Snow in Austin

Snow in Austin
Originally uploaded by xadrian
It closed down the city!

We had 1/2" of snow on Tuesday and it shut our southern asses down. Farther north in Dallas and surround areas, they had a respectable couple inches, but they're used to that. Amarillo gets some mean storms as well so it's not like Texas is ignorant of snow.

But in Central Texas, we don't get much. I don't even have to take off my shoes to count the number of times Austin has seen snow in the decade I've been here. Even ice storms are infrequent though more likely. There's also this weird atmospheric bubble over Austin and its metro area; we don't get a lot of storms. I know storms are basically a disturbance in the air - cold air falling, warm air rising, dry air mixing with moisture. But it seems the added heat of a metro area further disturbs the storms into nothing and once a line reaches us it's strength has left it. We always seem to get the tail end of the big storms; the last throes, the southern tip of the front, the remaining rainfall from something that opened up a bit out to the west. We're too far inland to worry about gulf weather and too far south to worry about tornadoes. We're in this pocket of stability that's pretty boring meteorologically speaking.

Which is probably why my office shut down after it snowed for 10 minutes. Which is probably why schools and businesses were on a two hour delayed opening even though it was nearly 50 degrees and sunny outside. Which is why I think it's hilarious that despite the actual weather going on outside, the city sends out sanding trucks.

Now I know there's a danger of overpasses icing up, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that at 35° it's not going to happen. Once the snow stops, there's no moisture. Once it starts warming up, there's no ice. Austin panicked like an overprotective parent and a vaguely rug-burned knee. I had a friend tell me he had to shovel 6 inches of show just to get to work.

For those that don't know, I grew up in Colorado and if there's one thing I know about, it's snow. My mom and dad both taught me different lessons on driving and they both taught me that if you can drive in the snow, you can drive anywhere. But their point was also, don't drive in the snow. What happened in Austin yesterday was no where near what I've seen even on the lightest of days in Denver. What happened in Austin was visible rainfall. The streets didn't ice over and by that night even, before the sun had completely set, the "storm" had passed.

The fact that they closed schools the next day was just...well it was kind of fucking retarded.

Sorry Austin, it just was. You won't close the city for SXSW, which has a much larger impact, but a few snowflakes and you send out the sand trucks and shut down schools? This isn't Louisiana where we can get away with shutting down for Mardi Gras, this is fluke snow fall. Go outside, get a couple on your tongue, and get back to what you were doing. It's not radioactive, it's not going to bury anyone in giant drifts. It's softly falling moisture.

I feel as though my city let me down by this. Sorry to anyone else if you heard news of our baby storm. DC had Snowpocolypse, we had Snow Big Deal.

Carry on.


Girl Day

Bunny Copter
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
This weekend was full of events. First, TG and I got to take in a viewing of Cirque du Soleil - Allegria. It was a great show, do try to go if you get the chance. I was talking to Ms. A about it and she took LMA to see it later in the weekend and we both agreed that it seemed shorter than the previous time we saw it.

It was at the Cedar Park Event Center, home of the AHL Texas Stars. It's a nice, almost cozy venue and there were really no bad seats. Our only complaint was that Community Coffee is one of the sponsors and they don't have a coffee bar. The coffee you get is from any of the concession stands and it's just from a dispenser. Kind of a let down, especially considering CC's posters and banners and such are all over the place. I joked that Austin Community College was a sponsor too, didn't mean I could take a class while I was there.

I tried to study a little on Saturday but that didn't work out. We spent most of the day at the Women in Engineering Program's event Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day or just Girl Day. It was at the UT school of engineering and they had several buildings set up for events designed for girls ages 6 through 12. It was mostly hands on, thought a few were just displays with explanations. Little Miss Austin had a lovely time. As with most events like this, she now wants to be an engineer and build robots. If we take her to a home and garden expo next week she'll want to be a landscaper. I'm pushing hard for math and science and engineering because it involves robots.

That night was a birthday party for TG'm roommate. It was sci-fi themed so I went as Arthur Dent (easy costume) and TG was a certain fanboy dream come true. (Take a guess.) It was fun and graciously not too late.

Sunday Ms. A took LMA to Allegria while G-man and I went to Chuck E. Cheese. He played and I read Ethics. (Yes, I can focus while I'm there, it's really odd.) We all came home and had a nice family dinner of lasagna, some specially made for Ms. LA who had seconds. It was the first time any of us had seen her eat seconds. For those that don't know, if she turned sideways, Ms. LA would disappear. She's about 5'2" and weighs maybe 90lbs soaking wet. It was a small victory for Ms. A to make food she liked so much.

