The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
Greetings carbon-based bipeds. The last time I posted a blog
was February 28, 2013 which means it's been exactly three months since many of
you have heard from me. That might be a good thing I suppose, but based on a
number of messages (both public and private) I received there are at least a
couple of you who, for whatever reason, miss me and my blogs. Some have even
wondered where I'm at and what I'm doing so I thought I'd take a minute or two
and kind of reintroduce myself and update my status. Who knows, I might even be
able to keep blogging again.
Okay...well, where to begin? Many, many moons ago...my father
and my mother met. Derp. Wait, maybe that's too far back. I kid. Anyway, as
many of you know I was in the military and I guess technically speaking, I
still am. My official retirement date hasn't arrived yet but I no longer wake
up every morning, put on a uniform and go off to work to support and defend the
Constitution for God and country. No, when you separate from the military you
can take what is called "terminal leave" which is actually like paid vacation -
and you use it to relocate to whatever area you want to live and find a new
job...which is what my family and I have been doing these past few months.
So, the million dollar question I get asked from family,
friends, fans and followers is,
"Where the heck are
We started out on the East Coast in the Norfolk, Virginia
area where I've been stationed the past, oh I dunno...six years I guess. And we
(with lots of coercion and brainwashing on my part) decided to move to...drumroll
Okay, technically it's not Seattle; it's actually
Everett...which is fairly close to Seattle - 28.6 miles to be exact.
So next question, why Seattle?
Do you have family
Nope. Zero. We know absolutely nobody here.
Have you visited
there before and liked the area?
Nope. I've been a lot of places...travelled the world over.
But the Pacific Northwest was one of the few spots I've never been (until now
So, why Seattle then?
Seattle is (in my opinion) the video game mecca of the
United States. There are certainly several areas home to a number of video game
studios. I interviewed with Ubisoft down in the Raleigh, North Carolina area -
a far closer and easier move - but alas, my availability didn't line up with
their timeline and I didn't get the job. The Raleigh, NC area has quite a few
video game developers. Of course California has quite a few as well. Texas and
New York have some...but Seattle...Seattle has it all - Microsoft, Valve, Sony,
Nintendo, Electronic Arts...just to name a few.
Now, I didn't move my entire family from one coast to the
other (including a rather large dog, a moody old cat and three cars) just for a
chance at getting a video game industry job...that wasn't the only reason...only
part of the reason.
I have a background in computers, networks and IT "stuff" -
and Seattle is home to some of the biggest names in the tech industry, many of
which are fond of hiring former military. Places like Microsoft, Amazon,
Google, Boeing and a host of others.
So with a little prodding, I convinced each family member
this was the perfect place to relocate to and start our new life (after the
military) - the kids (who are young adults and not so much kids) were fairly
easy to convince; the wife, a little bit
more challenging. But alas, here we are in the beautiful state of Washington on
the outskirts of the very cool Seattle.
The trip here went about as smooth as we'd hoped for. I'll
spare you the boring details, but we made a pit stop in Missouri to spend some
time with family and a little relaxing on the lake. I drove through Des Moines,
Iowa and waved at born4this out the window - he was in the middle of making
dinner and I didn't want to drop in on him unexpectedly - AGAIN...
(Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri)
Next stop, Minneapolis, Minnesota - where besides visiting
the Mall of America (which has the coolest Lego store you ever did see) I
happened to run into an iconic personality from the video game industry that
many of you all know and love...
From there we drove up to Mt. Rushmore which if you don't
know is located in South Dakota. I had hoped to meet up with mojomonkey12 in
BFE, Montana, but he's a working man and our schedules didn't really support
it. So instead, we drove through Yellowstone National Park, which I have to say
is one of the prettiest parts of the world I have ever been to. We may not have
seen Yogi Bear but we did see all sorts of other wildlife - from bison standing
in the road, to wild goats standing in the road.
After that little detour, we high tailed it to Seattle /
Everett and our new (which is really quite old) home sweet home. A lot has
happened since I've been in transition and even though I haven't blogged about
the gaming side of it, I've tried to keep up with most of the current events
believe it or not. And yes, I have even been playing a game or two along the
way. Mostly Injustice: Gods Among Us and Gears of War: Judgment. More on that
I'm not quite sure how, but I managed to continue updating
Blog Herding along the way and never missed an episode despite Jeff M assuring
me it was okay if I needed to. It did result in some rather comical moments -
oh, if you could've seen me...apparently not all hotels have free Wi-Fi and some
don't even have Internet. There were a few late nights reading blogs into the
wee hours of the night and when I finally got here...I did have to hang out at a
Starbucks until closing once to save a copy of all the blogs I was going to
feature (so I could read them back at my empty house), and then turn around and
get up the following morning at 6:00 am to rush back to the Starbucks to email
the draft to Jeff...mere hours before it was supposed to get posted. But Jeff was
patient and pulled through...and got it posted right on time. Our record stands
at 92 consecutive episodes. Not bad, considering two or three of them happened
while I was living out of a suitcase and had little to no Internet
Anyway, I knew I was going to love this area when I went to
the mall and it had an anime store...and in the anime store, there was a whole
section of Valve merchandise. From t-shirts, to plush toys to stickers and inflatable
sentry droids from Portal. Loved it. The girl running the store obviously
didn't know I was a Valve fanboy because she proceeded to tell me all about
them and how they're based in Seattle. I just smiled and bought my Left 4 Dead
t-shirt and Portal stickers...and told her I'd be back to buy one of everything
with a Valve label on it. I think she thought I was kidding.
I guess we've been here about a month now, or close to it.
Our "stuff" arrived mostly in tact - only a few minor damages. We're pretty
much settled in although my office (aka the man cave) is in fairly rough
condition. I have a lot of junk to go through, that's for sure. But hopefully,
depending on how the next few days go, hopefully I'll be able to be more active
at Game Informer. Time will tell.
May all of your games be good, your extra lives plenty and
your checkpoints frequent.
Life is good.