The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport.

"General opinion is starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed. I don't see that. Seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it's always there. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.

"When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge, they were all messages of love.

"lf you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
-Opening of 'Love Actually'

This year is going to be a really unique as it's the first year that I've been married and spent a Christmas with the lady. So far it's been really fun with the tree, decorations, first christmas ornaments, home-made wreaths, hand-dipped chocolate covered pretzels, egg nog, presents under the tree, the wifey wrapping presents for me, warm house with a dreary outside...

All of these things are starting to make up for all the decoration-less, lame Christmaces that I spent pre-Mrs. Otis. I'm really lucky where I am this year and I wish you all a Merry Christmas as you look and see the love that is all around you this season.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Real Daredevil

Check this out. And prepare to be amazed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why You Need a Separation of Church and State

"…the bill goes against...the constitution of Pakistan, which state respectively that "Islam will be the state religion" and "No laws will be passed which are repugnant to the Koran and sunnah."

-BBC News Report, Kirachi

Sometimes the things we do in America scare me. Up until the last year or so I saw the whole US headed towards becoming just the Christian version of all those messed up countries in the Middle East. Time after time there were outrages that America were abandoning God, forcing people to forget their religious roots, and that we needed a return to Jesus. While on a personal level I’m all for that, a lot of people failed to realize that there are distinct separations between church and state for a very good reason. Because it keeps you from deciding that I need to die.

Religions themselves tend to be rather peaceful, religious viewpoints on the other hand are usually formulated around taking abstract portions of text and applying them against those that you like the least. Take for examples gays. The Bible clearly states in many places that gay sex is an abomination of God. Because of that statement gays are hated in the US, chastised, told that they cannot live their life in the manner they choose, have lies made up about them, and even keep Ellen Degeneres from becoming a late-night replacement for Jay Leno (that’s my theory at least). However, these same people clearly ignore all of the other abominations surrounding those same verses with which they so blithely use to instantly condemn those they don’t like.

Such forgotten abominations as:
Fortunately though we have at least one "kitty-litter rathold of a country"* that gives us shining examples of why we should never, never, NEVER let a religion run a country.

Under the controversial Hudood Ordinance, brought in under Gen Zia-ul-Haq from 1979, a rape victim had every chance of being convicted of adultery unless she could produce four male eyewitnesses to the crime.
The punishment for adultery is lashings and stoning according to traditional Islamic law.

The big hoorah over there is that instead of just killing women who get raped because the women are adulterers, they now might need to (omg /oma, close your eyes, this might be a bit astonishing) investigate the allegations! Such heathens! Such infidels! Such obvious extortion by the secular conspiracists!

Sad thing is, those exactly the cries that are being heard.

*as said by Andrew

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tally the Votes

First off I'd like to show you a little map of just how corrupt our districting was. I heard the Dems whining a few years ago, and now I finally see why.

It's ridiculous that parts of Austin are included in the same districts as suburbia Houston. Or the fact that all of the Dem strongholds on the border of Mexico are broken into thin slivers that end up being majority Repub. The needs of the residents from one part to the other are incredibly different; how can you effectively represent the people if they really have nothing in common because the district has no commonality? Why can't we just make simple districts by area?

The root problem is that lawmakers set up their own districts, and I think that needs to come to a halt if we're ever going to make this country a better place. Setting your own district is like me setting my own boss...of course I'm going to pick the guy that likes me, but that means I'll work all that much less because I know I can always get a good review. Or having a popularity contest, but only your best friends can vote...oh and make sure it's different groups of friends so that even if you're not the most popular in any one group you'll still get the most votes from all of the different groups.

But on to the point of this topic: Who am I going to vote for in this election?

This is actually much tougher than you might think. For the past 2 weekends I've bought the paper in hopes that there would be a nice and simple spread of all the candidates, what they support, achievements, and failures are. Then let me choose based off of the issues. Unfortunately there is nothing in the paper. And when you want to find any information you get something horrible like this which simply shows that they like candidate X, but no reasons no rationale. If you do some digging you can find why they support candidate X...however, they only pump up the positives and don't even mention what their opponents might do. That's TERRIBLE journalism. Give me the facts, show me the different viewpoints and I'll decide the best person. Your JOB your primary job as a paper is to inform the people. I am frankly appalled at the poor job that our local paper does in this category and after their recent ad campaign focused solely on sexual innuendo (Are you getting it?), I don't know if I can ever buy an Austin American Statesman again. My job as a citizen is to think and choose, don't just pretend that I can do neither...cause I sure thought about not buying your paper...and now I've chosen.

Fortunately I found one decent source where I least expected it. News8Austin. Turns out most of the information in here is really good. They simply ask a few questions of each candidate that's at least seriously in the running and then give you links to their websites. Much better. Simply a statement of the facts and that's it.

