Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New Job!

I started a new job in October. I was interviewed and hired the same day, it would seem, after completing two (2) online screening applications. I have already completed two (2) weeks of paid training, and just started Week 3. Training should be done at the end of November. I might miss Thanksgiving with the family, but I will be getting paid for my time.

More later.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Maybe that last semester of college is finally paying off!

blog readability test

I am now feeling slightly less insulted. See here.


Time for an UPDATE

So, my last entry was in April, as you can see. I finished the semester with four (4) grades and an Incomplete. I finished that Incomplete in July and have completed my B.A. program. The computers say my degree was awarded August, 2008. Yay!! I am still awaiting the diploma. I hear they should be sent out in December, 2008. That will make a nice X-mas present.  :-)

My mother took my brother and I on a family vacation in June. We were scheduled to go to Portland, OR, for a week, and maybe see some family. Once we hit the road we started talking about a Las Vegas documentary that my brother and I watched on PBS the night before. It seems none of us has been to Vegas (my brother was at the airport to change flights a couple times), and Mom just wanted to get out of town for a week, so off to Vegas we went. I will have to write up a separate entry for that.

Since the trip I completed my Incomplete and graduated with a passing GPA. That monkey is finally off my back! I have been applying for IT jobs, specifically in the Networking field, but even some Systems Administrator jobs for which I might have been marginally qualified. All this was to no avail. I finally started filling out an online application for the security company for which I used to work. I was dreading this, and holding out so I did not have to go back.

Fortunately, I received an email from out of the blue regarding my resume on Monster.com. Thank $Deity!! The initial process involved two (2) online pre-screening applications. I completed those and emailed the recruiter. I received a call Monday night that the company wanted me to come in for an interview. Shock and dismay! (I had not gotten this far yet with my other prospects.) I picked an interview slot before noon, reasonably confident that I could make that particular time. I polished my shoes, laid out my interview suit, and finished watching my Monday night programs.

Curses! I woke up at 10.00am and was in immediate panic mode. I skipped the shower and took care of shaving my face and brushing my teeth. I dressed while talking on the phone, trying to reach my recruiter to inform her I would be late. I got the call center, and they could not reach my contact person. I thanked the person and hung up, then I emailed my contact before racing out the door.

I arrived forty-four (44) minutes late, but at least I arrived. I spoke to the front-desk person, signed in, then began filling out my paper application. ( I heard that the other people scheduled for my appointment time did not even show up.) I filled out the application, but was not done before my interviewer was ready to begin. C'est la vie.

Once in the interview room with my interviewer I was given the opportunity to complete and sign my application. The interview began and I was far more nervous than during any past interview, ever. (I had a piece of fruit and water for breakfast; that did not help.) I was asked questions about my past customer service experience and invited to go into some detail regarding what happened and how I could have done things differently. This was a little difficult since I had been out of the job market since the end of March and really had to dredge my brain for some experiences to relate.

We finally make it through this part of the process and I am invited to do some mix-and-match between pictures and terminology relating to setting up a cable-box, TV, and more. I did really well on those. Thanks, Mom, for always making me put together the TV, cable and VCR stuff for so many years.  :-)

I ask a few questions at the end and am pleased that this job has growth potential for me in the future. I am surprised that I am invited to stay longer to fill out more paperwork for a credit and background check. I am then provided with a "conditional offer of employment." Suh-WEET! I now have to pass: a drug test, the credit check and the background check. Well, I passed all three (3) the last time I applied for a job, so I should be good on this.

Paid orientation starts next week, and mandatory paid training (oh, darn!) begins the following week. Life is starting to look better, and better.

That is all for now, campers!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

30 days to Freedom!

Sweet!! Only thirty (30) days to freedom. I can't wait. This semester has been considerably more challenging than I anticipated. I have presentations to deliver in three (3) of my classes. One was already delivered and went quite well. I have one this Monday with a classmate in my Historical Linguistics class (color terms and language change; the article we have to read to prep for it is pleasingly short), and a group presentation in my Philosophy class (Gender issues and ethics in the IT field; more or less).

I earned a low "B" on my second Philosophy mid-term, quite happy with that. And I earned a middle "B" on my Kinesiology mid-term (our third for the class); also damn happy with that. Looks like I may be able to complete all my courses with a decent "B" average. That would be pretty outstanding compared to my last semester in 2004; that will not be discussed.

