Seriously on the verge of depression …

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I’m not suicidal, but really down …

Got a call last night from the person I know at the school I applied to for part-time work at (see post from two days ago), and was told that I had not passed their online “personality test”, and they couldn’t consider me for a job.

I have never felt more useless … part of me just wants to curl up into a ball and cry. I have not felt this way in a long time, and I hate it. I’ll get over it, but …

Monday … There is definitely something to that “It must be a Monday” thing …

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It definitely “feels” like a Monday. I feel like I haven’t had enough sleep, although I must have gotten nearly 7 hours of fairly solid sleep last night. I don’t have much focus (I have things I need to do but don’t have the focus to jump in and do them). I did finish the chapter of tech edit stuff that I got last week, and got another today (I think the author is on a deadline push).

Went to get my hair cut and the place I usually go had a long wait. I left … sigh. Will try to be there when the doors open at 9 tomorrow.

I may have an interview soon, it would be teaching at another career college, but I know some folk working there, which may help a bit. Applied for one of the positions there and did their online quizzes. Not thrilled by those, but oh well. Don’t know when I’ll hear anything, but we’ll see. Not writing anything off right now. If I get it, it would be evenings, and probably only a couple a week … no full-time teaching jobs at this particular campus (although at another in Oakland for the same school, there are some full-time jobs — this may be a foot in the door …).

Not feeling like doing much. I hate that. I am going to the store in awhile to pick up stuff for dinner — doing a Meatloaf recipe I’ve done before — it will last CJ and I a week, with Turkey Day on Thursday, so …

Saturday evening (this most recent) CJ and I went and saw Spectre, that was fun. It is not the best of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, but it was good overall. A bit uneven, but oh well. Sunday we went on a “Sonoma Cheese Crawl”, visiting various creameries that do cheese. That was fun. The tour of one of them was really long, although interesting (the owner spent a lot of time on process, which my wife and some others in our group were really enjoying). Long day, but it was a fun one. Got to see some folk we don’t see often.

We may be getting rain tomorrow and Wednesday, and we will be getting colder temperatures at night (down in the low 30s, which is pretty durn cold for us).

Not a lot else to say. Ramble, ramble, ramble … sigh. Monday. Definitely feels like a Monday. (Which I suppose is good, since it IS a Monday …)

Whine … whimper … whine …

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Nothing huge, but … I really hate it when my wife works from home and I’m home … I end up relegated to upstairs and can’t do anything like, oh, watch TV downstairs … on the plus side I can do things like watch Dr. Who on the computer (which I started the reboot over again a little while back) from the XFinity site … (Amazon wants to charge for it, so …). We need to watch The Man in the High Castle, speaking of Amazon … the series is available, and my Prime membership is paid up.

I was looking at jobs this morning on LinkedIn — and noted that a local career college similar to Heald had some jobs, and the guy who hired me at Heald is now the Dean of one of the departments there. I contacted him and sent him my resume … if I can get on as an adjunct that would be good. That’s how I started at Heald. And I would still have some time to work on the other stuff I’m doing … it’s something. We’ll see how it goes. He knows I can teach, that’s for sure. :)

Follow-up on deal with dBASE, it’s a go. Announcements will go out before black Friday, etc. AND …the publisher sent a new chapter to work on for the book, bouncing backward … but … I will have that to work on. Maybe get started tomorrow …

Ugh. Whatta week …

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Depressing, mostly. Not for any specific reason, although I have to admit that watching the political landscape is getting old. Trump, Carson, other GOP folk trying to sound sane with the most insane bullshit I’ve heard in years … sheesh.The Isis attack on Paris was pretty devastating and shocked a lot of folk. It’s causing some odd reactions that make you wonder about the future of humanity sometimes.

Weather is warming up a bit, which is nice. It was pretty cold for awhile (weather patterns coming from Alaska). Next week more rain (hopefully).

