I have a job in Canada... I think

To carry on where I left off last time regarding Canada: Getting nothing but voicemail continued after I wrote the last blog on Wednesday. First I phoned Canada at a little after 16:00 UK time, and got voicemail. Then again at about 17:25. Voicemail. So getting fed-up, and realising that each time I got connected to Canada, even only on voicemail, it was being classed as a long-distance call. I got hold of the email address of someone who works in the same office as the person that I needed to talk to, and sent them a message asking if they could give me any details, or if they knew a good time to call the person I actually wanted to talk to. I sent that email at around 17:30. I try phoning again at around 18:45, and typically, this is the time I get an answer. The problem was though, she answers the phone just like she has the beginning of her voicemail recording, so I initally think I'm through to voicemail again and just wait for the recording, before after an uncomfortably long pause it finally clicked that I had finally got through. This was about the 8th time I'd called, so by this point I was just sat there expecting to get to voicemail, so it wasn't the smoothest way to start the call.

She's really apologetic about not contacting me of course, and when she's "I'm really sorry, I did say I'd contact you in the first week of September didn't I?" through gritted teeth I agree, knowing it was actually the final week of August that she said. But I want a job off this woman so I don't want to start correcting her over the phone. So anyway, we go through some things, and apparently the problem was determining exactly which of their staff would be staying on for the Winter, which is where the delay occured. But she pulls out my file, and we go through some more things, reiterating stuff from the July interview, like what positions I'd like to work. She trys to sell a job working in a pizza restaurant that they have at the resort, but without ruling it out completely, hell I'd take a job cleaning toilets, I reiterate that I'd prefer to be working outside if possible. Then ski-lift operator comes up again. The problem with this one, is that you need to be an intermediate skiier to get to some of the ski lifts, so I make it clear I'm no expert, but then I might exaggerate somewhat, how good a skiier I actually am, which is a not very good skiier. So if I do end up with this job, I might have to learn pretty damn quickly. In the end though, she accepts the kind of job I'm asking for, ie working outside, rather than in a pizza shop for example, and ends the call by telling me that her colleague, Adam, is in charge of that area, and he will be in touch next week with the details of a job. So this to me says, I have a job there, but I just don't know the position yet. Running through my head at this point, is I really should get some clarification of where we stand, but I didn't want to sound like a total dick, and end the call by saying "Just to clarify then, I definitely have a job here do I?" So we left it at that, and I am now 95% sure I have a job for the Winter, but I just don't know what it is yet. The way this Summer has gone though regarding work, I am taking nothing for granted until it is set in stone. So now I have to wait until next week. Well what they say is next week. The way this Summer has been, I'll be surprised if I actually have an offer on the table come the end of next week, so the week after, I'm sure I'll be repeatedly calling Canada again. But for now, I have a job for the Winter. I think.

Of course the person she says will contact me next week, also happens to be the person I'd emailed just over an hour earlier. So from here I had to send an email apologising for unnecessarily contacting him. Now I have a vision of the two of them sitting in an office. He gets this email, and is "Hey Nicole, I just got an email from some guy who was trying to call you." Then she'll be like "Man why's that dude emailing you for? What a dick. Let's give him a job cleaning the toilets in the pizza shop." I hope I'm being paranoid. Now I have actual contact with this Adam, it might put me at the front of his mind for when he starts offering jobs, so maybe it'll work in my favour.

That of course is progress compared to when I last wrote. It doesn't help me out though, in that nothing is set in concrete, so booking flights etc., is still not easy. Though with the state of the economy as it stands, I think it'll be wise to wait. By my limited understanding, oil prices are in something of a slump, reaching the lowest price in 5 months on Wednesday. With the obvious difficulties, demonstrated by the collapse of Zoom, that the budget airlines are facing, they will be slow to pass on this saving to consumers, so it is my prediction that unless there is something of a resurgence in the price of oil, the longer I wait to book flights, the cheaper they will become. And with the UK heading into a recession, routes out of the UK to Canada, probably won't be too heavily in demand, so there shouldn't be an increse in price closer to my departure dates. It is on that basis, that I am justifying delaying booking my flights. I'm way out of my depth in terms of predicting the macroeconomy here, but that is how I am looking at the situation. And without a concrete job offer on the table yet, I'll continue to wait.

That being said, the cheapest flights I can currently see around the time I'm looking to fly out, are £239 taxes and fees included. That's close to £100 more that I'd expect to pay if I flew with Zoom 12 months ago, so it's not looking pretty. I might just take this price and be done. Hedge my bets. Then with Zoom going under, I don't really want to book too early to reduce the chance that I have a ticket on another airline that goes bust. I'll wait a week or two yet.

