Ketchup

Time for a randomly hodge-podged style of a post, since it’s been quite some time since my last update. As I alluded to in previous posts I have left my role as a technical engineer at Contegix in search of what I hope is my true calling: being a developer. Now, this move wasn’t quite so simple, since in the process I’ve moved from my hometown of St. Louis, over to Chicago. Yeah, yeah I get it, insert your Cubs hate/love or Cardinals hate/love here. I’m now working for a development shop called Imaginary Landscape which focuses mainly on Python development. Obviously, I’m quite the Python enthusiast, so it’s quite fitting. As a bonus, the company encourages the use of open source tools, and encourages contributing back to the open source community. Obviously, this is something I’m rather passionate about, so it’s rather fitting.

I’ve been here in Chicago for roughly two weeks now though, and so far so good. We’ve had to go through a few changes to make ourselves comfortable here in the lovely city of Chicago, but most of them are actually upsides. For instance, I haven’t driven a car in going on 7 days now. I walk to work every day, and most places that we need to go to on a regular basis are also in walking distance. As a result of everything feeling relatively close, we’re now walking roughly 1.5 to 2 miles per day now. It’s pretty nice too. If something does happen to be outside of walking distance they have this crazy public transportation thing in Chicago. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s actually pretty impressive, definitely not accustomed to that in St. Louis. I’ll never understand how people in St. Louis could live without owning some form of vehicle. However, here in Chicago, unless I need to go grocery shopping or something of that sort, I don’t need a car. Also, instead of going once for that big haul of groceries it’s just easier here to grab what you need when you need it.It’s a rather interesting change of pace, and so far much more enjoyable. I love just walking to work every morning. No traffic, or any annoying people to put up with. It’s nice.

The biggest change however has to be the cost of smoking in Chicago. It’s approximately $8/pack, or roughly $90/carton. That’s compared to the $35/carton price in St. Louis. Obviously, $90/carton is just irresponsible. Hence, we’re working on quitting. We’re currently on day 4 and hanging in there fairly well thus far. Personally I’m a bit perplexed on the price. I understand that it’s about $3 for the smokes, and $5 for the taxes. I’m pretty clear there, which puts the tax rate in the realm of astronomical, but whatever. What I don’t get is the point. If the point is to make people quit smoking, alright, point made, and you win. However, if you’re counting on that money to pay for roads 3 years from now, it doesn’t add up. I mean, if everyone quits smoking, all that vice money goes away, and in this city/state that has to be a TON of money, cuz I see smokers everywhere around here. Wouldn’t a more balanced tax be more profitable for the government? Ah well, what do I know, maybe they actually want healthy people instead of profits, but I doubt it. Alls well that ends well, and I’m on my way to being smoke free, so that’s a good thing. Even if the tax logic is weird.

Finally, there’s plenty of stuff to do here in this city. We have myriad of things to choose from to do with our time off. It’s not like St. Louis where it seemed like there was never anything fun to do. Here, there’s a bunch of fun stuff to do all over the place. Seems like it’ll be awhile before we run out of entertainment here.

All in all, I’m ecstatic we made the move. I’m loving the job, the city, and the improvement to my quality of life that both the job and city have brought me. I’m far less stressed, more active, and have more time to actually enjoy life. It’s a win all around.