12.19.2005

Jack's second run at NADAC

Jack's first run at the NADAC trial

12.18.2005

Xmas shopping

Forecasting the shopping on the Saturday the weekend before Christmas, it didn't look like a terribly bright idea. It ended up not being so bad.

The main goal was to get Kim what she wanted: a dishwasher. Hey, don't bitch at me. It's what she wanted.

So, the first stop was Sears, with our handy Consumer Reports buying guide in hand. As usual, the model numbers in the guide and the model numbers in the store bore no resemblance to each other. Wandering around and checking out the display was called for. The guide gave Kenmore's high marks, so we concentrated on those, and found one we liked. We then checked Maytag, Whirlpool and a couple of others. Kenmore still came out on top. We purchased. It's being installed on Wednesday, when Kim's parents will be in town if the installer comes after Kim goes to work.

Next: cell phones. We're getting T-Mobile pay-as-you-go phones this year to use in emergency situations. Kim's had one for a couple of weeks and is already expanding her use of it :).

Next task: stuff for the nieces. Most of the nieces are in Philly and we don't see them much, so gift cards are the way to go. The line was long, but move very quickly. Time to move from the mall to Barnes & Nobles across the freeway for more gift cards.

On to Petco for gifts for the animals: beds and a cat tree.

Next stop for Kim: the rehabilitation hospital to visit a neighbor. My task is to go to Half Price Books to pick up another gift card for our local niece.

I make it back to the hospital before Kim's done, so I sit out and read Spider Robinson's "Life House". Once she's done, we head off to a Christmas Tree lot. The lot only takes cash and checks: we have no checks and not enough cash. Off to the ATM. Back to the tree lot to pick out the tree.

Next stop: Rico's mexican restaurant. We'd called some friends and they met us there. We lingered over dinner for about 2 hours and caught up on current events. We hadn't seen them in a bit, so it was good to get the scoop.

Homeward bound, to set up the tree and see how the animals like their beds.

12.13.2005

NADAC/ASCA

It was time for another run at an agility competition, one year after our last one.

We got up bright and early (5:30am), after hitting the snooze bar a couple of times, and packed the last few items after breakfast. It was a chilly morning, so we packed extra towels, jackets for the dogs and jackets for the humans. We left the orbit of the house around 6:40 and got to the agility field right at 7am. Unfortunately, I'd not checked the information thoroughly enough and we were 30 minutes early. the judges wouldn't be sizing the dogs until 7:30.

The dogs needed some familiarity with the grounds, so we gave them a limited morning walk with a chance to do their business.

We brought the dogs to the stacking table and got them measured. They both were way under the height limit for the 16" class, so the judge is mailing in their height cards and they won't need to get measured at future events. We attempted to see if Tank was short enough for the 12" class, but he wasn't. He wouldn't stack well, he likes to sit in stead :).

We put the boys back in their kennels to stay warm while we checked out the schedule. Jack: Novice 1 Regular, Novice 2 Regular and then Jumpers. Tank: Nothing, Nothing, Jumpers.

Kim and I helped out setting poles on the courses while waiting for our turn to run.

I brought along a video camera to record the runs. I only managed Jack's first two runs because I had to help handle the dog that wasn't running during the Jumpers.

Jack's first run: very, very rough scorewise. I just looked at the video again and it didn't look that bad. Jack had some problems with popping out of the weaves, he went to a jump instead of the tunnel and he might have gotten points off for a contact failure on the dog walk. According to the scoring sheet, he had 60 points of faults. As the only dog running in Novice A 16", he got first place.

Jack's second run: 10 points in faults, scorewise. I think it may have been a refusal. I didn't move the camera enough to catch it. Jack got the weaves on his third try. Other than that, a nice run. As the only dog running in Novice A 16", he got first place.

Tank's Jumpers: About what we expected for his first competition. He jumped the first two jumps and then checked out the judge, the horses, the cattle and the rest of the ring. Then he came back to Kim. An elimination for Tank.

