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Author Topic: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?  (Read 8504 times)

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Offline Nodaclu

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Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« on: May 03, 2014, 09:46:10 PM »
Hi all,

I've been doing research on this topic for a few weeks now, but almost everything I find seems to be from people who fall into the following categories:

  • Young singles in their 20's
  • Young families checking out schools
  • Looking for an active nightlife

None of those fit me.  ;)

I'm 44 years old, and I've accepted a new position that will require me to move work locations from Sacramento to the SF Financial district. I'm moving alone (at least in the short term, and probably the long term), and I'd prefer to have my own space (I'd rather live alone in a 400 sf studio than rent a room in a 3,000 sf house.)

I'm looking for quiet and peaceful. Not interested in bars or nightlife. I'd probably live in a senior community if I was old enough...lol.

I'm trying to keep my rental budget at $1,500 max. So far, I've looked at Martinez/Concord/Pleasant Hill, and Alameda. They're all nice, but I'm not sure any of them are the right fit.

A shorter commute is ideal, but I understand that there are certain things you gain in exchange for a longer commute, so I'll consider that as well. I don't mind BART/Caltrain (in some ways, I prefer it to driving).

I'm not very familiar with the peninsula, or much on the 580 and 880 corridors. But I'm open to any area where I can potentially find safety, and peace and quiet (including the city itself, though I anticipate that my preferred budget wouldn't land me anything that matches what I'm looking for).

Martinez is probably my #1 choice right now - smaller town, and lots of open space north of the Amtrak station. But it's quite a ways out, costs are high for how far out it is, and the nearest BART station is about 6 miles in the wrong direction. 

Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated. If I've left out details that are needed, let me know and I'll provide them.

Thanks!
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Offline stew71

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2014, 12:11:26 PM »
I have a few co-workers who live in Walnut Creek and Orinda.  They seem to enjoy living there, although the commute to the SF Financial District might be a drag. I've thought that if I HAD to live in the Bay Area, it would be around Orinda or Lafayette or Walnut Creek.

Another good friend has been living in the Marina District for the last 15 years or so and loves it. He and his family are in a 2 bedroom apartment just 2 blocks from the water and pay around $2100 per month. They both take the bus to the Financial District and love living in the city. You might find something smaller within your price range around there.

With enough thrust, a pig flies just fine.

Offline DNA

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 02:33:01 PM »
To live in dullsville you will either have a commute from hell or pay a very high price for rent.

I'd check out some of the closer in east bay areas around Berkly or Oakland hills.

I live in the Walnut creek/ Danville area and there is no way I could commute into the city every day.  Martinez adn Concord are similar.

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  -You may find yourself in another part of the world
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You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 11:07:35 PM »
I have a few co-workers who live in Walnut Creek and Orinda.  They seem to enjoy living there, although the commute to the SF Financial District might be a drag. I've thought that if I HAD to live in the Bay Area, it would be around Orinda or Lafayette or Walnut Creek.

Thanks! I'm definitely looking at Lafayette, as well as Alameda. I want to take a closer look at the peninsula too. Just know very little about the area.

I've been staying in hotels from time to time in Concord/PH/WC and taking BART in to the city. It's about 40-45 minutes, which I can handle, but the cars are packed like sardines, which I'm having a harder time with.
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Offline bluepoof

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 11:17:13 PM »
I really like living in the northern peninsula but the cost of living is pretty insane here.   I can tell you about the San Mateo/Belmont/San Carlos/Redwood City area if you wind up looking here at all.  Craigslist shows some studios in the <$1500 range but not much else.   You'd still be looking at an hour of commuting each way from this part of the peninsula, though.

Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 11:42:53 PM »
Thanks Carolyn!

With the sole exception of Alameda, I've pretty much resigned myself to an hour commute each way. (odd as it might seem, I don't think I want to live in the city itself, and Oakland feels like a bigger version of growing up in Stockton - a few nice areas surrounded by a LOT of not so nice areas). That fact even has me wavering on Alameda a bit, though all indicators are that Oakland's problems generally don't cross over onto the island.

Are there any specific places on the peninsula that are like me - sedate and boring? :D A studio is fine with me. I've more or less resigned myself to a tiny living space, so I can live in an area I like and stay on budget.
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Offline bsd43

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2014, 01:51:41 AM »
Emeryville has some studio/1br apartments and condos in that price range (Emerybay/PPP), and there are multiple bus lines (public and private) that take you right over the bridge into the Transbay Terminal.

Try Brisbane, which is as close to San Francisco without being in it, but is QUIET and it's still relatively affordable. Something like this is in your ballpark price range: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/apa/4452504664.html

Don't forget that Alameda has 2 different ferries that shuttle you to the SF Ferry Building, with ample parking at each dock (one on Main near the old base, one on Bay Farm Island). The area south of Atlantic and west of Webster is a little rough, but the rest of it is fine, and without Oakland problems. (Just remember to drive 25 mph and not a single mph more.)

