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Old 11-19-2012, 09:27 PM
 
Location: IN
21,323 posts, read 37,244,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
It sounds great! You're not the first person to suggest Wisconsin, specifically Madison; people from various parts of the Midwest have suggested it to me several times. I suppose I should visit sometime, but the winters and the distance seem kind of scary.
Think about it some more and come back to the thread whenever you have any additional thoughts on the topic.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,576 posts, read 34,290,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Think about it some more and come back to the thread whenever you have any additional thoughts on the topic.
I don't see there's anything to think about; the winters up there are terrifying and the distance is unappealing. I've never been to Wisconsin, let alone Wisconsin in winter, so someone would have to actually tell me in detail what it's like.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:55 AM
 
Location: IN
21,323 posts, read 37,244,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
I don't see there's anything to think about; the winters up there are terrifying and the distance is unappealing. I've never been to Wisconsin, let alone Wisconsin in winter, so someone would have to actually tell me in detail what it's like.
I never stated that Wisconsin wasn't far away from Texas, but you mentioned earlier in this thread that Wisconsin matches many things that you are looking for including prevailing personalities of the populace in general. I'm familiar with Wisconsin winters as I lived in the Upper Midwest before as well as northern New England.

OK, here is what the winters are like in detail:

1) November- Usually fairly mild with highs ranging from the 40s up to 60F much of the time. Lows range from the 20s to 40sF. Heat is needed, but windows are double glaze with good insulation. Energy bill is usually $40-50 a month.
2) December- Usually colder with highs in the 30sF with lows mainly in the 20s and teensF. Feels a bit more wintry with a few snow events.
3) January and February are about the same as December except a touch colder. Energy bills will likely be higher during these months ($80-100).
4) March- basically a colder version of November but milder than the core winter months.

As mentioned, snowfall averages 40-50 inches per season in Madison, WI. While that sounds like a large number to those from Texas they have A LOT of equipment to clear roads in a very timely manner so the vast majority of the time (unless it is a large storm) it is not that bad at all.

Tires: Many buy a set of winter tires for extra traction and control, but that is not a necessity for those that live right in the city. Many people only live 10-15 minutes or LESS from where they work as Madison is a small metro area.

Winter Clothing Gear: The best way to combat winter is just have several layers. That works well much of the time.

Trails/Winter Sports: Madison has a plethora of trails that one can go on for cross country skiing as well as the annual winter festival that occurs during the middle of the season. For those that are more adventurous, some cross the frozen lake depending on ice thickness by skis or vehicle.


Another thing to keep in mind is that the climate is getting quite a bit warmer compared to the past. Madison winters are now similar to those of Illinois or Iowa and Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons are trending milder/warmer as well. I would think one would get tired of the unrelenting heat and scorching sun of Texas for much of the year, but that is just my opinion.

Seasonal changes in daylight are more significant the further north in latitude you go. Summer daylight hours are very long (14-15 hours) while Winter daylight hours are short (8-9 hours). That has been more of an adjustment for me than temperature/greater snowfall. I do most of my outdoor physical activity in the morning hours and the middle of the day in the winter when I have semi-direct sunlight.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:57 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,576 posts, read 34,290,563 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I never stated that Wisconsin wasn't far away from Texas, but you mentioned earlier in this thread that Wisconsin matches many things that you are looking for including prevailing personalities of the populace in general. I'm familiar with Wisconsin winters as I lived in the Upper Midwest before as well as northern New England.

OK, here is what the winters are like in detail:

1) November- Usually fairly mild with highs ranging from the 40s up to 60F much of the time. Lows range from the 20s to 40sF. Heat is needed, but windows are double glaze with good insulation. Energy bill is usually $40-50 a month.
2) December- Usually colder with highs in the 30sF with lows mainly in the 20s and teensF. Feels a bit more wintry with a few snow events.
3) January and February are about the same as December except a touch colder. Energy bills will likely be higher during these months ($80-100).
4) March- basically a colder version of November but milder than the core winter months.

As mentioned, snowfall averages 40-50 inches per season in Madison, WI. While that sounds like a large number to those from Texas they have A LOT of equipment to clear roads in a very timely manner so the vast majority of the time (unless it is a large storm) it is not that bad at all.

Tires: Many buy a set of winter tires for extra traction and control, but that is not a necessity for those that live right in the city. Many people only live 10-15 minutes or LESS from where they work as Madison is a small metro area.

Winter Clothing Gear: The best way to combat winter is just have several layers. That works well much of the time.

Trails/Winter Sports: Madison has a plethora of trails that one can go on for cross country skiing as well as the annual winter festival that occurs during the middle of the season. For those that are more adventurous, some cross the frozen lake depending on ice thickness by skis or vehicle.


Another thing to keep in mind is that the climate is getting quite a bit warmer compared to the past. Madison winters are now similar to those of Illinois or Iowa and Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons are trending milder/warmer as well. I would think one would get tired of the unrelenting heat and scorching sun of Texas for much of the year, but that is just my opinion.

