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Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

We have a river for canoeing and kayaking, and I was able to afford a house a short walk away from said river. As for mountains, I do like to ski, and some of the finest ski resorts in the nation are a reasonable drive away in Colorado, a drive plenty short enough for how many times I actually go skiing in a year. I went to K-12 here in Kansas, and I can assure you that, at least at the schools I attended, neither Creationism nor intelligent design were ever brought up in class by any of my teachers, although we certainly did cover the Scopes Trial more than once as part of American history.

Yes, we are a red state, yes our current Governor is an ass along with both our Senators. But my feeling is that you've never actually been to Kansas and what you "know" about it comes from the media. Either way, it smells like shit coming out of your mouth.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 1) 492

If you get to management or are truly in the top 10-20% of engineers it is worth living out here.

I did take a pay cut coming back to Wichita, but it certainly wasn't half, and the difference in living expenses more than makes up for the difference by a huge stretch. As far as "management" or "top 10-20% of engineers", I resent the implication. Before I went back to contracting, I was a co-founder and CTO. When I returned to contracting, I did so earning among the top rates in my field. Ultimately, the Bay Area was still not worth it for me. It might still be worth it for you, but I'd say it's a little arrogant to chalk it up purely to differences in professional attainment or skill. I'd say it's far more likely that we're working with different sets of trade-offs.

Comment Re:alternately: (Score 5, Interesting) 492

This. I migrated from Wichita to the Bay Area in 2008 and lived there until last summer when I moved back. I had already been an independent contractor for 3 years before the move, so finding work was only slightly more difficult after the move. The advantages are clear:

1. For less than half the monthly price of my rent controlled 1-bedroom apartment in SF, I now own a 3-bedroom house with a yard and everything.
2. There aren't really any jobs in Wichita for me, so all my work is remote. I hate commuting. While in SF, I could sometimes find gigs which allowed some remote work, but most expected you to commute to the office if you were in the area.
3. The lower cost of living means I can be more selective about what work I take on. I have more free time to spend with my girlfriend and on hobbies, not to mention the space. I've taken up woodworking since I moved back, and it's easily one of the most pleasurable activities I've ever taken up.

I miss SF sometimes, but the trade-offs are quite clear. And now that I'm not throwing away so much of my earnings on living expenses, I can afford to visit SF if I want, not to mention other possible destinations.

One last thing: a good friend of mine back in SF, also in the tech industry, recently purchased a school bus which he will be living in, rather than finding a new apartment. In part I think it's kind of cool in a radical, fuck the norm sort of way. But on the other hand, it really shows the heights of ever escalating absurdity the Bay Area has reached in terms of housing.

Comment Write your representative in Congress (Score 1) 362

My message to Pelosi (the second in the last week after writing asking her to vote for this amendment):

I want to express my complete disappointment in Rep. Pelosi's vote against Rep. Justin Amash's amendment to end the NSA's mass-surveillance program which targets all American citizens indiscriminately. Her vote represents a disdain for the civil liberties which ought to be held sacred in our country.

To this end, I am working diligently to inform all of my friends and family in California's 12th district of Rep. Pelosi's decision and why it's wrong. I will ensure that the knowledge of her ongoing campaign against privacy and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure is communicated to as many constituents as possible.

It should go without saying that Rep. Pelosi will receive no support from me for the remainder of her career in office. It is my hope that a challenger will emerge to take her seat in Congress and loudly deliver the message that San Franciscans will not tolerate further encroachment upon our civil liberties in the name of illusory security.

If you're in San Francisco, feel free to copy the message to her here: http://pelosi.house.gov/contact/

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 288

I'll add as an addendum that as long as companies are putting themselves in a bad position by treating their employees as replaceable parts, there will always be a place for the engineer who takes that pride in their work who can come in and save the day. And when companies start understanding the value of skilled, passionate engineers and do what it takes to keep fueling that passion, even better.

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