Unemployed Boredom

Today is the first day where I feel what it means to be unemployed. It’s not so much the paycheck, but more the fact that you don’t have anyone to spend time with outside of your home. It’s the feeling of not being wanted or may be not needed (I am not sure which one is worse). I am in the good situation, that I have other things scheduled for the week.But I also recognize that for as long as I am not employed, I will need to pay attention to get this feeling under control, because it can drag a person down.

Other than that we are doing fine. It is definitely a “character building” time. We recognize a lot of things we took for granted are all of a sudden not in the card anymore. Now this is self-imposed, simply because we want to stretch the dollars. The interesting thing is that the world still keeps on turning and your life continues regardless whether you have the latest Slash (solo album of the former GnR guitar player) album or not – I just listen to some old GnR stuff instead or I play guitar for myself…nothing like You Could be Mine or Paradise City on an acoustic with a touch of Gypsy Kings of Johnny Cash tossed in.

I am also still teaching myself how to program in Objective C and Applescript. The last two weeks were an excursion into the land of HTML, PHP, Javascript and CSS. In short the more I learn the more surface I discover that needs to be scratched, I don’t even want to begin to talk about depth, yet. The self imposed task is to write a  statistical tools that helps me to examine data populations by themselves and to also compare them to one another. Some of you may think, “Why?” I say: “Because that is the way I learn. I need to have a purpose and a meaning for what I do.”

Finally, for R&R we have been watching “the Wire”. The wire is simply the best piece of TV that I have ever seen. I f you haven’t watched it – DO IT! Join Netflix and start ordering the disks. It is not a typical cop show where the bad guys gets caught in the end and where the good are good and the bad are bad. It is a lot more like life. There are rich details and nuances in each character without exaggerating the characters. The Wire comes in five seasons and looks at the drug problem of Baltimore from various (at least 5) different angles for each season. There is the interplay between police and drug dealers and the relations that form within each side and between the two sides when you spend time together on a daily basis. The second season looks at the supply of drugs and how the logistics can be used to supply all sorts of other “goods”. The third season looks at the cities problems through the eyes of politics and the impact politics has when non-unified personal political goals supercede the greater good of the city. This topic is particularly interesting because it shows how when behaviors and incentives are not perfectly and carefully matched the wrong behaviors occur. The fourth season looks at the drug problem and lifestyle in the context of teenagers and how there are groups within our American society as a whole that have no chance and they know it, which makes this season a very sad one, because the makers of the Wire have done great job of illustration how inequality manifests hopelessness in many different ways.

The final season examines the role of the press and how a short-term end can so easily justify all the wrong means.

Of course, although I am a big fan of the show, I cannot permit myself to lounge in front of the TV at 10:00AM in the morning. I know things will eventually work out and as long as I can derive something positive from each day, I am good.

best regards to all you out there.

Yours Markus \m/

NEW, Brand Spanking NEW: Photographic Weekly Summary

A lot of corporations have this institutionalized weekly or bi-weekly highlights system. Some hate it, others love it, the majority of employees just does it. But, I figured since I am about town quite a lot these days, I will start a once-a-week photo summary of what has happened over the course of the week.

So here we go: 5/16/10 – 5/22/10

There’s a new bike shop in South Minneapolis, called the Angry Catfish. They merged the beauty and utility of a bike store with the comfort and convenience of a coffee store.

Among cool bikes (Titanium with beautiful weld beads) they have an eye for coffee presentation.

I also went grocery shopping and saw this beautiful shadow on the street, cast by the sun and a large metal sign.

Finally, I have two shots of yesterday’s post swim burger dinner at Galaxy. I have to say as a photo enthusiast and engineer, I am amazed about the quality of the images that the little iPhone camera produces…well that and the power of the Photoshop Mobile App (btw, Adobe Dev. Team, a noise reduction feature would be great!)

Classic Americana Drive-In Diner

Be prepared for the onslaught, but what about matching bottles and squirt tops?

Alright, I will see that at the very least I post the weekly photographic summaries.