Now let's get to the real votes:
  • Governor:
    • Rick Perry: No way. The man makes a good yell leader, but I've yet to see any solid leadership from him ever. Most people that I know in the gov't organizations that work around him consider him to be a jerk, and he has a full-time makeup artist at his side all the time. There are so many things that he could have done and failed to show vote for governor is against Perry.
    • Chris Bell: Pure politician. His ideas are generally bad and center on taxing more and spending more.
    • Carol Keeton-Strayhorn: Her platform is that she had sex and birthed children who later begat children. Um...I need a bit more than that. Digging into the issues you see the only thing she really has a clear idea on is education. Unfortunately within 2 seconds you can tell she is a pawn in the Teacher's Union's hands (simply throwing more money at teachers won't make them better). All of her ideas are just bad. Education is a business. It's time that we started treating it as it is.
    • Kinky Friedman: As an individual he's probably the worst candidate out there. The problem is, he's the only one trying to think outside of the box. I absolutely love some of his ideas (and he has the best website of any politician I've ever seen).
      1. The idea of centering the State of Texas as the primary source of renewable energy is genius. It would guarantee our prominence in the world for the next generation.
      2. Private funding of High School sports. We have plenty of money to educate kids. The problem is too many funds are diverted to sports programs.
      3. CHIP. As much as I don't like welfare programs I don't think you should take it out on the kids, they didn't make the choice to have crappy parents. Let's keep it well funded, the payoff will be worth it by having healthier adults.
      4. National Guard on the border. That's where they should be. If the Fed Gov't can't help us, we need to help ourselves until they get their heads out of their butts.
      5. Same day voter registration. As a college student it was hard to know where to vote, but I knew I needed to. Most people don't think about elections really until a few days beforehand.
        1. I would also like it to just be a system where you swipe your drivers license/state ID. It's all computerized anyways, just compare the number to one in the database...eliminates voter fraud and maximizes democracy.
      6. Legalize Gambling. I think this is a horrible idea. But it's the only one I disagree with him on. Fortunately this would never pass, so I'm not too worried about it.
    • Vote goes to - Kinky. He is the only one actually trying to think of some unique ideas that I think would do well to be implemented. While not perfect I think he's the only one that can actually see Texas for what it is.
  • U.S. Senate
    • Kay Bailey Hutchison: From about 4 Republican friends working for organizations in Washington D.C. I found out that she is known for being the biggest b!tch in Washington and has an extremely high turnover as a result. More importantly if you look at her campaign platforms and reasons people support her is because she brings money to Texas. I'm sorry, but that's what is wrong with Washington. She should show how much money she saved the whole US, not just how much in funds she was able to secure for pet projects. I really don't want to vote for this candidate.
    • Barbara Radnofsky: I like most of her ideas and she seems fairly conservative, right up until she talks about how to pay for it all, educate people, and pulling out of Iraq quickly.
    • Vote goes to - neither. I don't think either of them deserve a real vote, so I'll probably pick a Libertarian candidate to up the party's recognition.
  • U.S. Representative
    • Michael McCaul: Very standard Republican fare. Seems to think that security is being helped by Iraq. No real ideas. Your trophy wife and blonde children have nothing to do with my vote. Get them off of your front page. You're too vanilla anyways. Next.
    • Ted Ankrum: His main platform appears to be that he's not a Republican. Well, I hate to break it to you, but the Democrats aren't the only, we need more parties. He does have a few good ideas. If he was the only candidate I would vote for him...but he's not.
    • Michael Badnarik: Seems to be the one libertarian with a chance. Also wins points for his references to V is for Vendetta (one of the best messages in a movie this year - ad). Has a very well thought out concise website (huge plus!), and I really like his ideas. It's really nice to have someone think instead of just talk.
    • Vote goes to - Badnarik he thinks, understands more about our district than most, has some great positions, and we could use a fresh candidate that's not your standard vanilla or chocolate. (Also a little thanks to Allen for commenting within minutes of my blogging even though we've never met. Really impressed to see people actively using the internet instead of commercials to promote their candidates!)
  • State Representative
    • Mark Strama: Wants to redistrict (see above maps), against toll roads, restore funding to CHIP, wants to prevent 'open space' development...I like parks and natural areas...don't let Austin become like Round Rock or worse, Houston.
    • Jeff Fleece: Is for school choice, wants communities to be able to de-annex themselves if the city fails in their civic services, wants to stop tolls once roads are paid for (I think there should be a counter that shows the balance going down with each toll).
    • Vote goes to - Unsure. Neither seems all that great. May be another case of voting for the Libertarian to bolster a third party.
I think the bottom line for voting is that you should NEVER vote for the lesser of two evils. The fact is that you shouldn't vote for anybody that you think is evil. America is so obsessed with our two party system that we think voting for a third party is 'throwing your vote away'. The problem is, probably 1/2 of the people voting for a typical candidate don't like the candidate. So why not vote for somebody you actually think could make a difference. Because there are a lot of changes that need to take place, and voting the same candidates in will not create that change.

Oh, and the Propositions. I don't feel like going into it. Here's a synopsis:
  1. Roads - They're bad, vote yes
  2. Flood control - too expensive for what they're doing, vote no.
  3. Parks - I love Austin's parks. Keep more of a good thing, vote yes.
  4. Art - Funding of racism and art that couldn't make it on its own, vote hell-no.
  5. Housing - Creates unnecessary local-level welfare, vote no.
  6. Central Library - Central Libraries are not the future, vote no.
  7. Police & EMS - Some areas have developed without adequate resources, vote yes.
Finally one bit of fun. Here's the best political ad of the entire election:
See Raj Run - What do Elephants, Mariachi Bands, and the Mexican Border have in common?
Fast forward to 4:14 in for the good stuff.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It's Backwards I Tell You!

I don't know why it's taken me so long to figure this out because it's really SO simple when you think about it. But our daylight savings time is all wrong. For my whole life I've dreaded the moment that we switch over from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. It means that your world goes from one that is filled with joy in the evenings and nice jogs just enjoying the weather to a life of leaving work or school after dark with nothing to hope for in the evening besides darkness.

That's when I thought it would be nice if we could simply stay on daylight savings time and never switch back over to normal. Then even in the dead of winter on the 30th Parallel it still wouldn't get dark until about 6:30 pm.

See the problem is that we have it all wrong. We currently employ daylight savings when we have plenty of daylight to spare. You shouldn't be saving when you have a surplus! You should be saving when there is a scarcity of something. And in the case of the sun it's most scarce in the winter; therefore, we should try to save more of it then. So my proposal is that back in the 1940s-1950s when we were doing other stupid things like deciding to drop the speed limit down to 55mph we also made the huge mistake of implementing Daylight Savings Time backwards.

Let's take a simple look at what this would look like if you have the following considerations:

Actually though, after thinking about it and crunching the numbers and even making the graphs, I think the real problem is simply with Standard Time. While the world may have once run in farms and so forth and everybody needed to wake up early the world has changed. Over 80% of the US lives in cities and those cities would benefit greatly from having a switch to Daylight Savings Time for good. No more jumping around just adjust to the sun instead of trying to fight it at least twice a year.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm a Superhero!

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Heroes is the best new show on TV.

Detroit: Squeezing the Jell-O

As part of my new position at work, I get the chance to go travel a lot. Sometimes I get to go to cool places like Silicon Valley or New England, but most of the time I get to go where the company needs me. It actually works out really well most of the time though, because sometimes it gives me a chance to go somewhere that I probably SHOULD go at some point in my life, but that I would have avoided if it were up to my own time and money. One of the cooler parts for me is just getting to see new things. It helps to make sure that your perspective stays properly aligned. It reinforces that most of America is pretty much the same, so you’re not missing out on much by not being in Place B instead of Place A because most of America is the exact same.

