Answering a want ad

“Busy and growing Marble Falls office needs a full-time marketing production whiz with great ideas and a positive attitude! Must be proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Pagemaker, Microsoft Office, Quickbooks and print media. Must be Web/e-mail savvy. $10-12 per hour. Send coverletter and resume to [email protected] or fax to 555-456-7890.”

1) Send me your resume via e-mail or fax. Don’t call me. If I wanted you to call me, I would have said in the ad, “bother me by calling the office at 555-123-4567”. You won’t get a call back either.

2) Spell check your coverletter and resume.

3) Don’t use acronyms or initials in your resume. You may have been a fantastic customer service representative at XYZ Corp. but I have no idea what the GPR 990 is, how you used it or how it will make you beneficial to me.

4) Don’t disclose emotional baggage in your resume. I don’t need to know your marital status.

5) Be confident. Your resume is supposed to show off your skills and accomplishments. Don’t second guess yourself.

6) I understand desperation. I’ve been there. But, if you’re not qualified, don’t apply. I am honestly impressed that you can solder the mainboard of a Cisco router with one hand while blindfolded but you apparently can’t design a trifold brochure.

Microsoft Codename Max

I tried installing Microsoft Codename Max at work but I have a Windows 2000 machine at the office. I had to wait until I got home to try to install Max on Elise’s XP notebook. See image above.

Max automatically installs WinFX. I downloaded the .exe using Firefox and returned the error above. I then downloaded the .exe using IE and it worked. Go figure.

Upon Max finally installing on Elise’s computer, I knew I needed to sign up for a Microsoft Passport Network account in order to share photos. Seeing how I don’t really want another e-mail address (MSN Hotmail) I opted for a “limited account”. Of course, “[email protected]” wasn’t available. So I chose my fail-safe anagram alter ego. I went back to Max to login and realized that I needed an account that could send and receive e-mail. I haven’t even gotten started and this thing is a pain in the ass.

I decided to forego the e-mail account setup and just create a list in Max. So now I’m using Max and honestly don’t really know what the point is. It doesn’t hold a candle to iPhoto. I love using iPhoto for its intuitive organizing and exporting. I can create great slideshows with transitions and music. I can create photo albums that are mailed to me within a week. I still use Photoshop for advanced editing, but iPhoto pretty much does the trick for my digital photos. Picasa is okay Windows. Max doesn’t let me edit anything, or really do anything for that matter. It’s just eye candy. I guess the user interface is cool, but OS X already gives me that.

I’m hoping to get a developer’s beta version of Vista so I can reaffirm the notion of getting either a PowerMac G5 tower or a 20″ iMac for our replacement desktop PC once they ship with Intel processors. Max has done absolutely nothing for me. I’m fairly certain Vista will have the same effect.

Blah blah blah versus something cool, fun and actually interesting to watch.

Boiling an egg

Elise wanted a hard boiled egg to take with her lunch tomorrow. I never thought about it before as we don’t often eat hard boiled eggs. I like to think that I can cook, but I didn’t know how long to boil an egg.

So as to reduce the risk of your eggs cracking, put them in the pot of water before boiling the water.

Soft-cooked eggs: 3 to 5 minutes
Medium-cooked eggs: 7 to 8 minutes
Hard-cooked eggs: approximately 15 to 20 minutes

I don\’t know jack about where I live

1) Point north.
I can do this, though probably not point due north.

2) What time is sunset today?

3) Trace the water you drink from rainfall to your tap.
I’d trace it if the damn water would hold still and not get my piece of paper wet.

4) When you flush, where do the solids go? What happens to the waste water?
Down the toilet to wherever shit goes to die.

5) How many feet above sea level are you?
High enough to where I’m not currently looting.

6) What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom here?
Indian Paintbrush?

7) How far do you have to travel before you reach a different watershed? Can you draw the boundaries of yours?
No clue.

8) Is the soil under your feet, more clay, sand, rock or silt?
If I had to guess, based on a recent deck project, I’d venture to say clay and then solid rock

9) Before your tribe lived here, what did the previous inhabitants eat and how did they sustain themselves?
Schlotzsky’s or Stubb’s

10) Name five native edible plants in your neighborhood and the season(s) they are available.
Bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, Anaheim peppers, habanero peppers, cayenne peppers. Whenever I plant them. Generally, mid-Spring.

