General Ramblings comments edit

Kate Spade 'Gramercy Park' Casual
ChinaWe went to Macy’s on Saturday and bought the remainder of the dish set we put on the wedding registry. We got a few items for the wedding, but three dishes and a couple of bowls really didn’t equal “complete dish set,” so we finished out the 12-person place setting list we had put together (minus the platter and serving bowl). It was a little on the spendy side (I think we came out with a total of around $830) but we had a lot of Macy’s gift cards to contribute to that so it wasn’t that much out of pocket. Thanks to all the folks who got us dishes and Macy’s gift cards - you are contributing to the “Stop Eating on Mom’s Hand-Me-Down 1970’s Corelle-ware” cause.

Actually, I like the new plates a lot. Enough that I’m almost scared to eat on them. They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, but… well, I’ve never had nice plates. It’s a new thing.

While we were at Macy’s, Jenn picked up a new outfit and I started thinking maybe I need some new stuff. You know, change it up a little. I’m not sure what I want, but while I like a casual dress look, it’s not terribly sustainable for me - about halfway through the day I end up feeling (and looking) all wrinkled and rumpled. I do like the stuff they sell at the Cirque du Soleil boutique because I feel like it’s reasonably stylish, different, and fits comfortably without making me look/feel unpressed by the end of the day. Jenn says it looks like skater punk stuff and there’s only so much skater she can handle. So I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I just know I’m not a chain wallet guy (even though I secretly want to be) and Stu is a golf hat guy (even though he really doesn’t want to be).

Speaking of Stu, he came over on Sunday and we put in our final units against Oblivion, completing the game with all achievements fulfilled and clocking it in at just under 61 hours. My dad bought that game and hasn’t even started yet. I’m pretty sure he’ll never get it finished. Anyway, now that we’re done with Oblivion we’ll have to look for a new game to put in units on.

Saw that Contra is coming to Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday, so I’m pretty stoked about that. I remember playing that when I was a kid at the neighbor’s house across the street on original NES. Good times. Looks like there’s a lot coming out that I might have to check out. Not really sure how well Missile Command will translate without that roller-ball controller it had in the arcade, but I’ll give it a run.

imageI’ve become an Xbox Live Uno junkie. I’m not sure why playing a card game over Xbox Live is so addictive, but it is, and it’s really the first Xbox Live game that has me sucked in. I think the key with it is that there’s not a lot of skill involved, so regardless of who shows up to play with you, everyone’s on level ground - you don’t pop into the game to get your ass kicked by the 14-year-old kid who’s suspended from school and has nothing better to do all day than practice the game and yell profanity at you while shooting you dead. Jenn’s liking Uno, too, and has doubled her friends list since starting. It’s a load of fun.

Uno has the Xbox Live Vision Camera enabled in it so you can see who you’re playing with online (if they have the camera). Thus far I’m not sure if the camera was really that great of an idea. Sometimes it’s fun, but you can’t imagine the crazy (and sometimes gross) stuff people will do on the camera while playing. We’ve seen countless people smoking pot, Jenn’s seen a naked guy, a guy I was playing against said he saw someone eating a raw heart… I’m sure Microsoft saw this as a potential issue, and yeah, you can file complaints against people doing that, but somehow I don’t see that stopping the issue. I guess Penny Arcade was right.

media comments edit

eCoustics has a great article on HDTV that explains everything you ever wanted to know, including whether 1080p is something you should step up to. Given the human eye’s limitations, you may not actually be able to distinguish a 720p from 1080p broadcast, pending on how far away from the TV you sit. This is a good complement to the Hanselminutes episode on HDTV.

I have a 37” LCD screen that displays at 1366 x 768, effectively limiting me to 720p (upscaled, or 1080p downscaled). Unless I sit 4.8 feet from the screen, I probably won’t really notice the difference between 720p and 1080p display.

Now I’m going to have to go home and measure to see how far we are from the TV.

General Ramblings comments edit

I just got this weird spam letter that wasn’t even advertising anything. I thought the contents of the spam were interesting, though, almost like a stream-of-consciousness writing from an overloaded engineer.

Now or never. Possible Interpretation: Refers to doing two things at once, or multi-tasking. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Alternative: Who will act as gatekeeper to the gatekeepers? All hat and no cattle.

General Ramblings comments edit

I get a lot of calls from recruiters, and I’m always happy to hear about interesting opportunities because I don’t like to close any doors. Hey, if someone wants to pay me a million bucks a year to eat candy bars or something, I’m gonna take it.

That said, I’ve got some huge pet peeves about the way some recruiters deal with things.

For example, I’m pretty clear about what I like to hear about. I’m only interested in permanent, full-time positions (no contract or contract-to-hire). I’m not interested in relocation (that includes the “keep an apartment where the job is and fly home on weekends” notion - that’s relocation, too). I don’t want to travel extensively.

Being very clear about that, it’s interesting to get incessant calls about “a phenomenal three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” I’m not interested. You know I’m not interested. Stop spamming me with crap and show me something I’m interested in.

Here’s another one: recruiters love the phone. Love it. And I understand that, since salespeople also love the phone and recruiters are basically job salespeople. The thing is, I hate the phone. Hate it. I can’t do anything else when I’m on the phone (I can email and do other things). It’s hard to get a private conversation on the phone (you can email people without people hearing what you’re emailing about). It’s not memorable (I can tell you over the phone that I don’t want to relocate and you can ignore it; you can’t ignore a documented email).

The big pet peeve with the phone is that recruiters abuse it. You do not need to schedule a time with me where I can take your call and talk privately and you can reel off the company backgrounder to me. You do not need to schedule a time where I go to the effort of calling you before work or when I get home so you can tell me about “a phenomenal three-month contract in Podunk, Michigan.” You certainly don’t need to call me right in the middle of the day and stop me in whatever I’m doing so you can tell me you just got my resume and then promptly start asking me to restate everything that’s already listed on my resume.

A recommendation to recruiters everywhere: Get off my phone. We’re in an electronic age - use the facilities provided. Use a database to keep track of people and pay attention to what it says. If the “no relocation” box is checked on the form, don’t send me the opportunity no matter how cool you think it is. If the “no contract” box is checked, don’t tell me about that super-awesome week-long contract in Australia.

Does that make me hard to work with? I don’t think so. I just think that a recruiter is more valuable to me when they choose to maximize the value they get out of my time and their own. Respecting my time shows me they respect me and really do pay attention to my needs, and in turn I’m more interested in hearing what they have to say. If I want job spam, I’ll sign up for a Monster search agent.