Friday, June 26, 2015

as the kitty turns...

over and lays his paws on my laptop... it is hard when to type when I have a very enthusiastic "helper" who does not understand that cat paws also can use the touch-screen...sigh.


Anyway...Life has been going on and on. 

I was given the opportunity to teach this summer, one class of BIO 112 (General Biology II - for majors).   It has been fun.  The class started with five students and is down to four.  We went out on a field trip on Wednesday to collect samples from the sound-side of one of the barrier islands down here.  I love the barrier islands and think they are really neat how they shift and change...I will not get on my soapbox about how we should not be building on them, etc.  Anyway - there were so many people out there - I usually go at non-peak times, like, March and October/November and the number of people just sunbathing and hanging out at the water was a bit of a surprise. 

All went better than I had hoped and we got so see some cool blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and some neat fish - including a small (~1.5 inch) puffer fish (Northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus), a pampano (I think it is Trachinotus carolinus, but it could be an African pampano)...and some pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides).  I guess the puffers from around here are not nearly as toxic with tetrodotoxin as those around Japan.

As I said, we also caught some blue crabs ...one of my favorite species for identification (easy-peasy to ID).  We found a male that someone had ripped off his claws and many of his walking legs and (I sure hope he survived) and then later we caught a big female with claws intact.  These guys are neat because they are sexually dimorphic, so we could tell that one was male and the other female.  

   Image from theblondcook.com

One of my students gave up her hat to catch her - she didn't let go of the hat until she was back in the water! I am just glad it wasn't my fingers.  I was pinched by some smaller blue crabs and stuck in the finger by the rostrum of a shrimp (Farfantepenaeus spp.) that we caught...all-in-all, it was a good day.  There are days I can't believe they pay me to do what I do.  So...we brought the puffer, the pompano, and three pinfish back to the aquarium at school.  I am hoping they are still alive on Monday when we go back.  We removed the bully of a mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus, a.k.a. mud minnow) and it is now living at the Aquaculture facility on campus.

I don't think I want to try to take 32 students out on a field trip next time, though...I am not sure what to do because I really think it was a good experience to see the species in the wild and see how we can catch them, etc. Maybe by splitting the class into two groups and taking only16 at a time...with more supervisory people? I will see what I can do.  I don't know if 16 would be manageable, either...we shall see.

So,  I have received more "'thanks but no thanks" from places.  I have also applied to a FT position at the Brunswick CC, where I am working now.  I have high hopes and crossed fingers, but it has only been ~1.5 weeks since they opened the position.  They posted it on Tuesday night, I turned in my application on Wednesday morning. Nothing like jumping on that quickly.  It was hinted at by two higher-ups that the job would be posted soon (before it was) and that I should be on the look-out for it...I was.  I have not heard about interviews, yet, but hope that it will be soon.  The start-date is expected to be on August 10th.  Fingers crossed.

AND! Today the Supreme Court ruled to recognize marriages for all.  I am so happy that we no longer need to spend (literally) thousands of dollars to get the same rights as my siblings have since they got married.  We had to get legal papers that would allow each other to make medical decisions, to be able to visit each other in the hospital, etc.  The same rights that my siblings had when they got married - by spending as little as $80 ($90, if you wanted the certified copy of the certificate, which we did) in the State of NC and going to a JP.  We had to spend the money twice: once in Ohio, and once in NC...if we had been able to get legally married, we would not have had to spend the thousands of dollars the first time... So, if we move, we should not have to spend the thousands again!  We are now legally married in all 50 States, and DC!  I am so happy, I cannot contain myself...This does not mean that I am protected at my job...this is still an "at-will" state and for whatever reason, someone decides that they don't want me to teach, they do not have to renew my contract and they do not have to tell me why (as far as I know)...Scary.

So...time to celebrate and then get back to the fun of doing my job...There are also times I don't think they pay me enough...but that is not as often. :)

Peace

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Follow up to the follow up of the car drama

OK.  So, last night I went to move the Honda a bit...The clutch went to the floor and did not come back up and the car jumped, even when standing on the brake.

