October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy blew in, dumped a bunch of rain and trees, and blew back out. We lost power almost exactly at 4 PM, got it back about an hour later, had power for about 15 minutes, lost power, got it back, lost power for another several hours, but had it back by midnight. Since then, all has been good.
Here are a few videos I shot with my Android phone:
This is a video of the trees in the front yard. Keep in mind, these gusts are fairly mild at 30-40 mph:
Two videos of wind gusts of the trees in the back yard. this is before the storm proper got here (the worst part was after dark):
This is our lighting situation for a lot of the evening. I had just started the woodstove when the power came on (you'll see the clock on the stove, only because the power had just come back on for a couple of minutes when I decided to do the video). The video makes it seem a lot darker than it really was - once our eyes got used to the dimness anyway.
At least we had a romantic candlelight dinner for a change.
October 28, 2012
I have been busy with more than just looking for work. This week, the days haven't been rainy, cold (below 45) or windy so I have been sanding and refininshing our fold out dinner tables that Cop Car and HH gave us years ago - I believe as a house warming present; if not then, within a year or so of that.
Being the only two people in the house, and birdie and the cats needing the dining table more than we do, the fold out tables are used a lot. Birdie's cage sits on the dining room table as do the bowls of cat food, which keeps the dogs from getting fat. Even when we have company, we eat in the living room. so we use at least 2 of the tables on a regular basis. I usually eat while sitting on the couch, so the coffee table serves me. As the tables surfaces have become worn, I have rotated them out of continuous use. However, at this point all the tables had become a bit worse for the wear.
Then I stained them with dark oak stain and let them dry for 24 hours. I put on three layers of polyurathane between Wednesday and Thursday, but didn't like the results so put on a thin 4th layer Friday. The tables were completely dry yesterday, so I sanded them down for a last time and traded out the one the WS had been.
Yesterday I sanded down the fourth table and stained it. Today I will put on the first coat of polyurathan,and amybe the second coat (depending on how humid it gets - that can really slow down the drying porcess). Since it supposed to rain until Thursday (courtesy of Sandy), the process on the last table could take quite some time.
I almost forgot - last month (before all the rainy days hit), I sanded down a most of our kitchen lower level cabinet doors and drawers, stained them and refinished them - they hadn't been redone since we originally bought and installed them in 1989. Here are a few pictures from that endeavor. Drawers and doors before:
The last two sets of doors and drawers pictured on the end of the last picture took 3 days to dry because it was so humid. Good thing I finished when I did (end of September) as we got several weeks of rain after that so I couldn't use the deck for a sanding station.
So see, I haven't just been been eating bonbons and watching soap operas!
October 26, 2012
So remember the dilemma that I hoped I would have, but dreaded. Fear not, no dilemma, just all tricks and no treats.
FD, who has had me on the phone several times, in to talk to 5 (yes count them, 5) people, finally made their decision. Not me. Seriously, the email said it was between me and an internal candidate. So, the internal candidate wasn't good enough to put in that job on 8/20 (when the job was posted), but is now? What that email really means is the people I interviewed with liked my qualifications, but they didn't like me during the personal interview, so they had to wait until they found someone inside that was willing to take the job. Congrats to that person, it's always exciting when one moves into a different role within company.
SG, who called me after 6 PM on Wednesday, and wanted me to come in for another interview this week, has found that they can't corral the people they want me to meet. Really? You were in such a rush that you wanted me in on Thursday afternoon. Then it was, "clear your calender for Friday" (which I did even though I had to reschedule a phone interview). Now it's, "we'll try to make it work next Wednesday afternoon". Well, I believe that the person who would be my boss liked me during the personal interview, but I could tell the Director of Manufacturing didn't. Now she is trying to find someone higher than him, who maybe I can get to like me. Good luck with that, I expect nothing from them at all at this point and will be shocked if a second interview round actually happens.
Which leaves door #3; OP, the company that has been stringing me along for 7 weeks and has stated it will string me along for several more. This is the company I have interviewed at twice (6 people total). The company that most likely won't hire me because I have no medical device experience. I truly believe that they are making offers to others, just keeping me on the back burner in case no one accepts.
Now we are getting toward the season when no one hires because of all the holidays (who wants to pay new employees for 4-6 days of non-work right after they have been hired?). So my next choice at this point is to try to get contract work.
