The old Montgomery Ward building in Kansas City

The old Montgomery Ward building in Kansas City

I remember the old Montgomery Ward building in Kansas City. I spent plenty of time in the sprawling complex at 6200 St. John Avenue in Kansas City near the intersection of Belmont Boulevard.

When I was growing up, the three most dreaded words in my (and my cousin’s) vocabulary were “Ward’s over town.” That was what our family called the monstrosity, which was home to a regional distribution center, an outlet store, a catalog store, and corporate offices in a mere 2 million square feet.

When we were eight years old, this store was where Saturdays went to die. I don’t know how many of its 2 million square feet were open to my mom, aunt, and grandmother to look for bargains, but there was plenty of room for bargains to hide, and if there was ever anyone willing to spend the whole day in that store stretching a dollar just as far as it could go, it was my aunt. Read more

Stop cordless phone interference

Stop cordless phone interference

Cordless phone interference has always been a problem–phones interfering with other things, and other things interfering with them.

That was the draw of 900 MHz phones. There wasn’t anything else running on that frequency at the time, so there was little to no interference. But 900 MHz didn’t sound hi-tech in the age of gigahertz computers. So in the early 2000s, 900 MHz gave way to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz phones. That brought back the problem, because there’s so much other stuff operating at those frequencies these days, like wireless computer networks. But there is a solution that doesn’t involve digging up a 20-year-old 900 MHz phone and trying to find a battery that works in it.

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Job hunting on your own vs. using a recruiter

A former coworker contacted me last week. He’d been employed in the same place for the last 16 or 17 years and he couldn’t remember how to look for a job. Who better to ask than a guy who’s changed jobs 9 times in the same timeframe? One obvious question to ask regards job hunting on your own vs. using a recruiter.

In fairness to myself, government contracting causes a lot of job-hopping. And in fairness to him, the game’s changed a lot since the last time he had to play. IT Recruiters existed back then, but back then when you wanted a new job, you found it yourself.

I still use both methods.

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