Sunday, January 25, 2009

About the same

And life continues in much the same way as before. Still no job, a few calls but nothing that was a reasonable offer. I found a few job fairs in February in San Jose that I will go to, and I will start going to Fresno State seminars in Physics and Chemistry just because I know a lot of people there who might have an idea of where to look.

I took the CBEST so I can get a substitute teaching job. The flexible hours make this about the perfect part time job until I find a real job. I won't have scores on the writing section back for at least another week but I got a 77 on the reading, and 69 on math(out of 80) when I only needed a 37 to pass. The cumulative score of the three sections needed to be higher than 123, so even without the last score I beat one of the two requirements and would have to really bomb the last section to not be able to pass. Still I doubt ill be in a class room before mid February. At least once that happens I will be making a similar amount of money to when I was at Cornell.

My car turned out to be a bad transmission which is costing about $2500 to repair. When you add on the cost of fixing the air conditioner and heater you get horribly close to the bluebook value of the car. Still, it is a nice enough car that I suspect I can get it all the way to 300 000 miles while still having an impressive car. A little luck and it shouldn't end up no expensive than buying a new car would be. There is not much more that can break, is there?

Friday, January 9, 2009


I just got my car to the shop. It was no longer going into reverse which is pretty scary. On the plus side I was close to correct about a diagnosis, the shifter cable was worn out and needed replaced. However the transmission was also essentially dead. The total cost to repair is $4500-$5000 at the dealer. I might be able to find some place cheaper, but I am not terribly hopeful. My previous experience trying to get work done on the jaguar at other shops makes me inclined to believe that most places won't have the ability to get jaguar parts cheap enough to do the repair as cheaply as the dealer can.

Add on the $1500 to replace the air conditioner compressor, who knows what to fix the heater, and the two grand to fix the dent in the door and if I wanted to bring the car into as good as new condition and it would cost me about ten grand. The bluebook value for the car is $7,825-8,425.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A majority!

I just realized that this last trip means that I have at least been in a majority of the states. Most of them I just stopped briefly in, and a few I have only seen while driving at night, but quite a few I at least explored one city in.

The list as best I can remember consists of:

New Mexico
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington DC

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

10 000 hours

10 000 hours has generally shown up as the magic number to become world class in just about anything. As best as I can tell this is a biological number, this just happens to be the amount of time your brain typically takes to master a skill.

Thinking about that really does change my perception of how I should spend time. That is about 20 hours a week for a decade! Three hours a day every single day working on improving a single skill. Really, you can only hope to do that much if you cut out a great deal in your life. By trying to be good at too many things you ruin your chances of being truly great at any one thing.

Now to find something that I can get obsessive enough about to spend three hours a day on.