I feel like I’m not getting anywhere on anything. Worse, I am having a hard time focusing. I think part of it is feeling overwhelmed. I have a variety of projects I could and should be working on, but I feel overwhelmed by them. I need to revamp what I was doing with the one CMS I started building to make it more efficient, but that’s a lot of work. I need to start working on laying out the online course on dBASE I want to do (and now I have a good microphone and purchased Camtasia — screen capture software, I have fewer excuses NOT to), but that’s a huge project. Just feeling like it’s too much.

This is on top of trying to find a real job. That’s so freaking depressing it’s painful. ’nuff said there.

Herself is being wiped out by her job. It seems the London office keeps screwing up and she ends up having to deal with it. This means she puts in 10-12 hour days some days. And she still has the SCA exchequer stuff to deal with. She’s working from home today, because she has a deployment this evening and has to supervise someone else on a deployment tomorrow (which means we’re not going to a major SCA event we seldom miss).

On the plus side — Sunday we’re doing a “Cheese Crawl” through Sonoma tomorrow for a friend’s birthday (her birthday is later in the week, my ex-girlfriend Donna). We did that a couple years ago and it was a lot of fun.

I snuck out and saw Specter yesterday afternoon (the latest James Bond movie), because I wanted to see it in the theater. There are too many movies we’ve missed, and only seen on DVD or cable because of herself’s job situation … sigh. It wasn’t bad, but not the best of the lot (I would have to say that the Daniel Craig version of Casino Royale and Skyfall have been the best). Next up that I really want to see in the theater is Mockingjay part 2. I have enjoyed this franchise (The Hunger Games), which is now complete. The books were good (better than expected), and the movies have been pretty faithful. I may have to sneak out and see that one too … A friend did a review, and I have to admit that there is some disappointment in the last book — big setup for something that never really happens — which apparently occurs in the movie. Oh well.

Next week is Turkey Day (Thanksgiving). Feeling kind of ambivalent about that. On the plus side we’ll see CJ’s sister (who we hardly ever see), and we’ll get to see Tom (CJ’s step-father-in-law), who will be there this time. At least for part of the day. He and his current lady may have other things as well. AND on Sunday of NEXT week we’re going to see The Barber of Seville — my first opera. CJ gets a nice discount with the SF Opera because of her job, but even for a Sunday matinee with the discount it’s pretty darn pricey. I am sure I’ll have words about that afterward.

The deal with dBASE and my books — well, I agreed to it, but I haven’t heard much since. I made the PDFs available to them. Suppose I oughta follow up. The sale is supposed to be Black Friday and Green Monday, Friday being a week from now …

Had some frustration with the publisher I’m doing tech edits for. The author(s) decided one chapter needed to be about a feature of Excel only available to the Professional/Enterprise versions of Microsoft Office. Problem is, most College students won’t pay for that … they’ll get Office 365, or they’ll get the Home and Student version, but not the professional … and I already paid for Office 365, I don’t feel I should have to pay more just to edit one chapter of the book. So I have opted out of doing the one chapter. Sheesh. What a pain. I can’t believe the author (or authors) didn’t think about that or even understand it might be an issue.

Gad, I don’t even have much to add here at this point. I thought this might be a longer post, but it’s not.

Longer Post … whatta week last week was …

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We started off last week with rain. I love the fact we’re getting some, although I have a feeling that by the end of winter, come spring, I’ll be bemoaning all the rain … (this assumes the El Niño predictions are true). Such is life. One side effect of all this weather we’ve been having is that it’s freaking cold. It was around 36 degrees this morning. Sheesh!

Tuesday evening my stomach started giving me pain, and I had a bit of headache, but didn’t think a lot about it. Wednesday was miserable. Well, somewhere between uncomfortable and miserable. I didn’t feel well, but wasn’t so bad that I felt I needed to go to the hospital or anything. I tried to focus on some projects, but instead just watched movies all day. CJ had the day off as well (Veteran’s Day), so we did that, although she also did some sewing. Over the day the stomach pain got a little less, but it didn’t go away, headache meant aspirin all day … Late that night, not sure exactly when, but I recall 2:30ish, I woke up, got up to go pee, and as I stood up broke into a horrendous sweat. Guess I had a virus or some sort, and I just broke the fever. When I got up in the morning (still a bit damp) I felt mostly okay. Stomach pain gone, head a bit foggy but not horrible. Didn’t do a lot on Thursday, but felt better in general.

