Pay attention now. This is a photo essay in four parts. Lots to cover.

The Move

In 1999, I took a job offer and we moved to Austin. Since that time, my office has been in one building. Over the 5 year span, I have had 2 jobs, 5 bosses and 3 different desks. I've worked for the same company that changed it's name twice and was bought buy another company only to have it sold back to some of the original members.

I learned a lot in this old job. A lot of skills that probably wouldn't get me a job in any other field, but enough to feel I've accomplished things. In that 5 years I've only been asked twice to contribute my artistic skills to the job; the first time being a total disaster.

But last week that all changed. We finally, after months of waiting, moved to our new facility out west. No longer will we enjoy the comforts of downtown with its convenient parking and walking distance eateries. It's a sad solemn day when a chapter of your life closes; a chapter that so far has been 1/6th of my life.

But in some respects it's exciting. The group is now smaller, leaner, and more energetic. We're ready to take on the financial world and give 'em what for. I have to share an office with two other people, but it's an office, not a cube. I'm glad I was chosen to move and I'm glad I still have a job, especially with the little one starting day care.

The Bugs

Not that Texas has bugs that are any stranger than California or Illinois or Florida, but lately it's like the rock has been rolled away from the cave and the mutants have been given a bus pass. This, yes, this is a bumblebee. Now I remember growing up with bumblebees. They were fat, slow, stupid bees. This guy and his buddy came ripping past us faster than a bird. This guy is the size of a half dollar. I didn't want to get too close so this is a zoom.

These little fuckers look like wasps when they fly and like to hang out in long grass. Imagine my dismay when mowing the lawn, I unleash a half dozen of what I think are mud wasps. Yeah, I left the mower running and sprinting down the street screaming obscenities. Then they land and you notice they're just beetles. Little jerks.

Now THIS guy is truly wonderful. Just a spider, about the size of a pea, but check out the back. Imagine getting bit by a spider, then looking to see it has an evil death's head on its back. By the way, I'm not actually touching it, the camera wasn't focusing on the spider, so I had to put something behind it.

I didn't take this one, Mrs. A did, but it's yet another Interesting Bug.

There were 4-5 of these guys marching around the top of our trash can. They almost looked like sentries patrolling for intruders. When I tapped my finger near one, it actually jumped on my finger instead of scurry away like you're supposed to as a bug. Aggressive, red, tense. I have no idea what kind of bug is it, but it looks pissed.

The Trampoline

I think I'd like to do a series of photos with everyone we know jumping on the trampoline. Not all at once, mind you, it would be foolish to get more than, oh 5 people on at one time. I worry enough having LMA up there with anyone. The limit is 250lbs. and I won't give much away, but with LMA weighing in at a sprite 30lbs., she and I push the envelope.

We had to take this picture fast. She was having none of it.

Mrs. Austin and her brother had a tramp as kids and so when he and his wife came over, he tried to recreate some of those youthful memories. Either that or give himself a busted spine.

This is Invincible Girl. You can't see it in this shot, but later shots she was less than invincible. Seriously, I don't know that she's ever been on a trampoline, but she giggled like it was covered in feather ticklers.

This is Schuyler's mom. She came to pick Schuyler up after we watched her for a while. I think she enjoyed the jumping more than the kids.

This was Schuyler's second time on the big black bouncer and this time she took to it more than last time. This time, with LMA and Miss Julie's help, she fell, flopped and knocked heads with the best of them.

The Family

It's not a utopia in our house. It rarely has been idyllic, but lately it's been downright oppressive. We're doing our best to get through this, but we're living day to day, minute to minute. Plus I've shaved my beard and let my hair grow and that's usually some kind of sign.

Haircuts aside, Lil Miss Austin has been regressing. I won't delve into specifics, but I think she's finally getting tired of the times we put her off so we can attend to the baby. She's a trooper though, we all are. She digs her brother and still wants to smoosh his head.

She's still too small to pick him up or hold him in her lap, but that doesn't stop her from trying. I left the two of them in a room, Pilgrim up on a chair, LMA on the floor watching TV, when I came back she straddling him, holding him by the waist, and dragging him over to where she was sitting. It was awful sweet that she wanted to include him, I'm just no sure how she got him off there without a single wound.

I've been doing my best with the little man, but if you remember stories from when LMA was a baby, you'll recall that she was always waking up at night. Pilgrim has improved the trait by never falling asleep. The little monster sleeps almost non-stop from 5-11 at night, then he's up almost the whole night with some distressful thing or another. It's no wonder Mrs. A wants to smash plates.

Lil Pilgrim, at least, is a pretty normal disposition. He smiles now if you tap his nose or make a face or funny noise. His little head is very edible and his eyes are insanely curious to his surroundings. He does squirm and cry and grunt and squeal like any other kid, but we're starting to notice a change in pattern. I hope it's a good change, we could use it.

LMA long ago figured out how to use a camera. Now it's a matter of figuring out how to see the picture she just took.

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