Archive for the ‘woof’ Category

I’ve set up a GoFundMe account if you’d like to support over 15 years of jimbo.info without ads or pop-ups. I could use the support in this time of job instability, and here’s your opportunity to say thanks! There are some job opportunities coming up but the first interview isn’t until the 21st, so August might be tough.

Knowing the week of the Fourth of July would be slow on the job front, I scheduled a trip to Portland to visit the friends I made there, and my brother. I planned it during a hot week, thinking there would be respite in the Pacific Northwest. Not so – they’ve been experiencing record temperatures and drought, and it’s really dry there:
Dry Oregon
Brittle lawns would crunch under your footsteps, and the locals were cranky. It was hot, but at least it wasn’t humid. They could use some rain badly though.

I got to go on a nice hike that ended in a dip in a pond, and it was good to be back hiking on the mountain trails:
Hike
The views were fantastic of course:
Mt. Hood
I left Portland about a year and a half ago, and my mind has been kept busy just getting by in DC. I don’t think I thought back on my time in Oregon – I haven’t had the time to think about it. As the plane landed a lot of feelings flooded in that I had been ignoring. It was a lot like visiting an ex that you liked a lot, but it didn’t work out. That said, my friends there say the job market has been improving. It seems I picked the absolute worst time to pack up and move in 2012.

On the fourth I went to the local beach, and made some furry friends:
Furry Friends
Didn’t do much with fireworks. There was a ban on them as it was so dry.

At the end of my trip I visited my brother, who lives up the Columbia Gorge in a small town. We took a hike in Oneota Gorge, which is more of a stream than a trail. It was good to be in the cool stream that hot week:
Oneota Gorge
It was a great trip, and I’m still keeping my eye on the Pacific Northwest.

Hey there – it’s been a while. I’ve been hangin’ out with my beardy bros from the Washington Nationals baseball team.
bearditude
That’s Jayson Werth on the left and Bryce Harper on the right.

In June I went on a hike with a bud to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. It was where lots of ironwork machinery was made during the Civil War. Today lots of people like to go tubing in the summer:
Harper's Ferry
My latest contract ended, the work on a website migration complete. I had no jobs set up so I said “fuck it” and went to Provincetown for 9 days. Normally I’m ready to go home after about 5 days, but the plane ticket price was cheapest for that range of days and my housing was free, so I was there for quite a while. I hit the tail end of the “circuit week” theme days, and my roomates tended to not eat much during that time. But then we segued into “Bear Week” and the fridge was suddenly packed with food.

There were lots of beards. I was partial to the one on the left, for he made good quiche and wore only briefs for much of the time around the house:
Bear Week attendees
I did a lot of sunning on the beach, a nice bike ride, and lots of cocktails at the Boatslip. Bear Week was kind of crazy, and in the future should I go again I will choose a less popular week, despite the amount of fur.

My next trip at the end of July will be to head back to Wisconsin for my 25th class reunion. My brother will have a new garage built and it will be interesting to see what’s been done.

I have mixed feelings about Movember. On the one hand it’s great that people are raising awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer. On the other hand, the “rules” for the event encourage men to start growing a ‘stache from scratch. Unless you are Turkish or a Wookiee, a month’s growth of ‘stache will only result in something cheesy-looking. And ultimately many shave their caterpillars off by the end of the month, which makes me sad. You get much better results shaving down from a fully-grown beard – AND KEEPING THE ‘STACHE FOREVER. Now that’s dedication to a cause.

So I was tickled to see U.S. rugger Seamus Kelly (left) sporting a ‘stache this weekend at the U.S. Eagles vs. New Zealand Māori All Blacks match in Philadelphia. It was a good game – I was expecting the Americans to get crushed but the final score was very close. It was good to go see some live rugby with the Renegades.

STILL LOOKING FOR WORK. Granted it’s only been a month since I got here, and the job application and networking machine is just getting started. But it would be nice to get back to work. Government jobs are not plentiful due to the sequester and, well, simply no budget set, so agencies aren’t willing or even able to open new positions. And from what I’ve been hearing from my former coworkers, the cuts have taken a toll on productivity and morale. They’ve been cutting back for years, despite what you’ve heard in the news, and could use some new blood. Hello, I’m here!

