Thursday, July 31, 2008

im in ur tub drinkin ur watur

So I had a bout of fortyitis this week: tight hamstrings, sore back. I'm lurching around the office all day, creaking when I stand up after dinner. I get home, realize the lawn probably should be mowed today (either today or Sunday, after I get home, so yeah, today).

Mow the lawn, relax on the sectional, and realize that I might want to do something before my legs bend up into little Vs. Hard to drive if you can't reach the pedals. I read up, decide on heat, and opt for a bath.

I realize it's been a while since I took a bath at home because it takes a while to fill the tub. I get in, stretch my legs a little, and sure enough, Cat #1 comes up to visit. (She is a big fan of the tub because it has water, and she likes to drink water.)

I'm relaxing, playing solitaire on my iPhone, and suddenly I hear lap ... lap ... lap. I look over, and there is Cat #1, carefully leaning over into the tub and drinking. Not from the faucet. From the water in the tub. The water I'm in.

I move a little, which makes a little wave and breaks the cat's concentration. She backs up, I settle down, and once again, lap ... lap ... lap.

I'm embarrassed. I mean, what if someone saw this? (Aside, of course, from the horrible specter of me in the water.) I have a perfectly good water fountain that, in fact, has fresh water in it RIGHT NOW. Cold, fresh water. And this cat is drinking hot bathtub water. Not warm, mind you. I don't do warm. (Fortunately, no soap this time.)

I really don't understand cats sometimes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who are you, and what did you do with AT&T?

I have more things to post about, but a quick one for now (I'm an hour late getting to bed):

Running through my bills to pay them prior to Wrigleyfest (I try to avoid paying bills while on the road ... I don't necessarily trust that wireless connection, nor the wired one if available), and I see I have a bill from AT&T. $21-something.

Now, some time ago, I noticed that my last bill from AT&T was $32. I checked it, and I saw that when I kicked Sprint off by signing up for AT&T long distance (free - duh, it's a landline, and only necessary for DSL and satellite pay-per-view ... sports, you perverts! What did you think I meant?), AT&T didn't remove them from my bill. Oh great, time to call Sprint, because of course AT&T can't settle this, and I can't do it online because ... oh never mind. I decide to call. The phone is dead - I left it off the cradle. Fine. I put it back. Call another day.

Well, I forgot, and now I see that without any urging from me, AT&T removed Sprint's service and isn't charging me for it. Are you sure this is the monopoly I know?

If it weren't so late, I'd investigate further. As it is, I'm going to smile while I'm taking a quick shower to remove sand and stabbing pains in my back.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bug o' the day

This time, it's in online play. (Buggy as hell, not too laggy, well, except for today.) It's a conference game. I'm Purdue, he's Ohio State, and you can't really throw slants or drags if there's a defender anywhere in the vicinity, and my receivers are all slow guys, so I'm screwed, but we're pretty close early on.

Then I force a third-and-long, and he has to chuck the ball deep to a receiver who's a good three feet out of bounds when he catches the ball. Incomplete pass, fourth down, so he lines up to punt ... but wait! The booth is reviewing the call. (At least I think it was the booth. It could have been my opponent, I didn't check to see if he had any challenges left.)

They reverse the call. I didn't pause the game to check it myself, thinking it would show up in the highlights at the end.

Ha. Not quite. The play is missing. Completely.

If that isn't a steaming pile of <earmuffs>bullshit</earmuffs>, I don't know what is.

It didn't cost me the game, of course, but it was one hell of a swing, considering that he drove down and scored a TD to take a seven-point lead, and the next time I scored was a field goal as time expired.

<earmuffs>Fuck</earmuffs> EA.

What? What do you want? Why do you keep touching me?

Meow.

That's what I came home to today. Now, that's not at all out of the ordinary: as long as I get home on time, I get a meow. Sometimes I get two, but usually Josie only meows if I ask her to.

Today was different.

Meow.

Meow.

