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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Soon Time to Move Again

It's that time again, when the wife and I have to fill in forms and wishlists to try and influence our next posting. Last time we got pretty lucky - Colorado Springs wasn't on our list but it turned out pretty well.

The eternal problem is that wherever there are Air Force bases, all commerce other than the defence industry tends to flee. It's a trend that is continuing, accelerating even, with the consolidation of Air Force units into the larger bases with plenty of room for growth -- ie. in the middle of a God-forsaken wilderness with a 60 mile commute to the nearest habitation.

That isn't to say that they aren't good places to live -- Eglin AFB in Florida is next to one of the best beaches in the world, and Vandenburg AFB is nicely positioned on the California coast. Still they are not exactly major centres of commercial high-tech activity. In Colorado Springs I landed on my feet with a work-at-home contract with a longterm client, but that sort of thing wears thin after a while. Pretty quickly actually, especially in conjunction with a move to a new town.

The current hot prospect looks like Hanscom AFB, just outside Boston, or maybe the Pentagon. I think I like the idea of Boston more. Actually I like the idea of Europe even more than that, with some interesting vacancies at Ramstein to the south-west of Frankfurt -- I'll have to brush up on the non-existant German that I didn't learn from either the Turks I worked with in Munich or the girlfriend from Manchester I was living with at the time.

Early days yet though, and the whole process just epitomises the story of the best-laid plans of mice and men often going astray. If the worst comes to the worst and we do end up in the middle of nowhere then I'll be hoping for at least some nearby reasonable-sized airport, and I'll do the road-warrior thing for a few years. Or we'll just find the wife a new employer who doesn't unreasonably insist on moving it's employees every three years or so, regardless of the diverse other opportunities in the area. Tut! Maybe we'll move to New Zealand instead.


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