Seasonal changes in daylight are more significant the further north in latitude you go. Summer daylight hours are very long (14-15 hours) while Winter daylight hours are short (8-9 hours). That has been more of an adjustment for me than temperature/greater snowfall. I do most of my outdoor physical activity in the morning hours and the middle of the day in the winter when I have semi-direct sunlight.
Thank you for the detailed response, I appreciate you taking the time.

I will admit that the winters still seem very intimidating; how much time do you spend shoveling driveways and paths? I don't like spending time outdoors in winter in Texas because it's too cold; I don't have the type of winter clothing one might have in Wisconsin, I just wear long pants, socks, shoes, a sweater, a wool coat, scarf, and sometimes a hat and gloves. They're not anything special like you'd get from L.L. Bean full of thinsulate or anything like that. No long underwear. I can't imagine doing something like skiing or ice skating; I don't go ice skating indoors in Texas because it's too cold. Even hockey games are torture for me, LOL...
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: IN
21,323 posts, read 37,244,230 times
Reputation: 13873
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Thank you for the detailed response, I appreciate you taking the time.

I will admit that the winters still seem very intimidating; how much time do you spend shoveling driveways and paths? I don't like spending time outdoors in winter in Texas because it's too cold; I don't have the type of winter clothing one might have in Wisconsin, I just wear long pants, socks, shoes, a sweater, a wool coat, scarf, and sometimes a hat and gloves. They're not anything special like you'd get from L.L. Bean full of thinsulate or anything like that. No long underwear. I can't imagine doing something like skiing or ice skating; I don't go ice skating indoors in Texas because it's too cold. Even hockey games are torture for me, LOL...
Well, I am a detail person I am a geographer by trade with a tech background and that transferred over to IT. I can send you a DM if you want to know the place I work at in Madison. They have been hiring LOTS of people and strongly consider anyone with a tech, math, engineering, or physics background for additions to the team

Well, I do have LL Bean Gear and items from Eastern Mountain Sports I just accumulate lots of winter items over time and put them all to good use. Layering is a key, but I won't spend a lot of time outdoors on a particular day if it is too windy as it isn't worth the effort. Spending more time outdoors in winter is far more pleasant with wind speeds of 10mph or less and that is a good number.

I don't spend a lot of time shoveling as I mainly just clear the path around my car or by the sidewalk or park the car in my assigned spot in the parking garage in my complex. That definitely comes in handy

"They're not anything special like you'd get from L.L. Bean full of thinsulate or anything like that."
I understand, but Wisconsin isn't Texas so I knew I needed to invest in some items and they weren't that expensive

"I can't imagine doing something like skiing or ice skating; I don't go ice skating indoors in Texas because it's too cold. Even hockey games are torture for me, LOL.. "

I used to say some of those things as well until I got some better winter gear. I would do a bit of research on LL Bean or Eastern Mountain Sports websites to find good items. When I lived in New Hampshire I had to buy a balaclava for high elevation skiing as winds would be stronger at higher elevations and would really get the exposed skin on your face. That improved things substantially.

With that being said, Madison winters are not that bad considering the diversity of activities, events, university productions, shopping, etc that is all within a short drive along with plenty of outdoor trails and indoor fitness centers. Heating costs are not bad at all considering natural gas prices have fallen off the cliff. Temperatures in the other seasons are MUCH MILDER than Texas considering the sun angle is not as brutal. One can enjoy many days outside in the Summer with very mild temperatures...

Here is a quick look at the demographics of Madison (Dane County)

Dane County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Why Tech Startups Are Mad For Madison | Fast Company

Epic: Contact
This is a growing tech company in Verona, WI right outside Madison.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: North Texas
24,576 posts, read 34,290,563 times
Reputation: 28402
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Well, I am a detail person I am a geographer by trade with a tech background and that transferred over to IT. I can send you a DM if you want to know the place I work at in Madison. They have been hiring LOTS of people and strongly consider anyone with a tech, math, engineering, or physics background for additions to the team

Well, I do have LL Bean Gear and items from Eastern Mountain Sports I just accumulate lots of winter items over time and put them all to good use. Layering is a key, but I won't spend a lot of time outdoors on a particular day if it is too windy as it isn't worth the effort. Spending more time outdoors in winter is far more pleasant with wind speeds of 10mph or less and that is a good number.

I don't spend a lot of time shoveling as I mainly just clear the path around my car or by the sidewalk or park the car in my assigned spot in the parking garage in my complex. That definitely comes in handy

"They're not anything special like you'd get from L.L. Bean full of thinsulate or anything like that."
I understand, but Wisconsin isn't Texas so I knew I needed to invest in some items and they weren't that expensive

"I can't imagine doing something like skiing or ice skating; I don't go ice skating indoors in Texas because it's too cold. Even hockey games are torture for me, LOL.. "

I used to say some of those things as well until I got some better winter gear. I would do a bit of research on LL Bean or Eastern Mountain Sports websites to find good items. When I lived in New Hampshire I had to buy a balaclava for high elevation skiing as winds would be stronger at higher elevations and would really get the exposed skin on your face. That improved things substantially.

