lance_sibley: (Absolutely Cuckoo - by crazybutgraphic)
I had yet another doctor appointment this morning... I had been told that this one was a geneticist, and that he would be dealing with the preliminary diagnosis of hemachromatosis. It turned out that he was actually a hematologist (blood specialist).

I arrived at about 8:50 for my 9 o'clock appointment (having slept through 20 minutes of my alarm beeping at me and woken up at 7:50) and managed to find the correct area. I would have been earlier had I gotten off at the first bus stop instead of continuing on to the stop at the main entrance of the hospital (this doctor works in the cancer ward at Sunnybrook), but I didn't know that until after I arrived and asked at Reception. It took until about 9:20 before they actually saw me (how can they already be behind schedule at that time of day?), first by a 4th-year medical student who took my blood pressure (I think she said it was 108/71), listened to my heart and lungs, and tapped all over my stomach like it was a melon she was checking for freshness. (It even sounded like she was tapping a melon.)

Then the doctor came in and we talked for a while about what I'd been experiencing, and what the test results showed. He didn't seem to have a final diagnosis yet either, though, and they didn't have anything about the results of the heart test from a month or so ago. So they sent me off... to have more blood taken. Yay. This time, they only filled six vials.

He did tell me that the simplest treatment for hemachromatosis is regular phlebotomy... or taking blood to reduce the amount of iron in my body. This may be why I stopped feeling faint after they started doing all the blood work. If that's the case, then I guess it's time to bring on the leeches. ;)

My next appointment - barring getting the results from the cardiologist in the meantime - is in about six weeks. Fun, wow.


In job hunting-related news, I have an interview tomorrow out in Mississauga. Wish me luck!
lance_sibley: (Strike)
I had another poor night at the bowling alley tonight: 138, 158, 164. That third game was my best game of the playoffs, and it was still six pins below my average. Pity, I'd started out so well (79 through the first four frames) but then got a couple of splits that killed my game.

Teamwise, we were 11th going into tonight - the top seven make the finals. We climbed to 9th place after the first game, but despite the fact that we overtook a team in each of the last two games, another team also overtook us in each, so we ended up finishing 9th.

Jamie was sick tonight - it sounded like a flu bug, from what he described - but fortunately there was someone there tonight who had filled in here and there throughout the season and so he was allowed to fill in for us.

In other news... I had to go up to Aurora today to pick up my last two paycheques and the formal letter that informed me of the layoff. It seems that they'd managed to get things sufficiently in order that their promise of keeping me on payroll until things were settled is no longer in effect. I should be getting a final severance payment in a week or so, along with my Record of Employment so that I can apply for Employment Insurance. (I was expecting to get that today, but apparently they have five calendar days to get it to me from today, so they're going to mail it to me. I was also expecting to have to sign something, but apparently having someone who doesn't own the company witness my being informed of the fact is legally sufficient. At least that's what my now-former boss said.)

The weird thing was that during the whole conversation, Zak never even peeked around the corner of the divider that separated our desks. I had to go around and get his attention to say good-bye. I don't know if he was just really uncomfortable with the whole thing (because who knows, he may be laid off soon too if things don't improve), or if he was being a jerk. I'll be charitable and assume that he was uncomfortable.

Tonight, at the bowling alley, Mario said that he was going to be playing golf tomorrow morning with someone he knows who is a good recruiter, so he said that he would mention my name and email me the guy's email address so that I can send him my resume.

I had a phone conversation earlier this week with a recruiter who was interested in putting me forward for management jobs based on my convention experience. I was skeptical, but I told him go ahead, send me the documentation about his company's services. The one thing that bothered me was that he said that they charge people - about $630 for the initial assessment, which is refundable under a certain set of circumstances, but if the candidate finds a job without their help they have to pay another $630. Now, no normal recruiter charges jobhunters for their services - they charge the hiring companies. But I thought, this is a management placement service, so maybe they use a different model. I was supposed to call him back on Wednesday to tell him whether or not I was interested, so I emailed Mario on Tuesday to ask him what he thought. His response indicated that management placement company or not, reputable recruiters all use the same model. So I called the guy back and said, "Thanks, but no thanks." I talked further with Mario about it tonight, as well as with Ed, who apparently used to be a headhunter. He said, "That's the company people go to work for when they can't cut it as a headhunter."

Anyhow... I've been told to get to bed now, and so off to bed I shall go. (It took a while to get around to clicking "post"... I actually wrote all of the above about five and a half hours ago.)
lance_sibley: (Part Geek All Man)
For any who are interested, tonight's episode of CSI will feature a murder at a science fiction convention (depending on whom you believe, it's either a Trek con or a Galaxy Quest con). The guest cast includes:


  • Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh on BSG) as Dr. Penelope Russell

  • Michael Welch (Young Jack O'Neill on Stargate SG-1, Luke on Joan of Arcadia and Artim in Star Trek: Insurrection) as Steuben Lorenz

  • Joshua Cox (Lieutenant Corwin on Babylon 5) as "Commander Artemis Bishop"

  • Ronald D. Moore (creator of BSG and former Trek producer) as himself

  • Arne Starr (comic book artist) as "Convention Artist Guest"



CSI isn't normally a show I watch (though if there's nothing else on and it happens to be on the channel I'm watching, I don't bother changing the channel), but I may try to check this episode out.

