the respect for durable machines

The last day of July has quickly arrived which marks the last day that I have to squeeze a post in to keep up with my minimum of one personal post per month update that I’ve been managing for a few months now. I don’t have much to update you with here, so I’ll hopefully keep it short this time.

Texas heat has been in the 100+ range for many days straight. We are going to San Antonio today to go to Sea World. I had a delicious barbacoa torta with onions and cilantro added on Saturday morning. I also took a nap that lasted much longer than I wanted.

I have finally caught up on Masterchef. Other TV shows with new episodes that I’m currently keeping up with are: Breaking Bad, Louie, Weeds, Entourage, Ugly Americans, and Hell’s Kitchen.

This month has been pretty redundant. I continue to work 40 hours 5 days a week like many Americans earning their living do. The weekends go by way too fast, but I am still very grateful that I get a two-day moment between the five daily doses of monotony that I consider a job. After each workday, I like to stay indoors like many Texans until the weather cools off a bit.

I have to get some rest now since I have to get up early for our day trip to San Antonio to visit Sea World. I’ve never been, and I hope we have a good time. I know it’s late, but I’m still up since I had that long nap. Until later on in August… Peace out.

the neverending to-do list

The Parsons table to my left is covered in clutter, and I’ve been planning on organizing it for weeks. I hope this week is the week when it finally happens.

As you can probably tell, I haven’t been updating you via this channel at all this month. Let’s just say my schedule hasn’t allowed me to spend as much time with this as usual, but I hope to change that in June.

I’ve been keeping busy lately. I got some dough from my insurance company intended to fix the hail damage in my old ’97 Accord. I decided to put that money toward replacing the tint and shocks instead. I also got my cracked windshield fixed after three years or so. Apart from the sun damage on the exterior paint, the car is looking and feeling good for a 13-year-old vehicle.

The job is going well. I still manage to get up way too early in the morning and make it to the office by 5. After I leave a little after 1, I run my errands set for the day which I’m sure I’ve outlined on a previous post or two but I might as run through it all real quick since I haven’t updated you in a while.

With the exception of the past couple weeks when a decent amount of work was being done to my car, I hit the gym after work on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I usually go after Rachael Ray is halfway done, the fishies have been fed, the ISOs have been made if necessary, and the [email protected] systems have been checked to be up and running smoothly.

Somewhat sad news: The golden dojo loach passed away recently. Time has been flying by quickly this month, but I’d say it died a week and a half ago. The Hex-5 is kind of boring right now, but I gave it a deep cleaning this past Sunday. Mare and I will be searching for a pair of loaches soon, but we’ve both been relatively busy. Now back to our scheduled programming:

On Tuesdays, I stop by the library to check out DVDs and the occasional book. They have a great system online where you can place holds on whatever media they have from any branch, and they’ll bring it to the branch of your choice. This is convenient for me, since the library is right down the street. Public libraries are one of the best incentives that an American taxpayer has in my opinion.

Wednesdays are new comic days. I like going right after work since the selection is at its best it’s going to be for the most part. Popular titles get snatched up pretty quick, but I haven’t had any issues getting my issues. Last week, a new issue of Hulk, Wolverine: Weapon X, and Young Liars was released. Due to Memorial Day, new comics come out tomorrow instead of today. The only issue coming out tomorrow that I read religiously is the new issue of X-Force. I think the Messiah War concludes in this issue. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Also on Wednesdays, Mare and I have been dining out around 2 or 3. Since the semester is over, it’ll probably change up a bit. She doesn’t have to work today, so we’ll be going to Casino El Camino after Wheel this evening to stuff ourselves with their famous ginormous burgers. I haven’t had it yet, but I know it’s gonna rock my gut in a good way. On a related note, we’ll be compiling info on a piece that I’ll be publishing here about our favorite  burger joints in Austin once we’ve completed our follow-up rounds. Stay tuned for that.

Also in future news, a design update for this Soapbox has been planned for this summer. This update should be deployed around late July so also look forward to that. Let’s wrap up the week’s routine and Wheel should be on in a bit.

That’s right. 6:30pm CST on NBC DTV is one of my all-time favorite shows Wheel of Fortune. I don’t like missing it. In related television news, how about Danny on Hell’s Kitchen schooling Paula?! I was rooting for him since the beginning, and I’m glad he won. He did the best out and had the right attitude to win it.

Also, I’m glad Adam didn’t win American Idol. I was rooting for Danny, but he got third place unfortunately. Well, it can be seen as a good thing since Danny’s votes probably shifted to Kris which then outnumbered Adam’s. I don’t care much at all about the future of the Idols, but I started watching the show between day jobs so I was into it ’til the end this season.

Since most of the fall seasons have ended, I’m watching the first season of Mad Men which I’m really enjoying and recently finished watch the first season of Eastbound and Down which was well done as well. I look forward to the next seasons of those two shows.

On Fridays, I like to go out to the Hideout and chat with my posse. GMN and DDF are in Cali right now. I’m envious that they got to have Double Doubles from In-N-Out! I’ll visit Cali again some day, and I will sink my teeth into a Double Double before I die.