This was clearly a "Feed me, you idiot" meow, except that both bowls already had food. (Explanation: two cats, two bowls. Regular people bowls, because at one point we thought maybe Calle was reacting to the bowls I had before. Of course Calle eats out of both of them, but I try. It also enables me to keep more food out when I'm gone overnight. When Calle finally explained that the old food was crap and this new food was wonderful, I'd figured it out by replacing the food in just one bowl, so the other bowl is still the old food. There are starving cats in China and all that.)

So I walk her to the food and leave her. After all, there's food in both bowls.

Meow.

Meow.

Now, to be fair, at one point, this wasn't "Meow, this food has aged more than 8 hours, I will not eat it" but rather "Meow, I'd love to eat this food, but I have intestinal cancer, and I really don't feel like eating at all", so I really can't dismiss any of it completely. But it still sounded like the former.

Back and forth. I play with her food a little – look, kitty, new food! – but to no avail.

Finally, I put a splash (figurative, because they're on dry food) in the good bowl.

Calle deigns to eat some.

High-maintenance cat. (Literally. Have you seen my credit card bills?) Where would she get that trait?

Uh, don't answer that.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

One more thing ...

STOP RETURNING PUNTS OUT OF THE END ZONE.

NO ONE DOES THIS.

EVER.

Sideline, shmideline

Today's NCAA 09 bug of the day: a receiver can go out of bounds, run out of bounds for as long as he likes, and then come back in bounds and catch the pass. No problems with that at all.

Of course, we know differently. On page 80 of the 2007 official rules, available here, we see Rule 4-1-2-1-a:
A player or an airborne player is out of bounds when any
part of his person touches anything, other than another player or game
official, on or outside a boundary line (A.R. 4-2-1-I and II).
And on page 102, we see Rule 7-3-4:
ARTICLE 4. No eligible offensive receiver who goes out of bounds during
a down shall touch a legal forward pass in the field of play or end zones or
while airborne until it has been touched by an opponent or official (A.R.
7-3-4-I-III).
(Note that it's okay if you're forced out and try to come right back in. Running out on your own = ineligible to touch the ball first.)

Most decent college football fans know this. EA, apparently, does not. No surprise.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dumbest thing I have ever seen

Halftime of the BCS National Championship game. We come out for the second half ... and the ball is spotted at the 30 for a play. We line up. The ball is "snapped", but instead of a play being run, the screen says "KICKOFF", which doesn't seem to matter for the players. They are running around endlessly, which is a big fucking joke, because now I'm going to have to restart the game.

I don't know that I've seen bugs in NCAA games bigger than this one. Well, except for the one a few years ago where if you tried to run a hurry-up offense late in the game, it would crash and you'd have to restart the game.

I know, I'll check on the status of our online dynasty. Oops, the servers are down again, please try later.

EA = teh suck.

Canada time?

Apparently EA thinks that Canada uses a different calendar than the US, which is kind of odd considering that EA actually has a studio in Canada ... but anyway, today's NCAA 09 bug is a fun one. I'm simming through the bowls in Legend mode prior to the BCS title game, and I noticed that while the scores were flashing by (because they don't display slowly as you'd think they would, you know, so you can actually watch them), I saw what I thought was Western Michigan-Notre Dame. (Yes, in video games, Notre Dame doesn't get favorable treatment ... it's more like the way things should be.)

See, the thing is that they're playing in the International Bowl in Toronto, and as we all know, that's not played until the 5th. It's still December in the game. So I check the results, and sure enough, it simmed already. (Western won, 34-20. Ha ha ha ha ha. Guess video-Weis couldn't tape Western's signals.)

That's a little worse than the typo about the Big 12 title game. (It kept telling me we were invited to play in the Big 12 title game on 12/6, even though it was telling me on the 8th and the game is actually the 13th.) But it's all right, I'm sure EA knows about it and will fix it in the patch they'll be issuing before the season begins.

Yeah, I didn't think so. I didn't believe it either.

Update: I think it's an anti-MAC bias. The GMAC Bowl sims a week early as well. Now, I don't think those bowl should be played when they are, but the fact is, they are played after January 1, and they should sim then. After all, isn't that EA's rationale for excluding playoffs from NCAA football games the last 10 years or so?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

EA r dum

I guess I'll bring myself to post a full review of NCAA 09 at some point, as much as I dislike the thought, but I can't deal with it right now. There are, however, some things that are so bad (minor though they might seem) that I can't help but share them.

