Saturday, April 25, 2009

Unemployment Benefits

In this picture I am at Unemployment. Not on unemployment, at. That's where I got a job. All other State Government Departments are on a hiring freeze, or even downsizing, but Unemployment employment is up. The office is in Augusta, the State Capital, and is a little bit more of a drive than going to South Portland for Staples was, but it's usually doable.

On my first week there, Monday was a holiday, so I couldn't work. Tuesday I drove up without the directions, relying on my memory of having driven there before. I took the exit off the highway that was familiar and immediately saw my mistake. It was familiar because it was the one Carrie and I took on Sunday when we were house hunting. Oops. Fortunately I had been through town before and was able to get myself in the right direction and arrived at work just on time.

Wednesday was a foggy morning and nothing looked familiar, but I took the correct exit anyway.

Thursday my car wouldn't start and Carrie eventually had to give me a ride in. Poor Carrie, an extra 80 miles to both her morning and evening commute. Thursday night I got a new battery.

Friday the car started up fine and I got to work 15 minutes early. And they put me to work right away.

So far it isn't difficult, but I haven't really gotten any training. A lot of busy work that is making me more familiar with forms and some of the computer system. As with any new job I hate not knowing what to do. It is very frustrating, exasperating, etc. I really hate that part. I find it both physically and emotionally draining, but keep at it because I know it will get better and it is good to be employed full time once again. At a state job no less.

As always, for a bigger view, click on the picture. If you do, you can better see the beige bulletin board and the green cubicle walls.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

House the Heck Are You?

For over a month Keith & I had been house hunting online. Last Sunday we started our search on the ground. With a realtor leading the way, we saw four houses. The first, in Winthrop, had an interesting, twisty floor plan and a nice porch and front yard. The problems I had with it were a lack of closet space and the master bedroom was in the basement. It had windows, but being at ground level in winter they would be covered! Keith had a problem with the lot. It was 5 acres, but it was long and narrow so the neighboring houses were rather close.

Here's a neighbor. He didn't hang around long.

The next houses in Litchfield were both rejected without debate. The first was cheap, but it was cramped for space, needed a lot of paint and repairs, and there was a smoker in the family so it just plain stank! The lot look like a tornado had hit it: not much by way of trees close up and what there was was ragged and weedy. The second was an 1800s farm house. Someone had tried to upgrade it: there was new carpet in two rooms and the bathroom had new features, but the barn and the connecting structure were in advanced states of decay with rotting boards in the walls and floors. The connecting structure even had a two-seater outhouse! Now how the Hell do you remodel around that?!

The last house was the show-stopper. It was wonderful: stone walls at the perimeter, granite counters, an open floor plan, a soaking bathtub, a seven foot round window in the living room, a spacious walk-in basement, a studio/library with built-in shelves. and it own maple forest. The drawbacks were a rather steeply pitched drive way and the fact that it's in Bowdoin, off in the middle of nowhere. We're currently exploring options to see if these are insurmountable problems or if we could indeed make this work. And, of course there are other houses out there...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Road's Collar

Tuesday we went out and about. We stopped at Pet Pantry so I could give them my two week notice. We went to York so I could pick up my mail. While down there we stopped at Gravestone Artwear. Carrie ordered a shirt and I bought the little plaque shown above. But we started the day's travel out by going to a park with Pandora.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Job Posting

This picture is not of a local job posting, it's a photo from when we were living in Arizona. It was taken at South Mountain Park in Phoenix. Click on the photo to enlarge it and try to see what's in the old fashioned classifieds behind me.

Friday, just after I'd clocked out for the day at Staples, before I'd even left the building, I got a call offering me the state job. I, of course, immediately gave my two weeks notice. I start the new job on the 21st. More details later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Playing Catsup

Trying out my new camera on the cats, Weevil, Qwill, and Ghost. I don't think the auto focus works all that great on these closeups. This camera is not the great camera I want, but is going to do for now and when I do get the great camera, I will
still carry this one around as my "emergency" camera, since it is so small and easy to stick in a pocket.

I always have plenty of stuff I could post, but don't always have either the time or the inclination to do so. So sometimes really
important stuff gets skipped.

My sister Sharyn passed away recently. We weren't all that close, but I went to the graveside ceremony anyway, mostly to give emotional
support to her two kids and my remaining sister.

Weevil has been to the vet recently, urinary tract problems, just like most older cats seem to be prone to. Special food and a bit of medicine. He'll have to stay on some kind of special diet the rest of his life now, but hopefully the crystals will clear out soon. I have started doing some research into proper uretic foods as I don't like the quality of the treatment foods. Wysong makes a dry food for the problem, but not a wet one. And wet food is better for this problem as well as being better for elder cats.

Latest word on the job front is that at least one of my references has been called. I hope that means I'll be getting an offer for a real job soon.