Hopefully they'll do a better job than they did with the furry episode a couple of years ago...


On the job hunting front, I applied for another one today (a mainframe job at CIBC), and one last night before I went to bed (a web developer position, using PHP). That brings my total to 38 so far.
lance_sibley: (Polaris - by redeem147)
We've just announced a new guest: Michael Hogan, who played Colonel Tigh on Battlestar Galactica!



I have to admit, a year ago I wouldn't have been all that excited, but now that I've watched the show... woohoo!

He joins David Nykl (Dr. Zelenka on Stargate: Atlantis) and authors:

R.J. Anderson
Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Erik Buchanan
Julie E. Czerneda
Gemma Files
Matthew LeDrew
Lesley Livingston
Karin Lowachee
Derwin Mak
Violette Malan
David Nickle
Michelle Rowen
Douglas Smith

There should be another guest announcement soon - keep your eyes on the website!



In other news, the job hunt continues. So far I've applied to 30 jobs and been in touch with 10 recruiters, plus I've updated my resume on a number of job hunting websites. I got an email today from one of the recruiters asking me if I'm available for a phone call Thursday morning.

I also got a call from my doctor's office today - I have an appointment over at Sunnybrook on April 20. Presumably this relates to the genetic tests that were being done.

And I'm having another bit of fun with Future Shop and HMV - this time I'm trying to get my hands on the 2-disc edition of the new Pet Shop Boys album. It was supposed to come out on March 23, but nobody around here seemed to get it on time. The 2-disc version was pushed back to April 3, but again nobody was getting it then. HMV was supposed to get it today, but all I could find was one copy of the 1-disc version. The woman helping me said, "It should be in by the end of the week." Oy. Here we go again...

Ugh.

Apr. 3rd, 2009 11:22 pm
lance_sibley: (Strike)
In the immortal words of [livejournal.com profile] randomyst following the Star Trek: Enterprise finale:

"Well, that sucked ass!"

I thought I might have my first good night in ages, following four strikes and a spare in six practice frames, but immediately missed two easy spares once the scores were actually being counted. The third game, I had a good start, but then had three consecutive open frames in the second half.

Final scores: 145, 144, 162.

Ugh.

We didn't even stick around to see what place we were in following tonight. We were in something like 9th out of 13 teams after the second game, and in the third game, we barely broke 1000. (I think I actually had the best score on the team in that third game, which says something as well. And that something is "ugh.")

There's no bowling next week because it's Easter weekend, but the playoffs resume the week after that. We'll have to do better.

In other news, I found one new job today to apply to - it's a mainframe position, through a recruiter who was advertising on Workopolis. I haven't had much luck with this particular recruiter, though. I remember having a meeting with one of their people a few years ago, but have never gotten an actual interview for a position through them. Still, fingers crossed... it's an intermediate position, and they're looking for five years' experience, while I have 12 years in mainframes. This makes 25 jobs I've applied to since last Thursday, plus I've spoken to or submitted my updated resume to ten recruiters.

In other other news, I had a voicemail tonight when I got home from someone I'd been trying to reach for weeks, giving me an answer to a question I'd initially asked back in November. It's not the answer I'd hoped for, but at least it's an answer and I can go back to the drawing board on this particular issue. (And yes, that paragraph is intentionally vague. :) )
lance_sibley: (Schedule - by whitetomb)
I had a phone call this morning from a recruiter regarding a PHP position, and a meeting this afternoon with another recruiter (the one [livejournal.com profile] thefrenchmaid put me in touch with). The meeting went well, and he thinks that he might be able to help given my experience and knowledge. *fingers crossed*

(It was strange, though, how much he reminded me of Eric - between his height, and the fact that he was wearing a brown jacket, as was Eric when we were in Chattanooga. The recruiter is a bit older, though.)

After the meeting, I got home and spent about two hours fighting with Vista. I'd been keeping the list of positions I've applied to in an Excel spreadsheet, saving it after adding each new application. However, I didn't realize that I'd never started by saving it to a real folder on my laptop, and since I'd started it on my desktop and emailed it to myself, I'd been saving it in the Temporary Internet Files folder. Before emailing the list to the recruiter (which he'd asked me to do so that he doesn't submit me for any positions I'd already applied for), I had closed Excel. Now, do you think Vista would let me see the contents of the Temporary Internet Files folder? Of course not! I managed to change the settings so that I could see the files in the folder, but the Excel file was in a subfolder that wasn't visible. (I figured this out by re-downloading the older version from my email, clicking "Save As" and seeing where the save dialog started. I could see the other version I'd saved there, but I couldn't see it in Windows Explorer.)

It took me quite a while to figure out how to get Excel to re-open the version that was in the temporary folder - I was *this* close to just redoing the whole thing. Whew!

