torquill: A sweet potato flower (gardening)
Yesterday afternoon, I decided to finally tackle the project which has been preying on my mind, and I started digging the trench for the replacement sprinkler at the far corner of the back lawn area. The lawn needs three new sprinklers placed, and I was going to get one of them installed, dammit.

On my second stroke with the pick (dry clay) I saw something odd. By the time I figured out what it was, my third stroke hit, with the inevitable PSSSSSSHHHHHH. I had hit the main irrigation line. Sigh.

In case you ever wondered how I learned irrigation work: this is the crap I have to fix at home. )

Need I mention that after the irrigation work I did a large load of laundry and hung it out, cooked a vegan dinner for nine from scratch, did dishes, attended our weekly Doctor Who session, and even remembered to take the laundry in afterward? Whew.
torquill: Coveralls with the patches "Henry's Garage" and "Forensics" (henry)
I am now offering my services to the good folks in the SF Bay Area as a Garden Fixer. Plant diagnosis, soil health, smart weeding, pruning (fruit trees especially), putting in new plants, irrigation troubleshooting, I'll even have a look at that fountain that hasn't run for years. If you need something like that (or know someone who does), drop me a line. I already have a short list of people who have expressed interest, and I'll be contacting them shortly.

Things you might consider having done now that we've gotten into fall: weed prevention, pruning to shape or to keep things small, light feeding of some plants, planting new perennials, putting in a cool-weather veggie garden, and top-dressing and overseeding cool-weather lawns. I can advise on any and all of these.

Have fun out there.

Edit: Bulbs! How could I have forgotten that it's time to divide established bulbs and plant new ones. You can even take them indoors so they bloom early.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
I am, needless to say, way behind on LJ. I'll try to skim the back issues today, but I might miss something... if there's anything I really need to know about, please point me at it.

I now have my new phone (a Samsung Intercept, under Virgin, with a no-really-truly-unlimited data plan) so I can surf on my breaks and when I'm not at home; I'll hunt for an app to essentially RSS my LJ friends page. It might be too slow for most things without an 802.11 network to suck off of, so I'll have to figure out how much I can keep up with. Still, I can hit email, lily, and IM easily enough, which means I'm much more connected than I was.

I like the phone a lot. I've spent a few hours customizing and learning it -- it came with pretty much no user manual, but Android seems easy enough to figure out. (If you're interested, it came with Eclair.) I've gotten a few apps (Weatherbug, ConnectBot, Meebo, Astrid, Just NotePad, Ringdroid, Shazam, and Barcode Scanner), most of which are just improvements on the existing functions. I can even scan (and make) QR codes now! \o/

(Sorry, geek moment there.)

Work is pretty good, I feel like I'm on top of it so far, and I'm not having trouble with the energy output. I'm sort of zoning out today, but that's to be expected; the first week is always rough. Fortunately, I don't have much on my plate this weekend, so I can take it easy.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (happymaking things)
I made it through my first day at a new job! :D

I'm part of a team of very nice people, the job itself is pleasant, the office is fine, the area I'm serving is cool, and the pay is good. I think it's a good fit. Lots of driving and time spent on my own (oh twist my arm), some paperwork and a lot of organizing skills (which is fine by me). The first two weeks will be slower than usual, thank goodness, then we ramp up to full pace for several months.

I'm doing training this week, then I'm on my own for at least a month, maybe quite a bit longer. After the person I'm covering for comes back (she's out due to injury) I'm a short step from getting a position of my own once a spot opens up. So yay!

I'll celebrate at the end of the week by finally getting my first smartphone (a Samsung Intercept running Android). I'm looking forward to a new toy. :)
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
My mom got tapped for the Special Election, as a voting precinct inspector. I didn't.

I didn't hear anything from the Elections Department, in fact, until my mom said that they were still running ads in the paper looking for clerks. So I called them up and said I'd be willing to work as a clerk, if they didn't want me running the precinct. They said okay, and asked where I'd be willing to go. Oh, out as far as Lafayette/Orinda/Antioch.

They called back this morning to say that I had been assigned as an inspector to a precinct in Antioch. Yay! I get to set up the nifty new ballot-counting machine!

I really like working elections. God knows why, as the day runs from 6am to 9 or 10pm, and I vividly remember the recall election where we had a 45-minute wait for something like four full hours -- no breaks, no time to catch my breath. Still, it pays okay, and my love of procedure makes things run smoothly. And voting is important. Well worth missing OChem for a day.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
I have gone to one job interview so far, and haven't gotten any other calls yet. It's early still, but I'm looking at filling out another wave of apps to go out.

