Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

Another Day, Another Job App

Two weeks or so ago, a recruiter called asking if I would be interested in a QA contract for a well-known company which paid barely more than unemployment insurance. I said if they were paying that little, don't bother, and then promptly forgot all about it.

Last week another recruiter emailed with an identically worded advert from the same company, sans salary. I told her I had already been contacted by another recruiter about this job, so no, she can't represent me. Her advert had an hourly wage on it which was a bit lower than what I usually get, but high enough to not refuse outright. I agreed that if she finds that the hiring manager has not seen a resume from me, she could send it in. Yesterday she called, the company (of course) has not seen my resume, so I said she could have her people send it in. This morning someone called wanting to have me add a paragraph of skills to the resume, but I managed to convince her that the last thing my resume needs is more words.

Truth is, every time I have provided a list of skills, it has been a FAIL. There are too many things I can do, poorly, which I'd rather not, and too many tools and such I know how to use which just make managers' eyes cross. Yes I can  image HPUX, AT&T System 5, Solaris, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise, SUSE, Windows 95/98/2000/XP/7, Mac OS9/10/X machines. And yeah, I can packet trace with Ethereal/Wireshark, Sniffer and HP analyzers. And troubleshoot MPEG1 & 2 transport streams with a Tektronix/Terayon stream analyzer. But having all these skills is about as applicable to most jobs as knowing how to teach high school physics in Thai, being able to play baritone horn, and knowing how to develop film. All of which are also in my skills set.


Am in the late-night Starbucks, just in time for their 3pm-5pm "Frappy Hour". Frappucinos half price. They have 3x as many baristas on hand as usual, and it is a virtual FrapFactory. Way lots of people-watching, which includes eye candy but also some diverse characters which could come in handy if I ever sit down and write a novel.

A woman walked in about half an hour ago wearing a blouse which looked like a silk/polyester mix, semi-translucent off-white with a hint of silver, denser vertical bands of material (or maybe material doubled over and stitched) tightly cinched at the waist which strongly accentuated her narrow waist and made the most of her small breasts (there was a bra underneath). She was wearing light beige cargo pants which were tailored in back to leave no doubt that she was wearing a thong underneath. Very slender athletic figure. And she was working it all the way from the door to the "order here" spot. The only thing that spoiled the look was the wedding ring and diamond solitaire. And the thought popped into my mind, "looks like some else has rented her first."

But I digress.

I was up early again, a good thing because in another 5 minutes I probably would have fallen out of bed. Pumpkin had splayed out and was pushed up against my side, nudging me towards the edge. Also good because it had cooled off overnight, and cucumbers were waiting to be made into pickles.

This time I was a lot more organized, now that I have done the process once before.  The jars, lids & rings had been in the dishwasher, and were ready to go. I dumped the cukes into the sink and washed them, set up the cauldron for the pickling mix and the canning pot for boiling everything. Each jar was going to hold a grape leaf and four cucumbers this time, now that I knew the cucumbers come out smaller than they go in. It was a tight squeeze, but I managed it. But my math had been off at the produce store - I'd bought 20 cukes, but needed to fill 7 jars. 20/4 is less than 7. So just as everything was ready, I had to turn off the stove, put on shoes, and drive to the produce store for 8 more pickling cucumbers. I stopped along the way at PAMF and picked up the CD of my angiogram. I bought 10 cukes just in case.

The drive may have cost more than the $1.20 for the cucumbers. :-(

So, back to the kitchen,  shoved the 8 cukes into the last two jars, and since there was some space left in all the jars, I sliced the two remaining cukes into quarters and eighths and fit them into the spaces. This was a kind of compromise, I had thought about making a jar of spears or stackers, but without the skin to act as a buffer, I was afraid those would come out way too strong. Now I'll have a way to know for sure. My guess is that commercial cukes are sliced after they are cured.

This time I poured the mix from the cauldron into the jars, first filling them 3/4 of the way, but there was enough mix to fill them all within a 1/2" of the top. Topped them all off with a 1:4 mix of water:vinegar. Put the lids on, tightened the rings, and placed all 7 jars on the rack over the boiling water in the canning pot. Lowered the rack into the pot, covered it, and walked away for 10 minutes.

Watched Divorce Court while waiting for the pickles to cook. I like the judge, she has a way of cutting through the BS without being Judge Judy about it. And she's more articulate. And also more about pushing her book, her Facebook page, etc.

Back to the kitchen.  Uncovered the pot, put on pot holder mittens and pulled the rack up, turned off the stove, used the jar puller to remove the jars from the pot and place them on a paper towel on the counter. Let them cool for half an hour, then transferred them to a shelf between the kitchen and livingroom which is meant for knick knacks, but makes a great cooling shelf. The mittens were too awkward, I used a dishcloth. Must buy me a pair of pot holders. Another hour, checked the seals, one of them is iffy, but the jars are still warm so it may fix itself. If not it'll go into the fridge tonight and I'll pack the contents into zipplock bags for tomorrow's train ride.


Popped the disc from PAMF into the PC, turns out to be a DVD, and the images are in a proprietary format with a totally useless reader application. It's supposed to be able to export to an AVI file, but when I gave it my preferred settings it crashed each time. Will try again later using the defaults. The disc came with a printout with a detailed description of what they did and what was found. I will have to spend some time researching online to understand all the words. But in a nutshell, my arteries are not healthy, but they are far from bad enough to panic about.

After pickles & cardio, I took myself here.  Mocha coconut frap is okay, could use more chocolate.

Plans for tonight:
Pack
Plans for tomorrow:
SJC Amtrak around 10, catch the southbound Coast Starlight for Santa Barbara with, if they are running on time, a long enough stop to hear Justin Au and pieces of the Red Skunk Jipzee Swing Band at SLO station. Unfortunately, their redheaded lead singer is not expected to be there. Santa Barbara by about 7 pm if all goes well. Not that I expect the Coast Starlight to ever be on time. I've been surprised before, though.

Tags: cooking, food, job hunt, trains, travel
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