Martinez is a solid hour of BART to downtown SF, add to it the drive to BART, the wait for a not-so-frequent train, and the delays now often plagues the system.

Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2014, 09:30:48 PM »
Thanks!

I keep forgetting about Emeryville. I'll have to check there as well. The apartment in that link is perfect! Wish I was going now instead of 90 days from now. :)

Alameda keeps moving up my list. It's not as scenic as some of the east bay cities (I like rolling hills and trees), but it has pretty much everything else I'm looking for.

I'm going to stay out there next week, and try taking one of the ferries in to see how it goes.
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Online doc4216

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 08:18:16 AM »
I am moving to alameda in July. The more I learn about it, the more sounds like a great little community. Everyone we have talked too that lives there, loves it! I have been checking the traffic and for me it will be easy but I know some people who drove into San Fran and said wasn't that bad from alameda. Guess we will find out! Good luck and let us know where you end up
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 08:45:49 PM »
Thanks Doc!

I'm hearing Alameda pretty much from all corners now, so I'm going to take a second look. I drove out there a couple of weeks ago, got caught in a nasty traffic snarl, and it was freezing cold. And I can't stop thinking about how close it is to Oakland (this coming from a Stockton kid). But I realize now that I need to give it a second chance.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for Lafayette though, and if I stumble onto the right place around there, I'm going to keep it on my options list.
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 08:58:13 PM »
I have to admit, part of me is trying to figure out how to stay working where I am currently. I'm on the very edge of the Sacramento region in the low rolling hills, and places like Placerville are only about 17 miles away. I really prefer the city to the country, and I could afford to buy a place in the sierra foothills, where that wll be impossible in the bay area until after I retire.

It's actually my option. Going to the bay area is better for my career, but staying put fits my lifestyle much better. Still leaning toward making the move, but I'm hedging a bit...
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Offline stew71

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 03:07:02 PM »
Any chance of telecommuting a couple of days per week? That might make it more palpable to stay in Sactoville and deal with the commute. Maybe figure out a schedule that could get you to the Bay ferry terminal in Vallejo and get dropped off at the Pier 41 Marine Terminal?
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2014, 08:30:02 PM »
Any chance of telecommuting a couple of days per week? That might make it more palpable to stay in Sactoville and deal with the commute. Maybe figure out a schedule that could get you to the Bay ferry terminal in Vallejo and get dropped off at the Pier 41 Marine Terminal?

Yep, it is possible actually. :) I'm taking a look at the possibilities. We actually have a Wednesday carpool to SF, but I really need to be there at least 2 days a week. I might be able to work out an overnight arrangement, then take Amtrak back on Thursday evening. Then I can work from home one day a week, and work in the Sacto office two days a week.

Hmmm.....now ya got me thinking. ;)
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2014, 04:32:07 PM »
Well.....it's going to be SF. :bigsmile:

As the situation has continued to evolve, it's becoming clear that moving to the bay area is going to be my best option, both in the short and the long term.

Specifically, I'm going to be looking on the peninsula, between San Bruno and San Mateo, focusing primarily on Millbrae and Burlingame. I'll look to make the move sometime in October. There just seem to be more studios and small 1 bedroom's on the peninsula that are in my price range.

Here's a perfect example:
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/apa/4573754884.html

I'd given some thought to buying another bike to take along (there's a pretty decent Suzuki VX800 for sale for $1,000 nearby, and I really like those bikes). But I figured I should probably wait and see what kind of parking situation I end up with. There's no telling if I'll have a realistic place to park a bike...or my car for that matter.  :crazy:

If anyone has any thoughts or advice as it pertains to the peninsula, I'd love to hear it.

Overall I'm looking forward to it. I realized this morning that I've lived my entire life in places where the summer temps average 95-115 degrees Fahrenheit, so cool summers will be a nice change of pace. :yawn:

Now, to continue trying to handle/accept the sticker shock that comes from living in that part of the country.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 04:44:35 PM by Nodaclu »
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Offline Blunder

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2014, 11:53:07 PM »
Times have changed for that area.

16th AVE between the El camino and Delaware? Certainly didn't command such lofty rents in my yoot.

They must have fixed it up some. Back in the day we wouldn't even venture there to score some Mexican ditch weed.

The blessings of gentrification, I guess.

If it works for you, go for it. Welcome to NorCal!
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2014, 01:10:52 PM »
They must have fixed it up some. Back in the day we wouldn't even venture there to score some Mexican ditch weed.

