[linux-elitists] Re: Resume document formats

Jim Thompson jim@netgate.com
Sat Apr 21 04:00:23 PDT 2007

Greg Folkert wrote:
> On Fri, 2007-04-20 at 10:17 -1000, Jim Thompson wrote:
>> This whole thread reminds me strongly of, "Doctor, it hurts when I do
>> this!"
>> If the IT industry in your locale has changed (or left), you have a 
>> couple choices:
>> a) move, follow the jobs
>>     There may be reasons to stay where you are (aging parents, though
>> my father turned 71 yesterday, and I live 3000 miles away.)
> Please let me try to explain, family in my terms. My wife's father is 86
> years old and my wife's mother is 79 years old. My parents, divorced
> when I was 8, I lived with my mother. My Father Died at 58 from colon
> cancer a few years ago. I only got to know him in the final months of
> his life. My Mother married a wealthy globetrotter, I see her very25
> seldom, unless she wants to show me her new car. I value my wife's
> parent much more than my own.

Sigh.    My mother died 4 years ago.   My father-in-law died 9 years ago.
My father re-married 2 years ago, *his* mother (my grandmother) passed away
the day after he got married, his 2nd wife passed away in January.

All were quite sudden.
> In any case, you want to compare family: 
> Is your father getting to the point where he is forgetting how to turn
> off the TV or use his shaver or forgetting how to find his house if he
> goes anywhere other than his wife's nursing home, the local grocery
> store or church? 
No, he got to the point where he couldn't find his way home no matter 
what.  He would "forget"
that the left-turn light was still red, and turn into oncoming 
traffic.   Totalled a brand-new Sequoia.

They gave him pills for that shit, he's better now.
> Let alone becoming so grief stricken and lonely that
> his wife had to go into a nursing home. 
No, I've not heard the comment that all the women in his life have left 
him.   Oh wait, I did.  Then he got over it,
and seems to be dating again.   Life is short.  
> She had to get admitted into
> one, because she broke her femur and was already suffering from
> Alzheimer's Syndrome and newly discovering it hurt every 15 seconds.
> Jim FOFF, on this subject. You obviously don't care about your father or
> he is financially well enough off to not have to worry about the
> $6000/month costs for nursing homes that actually _do_ care for the
> people living there.
He managed to sell the family business, and seems to be doing OK, except 
that they guy who bought it is f**king with him,
so I get to deal with the lawyers 2-3x per week.  

So, no, I don't care.
>> b) find a new job, possibly in a new field
>>     There are many jobs in the 'trades' (electrician, plumber, welder)
>> that pay well once you're past the 'journeyman' phase.   You might
>> find these more interesting than sitting on your ass, and it might
>> just be that the combination of your sysadmin skills and your new job
>> makes you double-secure in your new job, since you'll shortly find
>> yourself tending the office systems at your new employer, or the union
>>  hall.
> Yep, I am sure you live in a depressed area with 11-12% unemployment (it
> is not just IT that is this bad). 

Nope, its < 3% here, hurts the other way, damn near frictional.  Of 
course, most of that is "service" jobs
to cater to the tourists, there is very little IT industry here, and 
what there is pays quite poorly, even before you
factor in the Cost of Living in Hawaii.    $3/gallon gas?  We have that 
now.   Highest electricity rates in the nation?  Yep.
$6/box for cold cereal?  Yep.    3000 mile / 6 hour trip to get to the 
mainland?   6-8 times per year, friend.

Know what?  We're happier here than we've been in the 17 years we've 
been married, even though we moved out of an
11,000 square foot "mansion" (http://www.glovermansion.com) into an 1100 
square foot condo (no, you can't see the ocean,
we escaped with our asses barely attached (read: so heavily in-debt that 
we thought we'd never dig out) when we left Spokane,
since we owned a second (big, but not *that* big) house in Texas nearly 
that entire time, strong on the back-end of dealing with
a mold infestation in the house in Texas, strung on the end of me 
quitting my high-paying CTO job with Wayport to wander out
on my own, with an idea (musenki.com, you'll have to google for it) just 
prior to 4 idiots piloting planes into the WTC, Pentagon, and
the hardpack of Pennsylvania.

And oh-yeah, fighting AT&T (yes that one) for 5 years over their attempt 
to de-register the trademark for "Netgate", and the local EPA-like authority
in Spokane (SCAPCA) because they were unhappy that I'd managed to do the 
tear-off of the roof on that huge-ass house *by myself*, which,
as a homeowner, I'm allowed to do.  So they attempted to classify it as 
a "commercial building" (after the fact!) so they could collect well 
over $100,000
in "fines".   f**kers.   Add in the general fun of thick-headed folks in 
a small town thinking you're rich, with the associated suits (I tripped 
on your stairs!")
coming at a regular, monthly clip.   ("Did you go to the doctor?  Why 
not?  Here's the name & number of my attorney...")

We had all the toys, the SUVs, the private school for the kid, the 
garage-queen sports cars.