This week I got sent packing to the state of Michigan to teach a class on the outskirts of Detroit. Detroit has always been on my list of places that I’ve never wanted to go. The only reason that I can think of that I’ve ever wanted to go there is because I liked Eddie Murray who played for the Detroit Tigers. (That was back in the days when I still liked baseball, before the strike in 1994. Those guys wouldn’t PLAY because they didn’t get more money and my family was getting maybe $10k per year for 7 people. Just seemed a little lame, I wish baseball had picked up a bunch of scab players from the minors and started fresh) I guess that aside kinda leads into the main reason that I’ve never really wanted to go to Detroit, Unions. I just don’t really agree with the whole mentality because I think it’s self-destructive. But I’ll get into that in a moment.

Visiting Detroit was like looking in a shop full of old wedding dresses. They are really pretty, you can tell that somebody spent a lot of time and energy making all of the intricate details. In fact, just looking at them can sweep you back to imagining what it was like for that girl/woman that got married in them. So much potential, but it was so long ago that now these dresses are forgotten and the people that once wore them with such pride are gone. While it may be nice to look at the dresses and imagine what things were like, the truth of the matter is that you’d never wear them. Because one, you’re, you’re a dude and you don’t wear wedding dresses. And two, even if you were a girl, the truth is that the dresses are too old, and too forgotten to be worn.

I guess for a more manly analogy you could pretend it was and old gun or baseball glove. Looks cool, you know at one point it was worn with pride, but you sure don’t want to shoot it or try to catch something with it because it might blow up in your face or fall to pieces. There hopefully that partially redeems the man points lost in the prior paragraph.

The truth of the matter is that Detroit is a really pretty city in some areas. The downtown has a certain amount of class and retro cool that I’ve never seen anywhere else in the US before. However, behind that façade you can quickly see that the area is struggling to stay afloat. There are people randomly walking the street like zombies aimlessly looking for prey. In fact, hardly anybody is on the streets at all that doesn’t look like a piece of human vermin except in a few key areas. The problem with this place is that their industries are collapsing beneath them. I think part of it though can really be attributed right back to the people of the city and a lot can be traced to the unions that are there to protect them.

First off let me say that most of the people that I met up there were really nice. I’ve found people across the world to be incredibly nice, caring and helpful as long as you reciprocate the same back to them (even the shady people that your mom might cringe to think you’d talk to). However, I think there is a large chunk of the people that think they are entitled to their job. But you know what happens when you think you are entitled to something? You don’t appreciate it, you don’t try to develop it, and if you are forced to take care of it the best case scenario is for you to return it in the same shape you received it in. More likely than not, you will return it barely functioning. Basically if you don’t appreciate something you abuse it and then blame it for the abuse that you rendered upon it. The reason that unions exist really are good reasons. There is a certain amount of balance that employees need to make sure that they are not being mistreated by the people that they work for; however, I think as many different things in our world it is more like a pendulum that swings from one extreme to another and in this case I really feel that the pendulum has swung so far in the ‘favor’ of the workers that it is doing them a disfavor. Those that don’t appreciate their jobs are so secure they aren’t motivated. In fact, the security of the position makes sure that they are terrified of losing the security of a job that if they really thought about they don’t want in the first place. So instead of trying to do something they love, or trying to achieve more, or trying to better what they’ve been given they are scared into complete inaction by their desire to be secure. And as with anytime that you aim only to gain security you lose it, exactly like Detroit is losing the security now. The jobs are leaving, the industries are collapsing, those stuck in a position that didn’t challenge them are finding that they have no skills because they were too terrified to do something different.

Security is one of those things that’s like a Jell-O. It’s really great to have. When you have it; however, you are quickly tempted to try to grab onto it tightly to keep is from slipping away. But as with the Jell-O if you squeeze it is simply slips thru your fingers and while you may keep your hand closed unwilling to open it because ‘the Jell-O would slip away’, if you did open it you would find there’s nothing there. In the haste to retain it, it is lost.

I don’t want to become like Detroit. What is my personal Jell-O? Job security? That doesn’t exist in this world. My toys? Eventually they will fail me and break apart. My friendships? If I become too needy they will be driven away. Money? A man obsessed with money can never become happy. So life remains this balance. Enjoy what’s sitting in your hands, be willing to look at it and enjoy it for what it is, but don’t clutch on to it. It’s in the grasping that the things we desire in life slip between our fingers.

Detroit, I hope that you one day learn to make yourself anew. There’s a lot of talent, there’s a lot of hidden beauty within you. But you’ve got to be willing to let go and move forward; otherwise you will lose everything that you are trying so hard to clutch to and there will be nothing left.

The Office

Within a day of getting back from my honeymoon, I found out that while I was gone my manager (Boss Level 2 on a 1-3 scale, 3 being highest) at work did what he could to sabotage my career by taking things I had said to him in private out of context and then making it sound like I was an awful employee that only wanted to harm the company.

Meanwhile the only person that could really help me out and prove that I was doing a good job was Boss Level 1. Unfortunately for me, he is a complete and total corporate suck-up who instead of doing what was right and showing instances of where I had done exemplary work saw that Bosses Level 2-3 wanted vilifying information…so he produced it, even if it was wrong, filtered thru his workaholicism, and mildly slanderous. So in an attempt to make me want to appreciate them as a management team Boss Level 1 and 3 pulled me aside and said that if I make another mistake I’m fired, and then pulled several other things out of context to try to make a case. Hindsight, if they actually had anything on me, they would have fired me right away, but you can’t really fire somebody just because you don’t get along with them or don’t like them, and my performance figures were thru the roof…I highly recommend this route to make sure that you don’t get illegitimately canned, have lots of tangible work you are always accomplishing. The biggest insult of it all was that Boss Level 2 never had the balls to see me face-to-face about any of it, he then quit the company 2 weeks later, undeserving suck-up Boss Level 1 is now Boss Level 2, and Boss Level 3 continues to refuse to talk with me as a normal person. It is kinda funny though, because I’m bigger than any of them, I can actually see the fear in their eyes every time they have a ‘meeting’ with me. I really enjoy that. Being a rather intimidating figure really helps in negotiations.

