Monday, September 24, 2012

Arizona Bound???

I might be wrong, but I'm under the impression that 50 or 100 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for a person to leave their family behind and go to work in a geographically remote location. With modern technology making communication so much faster (skype, email, texting, etc), it seems like even less of a burden - though not a non-burden.

I have a couple buddies down in Arizona - one a native, the other an import - and we have similar background, all coming from the nuclear navy. Since the job market for budding engineers in the Willamette Valley is non-existent (thanks HP!), I went ahead and put in down there with my friends. Pay is good - enough to cover living expenses in both Oregon and Arizona (I think, assuming that food and utilities aren't outrageous) and be able to cover my now due student loans. After I get qualified the pay increases, and I should be able to make headway on getting out of debt, and fixing up the house.

I'm also looking to, and the budget would allow for, about one flight back home each month. I've still got to figure out how I'm going to get down there. If they call me and bring me on, I understand they're wanting to start the first part of training in December. Google maps says it's around a 20 hour trip, depending on the route. Once I'm there, the mild AZ temperatures mean that riding my motorcycle won't be a problem year-round, but leaving in November/December means that it'll be bloody cold up here, and a 1200 mile trip on the bike? Talk about Iron Butt...

And it would force me to head south first before crossing the mountains east, which I'm not sure about. My route of choice would be straight east on 20, and then turn south through Reno/Vegas, but in December that wouldn't work on a motorcycle. Plus I'm thinking that I will end up taking more stuff with me that would be convenient to ship via UPS.

I may have to rent a small Uhaul and carry the bike in the back - which should be doable, especially if they help with relocation expenses. Of course, I'd rather save the relocation help in case the wife decides living in AZ is less miserable than living in OR without me... I'm also thinking that once I'm fully qualifies, that might open some doors for me to either move up there and make more, or possibly get a job that's at least a little more local to Oregon - up in Tri-Cities.

And of course, all this discussion might be premature - there's no guarantee that they'll call me for an interview, and no guarantee that the interview would go well, either. I'm also waiting to hear back from another position that I've been really hoping for, and I figure I'll know the answer next week sometime. It's a research position, so it won't pay as well, but the benefits are nice, and it's local.

Only time will tell.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hipster Party??

An entertaining weekend was had by all.

This last weekend, the family and I went to the home of a friendly couple for a "Tacky Hipster" party. Most of us dressed up in various clothing setups that might be labeled Hipster, and just hung out for a few hours - letting children run about and listening to a selection of "Nerdcore Rap" that I dug up.

I also reinstalled the front wheel of my motorcycle (Took it in to a local shop in Philomath to get the tire replaced), changed the spark plugs, and did an oil and filter change. The BMW is having overheating problems, and it's cheaper to tool around on the Yamaha anyway.

Little stressed with 10+ months of job searching, especially since we're looking at a potential drop in income in the next couple of months that will put us negative each month. The wife is headed back to school this fall though, which will allow us to take out some student loans to cover the difference, but I really need a new job. I did have a great interview last week with the college of oceanic and atmospheric science for a position as a faculty research assistant.

I'm really excited about it, and I'm really hoping that they'll call me back. There are all sorts of benefits to the position that I feel like I and my family deserve after all the time I spent fighting to get through school and working, but the thing that really makes me want the job is that I felt like I more or less instantly got along with the crew there, and I'm enamored of the idea of working somewhere that I don't have to listen to the constant nattering of accountants worried about bottom lines and account balances.

I'm sure there's some of that, of course, but I would expect it to be a much different environment as compared to the place I work now.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blog Reborn

It's been quite a while since I've written anything on my blogs - either this one or the other one that I've been paying for. I got the renewal notice today for my other blog, and decided that it wasn't worth over $100 to host a website that I hardly ever used. It was always so slow to navigate through the administration of that website (I think the host was on the other side of the country!) and anything I could do on that site I can do here, more or less.

If I have any regular readers, then it may be noticed that I deleted all my old posts. I started reading through them and thought they were really kind of pretentious, and I wanted to start over with a clean slate (more or less).

So let me reintroduce myself.

My online monikers tend to either be Platinumwolf or The Surly Pirate. I'm an ex-Navy nuke, having been honorably discharged at the end of my first term - I have kids and didn't want the military life for them. I moved back home, got a job working with my cousin, and went back to University to get my degree. I graduated in December (2011) with a BS in mechanical engineering, and a minor in mathematics.

I'm kind of a nerd/geek.

Since I've been back from the Navy, I've bought a house, bought my first non-hand-me-down car, learned to ride motorcycles, and developed a love of SCUBA. I have three kids of my own, and one niece living with me for the moment. My wife and I have been married for twelve years, and been together for fifteen. She's put her education on hold a few times for various reasons, and is this fall going back to pick up where she left off last time. She's looking to become a sci-fi writer, but most of what she ends up doing is technical writing. There's an irony there...

We've also gotten involved with a local parenting group based around collaborative problem solving (CPS), which as far as I know is primarily based on the book, The Explosive Child.

Right now I've been job hunting for nine months, as my current employer doesn't have the budget for another engineer, plus they need to keep me on in IT for a little while because my old supervisor had to leave a couple months ago, and the new guy they brought on to replace him doesn't have all the institutional knowledge that I do.

I have a few nice prospects. Then again, I had a few nice prospects back in the first quarter of the year, and of a half dozen interviews then - well, I'm still looking, let's leave it at that.

Other than all that, I don't have anything pressing to write, and I rarely do, so I don't expect to post on here all that often. However if I start getting readers, I just might start posting stuff. I might even post some of the articles I've written in the past for the parenting group newsletter, we'll see.