Hodge Podge

August 08, 2004

Traffic Traffic here in KC is odd. I’ve lived and driven in other large cities and they all have their own flavor of driving. Some sport an aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach to rush hour. Others are fast paced without the aggression. KC is unhurried, almost slow. Few people exceed the speed limit, and plenty are content to mosey along in the far left lane at less than the posted limit. Coming from Springfield where my driving habits placed me in the top 1/3 of assertive drivers, I was shocked to realize that I was now one of the most aggressive drivers on the bypass. Unfortunately the KC Missouri police thought so too, I got a speeding ticket last week on my way home from work.

Apartment Living Apartment living sucks. Having a garage helps, but this is still like staying in a Residence Inn with our own furniture. Michele likens it to living in someone else’s house - you have no control over the other people in the building. The fan that accompanies our A/C is extremely loud, the “walk in” closets are tiny, and the neighbors are loud at times. (The neighbors also have an unprotected Wi-Fi connection, not that anyone here is keeping track mind you.)

Moving While the physical portion of our move is over for the time being, we are both still going through the exhaustion and emotional depression that follows a major life event like this. In our seven year marriage we have moved across country four times now. The first, from Springfield to Vancouver Washington, was at our choice. The remaining three have all be forced due to economic reasons. I. E. I lost my job and found a new one hundreds or thousands of miles away. No matter how positive you manage to be about a new place and a new job, it is still slightly bitter when you feel you’ve been forced to make the move.

Politics We’ve moved to one of the most conservative states in the union. Democrats, heck even liberal Republicans, are thin on the ground here. Thanks to Michele we have discovered a small cell of thinking voters involved in a campaign to elect a liberal democrat to the Kansas Statehouse from our district. It is nice to be around people with similar views and attitudes. It is also fun to be involved in a campaign. You can see my contribution here.

Springfield The news I get from people I still know in Springfield is gloomy. The project I was ousted from has been canceled as near as I can tell. The couple remaining consultants have been moved to other projects, and the three state people assigned are awaiting reassignment. It is sad to think that a world-class distributed project would be scrapped after 7 years of effort and $100,000,000 in expense. And the people in power in Illinois wonder why they have a five billion dollar deficit.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.