Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Mishmash & Updates

Blogger Finally Allowed Me to Switch

As of 6:30 p.m. yesterday, Nick’s Bytes is now in the “new” Blogger format. If you have any problems accessing it (I assume you didn’t or you’d not be reading this) or posting comments, let me know. (See my profile for my email address).

Alex the Hulk

I seem to be creating a monster cat! Since I purchased Alex a box of his favorite cat food (which he had not had for several weeks) he continually harasses (read: “claws") me for more and more of it. The first day I fed it to him, he demanded it over and over to the point I fed him six packets during the day (that’s 18 oz). He then heaved most of it up on the kitchen floor.

The feeding instructions on the packets read: “1 oz/85 g per pound of (cat) weight.” That means that I over fed Alex by about 7 oz. I thought that cats, unlike dogs, stopped eating when they were full!

The same day I overfed the cat that controls my life I followed a Google Adsense ad on my blog and took a test regarding Mr. Alex’s health. Basically the results said that I am a good cat mommy (?) and give Alex exceptional care except that the little fir ball is a bit overweight as determined by his profile which includes having a round belly. (Hell! I have big round belly, just like Santa Claus).

Since reading that, I have restricted Mr. Alex’s feeding to two packets of the Friskies pouches supplemented by his dry cat food. I am also paying for it, with (1) a broken ceramic cat dish (Alex pushed the empty dish off his cat table onto the floor) and (2) cat scratches on my legs (the results of not jumping up and feeding Alex when he so demands).

Does anyone know of a good cat psychologist? I need to advice!

How to Speak/Interpret Aussie

With today (or yesterday if you’re in Australia) being Australia Day, I decided I needed to learn Australian English. So I did a Google search and came up with this site: Aussie Slang.

Update: Mom

My mother remains in the rehab center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. I miss her; however she doesn’t want to expend the gasoline necessary to visit. Actually, she is reluctant to have any visitors, including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She says that visitors tire her out and she is already exhausted from the physical therapy.

Still, I speak with her by telephone (she has her cell phone by the bed and that makes it a local call from Louisville) three or four times each day. Her mood changes: during one call she is optimistic about returning to her home; then she sounds as if she has not hope of ever returning home.

As a therapist and pastor who has worked extensively with the elderly, I can understand this. Much demands on how she feels at any given moment. If I speak to her when she is in pain (back pain from pinched nerves or stomach pain from the meds), she is pessimistic. If she is not in pain, she is optimistic. I wish I had a prognosis from the rehab staff; unfortunately, they are noncommittal.

The Employment Picture

After learning that my application to the Board of Education had been purged after I chose to sell insurance rather than teach, I have resubmitted my application. It seems that I must start from scratch and cannot be placed on the substitute teacher call list until I have attended another orientation. There is no orientation scheduled until after Spring Break. That being the case, I have also begun to submit my teaching application to other school systems.

I’m in the process of updating my pastoral profile (I’m trained as an “intentional interim” pastor). The process has become more complex and expensive since I last updated it. For example, I must obtain and pay for a criminal records check. It seems the criminal records checks I had done for the Board of Education and the Kentucky Insurance Commission last year are not acceptable. How many times must I prove that I am not a criminal?

I also continue to submit my resume for social work positions. Even with a master’s degree in social work, there seems to be a lot of competition, for these jobs. I begin to wonder if my age (I’ll been 61 in less than a month) reduces my desirability.

The only recent job interviews I had are for insurance positions and each of these requires me to pay the insurance company for the privilege of selling their insurance. That how it was with Liberty National Life Insurance Company: I spent over $800.00 to obtain that position. At the last interview I attended (Farmers Insurance), the initial cost of working for the company was about $1600.00.


  1. I am glad Alex is in such fine shape. He certainly looks like it. Great photo by the way.

    Have you tried going through job service, or whatever they call it in KY? There ought to be help there for you. It's just a thought.

    I can't understand why the background checks don't transfer over, but it's the same with the federal government. They won't even accept an FBI background check, even though it is far more extensive than the one the government does.

    I know you will get a good position soon Nick. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. ohmigosh! u needed to pay to sell insurance? that's so crazy! i hope you have positive results on the job search wait, i know u will :) keep the faith..

  3. Your mother sounds tired. I hope she gets motivated to return to her home. Nursing homes are never good places, not matter what.

    Nick, you are an very good writer. Why not do that?

