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January 18th, 2008

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11:40 pm
Roy, things have changed since my last post.

Worked harder than I ever have before between November 17 to December 11. House work. Rewired, fixed, improved. Had great help from a cast of characters, including gustaf+robogock, pericles42+wife.

Bought a Wii, opened it on December 11. Packed it with the movers on December 13. Love it. Tessa loves it too, much more than she expected (she plays more than I).

December 13th we started camping, living out of the two suitcases we would take with us to Seattle that were not going to the Caymans. Sometime prior to that we rented our apartment, starting January 1st.

December 16th I flew out to Seattle. Worked my first three days at Amazon, living out of a hotel. They flew me back on the 19th (and 20th).

December 21st through December 29th, Tessa and I went on a Bad Idea vacation. Lots of fiascos, and it is hard to relax when you know you have three impossible days ahead of you.

December 30 through January 1st were crazy.

January 2nd, we drove to Cleveland in a scary snow storm. January 3rd, we lived in Seattle. The dog flew well, although he wore out a patch of his nose (it has mostly healed). Tessa had only a few breakdowns, and survived the flight by (rare for her) sleeping through most of it. Exhaustion (plus two benadryl) can be a great sleep aid.

January 7th, I started work again full time. Haven't really stopped since. Work is... amazing. Fast paced, very smart people, all kinds of neat, new technology and ideas. And the resources! I got see Dick Hardt give an Identity 2.0 talk as part of an in-house Developers Conference...

We have free housing until March 3rd, in a nice apartment in an insanely central location.

Today we signed a lease for an amazing house on Bainbridge Island.

I'll talk about all of these things in more detail. Actually, I probably won't. Not all of these things. Ask if you'd like elaborations.
Current Location: On the Ferry from Bainbridge Island

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I saw Mike Culver from the Amazon Web Services team talk the other night here in the Research Triangle: http://raleigh.pm.org/ -- is any of the work you're doing going to benefit EC2 and S3, or is it geared more towards the retail side of Amazon?

I would also like you to elaborate on the real estate market in SEA once you've been there a little longer and feel you've got a grasp on things.
[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Actually, the stuff we're doing benefits from Amazon Web Services (and the stuff not yet rolled out for the masses). We eat our own dog food (pretty tasty, actually).

But I will be participating in an AWS immersion next month, where I'll drop my work tasks to try to pull off a cool app in a week. It's geared to use only public services and simulate what outside developers might be capable of quickly (except that I get office hours with people like Mike). Have I mentioned it is a cool work environment?

Initial impressions of the real estate market, because of course we've been looking: downtown is mostly condos. There are a crap-ton of them available, which is keeping the prices relatively reasonable. If you define reasonable as double or triple what you might pay in Pittsburgh, for less space.

Actually, it is much higher than that, because it is really all about square footage -- apparently here the definition of bedroom has nothing to do with the size of bed you could possibly fit in it. $400k for a condo in a so-so neighborhood where the "master bedroom" of a two bedroom unit would be hard pressed to hold more than a queen mattress (and forget any other furniture, or access to your closets)... you get the picture. Downtown living is still in the $300-400/sq ft range.

Between the big impending glut (see Miami for similar) by Vulcan Ventures et al, and the overall drying of the credit market, most expect things will slow down. Not drop. Rental prices are not crazy, because a lot of the condo buyers are investors or serial condo-buyers and so there is a ton of availability... but the good stuff is extremely competitive. We beat out a couple of other applicants for our new place (being landlords is a competitive advantage).

Call me if you want to talk specifics.
[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Sounds pretty good. I think you'd implode if you didn't do a large series of unusual events periodically.

Can you kayak to work? Or is the ferry too convenient?
[User Picture]
Date:January 19th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
Glad to see that you survived the move. Bainbridge, neato! Hope to see you soon.

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