roadrunnertwice: Weedmaster P: "SON OF A DICK. BALL COCKS. NO. FUCKING." (Shitbox (Overcompensating))
The rest of the house is shoulder-deep in a computer-box, building a gaming PC for a friend of ours. I am staying out of that.

I think the last time I cracked open some compu-tower ribs was at the yarn shop back in 2009. We had these three mildly crappy Dell P4 towers for running the POS system and everything, but they were acting like they were the ultra crappy kind. Just slow as hell and unresponsive and bullshit. Stev and Hannah were all angsting about whether we could afford new ones and how to go about getting them, and I was like, "lemme take a look." Reader, these 3Ghz machines were choking along on a half-gig of RAM each. I got on Newegg, and was like "Gimme the credit card, I'll get you some rejuvenated computers for like $140."

Once the sticks arrived, I got the backroom and cafe computers beefed up and breathing easy in like 20 minutes. Then I upgraded the main counter PC, tried to power it back up, and got nuthin'. I cracked it open again to make sure I hadn't left anything loose, and we were all like "Uh, was that creepy amber light there the last time?" It was totally not.

I searched the internet for the manual again, and it turned out the amber light on the mobo meant "power fault," usually a bunk power supply. So I grabbed a screwdriver and tore the fucker out, tossed it in my backpack, got on my motorbike, and jetted up Milwaukie to Free Geek, where they confirmed it was toast and sold me a better one (for the $15 I had liberated from the petty cash drawer). Which totally solved the problem, and left me feeling like quite the techno-samurai moto-badass.

And then the whole shop folded explosively in August and we were all out of work, but at least the computers were non-bullshit for as long as the shop survived.
roadrunnertwice: Scott fends off Matthew Patel's attack. (Reversal! (Scott Pilgrim))
OKAY, that was an eventful week! The short version is that today was my last day of work at Quiktrak, in an hour I'll jump in a taxi to the airport for a trip to Turkey and a rendezvous with [personal profile] katealaurel, and on the 15th I'll start work at Puppet Labs.

I don't really have time for the long version, but the sort of medium-length one is that I'd been getting pretty dissatisfied about where I was going in my job, and decided a few months ago to start looking around in earnest for a new thing. Before I'd gotten far, our very same [personal profile] katealaurel tipped me off to the opening at Puppet, and that started happening.

In the meantime, I'd already scheduled this trip to Turkey before even starting the job hunt. Once Puppet's selection process got down to the last couple stages, I wasn't expecting to hear whether I'd made it until during or after the trip, but it sped up right at the end, and I got the job offer last Friday night. Then I started freaking out about the whole two weeks' notice situation, since Puppet wanted me to start on the 15th and I wasn't sure whether Quiktrak was going to ask me to stay a full 10 workdays, which would, well, problems.

Shouldn't have worried--my (newly reorganized) manager at QT independently suggested making today my last day, which worked out great. This way, I get a clean break, a nice vacation, and several days to recuperate once I get back stateside.

So yeah, I have successfully jumped from a stable but unfulfilling job to a salaried position as a writer during the worst job market in my lifetime, and now I'm about to go spend a little short of two weeks with a beautiful girl in an exciting European and/or Asian locale. Shit is looking up.

(Obligatory Scott Pilgrim: If my life had a face...)
roadrunnertwice: Yehuda biking in the rain. (Bike - Rain (Yehuda Moon))

HERE IS THE UPDATE.

  • I went with my parents and brother to see Ian Anderson last night! And it was amazing. I can't really name Jethro Tull as my favorite band or anything, but they've kind of always been there as a constant presence in my life, and it was truly wonderful to finally see someone I... well, basically grew up with.
  • I went alone to go see The Mountain Goats on Wednesday night (again, I'm trying to get back into my old live music groove). Totally bitchin' show, and my first time to the Wonder Ballroom. (Which is in walking distance of my apartment, as it turns out!) I also ended up running into Steve and Sara after the show, which was lovely.
  • Work is work. It's taking up a lot of my energy, and I've been thinking various thoughts about how to wall it off a little better.
  • I upgraded my OS, finally. (After hearing a couple of horror stories, I decided to wait until 10.6.2 dropped before braving it. Worked like a charm.) My favorite Snow Leopard feature so far:

    keyboard layout switcher panel

    'Nuff said. It's basically the same damn thing, but I do like what they did with Exposé and a couple other things.

