Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why I am unsatisfied by job search websites

So, I'm currently unemployed. The current economy being totally shit does not help this matter, but I am not here to discuss that today. Rather I am here to trash all the job search sites I have used. Specifically I am going to say how bad the sites that are only job search fail at their tasks. I will discuss the sites I have used one by one.
  1. Craigslist: This site actually works well for what it is. It does not claim to be a full featured job search site, it is free, you don't need an account, there is no screening of employers or prospective employees. The search actually works well, it's easy to check different locations, job types, and narrow the search. Unfortunately there is no saved search or anything like that (it would actually be pretty useful for craigslist as a whole), but for doing period searches by hand it is pretty good.
  2. This site is a dedicated job search site, and to apply for a job you have to sign up for the site. However, rather than being more convenient than say, craigslist, it is much less. There are a great variety of annoyances, but the one that impacts my finding a job the most is that the search function is terrible. It has a bad interface, and once you spend 10 minutes configuring it right it does not save properly. I graduated from college in June, and it keeps sending me senior developer positions. There are also a lot of adds, including obtrusive ones for the university of phoenix (I've got a BS, I don't need another). Overall the site feels like it was written in '98 and could seriously use a refresh.
  3. Career builder: This place is on average about the same as, but has different annoynaces. The save search still is crap, but there is a "jobs similar to ones you have applied for" search that works decently. On the other hand it was a huge pain to sign up for, I had to put in my info at least 3 times because it kept going to the next page of questions before I was done, and then when I went back to edit it everything was wiped out.
  4. Usajobs: This is the official US government job search site. It works ok it's self, but the jobs are posted here in a very annoying way. Not only is the language of the posting strange government legalese, but there are huge numbers of the same posting repeated again and again. Also to apply to many of these you have to go to another site which brings me to my next section...
  5. Company or agency specific sites: These are by nature hugely varied. The worst are government sites, one of these I could literally find no way to apply. Boeing has a good one (the saved search actually works).
Someone should make a website that aggregates the search results from a variety of sources and consolidates them so that you don't need to sign up for all of these places just to search, and also so they can have better search features. Maybe I should...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The ginger beer Chronicles

So I've been trying to make home made ginger beer. First I tried this recipe with added ginger, but it didn't ferment enough (probably my fault), and it just tasted like ginger ale. I was looking for a stronger flavor especially after trying some Jamaican style ginger beer. It was incredibly strong and spicy. So I looked around and formulated my own recipe:
  • Ginger to taste, grated, juiced or sliced. I used most of one root
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 1 cassia (cinnamon) stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon or whole lime
  • 1/4 tsp bakers yeast
  • 2 liters water (to fit the container, double the recipe for a gallon container )

From Ginger Beer Recipe 2
Put the ginger, sugar, and spices in a large pot

From Ginger Beer Recipe 2
Add water and boil. Let steep for ~10 min.

From Ginger Beer Recipe 2
Cool to prevent over-steeping. Add citrus.

From Ginger Beer Recipe 2
Put yeast in bottle and pour liquid into bottle.

Ferment for 24-48 hours until plastic bottle is firm when squeezed. Refrigerate to stop fermentation.

I accidentally watered it down a little when cooling it. On the plus side I now have 2 bottles of it. My initial taste says that it's tasty with spices, but is not particularly gingery. We'll see how it is when it's done.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sara Palin: petty dictator

So according to Sara Palin did not try to get books banned, but rather asked the librarian what she (the librarian) would do if asked to remove books, and then what she would do if there were pickets. This seems pretty threatening to me, and reveals that she is a petty dictator: the kind who has to constantly remind those under her that she has power over them. Of course this is only one of many situations where she has revealed that aspect of her personality.

as an aside, I would mention that everyone should visit to confirm your stuff before getting into a political debate, it's pretty reliable politics would be much better in this country if everybody had to stay within the bounds of facts.