Monday, December 23, 2013

New Feature: VOTE FOR YOUR MAXIM FIVE

So just the other day I noticed that the Maxim Top 100 Voting Page is open which gave me an idea. If you check my Page section you will see a new Tab called strangely enough Maxim Top 100 where I have assembled Five Actresses who in my opinion deserve to be in the final breakdown. On the tab you will see a picture of each person as well as a brief write up of why you should vote for them. If you have the time to do a few write-ins I will appreciate it as perhaps the actresses might to.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Weekend Roundup

So what have I been up to this week read on for the likely not particularly interesting details.

I delivered my letter to Seetec over a week ago which means that the two week deadline for the manager to get back to me will be up next week. If she fails to write back after telling me to put my complaint in writing then I plan to submit a formal complaint to Seetec head office but I'm hoping that won't be necessary. Monday is also the date of my monthly review so stay tuned for all the fun that is likely to take place during that meeting.

In terms of jobs the week that was proved decent in terms of job searches so I applied for 6 jobs from a variety of places, on that note I am becoming more than a little worried about the likelihood of Universal Jobmatch becoming mandatory, the site is garbage and full of fake jobs and agencies trawling for your data and it is set up to allow for easy push button sanctions once the government signs away our data protection rights giving the DWP access to our job searches.

Not everything that I did this week was quite so dour for instance there was Blogging.

Young Fitness Model Reni Ichelva

Leven Rambin, Sometimes Blonde, Always Hot Demi-Goddess

Vanessa Lengies, Canadian Cutie

If you feel so inclined click on a link, leave a comment, your time and consideration is appreciated.

That is all from me for now unless something unexpected happens you will probably hear from me again on Monday or Tuesday. Thanks for reading.

Friday, December 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Daylighters By Rachel Caine

Daylighters is the 15th and final novel in the long running YA urban fantasy series Morganville Vampires written by Rachel Caine. The series is the subject of a new webseries that was funded through a Kickstarter campaign like the Veronica Mars movie. 
Daylighters was released on the 5th of November by Allison & Busby and the ISBN is 0749012714.


PLOT

Something drastic has happened in Morganville while Claire and her friends were away. The town looks cleaner and happier than they've ever seen it before, but when their incoming group is arrested and separated - vampires from humans - they realise that the changes definitely aren't for the better.

It seems that an organisation called the Daylight Foundation has offered the population of Morganville something they've never had: hope of a vampire-free future. And while it sounds like salvation - even for the vampires themselves - the truth is far more sinister and deadly. Now, Claire, Shane and Eve need to find a way to break their friends out of Daylighter custody, before the vampires of Morganville meet their untimely end ...Includes a brand new and exclusive Morganville short story.

WHY I BOUGHT THIS

Morganville Vampires is one of the best YA series I have ever read, it is one of the few series around that maintains it level instead of having one excellent instalment then several mediocre ones. The quality of the writing continues through the series which is impressive given the length of the series.

WHAT I THOUGHT

It has all been all leading up to this, it is amazing to think about the character growth of the main cast of Morganville which when I consider is around a dozen or so characters is very impressive. Rachel Caine is an amazing writer with the ability to breathe real life into characters and make them something other than what you expect.

That probably wasn’t very clear, to explain think of the last few YA books you’ve read then think of how many times you’re introduced to The Bully, The Heart throb, The Queen Bitch and The Nerd but do they ever rise above that, sometimes one or two might but generally they just stay one dimensional.

Claire Danvers is the most realistic protagonist I have ever read in a YA book, hands down. I am not saying all other protagonists are bad it is just that some of them become too much of an ideal or superhuman. Claire starts out unsure of herself and meek but full of potential, potential that she achieves because of her friends you can’t get a better message then that.

Shane has always been a bit of a strange case with me I don’t necessarily like him but I certainly respect him rising above a terrible past to become someone who can support and respect Claire. That is another thing that comes through within Morganville gender parity which comes through less than you might expect in a lot of YA I read though some of that is intentional to show female leads challenging patriarchal systems but I digress. Shane and Claire work they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

The way vampires are represented is also interesting to say the least and goes through somewhat of an arc. They begin as the de facto face of evil and pretty much represent everything that is wrong in the world of Morganville. You slip on a pavement blame a vampire, the weather is crappy blame a vampire. As we move through the books we see things aren’t that simple and that the humans of Morganville and beyond can be just as ruthless and destructive as the vampires.

