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I applied for a new job

…in the Biden-Harris Administration. Here is the text of my cover letter:

November 25, 2020

Dear President-Elect Biden and staff,

Please accept my resume in application for just about anything I can do. I have extensive experience in working with homeless people, both as a homeless person and running a nonprofit corporation benefitting the homeless of Asheville, NC. I have excellent speaking and written skills, experience in just about everything, and a wide range of knowledge.

I would prefer to remain in the Great Smoky Mountains region if possible, but will relocate as needed.

I do not have an earned college degree but do have a few honorary doctorates in religion. I have written extensively on homeless topics as well as spiritual topics, plus am a songwriter and folksinger.

While I’m certain you have an abundance of applicants with more qualifications, there are few with my range of qualifications and experience. I would point out that I have done this while only being aimed at the success of those I’m serving, and have only just managed to support myself at around 150-175% of poverty level, mostly thanks to Social Security Disability and Retirement funds. I’m not in this for the money and my tax records certainly prove that point in spades. My life is all about service, and usually manages to avoid recognition.

I hope you can find a place for me in your administration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Gerald L. “Moss” Bliss, D.D.
(address, phone)

(also posted to my Dreamwidth blog)

Frustration Day

I was awakened by phone calls – four of them between 6 and 8 am – for jobs at Washburn School (3 calls for the same job, they were persistent). I had already scheduled today to be in Asheville working for AWH, so I couldn’t accept these. In the end, however, it turns out that the person funding AWH is concerned we’re spending too much money with no results, ignoring the fact that we’ve only made first contacts and need to forge relationships, and so it was decided that I was not going anywhere.

I called Census to see where my money was from working for them. They owe me $1,014.xx. It turned out they did not correct the banking information, which correction was made over a month ago. So they still had the money, and could not even be bothered to go to step 2, which is to mail me a check. They did not tell me how soon it would be fixed.

I went to the bank to deposit the check received from AWH, and was told that the bank (credit union) is ending their remote banking program, which was an incredible boon to us as we could move money from our credit union in California to our local credit union with no time or expense to the transfer. This was the main reason for using this credit union. I’m guessing we will be closing our account.

My supervisor at AWH said he would be getting me more work to do today. I do not see any way, besides going back to Asheville, that we could make an effective day out of it, as the funder is looking for results, i.e., sales. The best that could be done today is more first contacts. The money would be better spent in the telemarketing wing… or the funder could increase funding, which would pay off soonest, but it’s not my job to present this to him.

So I’m sitting at home on a day I could have had one of two jobs at a local school and should have been on the road, with no money materializing yet from the Census job already completed (over two months ago), and it feels pretty bad. And tomorrow I have to go for my first refitting of my temporary dentures (the lower plate fits very poorly with some pain). Which means I can’t work tomorrow either.


Substitute Reality

So here I am sitting in a high school classroom, while nobody, and I mean nobody, is actually doing the work they have been assigned to do. Some are napping, others are playing video games on their phones (some with others in the room on the same game on THEIR phone). I liked it much better when I was subbing in a kindergarten classroom. The kids were nicer and we actually did work. But it’s the same amount of money. The only real problem I have is that I did not bring my power cord, but the laptop seems to be stretching things out rather well. Much better than expected. I only have another hour or so to go and still have 40+% of my battery.

I’m also trying to do work selling CBD salve to Asheville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville stores. They pay better, but if we don’t get to enough sales it goes away. I need a new phone for that, and Marc has promised I would get one.

My teeth hurt. I’ll get those looked at on Tuesday.

If you’re keeping up with my podcasting career, we got another episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest in the can on Wednesday. Tony Hughes is not feeling great, but I presume I should have some audio to listen to soon and then he’ll release it. Dale Miracle came on the show with us for the first time. Had a great time.

Guess I’ll quit rambling. Class just got over, and I guess I have another one coming in shortly.


Maybe I Should Update More

I spent about 2 weeks working for the Census. Really not a good job for me. I’ll need to reapply for unemployment next week if I don’t get hired as a sub teacher. Haven’t done much of anything lately, but I’m back at my podcasts. We’ve already had a lot of good response to Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 16! Suzanne has now been here for 4 years. Mom is in the rehab home again after breaking her hip in another fall. That’s about it from here.

Running Out of Time

I’ve had it good financially since my accident in April. Not so good as to own shares in Lockheed or anything of the sort, but I’m almost out of debt and on track for the rest. But I haven’t been able to find work, and am even more limited in what I can do as a result of (a) the accident (diminishing my prospects as a driver) and (b) the injuries resultant from the accident (diminshing my physical abilities). There is also the age factor.

I’ve been trying to find work in PC repair and installation, especially software installation. No nibbles. I’m sure I could make a go of it on my own if I had any money to weather the startup, but I don’t. And the Covid money is gone in a month, reducing my income by over $500/week, so things get really desparate then.

The shoulder is bad enough that it hurts some to play guitar. I was blessed with Lee Billings’s Alvarez, which is only a half-depth body, and that helps, although of course the sound is not the same. But I’m not playing much. I have had two people suggest I put out another CD; my response is, I sold maybe 4 dozen copies of the first one, including to those who funded the production of it.

If anyone knows of any way for me to make real money, please let me know. I can’t scam or steal, and I can’t do heavy work or, for that matter, do anything which requires much standing or lifting. Computers is where my heart is, and there is more money there if I can find a job. But I’ll listen to anything. I do get a few gifts from my podcast audience, but hardly enough to call income.



