August 2009

The Job Search Blues


If this were a movie, the opening scene would be an interior shot of a stark bedroom. It has very little wall art and very few items that even denote a human presence. On the bed is an unshaven, young man with a laptop on…well, his lap. The shot starts to slowly tighten in on his face. He is clearly distressed; mumbling obscenities. He yells one final “fuck this” and throws the computer against the wall. The credits start to roll and B.B King breaks into Why I Sing The Blues.

Unfortunately, the above is not a screenplay. This is a reality for a lot of Americans. According to information just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California led the country in the number of jobs lost in the month of July. With a statewide jobless rate of 11.9%, we are ranked fifth in overall unemployment. Only Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Oregon have higher rates. With national unemployment at 9.4%, the stimulus package seems to be working well.

With such a large number of Americans looking for work, on-line services such as Craigslist are receiving a record amount of hits. For the uninitiated, the search for jobs on-line is tedious and full of an incredible amount of bullshit. Many jobseekers go through the bother of preparing a job history in PDF and Word format. They get out of their beds in the morning and start perusing the cyber ads. After filtering through the obvious crap, they finally find a job they wish to apply for. Hope springs eternal. They flip through three pages of a website, upload their resume, and then come across another page that is an application; asking for the same information that they just uploaded. Unfortunately, the application is a PDF document that can’t be fill out anyway. Clever person that they are, they convert it to a Word document, fill it out, and then reconvert it to a PDF. Three pages later, they finally find an email address to send it to. Five minutes later, an automatic email responder program has sent a message to their inbox congratulating them for being one of a select group of people qualified to sell silicon coated butt plugs — providing that they remit a one-time membership fee of $99.95.

Has the national homicide rate spiked recently?

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Intelligent Design

I know I’ve blogged on this subject before,(no I’m not latent), but let us look at homosexuality from an engineering point of view. Even if you disagree with the Biblical aversion to Gay marriage, how about from the design angle? Men and women were made to be together, (Put part A into slot B), and, as far as I know, a colon was designed for exit only.

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An Attitude Of Gratitude

The other morning I was walking down State Street in Santa Barbara. At five a.m. there is very few people about and I found myself simultaneously walking and day-dreaming. It dawned on me that I’m a pretty lucky guy. (This has not always been the case.) I live in a “nice” town. Though Santa Barbara is only ninety miles north of LA, it is a different world. This is really a small town; Mayberry on the Coast. And like all small towns, everyone knows your business. It is a small price to pay. It keeps the town “nice”.

Due to the huge amount of students, the beach, and the proximity to “ The Industry”, we have a intellectual, creative, and energetic population.  We have a definite bohemian mentality here. Though there are people here with more money than God, ostentatiousness is frown upon. No Ferraris or Lamborghinis here, but plenty of Beemers and Benzes. The unshaven, flip-flop shod “bum” next to you could be worth 10 million dollars. Kinda cool, huh?

OK, enough of the Chamber of Commerce crap. I’m going for a walk.

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