Jack's Jumpers: A clean run but for the fact he went into the tunnel in the wrong end. We think Kim may have turned right for the next obstacle a little early.

Apparently, there is no differentiation in Novice A or B for Jumpers, so we didn't even place as high as 4th place in Jumpers.

Some interesting developments with regard to future events came out of this one. The place where we train for agility (Pawsitive Impact), has decided not to run any NADAC trials in the future. They change their rules too often. Pawsitive is looking into running some trials that allow All-Americans like Jack and Tank to run, but they haven't made any decisions yet. Also, the place where we hold most of our trials (Arena without Walls) has decided that dog trials are too much trouble and will not be hosting any after September.

So, in summary, we had a good trial. We met expectations and Jack came home with two new squeaky toys and two first place ribbons will be in the mail to us shortly (they ran out at the trial).

Next up: USDAA in January, I hope.

12.12.2005

Welcome, Mercuri!


With the loss of Pypn and Avalon this year, we found ourselves needing to add a cat to the household. Once I started looking at petfinder.com, it didn't take long to find several that looked like they might be a good fit in the household. I was looking for a male, Russian Blue (or mix thereof) kitten.

One of the ones I found was apparently listed in error. The group that was trying to place him doesn't list kittens. You have to show up at one of their pet store adoption sessions and see if they have any you're interested. They didn't tell me where this guy would be making his next appearance.

The second one I found was at a very local pound. Unfortunately, I had to go to Portland the weekend after I saw him online and, since he was in a foster home and only at a shelter on the weekends, I didn't get to see him. When I came home from Portland, he'd been adopted.

However, the lady in charge of fostering at this shelter sent me an email about this female Russian Blue kitten that was at the shelter. She could be visited any time the shelter was open. So, last Wednesday I drove the 10 miles to the shelter to look at her. She was a darling, snuggling up to me very quickly. She also had sharp teeth that she was interested in using to chew my thumb. I was warned not to let her break the skin because if she did, they would have to quarantine her, or something similar.

I was smitten. I wnet into another room and called Kim at work to see if she minded if I brought a new resident home that evening. She didn't.

I filled out the paperwork, got the carrier from the truck (a dog-sized carrier is almost always in the truck to save time when we take the boys out geocaching or to agility) and packed Mercuri into the carrier.

The dogs, Vlad and Mercuri are getting along quite well after such a short period of time. They will all happily rest next to one another. the only problem they have is when Tank charges at Mercuri to play. Mercuri does not like that at all. In time, she'll learn that he's just playing.

The name Mercuri came from the Table of the Elements because of her color. We changed the "y" to an "i" to give it a slightly more feminine feel.

At the moment, Mercuri is at the vet recovering from her spaying. She is not happy. It nearly broke my heart to see her complaining. She comes home tomorrow.

12.06.2005

SMOFCon in Portland

F.A.C.T. sent me to SMOFcon in Portland over the weekend. I was part of a number of folks from F.A.C.T. who were in attendance: Kimm, Karen, Kurt, Renee and Bill were also there. It was an educational and entertaining weekend.

I left Houston on Southwest, landing in Phoenix en route to Portland. My companion on the flight was Curt Triggs, a farmer from Mississippi of about 65 years of age. He was flying to Oregon to look at '59 Cadillac for sale by the original owner. He had once had said vehicle and was hoping to bring back some memories with the purchase. His companion on the flight was the the youngest brother of a friend of his. The friend is 30 years older than his youngest brother. Curt is also always on the lookout for cats to bring to his farm, he usually picks up one on each of his trips out of state.

Curt didn't manage to sit next to me on the second leg of the flight, I don't know who did. I was enjoying the emegency exit row and its accompanying leg room too much to care.

Arrival in Portland was quick and the ride on the light rail was easy as pie. the weather was a little chilly, however. Renee loooooooves Portland. Ask her about it. And her niece.

