Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Last night I was out with a Fish and Wildlife biologist on a 'night walk' around part of the Big Pine Tract, accompanied by my mother, her girlfriend and a few others. This area is in Hernando County, about fifty miles north of Tampa, and as the name suggests it's one of the biggest stands of pine left in the state. It's not beautiful, truly, although some places in that part of Florida surely are. It's more "ruggedly handsome," forested scrub land that, perhaps through being mostly undisturbed by suburbia, has acquired a certain solemn nobility that transcends its scraggly edges. (Much of Florida's suburbia, particularly in the belt that runs from south of Hernando County to Lake Okochobee or so, is all scraggle, staggered evenly with Wal-Marts.)

The walk lasted about a mile, starting at dusk and going until after dark; the moon was half full and the night sky was clear overhead, with lightning far off to the east toward the end of the walk, providing a light show. We saw frogs, spiders, snakes, birds and bats, and heard--well, mostly crickets and frogs. (I promised a friend who said she can hear bats that I'd listen to see if I could the next time I saw a bat. I didn't hear the ones I saw this time, but perhaps the crickets were drowning it--and anything else--out.) I learned, or re-learned, a few things:

  • I miss hiking in general--I didn't get out for it at all this last winter.
  • I should have brought my own insect repellent, because my mother's spray-on stuff didn't work.
  • The night is pleasantly loud, at least when there aren't strangers babbling nearby on your walk through the forest.
  • Jeans are too hot to wear on a summer hike in Florida.
  • Even at night.
  • Yes, May is summer in Florida.
  • Did I mention humidity sucks?


Starting Monday at work I am going to be assigned to cover for a co-worker who's going on a three-week vacation. He's been working with the corporate web developer on what had been described to me as a shopping cart project. I've made fun of this concept in the past (even in the best light, NetPoodles doesn't sell the kind of stuff you order that way, any more than Cisco does), but I learned that actually it's a complete sales management system, being able to track orders from placement through finance approval (with credit card processing) and shipping to in-field trouble tickets. I'm stunned. If it were a product itself, it'd be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars--and it'd be competitive with others in that price range.

This of course makes me suspicious, in a financial detective kind of way. I previously theorized that our major asset--the only thing we might be bought out for--is our development team. Now I'm wondering if this tracking system isn't being developed specifically to be our major salable asset.

Inspired partially by a conversation with joshuwain a few days ago, I reworked my resumé a bit to match the title of "Web Designer." This had been something I'd been avoiding, based on my perception that web designers aren't going to get as much money as web developers (which is probably true) and based also on my perception that ultimately I had more programming background than graphic design background (which is also probably true). Well, after putting up a resumé on Monster on Thursday for the first time in months, I came home after the night walk last night to find a message waiting for me from a recruiter.

Granted, it was a non-informative message, and it was also fairly early Friday afternoon so, given my lack of timely response it may already look like I'm not interested--I'll have to try to return the call first thing Monday morning, likely by cell phone on the way into the office, or even just before I leave. But getting something that quickly after half a year with nothing is relieving in itself, even if nothing comes of this call.

Of course, this means a weekend of going back over that resumé and refreshing any skill that I've claimed to have. I've been told by friends and even supervisors that I tend to be too conservative in rating my skill set, so I tried to be less so this time 'round...


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