Settling in for the Job Hunt, long-term

Well, the goodbye echos are over, the severance check is safely in the bank, and the initial supernova of Job Hunt Hysteria has died down.

Yep, I'm just unemployed at the moment.  Nothing terribly special...just a guy looking for his next gig, like millions of others.

The first week of "not going to work" didn't go so well.  I was completely off-schedule at home, and an person with my brain chemistry devoid of structure tends toward anxiety and acting-out.  I did act-out on Wednesday, so the road back there continues.  I have calmed down considerably, and I feel like I'm through the change curve to the point of "Yep, I don't work at Lexmark anymore."

I have two sorts of days now:  Days where I'm at home, and days where I'm on the hunt.  "Home" days like yesterday are really nice--I get to take some of the burden off Whitney and do things around the house, deferred maintenance and errands mostly.  For example, I finally closed our old safety deposit box and re-upped my passport (expired since January), then cleaned-up the garage.

"Hunt" days finally have some structure to them as well.  I've taken to coming to the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library and using their 300Mb/s internet to good effect.  Physically the site is close to downtown, has several quiet rooms for people to use for things like conferences or job interviews, and its far enough away from home that I don't feel like I'm just "hanging out" in Georgetown.

So, the tech side of things is mostly interview prep on HackerRank.  I really can't recommend this site enough--all of the 'write this code" problems you inevitably get on a programming interview, plus instant feedback as it runs test cases over your submitted solutions.  It's much like the old ACM programming contests from back in the day, but fully automated and self-service.

I am considering picking-up some F/OSS projects or something else to keep me focused.  Doing practice problems is great, but there's nothing quite like squashing bugs or contributing to a real codebase.  My church needs a new website and app. so there's always that.

As far as current kit goes, I couldn't quite convince myself we needed another $2k+ MacBook pro, so I hit-up a used computer shop in Lexington and got an HP Envy 14" Core i5 machine with a 750MB conventional hard drive for $200, including a 90-day warranty.  

I put-up with Windows 10 on it for about a week, then slapped Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on it with the Unity UI.  Wow, Canonical has really done their homework with this one.  They're definitely emulating the Mac look/feel and most everything Just Works.  So far, there's no yak shaving required like in the good (?) old days, aside from the keyboard simply not working whenever I power off or suspend the machine.  As I type this, it's working just fine, but there's no predictability to it, so I'm carrying around a full 102-key USB keyboard.  Yeah, I should hit-up the warranty, but I don't want to be out a machine.

Maria's about to start summer swim team again--and she's getting faster all the time, with an improving dive--so it's time we make some definite plans.  Stay?  Go? If go, where?

I do thank God to have the financial security to take some time with this, but the Eastern Kentuckian in me is plainly antsy--seems like lots of good local stuff floating by me, and I'm not jumping in any of those proverbial boats.  At least, not yet.  By Mid-May, it will be time to do some narrowing.

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