Contract work offers pays 2/3-1/2 what I used to make. To put that in perspective, it pays what I made in 1999, when I was still hourly. It is paid hourly, without any holidays, and no benefits. And, from what I've seen, contract employees rarely get picked up as a permanent worker - the contract is only renewed, so the pay doesn't get any better.
The time that unemployment compensation runs out is quickly approaching (no, there are no extensions). In a couple of months I fully expect to be working at Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds (if they'll even hire me) since the more time passes without a job, the less likely employers will even want to talk to me.
The tricks are on me this Halloween Season - that's what I get for letting myself get my hopes up.
Trick or Treat
So there is this little hurricane named Sandy, heading our way from the south. Then there is a cold front that is heading our way from the west. And, Canadian arctic air is pushing its way down from the north. They should collide sometime Sunday thru Tuesday and give us a real treat of a storm the media is now dubbing Frankenstorm. Basically the collision of the storms will turn into one giant of a Nor'Easter. Oh, add into that the fact that it is a full moon, meaning naturally high tides, and the coast is in for some trouble.
If things work out wrong, then we could be headed for bettering the 2 feet of snowfall from the Nor'Easter that we got last Halloween Eve. The good news is that most of our trees have lost their leaves, although the oaks are still holding onto theirs. Furthere down south, they aren't that lucky so heavy snowfall will creat havoc, much as last year's storm did for us (our treees were full of leaves then).
Here's to hoping that Sandy doesn't want to play and heads out to sea!
October 24, 2012
Suspense During the Haunting Season
They're trying to kill me - really, I'm about to die; the suspense is killing me. Out of the 90 or so companies I have sent my resume to, there are 3 at the top of my list. One, SG, deals in sapphire and has a new plant going online. Another, FD, deals in high production printer stuff (any more definitive would be a give-away), and is a division of a larger comapny. The last, OP, is in medical devices and was just sold to a large company that has deep pockets for further development.
All three are in the final stages of decision making. SG, I was just called for a second interview (really, after 6:15 PM the call came in) that will occur in the next couple of days. I emailed FD earlier in the week inquiring about where the process is at and they are to make a decision by the end of this week.
I would guess that SG will make their decision sometime next week. I would guess that FD will make an offer to their choice next week. OP is supposed to make a decision soon (this week, next week, maybe the week after). Although I'm hoping each of them makes me an offer, I dread the possibility that they all might make an offer.
I could be happy at SG, working with sapphire (for the 4th time), but in a start-up atmosphere while being affiliated with a large international company that has deep pockets. I could be happy at FD as they would keep me busy with a variety of responsibilities. I could be happy at OP learning the medical device intracacies of standards such as ISO13485, FDA etc.
I dread being in the position to pick - what if I pick the wrong one (which may not be evident for a year or more). What if one company makes me an offer, and the others wait too long until I have had to take the first offer? But, I would rather be in that position (and hope I am),than to have no offers at all.
I'm hoping for no tricks, and all treats - wish me luck!
October 19, 2012
When did companies start taking 3 or more months to get from advertising a postion to thinking about hiring? I have recently been contacted by companies that I applied to in early August. And yes, I applied for open positions. I have been to interviews in the last two weeks where their initial phone contact with me was 4-6 weeks prior to setting up a face-to-face.
Yesterday I was at a second interview, where my first interview was at least 4 weeks ago (and 2 weeks prior to that I had been phone interviewed). This company acknowledges that it will be another 2 weeks before they think they can make the decision (they are talking to the other candidate in the running today). Oh, and after that there will be the usual reference check (not sure why they don't do this before the 2nd interview), background check, drug testing and credit check which adds another 10-14 days to the process. I have spent a total of 5 hours in face-to-face interviews, 6 hours of drive time between the two trips, and a good 30-45 minutes on the phone interview for this one company.
Another company I have been talking to has given me three phone interviews in 5 weeks. Maybe sometime next week they will contact people to come in for in person interviews.
A company that I interviewed at two weeks ago had originally phone interviewed me 6 weeks prior and said they would try to get me in the next week for a face-to-face. I had given up on them after 3 weeks. Then out of the blue they called me in for a face-to-face. Since then there has been a resounding silence. Neither time have they responded to email inquiries.
Most of the companies I have dealt with have been like this. Only one that I can think of gave me a phone interview within a week of application, and within another week sent a decline email (thank you - I know where I stand with your company). In fact, that is the only company that I am 100% sure that I'm not still in some sort of limbo out of the all the phone and personal interviews that I've recieved.