Daylighters was a very nice way to see out the end of Morganville Vampires putting the YA series above the top for a portrayal of one girl’s journey into womanhood complete with crossbows, extinguisher grenades and a lot of blood.



Monday, December 9, 2013

What I've Been Up To + This Week

So what have I been up to. If you were around last week you will have heard the latest from Seetec that because I have failed to get a job from my previous interviews they will no longer pay for any travel expenses that I accrue. Not that they have paid for all that many of them in the past but that is yet another story. So we left things with the Seetec Manager telling me that if I disagreed with that decision then I should write a letter to her.

That letter went to Seetec the next day and I hand delivered it as last time I made a complaint about them they managed to lose the first one I sent. In the letter I specified a written response within 14 days of the letter if it doesn’t come within that time or they fob me off with just an oral response then I’m going to escalate things and send an actual complaint letter to their head office and maybe copy if to DWP.

I do have some good news well at least partly good in my view. After about 5 months of back and forth I finally had my unfair sanction over ruled or at least the money from the sanction given over with a letter following up in a few days saying that “the doubt no longer applies”.

Really after an appeal, a letter to my MP, a reconsideration, formal procedure appeal and another letter to my MP to get them to admit the obvious that Seetec were disregarding the rules and regulations they signed up to and that DWP were doing nothing to keep them in line shame it took them nearly half a year and cost me a lot of money in fines and missed bills.

I will be filing a complaint about that too but I don’t hold a lot of hope out for it, I probably wouldn’t have bothered if they had actually written a proper letter to me with an explanation or you know an apology but they this is the government we are talking about and as an unemployed person they barely register me as human.
The plan for this week is signing on Monday, job search on Tuesday but other than that there is not a lot going on but at the end of this week there should be some job deadlines coming up so hopefully something develops from that.


If I get a response from Seetec I might transcribe it for you guys minus personal details of course just sharing evidence like others have with me. We are all in this together after all. That is all I can think of to share for now so I will leave it there and hope your Holiday season is going a bit more smoothly than mine.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Seetec: No Support For You Or You or You


So today I came in to Seetec for another pointless Job Search session after a good job interview yesterday so you can probably guess what I am here to talk about. I handed in my bus ticket to get the travel expenses paid and headed off to a money talk. After I came out of that and went to do my job search I printed out the interview confirmation e-mail and got back to applying. Later on just before my hour was up (was that on purpose) my advisor came over to see me, this was a continuation of the last monthly review where I laid out in detail all the barriers to employer that Seetec was placing in front of me after she accused me of being defensive while being there.

The first thing she asked was why I didn’t take the train to the interview, the barracks where the interview was being held was nowhere near the either of the train stations in the town and I just went with a bus because it was cheaper and more straightforward after all if I have learned nothing from Seetec it is that travel expenses reimbursement is not a forgone conclusion so best to look after your own limited budget first.

Anyway after that she then went on to say that the manager at this Seetec branch had laid down the law and decided that I would no longer be eligible for travel expenses to any further job interviews that I may get for myself (Seetec has failed to offer me any job interviews in my time there). My advisor then went on to explain that this was because in my past job interviews had not resulted in a job.

Let me give you a second to consider that.

A little more.

Ok yes you read that correctly because I was unsuccessful in my previous interviews I can now no longer get any help with going to interviews from the people paid by the government to get me into work. Yeah. So many emotions, so many words so few of them have any place on a blog like this though so we move on, my advisor also said that if I had an issue with it I needed to put it in writing to the manager in question. I should also say that my advisor seemed generally upset with these developments which is a credit to her as I do believe that she has always tried to help but has been let down by a lack of proper training from Seetec.

So as you can imagine this had shaking my head and wanting to roll my eyes at yet another reason for not giving me back my travel expenses, I think this is the fourth reason given since I made a formal complaint to head office nearly a year ago. The letter asking for written details as to why Seetec are refusing to pay further travel expenses is already written and sitting on my table to be hand delivered tomorrow, Seetec have form for losing complaints in the mail so I figure it is better that way and thankfully I live within walking distance of the office.

So I guess if you are interested in this back and forth check in with me in fourteen days which is the deadline I specified in the letter.

Thanks for reading, comments will be read and replied to if requested. Stay warm people.
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