Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Yep, still temp
That no-cost extension came through! So I have a job until June 30. After that, who knows??
My summer travel plans appear to be coming into focus. I have tickets for trips to San Jose, for Netroots Nation (June 19-23), and to Philadelphia, for the annual SABR convention (July 27-August 4). The latter trip will also include a visit with my brother and probably a trip to upstate New York to see my aunt.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
The job I mentioned last time is wrapping up this coming week.
Or maybe it isn’t.
The latter proposition seems to be more probable, but I still haven’t heard anything definitive. All indications point to obtaining a no-cost extension of the grant, but until it’s there in black-and-white we can’t be certain. We have verbal/email assurances that the extension will come through, but that’s not enough.
“No-cost”, by the way, refers to money (not) coming from the federal government to support the grant that had been awarded a while back. The agency where I’m working has underspent on the project, so they’re fine with getting no more money from the feds after April 30 ... the money already received, but not yet spent, can support staff for another couple of months. If, that is, the feds allow the work to continue beyond the original endpoint.
It seems like a no-brainer. Without having to spend another penny, the feds will get much more product (data displays on nearly three times as many indicators) at the minimal (non-financial) cost of waiting a few weeks longer to wrap it all up. But the wheels of bureaucracy run slowly. Logic doesn’t always carry the day. And even when it does, the process of dotting Is and crossing Ts takes a long, long time. Besides, the sequester just might be leading to cutbacks in the ranks of bureaucrats who do all that I-dotting and T-crossing.
Bottom line is that I’m fairly sure that I’ll still be working after Tuesday, but it isn’t a sure thing. Maybe I’ll have to skip a day or three at the beginning of May, but I’d really prefer to know my status before the month turns.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
In my last post, I mentioned that I had two job interviews in the offing. Alas, it looks like neither of them panned out. In one of them, the non-fit between the position and the applicant was so obvious that the second half of the interview was “postponed”. I’m not waiting breathlessly for it to be rescheduled.
A couple of weeks ago, however, I received a surprise phone call from one of the places where I’d interviewed (unsuccessfully) a while back. They had a short-term opportunity, and they wanted me to take it!
This offer was quite unusual. The position hadn’t been advertised, so they needed to obtain a waiver of all sorts of hiring requirements (EEOC and such) and procedures. Once those hurdles were overcome, I was hired. I just finished my first week on the job.
There’s a catch, of course ... a big catch. The position is certain to exist only until April 30. There’s a small chance, if the granting organization permits it, that it could be extended until early summer. But no farther. As a temp job, it carries no benefits. And if there’s a permanent opening with the same agency, I’d have to go through the standard new-hire process ... it could not be thought of as an “internal transfer”.
Still, it’s good that I’ll have a paycheck, however briefly. Even though I have to answer to an alarm clock again, it’s good to re-establish a workaday rhythm to my days. I’ll have a few new skills to add to my resume when looking for something in the long term. And I may have additional potential sources for future letters of recommendation.
Does this bode well for the future? I think so, though (as always) time will tell.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
A few tidbits about stuff that I’ve been involved with lately:
- You can read my report (profusely illustrated) about my day as a participant in the Electoral College in my DailyKos diary. I wrote a shorter version on HorsesAss. The latter drew more comments from readers.
- Did I mention that I’m unemployed? Things didn’t look good for quite some time, but I have two interviews coming up within the next week. Wish me luck!
- Soon after those interviews, I’m going to attend the SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix. I’m a bit skeptical about the flood of data we’ve seen in the last few years—lots of data points in lots of variables and meta-variables don’t necessarily constitute meaningful information—but maybe I can be convinced otherwise. Besides, I might be able to see some Cactus League games while in Arizona.
- Making plans for a couple of potential summer trips.
- The SABR convention is a sure thing. It’s not only that it’ll be in Philadelphia this year (July 31 - August 4), and it’s not only that I’ll be able to add Citizens Bank Park to my life list (and make Philly the second city in which I’ve seen ballgames in three different ballparks). It’s that I’ve attended every convention since 1990. SABR43 will be my 24th consecutive national meeting. That doesn’t make me Cal Ripken, not by a long shot, but it’s still an unmissable event for me.
- Whether I go to Netroots Nation (June 20 - 23) this year may depend on my employment status. This year it’s in San Jose, so travel won’t be a problem. And I have a fairly good string of appearances there as well, missing only the 2007 edition in Chicago (because it conflicted with the SABR convention). So I hope I’ll get to go to NN13, but it could fall victim to circumstance. Unlike SABR.
- Been seeing a number of plays at the Paramount. Book of Mormon and War Horse come to mind. The former wasn’t as sacrilegious as I’d hoped, though it certainly was more than lewd and obscene (that’s not a negative critique). The latter was superb! A story of depth, evocative puppetry, splendid acting, brilliantly staged. I didn’t see the Spielberg flick, but those who saw both the movie and the play were unanimous that it was incomparably better on the stage.
- Also seeing a good bit of the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. We have tix for both a Baroque series and a Mozart series. Having an oboist for a nephew has greatly enlarged my exposure to classical music.
Monday, January 07, 2013
Last Wednesday, this rarely-updated, rarely-read blog celebrated its tenth anniversary.
That’s right ... Peace Tree Farm has been around, not being updated very often and not being read by very many people, since January 2, 2003. When I started writing here,
- the space shuttle Columbia was being prepared for what would be its final flight
- Secretary of State Colin Powell had not yet delivered his
pack of lies false justificationUN Security Council speech in preparation for the invasion of Iraq
- no one on Earth knew that there was a SARS virus, much less that it would soon spread worldwide and kill nearly 1000 people
- shock and awe had not yet begun the destruction of Baghdad and Iraq
- Maurice Gibb, Bill Mauldin, Nell Carter, Walt Rostow, Fred Rogers, Rachel Corrie, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan were alive
And that’s just the first three months since the start of Peace Tree Farm.
Oh, in case you’re looking for something to mark this occasion, the traditional 10th anniversary gift is tin. As in “tin for ten”, perhaps? Modernists might consider another metallic element, aluminum.