it's 7:09am. just got done filling out my ballot, just in time. first time i've ever voted mail-in, rather than going to the polls, which would have been difficult this year since they don't exist.
never mentioned here that i got laid off a couple weeks back. interesting timing, considering the wrist problems. boss said he was closin' up shop, not sure if i believe him or not....seen him lay off other people he wanted to get rid of before. regardless, it's not my problem anymore. i've run my last doubler, burned my last triangle, smelled that damned stomach-turning, bacteria-rampant coolant for the last time, which doesn't exactly break my heart, despite the fact that i got laid off without any notice whatsoever, nor received any severance pay for that inconvenience.
i could grouse about all this and dwell on hard feelings, but i'll just wash my hands of the place and move on, in a couple more sentences. the family that owned and predominantly operated the shop were certainly nice enough people to work with, but i have to count that job among the worst i've had, considering i worked pretty darn hard, pretty darn consistently, for a very long time, and showed aptitude for tasks beyond those assigned to me, without ever getting the chance to expand my skills or even take full advantage of what i brought to the table. that's a good enough note on which to end this little summary of my experiences there.
hope to receive my outstanding paychecks in the mail today, and i'm hoping the $20 or so (maybe more?) in expenses i paid out-of-pocket for company supplies, gas, etc., will be included in that. wouldn't surprise me if i never saw that money, though, but i could certainly use it right about now.
obviously the next step was to apply for unemployment benefits, so i did. then it was time to update the resume (imagine the last 'e' in that word with the proper accent mark, if you'd be so kind...i'm not feeling ambitious enough to copy one out of the character map). this was the point at which i realized that particular document failed to survive my last hard drive failure. wonderful. found the single remaining hard copy in my possession, and recreated it from scratch, with the required updates. i think those things are like a work of art; it's never really finished, you just reach a point where you think you have to stop working on it, already.
started looking for something to do, when an offer to string Christmas lights for Hollywood Lights came along and i couldn't refuse, despite the fact that it's likely a couple weeks of graveyard shift in what's likely to be a significant amount of precipitation. desperate times, and all that. i haven't made a late mortgage payment yet, and i'd rather not start now- it's really one of the few things that's keeping my credit rating from being completely in the toilet. actually, i manage to pay all the credit card bills on time as well, but the balances keep going the wrong way a little at a time, and since they raised the minimum payments on the cards i'm beginning to get a little nervous about being able to make them on time. and we all now what that means: ludicrous hikes in the interest rates, followed by even more difficulty making the payments.
guess i have financial stuff on my mind....
must be about time for a cup of coffee....too bad i'm all out. guess i should go make some. i've been trying to get my schedule turned around for the graveyard thing bit by bit, and i'm still awake at 7:36, so i guess i've just about got it. wow...25 minutes goes by fast when you're blogging.
the NBA is back in action, and i'm on board a fantasy league with 30 teams (of which i think 28 are actually helmed by Real Live Humans, from the far reaches of the globe in some cases). i missed the live draft, but ranked at least some of the players i wanted beforehand, so my automatically-picked #1 pick, Ben Wallace, who's playing Center for the Bulls this year, landed on my roster. with this many teams playing, everyone's got maybe 1 superstar at best, and the rest of the team is fairly deep into the league's talent pool. 10 players per fantasy team, for 30 teams, is basically the top-rated 300 players in the league. so far i'm doing alright; i eeked out a win in the first fantasy period (1 week) with a win, outperforming my opponent's team in 6 of 8 of the stat categories, which are: field goal percentage, free throw percentage, # of 3 point shots made, overall points, assists, rebounds, steals and blocked shots. i made my first trade early on, trading Matt Carroll of the Bobcats for Johan Petro of the Sonics, partially because i needed another center for the days Ben Wallace doesn't play, and partly because the Sonics' starter Robert Swift tore his ACL and is out for the year (providing the opportunity for Petro, the only returning Seattle Center, no pun intended, to get increased minutes), and partly because he was an available Sonic that might fit into my roster, and partly because he was the highest rated Center on the free agent list when i figured out that i was overly heavy at the Power Forward position and underpowered at Center.
