29 July 2005

The phone call

Today is a good day. I just got a call from a principle investigator(PI) at a biotech company. I’m excited. It was my second phone interview with him. What happened with the first interview? Well, I called him. I was getting tired and frustrated with the lack of feedback I’ve gotten by submitting my résumé to a corporate website. This particular position is advertised with the name of the hiring PI. So after having submitted my résumé I called him up and had a chat with him. It was good.

That was last Monday. He said he’d let me know the status of my application by the end of the week. Well, last week came and went. It wasn’t until Wednesday evening (very late in the evening) that I got an email from him requesting another phone interview. He also wanted a CV (though he had my résumé). So, you’ll notice I’ve posted a second résumé going into a little more detail about my scientific background (maybe that’s why I’ve been striking out!). Posted for your perusal and distribution!

Again, I just got off the last phone interview. Only one possible oops, maybe two—I asked about money (that’s why they call it money, right?) and he said he wasn’t qualified to answer. He tried to reassure me that it was higher end pay for the industry, but isn’t everything in California require higher end pay for living expenses? In any case, he invited me to a sit down interview next week. Wow! Just the other day I was ruminating over the possibility of working another year as a substitute teacher. Of course, that still may happen, it is, after all, just and interview. What was the other oops? Well, I told him about possibly getting a Ph.D. He asked what I would study if I went for a Ph.D. He brought it up! You have to understand, I quit graduate school because I wasn’t getting anywhere with my Ph.D. So, I got the M.S. After telling him what I’d study if I did get a Ph.D. he started talking about me needing to stay at the company for a certain period of time and I couldn’t go and quit to go to a doctorate program. Then I backtracked a little and told him about my desire for stable employment, how I’m looking to stay in one place, rear a family, yadda, yadda, yadda. Eh — I think he got the message I would stick around.

I leave next week for the interview. Here’s how it is going to go. I’ll fly in the night before. Then I’ll get over to the company at about 9:00am. I’ll tour the company and have my face to face interview with the hiring PI. I’ll visit with the PIs for 20-30 minutes each and have lunch with other research associates. When that’s all done around 3pm I fly back home. And I guess they call me if they want me to work for them.

It is a little weird that I might be employed soon. Beyond that, I might be moving myself out of Tucson and back to California. It is southern California, so it’s like I’m moving home, but not quite. Also, I don’t want to get too excited considering I may not get the job at all. However, the format of the interview is very much like a graduate school interview. And if I remember correctly a graduate school “interview” is much more of a recruitment weekend than it is an interview. That aside, I may still end up just substituting when this is all said and done. I’m just happy I’m doing more than submitting résumés to websites. At least I’ll finally get a little feedback. But I’ve beat the odds so far — 6/200 for a phone interview. I don’t know if they’re flying all six phone candidates out, but I know I’m one of them!

I think the major take home for me is: talk to someone, anyone. I think this has greatly helped my chances for success. Just getting someone on the phone to say, “Hey, you get my résumé?” has been the most helpful tactic to date. Hooray for phones!

4 Responses to “The phone call”

  1. Jacque Says:

    I’m smiling with joy for your opportunity. And, if you don’t get the job, it’s not because you were not qualified - the other guy had more of what they want. Joel, I don’t really need to tell you this, but in an interview, you have two ears and one mouth as the song goes - listen carefully and ask questions; clarify what they want to know and apply your knowledge to that question. You won’t know everything they ask and after you have worked for them a year or so, you’ll know more, but no one goes into an interview with all the right answers. And tell them you want the job and why. Research their company and during the interview drop a few nuggets of knowledge about their company, their product or their philosophy. Let them know you’ve done some homework and like what you see. And fast and pray that you are doing what the Lord wants to you do. If it is, things will work out the way they should.

  2. jefito Says:

    Fingers are officially crossed.

  3. vicki headley mom Says:

    Jacque gave you great advice. This is a little late, but do you need a suit? If you can get one, I’ll pay for it. So you are doing this blogging thing all in html and not with an editor? I’m impressed. All my html skills have gone out the window since I have been using an editor for so long. Good luck. Sometimes the Lord doesn’t let you know what he wants your profession to be - He does leave some decisions up to you. You need to know if this will be in harmony with your goals to keep your covenants. We continually pray for the best for you and feel that getting a job is a good thing (how Martha Stewart).

  4. Administrator Says:

    Actually, this blog is from: www.wordpress.org. It is an open source application for the web. However, the rest of the website is all me. I really hope I don’t need a suit. I’ll be sporting a shirt and tie, though.