  • When I'm not working or sleeping or eating or writing or learning Cocoa or reading the internet, I've been playing Final Fantasy XII. Yes, I am behind the times. I'm not very far in it, but I'm liking it a LOT. Also, I realize the battle system was meant as a way to integrate developments from the Massively Multiplayer side of the RPG family tree into the divergent JRPG branch, but honestly, what the experience of it reminds me most of is Secret of Mana. And hurray for that.
  • You guys are reading Homestuck, right? You had better be reading Homestuck.

Hi Mom.

Oct. 28th, 2009 08:32 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Kekkaishi - coffee milk)
I still haven't really done a this-is-my-life-now post! I MAY NEVER. Been busy, yeah. What with? Well.

I am Commuting. If you add up the walking and waiting and trainrides both ways, it comes to about three hours a day, which seems kind of mad for only eight hours of work? I think that once I settle in some more, I may gently inquire about working four tens (or nines) a week. Which would entail some Ass-Crack-O-Dawning, but it miiiight be worth it. Certainly it'd be easier to go to bed at an early hour if I had three days to do as I pleased. We'll see whether the workweek will even permit dropping a day; the stream of tasks is fairly steady.

I'm not completely wasting those hours, though. I've been—get this shit—writing. Longhand.* I'm finally putting that notebook Polly and Amanda got me to good use, and am—where doing it man, where MAKING THIS HAPEN—writing Lulu and the Constellations, the first book of Lulu and the Wine-Dark Sea. Slowly, but considering I just finished a chapter today, I may be able to get away with calling it "Shirley." (I've never understood that idiom. Who the hell is Shirley?)

But so yeah, woooo! Next: NaNoWriMo? (JESUS FUCK NO AAUGH.)



What happened to The Cheaters? It's just not ripe. Neither is Lulu, really, but that one's the sort of unripe that reveals itself as you write, and it's a type of story that will react a lot better to some liberal seat-of-pantsing. Cheaters is the sort of unripe that just has to simmer, and forcing the issue hasn't been accomplishing jack shit. I'm a much different person than I was when I started that book, and it's simply not going to come together until I can bring the fundamental underpinnings of it into line with the head and heart as they currently be. And I've finally decided that the conscious brain can't do that, and I need to get out of the unconscious's way for a bit while it does its thing.

It'll be back. The thematic material is killer, and I'm still convinced it'll be an awesome book someday. I absolutely can't write it this year.

* (No, the hand's still not anything better than Vile Scrawl. Haven't yet had the stomach for drilling, and I'm not entirely convinced it would help much. Besides, uh, train?)


And work, right. )

Can has

Oct. 1st, 2009 03:45 pm
roadrunnertwice: Vesta Tilley, Victorian drag king (Drag)
I'll cut to the fiery aftermath of the chase, which is that my ass is gainfully employed again. Fuck yeah!

Pardon my bullet-points, but here's more or less how it went:

  • Job not found, freak out? y/y
  • Got food stamps.
  • Started applying for random unskilled jobs. (Because it's easy and fast, and hey, that's what ended up working last time.)
  • Signed up for WA state unemployment benefits.
    • note: If you're getting benefits, you have to apply to at least three jobs a week and check in regularly, and though I kind of hate to admit it, this actually helped keep me on track. In particular, it forced me to whip my résumé into top shape and keep refining it* long before I found a job I was really interested in, thus preventing the otherwise inevitable OMG I MUST IMPRESS paralysis.
  • Continued to apply for random unskilled jobs, racking up a total of like 15.
  • Got a note out of the blue from my buddy Fonda saying that her office suddenly had two open positions—one of which was a 6-month temp writing/editing job that paid $12/hr and didn't drain the soul. (Basically, her job minus the bennies.)
    • That's right: I got the fabled Hook-Up.
  • Immediately slapped together an application, whipping up a succinct cover email and tweaking the résumé to look more like a SRS WRI-TOR (as opposed to a tech guy with secondary job points in the Scribe class**). (This was Friday.)
  • Got a call on Monday from the HR director over there. She wanted me to come in for an interview the next day at 2. Fuckin' A, count me in!
  • Looked in my closet and freaked right the fuck out. I did not own a single dress shirt that looked presentable on me.
    • (I was going to explain this, but on second thought, it's at least a whole 'nother post.)
  • I am apparently an extra-small when it comes to dress shirts. This is news to me. (Again, long story.) Guess how many stores you have to search in Pioneer Place before you find one that even stocks XS men's dress shirts.
    • Six.
  • And then I had to learn how to iron. I should just rename this journal "Adventures in Remedial Adulthood" or something.