Take coin tosses, for example. What's supposed to happen is that the team that wins the toss picks first in the first half, and the team that loses the toss picks first in the second half. Most games don't do it that way, which isn't that big of a deal unless the weather really sucks: they just make you switch sides every quarter, so one team chooses kick/receive and the other effectively chooses the wind for all four quarters.

I lost the toss, and the AI took the ball, so I wanted the wind in my face, figuring I'd get the wind at my back in the second and fourth quarters. It worked great in the first half: I kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired to take the lead.

In the second half, I have a three-and-out, and so I get ready to punt ...

... with the wind.

Um, no. Either we switch sides, or I get to pick first and the AI picks second, and because you didn't let me pick, then we switch sides, and I'm heading into the wind.

EA = teh sux0r.

Monday, July 21, 2008

U r dum

Training all this week. It's nice because I get out of the office and learn some new stuff (on Microsoft's dime, actually: part of our volume licensing plan), but also because I'm reminded how dumb some people can be.

I don't mean the person who doesn't understand what the instructor's explaining (on top of it, he did something wrong and wouldn't admit it, or I suppose did it by accident and didn't realize it, but come on, these classes are designed to be easy to follow if you just read the instructions).

I mean the guy who spent minutes trying to figure out what kind of sauce he wanted on his burrito at Chipotle.

It's not, as they say, rocket science. Four choices: hot, medium, corn, or mild. Pick one. (Or more than one, but you know, pick at least one.) Fortunately there were only about four of us in line at the time. The guy covering the first half of the line (bowl through meat) was able to reach over and get my sauce and cheese so that I was ready to go while Jackass was stupefied at the prospect of deciding between FOUR! TYPES! OF! SAUCE! The woman handling the other half of the line is patiently indicating each type, probably wondering how it could be true that someone could have no idea how to answer her questions.

Eventually, the guy says "Corn ..."

The kind manager asks "Roasted corn chile?" (Or something like that. I'd check on their menu, but their website sucks and won't give me a PDF without a popup window. Nice try, suckers.)

He says "Yeah ..."

The lady quickly reaches for the corn salsa, and he suddenly says "No ..."

So she gives him hot sauce and sends him on his way.

It isn't Baskin Robbins or even BWW. If you don't know, pick mild, because you probably can't eat hot sauce anyway. Then get out of the way and let us eat. It isn't the GRE and don't treat it that way.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

XBLA review: Coffeetime Crosswords (4/10)

Yeah, they're back. I have too many projects. I figure someday I can get zreviews to a point where it's worth seeing, but for now maybe I can toss out little ones to satisfy my nonexistent gaming audience.

Coffeetime Crosswords is another bone for those of us who are begging for XBLA content other than first-person shooters. The idea is pretty good, and there's certainly no competition (I mean, other than Buku Sudoku, there's really no paper-style puzzles at all on XBLA). But maybe that's the problem.

If there were another crossword puzzle game, it might have a reasonable control scheme (or at least a customizable one), and then the programmers for this game could have said "Hey, you know I think we might need to change this up a little." See, the basic idea is all right – a ring with A-M, use LB and RB to move and A to select, between A and M is something that flips it to N-Z (and vice versa) – but there's a teeny problem with it. With 14 spots on the wheel, frequently you're a ways away from the switch, so you want a button that will flip the wheel. Sure, here it is: LB/RB. At the same time.

The problem is that the sensitivity is very high, so most of the time, instead of flipping the wheel, you just bounce back and forth between adjacent letters. Sometimes it happens several times in a row. (Good thing this game isn't timed. Oh wait.)

There are other problems, too. The wheel tries to stay out of the way by moving to an adjacent quadrant of the screen when your selection moves. Unfortunately, this can happen while you are entering a word, so all of a sudden, the ring blinks out and reappears in a different place. Again, very disorienting and not conducive to good times.

Furthermore, the ring automatically disappears any time you complete a word. Sounds like a good deal, except that when you are entering a word horizontally that also completes several vertical words, the ring disappears after every. single. word. you. complete. What's the point of indicating that you're filling in the horizontal word when the game stops for the vertical ones too?

The achievements are mostly decent, although they insisted on throwing in a co-op one (because who wouldn't want to play co-op crosswords?), and at least you can use a USB keyboard, but even that's messed up: your selection doesn't advance after you type a letter.

It does save correct words, so you don't have to worry about overwriting a letter you've already confirmed, but I suppose that could have been an option, too (like in Buku Sudoku). Oh well. It's obvious we weren't getting much with this game.

If you really, really like crossword puzzles, and you insist on playing them on your 360, well hey! This is the game for you. Otherwise, I'd recommend getting one of those old things. You know, a magazine. They're awfully cheap these days.

zlionsfan's rating: a four-letter word for ten across.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It might be. It could be. It is!

That's right.

Check it out.

YEAHHHHH!!

So, after my recent experience with the Who, I'm ready for Iron Maiden.

First try: 59%. You know why? I'm up to the part where I failed last time, just ready to activate Overdrive to get to the point where it's l-r-l/foot, r-l-yellow/foot (the normal beat has a foot only on the first triplet) ...

and I lose the stick. It falls to my left, I miss Overdrive, I miss red and foot, I fail. I cry.

Well, not really. I didn't cry. But I did fail.

I go to the storage room and get the weightlifting gloves I have for just this occasion. Bonus - I don't hold the sticks as tightly, so they bounce better. I fail after 61%, basically the same as my previous best.

I try again, focusing on the stupid bass pedal. (I think I hit it a touch early, normally.)

I hit Overdrive. I struggle through the multiple-bass section, flashing red most of the way.

I get to the closing sequence.

I get to the Big Rock Ending. I nail it.

I get three stars. 75%.

I don't care. One more song.

We're all wasted

I just five-starred Baba O'Riley on Hard drums.

I love this game.

Fine, you don't care. So read this. (Not the comments, just the story.)

Sure, it's not the end of spam as we know it, but it's a long-overdue start. If most ISPs actually checked incoming mail (well, outgoing mail too, but obviously a rogue ISP won't check its own mail), spam would be a lot less prevalent. (Sure, some spammers will work for it, but who bothers now? It's so easy to send crap spam, as you can tell.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who's next

Who Are You.
Summertime Blues.
My Generation.
Going Mobile.
Eminence Front.
Behind Blue Eyes.
Baba [redacted] O'Riley, one of the best songs ever written.

Guess I'll be playing some Rock Band tonight.

Nothing more needs to be said.

Well, one thing. Love my 6000-down DSL ...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today was a good day

That's right, I just quoted Ice Cube. Diversity +1.

Last night, I get the feeling that I need to put out the recycling. Check the calendar - no, this is an even week. (My weeks are odd weeks.) Doesn't seem like last week was right, though. I go to bed.

12:00, um, midnight. My phone beeps. Take out recycling. (Sometimes when I sync my iPhone, it merrily moves appointments forward an hour.) So that says two things: one, I have not changed the appointment since I got my new job (11 PM is too late for a reminder), and two, it was so this week.

Too late now. I'll check in the morning.

Get up. Get ready for work. Look at the calendar. No, not my week. Look at the PC. Yes, my week. what?

I check the reminder. Set in January - check that date on the calendar, yep, that was my week. So ... either something changed the appointment, or the calendar is wrong. January ... February ... March ... April ... still right ... May ... June ... July ... wrong. whoops.

aha. The last week in May is an even week. The first week in June is an even week. Not the same week. calendar's wrong. this is my week.

It's about 5 till 7. I figure I'll go ahead and put it out. Worst case is that I bring it back in the evening and try again on the 28th. Wheel it out to the curb, then go back inside to check something ...

and I hear the recycling truck coming down the street. Five minutes later, I'm gone and they're picking up my stuff.

On top of that, I'm told that my town is the 10th-best place to live in the US. Best place in Indiana, and only Naperville beats it among Great Lakes-area states. (Minnesota's part of the Midwest. It doesn't count.)

sweet. I have chosen wisely.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

wtf

Have you seen this ad for howstuffworks.com?