Five minutes ’til Wheel. I’m gonna end this here so I can proofread it real quick then publish. This was fun. I’m glad you missed me. Maybe I’ll write some more tomorrow. We’ll see. Peace out.

the 5-4-3-2-1’s

I haven’t updated you guys with what’s been going on with me for a while, so here’s that post.

I’ve been working at my new job for a couple months now, and I like it. It’s a job. It keeps the bills paid and keeps me from starving. Some days are difficult to wake up to at four in the morning especially if I went to bed late. My circadian rhythm takes a couple days to adjust, but it’s not too bad.

My weekly schedule has become relatively routine. I’ll get into detail about it right now, because I have your attention and it’s fun to re-read these in the future to see what I was doing back then. Ready or not…

The 40-hour work week seems to go by almost as quickly as the weekend, since I have a routine that I follow as much as possible if nothing else interrupts it or a scheduling conflict occurs. I must warn you that this isn’t very exciting but makes for a good indulgent ramble.

I work from 5am to 1pm Monday thru Friday. I work out to the gym for an hour after work on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I go to the library after work on Tuesdays to borrow more materials to expand my data collection and to return materials I’ve checked out from the previous week that I’m done using. On Wednesdays, I meet Mare down at campus have lunch somewhere nearby. After we finish lunch, I’ll pass by the comic shop to pick up my week’s pull.

I enjoy FOX and NBC television programming Monday thru Friday with my favorite shows. If I am home anywhere between 2pm-4pm, then I am usually watching Rachael Ray at 2, The Doctors at 3, and/or Jeopardy! at 4. I don’t watch much of the news from 5-6:30, but I always try to catch Wheel of Fortune at 6:30. Between 5-6:30, I’ll either do something on the computer or spend the time doing chores or reading something. After Wheel, the evening programming goes underway which will usually take me to my bedtime.

On Mondays, Heroes comes on at 8. We’ve been watching more Chuck mainly because it’s right after Wheel and before Heroes and we usually eat dinner around that time. I didn’t like Chuck much in the beginning, but I’ve seen so many episodes I just watch it.

On Tuesday, American Idol is currently going on followed by the results show the next day. I don’t watch Fringe, so I stop watching TV after 8 on Tuesdays. Wednesday has Lie to Me before the Idol results show, and I’m enjoying that show. Thursday programming is a conflict between FOX and NBC right now, but I go with FOX for Bones and Hell’s Kitchen and catch up on NBC comedy over the weekend via Mininova.

I try to do something other than watch TV after Wheel of Fortune, because Howie Do It just isn’t good. I try to go out to the Hideout every other week on Friday and have been keeping up with it since I started. The Hideout is a great pub nearby which has an excellent jukebox selection. On weeks that I just want to stay in, I’ll chill out at the apartment watching ISO TV, a DVD, playing PS3,

I keep Saturdays and Sundays open for whatever. I try to visit my parents every couple weeks at least. I take care of something that I am unable to do during the week or do something that was either happening on the weekend or is best saved for the weekend. For example, yesterday was Record Store Day. I had to get me a copy of Dookie on vinyl. When Mare and I arrived at Waterloo Records only about ten minutes after they opened, all of the copies were gone. Fortunately, a guy put down the last copy and Mare scooped it right up. Score!

On most Sundays, I like to do next to nothing or whatever wasn’t done on Saturday. After the weekend is up, the process is repeated. Peace out.

the employment hiatus finally ends

Last week, I paused my job hunt. At the end of the previous week, I had a follow-up interview that sounded very promising so I decided to wait it out to see if they would call me back with an offer the following week.

Day after day, I found myself sleeping ’til 11 to wake up and enjoy my last days as a free agent. I enjoyed some Jeopardy! HD, Wheel of Fortune, and weekly evening programming (Heroes, Bones, Hell’s Kitchen) but awaited the call in the back of mind all the time.

I made it most of the way through Half-Life 2 which is one of the best games I’ve played in the past ten years. That isn’t saying much since I don’t play too many games. I also won a couple PS3 games on eBay to occupy my free time: Sonic Unleashed and LittleBigPlanet. Sonic has arrived, but I’m still waiting on LBP.

I finally got a library card to reap another benefit of being a citizen in this wonderful city. I meant to get one last year, but I was eaten alive by the day job machine. To be able to borrow books, CDs, and DVDs at no monetary cost is a bonus. I see my ISO collection growing faster with this privilege.

I still desire a terabyte upgrade to my massive storage machine, Diode. I’m sure I’ll be getting the upgrade once I sit down and do my taxes and Direct Deposit does it magic to my bank account.

Each day became more gloomy when I didn’t receive the call, and it was already dinnertime. I told myself that the processing and paperwork had to be done, so I remained patient. If I didn’t hear back from the company by the following Tuesday, then I was going to send them an email inquiring the status of my application.

Friday arrived. The whole week went by with me consumed with Half-Life 2, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, feeding the fish twice a day, tapping at the keyboard, and keeping up with the rest of my TV shows but absolutely no job seeking. Around 4PM, my phone rang. I told myself, “Please please please let it be them.” It was. HR was calling me to see if I was still interested in the position I applied for. Of course I was.

