Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sorry for the delay. I'm starting to feel it again.

Hello, the one reader that stuck with me :) I'm starting to hit my stride again, and I'm reigniting my relationship with my muse. The problem with my smart post is that it's hard to follow it up with a post of my usual caliber. So I've been waiting until I've had something smart to say. How long this will last (or if it ever started) is completely up to you.

Who cares? Enjoy a ketchup post!

I just finished my 6 months probation at the new job, and have become a valued member of the team due to the fact that I actually do work. I was happy to get away from the small company BS, but now I'm getting an introduction in big company BS. It only bugs me a little bit, because instead of taking tons of time measuring how much work I'm doing compared to everyone else and adjusting so I only do the bare minimum, I just do my fucking job as much as I can without dropping the ball. It's amazing how much time and effort people put into not doing their jobs. Maybe amazing isn't the right word. As for that promotion I was working toward, I was assured that I would have gotten it had the job existed by the end of the trial period. More big company BS meant a reorganization in the middle of my trial period for the job. The job I was going for was one of the casualties. I aired my disappointment at the situation, and moved on. I know I'm good, and so do they, so I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing.

I'm not sure that I've said much about my hunting intentions here, but I'm going to change that now. A few years ago I took an interest in hunting, and without a friend or family member who hunted, I reached out to the online community. Bad idea. I'm not sure if it's hunters or just Californian hunters, but they were almost uniformly dismissive, derisive, and even discouraging. Most seemed to think I could only hunt if it did it their way, and the rest were more than happy to help so long as I paid to join their club, paid for their land, and paid for any game harvested. "Ranches" were the next place I looked, but most in the area were canned hunts. I started seriously considering saving up for a trip out of state, but the more I read about Southern Californian deer, the more of a challenge it sounded like. Very few people hunt Deer zone 15 because of the few deer and continually low harvest rates. But if you know me, and you might, you know I like a challenge. So I figured; at worst, I go hiking, get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy some nature. And at best, I go hiking, get some fresh air and exercise, enjoy some nature, and do something other people don't/won't/can't do because they think it's too hard. And I do it all myself, without paying dues, fees, and respect to people who don't deserve any of the above. So for the last couple years I've been slowly gathering enough information to feel like I'm starting to know what I'm doing. As I've drawn closer to that point, I've been getting more aggressive. I know my way around all the dfg and usfs sites, and I've called ranger offices for the details I couldn't find online. I've been hiking more, and spending lots of time on Google Earth plotting game trails and identifying accessible areas to inspect more closely on upcoming hikes. My boss's boss was a hunter when he was younger and is getting back into it, so he's been giving me tips and advice that have been really helpful. It's starting to get exciting.

I found myself in a magazine. I looked at the cover, and there I was, the headline article. I didn't know it at the time, of course, but something in the back of my mind told me to buy it from the airport duty free shop. As I read the article on the plane, I began to assemble the puzzle pieces in my life that made my story tragic and victorious. Having never seen the box the puzzle came in, I was a little afraid of the picture the puzzle made. There were very few happy endings for people like me. After some research and soul-searching, I decided that whatever may come in the future, I should embrace my gifts now and enjoy their fruits later. I dare believe that my triumphs over what I thought was my disease (could still be, I suppose), would apply to this congenital mental whimsy. Events have aligned since this decision that have lead me to believe it was the right one. All that is left is practice.

Part of the above has been more writing. "Tac" and many others are swimming around in my head, and they need to be let out. As with writing this blog, the exercise is more important than the result. But in practice, I'm trying to make the two of equal import. Half for you, the reader, and the other half for any potential publisher. And yes, The Walking Dead series will continue and be completed (under a new name, of course). Any other bits that don't quite fit in will wind up here, so I welcome your cheers or jeers.

