Friday, July 31, 2009

FoaF-in', Part Two

So I, uh, spoke with my friend again, and heard that Lance scored an appointment with the HR recruiter who as in charge of that director job. It was a phone call, so Lance called from a closed door conference room.

Lance explained that he was a bit confused by the HR rep's message that he didn't have any relevant experience, since the past four years had been management of exactly the kind they wanted, and the four years before that had been management in a closely related field, with several years of experience in those fields on top of the management experience. The HR rep stammered for a few moments.

Once she composed herself, she told Lance that there were three issues:

  1. Lance wasn't a manager when he applied. (Lance had been a manager up until three weeks before applying.) She said that dropping out of management raised a big red flag. (She must have been out of the office when the big company-wide reorganization cut the number of management positions.)
  2. Lance's resume was entered into the system the wrong way. More specifically, it was entered into the system in the way the online instructions said was the preferred way, but the real preferred way was as a Word attachment rather than being typed directly into the online application.
  3. Neither Lance's old boss nor his new boss had told the recruiter to keep on the lookout for Lance's resume. This is not surprising, since the old boss was dealing with a demotion and a new team, and the new boss was also dealing with a new team that was twice the size of his/her old one.
Lance addressed each of these issues in turn and took the opportunity to provide a one-minute recap of his experience and qualifications. The HR rep apologized profusely and admitted that Lance should definitely have been on the short list for an interview, but that it was too late to do anything about it. Lance should send his resume to her, and she will offer some suggestions to improve it and maybe keep an eye open for other positions in Really BigCorp.

All is that ends, Lance supposes. He will sit tight in his current job and try to massage his resume so that when the new annual funding cycle opens up new opportunities, he is ready to give it another go.

Happy (Fictional) Birthday

On this day in 1980, Harry James Potter was born in Godric's Hollow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dreams - Culinary or Scary

The other night, I had a dream where I was the assistant to a man who went out at night and caught scorpions in a bucket to be cooked at a local restaurant that specialized in such things. Apparently, in my dream, all one needs to catch scorpions is a stick and a bucket. And, in my dream, they are both delicious and in high demand.

The next morning, as I was driving to work, I noticed a pickup truck with various animal stickers on it. These weren't rainbow-and-unicorn animal stickers, nor were they save-the-whales-and-pandas stickers. They were stickers that one sees on trucks where one is pretty sure that the truck owner has personally killed at least one instance of each kind of animal portrayed. Several of the stickers portrayed scorpions.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FoaF Story (wink, wink)

So, um, a friend told me about, uh, his friend, whom we'll call "Lance," who was just moved around at his company, which we'll call Really BigCorp. Lance was a manager of, let's say... a team whose job it was to do business analysis and process modeling. Usually, business analysis and process modeling are two separate teams, but Lance's department had put them together under Lance's leadership.

Lance regularly received positive reviews from his boss, and Lance's direct reports always went out of their way to include him in conversations and made it obvious that they liked him. They said so to Lance's boss in person, and they always said so on the feedback forms collected by Lance's boss.

So, in this reorganization, Lance ended up as an individual professional rather than as a manager. He was assigned a position in the same department, but he now did work as a process modeler. Because of some of the weirdnesses of reorgs, there was a director position opened to which Lance would have reported, had he remained in management. Lance applied for the director position. He'd only been an individual professional for a couple of weeks, but because it was the result of a reorg, he wasn't especially obligated to remain in that position for a year or whatever.

He never heard from the HR recruiter. The job was filled by one of the other managers that reported to that new director position.

Finally Lance heard back from the HR recruiter. She said that Lance's background wasn't quite right, and that they were looking for someone who was already in a management position, and who had had experience in both business process modeling and in business analysis.

Lance slowly drank his coffee and wished that he still had some other vice to fall back on.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

False Alarm

Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

However, rumors of my being very tired and less able to bounce back from jet travel than I was ten years ago are not exaggerated at all.

I neglected to move the ULWaT post out to the end of August. Alas.

In the event that I do expire, however, all of my intellectual property, including this blog AND my second home in La-La Land, go to GPop (or Son, if GPop and I co-decease (or whatever the term is)). Because of DOMA, GPop will have to pay taxes on that home.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Today is the anniversary of Son's Adoption Day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Quote of the Day: This is where I put my thumb now. --Son

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Welcome Home

We're back. It rained a lot while we were gone. Here's a mushroom that greeted us on our return.

