Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Playing Catch-up

And while I'm on the subject... what's with all the spellings of that word anyway? Catsup? Ketchup? Catchup? Sheesh... :-)

I GOT MY JOB! I interviewed last Thursday with F+W Pubs and it went really well... I was expecting to hear something more in about a week and a half, plus thinking I would come back to meet with the head of the department, but I got an Email the next day with an OFFER LETTER! God is good! Not only was it a great offer, it was MORE than I asked for. AWESOME!

The position will be a great mix of business and tech, and I am looking forward to being able to contribute to this fantastic team. It seems like a great opportunity and a great match for me all at the same time. I'll keep you all posted in the weeks to come as I start as ONLINE ADVERTISING SPECIALIST next Monday, Aug. 6. YAHOO!

Now, on to finding a house!

Monday, July 23, 2007

House, Job and PotterMania

OK, we finally closed on the house last Friday, July 13. Yes, that's right -- Friday the 13th. We didn't have much of a choice. After a long arduous process of fixing it up, cleaning, painting, renovating, etc... it's OVER. You can check out the pix on the Rezer.com Photo Gallery. Honestly, I didn't know if I had it in me when I started, but since we didn't really have a choice, we were able to get it done with A LOT of help from our friends. We've received our settlement check (A LOT lower than we wanted) and now are just waiting for our final escrow amounts to come back. Goodbye MD. We'll miss you.

I was potentially interviewing for the Online Advertising position last Friday (the 20th) but it got postponed to this week because the department head was out of the office. Hopefully I'll hear early this week. Heard back about the CSR job in Dayton and although I passed the interview with flying colors, there are no open positions at this time, although from the sound of it they are expecting more openings as soon as the parent company authorizes the hiring process for the department. This is still a fallback, but I'm holding on for a better opportunity. Also a possibility of working for a company called PowerNet Global as a helpdesk specialist. That one is pending approval from the company, and I'm not the only one being interviewed.

Sarah is a little sad these last few days because the final Harry Potter book was released and she has already read it (within 24 hours, I might add). She and I went to Borders for the midnight release party and picked up the book, then we went home (after a McDonald's stop for "brain food") and started reading around 1am. She read for about 4 hours and took a short nap, got up at 9:30 and read the rest of the day, stopping only to eat for about 5 minutes each time. She finished shortly before 7pm... insane! She sure does love Harry Potter. I consoled her by mentioning that there would still be 2 more movies coming out, but she said "honey, it's not the same..." I agree. But at least it's something...

More to come

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Behold the new Rezer.com!

Sarah and I got creative and started putting together a new home page. Lots of good stuff to come, but check it out. It's now ready for PRIME TIME!!!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Many possibilities in the works...

So after a week of feeling very down, now I'm feeling cautiously optimistic and actually excited. I had a phone interview with a company for the position of Online Advertising Specialist yesterday for a media company, and it went REALLY well. They want to have me in on Friday afternoon to meet some other folks from the company. This opportunity would be great cause it's a nice blend of business and tech, and I think would really allow me to flex my people-skills. The company sounds very team oriented and I think it would be a great fit for me... please keep this situation and opportunity for me in your prayers.

Secondly, right before this phone interview, I got a call from a tech recruiter for a HelpDesk position that would pay fairly well that's right in my location target area, the same area that I had been working earlier in the month. It may be a bit over my head, but I could most likely do the work if given the opportunity. The pay is not as good as the job mentioned earlier, but it's still higher than the third opportunity...

...which is with the company I'd been interviewing with for the last few weeks. This company is HUGE and they're located up in Dayton, about 45 min from here. The pay is low, and the hours are horrible, but it's at least a job with an opportunity to advance and make a little money. I know this is something I don't want to do full-time, but if I need to take it while I continue looking elsewhere, I will... but only if the others don't pan out.

Now, in the meantime I'm continuing to apply for some positions and am keeping my options open, but I'm hopeful that the first opportunity mentioned here will actually work out. They are looking to hire within 2-3 weeks, and have a few candidates already, including one from inside the company. This makes me a little nervous, but I can only do my best and hope they see me as the best fit for their company and the position.

"I'm holding on..."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shock the Monkey...

For some hysterical reading, check out the latest adventures of Monkey Rezer.

"Watch the monkey get hurt... monkey."

Now on to some job-related news... in bullet-point fashion:

  • Interview with Robert Half Technologies went well, although I bombed the Windows XP help desk test (did well on the hardware test). My rep there will be back to me once they have a position for me... may be a while, but who knows...

  • Took some MS Office proficiency tests this AM with Adecco (the same company I've been temping with at Tom Raper RVs) and scored +90% on all of them. They were pretty easy, but if this is any indication of the talent level out there, they should be paying me hundreds of millions -- as soon as I can land a job...

