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.

Jobster R10

Yesterday at Jobster, we rolled out our biggest release since our public launch a year ago. As I mentioned in a previous post, most of the work I was involved in is only available to our paying customers, so (conveniently?) I can’t provide links to stuff I worked on directly.

That isn’t to say that I’m not excited about the stuff I can show you. Our front page was given a new look, and we we’re now including the “Jobster Live” view of real-time job searches on our main page. You can see the jobs and locations people are searching in real time, accompanied by a cool animation of the search and its results. Those little animations are clickable now, too!

We also introduced a neat “trends” page that shows how various search types and locations are changing in popularity, akin to Google’s Zeitgest page. Cool stuff!


Normally, I hate surfing the Internet on April Fool’s Day. Most site authors have an over-inflated view of their own cleverness. Most of the “fake” news stories aren’t funny, and it just distracts from the real content.

But I found the SQL on Rails site brilliant. There’s not a lot there, but the taglines and web 2.0-y touches are worth the price of the click.

If you enjoyed this, you’ll probably also want to check out the latest thinking in software development methodolgies as well. Document-driven documentation, indeed.

Typepad and Jobster

I’m really excited about some of the areas Jobster is exploring in its attempt to match the right candidate for the right job.

For a year now, one of our key job advertising features has been based around targeted emails. For example, a recruiter will send email through Jobster to some of their contacts (say, other employees at their company) about an opportunity they’re trying to find candidates for. These recipients can, in turn, send these opportunities on to their own contacts, and so on. While this has been very successful for us in discovering otherwise hard-to-find prospects for our customers, it’s by no means the only tool we want to rely on for finding qualified professionals.

Today, Jobster announced another initiative along these lines. We’re partnering with Six Apart and their Typepad service, allowing typepad bloggers to add a sidebar that lists available jobs relevant to the blog, including an optional search box. As my CEO points out,

…in this day and age, that great web services developer (for instance) is more likely to be reading a blog on a topic like “ruby on rails” than they are to be searching on a job board on a given day, so we need to get our jobs where they are.

Plus, we’re giving away a year’s worth of Typead service to 400 lucky bloggers.

The best part for me is that this is just our first small step into the distributed job advertising arena. Email campaigns got us off the ground, but exploring opportunities like these, I believe, will allow Jobster to make a real difference in this market on a much broader scale.

Edit: Thanks, Joe, for pointing out the typo 🙂

Out of Hibernation

No, this isn’t another post about my 2nd favorite Java project.

This is my first post in 3 months. Not a good trend, obviously. But I’ve been busy. Very busy. At Jobster, I’ve been working on a major upgrade to our recruiter application that rolls out tonight. It’s the biggest release we’ve had since our launch a year ago. I personally have been working on this release for six months now, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished. Unfortunately, unless you’re a paying customer of Jobster, you won’t actually get to see first hand the bits I’ve been working on, though the awesome folks working on our corporate site have created a 4-minute demo you can watch.

I have grand visions of making more updates to this site in the near future. I just upgraded my wordpress installation from 1.5 to 2.0, and I’d like to explore some of the new features (as well as cleaning up the design of this site a bit, emulating my buddy zalm as much as possible). I’m already liking its new editor. And there’s plenty of topics I’m itching to write about, if I can only find the time.

Until then, watch this space. I haven’t actually abandoned it yet.

More Cowbell

More CowbellI got a fever with but one remedy

My wife often laments at not knowing what to get me for (Christmas|my birthday|our anniversary). Apparently I’m a hard one to gift for. Well, here’s one idea: I like T-shirts (warning: some potty humor). I especially like cowbells, Missouri, Pedro, and Jesus.

Thanks to hatboy for the link.


It’s like 30 in its prime.