I don't usually post stuff like this mid-week. Normally, I'll wait until Sunday and throw a couple of items from Charles Osgood's "Sunday Morning" show in for good measure, but there's so much going on in my mind right now that - if I don't write about some of it, I'll explode!
My job search ...
I'm looking for part-time only, and am pretty fussy about what I'd like to do and how much I think I should get paid for doing same, but I've gotten a bit more serious in the past few days. I even 'went so far' as to redo one of my resumes! :)
I decided yesterday that I should send out either three inquiries or three applications every day. I made it yesterday. Today I had only two. :(
National Day of Mourning ...
Craig, our blogger friend from Australia - who is now in the Philippines covering a wedding, tells me that a national day of mourning has been declared for this coming Sunday in honor of those who have perished in the bush fires, some of which - it seems - were deliberately set.
Sunday is when Craig will be returning to his adopted homeland. He's looking forward to having better contact with the outside world and internet service, but is made somber by the knowledge of what he will return to.
I know that all of you join me in wishing him and his fellow countrymen the very best of luck in going forward with recovery and reconstruction efforts, not to mention quick apprehension and prosecution of those criminally responsible.
By the way, for those of you who might have the inclination and wherewithall to contribute, the Australian Red Cross is accepting donations for that relief effort.
News from Equatorial Guinea ...
Why am I writing about this? Well, that's where my friend Beth is. You might remember that I drove her up to IAH last week.
She sent me - along with other friends and members of her immediate family - an e-mail this morning that was meant to be reassuring. I had heard nothing whatsoever about this! Absolutely nothing!! Had you?
She writes, "Just to let everyone know, we are fine here at Abayak. Our compound is well-secured and we are not directly in the area where the attack took place. There is still military presence searching for attackers, as some might still be on the island. Pretty much everything is shut down. The local residents have been told to stay home with their families. The situation as it affects our work will be evaluated tomorrow. I could be sent back on Friday and rescheduled to come back later, or they might only delay the work by a week and ask me to stay past March 20th. Will let you know when I know."
[The link I gave you was from yesterday. There's probably more news today, but I haven't had the chance to check it out.]
Nonfiction writing contest update ...
Some of you know that I submitted three entries to this contest in mid-December. Results were supposed to have been announced and the top five entrants' stories published in January.
Two days ago I e-mailed the sponsor of the contest, concerned (#1) that my entries had not been received - either that, or I had submitted them in an improper format and (#2) that I was looking in the wrong place for the announced results.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail back from the sponsor, stating that she had simply been overwhelmed by the number of entries and it would be another two or three weeks until the results were announced. She remembered my name, she said, but would double-check to make sure that all three of my entries had been received.
That was a really warm fuzzy!
Sticker shock ...
I just got back home from the grocery store, and am still in somewhat of a state of shock. I'm having a terrible time believing that I had to shell out $25.97 (including tax) for one furnace filter!
Now, I'll admit that I'm a little lax in changing these things out and I know that I have to purchase kind of an odd size - 12" x 36" x 1", but my last recollection was of paying $7 or $8 each plus tax. (Of course, my fondest memories were of $2.99 plus tax, you understand, but this was back in the dark ages - before most of you were even born.)
And so, I looked it up. I keep records out the wazoo on **** like this. Yep, I was right ... unfortunately! The last time I bought furnace filters (about a year ago, and I bought more than one), I paid 1/3 of what I was over-charged for today!!
Let me check to see if this one is gold-plated. ... ... Give me a sec here. ... ... No, it's not. The packaging is different, tho. It's made by 3M. (That information alone ought to make it worth at least double what I paid before, right?) Let's see, what else makes this item now so dear??
It's "Micro Allergen", whatever the devil that means, and it "Outperforms Non-Electrostatic Filters". Oh, goody! And it's supposed to last "up to three months". Nothing new there!!
The upshot of this whole thing is that I will now have to go "price-shopping", and I think most of you know how much I detest shopping! My very strong tendencies are - once I find something I like and I know that a particular store carries it - I will buy that item at that location forever and count myself lucky that I only had to make one stop, but this really goes beyond the pale.
I don't know how much I'll be posting in the next couple or three days. Tomorrow will see me at the Museum of Natural Science - "Body Worlds 2, the Brain" exhibit's last day is Sunday. Friday I have customers coming in to Hobby. I'll pick them up, deliver them to their destination, wait, and then take them back to Hobby. Saturday morning there's a critique meeting of the writer's group that I've mentioned before.
As I'm now trying to be more serious about finding a part-time job, my first focus will have to be on those efforts. It's not that I don't love all of you ... I do! It's just that these posts - while I don't begrudge a single second - take a lot of time and concentration (my age playing a role here?), and I might not have enough of either left over to publish something succinct or well-written enough for anyone but me to read.
Meanwhile, all y'all hang in there, and I'll talk atcha soon!