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About MightyChimp

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  1. I read that book. I thought it was a great read. Some of the characters are mind blowing. People made a fortune by recognizing the whole house of cards for what it was, but then felt like crap because they realised what they saw coming was financial ruin. I guess it's hard to feel good knowing that when the mushroom clouds appear you made a fortune by betting your mate that someone would be stupid enough to push the big red button.
  2. I work in the US and just closed applications on a job opening. The position is part-time (17 hours per week) and doesn't pay too much ($16.78 per hour). It is in education and is an entry level position for possible state jobs. In a two week period we had 100 applicants, the majority of which had BA's, a significant number had Master's Degrees and some had PhD's. This is now pretty standard whenever we open up a new position. Make of it what you will.
  3. To argue that Vietnam is in the "Premier League" and the US in the "Championship" of economies is laughable.
  4. Man, I'm sorry to hear that. I know the bureaucracy of immigration/emigration in the US can be a total headache. If the property equity was in the UK was there no way to sell up, convert to cash, and then be in a postiion to qualify? I know it can seem daunting and this may not be possible, but good luck in whatever you decide to do/wherever you are.
  5. Hey UK Debt Slave, Did you ever manage to make it out to Astoria? I have my citizenship interview on Tuesday.
  6. Good luck! I got mine about 8 years ago and plan to apply for citizenship soon.
  7. I have a brother in law in Tacoma (but I think SW Washington is nicer than the Seattle-Tacoma area), otherwise its just me, the Mrs and the two hooligans we live with that pass for our kids. The rest of the wifes family all live in LA and all mine live in the UK. Come visit it first, but if you are interested in the US it's as good a place as anywhere in my opinion.
  8. Sounds nice. The whole area seems to try to support local business which is something I appreciate. When are you hoping to move?
  9. Thats a lovely place UKDS. I caught some Salmon out there a couple of months ago. Very tasty. Let me know how you get on.
  10. Washington, but I live right on the border with Oregon. Climate is similar to the UK, but perhaps with more defined seasons. Landscape is beautiful if you like the outdoors, hiking, fishing, trees etc. It has beautiful forests, mountains, beaches, etc. Where I live there is the general affluence spectrum like anywhere else. Not quite the extremes of when I lived in Los Angeles though. I live quite close to Portland which is very cosmopolitan like any major city. I have experienced zero negative reaction towards foreigners. None whatsoever. When I lived in LA, because of the nature of that state and what has happened, there is some resentment towards illegal immigration, but it is more because of the economic problems that illegal immigration has wrought and it is not really directed at individual immigrants. And if you are a legal immigrant people bend over backwards to welcome you. Like anywhere there are some bigots but no more and probably a good deal less than most places. The US has a well-documented past of racial "difficulties" but it has never held me back. My wife is of a different race and my friends look like the United Nations. If you enjoy meeting with a diverse cosmopolitan crowd (as I do) this is a very easy place to do so. And as a Brit in America I don't think you would encounter any negative reaction at all, provided you are a decent live and let live sort. I guess how many hours in the office depends on your industry but 8-5 is typical and I haven't experienced much deviation from that. My position is not hourly so occasionally I have to stay late or work weekends, but it is balanced by a higher salary than my hourly employees. For the hourly employees if they deviate from their scheduled hours they get overtime or comp time. I have never had a problem with bad neighbours but I am sure some exist. We just finished buying a house and looked at a few remote places that were very nice but in the end opted for somewhere a bit more developed as Mrs Chimp wanted to be close to amenities. Since we bought I have had 5 neighbours make it a point to come round and introduce themselves, offer gardening tools, and generally be so friendly I have to pinch myself that I am not in a horror movie where everyone is part of a satanic cult. We took the kids out for Halloween last night and it was amazing, thousands of kids were in the street going round all these decorated houses and everyone was very friendly and nice. This is an experience that is different from LA. But even in LA I never had bad neighbours. As with anything though, they no doubt exist, fortunately just not where I live. If you rent where I live you can get a nice 3 bedroom home for around 1200 dollars a month. If you only need a 1-2 bedroom probably around 800-900 dollars a month. It is probably a bit more in Portland. If you earn 40,000 plus per year I think you should be fine. Between 35-40,000 and saving might be difficult. Less than 35,0000 pa and you might struggle a bit. If you have two incomes earning more than 40,000 shouldn't be a problem. Depending on what you do most industries pay upwards of that for experienced professionals. Not into sport - no problem at all. Even though Americans enjoy their sports it is nothing like the ubiquitous topic that it is in the UK or, although I have never been there, I suspect OZ. I quite enjoy sports but rarely do I talk about it with my colleagues, people don't care about it that much to be honest. Serious fans abound but it is not a major topic for that many people. Don't get me started on my beloved Lakers though, I could go on forever. I hope that helps. A quick point that I experienced. If you do emigrate you probably find that you will go through stages. First, all that is different is not necessary worse, it is just different. Avoid the natural temptation to view these differences as somehow negatively reflecting on your new country. After about 2-3 years, maybe more or less, you may get the urge to return to that which is familiar. If this happens (and it did to me) take a few fact-finding missions back to the old country to see if you are remembering it with rose-tinted