I zipped over to their office to fill out my share of the paperwork to finalize my hiring, and I would start Monday. Tonight is the last night of my much-needed vacation/hiatus from the working world. I’m ready to return. I am proud to say that although my funds depleted a bit during that time, I did not find myself in a crazy debt or behind on bills due to being unemployed.

The saying goes that the best time to find a job is when you have a job. I said screw that, because I was unhappy with the place I was working for and the unneeded stress it gave me. I say the best time to find a job is when you have at least a few months saved up to take care of all of your expenses and you’re ready to turn in your two weeks notice.

Even with the media phrasing their words to put scare tactics about the state of the economy with news about almost five million people filing for unemployment checks, companies downsizing or folding causing layoffs, Austin’s unemployment rate at 5% (That’s 1 out of 20 people in this city!), and the economic stimulus going into effect now. The list of fear goes on and on, but I had the gut feeling that I wouldn’t have to worry too much with my skill set and drive to succeed.

I feel that most of you had faith in me while I was unemployed that I would find another job. I felt the same. I admit that I did have a little worry in me, but that was mostly a result of watching too much evening news. To hear what how this country is doing economically will sadden anyone, but it’s the harsh truth.

During my job search, I had an offer I declined and received a decent amount of rejection while I looked for a job, but I eventually landed one that I’d like to stick with. The unfortunate circumstance is that the job is labeled temporary, but we’ll have to see how that works out. My last day job started as a contract job, and I found myself sticking around past that for a total of two and a half years.

The hours I’ll be working at this new job are going to be a little weird, but I’m sure that I’ll adjust relatively quick. My bedtime is here, and I’ll have to get up during the wee hours to make it to the office by 5AM. The glorious part is that I’ll be done with my work day at 1PM, so I’ll still be able to do the things I did during my hiatus like watch Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, play some PS3 while the sun is out, and make it to stores while they’re still open.

I figured that I’d take a nap around 2PM for a couple hours after work to make it into the evening and be able to stay up ’til 10 or 11 to catch the rest of my sleep and be able to wake up refreshed for the next day of work. I love and need my sleep, but I’m back in the game. I can do this. I’m employed again! I’ll keep you updated as usual. Peace out. 🙂

the exit strategy

Today marks the third week since my last day at the chaotic office I worked in for the past two and a half years. The job hunt still continues, but I’m not too worried yet. I have a decent amount saved up that will float me for at least the next couple months if needed.

I’ve been enjoying this vacation. Apart from the spontaneous Texas winter weather, it has been very relaxing. I’ve been doing next to nothing, but I kind of like it. I can’t say I’ve been bored. I can always find something to occupy my time, and the days have been flying by so quickly. I meant to write something up like this last Tuesday, but the time just got spent too fast. I enjoy being able to stay up during the wee hours of the night and wake up around noon again.

My PS3 and I have been bonding. I’ve downloaded a bunch of media, themes, and demos through the Playstation Network. I’ve been playing a decent amount of Half-Life 2 and discovered an enjoyable game that uses the Sixaxis technology called Super Rub a Dub. You basically control a tub with a rubber duck in it that has to gather the baby rubber ducks and bring them to the drain. It gets more fun and interesting as the levels get more difficult with obstacle-shaped tubs and wind-up sharks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6qXaNkeKyw

I’ve reduced my comic purchasing, since my steady income is on pause. Another reason is that I’ve let go of a bunch of titles for the lack of interest or the mini-series have completed. I do still get my share of comic reading done. Next month, the Watchmen movie comes out and I’m looking forward to it. If you haven’t read the graphic novel yet, then I suggest you do.

I’ve immersed myself in DTV and have become somewhat of a couch potato. I try to catch the back-to-back episodes of Jeopardy! HD at 4PM CST on NBC. I usually watch Wheel of Fortune at 6:30PM. Heroes is back on Monday nights. NBC Comedy on Thursdays is one of my favorite sitcom chains on network television right now, but FOX has Thursdays right now with Bones and Hell’s Kitchen.

Fortunately, Mininova is an excellent network that usually has access to HD downloads to network television shows. I could just stream them on the network sites, but I’m a cheapskate with the slowest broadband connection on the block plus my entire folding farm currently resides here and units are completed often enough to suck up all the bandwidth when I need it most. I also like to collect them and watch them over again.

I’ve done a decent amount of job hunting, but with the economic recession scare and lack of job availability, I haven’t found anything yet. I’m going to keep looking at the pace I’m going now, and I’ll continue to pick and choose what who receives my résumé and applications. I’m sure I’ll find something. Like I said earlier, I’m not too worried yet. That’s the advantage of being financially responsible when I knew I was going to make a move to start a new chapter in my life. I didn’t want to continue being a manager at a horribly disorganized company where I’m putting out fire after fire. The pay was decent, but the stress was not worth it.

My rambling ends here for tonight. The post explosion will continue tomorrow from my fingertips to the keyboard. I will be wearing my pajamas again. Peace out.