Autumn Again

It’s been a full summer.

Maria’s had some great time off and done some fun geocaching adventures.

She also wrote a work-book for one of her class-sequences at King’s, which is now being applied to her entry level students. Sure to  have some revisions as she goes but there is hope to be able to publish it for real in a year or so.

Work for me at USPS continues at what would be a “nominal” pace for me – it’s just too held back by paperwork compared to my previous development career in computer gaming to consider it a hard level of effort, even though I’ve basically wholesale refactored major portions of one of our two big data feeds (both inbound and outbound). The coming year proves to be “curious” as the replacement system for the one I work with is being designed and I’ll likely be involved in development to some degree – at least that what I’ve been told.

My cycling this summer was different than last, I did get MORE cross-country than last, which is good, but still not enough epic rides. It’s tough as I don’t have a regular / reliable epic riding partner, much less group. I think next year I’m going to lobby for a SPOT tracker and just go off into the back country by myself and to heck with it.

I have had a really great year with the downhilling. Dave and Amy Temerantz are such fun people to spend time with, and great “DH buddies” – I wish they had the “long XC ride” bug bite them though. It’s just not going to happen. The three of us raced in the Diablo Gravity Series at Diablo Freeride MTB Park in Vernon NJ  this year and I think Amy is going to be pretty high if not 1st in standings in her class come the last race. I’m going to race both events at the next one and see if I can’t come in with a higher overall than Dave. Not sure, but it may be possible, we’ll see.

Next year I may want to race some XC/marathon things IN ADDITION to the DH stuff. Kind-of depends upon what Dave & Amy want to do. I sort-of hope they decide they want to do the Gravity East Series as that would get us to different venues. I would not likely be able to afford to go to every race, but I’d probably try!

But now, it’s autumn. The world is wet – it’s been a time of “epic rain” here in NE PA. The leaves are changing. Time to think about a fender for my MTB. And a second pair of tights maybe – should have thought of that last weekend at the swap-meet!

Also maybe time to get the skiis prepared for winter, so they’re ready. Kick-n-glide time is coming sooner than not, maybe.

Settling into PA

pa_home

Well here we are. Who knew that we would find a place in so short a time, all of three days after arriving in Wilkes-Barre!

We’ve been very busy these first days, now all of 1.5 weeks into our relocation, we have in a very short span managed to do a lot of things…

Drove 1760 miles from Austin to Wilkes-Barre in 3 days.

Found and setup camp at Moon Lake County Park.

Found a mail drop to make our new mailing address.

Found a new bank to make our home bank and setup accounts.

Lightly scoured the countryside, and in the end found a cute apartment to rent, less than 3 miles from work. Sweet. Minimum commute time last week was 10 minutes, max 17. We’ll see how it goes.

Started working at both our respective jobs.

We have met over half the occupants of our apartment building and they’re all cool people so far, 3 out of four apartments have one or more cats so how bad CAN they be?

Painted the bathroom in the apartment.

Started cycling, both road and dirt, both of us (each to our own levels).

We both seem to be making good connections with people at our respective workplaces.

I’ve even started to make connections in the local cycling scene – I hesitate to say friends yet, it’s too early, but signs are good.

So, things are looking pretty dang good if you ask me.

Now if only paychecks would start moving, that’d de-stress us both quite a bit.

We are terribly missing our Austin friends, make no mistake. We are NOT missing the Austin weather, temperatures from 50-80 with a vibrant and healthy landscape are MUCH more to both our likings. I’m still working on finding “those” trails, as the public samplings I’ve had so far are good, but I hope to be only the tip of the iceberg.

and life continues

Good Stuff

Maria’s accepted the job in PA, if you hadn’t heard, so the Bear Cave will be relocating to points northerly. Maria will be starting up there in August and heading up there late July / Early August.

I’ll be following, probably. Starting sometime this spring/summer I’ll be doing the Real Job Search as my current employer is just not apparently setup to deal with Yet Another Remote Employee – which is a drag. Of course that’s a bittersweet thing, after crunching thrice-over on one game release after another since November I’m actually pretty burnt out.

Spring is going to be busy though. Maria needs to finish a paper submission, then she’s got conferences in both Boston and Dublin to attend. The latter will be a long vacation for her as she’ll be going on to Sweden for a few weeks to visit with family. We have to get ready to move and pack up and stuff which is always a drag.

I am cranking busy working on the latest game iteration to go out in Crash Mode. Two more weeks of Heck then maybe things will lighten up.

Har. Waiting for the next shoe to drop.

In defense of my employer it has not exactly been an easy year for anyone on any business, and they’ve managed to keep the company profitably employed the entire time and that is terrific and a great achievement.

I had a great long weekend MTB vacation in Arizona at the MTBR Arizona Spring Fling, more info and a new page to come on that sometime soon.

Tomorrow, Epic Duration Biking. Geeze I need it, so long as I can get up in time. I need sleep too as I’m fighting Sick that my co-workers brought back from the Game Developer Convention.

Pennsylvania?

Is it possible that we will move to Pennsylvania?  That is the current question of the hour.  I just got back from an interview at a small, Catholic liberal arts college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  I think that it went well.  So we begin to comtimplate what it would mean to move there.  The biggest concern in my mind … what will Bear do if we move there??

Another week another wackiness

Well, word from the home front is both bad and good.

That would be home as in Mom and Pop. Seems Dad has another “episode” which landed him in the hospital. This time in a trauma center in Baltimore, and thankfully for a lot shorter time. Within a few days he was back at Brinton Woods with orders to drink 1 gallon of water a day to help his body process properly and prevent the wacky sodium levels that are giving him problems.

*phew* – that is good advice for us all, drink plenty of water.

This week has been a buster of one for me at work, I think it hit me for more than 70 hours but i’m not sure. I even got asked to go in on the day “off” I had arranged (Sat) to help out. This is okay, really, it’s part of what we sign up for with computer game development. As the president of the company (CEO? unclear on real title, think of him as The Big Cheese okay?) in an email (paraphrased): “We give people a lot of slack in the first 2/3 of a project, long lunches – easy hours – lots of slack time – on the knowing basis that the end of the project will likely require those hours be paid back.” He’s really right about that, and anyone that goes into computer game devleopment without signing up for this is doing both themselves, and their team, a huge disservice, and should look elsewhere.

Not that I’m sure it’s fundamentally different in other IT sectors, just different load levels, and different loading, at different project times.

So, basically, one more week of this craziness and I think we’ll be over the hump. I’m sure there will be some significant issues come up in the weeks after, but by need they will be addressed with a much more controlled and limited change process.

Wish me luck, eh?

New Digs

Apartment View
Apartment View

Adjusting to change can be difficult but sometimes it’s just good.  I say this because we are starting to get settled into our new digs and are enjoying the view.  I thought I would share with you the view I had on Friday.  This picture was taken around lunchtime.

Happy New Year!!

I can’t believe that 2009 is here already.  While it didn’t start with a bang, it’s going to be interesting none-the-less.  I wanted to start the new year with a new entry that wishes everybody a Happy New Year!  Hope your year is as amazing as I expect ours to be.

Change is in the air!!

October 28, 2008 marked the beginning of big changes in our lives.  It was the day that I successfully defended my dissertation.  As the next phase of our lives begin, we have sold the house that we have lived in for the past 9 years and are adjusting to being back in an apartment.  Additionally, we wanted to change our website to make it easier to update and so here we are with a new look and field.  If you want to see the old page you still can by following this link.

We hope that you enjoy!