Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Between Christmas and The New Year

I don't know how I feel about the period between Christmas and the new year. Most employers are not in the mood for interviewing until at least a week after the beginning of the year. It's going to be a strange time for me because I theoretically could load up my car and hit the road out of this town for good.

Here are some reasons I feel like I'm on the verge of walking away.

I have no debt. The only thing I really must wait for in the mail is my W2 from last year which should be easy because I was unemployed the whole time. It's just a matter of where to go and how to forward mail.

As soon as I hear from one of the myriad employers I contacted, I can start making some definite plans that will land me on the ground at my next destination.

If my own productivity leaves me with enough income it won't matter where I go.
I'm not currently bound by any mortgage or any rental obligation.

Places I thought would be cool to visit are now basically disasters of job shortage or drought.

I really just need to know that if I pick a spot somewhere in the world, I could find reasonable shelter there.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Christmas shopping is done

What do I do now? I would like a job, but right now everyone who is capable of hiring is dealing with banks who refuse to lend them money. While I'm bored I should do some thinking exercises.

The one thing that frustrates me is wishing I had done something earlier. I must force myself out of my short-term thinking process. One way to do it might be to imagine that an upcoming event is either moments away from happening or has already happened. I'm not sure if this method will work, but I'll give it a shot and see how long it takes to generate ideas that would normally not occur until it is too late.

It turns out that there is an event horizon of thought processes that affects nearly everyone. It's the threshold between long-term planning and short-sightedness. Everyone has short-term thinking, it's called "thinking in the box."

It's the time we tell ourselves "I wish I had done..." or "I wish I had thought of that earlier." You know, "Should have, would have, could have" and so on.

For example, some legislator comes up with the brilliant idea to cap malpractice liability claims at half a million dollars, the idea being to prevent doctors from fleeing the state of Illinois due to rising malpractice insurance premiums.

Unfortunately, the insurance companies caught wind of the idea long before its enactment, and the insurance companies raised premiums in advance, to a level based on the assumption that the law was passed.

Following the law's passage, the insurance companies had the luxury of flattening their rate increase for a period long enough for the politicians to proclaim that the law worked. A brilliant strategic illusion based on the assumption that the public's short-term thought processes would draw the same conclusion, which they did.

Insurance companies and credit card companies have all the experts that study consumer behavior patters, and specifically, the way consumers think in terms of short and long. Between the two lies the golden median, the big money-maker.

Yeah, I wish I had thought of it earlier, but It's one of those things that I would not have learned without spending enough time in my current situation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My blue card arrived yesterday

My Permanent Employee Registration Card arrived from the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The card says "The below named individual has met requirements for registration under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security and Locksmith Act of 2004."

I waited for this card for over a month. I only got it because someone was interested in hiring me, but wouldn't interview me until I got my card.

I assume that by now they already hired someone else, I guess it wouldn't hurt to look into it anyway.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Now I'm waiting for my "Illinois Blue Card."

A security company was interested in hiring me, but they wouldn't interview me before I got my "Illinois Blue Card" or "Permanent Employment Registration Card" (PERC) through the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations.

It's been a month and I'm still waiting for my PERC card. At least my finger prints cleared through the F.B.I.

I want to start my own business, I have some hardware and software but I have no capital or collateral for a loan because I sold my old house back in 2003 to get out of debt. At least I'm debt-free for now.

I'm an E5 military veteran who graduated from both technical school and college, who has a clean record verified by the F.B.I. who also happens to be debt-free. Anyone in Springfield interested in hiring me?

visit http://www.fredslocombe.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still looking for work

I'm still looking for work.

I picked up yet another domain name for my menagerie. www.Buylocalspringfield.com

There are all kinds of local non-profit organizations with people who know about getting grants or have themselves set up to legally accept donations for their causes.

I don't.

I'm just a technical person who knows a little about computers, the Internet, graphic design, video production and photography.

