When I first came out here about 43 years ago, it was a happening place. I was just joined the Navy at age 17. A few years later I got out of the Navy and was then wandering around in a daze, wondering what I would do with my life.
After having traveled and lived in other states, especially in the Midwest, I again wandered back to California. It was the only place that I seemed to fit in. I was a kind of half-hippie, half-beatnik, half-science-geek. Whatever I was, it fit in here better than Texas or Nebraska, that’s for sure.
In time, after a rocky start with hard labor jobs, I was able to get into computer shops and eventually became a systems programmer, and then a computer scientist. I designed operating systems, control systems for robots, and myriad other contraptions used in automated manufacturing.
Whatever, those days were “the good old days” in my life at least. And those days are gone. No longer are there any golden opportunities in California. Until this economic collapse is repaired, and some kind of jobs return to this state – I am screwed.
At age 60, I am too old to work as a hard laborer now. I can’t just wander around in jeans and a tee-shirt looking for day labor or mural painting jobs like I did at age 20. Having worked in the computer field so long, it would seem that I’d have an ironclad secure job. But that is not the case.
Anyway, I will not give up. I will keep trying. I keep up with the younger crowd, and try all the new tools, just to keep “hip”. Although .NET, Android, Java and other modern programming environments help to standardize around the “Web 2.0” phenomena, I can’t help but think they are just as temporary as C and C++ were as my tools of the trade for over 20 years.
Still, I will keep going until my brain falls out or my hands crumble, even if I have to push a cart down the street looking for beer and soda cans in between.