And then we watched Olympics. NBC upset me a little with it's non-coverage of hockey. We record the prime time show and I should have known hockey was going to end up on MSNBC or something. But unless you're a die hard Olympic fan, you're not going to pay real close attention to the schedule and after a week it just got away from us. Subsequently we watched Ice Dancing most of the night until they cut away to 20 seconds left in the 5-3 US victory over Canada. Stupid NBC.

That's all for now. I have a study a lot this week again. My first test in Ethic is Friday. So far in History I have two A's so I'm confident I'll do well.

Carry on.


Ask me!

I put up a little widget over on the side, it's from formspring.me and it's just a little comment tool in the form of a Q&A.  So, if you have questions for me, feel free to ask.  I'll try to be entertaining but informative.  Witty but factual.  There will likely be tens and tens of questions so I would likely be able to get to them all.  Ask about anything; the kids, my world, Lego, drawing, science fiction, views on politics, upcoming projects, school.

Even if you want to use it to ask something crass, mean spirited or insulting, I'll do my best to rise to the higher ground and give it an honest answer.

In other news, I got a 90% on my second history test, so that's two A's so far, out of 5 tests and a paper.  Haven't taken any Ethics tests yet.  We'll see how that goes.  I have a feeling I'm going to struggle with those.

PS, a plane just hit a building here in Austin so I'm going to go watch the live news feeds for a while.


2010 So Far

Middle Fuselage
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I think this blog has become a cliché. I don't post often and when I do it's usually to write about how I've not been writing enough. I'm frankly a little worried about what to write here. Not because of the reaction I'd receive, but more because it's filler content that is not truly about anything but what's happening in the three foot bubble that surrounds me.

I truly am a creature that lives in the here and now. Much like a dog or infant human who doesn't understand the concept of time or distance. It's part of why I'm really bad with organization; a skill like that requires a view of events to come. I'm mostly concerned with what's happening immediately around me and at this very moment in time. I was joking with someone when I said I live in three day increments, but I wasn't joking by much.

I blame TV (because who doesn't?)

I'm bad with prioritizing and completing projects at work. I'm lousy with long term planning like trips or events. I can't seem to get the hang of doing creative or work related tasks before the last second has arrived. It's not that I procrastinate for that connotes an understanding of when something was needed and my refusal to take action now and willfully put it off.

No, I don't even know it's out there. My subconscious procrastination is so strong that it blinds me to everything but what is immediately important. Thus I am a reactive creature and I wait until something bumps into me. I am a prehistoric single cell organism.

I'm planning a trip to DC in the summer, by which I mean TG is planning and I'm agreeing with everything. But even saving for the trip is foreign to me. I have this architecture in my brain that says it'll be okay if you don't put $50 in a jar right now. It'll be okay if you start saving in May. It'll be okay if you don't buy plane tickets now. I have tests next week and videos to watch and cars to fix, but I can't keep these things forefront in my thoughts. It's as if to do so would mean I'd cease to be me. It would change who I was if I was to constantly walk around with a mental day planner hanging in front of my eyes.

And yet I find time to do this. I find time to watch a cartoon or a movie I've already seen. I find time to sort Lego and build little bits of nothing. I find time to write about TV shows and research them to what end? I don't get paid to do any of that, but I do it.

So that's what I talk to you about. Because the rest of the world around me is currently a little jumbled. Things are happening fast and I'm just trying to keep up. They aren't bad things, they are just things. It's like a multi-person project that sits for a long time in the planning phase and then suddenly you're smack in the middle of acting and doing and there's that feeling of uncertainty where you don't know if you'll end up on the other side the same as you were or better or not at all.

It's hard to describe without using names and events and time lines, but almost nothing stays the same around the house much longer than a day. We keep agreeing on schedules and finances and activities and then making exceptions not hours later. It's like living in a blender in a dryer in a wind tunnel.

The positive news is that I'm taking the bus more and more. It's good for the legs and heart and it's better on my car. I have a bus pass through ACC (which I've already had to replace) and I can only imagine the gas I'm saving. I'm only driving to work two days out of the week now so that's got to be a substantial savings. Plus I can read or do homework or nap. It's nice.

The Saints won the Superbowl. Who dat? No one! We had a few people over and the Cajuns made etouffee and we drank too much. (PS, for those of you who don't know, rice and beer will make you bloat like Violet from Willy Wonka, don't say I didn't warn you.) We missed the forth quarter however. The downfall of technology is our reliance upon it. We paused it at the start of the forth quarter, it was 17-16 Colts. We were waiting for a friend to get off work. She arrives, LMA hands me the remote, we juggle it and it lands between me and the couch and it changes the channel. I quickly change it back to find there's 90 seconds left in the game and it's 31-17 Saints. We were crushed we couldn't see it and oddly only mildly happy the Saints won.

I couldn't have recorded it? Yes I tried not making LMA cry, it wasn't her fault...entirely.

Alright, I should go do some work. Carry on.