31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year! May you have peace, prosperity, and a damn good time in 2010!

Definitely more to come for my blog next year. Stay tuned.


30 November 2009

Happy Holidays!

Before the holiday season gets too busy and distracting, I wanted to wish all my blog readers a Happy Holidays!

Looks like there are some really great online shopping deals right now.

Be safe, have fun, and enjoy the season with family and friends.

Thanks for reading!

10 November 2009

Not Shedding a Tear

So, the state of Virginia executed the DC Sniper, John A. Muhammad, earlier tonight. I am generally not a supporter of the death penalty, but in this case, I did not shed a tear.

As I previously wrote regarding capital punishment, I am willing to be pragmatic in extreme cases. I think the random shooting of numerous innocent people out in public across multiple states for the purposes of creating a diversion and inciting chaos is quite extreme.

20 September 2009

Giving Up On Kombucha

So, after trying it around 10 times, I am giving up on kombucha (also spelled komboucha).

The fermented tea, made from a polyculture of bacteria and yeast growing in a jar of black tea and sugar, first caught my attention when I noticed the rather large refrigerated display of a few brands at Whole Foods Market. With a wide variety of flavored options and a long list of health claims, I figured it was worth a try. I previously wrote about my experience with the GT's Raw Organic Komboucha Multi-Green flavor.

09 September 2009

Apple Announces Exciting New iPod Nano Model


Steve Jobs just announced the new iPod Nano model includes a video camera (to compete with the Flip Mino), a voice recorder, onboard speakers, Nike pedometer, FM radio receiver, bigger screen, CoverFlow navigation, all aluminum case available in multiple colors, and free of arsenic, BFR, mercury, and PVC.

Only $179 for 16GB, $149 for 8GB. Available today!


There's going to be lots more video cameras in people's hands soon.

06 September 2009

The Case Against Video Resumes: A Staffing Director's Perspective

In 2007, there was mainstream (TIME, USA Today, MSNBC) and recruiting industry (Cheezhead, ERE) media attention on the growing trend of video resumes. YouTube was exploding onto the scene and the job market was still hot. Some of the coverage was optimistic, while many expressed doubts about video resumes (Brazen Careerist, FastCompany, Freakonomics).

It's now two years later. The proliferation of built-in webcams, pocket camcorders (Apple, Flip, Sony), and the ubiquity of YouTube, as well as some specialty websites (HireVue, FaceHire, InterviewStudio, HitechResumes, eVesume, MYNE, RecruitTube, RezBuzz, VideoResumes, VideoResumeToolKit) makes it easier and cheaper than ever to create a video resume. More employers have PCs and networks that can handle video downloads and streaming than ever before. All the leading smartphone models have video playback capability. While we're gradually emerging from the bottom of an awful global recession, we are still deep inside a jobless recovery, with unemployment rates still climbing, motivating some people to find a way to stand out in the ultra-competitive job market.

Despite all these factors, I feel it's time to make the case against video resumes.

03 September 2009

Healthcare Reform Facebook Meme

So, starting late yesterday, and all through today, a whole bunch of people on Facebook posted on their status a message that seemed pretty popular:
No one should die because they cannot afford healthcare, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status.
After I saw it for the first few times, I thought it was an ok sentiment, but not one I would be echoing on my own Facebook status. Then, there seemed to be an onslaught of status updates with the same, or very similar messages. There were comments of support, and some other status messages serving a bit of a backlash sentiment.

30 August 2009

Wishing for Extended Episodes of Anthony Bourdain

The online marketing arm of the production team for the Travel Channel television show, Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, has been actively reaching out to fans for feedback and questions. On August 27, I responded on Twitter:
@NoReservations How about selling longer, 2+ hr versions of previous destinations, on DVD, pay per view, or iTunes, for hardcore food fans?

16 August 2009

Product Review: Clamato Tomato Cocktail

Earlier today, I was planning to cook cioppino for my family's Sunday dinner. I skimmed through various recipes online, to remind me what ingredients to buy and the basic cooking methods involved. I noticed some recipes called for clam broth and at least one mentions using Clamato tomato cocktail as an alternative. While I was at the supermarket, I was a bit pressed for time, so I wasn't able to find bottled clam juice, but I was able to buy fresh clams, and I also quickly grabbed some Clamato.

Auditions Are Not Exactly Interviews

So, my sister asked me to comment on this New York Times article about a casting director who tweeted during auditions, sometimes with rude comments.

My response:

27 July 2009

No Longer Reliant on the Major Job Boards

I am pleased to announce that professionally, I am no longer a paying customer of Careerbuilder, Dice, or Yahoo! HotJobs, for job postings and resume database access. Where I work, we still use Monster, but my employer's parent company pays for the little we use of it. Applicant flow from all the major job boards were clearly on the decline and we were making fewer and fewer hires from them.

26 July 2009

Bay Area Job Market Gradually Warming Back Up

I'm noticing the Bay Area high tech job market is gradually warming up from the frigid chill of the past 6 months. At my own employer, we have a handful of recently open positions in our two Bay Area locations.

Over the past month, I've received a handful of whispered leads for contract recruiting gigs at various tech companies.

18 July 2009

Product Review: GT's Raw Organic Kombucha, Multi-Green

The other day I was shopping at Whole Foods Market when I came upon the refrigerated display for bottled Kombucha. I know very little about kombucha, other than it's a sort of highly nutritious tea, and I had it once before years ago. I had a faint recollection it didn't taste very good.