Videos page In terms of this website over the past couple of days, I've made some minor additions. Firstly, I've added 3 videos from Mexico to the Videos page. Not really of anything interesting, just a couple from the car window driving the Mexican roads, and one on a long-boat through the jungle. I thought I'd try some different formatting for this page, so as it currently looks (as in the picture), each of the videos listed alternate between gray and black to make it blatantly clear where one video ends and another begins. I'm not sure yet if I'll keep it like this, but for now I like it. It could also be transferred over to the Travel blog page, where as right now every blog entry is linked in a straight list, I might introduce some kind of colour scheme so each entry sits on alternating colours. I'll wait and see how I take to the new look of the videos page first. I don't think it's so necessary for the Travelblogs page, because seeing as there is no description, there is no confusion is differentiating between blogs. It might just add to the appearance though.

MSN search Regarding search engines quickly, I am finally now listed on MSN search. I submitted that request at the same time as Google and Yahoo!, but it took MSN a while to list it, but I am finally listed there. With AllTheWeb and AltaVista's search results being provided by Yahoo!, the only major search engines that I am now not listed on, are Ask Jeeves and Teoma, both of which utilise the same search index. So I have emailed Ask Jeeves requesting a site evaluation, and as soon as that is carried out, then I will be listed everywhere important.

The other development regarding search engines, is that for no obvious reason, Google has decided to list a lot more of my pages. According to my sitemap report, only 19 URLs are listed. But looking at the index stats, it claims that Jro's World on Google about 52 pages are listed, even though 40 only actually appear. It's still not every page. Not including the forum and the gallery, this blog entry will be the 66th page that I have. But considering as recently as a week or so ago, only 13 or 14 pages were listed, it's definite progress. The most important thing is that all the main pages are listed. Google is yet to crawl this site since I edited the titles and added <meta> tags to the main pages, so I'm yet to see how this will affect listings. Obviously I am hoping that it has a positive impact, although if Googlebot sees these changes as spamming, it could have the opposite affect. But trying it now, I should have time to rectify any changes before I leave to travel. I just have to wait for the site to be crawled once more.

One more change that I'm thinking of making, comes about just because I was browsing the book I taught myself HTML from. In there is some java code, that I have no clue what it mostly means, that allows you to add quotes to a website. Each quote will then be randomly shown when someone clicks onto that page. I was thinking of adding this somewhere on the website, probably the homepage, and having a different corny quote appear whenever someone comes onto the website. Something like "Do the ordinary things, in an extraordinary way." (That's only in my head because the NFL season kicked off last night). It might be a bit corny, and a bit lame, but it would add some variation to a homepage that is currently totally static, only changing when I manually make changes. And being just an introduction about me and about the website, little develops that requires me to change it regularly. Having changing quotes, and maybe a webcam, would mean that there was some varying content on the homepage so people would have more incentive to visit it. Being the gateway to my site and my travel blog, I want to encourage people as much as possible to the homepage, so it might help. I'll think it over.

One final thing regarding this site, which is almost embarressing to admit, is that I only just realised that the code style=" " is the code you use to implement CSS. That won't mean much to people who don't know HTML, but essentially, I have used that piece of code hundreds, maybe thousands of times on this website already. With very few exceptions, all the images on this website, including the main logo and the buttons to all the different pages, use that code. Over the past 8 or 9 months, I have typed it more times than I care to think about, yet I only ever copied Clinton Portis it as a whole piece of code, such as style="border-style:none", that I would just copy from a book. It never once clicked to me, that that simple bit of code, is what would implement the pages of CSS code that I have, but never knew how to use. It's a little embarressing to admit that. But at least it has clicked finally. It was editing the colours of the videos page that the ball finally dropped. I just realised as I was typing the code, "fuckin' eh I'm an idiot!"

Onto more important things, it was finally the kickoff to the NFL season last night. It's very depressing watching the NFL in this country because the fans over here are so damn retarded and ignorant. A couple of the emails that Nick Halling read out were "Why are the players all wearing 'GU'?", apparently sent in from lots of people, and "What's the difference between run-blocking and pass-blocking? Aren't they just doing the same thing?" It worries me, it really does. Thankfully in a couple of months, I'll be able to watch the 2nd half of the season on US TV stations instead. But fuckin' eh, the season is here baby!! The Giants beating a poor looking Redskins team. I hope things pick-up for Jim Zorn with him being an ex-Hawks coach, but the Skins didn't look too comfortable. Now I just have to wait until Sunday. The next live action is the only place I'm looking!