I would like to say I’m over the whole incident and that I got my act together and all is better. But that’s not the case. A few positions came open that I was the most qualified person for, and Boss Level 2 & 3 went behind my back and told the other groups and told them that they recommended against me getting the position because I had behavioral issues! They had nothing on me other than that Boss Level 2 had some unknown issue against me (which was later confirmed by mutual friends that he mentioned me by name outside of work). I guess this was a good lesson for me in several things:
  1. Nobody above you at work is your friend, even if they claim they are.
  2. If you ever make a joke about something make sure it is NOT written via email or instant message. It can always be pulled out of context and used to vilify.
  3. Passive-aggressive ‘happy’ behaviors are actually perceived by management as actual happy behaviors.
  4. Suck up to upper level management and make sure they know about all of the ‘awesome’ things you are doing.
  5. Remember that managers control your future pay raises.
  6. Try to work for a company that bases their pay on Performance and not Merit. Merit is impossible to prove other than by the feelings of the management. Performance is simple math and therefore less susceptible to manipulation.
  7. It doesn’t really matter how much you make if you’re miserable.
  8. If you tell people a lie over and over often enough, and they have no basis for comparison then most will actually believe you when you tell them they have it really nice.
    1. While my company professes it’s a great place to work, many, many people secretly loathe the place and all it stands for.
  9. God, friends, and family are probably the 3 most important things on the planet when you’re low.
Things are great now though. I am a totally awesome instructor, so I got out of the support group and am now the only person in my company that is a full time course instructor. It’s been great so far to be under new management, allowed to be reviewed for what I actually do, and most importantly I feel like what I do makes a small impact on the world and leads towards what I would like to do one day, which is be a professor and a crossing guard at an elementary school. My job actually is harder now than it was, means I need to work more hours, wear fancier clothes, and get up way earlier, but I love it. It’s so much better of a way to spend my life than simply trying to duck around management that’s pretty much only self-promoting and completely subjective in their reviews.

So, How’s Married Life?

In a word. Great!

Yes, that’s the definition I can honestly say to that question that will be asked by those with nothing better to say until they think we should start having kids (which in my mom’s case was within minutes of the “I do’s”).

I don’t really know where to start. I don’t want to put out a bunch of ‘gag me’ lines about how awesome it is having a wife, but it really is amazing. Getting married allows a relationship to grow easily and painfully in directions that are deeper/better/harder than you would ever know beforehand even if everybody told you everything. I highly recommend it, but I more highly recommend getting to know yourself REALLY well before you do. It’s weird, but by being married to keep the two of you together it seems like it requires more self-knowledge and understanding than anything else…oh and a willingness to find what the other person’s self is truly like. Is it all candy and puppies and happiness? No. But like anything worth doing it’s been mostly fun, and what work it has required has been MORE than worth it.

The hardest part was really the first month that we got back from the wedding. The funny thing is that us being married was the easy part. Work is what sucked for me.

Fortunately the last few months have been just cruising along for Mrs. Otis and I. We’ve learned a ton about ourselves thru one another and continued to share our passions for various things in life despite when other parts of our life try to tear us down.


Was absolutely gorgeous. I would try to describe it to you, but I really think that pictures say it best:

Basically we stayed at a really swank all-inclusive place. Definitely the nicest place in Puerto Vallarta. Although, if I could do the trip over again, I’m not to sure that the whole you being pampered thing is really up my alley.

The coolest thing we did was go on an adventure eco-tourism trip that let us go zip-lining and rappelling and mule riding thru the Sierra Madre mountains. Definitely a LOT of fun, and we even met a really cool couple while we were there that we still keep in touch with. The husband is a funny/cranky type and the wife is a happy/go lucky type…really funny combination and they work brilliantly together.

The Wedding

Since I’m locked up in an airport because God has deemed flight delays to be something I find pleasurable, I will go ahead and do what I can to do a quick recap of everything since just before the wedding.

Mostly I would have to say that the whole wedding was a huge surprise. While there were a few crises here and there (like one of my groomsmen arriving at about 30 min till), everything seemed to go really smoothly. Most of the day was just spent hanging out with friends and family slowly working our way to the wedding which was that evening. There’s nothing better than a little Guitar Hero to get your mind off of the wedding (btw, Guitar Hero II comes out in a few days and even has the song ‘Woman’ by Wolfmother and ‘Trogdor the Burninator’ by Home*Runner). Mostly with the whole wedding prep I was really impressed by how everybody stepped it up for us. We have some amazing friends and every one of them did their own part or even more for us. So for those of you who I have yet to thank….Thanks so much!

Alright, so we’re getting closer to the actual moment. I’ve now prepped, gotten on the fancy underwear, slipped on the tie, and omg! It’s time to get out there. Am I sure I want to do this? Yeah, I do, she’s great, quit scaring yourself. So I walk my mom up the aisle, place her down inn her little seat and stand up there with the minister and simply wait. One by one all of the people start walking their way up the aisle and with each one my level of nervousness rises a bit more. Here I am standing up here the focus of attention, waiting on the woman that many of these people have never even seen before and agh! Fortunately all of the people get up, the flower girl does the cute stuff of dumping the petals in one spot and running to her mom, and the stage is prepped. Queue music, the doors open and then Bam! There she is…absolutely gorgeous and completely elegant in her dress. Her and her dad start walking up, I finally get to catch her eyes and do what I can to reassure her that everything is going to be great. Then the real moment to know whether or not this can go on. Will her dad actually hand her over? Fortunately he does (still not sure what you’re supposed to do at this instance. Is it a hug? Perhaps and kiss on each side of the cheeks? Maybe you just shake hands and say, thanks for relinquishing her to me? Still don’t know what I actually did.).

So we work our way thru the ceremony but I’m focused on 3 things
  1. Look at Andrea – Minister – Crowd – Repeat
  2. Hoping that people get a kick out of the funny things that we had prepared for the ceremony.
  3. Praying that Andrea don’t notice the huge array of ginormous insects that my dad so graciously placed in the archway thing.
Everything seemed to go off without a hitch. My favorite parts were the quirky things that we added to the ceremony.
  1. 1. For our first reading we had KLove read a poem that I read to Andrea on one of our first dates. It goes something like this:
    I love and oh.
    Oh oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh oh…

    From Come Love with Me and Be My Life: The Complete Romantic Poetry of Peter Williams.

    It’s absolutely awful. How this guy was able to pen those words with a straight face and think that people would actually want to buy it, I’ll never know.

    I think most of our guests had no clue how to actually react to the whole thing, but after the first 10 lines of ‘oh’s’ I think they realized it was a joke and loosened up a bit.

