As expected, my last few days in Seattle went rather quickly… a bustling combination of last minute activity and an attempt to spend as much time as possible with the friends I’m leaving behind… There was definitely a good amount to be done as far as the logistics of it all… getting all of our stuff packed / accounted for… having all of the personal belongings of 4 people combined with all of the “company” stuff in one not-so-huge appartment was rather interesting, but some creative space management was all we needed ;)
Last night Damon gathered some friends at his pad to see us off. I’m quite glad I had that chance… when I left Florida for Pennslyvania / New York a little over a year ago, it was done quite hastily, and I didn’t really get to see anybody before I left. I’m very grateful to have been involved with such a tight group of people as the crew that I’ve associated with in Seattle. Much of it has to do with the Speakeasy influence… just about every one of my friends in Seattle is affiliated with the Speakeasy in one way or another. I know that I’ve got friends there, but it made me feel extra good that a bunch of them showed up to see me off and hang out for a spell.
Even though I’ve only been in Seattle for about a year, I feel like I’ve come quite a ways… met a lot of great people, learned a lot of cool stuff, done a lot of cool stuff :) I was remarking to somebody last night (a night in which, incidentally, no sleep was had by either dan or myself, on account of our 6 a.m. departure from sea-tac) that I had no real plans for what might become of me in Seattle. I figured I’d get a job and a place, and just see what happens… same thing I tried unsuccessfully to do in New York. Sure enough, I did get a job, and a place, and was quite settled for a good while. The Islandless thing effectively came out of nowhere, even though it had been in the works since long before I even left Florida to begin with.
The real point here is that you can’t win if you’re not at the table. I was watching CNN one night years ago, and it was Larry King interviewing Ben Stein (Beuler?). He had a lot of interesting stuff to say, but the thing that stuck with me was when he was talking about how he got his start in showbiz. He basically said that if he had stayed where he had been (not L.A.), he’d still be amusing his small circle of friends and that’s about it. The big move was just putting himself in an environment that was conducive to producing the kinds of opportunities he was looking for. In other words, if you want to be in show biz, it’s more or less required that you be in one of a few key places where there is activity in that industry. If you want simply to enjoy a cool town with interesting culture and a killer demographic, plus a whole lot of technology, then you absolutely must leave Bradenton, Florida. There is just no other way :) Some people may say that you create your own opportunities, and to some extent that may be true… but the simple act of being around new people in new places doing new things… it’s an effective way to kindle the fires of change, as it were…
I’ve accomplished more than I set out to accomplish during my stay in Seattle. Several journal entries ago, I talked about the various components to my contentedness, and they were all satisfied quite well. Not only did I really enjoy my time there, but it’s led to a fantastic opportunity that involves travel to far away lands, and badass technology all at the same time :)
Damon and I had been sort of tracing some of the events that brought all of this to where it is today, and some of the relationships are quiet remarkable. As usual, I find myself returning to the idea of ‘the connector’… that is, the kind of person that does an excellent job of connecting other people with each other. There’s no question that Damon is exactly that… he stumbled across me one day while looking for mac stuff on IRC, and we just sorta hit it off… dan, damon, and brian were living together at the time, and so that’s how I was introduced to them… I met rob not long after I initally got to Seattle (a good year after I first met Damon on IRC)… we went to the Resturaunt Formerly Known as the Bridge Tender and sipped on long island iced teas… Come to think of it, the only people I know in Seattle that I didn’t meet through Damon were my co-workers at VoiceStream. Seriously. I’d go to parties with him… work parties, regular ol’ friend parties… all in all, just a fantastic experience. Thanks again, Damon… for everything. I’ve spent some time in my life facilitating for other people… mostly in the form of time that I spend doing things like maintaining a cool mac community on the cybarweb, or giving my time to help train people in the wonderful ways of all this new-fangled technology… I do those things because I enjoy them, and because I believe they have a real positive impact. To be on the receiving end of facilitation (in my case, in the form of sharing his space with me) is really cool, and I’m extremely grateful. The impact has been totally positive :)
At some point over the last few weeks, I made up my mind that I wanted a new iBook enough to actually save up and buy one, and so I did. His name is Bish :) (bish, I hate that bish!!) … the first new computer I’ve ever bought with all my own money. Naturally, I’m writing this on the plane… I think we’re over Georgia right now. We flew out of sea-tac at like 6:05, arrived in St. Louis at around noon central time, an hour layover, and then on to Ft. Lauderdale… we’ll probably “be on the ground in 30 minutes”, as they like to say in the cockpit.
The schedule at this point is to spend some time in Ft. Lauderdale, as our final staging point before we head to the Carribbean. There’s lots of equipment that has to be ordered / received / sorted through / packed, etc. This is also the last failsafe, insofar as that once we get the final approvals necessary (or at the very least, solid timelines on when such approvals are forthcoming), then we are off… but we can’t leave until we have that. Thus, there is a chance that we may be delayed… Personally, I’m just fine with that, but Islandless as a whole is definitely on a time line, so the faster things can happen, the better.
I am of course excited to dig in on Tortola and spend some serious time building some really cool stuff, running it, and all the whille kicking back and enjoying it. Additionally, I’m extremely excited that this will hopefully be the last big thing I do before I hunt Amy down once and for all and live happily ever after ;) Of course, I do plan to orchestrate as many visits as possible… Florida is quite a bit closer to me now :) I keep having these daydreams of myself in my nice little b.v.i. pad in the middle of paradise, and flyinig her out to visit… just kickin’ back, loving life and each other…
Here are a few select pics . One shows our apt… we’ve got the third floor; the other two are shots taken from the balcony.
I’ll be online (in style, I might add… ibook + airport lubs) during my stay in Ft. Lauderdale, so don’t worry about finding a substitute for your dreness fix just yet… There’s the possibility of a lengthy blackout between the time that we get to the b.v.i. and when we have our network built / operational, but we’ve got a couple stop-gap measures that should hold us over until we can use our network.
Speaking of which, I feel really good about the technical side of what we’re doing. I’ve been charged with the responsibility of managing the network infrastructure, and I have to say, we’re as secure as a wireless network can possibly be. Not broadcasting SSID; Random 128 bit WEP session keys for every customer; MAC address checking at every entry point into the network; hard-coded username / password that the customer will never even see in their cpe equip; automatically generated / rotated WEP keys on the backbone bridge links that get swapped out before the minimum threshold of traffic required to crack the key is reached… and for the really worried / high profile business customers, an ipsec tunnel from their premesis directly to our core router in the bvi. Obviously, it’s not like I came up with all of this myself… (actually, only one part of it was my idea… the backbone bridge key rotation scripts)… the information is all out there, it’s just a matter of finding it and assimilating it properly. This really is the age of information, and the most empowered people are the ones that wield it successfully for their own benefit. I am proud to consider myself one of those people :)
We’re decending now, and any moment now I’ll be asked to turn my laptop computer off, put my seat back forward, etc, etc. I think I’ll not give them the satisfaction of watching me follow their orders, and beat them to the punch instead ;)
Here’s to the start of another great adventure :)