Avnet did a 40% layoff in 2003, including my e-commerce team.  Except for me.  I'd anticipated it and lined up an offer from previous co-workers, so I volunteered for the layoff and collected a $15K check. But that startup died six months later so I struck out into the contracting world.

I had three reasons to take a contract:

  • had a new technical skill I wanted to learn
  • had a great pay rate / title
  • in a location I wanted to explore

I've only met one person, ever, that figured this out.  From 2004 to 2014, I crossed the continental US four times.  I met two or three people every day, about ten times more than my previous life.

The routes I traveled are marked in red

I lived in

  • New York for 3 months
  • New Jersey for 3 months
  • Charlotte, NC for 2 months
  • Atlanta, GA for 2 months
  • Ft Lauderdale, FL for 6 months
  • Herndon, VA for 1 year
  • Fredericksburg, VA for 2 months
  • Winchester, VA for 2 months
  • Hartford, CT for 2 months
  • Newington, CT for 8 months
  • Westminster, CO for 2 years
  • Portland, OR for 1 year
  • Seattle, WA for 2 years

And as I lived in each area, I visited surrounding areas on weekends, holidays and sometimes longer between contracts.


Florida

  • Sloppy Joe's in Key West
  • Hollywood Theater
  • Key Largo
  • Spring break in Los Osos
  • South Beach
  • Air Sea show in Ft Lauderdale
  • Everglades
  • Naples
  • Palmetto
  • West Palm Beach
  • Panama City
  • Mobile, AL

Washington, DC

  • French embassy
  • Italian embassy
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • JFK Center
  • National Gallery of Art
  • International Spy Museum
  • Tyson's Corner
  • National Mall
  • Spring Break at Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Charleston, SC
  • Morehead City, NC
  • Recessions club
  • USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, VA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Buckhead, GA
  • IBM in Smyrna, GA
  • The Rotunda
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Beach

Denver

  • Many restaurants in Boulder
  • The Church club
  • Milk club
  • Blue Ice lounge
  • Blackhawk casinos
  • Central City casinos
  • Cripple Creek casinos
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Denver International Airport
  • Golden
  • Ft Collins
  • Colorado Springs
  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • DEFCON 14, Las Vegas
  • Salt Lake City, UT

New York

  • Empire State Building
  • Wall Street apartment, by the Exchange
  • Central Park
  • Roosevelt Center
  • JP Morgan private bank
  • Scores club (Howard Stern hangout)
  • Rutgers University, NJ
  • The Blue Room
  • Verizon Headquarters in NJ
  • DEFCON 13, Las Vegas
  • Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  • Atlantic City, NJ
  • Edison, NJ
  • Bahamas

Hartford

  • The Mansions in Providence
  • Waterfire festival in Providence
  • Fetish Fair Flea Market in Providence
  • Boston Marathon
  • Salem, MA, witch graveyard
  • Cadillac Ranch in Southington
  • Yale in New Haven
  • Stamford
  • Bridgeport
  • Foxwoods casino
  • Mohegan Sun casino
  • USS Constitution in Boston, MA

Portland

  • Rose garden
  • Portland Zoo
  • Portland aerial tram
  • Sanctuary club
  • The Catalyst
  • Star theater
  • Nike campus (amazing)
  • Tillamook
  • Pacific City
  • Lincoln City
  • Florence
  • Coos Bay
  • Gold beach
  • Astoria, WA

Seattle

  • The Vogue club
  • The Mercury club
  • Hempfest
  • Fremont Fair
  • Seattle Erotic Art Festival
  • Center for Sex Positive Culture
  • Microsoft HQ
  • Google HQ
  • Space Needle
  • Olympic Peninsula
  • San Juan Island
  • Vashon Island
  • Everett
  • Renton
  • Capitol Hill
  • Bothell
  • Kirkland
  • Seattle Art Museum
  • DEFCON 15, Las Vegas
  • Forks
  • Quinault
  • Everett
  • Cascades Highway
  • Lewiston, ID