  2. Next up for the funny stuff was our scripture reading, brought to us by Mr. Juicebox, the man that introduced me to this gem:

    Ecclesiastes 9:9 – Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.

    Such an inspirational message! He pulled it off with the class that he somehow adds to almost any situation.

  3. Finally, the one that almost nobody knew about. When the minister said, “You may kiss the bride” my 3rd groomsman Chris Mac (of EuroTrip fame) jumped out of line and said, “Whoa, hold on! Time out.” He then ran behind a tree and pulled out a little collapsible stool and placed it in front of the now Mrs. Otis so that she could come up and kiss me. This went over incredibly well, and I’m SO glad we decided to do that, it was the perfect touch…and made for non-awkward looking first-kiss photos of us being about the same height.
From there everything was just a total whirlwind. We went off to the bridal suite, signed the actual marriagelicense, tried to soak in the realness of everything, then went out and were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Otis, and sat down to eat. Or at least that’s what we thought we were going to do. Instead, person after person kept interrupting us. I wanted to be like, “Look, if you just leave me along for a sec, I can eat, I’ll be a bit less cranky and then we can talk all you want!” Unfortunately that didn’t happen. After a few minutes we gave up on the whole getting food into our bodies thing*, and went around the tables.

That was the hardest part of the whole thing. We wanted to spend so much time, but there were literally TOO many people that we loved there. I could have easily spent days just talking with all of the different people and still wouldn’t have caught up. Some of them I hadn’t seen in years either, so it was really sad to have only a minute to give to them. Within short order though, we found out that we were running out of non-dancing music and would have to do our first dance. It was great. I think most of the people thought that we were really good dancers…definitely good times.

So the evening went on, and there was cheesecake cutting (the biggest crisis of the night was actually should we cut the cheesecake first or dip strawberries in the fondue fountain first? …I can’t remember, which, but they were both delicious although the chocolate always wins in my opinion when competing against non-chocolate deserts.

More talking more chatting, more laughing, more awkward new relatives…great evening. But then we realized that it was time to go so it was off to do the bouquet and garter toss. Fortunately we switched this part up too. Having been to a lot of weddings where increasingly fewer and fewer of our friends were still single, Mrs. Otis and I realized that the bouquet and garter toss simply isolates single people, makes them feel like they have to get married, and in the case of the garter forces you to look up the skirt of your buddy’s wife and then touch something that was on ‘his territory’.

So instead we had “The Piñata of Singleness.” This new tradition (hopefully it will become a tradition, I would love to see it happen at another wedding) was spawned because I was thinking about how much the tosses sucked, and realized that one thing everybody enjoys is beating things with sticks! So what better thing to beat than a piñata? It ended up working out really well, and I think people had a lot of fun, even the kiddies. Then BAM! Eric busted the thing off of the line, and stuff came pouring out, including little Mexican candies and a few gag gifts. The gifts included, “Wash your sins away towelettes”, “Grow a Boy/Girlfriends”, and my favorite the book of “Everything Men Can Say to Women without Offending Them” which was completely blank on the inside. Funny thing happened with the Mexican candies though, some of them were small round caramel candies, but for some reason the adults with kiddos had a quick panic attack and thought, “Omg! Those are condoms!” Well they weren’t, but it definitely added to my amusement.

From there it was off to leave, but Tim had us watch a nice little video that he made for us first, and then we ran down an aisle of friends and family holding sparklers and dove into the car.

And that’s pretty much the end of the wedding. It was a ton of fun, and thank you so much to all of our friends and family for making it a day neither of us will ever forget.

So this little part is about the honeymoon night. No not like that! Well, kinda. You see we got this room at what we thought would be an amazing hotel, the San Jose Hotel on South Congress. Little did we know that despite the $300 price tag that all of the people there were pretty much yuppie trash (light beer people with too much money). Most of our evening was spent listening to a bunch of them RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW yelling and getting drunker as the night went on. Fortunately they finally went to bed…unfortunately; they went to bed with each other. Let’s just say, noisy people + thin walls made for a very miserable night.

For those of you planning something special and unique for your wedding night…just get a nice quiet hotel room. You’re too tired to enjoy anything fancy, and frankly, just because somebody says something is nice, doesn’t mean there is any class involved.

*Major props to the matron of honor who packed up 2 plates of food and put them in our car so that we could eat it later. If you're ever in that position, make sure to save some food for the couple, cause they likely will not get the time to eat anything.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cool Tech

The other day I ran across this really cool new product called d3o. I have no clue what the name stands for but the product is really cool. It's based off of the principle of a non-Newtonian fluid. A newtonian fluid is like water in the sense that if it flows at a slow rate or a high rate pretty much the same things will happen. However, some common elements don't behave like a normal fluid. For example, if you slow down blood it begins to thicken and eventually forms clots...that's a non-Newtonian fluid. Another example is a solution of Corn Starch, if you run your finger thru is everything is fine, but if you punch it then all of the sudden it is like punching a rock. When under high amounts of strain Corn Starch will resist any forces acting on it. Or for those of you that like Sci-Fi it's like the shields that they wear when fighting on Dune.

So that brings us to the main point. What if you could make a material that was amazing at taking hard bangs and hits, but was still flexible and comfortable to wear? Enter d3o. This stuff is really cool, and I can't wait until it's more widely available.

Check out some stuff on it here:
What is d3o?

Or a similar thing being done with balistics here:
Liquid body armour for soldiers?

Seeing stuff like this makes me really think that we may be finally reaching a new era in material technology. If you look at most things we deal with in our everyday life, they are built focussed around materials that have been around for at least a century, maybe more. However, with the coming of newer materials such as GoreTEX, UnderArmour, and maybe this d30 stuff it is sure to change the way we interact with our world for years or centuries to come.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Grossest Thing Ever!

Note: This is NOT for the squeemish at heart. Literally, this is probably the grossest thing I've ever seen/heard of and what's worse is that it's real! Yuck.

Here are a few more links in case you're interested in the medical side of things:
Fetus In Fetu: A Case Report and Literature Review

An interesting thing to think about with this is how does all of this apply to the theory of people having souls from the moment they are conceived? This is more developed than a few day old fetus, so are the doctors committing murder by removing it?

