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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Towards Gainful Employment 
8th-Jan-2004 10:05 pm
Trevor baby stare
"Aisle of Woman -- home of the pussy without a tail." -- shower musing

Yesterday, I drove 3 hours to Eagle, CO whose current claim to fame is Kobe Bryant's trial. I had a third job interview there with Eagle Computer Systems. They make software for county governments -- solutions for the Clerk and Recorder, for instance. I think my mom was more nervous about the interview. I assured her that I didn't need to print my résumé on special paper. Despite my protestations, she bought me a courier bag, believing that my celtic knot and tibetan design bags weren't professional. She asked if I really ought to have "Organizer of campus Green Party group" listed. I told her that (a) they already had my résumée, I was just printing it in case someone new came in and wanted to see it, and (b) I didn't want to work for anyone with (illegal) hiring practices that discriminate based on political affiliation.

The drive up was pretty neat. I don't think I've been on the Western Slope in the winter before. Despite the big snow on Sunday and Monday, the Interstate was in great shape. The tracks in the runaway truck ramps had been filled in with light recent snow. The only bad thing about the drive was that, probably due to my cold, my left ear didn't pop upon descending from the Eisenhower tunnel (11,000 feet) to Eagle (6-7,000 feet or so), so I interviewed for two hours with a sensation not unlike water in my ear.

The interview itself went fairly well. I'd proved my technical aptitude in the first two interviews, so this one was mostly about evaluating the match between me and the company. My interviewer had read my website (one reason it would've been useless to hide myself in mock business mannerisms) and his first question was why I was into philosophy. I came away with a fairly positive view of the company; it looks like a pretty good place to work. It is, of course, not my ideal job. But I'm not entirely sure what my ideal job is, and I suspect it would be hard to get it. However, working at ECS (if I get the job, natch) will allow me to learn and grow as a programmer and software engineer, and thus have a better chance of landing my ideal job, once I find it.

The drive home wasn't as nice as the drive up. The roads were still in good shape, though it was starting to snow between Vail and Copper Mountain. As I came out of the Eisenhower Tunnel on the east side of the divide, the sky was much darker than it had been a few miles west and there was the moon, hovering above the front range. We played peek-a-boo down to Idaho Springs. My cold was sending me into a zoned out cognitive state; I could tell I was taking the mountain curves dangerously; patches of snow and my mom's ultra-dim high beams conspired to make the lines difficult to see; and the headlights in my mirror and trucks in the right lane didn't help any. I opted to take US 6 down to Golden which is narrower, curvier, and darker, but thankfully slower and with much less traffic. Plus, there's six tunnels! How fun. My left ear finally popped around Rocky Flats and finally equalized completely after I'd been home for half an hour.

The one downside is that I wasn't expecting a job yet. I hadn't even started looking, but they called me in December. My plan had been "Wait for spring; travel; find a keen place to live; look for a job there." But as a believer in wu wei, action without action, I figure that if a good job springs up in front of me, I ought to take it. Then when it's time to turn nomad in a few years, I'll have more money for travel, more industry skills and experience, and a better sense of what's important for my living. My desire to leave isn't that I dislike Colorado; I could do without winters but I appreciate that increased need for sunglasses and the opportunity to wear short sleeves in December are quite special. Rather, I feel like my love of geography is limited almost entirely to maps. I know Boulder quite well, but my sense of place for the other 99.999% of America is not embodied. Of course, I still have a lot of Colorado left to explore as well. This job will be housed in the Denver West complex, so if I get it I should start making better friends with Denver. And while it's not Yosemite or Death Valley, it does have its high and low points.
8th-Jan-2004 10:07 pm (UTC)
Come to the SFBA. You know you want to.
8th-Jan-2004 10:21 pm (UTC)
That's entirely possible. I've been to California once; on the ride from San Jose to Santa Cruz I remarked "I think there's more biomass in that acre there (next to the highway) than on my entire campus." It remains to be seen how long I can tolerate an area with more than 14 inches of precipitation per year.
8th-Jan-2004 10:26 pm (UTC)
Eh, it's not that much more.
8th-Jan-2004 11:03 pm (UTC)
Hmm. You may be right. The Bay Area looks like it sees about as much from the sky as the Front Range does, though the moisture picks up right south and right north. Of course, the data only goes until 1991, and I've anecdotally noticed the Front Range has been hotter and drier; not sure if the Bay rain swelled with the Bubble.

During Boulder's last monsoon season -- 1991? -- someone wrote a letter to the editor saying the moisture was due to the increase in coffee shops. They're correlated in Seattle for a reason, you see.
8th-Jan-2004 11:06 pm (UTC)
So the moisture in Seattle isn't due to the geek concentration? But then where does the BA fit in?
9th-Jan-2004 09:32 am (UTC)
Well I think the coffee theory was shot down. After the initial influx, we've had a growth in coffee shops but a serious drought. Perhaps Starbucks has figured out a way to tap the potential rain clouds for extra pure coffee water, depriving those of us on the ground from its benefits. They go a step beyond Coors's "clear Rocky Mountain water."
8th-Jan-2004 11:49 pm (UTC)
I always find tracks in runaway truck ramps oddly exciting. Someday I'd like to actually see a truck make the tracks, though realistically I don't think I'd like to be on the road while a semi with burning brakes roared down the highway.

The job prospect sounds interesting. I can sympathize with your urge to explore other states even when Colorado is such a wonderful place to live. I grew up about 2 miles east of Denver West so I know the area pretty well. Yosemite it is not. In fact, the Denver West complex is kind of the antithesis, with new stores popping up all over the place. It makes it easier to find lunch, though, I would suspect. Also, if you're planning on staying in Boulder, the commute wouldn't be too bad--I think the G bus goes right there-- but the apartments are also more affordable in the Golden area if you wanted to move.

Congratulations! You're employable!
9th-Jan-2004 01:45 pm (UTC) - Random short thoughts about that.
Highway 6 in the mountains is fun, unless you're pressed for time.

I've explored a bit but I would prefer to live in Colorado.

We live very near Denver West.
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