    Alex isn’t a hulk! He’s a cute little kitty, firball or not.

  4. I'd be very wary of any potential employer asking for $$ to work for them. Sounds like a scam.

  5. Nick,
    Welcome to beta. I dunno if its any better. I still don't know how to insert a link into my blog. But then...I'm a sort of technophobe, I guess.

    Just a thought - have you tried submitting your resume for positions working with retired persons? You may be just the person they look for, as opposed to a 25 year old new graduate.


  6. Nick,

    Have been catching up on your posts - am glad your mom is being well cared for, & am hoping you find a position you really like. Wherever you end up working, they'll be lucky to have you!

  7. The Aussie dictionary is wonderful and fun. I never knew there was such a thing as Australian English until I read it.

  8. LAURIE: I am not sure how much longer Alex is going to be in good shape! This evening I fed him his second packet of Friskies and he also had a full day’s serving of dry food. About the time he was eating Friskies serving #2 I sat down to eat my own dinner. Alex gobbled his before I finished mine, jumped up on my table, and pounced on the food on my plate. He then decided that spinach and potatoes au gratin were not to his liking. Of course, the remainder of my dinner went down the food disposal.

    Yes, I’ve been to the unemployment office. As a matter of fact< I know the director because I sold insurance (although I’ll never receive the commissions) to state employees in that office. Their referrals are among the 400 résumés I’ve sent out in the past three years.

    Since I was an intelligence officer while I was in the army, I realize that the qualities of security investigations, at least, are less important to bureaucracies than who does the investigating. I think that’s due to inter-agencies prejudices and rivalries.

    LITTLE MISS MUFFET: That surprised me, too.

    ABBY: When I talked with Mom this evening, she was chipper and optimistic. I hope she is the same tomorrow morning.

    I’d love to write for a living. I remember the book I read years ago, “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow.” I am doing what I love, so…?

    LIMPY: Thank you. Scam is what many of my friends have said and why I won’t return to selling insurance as an “independent agent.” The friends who called it a “scam” included in prosecuting attorney, a circuit court judge, and a retired FBI agent!

    REVEREND SUMANGALI TANIA PINK: I am unsure whether I like the version of Blogger. With the old version I could search my blog for past post and copy and paste the URL into my latest post as a hyperlink to what I have previously written. This version of Blogger won’t do that search.

    Yes, I’ve submitted my resume to every social service position in a 150 mile radius of Louisville. Today I received a response from a hospital:

    “Dear Nicholas:

    Thank you for your interest in employment with Norton Healthcare. After reviewing your resume, we regret to inform you that our search for the Social Worker - Audubon position has been narrowed to other candidates.

    However, we would like to see you find a new career within the Norton Healthcare system, so please visit to find other open jobs in the Louisville area. You may login with the same email address and password you used on our website.

    Thank you for your interest in Norton Healthcare and we wish you all the best in your career.

    Norton Healthcare

    What gets me is that Norton Health Care now operates a hospital founded by my denomination and over the past two years, as President and then Moderator of the Association, I have spent probability 150 or hours working with them.

    RHAPSODY: Thank you!

    ANGUS XVII: Yes, it is fun! I think my favorite (thus far) is: old chook
    noun: - a disliked and interfering woman. From chook meaning chicken. The reference is perhaps to being Hen Pecked.

  9. Nick, it would be a terrible shame and a dis-service to the community if you were not properly considered because of your age. Don't people understand how valuable experience and wisdom are?

  10. Nick, how on earth do you manage to keep up with the events of the world?


    We got a public holiday, but it was way too hot for anyone to enjoy it. It was 42'C here (I don't know what that is in 'F), no sea breeze. It was just plain nasty!


  11. Hi Nick ~~ That Alex sure does run your life. Have you tried emptying the Friskies into a container and just giving him a handful? He is too smart to know when a packet is finished. He will get too fat and get ill. I do hope you can find some sort of employment very soon.
    Glad your mother is content most of the time. Take care, my friend, Merle. Thanks for the Aussie Day wishes and slang.

  12. Timely words and excellent links, Rev. Saint. Thank you.

  13. Happy belated Australia Day mate!

    Yes, its no different here re the criminal record checks, i know its a pain, ( i have to undergo ever year...twice!) but you'd be surprised how many weirdo's are picked up.

    I hope your mum improves some more. It can be quite stressful for the loved ones such as yourself.

    At least Alex has an appetite :)