Those were the last words I said, in person, to my parents.
When I last wrote, I was just about to go to Saint John for a job interview with the School of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick, Saint John. They were looking for a Systems Administrator, and apparently they thought I would be an adequate candidate. Shortly thereafter, on my birthday, I was to be skirted away on an aeroplane to Kelowna, British Columbia, for a 48-hour whirlwind tour of Kelowna, British Columbia (24 of those hours spent in the air or at airports) accompanied by a job interview at Okanagan College, where they were looking for a Coordinator, Library Computing Systems.
The short version of the story is that about two weeks later, I was offered the position in Saint John. Suddently, I was faced with the not-small task of deciding whether to:
- stay where I was, with an incredible group of co-workers, a job I enjoyed immensely, and free (if not cozy) accommodations surrounded by people I love (more or less)
- leave my home province, and the world of public libraries to re-enter academia, albeit as a tech monkey, not a member of the grad-student (or even undergraduate) intelligentsia, and replace that now-typical slate of conditions with a list of relative unknowns, in a city where I knew one person (an ex-girlfriend)
No small task, you say.
A week later, after having determined it was necessary to "start something new", I received a call one evening at around 7:30, announcing that I was also being offered the position in Kelowna. A nearly identical situation, except that the job would keep me working in a library setting, though I would now ostensibly be in management (at 24!). Oh, and also, the job would be in Kelowna, British Columbia, some 6000 kilometres from home, where I know nobody, except two taxicab drivers, a checkin guy at the Ramada Lodge Hotel, and a handful of librarians and library paraprofessionals (total interaction time: 3 person-hours).
Resignations were tendered. There were parties and dinners and barbeques and gifts and hugs and tears, and on Monday, September 26, I set off with a packed Toyota and a wallet full of plastic, for Yarmouth and the CAT Ferry, on my journey, across two nations, that would take me into new, unexplored lands, and reunite me one more time with some old friends.
It is now accomplished. I am in Kelowna. I have started my job. I have living room furniture (free!), a dining room table (cheap!), a bed (transported from Coquitlam), and as of this weekend, a mattress (comfy). While I am established here, this is only a "home away from home". I am a Maritimer, born, raised, and educated. I will always be one.
This is only a waypoint on my journey.
I will come home again.
Coming soon (really): how soon I could actually be home.
Coming soon (also): reminiscences of a journey through strange and beautiful lands, as seen through my eyes, a digital camera and (mainly) AM radio.
Coming soon (hopefully): high-speed Internet at home (now T + 10 days without), so I don't have to come into work in the evenings to write here.
Oh! And times here are now in Pacific Time Daylight Savings or Standard, whatever flavour happens to be the order of the day.
Addendum [the next day]: When I moved back to my old server (had to return the "new" one), ImageMagick moved. Again. So you couldn't comment. Again. At least some things never change.... Thanks to my old colleague J. Adam for pointing the problem out.