Sunday, December 30, 2007

random thoughts and musings

I haven't had a lot to say lately though all kinds of thoughts have been bouncing around in my head. Just nothing coherent enough to write down. So I have been blog hopping and lurking in various places for the last three weeks.

I am still looking for work but the search has gone slowly. I have been looking for new sources of information but haven't found anything consistently useful. Why, you ask. Well the job boards I had been using (Indeed, Just Hired, CareerBuilder, and Monster, etc.) have had nothing useful for me. The lists can be categorized as military, driving, medical and sales. I did my military stint thirty years ago and even if I were in much better physical shape (ie, 80 lbs lighter) I don't want to revisit that job. I really, really, really, REALLY don't like driving. I do it when I absolutely have to and for only as long as I absolutely must. Besides, I don't want to try to get a CDL. I have no background for the medical jobs. And after my last interview for a sales/cashier position I have to seriously rethink that pathway. I wrote about being 'overqualified' for those types of position a while back.

I have come to realize several 'truths' through this very unsettling year. I never realized how much I hate job hunting. But I do hate it--so much that I put serious job searching off for months even though I knew my boss was going to close the party goods store well before she said so. Then I applied for tellering jobs even though I was dubious about doing so. I had resisted that avenue for a long time and had very little success in the application process. Usually I got the dreaded "we have received your application and will consider it carefully" letter followed by silence. Once I did receive a letter saying "Thank you for your interest but we have hired someone else." Mom had been pushing tellering. No heavy lifting, regular hours, decent pay. So when I did get an offer I jumped on it. I was still tentative and dubious but, what the hell, it was a job and I needed one. All too often in the past, I have jumped into jobs because at least that would end the search. And, all too often I have added a new entry to the 'been there, done that, and don't want to do it again' list.

I have also discovered that I don't like to multi-task and I don't do it well. Being the one legged man in a butt kicking contest is no fun and not very rewarding. Psychologically, I am not well suited for multi-tasking. I have a tendency to think ahead and, when interrupted, can easily pick up at the point about which I was thinking instead of the point at which I was interrupted. I tried continuously during my short stint as a teller to control that tendency but it always rose up to bite me in the ass.

Through out my adult life I have had two fall back strategies when things began to fall apart. I would either pursue a different academic goal toward a new career goal or I would find a job for two or three years as a cashier or retail sales clerk. Now neither of those strategies are viable. I don't have the resources or the faith to go the academic route again. The last time through I piled up a large student loan debt of which I doubt I will ever be free. Even if I had no student loan debt, I don't have the breezy faith of youth that there will be good paying jobs available when I finished. The last interview for a sales job ended, for all intents and purposes, when the interviewer pronounced me 'overqualified.' Mostly, however, I don't even get called for an interview.

I have said before I need to re-think my strategies but I don't know where to begin to do that.

Friday, December 7, 2007

weather, csi, miscellany

We just had our second measurable snow of the season and the coldest temperatures. This year the snow doesn't bother me because I am unemployed and can decide not to go out in it. I loved snow when I was a child. We didn't get snow days unless we got more that about 8 inches too quickly to be plowed. But I still had plenty of time to play in it and go sledding. As an adult snow means cleaning off my car and warming it up, driving on slick roads, limited visibility due to glare or blowing snow, and idiots in other cars who refuse to slow down to a reasonable speed. It means bosses who want you there no matter what to take care of the few customers or client who are stupid enough to go out for what ever is so important they are willing to risk their (and everyone else's) lives to get. I used to work in a party goods store and, I ask you, what is so 'fracking' important about paper plates and napkins? That boss was one of the few who would close for really nasty weather. But we always had customers who complained that they came by but we weren't open so they went to Walgreens or Wal-Mart. You can bet the executives of those chains were not out in blizzard conditions, unlike their much lower-paid staff.

But enough of that rant. The snow is still pretty and for the first time in a long time I can enjoy it. Mom and I are planning for the next week since the weather reports indicate a small train of storms coming in. Sunday looks bad which doesn't bode well for a birthday party we were planning to attend. Instead, tomorrow looks good so we will go to the grocery store for the few staples that might not last through Tuesday and will stop off at to see my sister-in-law and give her our presents for the birthday boy (her grandson.) They say there are two seasons here: winter and construction. We call those seasons construction and planning your outings to fall between the snow storms.

I don't have many tv shows I really like to watch. That is watch instead of nap through, read through, or do needlework through. TV is more background noise than anything else. Mom has tinitus and the noise drowns out the ringing in her ears. CSI has been one of those few shows but that may be changing. Last night's show was disappointing. I like these kinds of shows when they have a balance between the personalities of the characters and the 'how to prove who done it" aspects. Right now the characters are predominate and not in a good way. Warrick Brown is melting down under the pressure of a nasty divorce for which his own suspicious nature is much to blame. Under that pressure he has gone from a recovering gambler to a pill-popper. Some of his actions had me asking 'How can he be so stupid?' Worse, Grissom, who has never been highly sensitive to those around him, has made no attempt to understand what is happening to Brown, heretofore a very reliable investigator. Grissom's affair with Sara humanized him and without her he is showing his most insensitive side.

I hope CSI regains the balance before I give up on them.

Friday, November 30, 2007

homegrown terrorism, public hysteria

I haven't been here for a while. I have been having too much fun on the new Elderwomanspace.

However, Ronnie Bennet at Time Goes By has again had some posts about the new idiocy that seems to be sweeping our so security-conscious national legislators that it has passed the House with on a vote of 404-6 with only those favoring the act speaking during the 40 minutes allowed for comment. I was curious enough to get into the Congressional Record on line and print out the text of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (which is now in the Senate as S1959 by the way) and the comments concerning it.

I have several complaints concerning this piece of legislation besides the fact that it establishes a committee to study a phenomenon which is being actively studied both outside the government and within it. As one critic noted they could easily take a field trip to any Barnes and Noble store and find shelves of books on this subject. Or they could simply buy copies of Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements." The book was published in 1951 and Hoffer clearly had no use for mass movements of any kind, social, political or religious. He listed as potential candidates for recruitment the poor, the misfits, the inordinately selfish, the ambitious seeking wider opportunities, minorities, the bored, and the sinner. That just about covers it. And, from what little I have read about the recruitment into urban gangs, religious cults, white supremacists, militias, the pattern still holds. Why do we need a commission to study this that will spend, according to one estimate I have read, $22M. And then the establishment of the Center(s) for Excellence that would be established after the commission finishes its work would spread more money around to which ever academic programs happen to be the pets of whoever is in the White House at the time. More wasted money.