I have term papers/projects for three (3) of my classes. One is only six (6) pages for Political Science, and must be well-researched and argued. The second needs to be 8-10 pages, for Philosophy, and must begin with a moral argument; research also will be needed here. My Sociolinguistics class requires a field research project regarding Service Encounters. Not really looking forward to it, but we have been promised that it really is a fun project. Hrmm. We'll see...

I am still waiting for my Graduation Checklist from that Office of Graduation. *sigh* Keeping my fingers crossed that all will go according to "plan" and I will graduate this semester. I can't wait. This has been a very long time coming, and I will be happy to be done with it. Afterwards, I can focus on a job and preferably even a career.

Off to the Library for study time...

Till next time.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break!

Finally! Spring Break is right around the corner. I need a break. I finished two (2) Mid-Terms this week and feel only confident enough to say I may have answered a few questions correctly on my exams. Optimistically, I just might have passed them both...barely. We'll see.

Hrm. I just checked my grade for my Kinesiology Mid-Term #(2) [there are four (4) mid-terms total in that class] and I appear to have gotten (53) out of (50) points!! SWEET!! I will have to go speak to him tomorrow to be certain, but it looks like I got an "A" on that test. I only got a solid mid-range "C" on the first Mid-Term. Looks like I am passing that class, so far.

I just looked up my Final Exam week schedule and see that I have two (2) Finals on Monday, two (2) on Tuesday (fifteen [15] minutes apart, no less) and only one (1) left on Wednesday. Gladly, this will not happen till May, so I have time to pull my head out and get cracking. :-)

Cheers for now!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Planet of the Apes is fast approaching...

I read this interesting article recently and sounds like the chimps are evolving and using more tools. Better watch your back at the Ape House next time you're at the Zoo. ;-)


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wow! Time for an update.

So. Almost a month without updates. Where has the time gone?

I've already taken, and passed, two (2) mid-terms. I got a "C" on my Kinesiology exam; guess I should actually read the book, huh? But not bad for only studying the notes and PowerPoints the instructor used. My Philosophy exam went better: "B", a nice solid 86%. This is far better than I really expected, but I will gladly take it. :-)

I have an oral presentation (with a group) due Friday morning for Kinesiology. Ugh! At least I have an article selected. Now I just need to: read it, critique it, put together a PowerPoint presentation, make note cards, ensure no one else in my group has this same article, go to class, present my part and try not to vomit while doing same. *whew* I'm exhausted already.

Still painfully behind on my reading, not to mention my homework, but I will be working on that.


Friday, February 08, 2008


I was envious of Sean's blog having a Genius level rating, so I tested mine. I am deeply insulted... :-/

blog readability test


Just finished the second full week of classes, and I'm already feeling beat. Still behind in all my reading assignments, my first paper was due Wednesday (I'm almost done with it), I have another paper due Monday, or is it Wednesday? More writing assignments are coming down the pike... This is what I get for taking so many classes my first semester back to school, which I'm planning to be my -final- semester for my B.A. Two (2) of those classes are upper-division GE courses, with a pre-requisite of passing the WST (Writing Skills Test) which I did April 24, 1993.

May have to quit my job so I can focus on school, which will be tough, because then I won't have any spending money, gas money, fun money. Having to work weekends is one of the things keeping me out of the bars on weekends! :-)

One of the things keeping me so run-down during the week is a lack of sleep: One of my roomates, the one in the room right next to mine, stays up late working on art projects which seem to involve painting and a mini-hairdryer. When he's not doing that at night, he has his music volume on loud, which is bad because he listens to a lot of techno (which I love) but the bass makes it all the more aggravating if I try to study in my room, or do anything else. He seems reluctant to turn it down when I ask, but at least he will do it. I'm unsure of how to "discuss" this with him without getting pissed off. The engineering student is a big Xbox fan, and the volume is always high, although he will turn it down when asked. I finally ordered a white noise machine to help drown out my roomates. I'm really hoping this works. I could use a fan on high, like the eng. student uses, but then I get dehydrated and groggy, which means I may not respond to my alarm. I may not need to use it on weekends since the art student goes home from Friday evening till Sunday night. We'll see.