Markus \m/

Aaah, Open Water Swims And Other Joys

First things first, yesterday I went swimming with my Masters Swim Team. Friday Evening, the sun is setting, wet suit is on, swim cap on, goggles on and ready to roll. We walked down the boat ramp into the “refreshing” Water. When I swim in open water, especially lakes, there is always that dark feeling in the pit of my stomach. It took me some time to get control over it – swimming with a group of people has definitely helped me tremendously. Why? – it’s not so much the feeling of safety in numbers or that people are looking out for me, but more, that there a quite a few swimmers who are slower or not as strong. I find courage looking out for them. Open water training swims for me are more about building stamina and less about speed. That way, I have been able to enjoy yesterday’s swim as much as I did. After a while the water temperature became tolerable. As I was waiting for some of my mates I turned onto my back and just enjoyed the moment. When we returned back to shore, we all went to a burger place on old Highway 7 in St. Louis Park, called Galaxy Burger.

Galaxy Burger Drive-In, Fri, 5/21/10

The next morning – Saturday – I am supposed to pick up my friend Adam for a run at 7:30AM. I m barely able to hold my toothbrush. The swim, as great as it was, kicked my upper body’s ass. I went running anyway, it was a slog. The two highlights were running up the Bloomington Ski Jump without a break and a tempo increase for the last 400 yards other tan that I dragged. The ski jump is the great equalizer, it puts every runner in its place regardless of age, gender, shape – It just keeps a person honest, teaches humility.

What else?,  you may ask, How’s the job search going? Well it is, I am networking. Meeting people, talking to people, helping people where I can, in the hopes that someone will remember my work and hire my services. I also finished my company website. The site was received with mixed results. I agree with some of the comments that were made, but I was very heavy invested, because I programmed the site myself. Anyway, the majority of comments were correct and I will act accordingly and implement the improvements suggested.

Finally, I have been walking around with a lot more relaxed mind and have been taking pictures. Below is one that struck me as a picture well form your own opinion:

Jesus in a Supermarket

Alright gang, that is it for today. We are doing fine and I keep busy. Eventually, this life will also continue professionally for me again, until then I’ll see that you can live vicariously through my “unemployed” life.


Markus \m/

Ka-Pow, So Back Again

I am back in Minneapolis. Switzerland did not work out for us. Oh well onward and upward and no hard feelings. I have told the story many times, but I will not regurgitate it here again in the blog. If you have specific questions pose a comment or buy me a coffee at the local Starbuck’s.

My current situation reminds me of a scene in the Big Lebowski. It is the one where the Dude goes to the Big Lebowski to complain about the rug that held the room together, but which has also been micturated upon. The Big Lebowski is a very accomplished man who lost the use of his legs in the Korean war, when he was hit by an enemy bullet. So, Mr. Big Lebowski has no patience for the complaints of the Dude. He is in particular turned off by the Dude’s appearance, teh Dude’s very laid back attitude and the fact that the Dude bothers him in bright day light on a work day, when he poses the question to the Dude: “Mr Lebowski (the dude’s name is also Lebowski), are you employed?” The Dude responds completely flabbergasted with an expression of disbelief:”Employed…????”

Yes, I am currently unemployed. Oh well, that is if the glass were half empty. I am using the time to consider and plan my next move for this stage in my life. What will it be? – another career in employ, photography, management consulting, maybe a modeling career, acting (hey shut it there, I heard that!). We’ll see. For right now I am exploring several things, with exception of modeling and acting all of the above.

I am teaching myself programming, because there is something – oh so – satisfying if at least one thing does exactly as I want it to, without any discussions or back-talking…well at least after five trials and with help from the debugger. It is still satisfying, even if I know the answers to the problems I let the computer solve, like adding up two integers and then displaying the result. Yes, I am brushing up on Objective C and I learn Applescript.

The rest of the time ,I meet with people whose advice I seek and whose opinion I respect and most importantly, whom I trust – my own private board of directors, who are helping me to re-inject the “Markus” product and brand back into the commerce cycle.

So, something good will come of it. Last week I flew to Baltimore where I picked up my car and then drove it back: 1190miles in two stages in18 1/2 hours at 35 mpg – not bad at all.

Look at the shiny hub cap of the truck, it’s Markus inside the TT. Yes, so no more trees. I will have to find something else to illustrate my state of being with.

Finally, as I heard last week when I was riding over lunch with my two good friends Ralph and Jon, I encourage all of you to resume the Markus Blog Reading Parties (MBRP), that I have been told were held on a daily basis in various conference rooms in a Bloomington High Tech firm – carry on people, I vow to continue to provide valuable insights into my life in transition for your leisure.

That is all for right now.

Cheers Markus \m/

P.S.: It’s so good to be back and thanks to all those who have expressed their pleasure and agreement with our return.