My next objection concerns the incredibly sloppy language. The term 'violent radicalization' targets the thought process itself. What else can it do when the term means 'THE PROCESS of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system.' Under this definition just the process of adopting a belief system, not just violent actions that arise from that belief system, can become a crime. And this is before we get to the definition of 'ideologically based violence' under which almost anything goes. In a country in which a significant number of child development specialists think Bugs Bunny cartoons are 'violent' can we really expect a rational and reasonable determination of what constitutes the potential crime of ideologically based violence?

I could continue but I have found an increasing number of good analyses on various blogs. Consider the Nov. 26th essay by Philip Giraldi on the Huffingtonpost. Giraldi discusses the Homegrown Terrorism Bill within the context of American History from the Alien and Sedition Acts of the early Republic through the Executive Order of April 17, 2007 by which President Bush authorizes the siezure of the property of anyone who 'threatens the stabilization of Iraq' leaving it up to the Jutice department to define what threatens stabilization and provides no means of challenging the information on which the determination is made. I think he is right when he notes at the end 'What is not needed is groups of Congressionally empowered vigilantes roaming the country at will lookin for homegrown terrorists.' We had that in the 1950s. It was the House UnAmerican Activities Committee under Senator Joseph McCarthy. Unfortunately, Terrorism appears to be the new Communism.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

politics, What Debate?

I have just slogged through 9 pages of the transcript of the latest debate between the Democratic candidates. I can't believe they call that crap a debate. Everyone agrees that immigration is a problem. Everyone agrees that health insurance, or rather the lack of affordable alternatives, is a problem. They all agree that Iraq is a problem. They all agree that we must address our energy dependence. But where are the specific proposals to meet the problems?

Clinton suggested we spend a lot of money on a nonspecific proposal to address part of the energy problem. I think it was some sort of energy pool, what ever that means. Obama described interlocking aspects of the immigration problem: border security, employers who hire undocumented aliens, etc. However, he gave no concrete proposals to address the issues. Richardson had barely gotten started when I had to stop reading and though Biden and Edwards had been brought in on the 'debate' none of them had anything specific to say.

At present none of them have given me any reason to vote for them. If the Republicans weren't such a repugnant bunch, I would consider one of them.

Monday, November 12, 2007

unconnected ideas

I ranted some time ago about how hard it has become to find the things we (Mom and I) want. Trying to find an uncomplicated face soap become an extended education in reading labels. The one we once liked is no longer made--Thanks a lot, Ponds!!! Everything else has additives and features we don't want. The same for laundry products. Try finding something that doesn't have bleach, fabric softener, or scents. We usually go for the cheapest because we don't need heavy cleaning power since nothing we wash has grease, heavy grime, or stubborn stains.

Yesterday we got another kind of education, or perhaps I should say reinforcement of earlier educational experiences. We decided over the weekend that we wanted pot pies for dinner yesterday. Many years ago we would have considered Banquet or Swanson. However some time ago we found that those were fairly cheap, you definitely got what what you paid for. There was very little between the crusts. So we switched to Marie Callender or Boston Market when we could find them. Often we couldn't find them at all or only in the turkey variety which neither of us likes much.

Well, there were no Boston Market pies at all. Marie Callender was only available in chicken and turkey, so we took the chicken. To say those pies were disappointing would be a gross understatement. They were smaller than the last ones we bought and calling them skimpy would have been a compliment. The carrot slices could have come from the same baby carrot. There were no peas at all. We each found two small pieces of green stuff which we tentatively identified as broccoli. The only veggie in the pies were slivers of red pepper. The chicken we found was supposedly grilled and since there were scoring marks that looked like they were from a grill I guess we will give the makers that. However the chicken was as tasty as cardboard and just about as moist and tender. We have decided we will make our own from now on.

Several of the bloggers I usually read have written about the Bush Administration's continued attack on civil liberties in the name of security. Ronnie at Time Goes By has posted twice in the last week concerning the proposed Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It evidently has passed the house (sponsered by an alleged Democrat). I am deeply suspicious of it for several reasons. First, why is it needed? Acts of violence and terrorism are illegal under numerous laws and can be prosecuted. And this doesn't really add any teeth to existing laws because it calls for a committee to study the 'problem' for 18 months and report to congress on its findings. This is simply another waste of money and the taxpayers who will be funding this will only be given a 'public version' of the report. Second, the preamble claims it is needed to prevent radicalization and for 'other purposes.' What purposes? I don't like such nebulous catch phrases. It basically means anything anyone wants it to mean. Third, why does author mention the internet so prominently? Is this merely a backdoor means to controling the internet?

A commentator on one of the blogs, and I regret that I can't remember which one, noted that we often compare the current situation in the U.S. to the fall of Rome but he thought that a better comparison may be Japan in the 1920s and 1930s. Actually both are good spotlights and for the same reason. Most people think of the fall of Rome as the end of the Empire. However, Rome 'fell' three times. The Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire fell to Turkish forces in 1453. The Western Roman Empire fell to Gothic invaders in 476. However, the Roman Republic fell in 37 BCE but not to a foreign invader. Instead, Augustus ended the Republic and and became its first emperor in all but name. He called himself priceps not emperor or king, but he was an autocrat all the same. Though the senate remained as did the elected offices of the republic they were essentially powerless. The forms were there but not the substance. Most Romans probably cheered Augustus and his 'reforms' because for the first time in at least three generations they had peace and stability and safety.

I wasn't so sure about Japan but have been reading Toland's Rising Sun, a history of Japan from the late 1920s through WWII. A series of military insurrections culminated in expansion in Manchuria and China and unrest at home. Most of these rebellions were not delt with harshly because the rebels themselves claimed to be acting for the good of the nation and in the interests (though not with orders from or consent of) the Emperor. Neither the political nor the military leadership had any clear idea of how to handle the situation. In the end the Army gained a preimmenince in the government and the ability to stymie the prime minister simpy by refusing to serve with any civilian minister in the cabinet they found unsympathetic to their goals. When the diet passed legislation which removed any military policy and funding from its consideration all civilian control of the military ended. Again the forms remained but the substance disappeared.