Friday the world caught fire. Not literally, but … the ISIS attack on Paris, someone in Sacramento shot a couple football players, a bus lost control (they think it may have had brake failure) in San Francisco, one of our SCA friends was on the bus (working as a tour guide, I guess) and was one of the ones hospitalized. They think he’ll be okay, but fractures in the skull, near one eye, lots of stuff. Good grief. There were other things, and then more bombings in other parts of the world (Beirut, Africa …). WTF?

One of the folk on Facebook who is a friend of an old friend of mine responded to some of this. just really sad that France was attacking Isis over the original attack. She felt that vengeance wasn’t the way. I pointed out that this isn’t just vengeance. The people who are involved in this need to be stopped. Nothing else seems to be working. I asked her point blank: “I would rather it were not the case, but can you see any way of stopping ISIS from coming back and doing more damage? What suggestions do you have for stopping all this? It’s nice to sit back and say “Violence isn’t the answer.” Provide an answer that is workable …” Her response was disheartening because it shows one of the people who is more than happy to state “don’t do that” but they have no other solution:

“…that’s the sad part. I see no answers, and so am forced to retreat to maintaining my own moral compass. I hate feeling helpless like this. the “solution” won’t be a quick thing. Humans are terratorial by hard wire. Certainly the vast majority of folks feel that dominance by force is their right. We’ve seen it happen over and over…. population A has such strength in their convictions that their wayculture/religion is the One Right Way that they use fear to bring everyone else into the fold. population B doesnt want to be in the fold, so they resist, with emphasis. and so it escalates.”

I don’t have a lot of sympathy to the attitude that violence isn’t the answer in a situation where it appears to be the only answer. I hate the use of force, the use of violence in these issues. I would rather our military was not half the US budget. I don’t feel violence should be the solution to every problem. However, I am also a realist. At some point, if nothing else works, violence is the only solution to the problem. Going off on a weird tangent, this is what made the ending of the latest Superman movie so poignant, and I am not sure everyone understood it — General Zod told Supes to his face that he would just keep killing humans until they were all dead. Superman had no choice but to kill him. They couldn’t keep him in a cell forever — he was as powerful as Superman himself, and had no scruples about killing, unlike our hero … The similarities here are that while Supes didn’t want to have to kill Zod, he had to. I fear that with Isis that many of them will have to be killed, even though we don’t want to. It is sad, but a necessity. That’s where the realism part comes in …

Well, enough about that. Anyway, Friday was weird. I think the final body count was 129 victims, 8 or more terrorists, etc. That was just for the attack on Paris.

Saturday was the Heraldic Collegium. Not highly attended, but I think we had some good discussion with those that were there. Sunday, Herald’s meeting. In the middle there was some rain (during the night — not as much as predicted, but …).

Long weird week. I have been slowly working my way through the Udemy course on creating online courses. I did some testing with software I have available, and I think I am going to have to purchase Camtasia (a screen/video capture software package, that does editing and so on), and probably have to purchase a microphone, the one in the cheap-ass “gift” I got from Corinthian Colleges for working their five years (part of the camera) is not that good.

I have been working out a deal with dBASE for them to bundle PDF versions of my books with dBASE for Black Friday, and then having various offers on my books through their online store. (Heck, if it generates sales, that’s a win …)

The job situation still sucks, although frankly I didn’t do a lot in that area last week.

Well, I’m working on this when I probably ought to be doing something else … so … away I go. Monday … bleah.

