Adios Orinda – Part 2: Mighty California

When I think of California – besides the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco – Mt. Shasta is where I left my heart . . .

The silly assed media had you believing Trump was a genius and that California was falling apart.

Neither are true. Not by a long shot.

Google California Economy and you’ll see that its the 5th largest economy between Germany and ahead of India. The Central Valley is the #1 food producing area in the world. Don’t cry for California.

The natural beauty in this State is probably #1 in the country. The diversity of Coast, Mountains and everything in between is beyond compare. I’m partial to the West Coast but also love Colorado.

California is over populated in some areas and its also very expensive. Its fantastic if you want a great paying job and a place to raise kids.

Its not “mellow” and its not a great bargain to live here. But don’t expect Texas or Florida to be any better – when I hear some nitwits go on about how everyone is moving from California to these and other states I laugh. You might gain something and also lose something when you move.

17 years ago we fell in love with Bend. Until just a few years ago – and because of Covid, but more importantly, telecommuting (100% remote work), I had to be in an office. Bend is in a much less populated state but the job situation is no where near as good as the SF Bay Area for what I do – I’m a Senior Data Architect / Senior Data Engineer. There is no better place on earth than the SF Bay Area for this.

I was able to have a tower and big ham radio antenna every place I lived in in California. In Bend, every neighborhood has an HOA and CC&R’s against such antennas. I couldn’t live in Bend as a ham radio operator. Every place has its good and bad. Bend Winters will be colder and last 2 months longer than Orinda. I grew up with worse weather – much worse. Orinda weather has been excellent.

Now combine Orinda as a town in the SF Bay Area – its naturally beautiful with hills and trees and lots of open space and I know that I am very lucky to have had 17 years here, 10 in Lafayette and 10 in San Francisco.

I loved Newton, NJ growing up, but long Winters commuting in the snow and very humid summers with lots of rain meant lots of rained out weekends. As a kid that was fine. There were lots of good paying jobs in Northern NJ and NYC.

There are plenty of problems in California, but no better or worse than any other place in the US or the world.

There is no utopia, no perfect place. However, given your life situation, and your age and “station in life” some places are better than others.

100% remote work had dropped from 100% to less than 75% by my non scientific but statistics based calculation of headhunters approaching me on LinkedIn looking for people at my level to run their Data Warehousing or Corporate Reporting operations – and 100% remote. My experience affords me much more leeway than when I was younger. I expect 100% remote work will be easy for me to get for as long as I chose to work.

My two sons have jobs that are either 100%  in office or “hybrid” – so they have to be here.

Somehow, young people are still buying houses – just like mine – the least expensive in a VERY good location.

It was hard when I bought my first house in California and now its even harder. However, unlike the past, many parents are better off and they help their kids more than when I bought my first house.

But affordable housing in California is a serious problem in the state. Over population is also a problem. Crime is on the rise.

Any place people flock to have this exact same problem. There’s always a reason people flock to such places.

I lived in Rochester, NY for a year and Lock Haven PA for 3 years and they were dirt cheap. But guess what? These rust belt places had awful weather and no jobs. Lock Haven was better than Rochester (only weather wise – it was even worse job wise) – but my last semester at college – that February – didn’t get above zero for the entire month. Rochester was the gloomiest city I’ve ever lived in – cold, dark and depressing in the Winter and raining all Summer. The reason I moved there – Kodak – went bust. Heartbreak City, USA. Lock Haven had the college as a place of employment but its attendance is 1/3 of when I went there – and they no doubt have downsized and even consolidated with two other state schools that have the same demise. My sister lives in Peoria and she and her husband have to work 2 retail jobs each. Sure, housing is cheap. The weather sucks too.

Pick yer poison!

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