Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Accidentally Good Week Part 1

Greetings Bloggies.

On monday I woke up for the facing the second week in a row where I was struggling to come up with an agenda.  The previous week was largely wasted.  Monday of this week was not well used.  I left the house to walk along Broadway, trying to look for inspiration.  I was angry at my self for wasting the previous week and was going to try to use that anger to get me motivated again.  Motivation when looking for a job is a stop and start thing.   I did learn that I should be able to get a smart phone for very little. I did do laundry in the morning of that day so it was not wasted. 

After coming home not having gained inspiration or motivation, I returned the the time killing device I have been using, Minecraft.  To make minecraft run smoother, I shut down a bunch of apps including my mail app.  So it was not until late that I fingured I might as well check the mail because I am just OCD enough that un checked mail don't sit right.  In the mail was one short email.  I saw the name of the company and knew it was legitimate.

How did I get mailed you might ask, well I was a bit nuts.  I put my resume, on Craigslist.  I stripped it of phone email and address and placed it in a category where I had seen geology jobs posted.  That was a fishing expedition.  Classed under, its not supposed to work but the risk was low enough and the cost nonexistent.  Knowing enough about the firm that reached out to me I quickly wrote back that I was willing and able to come in for an interview on short notice if need be.

The next morning, I got called and was in my good shirt and tie and in the board room less then an hour and a half later.   When questioned if I could query, I not being able to think of any SQL on the fly but wanting to show that I had comprehension mentioned Little Bobby Tables.  There was a laugh.

Things did have a hick up where I miss heard an instruction to come back in twenty and thought that I was going to be called.  Thankfully the situation was solved. I got invited back into the office again, this morning for a more in depth follow through, a skills assessment and  chance to meet people. 

In between the miscommunication and is resolution, that time frame being yesterday afternoon, two other good things happened.  I got a call from a firm I have been trying to land an interview with for some time that interview is now scheduled for friday.  I also got called by an engineering company looking for geologists, also office based and vancouver based.  That phone call ended and with in a minuet my phone rang, it was the call that fixed the miscommunication of earlier in the day.  

So now, I need to learn somethings from Fridays interview.  It is agreed that the friday interview is a good thing, I want to know what plan A is since plan B came out of the blue relatively speaking.  I want to get a handle on what the details of the post at plan A are.  I would kick myself for not finding out and loosing a possibly better job.  I know that Friday afternoon I will be close to making a choice.  

Part two will be when I sign some paperwork or otherwise take action to accept an offer. 

It has to be said there was luck in all of this.  Enough brains to see what I saw as worth while but the luck of being seen on craigslist is still luck. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The wrong stuff

My first car, a 1989 Honda Accord
Greetings Bloggies.

I have through sloth and indifference created an annoying situation.  4 years ago I bought my second car.  My first car got taken away from me for cheap days before I went to the north for the first time.  The cash was helpful as I had non then.  Four years ago a second car was a good idea.

At the time in the Spring of 2007 I had a steady job in the North West Territory and was quickly putting away money.  Spring came along I had the computer I wanted, things seamed solid with job, I had enough cash to spare and frustration with a lack of mobility. At that time my life was still centered around Kelowna, and prior to getting the car I would arrange pick up and spend time at my folks, not a way to live.  So I conscripted a friend to help me get a deal and I found a machine that was in budget and alright.
Me unloading Wessel from Serenity 

Never Ever back out of underground parking
without having coffee first. 
The car a 1999 Subaru Legacy proved up to my needs, as I was traveling between the Okanagan and Kootenays it was good on winter roads and reasonably fun on the same roads when they were dry.  But fundamentally I am not a car person, though I have a notion of how an internal combustion engine works, by and large its a black or in this case green box to me.  Fuel goes in, momentum, heat and carbon dioxide comes out.  I don't like or want to spend money on cars, I did not have any shops I trusted so I was slow to have it looked at.  I was also hard on it, it was the first standard I owned, and after all this time I still mess up more then I should.

Roughly a year and half ago I moved to Vancouver, Burnaby to be more exact.  Prior to that move the car was used often as the ability to travel to a different town was a key part of my private life.  After the move usage decreased with time.  Fuel down here was more expensive and even more critically there were alternatives.  It turns out that when faced with an alternative I will use it.
The car sometimes known as Serenity,
before I had a chance to do any harm. 

That did not surprise me.  I was late in getting into driving, not even starting lessons with my father until the spring of my grade 12 year.  It did not help that I did not think much of the available things to do in that fly speck town.  Being that I was weakly motivated, when provincial exam season rolled around I abandoned the effort.  In the summer of 2005 after hurting a foot and choosing not to take bush work and knowing that I would have field classes the following year I at last made the effort to finish the process.  So Some time after turning 26 I at last had certificate good enough.  That was too late in life for driving to be much more then a chore on all but the best parts of the roads.  Besides it being too late to get a love of driving, I had already found a love of cycling and have established long ago that if my bike sneezes I have it looked at.

