future so bright


here is a shotgun blast of me trying to play catch-up:
i've ordered mine, have you ordered yours?

previously mentioned in some my rants was the story of Mike Hawash. today's WSJ featured an article on his arrest and *finally* the public disclosure of the charges against him. all i can say is i hope there is a reasonable explanation for some of the troubling stuff mentioned in the article. something else for me to keep following. :-(

this flick was recently been recommended to me. anyone, anyone? bueller....

Otter hooked me up with a CD by the band Death In Vegas. kooky stuff and a definitely kooky site. take a peek. thanks to Otter!

lastly, tomorrow marks my first week anniversary of employment at Idea. all i can say is that, damn, work is tiring. what the heck? was it totally necessary for me to go back to work? oh, yeah, the mortgage. yeah, right. seriously, work has been good. there is a ton of stuff for me to learn and that is nice b/c it has kept my busy and interested. it is also nice to see stuff i work on go into use - unlike other dev projects i have worked on where essentially we built a 3 yr. demo that was never installed. :-0 looks like there is a lot of work on the horizon, which is great since i work in a place where i am learning how important it is to be "billable."

that's it, i am done...stick a fork in me.
posted @ 11:05 PM CST [link]

well, we're moving on up


in an attempt to make sure that our trailer is the best trailer in tornado alley, we have replaced the pool that our 'water dog' killed with a larger, better version. sad, huh?

friday night was fun. had our 4th or 5th pizza night and i gotta give mad props to Otter and Heather for getting this concept going. one of the best purchases to augment the pizza stone was a Chicago deep dish pan, which makes a mean 20lbs pizza! it also makes a fat and happy 200lbs guy - heh.

work was good this week. actually did billable work in my first week of work, so i assume that is the right way to go. lots of stuff for me to learn; Idea does a vast amount of internet dev work, so there are a bunch of new tools to use. most people at Idea use Homesite instead of InterBug and i can see why. it has some nice features like the ability to auto-close tags for you when coding HTML. next week will be my first new week, so we'll see how that goes!

apple is reportedly coming out with new iPods this week. i am waiting to get one until i see the new versions. hope the leaks are right - i am so sick of listening to Otter rave about his. i need some one-up-manship!

hasta la vista!
posted @ 09:28 AM CST [link]

all work and no play make brently something something


man, i forgot how tiring work can be. i need another 2 month vacation! thanks again, unca' ADP! you're the best!

this just struck me as amazing; i would not be surprised if one day we see eBay competing with Wal-mart for the title of World's Largest Corporation. those numbers are crazy-insane.

and this made me smile; just goes to prove that if you can afford to have Dr. Dre work your backbeat for you, anyone can be The Real Slim Shady. anyone.

lastly, if you watch Comedy Central then hopefully you have caught Insomniac. and if you have, then more than likely you (like me) really enjoy Dave Attell. without further ado, some Q&A with Dave! (thanks to Rob for the linky.)

hooray!
posted @ 10:47 PM CST [link]

quality is job one


got a new toy today: take a peek! GT [EDIT]4.6[/EDIT] liter V8...this thing is fast. i think the term is, muscle.

spent an hour this morning in the Social Security office ordering a new Social Security card. since we have moved 2 or 3 times since my last job start, i somehow can't find the right box that holds the grail. as for the SS office, it wasn't half bad. they got a good system working and they move that line quick. how quick? place opens at 9AM, i was there at 8:45AM. i pulled my number: i was 43! wow! still, they moved through 43 numbers in less than 30 minutes. i was impressed. seriously. good to see someone finally is making government work a little more efficiently.

i have a raging headache and i am blaming it on SARS. killin' me.

also today we hit the grocery store and it wasn't pretty. prior to entering i told my wife, "let's not spend $300 like last time," and so we agreed. 2 hours later the total was $327.20. i am not kidding. but i am having steak tonight. mmmm mmmm.

anywho - off to warm up the grill.

catch ya' later!
posted @ 06:40 PM CST [link]

snoop doggy dog needs to get a jobby job


after eight weeks and a day of unemployment and searching my bootie off, today i accepted a full time employee position at Idea Integration. i will be working as an application developer. no word on the start date, but i would expect it should be very quickly, possibly this week.

kudos to Kleindienst for being in the running, but missing the final cut.