28 July 2005

Web authoring

Well, I’ve done it. I finished the site. I mean, I almost finished the site.

Ok. I finished authoring the site. I just need to fill it in with content. Take a look at my life under construction at joelman.org. Considering my life is under construction, it is no wonder that parts of the site remain under construction. Get it? ah, phewy.

I’m working on my computer skills as I hope to get a job somewhere—anywhere. I’m mostly looking in the research field, but I would be open to almost anything. Hence, my drive to learn more stuff about computers. A long time ago someone told me I should just be a computer programmer. He was right. Live and learn, I guess. We’ll see if I gain enough web authoring skills to be helpful. In any case, I’m having fun doing it. There’s nothing like going over something forever (at least, it seems like forever) and then finding that one line with a missing : or ; or } or even an incorrect value that changes the entire page. It is gratifying. Perhaps I’ll be coming to site a near you someday.

26 July 2005

Oh my FTP—oh my!

I’m trying to redesign the joelman website. Don’t get too excited. I haven’t spent the night on it like I expected. Why? Because I’m an idiot.

Well, not really, but close. I’m using a nice GUI interface to upload my index.html page. The first page everyone looks at, right? Well, instead of a careful upload into the correct directory it went into my /blog directory. That was a problem. Makes me want to return to the command line. The index file replaced the existing index.php (why would it do that, different extensions and all?). Well, that made this blog unreadable. I tried to fix it. And I guess I did, by just downloading the entire wordpress codex again and over-writing the messed up index.php with an original. Since I haven’t really taken advantage of customizing the site, no other changes were required. Phew.

But I was frustrated reading through help pages at wordpress.org. They were of no help. But common sense ruled the day, I guess.

Back to building my website. I’m using a theme “Life under construction” basically, because I have no idea what I’ll be doing with my life in the next few months. I’m searching for a stable job with no luck. More importantly, I suppose, is my lack of direction. Quitting graduate school and deciding a Ph.D. wasn’t for me has looked more and more like a dumb decision. Considering I have no career goals, I feel like I’m stuck in a rip tide being pulled out to who-knows-where.

Well, if you’re following my blog, you’ll notice that I’ll back track and publish several days of writing at once. That’s because I start something and the drafts start piling up. I have the intention to edit and publish in a timely fashion, but it just doesn’t happen. So keep coming back and scroll down, something new might be there.

2 Responses to “Oh my FTP—oh my!”

  1. Rahul Says:

    Hmmm… It probably didn’t replace the index.php. But I think the server looks for a .html file to present first. So if there’s and index.php file and an index.html file, the index.html file will get priority…

    For future reference if you’d just deleted the newly copied index.html file everything should have been fine.

  2. Administrator Says:

    That’s what was so strange. There was no index.html file in the directory. In fact I would moved the “new” index.php and it was a simple file like this:

    However, when I looked at it under admin presentation->theme editor->main theme, I saw my index.html. That’s what was so strange to me. I promise, no .html file to delete and replacing the .php file made the fix happen.

23 July 2005

Again, again

Abigail totally gets TiVo.

She’ll never sit down for an entire show. But she does love the music sequences in her favorite shows which include Sesame Street, Wiggles, Blue’s Clues (a new one for her) and Doodlebops. She doesn’t necessarily watch the entire show, but she’ll request certain parts to be replayed over and over. Whether they’re songs or short sequences, she gets that she can instantly watch them over and over.

This is thanks to TiVo’s instant replay button. The immediate 8 second flip-back that allows its user to always review any television—nothing is to be left unheard or unseen.

But the instant replay isn’t just there so Abigail can replay her favorite song of the day. Nope. It is for her favorite commercials too. For instance, she loves a pet food commercial that features a cat stalking prey as the song chants: “in the jungle, the mighty jungle…” Perhaps my favorite is her fascination with the out of work raiders looking for jobs elsewhere as everyone gets a new “hassle-free” credit card. Well, she demands to watch the guy repairing aerial electrical wires, getting shocked and falling down. She thinks it’s halarious! Wow. We wonder about her sometimes.

Regardless, TiVo is a great thing. And hey, if you get one, mention I recommend it to you. Here’s my referral number: R4059189. Use it and I think I get a free coffee mug or something.

21 July 2005


The monsoon is here and it is wonderful.

I know—I don’t live in India. And I don’t know what a real monsoon is. My father-in-law would constantly remind us that this is nothing like a monsoon. During his time in the armed forces he served in an Asian country where real monsoons occur.

