WordPress … more powerful than I thought

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So, I’m taking this online course, and am about 2/3 of the way through it. There’s a small section on using WordPress to create websites, ecommerce sites, and more. Part of me is thinking “Where has this been all my life?” (of course, by “all my life” that really means all the time the internet has been around, I’ve been around for a lot longer). The other part of me is thinking “No way am I rebuilding my various websites …”. I can see how someone could make a living with WordPress, and building websites for people using it.

I can see how useful it can be, though. With the huge amount of plugins, and so on. The instructor really likes it, but he whipped through a lot. Figures.

The stuff I am really liking so far though is the Twitter Bootstrap framework, and some of the jQuery code. I can see re-doing some of my stuff using these, and am considering some of it. I’ve included some jQuery code on the page for my new book (accordion code, collapse and expand sections by clicking titles) …

The parts I really need are coming up: PHP, followed by MYSQL. Hope I can make some sense out of what he shows with those two sections. They are the most important, but the Javascript and jQuery parts were interesting, and combining those with PHP I think I will be able to do a lot. Guess we’ll see.

Speaking of the new book — waiting for the proof copy to arrive from CreateSpace (probably tomorrow). Assuming no issues (I don’t anticipate any, but one never knows), I may be able to release it for sale shortly after the proof arrives. That will be good, get that going and one less thing to stress over.

Still need to find a job. Am reaching the “will they ever get back to me about the one job I interviewed for?” stage … it’s been what, three weeks? Of course, it took two months after I applied to get the interview, so … I think I have about two months left of unemployment. This is frustrating …

Also thinking since I’m home a lot, maybe I should do things like, oh, more serious cleaning. Tomorrow (on top of other things) I am planning on cleaning my office. Starting with the desk (which has dusk and pollen on it) by moving everything and using Windex, etc. Then cleaning the tops of the bookshelves, and vacuuming in general. Then Tuesday I’ll move on to another room of the house. Wonder if my darling wife will even notice?

Have been trying to get the walking in. Not feeling like expanding my walking range, but it’s still been good for me. I need to do some other exercise though to help drop some weight. Trying to eat better, but that’s hard sometimes … I need to put in a more concerted effort, I guess.Sigh. Of course, then I see friends (well, younger ones) posting on Facebook that they did a five mile walk (or run or …), and I feel like a slacker. But … oh well.

CJ is getting so frustrated with the Exchequer job right now (SCA stuff): the SCA got audited recently (by the IRS). There have been some issues. It took 10 years to get into this mess, but she (and all the other Kingdom Exchequers) are expected to fix things *NOW* … not over time, but NOW. It’s reaching a point where she is frustrated, constantly. She had one issue that is quite involved she’s working on; and now another; and this is on top of the regular job. It’s also very difficult to get volunteers in the SCA anymore, which means she can’t get a deputy to help with this stuff, because she can’t count on anyone. It also means that we don’t have a life anymore. I am frustrated beyond belief by the fact that 90% of her time when she’s not at work is spent on this. WE HAVE NO LIFE! I WANT IT BACK! We don’t go out, the only movies I see that are new is during the week when I catch them during the day, we hardly ever see friends (except at an occasional SCA event). She’s angry a lot … which doesn’t help. June of next year cannot come fast enough (that’s when she steps down from the job). I am hating this.

Jobs: 0; Book nearly done

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Job search is still disheartening. But … I have managed to get my latest book closer to publication. I have the manuscript and cover approved at Amazon’s “CreateSpace”, and am waiting for a proof copy (maybe as soon as Monday). I tried using their cover generator, but it didn’t work for my needs (not enough customization, formatting options are limited …). Used Publisher (Microsoft Office) to create the cover:

The dBASE Book Plus Cover

Cover to my third book

On other fronts, we went to Arcata last weekend for the (SCA) Purgatorio Coronation. Drove up Friday, traffic wasn’t too bad. Event Saturday. Drove home Sunday … herself spent most of the day at gate. I spent most of it near court, just hanging out. Met an old friend who may be moving back from Australia. Not a whole lot else … most things haven’t changed a lot.

Have been walking most days of the week — a little less than a mile. About to go do that now. It gets me moving, gets the blood flowing. I spend way too much time in front of the computer most days. This is good for me.

Keep hoping to hear back from the one job, as nothing else seems to be happening … sigh. Oh well. Time to go walkies.

Still feeling a bit out of it, but …

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I think that after a time, depression is inevitable when you spend nearly four months job-hunting and for the most part all you hear (the few times you hear anything) are rejections.


Yeah, another one. This one was fast. I applied fairly early in the day yesterday for a job, and before lunch I got a rejection email. I have a feeling that it was an automated process based heavily on keywords, and I didn’t have enough of them (or possible all of them). That still doesn’t make it any easier to take.

