Eyes on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week.   We’ll be doing a little traveling and leaving our house and Abby in the care of our renter.  She may give me the evil eye for that decision.

Abby Main - Michael Main

Roadtripping along I-35 over Thanksgiving is always an adventure, but I’m trying to stay optimistic.

I’m hoping a proper attitude will  open my eyes to a sense of wonderment.

outside - Michael Main

If nothing else,  I’ll be thankful for a minimal number of eye-popping traffic jams.

Posted by Michael Main

Sure foot sore foot

I hit my goal this week.

50 mile goal

Abby and I walked 50 miles.    We had to squeeze in about 9 miles this morning to make it, so we ventured down a portion of an as yet unopened part of the Salado Creek Greenway which took us to Walker Ranch Park.

The park features a unique footbridge.  It will test your faith in engineering. It feels like you’re walking in a bounce house when you cross.

walker ranch footbridge

Abby was less than thrilled with it.

Distrusting dog

By the time we made it back to the car, both of us were hobbling a bit.

Sometimes you have to feel a little pain to achieve your goals.    At least that’s what I’m telling Abby.


Posted by Michael Main

Oh Deer, Michael’s Job Journey

Getting a deer to pose for a still life portrait is tough.
Deer - Salado Creek

Okay, I’ve been playing around with a photo editor and some recent shots I took while walking along the Salado Creek Greenway.   Abby and I have logged about 40 miles so far this week with a goal of 50.

We  don’t walk alone, we’re accompanied by a lot of deer.



Deer Greenway
The deer make the morning walks interesting and amusing.   They’re entertaining to observe, but I’ve also had to harness Abby so she stops trying to chase them.

Salado Creek Greenway Deer - Michael Main

My job search seems a bit restrained as well.   I fear as the holidays approach, hiring managers will put off their decisions.

Enhanced Salado Creek Greenway image - Michael Main

I suppose I’ll keep trying to amuse myself during this process, although I wish I had the option of  putting my expectations through a photo editor too.


Posted by Michael Main

Redeeming Storms

Deadspin has published more details about Greg Hardy and photos of the woman he’s been accused of savagely beating.    They are disturbing.

Hardy is a member of the Dallas Cowboys, a team I have been a supporter of for more years than I’d care to admit.  After his arrest for what’s described as a maniacal assault on his girlfriend, Hardy served a lengthy suspension from the NFL.

He was also criminally convicted, but that case was overturned on appeal.  The charges have not been pursued again.    Hardy was paid millions of dollars while suspended. There’s a school of thought some of those NFL shekels helped convince his victim to be less than cooperative with authorities.

I follow the Cowboys, but I’m not a stat-obsessed NFL devotee.  I had never heard of Hardy until the Cowboys were considering signing him.

At that time, I didn’t know the specific details of his case, but I knew he was legally in the clear.

I thought about redemption.

I’ve been through stormy times in my life.   Certainly nothing on the scale of Hardy, but I’ve tested the patience and faith of more than a few folks. I’ve been grateful for forgiveness and grace.

Marblehead lighthouse - Michael Main

Personal reclamation is usually a messy process which often must germinate in our murkiest moments.   I can show you scars.

Although there was a lot of carping about Dallas signing Hardy, I thought he should be given the chance to show he isn’t a woman-beating  madman.

I believe in redemption.

I didn’t want to rush to judgment.

I was wrong.

There’s another requirement for redemption:  you have to want it.

There’s no indication that is the case when it comes to Hardy.  He’s continued to be a steroid-suspected nutter both on and off the field.

The only thing positive Hardy has done since signing with Dallas is sack quarterbacks prompting Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones to anoint him a “team leader.” Jones seems eager to sign him to a long-term contract extension.

I believe in redemption.

That’s not redemption.

That’s enabling.




Posted by Michael Main

A Walk Through the Fog

Tuesday’s morning stroll took Abby and me along one of our usual routes including the Morningstar boardwalk.  It runs for about 3/4 of a mile between San Antonio’s Lady Bird Johnson and McAllister Parks.

Salado Creek boardwalk - Michael Main

The boardwalk is named in honor of Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Morningstar, a San Antonio soldier killed in Iraq in 2006.

Morningstar Boardwalk - Michael Main

I find it a good place to walk and think about losses of the past and the course ahead.

It’s apropos these days with so much uncertainty regarding my career/job/life of sloth.

On Tuesday, the boardwalk was draped in a visibility-hindering mist.  I could only see the immediate path ahead.   We walked on without much thought.  It’s not like I didn’t know where we were going.

The balance of experience and faith comes in handy.

Boardwalk in fog

Especially if you find yourself walking through one of life’s metaphors.



