Twitter weekly updates for 2015-06-17 – 2015-06-23

From Havertown, to Boston, to Winchester

So long HavertownSo long Havertown
So long Havertown22-Jun-2015 23:04, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 8.0, 4.3mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 125
 

After several weeks of multiple sessions sorting through 12 years of accumulated stuff, giving away old doors, filing cabinets, and a ton of other junk, selling a steam cleaner, a skate ramp, and about a dozen other things, packing about 150 boxes worth of things, eatings too many meals consisting of hamburgers or pizza, moving a bird’s nest out of my ladders, handling complications with the movers, throwing a farewell BBQ for ourselves, and taking a long drive in a car jam packed with stuff, I think the most intense phase of our move is over.

Movers came on Monday to our house in Havertown and hauled away all our belongings, except for the car full of stuff we’ll use to live for the next couple weeks. It took them most of the day, and right up until they took the last box, I kept finding things to pack. Some things you get so used to seeing, you forget they’re not part of the house (like the nice brass hooks we put on the back of Eidan’s door); others are revealed as furniture is moved (Eidan’s seemingly endless collections of rubber balls and nerf bullets, and Kai’s …yamaka?). When I did my final walk through to make sure the movers didn’t forget anything, all I found was a lone but very hard to overlook Commodore 64 monitor sitting in the middle of the basement floor. Can’t leave that behind! (yes, I still have my C64, and it still works, thank you – it’s one of the few things I haven’t shed over the years).

We borrowed air mattresses from the neighbors so we could stay the night. Then we loaded up the car yesterday morning, gave a neighbor an unopened half gallon of milk from the fridge, and said our goodbyes. But we split up and headed in opposite directions – Maria went to DC for the day to a symposium (related to her new job). So the drive to Boston was just me and the boys, which worked out fine, because there was no room in the car for Maria anyway!

We’re staying in a Suffolk University student apartment for the next couple of weeks. The location is fantastic – we’re a block from Boston Common, just off Tremont St. We got in late yesterday, so I haven’t had a chance to explore yet, but we’re surrounded by restaurants and plenty of things to do. The apartment is a suite with 2 bathrooms, 3 dorm rooms (with 3 beds each) and a shared kitchen. We have it all to ourselves, so there’s more than enough room. I told Kai he might live in a place like this in college – he wasn’t impressed, but it’s nicer than the dorms I lived in.

After 2 weeks here, we’ll move to our new house, in Winchester, which is a suburb northwest of Boston. Our closing is July 7. We spent several weeks this Spring scouring the real estate listings online, to figure out where we wanted to live. Winchester has good schools, and they’re near the house – Kai can almost literally roll out of bed into the high school parking lot. Maria can get to Suffolk with just a short ride on the commuter rail. It’s a 3 bedroom house with a partially finished basement.

Maria made a trip to Boston about six weeks ago for work, and made an offer on the house, which the sellers accepted. I made a trip on Amtrak a couple weeks later to see it for myself. Overall the process is going fine, but we’ve had some nerve-wracking moments. The brand new vinyl siding on the house was installed incorrectly (it was bubbling and buckling), and after some negotiation, the sellers have agreed to replace it. The paperwork process for the loan is endless. The level of scrutiny is unlike anything we’ve been through before, I think because of all the new financial regulations – we’ve provided literally hundreds of documents. I talk with the mortgage broker so I often, I feel like he’s my new best friend.

It’s a house that’s “flipped” – the sellers bought it 6 months ago and renovated it, so I’m pleased to report that, unlike our last 2 homes, I won’t be dedicating a significant chunk of my life to fixing up this one. I enjoy the work, but my big project right now is trying to start my business!