We managed to sell everything (that 'mansion' after we got here, but...) 
and Netgate has done well, so we're back out of a crushing debt-load.  

We all have our challenges in life.

Everyone in the immediate family is healthy, and we get to spent nearly 
unlimited time with each other, and the kid.
> Where in these areas only temp
> agencies have anything and are only temp, no "to hire" jobs or anything.
> The unions have been seeing the ranks of unemployed due to cost cutting
> measures sky rocket. Unions are causing much to the problem. And if
> you've even read the whole thread, you'd know I came from those arenas
> of skills. I have a journeyman's card in Mold Making. I also have
> certifications (though "expired") in various Diesel Mechanics
> disciplines.
Great!   I've got a (well-expired) certification for welding, an expired 
NV state well-drillers license, and an expired EMT license.
I was never ASME certified in diesel mechanics, but back in the day I 
could beat "book time", and if you can do that, most shops are
more than happy to have you on-staff.

I did read the whole thread, btw.    I even checked your website to see 
if perhaps your resume' was on-line.  It isn't.

Consider the potential for doing vegetable oil (greasel) conversions for 
diesel-powered passenger cars and light trucks in your area.  At $2-3K/pop,
if you can do one/week you can probably equal your old salary, and the 
customers will line-up.  You'll be able to take appointments!  

Mold-making?  Great, you can cast custom-tanks for the start/stop tank 
that holds good-old #2 so the engine doesn't go solid when it gets cold.

I'll bet you can make a great website, and with a few hours on the phone 
to the local paper(s) (be sure to include the alternative paper) you can 
quite a bit of free press.

Its just an idea.

Want a different one?   Sell Nokia 770s (or 880s) 
pre-loaded/pre-configured with Carman

and a Bluetooth-to-serial-to-ODP2 port mash-up.

Be sure to include a cigarette lighter adapter.

Sell these to the local tuner crowd, to folks responsible for fleet 
operations, to mechanics, and to folks who want to tinker.  Sell them to 
pimps who
want the latest 'bling' for their Hummer/Caddy/M-Class.    Create a 
market, use the local high-end automotive accessory/stereo stores for a 
watch them act real confused as you hand them the CD-R with all the 
source code on it.

Learn to program and offer custom programming.  (Carman is written in 
Python, and you already know Python, so...)   Add a GPS (and the 
requisite specialty cable) to the mix and allow folks to upload profile 
data.   Write a web front-end, so they can manipulate position .vs 
speed, vs. I-don't-know-what-yet on their Windows desktop.  Do a mash-up 
with Google maps.   Load Maemo mapper and pre-load all the Michigan area 
maps on an MMC card for them.

Figure out how to teach people to use it get better gas mileage.   Do a 
mash-up with one of those Web-2.0 things that shows the cheapest / 
closest gas.   Do the
payback analysis for how to make it pay back the cost.

Figure out some BT to Audio adapter, and let folks playback mp3s (or 
oggs) on their car-stereo.

Hack in Don Marti's "find a ride/share a ride" stuff, figure out the 
minimal level of trust (chain) where folks can set how 'safe' they feel 
having a stranger in the car.
(Well, I don't know you, but Doc says you're, "OK", so ... what the hell...)

As you said, you live in the center of the US car universe, and every 
car built since 1996 has an ODB-II port underneath the dash.   The 
advantage of the 770/880
and running over Bluetooth is that you can grab the damn thing and leave 
nothing to steal.

I can buy Nokia 770s for less than $300 at J&R (maybe $250 or so, we 
have a corporate account.)
A 'car adapter' should be less than $10 in low quantities.
The ODB-II dongle/BT dongle combo is $199 quantity 1.   I can probably 
reduce this quite a bit with time.

You've got $460 in the set, plus your "installation fees" (your time is 
valuable. and you'll want to make some mark-up (I suggest 30%), so 
you're looking at
$599.99 retail, plus "install", if they want that.

Can't afford to start?  Get someone here I know and trust (dsearls and 
dmarti come to mind) to vouch for you (because, Greg, I don't know you, 
and you've been bitchy) and I'll front you 3-4 sets of the gear 
(including the BT dongle, and a mutually-agreeable BT GPS) for 3 
months.   Sell two in 90 days and I'll give you another 335 days to send 
me back the cash of my actual *costs* for buying the gear, no interest, 
no fees.  You get to use the proceeds from the first two sales to 
finance your growth, and you still have a demo/eval unit while you're 
ordering more.  Fail to sell two in 90 days and you just send me back 
all 3-4 sets, no hard feelings.

You: risk your time, and maybe some on-list face.
I: risk a couple grand, and having a friend in Michigan.

Its just an(other) idea,

but answer back soon, because I'm preparing to buy a set for myself for 
der truck.
http://www.netgate.com/~jim/landcruiser2/  (not sucked into the album 
yet, sorry.)