  • Sent a resume/coverletter to a company that I heard about through my networking group. It's for an online advertising specialist and I already got a call back on it... will be interviewing (phone) with the HR manager on Wed. This is probably the hottest prospect yet, so please say a prayer...

  • Have my followup interview with LexisNexis Tue AM -- part Q&A and part tech simulation. I should do well, and if all goes as expected I hope to have an offer from them by the end of the week. The question is... do I hold out for something else or go with the sure thing? Decisions, decisions...

So that's it for now. Please keep me in your prayers...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kobeyashi gets squashied

Yes, folks, it's old news, but I was watching a re-run (no, not Freddie Stubbs from 'What's Happening') of the Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest and the mighty Kobeyashi has fallen. An American (Joey Chestnut) finally beat him, eatng 66 hotdogs AND BUNS within the time limit. Let me just tell you it was disturbing in that "I can't bear to watch this but for some reason can't avert my glance" kind of way. What a feat.

OK, that's all fine and good (and slightly sickening), but the reason I mention all this is because of a comment the one announcer said. Let me see if I can quote him so you can get the full effect...

"If Chestnut can hang on here, it would be [one of] the greatest moments in American sports history..."

Are you freaking kidding me??? That statement has got to me one of the most ridiculous and assanine statements ever uttered by a "sportscaster". Greater than Willie Mays' famous over-the-shoulder catch? Greater than the Miracle at the Meadowlands? The Immaculate Reception? US Beating the Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics? Chamberlain scoring 100 in a single game? Puh-lease. It doesn't even top Gus Frerotte's famous endzone headbutt celebration...

This idiot should lose his sportscasters license. What kind of credentials does this buffoon have anyway? It's people like this guy that make some ESPN'ers the laughing stock of knowledgable sports fans everyway.


Last day at Tom Raper

Well, maybe. It was supposed to be yesterday, but I came back for a few the morning to make another $.99. Whoopee. Well, at least it gives me some time to write in my blog. It doesn't get busy till later in the day.

Sarah and Big E come back today from Illi-no-ah. I'm SO ready for them to be back. You can only watch so many episodes of Flip This House before it starts to get old. I almost put in a Veggie Tales DVD the other day cause in a weird way I almost missed watching it. ALMOST.

We're getting excited about the new release of the Harry Potter movie. I can only imagine that Sarah is going out of her mind. And not only does the movie come out this weekend, the 7th and final book is not far behind. She's already got her reserved copy ordered and will most likely polish the entire book off in a night or two. Seriously.

Looks like Momma R is now in the land of Gmail and IM. Got her hooked up yesterday and upgraded her from her old JUNO acct. There's no need for that old dialup acct anymore since she's on the church's LAN. It will be nice to chat with her on a regular basis without needing to be near a phone. And I'm sure Dad is not far behind in the IM world... I can almost hear Sting now...

"I want my, I want my, I want my Instant Chat..."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And now... Paula Cole!




You would think that during a major multimedia event like the All-Star game that they'd have this wired a little tighter. Is there a sound issue? A cable not plugged in? What's up? Where's the sound engineer? The roadies? AAAAHHHH...

At this point we see her keyboard player hunched over the keyboard trying frantically to either select a sound, see the display or figure out why it's not working. I have an incredible feeling of deja vous. Know the feeling. Don't envy her right now.

More silence. The long-distance TV camera pans the crowd. Still nothing. I can't believe it. Wondering if she's going to start singing acapella. She probably should. Start Paula. Please start. Why can't they figure this out. This is embarrassing...

I can almost hear the sound of James Adams in the background "Down-time, Down-time...let's go guys..." But Flip Like Wilson never played to a crowd like this... even at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach.

Ok -- finally. She says something about the country, men and women fighting... very nice. I don't remember exactly. She starts singing. You can hear the nervousness in her voice as she sings. No wonder. She just had a couple hundred million people watching (or not watching) her sing.

Ok... sounding better now. Actually, this sounds quite good. Nice version. I'm glad... nice recovery. I'm happy for her. And me. My blood pressure is returning to normal... as normal as it could be, I guess...

All-Star Extravaganza

OK. If you didn't see the game last night, the finish was fantastic. Bad in a baseball sense, but good for thrill-seekers.


OK... so for those of you who either don't have a DVR or don't care about the outcome, here we go...

It was a rather uneventful game, except for a few cool moments. Ichiro hit an inside-the-parker. He rounded the bases like it was nothing. By the time the outfielder retrieved the ball, he probably could have gone half way around again. That guy is ridiculous. And if I could say it in Japanese, I would, just so I'd be sure he could understand how I feel. Suffice it to say that he is probably the best pure hitter in the game right now -- (yes, including BARRY) -- and don't even get me started on the fact that the guy can plain out FLY on the bases. Silly good. And he's a pretty good fielder as well.

