The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

February 26, 2005

My Dust Bowl Migration

In high school, many of my English teachers had an affinity for modern and minority authors. Thus, somehow I missed out on being forced to read many of the ‘classics’. Of course, one of them did assign Anthem by Ayn Rand. So I’ve started going back and reading some of the books that I missed out on. (Yes, I am enough of a nerd that I consider it “missing out”, and now am going back and doing it).

The most recent was The Grapes of Wrath, a story about dust bowl farmers leaving a situation where there was no work for them, only to arrive at a situation where there was no work for them. Written in the populist new-deal era, it of course looks upon unions and collectivism as the solution. Few people seem to understand that the only constant in life is change, and that rather than tilting at windmills, change dictates that seeking employment outside subsistence farming was necessary for the dust bowl migrants.

In a desire to not be stuck in the hellhole of a modern-day Sysiphus, I have decided that it is time to jump ahead of the curve. California has ceased to be the Golden State, and is no longer a land of opportunity for a young couple looking to buy a house and start a family. It’s a sad day, because California is one of the most beautiful, temperate states in our great Union, and while I did not grow up here, my wife’s family and childhood are here. But when an electrical engineer cannot earn enough money to buy a house and earn a living, it is time for a change. That said, we’re off to the ‘Dirty South’. In mid-May, we trade in the land of fruits, flakes and nuts for Hot-lanta. I’m interested to watch the transition of my wife from Valley Girl to Georgia Peach, and excited for the prospect of having a real, actual, finished basement to myself. To all the people that have ruined California, you have it all to yourself now: I’ve found greener pastures.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:39 am || Permalink || Comments (11) || Trackback URL || Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Mrs. TF here, If you want green you can come to Houston. It’s hot as H… The housing market here is ideal. You can buy a 2,200 square foot house in a nice neighborhood for around $ 130,000. You won’t get a basement because we are too close to sea level. Enjoy Atlanta and good luck.

    Comment by T. F. Stern — February 26, 2005 @ 11:59 am
  2. I updated my Why Am I A Bloginator? post after reading this. Brad, I completely understand. It’s sad and your decision to move makes it harder for me to stay. Good luck and best wishes. Let us know how it goes.

    Comment by Eric — February 26, 2005 @ 12:12 pm
  3. Well, we’re going from a 675 sq ft 1-bedroom apartment to a 3400 sq ft 4-bedroom house with our mortgage being only *slightly* higher than our current rent. So it’s already looking nice. We just need to figure out how to get some furniture to fill the place…

    Mrs. Stern, I thought you Texans didn’t take too kindly to Californians? Maybe it doesn’t apply to voluntary expatriates? ;-)

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 26, 2005 @ 12:26 pm
  4. I am sure you will love it here. We are a little over an hour west of downtown Atlanta, in the country. I also am a CA transplant, having lived in the Bay Area from 1976 to 1981. Getting shot at was not as fun and exciting as TV would have you believe.

    Comment by Greg — February 26, 2005 @ 2:56 pm
  5. Mrs. Stern here, I have nothing against California. I have lots of friends there. I don’t think I would want to live with earthquakes and mudslides. The cost of living there is outrageous besides I was born and raised here in Texas and have not plans to leave. If I were to move anywhere else it would probably be Colorado. I love the Rockie Mountains. Enjoy that nice big house. You will be surprised how quick you will fill it with furniture.

    Comment by T. F. Stern — February 26, 2005 @ 3:04 pm
  6. I’m just glad that I am not the only geek that has gone back to read those books on the required reading lists from high school. All though I hate to say it, but I really want the five hours back that it took to read A Catcher in the Rye. I’ve just started Catch 22.

    Comment by ethne — February 27, 2005 @ 7:46 am
  7. Catch 22 was used to pass part of a 12-hour flight to Taiwan last year… That and To Kill a Mockingbird.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest is up there on the agenda soon.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 27, 2005 @ 12:51 pm
  8. Having lived in California I can only say that people tend to get the government they deserve.

    it’s interesting though how amazingly expensive parts of the state are. sure, taxes are incredibly high and the government has been, until recently, disfunctional for many years. But people still want to live there because of the weather.

    so it’s hard for me to be upset at high prices when they’re caused by market forces.

    That said, I think real estate prices in general are silly and I’m very happy to have sold my place in Chicago and now be a renter in Colorado. I think I’ll have a chance to buy property much cheaper in the next two years as interest rates rise.

    I can’t say I’m jealous of your moving to Atlanta, but the one friend of mine who lives there likes it a lot.

    And “Anthem” is awesome. You can see where Orwell got his insipiration for 1984.

    Comment by Rossputin — February 27, 2005 @ 2:21 pm
  9. “Anthem” is more than awesome. It’s incomparable.

    It’s good that you’re leaving the
    Republick of Kalifornia to The
    Ones Who Want to Control all that Moves
    and More.

    Comment by jomama — February 27, 2005 @ 7:01 pm
  10. Looks like I will be adding Anthem to the list.
    I want to re-read Fahrenheit 451.

    As far as moving to greener pastures -
    I live in Boston. Not the Boston area, but in Boston. The cost of living is ridiculous here. I am trying to purchase a “starter” condo – almost $400k. I haven’t lived here my whole life, but I have lived in the south (Greenville, SC and won’t be going back) and have lived in the mid-west (Detroit ‘burbs and won’t be going back there either). Love it here in the Northeast, despite the rude people, awful drivers and horrible weather.

    On second thought….Brad…do you have a spare bedroom in ATL?

    Comment by Wilson — February 28, 2005 @ 2:24 pm
  11. Wilson,
    I think I got a couple of spare bedrooms… I’m planning on building a bar in the basement and putting in a kegerator and a poker table… You can have the East Wing…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 28, 2005 @ 2:35 pm

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