Gnosis

just a site about nothing important.

Archive for January 2010

The Job Hunt and the Economic Future of America

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So a friend of mine who works in the IT industry has not been able to find a job in the IT fields for over a year and he has broken down and move on to being a phone jockey. Mind you, this is a guy with ten years experience, is top in his field, has a degree and umpteen certifications on stuff that I wish I knew or had a clue. So he ended up with a 50% pay decrease and a dead end career that can be outsourced to India (to be stationed right next to the IT job he had a year ago that was outsourced). Lucky for him he paid all his major debts and has a fully paid car as well…thus leaving him in a much more flexible position for these poor economic times.

This got me thinking about the career paths I have chosen. I majored in Economics, which completely fell apart along with the Banking industry due to mismanagement. And during that time I studied independently Computer Science and Tech Support…which has now been relegated to the third world support desks thanks to companies nickel and diming the United States down the totem pole of power. I wonder what other careers will collapse as our false service sector economy and massive debts begin blowing up in our faces? When will we reach the point where it will be cheaper to make things here then overseas? The most horrifying thought is that we will be here at this bottom for many many years. We have to face the fact that our nation has a huge pile of surplus stuff that will be circulated and recycled and reused for other things as we wind down our debts and continue to lose jobs. As Kunstler rightly pointed out: this is a yard sale nation.

So I have modified my job search to start accepting the only jobs that will appear to be growing…collections, call centers, and the various other low paying excrement that happens after society falls apart. Let’s hope that doesn’t get outsourced.

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Written by Josecito

January 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Time Marches On

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Well today marks twenty-three days of my new year and so far my diet has gone splendidly. I have lost around 20 pounds give or take a pound. It has been hard but worth it. I started to incorporate cheat days on Saturdays (but with very little allowances on what I can eat or drink for the cheat and strict portion control). I will continue as planned toward my 52lb weight loss reduction and health improvement plan.

 

The BIAM book that I purchased was a joke. The information it contained was worth less then the book’s value. Sadly I found more information online to help me with my project then the book offered. Note to anyone interested in BIAM or BIAW or BIA-whatevers….you are much better off going it alone and doing hard self initiated research.

 

Other then that, I have been job searching like mad and generally purging myself of much more nonessential items in my life and their psychological weight. I realized that I tend to add more things in my life as a way of procrastinating the truly important things that I want to accomplish. Eg…You have a goal in mind…say Learn Chinese…so you go to learn Chinese and end up with a half finished course on Asian Cuisine that you never really had your heart into. The reasons why are remarkable once you start to realize why you do certain things. Sometimes they are defense mechanisms….other times the goals you set for yourself are not really what you wanted in life and at other times….the goals you end up half doing are the result of other people’s influence on you and your dreams…either through guilt or obligation, you end up sacrificing a little bit of yourself each time until there is nothing left of you but a name and failed attempts at life. If many of your goals can be traced back to the idea of freedom, escapism or symbolism of this…you’re probably stuck doing things for other people and not yourself, which is what I ended up doing for most of my life. Airship and Boat Building are two projects I genuine find interesting but were obviously started (first by my sheer boredom at the first major I picked) and (second being stuck in a dead end job answering telephones). When I was in high school, I started playing lots of video games and began programming them, creating fantasy worlds. I never thought about it at the time, but my time in HS was truly miserable and boring. I hated where I went until my senior year and never really cared for anyone I went to school with nor their academics. It was no surprise that I skipped over two months of school a year, felt sick in the mornings and puked on my journey there every morning. In fact, when I graduated that school I pretty much stopped feeling sick and the reason why was because I no longer had to go. The same thing happened in my grade schools, my colleges and pretty much everywhere I felt that other people expected me to do but I didn’t. I never felt sick or nervous in the Army…nor skydiving, nor traveling alone for work and meeting complete strangers, nor did I feel in the least bit sick or uncomfortable traveling to another country alone. I only felt sick and in pain when I did things my mind did not want to do that I ignored. Eg…I hated school so I forced myself to go and my brain basically told my body to do whatever it took to stop me…which was make me sick.  I hated my call center job so I ended up drinking like a fish almost every off day I had…spending hundreds of dollars a month in booze all as a coping mechanism for going to a job that I hated…. interestingly enough…when I worked at PWC I almost never drank, nor in the Army (I drank once, not to the point of drunk).

