Wednesday, March 26, 2008

40 hours

I have let this blog slack a little and I am sorry about that. One of the worst things about the 40 hour work week, is that it takes, well 40 hours out of your week. Just stop and think about that for a moment.... 8 hours... no more like 8 and a half or 9 hours, depending on the lunch break set up. That's a good chunk of the day, that is an investment of your time, of your energy and your brain. Even with jobs that may not seem to be that taxing can take their toll. You show up, you do what you are being paid to do, or you do your best to look busy, and then all those hours later you leave.... who came up with this system? Why is it still the standard? really? Now I am happy to have a job and a regular paycheck and the benefits, let me be clear about that, but I'm open to having a less standard schedule. Back when I first moved back to Michigan I interviewed for a job that I was shocked to not get past the first interview with... one of the elements of that job was that they had a schedule where you worked 36 hours one week, and 44 the next, so that you were working 80 hours for the pay period, but four of those hours were built in overtime... bumping the pay up that extra bit. All those hours, it's kinda crazy when you stop and think about it, and our world just buys into it for the most part....

On the Road. Well it's starting to warm up, and there are a few more places that I would want to check out before it becomes to hot to be in the south. One of them is Albuquerque New Mexico. I don't know why, it's just one of those places, like Idaho, that has called to me, whispering for me to come and visit to come and see. I am not sure what there is to see, but it's a college town, and it's got an art community that I would like to check out... and there is also Santa Fe, another American city that I would like to walk the streets, poke around the book shops, drink coffee and eat the local fare. New Mexico is also the a easy way to get to Colorado, which is where I think that I would visit next.......

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Math

The name of this blog comes from the song by New Math... along with the song Can't get off the Ground.
both of these tracks, along with a couple of other great ones are now for sale at anthology recordings where you are also read a bit about the band. More info on New Math can be found at
Fan Site
and you can get the New Math CD at CD Baby


So this is going to be a short one... I really need to get to bed cause I have to be a work early.... speaking if which, I have been training for the last several days, reading the rules and reg, getting used to the new workplace and figuring everything out. It's still strange to think that I have this job, after looking for so long and after having more than a couple of close calls... and getting worried as my part time gigs started cutting back on hours. I will write a little more about by new job as time goes on.. but I just wanted to take a moment to talk about something that's been on my mind...

The work week. Simply this 8 hour work day is out dated and really leaves many people with out enough time to live their lives.. however there is a solution, it's either the 6 hour work day or the 10 hour work day. Either you can get your time done in fewer days, or have less hours. Now, it's not for everyone or for every job, but I really believe that this is a idea that needs to be looked at.

Once upon a time I did work a job that had 10 hour shifts, I was part time (sort of, I received the same pay and the benefits as the full time staff), it was great. I worked 3 shifts a week and I was done, unless there was overtime and then I could work another shift and get a days pay, and when I left that job the staffing was such that there was a lot of overtime and I was working 6 days a week and making time and a half for all those extra hours. I look at the 10 hour shift like this, you have all ready committed most of your day to work, and an extra two hours isn't all that much... and when you get an extra day off each week, it's all that much better...

On the other end of this idea is the six hour work day. Really this would be great, and there have been cases where companies found that productivity was such that you could pay your staff that was working only 30 hours a week the same that you were paying them when they were working 40 hours a week. The story that I have always heard was that when the Great Depression was on, that one of those Michigan cereal companies started to have 4 six hour shifts in place of the 3 eight hour shifts so that they could employ a whole additional shift of people, and that they were so productive that they were able to pay workers the same that they had with the eight hour shifts... add to this most American workers say that they would give up a days pay for a day off, and we could help solve so much of the time crunch that people are feeling.

As with the idea of the Salary Cap, the extended or shortened work day is one of my new favorite ideas that companies should look at to help out not only themselves, but the country.....
Speaking of the Salary Cap, did anyone else notice that Congress recently held hearing about the pay of top CEOs? I didn't hear all that much, just that they were noting that it was getting insane that these people are making millions while the companies that they are charged with leading are losing millions. I have always thought that if the company isn't making money then the people at the top shouldn't be receiving anything beyond their pay check, and if people at the bottom are being asked to take a cut in pay or benefits so should the people at the top.... this isn't something that the should be required by law, but out law makers should issue a public plea that large companies start cutting back on the top pay and increasing the pay of workers at the lower levels... but that isn't going to happen as long as we live in the greed is good world of the USA...

