The Real Reason Why Austin is Truly Superb

Do a search for “best reasons to move to Austin” or “10 reasons to live in Austin” or “Austin vs Portland” or “Austin vs Seattle” and you’ll get a swarm of rehashed and regurgitated articles about how the city has low unemployment, good schools, nice weather, and even some hopelessly naive sentiments like “Austin people are friendly”. But the true propeller behind a good life in Austin, TX is the city’s wealth of locally owned businesses. These businesses are supported by the many Austinites who have a acute taste for quality, contribution, and community. Local businesses in general don’t offer the lowest cost product, they don’t have that luxury. But local shoppers are looking at the big picture, the relationship of local buyers and sellers that makes a city flourish.

As a personal challenge, try to buy only local goods and services for one month in your city. Depending on your location this may prove to be quite difficult or even impossible. In Austin, not only is it easy, it’s pleasurable. Everything from buying groceries, furniture, hats, alcohol, jewelry, to hiring a moving company, or a pool service company, or getting a weekend rest at a hotel – all these otherwise normal shopping experiences, they taste sweeter when you feel and understand the local connection.

My First SpectraCell Micronutrient Results

I just received my first SpectraCell Micronutrient lab results. This is the test Timothy Ferris mentions in The 4-Hour Body. The test costs $400, but if you visit a clinic or doctor’s office to draw the blood they will probably charge you a consultation fee of close to $200. So skip the doctor and go straight to a draw center like Any Lab Test Now.

I’m sharing my results here because I didn’t find many others doing so and I’m pretty sure people are searching for real test results to see how they are represented.

I plan to take the test again in 6 months.

spectracell-results-1 spectracell-results-2 spectracell-results-3 spectracell-results-4

Job Search Analysis: Hospitalist Jobs

The field of hospital medicine is one vibrant and growing profession. Hospitalists are one of the few groups of people who do not worry about a bad economy. Their career is recession-proof because of the increasing number patients that lose their health insurance through unemployment. When you do not have a regular doctor, you visit the hospital more often; a hospital which will be staffing more and more hospitalists.

Despite the growing demand for these physicians and the high placement fees paid to recruiters, there are few quality job boards dedicated to hospitalist employment. The most recognized job board is on the Society of Hospital Medicine. But it is far from sufficient to someone with very specific criteria, because they usually only have around 200+ jobs. probably has the most hospitalist jobs of any dedicated job board (not counting job scrapers like Indeed and SimplyHired).

For physicians that already know what location they want to work in, they can also seek out location specific sites, which are becoming more popular in many professions. I found some great ones for hospitalists:

  • – AZ Jobs
  • – CA Jobs
  • – CO Jobs
  • – FL Jobs
  • – IL Jobs
  • – IN Jobs
  • – MD Jobs
  • – MA Jobs
  • – NV Jobs
  • – NY Jobs
  • – NC Jobs
  • – OH Jobs
  • – OR Jobs
  • – PA Jobs
  • – TN Jobs
  • – TX Jobs
  • – WA Jobs
  • is probably the last place a physician would think to search for a new opportunity and for good reason. The one-size-fits-all approach to employment ads is hardly impressive to the people within the profession. These people need to see industry specific details upfront and center. For hospitalists some of the most important details are Schedule Description and Shift Description. This information should never be omitted or buried in a huge paragraph. With a hospital medicine specific site, that won’t happen.

    Know this before signing up for Earth Class Mail

    Today I canceled my Earth Class Mail account. When I signed up last year, my needs were simple.  I just needed a place to see online who I am getting mail from. Most often I didn’t even need to open/scan the mail (which saved me $1.50 a pop). I could easily discern what mail needed what response just from knowing who sent it. As the weeks rolled on I was updating my address in more and places. Then I suddenly stopped to consider the cost to wean myself off of the service or to simply convert to another virtual post office (should a better company arise or Earth Class Mail decides to hike their rates). So what forwarding options do they provide to ex-customers? I searched their site and was shocked to read:

    “If we receive mail for you after you’ve closed your account, US postal regulations require us to continue accepting it until six months after your closure date. Within the first two months, we hold onto this mail in case you decide to reopen your account. Once two months have passed, we’ll recycle any existing and incoming mail. At the end of the mandated six months, we’ll begin to refuse the new mail and return it to sender. As with all Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies (CMRAs), you will be unable to fill out a Change of Address form with the USPS when ending your service with us. Because of these policies and limitations, it’s important to directly contact anyone who’s sending mail to your Earth Class Mail address before you close it.”

    Basically you can’t forward mail period, not through them, not through USPS. There’s no system in place to notify senders of your new address. Good luck remembering all the places you updated it.

    They do a great job of making it sound like they are merely obeying US postal regulations. But these regulations were not designed with virtual postal mailboxes in mind, these companies didn’t exist until recently. So Earth Class Mail could devise their own forwarding solution to give customers like me peace of mind about furthering my dependence on their service. Alas this company and the industry as a whole are not at that stage yet. Virtual mailboxes are just a cool toy, not a real utility.

    So I got out while the damage is still minimal. Thankfully I did not use my virtual address on any printed materials!