January 2009

December 2008 -- 2009 -- February 2009

January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!

I might be a few days late, but hopefully the first 4 days of 2009 have been pretty good for you. I been busy doing a winter cleaning, and getting rid of a bunch of stuff that I haven't touched in the 2 years I've lived in Austin, so I figure it's probably pretty safe to get rid of.

Part of that has involved ripping some CD's I bought a year or so ago for 99 cents a piece from a used CD store. It's compilation CD's, like "Happy Days of the 60's Volume 3" which just has like 12 tracks from the 60's. Hence why there were 99 cents. It's a cheap way to expand my music collection. Anyways, a few of the disks, even though I tried to check before I bought them, have songs that are not by the original artists at all, but some guy and his band in their basement doing a re-recording of it. And you've got to ask yourself, how low do you have to be to try and purposely confuse people into buying your CD by pretending to be something you're not?

One of the best examples of this was a movie score CD, which in very small font on the back stated it was performed by the "American Symphony". Then in even smaller font in the corner of the back, the "American Symphony" was described as two guys. Needless to say it sounded horrible and most of the "instruments" were just sound effects off the guy's electric keyboard. I mean no one would willingly buy this stuff ("YES! A crappy electronic keyboard of the Jurassic Park theme, just what I was looking for!) but obviously someone bought it at some point since it was sitting in the 99 cent used CD pile.

Oh and the recession is really starting to hit home now, and not just with Freescale, but the entire semiconductor industry. Since computer chips are in pretty much everything now days, if people aren't buying stuff, we aren't selling chips. Now to just wait for the bailout!

My car battery decided to crap out on me on New Years Eve. Well sorta anyways. It still started just fine, but if I let it sit with just the radio on, after about 5 minutes it would die, and then I wouldn't be able to start it. So I took it in last week and they said a cell was bad in the battery, which was due to the temperature extremes of Texas, and it always being outside. It was all covered under warranty though, so all's good.

Unfortunately though while I was sitting in the waiting room, well, waiting, they had Fox News on the TV. I try my best to avoid that channel if at all possible, but alas I was trapped. I still can't believe how incredibly blatantly biased it is, with commentators explaining that economic stimulus caused the Great Depression to worsen when the facts are exactly the opposite, and then complaining when one of the Big 3 car makers have the audacity to do ADVERTISING! How dare they try to sell cars to the American people, they should just magically want them. But no no, those horrible people are using TAXPAYER MONEY to ADVERTISE! ::sigh:: I felt dumber after watching it.

January 15, 2009

This is the first live on the road update I've ever done, thanks to my fancy pants phone. I'm currently on the road with Kara, doing a massively long road trip up to Missouri to visit some of her family and friends. The internet is really really slow in the middle of nowhere, it's like 28k speeds back in the early 90's. But it's still Internet anywhere, which is amazing

It was really busy at work, so got ready late, so it's going to be a realllly long night.

Restroom break just outside of Dallas, it was pretty gross.

Downtown Dallas at night is really pretty, the interstate goes right by it. Traffic is really light, which is great!

3G speeds were fun while it lasted. A few miles outside the Dallas metroplex it went from 3G to Edge, and now it's on 1G speecs since we're in the middle of nowhere. But I was able to still look up hotels in Fayetteville to spend the night in on hotels.com, so the phone saves the day again!

Booooo 45MPH construction zone!

Finally back to 70!

We are now exactly half way to our hotel for the night!

And finally, after 280 miles, we've finally got out of Texas and are now in Oklahoma. This is only the second time I've ever been in the state.

There's a gorgeous half moon in the horizon, a dark rusty red color. Also we're so in the middle of nowhere it says I'm roaming right now. And Kara wants another shoutout!

We just passed our first Indian casino, we'll stop and try our luck on the way back. There's also a ton of cops around, trying to catch people in the 55MPH zone around the casino. But it's back up to 70 soon enough.

The car says it's 21F outside, down from 34F in Dallas, and 48F when we left Austin. It's supposed to be 10F for the low tonight, so it's going to be COLD! We think this is why the moon is rising so slowly, it doesn't want to get out of bed.

Just hit I40 after 2 hours of absolute nothingness. Took a short nap, but this section has been sooooo boring. Still on roaming....

Gas (getting 31MPG) and now I'm no longer roaming!

Just hit 40,000 miles on my car. That took about 2 and a half years to do.

Hotel! Still have another hour and a half to go tomorrow, but stopping for the night in Fayetteville. Should have worn Gator stuff. Also I love that this cheap $55 Days Inn has free Internet but the $200 rooms I've stayed in for work charge $15 a night to get it. Anyways, now to sleep!

January 19, 2009

And now we're back on the long road home, just 4 more hours to go! We had dinner at Grandy's, which I haven't eaten at in probably 15 years. It was really good though, with cinnamon rolls almost as good as Cinnabon.

The trip was really fun, I got to met more of Kara's family and friends, went through the world's largest toy museum, and got to see the University of Arkansas campus.

We also traveled through Branson, MO which is a really really odd "city" and I had some fun driving around places via the really hilly and curvey roads. This interstate driving is so boring!

Right now we're listening to some Italian music, as Kara translates, 30 miles till Dallas, and I've finally back to fast 3G interweb!

Just made it through Dallas, with a slight detour after taking the wrong branch to get I35E South. Traffic is far heavier now then it was going up, but so far we've never hit any bad traffic the entire trip

January 24, 2009

Aaaaaaand we're back on the road again, this time going up to Dallas to visit one of Kara's friends, and do some sight-seeing. We're just hitting Waco right now, and her friend lives in Plano so there's still a way to go.

America's got ourselves a brand new president! Competence and intelligence return to the White House! And within the first 3 days he's already re-opened up transparency, restored basic civil rights, amd new ethics orders, and started trying to fix the mistakes of the last 8 years.

I of course watched the inaguration on TV, down in the cafeteria at work with about 75 other people. You only get to see history like this once in a lifetime. I wish I could have been in DC, but I can tell future generations I saw our first non-white president get inagurated. I thought the speech was pretty good, not my favorite though, but I loved the line about restoring science, which has been trampled on by Bush the last 8 years.

I also find it amusing how Fox News is freaking out about this. And the conservatives who freak out about how much the inaguration cost. None of it is taxpayer funded, its the free market deciding to spend money on this with donations, which is exactly the kind of economic spending we need, and also exactly how conservatives would want to see, but because it's for Obama, suddenly its an outrage.

Here's a really cool demonstration of the gatling gun equipped Suburban's that trail the Presidents limo at all times. Also apparently with its 7 inch steel plates in the doors, his limo can withstand a direct RPG attack. Gets terrible gas milage though.

December 2008 -- 2009 -- February 2009