Yesterday also marked the supposed retirement of Daunte Culpepper, which I think is a shame because he was something of a maverick player. He speaks when he is unhappy and he doesn't buy into systems he sees as flawed. Daunte Culpepper retirement statement He's reminds me of me in that respect I guess. He retired with this statement anyway (click to enlarge). I say supposed retirement. I can see him unretiring if a team knocks on his door sometime in the next few weeks needing an emergency experienced quarterback. There is no way that Daunte is not one of the 32 best healthy quarterbacks in professional football today though, so why a team like the Bears or the Ravens haven't come knocking beggars belief. It's something of a waste of talent in my opinion, and a miscarriage of justice that a player with obvious talent is being overlooked for lesser men.

Aswell as the NFL kickoff, yesterday was also a very historic day for me personally. It marked by my standards, an extremely heavy investment. I spent a whopping £3.99 on 'Digital Camera Buyer' magazine. Now I can hear you asking, how the hell can I justify such as investment? And I can appreciate that it is extreme, but I think I can justify it. Unlike a lot of people who travel post-universtiy, this trip isn't just a spare of the moment thing because I can't be bothered getting a job yet. I may've only started taking physical steps towards it 8 or 9 months ago, when I started teaching myself HTML so I could write this website, but I have been planning it mentally for longer than I can remember. Even before I went to university I think, I always had the plan to do some travelling once I'd finished. And because of that, I've built a vision in my head of how I see things going. Travel-vision if you will. All the time that I do something that influences Digital Camera Buyer magazine how I see my travelling going, then this vision is updated. When I was in Alaska in 2005, my only regret, is that the only camera I had with me, was the one I still use today, a Fujifulm Finepix E510, which is a pretty good camera, especially considering its age now, for taking photos on nights out, or of things I want to sell on eBay, or of even going for a walk in the park. With only a 3× zoom though, it's not a good camera for taking photos when you've spent 6 hours hiking up a mountain. Ever since then, the vision of me leaving to go travelling on this trip, has me leaving with a superzoom digital camera as well, so I will never be limited in the things I can take photographs of. I want a compact tripod, and I want a zoom so I can photograph a mouse on the ground from atop a 10 storey building. I want no photograph to be out of range, because as nice as some of my Alaska photos are, they just don't properly portray some of the things that I saw. I couldn't zoom close enough to some of the things that I could see with the naked eye, and they just didn't capture on photo, what I was actually seeing. So when you describe to people what you saw, coupled with the photos you show them, they just think you're exaggerating because the photos don't look as good as you make things sound. I'm never going to edit my photos on photoshop of alike to make them look better, because I want real photos. So instead, I have to buy a camera, that will capture what I see, and maybe even beyond. It is because of this, my travel-vision has me leaving the UK with a camera, sporting a probable 18× zoom. And to make sure I get the best value for money, I figured investing in some professional advice, even at the price of £3.99, was probably a worthwile investment. Just like having this website up and running by the time I leave, having this camera is all a part of my vision.

I cycled all the way to Kingston to pick up this magazine. And on the way back, I passed some fake police (police community support officers) who were security tagging bikes for free. They basically put an infrared tag on your bike, so if it gets stolen, they read this tag with an infrared light, and the unique code links this bike to you from the details you give them. This is a great scheme to prevent bicycle theft, but the way my mind works, as they were bikeregister.com, bike register installing this system, all I could think, was of another illegal way to make money from my bike. I was thinking, why don't I now take my bike to a 2nd-hand bike shop and sell it. They'll probably ask for my details as I sell it, so I'd give a fake name of somekind. Mickey Mouse, but more believable. Then, I go to the police station, that is conveniently only a few yards from my nearest 2nd-hand bike shop, and report that I've had my bike stolen. I wait a few days, then go back to the police station and tell them that I was in the bike shop looking for a new bike, when I came across my bike in the bike shop, that I'd just had stolen. They'd then go and check it out, and because it now has my unique details printed on it in infrared, it will be registered to me. The bike shop will then check their details, and because Mickey Mouse sold them that bike, not me, then it will be obvious to the police that the person who stole my bike, took it straight to the bike shop and sold it. The bike shop will therefore have to give me my bike back, as they will otherwise be charged with handling stolen goods, and I will get my bike back, and I will have pocketed the money from selling the bike a few days earlier. It's genius. I came up with this whole plan before the fake police had even finished putting the tag on. It's money making gold. It's worrying how my mind works, but I always have plans to make free money if things get a little tight. What I want to know, is how the hell do the fake police know that I didn't just steal my bike, and then take it to them to get tagged, registering it with me as the rightful owner, ruling out any chance that it could ever get returned to its rightful owner. I don't think they thought this scheme through properly. I'm already thinking of ways to illegally exploit it and make money.