Friday, November 13, 2015 … helluva day …

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I posted this on Facebook yesterday early evening while watching the news. It isn’t profound or anything, but summed up the way I was feeling:

WTF world?
* Paris (as of 5:28pm, 120 victims killed)
* Sacramento (2 football players shot)
* San Francisco (2 incidents– tour bus causing a huge amount of damage and hurting people; 2 police on film in a brutal attack on someone with clearly excessive force)

Get it the f*** together! Be better than this!

Short Update …

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This week started with rain (gasp!) — got close to 1/2″ here in WC. That’s not a huge amount, but it’s more than we’ve gotten in a long time. May be some more Sunday. The weather forecasters are saying it’s likely we’ll have a strong El Niño year this year, but that usually doesn’t happen until January. Whatever, we have to make a dent in the drought soon.

Been feeling pretty out of it all week. It’s been cold (which the wife loves), but not sure that’s it. I think I’ve been very frustrated with things, not feeling like I’m accomplishing anything, and that makes it harder to want to try — you start to cycle in after awhile. The cold part means I’m not walking as much (when it is below 50 outside at 7:30am, it’s hard to want to go out and walk for 1/2 hour or so).

Have ordered some books on the Mediterranean diet, including one recommended by a friend who is Greek, second generation, but grew up speaking Greek, and on that diet. I think CJ and I need to moderate our eating habits a bit. So …

Decided to just not do two of the projects for the last Udemy course on PHP/MySQL. I only paid $10 for the course due to promotional coupons, and I did get at least $10 out of it. I gave a not-great review of the course, but … I felt it wasn’t great. I did mark the course as completed …

Big problem is the CMS I’ve been building will need a lot of updates to make it work better, based on some of the techniques I’ve learned. Figures. That might add to my frustrations, as I was making some progress, but now need to revisit my overall structure (which means re-writing a lot of stuff).

I am taking another Udemy course on Online Courses. I have picked up a few good things to consider, and to work on. It’s slow going with this course because it gets a bit tedious after awhile. With the programming courses you’re doing something. With this one, not so much. Taking some notes, mostly. May see if there’s another one on advanced PHP or something out there, but at some point I need to just code …

Sleep patterns have been weird. One night I’ll sleep pretty solidly, the next restless, waking up a lot. Had an odd dream with way too many spiders in it last night. Snapped awake at 12:30 … Bleah.

Herself is home today (day off work) because a) she needs to get her flu shot, so we’ll head off to Kaiser sometime this morning; and b) she has two SCA things this weekend and needs time to get ready (and prep a class for Collegium tomorrow).

Unemployment is done. Tech Edit stuff for the publisher is nearly done. Gotta find a job soon. Argh. I have been trying, but not really putting in as much effort as I should. I think in the back of my fuzzy brain I kept hoping a job would fall into my lap or something. I know better. Yet another thing to look forward to …

Adventures in Learning … argh!

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So, I took yet another course from Udemy on PHP and MySQL, figuring I could get some more useful stuff.

On the plus side, some more useful stuff.

On the negative side: an instructor (one I had for a different course) who tries to do big projects (there are ten of them) and so whips through some of it way too fast. Yes, it’s a video and you can stop it, but when you’re trying to deal with code and he pastes a whole web page in and doesn’t adequately explain it all, or when he changes something and then whips to a new screen before you can really see what he just did … (and he never tells you where he’s getting the code from) … and then the videos aren’t updated for the most current versions of software. So he has installation for “Cake” (a PHP application framework) — which in the video is opening a .zip file and copying stuff over. The current version doesn’t work that way. You have to install a software package JUST to install software packages, and then the install doesn’t complete. ACK. Sooo frustrated. And on the project I’ve been struggling with, he has some code that errors out — I had to wrap some of it in an if statement, in case the object wasn’t instantiated … which it wasn’t … argh. And the delete method doesn’t do anything or it errors out. WHY?? Argh.

