Back from vacation

This is my first week back after a 3 week vacation from Jobster.

A lot happened in those 3 weeks.

The time off encompassed both Christmas and New Years, and included the full week before and after each holiday. My wife and I had originally considered trying to travel during this period, but decided the cost to travel to either Denver or Chicago (the respective locations of my wife’s and my parents) was prohibitive. We opted instead to just stay home and enjoy each other’s company, without the stress of travel. That opted to be a wise move, given all the snow storms in Denver that played havoc with flight schedules.

While I didn’t score a Wii Christmas day, I was able to pick one up the following Wednesday at my local Fred Meyer. I’ll see if I can devote a post to that experience in the near future. Suffice it to say, this has been the big hit of the holiday season for both of us.

I had a few goals for the vacation, and while I didn’t accomplish all of them, I did make headway on most. One of those goals was to blog more. I pretty much failed that one (as I pretty much fail at all my blogging-related goals), but the fact that you’re reading this post suggests I at least deserve partial credit. I’m also experimenting on cleaning up the blog itself. It’s an eyesore at the moment, and I want to take more advantage of the amount of my life that’s available online (e.g., delicious links, shared Google Reader stories, etc). I’m slowly making headway here, too.

Another goal was to upload more of our photos to Flickr. I spent the money for a shiny Flickr Pro account months ago, but had been fairly lax in getting any of our photos on it of late. I did make progress on this front over my vacation, and even added a ‘Flickr Badge’ (visible in the sidebar) which provides a fancy overview of my most recent Flickr uploads.

Oh, and Jobster laid off 40% of its staff (over 60 people) while I was gone. This is well-covered in the news and other blogs, but I hope to provide my thoughts on the matter in the near future.

More soon. I promise…

Meet Your Future

meet your futureThat’s Jobster’s new tagline (replacing the longstanding “Great people know great people”), part of a complete rebranding of the site and service. Personally, I find this new slogan just a tad bit morbid, along the lines of the “Visit Alaska Before You Die” ad campaign. But I’m no marketer, so what do I know? Well, I’ll tell you. I know software. And we just shipped a ton of it. This rebrand was part of a pretty significant rollout of new features to the Jobster site. Chief among them is brand-spanking new “social networking” functionality for people to share experiences about what it’s like working at their current and previous jobs. This is a major initiative for us, and an integral part of the overall Jobster story — providing career matches for both employers and jobseekers. We even got a bit of lovin’ from the WSJ on this front.

Unfortunately, even after weeks of bugfixing, a late-night rollout, and some minor firefighting, there’s no rest for the weary. I’m currently pushing hard for our next version, which is humorously being identified as a minor release. It will include one of the most significant feature additions to the Jobster employer service since we launched. I won’t talk too much about it here, but I’m sure you can find a hint or three about it perusing my CEO’s blog.

Update: Phil Bogle, Jobster CTO, has a great overview of the new site features on his blog.

I couldn’t tell you who gave my commencement address, and not just because it happened 9 years ago. But I imagine the 2006 graduates of Knox College won’t quickly forget theirs. I hope the sentiments of that address stick with them as well.

Now will saying “yes” get you in trouble at times? Will saying “yes” lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes.”


I don’t know what’s more ridiculous: CNN’s poll asking if something bad will happen on 6-6-06, or more than 90% answering ‘No’.

One could argue that the poll itself is evidence of the contrary.

I need a new supplier

For years now, Cheryl and I have been taking full advantage of the “buy 7 drinks, get the 8th free” deal being offered at Safeways that wisely feature an embedded Starbucks. Our latest Safeway receipt claims that we’ve enjoyed nearly 40 free espresso drinks as part of this program, but I know for a fact that this counter reset a couple years ago, so I’d guess the total is closer to 60 or higher. These gratis grandes were not achieved accidentally; our enthusiasm for this offer was such that we would happily drive past nearer, non-Safewayed Starbucks to get to the enveloped version down the street. Grocery shopping was frequently an anticipated outing, as the trip was usually capped off with a visit to the baristas slinging java next to the table full of used DVDs for sale. We would frequently anticipate that 8th drink and plunder its depths by ordering a venti, putting on a mild show of delighted surprise when the teller informed us that we could put the plastic away.

Two days ago, however, we received a horrifying announcement in the mail. Safeway sent us a flier with a bold announcement that this deal will be ending June 30. They made a weak attempt to head off our inevitable outrage by including a few coupons for free grande drinks. But this served only to fuel our caffeine-free dismay. No longer will our trips out for bananas, hard lemonade, and bagged salad hold the promise of re-invigoration at 7/8ths the price (prorated).

I still have a month left. I’ll be sure to enjoy every free grande non-fat 3-pump mocha (light whip) as if it were my last…

We’re a single-car family, and I bike and bus to work, so the ever-rising cost of gas doesn’t affect me as much as others. But that doesn’t mean I don’t sympathize with my fellow man:

I fill my car with 50 dollars worth of gas. I drive to the store to buy a 6 dollar bag of beef jerky. It takes me 3 dollars to go 14 miles to buy the jerky. I eat it all before I get home so I must go back to the store to buy more jerky for 6 dollars. Again it costs me 3 dollars in gas. I finish the jerky just as I arrive at home only to get an upset stomach from 1/2 pound of dried beef swelling in my stomach. I now have to spend another 3 dollars in gas to buy a 7 dollar bottle of Rolaids. This 1 hour of my life cost me 28 dollars. With the price of gas these days I think its time to give up on beef jerky. Another pleasure gone due to gas prices.
Joe Stain, Atlanta, Georgia

Nobody wins when Joe has to give up the jerky.

Please Stand By

This blog may be going through some minor changes. I’m going to try some changes to the layout, including adding widget support and possibly fixing some style changes. I’m not an actual web designer, though, so it may be a little choppy for awhile. I’m sure you’ll manage.