Moving to Seattle

So, I’ve decided I’m moving to Seattle regardless of the outcome of my most recent job interview.

Don’t get me wrong: I love Portland dearly. I’m not a huge fan of Seattle, the city. As I’ve said previously, it sort of has all the things that annoy me about San Francisco and Los Angeles combined into one city. I don’t like the traffic. I don’t like the way the transit works: granted, the transit is pretty good compared to Los Angeles, and almost on-par with San Francisco. Seattle also “smells funny.”

But increasingly there is little opportunity in Portland for me to thrive. I’ve been struggling with this for years. Even when I’ve had a job and doing financially well, there are things that just never quite fall in place for me. Things always seem just below the threshold of “awesome,” and it’s frustrating operating at just under optimal for me. I’d almost rather be operating at 75% “awesome” than 98%. I can work around that 25% difference.

Except I have this feeling that life for me in Seattle is going to be 75% awesome. Increasingly, it looks like it’s going to be, at worst, me switching out a collection of 2% annoyances with another set of 2% annoyances. Considering that one of the annoyances of life in Portland has been opportunity, that seriously skews things.

See, Seattle is a Big CityTM. Portland is, at it’s best, a small city.. but in reality, it’s perhaps the biggest small town you’ve ever seen. There are few big city opportunities here. Unemployment here is historically high, and given the financial situation of the past few years it’s been downright appalling.

I scan the job boards in Seattle, and there’s a ratio somewhere around 40:1 of jobs advertised. It’s that bad here in Portland.. for every job I see here in Portland, there’s at least 40 in Seattle that I could apply for. I understand there’s a huge talent pool up there, too.. but the odds are just overwhelming.

Add to that the social element. I’ve made friends in Portland, don’t get me wrong. But every time I’m in Seattle, I come home with at least one new friend there. EVERY TIME, WITHOUT EXCEPTION. It has taken me the better part of eight years here in Portland to collect 1/4 of the friend circle I have in Seattle, even though I don’t actually LIVE in Seattle. The social groups I’d be involved in there have hundreds of members, not just a dozen or two. All of my interests are hyper-present in Seattle. Hell, the Seattle anime scene (something I’m not completely immersed in, but have a passing interest in Japanese culture generically) hosts the [arguably] largest con of it’s kind outside Japan. These scenes are healthy and vibrant, to varying degrees. There’s living, breathing hacker spaces (the ones here in PDX seem to die the minute I find them), a couple of wonderful occult groups I’m already involved in, and very interesting communities that appeal to my more.. um.. prurient interests.

Portland is an oddly insular city. I still don’t understand that.

City life is always a collection of compromises, regardless of the city. I’ve tolerated Portland’s compromises to the point that they are seriously challenging my ability to thrive. Being unemployed for .. what, well over a year now? … has created a situation that is unsustainable. If things were financially going well for me here, I’d have no reason to leave. But with the job situation being so sucky, it makes no sense to stay here, even though I love everybody I’ve met in Portland, and would do anything to bring all of you with me…

This is a telecom announcement.

First off, thanks to a lot of you beautiful, wonderful people  I’m back in some kind of financial position where things aren’t all screwed up.  You know who you are, and thank you.  Your help has gotten me to the point where I can get some of the things I need done without having to worry about digging out of a financial hole.

I also have a bit of a rant brewing about voice mail and how it is increasingly annoying.. so a few of you may notice some changes when you call me, including the fact that my phone will now ring more or less indefinitely if you are placed in a certain calling group.   This is not a bug, but a feature.. so if it happens to you it means I’m playing with my settings and not to worry.  If you really have to get ahold of me, just wait: or, if you can’t, send me a text and/or an E-Mail (as appropriate to your situation).

Some clarification on phone numbers.

A few people seem to be a bit confused by this, so I want to make a couple of things clear.

The 503-564 number was a Google Voice number. It has been changed to a 503-451 number (although the 503-564 number will continue to work for three months, according to Google Voice). This is my primary contact number: it is the one most of you should be calling most of the time, and is suitable for release to others. As it is a Google Voice number, it can accept SMS text-only messages. It cannot accept multimedia. The Google Voice number rings every phone I have all the time.

The 503-442 number is my (primary) cell phone. While it can be called directly in certain situations, I consider it to be a number to be used only when expedience is required. Note that I tend to leave my cell phone in the car, or often go without charging it in the evening and it dies.

Note that I have at least three other phone numbers. As a rule, these are used sporadically and probably aren’t reliable. I try to not expose those numbers, but I sometimes forget and grab the “backup cell” and call people without routing the call through Google Voice. Yeah, it happens.


Hey everybody.

As a few of you know, I’m moving again. This time, in the same building: from the third to the first floor. I now have a 1 bedroom!

I need as much help as I can get getting stuff boxed up and just moved. There’s really not that much stuff, it’s just I can’t imagine myself going up and down the stairs the 100 or so times it would take to get everything moved. I have a friend coming by in the evening to help with the furniture-y bits.. I just need help moving stuff.

If you can help, please just stop by on Saturday after 10:00am, or call me. My address is 315 High Street in Oregon City. Push the buzzer for 105 and I’ll come let you in.

Thanks, in advance for the help.

I finally updated the “About… Where” page to use Google Latitude rather than the old service I was using.

Basically, the Boost Mobile phone that was driving the “Otto finder” died (the #(%*# battery just stopped charging for no reason).  This left me with no real way of keeping it updated, short of leaving my Android phone in the car.. and we know THAT wasn’t going to happen.

So have fun stalking me and looking at all the “fun” places I go in a typical day.