August 30, 2004
I just got off the phone with Karen Mazurkiewicz and Christopher Jeffords at Intel. What an interview. It was much more layed back than I expected. The one time I stumbled out of nervousness Karen came in and saved me. Better still, Chris is an Alumni of the University of Michigan, and both said they’ve had nothing but good experience with people from U-M. Huzzah!
I was told that 3 people are being interviewed, and while Karen and Chris rank the candidates they like, the ultimate decision lies with the HR department. I should know in the next few days… Wish me luck.
What a day. Now I’ve got to pack to get ready to go back to school.
August 28, 2004
Wednesday was my last day at MDP. It was sad to see it go. It was a great job. Carol (one of my great co-workers) baked me the above cake.
My boss at MDP has taken a very laissez faire approach to managing the company, and so, on Tuesday, with only one day remaining, we had our first meeting. It was essentially the first time he’d inquired as to my progress. Until then, if I had done nothing in the 3.5 months I worked there, there would have been no one to complain. Shocking.
In fact, it was a great meeting. He asked a lot of questions, the majority of which I had answers to. Once we had gone over the first few scripts line-by-line, when it seemed the meeting was over, he announced that he was so pleased with my performance (of which as I stated he had never actually checked to the best of my knowledge), that he was presenting me a rather sizeable bonus. Not only was this completely unexpected, and unnecessary on his part, but I later learned that this was the first time he’d felt compelled to do such a thing. It really put me at a loss for words.
I suppose that would be enough to make this a good week, despite the bittersweet conge from my summer job. Today, however, I was treated to another surprise.
A few weeks back, I received an e-mail from an undergraduate advisor for the EECS department at U-M. It was a forwarded job opportunity, one of which everyone declared in an EECS major receives on a regular basis. What caught my eye in this specific proposal was its origin: Intel.
The requirements in the description were pretty minimal: Sophemore or Junior standing, a GPA of 3.0 or above, U.S. Citizen or permenant resident, and a listing of courses and skills on your resume. No big deal there. So I updated my resume, and after sending it to the wrong person, finally got it out Monday. Wednesday, the liason told me the resume had been forwarded to Intel. Today, at 2:26 PM EST, I received a message on my answering machine. Intel had called and wanted to make sure I was free for a position this Fall. I eventually calmed down enough to call the woman back. She told me she was a Software Engineer by trade, but helped with the technical side of marketing. Apparantly, Intel finds it necessary to create what sounded like elaborate tech-demos for potential clients to try to lure them to their architecture, as if Intel’s architecture wasn’t already the de-facto standard. Regardless, she said that they’d only received 20-odd resumes, 4-5 of which received a call back, and 2-3 of which were being interviewed. She set up a time for my interview on Monday. I will probably know if I’ve gotten the job by midweek next week!
Its really hard to grip the situation as it currently stands. Yesterday, my only worry was moving back to Ann Arbor on Tuesday. Now, I’ve got an interview on Monday, I may find out I have a job Wednesday, and I may have to make some rather severe changes to my plans for the next few months.
What a week.
August 19, 2004
Secrets, Rights, and DMCA
My view of the outside world.
I fear for the future. I try not to be overly paranoid, but as far as I can tell, our rights are being no less than systematically taken away from us. In 1998, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed. Through its broad and sweeping language, the DMCA virtually does away with fair use as pertaining to the digital world. 2001 brought us the USA Patriot Act. This delightful piece of legislation, printed and rushed through congress in the middle of the night, that allows anyone deemed a terrorist to be stripped entirely of his/her rights and held for an indefinite amount of time without being charged. In June of this year, the Supreme Court ruled in Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada (pdf). This ruling removes what many interpreted as our right to remain silent. As of now, if the police ask you questions or for ID, and you refuse to answer, you can be prosecuted. If this doesn’t seem bad, read about the case that was involved. It doesn’t stop there though. Presently, 5 journalists are being held in contempt of court for refusing to identify their sources, who had demanded anonymity. Also, when a former employee of Sun Microsystems inquired as to why he was required to display ID to travel on an airline, he was told that the law was secret and that he couldn’t read it. When does it end?
We’re in real trouble with the government taking our rights away on one front, and becoming more furtive on another. No good will come of it.
I’m about to enter my last week of vacation. While I look forward to getting back to Ann Arbor and away from my home town and my job, I grow increasingly apprehensive about class and my apartment. I’m sure my worries are mostly unfounded, but it fills my thoughts. I’ve still got to figure out how I’m going to coordinate the move.
At lunch today, I found myself staring at a man near the back of the restaurant I was in. After a minute or so of telling myself I was crazy, I was certain I was looking at the professor of the dual enrollment western civ class I took senior year of high school, one Mr. Laabs. It was one of the better classes I’d had to date, as after the first few weeks, all but 6 students had dropped out, not to mention that the professor wasn’t a high school teacher, and didn’t teach like one. Its been the most personal education experience I’ve had, and I got to find out what a difference a small class size can make. Without essentially studying at all, I managed to retain more knowledge from that class than most likely any other history class I’ve had, and I had a good time doing it. It didn’t hurt that Mr. Laabs had a thing for math (he was originally a math major) and chemistry (one day he brought in a jug of liquid nitrogen that he let us play with the entire class period), not to mention that he was a nice guy (he bought us all pizza on the last day before the exam). Apparantly he’s stopped teaching for awhile to be home with his kids. Too bad. It was nice, if strange, seeing him though.