(Say what you like about Windows, but at least in XP I've never had to go through that much rigmarole just to find a file. Even the Search function wouldn't find the file. Argh.)

Apart from that, though, I haven't really done a whole lot today. Part of that may have been because I spent too much time making myself look good before I went to the meeting (I think it took me about an hour and a half to get out of the apartment today), and because I left about 40 minutes earlier than I really needed to, since I was walking to his office. It's fairly close, so it wasn't a big deal - it took me about 15 minutes, and it was a nice day. Besides, I didn't bother to buy a Metropass for April.

That actually feels really weird - I think I was even buying passes during my last bout of unemployment, just for the convenience. Convenience is one thing, but $109 is a lot of money to spend when I'm not planning on making at least 40 trips this month. I'll just buy tokens to use when I do have to go somewhere that's too far to walk.

Now for some levity... admit it, [livejournal.com profile] huntingdon, this is how you went to work yesterday, isn't it? Admit it, this is you:



(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] neoengel, who found the image here.)
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I just got home from bowling to find an email from the guy who interviewed me on Wednesday for the C# job:


If you're still interested in the position we'd love to have you on board. I haven't had a chance yet to hammer out the exact salary details with my partner but I'm sure we can come to terms that we can all be happy with.

Let me know if you're still feeling good about it and I'd like to get you started as soon as we can.


WOOHOO!

Apart from that, though, tonight was pretty miserable, bowlingwise: 150, 138, 137. My arm was acting up right from the get-go - I suspect that last Friday night's fall may have caused more damage, as [livejournal.com profile] h8torun noticed bruising tonight at a much earlier point in the evening than usual.

But that's okay. I HAVE A JOB!
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I managed to reach the recruiter today regarding the job I interviewed for a few weeks ago - and it seems I was on the top of their list, but the job was then cancelled. Damn budgets.

She had another mainframe position available, but they were insisting on people with an insurance background.

Argh. Back to the grindstone...

I realized last night that I'd neglected to declare my scores at bowling last week, as I hadn't realized that Ad Astra was this weekend. If you'd asked me the dates, I'd have been able to tell you, but I thought I had an extra week. Where did February go? I feel like it just started. This means that I'm going to have to spend an afternoon at the bowling alley some time this week - I'll probably go over Thursday afternoon and head straight to class from there. Or maybe I'll go Wednesday so that I don't feel like I have to rush.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Damn it, this is the third time I've tried to post this... Firefox keeps shutting down on me every time I try to start a post. Hopefully the third time is the charm...

First, bowling: I had a decent night, with scores of 198, 154 and 159, and we won all three games. [livejournal.com profile] h8torun was declaring her scores tonight, so it's good that she was over her average in all three games. Once again, however, we were the last ones out despite the fact that Mario was away tonight. The other team seemed to have a small problem realizing when it was their turn to bowl, which may have been the main contribution to the issue. Though the second-last group to finish included a rather cute guy named Spencer (who has a bf, alas), so I had some eye candy while I was stuck there to the bitter end. :) Randy had the car tonight, so he gave me a ride to the subway.

The painkillers seem to be working - my arm was just starting to get sore toward the end of the night, but nowhere near as bad as it has been. (I had tentative plans to go out with [livejournal.com profile] cuteteenboy tonight, but this time I had to call and cancel as I'm not supposed to drink with these painkillers. Dagnab it.)

I tried calling the recruiter again today to find out what's happening with the job I interviewed for (three weeks ago, now), but again, got her voicemail. I keep hoping that this indicates that they're still making up their minds, rather than that she's avoiding me.

And now some miscellaneous links from other folks on my LJ:


  • From [livejournal.com profile] evawhitley: The Baptist Bulletin is on their high horse about gay marriage. In what I take to be an ironic typo, they refer to the third state to legalize civil unions (and about which I saw nothing on my friendslist despite the fact that it happened this week - what's up, folks?) as "Jew Jersey". I'm pretty sure that's an innocent typo, though, as they got it right further down.

  • From [livejournal.com profile] defenestr8or, apparently the Polish president thinks that acceptance of homosexuality will lead to the end of the human race. Someone ought to tell him that legalizing same-sex marriage doesn't make it mandatory...

  • From [livejournal.com profile] montrealais, another publicly-homophobic Baptist minister has been caught soliciting a man for gay sex. Unfortunately for him, it was an undercover police officer. The lawyer is claiming that the minister has a Constitutional right to solicit for sex. I can't speak to that point, but there may be laws in Oklahoma against solicitation.