I didn't make in time for the first panel at 2pm, so the 3 pm panel on "Lessons learned from This Year's Worldcon" was the first of the weekend. Vince Docherty got up and let loose about problems/cool things about the Worldcon. My brain was apparently still in baggage because nothing sticks in my mind from that panel.

Next up: "Laying out space...." Based on a "hypothetical" convention in Anaheim, layout of the hotels and convention center were discussed. Ideas from the panel included eliminating the need for meeting space in one of the hotels and incorporating the pedestrian mall separating the CC and the hotels into the convention space and making use of it for outdoor events.

Next up: Dinner. At Newport Seafood Grill with Kimm, Renee and Karen. Renee flirted shamelessly with the waiter all night. Good food accentuated by a cold walk to and from.

After dinner was the Icebreaker. Patty Wells led it. She was on the committee for Orycon when their hotel was abducted by aliens. She had to find a new hotel after 17 years of working with the now-vanished one. She grouped the room into groups of 10. We were charged with taking the brochures from all of the hotels she canvassed (cleverly disguised by creative writing) and deciding on which hotel to use. A very entertaining and enlightening panel.

The next morning I walked a good distance to the Cadillac Cafe for breakfast. A great spot, and not nearly as crowded as the restaurant guide led me to believe (it would be a different story on Sunday). There was a little boy across the aisle whom I kept smiling by making silly faces at him while I was eating. His dad thanked me for that as they left the restaurant.

First Panel: "Managing in Times of Change..." dealt with personnel issues of con committees

Second panel: Keynote speaker on hotel contracts. Tyra Hilliard presented some sample contract language that she'd seen and asked for comments. The comments on most of the samples were: "Throw all of it out" A good presentation with handouts of bad and corrected contract language.

Third panel: "Promotions and PR..." dealt with how to get the word out. A bit of a difficult panel. One of the panelists was having trouble staying focused. They talked about flyers, parties, and how to generate word-of-mouth interest.

Fourth panel: "Flyers" (at the closed bar). A survey of a variety of flyers: what is wrong with them, what is right. Armadillocon 19 flyers were among those reviewed.

Fifth panel: "LACon open meeting". A presentation by the concom, who needs people (everyone), etc.

Next stop: The Portland Ale festival. Lots of beer, a little food, tons of people. Kimm, Renee and I took the light rail to this event. Too many people at this time of day to be able to sample many beers.

Last panel: Fannish Inquisition. All sorts of folks bidding on conventions got up and talked for 3 hours. At one point there were more people at the front of the room than in the audience. The audience had around 50 people in it.

Last event of the evening: No Limit Texas Hold 'em. My first, in-person, contact with this game. I did ok, finishing 6th out of 18. Out of the money.

Sunday morning was breakfast at the Cadillac Cafe. If I hadn't been by myself I would have had to wait a while to get a seat.

First panel: "Running multiple cons effectively". Karen was on this panel, so you get details from her.

Next: Crafts festival in the convention center with Renee and Kimm. They wanted to do some shopping and wanted someone along to carry the bags. Renee looooooooooves Portland. Ask her about it. And her niece.

Final panel: "Wrap up".

I managed to get some input from Sharon Sbarsky about ribbons for Art Show awards. We do so few that costs can be prohibitive.

Dinner was at Olea's. Great! Thanks, Kurt!

I stuck around until the next morning and caught an early flight home. I made it to Houston around 3:30 pm

Thanks, F.A.C.T.!

11.28.2005

Avalon: 1991-2005

Subject: Avalon: 1991-2005
From: Scott Zrubek
Newsgroups: sff.discuss.cats

We brought him into our house in the Summer of 91, shortly after we'd
moved into the house. We picked him up because we thought Pypn (who
died earlier this year) could use a playmate. We picked him up at the
ripe old age of six weeks and he was neutered before we were able to
take him home. This may have affected his personality somewhat.

Avalon was lucky. His card at the SPCA listed him as DMH (Domestic
Medium Hair). I had been told I could not bring home a long-haired cat.
When Kim saw the guy in whom I was interested, she pointed to his
longish fur. I pointed to the card on his cage. She sighed. I
cheered.

