Friday, July 27, 2007

Umm...Hello? Is this thing on?

Ok, sorry for the obnoxiously long hiatus from updating, Jeri. (And Jenny?) I'm still not sure if anyone other than Wendy and Jeri have ever seen this blog, but just in case, I'll give a quick update. (And I suppose the catharsis of writing my thoughts down has innate value.)

Today was my first day at my new job!
Here's how I got to this point:

On Monday, Wendy and I were calling each others' cell phones in an attempt to figure out a volume problem she was having. During this I almost missed a phone call from one of the temp agencies working for me. But I talked to them, and they wanted to set up an interview for me on Tuesday for a Human Resources job.

Tuesday I had the interview, and at the time I felt it went really well; I answered questions strongly, and promoted my strengths, and got a good feeling from the whole experience. The interviewer said she had one more person to interview and they would make a decision by Friday.

2 HOURS LATER....I get a call from the temp agency saying the company was offering me the position! Naturally, I accepted. And they wanted me to start today (Friday).

It's basically a Human Resources Assistant position, M-F, 8-5. I was warmly welcomed by everyone on the staff today; had a tour of the office; and got to work. They basically showed me the process for new hires and terminations, filing, etc. I was pretty busy all day and am looking forward to Monday.

Thanks for the prayers, God has provided, and Wendy is much happier/relaxed knowing that we will be able to afford things like rent/bills/etc.


Friday, July 13, 2007

The Terminal

No, this isn't Tom Hanks borrowing Josh's computer, this is actually Josh.

I'm in the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport terminal, and since they have free WiFi available, of course I had to take advantage. It's a beautiful day here, so I'm preparing myself for the convulsive body shock of the toxic, noxious fumes of southern California again. :) j/k

Wendy is picking me up around 6:45 tonight, and we'll immediately head over to my parents' place to get the rest of our stuff out of their garage over to our house on Bright. The movers come tomorrow, and then we'll spend the night at the folks'. Our flight back to CoSpgs for the whole fam is Sunday at 4:00.

I've signed the lease, handed over the deposit and July's rent, and gotten the keys, so we're all set.

Apparently the Human Resources gig I had my sights on went to "a more qualified candidate", so I'm just waiting to hear back on the El Paso County job, and continuing to send out my resume a couple times a day every day.

As we were talking last night, Wendy and I were mentioning how exciting this is getting. It's going to be great to see her and the kids after being gone for a month!!

See you soon, CA.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Josh Goes To Jail

Fortunately, I went not as a new resident, but as a potential employee. My interview for an inmate fund bookkeeper position was at the El Paso County Detention Center.

Now, I had spoken to a woman on the phone about the interview (time, location, what to bring, etc.) and thought that I would be interviewing with her and maybe one other person. Imagine my surprise when someone ushers me into a back office, and there is an administrative employee in a polo shirt, and two fully-uniformed sergeants with the sheriff's dept.

I kept my cool, though, and the 3 men each took turns asking questions. I fielded most of them alright, except I didn't know who the current Sherriff for El Paso Co. is. (I looked it up, it's Terry Maketa) The whole interview was done in about 10 minutes.

A couple of things have me uncertain about whether I would accept the position (assuming they offer it):
1. The shift schedule. There are two openings...a day shift and swing shift, which is either 6:30-2:30 or 2:00-10:00. Not ideal times.
2. Pay. The pay starts out at a lower amount, then after 6 months goes up to a maximum cap. As for annual seems chancy. One of the sergeants said that in the last three years, there have been two years with NO increase, and one year with a 2% increase. Not painting a bright picture for a successful future.

So, I'm hoping that I have a good interview tomorrow for a Human Resources position. I spoke with the woman I would be working with, and it was a pretty positive conversation. She seemed pleased about my being a trumpeter/musician....her dad played trumpet in the Air Force!

On the apartment front, things are going well. I physically saw almost a dozen candidates on Saturday and Monday, and after talking about them with Wendy, we think we've chosen one. So, things might start happening in the next couple of days!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Kwik-E-Mart time I'm in Denver, I'm going to have to visit a real, live Kwik-E-Mart!

This Flickr Photo Site has a list of all the other locations too.


"Today is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Psalm 118 came to mind as I have thoroughly enjoyed today.
I got up around 8:45 and Steve & Nikki hadn't stirred yet. There was a service at 10:00 at a church that Wendy and I wanted to check out, so I showered and left by 9:30 to give myself time to find the place: Vanguard Church

As it turns out, Stikki did end up going here, but they came late and sat in the back...I met up with them aftwerwards.

