Sep 12 2007

I’ve Been in CA Too Long

A few weeks ago, as I was getting out of bed, I felt one of the many recent quakes rumble through. Didn’t phase me a bit, but I did think, “probably a 4.0 or 4.1” When I get in to work, I check the USGS quake site, and find out it was a 4.0. Cut forward a week or so, and I feel another one pass through the house. This time, I peg it at a 3.7, and USGS verifies my guess as completely accurate.

Yeah, and I’m moving to LA.

This should be fun.


Sep 11 2007

Summer Round-Up

As a referred to last post, I’ve been quite busy. I have managed to make it out every once in a while, though …

Here’s a sport I just witnessed for the first time, and I’m not sure if it’s going to catch on: Mountain Unicycling. Uh-huh. You read that right.

Actually Airborne

Actually Airborne

Downhill

Downhill

And over Labor Day weekend, things tend to get a bit rowdy. What happens when you come out of the waves from a session of body surfing, and someone’s fashioned a beer bong out of a tube a seaweed? Well, you make the guy from out of town chug a beer out of it, of course. (I can’t believe he did that. Cool guy and a good sport. I wouldn’t even get near the thing.)

Pre

Pre

During

During

Post

Post

He said it tasted pretty gross, and way too salty. Despite that, this girl from a group next door decided to take a shot at it:

Champ

Champ

Wow, that’s disgusting. I still wasn’t enticed. But, later that weekend, I did meet the coolest bartender in Mission, and the only person I’ve ever met that prefers tabasco in her tequila shots:

Prairie Fire Queen

Prairie Fire Queen

Of course, I still managed to make it up to LA every once in a while. Sometime after the 4th of July, there were quite a few American flags still planted about ‘Nae’s apartment complex. At some point, Tommy (the coolest boxer I’ve every met), decided he was a bit more patriotic than the rest of us. He plucked a flag up in his mouth and hauled-butt up and down the yard with the flag in his mouth. Even when he dropped it, he’d make sure to pick it up by the stick and not the fabric before continuing his circuits. He looked quite happy, and I was probably more entertained than I should have been.

Tommy Flag #1

Tommy Flag #1

Tommy Flag #2

Tommy Flag #2

And there was Mai’s birthday party at Delve Sushi – the craziest sushi joint I’ve even been to, where the make the entire restaurant get up and do the chicken dance, and the staff perform lip-sync routines to pop music. Very fun.

Mai and Cake

Mai and Cake

Rich and Mai #1

Rich and Mai #1

Rich and Mai #2

Rich and Mai #2

Rich and Mai #3

Rich and Mai #3

'Nae

'Nae

'Nae and I

'Nae and I

Sadie and Someone

Sadie and Someone

Aerial 'Nae and I

Aerial 'Nae and I


Sep 7 2007

Disclosure

I know I’ve been saying that “there’s adventures in the works” for at least a year or two, and it’s finally time I can reveal what all the mystery was about. Some of you know, some of you may not. In any case I talked about doing one of two “adventures,” and of doing both if I could.

One was a special high-intensity training program for my martial arts. All outdoors in nature, two to four hour classes, two to four days a week, plus a significant amount of my own training time outside of class. The idea was to really dig in to the art. Well, I did the full six-month run of those classes, and then some, and for the last five months I’ve been taking six to eight private lessons per week with my instructor. Will I end up with some sort of ranking out of this? Perhaps. More importantly, I know that the sort of content I’ve been getting out of the last year and change of training is exactly what I was looking for in the art.

The second adventure was traveling: I was planning on selling the house, saving up money for a year or so, quitting my job, and backpacking the world for a year taking photos. This plan didn’t quite work out – as expected, that is. The bad news is the that house didn’t sell, and I had to rent it out. I really didn’t want to spend a year abroad having the anchor of a partial mortgage to pay on a monthly basis.

The interesting turn of events is that a company that offered me a job a two years ago recently came back to me and asked me what my current situation was. Two years ago, I just wasn’t in a position to take the offer, particularly since it required relocation. And, they have offices in Dublin, Zurich, Sidney … hmmm. Consider my curiosity piqued. We go back and forth a bit, and they send out another offer. A good offer.

Fast forward to this last Tuesday, September 4th. At 2 P.M., I meet with my supervisor. I tell him I’ve got this offer in, and I think I’d like to take it, but I also want to make sure I have the time to finish the current tasks at work before I leave. After all, my current company has been good to me, and I don’t want to leave them in a tough spot. I tell him it’s not “going from something, but going to something.” I don’t dislike it here, but I believe I’d really like to work for this other extremely well-regarded company.

After returning from that meeting, I see a new email in my box. “Company meeting at 4:30 P.M.” There’s something about the terseness and tone, the time, and the day of the week that send a shiver down my spine. I know what’s going to happen. And it’s a good thing.

Two hours after I tell me supervisor that I’m quitting, it is announced that our company has been sold.

Yup. I don’t know how, but I knew. Strange.

It’s been acquired by a solid company, and the deal is great for everyone involved. I’m given a very good offer – salary increase, stock, shares, performance bonuses, matching 401(k), retention bonus, all the goodies. It’s a damn good package.

I have to sleep on it.

Today, I made my decision: I will no longer be continuing employment at my current company. It was a tough decision to make, but I believe it’s the right one.

I’m going to work for Google.

I’ll be undergoing a week of training in the Mountain View office starting October 15th, and then returning to the Santa Monica office for at least a year and a half. Why “a year and a half”? After that, you’re eligible for transfer. Well, Zurich is right in the middle of Eastern and Western Europe, has a great train system, and you get the European standard five weeks of vacation per year … hmmm, that might not be a bad way to travel….

(And yes, ‘Nae is down with going.)

So that’s why I’ve been off the map lately. I’ve had more than my usual share of tasks to take care of lately.