March 23rd, 2004

Yo Maniacal Tang

Dirty Rotten Windows, Joining the Space Race, and Other Tasty Morsels

Well, the NASA interview didn't happen today... I called Molly just as I was arriving at kshandra's place to make an attempt to fix her computer about 2:45, and she said they hadn't gotten back to her yet. More on that later.

So, I already knew that the piece of shit ECS mother board was funking out, thanks to a very pricey diagnostic done to it by a PC repair place that the Koosh Mother knew of. For the amount of money that was spent there I could have gotten her one seriously wicked motherboard AND processor -- damn that 20/20 hindsight! Of course, I had no reason to think a board like that would start getting flaky after only a few months.

So we went to the Fry's in campbell, and wandered in to get a new one. As we walked down the aisle o' boards, I noticed literally piles of ECS boards lying about... most marked for return to the manufacturer as defective. Great.

So I went with an ABIT this time, which is what I should have done in the first place. ABIT is a decent bargain board, and this one actually had more features than the ECS did.

So we went back, slapped the box together, plugged everything in...

And nothing. Not even that simple beep that you get when you first turn it on.

My first guess was that maybe it was a CPU problem, though I was certain that a board that could handle Athalon XP's could handle straight Athalons. We got there just as they were starting to play Michael Jackson's "Black and White" video on a lovely large flat screen. It was the full version, too... complete with the panther/car destruction coda, which I hadn't seen since the video premiered.

By the way, note to Kirsten: Your memory is just fine, there WASN'T any hate graffiti on the cars he destroyed. I suspect that was digitally altered into the scene to legitimize his anger... paging Mr. Orwell.

So, we got the CPU, got back, clapped THAT in...

Still nothing.

Third times a charm, right? So I head back to Fry's yet again, this time to try a different RAM stick.

STILL nothing.

It's at this time I start to loose it completely, making a lot of jokes concerning sending the damn box down stairs end over end.

On our way back from Fry's I got a call from Roni... her interview with Blowfish went really well, and she could know by tomorrow whether she has the job. It turns out K knows someone there, so she was going to try and make with the good reference for my red head. As I was wrapping up that call, Michele beeped in with news that Apex had called back with a time for the interview, 3 PM Tuesday. There was much rejoicing.

After the third try failed, I was left with no other possibility except that the NEW motherboard was DOA. That didn't bode well for ABIT, and meant dealing with the returns people at Fry's (shudder). I decided it would have to wait until tomorrow, after I dealt with NASA.

K had to crash early, and Michele wanted me to bring home dinner, so I wrapped things up to go. I was pretty stressed, so I got some Koosh love and snuggles. This made spending 5 hours on a dead motherboard almost an easy price to pay.

I scored chinese for Michele (even getting it to the house still warm) and got back to the house. I spent the rest of the night doing laundry and playing with my new word processor, CopyWrite -- it's this incredible tool specifically geared toward authors with some cool project management features that blew me away when I tried them out in demo mode. I spent most of the time inputting all the various fragments of "Tourists" I had been working on over the last few years... with a little luck I'll be able to start cranking out chapters again.

Favorite feature: I can set goals based on pages, words or characters, and see how well I'm progressing graphically as I work. A great way to pace myself to avoid burning out (or screwing up my wrists, for that matter).

On that note, I'm going to crash. I want to be bright tailed and bushy eyed for this interview tomorrow. Oh, if you were wondering why I have to interview again, it turns out that the manager running the last interview has left the building, so I have to run by the new one. Ah, the joys of bureaucracy! Making this even more interesting? I could be working by wednesday. Heck, Roni might know by tomorrow afternoon whether she's scored a new job as well. Wouldn't that be auspicious? Or is that suspicious?
  • Current Music
    Puzzling Evidence - The Talking Heads
Yo Maniacal Tang

The Going Getting Weird(er)

Okay, this is getting almost twilight zone creepy now.

Roni has a second interview with Blowfish, this time with the owner... this afternoon at 3 PM. Simultaneous interviews? Well, I guess it's appropriate. But then I get a call from Apple... seems I did better in the tech screening than I thought (always my own harshest critic, eh?) and they scheduled a face to face with me for Thursday... at 3 PM.

So, after 3 years of not being interviewed at all I'm suddenly given a choice of jobs. I've been lying here for an hour pondering the pros and cons, and find myself at a loss:

  • Working for Apple again would be cool, but working at NASA would be cooler AND a new resume item.

  • The NASA job is a contract gig, with a small chance of going perm, whereas the Apple gig is perm at the get go. I'm guessing the Apple benefits are similar as they were when I was last there, which means they're above average. Not sure if I get benefits at the NASA thing... it's probably not likely.

  • The store is in Burlingame, NASA is in Mountain View. If Roni and I landed in Heyweird, either would be about the same commute.

  • Both jobs are hourly, and pay about the same. They both will be later in the day (10 AM on), with some weekends. The biggest issue with the Apple thing is I'll be dealing with customers face to face again, in a customer service role: Can I hack that?

So, I could say "been there, done that" with the Apple thing, but it's my best bet for financial stability. After 6 months I would be able to apply for other Apple jobs internally, with a freshly updated tech skill set. The NASA gig could go perm, but would involve a lot more work with (bleh) PC's, which (as noted in yesterdays post) make me insane for the most part.

Obviously if I don't get offered both, it's a no brainer... but what if I do? I totally suck at most watershed moments. At the very least I'm afraid I'll freeze up and blow it completely.

Gah. Just... GAH.
  • Current Music
    Freedom of Choice - DEVO