The search continues

08.01.2014

Job Search 2014 has been going on for a month now. I last had to search for a job in 2006. It was the first time that I didn't have an "in" somewhere and actually had to hunt down job opportunities all on my own. Things have changed a little in 8 years. All the jobs are listed online (way back when, some were only listed in the Classifieds section of the newspaper). Luckily, job titles have gotten better so I can search for more than "software developer".

LinkedIn seems to be the go-to source for recruiters. I've had a profile for years but never really used it. A couple of weeks ago I filled out my work history and started to connect with people I've worked with. Not everyone I've worked with... I learned that lesson on Facebook. Since updating my profile I've been contacted by 4 recruiters and replied to 2 of them. For the 2 I didn't respond, I'm not desperate enough for a Nashville commute just yet, and I didn't really qualify for the details of the other.

I'm not sure if making those LinkedIn connections will make a difference - does number of connections affect whatever search parameters recruiters are putting in? Hopefully people I haven't spoken to in over 5 years won't wonder why I'm suddenly poking them on LinkedIn. I don't want to be a creepy Linker.

I've had 1 interview out of the 17+ resumes I've emailed out. Thus far I've been primarily applying for PHP jobs (I like the PHP), but on paper I may look overqualified for most of those jobs since they ask for ~5 years experience and I've got 12 years of PHP & 19 years of programming experience. But I'm not too dejected yet.

With that said, I still stay up until 2:00 in the morning at least once a week scouring the job listings online because I can't sleep.


rambling random

This last pound took 2 months

07.24.2014

This past week should have been my 9-month post-op doctor visit, but I opted not to go. The 9-month visit is the same as the 3-month visit. All the doctor does is weigh you, shake our stomach to check for gall bladder stones, and in my case say that I'm not losing weight fast enough (which as I've stated here before I agree with, but as I'm still losing weight and have suffered ZERO negative side effects I ain't a gonna worry 'bout it). I also had a job interview to prep for, so that gave me enough of an excuse to skip the doctor. At the 1-year post-op I have to get blood drawn and tested, so I'll plan on that counting double to make up for missing this appointment.

Yesterday I finally hit the goal I've been going after for months. For the first time in at least 18 years, my weight has dipped below 300. Granted, it's only by 6/10 of a pound. I had yet to eat or drink anything for the day. It doesn't matter, it counts!

Mentally, 299 seems like a bigger number to me than 300. 300 has 2 zeros, which are nothing. 299 has 2 nines, which are big. It's silly how my brain works.

Now to keep myself under 300. The next goal is 291 - not that far away! 291 would make for a total of 150 lbs below my max from last February.


gastric sleeve

Still on that break...

07.22.2014

Last week I showed off my Red Yana mini from Dust and mentioned how I finished it after deciding to take a break from painting my Dust minis. When I primed my last batch of Dust, there were 2 other hero figures that were left to be painted. In the back of my mind, it bothered me that I had 2 primed minis just sitting there, so before I moved on to whatever the next batch of minis is going to be, I thought I would go ahead and paint those two too.

The guy in the middle of the pic, pointing, is Nikolai. Thanks to a combination of green wash and brown wash, the recesses and pinstripes on his uniform pop out well. On the right is Yakov sporting a flame-thrower of some type. Yakov didn't come through the painting process as well as I had hoped. He has lots of curvy bits, especially the hoses. My brushwork didn't cover him as well as it should have. If nothing else, Yakov has convinced me it's time to move on to something else for a little while.

Next is either going to be the figures from Descent or the space ships from Firestorm Armada.

Descent is painting people and monsters, so it's a continuation of the techniques I've been picking up with the Dust painting. That means it's also very similar. Firestorm Armada is small scale space ships, so mechanical transports which I've yet to try and paint anything like. Totally dissimilar, but there's going to be a learning curve with it.

I'm leaning toward the space ships today.


gaming miniatures hobbies

I was on a break

07.15.2014

Not 2 days ago I mentioned taking a break from painting Dust minis, yet this morning I find myself with another painted Dust mini to add to the brigade.