Not that I'm counting, but this is day 48 of the 100-day detox. 48% of the way there. I've decided I need to add to the challenge though. For someone who's 23, I have a scarily weak sex-drive. I'm literally less horny than a panda, and it's not normal for someone my age. I haven't got laid in months. That doesn't worry me. What does worry me, No Wanking is that I just don't care. I'm not even looking or hoping to get any in the near future either. And I've decided that at 23, this just isn't normal. I need to get my mojo back somehow. I've decided that the best course of action, is no more wanking. For the second half of my 'no-alcohol program', it becomes a 'no alcohol, no whacking-off' program. I'm hoping that'll help. That means until I get to Canada, as of when I wake up on Monday, then there'll be no shaking hands with the one-eyed milkman. I don't know why I do this to myself, but this is my 'get Jro horny again' program. That's to go with the 'stop Jro drinking' program, and the currently failing 'stop Jro being a fat fucker before he leaves to go travelling' program that I am also currently on. No alcohol and no wanking. I have no idea how I'm going to be spending my days come Monday. Maybe I'll take up knitting.

I think it's probably been triggered by the kickoff to the NFL regualr season, but just lately, I'm realising just how much I'm going to miss playing American football. This is about the time of year I'd usually be heading back up to Hull, and I think it's just beginning to register; I'm never going to play a game for the UCH Sharks again. It's one of those things that's going to eat away at me, I can tell. You just UCH Sharks Jethro Williams don't realise what you have until it's gone. But to never put on the uniform, be playing on the D at the snap of the ball... it's become harder to take now, than it was at the time. Now that the team will soon be recruiting again, and I'm getting invites to Shark parties, knowing that I'm not a part of it. No more socials, no more training. And despite the fact I still train at the gym a lot, I've lost that spark of motivation that I'm going to be letting other people down if I'm not in shape come game time. It's just beginning to hit me. I think more than that, I feel that was I playing a 4th season, then for the first time, I could have a real impact. I started every game on defense in my final two years as a Shark, but I was never a big playmaker. Each year was a new position, so I had so much to learn everytime. Not only that, being 130lbs when I started playing, I had to build the physical tools as to be a player as well. And I just now feel, that if I could play just one more season, I could excel playing in UCH Sharks 2008 the BUAFL league. I'd be the most senior player on the defence, and I just feel that I've gained the qualities to be an effective player. I'm used to contact now, I'm physically a strong enough person, I understand the game of football better... and now I can't play. Come before me, I've seen many players take masters courses, not to better themselves academically, but just so they can play football one more year. I think now, I'm finally understanding why. For 4 years, all I thought about was playing football. Even when I was abroad in Canada for a year, I was always getting to the gym to give myself the best chance for the team when I got back. The ultimate goal for everything I did, was always the football team. And now it's gone. And I think that's just finally becoming a realisation for me. I could be playing senior league now instead, but I've forfeit that opportunity in order to travel. But that void between now and when I leave, is a very empty space. I'm looking forward to my travels and don't regret my choice. But at the same time... I wish I could have just one more year. It's killing me I can't kit-up this year. And this is after 3 playing seasons in a shitty UK college league. Imagine how Brett Favre must have felt.

Jethro Williams pimp, UCH Sharks Salou tour 2008 Whilst I was searching for those last photos, I stumbled across this old picture. I don't like to brag, but I make one good pimp!

Before I finish off for today, as usual, there have been a couple of things in the news in the last couple of days that have pissed me off because people are being retards. First off, the school leaving age is rising to 17 for pupils starting secondary school this year, and it will rise to 18 in a couple of years. Why? The justification of this is "Research shows that those who stay on in school, get higher paying jobs." Firstly, that might be a general scenario, but it's not a rule. Richard Branson, one of Britain's most successful entrepreneurs dropped out of school at 16, and Einstein famously flunked out of school as well. So who the fuck are the government to decide that it is beneficial for everyone to attend school? Especially for longer than is currently required. Like all moves by this retarded Brown government, it's trying to be a big-brother to the people. Telling them the best ways to live, you should be doing this, you shouldn't be doing that. But instead of advising people, they're just making things law. Surely if a person is going to be better off with an extra two years of schooling, they will be able to see that for themself. Did the government ever think, that those who stay on in school get higher paying jobs, because they're the ones actually more willing to work harder, rather than it just being because they're in school. That is my first grievance. You're going to be forcing people to be at school whom don't want to be, and won't benefit from it. Would Branson have started Virgin if he was forced into education a further 2 years? Not only that, but having people in these classes who don't want to be there, will only prove to be a distraction from those who do, if people are refusing to take part in the classes. How will this affect 6th form colleges as well, where at mine, you just turned up to class, and had the rest of the day off. If you didn't show up enough, then you were kicked off the course, but there was no such thing as truency. Are people up to the age of 18 seriously going to face penalties for truenting, because that is just absolutely retarted.

