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July 13th, 2007

02:42 pm: Bow to your partner, now bow to your corner

In a couple hours (at 6pm, to be exact), I will be learning me some square-dancing at Chicago SummerDance. Y'all should come down and join me.

It's in the Spirit of Music Garden, which is part of Grant Park. The nearest train is the Harrison stop (Red line).

It's free.

Also, square dancing is fun.

May 2nd, 2007

05:42 pm: Dark shows and weird stuff
A few weeks back, ladymajor and i finished the last episode of the last season of "The X-Files". There were good seasons (4 and 8, for example), and bad seasons (7 and 9), but even the bad seasons had good episodes.

Season 7, for example, had an episode entitled "Millennium", which was a crossover with the (then-canceled) series of the same name. And i enjoyed that episode. So it was a pretty logical conclusion to start NetFlixing "Millennium", the series.

After the first few episodes, i thought: Wow, this is pretty neat, if occasionally incredibly sanctimonious. Why didn't i watch this ten years ago (when such sanctimony would have gone unnoticed)?

After the first few disks, i'm thinking: Holy crap, this is a dark series. I'm still enjoying it, but, criminy, it's tough to watch more than an episode a day without dragging me down.

We could churn through 3-4 episodes of the "X-Files" in a single night, partly because some episodes were crap, and partly because the ones that weren't crap didn't tend to take themselves too seriously. "Millennium"'s a different story. It doesn't fall back on the supernatural, so we're routinely confronted with dark human impulses. And it ruminates on them relentlessly, for the duration of the episode.

When i say "we're confronted", i really mean "i'm confronted", since ladymajor refuses to watch with me. Probably because i showed her the evil clown from the child's nightmare in episode 3.

In other thoughtlines, i've recently been unable to shake the notion that, should a modern, live-action movie version of "The Jetsons" be made, Jon Polito should be Mr. Spacely. I've been unable to cast the rest of the roles, though.

I've also been playing too much Desktop Tower Defense (for all you RTS turtlers).

And, finally, i assume there's some deeper meaning to game, game, and again, game, but i have yet to find it.

April 24th, 2007

10:33 am: Our first promotion

Sorry for the rapid-fire entries. And sorry for my shameless pandering.

But we'll pay you $5...Collapse )

April 1st, 2007

09:44 am: Holy Crap (in which our Hero needs to brush up on his C# skills)

As most of you know, i left my last full-time position a few weeks ago. My stated intention was to do some independent contracting work for a while. As is so often the case with me, though, plans change.

Almost exactly three months ago, now, i was contacted by a recruiter -- a complete cold call, really (though it was email, not phone contact). The job wasn't really my area of expertise, but the company had its own type of prestige. On a complete lark, i responded to it. I didn't figure it would go anywhere.

Then the first phone interview happened. And i realized 1- this was for real, and 2- despite my reservations about this particular place, it might be a fun company to work for.

All in all, it took five extended (hour-and-a-half or more) phone interviews, about a dozen more shorter phone conversations, and one grueling day-long in-person interview (with 15 people total). I was moved from department to department, as they tried to find the best fit for me. All over the course of eight weeks.

And then i stopped hearing from them.

So i figured that it was off. The anticipation of leaving my former position had built up enough that i had to get out anyway. So i did. And i hooked myself up with a couple contract gigs, and there we go.

Until Friday afternoon, when i got a call. And with a call, a verbal offer. And shortly thereafter, i got an electronic copy of that offer in an email, and a promise that the written one was already in the mail. I should probably wait till the paper shows up at my door, but i'm too excited, and this place has too good a reputation to not follow through.

ladymajor, at the end of the month, we're moving to Redmond!

I can only describe this as the coolest job that's ever been offered to me. I'll be working on semantic and statistical textual analysis (which, for those who don't know, is one of my academic interests), improving the document classification algorithms that power the upcoming Microsoft Word Document Assistant. I think i'm allowed to say that. But probably not much more. It will be pretty sweet.

In the meantime, i'm going to be sending this LJ into retirement, and starting up a new blog at Spaces (i'm not required to by company policy, but it seems like a good "team player" move). I'll provide a link when it's set up, and then you'll be able to catch my updates there.

Alright. I'm off to a celebration brunch. And then i have to figure out how to install Vista on my G4 PowerBook.

March 15th, 2007

01:49 pm: The interview game

rules of the interview gameCollapse )

my questions and answersCollapse )

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