He was a darling little kitten, best known for climbing into the
telephone stand and hiding behind the telephone books. He'd reach out
and snag a shoestring if we dangled one nearby with "The Claw". He'd
curl his paw around that string and happily munch away.

We took him to be groomed once, with Pypn. We think this may have had a
severe effecton his psyche. Several days after we brought him home from
the groomer, we noticed a several inch long scar on his belly. I think
he was far more reserved from this point on.

He was not an adventurous cat. When visitors would come to the house,
he would head to our back bedroom. He might grace us with his presence
in 20 minutes or so, if he knew that not too many folks were in the
house. If he recognized the voices as familiar he would come out, as
well.

He loved the rattan chair that Kim's parents gave us a number of years
ago. It was his favorite spot, a great spot to watch our front yard.
He'd sleep in it and watch the world in the front of the house go by.
Unfortunately, he was unable to enjoy it for the past few months, as the
chair was behind toddler gates that we set up to block part of the house
off from the dogs. He was unwilling to jump over the gates to get to
his chair and we had no place to put it for him to get to.

As a fighter, he wasn't very skilled, but he got lots of practice. The
other cats would brush up on their skills with him. He perfected the
"Bear" posture and he and Hobeaux would battle in that posture for
minutes on end with no sounds being made. Very Zen-like.

He did not like the outdoors, and would scuttle away from an open door
if it presented itself until recently. After we fenced in the yard for
the dogs, he considered the back yard a safe environment and he would
wander around for short periods of time. As recently as Friday, he was
interested in going outside.

He ended up being our biggest cat at 20 lbs. He did not achieve such
stature until recently, but it did affect his ability to keep his medium
length fur in good shape. I was cutting mats out on a regular basis
over the past 2 years.

He was a trooper at the end. He was willing to make the effort to get
off of the vet's table and go somewhere else. He passed quietly after
the vet performed her functions.

I hope he, Pypn and Hobeaux are curled up together keeping each other
warm. We miss them all tremendously.

Goodbye, Avalon (aka Furball and Sir Cardinal Fang)

11.21.2005

Same song, third verse

Two years ago, about this time, Hobeaux was diagnosed with kidney failure. We gave him subcutaneous fluids and various medications and nursed him along until it was obvious he was ready to go.

Early this year, Pypn was diagnosed with the same condition. Knowing how hard it was on Hobeaux and us, we just made him as comfortable as possible. No fluid, no meds. I think he lasted about the same amount of time before he told us he was ready to go.

Last week, Avalon was diagnosed with kidney failure. Earlier this year, he was at 20 pounds. At his yearly checkup last month he was at 15. We thought it might have been related to stress from evacuating for Rita, or at the loss of Pypn his buddy for all of his life. When we took him in last week, he was at 13 pounds.

This furry, shy guy is not long for this world. He's still moving around well, jumping up onto the bed, sofa and other favorite places. He still is wandering around outside, inside the fence, as well. But he has no appetite, so these joys will disappear soon.

11.17.2005

4 Eyes

Went to a couple of Dr.'s appointments the other day. One of them was my eye Dr. I probably hadn't been to see him, specifically, in about 10 years. I had been to see a different doc about 3 or 4 years ago. But, my preferred guy wasn't on my old insurance and is my current insurance, so off I went.

No major, or even minor quibbles with my eyes, according to him. New glasses were in order, though.

I'm wearing them today and, as usual, it takes a while to get used to new prescriptions. The new ones are stronger, but still only for computer work. I've saved the old pair for work at home, in case I decide to use them there.

11.10.2005

Stayin' home and lovin' it

I was driving in to work this morning during rush hour. A white Dodge pickup was in front of me with the above saying stickered onto the back window.

Apparently someone is not staying home and loving it. Otherwise, why would they be on the road at that god-forsaken hour?

11.04.2005

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

The in-laws were in town over the weekend. One of my tasks while they were here was to cook out on the grill/smoker we've got on the back patio (it still isn't back to its pre-Rita location).

