Then I came up with a tea drink, and a way to make my date-based chocolate syrup.
Let's Scientific Method-ize this.
Source: Sekrain on DeviantArt.
- Question: Why do my job applications receive little notice?
- Research: From discussions with friends who make hiring decisions, the uniqueness of my name throws HR folks for a loop. From experience with various online forms, single letter first names are often rejected. I was locked out of Barnes and Noble's online buying system once for using my legal name. While the US Government allows a single letter first name, it's just not common practice and therefore suspect (i.e., spam, trickery, errors). Researchers at Stanford and UCLA and Caltech released a paper in 2005 on the unconscious bias people have towards surnames at the beginning of the alphabet. I would guess that the same bias affects my job applications. Some applications have been dismissed because I consciously applied for 'reach' jobs, but others were never acknowledged, even from online systems.
- Hypothesis: I will apply to jobs using my middle name to 'play the system.'
- Experiment: The eleven jobs for which I applied from 1-5 December I used my middle name.
- Results: Of the eleven jobs, I received two calls back the day I applied, had one preliminary interview, and scheduled another interview for next week. In eight months of searching for jobs with only four scheduled (and unfruitful) interviews, that's a record.
- Conclusion: Keep up the middle name applications for more results.
Isn't that funny? I guess since Q isn't a nice character in Star Trek, no one likes Q. However, problem-solver Q in the James Bond movies is totally the person you'd want to hire!
Onto other things. I drink tea, not coffee, and even though it's cold outside, I still make iced tea each week. This week I made mint and black iced tea. I've been drinking chocolate (nondairy) milk sometimes, made with Ah-Laska chocolate syrup (which is vegan and gluten-free) and unsweetened nondairy milk.
All that cane sugar isn't a great start to my morning, though. I began adding tea, even though I don't like hot tea with milk, for caffeine. The syrup was still a bit much, though.
Instead, I created a chocolate date sauce to stir into my drink instead.
Chocolate Date Sauce
1 cup dates, pitted (pick your type; I used Deglet Noor because that's what was available at Costco)
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a glass container, soak the dates in the water for 8 hours to overnight.
The next day, drain most of the water from the dates, keeping about 1/4 cup soaking water.
In a high-speed blender or food processor, blitz the dates, soaking water, and cocoa until the dates are obliterated. If you're cool with date chunks or your machine can't handle it, then just process until a sticky, uniformly chocolate goop forms.
Store sauce in refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the chocolate milk tea:
Fill the container of your choice half with mint tea (hot or cold depends on the type of container).
Add 1/4 the total container volume of nondairy milk.
Stir in 3 tablespoons (or desired amount) of date syrup.
TC has created the night sky on top of a bookcase using a blacklight and stick-on stars.
A reading list only a religion major could love!
 Credit to W and C for their ideas regarding this phenomenon.