  • From [livejournal.com profile] chase820, there are full-frontal pictures of Daniel Radcliffe rehearsing for the upcoming production of Equus. Speculation is, however, that the picture at that link has been Photoshopped. Let's not have any jokes about Harry Potter's wand, 'mkay? *grin*


And courtesy of a comment by [livejournal.com profile] sarcasm_hime on [livejournal.com profile] sandwichboy's LJ, I present to you a preview of the upcoming series Blood Ties, based on the Tanya Huff novels:



Apparently it's not being aired in Canada until the fall, however. *sigh*

Oh, and if you want a chuckle, check out Conservapedia, the right-wing version of Wikipedia. I particularly enjoyed the edits the page on the United States has been undergoing recently, though it still needs a couple of tweaks. Some pages strike me as being more bloglike than encyclopedic, though - when I searched for the page on the U.S., I saw listings for things like Should the United States Have Entered WWI? (that one made me laugh) and Should the United States Have Entered WWII? (still not encyclopedic, but a teensy bit more worthwhile than the previous one, if you ignore comments like "At this moment we could be speaking German and not be celebrating Christmas the Christian way!"). I don't think I'll be giving up on Wikipedia just yet...
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I got home about 45 minutes ago from my interview. I think it went reasonably well; it seems that their need has changed from a simple developer to a team lead, so I was able to describe some of my team lead experience while talking about projects I had worked on. They still have at least one person to interview, so I may not hear anything for a couple of weeks. At that point, I was told, I may be asked to come in again.

When I got home, I called the recruiter to let her know how it went, and I told her about the team leadership conversation. I mentioned that in addition to my professional experience, I had talked very briefly about my volunteer work in science fiction conventions as a department head and Chair. She asked, "Which conventions do you work on?" I mentioned that I had co-chaired TT20... and it turned out she's been to every TT except for two or three (last year's being one of the ones she missed). So we chatted for about half an hour about fandom and conventions. She wanted to know who our actor guests were going to be (besides Torri Higginson), but of course, I couldn't say anything. It turns out that she owns nearly every Star Trek book, and is also a big Stargate and Babylon 5 fan, so I told her about the upcoming direct-to-DVD B5 movie, as she hadn't heard about it. She also asked me what I thought of the Star Trek XI rumours, and we talked for a few minutes about whether or not it makes sense for Kirk to have known Spock at the Academy.

The other "small world" moment had come earlier, when one of my interviewers was walking me out the door. She asked me where I lived, and when I told her, she said that she loves this neighbourhood because of all the good restaurants, movie theatres, and other things to do. I said, "I also like it because the bridge club I play at is four blocks away." She said, "Oh, you play bridge? Do you ever play at the big tournament at the Royal York that's held every Easter?" (Yes, as it happens, though I didn't go last year.) It turns out that her brother also plays bridge and goes to tournaments. I should have asked her his name... I probably don't know him (don't say "but Lance, you know everyone!" - there are a lot of bridge players in Toronto), but one never knows.

Anyhow, I should be off to mail my thank you cards. Hopefully I'll get to the post office before today's last pickup.
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I got an email yesterday from one of the recruiters I'm dealing with, setting up an interview for Friday afternoon. This is the job for which I took the technical test a couple of weeks ago. I just have to figure out how I'm getting there, since the recruiter gave me driving directions (even though I told her I don't drive). It looks like the #134 bus from Scarborough Town Centre runs right past it, though. I feel good about it.

However, I wasn't looking all that good - I was way overdue for a haircut, as was mentioned Monday night at the Polaris Exec meeting. So I called the place I usually go to, only to find out that my usual guy is on vacation, and the guy I've gone to in the past as a backup no longer works at that salon. What to do, what to do...

It suddenly occurred to me that Lee Knight, who (with her husband) runs the Beefcake/Cheesecake at Ad Astra (and who ran it at Gaylaxicon last year), works at a salon which is about a ten minute walk from my apartment. So I called around 3:45, and lo and behold, she had an open slot at 4. So off I went. I'm very happy with the result, though she put paste in my hair before I could stop her. As a result, I couldn't wear my toque for the c-c-c-c-cold walk home (well, not unless I wanted to get it all gunked up on the inside). Yeah, I could have taken the subway from Davisville to Eglinton, but between the walk to Davisville and the walk home from Eglinton I probably wouldn't have saved any time.

It's kind of nice being able to chat with a hairstylist about something that matters to both of you rather than the usual bland chitchat - though I'm sure the other customers wondered what language we were speaking when the conversation turned to author guests of honour. :) My backup guy at the place I usually go to is a science fiction fan, so we were able to talk about various shows we both enjoyed, but he doesn't go to cons, so it's not quite the same. (I did try to get him to come to TT last year, but I don't think he was there. At least, I don't recall seeing him.)

In other news... my VB instructor confirmed last night that he's giving us a week off to catch up because the textbook only just arrived in the campus bookstore yesterday. This will, of course, add an extra week to the end of the course, but that's not too terrible (both my fall classes ran past the official end date as well, though those were due to the instructors being ill). Since I already had the book, I'm more-or-less caught up anyway, though I have about a chapter and a half to review and a couple of exercises to do.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Last week, at the end of the night of bowling, one of our opponents came over and said, "I didn't want to say anything while we were bowling, but you might do better if you stood up a little straighter - you'd get more speed on the ball. Right now your backswing is too short."

