Monday April 20th, 2009
Life in OlyWa
A lot of things around here are prefixed with "Oly", shortening of Olympia, therefore it's pronounced with a long 'O'. Even at work, our code modules are prefixed with "Oly". Anyway, things in Olympia are great. Today was especially nice as it was about 72 degrees and blue skies, essentially a perfect day. Everyone was outside enjoying the weather. I could see Mt. Rainier looking out east and the Olympic Mountains in the NW; usually there are too many clouds so you can't see them. I bought an apartment with a 6-month lease to give me enough time to scout out the area and buy a house. I'm in a great location: I walk to work, I can go down the hill to Capitol Lake (the lake in front of the capitol building ... duh) as part of my running route, there is a Barnes and Noble, grocery store, and mall, all within 5 minutes of driving, not to mention downtown Olympia and Interstate 5. My running route is pleasant, with few cars, and lots of trees and water, yet, I'm close enough to the businesses and roads that everything is convenient. Just about a perfect balance. Now if I could just find a house in the same location that's reasonable. I've looked at a few houses and they're more expensive than in Floria, so I don't know if I'm just looking in the wrong areas or if housing prices just haven't fallen here like they have elsewhere. I'm hesitant to plunk down $375k for a 3-bedroom.

I went shopping this weekend - filling in the apartment with various kitchen and housing items that I never owned or threw away when I moved. I stopped by the Dollar Store to check it out as I've heard they are becoming quite popular. I've never been a big fan of these types of stores, and my venture in the Olympia dollar store didn't do anything to change my mind. In fact, the store was a bit frightening and I think I'm now scarred for life. I don't know why, but the items just seem too cheap, and I dare never buy something that I would actually eat or use to eat. How do they make this stuff so cheap?? It's disturbing. As for grocery shopping, Safeway dominates, but I prefer a store called Top Foods. Food prices here are outrageously expensive, which is probably why Costco is so popular in these parts. I always thought oranges should be dirt cheap in Florida but they weren't, so I had no expectations that apples would be cheap here, but I was wrong. The small apples you can buy for 25 cents each, and they are often on sale for 10 cents each. It sounds like something my Dad would say: "back when I was a kid we used to buy apples for a dime" or something like that. Other than these two grocery stores, there's no other competition, but I did read online that they're planning on opening a Trader Joe's in Olympia this summer. Sweet.

I've been to Seattle but haven't headed out to the national parks yet; I plan to do that next weekend. However, I have been looking at the wildlife around Olympia. I have a little pond in my backyard with all the common wildlife: mallards, wood ducks, steller's jays, rock doves, american robins, eastern gray squirrels, and on occasion I've seen a rabbit but I'm not sure which kind. Down at capitol lake I've seen buffleheads and canadian geese along with several birds also common in Florida: double-crested cormorants, great blue heron, and american coots. Anyway, it's kinda fun checking out the different wildlife around here.

I just wanted to give a brief summary of things here in OlyWa. I'm enjoying the change in weather and change of environment. I really like this city. Work is going well. Things are good.
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Tuesday April 21st, 2009

Sook says:

I heart Trader Joe's! Lucky you. Have you checked out zillow.com to see what's in the area?

Thursday April 30th, 2009

Phillip says: