Sep 252008
  • PETA has suggested to Ben & Jerry’s that they replace 75% of the cow’s milk they currently use with human milk.  At last, the fine PETA people have given us a cause we can all support that is not bizarre or revolting whatsoever.
  • I interacted with three car dealership service department employees this week.  Each was friendly, articulate, and helpful.  Kudos, Regal Nissan.  I’m still a service-it-yourself sort of fellow, so I don’t plan to visit you folks often, but I hope this is the norm.
  • Remember those compasses we all had in grade school, on one end of which was the very sharpest point you’d ever encountered in your entire (short) life?  Do kids still have those?  I can’t see how, with all the zero tolerance hysteria.  What do they do instead?  Trace jar lids?
  • Speaking of jars, the correct order of preference for what kind of jam or jelly to use for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is:  grape jelly, strawberry jam, apple jelly, blackberry jam.  Lacking these, apple butter produces an acceptable, though unambiguously inferior, sandwich.  Raspberry jam is probably fine if you like raspberries, but I don’t.  Peanut butter and orange marmalade will open a portal to hell into which you will be immediately sucked.
  • My single favorite piece of college football band music—besides “Yea Alabama,” of course—is “Chinese Bandits” (recently neologized to “Tiger Bandits”), an ominous little fanfare the LSU band plays whenever the defense forces fourth down.  It’s perfect for the purpose in that it’s chilling, short, and omnipresent when they’re rolling.
  • I ate lunch at TGIFriday’s, one of the stuff-on-the-wallingest of the stuff-on-the-walls, today.  We sat exactly one table away from where, on a lunch date sometime in 1993, one of the sexiest women I ever went out with proceeded to tell me she was a Mafia princess.  Creative blowoff?  Perhaps.  It worked.  And how.  I wanted in her pants bad, but not that bad.
  • When I was about 8, my dad had a tape recorder that he’d talk about work into while he was traveling.  About five years ago I bought a voice recorder and tried it for a while, but soon sold it to a friend.  I do a lot of great thinking counting mile markers on the interstate, but giving voice to my thoughts doesn’t work well for me.  Interesting how differently we’re all wired.
  • I’m pleased to finally see some serious dissent on the gigantic federal bailout (did you notice they switched to calling it a “rescue plan” sometime in the last day or so?).  It gives me hope that we’ll merely be fucked hard instead of being fucked really hard.  Pass the K-Y.
 Posted by at 8:34 pm
Sep 242008

I didn’t get a job in my field right out of college.  In fact, it was most of 19 months between my graduation and when I started working as a technical writer.  In that interim, I had dedicated slots of time for job-hunting.  I spent an hour on it every morning, and my entire Wednesday after work.

Now you can’t tell kids shit, so I didn’t believe him, but my dad told me I needed to be calling and writing people I knew at least as much as I was combing the want ads.  “You’ll get jobs through your personal network,” he said.  Heh.  Yeah, whatever.  He’s a nice guy, but what the hell could he possibly know about this world?

I have pursued and obtained four positions since he told me that, and each one of them was through personal contact.  (Seems the old man knew something after all.)  The currency of these transactions is, of course, the résumé.  I have sent and received many.  As long as I am working, I expect that to continue.

I’m quite happy in my current job and therefore am not looking, but when I am, I try to be picky about the folks who receive my résumé.  I want them to know something about me, mainly—to be able to vouch for me because of personal experience.

I have not found that everyone is as discriminating.

I’ve been doing this since 1994, and that’s a lot of contacts.  There may be as many as 200 people who could send me a résumé, and I’d react enthusiastically.  There are perhaps 50 for whom I’d advocate especially hard.  And there are 4 or 5 for whom I’d go to the ends of the earth.

But it’s these people I barely know who often drive me crazy.  “Hey Bo, can I send you my résumé?”  I say yes, because well, hell, what else can I say?  “No, I’m sorry.  I can’t be bothered to read your email and perform two mouse clicks to get the attached document into my company’s HR database.”

The first problem is that I may not know the person beyond saying hello in the hallway, but even that can be mostly overcome with an excellent résumé.  The second, and far tougher, problem is the bad résumé.  What do you do with it?  Say “hey, you know, this really sucks, but I’ll help you with it for $70 an hour”?  Say screw it and pass it on?  Tell the person you passed it on, and throw it away instead?

Moreover, am I comfortable passing on a document with which I know the person is wallpapering the tri-state area?  Does that say anything meaningful (and negative) about the person’s judgment?

So jump up three paragraphs—am I now at “No, because your résumé might suck”?

 Posted by at 8:51 pm
Sep 242008

Sorry I didn’t write anything last night, folks.  Well, actually I wrote quite a lot, but on Mrs. Chili’s blog.  We are enjoying a stimulating exchange of political ideas on this post,  including what will surely be the longest comment I’ll ever write.

(I was a bit embarrassed at the length this morning.  I should have written it on a separate page, and then posted a pointer to it.)

I never enter a political back-and-forth thinking I can change anyone’s mind.  I do, however, enjoy the disagreement as a stimulus for critical thought.  I think we’re accomplishing that effectively.

 Posted by at 7:16 am
Sep 232008

Read Ron Paul’s excellent editorial on the largest financial government intervention since the Great Depression.

“When someone hurts, government has to move.” – George W. Bush

I hoped for a long time that Bush had inadvertently omitted “out of the way.”  Alas, no.

I fear that anymore, government’s always going to be there to “save” us—good and hard.

 Posted by at 12:03 pm
Sep 222008

If we were following each other before, hit me again.  Note that I’m wmwmsblog this time around, not wmwms.

A bud tells me they’ve solved their reliability problem, so we’ll see how it goes.  Twitter people, 99.5% uptime is a reasonable expectation for this kind of service.  That’s a little less than 44 hours down in a year.  Impress me.

I have occasionally missed microblogging.  Sometimes you just want to throw some bullet up there, and it’s great for that.  I tried Plurk, but never could make much sense of its UI and conventions.  Twitter is right-sized and well-designed.

Now let’s see how well it stays up these days.

 Posted by at 9:32 pm