The objects of the searing heat: 2 whole chickens and several Rib-Eye steaks. The Rib-Eyes are the meat of choice for grilling. The chickens were the second item to be smoked on this grill.

Kim and her mom prepped the chickens with a rub about 24 hours in advance, and they marinated the Rib-Eyes at the same time.

I got the grill going with some hickory logs from my local dirt yard and cooking along at a nice 250 degrees. The chickens got plopped at the far end of the cooking surface from the fire and absorbed the smoke and heat for about 2.5 - 3 hours. I had to add additional wood about every 30 - 45 minutes to keep the heat up. At the end of the time, the skins of the chicken were very dark and the leg bones were able to be pulled out without much effort: a sign that they are done.

The rib-eyes went on, stright over the fire and came off about 25 minutes later.

The chicken were received with gushing reviews. They were very tasty and still exstremely moist. I think the reviews were well-deserved. Kim's mom says she wants smoked chickens instead of turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner this year. I think it sounds like a good idea.

10.27.2005

Wait 'til next year

The Astros have succumbed to the force that is the Chicago White Sox, but it was an honor just to be nominated. We had a great season, with a magnificent comeback from the dead at 15-30, making it to our first ever World Series.

The results of the series were not great, but the games, on an individual basis, were. You did not know who was going to win each game until the last out in each game. The games kept me up to odd hours and I was happy to be watching.

I hope the city throws a parade for the team. They deserve it.

I'm considering a mini-season ticket for next season, but the logistics don't work very well. I'll just have to mull it over some more.

10.26.2005

Matt meet Art

I've been on a bit of a wave of finding the art work I've purchased at Art Shows over the past few years and getting them framed. Most of the stuff is sketches by various artists and their presentation of the pieces at the shows was fairly bare.

I've done a lot of matting over the past 2 weeks and I think I'm done with the Art Show stuff (some other stuff has been uncovered that needs to be worked on). One of the pieces took me a couple of tries to get it right because I combined two pieces onto one mat/frame. The first attempt I rushed and laid out improperly. The second attempt worked out: I caught myself just before making cuts that would have ruined an hour's worth of work.

I'm going through some online sites (www.americanframe.com and www.mettleco.com) and choosing frames. I've got 6 pieces to frame and, while it won't be cheap, it won't be too expensive to get them all finished. If I'd dropped them off at my local frame shop, I wouldn't be able to afford it.

So, gotta go commit frames and drop some dough.

Mighty Casey..

My boys with the flying star have their backs against the wall from here on out. One more loss and the World Series is out of their reach for the year. So far, it's been a closely matched, fairly well-played series. The results suck.

There've been a few calls blown that could have given us some more opportunities to score, but we've have had quite a number as it is. We've just failed to capitalize on most of them.

I've tried to find shirts and caps for the World Series, but the local stores don't seem to have them. It looks like I'm going to have to order them on-line. My mom and aunt both want t-shirts, so I'll have to add those to my order.

10.21.2005

Holier Toledo

The Astros are in the World Series!

I've hoped for this day throughout the years. Mainly in '86, when I remember watching the playoffs in the common room of my dorm at A&M.

I'm not certain I really even knew the World Series existed during the days that I was a Coca-Cola Astros Buddy. I do remember going to a field day at the Astrodome, when the Astro who played each position was going to be out at his position giving a brief demo on the workings of his position. The Astro who played my position, Lee May (at first base), was not able to make it for the demo. I'm pretty sure I was very disappointed. I don't remember who took his place.

Just 4 games to go to win the Series. Go Astros!

10.18.2005

Sports

A&M beats Oklahoma State 62 -23? What in the world is going on. OSU must be horrible because the A&M team I saw play Baylor was a disaster.

Astros: Sunday: What a game ending double-play!

Astros: Monday: Come on Lidge. Don't give Eckstein a pitch to hit with 2 strikes.