              Posted by Michael Main

Michael Main Bing bombing

Hi,  I’m Michael Main and I’m an egosurfer.

I suppose I could claim that I was checking the search engine optimization of MichaelMain.com, but – considering this website is only read by me – I don’t find it too embarrassing to divulge a bit of blatant digital narcissism.

I put my name, Michael Main, into search engines to see where I rank.

The results show it’s still a six-page slog on Google before anyone would find this website, but I was agreeably astonished by the new high-ranking on Bing.

MichaelMain.com on Bing - Michael Main

Yes, my friends,  MichaelMain.com is number three!  That’s not bad for a website that didn’t exist a couple of months ago.

I’m sure my previous post pointing out the many other people named Michael Main didn’t manipulate the rankings at all.

I, Michael Main,  would like to thank Bing for its’ algorithmic wisdom.



The Swirling Salado Creek Greenway Vortex

Miss Abby and I explored some new portions of the Salado Creek Greenway today.

I opted to take a different route than usual because of the recent rains in San Antonio which have flooded out portions of our regular trek.

Salado Creek Boardwalk Flooding

Today we started out near McAllister Park and walked along a fairly new segment of the greenway that purports to connect to Walker Ranch Park which we have never visited.    That statement still holds true.  We didn’t visit it today.  We didn’t get that far.

It turns out the greenway connection is not yet officially completed.

That wasn’t what actually stopped us.

I ignored the signs saying, “No pedestrians, bikes, motor vehicles, UFO’s, etc.” and marched right past.

So did Abby, she’s a rebel.

We strolled down an obviously temporary asphalt path without incident.   A half mile or so along the way I could see what looked like a much more finished section of trail ahead.

We didn’t get there.

Abby was reluctant to cross a slightly flooded spillway.    This is atypical for Abby.  The water wasn’t that deep and she doesn’t normally object to getting her feet wet.

Abby floodwaters - Michael Main

This time, however,  she stopped, dug in and was adamantly not going to proceed.  It was obvious if I wanted her to keep going forward I would have to hope something powered by a jet engine and shooting fireworks came up behind us.

She was freaking out as a result of the sound of rushing water on the spillway and the sight of a large swirling vortex of liquid next to us that appeared to be swallowing humanity and sucking it into the netherworld.

Salado Creek Greenway - Flooding - Michael Main

I took Abby’s counsel and we turned around.


Honesty in the job search

Having experienced the joys of instant job hunt rejection as a result of the wonderful world of online applications and algorithm-based evaluations, I’m taking a new approach – blunt honesty.

It’s obvious in some cases that no human eye ever gazes upon my resume because of something I can’t control – I didn’t graduate from college.  The maniacal microprocessors see that one certitude and immediately dismiss me.  No human contact required.

There is an explanation.  I attended college.   I attended college for five years.    I was young and idealistic, I attended college with this silly idea that I wanted to be educated.   I took classes that interested me. I took  classes in journalism, English, French,  mass communication, psychology, sociology, urban studies, anthropology, philosophy and many more.  I left college lacking only a few hours for a degree, but I left college with a well-rounded education.

I had another priority at the time – eating.

No employer ever asked me about my education.   My work spoke for itself and I worked continually until last December.

In recent weeks, I’ve come to regret my decision.  While I don’t think a degree would make me a better employee,  I’d have a better chance of being actually employed.

Were anyone besides me reading this I’m sure I’d hear two suggestions:  Go back to school, or lie.

Lying isn’t an option.  I am not good at lying.  At this point, if I were good at it I’d probably put it on my resume.

Going back to school is something I’ve thought about although it would simply be so that I could say I have a degree.  That would be frustrating. There are some other issues, the pesky eating thing being one.

In truth, although I’ve been unemployed for 10 months,  I have only recently begun looking for work on a regular basis.  It’s still a little early to take a vow of poverty and become a college student.

I read an article the other day suggesting applying online for jobs is a complete waste of time.  The author accurately described my experience of  being dissed by artificial intelligence and suggested stalking (my word) the person responsible for hiring.  The article recommended finding that person’s physical address and sending them an actual letter along with a resume.  No email.

I’m going to consider that route.

I’m also incorporating a more personal appeal in my cover letters and resumes.  I’m trying to explain the situation with my college education.

Maybe I still have a sliver of that youthful idealism, but perhaps my honesty will open some human eyes to my true potential.


flower growing through rocks by Michael Main

Posted by Michael Main

From Job Hunt to Job Prey

I got my hopes up a bit in the job search yesterday.   I suddenly received a couple of emails and a phone call about what I thought were jobs.   Turns out I was overly optimistic.