"Facial and cranial structures also are uncommonly seen, yet eyes, ears, mouth and poorly organized brain and cerebellum have been observed"

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Kind of Racing

One thing that's always hacked me off is how rules are put into place to taint the sport of car racing (Latest). It seems like no class is exempt. Somebody makes a technological breakthrough and then rules are created to keep them from winning...that's crap.

What I would like to see is a serious league of competitive car races where the rules are minimized to a few small points like this:

You must:
  • Have 4 wheels
  • Use only one set of tires for the whole race
  • Not use more than a pre-set amount of fuel*
  • Have a human driver
    • Provide adequate protection for the driver at the vehicle's full speed.
  • Drive like a bat out of hell
Rules that wouldn't exist:
  • Downforce limitations (see Formula1)
  • Intake restrictions
  • Weight limits
  • Engine size limits (will be somewhat self limiting)
  • Speed limits
  • Rev limiters
  • Vehicle dimension limits
  • Cylinder limitations
  • Fuel tank limits
  • NASCAR's No Right-Hand Turns rule
  • Tire manufacturer limitations
  • Other arbitrary non-written rules (see NASCAR)
That's it. Nice and simple. Let the manufacturers decide what works best for them, anybody's invited. The only other rule might be some spending limit so that you can make sure smaller companies can compete.

*There would be a Maximum Fuel-Energy Limit
For example in 1 gallon of gas there are about 150,000 BTUs. Start the league rules at requiring 25 mpg [~6000 BTUs per Mile]) for the race. That way if you have a 500 mile race you get 20 gallons (3,000,000 BTUs) of gas max.

Having an energy limit rather than a gas/diesel requirement would open the field to any alternative fuels that wanted to compete, particularly those with lower weight/energy ratios.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Together...with a 2

Yesterday I moved the girl's stuff over to my (er...our) apartment, and so this is it. The last real thing that had to be done before the wedding is official.

It's pretty cool though, because finally I don't have to be traveling back and forth between her place and mine for this and that, everything is in the same place.

So this week if you haven't guessed has been crazy busy. We're getting married on Saturday, so in the meantime we're busy trying to get this and that and the other together before we have to put on the big show. What's crazy is all the details. Details like, I have to get the music together, make sure that catering is in order, get hair cuts, make sure that wardrobes for everybody are set, try to find the proper order of events for the rehearsal...and fight for the details that are important and let go for the ones that aren't (what type of decorative toothpick holders do we have). So far things seem to be going smoothly though, and I'm excited because today is the last day of a bit of calm before everything really hits the fan. Mostly it's just all so soon, all so scary, and all so exciting.

I can't wait, but I know that like a good beer, you have to wait for awhile if you want it to taste good when you get it.

For those of you getting married in the future. I highly recommend taking at least a few days off before the wedding. There are way too many things to do in the days before a wedding, and if I put the onus of everything on Andrea, then it would just be wrong and she'd be a little basketcase. Fortunately she's not, I'm not, and we're getting a lot done...oh, and we can't wait to get out of here!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Stupid Fungus

I finally found a brand of contact lens solution that I loved! This stuff was perfect, nice and smooth, no rubbing required, very moist. My eyes actually felt better after putting in my contacts than before. Such an improvement on the harsh wetness of most lens solutions. However, like Love Monkey anything that you love is guaranteed to be quickly pulled from your life.

In comes the stupid fungus (story). Evidently because some people in Singapore don't know how to wash their hands, the product had to be pulled and now I have to live a life of optical discomfort. And there's no hope in site, just a bunch of empty shelves await me every time I go to look for some MoistureLoc solution.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Welcome to the New Apartment

This is where we're gonna live.

Well, today I'm moving to a new place with the help of some friends and a Uhaul truck. I must say this is the most exciting move I can ever think of making. This is the last time that I will move somewhere as a single man. It's definitely exciting to think that my new apartment will be the place where I start my married life and get to do things with somebody else and not just by myself.

Quick update, the wedding stuff is going well. Work is remaining challenging, but some doors are starting to open. Life is busy but good. People have already started buying us presents for the wedding which is really awesome (hint: I don't own any pots/pans and have one non-butter knife). Internet time has been somewhat limited as I haven't had my main computer up and running in almost 6 weeks. Also most of my internet free time has been spent making other sites for the wedding.

Yeah, so I thought this wedding thing would be a bit easier. In its essence it's just a big party. But then there's the details, and as much as you shouldn't stress the details, they can't just be forgotten. Like, What am I going to say while up there? Who can we invite? Where do we get booze/food/music/surprises/....? How do we keep things on the down low so that not everybody thinks they're coming? How do we manage time so that all of these people that we owe our time to can feel like they're a part of the process? How do I still get some time to myself when I stopped work at 5pm on Friday, have to go to Houston, have to go to Temple, have to attend a shower, have to go to a party, and have to take care of all the normal stuff all in a weekend? How do I still keep up a decent workout schedule so that I Look Good Naked (LGN Diet)? Why am I only gaining weight? Will any of the stress actually end after marriage or is that just a fantasy that I'm entertaining? When will the eustress stop?

That's just a small list of all the questions. I guess the real factor is that marriage is scary and so is anything in the future. It's hard to balance what's important and what needs to be done. And while life will never truly be relaxed, how do I maximize my moments of zen?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Picture in a Picture

This is one of the coolest things that I've seen in quite some time! I could easily spend hours on it. I find life so interesting and some of these pictures represent some normal images just brilliantly captured.

For those of you confused as to how it works, each picture is composed of pixels and each pixel has some sort of RGB (Red, Green and Blue) value. In this compilation, each picture is assigned a particular RGB value based off of the average RGB value for the image. That way an algorithm can be made to create an image, but when zoomed in it loads the image of the assigned RGB. The algorithm could probably be made in a day or so, but the real coolness is in the size of the library of photos.

I love it when art and technology combine!

If you guys get on me enough I might be able to whip up a program that makes a collage out of your own photo library. I think I have the base now, just might need a few tweaks...and the LabVIEW Runtime Engine (only language I can code in).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Places to Eat

So I'm up in Chicago right now teaching a class for the man, and I decided to look for a place to eat. So I went to and looked for "restaurants schaumberg il" and got the following useful information:

I don't think anything else really needs to be said.

Friday, April 28, 2006


My part of the wedding is done!

We booked a trip for our honeymoon! I'm really excited about this.