11) From what direction do storms generally come?

The opposite direction from which the weather guy on television advises.

12) Where does your garbage go?
Into the back of a big, blue, loud truck on Tuesday and Friday.

13) How many people live in your watershed?
I don’t have a watershed. If I did, I’d make damn sure those people would be paying rent.

14) Who uses the paper/plastic you recycle from your neighborhood?
Me. Probably in the form of eating utensils or polarized eyewear.

15) Point to where the sun sets on the equinox. How about sunrise on the summer solstice?
You can’t see where I’m pointing, but I’m pointing over there.

16) Where is the nearest earthquake fault? When did it last move?
California. I’ll call my sister and ask when last it moved.

17) Right here, how deep do you have to drill before you reach water?
Probably not very far. It’s hot in my yard so I’ll have a glass of water right next to me, close in reach.

18) Which (if any) geological features in your watershed are, or were, especially respected by your community, or considered sacred, now or in the past?
A salamander.

19) How many days is the growing season here (from frost to frost)?
A lot. There’s 11.5 months between your “frosts”

20) Name five birds that live here. Which are migratory and which stay put?
Pigeons, doves, cardinals, sparrows and hummingbirds. They all come and go.

21) What was the total rainfall here last year?
Not enough to keep the grass green without watering it with the hose.

22) Where does the pollution in your air come from?
Cars and smoke from the burning crosses.

23) If you live near the ocean, when is high tide today?

24) What primary geological processes or events shaped the land here?
Urban development or women’s softball.

25 a) Name three wild species that were not found here 500 years ago.
1) Josh Janicek 2) Hooters waitresses 3) miniature chihuahuas.

25 b) Name one exotic species that has appeared in the last 5 years.
Kinky Friedman

26) What minerals are found in the ground here that are (or were) economically valuable?
Rocks. Most likely for advanced games of Rock, Paper, Scissors that our forefathers played before Texas Hold ‘Em was invented.

27) Where does your electric power come from and how is it generated?
Perdernales Electric Cooperative. It’s generated from the large check that I write to them on the 5th of the month.

28) After the rain runs off your roof, where does it go?
Through the downspout and into the yard.

29) Where is the nearest wilderness? When was the last time a fire burned through it?
2.39 blocks away. Got me.

30) How many days till the moon is full?
No clue

31) What species once found here are known to have gone extinct?
Flash mobbers

32) What other cities or landscape features on the planet share your latitude?
No clue.

33) What was the dominant land cover plant here 10,000 years ago?

34) Name two places on different continents that have similar sunshine/rainfall/wind and temperature patterns to here.
No clue.


ecto Timestamp

ecto settings

Here’s how I got ecto to work for WordPress 1.2.2. I first patched my XML-RPC file. All great and good but my entries were timestamped 5 hours in the future, so posts weren’t showing up on the homepage.

I used the ecto settings in the above screen capture to adjust the post time. It’s all screwy but at least it works now (entries are timestamped 3 hours earlier than their actual post time). Call it duct tape for the website.

Select the blog to be edited in your list of blogs. Click the ‘settings’ button on your tool bar. Select the ‘other’ tab and adjust the post time.

My Airtunes fix

I have been battling Airtunes skipping for months now. A lot of other people have as well.

What finally worked for me was changing the wireless channel on my Netgear WGT624 router. MacStumbler showed me that 5 nearby wireless networks that were accessible from the living room are using channel 11. Three wireless networks were using channel 6. I changed mine to channel 2.

Now I can stream music perfectly with no skips or pauses in music from the iBook to the stereo in the living room (and out to the deck).

ecto settings

Rainy lunch date

Elise and I woke up on Sunday morning to deep rumbles of thunder, flashes of lightening and the sound of rain pounding the roof.

We rolled out of bed, took turn taking showers and headed out. We returned a movie to Blockbuster and then went to the HoPot to return a patio umbrella, look at paint for the dining room and to buy a replacement water hose spray gun.

We then went to Romeo’s for a rainy day lunch date. Romeo’s has always been near and dear for Elise and me. While sitting in our booth with the restaurant practically to ourselves, Elise reminded me of the time when I took her there for her birthday a few years back. I was on the verge of death with a horrible dose of the flu.

When I first met Elise’s mom and grandma I took all the girls to Romeo’s for lunch.