On a whim, I grabbed a bottle of GT's Organic Raw Kombucha, Multi-Green flavor, to give it a try. Certainly, the marketing text on the labels touted all sorts of nutritional benefits. It was only later that I figured out that this wasn't any ordinary tea. It was fermented tea. With a kick.

16 July 2009

Innovators in Recruiting Technology

The past few months, I've had the serendipitous opportunity to meet with a handful of separate innovators in the recruiting technology field. I believe they have each had an interest in speaking with me based on my experience having selected, implemented, administered, troubleshot, and critiqued various online recruiting tools. These innovators have discussed or shown some great ideas for future functionality or products in the space.

I think what has impressed me the most is the passion and vision that these folks have had in their innovations, even though we are in the worst employment market slump in our lifetime.

12 June 2009

Offensively Bad HR Systems Demo

Yesterday (Thursday, 11 June 2009), I attended an HR systems demo that was so bad, it wasn't just disappointing, or somewhat disorienting. It was so bad, I was actually offended.

The vendor shall remain nameless, at least for now, in part because my employer has decided to give this vendor a second chance with the HR systems demo. Essentially, a do over.

Why bother? Because this vendor may end up providing business applications for other departments where I work and the evaluation process for those functions are not yet complete. Also, the vendor gave excuses that certain HR functions which we asked for did exist, and even boasted that they use their own system for their own company's HR, but such requested HR functions weren't in this particular demo configuration, so we couldn't see it in action. Another excuse was that certain individuals from their side were not available to discuss their portions of the system.  So, a do over would mean they would have no excuses.

29 May 2009

Freedom of Speech: Get It Right

It continues to amaze me how poorly and consistently Americans misunderstand the constitutional right known as "freedom of speech".  In politically inclined forums, sometimes someone will accuse their detractors of infringing on their freedom of speech, when it is suggested their opinion is not welcomed, considered inappropriate, or unpopular.

The thing is the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, with regards to free speech, protects people in the U.S. from government suppression of expression. It provides little protection from responses, criticisms, or consequences from any and all non-governmental entities.

26 May 2009

Product Review: Straus Plain Whole Milk Yogurt

I was first introduced to Straus Organic Yogurt at the Harmony Frozen Yogurt shop in San Carlos, which exclusively sells the Straus brand. The frozen yogurt there is delicious, with a natural tart flavor.

The other day, while shopping for meatloaf ingredients, I was faced with choosing a brand of plain yogurt to add to the meat mix. I know it's a marketing thing, but it really dismayed me to find 99% of the yogurts for sale to be labeled either low fat or nonfat. I also know that the many fruit flavors are what first popularized yogurt in the U.S. (R.I.P. Daniel Carasso, founder of the Dannon/Danone #1 international brand, who popularized U.S. yogurt consumption in the 1940s, recently passed away at age 103), which is why most yogurts are flavored as such, but I was seeking the plain flavor for my meatloaf.

02 April 2009

The Foie Gras Wars: Taking A Stand

To all vegan extremists: leave us meat eaters alone!

A delectable, delicious dish of seared foie gras in reality has none of the cruelty of shark fin soup, pinikpikan, or even, perhaps, a bucket of KFC. The mythology of pervasive mishandling of ducks and geese, when combined with the political strategy of attacking foie gras as a mere beach head landing in the war on meat consumption, seems to fuel vegan extremists to tactics of annoyance, interruption, and, occasionally, reprehensible vandalism and criminal threats.

13 March 2009

Product Review: Pei Pa Koa

A pretty nasty cold is going around lately. I've heard from people at work, from family members, and others, that a nasty bug is causing people's throats to get very sore, and causes the sinuses to feel very irritated. Unfortunately, I was not immune to this. For the past 8 days, I've experienced evolving symptoms from this cold bug.

Last night, I suffered some fairly painful sensations in my mouth and sinuses. I was already taking fairly large doses of ibuprofen as a result of my dental procedure earlier this week, but I felt I really needed to take something for my sinuses and cough. I hadn't taken anything specifically for the cold all week.

Product Review: Ricera

I had some dental work done earlier this week, requiring me to eat soft and liquid foods for some time. During my most recent visit to Whole Foods Market, I decided to load up on soy yogurt, which I've enjoyed before. 

Product Review: Glad ForceFlex

We've been using the 13 gallon tall kitchen draw string Glad ForceFlex garbage bags for a couple of weeks now.  It's been apparent from the start that these bags rip easily.  At first, we were cleaning stuff out of the garage so there were some heavier or more pointed objects that probably would rip most garbage bags.  But just today, a normal load of kitchen garbage caused a bag to rip. Even the user reviews on Amazon reflect other customers experiencing ripped bags.

We definitely will not buy anymore ForceFlex garbage bags.

Thumbs down.

12 March 2009

Space Station Crew Prepared To Abandon Ship

I was driving to work this morning when I heard on the radio news that the crew of the International Space Station had just been ordered into their Soyuz space capsule for possible evacuation due to the potential for collision with space debris.

While I don't find space travel nearly as fascinating as when I was a kid, I certainly hoped no harm would come to the crew or the station itself.

I'm glad to read the high speed space debris missed by a few miles, but I'm not sure if the story deserves to be buried as deep as it already has on the CNN website.

04 February 2009

25 Random Thoughts

Originally posted on my Facebook profile around the time many others were posting lists of personal desires, childhood injuries, personality quirks, and the like. After initially resisting to participate, I decided my list would be somewhat different, reflecting more thoughts than milestones.


Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I believe it's totally OK to say you don't know, but usually not OK to sound like you don't know.

2. My favorite beers mostly come from Oregon.