Ohio EZ Pass

I received my E-ZPass last week.  For years I have been taking the TOL to CLE trip twice a week over I-80/I-90 turnpike.  Each way was $4.00.

Starting tomorrow, the same trip will cost me $4.25 if I did not purchase the E-ZPass transponder.  The unit itself was initially $25.  Of that, $22 of it was available for tolls.  There is a $.75 monthly fee for record keeping.

The unit itself is about the size of a pack of playing cards and attaches to the windshield next to the mirror below the painted visor.  After installing, I kept looking at it, but I think that will fade in time once I get used to it.  The package also includes a grey static bag for storage when you don’t want to use it.  The bag claims that it will stop the tollgate from picking up the signal when you drive through.

The next scheduled rate increase will be in 2012.

Unemployment update

An update on my unemployment status…yes, I am still unemployed.

I received word from unemployment this morning that my unemployment determination has been approved due to “lack of work” and I will receive my payments for the next 45 weeks.  I am also receiving a $25 extra payment (I guess that’s part of the stimulus package??) each week.

I also received that last of my pay from my former employer and am 100% settled with them.

I have 62 resumes submitted and am active daily on careerbuilder.com, monster.com, etc.

Review: Superman Batman: Public Enemies (DVD)

I was lucky enough to get a preview of the SUPERMAN BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES DVD. (SPOILER WARNING)

Freakin’ Awesome!  I loved the storyline of Lex Luthor becoming the President (charismatic speaker…plausible) and the subsequent battle of “heroes”.  The banter between Superman and Batman seemed appropriate and the surprise appearance of characters from the DC Universe was welcoming.  I wondered for a moment why there was no appearance by Wonder Woman, The Flash, or Green Lantern – then I remembered that they are in their own DVD adventures (never explained in story).

The animation was top notch, and the voices fit the characters.  Having Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy reprise their voice talent as Superman and Batman.  One thing I love is watching animation and hearing famous voices and trying to figure out who the actors are.  After the movie, I checked the internet to see how I did and was pleasantly surprised.

I would have liked to have seen a longer feature, but the story moved along at a good pace.

If they were to make a live action Superman/Batman feature, I believe they should look in this direction as it provided action, comedy, and enough chances for guest stars as super heroes/villains. (that alone would get the ticket sales up from the geek audience).

I would highly recommend this movie.

Cleveland Browns (Quarterback Controversy)??

The Cleveland Browns.  I’ve been a fan since I was a little “Kardiac Kid”.  Growing up in Cleveland, its hard not to be a fan.  Even with the perceived “curse” on the city with all of its sports franchises, you learn to back the teams.  Always live with hope…

They never fail to disappoint.

Obviously there is now a “Quarterback Controversy” and there will be countless polls on television.  The problem is that the quarterback position was always in flux and neither quarterback took any chances in fear that they would lose the job if/when they failed.  So they did exactly that – and failed.

It was pretty  obvious that Brady Quinn was going to be named starting QB this year.  Why spend all that money for him years ago and not use him.  He just couldn’t live up to all that hype. Derek Anderson didn’t have a chance.  Or did he?  Waiting for Brady to either 1) play it safe and not succeed or 2) get injured.

…and despite this, I am still a Brown’s fan.

Thursday report

A little sore from last nights hike.  We went a little off the trail and took a few extra laps around.  I think we did close to 6 miles – nothing too long, but we kept a fast pace.  I made a mistake and wore my running shoes – still not worn in.  So blisters in the a.m.

I got a lead this morning on some work out of town.  It is some cash-flow.

I have a telephone interview this afternoon.  Don’t know where this may lead, but its a step in the right direction.
I realized what I need is a spec sheet with my abilities, not unlike a resume, but with specific stories that I can refer to to highlight themes such as *teamwork *mentoring *profitability etc.

I also realize just how much out of practice I am with talking about myself.  I don’t really like doing that – it doesn’t feel right.  Boastful?  whatever…

Monday Ramblings

Overcast morning.  Its been a morning of cleaning up the day’s paperwork – checking the job boards, paying bills, and getting yesterday’s newspaper into the recycling bin.  It rained overnight and it is really muggy right now.

Listening to Opie and Anthony on XM 202 as I prep for my day.

No definite leads on the job front today, but I’m still remaining positive.  I know something good is coming.  In the mean time, I am working on the prep work for Project #2 for Type B Creative Projects Group.

I really need to get motivated to get out and about today.  I need to pick up a can of auto paint to touch up the tub and some soda.  I found a can of auto touch up paint that matches the tub perfect.  It took 4 coats to cover and now I just need the gloss topcoat to put the shine on things.  So much better – and solid than previous.

I also picked up the mail – last (?) paycheck arrived in the mail.  Still unsure whether I’m getting the last of my vacation time paid.

Before I knew it – its baring down on 3:00 p.m.  Where did the day go?  I swear I got caught up in some hyper-time bubble and sped up through the day.

I also found a new theme for the website.  It’s called “retro” – any thoughts?

Sunday Ramblings

Today’s been a good day so far.  It was a bit chilly overnight, but that made for good sleeping weather.  That also means that autumn (and winter) aren’t too far away.

