Well, I finally found out about the postdoc/lab manager job I'd been so excited about. For some reason the professor didn't return my email, but I saw on her website that she had hired someone. I sort of felt like my inquiring about the salary before even scoring an interview was a misstep on my part that may have cost me the position, but I'll never know.
Live and learn.
Do these things "happen for a reason"? I don't really believe that, but I've learned a valuable lesson with regard to the timing of when to talk about money. I also think that opportunities come up for people who are more or less looking for them.
As far as being able to learn the techniques I want to learn, and do the kinds of studies I want to do, my present job offers a lot. Besides being extremely flexible in terms of projects and work hours, it pays well and is reasonably well funded in terms of equipment and supplies. The only downside is that I miss the collaborative aspect of being in academia, but maybe I can find it if I work at it a bit.
This all has me thinking too about what I see myself doing 5 or 10 years down the road. I would like to have more responsibility (with a corresponding hike in pay), and I'd like to get back to working with plants again some day. But the mosquito gig has been good to me and, most importantly, it's what I make it.