Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Major Life Changes

Grinding Halt Takes Eons

After six years working for the second largest building materials company worldwide, it’s over. That they performed their shameless deed the day before Thanksgiving, is now but a small minor detail illustrating the real lack of human regard of the prototypical, modern major, business enterprise.

Was it not Jesus who said: "By their fruits you will know them"?

And if that were not enough, when I got home, I made the appropriately immediate phone call to my now aged--but still very alert mother--who before I could tell her MY news asked me: 'Did you hear?' Since she was the one who informated me about the 9-11 attack in September 2002, with her again serious tone of voice, I suddenly had good reason to feel morbidly anxious.

What terrorist now, I thought? "In India, they were shooting hundreds, asking, 'where are the American's and British?' ... Steven was there, just last week in the same hotel".

My older brother, who travels the world at a Director level doing large scale enterprise consulting (aka 'System Integration) in travel and finance for one of the many large India computor services companies, had indeed been there at the exact same hotel in Mumbai just days before. The thoughts that go through our head. So that's when I got to tell her. This was all within the hour of getting uncerimoniously fired. Not the best of days!

Let’s face it, if an employer needs a reason to fire four people all at once, they can always find a way to do it. It's never pretty, but to me its all just economics, as I am not bitter, and have appreciated the last six years—truly. I have met hundreds of thousands of persons, and some real portion of them were the best encountered ever anywhere, I kid you not.

I have had much to say about the economy, and now my similarity to many persons in dire straights has only increased. While right now my overall health is very good [1] and my emotional state good, the system is oversupplied with job applicants—at every conceivable level. For example, JP-Morgan Chase, who bought failed Seattle based Thrift WAMU, just last night announced layoffs of 3,400 persons, and this clogs the State Unemployment system, and on the margin, vastly increased the already swelled ranks for job seekers.

Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas [1.1]

On principle, I had and have every intention of staying here, but in this economy MUST allow myself to entertain any reasonable job offer in any place, since my best shot of technical [2] sales clearly now take me anywhere, to any enterprise, doing anything. Yikes. I don’t want to leave this place; I want my mountains; I want my moderate climate; I want my diversity. But I want to sustain my economic viability even more.

This is first and foremost a chess blog, even if I roam current affairs, society, the planets, the soul, the edge of things. For the last seven weeks, I have been playing on line chess ‘every single day’ [3]. This has been my stress release. I was already looking for a new job, and for the last year, at work, I was already all but fired anyway, and kept around like a pig ready for slaughter. See the post called Hopeless at my other blog devoted to Inner Work.

I said I wasn’t bitter. That’s true. But it's also more than true to say that as the single highest paid person who was not a manager--AND paid more than most of the main managers--it was a testament to my work ethic that I was able to survive the last year under brutal top management's unrelenting pressure, ceaseless scrutiny, compulsive criticism, micro-inspection seeking blame and 'make wrong' at all costs, limitless demands, and implied threat [4] in a boundless parade of the divine comedy which in and of itself perfectly exemplified the full spectacle of ignorance, arrogance, and stupidity. Where is Rabelas and Cervantes now?

Along with that, I have been processing and viewing reams, hoards of high level GM games in chessBase daily. I hate to say it again, but more on that latter [7] as if to say that if I was already way too preoccupied with ‘the job situation’ the last three months since the financial crisis emerged [8], then that much more now. That hit the emergency break on blogging as you know it from me.

Thirdly, I have yet again resumed working at CT-Art 3/0, and as before, take a lot of time on each position. I set up a small travel set, and keep two boards for two positions open at a time. With the first open, I try to solve it; the second one is for pondering. Once the first is attempted in the program and have gone as far as I can absolutley go no further, the second assumes the fore, when I attempt the first problem formally and directly at the computor here, and open a new, second position.

Who are these rash fools who think that they have done CT-Art 3.0 in two months or two weeks? Did they ever calculate all the lines? Did they see the board or just 'click, click', and eat the virtual Fast Food of McTactics? No. Two years or more if you really spend real time on it. Not possibly any less than a year if they really concentrated.

If you do one CTA3 in less than a day, well *ahem* , then you never really saw the fucking board. Don't kid yourself with more dilusion. CTA3 is not about sustaining your dilusion but annihilating it and this, pal, is not fast. Remember, 'takes you to Master Level'. Master level is about rarety from 1500 to 1700 elo and rarety is not, sorry to say, fast.

Often, I take them to my bed early each evening for my beloved daily nap. By the time I have moved the curser ONCE, to attempt the position, I have calculated every variation that I can. Artificial a measure though it may be, 2200 elo is still not attainable by someone who does not know something about chess, and who has studied a lot of tactics, and learned to calculate. Half way through Level Five, you really need to be able to first conceive an irrational move then see the best reply, THEN be able to envision an another counter-intuitive chess move, then a best reply, and THEN more of the same for many a ply. Its very hard, the way I do it. No moving pieces, just a deep brain stare!

After that, my enchantment with CTS continues. While I can no longer spend hours there, and at 50,000+ tries I have spared no effort, I manage after long breaks totally away from there, to make my way back. My motive now is to get to 96.5001% as dogWaste finally, and to get to 50,000 tries at 90.0501% as dkTransform. Its diminishing returns now, and the prize far and away lays elsewhere, such as CT-Art or Secrets of Pawn Endings, or Shereshevsky’s Endgame Strategy.

Finally I am working on repertoire. If any of you are on ICC, and not using wimpB to refine your openings, by playing a set sequence of moves 1450-1650 for blitz [9] which at the main departure point of the tabaya will vary its responses, forcing you to really learn your ‘lines’, then shame, shame on you!

