Let's Buy a Car, Florida Edition - Prologue

One thing that I've come to enjoy (and truly miss) about living in Portland is the simplicity of not needing a car. Biking everywhere was simply a pleasure, despite Portland always being sloped in the direction opposite of where you're headed - both ways, in the rain and snow and sun.

Source: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/34772

If biking isn't sufficient, then the MAX would get you there too for $2.50 each way.

Source: http://trimet.org/max/

And if that doesn't do it, there's a vast network of ridesharers and carpoolers who take the responsibility pretty seriously.

Here in Saint Petersburg and Tampa, unfortunately, the experience isn't quite the same.

TBARTA, Tampa Bay Regional Transport Authority, don't think you should announce something before it's set up.

Probably not a good sign either... straight from the vanpool finder on tbarta.com.

The car culture is still alive and well. So, I guess as they say, When in Rome...

This will be an uphill battle... so...

Let's get ourselves a car

The motivation? I was contacted by Bob B., a recruiter at Insight Global, last week on Friday. Given I had only just received a vital part to repair my phone that next day on Saturday, I missed the call.

Going through all the missed calls and messages left on my voicemail, I got to Bob's, indicating that he had a mechanical engineering position available that he'd like to speak with me about. As we're searching for our boat and saving every penny we can spare to pay for the vessel, its refit, and the sailing thereafter, I'm all for exploring any opportunities to aid in the finance portion of it.

The call will have to wait until the next business day on Monday. The return call was the typical pre-screen. I've had extensive mechanical engineering experience in many difference industries all over the US.

The killer for the position is that the position required experience with PTC Creo - which is funny. Because I've extensive experience with the mother and father who supplied the DNA which spawned Creo: CoCreate Solid Designer and PTC ProEngineer Wildfire.

CoCreate SolidDesigner/ME10 ... Source: http://apps.cocreate.com/exploreme10/explore_3d/sd_gate_en/soliddes.htm

... + PTC Pro/Engineer Wildfire ... Source: http://support.ptc.com/products/proe/wildfire2/tryout/tutorials/en/intro/printable_page.htm

... = PTC Creo

yo dawg, I heard you like SolidDesigner so I put SolidDesigner in your Pro/E...

But, what did perk his attention was my other experience in software development, something that I've been doing privately, professionally, and as a contractor since I was in high school.

Well long story short, Monday turned into an interview on Thursday which turned into a job offer which I accepted on Friday after a quick run-through of what's going on and approval with Asa.

So, with that, I'll be needing a car. And my cursory first foray into that realm here in Florida has churned up some interesting trends on Craigslist which I'll be sharing on this blog as I delve deeper into my options.

My first impression? The image and machismo that drive the decision towards darkened windows, spoilers, and gaudy rims seems to be alive and well.

Sick buick, brah... they see me rollin'... alloy rims...

Rolling into work in a swamper? So much cred, bro.

Seriously folks, while I can entertain the argument that darker windows may help extend the life of leather seats, wide tire 15's on a civic bring down the price of the car rather than up.

In any case, this should prove interesting (still don't like buying cars).

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