Sunday paper, spinach omelet, and black coffee while “Meet the Press” is how I spent the morning before checking my players for today’s fantasy football games.  The employment classifieds were all of two pages (longer than in the past) which made my stomach drop a little, but I know things will get better.  I got my job alerts from monster.com, yahoo, and careerbuilder this morning – but it was the same jobs; collections, insurance sales, and car sales – not exactly career leaps, but that’s what is out there.  I submitted my unemployment claim for the week and settled down to catch up on the weekly news.  I’ve gotten to reading the Sunday newspaper cover to cover.  The Toledo Blade is a bit biased, but I’m not giving up on the written word.

NFL pregame at Noon.  I’m waiting to see a Cleveland football game on Toledo television.  My 1:00pm choices Cincinnati vs. Green Bay OR Detroit vs. Minnesota.  Let’s hope for better choices at 4:00 pm.

4:00 pm and the Cincinnati game is still on.  It looks like the Bengals are going to win with 1:24 left in the 4thQ.  I’m pretty impressed with the Packers.  It was exciting all the way to the end.  While most games are pretty decisive well before the clock running out – it was down to the final minute.  Nice.

I’m prepping for a 5:30 Type B Creative Productions meet-up tonight.  It’s a Brainstorming Session.  I look forward to these meetings.

Just as I was walking out the doors for the meeting, the Browns game was on.  CLE up 3 over DEN.  As much as I hate to leave – I have to go.


Back from the meetup.  I guess the Browns lost.  I am shocked. ::rolls eyes::

The meet-up tonight was VERY productive.  It wasn’t scheduled as a topic -related meeting, but we ended up working through some processes to create structure.  In the end, very good things are in development.

On the way home, I picked up my mail – I have my EZ Pass transponder and my mortgage bills.  Yea…

I wrapped up the night watching the Emmy’s, eating chicken soup, and working on a plan for Type B CPG Project #2.

Friday morning post (clean house)

Friday morning post.  It has been one week since I was laid off.  No calls yet from any prospective employers – all the phone calls are from magazine telemarketers asking if I want to renew my subscription to READER’S DIGEST (don’t ask).

I got a call yesterday from an old coworker, and he asked how I was doing.  The response – “Well, I haven’t got to the point where I’m sitting in my garage with the engine running.” Clearly a joke…

To help clear my head, today’s going to be a “clean house” day.  I need to clean this place top to bottom.  Everything is getting vacuumed, dusted, and scrubbed down.

Thursday report

Last night’s hike really made sleeping easy.  I didn’t have a problem falling asleep at all.  It’s slightly chilly this morning, and the cool crisp air is a welcome way to air out the house before I have to close it up for the winter.  Its sunny and a cloudless sky – beautiful day.  I should clean out the car this morning…

The obvious Opie and Anthony in the morning (XM202) while I go through and make a list of job postings for the day.

Laid off… 9-11-09

I was laid off this week.  The contractor I work for didn’t get the contract we were hoping to get, so cuts needed to be made.  Unfortunately I was in the line of fire.  I found out on 09-11-09.

I’m still in a bit of shock about things – thought I was going to survive a bit longer, but these things happen.  I got home Friday night, signed up for unemployment and brought up my resume for distribution.

I was lucky and made a series of networking connections over the last couple years onsite.  So Monday morning, I start sending out resumes and Thank You letters to get people thinking about me.

The hardest thing I need to overcome right now is the depression that I know will bubble up.  While I need to remain positive about things, that little negative voice in the back of my head will drone on about how I’m going to lose everything and end up living in a storage container by the docks (my version of living in a van down by the river).

I think the best thing is to get out and talk with people.  That’s the thing I didn’t do last time.  Every day I woke up and spent time alone with my thoughts – that was a BIG mistake.  I joined a couple of meetup.com groups to make new friends and get out of my place.

The Toledo New Friends/New in Town Group (http://newintown.meetup.com/645/)

Type B Creative Production Group (http://www.meetup.com/typebcpg/)

This (unfortunately?) also gives me a chance to get some of the DIY things around the condo done:

  • fix the bathtub.  There’s a crack on the floor of the tub.  Checking for structure, I found out that there is done.  When they installed the tub either they didn’t put any kind of structure underneath, or it has loosened since 1985.  There is a nice 6″ crack on the fiberglass.  I thought about replacing the tub but since it’s a spa tub, not in the budget.  So today I drilled a few holes in the bottom of the tub where I will inject spray foam to fill the void and give me some sort of backing.  Then I will get some fiberglass repair material and fix it properly.
  • DVD shelving.  It’s time to round the corner and get a full-sized shelving unit.  The “new” design should hold 500 cases.  I should be good for a while and it will free up some space in the other shelves.
  • Ceiling in great room.  Needs to be sanded, primed, and painted.  Easy enough – with a tall tall ladder it will be.
  • Second bedroom.  I haven’t done anything here other than scrape the ceiling of popcorn mess.  I need to paint the walls, trim, and ceiling.
  • Bunkbed Project.  I need to lightly sand and put another coat of poly but that should wrap up the prep.  I can then assemble it in the second bedroom.

I’m sure I will be writing a lot more.  I think getting all of this out in the open will stop “the hamsters” from running away with it in my head. =)

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