Astros: Wednesday: We'd better win. I want to go buy World Series paraphernalia.

10.11.2005

Ciabatta

According to the cookbooks I've been using, ciabatta bread is supposed to be a rustic bread with large holes in it. Why is it that my renditions are very finely holed, soft loaves.

Kim loves the flavor, but I'm frustrated that it doesn't turn out how I think it's supposed to.

10.10.2005

Holy Toledo!

Astros Win!

Kim managed to score some tickets for the Astros vs. Braves game on Sunday for an anniversary gift. 20 rows from the top, directly behind the catcher.

We drive to the game, since Metro no longer provides the ballgame shuttles. It would have cost us more to ride the shuttle ($10) than it did to park the truck ($7), but it would have been more pleasant, as we wouldn't have had flashbacks while driving through the traffic.

Arriving at Minute Maid Park, we wander around a bit, hit the Shed to see if they've got any good caps to commemorate the series, grab some food and get to the seats.

Everything's going fine until the Braves get the grand slam. Disappointment and disillusionment are the emotions of the moment in our area. We see fans throughout the stadium leaving. Not huge numbers, but noticeable from our view from the top. We stick it out. The game was a noon start and we've got nothing pressing on the schedule for the rest of the day. We might go to the Bayou City Arts Festival if we get out of the game at a decent time.

Bottom of the 8th. Astros down 6-1. Bases loaded. Lance Berkman at bat. Suddenly, we're only down 6-5. Joy abounds.

Bottom of the 9th. Two outs. Bases empty. Brad Ausmus at bat. Suddenly, we're tied and going into extra innings. I didn't realize he'd hit a home run until he rounded third and no one tried to throw him out.

10th. 11th. 12th. 13th. 14th. 15th. 16th. 17th. 18th. Pitchers come, pitchers go. First basemen come, first basemen go. Shortstops come, shortstops go. Center fields come, center fielders go. Catchers come, catchers go, catchers return.

Chris Burke at bat. The game's over! Pandemonium erupts and confetti falls from the vents, 5 hours and 50 minutes after the game began.

We started the day at the stadium with lunch and it was just about dinner time when we were through.

What a game.

10.08.2005

Flextennis

It's my third season in this flexible (i.e., no set day to play - you schedule your own matches) tennis league. My match last night was against a guy whose playing in his first season. His first competitive tennis in a while. I beat him handily, but he'll be much better by the end of the season. He was just rusty.

www.flextennis.com

10.02.2005

A&M vs Baylor

Friends of the family had some extra tickets for the A&M - Baylor game and I had a Saturday free unavoidable obligations. Kim was supposed to have an appointment in west Houston on that day, so I got my neighbor (Steve, also an Aggie) to join me for the game.

It turned out Kim's appointment was cancelled, but not until after arrangements with Steve had been set up.

Steve and I left early to meet up with a bunch of folks tailgating before the game. WE managed to get there in time to get a parking spot near the tailgaters. The next couple of hours were spent eating, drinking and low-key rabble-rousing.

Next, the game. Geez, what sort of team is A&M putting on the field this season? We can't move the ball on offense and we can't stop Baylor (or Texas State, for that matter) defensively.

I'm still annoyed at the rich old Ags who drummed R. C. Slocum out of the head coaching spot. I've yet to see anything worthwhile out of Coach Fran.

I don't expect us to win any more games this season.

9.30.2005

Flashbacks

Driving into work, traffic was at its normal pace. Unfortunately, this was similar enough to the traffic during the evacuation that it caused me to freak out a bit. Nothing major, but it did inspire and fight-or-flight rise in blood pressure.

The evacuation will probably have lingering effects in my psyche for some time to come.

9.29.2005

The (non) Evacuation from Hell

I live in Houston, or thereabouts. We have hurricanes. Occasionally, we should evacuate because of a hurricane. Rita was one such hurricane.

We were packed and ready to go, except for the pets, Tuesday night. We both had to go into work the next day. Kim was expecting to be let go around lunchtime. I was hoping to be home earlier than that. It didn't happen.

