Monday, July 30, 2012

Five Reasons People Who Promote “Natural Remedies” Drive Me up the Wall

1.  They fail to take into consideration the fact that the reason that the labels don’t actually say what the herbal extract or other substance is for is because the manufacturer is not allowed to make medical claims or refer to the substance as anything other than a dietary supplement. If they do take it into consideration, they make up a conspiracy theory.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Top Five Things: Top Five Songs/Artists

Ask Me My Top 5 Anything  This is something I'm doing on Tumblr. (My ask box is open. Also, if you're on Tumblr, add me!)

Top five music artists you like at the moment? Maybe with a youtube link to a favorite song for each of them!
Beast—Mr. Hurricane

I was introduced to this song via Luka (vastderp on tumblr). This was for a song list he made for his web comic Kagerou. I have not checked out other songs by this artist yet.

I am an Island—PhemieC

This is a filk musician I have been following. So far, her music is mostly based in Homestuck. Her work is brilliant.

(For the uniformed: Filk music is music song by an amateur, pro or semi pro musician about usually science fiction or fantasy books, movies or other media. I am not entirely certain whether PhemieC identifies as a filk musician: I’ve just tagged her as one.)

Ladytron—Soft Power

This was another song/artist introduced to me as a result of a song list. The song list was for a Homestuck fan project. I haven’t checked out any other songs by this artist yet.

Nightwish—The Islander

I found this on tumblr. I instantly fell in love. I am vaguely familiar with some of this group’s other work and I really like it.

Homestuck Vol 9.—Crystalmethequins

Not only is Homestuck a webcomic, it also has its own soundtrack. This song is a cheat because I actually love every last song on this album, except Gamer Girl, mostly because I hate the character. (This one is particularly amazing though.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Marcus on Monday: Meditation 8:13

If possible, make it a habit to discover the essential character of every impression, its effect on the self, and its response to a logical analysis.

What struck me about this particular meditation was the qualifier: if possible. This meditation is about taking apart ideas, perceptions, and beliefs to not only see if they are based in logic but if they benefit you as a person. This meditation is about applying critical thinking skills to your beliefs and impressions of the world and events that are taking place around you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sound of Acherontia atropos (Dødningehoved natsværmer) Death's Head Hawkmoth

Friday, July 13, 2012

Job Hunt Log the Third: In Which I Don’t Go to An Interview

The first job contact I have had in a long time turned out to be a scam. The company advertises itself as a marketing company. The keywords they use to advertise openings are “administrative,” “graphic design,” “marketing” and so on. They specialize in advertising events. You will not be doing administrative or marketing jobs; you will be driving all over the play trying to hard sell things of dubious worth to people who want you to go away. (Or at least you would if you had a car and could drive, which I can't.)

I was not at first aware that this company was a scam company. I had applied because it seemed to advertising a social media opening, though the wording was very vague. It reminded me a little of the job description and keyword tactics of another advertising company that turned out to be a scam, but I sent in my resume anyway. I got a call from them and was very excited, and after some phone-tag was able to arrange an interview. (I was also told that I would be sent information about where I’d be interviewing but it never came.)

Then I did some research on the company, as you do. What I found did not make me very happy.

Here are some problems concerning the web site:

  • The website was not very professional looking. It was very flashy, but it did not really look like a company website.
  • There was very little information about the company. Most of the information there was promotional material stating that face to face interactions and public events were superior to social media. 
  • The information itself seemed more aimed toward prospective employees than to potential clients.
  • There were Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buttons, but they did not go to a company page when you clicked them. There was also a Blogger blog but that had even less information about the company than the web page. (The blog entries mostly resembled spammer twitters.)
My research:

  • I had one hell of a time trying to find any information on this company. (If you cannot find any information on a company, you should be suspicious.) What I did notice immediately was when I searched the company name the drop down of suggested keywords included “complaints.” Better Business Bureau did not have any information on them. My attempt to find them on Glass Door did not go well, as they didn’t seem to be there.
  • I found some information from Yahoo Answers and a job board about the company. Both had a number of highly critical complaints concerning the company’s business practices and treatment of employees. There were a few people defending the company, but there were more people complaining about it.   

As a result, I decided not to bother going to the interview.      