*whew* glad that is over. lemme tell ya - looking for a job is a job in and of itself. if you are thinking of making a move, just know that it takes a huge effort and a lot of time, both in the search and in the firm's responses. start now! heh.

thanks to all for the support and kind words. please let me know if i can assist you in your search!

update: first day of work is Wednesday, April 23, 2003. that makes my search 8 weeks and 2 days. heh.
posted @ 05:18 PM CST [link]

Shawn Fanning = Hamlet?


Los Angeles Times reporter Joseph Menn has a new book out titled All The Rave: The Rise and Fall of Shawn Fanning's Napster. Here is a brief taste of the book in an article by Menn for the Boston Globe.

always nice to have an uncle who will take a 70/30 cut for all the work you are doing.

btw: Revolution is not an AOL Keyword.
posted @ 09:39 AM CST [link]

cult of personality


why don't you have a TiVo yet? shouldn't you really be thinking about it?

;-)

enjoy!
posted @ 07:05 AM CST [link]

zZzZzZzZz


you know a movie is good when you will stay up till 3AM re-watching it. that's what i did last night to see The Natural - again. don't know why i did...just kinda got sucked in. even though it is a sappy retelling of Camelot and has a thematic plot simplistic enough to excite an eighth-grade AP english class, it is a movie that i can watch again and again and again. i guess in that sense it is a 'classic'.

sometimes you are presented with something so wacky that you just don't know what to do. it is like a train wreck and you must keep looking. take a peek and don't say i didn't warn you.

after that all that craziness, maybe i'll be able to nap....

*snore*
posted @ 08:18 AM CST [link]

faces of death


congratulations to CNN for a major gaffe in which they mistakenly allowed the public to access 'work-in-progress' files. is there something that CNN knows about Dick Cheney that we don't?

Gerald Ford

Ronald Reagan

Nelson Mandela

Bob Hope

Pope John Paul II

gotta be odd to wake up and find yourself dead. heh.
posted @ 12:47 PM CST [link]

you were so in with the out crowd


four times. four fantastic times.

that is the number of times today that i listened to the new Local H EP while i did yard work. in all truth, it made me wish i had more yard, only so i could have heard it again. seriously.

only available via the band's shows until the retail release on Tuesday, May 27 2003, this EP is just what i needed to start my summer off: six songs, 3 original H tunes and 3 covers, which are well worth the $8 CD cost by themselves.

track list:
1. No Fun
2. President Forever
3. Birth, School, Work, Death (cover of The Godfathers)
4. Cooler Heads
5. I Just Want Something To Do (cover of The Ramones)
6. F*ck Yeah, That Wide (words by Primal Scream, song title from a Mr. Show skit.)

playing under what can only be deemed the heading of "ain't broke, don't fix it" this is classic Local H: loud guitars from Scott, crushing beats from Brian, a fair bit of Scott screaming, and the usual wall of controlled guitar noise that only Scott can conjure up. in all, it is everything you have wanted from Local H since Ham Fisted - yeah i said it: since Ham Fisted. damn skippy.

Local H must have also decided that the Dixie Chicks lack the skills of taking a stand and making a statement properly. (The Dixie Chicks remind me of a certain pitcher, about whom Art Howe said runs faster backward than he can forward. i have never seen a band backpedal so fast from a comment as the Dixie Chicks have...but i digress.); track #2 gets down to brass tacks. how about a taste:

I'm President forever
Accountable to no one no more
Daddy look at me I'm a big boy now
A brat to the manner I'm born

Who wants to go back to war with Iraq
Who wants to shoot a straight shot for the right to crack
Who wants to go and give the principal his statue back
I want to take it all

I'm President forever
America you found your man
If we can all agree on this one thing
You know you'll never have to vote again


and can we talk about "F*ck Yeah, That Wide"? the liner notes state lyrics by Primal Scream and "music by every band who's ever done this sh|t before." it is over nine minutes of controlled chaos; Scott thumping the bass in lock-step with Brian and enough guitar pyrotechnics to qualify as a fire hazard. i gotta see this live. just gotta. everyone chant with me now: "You got the money, we got the soul!"