It is truly remarkable when you think about about the things you do and why they were done. Most of us have things we do as means to cope with uncomfortable situations or events that are seen as detrimental to our happiness. The question remains…what should be we really doing in our lives that will make us successful without creating a hobby or habit that will kill us?

Written by Josecito

January 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

from 252lbs to 239lbs

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So the numbers are in and my reward for the initial week of weight loss tallies in at around 13lbs on the scale. I am betting a good 7lbs is water weight loss due to changes in salt intake and lack of water absorbing grains in the digestive system but still…..an excellent week that tells me that I am doing something right!

Was it difficult, yes, Did I want to quit daily…oh yes. Do I care now? You bet. Still I am now 39lbs left to lose and this is when the weight loss slows down and take the 4-8 pounds a month to lose usually. So I expect to weigh in around 237lbs next week which of course is a huge decline in my rate of weight loss, but still that is 7,000 calories of pure fat removed, or roughly 315 Hershey’s Kisses (9 are about 200 calories) removed.

Other things of note are that I feel my arms getting stronger from the exercises as much of my effort this year is on muscle building and strength training…as muscle is denser then fat and burns calories, it logically would appear to provide an out of shape person more bang for their buck: work out to build muscle and let the muscle remove your fat while dieting. No need for endless treadmills, no need for biking 100 miles a day, no need for marathon running at this stage.

Other then that, I am happy about this, my only cheat was one cup of hot regular English Afternoon Tea with milk and sugar on Day 7 to celebrate….man it tasted good!

Written by Josecito

January 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Two Recommendations for Writing

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1. Windows Live Writer

 

 

Ok so I break down and state this, I like Windows Live Writer for my blogging. It is very easy to use, requires very little time to understand it (I really think it is a modified version of Word 2.0), and lets you get your work done offline, saving your own drafts and editing a blog without all the hassle of having to be online or using overdone software. I have found it quick, efficient and minimalist. With like all things that I like if it isn’t done at least efficiently and with KISS in mind (the acronym not the band), then it should be reevaluated.

Live Writer works with more then just Live Spaces too, you can customize it for other blogs and best of all it is free. If you have a chance and the time to try out this program, I encourage you to give it a try. And no, this is not some paid entry. I generally dislike Microsoft products but prefer them to Apple simply on their market prevalent, though I imagine if I had more time and an independent career, I would go with a Linux system (the most effective but only if you know how to use a computer intimately and like dealing with its’ guts).

To download Windows Live Writer, follow this link:

http://download.live.com/writer

 

 

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2. Dark Room

 

 

If you have not heard of this program then I encourage your to look it up immediately if you are a writer or someone who wants to be a writer but continually gets distracted by having a computer with bells and whistles and colors. What it does is take your PC and turn it into a black screen green character text editor..full screen. Nothing really else to say about it. There are no page breaks, no fonts, no spell check. This puppy is made to punch out characters like nothing else and to get you thinking about what you want to write and nothing else. If you want to edit it for spelling and page count and other whatnot you can use other programs later (at the editing stage of writing), this one is just for writing the material that you would be editing later on. Remember that? There was a time when we would simply write our thoughts out before modifying them or adding a bunch of filler. Nowadays I see people trying to write a paper (myself included) that starts off with me spending something like 60% of my effort in spacing, fonts, bold prints, italics, etc. This has none of it. The idea here is to Zen minimal-ize your way into doing your writing and then enhance it afterwards.

To download Dark Room, follow this link and if you really like it, help this guy out, donate to his cause, he made something nice and useful for us all:

http://they.misled.us/dark-room

Written by Josecito

January 8, 2010 at 1:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Pitch Black

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Ok so I just finished watching this movie and can not believe how lame the people are in it. For those of you who haven’t seen it and do not care, or for those of you who have seen it but do not remember it, here is a brief synopsis:

A bunch of people and one criminal crash land on a moon circling a planet resembling Saturn. This solar system has 3 suns that almost constantly shine except for this one brief moment of time when the suns are blocked by the giant shade of the planet that the moon circles. The survivors appear to crash on the day before everything goes black and the moon falls into shade. No apparent life on the planet except for some bones and evidence of a previous and failed colony.

