California roundup: one month in

Today is Labor Day, which means it’s the start of the third full week that David and I have been living in California, and my fifth overall. I miss Arlene, Matt, and Tom so much! I can’t wait to see them again on the 25th, right before we close the sale of our house in Ohio.

A few assorted thoughts on being a newly-minted Californian.

  1. I am adapting to traffic and commute times. Note that I didn’t say I liked them, just that it seems like I’m getting used to them again, much as when I lived in Atlanta. David has seminary each school day at 0650, so once I drop him off I can usually be at my office between 0745 and 0800. That usually makes me the first one in, which is fine with me. On days when he has football practice, he’s done about 1830, which leaves me plenty of time to leave the office and still get him on time. Of course, once Arlene, Matt, and Tom are here I’ll be able to take the train more often.
  2. Speaking of which: I took the train last week to get back to Morgan Hill after dropping off my rental car. It worked fine. It’s about 40 miles each way from Morgan Hill to my office. The Saab gets about 28 mpg in mixed city/highway driving, so figure (5 * 40 * 2) / 28 ~= 14 gallons of gas per week, or about $44 at today’s gas price. Train tickets cost $7.75 each way, or $52.75 for an 8-ride pass, or $205 for a monthly pass. Thus I’m paying a slight premium to be able to sit and work, or read, or whatever instead of just sitting in traffic. Not a bad trade, it seems.
  3. It seems like these guys are everywhere. I see at least three or four cruisers each day going to and from work. Kinda makes the Ohio Highway Patrol look like slackers.
  4. The weather seems to have two states: pleasant and hot.

Work? Work is awesome. I am still enthralled with what I’m doing in three respects. First, we have an extremely talented and smart team. Second, I continue to be impressed with the tutoring engine and what I’m leaning from it. Third, I am having great fun setting up our experimental Exchange 2010 environment. Compared to what we have now, Exchange 2010 is light-years ahead. It’s like moving from this to this.

Our typical daily routine is to get up around 0545, shower, and grab breakfast at the hotel. I drop David off at seminary, drive to work, work, and then pick him up again after football. We’ve really done a good job of eating in: turkey burgers, salmon, pasta-in-a-bag, and so on are all typical fare. Arlene sent us a crock pot but I broke it about 2 minutes after it got here, so that hasn’t been much help. We definitely miss her cooking!

Weekends have been quite a bit more relaxed. Saturday David and I went to the 144th annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games. It was everything we hoped for: there were pipers, the Marine Band San Diego, Scottish Heavy Athletics, and sheep-dog trials. Sadly I didn’t get to have a Scottish egg, as the line was about 45 minutes long. Apart from that, though, it was delightful, and it’s nice to know they’ll be in the same place at the same weekend next year in case we get a hankering to go back. Sunday we did essentially nothing except attending church, devouring a Costco take-and-bake five-meat pizza we bought Saturday, and driving around to look at houses we found on RealtyTrac. For our evening entertainment, we watched the first part of “Torchwood: Children of Earth” (brilliant so far!) and an episode from the first season of House. We’ve also been reading a lot; the library system here is quite well-stocked and has many of the amenities we came to expect from Way Library.

Today David has some friends from church over to swim in the hotel pool while I write. Interestingly, even though today’s a holiday, he still has football practice at the usual time, so once I drop him off I’m going to look at a couple of rental houses. Right now we’re leaning towards renting for a year, letting our equity from the Ohio house marinate in a nice CD while we wait to find exactly the perfect house. Tomorrow it’s back to the weekday routine!

1 Comment

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One response to “California roundup: one month in

  1. Jason (the Mick one)

    “It seems like these guys [CHP] are everywhere.”
    Making up that state deficit $200 at a time. Sisyphean, perhaps, but it doesn’t mean they won’t try.