Romeo’s is a great little romantic landmark on Barton Springs Road. But we think the food has changed. Maybe it was because it was a Sunday afternoon and the kitchen wasn’t sprinkling the make-the-food-taste-great magic pixie dust. I always have the Arrabbiatta at Romeo’s. Elise had the fettuccini alfredo. We both had a cup of tomato basil soup. The soup was fine but our entrees just weren’t what we were used to. I’m usually good about distinguishing flavors and textures but I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was that was lacking. I don’t know. I’m at a loss. But something changed.

And then there was a the bread issue. Our waiter brought two large dinner rolls and a plate of olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. We used to get homemade Italian breads with garlic and chive butter and olive oil and grated cheese. Elise looked down at the dinner rolls with disappointment. “These look like they came from US Food Service or Sysco.”

We had a nice date nonetheless.

We then drove over to Barton Creek mall to walk off our cream-rich lunch. We stopped in at the Sharper Image and, or course, I wanted to buy everything. Elise made it very difficult for your humble narrator to convince her that we need a magnet-fueled 100 lumen LED flashlight. We didn’t get a flashlight.

We walked around the mall. We stepped into the Apple store. Elise made it very difficult for your humble narrator to convince her that we need a black iPod nano. We didn’t get an iPod nano.

We went to Dillards to look at bedding. Third time was a charm. I stood strong and told Elise that we did need a Jasmin Mini Chopper Control playset. I got my damn helicopter and when we got home I played with it. I picked up and carried cargo like a pro. I quickly mastered the throttle and pitch and flew my little chopper until the batteries died.

I brought the helicopter with me to work on Monday and told the girls that if a customer calls and I look busy, to tell the customer that I’m out flying the corporate helicopter.

After getting a couple iced mochas at a kiosk in the mall, we went to Half Price Books on South Lamar. Elise picked out three self help/instuctional books. I picked out Mötley Crüe’s book The Dirt. Elise sought to better herself in this life. I got a toy helicopter and a book on sex, drugs and rock and roll.

What do you want to be remembered for?

The man who made me laugh. The one who was fair and honest and didn’t take anything too seriously. Everything in life deserves a smile. It could always be worse. No worries.


This afternoon snuck up on me and I realized that I needed to get out of the office and get myself something to eat for lunch. I try to support the local guy as much as possible but sometimes I just get Subway on the mind.

Eating at the Subway in Marble Falls has always been a trick for me. If you don’t know me, I have borderline psychotic idiosyncrosies. I cannot eat in a restaurant by myself and have a stranger sit accross from me at another table. If I decide that I’m going to eat in a restaurant, I have to strategically seat myself to where sitting across from a stranger won’t happen.

I’ve been in a great mood all day. I’ll chalk that up to it being Friday. Today I strutted into Subway. The kid who works at Subway 9 times out of 10 when I decide to have lunch there was working today. If he’s working I usually get my order to go because this kid is a busboy. He stays out on the floor and waits for people to leave the restaurant so he can immediately wipe off the tables or sweep the floor. He’s also in charge of stocking the chip rack and swapping out the soda machine syrup.

If the restaurant isn’t crowded, I’ll find a booth where no one could possibly sit in front of me. Except for the busboy, whenever he’s done bussing and he leans against the facade’s inside window and buzzardly waits for the next crumbs to sweep. He just leans there, looking around at all the tables and will eventually makes eye contact with me which makes my skin crawl. It’s not him in particular… it’s just one of my “Seinfeldisms”.

Today he was there. I was in such a great mood that I didn’t mind him being there, even the thought of him buzzarding didn’t break my stride. I was in such a great mood that I didn’t bother strategically seating myself. I went out on a limb and sat at the second table closest to the window.

The busboy decided to sweep. He swept right next to the table at which I was sitting.

“Hi! How are you doing today, sir?”

“I’m doing great today! How ’bout yourself?” I retorted.

He said he was doing fine as well. The busboy is mentally handicapped and has a fantastic attitude which only heightened my own.

He then asked, “Are you going to the Homecoming tonight?”

I hadn’t been asked that question in over a decade. I was taken aback for a moment. I grinned on the inside and thought about Marble Falls; the quaint, eclectic small town that takes great pride in high school football.

