Wednesday, February 28, 2007
As most of you know, I'm looking for work. In recent months the effort is increasing at an increasing rate (or so I told Professor Joe over the phone when he asked). Since my resume is online I get semi-frequent calls and emails. Most of the calls and virtually all of the emails are off target (I'm sure I won't have the energy to write about them tonight, but hopefully I'll get to them soon. They're amusing).
So, onto Primerica. "Primerica Financial Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Citigroup, is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia. It is the largest financial services marketing organization in North America, with more than 100,000 licensed independent representatives." That sounds reasonable, right? Citigroup is the parent organization. I can deal with that. In fact, getting a little bit of financial background would be nice.
The conversation went something like this (I'm leaving out lots of pieces because I don't feel like writing all night):
Recruiter: Are you looking for work?
Recruiter: Great. I'm with Primerica. Are you familiar with Primerica?
Recruiter: Primerica is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citigroup... blah, blah, blah.... And we already have 15 offices here in Orange County. We're looking to expand to 45 offices. We need managers for the additional offices and that's why I've called you. Would that be something that would interest you?
Me: (Actually kind of flattered but very, very skeptical)... Well, sure.
Recruiter: Tell me a little bit about your previous job....
Me: I was working with... (at this point I know the dude has completely zoned out, at which point I ask him)... Before I get into the details, are you familiar with the IT industry?
Recruiter: Me? Well, no. Sorry.
Me: (Realizing that this seems really strange)... Do you have my resume in front of you?
Recruiter: No. You were given to me by our "Regional Vice President". He was very impressed with your resume and passed your information along.
Me: (I'm probably the only idiot who really thinks, "Wow. This could really be a great opportunity for me. I wonder who this Regional Vice President is. And I wonder what on my resume really stood out.) I probably said something here, but I don't remember and I don't want to make up any more of the details than I already am.
Recruiter: Well, I've been very impressed with you so far. We would like to bring you in for an office interview. We're located in Santa Ana. We have openings (he rattled off a bunch of times over the next few days all an hour apart). Would you be interested?
Me: (I'm still an idiot here and I'm flattered. It's also a short drive from where I live and I have nothing else to do.) The 3pm slot tomorrow works great for me.
He proceeds to give me directions and his cell phone number and that's that.
Alright. I have an interview. That's good. It could be a new opportunity in a new field. That's also good. The phone conversation still didn't seem quite right, almost like the guy was overly eager to get me into his office. Especially since I didn't really talk a whole lot about myself and, regardless of what I said, he was thrilled with the answer.
I wanted to be prepared for the interview, so I research the company. The first result is their website, as you would expect. Then I check out Wikipedia (which isn't always accurate, but it might give a little different insight). I find out that Primerica is a Multi-Level Marketing company.
What's a Multi-Level Marketing company? It's a Pyramid Scheme. So I continue with my searching, wondering what search terms I should use to get more information on a potential pyramid scheme. I've got to either confirm or deny this, right? If you have Google Toolbar on your browser, you'll know what I'm talking about - I started entering "Primerica" and they give you a list of the most common searches with whatever you've already entered. Fourth on the list... "Primerica Scam". Bingo.
The first search result was key - Here it is. This guy went through the same thing I was about to. And as far as the "Regional Vice President" liking my resume? "In Primerica, you are not a Regional Vice President for the company itself. These people are independent agents at which they are at the Regional Vice President level."
The following morning I was unsure whether I should just cancel the interview or not. I wasn't thinking about going for the normal reasons, like I had already committed and am obligated to go or that this might be different than what I was reading online. I wanted to go because I was bored. And I wanted to just mess with this dude. Not in a mean way. But in a way that I would ask the exact questions that he wouldn't want to answer. And I would keep asking until I got an answer to my satisfaction. At around noon, I started looking up local news channels, thinking that maybe they could give me a hidden camera and we could "out" Primerica and what they're all about. Long story short, my mom talked me out of it. And I left the guy a voicemail. It was something real simple like, "I'm calling to let you know that I need to cancel today's interview. I did some research on Primerica and it's not the direction I want for my career. Thank you for your time and the opportunity. Best of luck to you."
