An old friend of mine told my wife I needed to update my blog with the stuff that's been happening lately. So, here we go: a mega-post of stuff that's been happening.
Bad news first. Hal, Erica's dad, passed away this month; he was laid to rest to the sound of guns firing at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on May 18, 2011. You can read his online obituary if you'd like, and leave comments for the family. Rest in peace, Hal; you're going to be missed by a lot of people.
In less sombre news, I had a marathon sprint of car repairs. First, I finished the brakes on the Jeep. (Never sign yourself up for replacing the factory hard brake lines on a car. It's a huge pain in the ass.) Next, I got the Laser running again (obtained a good 14b turbo, and slapped it all back together). Next up was the Evo: putting all the emissions equipment I'd removed back on the car, and putting a few other parts back to stock so the car will pass CA emissions. Then, for the next three days, I turned my attention to the Eclipse. I managed to get the suspension back on the car, the brakes installed and bled, the rear diff and beefy new rear axles in, the engine/trans/clutch bolted back together and dropped into the car, some of the interior reinstalled, and a ton of other little items. It sat on the ground just long enough for me to realize I'd screwed up the right front trailing arm; fixed that, and then it went up on a flatbed for shipping.
Shipping? Yeah, that's the other big thing that's been going on. The same day, we loaded up most of our house (aside from the stuff Erica's going to need for the next year) into a semi, and sent it on it's way to the San Francisco Bay Area. Erica and I enjoyed a great last day together (for the next couple of months), and I loaded up the last of my belongings in the Evo and drove 2100 miles over the next three days.
Erica won't be able to join me for a year; she still has two semesters of her vet tech program to complete, although there's a possibility she might be able to move out earlier if she can land an externship out here (and we're able to come up with a home for the dogs in the interim). We'll be doing the long-distance thing, with the occasional flight one way or the other every few months.
I drove out here with only a rough idea of what I was going to do; I didn't have a storage unit for my stuff lined up, and I didn't have an apartment. While this approach maximizes the level of stress in my life, winging it has been a pretty successful strategy for me in the past, and it seems to have worked out well this time too. On the second day of looking, I landed a great apartment in the middle of Alameda; covered parking for the car, tons of room, and a rent that's significantly better than I thought I'd be paying out here. I also managed to get a storage space in the facility I wanted; this proved to be harder than planned, since every storage facility I spoke to out here won't let you store inoperable vehicles unless they're registered as such here in CA, but you can't register a car for the first time here unless it runs so that it can pass the initial inspection. Basically, the DMV doesn't want to register it until I'm ready to put it on the road (likely never; it's a race car), but the storage facilities wouldn't store it unless it was registered. I managed to get a regional manager for my facility to see how silly that was, and viola, problem solved.
So, why the move? I accepted a position with Twitter as an Operations Engineer. As much of a mess as this move makes out of my personal life, my professional alter-ego is completely stoked about this. The guys I talked to there are sharp, they're working on incredibly cool stuff, and I'm excited that I managed to hoodwink them into thinking that I know what I'm doing. :) I start on the 6th.
(And if you followed me on Twitter, you'd have known all of this already. ;) I'm hoping I'll have a little spare time, now that I'm out here with no social life, to finish the changes I've been working on for this site so that it pulls in my microblogging activity automatically along with some other stuff I post here and there; I'll finally have my online identity aggregated in one place that I control. Sorry, Facebook; you do the job, but you do it poorly.)