so to sum this up, all i can say is - wow. hope you all get your copy. soon.
posted @ 10:54 PM CST [link]

life is slow when your groove is on


we needed some printer paper so of course i thought a quick jaunt to Best Buy would be in order. i am now the proud owner of this DVD, which is nice b/c we only had this on VHS and we haven't owned a VHS player in a few years. heh.

picked up the new Pete Yorn for $5.99 and the new Chevelle for $6.99. i have already listened to the Yorn on a free stream (thanks to Duffy at Donewaiting.com for the link!) and i like it a lot. time will tell if i like it as much as musicforthemorningafter. as for Chevelle's CD, i think the word for 2003 is derivative. i liked their sound so much better when it was The Deftones doing covers of Tool. this CD is most definitely RIYL (Recommeneded If You Like) Adrenaline or Opiate/Undertow. nothing wrong with a band wanting to bring back the rock from the early-to-mid-90s, but they should try to do it better than the originals and i am not sure Chevelle is ready for that challenge.

hope to have some good news on the job situation by monday at the latest. i am excited and anxious - shouldn't you be too?!

lastly, check out this awsome pic. i was a soap box derby star! heh. thanks to my pops for sending it along!

arivaderche!
posted @ 12:14 PM CST [link]

an emporium of music piracy


here are some recent links about the RIAA and their media maelstrom, e.g. suing people and trying to manipulate numbers/politics to their favor:

One Man's Battle with Evil

How Statistics Lie: Part Pi.

97,800,000,000

How 'wake' Worked

all in all some interesting reads. i am sure there are more. should i find them, you know i will post!

danka!
posted @ 09:08 AM CST [link]

used to be a time when i believed you


just returned from the Zwan show: gotta say it was a good show, esp. since it was free. no way i was paying $37 for a ticket, but many thanks to Otter for the hook-up and thanks to Heather for allowing me to steal her ticket!

i knew it was going to be a rock-n-roll night when during my pre-concert Mc Donald's drive-thru i noticed Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons behind me in line. i told the manager taking payment 'at the first window' who they were and to tell them i said, "what's up?!," and sure enough they waved to me in my rear view. how odd - Frank drives a brand new Grand Prix...now that is not very rock-n-roll.

the Zwan show was good. Billy Corgan appeared happy and that was nice to see. the band was good and sonically the music was loud. they played every song on the CD plus two that i didn't recognize; i assume they are b-sides to the single.

the 13 min I Jesus, Mary Star of the Sea was nice, esp. since they really free-formed a lot of the guitar parts. still standout songs were "Endless Summer" (which opened the show), "Ride A Black Swan" (an Otter favorite), and "Honestly" (the requisite single.) Corgan seemed truly amazed when the roughly 400-600 people in attendance knew the lyrics to many of the songs; he cracked a smile now and again just b/c of this fact.

musically, Dave Pajo and Matt Sweeney are adequate, sometimes amazing, but it was telling when Corgan would smile when one of them would miss a chord. no one plays guitar like Billy. Jimmy Chamberlain was good behind the set, although at least twice he seemed out of step with the rest of the band - but he was loud. Paz Lenchantin did her best Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" impression and i think had most of the guys in the crowd awed. was kinda funny to watch.

all in all a great show, but the cost of tickets these days is insane. as always, Verizon is a great venue and i can't help but leave each time and wonder what Local H would sound like in there. i imagine very loud.

i am off to quell the ringing in my ears.
posted @ 12:38 AM CST [link]

what's the frequency, kenneth?


found a good interview (only about 3 weeks old) with Scott Herren of Prefuse73 and Savath and Savalis. Prefuse73 are supposed to be coming to Houston to play at the Rhythm Room on Friday, May 9, 2003. needless to say, i am very much looking forward to this show and i hope i am not disappointed by it not happening. hint hint Rhythm Room!

over and out!
posted @ 02:49 PM CST [link]

mr. saturday night special


i watched Dennis Miller's new stand-up titled The Raw Feed last night on HBO. gotta say - wasn't impressed. i think Miller has lost his mojo. lemme explain: a) there are several things that Miller just doesn't do as well as he used to, b) there is also a shift in Miller's politics that has caused his humor to lose some value in my eyes, c) and they there are some revelations that i have come to about Miller's wit.

