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The end of a long commute nears

The headline: jbum looks for new job.

For the past three years or so I’ve been commuting an hour and change to Santa Monica from the Burbank/Pasadena area. First to Yahoo! where I did front-end development for Yahoo! Music, and then to Topspin, a music industry startup that helps musicians acquire fans and sell music to them. Both remarkable companies where I worked with a lot of excellent people. They made the commute bearable.

Still, three years is a long time to be driving that far, and not quite doing what I really need to be doing.

So I’ve decided to try to find work that is more closely aligned with my core interests, and that is closer to home (Burbank/Pasadena/Glendale area). I’ll be transitioning from a full-time employee at Topspin to a consultant, and I have worked out a schedule with those aforementioned excellent people to make it happen. Ian, Shamal, Kris, Bob and many others at Topspin have been wonderfully accommodating about this. They’re good people. Did I mention they made the commute bearable?

So what are my core interests? If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will have a good idea. My interests are fairly wide ranging, and involve art, mathematics, computer graphics, music, audio, puzzles, games, and history. I also love teaching (and have mastered the art of keeping students awake). I’m very good at making software tools for digital artists, and front-end or application programming in various languages – something I’ve been doing for a long time. I can be a good writer when I need to be.

I’m not particularly interested in making shopping carts, or business programming.

I don’t expect to find a full-time position that is both adequately stimulating and local in a short stretch of time, so I may be taking on additional consulting work in a couple months or so. We’ll see.

So, if you spy anything shiny in my neck of the woods, please let me know!

2 Responses to “The end of a long commute nears”

  1. Lynn Finch Says:

    Jim, it is always with great fascination that I follow your career and interests.

    I too have dropped off the commuter grid, happily, for over 2 years now. I don’t wear a watch anymore, that went away back in 2001. Of course, that means digging out my cell phone, but my circadian clock keeps me well tuned, I can usually guess the time with in 10 minutes. I eat and sleep (and bathe!) when I wish, mostly. It has been remarkably liberating. The people that I have chosen to keep in my life make it fascinating, and I count you amongst them.

    I am so looking forward to following your adventures and revelations as you free yourself further from the shackles of convention. When people tell me I’ve made an impact on their lives, I get that “aw, shucks” feeling, because I feel that the people who have influenced my life and creativity are so much more gifted than I am, and you are near the top of that very short list!

    You are a rare gem, sir. Those shiny things will gravitate toward your amazing creative magnetism! Thanks for being you. Now you can say, “Aw, shucks!”

  2. Greg Diller Says:

    Wow that’s a brutal drive ; I’m surprised you lasted 3 years. I applaud your decision to try this change. As hard as it might be and it may require lifestyle adjustments for you and your family I think you’ll find it’s worth the freedom.

    Back when MGM was in Santa Monica I lived in the Miracle Mile area, not far about 7 miles. The trip OUT of Sta Monica was getting increasingly worse, it was then I approached them about telecommuting 2 days a week. It wasn’t so difficult for them, after all they had set me up with a remote PC on a VPN for after hours support.

    We later moved to Century City and my trips were cut in half , still I kept my telecommuting arrangement. Shortly after that Sony purchased MGM and I was ending a 15 year career with them.

    They gave me an incredible severance package and I got hold of my life again, taking some time off. Less than a year later they contacted me about working for them part time, which I have been doing for the past year and a half , all from home.

    I’ve rediscovered life, can go on hikes during the weekdays and have other freedoms. Not everyone can do that I understand. For me I was debt free and my car paid off ; I missed the housing bubble (intentionally) and didn’t hold a mortgage. Things change rapidly these days but I am now looking for homes priced at $50K outside of Calif and will buy in cash.

    You are a very talented engineer (much more than I am) , market yourself properly, as Jessica Hasson once told me, put down EVERYTHING including thePalace !! BTW, I loved Yahoo’s music client and thought the plugin API was genius ; build a framework and make all of the components plugins if I remember ; slick !!

    I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for ya =)