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Trip to Austin—Day 1

I was up an hour-and-a-half before my alarm today, and with much to do, I made myself get up.

Myra and I had an hour-long meeting with the ITD web folks in the Hillsborough Building, where we talked about our requirements with them, while they shared their services with us. It was a pretty good match, and the price was surprisingly less than Myra thought it would be.

We spoke with two guys there, one who seemed like the project manager and perhaps the developer, and the other, a designer. When we walked outside, I said to Myra about the developer, "My God that guy is beautiful."

"I normally don't pay attention to that kind of stuff," she replied, "But I have to admit that when I saw a ring on his left hand, I was disappointed."

"So was I," I said.



Robert was a dear, and arrived early to take me to the airport. There was mass chaos and confusion around the American Airlines check-in kiosks, and I was glad I already knew "the drill," as the first time you use them the process is not at all clear.

The security screening wasn't too bad in terms of the length of the line. It sure is annoying to fill up two bins with stuff, though, in addition to my laptop bag, to get through.

This is the first time in a long, long time that my gate wasn't at the far end of the terminal. In fact, it was the first gate on the right. I had about an hour wait, and I worked on Wednesday's blog entry during that time.



I sat next to a totally sexy guy, which was the good news. The bad news was that, to the right, one seat up, sat a woman with two totally unrully children, over which she exerted zero control. Screamers.

Little girl, maybe 3 or 4 constantly talking in the loudest imaginable voice. Mother, maybe once every half-hour, "Honey, talk lower." The very next words from the child continued in her outside voice. No follow-up reprimand, such as, "Honey, I just asked you to use your inside voice."

Little boy, maybe one or one-and-half: "MOMMY CHOO-CHOO? MOMMY CHOO-CHOO?" Little hand tugging on mommy, who is engrossed in a magazine article, "MOMMY CHOO-CHOO? MOMMY CHOO-CHOO? MOMMY CHOO-CHOO?"

Thank god for iPods—and laws against murder.



Irene met me at baggage claim, and we joined Andrew and Susan in the Lexus SUV when it made its way back around.

On the way home, we stopped for gas, and then at Barnes & Noble to see Katherine, who was working until 2AM as it was the release of the final Harry Potter book at midnight. It was also her birthday.

Mayhem ensued inside, with various Hogwarts, Wizards, and Witches ("Oh my!")—one girl had this witch's hat on that must have been close to five feet from brim to tip. Susan wanted that hat.

We said a quick hello to Katherine, and as she was handing out Harry Potter swag, we grabbed a pair of Harry's glasses (white, glow in the dark), and a little tassel that just happened to consist of our high school colors—red and gold, and had a little gold date attached to it that said, "72107."

It bugged me that it didn't say, "072107," and the ear pieces did not even reach my ears, to which Katherine quipped, "Yep, one size fits no one."



We made one last stop on the way home, at a grocery store, where I nabbed what turned out to be a delicious Caesar Salad.

At home, I ate my salad while we chit-chatted for a little while, and then I fell asleep quickly—listening to some Brandi Carlile on my iPod.

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