Speaking of "Fielders"... I know there's a lot of emotion and hype and all for the game, and the players probably have the an equivalent amount of adreneline in their systems as if they had just downed a case of Red Bull, but what's up with Prince Fielder dropping a simple throw to first? That was plain out sad. Coming from an ex-first baseman, there was no excuse for dropping that ball. And I wasn't a perfect "Fielder" either, but I feel like I should be able to throw some stones here. Maybe Prince should think about dropping that last name of his and just going by his moniker... oh wait, that name's already been taken by the Purple One. :-)

OK, so a lot of stuff happened blah blah blah and then as usual, the American League pulls ahead and is leading 5-2 going into the final inning. Then a 2-run shot by another ridiculous hitter Soriano.. so it's 5-4. (Side note: I find it funny that he hit it off a reliever whose last name is "Putz" -- even if he does have 24 saves and a sub 1.00 ERA)

There are 2 outs. They bring in Francisco Rodrigez. He proceeds to walk the bases loaded, and if it weren't for some fine defensive catching by Posada it would have been tied. Finally Rowand flied out to end the game, but the NLA almost pulled it out... almost. Oh well. It's been 10 years... they've got to be due SOON.

I read an interesting stat the other day... the starting salaries of the NLA -- $52mil. The ALA -- over $120mil. No wonder they always win.

"Take me out to the ballgame..."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Interesting web fodder...

New dictionary includes 'ginormous'

OK, fine. But do they also list 'hugemungous'? I think not.

So there. :-)

Going, going, gone...

I watched the Homerun Derby last night... not all of it, cause it is INTERMINABLY LONG... but I watched a nice chunk of it nonetheless. It was difficult to tune out the incessant banter of Chris Berman's "backbackbackbackback" but I managed to do so for most of the evening and just catch the highlights. I was disappointed in Ryan Howard's showing, but I didn't expect him to put on the same show he did the previous year anyway. Oh well. I guess that players other than Phillies are allowed to win every once and a while... :-)

There's a great article by Jayson Stark on how to improve the Derby for next year...check it out if you have the chance. He is awesome, and I highly recommend anything he writes or says. He is fantastic and very insightful, not to mention entertaining.

Monday, July 9, 2007

OH to IL and back again

After a whirlwind weekend, I'm back in OH sans Sarah and Big E, who have stayed behind in IL with Uncle "Bubba" and Aunt "Yi" (Benji and Liz). I picked up Debbie (Sarah's mom) at the Indy airport on Friday night at 11:55pm... since she was 1:30 late, we decided to get a room in Indy instead ov driving the addtl 3hr to Decatur IL for a wedding the next day. Let me tell you-- I now know why they "leave the light on for you" at Motel 6 -- it's so all the cockroaches scatter before you open the door. :-)

After a rather uneventful evening (except for the fact that the fan made it sound like a semi was idling in our bathroom), we hit the road and arrived in Decatur to meet Sarah and Ethan who had gone ahead of us. We did a little running around and exploring, had lunch at La Gondola (home of the slightly strange sweet bread) and got a little snack at Del's Popcorn Shop(YUMM-O). Some of the best caramel corn and definitely the best kettle corn I have EVER had. The wedding was later that evening in Clinton -- nice service, lots of Sarah's family involved... her brother and cousin sang and her uncle did the marryin'... Ethan behaved VERY well and kept announcing to everyone that he knew the people up there... at one quiet point during the minister's message, he proudly exclaimed "Pa-paw" (Sarah's uncle) -- needless to say, that was Papaw's favorite part of the entire wedding! One thing that I thought was cool that I had never seen before -- Nick and Jessica (bride and groom) actually came back in again after the recessional and dismissed the guests. Quite a nice touch. Wish I would have thought of that... :-)

Back again to Decatur for the reception -- fairly uneventful, but there were some items of note...
  1. It was held in a Masonic Temple. Nice place, but I had never been to one before. It's a little more interesting to me after the whole DaVinci Code thing lately...
  2. Food was quite good
  3. Beer was quite not
  4. Neither was the wine
  5. During the reception, one of the centerpieces (a bottle of some sort of cherry infused wine) spontaneously exploded, drenching the entire table of 60+'s with red liquid. We think it got too close to the candles on the table, which heated the air inside the bottle and then "PRESTO" -- instant entertainment!