Leaving to one side the fact that this is supposed to be a social, fun kind of league and there was no particular reason for her to hide that little snippet from me all evening (I'm as competitive as anyone, but come on), I discovered tonight that she was full of it.

My first and second games both started out pathetically - I would throw the first ball into the pocket, leave one or two pins, and then on the spare attempt I would pull the ball slightly to the left and miss by the most minuscule amount possible (or, as my teammate Bridgette would ever-so-delicately put it, "by the width of a pubic hair"). So I went back to my normal style in the third game and promptly had my best game of the night.

Final scores: 155, 135, 183.

And those first two games' scores sound a lot better than they were - I had maybe 65 in the fifth frame of the first game, and 78 or thereabouts in the seventh frame of the second game. Fortunately I had strong finishes in both games (I actually reverted to my normal style in the ninth frame of the second game - and promptly got a spare in the ninth and two strikes plus nine in the tenth, for 49 pins in the last two frames).

Considering that three weeks ago I bowled two 200 games using my normal style, I'm not sure why I listened in the first place.

I was supposed to drop by [livejournal.com profile] angrykat's gathering afterwards after coming home first (I wasn't showing up in sweat pants and a sweaty t-shirt, sorry), but my elbow is killing me (I still can't straighten my arm without pain) and my neck is kind of sore as well, probably due to the attempt to alter my style tonight. (Ye gods, I sound like a wreck.) Not to mention, I should probably be in bed by 2 or 3ish if I'm going to get up in time tomorrow - I'm meeting [livejournal.com profile] gurudata at 1.

On the job hunting front, I heard nothing today, not even from the recruiter on whose voice mail I'd left a message yesterday regarding an 18-month government contract in Oshawa - I'd expected him to return my call, but I guess he was busy as today was the deadline for applications. (Yes, commuting to Oshawa will likely be difficult - don't remind me. Maybe I should learn to drive one of these years? Or maybe I should just talk Mike into letting me move in with him and his family, since he lives in Whitby. On second thought, that might be awkward...)

I heard through the grapevine tonight that a friend in the bowling league was laid off after 21 years at Bank of Montreal. I expect this means that there may be some additional competition for jobs over the next little while, though from what I've seen of their online job postings, BMO - or at least his part of it - is primarily a C++ shop, so maybe not. A year or so ago he'd offered to take my resume, but nothing ever came of it. It seems they got a new VP who cancelled all of the IT projects my friend was overseeing. Yikes. Sounds like he got a good severance package, though. Three weeks for every year of service? Oh yeah.

I just checked to see what was currently on TV so that I could fill in the "Music" line for this entry and found the following:

Full Moon High (PG)

A teenager (Adam Arkin) becomes a werewolf after a family vacation in Transylvania. Also stars Ed McMahon and Roz Kelly.


Yikes. It's just as well my back is to the TV...

GIP!

Jan. 24th, 2007 05:31 pm
lance_sibley: (Polaris - by redeem147)
[livejournal.com profile] redeem147 was good enough to create a Polaris icon, which I promptly filched as soon as I saw it on [livejournal.com profile] gurudata's LJ. *grin*


Maybe it's just me, but if you're having a telephone conversation with someone, and you're cut off accidentally, and you haven't given the other person your name/number, wouldn't the correct thing to do be to call the person back immediately? I had a call around 4 from a recruiter, and we got two minutes into the conversation when the phone went dead. I was on my way out the door when the phone rang - I actually had my coat, toque, scarf and boots on, and could have just let the phone ring, but I didn't. In fact, I sat by the phone for another five minutes or so in case they called back, but they didn't. Nor did they try my cell phone. Argh.

I'm hoping that they didn't just decide that I was unqualified for the position (it was a PL/1 job, and I haven't actually programmed in PL/1 since August 1987) and hung up on me. Considering that I was in the middle of a sentence, that would have been extremely rude.

I checked the company's website, but they didn't have any PL/1 listings up, so I couldn't even get the person's name and number that way. And yes, I know I could have called *69 to get their number and call them back, but *69 doesn't seem to work too well when the call originated from an extension.

I had another call earlier from another recruiter, but he was leaving the office early today and so I missed him. In his message, he said that he was poking around my website and "wasted ten minutes" (his words) reading all about me. I wonder if he read anything here. I don't generally make a habit of friends-locking posts unless there's something ultra-personal that I don't want to share with the whole world, and that happens fairly seldom. (After all, according to [livejournal.com profile] aprilsnark I am the "Queen of TMI." ;) )
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I just spoke with the recruiter with whom I met last week... I scored 74% on the technical test last week, which she said was "quite good". So she's just waiting to hear back from the client about scheduling an interview.

*fingers crossed*
lance_sibley: (Strike)
That pretty well sums up my night at bowling. 145, 153, 150. Pretty consistent, but pretty consistently mediocre (not to mention 15-20 pins below my average). I just couldn't get untracked all night, and we only won one game out of three, though the third game was close (if only I hadn't gotten a split in the tenth frame).