So I’ve been focusing more on contracting firms and nonprofits, who are hiring. I actually had a soft offer for a job that was inaccessible by public transit, so I had to turn it down. There have been opportunities here and there but I’m discovering I’m at an ambiguous point in my career. I’m too experienced for more junior-level communications positions, but don’t feel I have the management experience for senior level jobs in my field either. Shoot low and I have to settle for a low salary. Shoot too high and risk applying for a job I’m underqualified for.

In other news, in the month I’ve been here I’ve set up the house, cleaned up the jungle that was the back deck, got wireless Internets set up and finally got a roommate. It took a while to find one, which is surprising. The last time I looked for the same address I had five people come look at the place in a week, where one offered up two month’s rent up front. This time it was a mere trickle, and many were only marginally interested. The guy I ended up with is a good fit – he’s a long-time resident of the neighborhood who is merely moving from across the street. He’s mellow, likes birding and is a global traveller. He does not have a mustache, which is disappointing.

Weather was crazy here today, making the truck loading a wet business. Seems like some sort of tropical storm remnant that knocked out the power for a few hours today. But the truck is ready:
Oh what a bad machine.
All the nasty blobs on the radar are right along my route. Fortunately it’s kind of a warm rain, and I don’t see any icy conditions on the way over the mountains:
Sept. 29, 2013 weather
That’s about all I got to say. It’s gonna be a long drive. A couple days in Wisconsin with the family if we get there in good time. To keep you busy, here’s woofy Ben Cohen dancing. He’s a little stiff in the waist but can jump and I’m sure he can lift:

Considering the volume of Nike-related SPAM I clean up in the comments section every day, you would think they could have hired me. I have been managing their frikkin’ content for years now.

Moving truck is secured, although I may get another honkin’ 16′ truck, which I learned I don’t need. I had plenty of space on the last trip. This time I opted for a 12′ truck which would be much easier to manage when I get to DC (and driving across country). I emphasized that with the fleet manager on the phone, but may end up with another huge truck. Maybe I’ll pick up pronghorn antelope roadkill to bring in for all the foodies in DC.

It’s already snowing in the Rockies, and I’m a bit concerned about the drive over the pass in Idaho. On my last trip the weather was nearly perfect, although I was driving a few weeks earlier in September. Birds are migrating though, which should make the drive through the ecologically significant prairie pothole region of South Dakota and southern Minnesota more interesting. I hope I don’t get distracted trying to identify all the swans and geese along the way.

My oldest brother, who lives up the Columbia Gorge outside of Portland, is driving with me as far as Wisconsin to visit family. This should be good if I want to extend driving beyond nightfall. Last time I quit driving at sunset for safety purposes since I was alone and was worried about falling asleep at the wheel. On the down side there may be some sibling bickering along the way.
>; )
I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Voice on NBC, but it was always nice to stop by to ogle Adam Levine for a few minutes. But this season he is fully bearded. I may be watching more often:
WOOOOF!

Dingo and his beard

You too can be a hot Daddy like Dingo, so grow a beard!

Longtime readers of jimbo.info may have read my rants and raves about beards in the past. Yep, I like beards. But I realized lately I’ve withheld some opinions I’ve had on the topic for years – mainly on the how and why you should grow one. I’ve felt the subject has been sufficiently covered over at Beards.org, which has been around since the Dawn of the Internet. There you can learn how to grow and groom a beard, and check out people’s success stories at growing their facial fur. There are also tons of additional articles out there on the Internet now that it’s been the trend (at least for the past year or so).

Steven – the tireless and dedicated author/webmaster of Beards.org – offers a nurturing and diplomatic tone on the subject. This is important because despite the current beard trend, a lot of guys are still really reserved about growing one. Friends, coworkers and relatives can be really mean about you growing a beard. That is until they get used to it and you shave it off. Then they complain that you don’t have a beard. I know this from personal experience.

So here’s jimbo’s slightly less sensitive advice on growing a beard from things I’ve heard from people and questions I’ve been asked in the past:

  1. woofIt itches! Waaah! I don’t care. STFU, sit down and listen: it’s a beard you’re trying to grow, not a goddamn patch of violets. Do you think a post-operative transsexual who’s growing a beard for the first time ever thinks about how bad it tickles? NO. He grows one out anyway and has more balls than you with that attitude. Much respect to the bearded trannies out there.