first off, Miller's bits are not as sharp as they used to be. they don't have the bite and satire that caused me as a college sophomore to memorize his entire catalog of humor. i found much of The Raw Feed just a monologue that wasn't that funny. he has also seemed to fall out of step with society as a whole - he did a bit about playing "Nintendo 64" with his son. really, Nintendo 64? so a guy who makes several mil a year forces his 12 yr. old son to play a console from 1996? doubtful. there were several more instances just like this - old references, old jokes that just weren't funny or relevant.

secondly, either by becoming a middle-aged dad or just becoming middle-aged, Miller has taken a huge turn to the right. a guy that used to come off as middle-to-left in his politics, a guy who i thought was anti-war, anti-violence...well, he is just gung-ho over Bush, the war in Iraq, and war in general in the Middle East. and while i could agree with him on his points about Clinton and the damage he did the office of the President of the United States, i am not blind to the damage that Bush is doing to our civil liberties via that same position and his appointment of John Ashcroft as US Attorney General. i would have been more impressed if they guy i used to know as Dennis Miller would have riffed on our government's decision to imprison US naturalized citizens, while denying their unalienable rights. but Miller didn't broach this subject or any others like it. instead, Miller called it 'perceptive' that we as a government should take notice that eleven of the fifteen Sept. 11th terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and that it is prudent to single out Saudi Arabians b/c of their country of birth. yeah, that's as perceptive as our WWII treatment of Japanese-Americans. real perceptive.

lastly, i have noticed that Miller isn't the comedian i always thought he was. i used to think that Miller was bright, quick-thinking, and witty. i assumed that his retorts were off-the-cuff and that he was a fast-thinker who had the skills to go toe-to-toe with political pundits and talk show hosts alike. but i think his recent visit to The Jon Stewart Show highlighted that almost all of Miller's remarks on any subjects are highly rehearsed, practiced, and over-used. during Stewart's show, Miller whipped out a large segment of his material from The Raw Feed as answers to questions from Stewart. since this was pre-The Raw Feed, it wasn't evident what Miller had done, but when i later viewed The Raw Feed it caused me to re-think Miller's past performances in 'live' events. i saw just a few of Miller's NFL game commentaries, but they were also reminescent of Miller's performance on Stewart's show: old stand-up material re-used and re-used till it is tired and played out.

so, i don't think i will be watching much of Dennis Miller in the future. he changed or i changed, but either way, he just isn't funny to me anymore. i guess watching Jon Stewart every night and falling in love with David Cross' stand-up album (warning link contains 'adult' language) has made me more selective in who i think is funny.

on another note: ESPN just ran a segment on Tara Brady. leave it to a private, (Catholic) university to act in this manner. typical - not like Catholicism has a real positive public image right now, anyway. way to go, Sacred Heart University.
posted @ 10:48 AM CST [link]

Tonight on Fox!


when poodles attack!

*sniff*

i am gonna miss ya, little buddy.

ps - here is a pic of the culprit, after Intro to Swimming 1301. "pudeln" on the ritz, as they say. ;-)
posted @ 11:07 AM CST [link]

in like a lamb, out like a lion?


had a good 1st interview today with Idea Integration, who is looking for an ASP/SQL Server developer. many, many thanks to Beth for the hook up. tres cool office in Greenway Plaza. nice colors on the walls, cool open cubes and offices, great indirect lighting with no hellish fluorescent lights...all in all it seems like they have taken time to care about their employees' environment. novel concept that some companies should check into - heh. met a couple of the developers, who seemed like nice people and appear to be 'inner-looper' types. overall it seemed like a good fit. hope to hear back positive things!

got a callback for a 2nd interview with Kleindienst Corp. should be interesting. Kleindienst is a Germany company that is looking for a "sales support analyst". they manufacture and sell machines that scan and sort documents for banks, health care, etc. a portion of the work that the machines do is storing the scanned images in a SQL Server database. Kleindienst is looking for someone to do pre-sales work, post-sales system installation and setup, as well as some programming and maintenace work associated with the existing client base. i am scheduled to be interviewed by the president of the company, who is in the US from Germany on business. buena fortuna. i am hoping this goes well. position sounds interesting with a lot of growth potential, so i am kinda excited!