glasses. I think it takes about 5 years to get to know a place so don't worry if settling in takes a while. As an Ex-Pat you can feel like you are a citizen of nowhere, personally I find that quite liberating but it bothers some people. Lastly, the UK will move on without you and will not be the same if you return after a long absence, and you might find people there treat you "differently". I hope my thoughts help and good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  11. I grew up in the UK but have lived in the US for 13 years. I just moved to the Northwest, very close to where UKDS is trying to get to. I guess I live the typical life here, if there is such a thing. I have spent most of my time in Soouthern Cali but got out just in time, a couple of years on the East Coast and have driven from West to East and then back again. As I said, I have now moved to the Northwest and have no plans of leaving this area, it is one of the best places in the US in my humble opinion, and I have seen a lot of it. To get ahead you have to work hard, be smart, look for opportunities, and be a bit lucky, probably like a lot of places I guess. The people are generally good decent folk, a few nutters, and a lot in between, again like most places. The patriotism does get a bit overbearing sometimes but I now sort of appreciate it a bit. It is easy to recognize it as a populace control mechanism but it takes a bit longer, at least for me, for the cracks of its advantages to shine through. Some major differences to the UK: Holiday time from work, it really is less, and noticeable, but I got used to it after awhile. I sometimes think if I ever moved back to the UK (not bloody likely though) my work ethic would be looked upon with amazement. Housing, generally speaking, not counting the very poor, you get a lot, lot more for your money in some great communities. This is most noticeable outside major urban areas. When I return to visit the UK I am stunned by the newbuilds and the rabbit hutch utopia they seem to be striving for. Sport, I only ever got into basketball, the other stuff is jst weird. The size and wilderness of parts of it is breathtaking. It is also impossible to say "the US" without clarifying a region or place, it is too big to do otherwise with any degree of accuracy. My post is probably a bit rambling, we just changed the clocks back but my kids don't seem to have got the message. So I am typing away while they burn the house down fuelled by Halloween candy. Sorry if I am all over the place a bit but let me know if you want to know anything else about what it is like here.
  12. I left England 13 years ago at the tender age of 22. I would then return to see my family every couple of years and always had a nice time, they live in a small rural village. Two years ago I seriously contemplated moving back there with the wife and kids. I elected to take one last trip back before starting my plan to return. Sadly, or not, as I do not regret the decision, I decided that for now and the foreseeable future moving back would have been a very bad move for my two young boys. Job opportunities were non-existent except for a handful of crap to average paid council jobs that I fully expect to disappear in about 3-4 years. There was no longer a sense of community which always used to exist, and people were utterly obsessed with house prices. Despite missing my brothers and sisters and mum and dad terribly I just could not bring my own kids there. All in all I have no doubt I made the correct deicision and will still be able to get back once in awhile, but I detest this current government for turning a country that I grew up in, and am a proud citizen of, into a place where I felt I would be hurting my own kids life experiences if they grew up there. If you want to know, I now live in SW Washington, in the US, not too far from where UK Debt Slave is trying to set up. By the way UK Debt Slave, I caught me a couple of nice Salmon out of Astoria a few weeks ago, very, very tasty.
  13. All my family are in the UK and I have lived in the US for the past 13 years. Both my brother and I are at that stage in our lives when we have bought houses. Everytime my brother asks how big my house is I tell him in square feet. But he always wants to know how many bedrooms it has. I tell him but also state it doesn't matter that much because you can always redesign from the inside but short of an extension cannot change the square footage. When I ask him about the size of his house we have the reverse conversation. Even after buying a place he has no idea how big or small it actually is. All he knows is how many bedrooms it has! I kept telling him he should ask for this information when he was looking but all he said was that they don't do things like that in England. I can't help but think that people are getting ripped off and this is THE major contributor to what appears to me to be very small new builds in the UK.
  14. If gay prides make money then why can't private enterprise fund it and reap the profits? Why should tax payers have to fund something that according to you doesn't need funding? Then perhaps tax money can be spent on what government should be funding, refuse collection and police officers on the street. Or better yet, reduce taxes if they do not need to be spent on that which private industry openly admits can be afforded ie profitable. FWIW I am a huge gay rights supporter, believe in gay marriages, and protection of civil liberties extended to gay people.
  15. How about this, "I tell you what sweetie (be as condescending as you like) I quite like this property and am a serious buyer. I look forward to working something out, but as you have a personality I find extremely distasteful, not to mention unprofessional, it will be a cold day in hell before you see any commission on any sale we may be able to do. So go ahead and do us a favour and find me another agent quick pronto, preferrably one that has some manners and is a professional. Oh and when you return bring us a cup of tea would you with some nice digestives. Snap to it we're burning daylight here and if truth be told I don't really enjoy your company." You may get the house, won't have to work with her, and get a chance to let her know exactly how you feel. Practice with your OH you could have some fun with this, also feel free to make any adjustments to the speech as the situation dictates.
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