Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

Auto Service and 2010, the Year that Was

There was some snow overnight, maybe 1 or 2 inches. I thought I would have to shovel it off the sidewalk but after breakfast, I saw that the snow on all concrete surfaces out front had already melted. Hooray for Southern exposure! I only had a few errands to do today. The big one was auto servicing. (Mileage = 149,340) No problems found. I just used the coupon from their monthly mailer and the work was done fairly quickly. Stayed home the rest of the day to clean up a little and sort out the stuff in the car. How do people have tidy cars with nothing sitting around out of place? Seems like half the backseat is always occupied by tools, spare parts, supplies, and other gear, and that doesn't even include the bag of geocaching gear I bring along on every trip. Well, at least I now have a box back there to keep things organized.

Since it's already one week into the year, I guess I'm a little late for a "year in review" post but I've been busy. Well, 2010 was a transition year for me. In late 2009, when I got laid off, I took the opportunity, since I was no longer tied to Northern New Jersey by the job, to buy a house and move to Delaware. I had the means and I'd been to Northern Delaware a lot, so I was already somewhat familiar with the area. However, I had other reasons to choose this area, including the lower cost of living, lower taxation (which is part of the cost of living), and its being central to a number of events and activities related to my hobbies.

So 2010 was my first full year of residence here. I learnt a lot of things. Many of those things had to do with what one should do with a house and yard. There were lots of minor maintenance tasks I needed to figure out and do to improve the place and to solve problems as they come up. Yardwork was a major learning experience. It's something I didn't care about when I was renting an apartment but now that I have a plot of land, it's interesting to work on it and see what grows. There were some surprise daffodils in the spring, as well as many seasonal wild plants. I kept returning to online weed references to research those.

2010 was also my first full year of being unemployed, although I treated it more like the sabbatical that my previous job never allowed me to take. Of course I went geocaching a lot, but I also did a bit of freelancing and worked on a few software projects of my own. I also went job-hunting but with no great urgency because my "rainy day" funds could, given my now significantly lower cost of living, potentially last for many years. An observation: Good recruiters who'll actually help you get to the interview stage are rare. Many aren't worth the bother to deal with and don't return calls. Often, I got a lot further contacting company management myself, especially if it is a startup or small business.

Made many new friends too; some I met at Delaware Furbowl and some at local geocaching events, although I did already know a number of people in the Philadelphia area before moving here because I'd been going to events and conventions in the area for years. Also got to know some of my neighbors. I have 3 neighbors (left, right, and across the street) who are retirees, which is why this part of the street is relatively quiet, which is the way I like it.

What will 2011 bring? Well, I did land a job offer shortly before year-end 2010, so I'll see what happens there. But from what I gathered in the on-site interviews, it looks like they're doing some interesting projects. Aside from that, it'll be the usual ongoing process of striving to make every day better.
Tags: auto service, year in review

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