So that's that. My apologies to the thousands of people that make their living with Primerica. This post isn't intended for you. This post is to be informative for people like me who are looking for work and have their resume online. You may very well get a similar phone call. And I hope that this post will help better inform you of what's in store. As always, your input is welcome, whether it be a story like mine or a defense of Primerica.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Today's Public Service Announcement: Don't smother your kids.
Also from Scrubs - A compilation of Ted's Band.
For the past couple of years, I've considered traveling the Oulu, Finland for the Air Guitar World Championships. Perhaps I should have - this guy ruled.
My answer to the Dead Guy Tribute question.... Basil Poledouris. In part because I had no idea that he had died. Nor did I have any clue who he was until 2 months ago. The reason: He composed one of my favorite movie theme songs of all time. The Hunt for Red October.
Friday, February 23, 2007
How long is 168 hours?
A) 3 Days
B) One Week
C) One Month
Take a breather. Think about this for, oh 10 seconds. Take 20 if you need it. If I remember correctly more than 1/3 of the people missed it. I don't know why this upsets me so much. But it does. Probably because one of those people in the mob will end up being my next boss.
Why am I starting to get Victoria's Secret stuff in the mail? Does anybody want my free cotton panties coupon?
I'm kind of serious here because I seriously don't know... Was Jesus' middle initial really "H"? What does the "H" stand for?
A few years ago I wrote about some lady with real creepy eyes. Her name is Suze Orman. In an unrelated article to the piercing eyes, she's come out as gay.
One of the first notices I received from Turbo Tax was something like, "You received $XX.xx for your state refund from 2005 in 2006. That is federal taxable income for 2006." Wait, what? My state tax refund from last year is considered income again? And you're taxing it? Jesus Christ, dude. (How is that even legal?)
After about 4 hours (and removing a whole bunch of deductions that didn't quite seem right), I moved onto state tax filing. (At this point my right leg has fallen asleep from sitting on the couch funny this whole time).
While filing out the state tax form, there's an option for income received for "Compensation for false imprisonment". I'm thinking, "Wow, that would suck. Imagine being falsely imprisoned (which is horrible enough), getting money for it (which wouldn't make up for it by any means), then having to give part of it back to the fucker that imprisoned you in the first place." Then before I finished that thought, there's an option for "Ottoman Turkish Empire Settlement Payments". Ok, now that's not even real. Is it? This is either a really funny joke or I'm hallucinating from sitting here all day. If I ever get diagnosed with some sort of terminal illness, I'm checking that box for shits and giggles.
At this point I'm mentally exhausted and decide, "Whatever. Submit. Submit. Submit. Continue. Damn it. Whatever. Are we done yet? You want how much to eFile? Whatever. Fine. Submit. Submit."
It's 4:00 pm, I've had a bowl of cereal, 3 cups of coffee and haven't showered yet. But the good news is - I'm done with my taxes for the year. And the negative $7800 wasn't real (nor was the huge refund, but I'm still pleased not having to owe anything.)
When I used to live in Chicago, my preference in local newspapers were in this order:
The Chicago Tribune
The Daily Herald (a distant second)
The Countryside (to see if anyone I know got arrested)
My high school newsletter
The free ones that were mostly ads and classifieds
The flier made my the 3rd graders down the street
The Chicago Sun Times
There's not a real point here. Except that I'm linking to the Chicago newspaper I am least fond of (and because I'm from Chicago I feel it's ok to end that sentence in a preposition). I'm doing this because they're on top of the fastest growing religion - Duderonomy.
Finally, kick off your weekend right with the "50 funniest Homer Simpson Quotes".
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In a rare study that says I should be getting more chicks than I do... Male sweat cause female hormones to rise.
More random thoughts:
- "Lost" kind of blows this season.
- "24" isn't very find behind in the "missing expectations" category.
- Out of all elementary particles, the gluon is my favorite. (Mostly because it was appropriately named - it acts as the glue that keeps the nucleus of an atom together.)
- The gluon will be supplanted by the Higgs Boson on my list of favorite particles if it's ever found. (If you decide to play fantasy particle physics, I'd take a flyer on the Higgs Boson in about the 6th round, as I think it'll be an all star caliber player in late 2007.)
- I did not care for "The Godfather".