So while the survivors are running around they discover another, unused and miraculously untouched ship with the doors wide open and not a speck of dust on it (mind you the rest of the remains of the colony are pretty chopped up and have been deserted for what appears to be years). They start loading their stuff by making a single trip to the new ship, only to realize that they need some more fuel (and that they have a little but not enough to leave the planet). After their first trip and thinking the suns never set, the survivors run around and explore, only to realize that the whole moon is covered by some underground flying radar meat eating bird that can not leave the darkness and that this darkness is about to show up and last a long long time….so they better leave quick as the planet is starting to create total darkness and they will all die horrible deaths if they stay (like the colonists before them).

I have no problem up until this point and after this point I am really not that bothered by it except for one small and albeit critical detail. They mention that their newfound ship has fuel, but not enough for the long journey, and is fully functioning otherwise (hence the need to get more supplies from the old broken ship). Why on earth did they not just fly the new jet over to the wreck site and just load the stuff instead of walking it and driving it miles from the crash site to the new ship? Every single person that survived the crash would have lived, and they could have saved 2 hours of my life.

Really it irked me that much. I mean, I could understand if the ship just wouldn’t work at all without parts, but the movie made it seem like they were teenagers with a car and $5 worth of gas. Certainly they wanted to drive to the beach and needed more gasoline…but you’d think with the $5 of gas in the gas tank…that they would have driven the bloody car to the gas station instead of say….walking ten miles with 1 gallon gas cans?

Written by Josecito

January 6, 2010 at 1:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Amyloidosis

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So last night was a House marathon, and me, being bored and not wanting to spend money, decided to watch three of the episodes. It appears as though in the show everyone who is sick, depending on the season is suspected of having the above mentioned disease, Cushing’s, Lymphoma, or some form of virus X (name whatever was in fashion when they wrote the episode). Not that the actual sicknesses make the show interesting at all (very formulaic approach) but that it really causes the show to move, providing a segway to the actual plot which is the characters interacting with each other. Maybe it is just me, but House seems to have all the makings of a cheesy soap opera but a better time slot. The characters generally have high animosity, but are willing to sleep with one another, there are life after death stories, births, deaths, twins, parthenogenesis, and the occassional drug addict. The only major difference is that the majority of the ‘issues that are given to the main cast of Soap Operas is given to the patients in order to keep the show moving. Think of it as a Soap Opera mixed with Star Trek in the modern world: you have the infamous ‘anamoly’ that causes the show to begin and gives the reason why people hate each other an excuse to hang out. You have work related romances, drinking, drugs, abuse by an authority figure, and most importantly.. blatant overt sexual deviancy.

Still I give it 2 thumbs up for milking every minute of the public attention toward the banal and repetitive. But that is not the reason for this posting.

The reason why I chose to post this is my, as Dr. House would put it: “ my epiphany, that I had, all by myself”. The character of Dr. House is me, sans the success, job, drug abuse, talent or more rugged good looks and exercise. What does that leave you with? Well a sarcastic, self absorbed, know it all jerk, who treats people like crap, lies, cheats, steals, and have no apparent feelings of guilt or remorse nor learns how to improve himself or taper his personality quirks. The difference is that the Dr. House can do these things because he is successful and obviously the most talented Dr. in the country. I can not.

All of this drives me to one conclusion, when people meet insensitive jerks like Dr House in real life but have no real success, they do not make a tv show out of them…well maybe COPS, no…they ignore them and toss them to the outskirts of society for not kissing ass and sucking up in a poor attempt at social behaviors. So why is Dr. House so successful as a TV Show? Could there really be that many people like me who sympathize with the lead character as to keep the show going? Or are the people who are not like Dr. House watching the show and in some way, agree with him and wish to be like him? If it is the latter, then society is knee deep in hypocritical BS and needs to realize it. If it is the former, then once again, myself and the other unsuccessful versions of Dr. House need to get our shit organized and imitate art a little more.

Written by Josecito

January 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized