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Effective today (May 1) I am no longer employed. Effective tomorrow I am taking an extended vacation on the West Coast. Which means that I will be on perlmonks from time to time, but my access to the Internet will be flaky. So I will be around..but sporadically. Oh, and I have an insane backlog of messages to go through. (Over 100. On the + side I gained 1695 XP. :-)
About the vacation. On Friday I fly out to Oregon, and I start travelling around. The main purposes of this trip are to meet family, meet friends, and get a picture of the overall job situation. (Yeah, pitiful to non-existent. I know. I need to find out where the relatively bright "pitiful" spots are versus the hopeless "non-existent" ones...) So far I am planning to be at (but not as a speaker!) the May 14 perlmongers meeting in Portland, OR, and the May 20 Seattle meeting. So far I seem likely to miss Vancouver. And starting somewhere in late May until June 20 I will be in California. (Yeah, I know that I am missing the July OSDN in Portland - I didn't have complete freedom in choosing my timing.) Unfortunately there seem to be a shortage of organized events there - I may have to invent locations and dates and hope that something can be pulled together. Anyone with ideas for events that I should try to make can contact me here, or send email to ben_tilly at my operamail.com address.
Also my impresssion is that in my absence my reputation has expanded beyond the reality. I hope that nobody is too dismayed by how much I will fall short of an ideal that nobody could match.
Of course in some ways I was never absent. I only monitored perlmonks sporadically, but did continue to post anonymously. Here is a sample:
Also I note that if I spent less time here, I spent more elsewhere. For instance I had more room to write posts like My thoughts on free trade and white collar jobs and Election machine conflicts of interest which express what I think on topics far from Perl.
Furthermore I should address the question of why I was gone for so long. As many who have been around the block a few times know, for every public story there are several private stories that only sometimes get heard. That is the case here. I won't talk about the details, but suffice it to say that when organizations take a close look at whether they should be enforcing rules against someone, there is some triggering event. To name one recent incident, the first reports of DARPA funding being pulled from OpenBSD said that it was because the military feared that OpenBSD would be used by terrorists. The real story, of course, was that Theo made nasty comments about the US military, and the wrong people got upset over it. Similarly I created my own problems, but unlike Theo they got resolved and my situation with my employer was sufficiently good that I chose to live with the result for over a year. (My reason for leaving now is due to my desire to leave NYC now that I can, and not any conflict with my employer.)
So now that this is posted, time to sort through my huge backlog of messages...