For the last almost two decades the increasing polarization in our legislative branches has led many of our legislators to value party above all else. Bush's administration has been able to push the notion of a 'unitary executive' to unheard of lengths thanks to Republicans (and a few odd conservative Democrats) who don't mind castrating themselves so long as ideological ends are advanced. In the end we may wind up with the forms of our Republic but without the substance.

Monday, November 5, 2007

aging, social pressures

Monday, Nov. 5

Ronnie at Time Goes By had an interesting piece today about 'letting go.' It is concerns elders who seem to withdraw and concentrate on matters closer to home as they get older. Family and friends are the most noted areas of such concentration. Relationships that had taken a backseat to the general whirl of living suddenly become much more important. A couple of weeks ago she featured a piece inviting readers to write in with accounts of things they gave up doing as they got older. Elderwoman presented a similar theme when she talked about the difficulty she had with simply sitting still, with being instead of doing.

These are, I think, related themes. One reader took exception to Ronnie's request for lists of what her readers gave up doing. In an e-mail that reader equated the giving up with going slack, with a lowering of personal standards. Somehow, those who gave up wearing pantyhose, ties, shaving their legs, or getting their hair dyed no longer cared about their appearance. I think I noted this particular post in an earlier one of mine. But it bears some repeating. Especially because the reader was deaf to the theme many responders sounded: they gave up something that no longer mattered significantly to them in order to gain something that mattered a great deal. Often it was comfort: no longer wearing high heels meant wearing instead comfortable shoes. Giving up the monthly hair coloring meant gaining time that would otherwise have been spent at a beauty salon or treating the hair at home as well as saving the money that would have been spent. Many readers noted that they could better spend both on something else.

That is the important point. They gave up something no longer valued for something they came to value more. But as the e-mail Ronnie described shows all too clearly, too often others put meanings on what we have given up that can both intimidate us into questioning ourselves and which says a good deal more about the critics fears and insecurities than about us. Most fear getting old and cling desperately to the things of youth forgetting the passage in the Bible telling us to put aside childish things and that to all things there is a time and a season. If there is a time and a season appropriate to all things it follows that there is a time and season appropriate for letting those things go. It would be unfortunate if we let the fears and insecurities of others stop us from doing something we value or keep us doing what we no longer value.

Friday, November 2, 2007

job hunting, age discrimination, interviewing

I had a job interview earlier this week that has awakened some old memories and a bit of foreboding as far as this latest job hunt goes. I will get back to it in a moment; first the memory.

The first time I encountered age discrimination was almost thirty years ago when we really did not have a label for it. I was finishing my first BA (in biology) and was thinking about what my next step would be. I considered Med School but was a bit worried because my GPA (grade point average) was only a 3.0 or a B. A low B actually. The Med Schools were big on chemistry at the time. Having received a D in Organic the first time out, I took the class a second time to get a B which gave me an overall C. That, of course, would not have impressed a selection committee. However, that was not the factor which decided me against applying. I realized that I had neither the passion nor the temperament to be a good physician.

However, while I was still considering the possibility, my advisor noted that Med Schools at the time limited the number of people entering who were over the age of 25. I was outraged at the thought that, even if I had the grades to make the cut, I was over the hill at 27. My advisor told me that the committees looked for younger people who would spend 30 or 40 years in the field. And they would simply find someone with similar qualifications who was younger. In other words they would employ the same tactics they had used previously to ensure a limited number of women, blacks, and Jews were admitted.

I don't recall being aware again of any kind of discrimination until a few years ago. That doesn't mean I wasn't discriminated against. Just that I wasn't aware of it. I was interviewing for jobs as a paralegal. It was a long and frustrating job hunt; and I just couldn't seem to get my foot in the door. During the eight months of that job search I put in about three dozen applications and got maybe five interviews. One called me in for a second interview. However the constant refrain was they felt I was 'overqualified.' By this time I had two BA degrees, 2 MA degrees and was almost through with the work for an AA in Paralegal studies. It didn't matter how often I explained that I was changing career directions and had no experience as a Paralegal. It didn't matter how often I noted that my previous academic work would be an asset in what was a new field for me. I was over qualified. I didn't realize then what has become a dirty little not so secret fact that 'over qualified' simply means 'too old.' And I was only 52 at that time.

The interview earlier this week was for a seasonal part-time sales. I never expected to get the 'over qualified' routine in this interview. After all, I got my first sales job after my first Bachelor's and first Master's degrees were under my belt. I got my second such job with 2 Bachelors and 2 Masters degrees on my resume and my third with the addition of the Associates as well. My educational background was never an issue when I applied for sales jobs earlier.

However, this time it was almost the only topic of discussion. The interviewer could not believe I was serious about applying for this job. I didn't expect the job to last forever. I knew it was seasonal and all I expected was something to tide me over for the next couple of months while I kept looking for something permanent. I wonder if they were serious in asking me in for an interview and just wanted to meet this deranged person with all these qualifications who was silly enough to apply for such a piddling job. I think 'over qualified' was mentioned in almost every other sentence. I will say that she was very good. She made it sound so like a complement that I actually thanked her.

The only difference between this last sales job interview and the previous one was four years. I am now 58 instead of 54. And now I find myself in the quandary I have been in so often before. If I apply for jobs my education seems to fit me for I either never hear back or they want work experience I don't have because I was getting educated. If I apply for jobs that require no experience and minimal education I am told I am 'over qualified.' I don't know how to win this game. Does anybody??

Sunday, October 28, 2007

fall, job hunting

We finally got our first frost on the roof tops this morning. It did not reach the flowers still blooming in our planter. The fall color is still disappointing. So many of the leaves are shriveled and going brown without showing much color. The wind has taken many leaves off trees.

I am diligently looking through the job boards but find them depressing. So many posts from agencies. I have never found the agencies helpful. In the several times I have tried going through an agency, only one has ever found me a job. By the time that job ran out, the person I started with originally had left and the new person seemed totally uninterested in working with me. I have noticed a large number of ads for either military, civilian with the military or reserve positions. I did that (U.S. Navy) thirty years ago and have no desire to go that route again. If the jobs are not connected to the military or agencies they are temporary, part-time and seasonal. Taking one of those jobs merely saps your energy and time diverting you from looking for something more permanent. I really need to define a new strategy. This is not working. I merely find more of the kinds of jobs that either don't do well, or don't like to do at all.