Friday, July 24, 2009


We are now at the Rosicrucian HQ.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just saw some LaRouche supporters. Tee hee.

Saw Golden Gate Bridge today. Pics and such later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saw Alcatraz today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

San Francisco, Day One

We woke up in GPop's parents' house this morning pretty early. I was up around 4:30, but I didn't get everyone else up until about 5:45. After a nice round of "Have a safe trip" and "Drive carefully", we made our way to the airport without incident, other than trying to stop to buy batteries and drinks at a store that wasn't open.

The line at the Continental Airlines counter was very long. Once we made it through the check-in, we had to go through a slightly faster line for the security checkpoint. For some reason, maybe multivitamins with iron, I set off the metal detector on the first trip through, but I backed up and came through again with no issues.

Our seats were assigned randomly. Apparently, the introduction of the World Wide Web and online travel web sites has made air travel more confusing that it was before 1991, which is saying something. We weren't able to choose our seats on the Orbitz site nor the Continental site. When we scored the emergency exit row, I was stoked, albeit with a sense of dread, because I thought I remembered that all passengers in that row must be 15 or older. Son is 14. Sure enough, we were moved to another row. A row with less leg room than my three-year-old niece's tricycle. A row with a guy sitting behind us who snored slightly louder than the jet engines. Oh well, the flight was only going to be FIVE AND A HALF HOURS.

Fortunately, we made it to SFO without too much hassle, but when we got into the cab, GPop realized that the GPS unit was somehow missing. Grrr...

We checked in at the hotel. Since it was now 2:00 our time, we decided to go to lunch. For lunch, we stopped at Naan 'N Curry for the buffet. We should've worn bibs.

Once we were back at the hotel, we mapped out a route to the nearest electronics retailer to find a replacement GPS. Fortunately, the prices have really dropped recently. We put in some geocaches and such, and we are ready for fun tomorrow.

Several jobs ago, at Mega Corporation One, I was in a job that provided me opportunities to travel a few times a year to train business partners on our technology. About seven years ago or so, I was on such a trip to San Francisco. The other two trainers and I were pretty tired after day two, so we decided to go out to eat. One of the business partners pushed her way into our dinner party, which was kind of awkward. We ate at Sam's Grill and Sea Food Restaurant.

I insisted that we go there today for dinner. The food was EXCELLENT. Not only that, but we had the same waiter that I had met in my last trip to San Francisco.

On the walk there, a person of indeterminite mental stability started yelling at me from about fifty feet away. Since I was in the middle of a conversation with Son about the Great Earthquake, I decided to ignore the POIMS. Apparently, this enraged him, and at one point, he kicked a lighter in my direction. GPop glared at him, and the guy vanished a while later.

On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped at Mel's Drive-In. GPop and Son had dessert, but I opted to pass.

Now I'm sleepy.

Try this link for the restaurant.

Where Is the Lastname Family?

Here is a street sign at the alley by our hotel. We are at The Opal.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Old Time Edu-ma-cation

Here is a picture of a classroom in GPop's old elementary school.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Angry Language Guy

Oh, and I may start referring to this as a "blogue".

Trevelogue - Day 1

We're off to stop at my grandfather's 90th birthday party for a couple of hours, then on to GPop's 20th high school reunion grown-up thing at a bar.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Foto Phriday

This is sort of cheating, in that it's a flatbed scan rather than a photograph, but close enough. I found this 3x5 card in the parking lot at work. The lack of context and lack of resolution to the implied question are both intriguing. Was this person trying to make a case to his manager? Was this card part of speaker's notes for a revolutionary leader? The world may never know.



I saw one of those minivan/SUV-rear-window-sticker-things yesterday. It showed two children, and the caption said


I think it was supposed to be a statement of fact, but dropping the subject turned it into a command.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Theravada and the Art of Scooter Maintenance

The scooter also needed a new spark plug. We've done the appropriate fixes, and here's the result.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We had to get a new battery for the scooter. The package in which it came had warnings all over to explain exactly how corrosive the battery acid was. The picture of a hand being eaten away is actually pretty funny. Also note the "This End Up" symbol that looks like a robot face.