plus, i now have a telephone 1st interview with AdminiStaff on monday. they are looking for a permenant VB developer for their staff. hadn't heard back from them in a bit, so it is good to see that they are making progress and i guess i am still in the running! when it rains, it pours!

so on the whole, today was a good day job searchwise. nice to end the week on a high note!

high-oooooooooooo! (please say in fake Ed McMahon voice)
posted @ 05:15 PM CST [link]

take me out to the ball game


Forbes has its 2003 MLB Team Valuations up and surprise, surprise, the New York Yankees rank first with a market valuation of $849mil. gotta love owning the YES network! Steinbrenner's annualized rate of return has beaten the S&P 500 over the same period, so who says baseball teams are bad investments? Yankees valuation numbers break out to:
Annualized Return: 15.95%
Return for the entire period: 8,374.67% (from 1973-2003)

the Astros are in at #11 with a market val of $327mil. don't cry for him Argentina - Drayton's numbers aren't too shabby:
Annualized Return: 11.07%
Return for the entire period: 217.37% (from 1992-2003)

here's the full ranking list with current values:
1. New York Yankees - $849 mil
2. New York Mets - $498 mil
3. Boston Red Sox - $488 mil
4. Los Angeles Dodgers - $449 mil
5. Atlanta Braves - $423 mil
6. Seattle Mariners - $385 mil
7. San Francisco Giants - $382 mil
8. Chicago Cubs - $335 mil
9. Texas Rangers - $332 mil
10. Cleveland Indians - $331 mil
11. Houston Astros - $327 mil
12. Baltimore Orioles - $310 mil
13. St Louis Cardinals - $308 mil
14. Colorado Rockies - $304 mil
15. Arizona Diamondbacks - $269 mil
16. Philadelphia Phillies - $239 mil
17. Detroit Tigers - $237 mil
18. Chicago White Sox - $233 mil
19. San Diego Padres - $226 mil
20. Anaheim Angels - $225 mil
21. Pittsburgh Pirates - $224 mil
22. Cincinnati Reds - $223 mil
23. Milwaukee Brewers - $206 mil
24. Oakland Athletics - $172 mil
25. Toronto Blue Jays - $166 mil
26. Kansas City Royals - $153 mil
27. Minnesota Twins - $148 mil
28. Tampa Bay Devil Rays - $145 mil
29. Florida Marlins - $136 mil
30. Montreal Expos - $113 mil

check out the Forbes article for some cool team valuation charts; "free" registration is required.

in other news that tickles my fancy: i came across this Smoking Gun entry that shows Brittney Spears' Nyla restaurant (that's NY for New York and LA for Louisiana - how clever!) not only crashed and burned, but seems to have welched on some debts. typical.

lastly: thank god that John Ashcroft is our Attorney General. also, thank goodness i am not brown or have an arab sounding name. did i miss the inauguration ball for the new reich?

yippie ki-yea!
posted @ 10:12 AM CST [link]

splish splash


so i gotta know: what level of redneck does this make me?

clarifications:
  • no, we don't have any children.

  • yes, that is a 250 gallon kiddie pool.

  • yes, i did float in it today after mowing the yard.

    ;-)

    in all truth we bought it for our standard poodle, who loves water. of course, she often treats it like a giant water dish. ok and maybe b/c it is nice to lie in when it is 110 degrees in July...don't even ask about august; we just boil lobsters in it at that point. heh.

    audi!
    posted @ 03:46 PM CST [link]

    mowtown records


    had to do the weekly yard work today, so i tested out Kinski's Airs Above Your Station for mow appeal. besides being a fantastic disc, it is well suited for yard work. guitars are generally loud, bass is mixed real full and there are pretty much no lyrics. plus, i was able to mow the entire front yard during the time it took "Schedule For Using Pillows & Beanbags" to play. heh. by the way, that is currently my favorite track.