- I feel like I've finally recovered from the 2004 presidential election. Meaning, that it was pretty intense and that many of my family and friends got pretty heated over the whole thing. And with the new players announcing their candidacies, I'm not quite sure that I'm ready for another year and a half of that.
- When did it become cool to hate Dane Cook?
- If you were paying close attention, both the gluon and the Higgs Boson come from the boson family. Perhaps I'm biased against fermions and their goofy half-integer spins.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
- "This column is extremely long, even for a Simmons column. Do yourself a favor and print it out, then read it when you have 20 minutes to kill. And if you planned on reading it in the bathroom, please know that ESPN.com is not responsible for any hemorrhoids that happened because you sat on the bowl too long."
- "On the bright side, now that every female in Vegas dresses like a hooker, it's impossible to tell the real hookers from the fake ones, which means we'll probably have a Vegas-themed game show called "Hooker or Looker" some day."
- "At the ESPN party at Tryst, we were all hanging out when they started blasting that "Milkshake" song again, only it sounded slightly different, and we looked up and realized that Kelis was standing on a makeshift stage singing "Milkshake" about 40 feet away from us."
There are times that I wonder if he and I are long lost cousins. Although, I'm sure he doesn't wonder the same thing about me.
Over the weekend I ended up talking to some people about The Great Space Coaster. Which yielded two not-so-desirable results. One, we got into the other post-Woodstock, drug-induced shows of our childhoods. And, secondly, I've had that theme song stuck in my head for 3 days now.
So yesterday, I ended up searching on other shows from my childhood. Which surfaced some deep rooted memories from a very young age. And, I'm not quite sure how to explain this... but songs that I've recently enjoyed also happen to be songs from these shows. I'm pretty sure that there's a deep, subconsciously ingrained relationship between the two. (Plus, if I ever have kids, I'm making sure that they listen to some really good music as toddlers). Some of the songs were:
- A Stop Motion orange coming to life and singing that aria from Carmen. (You can't tell me that's not a little creepy, especially for a 3-year old).
- Stevie Wonder singing Superstition on Sesame Street. (I absolutely love that song).
- And the 1812 overture on the Muppets.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Jack Bauer's dad in this season of "24" was also Louis Skolnick's dad in "Revenge of the Nerds". Which, according to my logic, makes Jack Bauer an honorary Tri Lam.
I invented the greatest snack/appetizer for a single guy. (I'm sure I didn't invent it, but I sure as hell haven't tried it before). It's simple, quick and good:
1) Mix frozen chicken fried rice with chicken broth in a bowl
2) Microwave 6-7 minutes
3) Eat a chicken and rice soup that is way better than anything you'll find in a can
Finally, I did something this weekend I don't recall ever doing before. In a 25 hour span, I had 2 nights of sleep. At 4am on Sunday morning, I went to sleep after a very long Saturday. I awoke at 10am on Sunday morning, not fully rested, but up for the day. I spent Sunday afternoon outside, being active, leaving me pretty tired. I then fell asleep again at 9pm Sunday night. And awoke at 4:30 am on Monday morning. (Actually, now that I think about it, I may have done that before. Just not recently).
What video game character are you? (I'm upset that I ended up being Starfox - A game I've never played).
John Amaechi comes out.... as a former NBA player.
Mike sent an article of a recent photon experiment along the lines of what I was writing about last week. From the article:
"In the experiment, single photons are fired at a distant screen, partially obstructed midway by a wall containing two slits. If one neglects to check which slit a photon passes through, the photon appears to interfere with itself, suggesting that it behaves as a wave by travelling through both slits at once. But if one monitors the slits carefully (i.e. observes), the interference disappears, and each photon travels through one of the slits as a particle would."
"In 1978, however, John Wheeler pointed out that a photon could somehow know in advance whether an observation was going to be made, and change its behaviour to that of a wave or particle accordingly. To test for this possibility he thought of an experiment in which the decision to observe the photons is made only after they have been emitted."
In laymans terms, it just means that photons are fucking with us. Like they know what we're going to do before we even do it.
