I’ve Got the Flu in Texas

February 27, 2006

Sounds like a country-western song, doesn’t it? Actually I’m almost over the flu, and also almost out of Texas. It’s been an eventful week of sickness and travel since the last long-ago post, but in ten hours I’ll be home (a fact that elicits mixed feelings, given that it’s already almost six pm in Dallas). I’m sure I’ll have more to say after I’ve slept some. Stay tuned.


WoW Guild Update

February 16, 2006

We now have 3 characters, that I know of, on Runetotem (Alliance side), ready to join the guild when it forms. There are lowbies in Goldshire and in Teldrassil, so come level up with us! Let me know if you’re there and I don’t know about it!

My toon, Ninmah, hit level six last night. Woo hoo! She’s well on her way to raising that 10g guild fee, too — I think she’s got more than two silver pieces! Oh yeah! So if you haven’t got your toon started yet, get in there and level up!

P.S. This slayed me. (Warning: Sluggy Freelance is addictive)


And Now a Normal Day

February 16, 2006

I get to do a lot of really cool stuff for my job. Yesterday, in addition to finishing a paper (see previous post), I accepted a very persuasive invitation from Gardner Campbell to attend his next big party, the 2006 University of Mary Washington Faculty Academy on Instructional Technologies. I will be following in the footsteps of Those Called Br*an (the one with the y and the one with the i both presented last year). It looks like an awesome event and I’m really looking forward to going.

I also had two business meetings in Second Life. No, really. My boss, who is a digital immigrant (don’t get the reference? Here’s the PDF) with all the right stamps on his passport, gave me a tour. The role-reversal was a little surreal, but I’m looking forward to working more in Second Life.

Today, on the other hand, is a perfectly normal day. . . so far . . .


Campus Impact

February 14, 2006

I’m editing this post. My husband, who does not yet keep a blog but who actively reads them, came home yesterday and said “Your post on Campus Impact might be a little vague, dahling.” (Okay, he didn’t say “dahling,” but the rest is more or less true.) His English upbringing results in a certain delicacy of expression; translated to modern-day conversational American English, what he meant was, “I’m pretty sure that people who haven’t heard you talk about this particular project day in and day out for the past I-don’t-know-how-many-weeks won’t have a clue what it’s about from the little bit you chose to say about it.” So I’m editing this post, which he assures me is a perfectly acceptable thing to do in the world of blogging, so long as I’m up front about it.

Read the rest of this entry »


1001 Texas Miles / Home Again

February 14, 2006

I’m safe at home once again. During the ride from the airport Friday evening, the North Bay delivered on its promise of being a welcome sight after a day of travel. It was the dark-and-foggy version, one of my favorites.

As Larry pulled into his driveway Thursday evening at the offical end of the road trip, his trip odometer read 1001.4 miles. He drove to Dallas to meet me and Peter, so we only get credit for 750 of those miles. It was still an awful lot of Texas.

Now I’m wading through email, so if you sent me any over the past 10 days or so, please be patient. I’m getting there :-)


The Adventure Continues

February 8, 2006

We drove from New Braunfels to Houston today. On the way we passed through Seguin (pronounced “Seh-GEEN”), self-proclaimed home of the world’s largest pecan. There is, however, another contender for the title. Interestingly, it does not appear that a pecan has to be an actual pecan (i.e., the natural nut of a pecan tree) to compete. In the interest of full disclosure I offer this information and allow you, gentle reader, to draw your own conclusions.

We also passed the young man in this picture, who (rather unfairly I thought) exclaimed in astonishment when I poked my head up out of the sunroof to take his picture. How exactly am I the weird one here?

Tomorrow, Austin. Remember: love the journey! I sure am.


Dr. Pepper Museum, Waco, TX

February 8, 2006
Dr. Pepper Museum, Waco, TXDr. Pepper Museum, Waco, TX,
originally uploaded by Rachel Smith.

One of those photos I mentioned… More soon. This is the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas, where we frittered away a delightful and nostalgic 45 minutes or so. For more Waco pix, browse my Flickr entries. I’m new at that, too, so most of them are from this trip :-)


Lunch in Waco

February 7, 2006

Texas, that is. This week I’m on a road trip (emphasis on trip) with Larry and Peter (Johnson & Samis). It’s sort of a whirlwind tour of Texas – parts of it, anyway – that began in Dallas, takes us through New Braunfels, Houston, and Austin, and will end with me and Peter flying out of San Antonio on Friday. On our way from Dallas to New Braunfels today we stopped in Waco for lunch.

Waco is sprinkled with surprising architecture. The McLennan County Courthouse is lovely, although the main entrance is boarded up and one enters through a door under the stairs. Near where we had lunch we found a delightful building, an opinion evidently shared by many: it has its own website. The crown of the visit, though, was the Dr. Pepper Museum, an unexpected find that tempted us to actually park and go in. While Larry — who lives in Texas, after all — stood far enough away that he could disclaim any association with us two crazy Californians if worse came to worst, Peter and I snapped pictures of the soda fountain (and the actual soda jerk, who was a very nice young woman possessing the patience of several saints), the gift shop, the building’s façade, and each other enjoying our genuine fountain drinks. I had a Dr. Pepper (it seemed appropriate) which she mixed for me right there. Peter, ever adventurous, ordered a hot Dr. Pepper, also mixed at the counter, heated in a coffeepot-like thing and served with lemon. Wild.

I did take photos and will add those, um, let’s just say “later” since my schedule this week is so weird. Thank you, thank you to those of you who are commenting on and linking to my fledgling blog!


On the Road Again

February 7, 2006

(The following was actually written on Sunday, Feb. 5)

I boarded a bus this afternoon, from my beloved Sonoma County, Calif. down to SFO to catch a flight to Dallas. It’s a perfect day out here. I mean, perfect. The hills are greening, the cows and sheep and llamas and whatnot are glowing in the slanting afternoon light, the sky is California’s trademarked blue, and every vista is pastoral and peaceful. If it were a photograph you’d swear it wasn’t real. All of this has contrived to awaken this voice in my head that is now screaming, “Where do you think you’re going? Don’t you know this is the most beautiful place in the northern hemisphere?” Yup, I know. I’d climb right out of the bus window if I could.

This is what California, specifically northern California, does to people. Every time I leave I think I must be crazy to go. Every time I come home I’m so grateful to be back. During the trip back up 101 from the airport, no matter what time of year or time of day, is when I really feel it, especially after a long day spent trying to get here from wherever I have been. Sunny or misty or darkness-lit-with-a-million-lights-reflecting-off-the-bay, it’s just beautiful. Maybe it’s something they put in the water, but it makes you not want to live anywhere else.

Now I’m sitting in the airport, the screaming has become someone’s unhappy young child that no amount of iPodded Eric Clapton can drown out, and I’m already looking forward to coming home. We only have ten months’ worth of perfect days a year up here. I don’t want to miss a single one.


World of Warcraft Guild for NMC Members

February 4, 2006

I know you’re out there. NMC members who play World of Warcraft. It’s time to step forward and admit it. I’m not talking twelve steps here — who wants to quit, right? — I’m talking guild runs, Strat and Scholo and UBRS. You know you want to!

Okay, first we’ll have to get to sixty, but that’s doable. Look for Ninmah on Runetotem (Alliance side) where I will be slowly building up the 10g guild startup fee. My main is on Khadgar, which is one of the closed realms, but I’m willing to start from scratch for a good cause.

Post your name here and I’ll keep an eye out for you. We can’t start the guild until we have ten, and so far we have two (I’m holding you to your word, Bryan, dialup or no). Roll call! Who’s in?


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