    Caviar's latest EP, Laurel Metallic, has arrived - finally. good to hear this new stuff. it is a lot more sample-based than their last offering. "Aloha" reminds me a little of Sugar Ray and "Lioness" is a direct nod to Echo and the Bunnymen. can't go wrong when you are influenced by Echo and the Bunnymen! i think my favie on the EP is "Where Are You" - i mean it name drops The Who and has a hella-catchy bridge into the chorus. love those guitars, Dave!

    cya!
    posted @ 01:48 PM CST [link]

    Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone


    is there a greater technology device for the TV than TiVo? i would sell my Xbox to pay my monthly TiVo dues...seriously.

    tonight we watched Runaway Universe that TiVo so kindly picked out and recorded (since it aired at 5AM.) Runaway Universe is an excellent Nova presentation. who knew that the universe is still expanding? i surely did not.

    i always find it interesting that TV programs often show astronomers doing tasks such as looking through telescopes and staring at images of stars and pulsars and such. the programs never show them doing tasks that requires most of these guys to have PhDs in mathematical courses i can't pronounce. cracks me up - like any joe schmoe could just 'be' an astronomer b/c all that is involved is looking at pretty pictures and such. heh. (scary what amuses me, isn't it?)

    check out the Runway Universe site and give the show a gander (or buy a TiVo so you can do it at your leisure!)

    giddy-up!
    posted @ 11:23 PM CST [link]

    how to manipulate numbers and win friends


    can i say "weeeeeeeeeee!"?

    back from the Gulf Coast Job Fair and i gotta say: ugh. 52 companies registered to show up. i went b/c there was at least ONE company i thought might be useful...of course they didn't even show up. figures.

    of the 52 companies listed, most where not very useful to me:
  • 10 were law enforcement / armed services (Secret Service, CIA, US Army, etc)

  • 11 were local colleges looking for teachers. although this would be fun, i am probably not a subject matter expert in anything that i could teach.

  • 6 were local area hospitals. most were looking for nursing or clerical workers.

  • 3 were the city of houston. umm, yeah.

    that's 57% of the companies there that didn't really meet my needs.

    of the others, most were like this example: Time Warner has a booth. in the pre-printed Gulf Coast Job Expo booklet, TW advertised they were looking for "Principle Software Engineer", "Systems Analyst" and "Senior Software Engineer." but when you go to talk to TW they hand you a flyer that list what they are 'really' looking for: CSRs, repair techs, direct sales reps and marketing reps.

    my point? most of the job fairs are really publicity settings. sure, some companies are there to hire people b/c they have an actual need, but most companies are simply sending their people out to maintain a presence in the market place.

    too bad i don't qualify for the Secret Service ;-)

    i picked up American Hi-Fi's latest The Art of Losing. after one complete listen i think the best word to describe it is "derivative." i hope that has the right connotation. i am not saying 'influenced' - i am saying derivative: a substance that can be made from another substance. don't take that as meaning anything good. it is rather evident that Am Hi-Fi has taken the path to become the next Good Charlotte or Blink-182. can't really blame them though: it's hard to sell out when you have never been in!

    and that's all she wrote!
    posted @ 02:00 PM CST [link]

    bring out your dead


    there is nothing more exciting than a job fair! nothing!

    ok, i lie. i mean, look at that website. you know if someone took that much time to create something that looks that crappy, well then heck, i am sure the same care and attention is being poured into the actual event. riiiiiight.

    job fairs are mostly a waste of time. sure, there are employers there who are looking for workers, but often times these are the dregs of the employment bin. i have seen Value Pawn looking to hire people (nothing as exciting as risking your life to sell probable stolen goods to possible theives - woot!) or how about every telemarketing firm in the northern hemisphere (sorry, i had an awsome link that i took off a CASSETTE TAPE that was given to me at one of these event...yes, i CASSETTE TAPE...but i have since trashed it. trust me, it was hil-ar-ious.) and of course, no job fair would be complete without some multi-level marketing scam company looking for peeps. seriously - job fairs are the petri dish of the employment world. yum!

    so this morning i will be looking my snappiest and heading down to the George R. Brown and see what's up. who knows, maybe i will get lucky and the CIA will hire me. heh.

    in other happenings: with the hookup from Chip, Subpop shot me a promo copy of Kinski's newest release and i am swimming in happiness. having only been through the CD one full time, i can easily say that i am going to love this the more i listen to it. look for a full review coming up! in the meantime, hit their official site and download some free MP3s!

