Now that its official, I can break radio silence: I got a new job at Amazon!
The whole thing happened incredibly fast. I had applied for just a few jobs that were in the "ideal" category, jobs I considered the best thing I could possibly hope for and unlikely to be obtainable. I got one positive response, from Amazon. They schedualed a technical-skills screening interview for later that week, and two business days later I had an in-person interview schedualed. Had to wait two weeks for that, evidently a result of their flight-booking policy. I flew out to Seattle on a Saturday (they were gracious enough to put me up for an extra night so that I could get a feel for the city), interviewed on Monday, and had an offer in my hands by Wednessday evening. I've never heard of a company moving so fast, or being so well organized. I'm psyched to work there. Everyone I spoke with there was great, and I liked my hiring manager, Jon, a lot. Seems like the kind of guy I'll really enjoy working with; he's got technical skills and business knowledge I'm eager to learn, and a winning personality.
I'm also psyched to be moving to Seattle. Justin Mirus was kind enough to give me a tour from a local's perspective, so I got see even more beautiful things. We saw Golden Gardens, the Locks, Voulenteer Park, Ballard, Freemont, and Capitol Hill; eating and drinking at exceptionally excellent places along the way. Seattle's natural beauty defies belief: both mountains and water in all directions. Even the weather was beautiful while I was there (though I understand this isn't a constant phenomenon).