On Tuesday I stopped in at the Wilkes-Barre CareerLink for their weekly Job Club meeting. The Scranton office has a Job Club too, but it meets monthly and usually has single-topic sessions - so if the topic is something that doesn't apply to your job search, there's not much reason to go. The Wilkes-Barre group was more free-form, and covered a lot of topics - including the ultra-depressing one of the political roots of the local employment situation. (Bottom line: the local job market is intentionally kept depressed to allow existing employers to retain their current staff at current pay levels. If some employer tries to set up shop in the area and threatens to hire away all the established employees with better work and better pay, the local political machine grinds into action and discourages said employer from moving into the area.)
(Fun fact: Back when I was employed at Cinram in Olyphant, it took me approximately 40 minutes to make the thirty-six mile commute from Nanticoke under ideal conditions. When I went to the University of Scranton, we estimated travel time at thirty minutes to go twenty-five miles. The trip to the CareerLink in Scranton takes about forty minutes, even though it is only a few blocks past the University of Scranton; downtown traffic makes a huge difference. The trip from Nanticoke to the Wilkes-Barre CareerLink, a distance of roughly eight miles along secondary roads, takes over twenty minutes. Damned traffic lights.)
I've also been puttering with my Machine of Death story. For anyone who has read it, I've decided to modify the ending to make it symmetrical with the beginning. I plan on sending it in next week, so if anyone has any feedback, please get it to me soon.
Yesterday I mowed my lawn, in small chunks. It's hard to believe that there was snow on the ground just over a month ago, and it was so cold and rainy earlier this week that I was calling it (in response to a comment made by Francesco Marciuliano) the Ceaușescu Summer - taken away and executed so quickly that no one got a chance to film it. The last two days have been stiflingly hot and miserably humid. Tonight a line of thunderstorms - and possibly a few small tornadoes - ripped through the area. Still, compared to what is going on weather-wise in other parts of the world, this is nothing.
Today there was a mass for my father held at the chapel of the nursing home where my grandmother spent her final years. It was my first visit there since the Diocese decided to discontinue regular Sunday masses at the center back in 2004. A lot of things seemed the same, though a few things have changed - mainly, most of the pews have been removed from within the chapel, to make more room for wheelchairs. It always drove me nuts when most of the residents had to sit in the hall outside during mass while perfectly ambulatory non-residents sat in the pews inside.
I've also been puttering a bit with NEPA Blogs, while Michelle Hryvnak Davies has been doing the heavy work. I've been playing around a bit with blog headers. Here's the one that's displayed as I write this:
|(This image is a detail of a much larger photo. I love that lion/dragon/demon/monster/whatever.)|
Oh, I've also been putting a little effort into finding content for NEPA Solar. In fact, this weekend I'm planning to visit a friend's place, a friend who also just happened to install a major solar array recently. I'm hoping to get some good photos.
All this blogging isn't just an act of idleness or distraction. In a sense I'm trying to polish up and round out my résumé by firmly establishing my blogger credentials. It's one thing to contact a local solar sales and distribution company about maybe signing on as a technical writer or something like that; it's another thing to approach them as the driving force behind NEPA Solar, Northeastern Pennsylvania's centralized source of information for what's going on in the world of solar power, and letting them know that they're really lagging behind their competitors in terms of web presence, and would they like to change that? We'll see if this makes any difference.