I almost applied for a seasonal, part time sales job. Two things stopped me. I would have had to agree to allowing the company to do a background check that almost sounded like one I went through in the Navy for a security clearance to handle classified materials. As if that wasn't enough, they also intended to check the applicant's information against some kind of government list. It sounded almost like the terrorist watch list but may not have been. Our government has so many of these watch lists I don't think anyone really knows what is on which list.

The second thing that stopped me was the question at the end. Did I understand the job description and did I want to do the job. Yes, I understood the description. But I really did not want to do that job. I am just panicking because I have about $700 to my name, nothing bringing in any more money, and nothing in the works to bring in any more income. I wonder how many people are out there stuck in jobs they really don't want but the thought of being without an income, however large or small, terrifies them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

reflections on graying hair

I decided to get my hair cut on the spur of the moment the other day. I haven't cut it for so long I can't remember when exactly I cut it, to the amusement of the beautician. It is so thin that keeping it up and out of the way has become a chore. It didn't even braid well. When I took off my sunglasses the tip of the ear piece pulled strands of hair out of the braid or out from under my wigs.

I was surprised, shocked almost at how gray my hair had become. The harsh lights of the salon showed that what I thought were isolated streaks by the bathroom lights at home were much more generalized salt and pepper. I was shocked more that I hadn't noticed the extent of the gray than by fact of the gray.

It may seem strange in a culture that encourages, almost demands, that one cover up the fact of graying hair that I was not bothered the fact that mine was graying. When I started wearing wigs my natural hair was close to the dark auburn I preferred in the wigs I bought. But a short while ago I had already decided to change the color from the dark auburn I have worn for many years to a salt and pepper. I wanted a color that more resembled my natural hair and I knew the auburn no longer did. I was pleasantly surprised to see in the harsh light of the salon that the salt and pepper I had chosen very closely matched my natural hair.

I like to blog-hop and one of my favorite blogs to visit is Time Goes By. Recently the discussion revolved around an e-mail response to what most saw as light hearted answers to the question of what elder bloggers don't do anymore. Most listed those things they stopped doing because they no longer valued doing them, no longer found the activities necessary or interesting, or took up time they wanted to spend on other activities.

I started wearing wigs so I could give up the all too frequent visits to the beauty shop. Especially since there was little that could be done with hair that was baby fine, fragile, given to frizzing at the thought of a perm, and thinning rapidly. With my hair, every day had become a bad hair day. I no longer wanted to spend time setting or curling my hair when it would lose the curl or frizz as soon as I stepped outside the door. I no longer wanted to spend my money on hair care products that simply don't work.

The e-mail evidently thought that the question of what elder bloggers gave up implied that they were withdrawing and losing interest in themselves, their appearance and those around them. Most especially their appearance. I think the correspondent was off base. I didn't give up on my appearance. I gave up on a routine and a mindset which did not work, never worked, and would never work. I no longer have bad hair days and I have more time and money for things I want to spend them on. I don't have to go to the beauty shop as often or spend as much time when I do go. I don't have to spend time setting or styling my hair. And if you add up what I used to spend on hair care products, perms, conditioners, appliances the wigs are vastly more economical.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

weather, moods, changes

It has been cool and wet today; the kind of day when I just want to curl up and read, sleep, or watch TV. Instead I checked the job boards, dusted one of my many book cases, and cleaned out my strawberry plants. We brought them in with the cold weather and hope they will thrive inside over winter. Of the other plants we had only the begonias are still outside. Nothing seemed to do well outside this year. Our tomatoes were small and seemed to barely hang on. The rosemary and thyme was drowned by a long and unseasonable period of rain in September. Even the begonias are not as luxuriant as we have come to expect. The weather went between very dry and very wet, unseasonably hot or unseasonably cool.

The weather this year somewhat reflects my moods: generally discontented and adrift with short periods of optimism. I realize that for the last decade I have been looking for something and can't quite define it. Or rather part of it can be defined: I would like a job that pays enough to live on and leaves me enough time and energy to enjoy the life I am working to support. With only a couple of interludes, amounting to about two years, nothing has met that goal. So much of what I have done has paid so little, either because of low wages or few hours, that I couldn't make ends meet. For almost four years I either combined schooling and a job or combined two or more jobs. The schedules left me exhausted, depressed and bitchy as hell.

Another part, and probably not the only other part, is that I have been changing and things that once were important, interesting, or necessary are no longer. Ten years ago I was engaged in trying to write a dissertation and finish a Ph.D. in history. I still like to read history but am no longer interested in academic history. My brief foray into job hunting (about a year) in the history field was disappointing and I realized that the Ph.D. was a means to an end (an academic job.) When the end proved illusory the means became irrelevant. I haven't yet sorted out all the changes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

job hunting again, finally fall

I haven't posted anything lately because the job I started in July wasn't going very well and ended last Friday by mutual agreement. I will miss the money and the people I worked with but not much else. I had never worked in banking or as a teller so it was something new, but from now on it has gone into my "been there, done that, won't do it again" column. It was too fast paced, involved too many details and decisions that had to be made too quickly with the possibility for too many errors. No matter how hard I tried there was always something I missed or an error waiting. They said that mistakes were no problem because they could be corrected. Well (very long well), yes and no. Yes the mistakes could be corrected but too often it took the person who had to find the mistake too long to find and correct it during which that person and I were both off line. Needless to say the customers piled up. And those mistakes the customers found made for some very unhappy customers.

I did learn a number of things during the last three month, which made this a very stressful learning experience. Normally I consider learning experiences good; but, right now I am still unwinding. I did find out that I really, really hate being responsible in any way for other people's money. My accuracy has for the last several years been pretty good. Upwards of 98%. However, there are some jobs where that is simply not good enough. Think about it any way you like, in tellering it simply isn't good enough. If you handle 100 checks a day you will make a mistake of varying severity each day. If you are typing information into the system every 100 characters will include 2 mistakes. No matter how hard I tried I could not develop methods of checking that reduced the mistakes to a reasonable, for the job, level. And the stress of trying to improve simply ensured that I made more mistakes.

So, I am looking for a new job. Unfortunately, everything I see out there is more of what I have seen before: retail and other sales jobs which detest and have been trying to get away from for God only knows how long, medical for which I have no interest, training, experience or temperament, tellering for which I am not at all suited. All of the employment boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, Indeed, etc.) only provide more of the same. I haven't found one yet that gives me interesting leads.

Oh, well!!! On to a change of topic.

