I've been a bit preoccupied with life to post photos from when I was home, so I didn't get around to downloading them until yesterday. Sam experimented with growing a beard, but decided to shave it off once I got to see it. Looks cute, but its scratchy. The mid-shave picture is my favorite, because there's something about him that screams Goose!
+ Other photos from home can be seen over at Flickr
After getting off the phone with Sam and descending back down to the basement to spend some more time on my GIS homework, I decided that some Peanut M&M's would serve as a good way to delay going home for dinner. That and Peanut M&M's were one of the only items in the vending machine that is kosher for Passover. Luckily, I chose right, because when I grudgingly forked over my 85 cents, two packets fell down. The test will be how long the second packet stays unopened in my backpack.
Update: It's now three and a half hours later and I'm just heading home - maybe M&M should steal Snickers' logo!
Remember how I had that interview last week that went so well? I didn't get the job.
I have now gone from thinking I had the ideal job and knowing exactly what neighborhood of the bay area I wanted to live, to having no clue what I'll be doing and where I'll be doing it in six months.
Anyone have contacts in the Water Resources field anywhere? Preferably the bay area, but I think I might have to start broadening my horizons.
I may not own a Mac, but as of yesterday, I think I'm considering myself an Apple convert. Sam and I went into the Apple Store to get the iPod fixed - it hadn't been starting up for a few weeks now. And after filling out some paperwork, what do they do? Not make us sit there why they fiddle around with it - they just handed over a new one. For free. No asking about a warantee or anything. Just free.
Our new iPod is sooo pretty, even if it is feeling kinda empty right now.
I've been wasting a lot of my not-so-free time looking at apartments in the bay area and I think I've come up with a new criteria for what I'm looking for in a landlord. Someone who can spell. Do people not realize that drier is an adjective, describing someting that is less wet, not a home appliance? And have you ever heard of a Persion rug?
What's better than driving two hours each way to have a final interview, seeing that someone marked up you resume with an A++ on it before photocopying it for everyone, and hearing that you were someone's first choice?
Coming home to an email asking you to fill in an expense report so that you can be reimbursed for the milage. $91 baby! And because I have the most amazing car in the world, I did it on less than one tank of gas, my $22 fill up yesterday.
This must mean they really want me, right?
Is it just me or does this sculpture look like something out of Beetlejuice?
Don't bother spending the money on buying wild salmon - it might not be wild after all.
For that matter, salmon are considered to be low in mercury, so they are considered safe by the EPA.
The real bad stuff is in Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel, or Tilefish. And women of child bearing age and young children should avoid these completely, whether they are wild or farm raised, because there is plenty of mercury pollution in the eastern Atlantic as well.
This I can now say after my bachelorette party last weekend:
- I've been to Sin City
- I've stayed on the strip
- I've been to a strip club
- I've lost money gambling (the change in my pocket last night).
- I've won money gambling (50 cents on a 25 cent slot, but I forgot to redeem it)
- I've had a facial
- and of course, I have the best friends ever!
My camera batteries were close to dying all weekend and I forgot my charger, so there aren't too many photos. The ones I do have are over here.
I never thought I'd be one for economics, but my Environmental Economics and Policy class is pretty darn cool. I'm sure this will bore most of you, but this is my blog, so bear with me.
When you have an industry such as steel production, we tend to take into account the cost of manufacturing, but not the cost to society of the harm we do to the environment through pollution. (This is called an externality).
There are various ways to force an industry to reduce pollution. One is to set a standard and everyone has to meet it. Or you can set a tax on every unit of pollution, to apporiximate the sociatal cost. Another option is to reward a firm for every unit of pollution it abates, in the form of a rebate. All of these methods will acheive similar results of the amount of units of pollution emitted.
However, these techniques have very different results in distribution of costs.
Under a tax, the firm pays both to clean up and to emit. The government collects more revenue since they have a tax, which relieves some of the tax burden on the general public.
Under standards, the firm just pays for what it cleans up and there is no revenue for the government.
Under the rebate, the firm pays to clean up, but is paid for what it does not emit. And who foots this bill? The taxpayers.
In addition, because the firm is refunded for the ammount of pollution it cleans up, the goods can be priced much lower than under the tax, so quantity of goods it produces will most likely increase.
And does it surprise anyone that rebates or standards are the most popular forms of environmental regulation? The forms that hurt the polluting firms the least and increase the tax burden on the general public the most? Well, I suppose it shouldn't, but it still did, hence why I'm sharing it.
Set your alarm but forget to actually turn it on.
(Don't worry, I did get there on time, but just barely, and I was in quite the panic state up until I pulled into the garage.)
The interview I had on Tuesday was for a large public utility. As a result, their hiring practices are supposed to be very by the book and transparent.
First, you need to fill out a long application, involving writing detailed accounts of how your job experiences exemplify various skills. Then, once they receive enough applications, they will call in a group of people for interviews.
Oh wait, you thought this was an interview for an actual position? Fooled. It's an interview to get on the list of candiates who can get called for an interview if an actual position opens up.
And if you can't make the day that they are doing interviews, sorry, you'll have to wait until the next round - the date is NOT negotiable.
Once you get to the interview, they sit you down in a room with a computer and a pad of paper and you have 45 minutes to create a writing sample on a topic they give you. Yup, a bit odd.
Then, you get a list of questions which a panel of two people will be asking you. You can review the questions for 10 minutes and write notes to yourself. Oddly, these questions are almost exactly the same as the questions for the application.
Finally, you have a 30-minute panel interview where you answer the questions, and when you are done, the panel grades your interview and your writing sample.
This grade then puts you in a rank. When a position opens up, the manager gets a list of everyone in the top three ranks to call in for interviews.
At least that's what it says on the sheet I got. My friend who also interviewed when I did said he asked more details about this and the managers actually only call in the top three scorers for each job, and then moves down the list if they are unavailable or do not like the candidates.
This would make a bit of sense, since then your score means more than pass-fail, but I still feel like they are making a lot more work for themselves.
For instance, why bother with Rank 4-7. If you are in any of those ranks, you will never get called in for an interview, so why bother differentiating.
And the ranks are not created to have a certain number of people per rank, so there could be 0 people or 10 people in Rank 1. So why bother with Ranks 1-3 either? You could just give people a score and a predefined passing grade, and either you pass or fail.
I got my score a couple days ago and I'm in the second rank and I think I did well, but really, my score gives me no idea how I compare to anyone else, which is really all that matters now, right?