At one point during the second game, my left eyelid began twitching. It's been doing this for several months, though I had a bit of a break from them during November and December. I've had muscle spasms - usually minor twitches - pretty much my whole life (I'm having one right now on the left side of my neck where it meets my shoulder), but seldom has one lasted this long. I have had recurring muscle spasms in some parts of my hands, probably due to typing (that, and my posture, are probably the cause of the current one in my neck), but the longest one spasm will usually last is two or three days. Randy noticed it at one point, and seems to think that I should see a doctor about it. I'm not sure that it's something worth worrying about, though. At least, not until I start to resemble Chief Inspector Dreyfus of the Sûreté. (I'm more concerned with the fact that I still have issues with my elbow, since I still can't straighten my arm completely without pain.)

No word today from the recruiter about my test results. I must remember to call her on Monday.

Onto a more serious topic... I was just perusing tonight's friendslist entries, and in the [livejournal.com profile] queerasfolkfans community, there was a post about the recent Gray's Anatomy brouhaha, in which Isaiah Washington used the word "faggot" at the Golden Globes the other night.

Now, having read what he said in this most recent incident, I may be alone on this, but I'm not upset with him using the word here. Let's have a look, shall we? According to this story on yahoo.com, he said, "I did not call T.R. a faggot. Never." The issue, to me, is that when the initial incident occurred back in October, there were witnesses who saw and heard him use the word. Yes, that initial incident was deplorable. But what we had the other night was not an attempt to hurt someone by using a slur. Let's get our priorities in order, shall we? The problem isn't that he used the word "faggot" - the problem is that he denied having done so three months ago. (Unless there was something that happened that isn't being reported on?)

Yes, the man clearly needs to work on what appear to be anger issues, and it sounds as though he's trying to get help with that. And yes, he does seem to have some homophobia issues, but from what he's said (at least publicly) it sounds as though he realizes that as well. We'll see what happens.

Interestingly, though, in the Yahoo article, they interviewed Queer As Folk co-creators Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, who said they "once had to deal with an actor whose public remarks had infuriated fellow cast members, who snubbed him. The man chose not to return for another season and "frankly, we would have decided that as well." This got picked up on [livejournal.com profile] queerasfolkfans, of course. Despite the fact that Cowen and Lipman refused to identify the actor about whom they were speaking, fans of the show know that they're referring to Chris Potter, who left the show after S1. It seems, however, that QAF fans are still under the impression that Potter left the show because he had homophobia issues and was uncomfortable playing a gay character. (First of all, he'd previously played a gay man on Will & Grace - specifically an ex-bf of Will's. Second, he wasn't exactly desperate for work, so why would he have auditioned for the part?) From what I recall hearing, his son was being picked on at school because of his being on QAF. That was the reason he grew uncomfortable with playing the role.

Don't get me wrong - there's still a ton of homophobia out there. But let's not cause problems for ourselves when none exist, okay?

Whew!

Jan. 18th, 2007 04:10 pm
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I got home about half an hour ago from writing the technical test for one of the positions I'm currently up for. It was a 50-question test, administered by computer. There were a few questions which struck me as being phrased awkwardly (or at least, I didn't quite understand what they were asking), and a couple others where the subject matter was something that, at my past employers, has always been done by database administrators rather than programmers, but for the most part I think I did okay. The recruiter told me that she would probably have my results by the end of today, and then she would know in another day or two if I would be going forward.

I kind of prefer doing these kinds of things with a real live person, though - that way, if a question is phrased in a way that makes it confusing, I can ask for clarification. Also, I can "talk around" the problem - not avoid the question, but explain my answer more fully than can be done by simply clicking a button on a computer screen.

Well, we'll see.

I recognized someone while I was there, too - I think he was a manager at Sears (though I'm not 100% sure whether it was there or at CDS). I waved as I was taken past his office, and he waved back, though I'm not sure if he recognized me. Then again, as I said to the recruiter, I wasn't blond back then. :) (Not to mention, if it was Sears that I knew him from, I left there over ten years ago; if it was CDS, that was four years ago, and in either case, I haven't seen him since, and I didn't work for him anyway, so I wouldn't be surprised if he had no idea who I was.)

When I got home, I had an email from Mike. It looks like we'll be getting together on February 2 - he said he'd come over after work (which would be around midnight) and then we'll go to the bridge club the following afternoon. I haven't even touched a playing card in over a year. Yikes. Though I'm sure I won't make the same mistake he did the last time we hadn't played in a long time - he opened one notrump, I responded with Stayman1, and he forgot what that was... oops. I think we ended up in some ridiculous number of clubs because he had five of them, and every time I bid some other suit, he couldn't figure out what I was doing and "corrected" back to clubs. So we played it from my side on a 5-1 fit. (I'm pretty sure he won't repeat that mistake either, because when we talked on the phone recently he was the one who brought the incident up. :) )