OK, so this morning, I went out and put it in neutral and gave it a shot...same response from the clutch. Put the car in neutral and it started right on up, no problem (yay!) and then I tried to put in the clutch and put it in gear.  Not an option.  The suggestion is that it is either 1) the clutch slave cylinder, 2) the clutch master cylinder, or 3) some leaky tubes.  Worst-case should be ~$200.00.  Sigh.

We had an appointment this morning.  We took the Saturn, and ran a couple of errands no problem.

We came home and I called AAA to pick up the Honda.  The guy came and got it - I helped and literally burned (complete with two blisters) my fingers on the steering wheel.


OK.  I had just finished the third of three books from the library and we got a call to tell me that a fourth one just came in! 

I decided to head over the library and return the read ones and get the new one.  I put the Saturn in reverse and backed off the concrete pad and then went to put it in gear, and head out, and the clutch is dead "floppy" again, like the bushing went out again.  I called the car-place and they said tow it in.  I kinda lost it...we are stranded and we can't get either one when they finish them...I am frustrated by all that is happening...

I eventually calmed down and decided that it can be towed in the morning and I can go with it and then come back with one, whichever one is finished first.  I know the library is not too far from the car repair place and I will go with the driver and the car, and then go to the library and wait.  I guess I can take my laptop, etc. - I need to develop an exam for Monday.

I am *so* over the cars, but I am not willing to give up having one...We already decided that it is not worth replacing the AC in the Saturn, because the Honda still has working AC.  But we hope that they keep on running.

Eventually we will have to put them down/let them go, but we are still allowing them to limp along...sigh.  We have been eyeballing some "new" cars and we have decided that we want a station wagon-like vehicle - that will allow us to haul things (recycling, cats, items we like that are big and bulky and don't fit in the current cars).  We liked the Subaru Outback and that is $34,000+ and that is WAY more than we want to pay!  After seeing that, we kinda shut down the search. 

Some day...some day...

Peace.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

follow up to the job interview...

Well, seeing as I have not heard from the school, I am assuming that I didn't get a call back for a second interview...alas. 

How can I change what I am doing? What am I doing wrong. 

I am thinking that I will contact the last two places and ask for suggestions as to how I can improve what I am doing.  I am *SO* frustrated. 

I have been keeping up the positive attitude and thoughts for *SO* long that I just don't know what else to do, besides give up and look for a job not in the teaching-field - And who knows if that will be any better...grrrr.

Sigh.

Peace.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Job Interview...

So...On Thursday, I kicked some fanny and submitted all the grades necessary to be done with both colleges.  We then picked up a rental car (at about 6:30 a.m.), parked our car at one of the colleges, and headed up to central Virginia.  We got there with time to spare (yay!) and then we were able to check into the hotel (double yay!) and Fonda was (finally) able to get some sleep.  I went to the appointment (I was about 25 minutes before the "15 minutes early" request).  The campus is small and sweet.  Kinda like Brunswick CC.  The person I was to meet with was at lunch (nothing like being early, huh?). 

I think it went OK - but I always think it goes OK.  I expect to hear within the week (if I get the second interview) and if that happens, they will do the second one via Skype (or some similar technology, for both candidates).   We shall see.

We found two fabric stores and found out about two more...we also found some thrift stores and antique-like stores...


We stopped at the Virginia Welcome Center (Virgina is for lovers) and they had peanuts spelling out LOVE, so of course, we had to get a photo :)


The dogwoods were blooming...(our finished about 2 weeks ago, down here)...These were cool because they were pointy...


We went to some thrift stores...this ^^ one was a religious-type with creepy-eyed rabbits...Notice the one in the middle-back who is plotting to rip out your throat while you are gaping at the other creepy rabbits in front.



All he needs is to be painted white and have big pointy fangs and it would complete the image





This..."chest of drawers" = "Chester drawers" - a thrift store in Chester, VA... Where I found...




these socks...Soulmate socks "because life is too short to match socks"

Then we went to Petersburg Pickers - an antique/resale place...