On a positive note, I turned in my Graduation Application and my Financial Aid petition Friday, Feb 1st, so those are two (2) more items off my To-Do list. Yes!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

School is underway

Well, classes started last week, Wed. Jan.23rd. I finally got my schedule in place and am enrolled in five (5) classes. Starting to get the hang of note-taking again. Need to catch up on my reading...-badly-. All my classes require copious amounts of reading, and almost as much writing. That will be challenging. Even though "challenging" is part of the reason I am here, my brain is going to get a serious work-out.

I finally checked out the King Library last week, and found some good study spots. I spent a few hours there last night and got some good reading done. I will have to do more of that tonight. SJSU students get to stay in the library till midnight most of the week, so that will be a big-big help.

Lots of pretty girls to see all over campus. Can't wait for warmer weather... :-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oy! What a week!

Monday - Jan. 14

It's tough to be the new guy again! Spent Wed. through Friday nights training at my new post. Worked my full shift Saturday and Sunday, 8am-4pm. What a schlep! I haven't done this much walking in a very, very long time. The good thing is that I'm getting plenty of exercise, even without a gym. :-)

[Sunday night I went out to see what night-life was available on a Sunday evening. Mostly slow. Did manage to run into an old friend at Mission Ale House. Caught up a little and scored a free drink. That was cool.]

Took myself out to dinner at La Victoria. What a treat! I dearly missed their Super Nachos con Carne Asada. This time I didn't ask for jalapenos, but their house hot-sauce certainly made up for it. Great stuff.

Tuesday - Jan. 15

Fire alarm went off around 3.30pm today, much to everyone's annoyance. I took the time to go speak to the Dept. Chair for Linguistics. I explained my academic situation and my desire to graduate this semester, and how repeating my past coursework would be holding me back. My argument was not persuasive, but she said she would think about it and let me know Thursday. *ugh* Spent the rest of the day in distress over that.

More stress was added when I checked my student account and found that I have got an Academic Progress Hold on my Financial Aid(!). My whole semester plan was revolving around actually getting said Fin.Aid. so I could actually pay for school. Some of that money is in the form of grants, which I can't afford to pass up. It's looking like this semester may not happen after all...

Another dumb-ass set off the fire alarm again that evening, around 6.30-ish. Found out later that both alarms were caused by grease-fires. *sigh* If you can't cook, don't use the kitchen!! The elevators were still in "fire" mode when we were allowed back into the building, so I hiked up seven floors to my room. More exercise.

Wednesday - Jan. 16

Spoke to the Foreign Language Dept. Chair today regarding my Minor in German. She felt the completed coursework was too old to count (about 12 years old). *gah* She suggested I go to the Language Lab next week and take the placement tests. If I can pass those, then she may sign off on the -already- completed coursework. By the way, I had my Minor signed off twice(!) already: the second time was in 1995, by my German advisor, who is still with SJSU, but is on sabbatical this semester. *grrr*

My last check from the Stockton office of my employer FINALLY arrived. Mom sent it last week and it took FOREVER! I was getting seriously worried about my spending money.

I spoke to the Financial Aid office and the Fin.Aid. hold just showed up because they had to wait for grades to be posted. I explained I was not enrolled the previous semester, or the previous year. The hold is based on two (2) classes from Spring 2004 that I did not finish due to depression issues. And the petition is due Friday, because Monday (the actual due-date) is a holiday. So I need a note from my doctor to help me document and challenge the hold on my aid.

Decided after about 6pm to go home for a couple days, talk to Mom and do some laundry. The computerized system for adding money to my student ID card was not cooperating, so I couldn't do laundry in the dorm facilities. Taking it home to Mom's is the next best thing; I do my own laundry anyway. ;-)

Thursday - Jan. 17

The doctor's note did not arrive in the mail yet. Disappointed. Tried to find the psychologist I was seeing in 2004, no luck. He's no longer at the offices he once used. I can't find him in my current Palm Pilot history, and I can't find the back-ups of my old Palm Pilot (when I was using the Mac version of the software and a much older Palm system).

The Linguistics Dept. Chair called me this morning and left a message saying she would sign off on waiving my old (already completed) coursework. JOY!!

Installed the CPU and heat-sink on the motherboard of the computer system I was building my mother at Christmas. The heat-sink is too tall to fit back in the case. *sigh* Now I need to find a new case that I can install everything into. That'll have to wait till later.

Went out to dinner with Mom at Perko's. She had the Chicken Parmesan; it was ok. I had the Thai Chicken Wrap; it was great! Messy, but delicious.