All our stuff in the moving truck - it looks like a well-played game of TetrisAll our stuff in the moving truck - it looks like a well-played game of Tetris
All our stuff in the moving truck - it looks like a well-played game of Tetris22-Jun-2015 23:46, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 200
 
Our temporary digs in a Suffolk dormOur temporary digs in a Suffolk dorm
Our temporary digs in a Suffolk dorm24-Jun-2015 20:18, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 
Our temporary digs in a Suffolk dormOur temporary digs in a Suffolk dorm
Our temporary digs in a Suffolk dorm24-Jun-2015 20:17, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
The new house in WinchesterThe new house in Winchester
The new house in Winchester09-Jun-2015 02:39, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
 
The new house in WinchesterThe new house in Winchester
The new house in Winchester09-Jun-2015 03:06, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
 
The new house in WinchesterThe new house in Winchester
The new house in Winchester09-Jun-2015 03:14, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
 

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-06-10 – 2015-06-16

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-06-03 – 2015-06-09

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-05-27 – 2015-06-02

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-05-20 – 2015-05-26

New town, new jobs

Our house in HavertownOur house in Havertown
Our house in Havertown03-May-2015 00:53, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
 

Last month I posted a quick tweet about Maria’s new job: she’ll be Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Suffolk University. All the details are in this press release from Suffolk. This is a great opportunity for her, and we’re looking forward to the move to Boston. We weren’t sure how the boys would react, but they’re looking forward to being closer to RI, where my family is. They’ve always enjoyed visiting Newport for the holidays in the winter, and going to the beach with their cousins in the summer. Now it’ll be easy for us to visit more often.

She starts July 1, so we’re gearing up for the move. Our house here in Havertown was on the market for about a month, and we accepted an offer last weekend. I haven’t been blogging, as I’ve been scrambling to wrap up the many home improvement projects I started over the years, but never quite finished. Just like when we left California 12 years ago, now that we finally have the house the way we want it, it’s time to go 😉 (and yes, I’ve been blogging for that long – that link goes to my very first post).

For finding a new place to live, we explored some neighborhoods in the suburbs of Boston over the Easter holiday, and we’ve been talking with people we know in the area. We’re looking in Hingham, on the south shore, as well as towns to the west (Lexington, Needham, and others). We have a temporary place to stay for July and August, so our goal is to get settled somewhere by the time the boys need to start school in the Fall.

For a while last month I was doing a lot of job interviews over the phone. I knew the tech industry was big in Boston, but I was still surprised to find just how many job opportunities there are. There’s been a debate recently about whether the US has a shortage of tech workers. At least in Boston, it seems to me that there is.

I cut my job search short after talking with my friend Michael Gyura. We’ve decided to go into business together, doing web application development as consultants. After being in the field for almost 20 years, I’m ready to take the plunge, working independently. Also, I can work from home, which will provide flexibility for keeping up with the boys’ schedules, since Maria will have more of a 9-5 routine with her new job.

My Poka Yoke Design business cardMy Poka Yoke Design business card
My Poka Yoke Design business card12-May-2015 17:47, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 40
 

We have a bare-bones web site up, which we’ll be improving soon: the business is called Poka Yoke Design (the .design TLD became available just two weeks ago – perfect timing for us). “Poka yoke” (po-ka yo-kay) is a Japanese term meaning “mistake proof.” The idea is to design something that is so straightforward and intuitive to use, you don’t even have to think about it. I’ll have plenty more to say about Poka Yoke Design over the next couple months!

I’ll leave you with some more pictures of the house. We had movers come before we listed the house, to put a lot of our stuff in storage, so that’s why some of the rooms look mostly bare. I’m especially proud of the wood flooring in the sunroom. I installed it myself, and I salvaged it from a house that was going to be demolished in California, about 15 years ago. We used most of it in our old house in California, but we had some left, so we took it with us to Pennsylvania when we moved. It’s quarter-sawn, old-growth California white oak with tiger striping. Wood like this hasn’t been available for probably 100 years.

1st floor sunroom1st floor sunroom
1st floor sunroom03-May-2015 00:46, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 100
 
Kitching and dining roomKitching and dining room
Kitching and dining room03-May-2015 00:48, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 
Living roomLiving room
Living room03-May-2015 00:51, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
 
Our house in HavertownOur house in Havertown
Our house in Havertown03-May-2015 01:07, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100
 
Our house in HavertownOur house in Havertown
Our house in Havertown03-May-2015 01:07, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 100
 
3rd floor office3rd floor office
3rd floor office03-May-2015 00:39, Canon Canon PowerShot ELPH 110 HS, 2.7, 4.3mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 200
 

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-05-13 – 2015-05-19

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-05-06 – 2015-05-12

Twitter weekly updates for 2015-04-29 – 2015-05-05

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