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just doing the unemployment thing

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Unemployed.  Searching and applying online for jobs.  Looking into a certificate program at the local community college. Looking into financial aid for education. Applied for deferment on my current student loan while I'm unemployed. And continuing DIY house repairs.

Yes, I want a different job.  Yes, I understand that I'd be starting at entry level.  Yes, I would accept the lower pay.  Employers probably look at my resume and assume that I wouldn't accept the lower pay (and lower "status").  sigh...

(sticky) discernment event

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WHAT: Life Awareness Weekend is a vocation discernment retreat devoted to providing information about religious life vocations
WHO:  unmarried Catholic men and women between the ages of 18 and 45
WHEN:  July 23-25, 2010
WHERE:  Houston, TX

more information:

been painting

I've been painting. We have a little foyer (more like a short hallway from the front door to the rest of the house). We're giving it two colors plus a different color for the trim. We picked out the colors over the weekend and Monday, we picked up the paint and tweaked the colors with help from the paint folks. We moved stuff
from the foyer and the wall later that day and Monday night I washed down the walls and did just a little spackling.

Tuesday (today) I sanded the spackling and caulked around the door frame. The folks who installed the door forgot to caulk. Either that or they just left it because there isn't much space around the sides of door frame and you can't see whether it's caulked. Pretty hard to get the caulk gun just right for that tight space, but I managed.

One wall will get a deep color, so it had to be primed with the appropriate base color. I didn't get the primer on evenly, so I'll have to give it another coat. The other wall didn't need priming so I finished painting it. I really want to apply the second coat of primer and be done with that, but I'm tired. Plus I need to have the front door open to paint the door opening, and I'm not leaving the door open at this time of night.

I have three cleaned off paint roller covers sitting by the sink right now. I had used three different paint colors (not all at once). Rollers are great for getting the job done; but man, they take forever to clean. I also had two paint brushes. I'll need one of the brushes for the the corners when I apply the second coat of primer; gotta wait for that brush to dry anyways.

Man, I am tired. Pardon me if I am incoherent; I'm just tired.

video blues

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One of the most frustrating things for me is video. There is a multitude of formats and it's all quite confusing. Video from our Xacti is .mp4; video from our TV tuner card is .ts.

Just getting video from our tuner box to the computer is an adventure in itself.  The signal is undoubtedly sent to the box as digital. It is converted to analog at the S-video output, which I then feed into my TV tuner card.  The tuner card takes the anlog signal and converts it to back to digital signal again.  For me to burn a DVD, I'd have to then take that digital file and convert it to analog for the DVD.  (I think DVD video is analog, not sure).

Right now I am struggling with mp4 files from the Xacti, and trying to figure out how to get the video into Windows Movie Maker.  I go through a plethora of free converters.  I've done it before, but I can't remember what I used or did.  Dang it.  When is video going to be less of a headache?  I can't imagine how the "average" user is going to ever be able to burn a recording onto DVD.

what I learned: scratched toilets

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sometimes when trying to clear a clogged toilet, you might end up scratching the bottom of the toilet.  I'd recommend avoiding the risk of scratching the toilet.  Use a toilet auger with a protective vinyl throat or such.  But if it's already said and done, then Bar Keepers Friend will remove the scratches.  It turns out that this stuff is good for cleaning surfaces of glass, ceramic, copper, brass, porcelain, chrome, and stainless steel.

cycler's utiltiy belt

Friday, July 09, 2010

I've been looking for a utility belt of sorts to carry stuff.  Many of my dress pants don't have pockets.  I guess women are supposed to carry purses/bags.  Those things just don't do well with me.  They slide right off my shoulders.  You get to a restaurant and there's no place to put it.  But worst of all, I tend to forget and leave stuff.

Here is an interesting belt.  Apparently made for cyclists because it includes a loop for holding a U-lock.  They have several other styles and lots of other colors.

Fabric Horse

fast friends with a sewer auger

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I had the morning to myself since Gumby is sick and slept late.  I fed the critters, routine for my mornings, and since I now number among the unemployed I looked for jobs and applied online to two.  Not a smooth process since I'm a little rusty.  One company asked for the manager's name from each job I had, and I couldn't hardly remember the the one from my temporary job in 2006.  I did my best and coughed up a name.  I hope it's right.  The resume isn't polished and I don't have a cover letter.  I also had to get re-acquainted with the e-mail address I use for job hunting;  I needed a password reset to get into it.

Then I had a late breakfast and got hooked on watching TV.  One show was "Flip This House" where some people bought a house, renovated it and sold it for some $50K profit.  The next show was "Drill Team" and in this episode they majorly renovated a basement in six days.

Gumby joined the living around noon.  I was going to paint the entryway and asked Gumby what were the colors picked out.  After at least an hour of looking through swatches we had on hand and the Sherwin Williams color tool online, we gave up.  The onscreen rendition of the colors doesn't match the swatches.  This would have to be a project for another day.

Gumby was hungry and wanted grits, eggs, and toast.  So I proceeded to cook while Gumby went to wash up.  I had the grits going and was buttering the bread for cinnamon sugar toast when Gumby called me.  As the water drained out of Gumby's sink, bubbling would occur in the toilet.  So I'm thinking "hmm...what happens if I flush?"  We almost had water overflowing the toilet bowl is what happened.  So I stopped the cooking and attacked the plumbing.

It turned out that both toilets were not draining.  Plunging had no effect.  Since Hurricane Alex brought torrential rains in the area, we thought maybe the sewers were backed up.  We called the water company; they sent a guy out.  Nope, not the sewer lines, it's the house.  By this time, I had finished cooking, but the grits didn't turn out right.  I gave Gumby the food but I guess the grits wasn't palatable.  I had to start and stop on the grits several times and judging by the results, it looks like I can't do that.

Anyhow, I called the neighborhood Ace Hardware store for advice and they said I could rent a sewer auger.  So off I go.  I love our local Ace.  They are very helpful. Probably all the houses in the neighborhood were built by one or two builders, it means that houses here share similarity in hardware and brands.  Ace seems to stock the right replacement parts.  Also, at Ace I could buy low quantities of fasteners.  I only needed one bolt or one washer, I can get that at Ace.  But I digress.  Today, they rented me a sewer auger and talked me through how to operate the machine.

Since I was in a hurry, I just set up the way I was instructed and used common sense where safety is concerned.  Thank goodness it wasn' raining, but I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes until Gumby gave me the OFF spray.  I forgot we had that spray.  All went well and the toilets got to draining and I was finished before dark.  Others advised that I run the auger again tomorrow before returning the machine.  They also said to run a water hose into one of the main lines to help flush everything out.  Ok, so I'll get up early in the morning to run the auger again, but I'm not dragging a water hose in here.

In conclusion, I'd like to recommend to Ace that they include a safety sheet with each rental.

Apparently I had taken a few risks:  Yes, I was standing in water.  It had been raining and the yard was wet.  Yes, that was an electrical appliance I was using while standing in water.  No, I didn't think to test the GFCI before use.  Yes, I had shoes on.  No, I didn't wear safety goggles or gloves.  The manufacturer recommends ONLY leather gloves and I don't have any of those.  I suspect I will have blisters on my hand tomorrow.  Yes, I know to keep stuff away from rotating machinery.