Lindsay Lohan school girl My other grievance with this matter, is to do with the quote I mentioned above, "Research show that those who stay on in school, get higher paying jobs." Yes this may be the case, but did it ever occur to the government, that someone has to do the minimum wage jobs? If this statement is true, and I have no reason to belive it is not, then those who drop out of school, will be the ones doing the minimum wage work. If everyone though goes through to A-levels, then who is going to do this work? You're going to need A-levels to stack shelves in Tescos, or to work in McDonalds, essentially devaluing A-levels and creating an even harder path for those who want to differentiate themselves. What is the point in legally forcing someone to stay in school an extra 2 years, when they will then do minimum wage work? They're just going to be 2 years worth of wages worse-off, and have 2 years less practical experience. That's also 2 years less of paying taxes, pushing them up for everyone else, when they don't even want to be there learning. It's fucking retarded. How damn long is it until the next election so Brown can finally be made an ex-prime minister? According to Charles Clarke this week, he'll be gone before then. The sooner the better. How the fuck can someone who isn't democratically elected to power by the people, be in charge of the country for this long. Democracy doesn't work. Just look at Bush.

The other thing in the news that pissed me off over the past couple of days, is proposals to introduce presumed consent to organ donation. First off I find the whole priciple of sharing DNA pretty untoward in the first place. I Open heart surgery don't give blood, simply because I don't think people should be trading body parts. I may change my mind at the time, but right now I say, that if I'm even in a life threatening car accident for example, and I need blood to survive, then let me die. I just don't think that people should be trading DNA like that, I don't want myself to be composed of parts of other people artifically interted into me. To the same end, I will never give blood, and I don't want my organs used in someone else. I just don't agree with the concept of sharing blood, or donating organs. I wouldn't want it for me, and I don't want my organs used for other people. I mean it sincerely when I say, I would rather die that have someone elses organs in me. That being said, I would be the first person to opt-out of the presumed consent of organ donation, but I don't really feel I should have to. I don't think it's right that I should have to spend my time to opt-out of losing my organs when I die. Once I'm gone, I don't give a fuck if I'm buried, cremated, fed to shark, put in a blender... I don't care. I'll be dead. The one thing I just don't want, is for parts of me to continue living in other beings. That to me is fucking strange. Not only do I oppose the consent of organ-donation, so obviously presumed consent, but as with schools, this is another demonstration of the government acting like big brother, and telling us this is how it should be. Beyond this, do we really want to give doctors incentives for us not to live. They will know that your death could save the lives of two other people with your organs. They now have incentive, that if you're 50/50, "may as well let him die. Keep the others going."

In other news, two more hurricanes are now making their way across the carribean, with hundreds of thousand displaced in Haiti. I find it somewhat unnerving that a potential hurricane in New Orleans is headline news over here, but thousands dying in the Caribbean, you have to specifically search to be told about it. Not exactly unbias reporting. There's no way of knowing exactly how much global warming is to blame for this spate of hurricanes. But for another year here in the UK, we're currently facing unprecedented flooding, and I can't remember the last time I watched the weather without some type of flood warning. When will people realise?

That's me done for today I think. I have a strong dislike for reversing trucks after writing this. Why the hell does every truck in the damn country have to bleep when it reverses? Who cares if a couple of kids die every year, it's their own fault for standing behind a truck. At least I'd be able to write in peace. Also, new shit Facebook is becoming mandatory. I've stopped using Facebook recently anyway because it's full of so much shit. Of all the stuff New Facebook that gets put on the screen, I don't really care for any of it. It's good for staying in touch with people, but I'd rather just send emails than read all that crap. Now that this new, even shitter version is coming in, that might be it for me and Facebook. It was only a couple of months ago I deleted my myspace profile because it had become totally redundant. I don't even have a job, but I'm still not bored enough to spend time trawling Facebook. It can't be long until I delete my Facebook profile. It's just become so damn shit. And before I forget, tins of bean sprouts in Tesco's are 5p at the moment! I've stocked up. It's amazing what I find now I'm more open in what I eat.

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