2014 in Review – The Job

2014 was a chaotic year for many reasons, not the least of which was career related. With the move, it turned out that a promotion was in the works as well.

The move itself was traumatic. Sadly, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The market in Phoenix was hitting the brakes, while the market in Santa Clara County was putting the pedal to the metal.

Of course, a pay adjustment was part of the move. Cost of living is much higher in Santa Clara than in Arizona, so that was welcome (and my first pay raise in almost 8 years). The increase wasn’t really enough to absorb the increased costs of the region, but it is a welcome thing.

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2014 in Reflection – the Move

A lot has happened in 2014. Much chaos and drama, both work and personal related.

Actually, before the beginning of 2014, we were informed of the decision to close the plant where we worked in Chandler Arizona, and the offer to relocate from the Phoenix area to the San Jose area was offered.

Gulp.

Not really a great choice to have to make. Sell our house in Chandler that we owned for less than 2 years, and move back to the Santa Clara Valley, or stay, get a 2 months severance, and have to find a job.

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European Travel Log – London

Quick Edit: I forgot how awesome it is to have yummy Ale served at the “proper” British temperature. ‘Muricans just don’t get proper ales.

The Austria and Germany portions of this trip went well. Successful demos and sales training. Today I moved to London for a couple days before heading to Yarnton for a seminar on Tuesday.

I am staying near Waterloo on Lambeth road at the Novotel. Pretty awesome location, near a shitload of great sights and things to do.

The weather is a LOT warmer than I expected. 50F here this afternoon. I almost was too warm with my winter coat on. Traffic wasn’t too bad, it is a Saturday after all. I got to the hotel about 1:30 and headed out for a stroll.

The London EyeI thought I might enjoy doing the London Eye. Um, holy cow, the line for that makes Disneyland seem barren. Even the “Fast Pass” line is oppressively long. I didn’t even look up how much it costs. Took a few pics and walked by.

The Parliment building is cool, and recognizable, and listening to Big Ben chime the hours was fun. I expected there to be more boating traffic on the Thames.

Lots to see and do. Of course, it isn’t all unicorns and chocolate.

Novotel hotels used to be nice. This one is not cheap ($250 a night US) and you get almost no amenities. Yes, there is free internet, but it must be a 128K fram relay line for all the free users to share. I lasted about 10 minutes before I caved in and bought the upgraded internet. BReakfast isn’t included (a rarity in Europe), and for $32US I will walk down to a bakery for a pastry and a coffee, thankyouverymuch. But, it is in a great, convenient location.

Cabs – I love the charming “black” cabs, and I got a chatty driver. Took about 15 minutes to drive to the hotel from Paddington station. Yes, I could have done it via tube, but I would have made a lot of mistakes and it would have taken me an hour or more to figure it out. So I cabbed it. Cash only (which will make it tough to expense), and 17 pounds. Yikes. I have to remember that it is ~ $1.80 to 1 pound.

Heathrow Express. An absolute joy. Certainly cheaper than a car, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to take my credit card. So another 21 pounds flew out of my limited stash. At this rate, I will be eating McDonalds for all three meals by Monday. (I think I was just using a bad ticket kiosk)

Tomorrow I will walk the royal gardens, go to the natural history museum, stroll the riverfront, drink a few pints at a public house, and explore the tubes.

Mind the gap!

Monday I head up to Oxford for a day, then back to London (for a much cheaper hotel), and day trips for the rest of the week.