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30 April, 2008

Please take a seat

I have an interview today. It's always a little nerve-racking as in my experience you never know what you are going to get. Will the interviewer be formal and ask a lot of probing questions, or will they be more relaxed and simply tell you about the position. Will they treat you with respect, or as an annoyance? Will they be friendly or keep you at arms length? I guess I've experienced all of these things.

A few years ago I had my worst interview experience. It was for a position at the local music school. Not really a big place or a large program. It was a administration job really. Not a lot to it really. So I show up and I meet the head of the program. She was real nice, friendly and seemed interested in what I had to say. She had let me know that I would be interviewing in front of her, the lady who was leaving the position I was applying for and someone from the Board of Directors that paid for the program. Fair enough. I had never interviewed in front of three people before but it actually went well. I was invited back for a second interview, which was also a new thing for me.
At the second interview I met the head of the program again and this time she is with the lady whom I will be working alongside. "Fine" I thought "I guess she'll have a few questions for me too." And she did. How flexible was I? What could I expect from the position? How motivated was I? etc.. then she says "Now we are going to do a role-play, I will be an angry parent of a child taking music lessons and you can answer the phone". "What??" I thought to myself. They were going to test me on my skills handling an irate customer. So we went ahead...and this woman was such a pain in the ass. I mean she was asking me questions that there was no way I had the answer to, like special accommodations that can be made, which suppliers we use etc... I came up with a solution but she didn't like it and I think it annoyed her. Worst interview and interviewer ever. She was on some crazy power trip if you ask me. Am I bitter about it? Yes and no. No, I'm not bitter than I didn't get the job. I suspect it was going nowhere and admin isn't my interest. Yes, I'm bitter that she acted that way and I put up with it. Still, we live and learn.

29 April, 2008

L1c3nse Plt3s

I love that you can now buy a personalized number plate for your car. I doubt I would ever get one but it's fun to read them driving down the interstate everyday.

"oh look it's "EZEE LVR" again!"

"There goes "MR MAGIK"

It seems to me that there must be two rules for a person buying a personalized license plate. 1. You must spell your desired phrase in the strangest way possible. Bonus points if you managed to substitute numbers for letters or create a phrase longer than 4 words. 2. You should in no way resemble the attributes stated on the plate. Many a time I've seen "MZ CUTIE" look like a 50 year old, grizzly man and "THE DUDE" look like "THE CHICK".

I wonder if I could get into trouble naming and shaming a few bad drivers who have a personalized number plate. One comes to mind right now. I also wondered this morning as I saw "guitar plyer" (name changed to protect the owner of the car, whoever that is) whether it was a fellow blogger or not. Probably not. But it's fun to imagine.

28 April, 2008

Hibatchi South Charleston

It's been a while since I wrote a restaurant review but I thought it was worth making the effort to describe my first experience at a Hibachi restaurant. Evil Twin's Wife has blogged that she was heading to a Hibachi for her birthday and that she was happy because she knew she would get some great food. "hmm" I thought to myself "sounds like sea food and a lot of faffing around". I don't know why I had formed an opinion that it would be all sea food and uncomfortableness but that was what I was thinking. And so I had some apprehension when Ms. AllClick suggested we headed there last weekend. I always feel uncomfortable in new restaurants but I had imagined there would be extra uncomfortableness at the thought of a) sharing a table with strangers, b) getting involved in the cooking "show" and c) having to choose my meal while the cooking was going on. As it turned out it was 100 times better than I was expecting! I choose my meal from a menu leisurely, the strangers on our table were actually incredibly quiet and pleasant and the only involvement I had in the "show" was catching some chicken in my mouth. There was a ton of food and I loved it all. So, I am looking forward to going back some time soon. I guess it goes to show that even when you are hesitant about trying something new you shouldn't let it put you off.

24 April, 2008

A few issues at Marshall

A few things in the news recently have caught my attention.. especially the increase in tuition fees and the new recreation center fee. Catch the whole story here. $150 fee per semester? I wonder how much plasma I'll have to donate to pay for that.

Also of note this week is the proposed smoking ban. I'll be happy if this comes into effect to be honest. I'm tired of walking through a cloud of smoke every time I have to enter a building and tired of breathing in the smoke when I wait outside a building. Watching maintenance guys standing around campus smoking is also something I could do without.

