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2021 So Far - Reflections on 2020

Sun, Feb 28, 2021 5-minute read

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Most of my posts are tech related so I figured it would be a good time to do a bit of reflection over the past year or so and make a more personal post.

I’ve been living in California for about a year in a half now (and what a year and a half it has been.) Do I like California compared to Texas so far? Yes and no. There are pros and cons to everything. The weather and scenery here is amazing. The job market for tech is insane (though lots of companies are understandably leaving.) I work for a great company, really like my coworkers and love my job right now. Other things (high cost of living and taxes, crime, general garbage littered everywhere, yearly fires (see thumbnail), etc.) leave much to be desired. For what I pay, I’ve never felt like my tax money has been so squandered anywhere I have lived. It is jarring to reflect on this and has been a real eye-opener.

I’ve been working from home for more than a year at this point. Honestly, it has been refreshing. When (/if) COVID-19 is over and society returns to some sort of semblance of normal, I would love to continue working from home as much as possible. It’s not always perfect though. I find I end up working more hours overall and am sort of “always available” because I effectively live at “the office” now. It can be harder to seperate the home from work at times. On the other hand, I am not wasting 365+ hours a year in the car driving back and forth to work (and saving money on gas, and maintenance.)

All that being said, I think I am much happier overall having the flexibility to work from home compared to being required to head to the office daily and I think a lot of others in this situation would agree. If remote work stays popular and is the new industry standard, I will really be considering other options outside California.



My girlfriend and I have wanted to get a dog together for a long time. Like many others, we love Corgis. We always thought it would be both unfair and morally wrong to get a dog and keep it in a cage for at least 8 hours a day while we were at work. Due to COVID, I found myself still employed (thankfully), and working from home. This removed some of the concerns we had about raising a happy and healthy dog. In May we came home with a Corgi puppy named Maggie.

From our experience Corgis are as described. They are very high energy and need constant stimulation. She is a little herder and likes to keep us in line. She can be difficult and stubborn at times but she is our pride and joy. image image


We ended up settling north of San Franciso when we moved to California. My girlfriend worked in northern Sonoma County, but I wanted to remain as close to Silicon Valley/San Francisco as possible since I work in tech. We lived in a great spot. I spent countless hours walking trails looking out at the beautiful San Francisco Bay.


The rent was high, the apartment was small, and the short commute I had was a moot point due to converting to work from home and no longer working from the office.

I’ve always liked Sonoma County (great wine, less hustle and bustle of the city), but it is pretty far from a lot of tech jobs. Since it seems like there is a general realization that most tech jobs don’t need to work from the office, (and rent is significantly cheaper) we decided to move a bit further north. It has been great so far. I love the area. I can’t get enough of Sebastapol and Healdsburg. A main gripe I have is I was under the impression that food in California just isn’t as good as Texas. Go a bit further north, and it really flips what I orignally thought on it’s head.

Some of my favorite restaurants and shops:

Additionally, I am a sucker for good scenery. I love hiking and seeing what beautiful things exist in nature. I really like making the short trip to Bodega Bay and spending time looking at the beach and walking around and seeing all it has to offer.




I posted a while back about Arch being my daily driver. That was the case for a while. I still do use Arch quite often but, I heard a lot about the new Apple Silicon chips and the supposed improvements to speed and battery life. Naturally, I was interested. I ended up grabbing one of the new MacBook Pros. I love it. I charge it once every two weeks. It is leaps and bounds faster and quieter than the Intel 16" MacBook Pro I use for work.

Support for native apps has been slow, but most of what I use for personal is already native. Virtualization does not work at all compared to what I am used to (it kind of works, but if it is a hard requirement, I would say its not ready yet.) Other than that, once Spotify, and BurpSuite are out of beta or fully native to M1, I will have found the perfect laptop. This thing is fast and the battery lasts forever.

I highly recommend looking to see if the support for the apps you use day to day is there and if so, switch over to one. This could very well set the standard for laptops going forward. I’d love to have a laptop that runs Linux with the same performance this hardware provides.