After listening to a torturous spiel from the woman who called promising her firm regularly lands people with jobs in every imaginable Fortune 500 company,  I finally got her to admit that her outfit would want me to pay them to make me the next CEO of IBM.   I somewhat undiplomatically told her that I’m clinging to what is perhaps a wildly insane goal that someone will pay me.

The emails were a bit less deflating.   The first was from a company where I applied for a Digital Marketing position.   Unfortunately, the email told me I was perfect for something called a Field Service Technician.  This is apparently a job installing, troubleshooting and repairing a type of oil field equipment.    As near as I can determine I have absolutely zero skills in that area.    I don’t do car repairs, home repairs or any other type of repairs because I’m really not handy.  My unhandiness is legendary.    My wife, Amy, has long chanted the refrain, “If you try to fix it, I will divorce you.”   It’s a mantra she adopted very early into our marriage after seeing the twisted results of my dismal display of skills.

The second email started off really well.   This company is impressed with my resume which I found amazing because I never sent it to them.  I’ve now learned that once you apply for any job on CareerBuilder.com your information is strewn like chum into the murky waters of “opportunity specialists.”   It was, however, a really polite and flattering email.  Today the same firm followed up with another email encouraging me to hurry because they only have a few current openings…for insurance salesmen.

I haven’t done sales except for a brief stint as a telephone solicitor in high school.   I’m not sure what would qualify me for that job other than I’m breathing.   However, as long as I am still breathing I’m not going to rule it out.

I’m also not going to dive in right away.   I have time to tread water a while longer in my job search.

However, I might change my tune as the career chase tide of uncertainty rises.

Lifeboat sign - Michael Main

Full Frontal Stupidity

I found it amusing today to read about the NFL Network’s  full frontal faux pas in broadcasting post-game interviews in the Bengal’s locker room while inadvertently showing a number of naked players.   It reminded me of the only time I was in a major league locker room, a memory burned into my psyche.

In college, I was the News Director for the campus radio station and a good friend of mine did the morning sports reports.   He arranged for us both to have press credentials for Texas Rangers home games.  He went because he was a sports reporter; I went to games because, back then, the Rangers served free food and beer to the media.

I didn’t go often, but when I did I tagged along with my friend like a legitimate reporter to the press box to watch the game while trying to act like I knew more about baseball and sports reporting than I did.  I never attended the post-game interviews because, by that point in the night, I had already had my fill of free food and beer.  There wasn’t much sense in carrying on the charade any longer.

On one occasion, however, my friend insisted I join him in the post-game interview scrum. He was going to get soundbites with Reggie Jackson – Mr. October.  This was in the late 1970’s, and Jackson was still very active and still a very, very big deal.

I traipsed into the locker room trying to look like I  belonged amid the gaggle.  Mr. Jackson soon appeared and stood before his locker answering questions very politely.    He had nothing to hide…literally.  He absolutely held nothing back including a towel, fig leaf or well-placed baseball mitt.   There must have been a dozen or more reporters circled around this world-class athlete…this very naked world-class athlete.

I realize this is common practice in sports team locker rooms and no one there blinked an eye.  Mr. Jackson certainly handled the situation like a pro.

I, however, was a wide-eyed young news guy.  I wasn’t thinking about questions to ask this baseball great.  I was only thinking I really wanted to be a closed-eyed news guy.

stunned dog, shocked face

I found the practice of interviewing athletes in the locker room weird then, and I still do.   Why is that necessary?

I wonder if the NFL Network’s blue moment this past Sunday may open some other eyes to the oddity of it.


Posted by Michael Main

Make it work Monday


That word doesn’t carry quite as much dread for me as it does a lot of folks.   I’ve never really felt the semi-universal trepidation about Mondays even when I was working.   Now that I’m perfecting the art of sloth, the only worriment I have about the start of the week is remembering that it is the start of the week.  The days tend to smudge together a bit  in my personal realm of idleness.

I did apply for four jobs today.  Two of the applications are essentially curriculum vitae projectiles shot into the open blue sky, but my attitude is, “What the heck?  I might as well toss my name up there.  What’s the worst that can happen?

Tossing Child - Lakeside, OH - Michael Main

When I was working, I’d usually arrive at the office by 1:30 in the morning – radio keeps weird hours.  I always found it  perversely satisfying  as I was driving home from work for the day that most folks were only starting their workdays.

I realize I was  playing a mental game to rationalize going to work at 1 a.m., but it was comforting.

In any case,  this morning I applied for jobs, Abby and I walked six miles and we spent some time enjoying the gorgeous weather at the dog park.

McAllister Dog Park - Michael Main

No telling what else I can accomplish today, even if it is Monday.