It has been a disappointing fall so far. When I came back east from Colorado many, many years ago, I looked forward to autumns with colors other than aspen gold. I did miss the bronzes, reds, rusts and other colors the trees in the midwest developed when the weather got colder. This year so many went from green to brown to bare in the blink of an eye. The colors that did appear were dim and somewhat washed out. So many trees couldn't decide what to do. Patches were bare while others had some fall color and yet others were still green. It was a pleasant surprise when I went out today to see them finally deciding to change. Perhaps the weather has simply been too warm. Last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we had high 80s to 90, more suited to July and August than early October. Finally, yesterday we stayed in the 70s and last night dipped into the 40s. I am in a sweatshirt today. The trees seem to be rejoicing and so am I. I have been more than ready for fall.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

9/11 reflections, free speech, and miscellany

If it had not been for our 'news' media, I would have given the anniversary of 9/11 barely a thought. Unfortunately, the wall-to-wall maudlin coverage made any kind of amnesia impossible. Don't get me wrong. I will always remember the date and what happened. It is one of the three dates in my life I will always remember what I was doing, where I was, and who was with me at the time. The other dates were JFK's assassination and the Challenger explosion. However, our reactions to the events politically, socially and individually are to my mind....excessive. Yes, I think excessive is exactly the word to describe the responses.

The year after I was working in an office and a young woman I worked with (young enough to have been my daughter) mentioned her fear, engendered and driven by 9/11 that her 3 year old daughter wouldn't have a chance to grow up but would be murdered by terrorists. Why was she so afraid? In this area the child had a better chance of dying in a traffic accident, a house fire, being hit by lightening, or in a flood or tornado than as a result of terrorism. Or by getting shot in a gang cross-fire. Others in the office expressed similar fears. I don't think any of them cared for my observation that the event and the responses to it marked an amazing lack of American backbone. That was putting my bewilderment and disgust rather baldly. However, it does reveal an inability to put the event into some kind of perspective and an inability to make reasonable assessments of risk.

Worse, our current federal government has encouraged this unreasoning attitude. In the name of security and the "War on Terror" we have seen our Constitution shredded, our executive branch deciding that the law is only advisory when it pertains to the executive branch while it is mandatory for everyone else. We have seen our President and his appointed officials and members of his party justify an unreasonable foreign policy, conduct a half-assed war that has cost more American lives that 9/11 itself, and drain our treasury of funds that could be put to much better use at home all in the name of security. I don't know about others but I DO NOT FEEL SAFER. In fact, I feel more threatened by those who claim to be protecting me. They can do anything by simply invoking 9/11 and we have let them get away with it. All we need to be cowed into unthinkingly acquiescing to more inroads on our freedom is a raised threat level or unsubstantiated stories of suspected terror plots.

Watching CNN today, I had an interesting epiphany on matters of free speech. Mainly, how much, as a history professor I knew used to say, it is honored in the breech than in the practice. On the one hand we have those who are protesting Columbia University's invitation to Mahmoud Ahmadinajad, President of Iran, to speak. I, for one, have no desire to hear him speak. I don't know what real power he wields in Iran or how much influence he really has with the religious leaders who seem to be the real architects of Iran's policies. I don't care that he is a 'holocaust denier' and thinks that Israel shouldn't exist. I don't think his opinion is particularly weighty. And I don't see any reason to get into a lather about his speaking to any audience.

We supposedly value free speech until of course it counters our deeply cherished opinions, beliefs or prejudices. Then all hell breaks loose. We have had episodes in our history when certain beliefs could not be published. The Alien and Sedition Acts of the late 18th century made it a crime to publish anything critical of the President and most officials of the federal government. The glaring exception was the Vice President, at the time one Thomas Jefferson who was on the outs with President Adams and most of his administration. In the South and many border states before 1860, any one who spoke or wrote against slavery risked their lives and in some cases lost those lives. During a large part of the 20th century the surest way to scuttle unpleasant ideas was to tar their proponents with the brush of 'Communism."

We have a long history of dealing with unpleasant people and ideas by innuendo, slur, insult. It is far easier, as so many of our so-called pundits have found, to use insult instead of intelligence, aggressive banter instead of argument, attack the person instead of the idea. If you don't like proposals for reforming medical care and its funding, all you have to do is raise the specter of 'socialized medicine.' And you don't even have to justify the label or present a coherent argument. If you don't like a foreign regime or leader all you have to do is charge that they support terrorism. The beauty of this tactic is you don't even have to specify the brand of terrorist or provide evidence. A terrorist, after all, is a terrorist, is a terrorist.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

seasons, work, weather, projects

It has been almost three weeks since I have last put anything on this. I have been too frustrated, angry and depressed to write anything. In my last entry I thought I had turned a corner at work and was getting adjusted. But the last two weeks had me wondering if I was ever going to get to such a point. I could not even seem to handle the basics. Made too many mistakes and cost the others too much time correcting them. And they were mistakes I should have been past more than a month ago. I had a long talk with my supervisor and she made some suggestions I hope work out. I must change the mechanics, the routine I have been using. I am going to give it a try. It seems to have worked the last two days.

I finished my sister-in-law's quilt two weeks ago. I just haven't downloaded the pictures yet or I would have them on here. I still haven't given it to her. We seem to miss each other. I have moved my mother's great-grandmother's jacket to the front burner. Hope to finish it before the end of the year. I have four figures to finish and then I have to applique them onto the jacket.

I can already feel the change of seasons and see it in the trees. A few are beginning to turn color and others are getting that rusty tinge to the green as it mixes with orange, red, or yellow. However, the rain we have had lately and the high humidity is unsettling. It is almost a spring pattern and it doesn't fit with the sudden heat induced thunderstorms of summer. I hope it gets drier before snow comes or we will be buried.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Well, it's raining again here in northern Indiana. Our area wasn't too badly hit this last week. However, Gary to the northwest and Kouts to the southeast were. Large areas lost electricity. Three days later tens of thousands were still without service. We had a dry hot spring and now that the dry period is here we are getting the rain. Go figure.

I am about two weeks away from finishing my sister-in-laws quilt. The anniversary was celebrated two weeks ago. I just told her that her quilt needed a bit more work. At least they could enjoy the sheets and pillowcases on which mom put a crocheted edging.

