Where DID the Time Go–An Anti-Sabbatical, A Bike Move, and More

Somehow the end of January became the end of May, almost over night. I decided to hang out in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis & St Paul, Minnesota, for a while and replenish my savings by working a temporary job; an “anti-sabbatical” so to speak.

Not knowing how to pick up short term work in my field of software engineering, I started by updating my resume and then spamming every former boss for whom I still had contact info (AKA networking). A lunch meeting with one led to a call from a recruiter at a contact firm, a phone interview with a potential client, and a job offer all  within the span of a week. The end of February saw me cashing my first pay-check in four months, and a steady stream of  phone calls from other recruiters. (Per Murphy’s Law, it seems they only call when you don’t need them.)

My first feint at contracting didn’t last long, however; mostly because the lead software engineer I was supposed to assist preferred to waste my time with daily explanations of trivialities like how text editors were different from word processors, how electro-mechanical relays worked, and how configuration management software was too valuable for mere contractors; frequently telling me “if you’re a good little contractor we might hire you on full-time as a REAL employee.” Turns out my tolerance for that kind of nonsense was only ten weeks, despite a handsome hourly rate of pay.

In the mean time, my friend Christina and I decided to move across the river to a more bicycle and transit friendly place in Minneapolis. Using a local cycling forum and Facebook we rallied enough friends, bicycle trailers, bacon and bagels to move all of our things.

We then set off for Portland, Oregon, via Amtrak, intent on visiting friends and bicycle touring the surrounding area. Christina hurt her knee badly enough going up a mountain road that the bicycle touring had to be curtailed, so we generally walked around Portland’s downtown the remainder of the trip.

An eye-blink later and May became August, and I’m headed for Glacier National Park tonight. I’ll be out of cell-phone service till I return in about ten days; hopefully with heaps of pictures.

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