Here's what I have to date.

http:www.atheistinsurgency.com
http:www.bachelortimes.com
http:www.buylocalspringfield.com
http:www.coffeecoup.net
http:www.empiredusk.com
http:www.fredslocombe.com
http:www.iicc-iesi.org
http:www.menagerieofmadness.com
http:www.sageofspringfield.com
http:www.spfld.net
http:www.spfld.tv
http://safeworkspace.blogspot.com

There are blogs, Google accounts, MySpace pages, Ning.com accounts, and many message board accounts associated with most of the aforementioned sites.

I'm not really a business person, but if I were to start a business, my model would be unrecognizable.

I can't just do the typical in-your-face advertising everyone else does. I did that for eight years working for the cable company. I have this idealized sense of justice and service to small local businesses who are being steamrolled by multinational conglomerates and I'm tired of the same type of advertising.

It's better to just be easily accessible, direct, concise and associated with community support programs. The main contest is exposure, exposure exposure. The opponents are the national franchises and multinational conglomerates.

I only have my one PC and a few gadgets.
I wish I had an office somewhere accessible to local businesses.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The newest way to do business - do favors.

Since I was downsized, I'm focusing on my skills at my computer and with my digital camera. I'm gaining experience by doing favors for people. Digital photography and Adobe Creative Suite 4 allow me to create fliers, posters, websites, electronic forms, presentation slides, T-shirts, mugs, calendars, magazines, posters, and other forms of communication, for free.

Yes, free. Just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean I shouldn't stop gaining experience.

I enrolled in online training at Lynda.com and every day I spend at least two hours training on software such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat Pro, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more.

If you visited www.spfld.net in the past you may see some improvements as a result of my continued education. I’m currently working my way through Flash Action Script 3.

The rest of my time is spent looking for work. I occasionally volunteer at a PBS television station, work on other websites, and get involved in political and social causes.

So the new way of doing things, since no one is willing to pay me, is to just keep doing it for free. If you have a problem with that, hire me before I officially start my own business.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Too much fun but too little time

I've been having too much fun making outlandish claims and conspiracy theories on my other blogs. I hope nobody is actually taking them seriously. I wish I could get paid for using my imagination, I wouldn't be so stressed out that my creativity is stunted.

You should be able to use real logic and critical thinking skills to determine the truth about any claims, and you should also understand that arguments and claims that I propose on my other blogs with little or no evidence can be safely dismissed as speculation or just a bit of fun on my part.

Some of the things I've written made me appear to be crazy, but the really insane conspiracy theorists approach their claims with an obsession for detail that is actually detrimental to other aspects of their lives.

I don't waste time with a speculation unless I'm deliberately writing fiction, however, some of my statements are offered as prods toward or away from certain directions of thought.

My statements about the recent hang-man's noose incidents were meant to make people think "Wait a minute..." Why are there no pictures of the nooses?

Of course information is withheld pending investigation, but you must stop yourselves from being worked into a frenzy before it's too late. The news media are keeping an eye on the issue, meanwhile, local town hall meetings are being disrupted from being beneficial, by groups of wackos with nutty ideas about euthanasia of the elderly.

Fore more information see the blog for http://www.sageofspringfield.com

So calm down.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My photos are available in print

I took some photos this summer and made them available in a magazine, postcards, calendars, and other products.

Calendars and Postcards
http://www.cafepress.com/fredslocombe

8 x 10 magazine with full page photographs
https://www.createspace.com/3393912

Posters and other products to which you can apply my images.
http://www.zazzle.com/spfldnet

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Job news is souring.

I keep hearing negative job reports in the news. The Economic Policy Institute reports that the U.S. has fewer jobs now than it did nine years ago in May of 2000.

The irony is that I was downsized in June of 2001, after a nine year career in the cable advertising business. By this logic I can assume that the recession we are in right now actually started back then.

Local advertising is the first to be cut from business budgets, but as you can see more frequently on television, Walmart has stepped up it's advertising campaign.

The big national restaurant chains and big box stores have the ability to compete in a way that local businesses cannot. Lowes, for example, can drastically reduce the price of plywood in Springfield for a time, while raising the price of plywood and other products in South Bend to make up the difference. Local stores cannot do this, unless they can work out some sort of system with their distributors. Good luck with that.

Because of the Internet, the entire nature of advertising is changing. The impact of newspapers, television and radio is greatly diminished because the audience is turning to search engines that lead the consumer off into individual realms unknown by potential advertisers.

