after all

How do we find the books we read?

That's become a pretty serious question to me.
I know that my personal method is quite chaotic, and that I'm likely missing many titles that I just have to hope I encounter later.

I read quite a number of author's blogs, and so I often know months in advance when a new book of theirs is coming out. But that's still a tiny portion of the authors I might like to read.

I listen to my friend's post about what they're reading, and what they're looking forward to, and that helps a lot especially with the new authors.

I'm sad to say I haven't found the Amazon recommendations worthwhile at all. Besides the slightly annoying tendency for half the group to be books I already own (more than a few bought through Amazon, so you'd think they should know better), it's almost rare for one of the others to be something attractive. And all too often it looks like a title is only in there because they paid to be. I don't know if that's actually what happens or not, whatever the algorithm is it sin't finding good matches for what I might buy.

So let me ask the vast readership here: what sources do you use to choose your new reading material?
after all

After a week to dwell on it

and surf the web, and read an old favorite book again, and talk more with Mike and Marty, and spend part of each day skimming job openings ...

I come back around to what I knew at the beginning. That I'm happiest when I'm taking on projects I believe in, and seeing them take shape in reality. I want to be part of something where I can point at it and say "I'm doing that" or "I made that thing" or even "this thing happened because of me".

I have dozens of ideas, some crazy, some with potential, swirling around in my head at all times. But ideas in my head can't become reality. It's going to take writing the words, making the connections, maybe pouring the bricks.

So, first up on the hit parade: teach myself to produce output. And I may as well do it here on LiveJournal, where I already have a paid-for place to post. Down the line I will need to set up a dedicated page, but I'll plan to have echoes here as well.
after all

Rainy and cold, but it's not tornados

LJ and FaceBook feeds starting to have a number of pings about the severe weather in the MidWest. Stay safe and warm and dry guys!

I'm home today switching between tasks: email response, book shelving and sorting, clearing counters (a never-ending battle) and the occasional Animal Crossing sprint.

All made more pleasant by having a space heater under my desk.
You don't say!


This question feels like "do my homework for me" but the truth is I've done what surfing I could and haven't found anything remotely like the reference I need. So I come to the All Knowing LiveJournal crowd to get some input.

It's about vacation time, or Paid Time Off, or sick leave, or whatever a place of business chooses to call it. In the case in question, employees earn 10 days vacation/sick time for their first year of employment, and an additional one day for every subsequent year they are there. All new employees serve a three month "probation" period before they are eligible for vacation and/or health insurance (and yes, company-paid health insurance is provided for all full timers).

It's in the details where I get lost, and my guess is that there are some industry standard answers, but I would rather hear what you know about it.

Would a new employee (A) accumulate those PTO hours while on probation, and then have access to them after the three months are up, or (B) only start accumulating PTO at the three month mark? (I would guess A.)

The Employee Manual implies that there is no difference between vacation and sick time, but the payroll services company being used requires knowing which category any used time is from. Is there some special consideration, perhaps legally mandated, that makes those two classifications different?

Once I know more about how PTO accumulates, I get the fun (not) task of going back in time for all of our full-timers and figure out what they really should have, since all I know for sure right now is that what's on the payroll report is not correct. At a minimum, one person who has been there more than a year isn't listed, and two others have accumulation rates that don't line up with the 80 hours per 24 pay period baseline.
after all

Not what I was hoping for

Autohrs of one of my favorite novel series recently made the ARC of their next book available, and (weeks later) I have finally found a quiet moment to dive in. And. hmmmmm. I can't tell if I'm just not in the mood right now, or if this really is one of the most boring first chapters I've even slogged through. I could swear there were paragraphs just dropped in randomly as well. Chapter two seemed only slight improvement.

Now I'm contemplating my options. Do I just keep reading, hoping it will become the delicious experience I was expecting? Do I start again, and take notes about which parts were confusing or unnecessarily droning? (That sounds like work, and not even work I'm very good at.)

or perhaps I will finally put some time into some of my other pending projects, and let entertainment book reading wait for another day.
after all

So, this feels weird

I think of myself as a pretty social person - I score top of the charts in the extrovert range, I greatly enjoy talking with people, hanging out, meeting new folks, reconnecting with friends.

There's a social event coming up in just a week or so that I've been more or less planning to go to - no commitments made, but I have the time and a bit of a budget.

And I'm finding almost no internal impetus to go.
There will be a whole bunch of people I sorta know, but no one I could count on hanging out with.
The potential housing arrangements went from "watch this space for where we're all staying" to "oh hey, looks like all the rooms sold before we could tell you, but there's another location far enough away to need a shuttle, and significantly over your budget, and I don't know anyone else who's staying there instead". Note: I do not feel like I'm being shut out, nor complaining about organization - I know just how that sort of thing happens - but the result remains the same: even less chance that I wouldn't be spending the time sitting against a wall wondering why I was there.

Meh, time to get ready for work and let this stew in the back of my brain for a few days.
after all

An experiment

Kale, that amazingly high nutrient leafy green, is purported to be actually delicious if prepared correctly, and an abomination in most other circumstances.

Today I tried yet again to discover that elusive proper preparation: bought this morning, rinsed, trimmed all the stem-stuff out, tossed with high grade olive oil, dusted with salt, toasted in oven at Broil for a couple minutes.

Verdict: not good.

Ah well. Sometimes the answer to any research process is "well, not THAT way".
after all

The new job

It's the end of my first week at the new job, (office admin at Law Seminars International, a company that (you guessed it!) hosts seminars on law) and it's just exactly what I thought it might be. A thousand things going on at once, with a dozen people busily juggling them.

New employees are trained by that old favorite Drinking From the Firehose of Whatever is Happening at the Moment. I think I'm doing fairly well at it, although I'm far from error-free. Thankfully, forgiveness is available in plenty, and they really don't seem to mind either my endless stream of questions or the sad reality that some of those questions are about things they already showed me just hours ago.

Now I'll see how much I retain by Monday.

Meanwhile - weekend! How I have missed you!
after all

What a lovely day off!

Yesterday, while technically counting as part of my unexpected four day weekend, was spent journeying into Seattle to pick up my stuff from the toy store, say goodbye to three of my co-workers (I'll miss working with you!), and have a tasty lunch with the spousal unit.
By the time I was back on the island, the walk up Parking Lot Hill just about did me in (unusual) and I retaliated with a mid-afternoon nap.

Today has been a slackitudinal compilation of sleeping late, kitchen tidying, LJ surfing, and comic reading, with a high expectation of yard work for this afternoon.

And perhaps a tour of art galleries this evening, as it's my first time on-island during First Friday in almost a year.
after all

Unexpected Four Day weekend! Woo!

Yesterday the toy store called and instead of working Thursday through Monday (what I expected) they're making last Monday my last day. So I'll be skipping in today (Thursday) to pick up my cubby stuff and drop off my keys. I start at the new place (woo Hoo!) on Monday.

This is so much nicer than the nine day work week I had expected.

Making good news even better, the weather is expected to stay non-rainy for days, so some outdoor fun is certain to be in the plan (yard work counts).