Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bobbing and Weaving

Things are holding fairly neutral at the Little Lair In The Barrio this week, so this should be a fairly simple and potentially brief update on the state of the lair and the inhabitants therein.

Still nothing major happening on the job front at the moment, although I did get a call this week that surprised the hell out of me. Remember that temp job I did, and how the location manager at that site submitted my resume (with my blessing) to a more local branch that was looking for someone, and how I never heard back from this location and had essentially written them off?

Guess who called on Tuesday. G'wan, guess.

We set an appointment for an interview for Wednesday, and off I went. It was the typical interview stuff -- about me, about my past, and my plans and hopes for my future. It seemed to go well, and the boss was pretty impressed that I was more than willing to not only figure out a bus schedule to get to work, but to do so that would have me arriving early and ready to go.

I found out that this company doesn't pay for an employee's DOT physical exam, and when the time came to renew, it was the employee's financial responsibility. Guess who's physical expired on Monday? Aw, g'wan, take a stab in the dark.

Anyway, things seemed fairly promising, and I will need to send off an email to let this guy know that I'm still available and quite interested in the position, and that I have a current medical card and am ready to go.

I had the physical done on Friday, and I am quite pleased that it didn't cost as much as I was fearing it would. And, as it was pouring down assloads of rain and I didn't much care to stand at the bus stop and get drenched, I opted to fire up the truck and take the chance that it not only would get me there, but would get me home again. Now, on Thursday, before we went shopping, we put the fuel injector cleaner in the tank and topped it off with some good gas from a place I'd been to many times before without incident. The ride up went fine, with only small hesitations. Coming home, the start of the trip was a tad dicey, but smoothed out as I got closer to home.

I passed the physical, by the way, in case you didn't infer that from the fact I have a valid medical card again.

Keeping the positive vibes going, we opted to take an even riskier gambit, and have me go to the laundromat to wash the clothes we hadn't been able to do a proper wash job on in a couple of months now. Since there was no bus that would put me anywhere close, I had to drive. The truck actually seemed to be performing better -- nice and smooth on the ride up, only a few hiccups on acceleration on the way home, and for the first time since the breakdown I could get the engine over 3000 rpm. I'm still kind of fuzzy on the reasoning that it only acts up after it's been run for a while and everything has warmed up. You would think that if it were bad gas it would have been constant once the vehicle was started. I don't know if warming things up affects the injectors all that much, either. So, I'm leaning either toward a bad sensor or problems with the catalytic converter. We may not have to scrap it after all.

So, with any luck, I can stop bitching about my lack of a job, and begin a new chapter where I incessantly bitch and complain about my new job.

Let's hope so, anyway. The latter is better for my pocketbook.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

All the GOOD overpasses are taken

Yep, it appears to be Bile-Spillin' time once again, so let's get right to it, shall we?

As I had correctly predicted in my last post, I never got a call back from the eye doctor's office about the driver position. I also have not received any calls about temp jobs in this area, so the official forecast is for mostly screwed with homelessness likely by April, unless something comes through in the meantime.

Applying for jobs is tough when you have to figure out whether or not they're located along a bus route, and as it would figure, most of the decent jobs that I am more than qualified for are not, or they're on hours that the buses don't run. It's the old runaround: truck needs to get fixed, but need money to do that, and can't get money without a job, and job requires a reliable vehicle to get back and forth ... which needs to get fixed.

The good thing is tax time is here, so I can put the refunds that I should be getting toward rent, so we will at least have a roof over our heads through the end of March, and if there's any extra, I might see what I can do about getting the truck fixed. By "fixed," I mean getting it in decent shape that it won't threaten to die on the side of the highway, and once I'm able to get more money I can get it fully repaired (or save enough for a down payment on a newer vehicle). Either that, or I see what I can scrounge off of Craigslist or something.

I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I'm hoping one of these tomorrows will bring the offer of a job.

Thus ends this week's effluent discharge. More next time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Last call

I got paid for last week on Thursday. After setting aside for rent, paying insurance on a truck that should very well be sitting in the scrapyard right now, and buying groceries, I might be able to afford a haircut so I don't look like a total slob when I go out job hunting.

This is the end of the line. I have no more income to carry us through.

I interviewed for a job on Thursday, and based on what I was able to interpret, I'm not going to get the position. Granted, it was a major drop in what I was making, and not even full time. But, right now, any money is good money. I even got a call from my old supervisor at the temp job, who informed me of a position with their company closer to home. She said she'd submit my information and I should be hearing from them soon. As you can guess, not a peep. I'm guessing the position has already been filled.

The plus side to rock bottom is that there's really nowhere to go but up. Unless, of course, life hands you a sharper pick and tells you to keep digging.

Hopefully a happier tale next week, folks.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Didn't think it could spiral any further down...

Greetings, and time once again for the Weekly Wrap-up of Woe, in which I detail the events of the past week and put my own deliciously negative spin on everything, possibly making you re-examine your life and seeing it's not as bad as you thought. All this is done as a public service, no need to thank me yet, but there will be a pledge drive later on.

