FedEx Ground Terminal Locations

If you have a problem with a FedEx Ground package not getting delivered, you can call the terminal directly.  The terminal numbers mostly correspond to the first three digits of the ZIP code that they service or are located in.   So the terminal in Las Vegas is 891 (89101 is downtown Las Vegas).

Click on a link for the terminal phone number, address, and some other helpful information.

 

Here is the map link: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zK6_po8VSesY.k0v7584h_nsc&usp=sharing

No Smiles?

Coding today, and I have some issues with unicode rendering in different browsers (mainly mobile), so I began trying to search for solutions, and if you ask google to find smiley faces, this happens:

 

Guess there aren’t any smiles around the world, and I shall set out to change this.  I also hear that there are competitions to see the lowest string length to generate zero and 1 result returned by Google.   Does this qualify for first place?  I will update once I get in contact with Google and see what we can get done.

The ¿First? Interactive Resume

In the ever competing market to compete against other worthy candidates is a gut crushing dialogue when you have morals, and try to answer a loaded question with succinct precision in your personal voice during an interview.  In a recruiter saturated IT job market, their financial incentives, and the inherent abstraction layer between employers and unwanted new hires, the end is likely improbable.   Couple that with unorganized and inexperienced HR recruiters, morally absent HR policies, and you have a cumbersome and seemingly unnavigable crack that tests your interpersonal wit.  Don’t forget the fear of pushing back or identifying issues in any manner could likely eliminate yourself as a candidate (although some employers are open to criticism), before you even get a chance to discuss the opportunity with the hiring manager.    I want to cut through the majority of the hiring process, and work backwards, especially in the IT market.    While the several layers of abstraction between candidates and the decision maker are purposeful for filtering the candidates in a legally sound ‘equal’ fashion, it truly produces more work than necessary for the company, and certainly provides several tests for candidates at accommodating pedantic and  repetitive requests for information.    I am not discounting that certain questions provide insight for an HR perspective to the quality of a candidate, however, other judgements about a candidate are made by a reviewer are mostly influenced by their own biases, often formed by their work environment.  One very difficult factor to ameliorate that comes from this structure is quickly identifying what is important to the person reviewing your information, and providing that information, without anything that they are not interested in, in a positive presentation. So I set out to address this.  With well over 200 conversations ( a majority of those consisting of cold call recruiters ) or interviews about potential job opportunities in a matter of months, I have moved from one implementation to another to try to accomodate the different requests in a timely [for me] manner, so not to let the process of finding a new opportunity overwhelm my life.   I first started with several different resumes, comprising of different content highlighting different facets within my skill sets, so I could send one ‘Project Management” resume for PM jobs, or a Network Administrator resume for a similar position.   This was disastrous, as each of those positions have typical inclusions and formats, and I wanted try to fit everything relevant on one page (An argument as old as resumes exist, but one that I think is important, as the resume will get you the interview, your resume just has to stand out among the rest).   It quickly became a content management nightmare.   My next attempt used LaTeX (pronounced lah -tech, not like latex gloves) markup language to make a *Master* file, and comment lines of content in and out to quickly generate a resume with the relevant information.  This proved a much more organized implementation, however, LaTeX is 90% formatting and 10% content, and with different company HR policies requiring different information, when the content changed, the layout could not always adapt.     I don’t know LaTeX well enough to accomodate that, and from my research, most of the online communities I reached out to did not offer enough relevant solutions.    I then provided another layer abstraction to accomodate the content from the layout.    I used Adobe Illustrator to handle the layout, and the LaTeX markup for the content management.   Once I knew the required information from the company, I could use the LaTeX (notepad, XML, Word, or excel could all have worked as well if you want to replicate this idea and are unfamiliar with LaTeX) to provide a similar group of content, and place it in a text field for WYSIWYG layout manipulation within Illustrator ( a very key point, as Illustrator does not have the easiest text formatting, or the best spell checker, and is absent of live misspelling notification such as a red underline).   Here is an example.  This proved a good stepping stone, with a minor issue, keeping track of what I had sent out.   A special character (!@#$%^&*) appended to the end of the file name allowed for a camouflaged version tracking, as some recruiters would manipulate the layout, as they standardize their referrals, completely undermining my attempt to have a uniquely designed resume.  This increased my interviews at least by 2 fold, however, given that the majority of the position that were open that I was qualified for were in the technical IT field, my non-traditional experience was the number one deterrent for employers, either flat out unwilling, or in contract driven environments, could not afford the perceived ramp-up time given to a Jr employee.   So the next thing to combat was that I can represent myself in a technical way when presenting myself, especially among the many fields I work in.