Festival Complete

I really did pretty well opening up the Festival of the Living Rooms 2. Sadly, the recording quality of Zoom leaves much to be desired. I was supposed to supply KJ with a copy of “A Flower and A Hufflepuff”, but it just doesn’t sound that good. I’m trying to remember to do it during the day, just recording it on Audacity.

The weekend was hectic enough, with team meeting and podcast and further potential filking time, that I forgot to turn in my unemployment update. I then had to wait until Wednesday to do it, which I did first thing, but still haven’t gotten my check.

My shoulder is about 80% now. It felt a lot better this morning than it does tonight, but the amount of movement has definitely improved.

Guess that’s about it for now.



Opening Festival of the Living Rooms 2

This Friday I will be the opening act for an all-weekend music festival called Festival of the Living Rooms 2. I will be performing at 5 pm Eastern time. You can probably find links to it by searching Facebook for Festival of the Living Rooms. They offered me an hour, but my shoulder still hurts too much from my auto accident on April 15. It hurts to put my right arm over the guitar, although the pain gets less each day and the flexibility increases a slight amount.


On April 15th, while driving for O’Reilly Auto Parts, I got in an auto accident. It was bad. It was really bad. It was NASCAR bad. But, like most NASCAR wrecks, I climbed out of the vehicle almost unaided. I did go to the ER and had lots of pictures taken. Nothing broken, but everything hurt. I had some follow up care. Right now, I don’t have full use of my right shoulder, and by extension my right arm isn’t working all that well. Hard to even wash my hair. Hard to type without hurting a little. And I can’t play guitar, as that strains the shoulder.

But I’m all right. Looking at the video of the accident, I should be a lot worse, maybe not alive at all, but I’m all right. I missed an opportunity to perform, shoulder hurts. Whoopee. I lost my job, but they separated based on the current COVID-19 crisis, did not reference the accident at all. I’ve learned that my unemployment check will be $141 per week, which is not much at all. But we did get our stimulus checks, or rather they should clear the bank today. I got a good tax refund. I should be able to stretch things out to 2 months without work.

Now maybe I can find a GOOD job. Hoping to get something in computer repair or software installation.

I’m OK. Really.


Postmates Bust

So I’m trying to find something I can do which will pay better than what pennies I’m making at O’Reilly. I’m getting an almost-decent hourly rate but not enough hours. So the first thing to try is another delivery service. I checked around, and nationally Postmates makes better money per hour that Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc. So I sign up for it.

I got my packet. They told me to get my debit card set up. They didn’t tell me what it was for. So I go out my first day without it, and the first call I get requires me to use the card to pay for the order. Oh, so THAT’s what it’s for. As I live about 45 minutes away from the site I was picking food up at, I had to cancel the order. So at this point, I figure I have to pay for every order with the card, don’t have the card, so I have to go home. This also means I don’t really have time to go back out, so it waits until the next day. This is a Monday.  It does turn out that my assumption was not true, that there are many orders I could pick up which are pre-paid.

I go out Tuesday. OK, Postmates said their best days were Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but I didn’t have those days off. So I’m out on a Tuesday. I’m out for 9 hours, got 4 calls. This is especially frustrating in that they keep pushing at me that if I go on 40 calls in my first 10 days, they will round whatever I make up (not including my tips) to $350. Well, I’m only 10% of the way there, have gone out two days, and have 6 of the next 9 days unavailable due to my other job.

I go out Wednestday. A bit better, 8 calls. Still not even a third of the way toward the 40 calls. I’m getting decent tips, both in terms of how many people tip me (well over 50%) and about half the tips are $5+.

Now I have to work Thursday, Friday and Saturday at O’Reilly’s, have Sunday off, and then work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I’m not 26 years old anymore. I can’t put in 12 hour days or 7 day weeks. But I have to try for that 40 trips. So I’m out today, Sunday. I’ve been out since before 11 am, and it’s now after 4 pm, and I’ve had 5 more trips. Not 15. Five. And I can’t work again until Thursday, and my time runs out on the 40-trip promotion on Friday at 6:15 pm.

I’m a bit bummed. I’m not making enough money to quit working at O’Reilly no matter how many days I go out. I’m not getting close to the same hourly rate even with the good tips.

I hope you can see how this doesn’t look like it’s going to work out. Maybe it’s the wrong time of year. Maybe it would do better in Spring or Summer or… But waaah.  We’re paying our bills but having to not get many things we need. So far we have enough food.

Looking for another idea.

Oh, and I went to a place offering food last night, supposed to start at 6 pm. I found out it was a holy roller revival service, and if you lived through the over 2 hours of service you would get food. It triggered my autism with the crowds and noise, and I didn’t want to leave my wife at home (not feeling well for weeks). I’d already been out 9 hours for work at O’Reilly’s. I left feeling kinda bummed on that, although a guy came out of the church to ask if I was all right, heard that I was not, and said I could come by “tomorrow” (now today) and get food if there was any left. Considering it is about a 50 minute drive from anywhere, I don’t think I’m going.

I typed this all while not getting Postmates calls, it’s now about 4:30 pm. Most people don’t order food in the early afternoon.


Visit to the Aliens

I get to visit the aliens for a probing tomorrow. They operate out of a facility within the University of Tennessee Medical Center. I’m supposed to do this every 10 years, and I’m overdue, although I’ve heard some people say their doctors tell them every three years. I’m getting a bit dizzy right now due to a lack of solid food. The fun starts tonight when I have to start drinking the solution. And then my wife will need to drive me home from the probe, during Knoxville rush hour trafficf.

I checked my paycheck. O’Reilly’s was nice enough to drop an extra $50 on me. The listing said “HOL GIFT”.

Better stop typing now. Dizziness often reveals itself in less than balance…

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. Good health to all.

Huge hippo hugs,