We have both been grousing lately about not being able to find what we want in our local stores. We have wonderful shopping generally; but, more and more when we go looking for something particular we have a hard time finding it. When she looked for the sheet/pillowcase set to edge (and when she looked for earlier sets for a couple of my other siblings) what she found did not satisfy her at all. She couldn't find the colors she wanted and had to settle for something other than what she wanted. The hems were shoddily done and the pillowcases had mismatched seams. These would once have been sold at a cut rate as seconds but not any more. Then she couldn't find the color of crochet thread she wanted and again had to settle for something else.

I tried to find an afghan hook in a smaller size than I had on hand. The Hancock Fabrics we once had has closed and Walmart is getting out of the needlecraft and fabric business. Target and K-mart did that a long time ago. That leaves Michaels as the only chain store for needlework but they have reduced their crochet thread and shifted their stocks of yarn to emphasize the new 'funky' yarns (you know--the eyelash, and fur lines) that I really don't like to crochet with. The only afghan hood available was in a set of hooks for beginning crocheters and was the same size as the ones I already have. Once some many years ago I stopped shopping at Michaels because they shifted to a fad needlework I didn't like. I guess I will have to stop shopping there again. Luckily we have a local yarn shop, Sheep's Clothing, that did carry what I needed. I love their yarns but they are pricey.

Many, many years ago I read economists who thought that the trends toward automation and computerization would create a commercial world in which anyone could easily get anything almost custom made for them. What a crock. What has happened is we have an economy dominated by chain stores in which only those items which will sell zillions of units are carried. A recent guest poster on the Time Goes By blog noted the difficulty finding shampoo for her gray hair. She finally found one brand on the bottom shelf and bought both of the bottles that were left. Anyone who colors her hair or is blond, brunette, or red-headed can find all kinds of products. But not someone who refuses to buy into the youth orientation which demands that the gray haired cover the gray and pretend the years haven't passed.

What we have is an economy that serves the young and has no interest in anyone else. TV is dominated by the 18 to 34 crowd. We have complained for sometime about how uninteresting the offerings are. We either saw it and don't want to see it again, never wanted to see it in the first place, or liked it so well we can watch our own copy without commercial interruption. And we have been doing a lot of that last option lately.

I guess I am really very tired of an economy which doesn't meet my needs, doesn't see any profit in meeting my needs and doesn't even provide suitable alternatives. I don't want to settle for what those overpaid bastards in the corporate offices offer and be grateful for it. I am not in the least grateful. Most of the time I am pretty damn pissed.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I can't believe it has been two weeks since my last post. Last month was incredibly frustrating. I felt as though I couldn't do anything right. What I learned about my job seemed to get lost in the doing. I realize that have to be faster and more accurate than I have been ever before and that I am dealing with a complex computer system that makes mistakes almost inevitable. But so many mistakes???? I wonder too if I am putting too much pressure on myself. I know I am a would be perfectionist. "Would be?" you ask. Well I am a perfectionist who knows the futility of that on an intellectual level but I still get angry and frustrated with myself when I am not perfect. The problem is how to strive for perfection without beating myself up emotionally when I am not. In my needlework I often joke that I have never needed a 'humility block' because I have made plenty of inadvertent mistakes. The difference is that my mistakes at work are noticed while those in the needlework will rarely, if ever, be noticed.

Well, yesterday was a good day even if it was slow. Only one small and easily correctable mistake and everything was on an even keel at the end.

My brother's and sister-in-law's 30th anniversary was last weekend. I did not get her quilt done in time. I need another three weeks to finish. I told my mother we would invite her out to lunch and give her the quilt then. Then I really must finish the little embroidered figures for Mom's jacket. I have only been working on them, in between other things, for two years.

Of course, everyone needs a break now and then. Mine consisted of reading the last Harry Potter and watching 300 and The Fountain. The last was strange. I don't know what to make of it and it certainly was not what I expected. I will have to see it again sometime and try to get a handle on it. The photography was wonderful as were the effects in 300. And, as a sometime student of history, I found a good deal to quibble with regarding 300. First, the Spartans didn't start the war with Persia. That was started a generation before by the Athenians when they sent aid to the Greek city states on the Anatolian (present day Turkey) coast and islands when they rebelled against their Persian masters. The Persian Emperor Darias was not pleased and decided the Athenians needed to be taught a lesson. Unfortunately for him, he lost the battle at Marathon and died before he could try a second time and his son, Xerxes, was left with the task of disciplining the Greeks.

I find the words put into the characters' mouths about freedom somewhat ironic. After all, the Spartan economy was based on slave labor. How else could the Spartan men be dedicated soldiers? The film showed the young Leonidas killing a wolf as a rite of passage to manhood. But it failed to mention that another such rite of passage was the deliberate murder of a Helot, as the state owned serfs (slaves) were called, in hand-to-hand combat without being caught in the act. But then I have become disenchanted with our semi-religious cant on the theme of freedom. I often have to ask: freedom for what? Freedom from what? Freedom for whom? I suspect that those of our leaders who use the word most frequently would rather those questions not be asked or answered.

I have other quibbles concerning the film. And in spite of them, I rather liked it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

new job, sister-in-law's quilt

I have been a bit slack about getting on here. More focused on starting that new job I mentioned. The only thing I hate worse than job hunting is starting a new job, or, as all too frequently in the past, a new academic program. There is always such a level of uncertainty. Are you going to like the job? Are you going to like the environment and the people? How difficult will it be to learn the job? So the last two and a half weeks have been somewhat nerve wracking and anxious. So far it has not been bad. At least I can say I am not bored. There is so much new stuff to learn and I sometimes feel that my head is stuffed with mush.

I have never had any great difficulty learning anything before. But I find I am a little slower that I used to be. And I don't remember things as quickly and accurately as I did. I forgot my passwords the first day and had to get new ones set up. I know they say we shouldn't write them down but even passwords I think I will remember easily I mess up. Maybe it will get easier and with the exercise I will be able to keep them in mind more readily.

One thing I liked about the business when I went in for my interview was there was no one under the age of 40 there. It was different during training. Almost all of the other trainees were high school juniors and seniors. But they were all assigned to other branches. I don't mind working with younger people. However, for the last several years I have felt that my age has been against me. It is as though all my education and experience counts for nothing.

To sum up the last two weeks: I am hopeful and I find I am enjoying my job. I hope it works out well.

