Moving to Ashland, OR? Perhaps…

I am planning on moving to southern Oregon when I return from deployment. I was responding to an email from my Sweetheart about the move, stating that I’ve been pondering a move to a couple of different locations for a while now. On my list of places were Portland, Sisters, Bend, Eugene (always a soft spot in my heart for Eugene), and Ashland. Every time I visit Ashland for Shakespeare, I love it. Such a charming little town. Of course, Ashland wins on the list now because of a special lady lives in the area and I want to be nearer her. But it is a big move and she is, naturally, worried about me making such a move. I wrote her back that, again, I’d toyed with the idea of moving there anyway, and also, happiness for me was pretty simple.

As I finish up this deployment, I’ve been putting in a lot of hours studying HTML5 (easy to pickup, I’m already well versed in HTML 1 and up) and CSS. I’ve paid for some online bootcamps for Ruby, JavaScript, and other info. I plan to go into web design/development with either local companies, and/or remote work as well as some freelance work. I’ve worked from home for the past three years, and before that I had several years of working on the road and/or remote from home. I’ve learned a lot on what works and doesn’t work. Whereas I feel for the pain and insecurity, and even deaths, that many people in the world are experiencing, the sheer amount of chaos that is occurring, I am also hopeful. I’m hopeful that we will have learned, collectively, that remote work is viable. There is the danger that many will learn that WFH (work from home), remote work, and telecommuting, and so on are not viable options for productivity, because they themselves have poor systems in place to begin with. If you don’t have good fundamentals of work to begin with, you’re problem areas will come out big time at home. But the same works for strengths. If you have solid fundamentals, they are heightened when you rid yourself of the distractions of working in an office (or the worse still, ‘open office’) and work from home.

So in writing back to her, I let myself write in stream of consciousness about what a good day might look like in Ashland for me. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, but to me the little things are a lot. Here it is.

A hypothetical good day in Ashland

So I imagine something on a quiet street near downtown. The floors aren’t carpet. There are windows that let in light. Sunlight filters through green leaves. Against the wall is my desk, a simple modular one that can adjust high or low. On it is an iMac and that’s where I do my work. I’ve been coding for a couple of hours, working on a project, and I need a break. So I get up, grab my iPad and a travel bag, and walk out of the door. The street is quiet and I say hello to a neighbor that’s doing yardwork. I walk a couple of blocks and soon find myself near downtown. I stop into a local coffee shop and chat with the barista for a bit. I show zer a little drawing that I was doodling with, a goblin on roller skates. We share a laugh and I’m asked if I’m coming to Dungeons and Dragons that night. I am. I leave with my coffee and walk another couple of blocks to the park where I find a seat in the sun. There I listen to the sounds of people and kids playing and walking, a far away strand of guitar, some yoga in the sun, and I pull out my iPad and continue to doodle on the goblin picture. After a while I close the drawing app and crank open another app on the ipad and I sketch out some wireframes for another project that I’m working on for a client. Then I work on some color pallets that might go well with it. I remember to check my email to see if this client has responded to a request for a meeting, they have, and I see that they are available for a drop in. I decide to walk over to them. We chat about more of their needs and wants for their website, I show some color pallets, and we talk about the underlying philosophy of the company and how this might come out in the look and feel of their website. Before I leave, I take some pics with my iPhone 12x. I leave and walk through the park, enjoying the day. Soon back home, I get onto the iMac and work on the earlier project some more. After another hour, I send off an update to the project lead. While waiting for a response, I open up a photo editing program and do make a hasty mockup to some of the wireframes I had toyed with earlier. After a bit I email them off to the client for their thoughts. Work continues like this for a bit before it’s time for dungeons and dragons. I grab my dice bag and walk a couple of blocks away to the location of the game, a local bar and some fellow nerds are back and I grab a pint of ale and join friends. I show my roller skating goblins pic. We play our game. Afterward I walk home in the warm night. It was a good day. 

Published by Eddie

I'm a goofball. I like Doctor Who, Star Wars (yes, all of them), and of course Firefly. I think that "Out of Gas" from Firefly is the single greatest episode of any SciFi. Closely followed by "All Great Things..." from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I'm an Apple geek. Seriously, I brought a 2013 MBP and two iPads with me on deployment. Every year I watch all the Apple Keynotes. Someday I'd like to learn Swift, as I've got some ideas for some useful apps that I'd like to use. One might find me at a coffee shop, at the LGS getting more Magic: The Gathering cards, on some trail in the mountains of Oregon, on one of my Macs, running a trail, or who knows.

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