Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Loving the Learning Overload

Found my old C++ book today (Teach Yourself in 21 Days), and am finally going to sit down to learn it.  Day 1 is done so far ("Hello World!").

The foreseeable problem with this is going to be with making sure that I also spend time with the following:
  • Reacquainting myself to Verilog (I've used VHDL almost exclusively for the last 7 years).
  • Learning Altera's Quartus II tools.
  • Using C for programming my (just for fun) robot project, as well as designing a power supply for it.
  • Using BASIC for my school robot arm project (an evening Mechatronics class at Sierra College).
Oh yeah, all that and looking for a job too.  Ugh.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unemployment Update

Well, the job search is still in progress.  I’m still getting numerous solicitations for contract positions around the country, but Amanda and I have decided that we’re not quire desperate enough to separate our family for the duration that it would require (2-6 months), and most of them are not lengthy enough to want to relocate for either (max is typically 12 months).

Aside from those, I’m also getting solicitations for full-time positions in parts of the country that I have no desire to live, such as the Detroit, MI area, Tucson, AZ, the Los Angeles. area, etc.  Again, we’re not quite financially desperate enough yet to want to move somewhere that we don’t think we'll enjoy living in.

I am realizing that there are many improvements I need to make in my daily routine though, including:
  • Be more dedicated to searching around and spending less time responding to solicitations.  
  • Create a schedule and stick closer to it (I originally had planned to do this, but did not follow through). 
  • Set aside more time to work on professional development projects (relearning “C”, relearning Verilog, designing a PCB, etc).  This is challenging not only in the prioritization of time, but also in deciding which task to spend time on.
 In addition to the job search and professional development, time also needs to be spent in requesting forbearance for our mortgage (a ridiculously lengthy process), and looking at health insurance options.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Do Not "Like"

I am amazed at how lazy I am becoming in regards to commenting on people's blogs (when I even take the time to read them).  I want them to know I have read them and appreciate their post (as I want people to do to mine also), but I'm often not sure what to say - "very insightful"?  "great post"?  "I totally agree"?  These seem generic, pointless, and unnecessary when I can usually just click "like" on Facebook. I can't believe that I've become so lazy though.

I know the general trend in electronic communication is to keep it short and sweet, due to the prevalence of Facebook and texting, and as an engineer I approve of the efficiency and effectiveness.  But I really hate to see the unfortunate (although expected and understandable) side affect of modern communication methods become the degradation of extensive and thoughtful expression, especially in myself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pre-Inverview Sleep Disorder and Dumb Quotes

I really sleep like crap the night before an interview.  Since I had one today (at Grass Valley), I tossed and turned all of last night, probably getting a total of 2-4 hours of sleep at best.  The same thing happened on the night before my interview at Intel (last Friday).

I'm happy to say though that I survived the 6 hours of quizzing/drilling/questioning by 11 different people (usually 2 at a time) today with my sanity and dignity (mostly) in tact. We'll see if it leads to a job later in the week, when the hiring manager gets back from vacation.


Here are two of the stupidest quotes I've heard in a while:

"... because what are you without your stuff? 
Or better yet, without your stuff who are you?" 

It's from this advertisement for Norton, which Tyler Durden (from Fight Club) would punch right in its face.

Then there's this one, from a kid's movie that I only saw a few snippets from, but hated every one of them:

"...the story about a boy, who became a man, by becoming a bear."

Oh, of course.  That makes perfect sense.  If you appreciate dumb, reincarnation promoting, lame plot movies, with Phil Collins singing crappy theme music throughout it, that is.  This one happens to be called "Brother Bear".

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