Events, Family, Personal, Ruby, Software, Thoughts

The Biggest Little State in the Union

After weeks of unpacking, building out shelves, replacing lighting fixtures, unpacking some more, organizing, selling our possessions, getting creative with storing what possessions we didn’t sell, and living off restaurant food, life is finally getting back to normal for me, the wife, and all the critters. Moving day came and went as smoothly as I could hope. Thanks to the blunder of the Warren property, we were overly prepared and living out of boxes for a week prior to the move. In eight hours time we went from being citizens of Braintree, Massachusetts to Barrington, Rhode Island. I was just getting the hang of spelling ‘Massachusetts’ too.

The new property is close to the bay, in a scenic suburb with lots of folks walking, biking, and taking the dogs out. While our street ends at the water’s edge, we did sacrifice quite a bit of space in the move. We have been power sellers on Craigslist, getting some liquidity for things we didn’t have room for in the new place.

Also on Craigslist, I picked up a 2008 Lemond Reno in gently used condition for a great bargin at $225. With a quick tune up, and a bike helmet I decided to bike into work on Friday. I haven’t been on a bike probably since I was in middle school sporting the Huffy around the cul-de-sac. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to ride! I always found it obnoxious when bike people would talk bikes, but its different once the bike bug hits. All I have wanted to do since Friday is have my body heal enough so I can get back on the bike and ride into work again. We strategically picked this location because of its proximity to the bike path, and this will become my commute to work, as well as a fantastic workout. Its quite a scenic view on my way in, as the bike path follows the bay through Barrington, and down into Warren. Perhaps I can convince the wife to pick up a bike herself and we can venture down to Newport once we get conditioned.

The new job is going very well. I read some materials on Job Characteristic Modeling, and I felt it did a great job at explaining why comparable work at my new employer has been drastically different for me than previous work. I struggled with task variety, identity, significance, and autonomy, which was a recipe for unsatisfaction. Government contracts are hard, and I have a new respect for the people that can do it. Mojo Tech is reminiscent of my time at Clayton State where I was given large problems to work through (some running for weeks at a time) and a full spectrum of disciplines needed to solve them. I guess the moral of the story is experiment with different company styles until you find one that pairs well with the way you work.

In other exciting news, I will be doing a presentation on the Rubymine IDE this Wednesday at the Rhode Island Ruby Users Group. Look forward to meeting the other Ruby developers here in the state of Rhode Island.

Pictures of the house are coming soon, as we prepare the last of the decorations. We are having a house party this Saturday, and any co-workers, past and present are invited. Come meet, mingle, and check out our new pad!

Computers, Events, Family, Personal, Thoughts

Taking the Red Pill

Hell of a week. Now that I have my compy hooked back up under my newly assembled desk, along with high-speed internet, things are finally starting to settle.

The trip started off Friday morning at 8 – just like we planned (yeah right). Actually, we left at closer to 9 because I forgot to do some critical last minute tasks, such as packing the refrigerator, and cleaning out the litter boxes. Placing cats in a box against their will was probably the scariest thing I can imagine doing. Noah went full ferrel, and proved to be a “challenge” for three grown men. If she still had claws, there would have been three dead bodies at the old house.

I had to scramble to locate a GPS for Kristin’s folks, since I didn’t think about printing the directions out on paper. The day went by with quite a bit of chaos, and cross-communication gone wrong. We got to Staunton, Virginia though, and settled down for the night. Until 4am. The cats started fighting like two inmates in prison. The dogs started barking at the cats, and everyone except my folks bailed out of the rooms by 8am.

The next day went smoother. We headed for Scranton, Pennsylvania – home of Dunder-Mifflin from The Office. We actually blew right through the city and landed on I-84 entirely by mistake luck – good job John. We had a great time as we worked our way east, passing through Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and finally Massachusetts. The communication seemed to go easier the second day.  I think we got into a routine.

We arrived at the house in Braintree before dark, and took a tour of the property. You would never imagine the beauty of the inside of the house from looking at it on the street. The renters have really done a lot of work inside to modernize the house, and it shows in the details. Marble counter tops, hardwood floors, fresh paint, sliding glass closets, and a glass shower. I have posted a few pics from the inside of the property, but I am holding off to photograph the outside until the restoration is finished. It just doesn’t do the property justice.

The furniture trickled in thanks to my folks, Kristin’s folks, and John over the next few days. Now the big pieces are in place, and the rest boils down to unpacking everything from boxes and organizing things again.

Today, we ventured out into the town of Braintree (I don’t know how we missed this when the everyone was here) and did some grocery shopping at Shaw’s. Quite an enchanting little area with nothing but local shops and family restaurants. When you read the name Shaw’s, think Kroger. Interestingly, Shaw’s doesn’t sell liquor – we had to make a second stop at a package store. Also interesting was this particular package store almost exclusively stocked domestic and Irish beers. Samuel Adams and Harpoon topped the list due to the fact both beers are from the area.

Now we are settling in for the night, and I begin my fantastical job tomorrow morning. I will fight with I-93N and probably lose, but with such a flexible start time I think it will be all right. I am really looking forward to the job this time around. The folks seem great, and it will be nice to start feeling like I am contributing to society again.

Thanks everyone for the unpacking help – I really could not have done it without you. Wish me luck, and I will keep you all updated on the adventures of a Georgia boy living and working in Massachusetts.