Along those lines, some dude made a video on "Imagining the 10th dimension". I haven't decided if the guy is a genius or if he has just consumed excessive quantities of drugs. Maybe it's both.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
"Forty-eight of the 50 states have operational county governments. Connecticut and Rhode Island are divided into geographic regions called counties, but they do not have functioning governments. Alaska calls its counties boroughs and Louisiana calls them parishes." - NACO (National Association of Counties)
So yes... you do learn something new everyday.
Sad: My buddy lost all of his poker money online and can't re-invest into his account
Sadder: He played a free tournament today with 1100 players that wasted 7 hours of his day (until 2am his time)
Saddest: When he got down to the final 5 players, I logged in and watched the final hour
Build your own custom bobblehead. Awesome.
The Beatles meet NIN... Come Closer Together
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
To make these donations, I was told to talk to "Melissa" who was in the children's section. (Her name was really Melissa, so I'm not sure why I used quotes). So, without insulting their current selection, I explained to Melissa that I wished to donate a handful of books to the library. She pretty much told me that it was too much work to inspect and catalog the books. And that, unless the book was written within the past 6 months, there was pretty much no chance that she'd accept them. However, I could donate them to the book shop which is in the front of the library. They sell used books and then the library takes the profits and buys other books. (The fact that they'd sell my $20 book that I read once for $1.50 seemed a little inefficient and absurd, but that's not what upset me most). While I don't feel like I need to defend my opinion of the value of certain books, that wasn't even relevant - it made no difference to Melissa whether or not my opinion was valid. Or that their current selection of informational books kind of blows. The problem was simply that I was making her life more difficult. I wanted to offer up, not only the books, but my time to catalog and shelf the books myself. She wouldn't have cared. Instead, they're most likely going to rot on my shelves at home (unless you're interested in what I read). So much for wanting to help my community. (As you can tell, I'm still upset. If I were a motivated individual I'd run for some sort of local office to fix this. But I'm not. So I'm just going to bitch about it instead.)
If there's one thing I didn't need is Netflix's latest promotion - Online Movies. For every dollar you spend, you can watch an hour every month of certain movies online. Great - more ways to waste time.
I'm 23 months late on this one, but George Lucas wants to re-re-re-re-release the original Star Wars in 3D. That would be awesome, wouldn't it? Yeah - that'd be awesome.
There was an experiment from my high school physics class where we measured our own personal horsepower based on the height of stairs we climbed in a certain time and our weight. I wanted to do that again, but can't quite find the right formula. What I have found is this worksheet. Can anybody help with this? In a simple formula?
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Facts from 2006
Facts from 2005
Facts from 2004
Facts from 2003
Facts from 2002
Now that I've patted myself on the back, this is also time for a little announcement. I won't be continuing to post something everyday. The idea of this page began as a way to prove the saying "You learn something new everyday". And while I still believe it to be true, the focus of this page has changed to something vastly different. People didn't seem to be as interested in what I learned. They tend to enjoy good websites and some have fun with the more anecdotal stuff. And that's what it has become.
But the real reason I won't be posting everyday anymore is that I keep finding myself ready to fall asleep and then realizing that I haven't "done my job". This isn't supposed to be a job.
Finally, thank you for reading this and sending links and commenting and being a part of "Something I Learned Today". In a way, it has allowed me to keep in touch with certain friends and family members that I otherwise don't talk to so often. On a personal note, it has also given me an opportunity to try and learn how to write. Writing has never been a strength of mine (as I struggled terribly in my language classes from the time I was very young all the way through college). While I still strive for a whole lot more improvement, writing here everyday has allowed for quite a bit of practice and, at the very least, a little bit more confidence that I can communicate effectively.
Guadalajara Patty proves that the latest obsession with global warming has truly turned global.
And finally... TrimSpa, Baby. (Too much?)
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
"In a way, each of us has a Rex Grossman to face. For some, shyness might be their Rex Grossman. For others, a lack of education might be their Rex Grossman. For the Chicago Bears, Rex Grossman is an undersized, poor decision-maker of a quarterback who single handedly destroyed their chances of a Superbowl victory. But as sure as my love for nachos, the Chicago Bears can conquer their own personal Rex Grossman, who also happens to be *the actual* Rex Grossman!"
What's the point here? That it's not our shortcomings and difficulties in life that define us. It's how we deal with them that does.