I looked at the Kinkos app for "Center Production Operator" (aka counter drone) and suddenly felt really depressed. I don't want to do this sort of work. I've always hated it, and here I am applying for it. Again.

The interview was with See's, and upon reflection I'm going to turn them down. It's a union shop, and they want a few hundred (paid over six months) to start, plus they expect to take $30 in union dues a month. Given that the starting wage is $9.90 an hour, I have visions of being enslaved for six months while I pay off the initiation fees, in a job which I may or may not like. Then I have to fork over $30 a month from my $1000-1500 a month job, where they're only going to guarantee me 20 hours a week between three stores. Doesn't seem worth it, somehow.

But that does leave me without any other bites. I'm starting to lose my resolve again.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (bean)
On a more conventional note... I'm looking for work doing things that involve basic chemistry and the plant side of biology, such as water quality and other testing (air, soil, etc). I'd like a summer job at least, and if things work out I might take a semester off school to build up some financial resources. I am falling deeper and deeper into debt, and something has to be done... my mom, bless her heart, countered my moan of "I have no saleable skills, I have to get a McJob" with the suggestion that I get work in my field of study. Um, wait, I've had three semesters of chemistry and one of organismic biology, doesn't that grant some skills? Hmm...

What I'm looking for: basic labwork, sampling, and fieldwork, in the environmental and agronomic fields. What I have to offer: a year and a half of inorganic chemistry with skills in titration, devising and performing simple experiments, and stoichiometry (I can even pronounce it!) and equilibrium calculations. I've done water-quality testing with Delta Diablo Sanitation Plant and volunteered at DOW wetlands. I also have had a semester of biology which focused on evolution, taxonomy, and ecology (as opposed to cellular bio). Oh, and I'm headed into a career in plant pathology, so plant diseases are interesting to me. :)

If you see anything in the East Bay job listings, or know anyone in the field, let me know... I'm based out of Concord, so anything in Contra Costa is great, and anything a half-hour out is workable. I'm guessing that the utilities, the sewage-treatment plants, the park districts, and the Air Board are good places to look, but these jobs crop up in surprising places...
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
I called in this morning to say I wouldn't be coming to work. My stated reason was that I couldn't put my shoes on because my feet hurt too much, which is true enough. It had more to do with the fact that all it would take would be one cranky driver and I'd walk off the four-way, find a quiet corner, and cry hysterically for the next hour. I thought that would be a bad thing.

Long rant about work. )
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
It's going to be another one of those weekends. Work tomorrow (and I have acupuncture scheduled too, which I'm loath to cancel considering my state of health); Nick's family holiday party Saturday afternoon and Gaskell's in the evening; work Sunday. I may not be in to work on Monday, but by Tuesday I expect to be in, scheduled or not.

Which means if I'm going to make and can more soup, do bills, do the last of my holiday shopping, and bake anything, I have today to do it. Whee. I have beans soaking on the stove, since bean soup is the easiest to put together -- much as I want more chicken soup, I'll have to make do with cock-a-leekie and any chicken/wild rice I didn't give to [livejournal.com profile] knaveofhearts. The beef with barley will have to wait until after Christmas, I guess.

I'm not looking forward to work, though I normally do. Saturday is still lingering in my mind, and I'm sure the shoppers will get more dollops of stupid as we get closer to Christmas. I just hope I can get somebody to relieve me before I start screaming at the sixth car in ten minutes that decides that I'm too slow and dashes into cross-traffic.

I'm a little draggy today, must stay focused. At least my neck isn't giving me as much grief as I expected... sleeping on [livejournal.com profile] knaveofhearts' floor was several magnitudes better (and warmer) than if I had slept in the car. Thanks, boyo... I know you feel like leaving me out there wasn't an option, but I'm still grateful. Dealing with me when I'm unable to talk isn't fun or easy, and makes many people uncomfortable if not downright helpless; you handled it quite well.

Now I have to convince my dad that just because I wasn't able to drive home last night does not mean I'm about to keel over and die. I'm okay now. Really.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
I feel like I've had a tetanus shot in both shoulders. The right is worse than the left, no surprise there.

The good news is that it's not as bad as last year. )

God, I love this job. :)

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