Thursday, June 17, 2010

Austin Intro

I've been in Austin, TX for 6 days now. I'm adjusting to not being a hermit just fine. My friends from Georgia Tech live in a wonderful neighborhood with interesting things to see.

The first morning I got up and went for a walk I saw some of the famous Austin bats. Unfortunately they had been struck by a car. The larger one got up and flew away while I watched, but the smaller one was more stunned. A gust of wind came along and turned him over and he rested there longer than my attention span so I moved him to the side of the road so I could finish my walk.

Later that day we went to UT to see my friends' son perform in the middle school band camp concert. Across from the music school is a free natural history museum with some lovely fossils and rocks.

Mike told me about a roadrunner he sees frequently at a park near their house. I set out early one morning to try to get a picture, but I took a wrong turn and found a path along a spring fed creek instead. It made me sort of wish I'd brought their labrador retriever and my bathing suit because we could have splashed around in some of the little pools.
Yesterday we went to the IMAX theater downtown to see Hubble 3D. Cheryl and I both got choked up at the scenes of the astronauts grabbing the telescope with the robotic arm on the shuttle. I tried to repress my emotional state by observing, "That's a lot of Kapton tape!" I couldn't help thinking that it would be impossible to be a good astronaut if you were going to cry and get all snotty nosed over stuff like successfully replacing a circuit board without slicing your glove open. There is absolutely no way to wipe your face inside those space suits.

After the movie we walked over to the state capitol and admired the door hinges and how well the air conditioning worked for such a vast space. I suppose all that marble is a serious thermal mass. As we walked to the car we passed the huge complex of heat exchangers and air handlers that I knew had to be there somewhere. 

I'm writing the blog today from Mozart's Coffee Roasters on the shore of Lake Austin. Free wifi and the new lappy has a powerful battery that will run for 10 hours. I am excited about moving to Austin. There is enough opportunity for alone time with nature to keep me happy and there seem to be a lot more people here that I can identify with. I only know a handful of people that even know what Kapton tape is, and I'm pretty sure Cheryl is the only other girl I know that has ever heard of it.

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