It goes with out much comment that I have done little in the way of needlework. The quilt I am constructing for my sister-in-law will not be done before the 30th anniversary festivities. I will simply give my brother his quillow and show his wife the quilt blocks I have done. I think I have about another two months work on the quilt to finish. Above are two of the blocks. I am using the eyelash yarn to create a fur trim for the jacket. Both are further along now. I have completed the trim on all but one of the figures and am looking for cute buttons and beads to add. I found a really cute bead shaped like a red bow that I put on the second figure. It makes a nice bow tie. I will have to take some up-to-date pictures because all of the blocks are much further along than these show.

This second quilt is really a work in progress. I wander into a shop and suddenly see something that is perfect. On one of the evenings after training I went into a JoAnn's Fabric shop and found some buttons shaped like carrots. They were way more expensive than I really wanted to pay but I bought them anyway. They will make wonderful noses for the snowpeople. Other customers must have thought I was a bit loco because I giggled all the way to the register.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

new job and other bits and pieces

Well, I have a new job. At least I won't be job hunting for a while. I was, or will have been, unemployed for only two months by the time I start the new gig. I was not at all hopeful when I started. It took me almost 7 months to find the last long term job and almost 9 months to find the one before that.

Last week was a bit of a downer, except for the job offer. I was still looking and seeing nothing interesting. It is amazing how few jobs out there offer little more than a pittance for the body and nothing for the soul. I have had very nice contacts with my new employers which encourages my optimism. I hadn't looked forward to a new job. I merely needed to work because otherwise my cats and I would not eat.

I haven't done much on the quilt for my sister-in-law and I have to get on the stick if I am to have it done before their anniversary. But for some reason I preferred to read. I had two new books: Aaron Elkins' newest (the title of which I have forgotten) and Laurel Hamilton's Harlequin. I had a sense of deja vu with Elkins book. It seemed to combine elements of Make No Bones and Unnatural Selection. That says something when I can remember the titles of previous books but not the one just read. It was a pleasant read but not one of his best. was also not one of the strongest of Hamilton's Anita Blake series. She tried to tie up some loose ends but not as well as hoped. Her best I think was Obsidian Butterfly one of the best horror/mystery novels I can name. Otherwise, I re-read three of the CSI series before giving them to the local senior activity center. Good enough, but not keepers. And I re-read Margaret Maron's Right Jack. It went back on the shelf. I have always loved Maron's Sigrid Harald and I love the growth of the character over the series. I wish she would continue it. I have only read a couple of her Deborah Knot series, but those have never lured me deeper into the series.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

correction and continuation

I apologize to poor Paris. I minimized her suffering. She actually spent somewhere between 72 and 75 hours in jail, depending on which report was accurate. Either way that is more that the 24 I mentioned. This story has been going on so long I lost tract of time.

Since then the Judge has ordered her back to jail for the full 45 days less time served. According to MSNBC the Sheriff decided to allow her to serve her time under house arrest all on his own. He further commented that he thought she got a tougher sentence than other young celebrities charged with similar offenses. First point: last I heard it isn't a sheriff's job to change the terms of a sentence. That prerogative belongs to a judge. Second point: it doesn't really matter what he thought of the toughness of her sentence. It is merely his job to carry out the sentence, not adjust it to meet his notions of fairness.

To tell the truth, however, I am heartily sick of all these celebrities acting up, getting loads of publicity, going into rehab, apologizing abjectly and going out to sin again. I am also heartily sick of the fact that I can't get away from them unless I am willing to cut myself off totally from everything else that goes on. The nightly news leads off with these stories and covers them in nauseating detail. Then follows up with blow by blow coverage of the latest fight masquerading as whatever ball game until they are forced to give the scores as the time for the segment runs out. Between the two, and the commercials, we get precious little news.

I wish the mainstream media would take the example of the Kentucky restaurant owner who refused to serve O.J. Simpson Derby weekend. I wish they would 'just say no' to Paris, Lindsay, Brittany, and David (Hasselhoff). But then the networks would actually have to hire real reporters. And wouldn't that be awful. I shouldn't be so hard on the news readers, though. Several times they gave the story their campiest best and even asked if they really had to read 'this stuff.' Somebody, somewhere, has decided that this crap is what the audience really wants to hear. I, for one, don't; but no one is listening to me.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Libby, Hilton and Law

Well, Scooter Libby has been convicted and is now appealing his conviction and his sentence. It must be nice to have such powerful and influential friends to appear as "character" witnesses. My only question is "What in the hell does Kissinger's opinion of Libby's character have to do with anything?" Or any of the other witnesses detailed in's article. The man has been convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice. It doesn't matter if his family, friends, and business associates found him to be a good man in their dealings with him. Those dealings had nothing to do with perjury and obstruction. I am cynical enough that I am surprised that he got two and a half years. I am too used to people in his position getting off with slaps on the wrist.

I remember having similar thoughts listening to the accounts of the pre-sentencing hearings for former Illinois governor Jim Ryan. He had a parade of witnesses attesting to what a great man he was. Almost all of them were anti-death penalty advocates who thought the world of his commutations for death row inmates and the moratorium he placed on the death penalty. As much as I favor his actions in that matter, I fail to see what his actions in that case had to do with his conviction for corruption. And why should that be a mitigating factor in the sentence a judge would hand down for the conviction on corruption?

Poor little Paris Hilton actually suffered through a day and a night in jail. Now, according to MSNBC, her sentence has been commuted to 40 days house arrest with a tracking anklet. How nice it must be to have a famous name, money, an expensive lawyer, and a tame psychiatrist on retainer. Anyone I know who had a DUI (with a probation), a conviction for driving on a suspended license while on probation from the DUI, and a conviction for driving without a license would have had the book thrown at them. Our mental fragility would have failed to impress any judge we would have faced and we couldn't afford the kind of attorney and psychiatrist that would manage to manipulate the system to get us off.

Once upon a time we used to boast that no one was above the law and many of us actually believed it was true. I haven't heard that boast in a very long time. But then I shouldn't be so surprised. We have a President who has done his best to make his office above the law for himself and whoever might follow him and to make it the supreme branch of government beyond effective oversight from the once co-equal legislative and judicial branches. If a President, who after all is just a man (whether God talks to him or not), is above the law why shouldn't others also be above the law. Laws it seems are merely advisory, effective only when the police are present and not occupied with other matters, or for those without money and connections.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chalmers Johnson/American Empire

I have just finished reading Johnson's Sorrows of Empire and enough of Nemesis to know where he is going with it. They are both quite good and make a number of points that we would be wise to remember.