I had to stick around and make hurricane-related updates to the website. The final update wasn't ready until 1:30 p.m.

I then zipped down to my mom's place and secured the windows with the plywood that my dad prepared 25-plus years ago. I had her house boarded up in about an hour and then zipped back to my house. We still had some last minute stuff to do so we didn't get out of the house and on the road until 5:15 p.m.

We were not scheduled to leave by the powers-that-be for another 8-12 hours depending on who you listened to.

I'd seen traffic on the way home from work and it was obviously backed up.

We attempted to game the roadways by heading south and then west and north. Driving south, we passed the obvious access to Hwy 6 (backed up) and caught a little farm-to-market south of Alvin and headed west. We drove along fairly easily for a while, zigging and zagging along the roads.

It's now a little after 6 p.m. and we attempt to cross under Hwy 288. Too late. At 6 p.m. they started shutting down various roads and funnelling folks on to the primary evacuation routes. Our attempt to take 1462 all the way to Hwy 36 failed. We had to get on Hwy 288.

We hop on 288 and stop moving. We make it to Beltway 8 a while later, maybe 2 or 3 hours. I think we also perform our first driver change during this stretch. Without pulling over to the side of the road. I mean, what would it buy us? Nobody's passing anyone. We can walk faster than we're able to drive. We're not in danger of getting run over by anyone or anything. Except maybe a cockroach. They're leaving town , too.

I try to grab some shut-eye and fail. Too much stress.

We switch drivers again, probably about 3 hours after our last change. I think Kim just slides over in the seat for this change while I run around the truck. I think we're on Hwy 290 by now.

Kim grabs some shut-eye. Manages to do very well, I think. The dogs are unusually quiet.

1st gear. Standard transmission. 3 hours. Left leg hurts.

About 1 am we switch again. Kim's knitting while driving and making a lot of progress with the hat she's making. Occasionally, she moves the truck up 10 feet or so. I attempt to sleep. Fail miserably. Stress rising about being stuck on the highway when Rita comes roaring through.

1st gear. Standard transmission. 3 hours. Lots of cars in our squadron with only 1 person in the car. What were they thinking? Come on people, carpool! If every car on the road had at least two people in it we'd actually be moving somewhere at maybe 4mph! Instead of this 1mph we're currently experiencing.

We switch again. I think for the last time. I drive. Well, sort of. If you can call it driving.

Around 7am I start really worrying about being able to get anywhere on the gas remaining in the tank. 1/4 tank. No gas stations with gas in sight. Kim's asleep, so I can't get her opinion on my plan. Can execute the plan without her buy-in. Pass an exit.

About the only thing we passed except time.

Kim wakes up and agrees with the plan.

The plan is to take the next exit (1.5 miles and an hour away), wander around the area looking for gas and, if we don't find any, head back in to Houston.

But first, we take a break by the side of the road and let the dogs out. Everyone else seems to have the same idea as dogs start piling out of vehicles on leashes.

We wander. We look. We find, but with long, confused lines. We head back into town.

We head back to my workplace, a nice solid cement structure. I'm the first of a number of refugees from the evacuation.

We take over my office area, get the animals settled, get ourselves settled and collapse.

The rest of the weekend is spent reading, walking the dogs, listening and watching reports on the evacuation and updating the website.

9.28.2005

A trip to Austin


Click here to view video.

This was a trip to Austin in support of Armadillocon, a science fiction convention held in austin each year. I've run the Art Show at the convention for the past couple of years. I needed to attend at least *one* meeting of the convention staff and the held one on a Saturday, so A.T. Campbell and I drove up together for the meeting.

I ran out of tape in the camera around halfway up to Austin, so you don't see us arriving for the meeting, but I promise you we made it. You get to see the drive a lot faster than we made it.

9.13.2005

Up and running

A first blog at blogger for me. I had a blog on my own server, but failed to keep it up. The same result will probably occur here.

4.03.2005

My Categories