Somewhere in Redmond

Somewhere in Redmond

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Whew! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of feverish activity. My wife, Elizabeth, and I are currently living in corporate housing right next to the main Microsoft campus in Redmond. Although I've found myself driving to work, it's only a 15-minute walk to my office in building 18. I spent a good part of last week in San Francisco at VSLive! (my first) where I met with many of the control vendors that I'll be working closely with. They seem like a great group of people, and I'm excited about what lies ahead.

Elizabeth has spent a lot of her time looking for houses. We quickly learned that what we're used to seeing in Michigan isn't necessarily true in the Seattle area. Houses are expensive! Plus, they don't seem to believe in yards or basements out here. The lots are tight, and storage space is at a premium. Fortunately, my wife whittled down the options, and last weekend, we made an offer on a house in Sammamish, which is just east of Redmond. Our inspection was Thursday night, and everything went very well. If we continue on this course, we should close on February 28th and begin moving in on March 4th.

Today was really the first day when Elizabeth and I could drive around for leisure. We drove around the Bellevue area and found a Best Buy! Believe it or not, there are only three Best Buy stores in the whole Seattle area! As a person who used to visit the local Best Buy at least once a week for my gadget "fix," it was great to find somewhere familiar. I haven't visited a Fry's Electronics yet, but I'm told that I'll like it a lot more when I finally do.

The weather has been great. Daytime temperatures have hovered in the 50s, and although it has rained a little, we've seen an awful lot of sun. Definitely better than what we had been used to in Michigan. I'm told that it's unseasonably warm in Seattle right now, but considering it was below zero the week before we moved from Holland, Michigan, I'm not going to complain. It feels downright balmy.

I never thought I'd say it, but we're not using TiVo, and we're happy! How can this be, you ask!? Well, Comcast has an excellent DVR with TiVo-like functionality that works very, very well. It has dual tuners, just like the unit we had with DirecTV, so we can record two shows at once. The interface isn't quite as good as TiVo's, but it's close enough. Plus, it does have a few features that TiVo didn't have, so overall, we're happy. Comcast also provides our internet service, and it seems pretty snappy too.

I'm beginning to feel a little more comfortable with "corporate life" at Microsoft. I'll tell you what...they really love to schedule meetings out here; full calendars seem to be the norm. I'm all for a good meeting, but I fear that many of them have been scheduled just because someone thinks they should be. Same thing with many of the words I keep hearing. "Execute" is one of them, as in: "we need to execute!" For some reason, I'm reminded of Office Space. :-) Maybe a little of my Midwestern pragmatism will rub off on them. We'll see.

Overall, things are going well. I hope that I can continue blogging on a more regular basis, but until we move into our house and settle down a bit, I'm afraid that I won't have quite as much time to dedicate. Please forgive me in advance. Thanks!

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  • Great post Michael, I'm just about to move over from London, so this is *must* reading from me!

    Alex.
  • This is actually funny...when the company I worked at was bought by MS, all the employees who moved up there were bragging about how CHEAP the housing was...
    oh yeah, they were coming from the SF Bay Area.
  • I believe it, Anony! You'd all be shocked at how much land and house you can get in Michigan for similar prices. You'd cry.
  • Hey Mike!!!

    Well we have been wondering about you back here in Michigan. Your blog went dark and we haven't heard from you, but that was understandable.

    However housing prices I think would depend on which side of Michigan you are on. Detroit housing is a lot more expensive than Grand Rapids housing. You will be happy to know weather here like usual Generaly rainy freezing rain right now and overcast like normal. I did have to put on sunglasses once last week as the sun came out. Felt like a vampire emerging from the grave. So wore sunglasses until I could get home and close the blinds and do a little gaming.

    Anyway keep us updated. Buy some more candy cigarettes for your office there.
  • If you go to Fry's, don't expect any kind of service. Know what you want beforehand, buy it, get out. A one-time exemption is granted on your first visit so you can take in whatever theme the store incorporates. ;)
  • Mike, the subzero wind chill and the 'snow flurries while it's sunny' weather system misses you dearly.
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