On the personal CMS I was working on, I have had some insights, but no time (because I was trying to take the lessons. However, some fruitful discussions with an old dBASE buddy in Scotland (I love the international community) who does a lot of PHP coding, and I realized where some of my issues may be. I need to revisit the structure of the code itself … move some things around, rearrange the code, group things together, wrap them in appropriate tests … but I think I can get it to work.

Once I do … I need to look at some of what I’ve gotten from the latest course, because despite the frustrations, there are some good concepts in there. It’s weeding through everything and figuring out what I want to use, what I don’t want to use … (I know I don’t want to use either the Cake or Code Igniter frameworks — overly complicated — a web page that calls other web pages that call other webpages … at some point it feels like they do it that way because they can).

I did work out an issue with the editor I was working with, and getting it to handle character counts. the funny thing is that the editor I’m typing in may be the same one. It’s quite customizable, but oof. I had to create a plug-in for it. I posted the code in the support forums, and while viewed a bunch of times, no “thank you” type messages, etc. Oh well. I am sure I’m not the only one who could use that functionality, but screw ‘em. I made it available because that’s the kind of guy I am (and it is based on code someone else did, who I gave full credit to).

In the rest of the world … well …

Halloween came and went with no mishaps. However, CJ’s being wiped out at work. She’s in the transition phase from one position to another, and some of the projects she works on went weird because some of the team are gone already, and a lot more. It’s meant working late, it’s meant working weekends, and so on. This is on top of the exchequer fun.

Last night we took a breather. We live in a Halloween dead-zone, because we’re on a fairly busy street (people come whipping through too fast) and there are no sidewalks to speak of. There are a couple places someone started to put them in, but … not a safe place to take kids. So we went to the movies and saw Bridge of Spies. Good movie, well written, well acted, well-directed … Didn’t deal with clocks (it’s Daylight Savings Time) until around 4 something, when I backed up the bedroom clock. Dealt with the rest later.

Oh yeah — there was a message from my bank last night that they were concerned about some charges on my debit card, and I should call. Called this morning because among other things an Amazon order didn’t go through. (Sigh) Turns out someone got my card number and made a bunch of wild charges all over the place, including a couple of sites KNOWN to be a problem, and Walmart which I never shop at, and a diner in Maryland, which is amusing, since I live in California and have never been there. Sigh. So, for a few days, no debit card. Charming. Put the one Amazon order on my real credit card (which will make them think I still love them, I guess — I don’t use it much and try to keep a zero balance).

Am looking at getting into the Mediterranean Diet soonish. More on that if it happens. Have been trying to have grapefruit for breakfast rather than pastry (which means I am not at the local Starbugs every weekday …). Cheaper, better for me. However, the last few grapefruit were hard and not really edible. Probably not really ripe. Sheesh. The latest batch is left out on the counter to see if that helps.

Walking most work days, although this week was weird (a mix of things). That’s good for me, although it’s not really promoting weight loss, it does keep me moving and generally feeling better. Fewer aches and pains.

Job search sucks still. I have one more payment (in a week) for unemployment, and that’s only a single week payment. Have been avoiding spending a lot, so have most of it saved, but still. Time to ramp up the job search. Sheesh. I’ve been kind of doing the minimum on that front … I need to put more effort in.

Well, despite discussion of going for the Mediterranean diet soonish, tonight I’m trying to make ziti for the first time, so … just no extra bread with it… keep the carbs down some.

CJ is talking about after the new year starts, looking at getting a couple of cats. Probably a good idea. It’s been nearly a year since we had to have Rebo and Zootie put down, and I think the wounds are mostly healed … or about as much as they will. We will always miss them, but having new cats may help …

Longer post than usual, because I didn’t really post at all last week. Amusingly, created a plugin for WordPress as one of the course goals for the class I’m having difficulties with, and the last project is another plugin. The first was a basic contact form (send an email …). The second … no idea. I want to TRY to get the project I’m on done, but if I can’t, I may just do that one and call it done. (Mark the other videos as complete …) Then I’ll start re-thinking how I want to do a bunch of stuff. Well, done rambling, probably time to start building the ziti …