Friday - Jan. 18

Doctor's note has still not arrived as of 12.30pm. I call the Financial Aid office again. A different person tells me I can still turn-in my petition next week. That's a relief. The note finally arrives about 2.00pm. I open it, and am a little disappointed: It's a note on a prescription paper. Hrm. The doctor's info seems to differ from mine, so I call him and he says he will check into it further and send another note. *do I really deserve this?*

Headed back to San Jose feeling much more relieved about being able to finish school this semester. Got lots of (much needed!) hugs from Mom.

Ironed some clothes, checked my email and went to bed.

Guess if I had this to do over again, I would have started the process a year ahead of time and been better prepared for it over all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

European Close-up

Here's a close-up of the European Countries I've visited so far.

The list includes, in no particular order: Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Vatican City, the former Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia Herzogovina), Romania, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany (only the former West Germany), Denmark, France and the Netherlands (Holland).

create your personalized map of europe
or check out our Barcelona travel guide


TUESDAY - Jan.08
Loitered around my dorm all day and chatted with friends online. Waited for employer to call. Went out that night for Nachos y Jalapenos and horchata at La Victoria on East San Carlos. Good stuff! Will have to go back and refresh my memory of their Super Nachos con Carne Asada. Almost yelled at the kids (customers) and their foul mouths. I miss Turlock, where I would have done it without thinking twice. *sigh* Walked around downtown to see how much has changed. A lot of places have different names now, but the businesses are mainly the same. Good to see Gordon Biersch and Mission Ale House are still in business. More new restaurants downtown and new buildings in place of parking lots. Can't wait to try out some of the restaurants when money allows.


Employer finally called Wednesday afternoon and asked me to come in for uniforms and start training that night. Had to drop off pants at dry cleaners in South San Jose, right near Los Gatos, before reporting for duty. That was a chore, missed my first exit and continued on surface streets, which I knew would get me there. Cleaners was a small place that had changed its name, but I finally found it. Forgot how dense rush-hour traffic in the Bay Area is compared to my small part of the Central Valley.

Arrived at post and started training. I'll be training through Friday night, then start my regular post and hours Saturday morning. Feels like old times. Much more to learn and do at my new site than any post I've worked since Altera. The first days and weeks will be the most difficult while I'm getting adjusted. Glad this will only be a weekend job during school.

Dropped off shirts at the cleaners and then went to bookstore to get a couple things. Decided to check and see if any of my textbooks were available, and found quite a few. Bought my books for: LING 125 (Introduction to Historical-Comparative Linguistics), LING 166 (Sociolinguistics: Cross-Cultural Communication), PHIL 134 (Computers, Ethics, Society), and POLS 1 (American Government). I still need the book(s) for PHIL 160 (Philosophy of Science), which have yet to be determined. These will probably be available at one of the nearby print-shops.

Hurried to lunch at "The Fortune Cookie" on the corner of South 10th St. and East William St. Pretty good meal, but ate too much. At least I didn't have to live on Zone bars for the day. :-) Got changed into uniform and made it to work for training just in time. Will have to plan better on Friday so I can be there early.

Still need to turn in my Graduation Application. I have to talk to my Major and Minor Departments and get paperwork filled out for those to hand in with my application. Will work on that Friday. Need to get cleaning bucket and products to work on the dorm: the place is a sty. *phew* (And was so before I arrived.)

Good night!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Globe Trotter

This can tide you over till I have time for a more detailed entry. More maps later.

create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Monday, January 07, 2008


So. I returned to Modesto to pick-up more stuff Sunday night. I spent most of Sunday afternoon unpacking and organizing what I brought up Saturday. I still need some shelving and organizing space because I have odds and ends sitting on my desk, and elsewhere. Unpacked most of my new load of stuff and got to bed by 3:00AM. Got a little nervous because the police stopped a car on the street below my window. A second cruiser came up from the other direction and boxed in the car, then the police got two people out of the car. I left the room for a little while, just in case any stray "action" came through my window.

Got up this morning with my alarm at 7:00AM and got ready for my meeting at 9:00AM. It looks like I will get a weekend job, two (2) days a week, at a post that should only require two (2) days of training. I will be contacted tomorrow to find out if the corporate office has gotten all my info transmitted and transferred to the local branch. After that I can go in to get my uniforms and get ready for training. My branch manager seems like a straight-forward kind of guy. He introduced me to my scheduler who is a tall, beautiful, blonde woman. *sigh* [Names of people and companies will not be mentioned, in case anyone I work with, or for, gets around to reading this blog.-L.]

