Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Another Little Jab from the Universe

It turns out that the envelope I got the other day was not my final paycheck.  It was the company letter acknowledging my separation.  It contained an "invitation" to go online and complete an exit survey, but I probably won't.  They promise anonymity, but if they ask what job I left, they'll know who I am, because no one else in the company in Tulsa left at the same time.

I had enough in my Tulsa checking account to pay my December rent, so I'll have roof over my head as I pack.  I just hope I can squeeze money from somewhere to pay my utility bills, or it will be mighty cold.

Today's mail brought a surprise:  my long-delayed (and forgotten) tax refund from the state.  Great, I'll be able to pay my bills!  Or not.  You see, it wasn't a check.  It's something called a "Debit Mastercard Way2Go Card".  Whatever it is, it won't help me.  I need money to put into my checking account to pay bills, not a piece of plastic that I need to call a toll-free number about, then deal with people who don't speak the same language trying to explain how this thing is "better" than a check and, basically, talking their way around actually helping me figure out how to get the money in a form I recognize and can use.  It's like biting into a piece of chocolate candy and discovering hot pepper inside.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First and Last Steps

I got a call today!  I am to be interviewed for a supervisory position in the City of Albuquerque's Open Space division of the parks department.

Yeah, I wondered about that, too.  After all, aren't all parks open space?  Do they maybe mean anything outside a building, like outside of a natatorium or rec. center?

I finally thought of looking them up online before I returned the call, so I wouldn't sound like an absolute dolt asking what they mean by "open space".  Here's a map that shows the areas I'd need to be concerned about.  My mom's house is just about at the tip of the arrow pointing to Bear Canyon, and I already think it's a long drive to the red areas like Gutierrez Canyon.  That'll be quite a jog to Quail Ranch, then, won't it?

But the universe hates imbalance, so my happiness at getting a positive response to one of my job applications was tempered by the arrival of my final paycheck -- which actually is just half a paycheck, since I left halfway through a pay cycle.  Yes, I definitely need to get out of here before I go into the red.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

In Which the Guy without a Job Plays with Money

I got to thinking that I'll need to do something about my 401(k).  I'll probably transfer it into my IRA next year.  In case I can't just keep the mutual funds I have (or maybe I want to change some of the funds), I checked out my IRA holder's offerings.  I ended up spending much of today compiling data about these alternative investments.

Besides, if I don't find a job and move in with my mom, I won't have internet access except at the library, so I won't be able to spend hours online.  Thus, I figured I just had to look at all this today, rather than packing.  (I'm nearly out of boxes, anyway.)  Plus, it's easier and quicker to enter data immediately into my spreadsheet, rather than save it to a memory stick, bring it home from the library, and transfer it into my computer at home.

Since I was online, I also looked up mutual funds available from two other investment companies (one because its late founder was a periodic guest on Wall Street Week and I trusted his ideas and judgment, and one because it looks for more socially responsible holdings).

The one whose founder I trusted has a link on its homepage for people who already have 401(k)'s brokered by that company.  Gee, I wonder if my 401(k) holder has a similar feature.  I haven't even thought of looking up their website.  (I could probably get answers about transferring my funds there, rather than making a phone call.)

Guess what I'll be doing again tomorrow, instead of packing...

By the way, it snowed a little today -- just a dusting, so you still can see the grass and shrubs, and it didn't stick to the pavement.  It's supposed to warm up later this week.  We darn well better not get any more snow before I go home for Thanksgiving!  Oh well, at least my travel dates are extremely flexible this year.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Definite Answer

I submitted an online application last Sunday to a small university in Texas.  On Monday, they e-mailed to confirm that my application was received.  I received a letter today that someone else has been chosen for the position.  (It was postmarked on Wednesday.)  Considering the position had been posted since late September and not yet filled, you'd think I'd get more consideration than that.

As far as the previous four applications I submitted, I haven't received a definite no from them yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alas, Poor Yarrow.

Okay, so I didn't plant any yarrow this year, but "alas, poor impatiens" doesn't fit.

We officially had the first freeze last night.  Indeed, as I write this, it's just 29 degrees, with today's forecast high to be only 35.  It's going to be a mighty chilly walk to the library this afternoon!  That's better than this weekend, though, with sleet and snow in the forecast.  At least I don't have to drive to work in it or, indeed, shovel it!

I've done some packing.  All my fragile owls (those I hadn't already deposited in my mom's basement) are boxed up.  My smaller pictures are bubble-wrapped and put in boxes.  I'm trying to pack my non-essential stuff first, so I could dump that in my mom's basement as well, and have less to move to wherever.  If there is a wherever.  But if it's that non-essential (I haven't even opened some of those boxes on my closet shelf), why do I even have it?

I had thought of schlepping my stuff to my mom's this week, and beat the weekend weather, but I'd rather conserve money by not using gasoline, so I'll just wait until Thanksgiving.  By then, though, will I have too many boxes to fit in my car for just one trip?

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Yes, No, or Maybe

My mail contained an envelope with the official crest of one of the cities where I had applied for a job.  I presume it means I wasn't selected, as most places will call or e-mail if they want to set up an interview, but the wording of the letter has me completely puzzled.  See if you can understand it.

