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Month: January 2007


I got this from Ray, who got it from Tim, and I thought I'd follow suit and throw my hat into the ring with this meme. It's supposed to be a way for Adobe to learn a little more about their ColdFusion clientelle, so here's my contribution:

  • 27 years old

  • Married for a year and a half, no kids yet

  • Drives a 1998 Toyota Camry, maroon

  • Lives in an apartment, a nice two bedroom. Decorations are hard to classify, but are heavily influenced by functionality and the IKEA catalog.

  • Has strong allergic reactions to Macs and can't stand the Mac/PC commercials (too many broad strokes and false statements). Likes UPS Whiteboard commercials, because they are just straightforward.

  • Didn't see a single movie nominated for the Oscar for best picture, but was generally disappointed in many movies this year anyway. Still want to see some on the list, though, including: The Last King of Scotland, The Departed, and Children of Men.

  • Into LOST, 24, Law & Order (any), and Mythbusters. Also enjoys Iron Chef from time to time.

  • Like playing hoops, swimming and rollerblading, but never have enough time to do them.

  • Food? Wings, pizza, steak, Chinese, and Indian make the Top 5.

  • Music? I like a little of everything, but focus mostly on Alternative, Rock, and Christian Rock. My Last.FM profile gives a pretty good depiciton of my tastes.

  • Can lose long periods of time watching Top Gear clips on YouTube.


“I've Got A Job I Think You'd Be Interested In…”

Let me just take a minute to talk about a little pet peeve of mine. Now, when I'm looking for a new job, I normally update my resume on the major job sites (Monster, CareerBuilder and HotJobs). Almost unfailingly, the next day I'll get 15-20 calls from "recruiting companies" or "placement services", which are nice names for corporate headhunting services. The services themselves can be a great help because they have access to job listings you won't find anywhere else, but sometimes the representatives leave bad impressions. I'll file these in three categories:

  1. The Mysterious Hit-And-Run – This is the person who calls, leaves a voicemail (because, especially at work, I have a policy of not answering my cell phone if I don't recognize the number) with only their name, company, contact number, and that the have "a job I think you'd be interested in" or "a job that might be a good fit for you". When I have called them back, I've found that almost a quarter of the time, they really don't have a job they are looking to fill, but just want to get you working with their company (I actually went in for an interview with a recruiter once, only to find there wasn't a job opening at the time…boy, that one did not sit well). The rest of the time, they seem reluctant to give details about the job. In my opinion, if you're looking to get details on my experience, I expect job details as well. Let me decide if it's a good fit for what I want. By the way, I've gotten an increasing number of these via e-mail as well, with the shortest maybe being an e-mail entitled "Job Opportunity" with only "Please call me." and the recruiter's e-mail signature in the e-mail body. I didn't call him back.

  2. The Geographically Impaired – So I take the time on the career sites to list that I'm not interested in relocating, and what does that get me? Only 3-4 e-mails a week from people who are offering contract work (all under a year in length) in cities I counldn't commute to if I had a private jet. These people never get a response from me because they're illiterate or lazy, and I'm not really interested in working with them.

  3. The Reacher – This is the person who focuses all their attention on something you did once for a class or internship but haven't worked with for years. For example, I've worked very basically with ASP .NET, enough that I can read the code and follow it, but not well enough to do any serious development with it. However, I still regularly get inquiries about jobs with it because I list it as like the 12th programming language on my resume. So either they're just looking for a warm body to fill a spot, or there's a major communication issue between the cilent and the recruiter. These e-mails usually find the same treatment as spam. DELETE.

Maybe I'm just a detail oriented person, but I like it when I can actually get some information up front to decide if an opportunity is even worth looking into. I'm sure I'm not the only one!

But all that said, I have had the pleasure or working with a few excellent recruiters who have provided the details that I wanted, and did so happily.

So, did I leave any group out? Have you had any experiences one way or another?

Best Top Gear Ever!

Well, one of my guilty pleasures is watching fragments of the BBC car show Top Gear on YouTube. Sometimes they’re informative, and sometimes they’re doing things that are just off-the-wall. Regardless, they’re almost always an entertaining watch.

In this episode, the guys went “caravaning”…maybe better known in the US as “camping with a camper”, and in their attempt to show how bad of an idea (they’re a little biased against it as “vacationing”) it was, and almost everything goes very wrong. It’s a little long (about 30 mins in all), but it’s well worth the watch!

Update: Unfortunately, it looks like the videos have been pulled from YouTube for copyright reasons.