Also, at FICS, I took what was gained from that concenrated burst at ICC and now only play a set repertoire. As a consequence of that, when I get to a place where I don’t have a set response to a new fundamental position, then endeavor to find or develop one. It might be very simple and need not be elaborate, such as always using g3 against the Dutch Defense. The main idea is--good or bad—to take a position, explore it, and not deviate until you reach a dead end and fail, then reassess, and so on [10].

The best for last. I while I must focus on my job search, yes, I do work at my chess daily. I have printed a list of all USCF events in the Northwest in the next few months, and it is my definite intent to see if I can get my old 1670 USCF back and if they wont let me start from there, well, start over!

Warmest, dk

The Low Point of the Last Seventy Years

[ 1] The blood pressure with the adrenal supplement program is now again excellent, and this is one more instance of integrative or holistic health bypassing the mere masking of symptoms by allopathic medicine, which only tries to suppress or inhibit them instead of getting at root cause. I do admit, while my current program has assuaged the prior (pre-hypertension), its still very, very hard for me to sleep normally. I am running daily again, and as I quickly re-establish the ability to run for an hour or more, this aught to help the sleep mightily (I hope)!

[1.1] A very nice list of MSA's or Metropolitan Statical Areas, is shown here. You want to know America? Then you must know this!

[2] The essence of my resume is my being the rare person who can communicate well, talk, write, do presentations all while being very comfortable with Contact, Project, and Knowledge Management alike. This is my calling card. A spreadsheet, technical, financial or visual data person who can negotiate and lead who it just so happens, is highly creative. Try explaining that one to blind server agents only capable of reading blind ASCE *.txt data!

[3] Ok, ok. Not every single day, but 42 of the last 46 days, where I maintain perfect cumulative records of history both at FICS, ICC, and now Chess Cube [5] (my warm up place).

[4] The fact that I challenged senior and middle management on a regular basis only made it more so—my lasting there, proving that I gave them real dollar value, despite their repeatedly reminding me how much I was paid :) . In computing, this relates to what is called ‘the deadly embrace’ [6].

[5] Despite its lack of full features such as access to automated pgn reports, or performance history, this lack of professional polish gives it some appeal. I don’t need to invest much in my feelings about it. Almost, just, just almost 1700 in blitz yesterday, but not quite… At the same time, the game board interface is very pleasant, baring a clock too small for me since I play tight, increment games at 3/3 there, which is five minutes for 40 moves but avoids some stupid Armageddon.

[6] Information about the deadly embrace, can be found here,
The Apollo Syndrome. Definition of The Deadly Embrace: This is a term used in computing some years ago to signify a problem between two computer programs - where each prevents the other from making progress.

"What happens is that Program A takes exclusive control of record 1, and program B takes record 2. Program A then tries to get exclusive access to record 2, but as this is under exclusive control of the other program, it can't. The program then waits until record 2 is released. Meanwhile, program B tries to get exclusive control of record 1, but can't, as it is under the exclusive control of program A. Program B waits until record 1 is released. Therefore, neither program can make any progress because it is waiting for the other program to give way. A similar situation can occur in discussions if each person is trying to get the other to concede the flaws in his/her argument, without conceding the flaws in his own. The way out of this situation is to look for the points of agreement, rather than trying to spot flaws."

[7] I plan to write two major essays: the first is to be called ‘Letters to a Not So Young BDK’ (only meant in the chess sense, of course), of course referring to my previously written
Letters to a Young Blue Devil Knight) from 2005; the second takes on advanced issues of organizing high level data at chessBase, with Polly, Castling Queenside as the Proxy.

[8] I have had a mark on my head made more prominent since the Housing and Financial Crisis erupted.

[9] WimpB always and only plays 2/8, or 7:20 for forty moves. Very reasonable rate of play for compressing lots and lots of chess knowledge. Let me suggest wimpC or WimpD for others, to same affect.

[10 ] After I wrote this, I today found at Greg's Chess Progress a very similar sensible comment made by Jon Burgess (not The GM John Burgess cum Nunn, Graham NCO kind. Jon has a new blog appropriately named similarly to Ivan Getting to 2000 blog interestingly called: ' Getting Back to 2300'.


Blogger Glenn Wilson said...

Best of luck in your job search. Many employers should be happy to have you.

Wed Dec 03, 08:18:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes for the future.

Perhaps you should take this opportunity to got to SA and hang out with C.L. :)

Getting to 2000

Wed Dec 03, 10:19:00 AM PST  
Blogger chesstiger said...

Whatever you decide to do, good luck in your endavours.

Wed Dec 03, 02:41:00 PM PST  
Blogger es_trick said...

Sorry to hear about your loss of job.

Whenever you decide to play in another USCF event, they will want to know if you've ever played in a rated event before. They don't want people starting over again. I came back to tournament chess after a 28 year hiatus, and used my old rating from 1978.


Wed Dec 03, 03:14:00 PM PST  
Blogger Hiddenleaf said...

Welcome back in the blogosphere!

Good luck with the job search and with getting your rating back.

I agree with Glenn, employers should be happy to have you. I have no doubt that you will find a job. However, having no insight in the jobmarktet in Seattle, Washington or the USA that's not really saying something.

Have fun the coming year with CT-ART.

Have a good day,

Thu Dec 04, 03:43:00 AM PST  
Blogger Polly said...

Looking at that graph I have a question. Is it a mere coincidence that the lowest points of satisfaction came at the end of George I's administration, and again in the waning days of George II's adminstration. I laid off in 1992, so I see remarkable similarities in our circumstances.

Thu Dec 04, 11:35:00 PM PST  
OpenID liquideggproduct said...

Searching for a job is stressful enough when you already have work; can't imagine what it's like while unemployed. Best of luck.

Wed Dec 10, 01:11:00 PM PST  

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