Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mole Mining

My dad set out four traps last night at 9PM, and harvested two moles at 7AM today. This is certainly an unique success in mole warfare. He has tried a variety of traps, baits, and poisons and has concluded that there is no silver bullet. The key is experience and instinct as to where to place the traps. The traps, moles, and a garden gnome (for size reference) are pictured here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning/Painting

During the process of reorganizing and cleaning out our garage, my parents and I came across some latex-based paint that we do not want. Although it is not considered hazardous as of January, latex paint can not be thrown out unless it is dried out, nor will these paints be taken as hazardous waste in liquid form. So it becomes our green-compliance responsibility to dry these paints out.

Because we plan to replace the garage doors, my sister and I decided to use some of these paints to make a mural. My plan was to make some kind of pastural scene, with goats, rabbits, and ninja turtles. But the "green" I tried to make was more of a blue, and so it ended up being a seascape. My sister was going for more of an abstract, draw-your-own-conclusions artwork.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Book Report

The silver lining to unemployment is a surplus of time. With some of that time I have read a few books, and feel like I should share my opinions with readers of this blog (who may also like to read books.)
The Kite Runner - good, but not for the whole family.
David Copperfield - too long, and fizzles towards the end.
Reservation Road - builds up to nothing; dumb.
Thomas More's Utopia - wordy and difficult to sort through, but good.
To Kill a Mockingbird - the best one.
Moby-Dick - fun to read, symbolism was too deep for my shallow brain.
The Alchemist - ok, but I disagree with parts of it.
The Great Gatsby - I'm just getting into it, but don't like it so far.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Baby you can drive my ambulance

After weeks of looking for a job in the biotech industry, I decided to take a step back and see the big picture. Sure, it would be great to get a job in R&D or manufacturing, but it seems that the competition for those jobs is ferocious (1000 resumes were submitted for the TGC opening). So I looked into healthcare. I set up an interview over the phone. Next thing I know, I'm an ambulance driver/EMT. Orientation starts Tuesday. The money is not especially attractive, but I will get patient care experience to enhance my applications to PA programs for next fall.
If the title of this post doesn't ring a bell, please check out The Beatles "Rubber Soul" album.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Don't Go to Grad School

A riddle: How can you go from no experience to overqualified without even getting a job? Answer: graduate school. I just got a polite email from the company I interviewed with last week saying how great they thought I was, but that they would be doing me a disservice if they were to hire me because I would be bored with the job in 3 months. Don't most people get bored at their jobs? Whatever. So, if you want to work in the biotech industry, don't follow my example. Don't go to grad school. Just work your way up.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Seattle Underground field trip

I was invited to chaperone a field trip for my sister to the underground Seattle tour. Seattle was built on a sawdust landfill, and there were numerous problems throughout the 1800's with plumbing and sinkholes. So the main level of the city was later built to the level of the second floor. It's still sinking, but the first story is "underground" so it isn't noticeable. After the tour we walked around Pioneer Square and found the birthplace of the United Parcel Service, where there is a monument including a waterfall. The picture shows myself and my sister Penny at said monument.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Broke No Joke

Over the last several weeks I have been looking for a job and worrying about my waning bank account. It didn't help that I forgot to sign my tax return, nor that it costs $50 for a tank of gas. I had a job interview today at a biotech company downtown, and hope with all my heart that it works out. I will find out if I got the job by the end of next week.
I dropped in at a law firm where I used to work to see my old boss before the interview. He gave me a pep talk, and assured me that everyone goes through a rough time looking for a job, but one of these days when I least suspect there will be 8 job offers all at once. It was inspiring, and when I went out the door, I had a renewed confidence. But walking the few blocks to the interview I felt something hit the top of my head. It wasn't raining. In fact, a malicious and diabolical bird had relieved itself just at the wrong moment in the sky above me. I had to use a restroom in a neighboring building to clean it all off before going into the interview.
This done, I was just a couple of minutes early to the interview. I met with 11 people over about 3 hours. Many of the questions were the same, and I was prepared for most of them. I feel like everyone I met had as good an impression as I could have hoped. Now it's back to writing more cover letters, submitting more resumes, reading Charles Dickens novels, waiting, and crossing my fingers.