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Working my way through the SQL tutorials at w3schools.com. I'm mildly encouraged that I seem to know about... 60-70% of the content already, at least so far as writing select statements goes. I'm not into the really complex database administration exercises yet.

Place #1 has not gotten back to me, but I didn't have high hopes there to begin with. Place #2 emailed me back for a third interview, which will be on Monday. Their form letter setting it up included an injunction to 'dress professionally,' which makes me wonder what kind of candidate they normally get at their in-person interviews. Yesterday I got an email from a recruiter wanting to submit my resume to a Place #3 (again, someplace that wants more SQL experience than I have, so I said yes go ahead, but I'm not expecting even a phone interview there) and this morning I got an email asking to set up a phone interview at Place #4 next week.

I'm not going to send out my next batch of resumes until I've finished the SQL tutorials and (hopefully) passed the certification test on the tutorial website (though I have to check and see if they charge for that; if they do, I will probably skip it.) Either way, I want to be able to add SQL to my skills on the resume without feeling that I'm fudging it. At the rate I've been going, I think I can finish it over the weekend, next week for sure. I might try to learn Python next, since a lot of places seem to be looking for that, though I expect that will be a lot harder to pick up since I'll be starting from scratch.

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The in person interview for Place #1 went all right, though from their questions, I think that they are looking for someone with more SQL coding experience than I have. I was called back for a second phone interview at Place #2, and that one went very well. The guy I spoke to today (who was interviewing me for technical skills) said that the hiring manager would contact me again with "next steps." So I'm hopeful that I've made the cut for an in person interview there. I sent out another half-dozen resumes today anyway.

I realized today that if I don't get something before Christmas, I'm going to have to postpone getting Bo's teeth cleaned. We'd had that scheduled with the vet for December. Bo probably won't object.

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Which Willow Ficathon

@Dragonydreams is doing an interest check for another round of the Which Willow Ficathon here! If you're interested in writing or reading about our favorite red-headed witch, take a look!

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I got a callback from the phone interview I did Monday for an in person interview (though it's only the first of three rounds of in person interviews for this particular job, so I am not getting my hopes up) and I just got an email asking to schedule a phone interview for a second place. I am incredibly nervous, because from the job postings I've been reading, most companies are looking for computer science and business majors with a lot more technical background than I have. Sigh. I keep telling myself that I did not misrepresent my skill levels on my resume, so if people are calling, they must think that I'm at least marginally qualified. But I'm going to try to run through some SQL tutorials anyway. I've picked up a fair amount by osmosis; I know a right join from a where clause; but it's like the snippets of VBA I picked up while doing Access stuff: I've tended to learn what I need to solve an immediate problem rather than gaining a broad theoretical grounding.

I worked out that if I budget VERY strictly, the severance I'm getting will pay my share of the bills for about six months. Rather than push that to the bitter end, I've decided that I'm going to give the job search three months; if I don't get anything, then I'm going to apply at the company my wife works for, as they are constantly hiring people to take incoming claims calls. While that is not something I want to do forever, I do have fifteen years of customer service experience prior to getting into data entry/reporting. Once I get in there, odds are very good that I can move up within a couple of years. Money will be tight for awhile, but we'll survive.

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Not the greatest news

Well, the long-hovering axe at work finally fell, and my entire team was laid off last Friday. Even knowing that there was a very good chance it would happen, it's still a blow. Sigh. At least we're getting severance packages, so there's not immediate financial panic involved. I'd already brushed up my resume and my LinkedIn profile a week or two ago, because I had applied for another position in the company (no clue how that will turn out, and I have mixed feelings about it anyway -- on the one hand, it would be nice to keep working for the same place; on the other, how long would that job be safe?) But that meant I had it all ready to start sending out applications Friday afternoon, and I've got one phone interview scheduled for Monday already. Hopefully I'll get a few more bites soon. Knock wood.

On the one hand, job hunting sucks. On the other, if I can get a job remotely comparable to the one I had, the pay will probably be better. Surely in the "best economy ever!" I'll be able to find something. :/

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AO3 is offering to archive Yahoo Groups

More info here: A PSA about Yahoo! Groups

You have to be an admin in order for them to do it, so it's no help for people who want to archive groups they were just members of, but if you were an admin, it might be worth looking into.