    hasta luego!
    posted @ 08:17 AM CST [link]

    the numbers game


    finished up my daily job search work; i find that the beginning of the week (mostly mondays and tuesdays) are slow. not a lot of new jobs are listed and the HR/hiring staffs are still catching up from their last week (or their weekend!)

    had to do some recordkeeping work this morning too. the Texas Workforce Commision requires that you keep records for all jobs and interviews that you seek. TWC's goal is to make sure that i am not on the sly trying to pocket that hefty $328/week they are handing out. heh. so the TWC provides you with a cute little blue log book and you have to track all your appointments and such. this is nice b/c it allows me to go back and see what the heck i have been doing for the last six weeks. as follows:

    i have applied for roughly 52 positions. i say roughly b/c i am sure i applied for some and didn't log them...after doing so many in a week, i don't fear that i am lacking in proof to the TWC. these are 52 individual companies, some of which are hiring directly, some of which are contract companies looking for placements, and some of which are the big consulting companies looking to place temp-to-perm contractors.

    of these 52 companies, i have had 24 'call backs.' some of these were just follow-ups, some were actual telephone interviews. not bad at a 46% rate!

    of those 24 call backs, i have had 6 actual office visits, for a 25% return rate. these range from what i call 'meet & greets' to actual 1st interviews. 'meet & greets' often happen with the large consulting companies looking to place contract-to-perm workers. prior to submitting your resume to the company looking to hire, these consulting companies want to make sure you aren't a mouth breather or some whacked out freak, so they invite you in and just kick the tires. i dont consider these real interviews, although they are very useful for networking and good practice at 'soft skills'.

    of these 6, i have had 3 (50%!!) real interviews that have been in-depth and some even dealing with code-generation.

    so going back, though 50% of my interviews has resulted in 'real' interviews, those 3 only account for a 5% success rate from my initial 52 applications. five-freaking-percent. so when you talk to me and i say things like applying for jobs is a "numbers game" you can see that to be successful (and say get 10 'real' interviews) i'd have to apply for 173 jobs!! OMG...i wish i hadn't done that math. :-X

    so there is a glimpse in my job search...well the numbers anyway. the good news is that i think i have at least 2-3 good things working right now that could result in good interview opportunities. woot!

    in other news: big ups (as Ali G would say) to McNidder for giving me a heads up on set fire to flames. comprised of members from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and associated bands, set fire to flames really sounds like an interesting troupe. check out the 3 free MP3s on the linked site. i like them already!

    ttfn (or ta ta for now)....
    posted @ 02:30 PM CST [link]

    good morning, sunshine - part deux!


    the timestamping on the posts has been corrected. posts should reflect correct posting times from this post forward.

    thanks!
    posted @ 11:40 AM CST [link]

    good morning, sunshine


    pretty much as expected, i was back up at around 7AM - how quaint. ugh.

    so is it bad that i spent 2 hours this morning working on making an audio CD of Yo La Tengo's WFMU All Request Show? yeah, yeah, i know: i should be working on job searches and such, but c'mon it had to be done. so i took the raw MP3s and used CDex to convert them to .wavs. the beauty of CDex is that you can change the bit rate of the MP3s prior to encoding them as .wavs, which is nice if you have a case like this where the MP3s are in 128Kbits...who uses 128Kbits anymore? yuk! so i converted them to 192Kbps and then ripped them. this resulted in 28 .wav files with a total time of a little over 80 minutes (but under 81 mintues!) oops. since most CDRs are 80 minutes (700MB) this could create a problem; no worries though, using Nero you can "over-burn" the CD. of course you run the chance of errors in your burn, but since mine was such a small over-burn need, it turned out ok. end result: i got an audio CD of these live tracks - woot - and it only took 2 hours away from my job searching...umm, yeah. priorities.
    posted @ 11:41 AM CST [link]

    yawn!


    why am i awake? it's 4AM, which makes it 3AM before day lights savings time. i should be sound asleep, but instead i was just laying in bed, thinking. not even sure what i was thinking about. ugh.

    so now i am here in my office, checking email (which is really just an exercise in deleting spam) and wondering if i can go back to sleep.