We'll start from Monday at about 2:15 am. This is the point that Bitey Thing (one of our cats) learned that maybe it's not such a brilliant idea to attack my feet while I'm trying to get some much-needed sleep. I will point out that no cats were harmed in the making of this blog post, and add that cat bowling in the living room at 2:17 am does wonders for helping one get back to sleep quicker.

Work progressed about as I thought it would, and when Thursday rolled around, I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that work would soon be ending. Turns out I was correct. It also turns out that (naturally) the temp agency has nothing else in this area, so I am once again unemployed and back to pounding the pavement looking for some form of stable employment.

One of the ups for the week is that I finally got my Texas driver's license. I am glad I made enough money to get the fingerprinting scheduled (I do that on Tuesday) and that will be one less worry for the next five years, when I have to go through it again. Maybe by then I'll be working.

All week long we'd been hearing about the extreme cold snap coming into this area, and on Wednesday night it finally arrived, along with a nice coating of ice for the highways to make Thursday's commute even more interesting and exciting. It took me two hours and fifteen minutes to get to where I fill the truck with liquid oxygen, about double the time it takes normally. I lucked out in that the roads were starting to dry out once I got past Irving, otherwise it would have taken me even longer. Thursday was a fairly light day for the route, and I was even able to get a couple of catch-up stops done on the way home to boost me to a full eight hour day.

Now, on to everyone's favorite part of this blog: the status of the truck. Since starvation isn't really one of the best options, and because we had no other choice, we took the truck out to do the shopping. It started and ran fine, and started acting up once we arrived at the store. The way home was pretty dicey, but we did make it. I posted to a forum about auto repair and was told that it could be as simple as bad gasoline, clogged fuel injectors (the cheapest fix, maybe no more than 10 bucks for the cleaner), low fuel pressure (pressure regulator being the easiest and cheapest to replace), bad sensors, or vacuum leaks (about $400 for a new intake manifold). Add the fact that the computer hasn't worked right since I bought the truck (another $400 part), and it does appear that the truck should be put out of its misery and we should get something newer. Only thing is, most people want to be paid before they just go handing vehicles over, and being without job (and steady source of income) sort of limits payment options. And no, I still haven't hit the lotto.

That's where things stand: out of ideas, out of money, out of luck. I was able to get some leads and references, and I'll be putting those to work this week. Lord knows something around here should be working in our favor for once.

Stay tuned for another thrilling update next week.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Surprise! Early posting

Looking back over things that have been happening, I found that there's more than enough for an update this week. So, why don't we just get right to it so we can get back to more important things, like waterproofing that canoe with your boogers?

As I mentioned in my previous posting (which you'd remember if you were paying attention), I am working a temporary job. This Thursday, I will find out if that will be ending or continuing for a couple more weeks. In the meantime, I need to get my license converted over (and will need to find out how much that's gonna set me back), make sure I have cash on hand for the train ticket home (since I have no vehicle of my own to use -- more on that next paragraph) should I need it, and start papering the metro with resumes once again. I'm hoping I can at least make enough to put money aside for rent and still have some left over for groceries.

Now, on to the vehicle. I have a 15-year-old pickup truck that's been serving me well, until the beginning of last month when it died on me coming home from work. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is, or how much it's going to cost to fix, or even if it's fixable. I'm thinking it's a problem with either the oil pump, or maybe the fuel pump. Either way, it'll be a bitch to get fixed and I can't afford even a decent used vehicle right now. That's something else to look into when I have more free time on my hands.

I also found out that my Aunt Anne (my grandfather's sister) passed away on Friday. She wasn't looking all that great at Grandpa's funeral, and she was in her 90s, so it wasn't a huge surprise to learn of her passing. I'm just thinking there was a better way to find out rather than reading her obituary in the online edition of my hometown paper.

With that, we close this update and prepare for next week's diatribe on what totally sucks in my life and how it's never gonna change.

Seeya next week.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Shall we get this over with?

It has been my experience that any time someone starts a new blog, they always make the first post an introduction to themselves and an explanation of their quirks and foibles. Since I am all about following the herd, I see no reason to be different about this. That being said, let's get on with it, and then we all can move on with our lives.

I reside in a part of the country nowhere remotely close to you. I am not your neighbor or your friend. I am someone that has lots of free time on their hands, and will have even more once my temporary job ends and I once again have to start scrounging the dregs of the want-ads looking for something even marginally gainful in employment. My life is slowly transforming into a giant pile of dung, and you're here reading about it. Aren't you thrilled?

My master plan is to update this thing at least once a week, recapping things that have gone on in my life during that time. I think Sunday will be a good day to do that, so Sunday shall be update day. Besides, nothing really happens to me on Sundays since I'm able to stay at home and hide from everyone and everything.

Still interested in sticking around? You poor sap. Oh well, it's your time to waste. See you on the 10th.