If the goats are out ^^^ they are open...


We saw this piggy bank with eight eyes...Like it would be perfectly at home with The Simpsons.  I was amused, but Fonda really didn't seem to be so.





A little further around the edges, we found this elephant dress.  I am almost positive it was 100% polyester, but I didn't read the tag.  On the price tag, it was called a Brady Bunch Dress...




Then as I was putting the elephant dress away...I found THIS ^^^ dress...There is nothing I can say about this, except that the person who made it had some MAD crochet skills...Wow.  Just: Wow.



Then, as we were leaving, Fonda recognized that the reason they had a ladder bolted to the garage door was because they were spelling out the word LOVE...so, we began and ended the trip with LOVE.  Now...if the interviewers just follow through...

We made it home safely and only ran into TS Ana once were were back in NC...not much except wind and bands of rain (sometimes really heavy).  It rained all day on Sunday and most of Monday, We probably got more than 6 inches total (judged by the full concrete-mixing tubs of the neighbor).

Now: I just have to mow the grass - it is beginning to get a bit out of hand...

Peace.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

well...follow up to the "and then this happened"

well...Turns out there is something called a bushing between the links of the gear shifter...Apparently they sometimes fail (usually with some warning, if you know what to feel for)...cost about $76.00 with part and labor...YAY...

That being said...The Honda...We had planned to take it on a trip this weekend...so, took it to the repair shop and then got The Call.  Not only for the expected O-ring leak, but some additional leaks and the rear brakes...metal-on-metal...and a frozen caliper...So...$1500.00 including 1.5 days labor.  Looks like we will be renting a car...sigh. 

OK.  Now I need to go to bed, but I wanted to put your minds at ease about the Saturn, at least...now we worry about the Honda and the insurance that is due - ha, ha :)...

Peace.

Monday, May 4, 2015

and then this happened

all was going so well...I went to the grocery and then came out - I was listening to a book I had read before and really was thinking that I should just quit reading it and happened to mess it up and decided that Fresh Aire would be a better bet...Deal with it when I get home.  I got to the car and unloaded groceries...returned the cart...got into the car, backed out and then tried to put it into first gear...Absolutely NOTHING there.  I have never felt that before.  The engine was fine, the brakes worked, the power steering...everything was fine, except I had not go because there is no clutch/transmission...WEIRD! I had to push it back into a parking space.  Thinking in advance (yeah, that's it) I was able to push it into a pull-through so that it should be easy for the tow truck to pick it up...

Luckily I was still in the grocery store parking lot and was able to go in and call Fonda to come and get me - She was making supper while I ran to the store. 

We are going away for the weekend (Friday/Saturday) for a reason I will talk about next week - Nothing scary, just going.  We are going to take one of our cars (not the Saturn at this point)...Of course the Honda needs some repair, but trying to get a rental car is stupid - we would have to get it for more than the time we actually need it to accommodate the rental-place not being open on Sundays...Stupid. 

Anyway...we may be getting a new car soon...sigh...

Monday, April 20, 2015

small rant

WTF do I have to do to get a full-time job?

  • I have applied to more places than I thought were out there. (>150)
  • I have filled out more applications than any one person should have need to do.
  • I have done my best.
  • I have put myself out there.
  • I present my self well (at least I think I do).
  • I am fantastic at what I do.

Why can I not find a full-time job doing what I want to do?  Forget the stupid "God is waiting to find the exact right place for you" crap!  For all I know, the job I finally get, will be crap and I will hate it.

I have been looking for more than FOUR YEARS!   What more can I do? This is such bull-crap...I don't know what to do and I don't know where to put my frustration.  I feel like a failure and that will eventually translate into my current *part-time* job and may just mess me up for that...Then what will I do?

How long can I keep my chin up and this now-semi positive attitude?  I have no idea. 

What more can I do?  So frustrated...

Peace.

the fish girl

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Leland, North Carolina, United States