So anyway, the job interview went great, and I quite liked both the HR Director and the head of Editorial. They made the job sound attractive, and they liked me, and that was pretty much that. I was called back and offered the job before I'd even made it home, and I went ahead and accepted.

And so yeah. Things are looking up.


_____
* Protip: print out five to seven at a time, and when you need to print more, look back over it and adjust, because it's a lot easier to improve the thing in short bursts than in a despair-inducing marathon.

** There's a PS2 in the house now, so I've been playing some FF Tactics.
roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)
So I apparently just lost my job. Not in the sense that I got fired, but in the sense that said job i.e. the business itself ceased to exist. As in, job not found, abort/retry/fail?

I am somewhere in the neighborhood of as upset as you would expect me to be. Goddammit, I liked that job. Pretty much everything was going the way I wanted it to go. Finances were stable, I was learning stuff and having fun. Now everything is in pieces on the floor: I can't imagine I have health insurance anymore, so that's pretty awesome. And I need to come up with a source of $1050/mo. pretty much within the next two weeks (HA!).

Plan was to go to WA this week and visit with Laura, and now being away from Portland that long is suddenly a source of anxiety and fear instead of just a relaxing jaunt. I'll probably do it anyway, because We ♥ Laura; I'll just be a little distracted, so please forgive me in advance. o_o

It sounds like there's still some packing-up to be done on Tuesday and maybe a few days in addition to that, but I'm at liberty tomorrow. Guess I'll polish up my résumé and go drop it off at five or six places. At least I've gained some skills in the last few months; I'd really rather stay in retail than go back to canvassing. Hey, maybe I can get some kind of technical job, that might be nice too. And I'm pretty confident Abundant's managers will give good reference for me.

Still: I'm a little worried. I've got something like $1500 to my name at the moment; I'll be getting another half a paycheck, maybe a bit more; let's be conservative and call $1700 the total. I don't like that number one bit. Expect me to be a little bit tense for a while. And if you get any interesting leads on jobs around town, do please pass them on.

Posting without friends-lock, because why the hell not, right?
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Ryoga is lost.)

Things are happening and stuff! Constantly! Zzzzoooommm.

So yeah, dump post. )

And that is what's up.

roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)

I'm testing out one of those new Mac builds of Chromium (via), and it is actually kind of awesome! Feels sleek.


Lately I haven't been posting as often as I otherwise might have, because it turns out that I'm actually kind of reliant on having a native-app LJ client. And they all suck right now.

Xjournal used to be awesome, but it doesn't work with Dreamwidth and is stagnant these days anyway. iJournal always kinda sucked, and now it hasn't been touched for three years. MarsEdit technically works, but its DW and LJ support is... lacking. asLJ is too new to trust, Deepest Sender kind of defeats the purpose of using a client in the first place, and nothing supports the DW crossposter. So I have to post via a web form, which shouldn't slow me down as much as it does, but it does, so.


I AM MOVING HOUSE. Gonna go live with Schwern in inner Northeast! It'll be rad. I have not even started packing yet. Expect me to become increasingly bugfuck insane until the 6th or so.

The place I'm moving into is a 2nd-floor apartment in a brick building that kind of reminds me of my digs in Minneapolis. Not anything close to identical, but familiar enough to immediately feel like home.


That is a rather large spider in the bathroom, isn't it? I have granted her Not My Problem status, on the condition that she gets off the counter within the next half hour.


Writing continues to be difficult. DON' WANNA TALK 'BOUT IT.


It's one of those nights where The Replacements are once again everything I could ever want from pop music.