On that note, Poker Jason sends a Superbowl wager that we should all be glad we didn't make - A dude lost a bet and is changing his name to Peyton Manning. (For comedy sake, I hope this guy also has a pouty face).
On that same note, Rush Limbaugh is adding his expert insight on the Superbowl - "[T]hey're dumping on" Grossman "because he is a white quarterback". (For those of you who have heard my recent Rush Limbaugh story, this is a little extra funny. If you want to know the story, ask me - I'll tell you in private.)
In case you missed Cousin Jeff's comment yesterday... Pitcher Joel Zumaya hurt his arm during the playoffs by playing Guitar Hero (the same game I mentioned that was awesome).
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
In response to yesterday's Rocky post, Poker Jason sends a video of the fight from Rocky VI set to the music of Rocky IV. I agree with him - It makes the fight way better. (How the fight from Rocky VI has already made the internet is beyond me. AND consider this your spoiler alert). Actually, while we're at it, here's the training montage from Rocky VI. If you want to save yourself the first hour and 15 minutes of the movie with no real plot, watch them in reverse order. That's really the whole movie right there.
On a side note, if I had known I could've watched the final 8 minutes of Rocky IV online, I would've skipped the rental yesterday.
You may have seen this game before. Guitar Hero II. I saw it at Best Buy in December and nearly spent the $75 for the game (plus another $50 or so for a 2nd "guitar"). It's like Dance Dance Revolution for people who don't like standing up. Or, in my case, just suck at dancing. The songs are great and it's challenging. Even for someone who can actually play guitar.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Trying hard now
it's so hard now
trying hard now
Getting strong now
won't be long now
getting strong now
Gonna fly now
flying high now
gonna fly, fly, fly...
Not so inspiring anymore, is it? Maybe it's better to admit that the Rocky movies are all kind of cheesy in their own way.
In the past 10 days, three people I respect and care about have insisted that I watch "An Inconvenient Truth". So it was bumped to the top of my Netflix and it's coming tomorrow. (Some of you think that I've made up my mind about global warming. I haven't. But it's surely a hard sell if you live in Chicago this week.) Anyways, scientists have been offered $10,000 by oil companies to refute global warming evidence. You'd think with record profits they could have offered a whole lot more.
I'll start with my Superbowl experience. (Hopefully this will inspire you in some way). I set aside all of my Bears clothes a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure if I'd wear the Urlacher jersey or the Benson jersey. I had gone with the Benson jersey throughout the playoffs, so that seemed like the logical choice. Initially I put on a long sleeve Bears shirt, a sleeveless training camp shirt and my Benson jersey. Then (Yes, I'm sort of rubbing this in) I realized it was an unseasonably 80 degrees and humid and I was sweating. So the training camp shirt came off. But I brought those extra shirts over to my neighbor's party for other viewers. My deal was simple.... If you wear the Urlacher jersey you 1) have to root for the Bears and 2) at any point if I deem it necessary to switch jerseys for karma reasons, you do it. (The switching happened twice to no avail).
I won't go into the details of the game because we all know how that went. But I decided that it would be fun that every time Peyton Manning made his pouty face or started to throw a tantrum, everybody had to take a drink. The game was a riot at first but got old just after halftime because, despite the continued tantrums and pouting, it wasn't nearly as much fun when the Colts were winning.
At about that time, I ended up moving from the couch to the floor, every minute curling up more and more into the fetal position. As the game ended, my friends wouldn't let me go home alone since they thought they had to put me on suicide watch.
I finally went to sleep around 2am. I woke up at 3am, still upset. Then I started watching the game again, somehow hoping that I remembered it all wrong. Bad idea. I didn't get back to sleep until 6am. That's my Superbowl story. I'm now less upset that I wrote about it. Now, your turn.
In case you want to talk about commercials instead, here they are.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Check out the world's biggest Bear fan. He currently has 48 autographs tattooed onto his body. (Only 2 more days til the big game!)
Thursday, February 01, 2007
I was chatting with Cousin Danny yesterday and I had a stroke of brilliance. The Bears could really mess up the Colts' game plan by starting Kyle Orton. Ok, maybe it's not that brilliant. But it would be fun to see. Shit. There was a semi-joke here and I swear the article changed since I saved it earlier today. The article said that the Bears were preparing for Peyton Manning by letting Kyle Orton be quarterback in practice. And now it doesn't. I guess I wasn't the first person to find it funny. Either that, or I'm losing my grip on reality. The Vegas line on me losing my grip is holding tight at -130.