With that being said, Madison winters are not that bad considering the diversity of activities, events, university productions, shopping, etc that is all within a short drive along with plenty of outdoor trails and indoor fitness centers. Heating costs are not bad at all considering natural gas prices have fallen off the cliff. Temperatures in the other seasons are MUCH MILDER than Texas considering the sun angle is not as brutal. One can enjoy many days outside in the Summer with very mild temperatures...

Here is a quick look at the demographics of Madison (Dane County)

Dane County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau

Why Tech Startups Are Mad For Madison | Fast Company

Epic: Contact
This is a growing tech company in Verona, WI right outside Madison.

It sounds wonderful, but there is still the distance part for me; I don't know if I mentioned this but I have a severe phobia of flying. I can count on one hand the number of times I have flown since 2000, and I spent over half of that time living abroad. My parents wouldn't visit me because my mother is mobility-impaired due to a stroke and traveling is very difficult for her, so if I wanted to see my family I'd have to get on a plane or drive.

I've done various fear of flying classes and have tried every kind of therapy there is. I did both courses offered by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, both were dismal failures. Valium or other sedatives don't help, and I would not board a plane drunk because due to the phobia my behavior can be somewhat...attention-getting...and drinking wouldn't help that.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: IN
21,323 posts, read 37,244,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
It sounds wonderful, but there is still the distance part for me; I don't know if I mentioned this but I have a severe phobia of flying. I can count on one hand the number of times I have flown since 2000, and I spent over half of that time living abroad. My parents wouldn't visit me because my mother is mobility-impaired due to a stroke and traveling is very difficult for her, so if I wanted to see my family I'd have to get on a plane or drive.

I've done various fear of flying classes and have tried every kind of therapy there is. I did both courses offered by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, both were dismal failures. Valium or other sedatives don't help, and I would not board a plane drunk because due to the phobia my behavior can be somewhat...attention-getting...and drinking wouldn't help that.
Well, I am sorry to hear that
I still think you would like Madison quite a bit if you drive up and visit the city in its entirety.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: in a pond with the other human scum
1,891 posts, read 1,971,272 times
Reputation: 2201
I'm a little late to this discussion but hope I have something to contribute, given that I'm a Texas expatriate with significant Dallas experience, as well as experience of Madison, St. Louis, and Kansas City. I understand feeling like you're very different from your fellow Dallasites-- I felt very different from most of my fellow Houstonians for the majority of my life that I lived there...and when I went to Dallas, felt even alienated from most of the people I encountered there.

The operative word is "most." The saving grace of any big city is that its sheer population size means that there's a good chance you'll find people either like yourself, or at least simpatico. Also, the size expands the available options for just about everything.

Which leads me to my three suggestions-- Boston, Chicago, or Denver. Yes, the winters will be worse than Texas, but the summers will (usually) be more temperate. When I win the lottery Wednesday and we quit our jobs, we've already decided we're buying a condo in Chicago overlooking the lake and with a downtown view. All three have attractions of scale-- thriving downtowns (which I could see as an antidote to Dallas sprawl) and great diversity.

I like Madison, been there several times, a dear friend has a condo a block away from the capitol, but I couldn't live there. It isn't the cold-- northern cities usually have the infrastructure to clear the streets and sidewalks fairly quickly, so your only hassle is dressing warmly-- but it just seems a little, well, full of itself. I love to eat, and especially love to eat "regular" food, which in Wisconsin means brats and cheese curds, but in downtown Madison, there's only one reliable place for that, while there's a wild array of Chilean, Tibetan, and African restaurants. But they put on a summer art fair that is pretty incredible-- we caught it last time we were there, and loved it.

I would not recommend St. Louis or Kansas City. St. Louis is pretty moribund-- whole swaths of the city were frozen in amber around 1965, which is not a time you want to recall. There's very little influx from other parts of the country-- the classic question you get in St. Louis, "which high school did you go to?" makes no sense to outsiders, but is a way for St. Louisans to get a quick read of the other person-- their religion, social class, politics. And while there are some interesting areas (like most people, I like the Central West End), it can be positively scary. KC is better, but still just, well, meh. And I'd actually choose Oklahoma City over Tulsa, just because it seemed more cosmopolitan and diverse.

But you might consider asking yourself what you would do if you had to stay in Dallas-- what would you try to change about your life? True, Dallas is mostly about what's on the surface, but there are too many people there to make that a unanimous verdict. I'd like to think that there are some members of your tribe there, as there would be in Chicago or Boston or Denver or Madison-- you just haven't found them yet. And you'd have to find them in those other places anyway because while, as one old English saying goes, "a change is like two weeks at the seaside," another English saying goes, "wherever you go, there you are."
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