Maybe, maybe not. That's what I need to learn more about now - specific neighborhoods within a few cities. I'm looking near the bottom of the rent cost pool - and I know what kinds of neighborhoods those places are usually in.

I wish I could play nice with others, so I could rent a room somewhere and save some money instead of living alone...
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Offline Blunder

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2014, 06:02:01 PM »
You gotta remember I moved away from San Mateo in Dec of '99 because of housing prices. Lived in an 850 sq ft bungalo with a 1 car garage in the Shoreview area that rented for $1350 a month back then. A lot has changed, namely it's gotten even more expensive. But I don't know what some of those neighborhoods are like now.
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2014, 06:08:22 PM »
So I let my manager know via email this morning of my decision to relocate (supposedly, it has been my option all along), and the response has been....silence.  :crazy:

If this ends up going south on me, it may be time to blow everything up and start all over from scratch. I'm the type of person that either has to have a disaster in front of me that needs fixing, or a carrot to chase. Without this move, I'll have neither.

I don't do well sitting at a desk endlessly doing busy work with nothing important to fix, and no potential upward path in front of me. I like having mountains to climb. If this doesn't go through, it'll be time to go look for a new mountain.  :wave:
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Offline 5outta6

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2014, 10:52:25 AM »
"When you snooze, you lose"

Offline Blunder

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 12:05:08 PM »
Come on out and drive a truck if ya wanna start all over.
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2014, 06:59:45 PM »
Come on out and drive a truck if ya wanna start all over.

Strongly thinking about it now. I heard back. I can still relocate to SF, but now, no promotion, and no pay increase. I make okay money for my current area, but in the bay area, my current salary is at the bottom of the barrel for what I do. Moving and "hoping" for an eventual promotion/pay increase while increasing my living costs by at least a third, doesn't sound like the kind of risk I really want to take. ;)

I've been a desk jockey for about 20 years now. I could probably coast to retirement from here (about 20 years away - if I don't die of boredom first). But jeez...what kind of life is that? I've been thinking about that more and more since losing my dad at just 68 years of age.

He was a great man, but one of the most personally conservative human beings I've ever crossed paths with. One one hand, I'm grateful for it because it provided me with a great, stable childhood (and my mom is in *great* shape financially, thanks to him), but as an adult, I always felt a little badly for him. His adventures in life really stopped at age 21 when he left the Air Force. After that, it was 7am-3pm on the railroad for 38 years, followed by 9 years of retirement in increasingly poor health, followed by sudden death.

I love my dad, but I don't want to follow in those footsteps. I want there to be a bit of an edge to my life - an interest in getting up every day just to see what new thing might be coming down the line, and having no idea what it might be - for as long as I can manage it.

Sorry.....I'm rambling. There's just so much on my mind, and so much on my plate. If I leave my current type of work, there's probably no going back. I'm afraid of making a mistake that I can't recover from. It took me years to recover from my last two mistakes (buying a house at the top of the market in 2005, then losing it, followed by losing my business in 2009).

Ironically, just this week I paid off the last of what I absolutely had to from those debacles.

But man, I do love the road. Always have. As a boy of 8 years old, I would lay on the floor and pour over maps, wondering what adventures were hiding behind those little squiggly lines. In 1975, my grandfather came by my house in his big, red, shiny P.I.E. rig. I was all of 5 years old, and I still remember it vividly. :)

When the last piece of I-5 opened near my house in 1978, I threw a fit because my parents wouldn't take me to the opening ceremony.

I think it was about that time that they realized they were raising a really odd kid.  :facepalm: :rolf:

I really think it's in my blood. I think I'd be really good at it. I think I'd enjoy it. But what if I'm wrong? I'm already exhausted at 44 years of age from having to battle back from setback after setback. I question whether I could do it again if driving turned out to be a mistake.

::Sigh:: Dammit......................what to do....................
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Offline Blunder

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2014, 04:44:29 AM »
You have today. Tomorrow is inevitable.
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Offline 5outta6

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2014, 09:21:10 AM »
as per John Wayne in the movie, "The Cowboys":  We're burning daylight.............  =   You're burning daylight. 
 (Never look back.  You can't go home again.    Just Do it.    Get er done! )



Offline DNA

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2014, 11:03:49 AM »
Wishing and whining ain't gonna get you anywhere.

After several years of following your meandering depression - I lost interest, but it seems the family issues are in the rear view mirror and now you are single again? 
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack  -You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile- You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife-
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

Offline rgbeard

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2014, 02:40:48 PM »
It's a tough day down in Ensenada, right now.

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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2014, 11:14:55 PM »
Wishing and whining ain't gonna get you anywhere.

After several years of following your meandering depression - I lost interest, but it seems the family issues are in the rear view mirror and now you are single again?