Notice Date:  November 3, 2014

Subject:  Notice of Final Test Results:  Horticulturist - T10618-201409

You have successfully completed the screening process for this position.  Your eligibility will expire at 12:01 A.M. on 11/04/2015.

When a vacancy occurs and your name is referred to a hiring department, you will be notified if the department would like to interview you for the current vacancy.  Please be aware that the Personnel Department and/or hiring departments may utilize alternative methods, OTHER than your specified notification preference, to contact you.  You MUST KEEP your Account (e.g., name, address, email and phone) accurate to ensure notifications and employment opportunities are not missed.  You may update your contact information at anytime by accessing your application account and selecting "my account".

That's the entirety of the letter.  Any clues?

Friday, November 07, 2014

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

I no longer am employed in Tulsa.  It happened sooner than I hoped, of course.  I am looking for a new position (within southwestern U.S. preferred).  Further updates as events warrant.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

And the Palindrome of "Bolton" Is "Notlob"

When I returned to my car after grocery shopping this afternoon, I saw that my vehicle odometer was at 41114.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Insert Periodic Tech Failure Here

When I booted up my computer this evening, I observed that my preferred web browser reset its settings -- but not my bookmarks.  My favorite game kept my persona -- but not my points total nor my extra goodies.  Then, as I tried to share with you an online quiz (and contest entry), I couldn't go back to my result.  I shall piece together the result as best I can.

Which Icelandic Yule Lad Are You?

(They don't exactly fit in with the Icelandic Literature and Norse Mythology course I took in college, but it surprises me that the professor didn't mention these fellows at all.)

You got Þvörusleikir (Spoon-Licker)!

Spoon-Licker comes down from the mountains on December 15. This Lad sneaks into the houses and licks the wooden spoons used to scrape the pots. Just like Spoon-Licker, you don’t let anything go to waste and are happy to take care of the leftovers or clean up after others!

True, I don't let anything go to waste, but I'm not happy to clean up after others.  That seems to be an unfortunately large percentage of my job (and past jobs, in fact), and I'm sick and tired of doing it.  Why can't everyone pick up after themselves?  Whatever happened to respect for others?  Whatever happened to personal responsibility?  Brother, when I'm done licking your spoons, you don't want to know what I'm going to do with them!

Monday, November 03, 2014

Laundry Day

I washed a load of laundry in my apartment complex's laundry room yesterday.  I don't usually use the dryers (preferring to save $1.50 by using a portable, laundry rack in my apartment), but I had a strong feeling to check the open dryer while I was there.  In the past, I've occasionally found a coin which fell from someone's pocket.  This time, I found two:  a penny and a nickel.  I guess you could say I have a "six cents" for finding loose change.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Weekend Splurge

It was 39 degrees when I ventured outside yesterday morning.  All the weather websites said it was 29 or 30 when I woke up.  However, my flowers outside weren't frozen, merely chilled.  I think it's because the patio retained solar heat and created a warm microclimate.  I have my flowers to enjoy for another week or more.
The results of my unnecessary spending are as follows.

Halloween candy - at usual grocery store, discount store, and drugstore
Boo Berry - at name brand grocery store
Flu shot - at drugstore
Chinese food - substituted Thai
Books - at the smaul's used bookstore

All the Halloween candy I got was different types or mixtures.  There were some I left on the shelf because the mixes included candies I don't like or because they were brands from a chocolate company other than the one in which I own stock.  (Now where do I have cupboard space for all that candy?)

My regular grocery store was sold out of Boo Berry already.  (Boo-hoo!)  I bought some at the name-brand grocery store.  (Now where do I have cupboard space for five boxes of cereal?)

There was no problem with my flu shot, other than being the only customer there and still having to wait.

When I pulled up to my Chinese restaurant, I discovered that they were closed.  Arrgh!  They had been closed for three weeks and won't reopen until tomorrow.  What to eat instead (since I hadn't defrosted any leftovers)?  Pizza?  No, this is supposed to be a treat out, not carry-out.  Italian?  No, I don't want to tempt fate by going to the same place as last time, the same place that also was closed for several weeks when I really wanted to eat there.  Instead, I went to a Thai restaurant a friend had introduced me to.  It definitely counted as a treat because the prices are so high!  And, lest you think I fully enjoyed my experience, there was some sort of mix-up with my order, because the waitress noticed she had served all her customers seated after me, while I was still reading my book and drinking my water.

The bookstore was a fluke.  I knew I had to go to a "big box" store today to get my monthly phone card, so why not also walk to the smaul, to see if the new colors of my dinnerware would fit into my color scheme.  And, since a used bookstore is also at the smaul, and since I have a little money left over from last weekend's thrift shopping, I might as well see what's on their discount shelves.

The results of that?  Yes, the two, new colors of dinnerware would be suitable.  Now I just have to hope they go on sale or I find a coupon or something.  At the bookstore, I found just one discounted book I wanted, but, alas, five other books at the regular price.  However, my Weather Wizardry (disorganized as it is) revealed that the store was having a 50% off sale!  (Whew!)  Finally, yes, I got my phone card.

All right.  I'm not allowed to spend any more money this month.  (What do you mean it's only the 2nd?)  Instead, have a gander at the scrap owl I've had for a few years.  I'll just enjoy that, rather than shopping for others.