Another option for admins is groups.io, which will transfer your mailing list to their service for a one time fee. More info here: https://morgandawn.dreamwidth.org/1678027.html

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Assorted Tables

These last two weekends we've been cleaning up the back yard, and setting the back porch and the tiki bar to rights. During the Closet Project we'd shoved everything out there to store it, and now we're trying to get everything back where it belongs, and winnow out things we don't need any longer. Last weekend I cleaned up Mom's old sewing table, sanded it down, re-stained it, and, since I'm planning on using it as an outdoor worktable, covered it with a couple of coats of water-resistant polyurethane. I forgot to take before pictures, but I may take an after picture and post it later. It's a very neat table – my grandfather made it out of an old upright piano.

This weekend's project was a card table that belonged to my grandmother.Collapse )

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Some time in the late 40s or early 50s, after WWII, my uncle went to India. He brought back some silver dowry jewelry for his mother, my grandmother. There was this necklace, a bracelet, and a pair of earrings. Mom got it after Grandma died, and I got it after Mom died. I passed the bracelet on to one of my cousins, and the earrings are broken and some of the pieces are lost, so I'm not even sure they can be fixed.

The necklace had a few broken links in the chains, and no stones. Apparently the thing with this kind of jewelry was, it came without stones, and you were supposed to buy whatever kind you wanted separately, and have them set in it. For whatever reason, my uncle didn't buy any stones, and so this necklace sat in a box, unfinished and unworn, for the next seventy years. The original receipt was still in the box. (I did some googling, and so far as I could tell, this store, or at least one with a very similar name, is still in business, still seemingly run by the same family, to this day.)

Anyway, I took it in to a jewelry store a few months ago to see if they could fix the broken links, and on a whim, asked if anything could be done about the missing stones. They said they had a guy that could custom cut stones to fit it -- semi-precious ones, because doing something like that with precious stones would be prohibitively expensive -- and after thinking it over a bit (because even semi-precious stones wouldn't be cheap) I told them to go ahead. This is the result -- it's turquoise, jasper, jet, and mother of pearl. I'm not sure what outfit I own that's fancy enough to do this justice, but I'll think of something.

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The Ghost of Wankmas Past

I have been following the ongoing AO3/Hugo trainwreck with fascination. As you may or may not know, AO3 won a Hugo for Best Related Work this year. Now, this made some old-school literary SF fans cranky to begin with, because it was a fanfic archive, run by a bunch of girls. But then a bunch of AO3 authors began joking around on Twitter about having won .000000372% of a Hugo, and THAT was an INSULT NOT TO BE BORNE, and a SLAP IN THE FACE to the the DIGNITY of THE HUGO AWARDS (TM) yadda yadda, on and on, far into the night. It's not actual Hugo winners kicking up the fuss, mind, which makes it even more bizarre. (If you're interested in rubbernecking, there's a link roundup here.)

Saturday was my niece's nineteenth birthday, and we had her over for lunch and cake. It's cool getting to talk to her; her family moved to Washington when she was only six or seven, I think. So this is the first time I've really had a chance to get to know her as an adult(ish) person. She's a very cool kid, with a good head on her shoulders.

The summer's finally broken here! We're supposed to get a big storm in tomorrow, and the temperatures will be in the 90s all the rest of the week. Knock wood, we'll be able to do a lot of the outside projects we've been putting off next weekend.

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So I am FINALLY after like thirty years setting up a dedicated sewing area in the house, so I can actually have my sewing machine out and work on projects without having to swap it out with my desktop computer. Prior to this I've kept all my sewing stuff jumbled into craft boxes crammed into a cabinet, where they are inconvenient to get to and impossible to find anything once you've gotten to them. With all the rearranging and cleaning we did after the Closet Project, I managed to clear out enough space in the office room to fit in a sewing desk and a rack for all my cloth.

I've been going through all my notions and sorting them out, and getting rid of things I'm never going to use, like the bag of Ribbon Scraps in Ugly Colors That Are Too Short To Do Anything With. In aid of the sorting process, I ordered a spool organizer off Etsy. It arrived today, and much to my annoyance, it was broken.

First thing I did was send pictures to the seller and complain about the insufficient packaging. Hopefully they'll feel guilty enough to send me a partial refund. Next thing I did was break out the clamps and the wood glue and fix it, because it really is a cool piece and I want it, damn it. If the glue proves insufficient I'll drill holes in the back and insert dowels for extra support, but the broken part isn't load-bearing, so hopefully glue will suffice.

Pictures of the spool-i-nator by popular request:Collapse )

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November 2019



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