“No. I’m not from here.” I responded. At that point that I felt like the lone biker stopping in at the small town diner for a bite to eat before making my way west to the other side of the States.

“Where are you from?”


A brief exchange in small talk ensued and quickly ended at the busboy was summoned to stock the chip rack.

“Homecoming” I kept hearing. I kept grinning. Homecoming was such a fun thing.

My chipper spirit and I continued on with lunch. I eat the exact same thing every time I eat at Subway. A 6″ Club on Italian with chipotle sauce, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, olives, banana peppers, jalepenos and cucumbers. I never eat the cucumbers on my sandwich. I always take them off and eat them before my sandwich. I think cucumbers on a sandwich are weird but I want to get my money’s worth so I eat them the way that I do. I always get a bag of Miss Vickie’s jalepeno potato chips. That’s my Subway order, every time. I eat my chips before my sandwich.

I was 3/4 of the way through eating my sandwich and Mr. Mel Gibson-lookalike UPS driver walks into the restaurant. I didn’t pay much notice until he went through the line, walked through the restaurant and set his food down on the table across from me. It wouldn’t have bothered me except that he set his food, drink and newspaper on the side of the table with the booth that faces me. I just knew he was going to sit facing me. 90% of the other tables in the restaurant were available but he chose that one.

He put his food and paper down and went to the bathroom. It was at that point when I scarfed down the remainder of my sandwich. He came back and sat down just as I was taking my last two hurried bites. Sure enough. He sat down directly across from me, facing me.

I absolutely hate that.

Lunch date and two tickets

After over a year my wife finally came up to Marble Falls to have lunch with me. That’s one of the things I miss most about having to commute and hour to work… not being able to drive a short distance to meet Elise for lunch.

So we had a nice lunch at the Bluebonnet Cafe. Well, my lunch was good. I had the open face pot roast. Elise had a bland open face chicken fried steak. Afterwards we walked next door to the pottery shop on the corner of Hwy 281 and 3rd street. I drive by this store at least twice daily and have yet to stop in to look at the wares for sale. We found three items that we agreed we really liked so I’m going to make a special trip to Marble Falls this Saturday to pick up some pots and deck decorations.

We had a nice late lunch but had to make it short as Elise had to get back to Austin for a catering.

45 minutes after leaving, Elise called my office. She was waiting for the police officer who had just pulled her over to finish running her plates. She had no inspection sticker and expired insurance.

I think I’m partially to blame for both counts. Texas recently changed the design of our registration stickers. The short of it, I, for some unknown reason, removed the Jeep’s inspection sticker and replaced it with Texas’s new registration sticker. So Elise has been driving around with two registration stickers, that look nothing alike, for a few months.

What’s funny is I had been getting onto Elise about getting her registration sticker renewed. I thought it had long since expired. I was always looking at where the registration sticker should be, which is where it was but seemed to have expired. The inspection sticker (which was actually the recent registration sticker) was up-to-date. I wanted to get this all squared away because I’m in the process of moving the lien on the Jeep from our old credit union in Temple to our credit union in Austin and for paperwork reasons needed the expiration date for the registration, which I thought was expired.

So that’s one ticket for Elise.

The next ticket is for expired insurance. I might have received a current proof of insurance card from our insurance company somewhere in the telephone book-thick paperwork that they send me once a month. I most likely threw it away. I’m pleading the fifth here, but that might have happened only because I think it’s pretty stupid all of the paperwork that is sent from our insurance company.

And to make things more difficult, I recently wanted to leave our insurance company because I found a better deal through Progressive. I called our exisiting insurance company and told them I wanted to cancel our policy. I explained why and they were quick to find a way to keep us as customers. Part of this deal meant that I would need to open my own policy and have two of our vehicles in my name. This means we have two separate policies that require two phone book-sized stacks of paperwork that are crammed into our mailbox once a month.

I don’t want to read all of that tangible paper crap. I pay my auto insurance bill online. If I want to read insurance crap I’ll go to the insurance company’s website and read the crap that I need to read there. Crap.

Crap is a funny word. We shourd reprace arr of our L’s with R’s…

“I tord this joke at the company picnic and everyone raughed and crapped their hands.”

Erise and I have a 50/50 rerationship. I’rr take harf the brame for these tickets.

I guess it will be hard from this point forward to convince her to drive out to Marble Falls to have lunch with me again.