I held off answering this one for awhile...since (1) this thread isn't about that, and (2) I'm trying to walk an appropriate line of not sharing too much personal stuff around here.

So after thinking about it for awhile, here's the answer...

I rented an apartment for myself on the side in late March, and was ready to do what needed to be done....then my dad dropped dead, and everything went sideways. I pulled back for my mom's sake, and based on her struggles of late, I made the right choice keeping the family intact for a little while longer while she works through everything. My mom and dad knew each other since they were 7 and 8 years old. She has said that she barely remembers life without him.

Some things are bigger than our own selfish wants and needs. It helps that the child has partially pulled her head out of her ass over the past several months - somewhat coinciding with my dad's death. My plans haven't changed, but have been put on hold until after the holiday's, so my mom can have one last Thanksgiving and Christmas with whats left of her family.

On the job front, I've clarified some decisions as I'm getting some separation from my dad's passing. I'm going back to school to finish my Bachelor's degree in Management Information System and Business Analytics, so I can solidify myself in my current career. I'll likely move up the hill to Placerville in early 2015. If the bay area provides me with an opportunity that makes moving there worthwhile, I'll do that. Otherwise I'll wait until I finish my degree to plan my next move.

So that's where things stand, past, present and future. I'm doing well, all things considered.

Quote from: rgbeard
It's a tough day down in Ensenada, right now.

Rusty, is that literal, or a veiled hint that I should relocate there?  :bigok:
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Offline stew71

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2014, 02:03:14 PM »
I'll likely move up the hill to Placerville in early 2015.

Speaking as someone who has spent a substantial portion of their life in Placerville, I can tell you it's a great place to help clear the cobwebs out of the attic. Good on ya', Clu.

Not to mention all of the KLR-ready backroads and fire trails in the area....

 :thumbsup:
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Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2014, 11:08:37 PM »
Not to mention all of the KLR-ready backroads and fire trails in the area....

Thanks Stew. I sold the KLR the night before my dad passed, intending to replace it right away, but that's another area that went sideways on me. That being said, I do potentially see a DR650 in my future this winter. And the Gold Country will be a great place to give it a workout.  :wings:
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Offline 5outta6

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2014, 11:32:55 AM »
Come on out and drive a truck if ya wanna start all over.

How is the 'new' job going? 

Offline Nodaclu

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2014, 08:01:41 PM »
Come on out and drive a truck if ya wanna start all over.

How is the 'new' job going?

Is that for me, or Blunder? I don't want to speak for him, so I'll let him answer. :bigsmile:

As for me, I'm still where I've been for the past year, though as I've tried to shoehorn myself into a "normal" corporate career, I'm quickly realizing that it's not the right role for me long term. It's funny how, when I start to move in the wrong direction, my "gut" lets me know about it pretty quickly. But that same "gut" is really shitty at guiding me in the RIGHT direction.  :crazy: :facepalm:

Anyone out there running a small, non-profit that needs a talented but ADD-riddled guy to wear about 50 different hats? :bigsmile:
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Offline 5outta6

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2014, 08:13:06 AM »
How's the 'new' job going was for Blunder................................

For you, Nodaclu, I thought you were going to be a forest ranger?   

Offline Blunder

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Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2014, 10:30:11 PM »
Come on out and drive a truck if ya wanna start all over.

How is the 'new' job going?

After 2.786 years not too badly. I've been looking to buy my own tractor for the past few months. Just searching for a tolerable deal. Need work/life/money to find a balance now that personal life has stabilized.
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Offline Blunder

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  • Motorcycles: 01 Suzuki GSF1200S, '96 Isuzu Hondo (Chevy S-10 P/U)
Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2014, 10:42:45 PM »
BTW, I spent last night in Sac at the 49er T/Stop so I could make an early morning delivery in San Leandro, then a pickup in American Canyon after lunch and now I'm in Corning getting ready to sleep. I tell ya,  nostalgia for the Bay Area is nice but after 15 years away and seeing it again I think I prefer it out here in the valley. The mountains are only a few miles away and the Mexican food is excellent if you know where to look.
Torque is cheap.

Offline 5outta6

  • Member
  • Location: Northern California
  • Posts: 45
  • Motorcycles: KLR, CT90
Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2014, 03:09:35 PM »
Blunder:  All sounds good.    (pm sent to you)

Offline rgbeard

  • Member
  • Location: Ensenada, MX., and Phoenix, AZ
  • Posts: 1120
  • Motorcycles: '01 Triumph Speed Triple, '03 GSXR 1000
Re: Relocating to the Bay Area - Where to Live?
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2014, 09:10:09 PM »
Nodaclu:

This?

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For those that don't get it:  http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Green_Show
IBA: 63413