Weekly Update - July 7
Howdy internet friend, and welcome back to my blog. As I mentioned in my short post last week, something really big happened in my life. Most of the stuff that happened over the last week was personal, so if you are looking for programming stories, this won’t be the week for you! Check back next week for more information on programming, this week is going to be mostly personal because of some huge news.
Last week I was able to take the first week off in over six months. While it was great to be able to get some time off, I’m afraid that I wasn’t able to do much relaxing because….
We bought a house!
Indulge me while I start with a quick story. My wife and I moved to California on July 1, 2018, roughly two weeks after she graduated from college and accepted her first non-hair job (she was a stylist for a decade before we got married). When we moved here she was a fresh college graduate with a job and I had experience but no work lined up. I spent a month applying to every job that was close to my qualifications and eventually a temp agency helped me land a gig. We worked really hard for two years paying off debts and saving money. Two years to the day from when we moved to California, we woke up in a house that we own in the Palm Desert.
We bought a house…. during a pandemic
So you may be thinking to yourself, “Dave, you bought a house during a pandemic, two hours away from Orange County. Did you drive out to see it? Surely you wouldn’t buy a house without seeing it first!”
You might find this surprising, internet friend, but the first time we stepped foot in the house was the day all the paperwork was complete and the house was ours. It seems almost unthinkable to buy a house sight unseen, however, our realitor sent us a video walkthrough of the house. So it wasn’t totally sight unseen, but it was still a little nerve wrecking. Finally - don’t call me surely! (Obligitory Airplane! joke/reference.)
I am not going to get in to any of the specifics of the house, because it isn’t too important. However, I will mention that everyone here is much happier. We spent the first three months of the lockdown in an apartment that was half the square footage of our new home. Now the boy can run around, everyone has more space, and everyone seems to be in a much better mood. Indeed, I am writing this blog post from my own office! For the last year plus working from home I’d been in my living room. This is less than ideal as any time someone wanted to grab a snack from the kitchen, they were worried about disturbing me. So the impact was 3⁄4 of the house trapped upstairs and the person downstairs required to wear noise cancelling headphones roughly eight hours a day. Essentially, a lose-lose situation.
There is probably more that I could say, but I’m just going to casually end the discussion here. I am not even planning on doing a longer “We bought a house, here’s what I wish I knew” post. Perhaps that is something my wife will do, but it isn’t really on my radar. If you have any questions about buying a house during a pandemic, feel free to give me a holler on Twitter and I’ll be happy to answer your (reasonable) questions. However, that’s about the extent of it :)
Goodbye to Orange County
You may have noticed that I mentioned very briefly that I didn’t say exactly where our new house is, but I did mention where it is not. We decided after two years to leave Orange County, the place my wife was born and raised. There were a number of reasons for the move - from the lack of masking (people choosing not to wear masks) to the outrageously high cost of living (the mortgage is a little less expensive than the rent on an apartment). We had also visited the Palm Desert area on vacation last year and loved the area.
While I really appreciated the opportunities I found in Orange County, as well as the friends I met in OC2600 and Irvine Underground, it was best for my family to make the move - so we did! No doubt I’ll visit Orange County from time to time, but I think my family is going to be much better off here in the desert.
As I mentioned in the personal section, I took a week off work. This included taking time off programming and the only time I touched a computer was last Saturday to ensure the newly-installed internet connection was functioning properly. If you have the opportunity I would highly suggest taking time away from computers. It isn’t always easy, I know for me I missed the ability to crank the music and tune out the world. However, I think it was great for my mental health to take a break and I highly suggest you try it too, if you can. I understand it isn’t always possible (and sure isn’t easy), however, there are real and tangible benefits to taking time off. The only way to know for sure is to try it yourself!
This week I am getting back to the Black Hat Go work starting tomorrow - no rest for the wicked! Otherwise I don’t have much/anything to report in this department - outside the idea that taking breaks is good!
People to follow
As I do every week, here are some tech and non-tech people you might consider following.
Martin Luther King III - The son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bernice King - The daughter of Dr. King
@cetolyne - great friend, awesome programmer, super helpful!
@blenster - cool maker, very positive, well worth a follow!
@GWeessies - very smart person doing interesting research!
Marley - first place champ! Marley is one of the best on Twitter!
Null Coder - another awesome person to keep an eye on!