AND...parking at Marshall. Just a complete nightmare. $140 for a student parking pass..but guess what, no space to actually park your car. The staff haven't got things much easier as majority of the spaces force staff and faculty to cross one of Huntington's busy and 3rd or 5th Avenues which flood at the drop of a hat.

I think I'm more frustrated than usual because there is a attitude of apathy among student on campus and I doubt there will really be much protest for any of these matters.

Maybe I can transfer to WVU and get me one of those free MBA's I've been hearing about.

Man, my blog posts have been ranty recently. I'll have to post something positive soon.

Perhaps about my fantastic experience at the Hibatchi in South Charleston :-)

18 April, 2008

Here comes the sun

Looks like the warm weather is finally here. True, it's going to rain this weekend and it's pretty chilly overnight but at least it should brighten up again next week. I enjoy the summer...but of course there are always things to complain about:

1. Insects - Man, I can't stand insects. I can't bring myself to kill them but really hate bees, wasps, hornets, and any other flying things that decide to pester me during the summer. I usually just go into panic mode. Same goes for ants and gnats...except the panic mode. Ladybirds(bugs) are probably my only exception for no real reason.

2. Stupid clothing - Yes, you know who you are. You in those silly shorts that look like smart full length trousers but finish above the knee. And You, the guy in those flip flops. (On a side note, have you ever noticed that whatever time of day or year there is always some guy shopping wal-mart/kroger in shorts and sandals and t-shirt?)

3. Sweating - Not that manly sweat you achieve at the gym or on the B-ball court that you show off with pride and triumph. No, instead that face or leg sweat from it simply being far too hot outside and makes you stick to plastic chairs.

4. Sunbathers - I don't mind a little bit of sunbathing. Maybe read a few pages of my book or do a puzzle but after about 30 mins it's pretty uncomfortable. Usually because of (1) and (3). But it gets a bit much when all you do is sun-bath all day. To get a tan? To show off? Who knows.

5. Gas prices - Argh. Expect to see another blog post about this rant. $3.65??

6. T.V. - Why o why does T.V. have to lower it's standards over the summer? Is it a covert plan to force people into more exercise and other activities asides from watching T.V.? There are some of us who aren't (4)'s who want some quality programmes on the tube.

7. Co-worker vacations - I'm not talking about getting to go on vacations. I'm talking about when that fellow co-worker goes on vacation for 2 weeks either without giving you a heads-up or bragging about it for weeks. And either way completely screwing over that project you were working on/that reimbursement you were waiting for/that prank you were going to do.

16 April, 2008


A few things I overheard this week:

"I have this theory of "Billy's". All the great singers have the name Billy. Billy Joel, Billy Ocean, ...Billy Idol."

"...and if someone hands me a religious pamphlet I just tell them "F**k off".

"The board of directors said they didn't like seeing the company vechicle being used to buy alcohol"

"Is that him singing? Or is it the chipmunks?"

People are weird. If you have heard any interesting and random overhearings. Send them over here -> allclicknopoint at gmail dot com

10 April, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream Campaign Slogans

The most exciting campaign of our lifetime is currently taking place. No, I'm not talking about Obama and Hillary. Instead I refer to the battle of Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream against...well every other flavour that opposes it. The current standings and contest activity is found in it's full glory right here at the Donutbuzz.

Life on the campaign trail can get pretty rowdy and hectic. Words are said, emotions run wild. So for your pleasure I present some of the slogans overheard on the trail:

"Not voting for Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream? What are you? A commie?"

"Do you love America? Do you own a gun? Do you love democracy? Then vote for Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream. It's probably Constitutional"

"Got Milk? Then make me some Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream"

"Our children are the future. They can achieve so much. They grew upon Peanut Butter. The average American child will eat 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches by the time he or she graduates from high school. Fact. So vote for Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream. Keep our children great."

"Peanut Butter Chocolate. Don't be hatin'"

"That's what she said...after eating Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream"

"In a world were there is so much conflict between colors, tastes and flavors why can't we just work together? Peanut Butter Chocolate does."

"Vote for Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice-cream. Hey, it's better than crack, right?"