But I know what a monsoon means in Tucson. Lightening shows and lots of rain—often flooding. It brings a relief to the recent high temperatures over 110. It replenishes the earth with much needed water. And it provides local news their headliner. Because, inevitably, some idiot tries to cross a flooded wash and gets stuck. This is a problem in Arizona, but Arizonans like to punish those that get stuck in the mud. They have a “stupid motorist law” that requires drivers to reimburse the state in case of rescue. I love the candor of locals when warning people of the danger of flooded roads. Only in Tucson.

By the way, the meteorological definition of monsoon (at least by local standards) is three consecutive days where the dew point averages 54 or above. And we enjoy it. We get a break from the sun with afternoon cloud cover and evening walks turn beautiful with the clouded sunsets reflecting pink and oranges hues on the desert mountains. It might be my favorite time of year in Tucson.

18 July 2005

It's green!

Abigail has a penchant for calling things green. We’ve been working with her to learn her colors. Unfortunately she hasn’t seemed to learn them well and we don’t know why. It is hit or miss. Sometimes she’ll be dead on. Others—well, sometimes it’s just gotta be green.

I wouldn’t say green is her favorite color—it’s her favorite word for color. As a parent one ruminates on the possible reasons for this behavior. Are childrens’ young eyes still developing the color spectrum? Would she know the difference if we just concentrated on primary colors? Blue and red would be obvious while purple stays a mystery? Does she have a classification system beyond color? Is this the sign of exceptional intelligence? Is this a sign of, uh, slowness? Does she do this just to mess with her parents?

The questions go on and on. Though nothing really yeilds an answer. I mean, she’s a smart kid. She knows the words. Every time we sign the color she verbalizes it correctly. So, what’s the deal?

And then it all made sense.

You ever hear that thing, you know, sage advice, that your kids will be listening when you least expect it? And then they’ll emmulate the last behavior you want them to adopt?

I made a mad dash to Mervyn’s down the street to get some swim trunks (evidently, nows the time to buy, 70% off!). I was doing my best to be quick as Abigail was promised a trip to the pool. And Laura and I worry that the early evening will be summer thunder storms (we don’t swim when lightening is in the air).

On my way home I was turing right, behind a lady looking left for oncoming traffic. That’s fine, except there was no oncoming traffic because the light was, you guessed it—green! Being the vocally inclined driver that am I say (in a moderately gruff voice): “Go!” *honk*, “It’s green lady!” Oh, she went—she went as soon as I hear Abigail from the back seat say—”It’s GREEN!”

She says it because it is my favorite color.

Am I a bad parent? Laura reports that she’s also yelled (in a cute way), “Go, go, go!” to other cars on the road. Now, I would like to blame this all on Tucson’s lack of skilled drivers, however, I’m obligued to accept responsibility. And I’m inclined to think that kids don’t listen/watch/do everything the parent does—just the stuff that’ll come back and bite you someday.

Watch myself—always. Too bad my vision ’tain’t so very good.


  1. I read this every day. Just so you know.

    Hooray for the Joelblog!

    Comment by Jeff — 20 July 2005 @ 10:17 am

  2. Too bad I don’t write everyday. Thanks for reading! I just finished yesterday’s entry on Jude Cole. Just so you know.

    Comment by Administrator — 20 July 2005 @ 10:22 am

  3. Give the kid a break - she’s 20 months old!! Maybe she doesn’t care about colors or maybe she color blind or maybe she doesn’t see the value in learning about colors right now. Kids will drive you crazy….

    Comment by Jacque — 28 July 2005 @ 3:44 pm

  4. […] a. As it turns out, I miss something more than even that. I am missing my friends become parents. It’s kind of an abstract thing that I probably wouldn’t even notice happe […]

    Pingback by The Average Blog » Blog Archive » Buddies having Babies — 6 September 2005 @ 7:26 am

15 July 2005

Waking up ...

at 8:30 this morning! Abigail really slept in. Which, in turn allowed Laura to really sleep in, which she’s grateful for. I got up a little earlier this morning and played on the computer. I’m kind of amazed at this whole bed thing for Abigail. But also gratified because it fits in with my plan. I don’t want to have to buy a second crib for Collette (she currently resides in a bassinet). But I also have some crazy idea in my head that I can build Abigail a bed.

I was in the garage last night at about 7:30. I was in there for about 5 minutes and was a sweaty mess when I came inside. I don’t know how I’ll build anything.

