Summer Job Progress (sort of)

I’ve applied to the State of Washington as an Information Technology Technician 1. I got a test score of 70, which puts me literally on the lowest end of the job scaling — the minimum score to be considered is 70. We’ll see whether that actually turns out to provide me with a job or not.

I may end up working for the Writing Center over the summer, but obviously that was sufficiently unclear that I decided to file an application with the State. I might also apply at the Best Buy down the street to be a computer technician, though I’m undecided on that.

We’ll see what happens.

Cable and Car Goodness

No, not cable car goodness, cable and car goodness.


Comcast Cable
We had Comcast high-speed internet hooked up when we first moved in, but we didn’t get TV service with that. Amanda and I finally decided to add in limited cable access a couple days ago. We had been told by the manager of our apartment complex that nobody got cable unless they explicitly ordered it from Comcast. Operating from this assumption, we put a call in.

Apparently, our complex has a bulk account that allows us to get basic cable for free, though nobody at Comcast seemed to know what to do about it. After being transferred four or five times, we finally got someone who knew what they were doing and scheduled a service call for Monday, May 2 in order to figure out why our TV wasn’t picking up the signal.

A technician apparently came by yesterday, since there was a work summary sheet under our door when we got home. But of course, nothing is without snafus — when the technician fixed the TV, he screwed over the cable internet.

One more phone call to Comcast.

Thus, another technician came out this morning and fixed it so that both the TV and the internet work. We now enjoy cable internet/TV goodness at the same time, rather than just one or the other but not both.

My opinion of Comcast has historically been very bad, since they don’t seem to be able to do anything straight without at least three different attempts. My feelings in that respect were mollified slightly when the technician who stopped by this morning called personally later on to confirm that the work corrected the problem. I, of course, thanked him for calling, and it is working properly.

Car Goodness
My parents decided that I’ll be getting my mom’s 2004 Subaru Forester and that she’ll be shopping for another new car. Thus, my hunt is over, though I’ll have to wait a while in order to pick the car up from home. Though, of course, that makes me responsible for gas, maintenance, etc. I won’t have it in time to go to Port Townsend, but probably sometime in the next couple weeks or so.


Car Market Browsing

I’m now in the market for a car. Joy.

Currently, I’m looking for the following cars (not listed in any particular order):

  1. 1997-2004 Honda CR-V
  2. 1997-2004 Toyota Camry
  3. 1997-2002 Toyota Corolla
  4. 2002-2004 Ford Focus (ZX3, ZX5 hatchbacks preferred, but sedan OK)

These are all based on the rankings of Consumer Reports.

In case people are wondering about my criteria, here’s a list, with rankings on a scale of 1-5, 5 high, 1 low:

  • Fuel economy: 3
    I’m willing to sacrifice here as long as the car is reasonably reliable; the used-car market is such that I may not have much choice on fuel economy.
  • Price: 5
    I absolutely must fit within my maximum budget for this.
  • Reliability: 4
  • Safety: 4
    Driver’s side airbags minimum; passenger-side airbags preferred
  • Manufacturers: Honda/Toyota preferred
  • Mileage: < = 60,000 miles preferred; max 65,000 miles

We did some shopping around Olympia on Sunday and nearly found a good Ford Focus wagon, but the car had 91,000 miles on it, which made my dad and I a little nervous. Yes, there are still very reliable cars with that many miles, but we’re a cautious bunch.

Port Townsend Excursion

Amanda and I are headed up to Port Townsend on Friday, April 29th to visit a friend of ours and see a play. Apparently, Enterprise Rent-A-Car allows people under 25 to rent for a $30 fee. This, of course, makes the trip marginally more expensive than it otherwise would be, but it works out well, since we don’t typically have a car.

It’ll be a semi-long drive, but we should make it up with no problems.

Favorite Ben & Jerry’s Ice Creams

My favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors (and the descriptions from their web site) are:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: Vanilla Ice Cream with Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie: Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Brownies
  • Marsha Marsha Marshmellow: Chocolate Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks & Toasted Marshmallow & Graham Cracker Swirls (new this year — it’s like an ice cream s’more!)

Their Cherry Garcia is tolerable, but not a favorite. I also don’t particularly like Phish Food (caramel.. ech).

Summer Quarter 2005

I’m kind of thinking about possibly taking some Summer courses at Evergreen again this year, though I’m leery of being able to do so and hold down a full-time job. Currently under consideration:

Obviously, most of these are writing courses. The grammar course looks cool, but it also runs during the evenings, which might make it an interesting course to take transporation-wise. It’s only for one session, though — not even the whole quarter. The first session runs from June 20 – July 24, the second session from July 25 to August 27.

Latent Frustration

I’ve been feeling sort of frustrated lately. I suppose this is mostly because I’m taking a fifth year at Evergreen (and further enjoying the status of super senior-dom) — it feels like my work over the last four years has been unfocused. Perhaps I am falling into the trap of feeling like I should have a major in a school that doesn’t in any way support majors. There’s nothing technically wrong with having skipped around in disciplines and studied so many different things; such is the essence of a liberal arts college, and, indeed, the essence of a liberal arts degree.

Yet still, it feels as if I should be able to point at my degree and be able to say that I earned something specific. Currently, my résumé suggests that I am graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on Writing — my transcript and my credits seem to back this up, but it seems a flimsy argument at the moment because I have yet to write my summative evaluation, the document which will, once and for all, settle what my Evergreen education allowed me to learn. Perhaps this is what’s bugging me — I can’t be sure because it’s hard for me to translate it into words.

Just to give an idea of the range of the work I’ve done:

  • Fall/Winter/Spring 2001-2002: Trash with Cynthia Kennedy, Sonja Wiedenhaupt, and Sharon Anthony — environmental studies, psychology, introduction to writing, business, ethics
  • Fall/Winter 2002-2003: Taking the Pulse with Cynthia Kennedy, Toska Olson, and Dean Olson (now retired) — business, statistics, business ethics, writing of ethical case studies/thesis-based writing
  • Spring 2003: Algebra to Algorithms with Judy Cushing and Allen Mauney — mathematics, philosophy of mathematics, thesis-based writing, Logo programming
  • Spring 2003: Practice of Professional Tutoring with Sandra Yannone — philosophy of tutoring writing
  • Summer 2003: A Writer’s Feast with Evan Shopper, Nancy Parkes — fiction writing, writing workshops
  • Fall/Winter/Spring 2003-2004: Data to Information with Brian Walter, John Cushing, and Neal Nelson — computer programming in Haskell and Java, philosophy of computer science, thesis-based writing, ethics, computer architecture
  • Fall 2004: Power in American Society with Larry Mosqueda — political science, history of the U.S., thesis-based writing
  • Winter 2004: The Novel: Life and Form with Thad Curtz — literary analysis of British/French literature, written literary analysis, thesis-based writing
  • Spring 2004: Inkslingers: Creative Writing with Michael Radelich (independent contract sponsor) — fiction writing

I guess I’m waiting for inspiration, and it’s not working out too well.

autumn departs

R.I.P. autumn
August 29, 2001 – April 5, 2005
My trusty Dell Inspiron 8100, autumn (service tag GFVVT01), departed me today via DHL for equipment recycling. She served me for a trusty three years and seven months. When she arrived, she was a 900MHz machine with 128MB RAM. Over the years, she was returned twice for Dell rapid repair response, had her DVD-ROM drive replaced at least twice, and was upgraded to a humble 512MB RAM. I’ll miss that laptop — she served me well, and might have made it a little longer if her LCD hinge hadn’t broken…

Thank you, autumn. I’ll miss you, little tyke.