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July 30, 2005
Don't send a Resume

So Barbie recommended I take a look at this book, "Don't send a Resume," to give me a better idea of how to be prepared when interviewing for a job. Obviously I am not looking for a new job now, but she gave it to me back when we were in Germany about to come back to the States. The book took all of about 2 hours to read, and I must say I didn't really care for it. Of course, there are some good ideas interspersed throughout the book, but overall it seems a little over the top. One thing is tells you is to determine how much value you bring to the company. E.g. "If you hire me, I will bring your sales up by 1-2%"...therefore, you have now placed a value on your return on investment for the company. A lot of this is easy for a sales guy, but for someone in technology world, it is very difficult to do. The books seems to believe in the "shock and awe" way of getting a job. Do something crazy and just get noticed. Avoid the HR department, and go straight to the CEO if you have to. I'm sure this works sometimes, but other times it has to seriously backfire. The one good thing it mentions is to come prepared. In other words, do your homework about the company before the interviews. Know their products, competitors, earnings, etc., so that you can bring it up in the interview, and show the hirer that you did some work beforehand. All in all, it takes two hours to read, so if you want a different take on how to get hired, give it a try, but don't expect to be hired the next day.

p.s. I got my job before reading the book. :)

Posted by Don at 07:33 AM
July 29, 2005
Busy last week and a half

Well, it has been a crazy/eventful last week and a half. This past weekend I had a wedding to attend in Tara, Canada, and I was also moving into our first home. In order to save a little cash, I decided to try and fly to Toronto (2.5 hours from Tara) with miles. Unfortunately, I couldn't go direct, but I could get there if I wanted to stop over somewhere for a day or two. Apparantely, when flying on miles, you are allowed a stop over. Of course I first booked my stopover in Miami, but since my parents were on vacation, it didn't make sense to go there, so I re-booked to meet them in North Carolina...specifically Raleigh-Durham at the Duke Washington Inn. This is a hotel we visited about 15 years ago when I was wee lad, and although I didn't remember everything, I did remember the golf course and all the pine trees. Of course, we ended up playing two rounds (Wed. and Thurs.) and had an absolute great time, despite the high scores and high temperatures. :-) Afterwards we would normally go have some lunch, figure something out to do for the late afternoon, and then go have dinner. It was an absolutely great time.

After Raleigh, I flew to Toronto for Tim's wedding on Friday. Unfortunately Kai didn't arrive until midnight that Friday, and Tim's wedding was 2.5 hours away, but in the end it was the best place for us to stay, seeing as we both had early flights out on Sunday. Tim's wedding was great. Very relaxed and just an all around good time. Heck, Kai and I even got to practice our German with some people who had moved there from Germany. Of course, we also got to practice our Canadian accents as well. :) Anyways, Congrats to Tim and Pilar!

Sunday morning my flight left at 6:30am (I arrived back to the hotel at 3:30am), so I was a little short on sleep. After a layover in Chicago, I finally got back to San Jose around 11:45am PST, and had to begin the process of packing up boxes for our move to our new home. After a couple hours of this, I went to the U-haul place to get a truck, and ended up getting the smallest one, as I thought we didn't have that much stuff...geez, was I wrong! It ended up taking us two trips back and forth (20 miles each way) to get 95% of our stuff moved...there is still some things left in the old apartment. The first trip went smooth, but the second was a little more crazy. Apparantely our real estate agent had found us a free fridge for us to put in the garage, so all we had to do was go pick it up from another couple that was moving. Sounds easy right? WRONG! We get to the other couple's house, and begin to try and get the fridge out the door...won't fit. We take off the door...won't fit. We take off the handles on the fridge door...won't fit. We take off the doors of the fridge itself...finally squeezes through. So, now we've basically got a fridge, the door to the fridge, the handles to door of the fridge, the racks/trays from inside the fridge, a bunch of bolts and screws from the fridge, and finally a door to the house, all of which are now in separate locations. We roll out th fridge to the U-haul, and are literally in the middle of putting it in when the guy asks "So, did Helen tell you the price?" Of course, I laughed and said yes, assuming he was joking b/c it was free. WRONG AGAIN! Never assume. Apparantely the guy had wanted $100 for it, and was irate that we had done all of this thinking it was free...in his own words "Why would I give a fridge away for free?" Well, I didn't have any money, so I said we'll figure it out later (possession is 9/10ths right! :) I never did find out where the mixup took place, but our agent called and said it was "free to us", so in my mind that is good! Now I just have to piece together a 1000 parts to a fridge.

In the end, we are in our house, which is now full of boxes and miscellaneous things that I haven't seen for 3 years. It's as if Tazmanian Devil came roaring through. So, I guess you know what I am doing this weekend!

Posted by Don at 07:25 PM
July 17, 2005
Improv

For the first time in a long time, Barbie and I went to a comedy show last night. It was actually Lisa's idea, but I am the one writing about it so I am going to take credit for it. We went to the 7pm show, picking up Lisa on the way, and having Jason meet us there. The first comedian was a girl who apparantely won the Battle of the Bay. Unfortunately, the competition must not have been too steep, as she wasn't that funny. The second act was a guy named Tony, who was absolutely hilarious. Heck, his website name, http://www.anarmyofturtles.com/, is funny enough. The "feature" act was a guy named Jake Johannsen, whose website's name is not nearly as funny JakeThis.com. Unfortunately, his comedy wasn't as good as the Tony guy either. Grant it, he still had some good stuff, but I think I expected a little more for a guy who has been on David Letterman 29 times. Either way, it was a good time, so if you are looking for a fun evening...head to the local comedy club!

Posted by Don at 06:07 PM
July 13, 2005
Who's your Caddy?

So, I just got done with the book "Who's your Caddy?" by Rick Reilly, a Sports Illustrated writer for the past 20 years. The difference about this is that I didn't read a single word of the book. I actually listened to it after downloading it from www.audible.com. I had seen an advertisement on an itunes website for a free month and two free audible books, so I figured what the heck. I actually started with "The Last Juror" by John Grisham when I was in Europe, but only got about 2-3 hours into when I got busy moving and just didn't get back to it. Since being back, I downloaded this book and have been mainly listening to it in the car, and it really didn't take too long to finish. I've found it better than always listening to the radio. Anyways, this audio book was pretty good. I've come to the conclusion that a good narrator can make a big difference in whether you get into the book or not. So, that is my spiel (spelling?) on the world of audio books, here is the story of the book.

The book is about how rick Reilly decides to try and caddy for a bunch of famous people, and/or special people. He ends up caddying for people such as John Daly, Donald Trump, Bob Newhart, Tom Lehman, a professional golf gambler, a blind golfer, etc. The book has some good humor, and is just interesting to hear a different take on some of the golfers, and what they are thinking as they are playing. Some of them are pretty laid back, while some are so picky that you can't even talk to their ball...such as "get up", "go right", etc., as they are afraid you are going to jinx it. Of course, this isn't a book about how to be a caddy, but if you want to learn what not to do, then it may be helpful as Rick Reilly seems to make plenty of mistakes. Overall, this is a fun book to read or listen to, so if you are looking for a light read...give it a try.

Posted by Don at 07:32 AM
July 05, 2005
Sniping

The video was taken from an AC130 Specter gunship (pic on left) two and a half miles away. The guys in the picture are setting up a roadside bomb and planning to ambush an American convoy which followed a short while after the pictures were taken. They were setting up for the ambush and were pacing off the distance from the bomb to where the convoy was to pass by. Turn your sound on and listen with your headphones as the guys talk through what they are seeing. There's a 40mm cannon on the gunship.

Insurgents Takeout

Posted by Don at 08:01 PM