The mystery of what the hell employers are looking for continues

I really wish I knew the answer to that question. But like so many things in the business world, the answer has to be a big secret. Which in itself is a red flag: typically when something has to be a freaking secret, it’s because there’s something embarrassing or corrupt or something that can’t be justified if it were to become common knowledge. As mentioned on an earlier post, I have a job lined up, thank the noodly appendages of the Great FSM. It starts in a couple of weeks. It’s a real job with real benefits, and it pays a living wage. But by living wage I mean, after adding up pay and bonuses and perks, it only pays about 17 bucks an hour to start. I can survive on that, it’s not pretty, but with zero debt and my dismal, frugal lifestyle, I can get by. But I’m always open to better jobs and as luck would have it, a recruiter for a prospective company contacted me about one that pays closer to 50k a year. [Read more...]

Militant atheism vs militant religion

Throughout the summer we have been bombarded by images of ISIS, a bloodthirsty group of medieval savages threatening to torture and murder anyone who does not subscribe to their specific version of Islam. ISIS is guilty of every allegation made and odds are, when and if the desert dust ever clears, we will learn of even more horror visited on innocent bystanders. Nick Cohen explores this further and contrasts it with atheists organizations in The Guardian: [Read more...]

ISIS hoping for more support among the oft overlooked female fanatic

During my short August sabbatical, ISIS again dominated news coverage. I may not have posted anything here, but rest assured my Godless friends, I weathered many slings and arrows fired by my right-wing Texas pals about how ISIS is the new biggest threat ever and it’s all Obama’s fault. Each winger being either blissfully unaware or willfully ignorant in his or her own way of the fact that roughly 100% of non-partisan Middle East analysts worried or flat out predicted that the Bush led 2003 Iraq invasion would ultimately generate even more violent Muslim extremists than we were already facing.

ISIS has garnered compliments for their deft use of social media in proudly spreading images of dismembered heads. Maybe the average head-chopping fanatic is feeling the heat of that negative manly PR, because they’re now reportedly making a concerted effort to woo more women: [Read more...]

The song and comments remain the same

Hello FTBers! My cable was out for a few weeks, I managed to keep up with current events using my cell phone, coffee shops, and an occasional loose cable signal from an unwittingly helpful neighbor. Besides, I wanted to stay out of the way while the new format was debugged, and it seems to be doing fine. It’s rare when a major overhaul goes that smooth, so grats to Ed and the design team!

Not much changed for me over the month of August. I did find a new job that pays a living wage, but it doesn’t start until the end of September. As for cable being out; after paying off my past due balance thanks to the fruits of reader contribs a few weeks ago and little backbreaking minimum wage manual labor — and I do mean literally manual labor — my access is restored. Have you ever worked  cash-under-the-table part time construction jobs in the middle of a blazing Texas summer at age 52?

Whenever I hear some privileged whiner whine on about how hard they work and that’s why they should get another fat tax cut on their millions, it’s worth a good loud laugh. I can tell you what it’s like to work real, real hard for shit money, because that’s what I’ve been doing all month long. But some people, who are probably not poor, have a very different idea why people might be struggling and very old, very bad ideas about how to help. Follow me below for the punch-lines.

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Same old same old, and a great friend dies needlessly

I apologize for not blogging for a few days. Another good friend of mine has passed away. He was full of life, a gifted athlete well into his forties who set new standards for his sport that still stand today. A talented artist and analyst, he was the full package, left and right brains hitting on every cylinder. Successful at everything he tried, this guy founded and ran two profitable businesses for more then 20 years after graduating Sigma Cum Laude from the Lone Star version of an ivy league school with a design engineering degree. But in the wake of the Great Recession, those businesses collapsed. He hung on for a few years, unable to find even a living wage, slowly losing everything. Finally, he took his own life, completely alone and no doubt feeling utterly abandoned. It sounds like they didn’t even find the body for awhile — I could be wrong but from what I can piece together, they only found him because the landlord checked his cheap, shitty apartment after August rent didn’t show up.

I’m not sure exactly what happened, the grisly details, but I might know how he felt. I know it every day and I get emails from people who feel it too. It just goes on and on for those of us who are middle aged, out of work highly trained professionals. It happened to me again in the last few days. Two weeks ago I interviewed for a job, an easy job well within my skill set and track record. And I still have no idea what happened. Because that’s how it works nowadays. Just for fun I sometimes try to imagine what might have happened to a job I thought I had. [Read more...]

New site

As you can see have a new site complete with splash page and new listings. It might take some time to get used to — the older I get the more homeostatis seems like a good deal. I was prompted to update a few items like Java and may have contracted some Malware, but other than that it’s been pretty smooth.

Siberian mystery holes (Methingoes?) mapped out


I only have a couple more days to gather several hundred dollars, please help out if you can at my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com. Posted above is a nifty map showing the three known mystery holes in Siberia. If we know of three of these in this remote region, odds are there are more. Maybe there are enough to make out a pattern in the noise. Do they correspond to old bore holes or wells that may have served as a handy refuge for accumulating water or gas? How old are they, and are they moving north or south? No one knows for now. But just for fun I have coined the term Methingo, a cross between Methane, thing, and pingo.

One important note: FreeThoughtBlogs will probably go offline around 2 AM eastern for an hour or two, or three or four or more, for a site remodel. The new logos and splash pages will be up Friday, if all goes well. We could have done it earlier, but Aug 1, 2011, was the anniversary of this network and the powers that be thought that would be a nice day for a metamorphosis.

House votes to sue Obama



Please chip in to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon-at-aol-com if you have some spare scratch. I may may have gotten at a job but it won’t start til mid August. Speaking of work, it’s good work if you can get it. Before taking off for a month and half long summer break, the US House of Representatives voted moments ago to sue the President:

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