No on the road this time... maybe next time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Job

So I had my first day at the new job yesterday. It's a strange feeling to be the newbie at work. The whole not knowing exactly how it all fits together and works, where I am to go, or not go. I don't know the dynamic, and it's a little frustrating to not be in the flow of the new job site and knowing and doing what you are to do day to day. My experience is that it takes a couple of weeks to get into it, and know what you need to know.

On the other end of the spectrum is the leaving a work place... the idea that you went to a place several times a week and spent a lot of hours there, and now, after however long, you stop doing this. You stop seeing a lot of the people that you interacted with day after day for a couple of years or how ever long. For me that's not the biggest deal, as the two most recent jobs that I have had are the part time, temp jobs that have always been a stop gap, keeping the rent paid until I can get set up with a full time gig..

I am keeping one of the part time jobs, if I can work it around the new full time gig, and the other.... it looks as if I have one more shift, but after a week from today (21st of March) I will be done there. I don't feel any sort of sadness at leaving that job, as things have changed and a lot of my co-workers are working on getting out themselves.

More to come..

On the Road... as I mentioned last time South by Southwest is on and if I were able to spend a year on the road, that would be one of the places that I would be checking out.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Annnnnnnndddddd.... I took the job offer

Yes I have been quite here lately, mostly it's been the waiting game that I mentioned previously.... and that game has paid off, in that I have just been offered and accepted a job. I will refrain from going into details, just in case... but I am happy to have full time employment in front of me. It's a first step, a dependable paycheck, working closer to home.... where I won't have to drive to work.. in fact it's better if I don't drive, save the wear and tear on the car and not paying all that money for gas. I do intend to keep one of my part time jobs if they have hours for me for a while, but the mall security job is going to have to end. I can't say that I am all that sorry to see it go, only I am going to miss some of the people that I have worked with there.

On the road, last time we left off heading for Vegas, and west, but I just found out that South by Southwest ( is March 7 - 16 2008, and being close enough I think I would swing back around and check that out. In hindsight it might have been better to circle Austin and see the places around Texas and the southwest before hitting Austin for SXSW. On the other hand it might have been a good idea to see Austin free from the SXSW madness... and then returned.

So what would I be checking out at SXSW?
Let's see...
Films.... ( is where you can find the list) I don't know what I would be checking out, honestly I have looked over the list of films on line, and nothing really calls out to me, and I being in Austin for SXSW I would be there for the music. Speaking of which... first off let me point you towards the artist list.. ... all of the artists with a cassette icon denotes that there is an mp3 from that act you can download. So far I have discovered
Kate Tucker & the Sons of Sweden ( who's song Faster than Cars Drive is an amazing folk pop tune.
Also there is
Mr. Lewis & The Funeral 5 ( who play in that whole dark Swing jazz thing...
...but this isn't my music blog.. that's at
So yeah, SXSW.. it's an event that I would love to check out..

So more to come... I'm a little scattered at the moment, with the job news..

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm still here, still waiting

Yes it's a new month and I didn't have all the much to say or report during February... even though I had a job interview and a second interview, I just didn't want to say all that much about those interviews. I have a whole set of excuses for the lack of posts, but really I just didn't make all that much time.

I am now entering my 7th month with out a full time job. I have been working, with my two part time gigs keeping me afloat so far.. but the purse strings are drawing closed on those jobs as their hour budgets shrink, and their more senior employees come back from vacations and being sick. I am not complaining here, just noting that it feels like it's going to all start to slow down soon. I have been taking what ever hours I get offered for the most part, and this has lead to 12 and 16 hour days right next to 4 hour days. It's not all that stable. I understand why companies follow these models, however I also understand that if you are not keeping your employes income to roughly the same level you have, they don't have money to spend on your products and the products of other businesses in your community... which means that the people at the other places are seeing their hours cut as their income is cut and they don't have money to spend at your place.... all of which suggests that in a economy like the one we have at the moment that the focus should be on investing in workers and making sure that they have enough money to keep out of debt and at the same time keep money flowing in the economy.... and let me be clear I am not talking about mandating this, I am talking about boards of directors sticking with this idea because it's solid business..... but yeah, I have been with out regular full time employment with a living wage for going on 7 months... and I am still trucking along.....

Speaking of which, On the Road. Last time I was talking about Austin, TX.... a sort of promised land (I know a guy that goes on and on about how amazingly beautiful the women there are), and I keep reading that it's one of those places that is several square miles surrounded by reality. At this point I think it's time to wander on to a place that I do want to check out at least once in my life... Las Vegas. I want to drive the strip, check out the sights. eat some food and stay away from the tables. I had my first experience with a casino this past fall, and honestly I don't dig them....but I have the urge to see the place at least once...

more soon.