Monday, December 07, 2009

Memories of IT - 2000 - A Canadian in California

For any Americans reading this post, you should know... there are Canadians amongst you. And I don't just mean Jim Carrey or Mike Myers or Neil Young or (so I am told) one of the guys on "Glee". For a while, there was also me, my wife and my two younger sons.

A true story... my wife and I were shopping at a little outdoor mall in Castro Valley CA, and there were booths set up for the day selling crafts and such. One booth, however, was for voter registration. A nice lady in that booth asked my wife as she passed if she had registered, and my wife said she couldn't, to which the lady replied with "why not?". "I'm not not a citizen" my wife told her. The Lady asked "where are you from?", and my wife replied "Canada". The nice lady then exclaimed, "Really? You look just like us!" But then she took a beat and then said "well, that was a pretty stupid thing to say...". So, we never complain about Americans or the USA, we just offer useful information when we can.

It was a big move again, of course, but my wife had always felt she should have been born in California, and we would have been there long ago if not for the world's longest undefended border. For the record, DHL sponsored me on a TN Visa and then an H1B. I know H1Bs are a touchy topic for some, but DHL was able to show that they had been looking to fill the job for a while (and they had), and had been unsuccessful until they found me.I believe that's what visas should be used for, and that it helps the USA in that case. If visas can be abused in some ways, though, that's not good.

We settled in the East Bay, first in Castro Valley then later in San Ramon. That did mean I had to drive over the San Mateo bridge every day, and it had not been widened yet. However, commuting has been something I have always done, and in a lot less interesting places than San Francisco Bay.

It was a great place to live. If you live there, you already know that. If you have never lived there, don't worry about the earthquakes or the state going bankrupt or whatever, mover there if you ever have the chance.

On other thing before I get back to the IT stuff; we actually got to California by driving to Chicago, and then taking the California Zephyr train out to Oakland. We planned it as a mini-vacation (that also meant that my wife did not have to fly..), and it was a great trip, across the plains to Denver, then up and down both the Rockies and Sierra mountains. I keep hearing they might stop running the Zephyr, but if they haven't, I highly recommend it.

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About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.