I finished my last job on Friday, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to start the new one the following Monday. Guess that means I start my new job tomorrow, and to say I'm excited would be an understatement.

Today was a study in change, an awakening of a dormant mind. I realized I had been on autopilot for months, if not years, and was unhappy about it. Sure, I chose to do something about it a couple months ago, but today I realized just how unhappy I was, how frustrated I was with my old bosses, how disillusioned I had become with my current work. Part of that stems from the way my bosses chose to handle my departure: with a sad display of childish ranting, and then, the silent treatment. I am still wondering how a couple of guys who built a company over 27 years can still behave like children, but no matter. They do not matter any more. Not to me, and not to my former co-workers, as a new CEO has been named (I have high hopes for the future of AEC, but alas I will not bear witness from the inside). Time to move on.

Today I went for a bike ride, the first of the season for me, I'm afraid. It was a nice easy spin along the foothills of the Rockies, and also took me past the Boulder Municipal Airport, which was buzzing with activity. This brought home the realization that I have not been enjoying my favorite activities, like cycling, flying, being in the mountains -- hell, even just looking at the mountains. Then I came home and Brenda & I took Hooper out for a ride and then a bite to eat at our favorite pizza joint in Boulder. The couple next to us were in town from Madison, WI, househunting. The guy just got a job with a cycling advocacy outfit in Boulder and he was excited about moving to such a cycling-centric mountain city. I was excited for him too. It reminded my of my mood four years ago, and all these things started me wondering about what lies ahead:

My commute goes from a five minute bike ride to a 45-hour-plus drive or bus ride. My workday will lengthen, and my ability to come home for a lunchtime dog walk or dr appointment or whatever just went out the window. I know, I KNOW, that this commute cannot possibly be anywhere near as bad as my commute from Metropark to Penn Station in NYC, but it will still be an adjustment. One thought Brenda & I have is that ultimately we will move to Denver, which will make the commute shorter, place Brenda in much closer proximity to more work in the Denver area, and open up the possibility of us finally getting an actual house with an actual yard. So long term, that's the carrot on the stick for me as I once again board the commuter "express" train to hell.

Commute aside, today made me realize how much we would be leaving if we left Boulder. The mountains, the mountains are just fucking spectacular, ok? It's just not the same looking at them from Denver, when you can even see them from there. In Boulder, they are right there, you feel like you can kiss them from anywhere in town. The bike paths, the breweries, our friends, they are here. And yet, moving to Denver would enable us to buy a proper house and walk to Rockies games.

In the short term, Brenda has the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to attend to, and that is right here in Boulder. So we will mull this big decision over the summer and I will try to adjust to working at a national lab after being a consultant for fifteen years. Should be an interesting few months.

Almost as if to commemorate my new direction, I discovered Wolfram Alpha today, which is a mind expanding little playground that I have been having fun with this evening. Check it out. Talk to ya soon.