December 21, 1998
Well, we're back.
Uhm. We have to decide today. There wasn't anything in Boulder that said that we absolutely cannot move there, and the tradeoffs with Seattle were about even. I'll miss the rain. I'll miss the sea. I'll miss the water. I won't miss the traffic or the idiocy of drivers in the snow, or the damp cold grey darkness through most of the early spring/late winter. I'll miss the extra-long days, the house, the lakes, but I'll have other mountains to explore and paint and see, and I'll have sunshine again.
Every good with a bad, every bad with a good. It does cost more, it does have wilder weather swings, Thursday it was 65 and sunny and by Saturday it was 2 and blowing around three inches of snow. So we saw it at its worst and at some of its winter best. I don't doubt that it can be nicer in the spring, hotter in the summer and brighter in the fall. I'll really, really miss the odd roots Seattle has in its land's past, Boulder is so new it's crazy, and seems to be missing the deeper, older, spiritual roots with itself. That is going to, in some ways, hurt to be away from.
But it really does cost more and the salary that they put in the offer they gave me doesn't quite cover what I'd normally get here on changing jobs and the cost of living change. That bothers me mildly. Though it is generous in many other things, including stock options and signing bonuses, but I still have to ask. I hate asking. I know that the worst thing they can do is say no, we can't afford that, but I also know that it's going to just make me that much more unhappy with moving and working. Which isn't a good thing. If I didn't ask at all, I'd have to swallow the feelings, which is even worse.
I always loved Cordelia's axiom, that if you choose something, you also choose its consequences, and the theorem from it that states that if you want something to happen, some consequence, you'd better take the actions to make that be. So I'd better at least ask, scary as it is, as much as I know I'm worth, as much as I think I'll be useful to them as a company, it's still frightening to not just take what authority grants. A thing that I really hate, so I need to ask for me.
We spent the three days we were there driving everywhere, eating all over the place with all the kinds of food we could find, and then running from one edge of the county to the other. We got in the midst of the temperature swing, got in the midst of all the neighborhoods, and ran around like crazy to see as much as we could, experience as much as we could and gather as much data as possible. All the time trying to be open minded, trying to see the possibilities, and looking for complete pitfalls, there were no pitfalls, so that was good.
The city itself is cute, small, little traffic, big city amenities with small city numbers and good schools from a higher average income through the smaller population. BIG mountains, lots of interesting ground water, lots of sunshine and a nice eclectic food mix and possibilities. The combination of mountains and plains means that any driving I want to do is possible, and with 100 days more of sunshine a year, it means that many more days of dry roads, so I might be able to indulge my desire to drive around the middle of the country, which I've never really done much of, before. It's really strange to think of Kansas City or Albuquerque or the like to be weekend road trips, or having the Rocky Mountain national park be less than an hour away.
I asked. They answered and said it would be no problem. Coolness. Yes, it's good to ask.
So... it looks like we're going to be doing this. We were pretty sure, though what really helped was coming home Saturday night. This is from Boulder, which had about three inches of snow, where the folks there were handling it sanely, driving a bit more slowly, a bit more carefully, but getting where they needed to go, in part because the city had the plows and the other things necessary to clear enough out or melt enough down to create traction in the places that really needed it. That was very cool.
We do the whole, nasty, completely full-up crowded flight to Seattle, then come out to a baggage claim that is three deep in people lining *all* the windows, waiting for their rides. There was about an inch of snow fall in the SouthCenter area, and with all the bridges and the lack of snow equipment, all the major highways and by ways and ways into and out of the airport were completely iced slick and all the drivers were panicing. There were cars left in the middle of highway lanes, there were cars parked any how all along the shoulders of the road. It took us an entire hour to get a quarter of a mile.
So we stopped, got off, went to a movie theater, watched A Bug's Life for the second time (and got to see the second set of out-takes, they were really cool, including one of the two Hungarian pill bugs trying the acrobatic sequence and missing, and missing and...). By the time we got out the streets were at least flowing again, and we were able to drive out to the freeways. There was still black ice, and really slick patches, but folks took them carefully enough that we got through okay, and a mere ten miles north and we were on clear and dry freeways. That was really keen. But it really, really, really brought home, hard, the things that Seattle really is bad at, traffic, snow, dealing with the huge volume of sheer people that live and travel through the area.
That was interesting.
I think we decided we were going while stuck in that horrible, idiotic, crazed traffic. After all the data input, after all the logical reasons we should go and all the possible reasons to stay, it was a feeling.
Kinda interesting to have that.
It looks like a new Adventure is in the works.
We were at a Christmas party on Sunday. Talking with some of the folks from work over what they were going to do or not do. In the midst of it I kinda really grasped that everything was going to happen, and I just went "aaaaaggh!" in the middle of a conversation.
It was very comforting to have everyone there kinda laugh in sympathy and give us the support. We're leaving all that, though. Leaving all the family and roots and stuff that we've built up for the last decade and a half and doing something entirely new and different and... and... and...
Well, it's not like we're not going to visit.
Bitter cold today, outside. Clear as a bell, but cold, cold, cold. Dry and clear streets, but I'm just tired and cold and with all the eating we did over the last week, and with the stress, I've put on about four pounds and it's past time to focus a bit and get them back off again. Work was useless today until we did our counter offer and was told there'd be no problems with all that. So that was good in some ways. I got the emotional load off my shoulders, so things should go okay. Turns out that Data I/O had skimped on vacations through the year in order to close the plant for all of Christmas, and Xilinx doesn't do that, so we've given up holidays throughout the year and, at first, they hadn't thought to give them to us. But they are going to. So that's good.
Heh, nice thing is that next year, I get President's Day off, so I am going to be able to go to Dundracon and *not* have to take the day off on my own time! Yay!!
Also, over the weekend, as soon as I got home, I started dyeing the hardier of the washed fleeces that I had. A few of my wool socks have huge holes in 'em, so I'm going to make more, and see how my hands hold up. But I'm having fun doing all kinds of colors and seeing how it'll make a yarn that's so multi-colored it'll be funny. In Fiat, Daimon gets this Sock from Eli that's made from all kinds of colors of stripes, and that made me fancy a pair of really colorful crazy socks that don't match. This looks like a step in that direction and possibly in the direction of getting my hands back in shape again.