14 July 2005

Crib to bed transition

We’ve finally made the leap with Abigail. Her crib is one of those fancy-pants 4-in-1 cribs. It is no longer a crib. I don’t really know if it is a toddler bed or a day bed (what’s the difference?), but she’s clearly able to get out of it on her own now.

On Monday before Abigail’s afternoon nap, I “converted” the bed. As parents we worry that our daughter won’t stay asleep because she now has the option to roam freely. However, on Monday, when it was time for Abigail’s nap, I took her to bed and laid her down. I closed the door and voilà! Sleep! No. It wasn’t quite like that. But it was almost as easy. She got back up. Came into the kitchen and asked for a cookie. She had just had lunch, so I left her have the cookie and some milk. After finishing the first cookie, she pleaded for a second. I said, “No” and she whinned. I explained to her it was nap time and she wasn’t going to have another cookie. She was content with that answer (amazing in itself). I sat down and she went to her room. I was watching TV when I realized she hadn’t made much noise for a good ten minutes. And violà!—really. Asleep—for over two hours (a great nap for her).

And it has worked pretty well. She hasn’t really woken up and wandered around at night (as far as we can tell). And she’ll be content to play in her room without having to wake us in the morning for just a few minutes longer now that she decides when to get out of her bed. It’s nice. However, this afternoon she didn’t want to go to bed at noon. I think she got down at quarter past one. But it wasn’t a struggle. She just would keep getting up and we would tell her that it is time to sleep. So, she would go back and try it again.

I’m excited for Abigail. I love to see her become independent. It is a startling contrast between her and Collette, the needy little lump that gives an occasional rewarding smile to her caretakers. I’m sure that relationship will morph soon as she realizes those things that flap in front of her face are her hands.

11 July 2005

A blessing

Yesterday we had Collette’s blessing at church. This is a special time for the family. My parents and Laura’s father were in town for the event. The blessing is a somewhat formal event taking place during sacrament meeting. But there’s not much ritual in it. A group of us encirle and pronounce, essentially, a prayer. It is a humbling experience for me as I’m the one saying the prayer. But also it is important to me as it gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I want for Collette in the future and my role in helping achieve those expectations. Not that I want to endoctrinate her beyound thought or feeling into doing what I think is right. It isn’t that at all. But I do want my message to be clear and consistent. Which, is often difficult as I struggle to become my own ideal.

I guess that’s the reality of parenting. Not only do I struggle to become the person I want to become. But I’ll struggle as a father to help my children become good, compasionate people. I can only hope that being aware of that struggle will help in the battle.

Enough of that. In any case, it was great to have family around. It makes me miss being around family and being able to seem them often. Though we’ve been able to convince nearly everyone to visit us out here, I miss frequent visits with them. So tonight, with Abigail, Laura and I planned an FHE that would help Abigail appreciate her grandparents. We drew a family tree. And then we cut out pictures of the kids, parents and grandparents and put them on the tree (too many siblings, perhaps another time). We talked about how our mom and dad are her grandma and grandpa. It was good. She has the tree sitting above her bed.

01 July 2005

Pediatric cardiology

Remember the murmur? That’s right, a slight murmur in Collette’s heart. Nothing to worry about, says our pediatrician. But she referred us to the pediatric cardiologist so that he could tell us what was up. Collette has a hole in her heart.

Okay, my big question, why didn’t the early pediatricians pick up on the heart murmur? I suppose a murmur may be somewhat expected in a newly born baby. Possibly two reasons: 1. The heart actually has to go through some changes at birth to accomadate gases entering into the lung. Before this change is complete a soft murmur may be audible. 2. Collette’s hole is now healing, thus contracting the space that liquid flows. It’s like putting a spray nozzle on a hose, the liquid flows faster and louder. The murmur is now more noticable.

The good news is: out of all the congenital birth defects there are to have, the cardiologist is sure this he would choose Collette’s condition above all else. She has a ventrical septal defect. A hole between her two ventricals. Unfortunately she’ll have to take antibiotics anytime there is a chance an open wound could get infected (as this may lead to infection in her heart). But her activity level should be normal. And, if anything, SCUBA diving is a high risk activity for her (higher risk of stroke during ascent).

Above all else, Collette is an amazing baby to have around. A few nights ago she went down around 9:00 pm and woke up at 5:15 am. Laura actually woke up earlier thinking something was wrong. Apparently Collette likes to sleep as much as I do.