Here's another story that nobody will find interesting. Back in college (for me), speech recognition software was pretty new. My roommates and I had IM conversations using the software and would enjoy whatever was written. We'd say something like, "Hey man. What's up? Click send." (you had to say "click send" to send the IM). And you'd read, "Amen gut sap. Switzerland." We also thought it was funny to peek into our roommate's room and yell, "Start. Shut Down. Ok." and hope that his Windows would shut down. Sure, we were dorks, but it turns out, we were just ahead of our time - Windows Vista has a similar bug.
"The Official Colts Suck Shuffle"
Written and Sang by: Tom Kelly
(goes to the music of the original super bowl shuffle)
Tom Kelly Productions © 2007
We are the Colts, the losin' crew,
Losin' on down to the orange and blue,
The Bears are so good, we know their good,
Blowin' us out like you knew they would,
You know the Bears are #1,
#1 out of everyone,
We're not here to start no trouble,
We're just here to do the Loser of the Super Bowl Shuffle.
It’s Payton Manning, I like to dance
I see Brian Urlacher, I shit my pants
Critics say I can’t win the big game
Super Bowl 41 much of the same
Chicago’s defense is everywhere
Throw a pass, gets picked by a Bear
I didn’t come here lookin for trouble
We can’t win, no need to shuffle
I play receiver, it’s Reggie Wayne,
I catch the ball, Urlacher brings the pain,
Bears got a line we can’t run thru
Can’t complete a pass against the cover 2
Vashers and Tillman cover me long
Peyton throws me the ball, he is wrong
I get gator arms, I’m scared to get hit
Won’t see me after halftime, I’ll have quit.
Starting running back, Joseph Addai
Run up the middle? I’d rather die
I’m scared Ian, I’m scared of tank
We pass the ball, who do I thank?
Score a touchdown? I got no chance
Run away from that linebacker lance
I didn’t know I was gonna fumble
But now it’s time to let the bears do the shuffle
Defensive end Dwight Freeney,
I let Fred Miller dominate me
Couldn’t get pressure on the QB rex
Shoulda stayed home and had some sex
The bears dismantled me and the Colts,
They’d do the same to LT and the Bolts
The bears put on a show that you wanna see
Super Bowl champs from the NFC
Dallas Clark, number 44
One hit from Urlacher, I say no more
Bears are the greatest that’s no fib
Got hit by Hunter, broke a rib
I try to block or catch a pass,
But all I do is land on my ass,
Played college ball at Iowa,
Lovie’s the 2nd coming of Ditka.
It’s Cato June and I like to hump
T Jones made me look like a speed bump
Ran me over, gave a stiff arm
On run plays I cause no harm
Our defense looked like swiss cheese,
Holes everywhere, bears score as they please
400 yards did Thomas Jones amass
they the greatest crown there ass
It’s Hunter Smith, I punt the ball
Hester runs by me, then I fall
He’s got moves that are so sick,
Not to mention his 12 inch d*ck
We’re from Indiana nobody cares
This offseason wanna trade to the bears
We let down the rest of the AFC
A long term deal is needed for Lovie
Adam Vinatieri, I might as well quit
0-1 in the super bowl now I’m not a Patriot
I’m a pro bowler, but so is Robbie
And he’s a much better kicker then me
I left New England and I was torn,
Came to Indiana, all there is, is corn
I can’t kick outside, this is no RCA dome
Come on Dungy can we go home?
It’s Bob Sanders, I just got beat
Bernard runs by, I dive at his feet
Should wore sunscreen I just learned,
Play against the Bears, I’m sure to get burned
Rex throws the ball all over the place
Desmond catches the ball, stiff arms my face
I didn’t come here lookin to lose,
But after this beating, where is the booze?
Marvin Harrison, number 88
All season long I played so great
Then I got to super bowl 41,
How many catches? Can you say none?
Here it comes, Payton throws to me,
Opps there goes Vasher with pick number 3
We lost the battle, we lost the war
Time to pick my head up off the floor