The Blog of Justin Loutsch

I don't know the question, but the answer is 42!

About

I'm Justin, and I live in Boston. I'm a huge geek into process automation and work reduction, and am also an editor at Eat Your Serial. Thanks for dropping by!

I’ve been quite busy since my last blog post.  I’m currently writing this home from home, where I’ll be until some time next week for the Christmas holiday, but I figured now was a good time to fill in my readers on what I’ve been up to.

I was unemployed for 3 months, from March to May. This was a tough time for me, surviving off of severance and unemployment benefits, but I made out just fine. I went to the gym every day, and applied for jobs all week long. An ex came to visit when I started my new job, which didn’t really go so well mostly on my part due to the stress of having to find a place to live in 2 months, saving the $1000+ deposit and first/last month rent needed to move in, and paying the bills.  Not much happened during this 3 month chunk, which has made my year feel very compressed.  March was a great month to be unemployed in Boston though, 2 weeks of 70-80 degree weather, enjoying it on my friend’s deck.
I got creative towards the end of my unemployment and decided to crash some job fairs at local universities. Luckily Boston has a little over a dozen of these. I went to a career fair at Boston University, just slipping in past the sign-up table wearing my suit and began talking to recruiters. Ran into one former recruiter from my old company so we chatted for a bit and exchanged info, and then I moved on and found another recruiter who told me his cousin was looking for an IT person.  I gave him my resume, got his card, and emailed him a copy of my resume a day later.  Soon, I had an interview with a small biomed firm in downtown Boston.  That interview was the Thursday before mother’s day, I had 2 interviews in all and then started on June 18th.
I’m proud to say I’ve been employed full time since September (I started on a 3 month contract in June) and started with an excellent raise as a network administrator. My familiarity with linux was a great advantage to getting this role, as we use CentOS all the time, but my willingness to play around with new software and find better/faster ways to complete a task played a role as well.  I do a large chunk of software testing and IT support, and it’s safe to say that I’ve roled all of my skills into this one position. I even work with a German, and get to speak German with her every day. I will be starting a second job in January doing IT support at a local German school’s evening programs, where her father works. This will give me the chance to attend cultural functions I normally wouldn’t attend on my own, and expand my skillset while meeting authors, filmmakers, and other guests of the Institute.
As to finding a place to live, I moved from East Somerville, MA to Revere, MA. East Somerville was not very convenient and made me heavily reliant upon the bus system which got old very quickly if you had to go anywhere when it wasn’t rush hour.  Revere has a few downsides (Beachmont specifically is very sleepy) but I live just a 10 minute walk from the train station, which takes 20 minutes to get me to work. I live in a 2 story house on the top of the hill and I can see the ocean from my window. Many of my friends remark that I live far away, but in reality it’s only far when you factor in where they live. From the downtown area it’s often much closer than the other transit lines, plus I always get a seat because I live so close to the end. Bonus points for the house because it has a bar and a woodstove. I live with 2 other people, one of whom is the landlord, and he takes care of everything. Both guys have cars and I can occasionally borrow one if needed but with Target and the grocery store a mile away I generally try to walk there when able. The best part about this place is the rent is only $600/month rather than the $975 I paid for a studio, and while I sometimes do miss the privacy a studio affords, I’m really enjoying saving the extra money I used to be paying on rent. It feels great to have a safety net savings account for the first time in my life.
Other notable events of the year include meeting Kat and Mouse, if for just a few short hours. Kat came to town to check out hotel accomodations for a conference she was organizing, and Mouse came down from Maine so the 3 of us got dinner on the hotel and shot the shit for a while.  I put together a server for the first time ever which was a lot of fun, and learned a lot about RAID and VLM, and took this one step further to set up a RAID array with LVM in a remote server using only a text file and some googled walkthroughs tailored to my needs (post forthcoming). I’ve also been learning a lot about software testing and automating, using tools such as sikuli, selenium, and TestLink, and hope to do some writeups on those in the future. Oh, and I turned 27.
For now, I’m enjoying being home, spending time with the family and all the animals, and occasionally shoveling some snow. Off to bed with me now.

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