Since the iPad, I've been hoping for an Android tablet to come along and sweep me off my feet. Even as the first real contender arrived, I argued against software, hardware, and price, and waited. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Motorola XOOM arrived with honeycomb fully executed, but at a price I was simply not willing to pay. As I patiently pined for a proper price point, there were some rumblings about the nook color e-reader making a splash in the third party ROM scene. Starting at $250, it certainly looked interesting. Only recently did CyanogenMod 7 start to really come into its own on the nook, just as Barnes & Noble started selling them at $200 (see coupon code), and the decision was all but made. I put up a good fight for a few weeks, but lost (won?) in the end. The Nook color running CM7 is a perfect fit. I get a day of hard use out of the battery, movies played from any format I choose, netflix, the excellent browsing experience Dolphin Browser HD provides with Flash 10.1, e-reader apps (nook app not working for me, fixes available, but I haven't cared), unfettered android market access, multitasking, vnc/rdp on a usable screen, very usable soft keyboard (thumb tap, vertically) all in a light package. There are some issues, of course, the case seems plastic-y and feels like it might shatter if dropped, the screen can seem really sensitive doing actions beyond a quick tap, there's a little chop in my scrolling, it's heavier than the e-ink nook/kindle versions, none of the usual android home/back/menu/search hard buttons (replaced with a hide-able soft button bar which works fine, but still isn't hard), few hardware features (gps, compass, keyboard, camera, flash, etc), and a few minor polish problems with CM7 on the nook. Most of the cons are because it's supposed to be a $200 e-reader, and are severely outweighed by the pros. Plus, most of the missing features aren't required for my use. It has been an excellent improvement to my workflow, and just like my Droid, I know it will only get better with future releases.

A few weeks ago (not really sure when) our cable box, purveyor of mindless entertainment, killer of time, and server of empty mental calories, ceased its assault. When I discovered this I made some halfhearted attempts to fix it, and I told my wife, who said it had broken some time ago, but she forgot to tell me. I confirmed the internet and game consoles still worked, and decided to bring in the box for replacement later. Except I didn't. It's been a month, and we haven't missed it, so the obvious questions arises. Do we really need it? I know the answer is "no, we don't need it," and I know I'll miss some great shows (I can always find them online if I need to), but it really is only for entertainment, and it seems we're getting our entertainment elsewhere. After writing this out, the answer seems obvious.

I brought the M1A out to the range a few more times after finding a great deal on some American Eagle 308. I was reminded of what Jeff Cooper said about ammo stored being potential skill left to gather dust, and decided to shoot it up. A few hundred rounds later, I was ringing the 10 inch gong at 400 yards off irons. I've still got a couple hundred rounds of skill left, and expect to improve. The M1A seems to shoot right when it gets hot, but in its defense, I was getting it too hot to hold. I was getting ready to adjust the sights, when I just let it cool down a bit, and it was right back to normal. That rifle is still very nice.

My wife's employer decided not to renew their lease, and her job disappeared with the building. Fortunately, my new job affords a high enough degree of stability for her to take her time looking for the right job instead of just any job. She's taking some of her time to get crafty with some paintings she's been meaning to make and sell on etsy, giving her that time and opportunity is something I'm happy to do for her.

That's about it for now, see you soon.


Mike said...

Good to see you back! I was wondering where you'd run off to.

Good luck with the hunt. I'm in pretty much the same situation here in Texas - I don't know of any place to hunt, and nobody seems to want to bring a new person into their group. Probably wind up doing what you are going to.

NotClauswitz said...

If we only posted smart-stuff people might get a false impression. ;-) Not working is less fun than I imagined, and I feel like I shouldn't go out and have so much fun - so I just go to the range and do chores that my wife tells me need doing, when spending her job-money I have to be careful I'm not wasteful. Goosd luck to your wife on her jobhunt, I'm pretty much out of the picture since I haven't worked regularly in a couple years I'm an untouchable.

Anonymous said...

What happened to all the other comments, mine included?


As for engines of success, consider EQ vs. IQ.

I read "Atlas Shrugged" awhile back and was completely underwhelmed for a lot of reasons.

Fletch said...

Wrong post, Suburban Survivalist. My records show only three comments on this post (four including this one), but many on the "I am very smart" post.

Anonymous said...

That's what I get for checking things half lit... sorry