So yeah, this is my new job. I likes it lots. Folks is cool. Things:

  • The yarn world is far larger and stranger than I imagined.
  • Indigo is awesome. No, seriously, it's the weirdest shit. Reacts on oxygen contact! Changes color as you watch!
  • We get free coffee. My caffeine tolerance has shot through the roof.
  • The shop runs on this app called POS·IM, which apparently has a 20-year lineage and is One Hairy-Ass Beast. It's got a majorly schizoid personality. On the one hand, it's been polished for 20 years to suit the needs of small-to-midsize retail outfits, and in general, the developers have thought of everything you will need to do with the thing. On the other hand, the interface seems to be held together with baling wire and fun-tak, the search capabilities are about the least sophisticated I've ever seen, and none of the features seem able to decide whether they're made for database-savvy power users or the technically-disinclined. The manual is written in at least two, probably more like three different voices, which switch off without discernible pattern and use distinctly different sets of vocabulary. It perversely re-invents every available wheel. It makes it frustratingly fidgety and tedious to make any large-scale changes to the inventory, and frighteningly easy to wreck vast havoc.
    • I am absolutely confident in my ability to bend it to my will. JUST YOU WAIT.
  • No, I don't know how to knit yet. Gimme another week or two.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
Happy Bastille Day! I celebrated with a room full of cranky bakers, an order for 150 baguettes, and a slightly agitated Frenchman.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Reversal!)
Okay, you know how, in the Discworld novels, the dwarves use unusually crusty bread as one of their primary instruments of destruction? Not actually fiction. I tore a huge chunk of flesh off my thumb today with a medium-velocity baguette.

Anyway:

Oct. 4th, 2006 04:11 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
So yeah, here's my new job:

It won't pay the bills, and it's a 20-minute bike ride from home, but I sort of like it. It's a local, baker-owned biz, they make good food, it has a nice atmosphere, and the co-workers are chill.

So now I'm looking for another part-time job to help supplement what I'll be making at the pan-ya. I'm thinking... aerial courier service. I've already got the bag; I should probably start checking the "brooms" section on Craigslist.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
Man, I'd forgotten what a... superior cuppa joe you get from cold process. I've got to get myself some suitable jars and filters one of these days.

So yeah, I've turned in applications at the Bakery on Grand and at the Seward Café. Will ponder the next step while drinking cold coffee and reading in the park.

Outfoxed

Jun. 16th, 2006 08:41 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
Matt, a casual pal of mine from school, started working at the AF just recently, and while I was sitting next to him today yesterday, I saw him go to the actual Yahoo.com web page in order to run a search for something. He was browsing with Firefox anyway (the AF PCs have some revision of 1.5 installed), so I leaned over and suggested he use the search box in the right-hand corner instead, pointing out that if you click on the search logo icon in the 1.x series, it drops down into a menu of search engines (which includes Yahoo by default and can be added-to at whim). I swear I saw the top of his head come off. It turns out that he uses something called Netcaptor at home (which makes the second time I've ever heard of that browser), and the ready presence of that kind of raw power--by default--kind of blew his mind.

So I did the socially responsible thing and blew his mind the rest of the way, demonstrating (in rapid succession) Live Bookmarks, incremental find, and the use of apostrophe-start FAYT plus ctrl-enter to open links in new tabs without looking at the screen. (THAT one was the real pisser, since it turns out he's a mousehater.) Then I wrote down the URL for today's Windows nightly of Bon Echo and told him he should skip 1.5 and go straight for that, since it will let him start using the new inline spellchecker, beefed-out search engine manager, and improved feed handling well before the rest of the world knows what it's in for. I am pretty confidant that Team Mozilla has a new convert.

Man, imagine if I was this dedicated a shill for someone who paid me for it.

In related news, I randomly ran into (いきなり出会った、not "collided with") Josh today on the way to work, so we biked most of the way to Mac together. I'd forgotten he was in the city, and it turns out he's living like five blocks away from me. So we'll try and hang out once he gets back from his pending California trip.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Vast and solemn spaces)
Even at three hours a night, even when you're not trying to sell people something they don't need—even under ideal conditions, is what I'm saying—telemarketing is, on a not-irregular basis, going to fob off a foul day on you. Argh.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
Can't keep me down, nosir. Every nasty-little-issue I've found on every browser I have access to has been dealt with straightaway. That includes IE's transparency brain-damage, Safari's fuglification of certain imageframes, and IE's major malfunction with the cute little Javascript FAQ link (seriously, what IS it with that browser?!).

I'm pretty sure that Gecko >1.4 won't let me down, but I'd like to humbly ask anyone who has IE <6, Safari 1.x, any reasonably current version of Opera, and/or anything more exotic to please kick the tires for a while. Much obliged, amigos.

EDIT: Aaaaand a tofu sandwich with black beer cures the rest of my ills.

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