It's a guy scuba-diving with his cat.

The cat has a scuba suit. (Of course, the screen says "Do not attempt." Duh. The world could be divided roughly into two groups. One group would just as soon leave the suit off the cat, and the other wouldn't try to get a cat anywhere near a suit ... of course if you told it not to get anywhere near this helmet ...)

So then the commercial shows questions: how does scuba work? How were cats domesticated? How are pools filtered?

Aside from making me rewind and watch the commercial, it also made me ask a few questions.

How did they get the cat in the helmet? (It may not actually be underwater, but you never know.)

When the cat is seen in the helmet, is it thinking a) "With which claws should I shred his arm first when we get out of here?" or b) "Could this be any more boring? I could be sleeping now."?

I guess the commercial kind of worked. I'm still not tempted to check out the site, though.

Close call

DirecTV. Channels not coming in. Normally, this means some combination of heavy rain and high winds. Not likely in this case - it's sunny.

Or maybe it's a physical problem, like wires disconnected (nope) or the receiver being blown out of alignment. (That did happen a few months ago – the recent storms didn't do it, so not so likely now.)

It could be a programming issue, except in this case, it's a lot of channels. (Sadly, ESPN was still coming in, so I had no excuse to avoid SportsCenter, which is rapidly decreasing in quality.)

So I go online, and of course the first thing it suggests is rebooting the receiver (unplug, wait, plug in, turn on).

Ta da! Full complement of channels again.

Now how often does that happen?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Apple ~= Microsoft

Oh yes they are.

This is how the iTunes update process works now ... if you let iTunes do it, it tries to force Safari on you (pre-checked, but no thanks, already got Firefox, move along, please), makes you shut down all your "QuickTime" apps (I've played a QuickTime movie maybe once ever), hides the setup file someplace you can't find in case you aren't ready to shut down yet so you have to download it all over again, blah blah blah.

Of course, if you have an iPhone, you have to do all that before you can even consider updating it. (Not syncing, updating.)

not fun.

Never mind that my iPhone is mysteriously neither charging well nor holding a charge well.

At least Apple's customer service is still (mostly) good. If there were a Microsoft Store in town, I would take in my mPhone, and they would agree that it wasn't working, but point out how wonderful the new mPhone Vista was, and wouldn't I like to upgrade to that instead? (They can even get me the upgrade price!)

EDIT: Oh yeah, one more thing: apparently it installs Bonjour as well, whether you want it or not.

I don't, especially because no one even asked me if I wanted it. (At least QuickTime is labeled as part of the installation.) Thankfully, my firewall dutifully asked me if it should let Bonjour do its thing, and I said no. I'm a little touchy about unknown applications trying to access things on my network.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Progress, er, sort of

So on Tuesday I practiced Run to the Hills on Hard, and it didn't go so well. I tried again today, speeding up the pace, and this is what I found:

76% for the first fast part at 70% of normal speed from before, but
72% over the whole song at full speed.

Now, keep in mind that it only tracks notes hit and not extra notes hit, but still ... one of the problems I seem to have is matching the on-screen rhythm with my thought of the rhythm. Apparently I was going too fast? Who can tell? (It's really, really hard to tell what you're doing wrong when you're playing a fast passage.) The 72% is even better because I got really tired the second half of the song, plus I lost my rhythm and couldn't bang out the l-r-l, r-l-yellow r part much. (And I would miss bass drum notes somehow.)

Someday I'll get through this one. Then it'll be Next to You. (crap) But not today, or this week, or maybe even this month ...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

That's something to be proud of

Well, actually, no, it's not. Brian at mgoblog (see my blog list) posted an update about Kevin Grady, a current Michigan player who may be in a wee bit of trouble. (NOTE: he's on a new site and there may be some ads there that will interfere with your ability to read the page. I recommend AdBlock Plus, unless you're using IE, in which case I recommend Firefox and AdBlock Plus.)

You can also read the original article here. Anyway, the point is that Mr. Grady blew a .281. (If you don't know what BAC means, go Google it and come back.) Remember, the legal limit everywhere now is .080, and in general, blood tests aren't measuring your peak BAC. For one thing, unless you're really, really stupid, you're not actually drinking when you're asked to take one – you stopped already. For another, road tests usually measure a bit low, so that cops don't get you at a .08 and then take you down to the station for you to blow a .06.