Official Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Campaign headquarters

09 April, 2008

Tuesday night TV

Every Tuesday it always feels like it should be Ghost Hunters night. The Sci-Fi reality show based on the The-Atlantic-Paranormal-Society. I don't know why. So, I am always disappointed when I realise that the show is on Wednesday nights instead. I think the new ones start at 9:00pm and it's quite honestly the best reality show on tv. Even for the highly sceptical. I just wish they would focus more on EVP's. They always give me goosebumps. Anyway, so last night I got home and had the 'tube' on and instead of paranormal investigations I was accidentally sucked into watching American Idol...possibly the first time since the show began this season. They are down to 8 contestants...but I think the reason neither Ms Allclick or I changed the channel was because of Jason Castro's excellent performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Yer, I was surprised too! I wasn't quite convinced with any of the female performers. Syesha Mercado sounded good on the re-cap ( and no I don't know their names already...I had to look them up) but I missed her complete performance. It always makes me laugh though when it's Paula's time to comment on the performance. She loves them all! She rarely ever says a bad thing. If it were me receiving praise from Paula it would mean less than nothing. I heard she almost let a singing dog through the final.

So the TV stayed on Fox and after "Idol" was "Hell's Kitchen" with Gordon Ramsey. I had watched the first episode of this season last week...again unintentionally and so I had some vested interest. It's the first time I've actually seen this show (including last week of course) and it's been pretty entertaining. I prefer the Kitchen Nightmare's however as at least you see Gordon being nice for a while. It feels like on HK he is being mean and nasty because his producers told him to but on KN he is able to show more of himself. Still, in the desert (or perhaps dessert) of good television right now you could do a lot worse than Hell's Kitchen.


Never has a more apt name been coined for the time of cell phone you can now easily pick-up at any store practically. The Pay-As-You-Go phone. And pay you will. This month for inexplicable reasons my credit "expired" 5 days before it was scheduled too. I'm really looking forward to the customer service call that I'm going to have to take place but it may give me some insight into what the phone company actually knows about users on the Pay-as-you-go plan. Can they tell whether it was a clerical error? Did I actually spend my credit rather than it expiring early? And how will they know? I used to have a contract phone. It was a pretty good deal. A bunch of texts and minutes and I'd get a free upgrade every time I renewed my contract. Things seem to have changed recently though with the contract phone. Apparently now you have to sign yourself up for life in order to get a contract. A year was obviously too short a time for the money hungry phone companies, now they want your commitment for 18 months, two years. What will happen when that is not enough? Pledging your cell phone allegiance at birth?

At least with my phone I don't have to go through that contract business. I do have to put credit on about twice a month though. Mainly because AT&T like to send me "free" text messages that actually cost me a dollar if I hadn't used my phone that day. Thanks AT&T. What I find interesting is the automated service for recharging my phone, or paying bills from most companies actually. Have a listen. Next time you use one of those phone services and you enter in your card number, expiration date and maybe the zip code the phone will go silent then it sounds like you can hear someone actually typing in your information. Why is that? Have they just recorded someone typing or is it live? I may try screaming for help down my phone as I hear the noise to test it.

08 April, 2008

The Ruins

Well for the first time since January Ms. AllClick and I finally made it out to the cinema. There just didn't really seem like anything worth going to see since umm Cloverfield? Maybe. It's hard to remember what the last film was that I saw on the big screen. I suppose it's due to the time of year, the fact that the oscars are so far away now or perhaps it's just my imagination. Either way I was missing the cinema experience and we thought "The Ruins" might actually be an interesting movie.

I'm not a fan of the horror genre..but I am a fan of movies based on books. I can't wait for the big screen adaptation of the Dictionary *silence*. Anyway, movies based on books seem to always have a reason. That is everything the characters do is for a reason, it has to have an explanation and it has a purpose in the plot. I guess it's because the writer (Scott Smith) probably had to revise the story several times before he arrived at the finished novel.

So, this film follows a group of 20 somethings out to Mexico and they discover some uncharted ruins and get in a whole heap of trouble. Nice premise if not terribly original. However, the story unfolds at a decent pace, the gore is expected but not over the top. There are a few scares, a lot of creepiness and a focus on the psychological. Not bad for a genre that is well worn. I found myself liking the movie while watching it and so this was a good sign. Overall I'd say 6 out of 10. Not a film for everyone but an interesting tale.