The one that I keep hoping to hear back from is the one nearly two weeks ago where I had the phone interview. Been quiet about who it was, because while I’m not a superstitious person I don’t want anything to influence this. I have no idea when I might hear back. (I probably should have asked … I’ve been hesitant about sending an email asking …)

So, in the meantime, today I did about as much editing as I can stand on my book. I need to figure out the cover (and other nitpicky details — sadly I don’t think I kept a lot of notes about the ISBN Barcodes and such, so need to look it all up again — I purchased a number of them the last time, and have a bunch left that I can still use, I need to find the info). The cover is tricky because I’m not an artist, don’t want to go back to the guy who has done the others because he’s not involved in the dBASE community anymore and has retired, and the different covers he’s done have all been variations on the original (I want something different this time) … and I need it all to be digital (and again the requirements for the cover itself are fairly involved).

Back to the depression thing: part of it may be that I spend way too much time in the house. If I were working I’d be out … but I am home a lot. And most of that is in front of the computer. Walking in the morning sometimes helps (I didn’t walk the last two days due to heat, but went and did my usual route this morning), and going out to lunch helps — again, it gets me out of the house. Even if my interaction with people is small, it’s something. I’m not clinically depressed, but still … it’s been tough. And again, a lot of it, I’m sure, is the lack of even any interviews for all those jobs the resume goes out for. Sigh. Frustrations galore.

Well … away we go … wife is leaving work, in about 45 minutes I have to pick her up from BART … time to get away from the computer at the least, go watch some news (probably won’t help on the depression thing, but …).

Don’t wanna …

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I have a case of the “don’t wannas” today. It’s really bad.

I don’t know if this is borderline depression or what. But I just don’t have the energy or interest in doing anything. Yesterday I blamed this feeling on the heat (it was in the triple digits), but it’s not as warm today. I just can’t focus, can’t concentrate.

This isn’t me. I normally can sit down and get shit done. I need to finish editing my book and figure out how to create the cover for it. I need to finish the online course I started (that’s long and will take time, but I should be able to focus and do lessons). I should be putting more effort into job hunting.

I’m not sad. At least I don’t feel sad. I just have no energy, but I’m not sick, either. I don’t know why I feel this way. Is it depression? I don’t know … I think I mentioned in a previous posting I’ve never been close to clinical depression (and doubt I am now), but I really just can’t concentrate.

No sir, I don’t like it. (Mr. Horse, Ren and Stimpy cartoon)

Grumble mutter grumble some more …

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I know it’s not personal … I know it’s not personal … I know it’s not personal …

Just got another rejection letter for a job app. Granted, most companies don’t bother to do even that much, but still … It’s really hard not to take it personally. Sigh.

CJ on the other hand is in good shape, she’s about as secure as one can get in any job these days, and starting in September gets a raise (putting her back to close to around where she was before the layoff a few years ago).

I really hope this one job pans out. It would be a massive amount of challenge for me, but I think I can do it … I hate trying to find work, and it’s getting more and more frustrating … it’s hard to stay positive … sigh.

An INTERVIEW! I actually got an interview!

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Gad. The job search has been so frustrating that just getting to the interview stage is a major accomplishment.

I had a phone interview with an individual in Cincinnati, I think overall I did well. It’s a management position, so the one major concern is a lack of management background, but lots of leadership came through my resume (yeah!) and more. I feel overall pretty good about it, but he does have some other applicants to interview. I never want to bank on a single interview. If I get another, then I’ll feel even better. Main office is in SF, but there would be quite a bit of travel to start, and it would back off a bit after …

I’m both excited and wary. I don’t want to get my hopes up too high. I’ve usually done pretty well in interviews in the past (meaning if I get to that stage, I usually get the job), but it’s a tough job market out there and this is me stretching into an area I would have to really work at to be good at.

On other fronts, since I haven’t written much for a while …

CJ definitely has a job at Wells after the re-org. She got one with her current manager who is taking a new position, and it’s at a higher pay grade (yay!). So, come fall, she’s not losing her job.

The SCA Exchequery still is a thorn in our sides. She spends way too much time on that … June of next year can’t come soon enough, I tell ya’ (that’s when she’s giving it up).

Work progresses on my book. I went through and did a first pass at indexing parts of it today. Most chapters are in decent condition. I have one chapter and the appendices to work through. Need a cover. Gah. Haven’t tried to figure out what I’m doing with that … I don’t want to use the same design I’ve used in the past … it’s gotten kinda dull. In the process, I’ve proven to myself that I can still write some decent code.

Completed the first two sections of a huge online course on Web Development (HTML and CSS — much of it I already knew, but there were some aspects I wasn’t as comfortable with). Next section is on JavaScript — something I learned back when I was working at Borland (all those years ago). I will probably have a weird time with that … some of it is going to be very similar to dBASE (the Windows code and JavaScript have some serious overlap). I still have my old copy of The JavaScript Bible, which is probably very outdated at this point.

And I’m still applying for jobs. The interview today is no guarantee of anything … sigh. I wish I could speed the process along, but I can’t, so … it would be a cool job, though. Feeling wiped out now. Need to go to the store and get some things for dinner, then may just collapse for a bit. It’s not as warm as it was supposed to be (it was supposed to get to 92, it only hit 81 so far …). Guess I’m rambling right now … oh well. :)