Tag Archives: New Job

My first weekend in Hood River – Day 2!

My first weekend in Hood River – Day 2!

Sunday, 21-June-2015

I’m stressed this morning… I sleep way too late, and it takes me a while to actually rouse myself out of bed even after I’m awake. I had a few stress dreams last night, so I guess the move (and my imminent first day of work) are starting to get to me finally.

But thankfully, the conscious version of Ben knows the solution to all of that. So once I get control back from the unconscious version of Ben (that guy is so lazy… he just sleeps all the time…) I head into the yoga room and spend a while just working out. Simple stuff, but the pushups and squats and yoga clear my head enough for me to really focus down and get the day started.

And that start is basically just getting life ready for my return to the world of employment. It’s:

  • An oil change for the car; which turns into a full service stop, with $300.00 worth of fluids, belts, and other various bits getting replaced.
  • Walking around town, finding myself a new work notebook, since I gave my last one (which was full of steam jet designs and optimization strategies) back to my old boss when I left Artisan Industries.
  • Eating a BLT at a coffee shop in town. Because I can’t get the rest of everything done if I don’t have a belly full of bacon and coffee.
  • Grabbing various snacks for my breakfasts for the week, in case I can’t find anything solid to make otherwise.
  • Doing a pre-drive out to the office where I’ll have orientation, so I know where I’m going and roughly how long it will take – My standard rule is to drive the route the night before, and then triple that time to accommodate for being not fully awake, and traffic.
  • A stop at the car wash, to clean the dust and grime and bugs off the Mustang. The poor thing’s been like this for thousands of miles, and deserves a good soak.

With my chores done, I headed back to the house to relax for a bit, and get some early sleep. Ohh wait, never mind. I wanted to download The Martian, the book about the Mechanical Engineer / Botanist stranded on Mars. So… I do. Then I don’t fall asleep anytime soon, because it’s a really good book, and I can’t put it down…

But that’s fine. Reading is a good way to combat stress too – so while I stay up later than I should, I still fall asleep roughly on time.

The beginning of the end: that start of leaving Cambridge


Leaving Cambridge, the beginnings

13-May-2015 through 24-May-2015


I was offered a job. That’s always a good thing, but it’s sometimes also a kind of stressful thing… especially when that job is literally completely across the country, in a place you’ve never been, doing what basically amounts to your dream career.

So while there was never a question of whether I’d accept the position, there was a question of “how the heck will I actually make the move to this completely new city?”


The whole adventure of planning the move was made a bit easier by the fact that my lease in Cambridge was up at the beginning of June, and so I’d have to be moving out soon anyways. So no lease to close out, and packing everything up needed to happen no matter what I did. So I started with that, and worked through the whole logistics of planning the trip in parallel.

Books were thrown into boxes, and a list of places to stop along the way was compiled. Furniture was dealt with while I figured out what I would need to bring with me in the car… and what I could just have shipped to me once I arrived.

The real challenge was the time commitment – being able to get the whole drive done alone meant that I had to keep the days short – the goal was 500miles or less each day. So I looked at each leg, found the ones that were a bit too far between friends, and started reserving campgrounds. That was another goal of the trip – minimize hotels and motels… the final plan didn’t even have me staying a single night in a motel, though the assumption is that if the driving becomes too much any evening, then I’ll definitely skip the campground and just find a roadside stop for the night.

That was the trick that I pulled out, and that I’ve pulled out for almost all of my trips – backwards planning. I started the day that I needed to be at my destination, and worked backward. Making sure that each leg could be done, and then finding out when I absolutely had to leave Cambridge based on that info.


From the start, the plan that materialized was to leave Memorial Day weekend, and arrive in my new home town of Hood River by the third weekend of June.

Along the way, I’d stop in to camp with my old Roommate in New York, do some bouldering in Tennessee, visit friends and family in Oklahoma and Arizona, and then do some canyoneering in Zion national park. Yosemite was on the list as well, of course, as was linking up with a friend out in California to duo-roadtrip the final stretch into Oregon.

So that whole plan gave me a little over a week to pack, plan, and visit with everyone that I could in the short time that I had left in Cambridge… not a simple task, to say the least. But I was thankfully able to make at least most of it happen, and even made time to get a few climbing trips in…