Posted by Michael Main

The Many Named Michael Main

It’s not the most common name, but there certainly are a lot of people named Michael Main spread over careers and countries.

There’s a baseball player  with the same name.  I bought a baseball card signed by that Michael Main on eBay.  His career hasn’t taken off, but then again mine isn’t exactly soaring at the moment.

There’s another Michael Main who lives in my neighborhood. We haven’t met, but I know he exists because back in the days when folks went to physical video rental stores, his Blockbuster account was often confused with mine.

I have distant one-sided relationships with two other guys who share my name – one in Florida and another in California.  Those are email relationships, although I did send one of them an old-fashioned letter.  Their email often gets sent to me due to fumbling fingers on one or both ends of their conversations. The well-named individual  whom I targeted with a dead tree letter still hasn’t figured out his real email address. I get notices about the stuff he buys (don’t ask), websites where he enrolls, as well as all the resultant spam.

As the commercials say, “But wait! There’s more!

Google reveals a Michael Main who is a trainer for the Sri Lanka national cricket team, a Michael Main who is a University of Colorado computer science professor, as well as a couple of writers named Michael Main (one, who refers to himself as a language poet,  shares the same middle initial as me).  There’s an anthropology professor named Michael Main in Australia, a cardiologist named Michael Main in Kansas City,  a Pastor Michael Main in Duluth, Minnesota and a Michael Main who is a safari guide in Africa.

Take my word for it,  there’s  a multitude of folks named Michael Main.  We span the globe.   Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The point of this?

There really isn’t one, although cynical minds might suspect I’m trying to Google bomb the name Michael Main and associate it with this website.  That would be a crass stunt.

Let me state clearly that I, Michael Main, wouldn’t think of doing such a blatant, self-aggrandizing thing as Google bombing the name Michael Main.

Of course, some other Michael Main might.

It’s not like I know them all.

Photos of Michael Main



Hawks and Hounds

I spent the morning in the wild…sort of.

During my daily walk, I watched a couple of hawks perched upon the overhead wires straddling the Salado Creek Greenway between Lady Bird Johnson and McAllister parks in northeast San Antonio.

They were scoping out the area and probably picking targets for breakfast.  They seemed patient enough.

Hawk San Antonio

Abby and I didn’t make the menu. 

A short while later, I was startled by howls from a pack of coyotes.  They erupted in a harmonious lament  in response to a warning siren being screeched from an emergency vehicle passing along a nearby roadway.  I realize the usefulness of sirens to startle drivers into a sense of alertness, but in urban parklands they also quickly spook away the back country mystique.

However, at the dog park, the more domesticated canines were excitedly attuned to the coyotes’ chorus. Reaching back in a wistful salute to their more primitive roots, the dogs produced a much less concordant echo.

dog howling in the weeds


As Abby and I gallivanted along the greenway and beyond, I did give more thought to my job hunt and decided to follow the example of hawks, coyotes and dogs.

I’ll be patient, but occasionally howl.


Posted by Michael Main

Jobs. A Foot.

I have a blister on my foot.

I mention that only because I have nothing else to report and I’m hoping to prime the mental pump a bit by simply typing whatever is on my mind.  Right now, that’s the foot blister. Maybe this free-form attempt at writing will trigger a sudden burst of inspiration.

So far it’s not working.

I should probably decide to write stuff before I embark on my daily pilgrimage to job hunting websites looking for opportunities. What, at times, seems like a never-ceasing search can exhaust my day’s supply of optimism.  I’m finding it hard to mentally transition to other topics for writing. The foot blister rambling is the apparent exception…or result.

The blister is due to another daily ritual of mine, walking.   Abby, the faithful hound, and I have been trying to walk 3 to 6 miles a day now that temperatures in San Antonio have fallen below those which could spark complaints in Hell. 

San Antonio Sunrise - Michael Main

San Antonio has some wonderful linear parks which are our usual option for strolling. The greenways are well maintained and in the mornings we normally only have to share the trails with an occasional jogger, bike rider, or deer.



I find walking to be mentally, physically and spiritually invigorating, although my feet sometimes disagree.

The good thing is this blister will soon turn to callous. I suspect as the job search saga goes on I’ll become a bit more thick-skinned in that area as well.

             Posted by Michael Main

Taking a turn in the job search

I’m taking a new turn in the job hunt.  Instead of applying for jobs where I have experience, I’ve decided to start looking for new opportunities, careers, adventures.

Today I applied for a position evaluating potential parents for adoptive children. It would be a state job.  It seems like it could be rewarding.  I suspect at times it might be heartbreaking as well.

We’ll see. You never know what’s around the bend.

Sunrise - Michael Main

Posted by Michael Main