So now I find my self with an ugly, high mileage car, and not enough interest or money to fix it up.  I was telling my self last year, when I get a steady job I will fix it up.  Now I know better.  I use it less then twice a month.  The last time I seriously used it was helping my sister with stuff from Ikea. I walk to the stores or ride my bike.  Nearly any event I want to go to I can get to by transit.  I just don't think about using it in any thing like a day to day setting.

So what todo.  I know it would be far too much money and time for me to fix it.  I know that is not a thing I will do.  Yesterday I established that the condition of the beast is poor enough that I am unlike to get rid of it through a dealer.  The truth I don't want to sell the car.  I would feel bad about saddling others with a bucket load of little things.  I don't want to sell the car I simply no longer want to own a car.  And no taking the insurance off if is not an option, I have to park on the street.
A Legacy of a legacy system. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Hobbit Manifesto

Greetings Bloggies.
Since I got back from the Yukon I have been trying to come up with a good entry. I knew I did not want to spout the bitter rantings I have before, that was done.  Those you know know I I know why I don't want to do that work and its been said.  So I got to thinking about my identity, and the aspects that the work I have done clashes with and what makes me happy, thus the Hobbit's Manifesto was born.

This is for all the Hobbits who never left the Shire and did not mind.

I have as my Facebook Bio that I am the worlds tallest hobbit.  Why.  Well Consider the Hobbits, not Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippen, or Sam, but all the other ones, the ones who's life style was being protected by the halfling fourth.  Now we are unfortunately well into the third age of mankind and have forgotten some of the better notions.  I intend to remind people of some of them.

SLOW DOWN.  Friends people, enemies not every thing has to happen right away.  Good things take time.  If you rush you will miss out on simple pleasures. It is these simple ones that hold together your sense of wellbeing while wait or plan for the next big event.  Its good to have big plans and adventures.  Its good to want to go to an expensive opera or hockey game, but don't let that cloud you to the good cup of coffee you could enjoy if you did not have a long commute.

Modest means.  In the same vein as slow down and in part as consequence of modest means are part of the hobbiting life style. You will find your self hard pressed to achieve the life tempo of proper breakfast(s) good coffee and tea, if you try to afford the Mc-mansion in the Suburbs and the 2.5 cars to support the 2.5 kids.  So don't.  Step back.  Ask your self how much space do you need, is a neighborhood defined by a building code, lawn mowing guildlines or something more fundamental.  I am not expressly against a house in the suburbs however, any mode of living where too much time is spent in the isolating confines of a private car to a and from a private home is not compatible with the Hobbiting way of life.

A meal which was shared and enjoyed. 
Community.  Now that you have slowed down found a place you can afford and don't have to spend all your time at work to pay for it or spend all your time in transit you can start to really live.  Hobbits knew how to party, they knew how to play.  They knew their neighbors.  Yes of coarse they worked, no doubt spending long hours doing farming things but in that cartoon of village life the shire represented they knew each other and so should you.  I have the fortune of having lucked out and landed in a neighborhood where people are neighborly.  Your neck of the woods may not have this trait but you can always be the first to say hi.  Last weekend I undertook a bike ride of 15km for a cup of coffee and a chance to visit a cat.  I shared some food I had made the day before and good company of the friend the cat and the eventual appearance of my sister reminded me of what I want to live for.  Ordinary things, enjoying the view from a bridge on a sunny but cool morning and getting wired on homemade espresso shots is part of that and something who's absence is felt.  I have been there and back again too and I am glad to be here.

Food and the other simple pleasures. Now I started calling myself a Hobbit when I noticed that I was living underground with a view of a garden, and it was not a dark dank hole.  I also started calling myself a Hobbit when I became aware of the feed back from the food posts I made of facebook.  Hobbits, are known for eating, and the pleasure they take from it.  I share in that pleasure.  As with Hobbits I feel food should be made fresh, from wholesome and whole ingredients. Take the time, don't be afraid to mess up, you will but so has every one else to me its a form of play.  That it self is something that should be part of every day life. I even encourage going barefoot as once again part of slowing down and feeling the grass between your toes and getting into nature a little.

The text reads: There are the things you do
because they make you feel right & they may
make no sense & they make no money.
 & it may be the real reason we are here :
To love each other & to eat each others cooking
& and say it was good.
So as I see it live comfortably, smell the roses, bake bread share the bread.  Join your friends for beer, Cook and go for walks. Be a hedonist for the little things in life.