this year's standout performers so far are Leandro Barbosa, Ben Wallace, Al Harrington and Carlos Arroyo. Delonte West has been a disappointment so far, and Petro really hasn't done much yet at all, but i have some hope for both those guys. filling out my roster this year are Antonio McDyess, who can't seem to hit a shot to save his life in the first 4 games of the year, but plays decent defense, Brian Cook, of the Lakers, who's doing fair, Eddie Jones of the Grizzlies, also doing fair, Antonio Daniels, the former Sonic, with the Wizards now, not performing too badly, and the aforementioned Petro. fantasy basketball is grueling, and trying to perform well with a so-so team in a head-to-head league means keeping a close on everything, and being able to schedule your guys properly. scheduling your guys is easy when you don't have to choose between players, but considering you can only field 7 starters, and 5 of them must occupy all five positions, and some players are eligible at only 1 position (others two, but which two varies), that means you can only choose two other players of the remaining 5 if everyone's playing that day. knowing which three players to bench requires knowing what statistical categories you're likely to win or lose, easily or marginally, knowing which of your players are likely to give you the best chance to win those close contests, and what stat categories to give up on, and when, in order to score a win in a majority of the categories on a given week. in practice this means (for me, anyway) tracking my guys' stats daily. last year i had less players on my team, and less stat categories to keep track of, so i had to rework the spreadsheet i built last year...which required a lot of doing. also, the percentage categories are figured for the team as a whole rather than an average of the individual players' averages, which requires inputting 4 sets of numbers instead of 2. then of course, you have to arrange the data in a form that's easily digestible or it's all worthless....takes some fairly involved formatting. but my fantasy spreadsheet this year is a work of art; again, a work of art in progress, but it's better than last year's (which wasn't bad at all), despite being more complex, and i've learned a little about conditional formulas and formatting, as well as graphing, in the process. the joys of obsessive compulsions....
well, i've now been typing for 58 minutes solid, so i gather this is going to be a long entry.
i figure no entry this long should go by without saying something about Loren, so i'll mention that he's nearing the end of first period in school at this moment, on the 2nd day of the 2nd quarter of 8th grade. he spent the last weekend here, Thur-Sat, and we watched a lot of TV, which i didn't feel extremely bad about since we had such crappy weather. Fullmetal Alchemist, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Monty Python's Flying Circus. you get the picture. we played a bunch of games of chess too, each of us playing a lot more quickly than we have in the past, which made for some interesting games. i think he plays better when we don't spend so much time on the games, and in a lot of ways it's more fun. i might still win most of the time, but he certainly makes it difficult- and he very nearly beats me quite a bit.
his mother brought him by my folks' house on Halloween, as usual, and we took some decent pictures, which i haven't uploaded to my computer yet. i'll prob'ly post some on here when i do. afterwards we all headed over to Scott's house. nice to see him, it's been a long, long time again. Scott's dog Loki has a fairly advanced case of cancer in his lymphatic system; Loki looks downright healthy, but we all know how these things usually go. can't help feeling like Loki's got a lot more life in him than the vets might think, though. he's a tough one. prednisone treatment is doing him some good, and i hope it continues to for a long time- always liked that dog.
Loren's mom's dog Sid was killed by their neighbor's dog (their conclusion, though no one saw it actually attack Sid). bitten in the abdomen. not sure if they found it dead or not, but no matter- still terrible. liked that dog too, despite his contribution to the cacophony that is a house full of Chihuahuas. he was feisty for a little guy. Loren was pretty upset, as i'm sure everyone in their household was. tough to lose your longtime pets.
suppose i'm all typed out for now, having typed all the news, bad, mundane, and otherwise that comes to the top of my head. not bad for 1hr 13min of a Tuesday morning.
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