August 12, 2004
Alan ‘Hypocrite’ Keyes
Alan Keyes is running against Barack Obama for the Illinois senate. Alan Keyes is from Maryland. Theres no law against running for the senate in a state you don’t live in, but I wonder what Alan Keyes’ stance on that subject it? Oh, heres something Keyes said on Fox News in 2000:
“And I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton’s willingness to go into a state she doesn’t even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn’t imitate it.”
I always knew Fox News would be good for something.
How long does it take your skin to fuse to a sofa? Six years.
DAMN it needs to be Friday already…
August 10, 2004
Its been awhile, so heres a picture of my pet piranha. His name is Nixon. He is not a cannibal.
The summer is almost over, and its a damn good thing. My job has become nearly too repetative to bear. 90% of the code I can write in my sleep, and the rest is so cryptic and impossible to discern that I have to ask someone else what it means anyways. The only happy middle-ground was the one program I had to design myself, instead of re-writing, but even that program was frustratingly technical (what should one expect from medical billing software?).
My town resists change better than China. Unless you’re willing to stand by the skate park dealing drugs, or aimlessly wander the streets, there is next to nothing to do, which brings me to my next point. I find the vast majority of the people in this town loathesome. Life in such close proximity to such distasteful creatures invariably makes me horribly anti-social and cynical. I do hope Ann Arbor ameliorates this.
Theres a chance Blueberry Festival may help.
I leave at the end of the month. I can never go home again. I hope I can’t shop there.
No less than 3 of my friends from home have become hopelessly engaged in the promised fortunes of the pyramid scam known as Team of Destiny. I find it deeply disturbing that the promises of easy wealth so easily close the minds of such intelligent people. One of the victims of whom I speak is a Business major at U-M for god’s sake! How can they be taken by this? Sure, someone gets rich off the plan: the people who started it. I’m sorry, but selling packs of overpriced toilet paper that has to be shipped to your friends is not going to make you a millionaire. All the tapes, lectures, and motivational speaking in the world will not change this.
Few things are as beautiful as white flowers reflecting the headlight of my motorcycle on a country road under a clear, august, night sky. Its more than just a sight, its an experience.
Update: Apparantly Barbi is a better name for a piranha. Who knew?
August 02, 2004
Isn’t there a law against this?
I’ve become the target of character assassination.
I created the alias MrWonton years upon years ago, and at the time, I was the only one. At the time ICQ (I still remember my number, 6686654) reigned supreme in the IM world. Then came AOL Instant Messenger. It took me a long time to make the switch, but I finally did, only to discover, to my horror, that someone else had taken the name MrWonton. Oh well, I just replaced the o’s with zeros and wrote it off.
Over the years, more than a few of my friends have at one point accidentally began talking to the other MrWonton on AIM. Without fail, every female who has done this has been hit on, and has come to me to figure out whats going on (this happened to a friend of mine who is a lesbian who was particularly confused). While this has been an annoyance, I took comfort in the fact that, at least according to the most cursory google search, we ran in different circles… that is, until today.
Mostly out of curiosity for where this site would pop up on the web, I searched for my pseudonym on google. After this site and some random /. article I’ve commented on was something I’d never seen before. Something called “Conservative Punk Forum.” From what I’d seen in the past, the other MrWonton was much more securely interested in getting some ass from a random chick on the internet than he was in politics, and I knew I hadn’t suddenly become interested in starting flame wars on conservative forums, so naturally my interests were piqued.
What I found was something I hoped would never happen: another MrWonton had entered the world, and he was an annoying 15 year old conservative! Here’s a gem from the imposter: “I may be 15 but I know more about politics than the average 50 year old.” Oh ho! His modesty overwhelms me. But wait, theres more! Check out this insight: “Teachers will always be mainly Liberals because Democrats are so obsessed with pleasing teacher’s unions.” Ahhh yes. Of course. I wondered why the teachers were liberals. I should have known that somehow it was due to the democrats’ obsession with pleasing teacher unions? Excuse me while I digest the tripe from this obvious doctiloquent.
The possible character assassinating repercussions of this unfortunate name collision almost entice me into switching to an alternate name, and I would had I not developed this site and had so long to grow attached. On the positive side, I probably don’t have to worry about him hitting on my friends, as I like to think they can differentiate my occasionally witty banter from his obviously pompous ass-hattery.
Alright, that rant aside, I plan on soon converting the layout of this site into standards compliant CSS. For those of you unfortunate enough to be using Internet Explorer (not that the new layout will necessarily not function relatively correctly for you), I’d recommend making the switch.