(Sorry, slight delay. There's a bit of weather coming through.)

Now, I've been drunk a few many more times than I (literally) can remember, and I may have visited that neighborhood before, but I can't ever say for sure that I was there. I did approach that once on a blood test, but I can't tell you what it felt like, because I was completely out of it. All I know is that it involved a lot of hard alcohol very quickly.

(Sorry, another delay. Tigers just hit a home run that barely cleared the wall and actually fell back into the field of play. The Indians OF tossed the ball back into the stands. That's a very nice thing to do, especially considering Detroit's up 8-2.)

Anyway, most people can't reach that number. Physically can't. Their bodies will refuse to consume that much alcohol: they'll either pass out or throw up repeatedly.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on with this kid, but I'd guess he could use a little guidance.

I am not a real drummer

Not at all. Slowed Run to the Hills down to 70% and I can still hit only 76% of the first fast part. I understand the rhythm now, but it's a lot to get through ... on the other hand, I can get the l-r-l-r l-r-l-r l-r-l-r l-r-l-r r-l-r-l-r part, mostly, but of course this is 70% again.

I don't think I will be able to get all the way through Expert drums before Rock Band 2 comes out. Or maybe ever. I would love to finish Expert guitar too, but I still can't get those stupid solos, even with the Strat. (I even failed a Boston song on Expert. boo.)

It may be break time anyway. Lego Indiana Jones is on its way, and I am working on Mario Kart Wii as well so that I don't suck so badly the next time I play.

Of course, I'm sure I'll be playing more this weekend. So by "break" I really mean "a day off from drumming because it kind of hurts my wrists to practice too much."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

You're talking about what?

Today, I saw one of the greatest tennis matches ever. I'm not much of a tennis fan, although I do watch occasionally (well, sometimes I watch for tennis, and sometimes for, well ... I'd guess I followed women's tennis to some degree since my teens), but even I could appreciate what was happening here.

Roger Federer is one of the best players in the modern era, perhaps one of the best ever. He's dominated tennis like very few in history. On the other side, Rafael Nadal is one of the best young players in the modern era, but prior to this year, very few people knew how good he was, other than on clay (he's won the French Open four straight times, the last three over Federer). If it weren't for the one, the other might be dominating in a way that would make Tiger jealous, although some might say the competition from the one spurs the other ...

Anyway, for a change, Nadal beat Federer on grass, snapping Federer's streak of Wimbledon titles at 5 ... he nearly took it in straight sets, then Federer won two straight tiebreakers to force a fifth set, but he couldn't break Nadal's serve in the final three sets (no fifth-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon), and instead of becoming the first man in over 80 years to come back from two sets down, Nadal becomes the first in a quarter-century to win the French and Wimbledon in the same year.

It'll be on ESPN Classic tomorrow at 7 PM. I recommend you watch it ... it'll mean so much more than I could explain.


Random thought: my iPhone wasn't holding a charge very well, only going up to about 80% and draining more and more quickly. Finally, it ran out yesterday, so today I got it charged ... and it's back up to 100%. Funny, I didn't know it was one of those batteries. Good thing, too, because it's the standard can't-replace-it-for-less-than-a-fortune Apple battery.

Well, you know, Microsoft and Apple have more in common than you think

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Wings did what?

Oh yes they did.

All I could say was "what?"

I didn't even see they'd re-signed Brad Stuart and picked up Ty Conklin earlier, although those are significant moves as well. (Don't think Pittsburgh won't miss Conklin, maybe not as much as Hossa, but it'll hurt. Ask the Wings how important a backup goalie is.) But this, well ... obviously no one wins the Cup in July, but what Detroit's done in two days so far sure hasn't hurt their chances.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Work and rambling

So, now that it's over, I can tell the story.

In the middle of March, my employer let me go. They were kind enough to include a generous severance package (for those of you who don't know, Indiana is an at-will state, meaning people are employed at the will of their employers and can be let go for pretty much no reason at all), including a little COBRA help and an arrangement with an outplacement company. Outplacement people aren't like recruiters: their job is to give you tools and advice to help you land a job, but they don't actually contact for you.