Consumers will not be nearly as influenced by advertising as before. Advertising is based on centuries of behavior research that yielded tools that reach into the subconscious mind of the public. I'll never tell.

Now, meaning and value are fragmented along with the audience. People will search for what they need, and there is no way that advertising on it's own will raise the volume of consumption.

The only thing to do is get yourself a blog and just submit posts about your business. Your customers will find you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SPFLD.tv launch


Launched SPFLD.tv
The caption: "Subverting Cable and Satellite by using the Internet."

It's a sign of the times. Television stations will no longer need to broadcast, they will eventually only need to consistently produce good content to which users may be willing to subscribe....LOL.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Final grades

Well, I got a C in Accounting and a B+ in Economics. At least I can see through the BS presented about budgets now. It was the tests in accounting that burned me the most. I don't absorb the information at the same rate as everyone else, but it does sink in. Oh well. Time for plan B: Volunteer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Semester's over

I finished my prerequisite classes of Economics and Accounting. Never take the two together in the same semester. The accounting curriculum was extremely high-maintenance and should be taken alone.

I barely squeaked by in Accounting. The information I absorbed during the semester is still fermenting and things I couldn't remember on the test or didn't seem logical when I read them are starting to fit.

This is why it makes sense to speak clearly to an infant and even read to them before they can speak, because a parent's expectations of infant development are based entirely on the parent's perception of the infant's ability to articulate, and not the truly more advanced capacity for the infant to absorb information.

I'm still waiting for my grade in Economics, the textbook of which mentioned almost nothing of Keynes. There was one paper on Keynes, about half a sheet.

Every week I kept telling myself This can't be worthwhile because the current state of our economy is the result of this sort of information. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles? Demand-Pull Inflation? Are you serious? Look where we are!

Now I'm under pressure to find a shit job that pays in turds.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break

It's Monday. I have the whole week, besides a few hours each day cleaning out the basement, to continue brushing up on Newtek's Lightwave 3D animation software, read the paper, take photographs, design some graphics, and / or write. I'm scratching my head. What? What should be the topic, Stem-cell research? I could have lots of fun with all the things being said about it. I might update my Menagerie of Madness blog about it.

Saturday I created a Dr. Who parody of the bright red trash bin in 3D. If you did not see it. A large dumpster was painted red, then outfitted with flashing lights and a dome with a camera mounted inside that monitored the area. On the dumpster was spray-painted the CrimeStoppers logo and information that warned people that there may be suspicious drug dealing going on in the neighborhood. The camera will take pictures of drivers in the area.

I don't know how much of a deterrent that will be, but I suspect it might have a negative effect on the property values.

I still need to touch up the texture and add some details, but overall it looks pretty funny.

I continue to read other people's newspapers, but I doubt there's much of a future in newspapers. My website spfld.net has a counter that ticked up to over 4000 hits after being up for about five years. I'd love to syndicate some columns and cartoons on my site, but I would need advertisers to pay for it. I've seen sites try to charge subscription fees for access, and that turned out to be suicidal for them.

As far as blogging. I've fallen behind on some and I need some motivation. Maybe I just need to get out more, but to what? Some bar? No thanks. Definitely not a church. That was a showcase of hypocrisy. My freethinker group meets only once a month. After this week it's back to the books full time so I need to make the best of it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another big step - beginning a business plan


I applied for the MBA program at UIS. I was accepted conditionally until all my paperwork is in order, so I'm able to take classes. I'm doing this because I am out of other options. I've been unemployed since before Christmas, and it seems as if everyone else will be unemployed soon too.

If I get through this program I would like to start my own business. I have a special place in my heart for secular progressives, and now more than ever, they need support. I'm one of them and I often feel totally alone except for my monthly group meetings, and my friends on MySpace.

I would like to start a coffee shop / book store / meeting place / Political Action / Support Center for atheist. I already know about harassment, intimidation and job discrimination against atheists. I shall soon understand regulations and other required duties for maintaining such an organization.

Ultimately, I hope to make some friends in the process and help spread the wisdom of rational reason.