much postage it needed, got the envelope addressed, and got it all put together. Now I just need to get down to the post office and mail it off. I also found out that the cost of a stamp goes up two more cents in May. Great...

After I took care of that, I made myself another pot of coffee. I figured I'd at least do something useful with the day, so I emptied the dishwasher and folded the towels that were in the dryer. I dug the classified sections out of the newspapers, but I really haven't gone through them yet. I also went through the musicians classifieds on Craigslist, but I haven't sent off any replies to any of the ads I found interesting.

The girlfriend came home for a short lunch around three. We had some leftover brisket and potatoes from the Easter dinner for lunch, and I again feel like I might not have to eat anything else for the rest of the evening. That stuff's a lot more filling than I thought it would be for as much as I ate.

After she headed back to work, I dragged the top of my desk in from the car and upstairs. I got it attached to the main part of the desk and started getting things hooked up, but I realize that I'm going to have some problems because I don't have a wired network connection up there. I think I'm going to move the wireless card from my music computer to my regular desktop, then hook everything in that room using my wired switch. I don't really need an internet connection from the music computer or any of the project computers, so just having the wireless on the main should be all right...

Now I'm sitting here watching another baseball game, after watching some history stuff earlier. The girlfriend is in the bedroom watching her home shows. I was a bit standoffish when she got home, and I hope she's not annoyed at me. I guess I'll find out when the game's over. Sigh...

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Spamming bastards...

I woke up to a shitload of spam, most of which were autoreply and bounce messages back from the mailbox at synthreal.com, which can't actually send out any outbound mail. So somebody decided to use my domain name in the reply-to field of their damned spam attack, and leave me to get the crap that comes back from it. Bastards. There were a total of 578 messages in the spam box, plus probably 30 in the inbox that weren't caught by GMail's spam filter. I hope they catch some of those bastards and hang them by their nuts...

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

My sweetie had to close at work today, so she got up around 9:30 this morning to get out the door in time for work. I slept in a little and got up after she had herself ready. I didn't want to get in her way while she was getting ready. After she left, I took a shower, cleaned myself up a little, shaved for the first time in a couple of weeks, and generally tried to get myself ready to take on the day.

Unfortunately, I wasn't really feeling all that ambitious, and I ended up sitting on my ass in front of the glowing box for a fair chunk of the day. I did clean the litter box and do some dishes, but that was most of my productivity for the day. I went through the papers that I'd bought on Wednesday and circled any jobs for which I felt remotely qualified. Unfortunately, there just really aren't anywhere near as many of them as there were when I was last looking for work. Now I'm really wishing I hadn't been fired. Damn it.

And to add a little insult to injury, I found out that they've taken Junkyard Wars off TV, so I can't even enjoy that during my enforced time off, damn it. I guess it's better that way, because at least I'm more likely to get some work done. Although it didn't work that way today. I guess I'll head off to bed and try again tomorrow...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Back in the real world...

The girlfriend and I spent most of the day just lounging around and trying to get back into the groove of real life. While sitting around, I was looking at my list of things to do on 43Things.com, and I figured that I did about a quarter of my goal of going to all 50 states. On our vacation, we saw 13 states that I hadn't been to before, not counting DC. Here's my current, up-to-date map of states which I've visited (plus the obligatory verbiage which is the cost of the free map...):


create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

My sweetie's phone is screwed up. The battery wouldn't take a charge, just giving a little message that it was unable to charge. So we went to the AT&T store on the loop to see if we could get a new battery for it. They recommended just upgrading the phone, but they wouldn't let her do anything with the account, since she's not the holder and hasn't been added as a user, so she tried calling her stepfather. He had to call their customer service number on his cell phone, and the person on the other end of that conversation evidently didn't have a whole lot of patience for a slow old man who's a bit hard of hearing, so they told him he would need to go to one of their stores. We drove down to Flower Mound to meet him at the store there.

After checking through a few of the available phones, she got her new phone, and after bidding farewell to her stepfather, we drove on looking for a place to eat. We stopped at Rosa's Cafe, which was tolerable Tex-Mex cuisine. Nothing to really write home about, but it also didn't make me want to gag.

After eating lunch, it was a little hard to get out on the road the way we wanted to go because of the traffic, so we took the scenic route home. We stopped to pay the rent and stopped at the bank so I could deposit her half of the rent to cover the check I wrote. Then we stopped at Kroger and did a little shopping and picked up a couple of newspapers so I could look for jobs, but they didn't have the Sunday combo left, and they didn't have the Wednesday Denton Record-Chronicle, so I kind of missed out on the best of the options. I guess I'll wait until Sunday to start doing serious work on job hunting again.

After we got home, she tried to figure out how to do some things with the new phone while I watched some stuff on the tube and downloaded the last bunch of pictures from the camera to the computer. I also started weeding through a bunch of the e-mail that had backed up while we were on vacation. We've been watching some of the usual crap on the tube, reruns of Mythbusters and the like, but we're both getting a little tired and it's about time to head off to bed...

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