    I understand some people’s beard hairs do curl back in towards the skin and I don’t doubt that it does itch something fierce when you grow it out. But your skin will get used to it over time, and/or the hairs will mellow out with more length (more on that later). They will eventually stop growing back towards the skin, particularly with some conditioner and relaxing agent. Yes, a good beard requires product sometimes but most of all a beard requires patience Patience is the first lesson your beard will teach you.

  2. I can’t grow a beard because of my workplace/lawfirm/office rules. Bullshit. To date no one has produced a document to present to me that proves this. I want to see this in writing. And I’ll bet if the CEO has a beard you would grow one too. But this isn’t about following the herd, this is about AUTHORITY. Namely yours.

    woofCheck with HR. Go through your workplace documents. Ask around. Drop a few hints with management. I’ll bet it’s just you who thinks that. Beards are more acceptable these days and it isn’t the goddamn overshaven 90s anymore. People are staring at your beard in the workplace because your beard is awesome. Just ask Matt Fijko, Corporate Trader about his beard. He says, “You are a man and I think it’s your God given right to grow a beard.” Testify, Matt. This is the second lesson in beardism: your beard is yours. It belongs to no one else. Not your workplace, your friends, your partner, nor your family. A beard requires resolve.

  3. It’s patchy! If you would let it grow beyond three days you might find out that it’s not. Again, patience is a virtue, and you’ll need a lot of it. You might have to grow it out to wooly proportions to see if the look fits. If it doesn’t, then you can trim it back, but by Odin’s Beard please don’t do the corporate stubble and give up after a weekend. It may take a month or two of persistence and learning how to trim it to see if those pesky patches fill in over time. If you can find a reputable barber who’s good with beard trims, they may offer advice. Ask around for good barbers and give it a try after a couple months’ growth. And barbers who are good with beard trims are usually good at giving you manly haircuts like this guy, so it’s a win/win.
  4. Grizzly JimboIt’s grey! So what!? Maybe you waited too long to grow one out before it got grey, but it’s not too late. You don’t have to rely on Just For Men like some people we know either. This is a beard, not this summer’s hot horizontal-striped tank top fashion. It’s gonna be with you and it’s going to age with you too. OWN IT ALL. Even the grey.

    Hair coloring can look odd and sometimes obvious in direct sunlight, but that’s usually when men choose too dark of a color to apply. And like my mom says about body modifications and hair coloring, “If it’s obvious, you shouldn’t have done it.” If you must color your beard, keep in mind beards are frequently a different color than the hair on your head. When I grew beard out really long I was surprised to find it was almost auburn. The hair on my head is sandy brown.

    The other option is to snip those grey hairs until there are too many to keep up with. Or just let it go grey. Some people find that really attractive.

  5. It’s going out of fashion. I don’t care. I’ll admit the beard thing has been big in 2012/2013 and is probably on the way out, but trends linger for a time and so can your beard. Plus, now is the time to do it since it is still somewhat cool. Then again, you shouldn’t give a fuck as to whether it’s fashionable or not because it’s your beard. But whatever you do, please don’t get a beard implant. I love you the way you are, even without a beard.
  6. Ginge, with 'stacheI don’t know how to trim it. Again, check with Beards.org on how to trim it or just do a search on YouTube for a how-to video. Then invest in a decent trimmer. You can get cheap starter trimmers at the pharmacy. I ordered a turbo trimmer from Wahl that my beard barber approves of. Sometimes I trim at home, sometimes I trust the barber do it. But trust in the trimmer. Yes, that’s the final lesson your beard will teach you. You must learn to trust your hand, your beard, or the barber.

A Special Note About Mustaches: Movember is coming up soon and I know it’s cool to try and grow a cheesy ‘stache from scratch for a cause, but that’s not how you do it if you want a decent mustache. To get an epic ‘stache you should grow the full beard out as long as you can stand it. This may take months and a lot of persistence and resolve. Then you trim gradually and carefully down to the mustache. Mustaches are good for those of you who honestly have a patchy beard. And they can look good and are definitely “in” right now. But I will admit that not everyone looks good with a ‘stache but I would still like you to try.