04 April, 2008

Putnam County Animal Relief Shelter

I had the great opportunity to visit the Putnam County Animal Relief Shelter a couple of weeks ago over in Winfield. It's not a very long drive from my house and I had heard about it so much that I thought I better do something productive for the community and check it out. I honestly had a great time. I had planned on staying there for two hours but after I had walked a couple of the dogs and been inducted and shown around the place only an hour had passed. So I played with the cats and the puppies and after another 45 minutes I headed on home. It can be a pretty tough experience being there, hoping that these animals will find a decent home. I would guess that when people do come to adopt the head straight for the puppies or kittens. The younger animals. I had a chance to walk one of the dogs that was certainly not a younger dog, but had way more energy than me and certainly out ran me and was such a well behaved dog. I hope she isn't overlooked because of her age. Another volunteer there said that she and her husband had visited a few times and walked some of the dogs to get the feel of them before adopting which I think is a great idea. Don't just look at the animals through the cages but walk them, pet them, play with them and spread some love before you choose one. So I recommend heading over there to spend some time with these lovely animals, adopt one or two perhaps and as Bob Barker would say "Spay or neuter your pets."

The Putnam County Animal Relief Shelter says this on their website:

If interested, call the shelter at 304-586-0249. Shelter hours are M, W, F, and SA 10-3 and Tuesday's and Thursday's 12-6, so that you may have time to look and fill out paperwork- closed Sunday. Cost: dogs are $40, Cats $35.00 which includes sterilization, first shots, first worming, and if over 16 weeks a Rabies vaccination.

In the mood for music?

I checked out a great new website last night. Well new to me at least called
The premise is that you select the kind of mood you are in from Calm to Energetic and Positive to Dark and then it selects a virtual web of songs to play to compliment your mood. You can register for free and select your favourites or remove songs from the list. You can choose specific decades or genres and then watch a colourful web of hits unfold. You don't have to register to just listen but you will have to register to save your playlist. It's well worth a 5 minute glance but may take a while to load up on slow machines. Here's a great song that came up in my playlist today. It's called Banquet by Bloc Party. Awesome.

02 April, 2008

My bite of the Big Apple

I have been to New York twice now and had very different experiences both times. The first time I was pretty much in awe. I was seeing all the famous sights I recognised from TV. The statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, World Trade Center, Central Park...I even snapped a pic of the steaming sewer/subway grate! I never even realised that wasn't just a special effect. Or perhaps it is something they do just for the tourists. It was a sight-seeing trip mostly so I tried to fit in as much as possible. Grand Central station was pretty impressive too!

My second trip was much different. I got to experience more of a real New York. I ate in deli's, China town and wandered through little Italy. I hailed a New York yellow cab. I went to see the Today show being filmed out in the street. Hailing a cab is certainly an experience. Especially for a self-conscious Brit. You get to stand out in the street and draw attention to yourself intentionally and uncomfortably while a thousand cabs drive past. I guess it's an experience that grows on you. Most of the cab drivers we had were great. They were fast but safe and relatively friendly. The only time I felt uncomfortably was the trip we took where I had to avoid the puddle of unknown liquid by my feet. What made it worse was that it was our longest cab ride and seemed to be completely out of the way of where we wanted to go (they have those handy digital maps in the back of the cabs now). And I didn't even get to win any money :-(.

I enjoyed the big city but I don't think I could ever really feel at home there. The rush of crowds on every single street, the distrust and air of underlying mild frustration that lingered on people, the 12 Starbucks on every block. The fact that everything is open late was great but it just wasn't me. I have to say though that New York has some kick-ass cheesecake. I'm yet to find decent cheesecake in West Virginia. So please let me know if you find some.

01 April, 2008

Easter...a time for eggs

Well Easter has come and gone and thankfully the Easter bunny dropped off a load of Easter candy for me. Cadbury's mini eggs by the bag load. Yum! Strangely enough the mini eggs I received this year looked incredibly like smaller robins egg. I would happen to know this because outside of my front door there happens to be a robins nest perched quite happily on a broken lamp on my neighbours stoop. I had the chance to take a couple of snaps which I'll get around to uploading at some point and the nest is really incredible. It looks man-made if you could see how neat and tidy and well made it is. I was impressed! Hopefully those little eggs will hatch sometime soon and maybe I can snap a couple more pictures. I have to say I'm pretty excited and feel a little like Bill Odie. Which only adds to my excitement.