As usual, click to embiggen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vive la République!

Happy Bastille Day!

New Character - Bigfoot Lady

The woman at work who used to hunt for Bigfoot was peeking out of a door yesterday before walking into a hallway. It looked something like this. Click to embiggen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scoot on Out

Son's minibike is getting too small. It is rated for under 150 lbs., and Son runs between 148 and 153 right now. Whenever I drive around town, I keep my eyes open for a used dirt bike, but the one I saw a while back was gone when I came back through from my errand. Alas.

GPop is off this week (and next, which is our trip to SF, in case you forgot), and he proclaimed that it was Barn Cleaning Day. Once they removed the piles of crap, they found all of the parts of the 1986 Honda Elite 80 scooter we had in the barn.

Son was excitipointed (excited and disappointed, all in one). I think he wanted a real dirt bike that could leap tall buildings in a single bound, etc., but at the same time, this was here and, barring a battery charge and fresh tank of gas, ready to go.

He told me that maybe it wasn't going to carry his weight, but when I let him know that it could haul my fat @$$ at about 30-35 mph on flat roads, he realized that maybe this was going to be OK. The battery is charging as I type this.

Remind me sometime to tell you the history of the scooter.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ten Years

On Thursday, we missed celebrating ten years in our house.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We went to a wedding shower for a cousin today. GPop had hard time with that vs. a bridal or baby shower. To be fair, so did another guest.

As Seen on Teevee

We watched the PBS American Experience documentary, The Summer of Love, last night to show Son some of the history of San Francisco. Son is intrigued by the Hippie movement, and this encapsulated the highlights of that year.

When we get out there for vacation, we're certainly going to see some of the Haight-Ashbury locations from the video. Son wants to talk to a real hippie. That might be a little trickier. It's not as though they have office hours.

Next up: The Times of Harvey Milk.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Foto Phriday - Two Weeks' Worth

When I go to a restaurant, and they bring me a straw wrapped in paper, I almost always twist the paper into some shape. Here's a cat from yesterday.

Picture of a paper straw wrapper twisted into the shape of a sitting cat.  I have too much time on my hands.

This is a picture of my gas mileage this morning. Hmmmm...

My car got 53.0 miles per gallon on my commute this morning.  Nyah nyah!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

O happy day!

I found my wayward umbrella.

Green Grows the Grass of Home

Here are some pictures of the grass that we planted. I think I was expecting it to match the rest of the lawn, but it looks like a bad toupee. Perhaps it will darken in time.

My ♥

We're heading out to San Francisco for vacation during the week of July 20-24. If anyone from the bay area wants to meet up for a quick "Hello," leave me a comment.

I hope I don't have to fake some comments so I look popular.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In Memoriam

This is a picture from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. I think it bears a striking resemblance to a certain singer.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, GPop! This is the sixteenth time we've celebrated your birthday together.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, &M!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The crab in the aquarium was so distraught by the light turning on that it did a little flip onto its back.

Friday, July 3, 2009

World's Messiest

Just set DVR to record the world's messiest house.

There is a woman who lives next to my dad who is worse.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

10:20 pm Last Night

The scene - GPop and GDad are in bed, reading. Son marches in.

Son: Dad, I can't sleep.

GDad: [pats bed] Come here and sit. What's the matter? Are you too hot?

Son: No. I'm just not sleepy.

GPop: Do you want a glass of warm milk?

GDad: [giggles]

Son: [snorts, then giggles]

GPop: What?

Son: What's that supposed to do?

GPop: [sullenly] Helps you go to sleep.

GDad and Son: [giggling] Uh-huh.

[15 minutes later, after situating Son with a book and instructions to read until he got tired...]

GPop: What was wrong with the milk idea? I know it's a placebo.

GDad: So does Son. We were sitting with you when you watched it on Food Detectives. Plus, this is the same situation as my very first blog entry.

MJ - Hidden Meanings

The Internet Anagram Server provides some anagrams for MICHAEL JACKSON IS DEAD.

A Hacienda Docks Slime
Sicko Melds A Hacienda
A Demoniacal Dicks Hes
A Demoniacal Sick Shed
A Manacled Disco Sheik

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Slightly Odd Plate

I just saw another license place that read STNKWD.