    watched a 2 hour History Channel show called Angels: Good or Evil last night. was not a bad show. made me remember a lot from my Baylor-required history of religion courses. pretty interesting...check it out should you have a chance and you find it repeats. or TiVo it! ;-)

    ok - i am off to count sheep or something. surely i will be back in about 3 hours. ttyl.
    posted @ 05:34 AM CST [link]

    good golly miss molly


    what is it about rain and drivers that causes confusion? i just ventured back from the 7th Level of Hades (otherwise known as The Galleria area) and i just do not get people who live in houston and yet don't understand rain. it rains something like 45 inches a year in houston, sometimes several inches at a time. you'd think people would get enough practice driving in it that the novelty would wear off...you'd think!

    first off: when it rains in houston, it often gets dark and stormy. turn your frickin' lights on, knuckleheads. i mean, c'mon, headlights/tail lights are there for a reason.

    secondly, just b/c it is raining doesn't mean you have to slow to 35 miles and hour and drive in the fast lane of the SouthWorst Fwy. get over it, it's just rain. if the technology of man has not increased enough where we can manufacture tires that can handle rain and 50MPH, then we deserve to go extinct. just once i would like to see people go, "oh, it's just rain," and floor it!

    lastly, this trip brought to my attention that Tosca's latest Delih9 is fantastic. check out track #5 Wonderful on disc one; disc one is mostly downbeat and disc two is a lot more ambient. good, good stuff!

    ta ta for now!
    posted @ 05:43 PM CST [link]

    lazy days, lazy ways


    well, my goal was to install Fireworks (ok, i did that part) and then make a new logo/graphic for the header; it's not that i don't like the current one (i actually do and it reminds me of my fun days of being a bicycle messenger) but well, it isn't original to me and i kinda feel cheap 'borrowing' a graphic...that and i wish it had a gray filter applied instead of that sepia tone! no biggie.

    anyhoo - i have been lazy. Fireworks is ready for use and i bought a somewhat good book at Half-Price books...so basically i should get off my arse and work on the graphic already. but you know, the last thing i actually want to do is work on some graphic. i would prefer learning to write C# code than making graphics. so all this is a nod to those artistic folks who do that sort of thing: you are better people than me.

    baseball season has started which of course means the only sport that i watch and follow is up. it follows that my wife is not excited by the prospect, since she swears i brought up my love for baseball after our marrige vows were exchanged. i am pretty sure i wore Astros caps before we were married. pretty sure.

    all this leads up to the fact that ESPN has replaced CNBC as my morning TV viewing; it is on as i sit here and type this. i mention this b/c it leads to a couple of things:
    1) i love the Baseball Tonight ad spots. yeah, love. i know, i know - it is cheesy and sad that they are just members of the Baseball Tonight crew acting out scenes from Bull Durham and such, but you know, they are funny. and while i can ignore almost all commericals, when i hear Gammons shout, "Why you shaking me off?" i have to stop what i am doing and watch. pavlov's dog, i guess.

    2) can i say WTF? so as i sat here this morning and poured over why Brad Radke hates me, a commerical came on and i heard a QotSA song. so of course my head jerks immediately to the tv. and what do mine eyes see: a commerical for Confidence. while i am happy to see that James Foley is directing (he did Glengarry Glen Ross) and it sports Ed Burns in a starring role, the commerical didn't instill much confidence (heh) that the film wouldn't suck. still, i guess good to see QotSA getting some mainstream media work.

    in other happenings: i am me gusto mucho-ing the latest And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead EP Secret of Elena's Tomb. of course, being an EP it isn't even close to long enough: i listened to it about 9 times mowing the yard on saturday. nine times! but i should focus on the fact that they took the time to give us a new release and that it is indeed good. track #3, Crowning Of A Heart, really stands out to me and the last track, Intelligence, is such a departure for the band; it reminded me a little of NIN's Pretty Hate Machine. no joke!

    well, i am 2 cups of coffee in and ready for SSS. until then....
    posted @ 11:19 AM CST [link]greetings and salutations
    i figured i might as well join the 21st century and take playing on the web to the 'next level' and thus i have created a weblog. fancy that.

    for the time being i have used a template i found here: Foshdawg.net. not very creative of me, but it gets the job done for the time being.

    ok, well enough of this test. just seeing what is what.

    thanks!
    posted @ 09:24 AM CST [link]

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