Sunday, August 29, 2004


During the course of the day, if I think of something to blog about, a make a little note. Now I could probably just as easily post the darn idea, but as you can see, that hasn't happened in a while. So pardon me while I clean house.

In the same week I came across a wikipedia article about Mitochondrial Eve and a yahoo news story about using mitochondrial DNA to discover the ancestry of the dingo. I found that interesting because a) I always think about Madeleine L'Engle's A Wind in the Door whenever I hear mitochondria and b) my college roomate Steve did research using mitochondrial DNA. (Actually Steve used chloroplast DNA since plants don't have mitochondria but the principal of female inhenritance is the same. Honestly I never did that well in biology so someone please comment and correct this if it's wrong.)

While browsing home pages and blogs of former Auburn professors of mine I came across a page that had an interesting summary of libertarian ideas: other people are not your property. This lead to about three days of reading libertarian ideas. One of the more interesting resources I found was a question and answer page that gives an idea of the libertarian view of a number of topics. It's a nice reference.

So when driving to use less gas, do you turn on the A/C or roll down the windows? A/C puts extra strain on the engine which in turn uses more gas but rolling down the windows makes the car less aerodynamic whic in turn uses more gas. So where's the line? I always though it was above 25. Some people think its more like 60. Everyone agrees it depends on the car. It'd be nice if that was a stat they put in the owner's manual.
Car ac vs windows

A few weeks ago sitting outside Pok-E-Jo's in the Arboretum I watched a storm roll in from off the hills. Every time any of us in the lunch group say a flash of lightning we counted the seconds to figure out how far away the bolt was. Trouble was, we all wanted to divide the number of seconds by a different number. So what number are you supposed to divide by and why? The number is 5 and it's based entirely on the speed of sound since for this purpose the speed of light is practically instantaneous.

Want to retire early? Don't have children.

Here's an interesting article from John Dvorak about important software from a historical perspective. I will always remember Dvorak as the writer who dupped Jerry into thinking vacuum tubes were the next big thing on modems in an April Fool's Day article.

Quote of the post:
"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." -- Bob Dylan

Information on opening a franchise. "While franchise investments vary, you will need a minimum of $20,000 liquid capital (cash, securities, home-equity) AND a net worth of at least $100,000 to meet the investment parameters of most franchise companies." And this is for GolfTEC specifically, "Net worth requirement: $1M Cash liquidity requirement: $250K." Guess that's off the table.

Check my ImageStation page for updates. There should be pictures from the Auburn trip and Houston trip up soon.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Battle over Texas sex-ed textbooks

From CNN, "... one textbook under review advises that a good way a teen-ager can prevent a sexually transmitted disease is to get plenty of rest so he or she can have a clear head about sex and choose abstinence." If only I had known about this when I was a teenager. Sorry mom, I have to rest today, you know, because of the sex.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

In flight entertainment

One of the better perks of my job is having a company laptop. Right now I am writing this on the laptop, somewhere over Texas, or possibly Louisiana. How can one really tell from the little window on the plane? The next few days will be an adventure as I am traveling to Auburn for Doss’s wedding. Fly to Atlanta, rent a car, drive to Auburn, see a town I lived in for four years and haven’t seen in nearly as many. I’m sure I’ll have a good bit to write about. Though since it’s me, the question really is will I.

Speaking of weddings, yesterday was Melissa and I’s two year wedding anniversary. Due to the impending trip and National Night Out, it was not your normal anniversary evening. You see, National Night Out is a neighborhood gathering that a number of places around the country have. It is always on August 3rd. We have missed it the past two years because of the wedding and our first anniversary so this year we thought we would give it a whirl. It was nice to meet our neighbors and to put names to the faces I see almost every day. For instance, there is this little girl across the street that I have seen grow from an infant to a two year old and now I know her name is Sarah. Afterwards, Melissa and I watch our wedding video all the way through for the first time since the wedding. We had a great time reliving the memories including but not limited to, the busted limo, everyone’s face as they walked down the aisle, her father’s jokes about his empty wallet, anything involving Angela the flower girl, Melissa’s crazy cousins, swing dancing with my cousin Chad, the two of us never without a drink, and of course Chris doing the Gator. It’s nice to have a video to look back on to help you remember the night. So much of it is a blur to me. The worst part of the video is having to watch yourself on TV. I’m just not a fan of that.

To my darling wife: Thank you for a wonderful two years. I love you more now than I did then and I really didn’t think that was possible. I look forward to many more years.

I’m pretty such I’ve mentioned it here but it bears repeating. Lately whenever Melissa and I discuss our future, we talk about moving back to New Orleans. Why would I leave such a secure and comfy job as the one I have now? We have a nice life in Austin and certainly aren’t struggling so why change that? Most people are moving to Austin, not away from it. Trying to explain why I want to move from Austin to New Orleans feels a little bit like trying to explain why one would jump from a lifeboat back onto the Titanic. Austin is doing very well, New Orleans … not so much.

(Just flew over Baton Rouge according to the captain. Nice timing.)

A friend of a friend once described New Orleans as a fungus. When you live there it’s not so nice at first but after a while it grows on you and after a while you really can’t get it off. I think that’s true for a lot of people and for those of us that grew up there it’s as if that fungus is a part of us and something most of us don’t even notice. For me, moving away was a way to shine some sunlight on that fungus and see what I really thought about it. Ok that’s enough about fungi I think.

Going to college in Auburn was the first attempt and that was a pleasant experience. Certainly college life is a little different from the ‘real world’ but I think I got a good feeling for what life in a smaller town would be like. It was interesting, and given the right circumstances I think I could spend my life in a small town, but it just felt too small. There just wasn’t a lot to do there and many of the things I expect to have in life just weren’t there.

Austin, on the other hand, has none of those problems. Moving to Austin was mostly a job decision but was also a chance to try somewhere else. I love Austin’s way of embracing new ideas while still hanging onto the older things that make it unique. And I never tire of the scenery. Hills and cliffs and lakes, oh my! It’s a big enough city to offer all the things Auburn lacked, while not being so big that I feel overwhelmed, as I feel in say Houston. Overall I think it deserves its high ranking on all those city lists out there. So why leave?

It’s not home. I miss home.

(Battery dying and plane landing so I’ll have to continue later.)