While contemplating a solution, I was reminded of my intro to communication theory class, where one interpersonal communication assumption is that there are six influences during a conversation between two people.  The first two are easily pointed out.  With two people, A and B, each person’s individual dialogue to the other, A to B, and B to A.   The next two you might know of as well, each person’s assumption of the other’s identity/projection, better said “what you think the other is thinking about.”  These two are A’s assumption about what B is thinking about, and B’s assumption about what A is thinking about.  The third is somewhat difficult to grasp without seeming repetitious, but is each person’s assumption of the other’s assumption about themselves: A’s assumption about what B is thinking about A, and B’s assumption about what A is thinking about B.  Those who understand these elements and employ observance, empathy, and other social mechanics are generally better at interpersonal communication. When this is applied to the resume situation, I quickly understood that when I present a resume to a potential employer, I am initially providing information based on my assumptions of what they want to know about a qualified candidate, in a concrete form.  This could (and I would argue has in my own interactions) violated some of their assumptions and thus cost me progression in the interview process, as they are looking for a candidate of type X, and I provided them a resume that they see of as type Y.    If I had an interactive resume, which could present all information requested to one person to accomodate their needs/wants, while allowing for another person with completely different assumptions about a qualified candidate to collect the information needed, I would be closer to accommodating the different reviewers and positions.   Customized interactivity is best accomplished using computers, and since I am trying to show my ability to develop relevant solutions without being a expert in one language or implementation, I did a quick proof of concept (here), then after some consultation, I chose a common web implementation stack of JS, CSS, HTML, and JQuery to handle an interactive Resume Builder, that would highlight the many different facets and skills that I have, presented in a fashion that would allow for a well rounded initial representation of myself.  About a month into learning JS, a friend who helped mentor me in computer programming, crawled upon this gem of an article, helping solidify my reasoning for doing this project.

My solution, as I consider myself a junior developer at the time of writing this, is relevant in attempting to enter the developer community and IT field, as most of my prior solutions are either proprietary, out of date, or not in a developer team environment.    Being top down oriented makes it easy to learn associated technologies to develop relavant solution for the problems I face, however, given that my background is not solely technology based, my segue into the IT field has not presented the chance to work on a development team, something that is required for developing larger scale solutions, as well as becoming more skilled.  I think that representing myself in a visual manner in an implementation that is relevant to the field helps set myself above other entry or junior level candidates.   Other benefits of the online resume include the ease of updating content, somewhat ease of the format and interaction [given JQuery], 24×7 access and distribution, and of course, the user gets to generate appropriate content, as well as the ability for quick explanations via hovering, links, or lists.  One key disadvantage of this implementation is that it could inhibit the potential employer from seeing me as dedicated to a particular field that I have presented myself in, especially in the IT field where so many are queens or kings in their particular field, and I appear to have dabbled or abandoned certain technologies, sectors, or fields.  While I have attempted to provide the few abstract roles that I have had, I could see that some people reviewing the resume would prefer a template for a given field, so persistent options, PDF and .doc(x) conversions will come soon.  I honor feedback (Email, [follow_me]) and will definitely have to adapt this form of my resume to accomodate the different functionality that is to come, but with time, feedback, and involvement, it will surely move forward through the SDLC.

Here is the interactive resume. Credit must be given to JSFIDDLEStackOverflow, and github.   The repository to view past versions and releases is here.