So there you have it. Growing a beard will not only make you hot as a beetle on a sand dune, but will also teach you the virtues of patience, resolve, individuality and trust.

I woke up the other day and realized I hadn’t picked on BrettCajun in a while. There was an emptiness in my soul for having neglected Darth Sugarbakker for so long. Then I went back to bed and slept in until 11 or so because I had been playing Civilization V so late the night before.

Anyway, I’ve been keeping busy. As I fast approach the date at which I arrived in Portland, I’ve tapered down the job applications around here. There were a slew that I applied to a few weeks ago where I actually have contacts in the places where the job is, so we’ll see. But I’m not holding my breath, and have applied to some jobs back in DC. Around here familiarity trumps experience and Portland businesses hire who they know, not for what they know. That and the economy still stinks here.

Anyway, me and the househosts went to see hunky Matt Alber perform outdoors earlier this month. He was really good and was all hairy and sweaty in the summer heat, which was an added plus to the performance.

My garden plot is doing well but dry as a bone in the rainless Portland summer. I water the plants frequently:

My mom got me a wildlife camera for Christmas but I hadn’t used it since then. I finally got around to putting batteries and a memory card in it and put it outside for a test run:
CritterCam
I had recently spotted a baby raccoon out back and hoped to capture a photo of it walking on the fence. Or maybe get a pic of one of the pretty Steller’s Jays I see around here. But all I got was this stalker, who couldn’t even be bothered to stalk properly as he was caught on CritterCam taking a selfie of himself. Of course:

If there’s a camera and the potential for more Internet fame, she’s in front of the lens.

Mother of DragonsWhen everybody was talking about the shocking Game of Thrones finale I had no idea what people were talking about. And considering my geek cred, I was ashamed. Many of my nerdy kin had been talking about the series for the past few years, but while I was in DC we had cheap cable that didn’t have HBO. I’m catching up on the series but I’m way behind on True Blood as well. I’m a few episodes away from the finale, and another season is on the way. I’m officially a fan.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, it’s an addictive series that follows the intrigues and fighting between royal families to gain control of the Iron Throne. It’s basically a violent medieval soap opera. There aren’t many overt displays of magic in the first season but by the third season arcane displays and scary monsters have started to pop up here and there and promise to become more of a factor in future episodes.

More important is the amazing cast, many of whom play woofy, bearded characters. So here is Khaleesi‘s picks for the top 5 Game of Thrones hotties who may share the Iron Throne when she brings her dragons to conquer King’s Landing:

Robb StarkRobb Stark is a pretty dreamboat with auburn highlights in his wavy hair. An obvious choice as he’s just and handsome and from a good family but I hear he’s not long for the world…

Renly BaratheonRenly Baratheon is another appropriate suitor – he looks good in a funky crown and armor, and has a nice beard. And he’s a known sword swallower too. But he lets his boyfriend shave his chest is vulnerable to shadow assassin attacks.

GrennGrenn is a ginger. That’s all Khaleesi really needs. Built like a linebacker and likes the cold. He’s loyal to his friends but a bit dim. Probably couldn’t handle the court intrigue at King’s Landing.

TormundHowabout a crazed ginger? Tormund also likes the cold and has an epic beard. But don’t go ice climbing with him. He’s a loose cannon.

That leaves us with a minor character Anguy the Archer. Good with a bow, nice beard, dreamy eyes. So far he’s still alive, but we probably won’t see much of him in future episodes but Khaleesi doesn’t care:
Anguy the Archer
In other news, no word from the Dept. of Forestry job in two weeks, which doesn’t bode well. I’ve had a ton of informational interviews and more on the way, and some strategic placement of my resumes here and there (we hope). The summer in Portland has been as fantastic as promised, with clear blue skies for weeks. I need to go camping soon while it’s nice, but have a few trips planned which I hope to share later.