Geeze people, its not like I am going to be CEO or CFO or hold a senior position. Really, this is ridiculous, just get on with it already.
From one of the gals at the QOTR facebook page (a private group) comes these words of wisdom.
So you want to start a band, but can't figure out what the name should be? The Band Name Generator to the rescue. Put in a word, and the generator produces a lot of options. For "Bogie", a few of my favorites are:
- Bogie Duck Of The Perfecting Smash,
- Bogie Aspirin And The Blind Slang,
- Bogie Patrol,
- Bogie Of Flurry,
- Lobster Of The Bogie Unit
For the term "Bogie Blog", it has the following offerings
- Filthy Bogie Blog Of The Necro Phoenix,
- Corduroy Of The Bogie Blog Stare,
- Raid Of The Bogie Blog Kitchen,
- Bogie Blog Apology
Tip, if you don't see a name you like, hit the back button then try it again - all new names will be shown.
Generator found thru the Godfather of a local radio station.
October 16, 2012
I think we just had an earthquake. About 10 seconds of the house shaking, with a loud rumbling before, during and after. No big trucks going by - I looked out the window to see.
UPDATE 2 minutes later: SIL confirmed that they felt in in Francestown.
UPDATE 2: Reported it at the usgs.gov. TV is just reporting a 4.5 event centered at the NH/Maine border.
October 15, 2012
For the last 6 months, I have drastically reduced my wheat intake. I'm not going gluten free, rather close to wheat free. It has done my innards a world of good; I used to be constipated, constantly, like (okay, this may be TMI) I wouldn't go for 3-4 days, on a regular basis (no pun intended). Then, it was hard and painful. Don't talk to me about eating more fiber, I probably consume more fiber than any 3 people you know combined. Whole grains didn't help (of course, that included a lot of whole grain wheat). Also, the current rage, probiotics, didn't help one bit (tried that several years ago for 3 months - absolutely no difference). But, within a week of reducing my wheat intake, I was (and still am) very regular, with soft produce and no pain.
Sure, I have wheat sometimes; frozen pizzas (I only get thin crust now), some items that you don't expect to have wheat (gravies, spice mixes even cans of tuna mixed with peppers), and the occassional sub (homemade sausage, peppers and onions - MM MM MM). If we stop to eat at a sub shop, I usually have them put the meat/vegies in a bowl, and forgo the bread. I occasionally have a piece of cake or pie, but try to plan for it so I don't overload on wheat in one day. I foundseveral Mexican restaraunts make their tortilla chips for nachos out of flour tortillas (hey, I expected corn tortillas), so sometimes I have almost no choice to pick an item with wheat. But, for the most part, I can find a menu item that is wheat free. Oh, and note to self: if going to a vegatarian's wedding, take granola bars as everything there will have pasta in it.
Most granola and granola bars have wheat, so I have become something of an expert at finding those that don't. Unfortunately, most granola bars that are wheat free include chocolate in them. I try to stay away from chocolate as I will just continue to eat until all the bars are gone! Also, these are just the one's I can find at the local Wally World or Shaw's. Those in other areas of the country may have others available to them.
Granol bars that are wheat free:
- Some Adtkins bars
- Some Balance Bars
- All Kind bars
- Enjoy Life (these are gluten free, and not as tasty as I would like so rarely get them).
Granola/Cereal that is wheat free:
- Bob's Red Mill Granola
- Oatmeals - be careful, you would be amazed at how many have wheat in tehm too.
Those are not all gluten free, just wheat free. I have found a fairly quick and easy way to find out if they have wheat instead of perusing the ingredients, is to check at the end of the ingredients list where they list the allergens that are contained. If they don't list wheat (regardless if they list it as being manufactured in a plant that also processes wheat), then I'm good with it. Remember, if you are gluten intollerant, my listings and tips are not for you; other grains than wheat have gluten and any cross contamination from the plant will have adverse affects on you!
I have found pasta that is made from corn, oats, or rice. The best for taste and texture so far is pasta made from a combination of corn and rice by Heartland.
For bread, well, I haven't really tried that hard to find a substitute. I've never eaten that much bread anyway. Although occassionally WS will make us French Toast or pancakes for breakfast. That is one time I go ahead and eat wheat. Pancakes however can be made without wheat, as we attested to this weekend when I made the batter for banana pancakes usting a gluten free recipe. They turned out awesome, and I will share the recipe in the future.
I'm not writing this to convince anyone that they should go wheat free, or even gluten free - just as something that worked for me, for my particular issue.