Sticks and Stones and Acceptance through Innovation

      I was driving the other day, presumably not as fast as I should have been in the left lane on a major highway, when Charlie and Bernadette in a mid 90s Toyota Tercel decided to David Blaine me, and all of a sudden they were directly behind me. As you know, often when this happens, there is no easy immediate remediation.  This was true in my case. With no way to move over one lane to the right and let them pass, not willing at that time to crash into the concrete barrier to the left, or speed up to get over seemed inefficient in my truck who happens to also be dinosaur juice thirsty, I decided to continue my course, and slowly advance  past the vehicle on my right to move over and let Charlie and his female companion pass. Charlie must have needed McD’s french fries from the next state over, and could not wait, and decided to ease off the pedal, in order to speed past myself and two cars to my right, each in their own respective lanes, and then cross all the way back to the left lane, as quick as you can spell Jiminy Cricket without a smart phone or Wikipedia.   This is where he brought out the real David Copperfield magic.  While quickly moving back left across the lanes in front of the other vehicles, he decided to initiate a direct line of communication with me and gave the middle talon of his tercel (- a variant spelling of tiercel, a male bird hawk – honestly had to look up what a tercel was, but I thought it was an appropriate commonality given what I am about to discuss), in effect giving me the bird.  We have all seen an angry driver at least once, but Charlie wanted to distinguish himself from those other angry drivers, and to do so, as he passed the far right car, he maintained that middle finger all the way until he was in front of me by adjusting the orientation of his wrist to direct it at me, and then continued as he extended his lead for the next half mile or so.    I wanted to acknowledge Charlie that I had received his message from the beginning, but how? He’s already driving in front of me, and isn’t going to slow down, so the gears in my head changed from whatever thoughts they were on, to my new problem: communicate back to Charlie (and possibly Bernadette) that the message was received, and reply with an appropriate response.  Here are some of my thoughts :

– I could reply with the very common “honk” either short or long, however there are many problems with this particular recourse.   While Charlie and Bernadette would likely acknowledge that I am communicating with them,  what about the other drivers on the highway, as they would be alerted, and to what?  (BTW, I would love to draft legislature to eliminate any radio from playing any semblance of a siren in any song or commercial, as I am often falsely caught off guard and react for no reason, occasionally dangerously with no consensus from other drivers in the vicinity , regardless of the volume of the radio.)   Assuming that Charlie and Bernadette do hear my horn, what is it that they perceive my message to be, as most people do not know Morse code (excluding the common SOS · · · — — — · · ·).   Would they think I am trying to say something vulgar, happy, or tell them one of my favorite jokes.   Let’s also look at honking in other situations, the common “HEY, I’m at your house, come outside, we are ready to go!” or “Look up, the light is green!” or one of the many other quick responses that are generally accepted and understood within those specific situations.   However, the icing on the cake with replying with a honk or series of honks would be that this form of communication is not even limited between humans.    Be reminded that we often use this sporadic tone to inform animals in streets to get out of the way, namely dogs (presumably the unintelligent ones) and ducks/geese/other winged Aves (I would argue actually smart, just unimpressed by our limited individual transportation capabilities).   So given the honk, I could not communicate anything effectively or specifically to Charlie.

– So I also thought that I could race up behind or beside CaB and begin a conversation, or reply with an angered yell, however, my time is precious, and ultimately my exit was in about two miles, leaving little possibility for this to occur, let alone performing this safely.   I also would admit that sometimes my brain gets jumbled when I get flustered, so concentrating on what to say exactly or be prepared for potential replies, it seemed unlikely given the time constraint.   So any form of immediate vocal followup seemed unlikely.

