On the Dole

Just filed for unemployment with Pennsylvania. Snowflakes in Hell is now officially suckling at the teat of big government. Pennsylvania does not consider severance in unemployment claims, though it is my understanding that some states do. I am fortunate here in that between unemployment and severance, I can last quite a while. I won’t be living high on the hog, and have had to curtail my lifestyle quite a bit, but we’ll manage.

The big thing I’m worried about is going stir crazy. There’s plenty of things around the house I could do, like replace the shower, and redo the kitchen, but all those things take money I don’t want to spend. Entertainment is expensive too, so I am glad for cheap forms of entertainment like Netflix and the Internet.

So what’s on the agenda otherwise? I’m thinking about downloading the iOS development kit and trying my hand at an iPhone/iPad app, but I need a good idea in that regard. I’m probably not talented enough in the 3D modeling or art department for a game. But surely there’s something I could make a few bucks on? There’s also monetizing the blog, but one of my fears with blogging is that I will have significantly less time for it, or may not be able to do it at all, depending on the new job situation. The last job left me with enough flexibility to work all hours of the day, with little regard for schedule. Some jobs are pretty 9 to 5. I hate those kinds of arrangements, but at some point I need a paycheck.

28 thoughts on “On the Dole”

  1. Get a job hippy!


    You earned your unemployment. Nothing wrong with taking advantage of this time to do some relaxed thinking about the future.

  2. Find an Android/WinMo app you like and port it. IIRC Pantsless-Robb has an MOA calculator for one of those platforms but not iOS

  3. Hard won lessons:
    Keep a separate list of jobs applied for and dates you did so. VA Employment Commission had a computer failure last summer and I lost 6 weeks of compensation. I could have submitted a revised claim but if I was wrong on a date they would ask for money back and prosecute me.
    Keep physically active. Walk to the library or store at least 3 times a week. Vary your routes.
    Drink lots of water. Aside from the health benefits a full bladder will force you out of the computer chair.
    Pandora.com music service will allow you to access music you never knew existed. Less intrusive than You Tube.
    Drive you wife to work a few times a week. She’ll enjoy the break and you get a running start on errands.
    Clean the bathrooms. Major husband points!

  4. Here is my number one unemployment survival tip:

    Get a part time job or volunteer somewhere. You need to keep busy to avoid going crazy. The part time just can also be fun. As long as you don’t earn more than about $220/week you won’t get dinged on UC.

  5. I know some gunnies have tried doing websites with this sort of data but the results have been mixed:

    How about a user-supported shooting range finder / facility rating system? There are lots of clubs out there that no one knows about, and details like membership conditions, range fees, and so on would be useful.

    Sounds like you know how to do the backend DB stuff already.

  6. Having just finally gotten off that boat. I hear you. I’m now commuting 2 hrs + everyday to earn about $15K less.

  7. Bitter, the Arms Dealer Listings don’t list by features like rifle range, public welcome, etc. It’s just a phone directory listing, which isn’t useful.

    What I’d like would to use would be something that could filter down to features, and even details about features. A good for-instance would be something like finding the nearest rifle range, or the nearest rifle range with at least a 300 yard setup. Would be useful too to find out family-friendliness, NFA friendliness, etc.

    ADL also only lists commercial facilities with storefronts, not private clubs or public ranges. Great if you’re looking to buy, not so great if you just need a place to shoot.

    Of course it would require a pretty good install base to be really useful, which might preclude the ability to make money on the app. I’ve yet to see this sort of data in a really useful format, though, so there might be enough of us out there to pay for it.

    1. Actually, they do list private clubs. I know because the clubs in our area are on there. If you know something about the a club, you can add it. Part of what you’re saying is that it should be user-generated, but users need to generate the content in order for it to appear.

  8. Sounds like it’s time to start drinkin’ nickel beer, wear a yellow stained wife beater, and using the nouns *maw* and *paw* every chance you get.

    Playing with your bellybutton is optional. But bonus points if done during daytime hours on your frontlawn.

  9. Hey Cemetary, you forgot about take the mower deck off your riding mower and get it ready for racing…….

    As one of the long time govt teet suckers (disability) I say welcome to gainful un-employment!

    Get your money outta them while you can, and before they spend it on something else that’s a stupid waste of money.

  10. Hey, checked the list and West Branch Sportsman’s Club wasn’t listed, anybody know if they are still in existence?
    Contact info? Anything?
    This is the one near Kylertown PA, there may be others with that name, don’t know for sure.

    1. Zermoid, there doesn’t seem to be much out there for the club in PA, one reason it’s probably not on the Arms Dealer listing. I did find a reference to it in a news article from last year, so that would indicate it’s likely still around. But it would appear that they like to be low-key.

  11. Looked more into ADL – can’t search for specific range features and non-commerical ranges are not listed (there’s a nice-but crowded one near me on state land that doesn’t show up).

    NSSF does allow a search by feature the results don’t match the criteria – it still gives me a bunch of trap-only ranges or gun stores with no ranges when I want a rifle or pistol range. NSSF doesn’t have the state range either but does have private clubs, but little in the way of contact info.

    Anyway, apologies for hogging the thread. Sebastian was looking for app ideas and I’ve pitched mine.

    On the job front a buddy of mine was out for 18 months and used the time and the public fisc to get some needed ear and knee surgeries in. Ended up, though, he had to move to find a job (Flint MI is no place to search). Some of his colleagues ended up buying into franchises for U-Haul, McD’s, etc. Not their line of work (they were engineers), but it paid the bills and kept them busy, plus they could stay where they had roots.