AFC Gut Punch

Boy was that a tough game to take…felt like getting punched in the gut, especially after getting the big lead early. As good as the Patriots played in the first half, they played that bad in the second.

Now I've got to hope that they address some of their problems this off-season, like linebacker and secondary depth. I'm sure the two first-round picks will help (thanks Seattle…how's that workin' out for ya?).

All in all, it was pretty amazing that they went 12-4 anyway, and then beat two solid teams to just get to the AFC Championship. It's a testament to how well coached the team is and how committed it's players are. Hopefully, they'll be right there again next year with a few extra weapons!

Moving On Up Again

Well, I'm making another change on the job front in the coming weeks. Today, I accepted a position at Northrop Grumman and gave my notice at EFS. I'll finally be getting back to ColdFusion development after working the last 10 months focusing on Database Administration. I'm really looking forward to the change.

I can't say anything bad about my time at EFS. It's been a great experience in getting to learn more about business after coming off of working at an academic research study, and I've enjoyed working with everyone there. However, I really wanted to get back to developing in ColdFusion, which was the main motivation behind the change.

Looking forward to seeing where this move will take me!

Random Stuff

Technology Stuff

  • named Pittsburgh one of the top tech cities in the country, largely in thanks to CMU, a new Google branch and a glut of electronics stores. Clearly, they didn’t take job availability and salary into account though.
  • The MPAA have been caught uploading fake torrents of movies in order to collect IP addresses and send copyright infringement letters to ISPs. However, if you don’t download the proper torrent, are you really infringing on copyright? Or do you charged with “Intent To Infringe Upon A Copyrighted Work”?
  • The FCC has ruled that Comcast can’t use internal security in their set-top boxes that tie them directly into Comcast’s services. I’m not sure what that’s going to mean to me as a cable customer, but they’re appealing, so nothing is likely to change for another year anyway.
  • The Pirate Bay, a Swedish company that has caught a lot of international headlines regarding illegal file-sharing, is looking into purchasing Sealand, a “micronation” (a.k.a. a former British naval platform) off the coast but outside of the jurisdiction of the UK, for somewhere in the realm of 500 British pounds. Word is that they’d also erect a giant hand on the platform in order to continue giving the world the middle finger.
  • Apple continues to be about the only backer of DRM left. Then again, the appear to be about the only ones able to sell music online successfully (and legally).
  • Cisco is suing Apple over the recently announced iPhone’s name, which is trademarked by Cisco. Not sure what Cisco’s plan for the name was, but maybe they just saw the eventual iEverything concept Apple was going for as they’ve also trademarked iMicrowave, iBlender and iToilet.
  • A spy satellite launched last year by the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is now unable to be contacted by it’s operators. In light of the failure and financial setbacks, the NRO will be resorting to using Google Earth to monitor the world for the time being.

Life Stuff

Fun Stuff

  • The Amazing Lego Church! You’ve got to take a look at this incredible project!

OSU: Ordinary, Simplistic, Unprepared

Well, that was pathetic. Tressel has been a good coach at OSU, but he got completely outcoached by Urban Meyer today. There really wasn't a big talent gap between the two teams, but Florida looked confident and the Buckeyes looked confused.

That was one of the most frustrating games I've watched in a while. I'm used to being on the winning side of those ourcoaching situations, thanks to Belichick and my Pats. It sucks to be on the other side and see your coach making all the wrong moves, like they were posessed by Herm Edwards.


Comments Fixed

In my transition to the new host, I just realized that my verification image wasn't coming up right in the comments. My bad…I'm still getting my new directory structure in order.

Anyway, feel free to drop me a line!

Also, one week into my pop-free month, and I'm still hanging in there. Had some bad cravings the other day, but managed to steer clear!

The January Challenge

Don't call it a New Year's Resolution, because it's not. However, I have decided to give up pop for the month of January. Over the past few years, especially the ones spending early hours sitting at my desk trying to work, I've developed a dependence on the caffeine in soft drinks, specifically Mountain Dew. Some days were very bad, where I'd drink almost a full 2-liter of the stuff in lieu of coffee, and I'd still be dragging. Add to that the fact that I've gained weight and lost some energy, and I knew it was time to make a change.

Now, I'm not swearing off pop forever, but I need to show myself that I don't NEED it…that it is a treat to have on occasion.

I can already tell that it's going to be a long month, because I've got a wicked headache today, presumably from the caffeine withdrawal. Even last night I wasn't motivated to do anything, as my energy levels fall off a little bit before my body adjusts and cleans itself out some.

In the meantime, I'd appreaciate your encouragement. I'm sure I'll make it anyway, but it'll make it easier.