An old friend of mine visited the US these last two weeks. He was here primarily for business, but he arranged some time off to hang out with me. We toured around the DFW area last week (and also met much of my wife's family at Easter, who were as warm and welcoming as ever!), and then spent this weekend looking around my home town. Seeing Austin from a tourist’s perspective created some new excitement about the town for me, personally. He mentioned that I have it really good here, and it made me step back and take stock of things. There really is a lot going on here, and the atmosphere here is vibrant yet quite relaxed. There really is a lot to see and do, and we just don’t get off our *sses to see it all. We do need to do a better job of getting out with the kids and letting them experience the parks and fun activities in the streets of the downtown area. Maybe that starts this weekend.
In any case, it was great to see my friend again. We got quite melancholy and talked about old times. It’s funny, because the core group of self-confessed nerds/geeks that I grew up with all left Australia. We’re now so remotely located that it’s very rare for even two of us to get together. This seems more and more prevalent with the passing of time – nobody seems to stay in the same place anymore.
Nothing to report on the astronomy front! Skies have been abysmal, and I have been busy writing a forecasting paper on the Jemaah Islamiyah group in SE Asia. We’ve had several storm cells roll through here over the last week or so. My car actually got pounded by hail last Thursday while I was stuck on I-35 north of Austin. While the car received some damage, it was an interesting study in impact theory!!!! I have a couple of small craters on my hood/bonnet.