  12. Your job came to an end…. Mine too. Last day was 30 June. I’m on the edge of retirement….

  13. I can relate to where you are, I’ve been there a few times over the last two decades. I hated the unemployment insurance debit card even though I have “invested” in it every day I have worked. Two years ago I spent 3 1/2 months out of work. Rather than the 3 contacts per week required by Texas Workforce Commission I kept a notebook logging about 3 contacts per hour, priceless when following up or repeating contacts every few weeks, and it made submitting the entries to TWC every other week a trivial exercise..

    I did all the honey-do’s requested by my honey, improved a bunch of storage around the house and garage, prepped part of the backyard for a future garden, and spent 20-25 hours per week working on a project at church for most of that time off.

    I finally decided to take a contract position making what I considered a fair but not great rate, and it finally turned into a much better full-time position earlier this year, so all is not doom and gloom out there.

    My major project would have been wiring the barn, but like you, the fact that it would take considerable cash kept me sidelined. I could literally only do those things I daydreamed about “if I only had time”.

  14. You can come over and finish drywalling the 280 sq.ft. room I’m working on if you want.

    Or you could make a WinMo app so Google Voice works with Wifi and won’t use phone minutes.

  15. A few years ago when I was in the same position, I started refinishing our bonus room. About half way through the renovation I landed a new job, and the pressure to get the renovation done before going back to work became stressful… turning a fun project into a chore.

  16. Screw that getting a job stuff. There is an election coming up – run for some office. Board of supervisors, pocket some money and you still have time to work a 40-hour job if/when you find one.

    If you want an honest days work, I heard that PA pays regular folk to be bailiffs (I forget the exact language, but transporting prisoners, guarding judges, serving papers, stuff like that), and that they never fill all the open positions.

  17. Make sure to stay on a regular schedule and get out of the house from time to time. I’ve had two bouts with prolonged unemployment, and the second was a lot saner because of following that advice.

  18. Thanks Bitter, hadn’t seen that one, I was hoping someone might have a mailing address or know someone in the club to contact, have driven by a couple times and no one was at the range, left a note on the door once but have heard nothing since.

    I used to be a member, it was a nice range and at $10 a year fee, which I thought a good value, then a new president got elected who raised the dues to something like $250 a year, well out of my price range!

    They used to have a web site after the new prez took over (he was a computer guy by trade i believe) and since the web site is no longer online I figured either the club elected a new president or folded due to a lack of members.

    Last thing I saw was a article/mention in the Progress Newspaper also over a year ago I believe about a turkey shoot.

    Guess I need to write a letter, put it in a ziplock bag and duct tape it to the door, and see if it gets removed, last one was a smallish note stuck in the door jamb, guess it could have been lost before anyone saw it.

  19. Welllllll……….
    Found this on http://www.therallypoint.org but it was posted in “08.

    Kylertown – West Branch Sportsman’s Association, 2657 Schoonover Road, SR 1014 – Segment , Kylertown, PA 16847.
    Phone: 814-345-5542
    Facilities include: Outdoor Pistol (500M), Indoor Pistol (50ft, 50yd), Outdoor Rifle (500M), Indoor Rifle (50ft, 50yd), Rifle Silhouette, Pistol Silhouette, Archery, Airgun
    Hours of Operation: Under Developement
    Range Access: Public
    Web Site: http://www.west-branch-sportsmans.com
    Email: info@west-branch-sportsmans.com

    The Email and Website are No Good, I’ll try the phone # and if no luck the mailing address.

    Wish me luck!

  20. Keep in mind that if you are doing work that might qualify as “self-employment” it may impact your ability to get unemployment benefits–even if the income from that self-employment is sporadic.

    You could always spend the time writing an article about the history of gun control in Pennsylvania. You might be able to get that published in America’s First Freedom, and they pay well although slowly.

  21. You don’t necessarily need to make a 3D game to make a successful one. If you’re even vaguely interested in games, I’d suggest looking into subscribing to “GameSauce”, and “Casual Connect”, and one other free magazine I think get but don’t remember the name of. I’ll have to see if I can find the names of those magazines; I can’t even remember how I subscribed to them. (At the very least, “Casual Connect” is a conference in Seattle I’d like to go to some year.)

    I really would like to make games, especially 3D-graphics-and-physics intense ones. I don’t have the time to do so, though, so I have to be satisfied with these magazines, and going to the occasional “Indie Game Development” meetings held in the Salt Lake/Orem/Provo area.

  22. I’ve been on the Pennsylvania dole for nearly two years now. I hate having to do it but have not been able to get re-employed. At 49 yrs old the prospects are somewhat less than that of a 25 or 30 or 35 yr old.

    Like you, my company was very good with the severance after having been there for 20 years. Between that and the unemployment and taping the savings/IRA a bit we’ve been able to hang on. But between my wife being out of work for a year first and me now for 2 years we are now living on less than 2/3 the amount we brought home 4 years ago and life and living is not getting any cheaper.

    Now my benefiots have run out and we are nearing the end of the savings. I have no idea what we’re going to do.

    If you like you can read about this journey I’ve had. I’ve been writing about it between ranting about the very mishandled War on Terror, the real Threats (including militant Islam) to our nation and the tom foolery in S.C. and the TSA etc at Infidel Bloggers Alliance ibloga.blogspot.com

    If you want to rant privately you can always email me.

  23. midnight rider,
    Any chance you can get on disability?
    There’s always Cash Assistance thru the PA Assistance Office, if you qualify. Might as well look into it, better than losing your home and/or starving. Also look into local food banks and private assistance programs.
    http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ Would be a good place to start.

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