Unemployed life, week 2

Well, week two of unemployment comes to a close. Unlike week one, I actually had to deal with stuff here. Lots of paperwork, including my first encounter with California's unemployment system. Unemployment insurance is handled by the Employment Development Department (EDD). Although it was relatively easy to apply for unemployment insurance online, I have to file bi-weekly claims and proof that I'm looking for work, on paper via snail mail. I don't even have current-rate stamps around. You think they could handle this online as well, but then once you start reading the questions, maybe not. Remember, the unemployment system is intended to cover all sorts of employment, whether you do advanced software development for music and art, or turn a big crank in factory somewhere, or shift paper from one pile of forms to another. It definitely was not designed with my job skills or amibitious in mind. Mostly, they just want to know that you're still eligible to work, not sick or injured, and that you're actively looking. The last one requires that I show that I am applying for work at least once a week, and not turning things down for no good reason. And that you also file your resume with CalJobs. My favorite question on that site was “Are you dislocated from your previous occupation or industry?” “Dislocation” is an intereting choice of words. Sounds painful. Anyhow, this is all fine if you're just “trying to work,” but not if you're waiting for the right job. I'm hoping they just don't care, as long as I fill out the forms, and start sending those small but still significant unemployment checks.

So between unemployment and severance, both paid in part by “the good people” at Creative Labs, things are OK for now. I'm a little more worried about the health insurance, especially in light of possible “dislocations.” Ouch. I've already had a couple of issues with health insurance, which is supposed to be paid for through the end of August. I was assured by my former employers that the whole “coverage expired” thing was just an error from the benefits department, and that it would be corrected soon. But hey, I've seen Sicko – it was my “patriotic” activity this past July 4th – and how bad things can get. So until that gets straightened out, Luna has better medical coverage than I do. Let's hope there's no car accidents in the near future…

On the positive side, I have started looking into new jobs and other opportunities – even some meetings and interviews. I can't really say more, though…

…now back to the cats and/or music.

Weekend Cat Blogging #112 and Chaos #3: Unemployment Lifestyle

We at CatSynth are still getting used to this whole unemployment thing. For me, this is a very novel experience, not having work. However, there is a lot that cats can teach us about not working:

Our friends Kashim and Othello have a “mess” theme for the Bad Kitty Cat Festival of Chaos, and we have a recent pic that sums up both messiness and idleness:

I leave laundry on the floor, and Luna takes a nap on it. A little guilty non-working pleasure for both of us.

On more serious note our friends at the Bad Kitty Cats are dealing with more difficulties, as Braum has fallen ill and Zed Monster had an accident that severely injured his tail. We hope they both make a full recovery.

Of course, there is more feline fun with a Simpsons theme, D'oh!, at The Weekend Cat Blogging #112 roundup with Kate and Puddy. (I'm always struck how similar Puddy and Luna look.) And also check out Friday Ark , where we are late as always, and Carnival of the Cats at This, That and the Other thing. I think that's it for now.

Sometimes life takes a major unexpected turn.

Well, friends, this is one of those times. My official association with E-MU Systems is coming to an end. Basically, it appears that our parent company Creative Technology Ltd. has some serious plans for E-MU, and those plans do not include my continuing to work there. So 4 1/2 years of leading the group responsible for award-winning products such as Emulator X2 (winner of the coveted mipa Award) and bringing E-MU to the Mac OSX platform, and six years with the larger organization, comes to a quiet and somewhat undignified conclusion.

Manager, E-MU Software Engineering, March 2003 – July 2007.

It is sad to leave behind friends with the local group, and I do worry a bit for those who remain behind. I am actually looking forward to some of the opportunities ahead for myself. Rather than jump right back into the job market, I think this is a good time to reflect and consider some ideas more ambitious or rewarding than a simple paycheck. Though I do suspect I'll start missing that in a month or so.

For now, things should pretty much go ahead as normal for those of us at CatSynth HQ. And of course this site continues as well. I have been planning to do more weekly features like Weekend Cat Blogging and the CatSynth Channel podcasts, including a weekly CD or film review. I may start a weekly feature on being unemployed as well…for as long it lasts.