(Its got a late-model GM 'Vortec' + 4L60E installed, so yes, its got a 
ODB-II port too.)
>>     You could always learn to program.  You might find that the 
>> combination of l33t sys-admin sk1lz and real competency with a
>> real-world programming language puts you back in the market.  You
>> might also find (as I have) that it suddenly doesn't matter where you
>> live, since your customers are now world-wide.
> Yes, I could always, learn to program. Yeah, and good system admin can
> debug and fix wry code to get it to compile and install.
debugging is a different skill set.   Useful, but not what I was talking 
> I write stuff in (posix)shell, python, Perl, not very "excellent" code,
I'd say something here about there being *no* excellent Perl code (since 
Perl is a write-only language), but the rest of the
list would pile on, and Perl is a gateway language.

Excellence comes with experience and effort.   We're all getting better 
(or worse).
> but it does its job and is pretty much not subject to bugs across
> versions. I don't use C, C++ or other compiled languages as they all
> suck. Interpreted are not better, just that most interpreted languages
> are at least readable.
Perhaps this is just "Baby Duck syndrome".    C is ugly, but its quite 
useful.   You'll probably really throw up when
I suggest that Lisp is better than anything else.
> You are right, I've done work around the globe as a consultant for the
> last few years. All from the comfort of my home-office.
Damn, if you knew 'C', and were any good with embedded stuff, *I* might 
hire you.   Last guy I had working with me here worked
out of his kitchen in Idaho.

As it is, I'm casting about for someone (temp) to deal with bringing up 
the new server (in Texas), duplicating all the OS Commerce
(I can't stand PHP, but it works)/mysql infrastructure, and creating 
some kind of system to keep a second machine
(currently in co-location in California, though I could be interested in 
advantaging myself of Amazon's S3/EC2 stuff)
in-sync enough so we can bring it up and keep selling should the primary 
fail, or go offline, etc.
>> c) sit and complain, and ask how you're going to comply with the 
>> requirement to format Word documents
> Yep, you sure are an elitist Jim. Maybe if you took your dayglo-orange
> blinders off, you'd see I've addressed your concerns about me being an
> idiot.
I never called you an idiot.  I recommended that you create your own 
solution to your problem(s) rather than waiting for a job.
> I care deeply about my family and don't particularly want to not be able
> to immediately deal with our families problems. That includes our 6
> month old Grandson. I guess distance from family means nothing to you.
Its not 'nothing', but I did cut the apron strings nearly 20 years 
ago.   My wife did the same thing
at a similar time.  Our younger siblings all stayed 'home'.    Its a 
choice, and it comes with both its problems
and rewards.
> Western Michigan is heavily influenced by the Auto Industry and the
> Office Furniture Industry. GM has a lot of facilities around here, as
> well as many support companies. Steelcase, Haworth, Herman Miller are
> the Majors in the Furniture Industry, they all are HQ'd with 20 miles of
> me. The furniture industry STILL has not recovered from the initial
> dot-com bomb fall out. I have a family across the street that works for
> one, least amount of time there is 13 years right now. Anyone newer is
> is employed by a temp agency.
Imagine how much money they might save if they could replace some of 
those workers with.... software.

Imagine if you wrote it.
> Sit and Complain... no, I asked what others did. If I must, I will use
> MS Windows under some form of VM and MS Office on that, if it comes down
> to it. I'd just rather not sully myself.
> You also seem to think that my, (how did you put it... oh yes) "l33t
> sys-admin sk1lz" are laughable. 
You're wrong here, but I can understand how you got there.    I too 
started in sysadmin, and I too was good at it, at
least until I got bored with it (but that was before Linus had a brain 
fart one day in the early 90s.)   Understanding how
the whole ball of mud hangs together is *very* useful if you're writing 
system-level stuff, or even an application installer.

Understanding how networking **really works** is quite useful if you're 
writing apps that use the network.   Imagine installing
and maintaining applications that are written by people who were once 
quite good at sysadmin .vs the same thing from people
who only ever used a Windows box for its IDE.
> Well, Jim, I am sorry you feel that way.
> You also point out that with your "real competency" comment that by
> programming I re-enter the "market". Well with no "real programming gigs
> or results to show" behind me... that falls flat on its face. Ding,
> ding.
create your own solution.
> As far as I am concerned Jim, you sort of sound like a certain Jack
> Thompson that was recently gagged by Take Two interactive. And if you
> must use your Elitism, please do so in a much better method, your
> mail-client formats your e-mail horribly.
thunder-chicken?  Hmm, could be a 2.0 thing.
> And Thanks for being "Captain Obvious Man", Jim. You've got me beat, I
> succumb to your "obvious" Overlord intentions.
Only if you're cute... and female.

I've kept this on-list deliberately.   A) You have witnesses to my 
offer, should you need to 'enforce' it.  B) You painted me with a broad 
brush, and I seek to
defend myself.   Likely Rick or someone will flame me for making 
commercial offers on-list.

F**k it, I'm off to camp until Sunday afternoon.


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