Of course, to give Wendy a better idea, I had to take a few photos. Steve said photos wouldn't do it justice, but it's better than nothing I think. They're in a former movie theater complex while their new auditorium finishes construction, so it can be taken as a novelty, knowing that the finished product is around the corner.

It was a tad odd walking down the aisle of a movie theater getting in a mindset for worship. But the seats were the really comfy kind that recline a bit...and it was easy to see the words to the songs on the giant screen!

Here's from the parking lot:

Here's the lobby:

Here's inside:

Here's a sample of the worship:

Most of all, I liked the sermon. The pastor is younger than is typical for a senior pastor. Kelly Williams is 36 (he mentioned his age today) and is apparently going through Isaiah naming his theme "Redemption & Restoration". Makes sense, since we know that the history of God's relationship to the nation of Israel parallels our relationship with Him.

As God often seems to do, the message seemed to be aptly timed and directed for me personally. The title of his message "The Devil's Language" reflected on how the Enemy is always trying to kill, steal and destroy. He often lies, manipulates and intimidates us sometimes in subtle ways. Anyways, Kelly used an example of the fear and anxiety associated with...oh, say trying to get a new job!

Without going into a complete exegesis of the sermon, suffice to stay I caught every word and was moved and inspired....thank you, God. (The sermons are available on their website too.)

Afterwards, Stikki and I wanted to check out the young marrieds group, but I guess summer has things a little unorganized, and so instead of meeting at the church, they were just going to go to lunch for fellowship. We tagged along, and Stikki and I sat with an awesome couple named Taylor and Becky. We got to know each other and were laughing and genuinely enjoying each other's company. It felt like a real good match. Can't wait for you to meet them, Wendy.

I'm in the library again, doing this update and other internet-related activites. It occurs to me that I haven't updated on here about the job search progress. I speak to Wendy just about every day, so she's up to speed, but everyone else isn't! This post is starting to feel a tad long, though, and I don't want to frighten/bore any readers, so I'll save the rest of my update for tomorrow.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Hi there, July: Here’s a really long post.

Here’s the short version:

Saturday: sleep, movie, computer game, attempted doing laundry
Sunday: finished laundry, visited park, bookstore and library.

Okay, now the long version…which people who know me will probably find interesting (at least certain parts). People who don’t know me…will probably not be reading this anyways….

Today I found a new place for WiFi…..the Pikes Peak Library (Penrose branch). I’ve got a temporary day permit, I need to apply for a library card to have regular access….and for that they need proof of residence…hmm. I’m going to see if I can use Steve’s address since I’m living there. Then I’ll just notify them of a “change of address” when I actually get my own place.

Saturday was a lazy day. I stayed up late Friday night, so I stayed in bed till about 11 am! Oddly enough, I wasn’t hungry like I usually am when I get up. I didn’t end up eating till 2 or 3. It was kind of odd having no concept of what time it was. I didn’t have anything to do or anywhere to go, and since Steve had to work and Nikki was refinishing/repainting furniture I just played on the computer for a few hours.

Anyways, the one constructive thing I tried to do Saturday was a flop. I had about 2 loads of laundry to do, so around 6-ish I threw a load into the washer in Stikki’s building. I started watching a movie (Aeon Flux) and of course didn’t think about the laundry till the movie was over.

So at about 8, I went to throw the wet stuff into the dryer…uh-oh. The coin slot for the dryer is broken. Jammed all the way in and won’t come out. I banged on it for a while with the handle of a nearby snow shovel to no avail. What would you do in this situation?

No seriously…don’t read ahead…think about it. Like one of those “choose your own adventure” books I liked as a kid.

Do you:

A – Say “Forget it!” and take the clothes back inside to “air dry”?

B – Realize “air drying” is a stupid idea and decide to take them to a laundromat tomorrow (they’ll be okay wet for one night, right?)

C – Decide that they need to be dried as soon as possible, because they’ll get moldy-mildew yucky if you wait till tomorrow. So you drive around town for 45 minutes, and after seeing three places that closed at 8:00 or 8:30 decide to take them to a laundromat tomorrow (they’ll be okay wet for one night, right?)

