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November 28, 2007

Austin Trip

In October I took a trip down to Austin, Texas to visit the distributed.net gang. I left on Friday from Winnipeg on a small Bombardier regional jet, a little different flight than I've had in the past. I made a quick dash out to find a geocache on my layover in Denver and made it back in time to catch the connecting flight. My luggage had an interesting trip from Denver, I watched it get loaded and after we landed in Austin, I watched it get unloaded. I made my way to the baggage claim I saw my bag walk out the door. As I chased the guy outside I waved a quick hello to Bovine, who had come to pick me up. Luckily after a few panicky seconds I spotted my bag and was able to retrieve it and we headed off to Cowhouse where I stayed.

Saturday we headed out to the Maker Faire, some interesting, some wacky and some weird. Caught a live full scale mouse trap game and an eepybird Diet Coke and Mentos display out in the hot Texas sun.

Sunday morning we dragged ourselves out to watch Nugget, Equiraptor and Petrdoubt in autocross. In the afternoon stopped to do a bit of geocaching. I broke my rules and ended up with a bit of poison ivy. The ivy down there must be different, because I didn't spot any of it.

Nerf and Moike arrived by Monday for a special Nuclear Taco Night, which was a blast.

During the week, we worked on some of the distributed.net Todo items, and got quite a few started and a good number finished. I think I might have scored the highest number of check-ins for the week.

Thursday we took in a Linkedin meet and greet. Austin has a much larger tech community than Winnipeg, and its cool to see all the tech related activities that are generated by that. It felt kinda odd going to a tech event and you actually recognized the companies people worked at.

Saturday we headed to Houston and met up with dbaker at his new house and to round out the meet map. The main purpose of the trip to Houston was to attend the Porcupine Tree concert and that we did with a long late nite return trip in the party bus.

The tail end of the weekend we finalized the notarization of everybody to bring them into the Thawte Web of Trust. Which means that I now am a Thawte Notary and can extend trust to other people. I also managed to become an Assurer for Cacert. Contact me for notarization or assurance on either.

Over the visit we ate at some good, interesting and unique spots. From BBQ to Tex-Mex to beer centric locales, a burger shack dock lakeside where we spotted some turtles sunning themselves, to a huge sprawling series of decks on a cliff side overlooking the lake , to an awesome multi-course fondue restaurant. The customer service was very good at most of the spots. I found it rather nice that there was a good variety of places we visited and all were reasonably priced, with good food and service, each well worth a return.

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