1 - for non-bridge players reading this, "Stayman" is a bidding convention used after partner opens with some number of notrump. I bid two clubs, and if partner has four hearts, he's supposed to respond with the cheapest available number of hearts; lacking four hearts, if he has four spades he's supposed to respond in spades; lacking four of either, he's supposed to answer in diamonds. Unless you're playing Puppet Stayman, but that's too much for a simple footnote. In any case, it's the first bidding convention anyone learns when they first take up the game. For Mike to forget Stayman is like someone being asked "What is one plus one?" and not knowing the answer. This is why I always tell people that being a Life Master isn't nearly as impressive as it sounds. ;)
lance_sibley: (Opportunities)
I've had a headache for about two days now. I suspect it's been caused by one of three things: either schlepping my backpack around with far too much stuff in it during two of the past three days has thrown my back out of alignment, or switching to my boots on Monday has altered the way I'm walking, throwing my back out of alignment, or Sunday's unnecessarily long walk from Yonge and Lawrence to the TCON Board meeting (unnecessary because I could have taken a bus), slipping in the snow (because I was wearing my shoes and getting no traction) threw my back out of alignment. And yes, I know it's my back, because I can feel the tension under my right shoulder blade.

I had my first Visual Basic .NET class this evening. I was the second person to show up, which meant that I got dibs on the last used copy of the textbook that the instructor had from a previous student. I have no complaint about saving $50, though its previous owner kept the software that came with it.

We didn't do a whole lot - the three hour session was mostly taken up by the instructor going over the course outline in excruciating detail and talking about Visual Studio, which I'm already familiar with from last term's C# class (though I do realize that I may be the only person in the class who does know anything about the software, since the only person I recognize from last term was in my Internet Scripting Languages class). We didn't even log on to the network until about 8:30, and we didn't go over anything about the language itself. So even though there was supposed to be an in-class exercise, we didn't do too much of it.

On the job-hunting front, I got an email today from the recruiter I'd been talking to about doing a technical test - she suggested either tomorrow or Thursday. I asked for Thursday, since that would give me a little time to prepare (given that I was expecting that my brain would be full of Visual Basic stuff tonight). Not that I expect to need a lot of preparation - after all, I've spent 12 years of my life doing this stuff. I'd just hate to be asked a question about, for example, how to code a PERFORM statement and respond in PL/1 or C instead of COBOL (which I've done in the past, much to my embarrassment). I'll probably spend a couple of hours going through CICS manuals instead to refamiliarize myself with things like keyed sequential datasets. Or going through the list of SQLCODES, since despite the fact that SQL error codes include English-language descriptions of the error along with the numerical code, in every interview I've had I've been asked things like "What is an SQLCODE -904?" (it's an unavailable resource, usually caused by another program locking a table, or caused by someone having run a LOAD utility without running the checkdata utility afterwards - see, I still know my stuff).

I didn't manage to respond to her email until late this afternoon, after returning home from various errands, so she probably didn't see it before she left for the day. I expect to hear something more concrete about timing tomorrow.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
I guess it's true that for every good thing that happens, a bad thing must inevitably follow? I had my second-worst night of the bowling season this evening, a week after having my best night. 135, 148, 169. Ouch. And what was worse, we lost all three games - against the frigging ghost team (the actual ghost team, not a team that just didn't bother to show up) because we never broke 1050 once. It didn't help that Mario was sick tonight and didn't show up, and we didn't have a declared score for him, but still, we could have gotten 1050 in the first and third games with maybe one more strike or spare from anyone (we were over 1030 in each).

I think part of the problem was that because we had no opponents, we were bowling faster than normal. We always do better when we bowl at a more leisurely pace. (When the break was called, Randy had already bowled two balls - both strikes - in the tenth frame of the third game, meaning that we were about two minutes from being finished for the night.) I was having trouble stringing together more than two marks in a row - I had more splits tonight than I've seen in a while.

Let's see, what else happened today... oh. I finally managed to get hold of the recruiter who was going to have me come in for a technical interview. It seems that the client is, in fact, a little concerned about my long layoff, but they seemed amenable to the recruiter giving me a written test to prove that I still know my stuff. It's slow-going, though, and she still doesn't know exactly when I'll be asked to come in.

I had another call from a recruiter today, but it was for a contract position that wasn't in Toronto. I'm thinking that maybe I should go for it anyway - it's only in Waterloo, which is about 90 minutes from Toronto by bus - but I'd have to withdraw from my Visual Basic class, and probably quit the bowling league, because there'd be no way I'd be able to get back to Toronto by 6:15 (for class) or 7 (for bowling) three nights a week. What to do, what to do...

Oh, and seen via [livejournal.com profile] evawhitley's LJ, this clip is hilarious. I always knew there was something fishy about American politicians...

lance_sibley: (Absolutely Cuckoo - by crazybutgraphic)
The Scary Truth About Your Friends (monty python style) by Mellifera
Username
Has a silly walkmzrowan
Hates spamnetmouse
Weighs the same as a duckjim_gamma
Sells shrubberydagibbs
Has an outrageous accentd0r0thy_zb0rnak
Didn't expect the Spanish Inquisitionjaideran_frost
Sells dead parrotscuteteenboy
Ex-leperlizblackdog
Has a gweat fwiend in Wome named Biggus Dickusbananadancer
Splitter!lsanderson
Really hates the Romansnonstopdrivel


In other news... still no contact from the recruiter who wanted me to come downtown for a technical test last week. I left her a voicemail yesterday. I also applied to three more jobs last night that I found on Workopolis; that makes 26 since Christmas.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
I think I need to go and stick my right arm in the freezer for the next three or four hours. Ow. Ow. Ow.