Afterwards, we headed to Benji and Liz's place in Tuscola IL. We went to church outside in the park the next morning as part of the 150th Anniverary celebration for the town (otherwise known as the 'Sesqicentennial'). Benji's band sounded great despite the heat out there, and we enjoyed a great message. We then headed home for a short rest, returning at 2pm for a set of original music by Benji and the band... now known as Taking Refuge (although some of the promotional items out there heralded them as Taking REFUSE)... ! The played well, and we stuck around to hear the headliner, Building 429. Great band. Check them out online. Very cool.

Went out to dinner that evening with Liz's parents and I began the uneventful trek home around 7:30 -- which was 8:30 EST. Got back at midnight, yutzed around for a while and went to bed. All in all, I probably logged 600 miles and ate my share of Del's popcorn. Not a bad weekend. Can't wait till Sarah gets home. :-(

Thursday, July 5, 2007

closing is being pushed...

Just found out... probably July 13. Friday the 13th. Don't know if I'm happy about that, for more reasons than the obvious... :-)

Good news is that it gives us a few more days to get the trash out. Bad news is that it delays our payoff, so we get less money, so we have less money to work with NOW...which is the major problem. Prayers are appreciated.

Wow I am lame

Lot going on - let's try to break it down into personal stuff, house stuff and job stuff

First - Job Stuff

Still working at the RV through next Friday. My interview with LexisNexs went well but apparently not well enough. They wanted someone with more coding experience. Understandable I guess... I've never really considered myself a coder, and I had really been out of it for 2 years or so while working at JC. Unfortunately for me, it's not like the whole "riding a bike" thing... I definitely do forget a lot of it. But I have a follow-up phone interview for another position with the same company -- less money, but a job none-the-less. Let's see how it works out. I also have an interview with another recruiter sometime this week or next -- I applied for a number of positions online for this same company, so I'm not sure exactly what they are interested in me for... but hopefully it's something good. (duh!)

Next - House Stuff

Had to go back to Maryland last week to finish packing up... left on a Tuesday and came back on a Friday. Lots of box-packing with Mom in the meantime. She came down to help out and ended up staying way later than originally anticipated CAUSE SHE ROCKS. The best Mom ever! I don't care what the rest of you say! :-)

We packed a ton of boxes and unfortunately I had to give in about 4pm on Friday without finishing CAU... and because I have the best friends in the world, I had 4 people volunteer to come by and help finish packing while I was back in OH. I need to mention them here because they are SUPER AWESOME. Thanks to Jen C, April A, April R and Angie F. You are the bestest ever!

Had to find a moving company while I was there to handle the move - we were originally planning on having someone come while we were there, but since there was no way to get it done in time, we decided to get a company to come in for us and move the items without us being there (apparently this is done often enough that they didn't sound surprised when I asked). The original company we wanted to do it for us quoted us one rate and then said it would be about $2500 more when they did a walk through. UNACCEPTABLE. We found another company and they gave us a NTE price, plus they're storing items for 1 month for free. This is superb since we don't have a place to put things yet -- there's no way it's fitting in Sarah's mom's place that's for sure! Closing is still scheduled for Monday the 9th, and it's on track. There's still a lot to do by then, but we are praying and hopeful that everything will happen as it should and we will be done with the MD house. Hurray!

Finally - Personal Stuff...

There's a wedding this weekend in Illinois -- looking forward to meeting more of Sarah's family and catching up with my brother and sister in law, Benji and Liz. Besides the wedding, we're supposed to attend a church service in the park (Benji is leading worship) and afterwards we'll be going to a concert. Benji's band is opening up for a band called Building 426 (?) or something like that and it should be a good time. Sarah, Debbie and Ethan are staying through Thursday, although I'llbe leaving to heard back around dinnertime Sunday cause I have to work. Gotta pay the bills ya know.

I'm feeling slightly anxious yet also invigorated these past few days seeing things line up in anticipation of Friday (job) and Mon (house). Mom and Dad have been a great shoulder to lean on as have other family members (Debbie and Aunt Robin) and have kept me encouraged. It's difficult to be struggling so much right now -- I've never had to really worry about finding a job before (they've always found me), and honestly it's been a bit of a blow to my self-ego. I know there's a job out there for me, but I feel like I don't even have the time to wait for it cause I need money NOW. We have been blessed by financial gifts from friends and family, have had some unexpected windfalls in the way of tax returns, etc., plus I had some client billings that came in... so we have had money to live on. I know that God will provide... but it's been a trying time to say the least.

Church out here is way cool. Sarah and I are meeting with the Creative Arts pastor of Vineyard Cincinnati next Friday and hopefully can start to get plugged in -- either band, tech or something. We really feel comfortable here and seems to be a natural extension of our time at JC without the pressure. It's a great place to worship and is really outreach focused... check their site and learn all about the recent Sumnmer of Service they hosted for teens!

Ok -- that's all for now...

"Our house... in the middle of our street..."