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Jan. 29th, 2009

Winter in Austin

The world continues to turn each and every day . . .

It is full winter here in Austin, temperatures warm up most days but dive back down near freezing at night, or it just gets warm and then cold then warm again.

My home is now wrapped new siding, and it looks great. I’ve already noticed a temperature change in my back bedrooms when the north wind blows. Now on to new paint and flooring in the next year, a lot depends on how much time/money I can give to the next link in the homne fires chain.

I’m back taking two classes at ACC this spring to help keep me out of trouble. The classes are not difficult and I am enjoying them.

The teenager is driving more with his learner’s permit and has I’m feeling more confident when he drives; only he has a lead foot (I’ve been told it’s a guy thing). He is actively working on the paperwork for his Eagle project and he will be visiting NYC with his high school band over spring break.

The Austin SMOFcon is working towards our first PR and hopefully it will be ready in a few weeks. We plan on doing four between now and the end of November; all will be sent electronically and placed on our web page. What would you like to know about next December in Austin? We have lots of ideas but focusing on one or two each time will be the challenge.

I’ve got my Hugo ballot to fill out and need recommendations, what did you read this year that you’d nominate and why?

Dec. 10th, 2008

Early December in Austin

Sometimes I really love the weather in Austin. When I arrived home Monday evening from SMOFcon and the cold that was Columbus, Ohio; the temperature was 72 degrees, I almost cheered.

Yesterday the high was over 80 degrees, but there was sleet and snow last night before I went to bed. This morning there was sleet/snow spots still in my front yard and any vehicle parked outside was covered in frozen crystals.

The rest of the week will be busy; I still need to take the final for my fall semester class, the teenager’s high school Winter Band concert is Friday night, I’ve got a meeting on Saturday afternoon, a white elephant Christmas Party on Saturday evening and a meeting with other parents to discuss the upcoming year of our future high school seniors on Sunday.

Rest and relaxation will have to wait until next weekend.

Nov. 27th, 2008

Thanks

Today is a special day in many ways for me; I've got a wonderful son, my mom is doing well and I'm on good terms with almost every family member nearby, some great friends; many of whom I've had for more decades that I'd care to count, my house will very soon be undertaking major renovations in the next month, I've got a job I really like with good co-workers (and its a steady job not in line to be replaced or removed), my church supports us well as we support it, and my cat is currently happily stalking our garden squirrel as they both jockey for custody of my bird feeder this morning.

While there are things I'd like to include in my life on a more personal level; life is good and I try to be patient for the rest.

Staying close to home this weekend and wishing everyone a safe, happy and secure holiday weekend.

Nov. 25th, 2008

(no subject)

Things are beginning to slow down for the next few days I’m off for four days! What a treat;

I’ll begin tonight by preparing 5 dozen pecan pie muffins for our Thanksgiving lunch as we join family and friends who will be tailgating before the UT vs. A&M game on Thursday evening. No, we will not be in the stands watching the game this year.

I have nothing planned for the other three days of major urgency. I hope to continue cataloging my books and boxing many of them so that new flooring can be easily applied at a later date.

I will of course, be finalizing my plans for SMOFcon and packing the “wool” coat that is rarely worn in Austin's winter and finding my leather gloves to take.

Fred was released from the Heart Hospital on Sunday and may be able to go back to work the first week in December.

Yes, the teenager has been driving some and he seems to be enjoying the thrill of it all. He is doing great and so far I’ve not been too worried with him behind the wheel.

Now if this wonderful weather; sunny with a high today in the low seventies would only hold for the entire weekend, however rain may be possible on Thursday night and Friday, here’s hoping my yard can get a good soaking over the weekend.

Work is also slowing down and I'm tring hard to get everything caught up and keep my ducks in an even and organized row.

Nov. 20th, 2008

Changes..

My life is very busy; at my real job I’ve had added duties associated with the Texas Legislative Session which begins in early January to my current job responsibilities. I am one of the folks in my division who gets to review each bill and see if it “might” apply to us. If it does apply to us; we have to begin the “what if” research before anyone makes an official inquiry to us. My Agency is also in the midst of reorganizing and while I might not be greatly impacted I will be the midst of the associated waves that always occur due to change.

My fall class at ACC is almost over and I’ve signed up for 6 hours this spring. I do enjoy the challenge of taking classes and working towards a second career option in the next three years.

I’ll be off to Columbus, Ohio for SMOFcon in two weeks. I have no idea what kind of weather we will be experiencing, but I really enjoy catching up with folks who make fandom such a fascinating group of people. I really hope ALAMO’s bid for Austin in 2009 is accepted by the attending SMOFcon’s at this year’s venue.

The teenager earned his learners permit today! That means we get six months of practice with a licensed driver over twenty one and lots of patience. His Eagle Project has moved from one church to another with a lot more enthusiasm from the new one in order to make his deadline of less than ten months to accomplish this goal. His favorite class is physics; having a great instructor is a very good thing. His high school football team made the playoffs but lost in their first game (to the number one ranked school in the state) so marching band season has officially ended for this season.

My ex has spent most of the past three weeks in the hospital; he spent almost two weeks in a hospital in Calgary, Alberta after the World Fantasy Convention. He is now currently in the Heart Hospital here in Austin. There is a lot of stress with his life changing situation.

I just finished paying off the new windows for my house and now it looks like I’ll be taking the next step in improving my house with vinyl siding in the next month or so. Now if I only had the time to work in the yard more.