In case it's not obvious (though the icon should be a dead giveaway), tonight was the first night of bowling after the Christmas break. I made sure to warm up slowly and carefully, because it was the first night after Christmas last year when I wrecked my arm, and it hasn't been 100% since. At least, unlike this time last year, I can reach over my shoulder and put my hand flat on the area between my shoulder blades (my inability to reach the back of my neck to scratch was what clued me in that I had hurt myself last year).

So... after two previous weeks of bowling against first one wall, and then the other, tonight we were smack in the middle which meant... it was our turn to sell 50/50 tickets. Yay! There wasn't much of a rush, anyway - the pot only got up to $50 or so.

Mario wasn't there tonight, as he had a bridge game, but he had a declared score. This made me, as the #4 bowler, the anchor. We had a reasonable first game, but the opponents had a really good one, which meant that when I went up to bowl the tenth frame, I had to strike out to tie. Yeah, right. I said to Bridgette, "I never get strikes. I'll try to keep it close." She disagreed that I never get strikes, but it tends to be true - I tend to get 7-9 spares per game, maybe one strike, and one or two open frames. So I went up, threw the first ball... and left the five pin. *facepalm* I spared it and picked up 7 on my third ball, though, so we only lost by 14.

Naturally, after the whole "I don't get strikes" thing, and failing to get the needed strikes in the tenth frame of the first game, I then proceeded to start the second game with five strikes in a row... and then the league VP, who was on the team we were bowling against, decided to call the break. I asked him not to, but I guess he thought I needed to cool down for 15 minutes... argh. Naturally, in the sixth frame, I threw the ball right in the pocket and... left the five pin. *facepalm* However, we managed to win the second game by 125, and we won the third game as well, though it was closer because their anchor got two strikes in the tenth (forcing me to do the same - and this time I actually did it).

Anyway, that's pretty much the long way of reporting tonight's scores: 166, 239, 210. Not bad for the first night back after a three-week break. Okay, pretty damned good. *grin*

(Before anyone asks, no, 239 isn't my best game ever - that was 244, about five years ago. Nor was this my best night ever - the night I had a 244 I also had a 235 and 150.)

But as I said at the top of this post, I need to go and stick my arm in the freezer. And I just know that tomorrow I'll be walking like I'm 90 years old.


Remember last week or thereabouts when I said that the secret to the Leafs doing well was for me not to watch them? Well, last night's game was televised on a digital channel, and I don't have digital cable... so naturally they won 10-2. [livejournal.com profile] hoskie, your boy Alex seems to have broken out of his slump - he had a hat trick.


And finally, while I still haven't heard from the recruiter who wanted me to come in at some unspecified time to meet with some unspecified person for a technical interview, I did get an email from RBC tonight saying that my application for a Team Leader position I applied for last week had been referred to the Hiring Manager with the recommendation that I be interviewed. Go me! I'm sure it has nothing to do with the phone conversation I had with Mike last night in which I asked him to put in a word for me... it's far too early for that to have happened.


Oh, yeah, I guess I should mention that I talked to Mike for about an hour last night. I'd called him at work, but they seemed to have moved him - the number I had wasn't in service. I tracked down a central number on the RBC website for the Visa department and called them. Even though it was a Toronto area code, I think my call was transferred to Montreal. I asked if they had the new number for the Toronto Visa department, and the very nice woman I was speaking to looked it up, but said that she wasn't sure if that would get me to the right area. Then it occurred to me to ask if she could give me his direct number from their employee directory, and she not only had his direct number, but she actually gave it to me. That was a pleasant surprise. Anyhow, so I managed to reach him, but since he's not supposed to take personal calls at work he said he'd call me back later, which he finally did around midnight (he works a 3-11 shift). We made arrangements for him to come over on some as-yet-unspecified Saturday so that we can exchange Christmas gifts, and maybe go over to the bridge club for a game (I haven't been over there in ages - it's going to be embarrassing, I know it). He needs time to exchange my gift first, though - apparently he'd gotten me the Star Trek animated series on DVD, but I had already bought it for myself with the gift card my father gave me. (He didn't ruin the surprise - I happened to mention that I had gotten it, and he said, "Oh shit. Good thing I kept the bill.") So he asked me what I don't have - and apart from QAF S5 (which I'm not going to ask him for - it's $99 before tax), I can't think of anything that I don't have but I want. I'm pretty up-to-date with my DVD collection. Well, I haven't yet gotten Family Guy Vol. 4, but that's not a particularly high priority. I went over to Future Shop today to browse - Numb3rs, maybe? Dead Like Me? X3: The Last Stand? Anyone have any suggestions?

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