It began innocently enough. I doled out some paint to try tweaking the motorcycles in my Moto Grand Prix game to allow for 6 2-bike teams. It appears that adding water-based paint on top of finished acrylic paint just doesn't work. My doled paint was still fresh, and although it was only a few drops of water- thinned paint I didn't want to waste it. How often was I going to use "Goblin Green"? So I went to the gaming closet and dug out the primed Red Yana and used my paint.

Then I decided to go ahead and paint the rest of her.

After months of pseudo-assembly line painting, it was a nice change to paint 1 figure all the way through. I seemed to pay more attention to the little details (there are belts on the jacket!) and was more careful with where I put the paint brush. Instead of smearing the paint on and making sure I got everything covered, I tried to be a little more precise to where I wouldn't have to go back and correct where I had crossed the lines.

I also had a little more fun with washes. For most of the figures I paint, I give them a heavy wash of brown (technically "Devlin Mud"). I like the way it settles, it brings out shadows well, and it gives these armies a suitable tough-and-dirty look. Although I still used the Devlin Mud on the brown jacket, I used a sepia wash on the skin (which managed to smear some of the ink detailing I tried to add beforehand) and a green wash on the pants. The wash on the pants turns out a lot better than I expected as the pants have a good amount of detail still visible.

My basing is still pretty standard - rocks, low grass flock, static grass. I see bases with really fluffy static grass on the internet from other people, but I have yet to find a good method of getting those tufts of grass to stand up. Any time I look for a tutorial, people glue the grass, blow on it, and the grass stands up. I'm messing up one of those 3 steps.

Now I'll go back to my break from painting Dust minis.


gaming miniatures hobbies

Painting & Job Hunting

07.13.2014

In the middle of April I primed a batch of Dust minitaures to paint. This past weekend I finally finished them!

I hadn't really noticed that I had 29 figures to paint. That's a lot when I stop to think about it - a lot of the same colors and paint schemes. As it is, I'm a little burned out on painting Dust figures for now. I've learned a lot since I started painting these things, and my washing and dry-brushing skills have come a long way (thanks mostly to YouTube). I'm not sure what I'll pick up to paint next. I've still got a closet full fo things to paint. I've got some 10mm and 15mm miniatures games with vehicles to paint - mostly sci-fi type stuff. That's a big change from WW2 era soldiers. I've also been thinking about painting the miniatures included with Descent, as Keith and I had fun playing but the figures just beg to be painted to add some color to the game.

It's also finally come time for me to start job-hunting again. Thanks to a combination of the government contract I've been working under for the past 5 years finally ending/being awarded to a different company, along with nothing happening with the new contract we were working to get me set up under, I've once again been laid off from Spiritus. This makes me the only person to get laid off twice, and I was the only person to get laid off once up until last year.

I'm not that worried. Yet. Or maybe I'm in denial? I've seen this coming for a while, but I told Jim I was staying on the project and with Spiritus until the contact was over and done with. Saying that kept me from looking to jump ship, but Jim's taken extremely good care of me over the years and I feel a certain amount of loyalty to him, so I was glad that I stayed as long as I could. Technically I'm burning saved up vacation right now so I can stay covered under the health insurance for another month, so I haven't completely left yet.

I've been emailing out my resume. So far I'm sticking to the jobs I'd like to have based on the type of work (usually PHP-based) and/or the specific company. Just for fun, I'm throwing in long-shots just for a change of pace. Disney in Florida is looking for Web Developers. On paper I've probably got too much experience which would make me too expensive, but all it took was a little of my time to go through their application submission process.

Soon, with luck, the interview process will start. I had to get a new dress shirt and pants for a funeral with Gina's family last week which will double as my (eventual) interview clothes. The last dress shirt I wore had a 24" neck. The new shirt has a 20" neck. Granted, I've lost 140 pounds, but 4" of neck???? Yeah, that's a good feeling.


gaming miniatures programming/interweb

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