I grew up in San Jose, CA, at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area. I got tired of the dry, and moved up to Portland, OR, where it's green and moist. I like temperate rain forests, so it's a good fit. I like the motto "Keep Portland Weird", too, although it isn't nearly as weird as that motto implies. I have a degree in Business Economics, with a side order of Mechanical Engineering, and Graphic Design for dessert, although I never finished all of the curriculum because I started my own business, and just didn't have the time. (There were two of us doing the whole suite of user guides for a medical laser company's entire product line.)
Up until recently, I was a technical illustrator in my day job. Now I am between jobs, and will probably end up doing something more graphic designerly. With most manufacturing happening in the Asian countries, there isn't a lot of technical writing/illustration required (one of the casualties of the United States' new "service economy"). :-/
Still, technical illustration is my favorite, whether its working from exported CAD files, or phototracing, or just holding the part in one hand while drawing it in the other!