A Touch of Fall in the Air

October 19, 2007

Arrived back in St. Louis Wednesday around noon. Tailwind from southern Missouri saved a few gallons of gas and saved me a fee minutes on the road. Fall is definitely in the air in-spite of the unusually warm weather of late. Leaves are mellowing and the changing angle of the afternoon light is noticeable. Last night’s winds cleared the skies and cooled the air to chilly. Very nice.

I’m only in STL for a few days for errands and some paring down of the belongings in the storage pods. Keeping my books, a few pieces of art, and my cookware are the priority. The rest can go in the closest dumpster. Am hoping to be settled into a new cave by November and want to decorate from square one.

Still job hunting but have some nibbles that I hope (at least one) will pan out. I’ve made a number of good contacts at St. Luke’s and MD Anderson in Houston. Cardiology and oncology are now my preferred areas of interest. HIV/AIDS is a field now more appropriate for folks quite unlike me demographically. I had the pleasure of spending the past weekend before hitting the road at the Candlelighters Camp for Kids with Cancer. I’ll have some photos to post and a separate entry on the experience. Very different from my past experiences with HIV/AIDS camp in terms of both facility and approach. High end and very professional. Texas-sized as well.

Got to run. Much more later.

New photo link: http://picasaweb.google.com/jtholste/Fall2007SelectedPhotos

PS: National Public Radio is “pledge-driving” this week. Hope you’ve made your investment wherever you are to this priceless resource.


A Small Northern Detour

October 10, 2007

Hey all!

As promised, the travel blog is back! I’ll be hitting the road on Monday the 15th of October for a swing through south Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Missouri. I hope to stop in Baton Rouge and Memphis with a long rest stop at Lake Charles LA and Jackson MS. With luck and good weather I should land in STL in time for dinner (late!) on the 17th. Lady P has graciously offered accommodations. Hopefully her three Russian Hounds will welcome me with open paws ­čśë

Before I can head out I have a few chores and commitments to attend to. I’m still job hunting and doctor shopping (haven’t scheduled the neuro people yet but I won’t get to the surgery until I get back to Houston at the end of the month). In support of the employment search I’ll be volunteering this weekend with the Candlelighters Camp for Kids with cancer and their families. Lots of classy people on the board of this organization and I suspect I’ll be drafted as a long term volunteer type. It will be good to be back, socially speaking, especially from the perspective of a volunteer. No staff duties or responsibilities! I’m really looking forward to being able to complain and whine without having to do anything about my gripes ­čśë

Pictures, lots of pictures, are pending. Houston, NASA, soccer, a MoveOn.Org protest on the 4th, and all of the new travel pix will start to appear Sunday. Do check in on Monday evening for the first day’s road recap from Baton Rouge!

Did I mention I was looking for a job?

June 25, 2007

Greetings to all! Is it Monday? All the nicely dressed folks making their way through Starbucks this morning seem to have “Monday Face” and a driving need for caffeine.┬á Must be a work day even in this laid back village. I’ve lost a sense of the calendar which I think is a good thing at this stage. Breaking habits of action and thought was another goal for this summer road trip. Another, not yet mentioned, is finding a new career (and not just another job…those are easy enough to come by). The blog title hints at this objective although I haven’t written about it. I also haven’t mentioned anything about why I am currently unemployed and probably will not. I think my work karma is pretty good. No reason to tarnish it by whining and casting stones.

But I am looking for a job. I tore up my old resume as it was of no real value (over a decade old and just a bit yellow due to cheap paper). I’ve been in the same field of endeavor for almost 16 years; grant and program management for HIV/AIDS related health and social programs. When I joined the “cause” in October of 1991, the field was still being defined, the market still open and young, the opportunities for both good work and villiany plenty. It feels like it’s time to move on. Before I do, however, I want to understand why it’s time to move on. Am I simply burned-out? Have all the windmills been jousted and tyrants ousted? Are the problems┬áremaining mundane or lacking a real challenge? Have the wolves that always gather to feed off the sheep of social life won the field? Do I care about the sheep anymore? And why do I think of them as sheep nowadays?

I don’t expect answers any time soon. July is “figure everything out” month. In the meantime, keeping up this blog to sharpen some long lost writing skills and scanning all the employment sites for options is enough for now. I’m still in residence at a wonderful cabin in the pines of NJ and Medford Lakes. A rainy day perfect for reading. I finished John Scalzi’s Ghost Brigade last night. Do check out his weblog, Whatever. It’s alleged to be one of the oldest and most read blogs on the web. My thanks to Dr Keith for introducing me to both Scalzi and Cory Doctorow during my last year at WUSM. Sometime this week I’ll get a reading list posted for summer enlightenment and escape. Suggestions are most welcome along with personal reviews.



Cory Doctorow’s weblog.

One small note: as I pulled into Starbucks this morning my trip odometer was at (1)999.90. I should trip 2,000 miles right after I pass through the first traffic light on the way back to the cabin. I’m reluctant to suggest that I am anywhere close to being half way through.