President Bush said that the 9/11 attacks happened because the "terrorists" envied our freedom, our wealth and our democracy. It is almost as if Bush has historical amnesia. We have a long and, for the most part, dubious history in the Middle East. We have done many things there that would incite justifiable anger, not envy. Why are the Iranians so difficult to deal with? Well, does anyone remember 1953? The CIA engineered the overthrow of an elected government, reinstalled the Shah, and then supported his brutal (but pro-American) regime for the next 36 years. Does anyone remember that we supported Saddam Hussein in his brutal war against Iran? He ultimately lost that war but decided to use his excess American supplied weaponry to settle his long standing and contested claim to Kuwait.

To say that the attack happened because "they" envy "us" is to forget everything that went before in a long and sordid history. That isn't to say that the victims, the individual victims, of 9/11 deserved what they got. They didn't. Unfortunately, they bore the direct brunt of the anger directed at our government because they were what al Qaida could reach.

One of Robert Heinlein's characters (I think it was Lazarus Long in Time Enough for Love) misquoted Lincoln "In a government of the people, by the people, and for the people--DON'T TELL THE PEOPLE." That is a principle our government has been following faithfully for a very, very long time. However, if we aren't informed can the officials who govern us truly claim to have our consent? That would be like a physician claiming that his patient consented to treatment he was never informed of or, worse, was deliberately misinformed about. Like describing chemotherapy as a vitamin regimen? Supposedly, our representatives stand in for us in the process of giving consent. However, if those representatives are given misleading and false information, they can't give any more meaningful consent in our names than we can on our own. There is a lot of evidence surfacing that the administration cherry picked data, chose to believe unreliable sources because they supplied the information the administration wanted to hear, presented overly optimistic assessments of the consequences of its actions, and generally blew a lot of smoke to obscure any information that countered its chosen gospel. That completely undercuts the fundamental premises of democratic society and government.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Poor Paul Wolfowitz!!!

According to MSNBC this morning Paul Wolfowitz blames the media for his messy exit from the World Bank. My what a load of self-pity. I don't know about any one else but I saw few stories on broadcast or print about his problems. I saw much more about Anna Nicole's baby, the dysfunctional Lohan family and its drug problems, a drunken, boorish David Hasselhoff, etc., than Wolfowitz. His problems are as much of his own making as the others, except the baby who inherited a mess she had no part in creating.

This ethically myopic man seems to forget that appearances do matter. What doesn't matter is whether his girlfriend was qualified for the job he approved her for or that the pay package he approved was in line for the position she was given. What did matter was that she was (is?) his girlfriend and he approved. The media simply reported the conflict of interest.

I guess I am not really surprised. After all, Mr. Wolfowitz was part of an administration whose ethically challenged state is made more apparent every day the hearing on the fired U.S. Attorneys continue. What does depress me is the willingness of the committee hearing the testimony to fall over themselves, with few and sporadic exceptions, to condone the behavior of a Justice Department for whom political partisanship is more important that competence.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I still hate job hunting...

The newspapers are thin and the job boards are almost as thin. I went to our local state employment office to look at any jobs that may not be posted on their web site. Most were taken from the newspapers or from Monster or CareerBuilder. Nothing much. I am playing with the online resume on Monster and will see what comes up.

Though the job hunting is coming up empty at least I am making some headway on my needlework. Ab0ve is a quillow I made for my brother for his 30th wedding anniversary in July. The quilt on the left folds up into a pocket to form the pillow on the right. It is the first quillow I have done and only the fifth or sixth quilting project I have finished. I am doing something very different for my sister-in-law and will post pictures as soon as I finish it.

Sometime ago my mother asked me to design and embroider some figures for a great-grandmother's jacket. She wanted a little figure for each of her children, grand-children and great-grandchildren that can be appliqued on to a jacket. It has been quite a project since she has four children, five grand children and eight great-grandchildren. I modified Sunbonnet Sue and Strawhat Sam for embroidery and now have all but four of the figures finished. Here are two of them.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I really hate job hunting. I spent about three hours checking out various sites like careerbuilder and Monster without finding much of interest. I categorize jobs into a few basic categories. The "Been There, Done That, and don't ever want to do that again." These are the jobs I've absolutely hated: food service, hotel housekeeping, retail sales. Then there is the 'Haven't been there and won't go there." These jobs are those which heavily involve tasks I know I don't like or that I find repugnant for any number of reasons. I hate driving and do it only because, without public transportation, I have to. I hated receiving telephone calls from people trying to sell me something they thought I simply couldn't do without. So telephone sales is out. I have at a couple of times in my life been on the receiving end of calls from collection agencies. It has left, even after several years, a bad taste. I won't persecute someone else as I was once persecuted. Unfortunately too many jobs are in these areas.

I have seen a couple of postings in the "Sounds Interesting--let's explore the possibility" until they say their ideal candidate must haves specific degrees or other credentials, or must have 5+ year of experience, or must be able to lift 40 lbs. repeatedly. I recently switched to 25 lb. bags of cat litter because the 40 lb. bags every month were too much. That is also why hotel housekeeping and the cleaning services are out. I know how hard that can be on you physically. I was ten years younger when I did that job and I still remember how my back, knees and feet ached. I have done a lot of different jobs but none continuously for that long so the kind of experience they want I don't have. Degrees I have but usually not in the field thy want.

The process of job hunting has changed somewhat also. I noticed some of the changes since the last time I was looking. My last job I got through the newspaper want ads. Since then the jobs section has gotten skimpier and skimpier. My local newspaper serves a four county area with several good sized cities but even the Sunday paper almost never has more than four pages--less than half what it was even five years ago. The last jobs I applied for were on-line. I have seen no one and heard from no one concerning these jobs. I only found out about them because in one case a friend found out from a friend of theirs or because I do business with the firm and saw the sign on the building. Most of the businesses in my area just hang out such signs or put them or their marquees. They don't advertise in the papers or with the employment agencies.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

This is something of an EXPERIMENT. I feel like Bilbo at the end of the Return of the King--quite ready for a new adventure. Having just had another birthday (not one of the big ones with the 0 on the end or one marking another quarter century but substantial nonetheless) and having lost a job when my employer went out of business at almost the same time, I need something new. I will see where this will lead me.

I read omnivorously though not systematically. I do needlework of various kinds. And I grouse about politics and current events. I take my political independence a step farther than Will Rogers who, as a Democrat, was not a member of an organized political party. I am not committed to any party, however well (or poorly) organized.