That much was squared away by 10:00AM. Thereafter, I made my way back up the road to Fry's in Campbell to browse the aisles for a heat-sink that I can no longer buy through PC Club in Modesto, or their web-site; I need the part to finish Mom's new computer I built for Christmas. Right after finding the part I needed my good friend
Suzanne called and asked where I was. She told me she just finished an interview in downtown San Jose and asked me to wait there; she would meet me. We met up, browsed Fry's and chatted a little; she's looking for a new gaming mouse. We took her car and went to lunch at Taco Bravo. I had the basic bean burrito and orange soda; onions were included even though I requested "no onions." After lunch we crossed the street for coffee and a browse through Barnes and Noble; the seasonal Cinnamon Dolce was quite tasty, much better than the awful Tazo Chai I once had a few years ago. [I've never had another Starbuck's Chai. At the time, I had hoped it was as good as the Oregon Chai that the Camera Three cinema was selling, which was fantastic! I could drink those all day and they went well with my Sampoerna cloves. Maybe the Tazo and the cloves didn't mix. Whatever.] We browsed around the books a little bit then returned to Fry's to pick-up my car. Gave Sue a kiss and a hug then back to campus for me.

[Wow. This post is getting really long. Don't worry, once classes start I will no doubt have far less time to write this much. ;-) -L.]

Onward! Once back on campus I spoke to the Parking Services office and arranged a two (2) week parking pass till my semester pass arrives. The permits have overlapping dates, but for only $24.00, that's just fine. I also need to update my license plate info since I entered it incorrectly Saturday when I applied online for the semester permit. *slap's head* So stupid. I should have just gone to look at the plate. Now I can relax about parking.

Next up, I checked the Linguistics Department office and see that they are open. I still have to finish my Graduation Application and get that turned in, then have my department forward my records of completed/in-progress work. I looked around the bookstore and saw that some of the Spring semester books are out, but not all. Will have to spend more time there tomorrow to get the books I can. Robert's is open this week so I can check there, too.

Stopped in at the Courtesy Desk for my building to get tips on making the thermostat co-operate. Apparently, when the room doors are all closed and the heater is running, the temperature at the thermostat drops, but the heat is getting into the rooms, barely. This explains why setting it for 70F and letting it run for (30) minutes dropped the temp to 66F. Back in my room I turned on the heater and left the door open for a few minutes, saw the "heater" was doing it's job, then closed my door and crashed out for about three (3) hours.

So that brings me up-to-date. Haven't had dinner yet, and I'm not too hungry (it's 9:48PM now), but I'm thinking "La Victoria" for a dinner of Nachos with Jalapenos, or maybe Super Nachos, for something more filling. It's getting late. I better get dressed and go check-out their hours...

Good night for now! I updated the comments settings so my friends in Turlock, and elsewhere, should be able to add comments without having Google/Blogger accounts. Let me know!.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Moved in!

Alright! Got moved into my dorm room today with lots of help from Mom and Jarrod. Did a lot of packing this morning; right up to 5:20pm. We used all the boxes I got from work, plus a few Hefty sacks. Loading the cars was a little challenging due to the heavy rains. Water was pooling in the carport so we got our feet wet, but not the boxes. Mom and Jarrod made a trip to pick-up sandbags so hopefully the water won't run into the house.

My brother and I packed all my things into our cars and drove to San Jose in the rain. We arrived (20) minutes ahead of schedule; what a relief! Check-in was mostly painless and the line was short. I picked up a card-key for the garage so we could bring our cars in out of the rain and unload boxes close to the elevator.

Armed with my card-key and room key we scouted the path to my apartment and met one of my roommates, Joe. We introduced ourselves, checked out my room, turned on the lights and got to work. We finished bringing in all of my belongings and were damn glad Mom insisted we bring a hand-truck.

Jarrod treated me to dinner at Chevy's, then dropped me back at my dorm. Found a decent spot on the street for my car. Hope it won't be molested overnight. Parking should be free overnight and all day Sunday. Got my computer set up and Internet access was immediate.

Good night for now!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Countdown to the move

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2008. Now the countdown begins for my move back to San Jose, CA, where I am going to finish my degree: B.A. Linguistics. Lot's of organizing, packing and laundry to manage between now and then. Looking forward to the Spring semester.