So I wasn't too worried, not at first. I had severance coming, plus a cushion, so I'd be all right for a while, and I had various contingency plans just in case. Besides, I had solid ColdFusion experience, so I'd be fine ...

except that there aren't a lot of ColdFusion jobs available around here. (I own a house, so I can't relocate.) But that was okay, because recruiters were calling me from the first week I was on Monster ...

except many of them simply wanted to read me jobs posted online, or call me about the same jobs. Of the ones that actually wanted to match me to a job and called me in for an interview, most of them were looking at Java positions, which wouldn't be a problem ...

except that it turned out companies looking for senior Java developers didn't want me because I didn't have enough Java experience, and companies looking for entry- to mid-level Java developers didn't want me because I didn't have enough of it.

So finally, I get a call from a recruiter on the 18th of June. We've got a position we think is a good match for you, why don't you come in. Sure, no problem. We set up an interview on Friday, the 20th.

This guy's a good one. First, we talk about me, about what I want, what I'm looking for. Then we talk about the position. ColdFusion, bits of .NET and SQL Server, but mostly CF. Sounds good. A bit of a pay cut, but that's to be expected. So I say sure, let's pursue it. We talk some more and I leave.

Later that afternoon, he calls me back. We got you an interview, how does Wednesday sound? Sure, I say, let's do this. We set up interview prep with them first, then the interview at their office right after.

The prep stuff was great (especially because it started with the Wonderlic test, yes, that one ...). They do the same thing with the interviewer, so I think we were both ready for it. It went really well. It was set from 2:30 to 3:30, but at 4:15, when we were still talking, the senior recruiter popped in to make sure we were all right.

So the next step is for them to interview some more people, then do second interviews the week of the 30th, and maybe hire by the end of that week. Yeah, that's fast. They had projects piling up, in part because the last guy who was placed there (by another recruiter) didn't work out at all.

Thursday, I get a call, or maybe Friday. Second interview Monday at their place with the CFO, followed by lunch with the team (it's a small team, four people including the manager), and then a brainstorming session about one of the projects with the manager (the position reports directly to him). Sounds good. I scout out the place on Saturday and am ready to go.

Monday the 30th, interview time. Everything goes well: turns out the CFO used to work with a couple of people at my old place. Lunch is good, although no one else can go (the help desk person is too busy and the on-site hardware guy had to fix issues from a power failure on Sunday). The brainstorming session goes well. I talk to the recruiter afterward and give them the OK to accept an offer if one is made.

Monday evening, they say guess what, you can celebrate a new job. You start Tuesday morning. (I said I could start right away ...) So, to recap: on the 18th, they contact me. On the "31st", I start work. (It's easier to figure out if I write it that way.)

Pretty nice, huh? Guess I should have been adjusting my sleep schedule faster. (One of my good friends warned me not to let it slip too far. oops.)

It's working out pretty well so far. We'll see how I feel about the job in a year. I tell you what, I feel a lot better about this one than I did about my last one over the last two or three years.

Other random thoughts:
  • They are finally paving 37. Thank goodness. Of course, they do it at night, so I get caught from time to time, but it's sure worth it.
  • The new fireworks law sucks. Now, instead of a few illegally loud noises, you get all kinds of crap late at night before the 4th. Of course, you can't legislate common sense or courtesy. too bad.
  • My iPhone forgot for a bit this evening that I do not work on GMT. That's GMT-5, my friend. Maybe it was jealous of the new 3G iPhones. (Can't get one. Termination cost is too much and I am not so fond of this one.) It should be jealous of the Crackberries they have at work. I may end up with one of those anyway ...
  • On 126th near 37, there's a railroad crossing that has new signs beneath the stop sign. A complete stop is now required and a rolling stop will get you a $115 fine. It may seem steep, but at a crossing that has no lights and no gate, you might do well to keep in mind that the lesson you'd learn about stopping from the courts is much easier on you than the lesson you might otherwise learn about momentum and trains.
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