The weather is beautiful right now, sunny around 77 degrees with a cool front expected tonight. Fall is one of Austin’s (and mine) favorite times of the year; cool nights and warms days, now if only we could get some rain and stop the dust that is my yard.

Oct. 15th, 2008

Rain+Jonathan Carroll=Joy

Today looks like it will be a very good one, I woke up early to sound of rain outside, a very good omen and later this evening I’ll be attending an event with one of my favorite authors; Jonathan Carroll. I’ll be joined by other of his fans at BookPeople tonight, join us if you can.

Lots of everyday life to keep me busy for the next several weeks. I'm looking foward to the cooler temperatures and more rain.

Oct. 6th, 2008

Another Weekend Survived

One more weekend of high school football and band off the books….

Did enjoy Sunday as a day of relaxing; early afternoon saw the movie Appaloosa at the Alamo Drafthouse with a friend. This movie closely follows the Robert B Parker novel and I really enjoyed it.

Then watched Sunday evening on PBS “The Last Enemy,” this is the first in the Masterpiece Contemporary drama series. It was excellent, it even had an sf futurist feel as the backdrop and was well paced. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/contemporary/index.html)

Guess I’ll have to find out when True Blood will be shown again this week on the various HBO stations. Now if only I could watch SNL on my cable station again (#&$).

I can actually see a small light at the end of the tunnel at work, always good sign.

Hopefully we will be seeing some of the elusive rain the weather folks keep hinting at this week, my yard could really use an inch or two.

Oct. 1st, 2008

(no subject)

Survived the weekend, very busy....

High School Football game on Friday; having a son the marching band does limit your free time on most Friday evenings in the fall. Drove son, mother and uncle to wedding in far north Dallas (Allen) on Saturday (9 hours in the car, 2 hours at the wedding). Sunday was a blur; took teenager to UT's football stadium at 7:30 am to help said high school band section clean the stands, spent afternoon at ACL; way too many folks but incredible music.

Things are cooling off wonderfully in the evenings. Most mornings I wish I could work in my yard (great plans will becoming together soon) instead of going to work and enjoy the fallish weather, now if only it would rain again.

Have to brag on teenager; he turned 17 last Thursday and one of his birthday wishes was to begin donating blood. You have to be 17 and have a picture ID (he had his passport). After school yesterday for the first, and I don't think last time, he gave blood. He noted on his calendar when he can give next; I've been donating blood at work for years, guess leading by example is actually working.

Hurricane’s Gustav and Ike, along with the flooding in Presidio has provided a lot of paperwork and our fiscal year began on September 1st. )I love my job, I love my job; just not the extra hours and red tape.)

Sep. 23rd, 2008

Financial Bailout Comments

Wonder if Hank Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury has ever read this document? Guess it doesn't hurt to add that Paulson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, before joining the current Bush Administration in 2006.

2008 Republican Platform under the heading Rebuilding Homeownership:

We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. We believe in the free market as the best tool to sustained prosperity and opportunity for all. We encourage potential buyers to work in concert with the lending community to educate themselves about the responsibilities of purchasing a home, condo, or land.

http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Economy.htm

Jul. 31st, 2008

The Heat of Summer Continues

Yes, it is hot in Texas in the summer… what did you expect. But the mere thought of flying to Denver for WorldCon next Wednesday at 6:35 am is keeping me in a better mood than most. I’ll be working at the convention, helping with the Texas party on Wednesday night and catching up with old friends and perhaps adding a few new ones to into the mix.

I fly back home on Monday from Denver; back to work for three days then my home convention, ArmadilloCon will be held. I’m acting as the Guest of Honor Liaison and what ever else needs to be done at con.

AT Campbell placed me on two panels,

Fr1600PN Welcome to ArmadilloCon
Fri 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Phoenix North
Bobo, Denton, G. Haldeman*, Meschke, J. Moore, P. Wells
Come learn the best ways to navigate our con. We'll discuss what to see and do, the can't-miss items and parties, and the readings sure to be standing-room-only. This item is targeted for newcomers to conventions in general and ArmadilloCon in particular, but we'll make sure convention veterans have fun too.

and

Fr2100DW Report from Denvention
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM deWitt
Bobo, Docherty, Gelb, Meschke*, J. Moore, Picacio, Price
A group of people freshly returned from last weekend's World Science Fiction Convention will give a report on the highlights of this huge international gathering.

Matthew is in charge of the “campfire” on Saturday night for this panel, which should be amazing.

Sa2100PS Campfire Stories
Sat 9:00 PM-11:00 PM Phoenix South
Crider, Cupp, J. Haldeman, J. Lansdale
Some outstanding story-tellers at their entertaining best: reminiscing, spinning yarns, and topping each other's tall tales.

Yes, the teenager has returned home and my full food panty is showing the signs. He is currently taking an online US History class at ACC that finishes next week and his high school band camp starts tomorrow at 8:00 am. School officially starts on August 25th and then football/band season begins in earnest. Oh, and his Eagle Scout project is finally on track to be completed this fall; nothing like keeping us busy, right?

Matthew and I did watch a repeat performance of Nova on Tuesday night “The Car of the Future,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/car/) with the Car Talk guys (Tom and Ray Magliozzi). We listen to their radio show almost every Saturday morning, Ok, he might not be up yet some mornings. He also likes to listen and participate in Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, (http://www.npr.org/programs/waitwait/) two great shows to listen to together.

And it now only 99 degrees outside with a heat index of 104...

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