Other scams I have encountered during previous job hunts:

  • There was a company that was apparently selling home security packages. Door to door. I might have still signed up, but I read the small print which seemed to be designed to completely screw over the salesperson and skedaddled out of there.
  • There was another “advertising” company that relied on public events. 
  • There was a telemarketing job that sold websites that would somehow magically enable people to make money from home. They somehow made this sound legitimate enough that I was actually filling out the paperwork for signing on before I came to my senses.
 Some unsolicited advice:

  • Do research on the company. You should be doing research on the company you are applying at to begin with but pay close attention to things like complaints about business practices and the product or service.
  • Pay even more attention to what they say on their website or their ads. “Information” that is vague or misleading.
  • See if the key words the company chooses are all over the place or if they are posting one job in multiple categories. This is an extremely dishonest tactic.
  • If you are detecting a “hardsell” technique to get you to sign on, you should be suspicious, even if they do state or otherwise admit that the job is difficult.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Today Did Not Happen

1. The thunderstorm last night knocked out the electricity, which didn't come back on until six am this morning.

2. It took me most of the morning and Youngest Sister's help to figure out that the reason I couldn't get online was because the router needed to be reset. (I originally thought there was something wrong on my end, and didn't think of resetting the router myself.)

3.a. My antivirus program decided it couldn't start up. I kept getting messages that I needed to restart the computer. The fixes recommended by the first person I chatted with with did not help. It took several hours to find out that I needed to to download an update. From the company's website.

3. b. When I tried to update it refused to down load at first, and then decided to Blue Screen me. So I restarted the computer, and the second time, it decided to download correctly.

4. Yahoo was hacked and passwords had to be changed. This was not a very big deal but on top of everything else that was fail today....

5. There are things I have not gotten done today because I was too busy trying to fix all of the above problems.

As a result, I have decided that today did not happen. 

Small amusing thing: Today I checked my twitter and I found I have 666 followers. *snerk*

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Job Hunt Log the Second: In Which I Collect a Lot of “Sorry You’re Not What We’re Looking for” Emails.

So far, I have been collecting a lot of “sorry you’re not what we’re looking for” emails. Sometimes these letters also contain a “but we’ll keep your resume on file/please keep coming to us as jobs appear,” factor that may or may not be legitimate. I find these letters whether or not they include a “we’ll keep your resume,” to be kind of disheartening, which I think is not the actual intent of the letters.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Job Hunt Log the First: Intentions and Introduction

Okay. I finally graduated and earned my Associates of Applied Science Web Graphic Design back in February. Due to not having a stable financial situation, a great deal of depression and other mental health issues I won’t go into here, I was not really able to begin the job hunt. (I did send out some resumes but my only job interview did not go very well because I could not convince the prospective employer that even though I wasn’t familiar with WordPress at the time, that I would be able to quickly get used to it because of previous experience with a) other blogging and writing platforms and b) Knowledge of HTML and CSS, though I am not exactly a “coder.” (I now have a WordPress blog. It is not that much different from Blogger.)

I am now in more stable living conditions and have managed to pull myself partially out of the dumps, and started putting out more resumes. This log is going to be the first of many posts as I attempt to find work. I am not yet certain how or what format these logs are going to take, or if I should mention the names of the companies that I am going to be applying for. (I am leaning toward “mentioning the companies,” but I might not.) The posts will involve where I found the job, what the job is, the keywords I used, the follow up process, if I get any calls, how the interview went, and so on.

Other things I want to do with this blog series:

--Talk about the much loathed “personality” tests. (I will not be providing instruction for how to pass them. I have read many instructions and attempted to follow them but the advice does not seem to work. Most of the advice relies on a basic understanding of what the specific company wants. How you are supposed to guess that, I don’t know.)

--Discuss and/or research why companies seem to push an “extrovert only” agenda. (Introverts are not “shy” necessarily. We prefer to talk to small groups of people and listen before making an overture. We do not do this very well in large gatherings as we find it mentally draining. Extroverts meanwhile can be shy, but are energized by company and generally don’t have a problem with large groups. Shyness can be overcome.)

--Discuss and/or identify scam companies and pyramid schemes. (This is something that I think is particularly important, since I keep running into scams.)

--Discuss what I am looking for in a job. (Specifically, what I want to do, what I think I am able to do and what would constitute a “dream job” for me.)

Other things to expect:

--Occasional whining,

--Incoherent rants.

--General flailing around like an overstimulated Muppet.

--Sarcasm and occasional attempts at humor.

--Nervous nailbiting.