We're heading down to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico on the West Coast. This place looks really nice, and much more quaint than all of the Carribean locations that are within a short flying distance.

The Place

Now that this is done all I really have to worry about is getting a suit (because I have to loan my current one to one of the groomsmen) and finding food for the rehearsal. I feel like we could have the wedding in 2 weeks if we needed. Just wouldn't have her dress, and we definitely need that.

And just because I'm excited about going there, here are a few more pictures:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Conspiracy Theory: Pentagon on 9/11

Go here fast before it's taken down.

I'd put this right up there with JFK's head flying back instead of forward when he was supposedly shot from the back right by a 'communist'.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wedding Ideas

  • Enter the auditorium to some fun songs and give everybody high-fives
  • Leave the reception on little razor scooters, hide the car, then go somewhere.
  • Have Singleness pinatas that can then be bashed open by single people/kids
    • Guys and Girls - have some candy and some 'mature' items.
  • Start wedding a tad later (7:30ish) so that people can get dinner beforehand.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Plan

So, I got engaged this weekend. But what's an engagement without a story?

Below you'll find that story. If you need more details then call...although I'd be surprised if you make it thru THIS document.

The Plan

  1. Location: Andrea’s Apartments
    Time: 17:00

    Have K-Love give (or leave) Andrea a letter stating:
    Wait until five,
    Don’t get a head start.
    To the Great Forrest Spirit,

    Is where you’ll depart.

    (reference of these from this movie)

  2. Location: Otis' Apartment
    Arrival Time: 17:15
    Helper: Bryan

    She will then head to my house and the trees outside with the small rattly seeds. In the tree will be an envelope with my initials, her name, and a blue butterfly (this will be present at each location).

    Open the envelope to get the next clue:
    There is now a Gate
    Where once stood a Way.
    Behind the Park that’s Reserved,
    Or a ticket you’ll pay.

    Directions to next Location (Google)

  3. Location: Gateway Community Church (Bull Creek) – Office Parking Lot (map)
    -This is where we first met - April 3, 2005-
    Arrival Time: 17:30
    Helper: Mr. Juicebox

    There will be an envelope with my initials, her name, and a blue butterfly on the back of the Handicapped Reserved Parking Sign (it’s very faded).

    Next Clue:
    There once was a time,
    Before you were a kiss giver.
    We ate a large meal,
    And sat by a small river.

    Additional Clue (on back):
    Go to the valley,
    That’s Wooded and Spiced
    Spin ‘round the turns
    Like your car is all riced.

    Cross 4 to 5 creeks.
    Only 2.1 miles you’ll go.
    On the left a Saint you will find.
    And a tall tree with high boughs.

    Directions to next Location (Google)

  4. Location: St. Edward’s Park (map)
    -First Picnic Date she had ever been on-
    Arrival Time: 17:45
    Helper: Amy

    There will be an envelope with my initials, her name, and a blue butterfly hidden under a rock in the cradle of the call rounded cedar. You may need to put her on your shoulders to get to it (think of something I would hide/see).

    Next Clue:
    Your first time out dancing
    You looked ever so sweet.
    It was in this very room that
    You were first swept off your feet.

    Directions to next Location (Google)

  5. Location: The Fed (map)
    -This was where our first dance and kiss were exchanged-
    Arrival Time: 18:05
    Helper: Bryan

    There will be a row of bushes along the front of The Fed. As they get close to the right side of the front you will find an envelope with my initials, her name, and a blue butterfly hidden in the bushes. Open it.

    Next Clue:
    Something sappy, I can't remember exactly what.

    Directions to next Location (Google)

  6. Location: The Falls Apartments (map)
    -Her old apartments and a great breeding ground for fireflies!-
    Time: 18:18
    Helper: TimGrimes

    There is no cell service here, so don’t go down until you get a call to let you know she’s on her way. Simply wait for her to show up. Then blindfold her (I’ll try to supply it) and drive her to the next location.

    Directions to next Location (Google):
    1. Take 360 to Mopac and head South
    2. Cross Town Lake and take the Zilker Park Exit
    3. Circle under the highway and head towards Zilker
    4. Take the first first left (under the bridge) onto Rollingwood.
    5. Take a right onto a small road called Zilker Park
    6. Go 0.2 miles up the road and there is an entrance into the woods on the right.
      1. Just before you get to the entrance there will be a house with Giraffes in the front yard.
      2. If you’ve come to a crossroad leading to the left, then you’ve gone just a tad too far.
  1. Location: Zilker Park Nature Area Lookout (map).
    -One of the best unknown views in town-
    Time: 18:30
    Helper: None needed, all welcome
    Present: Ring

So that's pretty much the story. Tim un-blindfolded her and placed her on the path to get to the lookout. There were little tulips in vases leading the whole way up.

I got so excited when I saw her and Tim that I ran up the trail and tripped (cutting open my hand, so it was bleeding during the whole engagement part).

But it was totally forgotten when I saw her slowly approach the top of the path. Then I walked her to where the lookout was. Told her I loved her or something (does it really matter?), then dropped to one knee and pulled out a ring.

But she told me before all of this that she finds tall, large, round diamonds in yellow gold hideous. But she still said, "Yes." Then I was like, "Cool." And pulled out the real ring

She then became a big ball of emotions and tears. She always wanted a yellow diamond and wanted something small, but classy. Unique and pretty. Low profile and sparkly. She never dreamed I would exceed her expectations, but I plan on doing that every day that I can.

So after our moment, I called out all of the aforementioned friends (plus Mrs. Juicebox) and had them come out. Turns out I got lucky and she really wanted to share the moment with others. They came out. Congratulated and stuff, took pictures, grinned a lot, and were secretly angry because the bar has been raised for their engagement expectations.

After some lessons in how to pee in the woods as a girl, they left us to be. I had a picnic of gluten-free delicacies prepared, a fresh bottle of chilled wine and a picnic blanket. We just sat around and talked, laughed and just sat in shock at how awesome and scary these new words like 'fiance' and 'marraige' and 'wedding' are.

After watching the sun set, we went off and did stuff you really don't want me to elaborate on. NOT THAT! Just talking and other stuff that couples do.

It's really fun, telling people has been exciting, and I can't wait to keep telling this story for years to come as I sit beside my future wife.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

This one's for Andrea.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lessons Learned: Never Get Service Done at the Dealership

Because they will do you over. Sure, the normal services are quite inexpensive. I mean they do all the normal tricks and charge you within a few dollars of any other service why not get your service work done there?