Earlier this week Darth Jersey alerted me to my actor doppelgänger, woofy Canadian actor Geoff Gustafson. He was on a recent episode of Cult (which I’ve never watched) and was in Hot Tub Time Machine, a film with a ridiculous premise but was oddly endearing. I am flattered by Darth Jersey’s comparison but that doesn’t forgive the fact that he routinely kicks my butt at Words With Friends. I hear tell there are apps that will maximize your word strategy with the game and I often wonder…

In other doppelgänger news, I may go on a date soon with a guy who looks disturbingly like Durban Bud. I mean, he even purses his lips in all his profile photos. But of course I would never go on a date with a BrettCajun doppelgänger. Eeew…

I had a busy week starting my volunteer job. It’s only two afternoons a week but after six months of casually going out for coffee after waking up at 11am it’s a bit of an adjustment. We already had a violent “incident” there while I was working. Nobody was hurt but it was disturbing. I have encountered bouts of rage during rugby matches but when that happens during play you’re all kind of riled up at the same level of aggression so it doesn’t seem so bad during play. But when you’re sitting there answering phone calls and somebody flips out it’s another thing. I’ve already taken bloodborne pathogen training, and will soon get training in “de-escalation” for similar incidents, and training in identifying potential overdose patients. It is certainly unlike anything I’ve done before.

And I had a phone interview with a recruiter from a major outdoor clothing line in Portland. It seemed to go well and the recruiter and I chatted for a long time. By now I have a lot of interview questions down pat and did a lot of studying in advance. It’s a job I’d really be well suited for and am eager to hear back from them.

I had applied for that job independent of any contacts or leads, but later corresponded with two people who helped get my application on somebody’s desk at that company. Thank you loyal blog readers and you know who you are. Contacts are key, especially in a market where recruiters are getting hundreds of applicants. Earlier this spring I was chatting with a friend who was also looking for work who had been seeing a career coach. His coach confirmed the importance of leads and contacts over cold applications. He said something like 80% of jobs are found through networking so spend 80% of your time doing that and only 20% of your time responding to ads. And aggressively expand your contact list. It is essential to keep assembling your comprehensive list of acquaintances from all current and past associations. Do not leave anybody out. Through the graces of another blog reader I’ve also got some good leads from the Seattle area as well, and have been following up on those too.

But after three weeks I still haven’t heard a peep from the city job where I interviewed in person. This is the second instance in this region where an organization has invited me in their offices for an in-person interview where I never hear from them again, even after following up with brief messages of continued interest. I understand and am getting used to non-responses from initial online or email applications, but when you invite me into your house for a chat I expect a little more interaction later on. I don’t think it’s that I’m awful and abhorrent in the interviews either. I will remember this when I am on an interview committee and in charge of follow-up. Even if it’s disappointing news, it’s good to hear back from an interview committee. And it doesn’t take that long to get back to the eight people you spoke with for an hour each, no matter how busy you are.

I wonder if this behavior is part of what is interpreted as passive-aggressive in the Pacific Northwest. Rather than potentially disappoint someone, people here simply cease communication. That’s interpreted as Pacific Northwest Passive-Aggressive, but I call it conflict avoidance. People here don’t seem to know how to negotiate conflict, and/or are afraid to disappoint anyone. Sometimes people get disappointed, and that’s a part of life. It’s called communication.

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Because U.S. viewers have no attention span and no knowledge of Kate Bush, this Kate Bush-inspired segment was cut from NBC’s broadcast of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. Yeah it was some wierd-ass interpretive shit but I liked it. If it wasn’t for the magic of the Internets I wouldn’t have known it was part of the ceremony. Follow the link above to view it, I can’t find or embed the video of the segment because the IOC nazis will hunt me down and find me. And for the record: NBC Olympic coverage sucked donkey dick.

The Spice Girls reunited to perform and they were big fun. I was expecting more from Take That, but where the hell was Robbie Williams? And where was Duran Duran and Erasure? Why? These questions plague my thoughts on a daily basis.

So who was Jimbo’s 2012 Olympics Gold Medal Woofer? It was a really tough call this year. I mean Phelps did a great job breaking the all time medal record and all that, but he is not technically “woofy” – only occasionally “adorkable” and that is not enough to qualify in my heat. And what about Chilean gymnast Tomás Enrique González Sepúlveda and his irresistible ‘stache/wink/wave combo?

Who can top that? Wait – don’t answer that…

Or howabout British long jump gold medalist and SuperGinge Greg Rutherford?

Again, it was a tough choice but the 2012 gold medal for woofiness must go to American swimmer Nick Thoman for overall beardiness, willingness to experiment with the ‘stache, and a deep voice that will hold my interest for decades to come:
woofwoof
woofwoof