Sooo…I chose C. Frustrating…but the last place I checked was next to a hole-in-the-wall Chinese food place that looked promising, so I decided I had earned the reward of finally trying a Chinese food place in town. (I’ve seen several, but wasn’t sure if any were good.) I got a combo of my two favorite items: orange chicken and kung pao chicken….and they were pretty darn good, and there’s enough left-over for lunch the next day. Is it racial stereo-typing to say that I had a feeling the food was going to be good, because of the three adults there (mom, dad, and daughter) the daughter was the only one who spoke English, and even that was a little difficult.

So…now it’s Sunday. I left around 9-ish to take care of my laundry, and decided if I pick a place near Colorado College, I might be able to snake some WiFi access while I wait. I end up finding a place a little south, but too far from the college to get WiFi. Oh well.

Now, speaking of stereo-typing, I felt a little out of place here. We’re probably on the lower-end of “middle class”, but let’s just say I felt out of place enough having a cell phone…and didn’t dare whip out the laptop. I was a little confused by the many “No smoking” signs (that used words and/or pictures)…because at first I took it literally. Then I realized I was in danger of getting thrown out because I was the ONLY person NOT smoking. Maybe the sign is to be interpreted: “No smoking, no service”. Huh?

A lady (80% sure it was a lady) rode up to the entrance on a bicycle. She had an interesting fashion sense, and a cat in the basket on her bicycle. As she started to enter, the attendant (who also ran the connected dry-cleaner business) got off the phone long enough to yell at her to leave. I think because of the cat…but not sure. I also noticed that bicycle woman had marks and scabs on her arms that led me to an alleged presumption of drug use.

Anyways…long morning short, I got my 2 loads done and left ASAP, hoping the Bounce dryer sheet would be strong enough to combat the cigarette stench I felt clinging to the place. (I spent most of my waiting time in the car: air-conditioned, clean air…ahh.) I was done around 11:45, too late for church, too early for the libraries that open at 1pm. So I hung out in the park and browsed the used book store across the street.

The park was very nice: lots of shade, families and friends having picnics, and a nice playground area. There was a large fountain that a lot of kids and families, etc. were hanging out at, so I went to check it out. I decided to try and take some videos so I could show Wendy what it was like. But as I neared the playground and fountain, I started feeling a little self-conscious as people noticed me filming…being that I was a grown man by myself video-ing kids at the park. So I cut it a little short.

It looks like a fun place that Connor will certainly enjoy…and then it won’t be creepy for me to take videos and pictures.

Here’s me walking through the park:

Here’s the fountain:

I looked it up on the internet...the park is Acacia Park, and the fountain is known as "Uncle Wilbur":

Uncle Wilbur Fountain

Oh, and I couldn’t help myself…I bought a book. But it was only $3.00…and I’ve been feeling like should try reading more, rather than just watch movies or play video games on my free time. The Coming of the King is a fantasy fiction novel about the history of the Celts/Britons focused on the person of Merlin. It looks pretty interesting, and standard fare for me. Believe me, I utilized quite a bit of restraint, here’s a list of some of the other items I “almost” purchased:

The Faith of George Bush (About our current president)
Children of Hurin (Christopher Tolkien’s newest book that I’m foaming at the mouth over, but it’s still only available in hardcover which is more expensive. But it’s on my wishlist and my birthday’s in August!)
Dune: The Butlerian Jihad (I’m a huge Dune fan, and this novel is a prequel about the war 10,000 years ago that freed mankind and started the feuds, and…oh I could go on.

So the library opened at 1:00, but because of my foray through the many, many shelves of a great used book store, I didn’t get into the library till 2:00. First thing’s first, check the emails. A weird spam that I deleted without opening had a humorous subject title: “Hot Sexy Christian Singles” Now that’s something we don’t hear every day, huh?

After checking my emails, I did the online testing for AppleOne which only took about 10 minutes. My alpha numeric typing score was 12,364 keystrokes/hour with a 97% accuracy (39 out of 40). I’m not sure if that’s good or not, but I felt like I did well. The other typing test was a typical “type the text you see” and I did what I expected: 70 wpm with zero errors.

So now it’s 4:30 and I’m wrapping up my update, but realized I have to edit the videos and upload them to Sharkle which will take a little time, and the library closes at 5:00. I still have to apply for a card at the front desk, and I’m really hungry. (I ate at 9:30 before going to the laundromat.)

So I’m gonna go home and eat. I’ll try to upload the videos and do the actually blog post tonight if I can snag the WiFi at the apartment…otherwise I might not get this on till Monday.


[Today's WiFi brought to you by the East branch of the Pikes Peak Library District]