However, never get a major service done. All of us car buffs know that every 30k or so you should give your vehicle a little tune-up. Well, do what you will, just don't get the majority of it 'done' at the dealership.

Why am I so upset? Because here is a list of services done that resulted in a $250 premium beyond the cost of the basic service:
  • Replace Fuel Filter (if applicable) - how much money do you have on that they decided it wasn't applicable?
  • Inspect brake system, lines hoses and parking brake - can be done by sticking head under car
  • Inspect disc and drum brakes - done whilst your head is checking out the other stuff
  • Replace brake fluid - Okay, this is legit. But they don't give you an option for synthetic fluids. They charge $50 for this service...still not seeing the extra $200.
  • Check A/C hoses for leaks - Um, if there were leaks I would know it.
  • Inspect air conditioning system temperature - definitely not done because my car has the weakest A/C known to I4 vehicles
  • Replace Air Cleaner Element - I can buy a better one for $42, plus it would last longer than the paper one. So no thank yous there.
  • Install wiper blades - Um, my front wipers were fine, and you never changed the one in the back...that would be the one that actually needs to be changed. Cost $7, and they're not even the type I want.
So, let's see. $50 + $42 + $7 x 2 = $250? Where's my other $144? Why didn't you do what you are supposed to do during a real tune-up and replace the coolant and the spark plugs? What really bites me is that those extra services are what needed to be done for the 30k service and are required by your little service manual; yet, you refuse to include them in your 30k service package. Why? You've lost my business for good.

From now on I'm simply going to let some other place do the oil change (that is until I get my own garage), and then do the rest by myself and then take the girl out on a nice date with all of the extra money. It's a good thing that chicks dig guys that smell like cars and look all manly.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What I Wish I Did

Before I gave up on my future and hit the cold reality of the real world, this is what I hoped to actually do. Maybe I shouldn't give up?

So incredibly awesome. So much potential. And you actually make people's LIVES better. So cool.

Monday, March 20, 2006


There was a perfect man and he drove a perfect mile,

He earned his perfect money and dressed the perfect style.

He got a perfect wife, to be the perfect spouse.

And they all lived together in a little perfect house.*

Soaking it Up

I've been a bit out of touch lately with a lot of you, but I keep claiming that I've been busy. Well, as proof, I would like to offer you a bit of a photo journal of the last 2 months of my life.

So let's start with January. Worked sucked, because I made one of the biggest mistakes ever...responded to somebody that said, "Matt could you please help me out by doing X. It will do a lot to help your career."

Here's my thoughts on that.
Then Andrea and I were pretty busy getting ready for our ski trip.

Meanwhile I was trying to keep healthy by doing Ninja stuff. And I also got a punching bag in my place; awesomest present to myself in quite awhile.

Then it was off to the Houston Auto Show. Where despite the awesome cars
I couldn't fit in any of them.
But at least my girl looks cute on a bike.

Unfortunately going to the Houston Auto Show meant that we had to go to Houston. Houston depresses me because of stuff like this.
Why can't developers work AROUND the trees. This is just wanton destruction, and will just be another hideous location with cheap cookie cutter houses that will be shoddily built and will be a bane on the eyes.

Fortunately I was off to New Mexico to teach a class for work. After I was done teaching I flew Andrea out to see me and we headed up to Wolf Creek to go skiing.

The drive up started out being utterly beautiful.

But that quickly turned to completely scary. Even scarrier when you realize that we were driving a Mustang...not exactly the world's best snow mobile, snow plow maybe.

But the girl was quite happy, so it was hard to stay annoyed by the weather.

Then we got to the mountain and it was amazing. 30" of snow had fallen that day and night, and the whole time it was just a fog of snow. Andrea got to try out snow boarding for the first time ever.

btw, snow boarding school is probably the boringest thing ever. If you ever want to learn, simply go to the top of a blue (yes, blue not green), and go down until you get to the base of the mountain.

Never really had a vacation alone with a girlfriend before, but it was awesome. We did what we wanted, when we wanted and didn't have to worry about a thing.

We had a ton of fun; despite the frozen facial features.

But recovery was a bit of a process. There's no soreness like snow board soreness.

All good things must come to an end though, so we headed back to Austin where much time was spent making up for lost play time with Andrea's puppy Abigail (aka Abi).

After a brief bout with having to go to court because I met an officer with a short man complex.

The girl and I went up to Dallas so that she could be a bridesmaid in one of her best friend's (Victoria's) wedding. So we did the rehearsal thing.

In this itty-bitty church that was literally tied together.

Then they did the get fancy thing.

Despite Victoria's white dress, we were still the best looking couple there (and almost the only smiling one).

Then there was the worst part of all weddings...the photos...of every possible combination...for almost an hour...ugh. Jeremy and Jess, you two did it right.

But I did get to see an adorable girl that I wouldn't mind stealing someday.

Then it was off to the reception. Where we were 2 of the 7 single people over the age of 12.

Fortunately nothing was caught by us. Throwing crap is the lamest of all wedding traditions.

On the way back, we got stopped in like 30 miles of traffic on I-35...dead standstill. So we jumped the median in trusty Kaida (the Mazda3) and found an alternate route. That took us right over where there was a really bad accident. Turns out somebody hit the barier, crossed traffic, flipped over the other barier, then the next, went into oncoming traffic and at least one person died. Kinda sad, but I'm glad we got to see why everything was stopped.

Since then I've just been doing more domestic things, like waxing cars with my new power buffer. Mmm...shiny and smooth.

Having an innocent St. Patrick's Day.

With some awesome friends.

And last night we got to check out Nickle Creek at Gruene Hall, which was probably the most fun I've ever had at a concert. This group is fabulous, and I think they had a great time too. In fact, the manager of Gruene Hall had to kick them off of the stage. Any bluegrass band that will play 'Toxic' by Britney Spears is awesome.

There's so much more to talk about, so many details to fill in and so much that I would like to convey, but for the moment you will just have to wait. I'm really living my life right now and loving every minute of it. Too many people are convinced that they shouldn't be happy and if they are then something's wrong. Well, the only thing that's wrong is that belief and sometimes life gives you lemonade and you just gotta drink it.

And with one parting gift. Why I hate 'Texans'.