– An eye for an eye, ah Ha! I had it, I could show him my own bird!  But what would this accomplish?  He may not even see it, being in the rear view mirror and everything, and I doubt he would have wanted to look in his right side mirror, as it would have been closer than appeared.   Don’t forget he is speeding past me, so it is unlikely he is concentrating with much effort on the things behind him, other than to orient his hand in my direction.  What about another hand gesture(s).   Two handed manipulations are out, as I only save those for when I need to drink a soda, talk on the phone, shift gears, and control my speed, and I don’t have any another limbs to spare.    So limited to one hand, and since I only know a bit of ASL, and no other dialect of sign language (yes there is French [similar], British [different] and many others) , I began to think……

      Remember I am trying to achieve true communication: willfully acknowledge Charlie’s gesture and it’s generally accepted implicit meaning, include my own relevant comment, and have it understood by Charlie.  Alas, I have traveled about a mile and can see the exit that I need to take (“take,” because  “get on” or “get off” seem to both work, but are inherently opposite.).  Presto, I came up with a sign that is appropriate, but wasn’t sure if it was perfect, and I had to start moving to the right. Yes, within the last mile or less I started exiting from the left lane, sue me, I was thinking this awesome reply up.  So here it is, and I call it Acceptance, named for many reasons, but especially from a class I took where for a semester I studied the differences of Tolerance and Acceptance. 

       Once I had it imagined, in my head, I wasn’t sure it was valid or unique, so I started thinking of other common hand gestures and imagined these:

Hello Wave

Bull Horns International Peace I Love You
Spock Shaka – Hang loose Weird people who count to 3

However, after making sure not to replicate some other common signed gesture, I was now at the exit and had to begin to turn off.   I failed at replying to Charlie, but I continued developing a response, as I could easily perceive this being relavant later in my life.  However, now I realized that I had not remembered, despite being in my view for almost a mile, whether or not Charlie had decided to include his thumb with his gesture, and that meant I had to accompany either/all gestures for future situations, so I decided to expand my new found love:

Given (pictures under description): Complemented by Returned Gesture:
Left Handed Bird with Talon: Left Handed Acceptance WITHOUT Thumb
Left Handed Bird without Talon: Left Handed Acceptance WITH Thumb
Right Handed Bird with Talon: Right Handed Acceptance WITHOUT Thumb
Right Handed Bird without Talon: Right Handed Acceptance WITH Thumb

Be careful to notice that I have inverted the Acceptance hand to accomodate and “accept” the bird, giving it a nest or roof or whatever, and also the inclusion or omittance of the thumb, to complement the absence or presence (respectively) of the bird’s talon. I think it is a relavant reply that both acknowledges the gesture and replies in a non violent way that the gesture is not as offensive as the giver had intended it to be. While the message may not be received as such, it is an attempt to accept others, in their actions and of their selves. So next time you are slightly offended that someone is trying to incite a brash response from you, try Acceptance, and see what it will get you, hopefully a smile 🙂

 

“Put up your peace sign, put your index down” – Busta Rhymes from Peace Sign/Index Down with Gym Class Heroes Album : The Quilt Track : 2

From Stupidity to Sensibility

     So, during my exploration of what I think might be a good adventure and learning phase, I decided to get into the tree climbing business for around $350 including the chainsaw, harness, spikes, rope, and various other items one would never imagine are required to fell (yet another conspiracy of those who control the English language to limit others from understanding it as one stumbles upon its idiosyncrasies) a tree ….. safely. Well within about five trees, I decided to help a friend out who had a dying tree that was struck by lighting that could potentially land on her house and making it two. In my never ending foolishness to help those in need, I quickly signed up to tackle this:

     One might think this is easy, but when it is already too close to the house, and you are a rookie, you don’t want it to fall/fell the wrong way, so I decided to top it from top to bottom, by climbing to the (relative) top and chopping off manageable portions and work down.   well it was so tall:

that I burned all of my energy climbing it, and once at the top realized it was well over 25, 50, and 100 feet (my guess around 120 feet – you be the judge – you might have to click on it to open in a new window for scaling to see me at the top). Thanks to a many calm breaths and 20 some odd minutes sitting in my rest harness, I talked myself out of calling for help, realizing that most likely the fire department couldn’t help and would just laugh and point. So I eventually worked slowly down piece by piece until no tree was left, carefully cutting it to fall further in the woods, and not in her yard or toward her house (Thanks to her neighbor for the pics) :

     A few months off, I have resorted to helping another friend accomplish a meager (meagle for Molly) 10-ish foot tree, infected with kudzu, and burned the roots and ground to hopefully prevent future growth: