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Sep 27th, 2016 - 12:05 am - My tweets
random image 9 - Twilight
  • Mon, 23:22: Instead of watching TV stars debate American dream, reading Dream debate stars in #NeilGaiman 's Sandman : overture. Much better use of time
Sep 15th, 2016 - 09:49 pm - The cool part of town : Austin 2016
random image 9 - Twilight
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Hopefully well. I : am back! from a recent trip I took to Austin, TX. I did something new and put in a hotel bid via Priceline's "express deals" service, in which you pay a set amount and the company picks the hotel for you. I got one right next to downtown, in a good location (and saved $16 / night). woo!

* Wednesday

After arriving in town and Supershuttle-ing to the hotel, I walked along the north side of town to a cafe' on the west side for which I had a coupon. Intending to do a circle of downtown, I stopped at various places. The weather was quite warm while I was there - I observed people tended to wait in the shade when at the crosswalks, even if the shade wasn't next to the road, heh. Thankfully the humidity wasn't overtly high or low.
I went into a Whole Foods on Lamar (right next to the corporate offices!), where I found some interesting foods including a blonde (white) cucumber and a pink pearl apple (which was pink on the inside!). At a nearby fancy Starbucks I picked up an Austin-only gift card and tried a rare Clover reserve coffee from Ethiopia (Gedab).
In the early evening I walked along the riverside and across the famous Congress bridge, known for the bats which live underneath it and come out during twilight, but it was earlier on when I was there.

Some ceramic skulls at a Dia de Los Muertos-themed store near the river.

* Thursday

Today was an "explore University of Texas" day. U of T (Austin), one of the two largest colleges in the US (OSU here in Columbus is the other) is located just north of the city. After visiting a deli too early to order lunch yet, I relaxed at a nearby Starbucks and tried another Clover coffee - La Roca from Nicaragua. After eating I headed to the Blanton museum, a sort of on-campus art gallery. The top floor, where most of the collection was housed, was closed for renovations but the bottom level was open. I saw some Goya sketches and Xu Bing's Book of the Sky, invented-language media which consisted of about 4,000 made-up characters. Amazing!
I continued walking around campus, past statues of horses and in and out of various buildings (the arena, the science building etc). I admired students in suits - quite a feat in warm Texas weather.
Later in the day I arrived at the Harry Ransom Center, another art center of sorts, on west campus. There I saw a Gutenberg bible, the first ever photograph and a retrospect of photographer Elliot Erwitt's works. Heading back to the hotel, I randomly discovered an Asian noodle place (Ramen Fukuya) and had a delicious vegetarian bowl.

* Friday

Today was an "explore South Congress" (the 'gay neighborhood' of Austin) day. After lunch at a deli, I headed south down the Congress bridge. Quirky shops awaited on the other side, as well as the usual things (apartments, an Aveda etc). Although reading about it, I didn't necessarily have a plan to stop at Big Top Candy, a well-stocked candy shop, but found myself encountering it on my walk. I went inside and bought a piece of chicken-and-waffles-flavored salt water taffy, as well as some roast-beef-flavored gum (yes, roast-beef-flavored gum).
Food trucks were here, as they are in many parts of Austin as a whole. I had some ideas as to where to eat already, but indeed yesterday, when exploring the University area, stopped at one and bought a carrot-cake-flavored snow cone.
I headed west some more, through quiet residential neighborhoods, then turned north again and cut back through downtown to the hotel. Quite a walk!

A mural near the university, of a main tower from the university!

* Saturday

I checked out of my hotel (enjoying a summer rain 'bath bomb' the evening before), then left my luggage with the front desk boy. Today was an 'explore the capital' day. Austin is the capital of Texas as as whole, and the government agencies meet in a tall, classical dark tan rotunda building surrounded by grass essentially just west of where my Super 8 room was.
The main circular area inside has portraits of all of past (and, I assume, present) governor(s) of the state hanging on the curved walls, some on each of the four levels going up to the 'lone' star at the very top of the ceiling. I saw Ann Richards' picture as I randomly explored. The senate was not in session, so the second-story room was open to the general public. They even had an original historical chair, used up until the 1950's or so, on display!
Overall Austin had lots of fun new things to eat, as indicated in this LJ entry, heh. A fair number of surfaces in most parts of town have detailed murals painted on them. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the subjects - horses are next to a girl in 3-d glasses, for example. The pictures are multi-colored and often meticulous - a real testament to 'street painting'.

For a gallery of 11 pictures, one may click here ~ !

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Aug 19th, 2016 - 12:44 am - Rowing
Paul Robinett candle
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been reframed.

Here are the 90's techno songs of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. The days are warm and the cicadas are buzzing in the trees - summer is here! We've had slightly 'more' rain than usual, which, humidity aside, is actually nice for the warmer months. I've been able to do some fun things, including trying a pineapple & sage-flavored macaroon (earlier today!), getting a frame for a picture I painted at the local library's free classes and... booking a trip!
I originally nicely had a plan to visit Austin, TX in September. My friends John and Brian hoped to visited Nashville, TN at the end of September themselves. I nicely happened to get a stock dividend check two days after they booked it, which by a coincidence was almost the exact same amount as the road-trip ticket ($120). So I said, hey let's go!

* Lake Erie

Speaking of unplanned vacations, earlier on last Wednesday my friend Scott and I went on a road trip to Cleveland for the day. S was looking at the UPS up there for a possibility of a job transfer. Before that - which itself was literally just a 3-minute drive through the parking lot - we went further north up to the Ohio / lake Erie border. Some nearby rain prevented people from getting on the beach, though indeed it was sunny where we were. A quiet park with an interesting tunnel that run under the road to the rest of the park on the other side was nearby.
On the way up we stopped @ Grandpa's Cheese Barn, a sort of large novelty store with food for sale and many free samples. I tried some orange-popsicle-flavored cream cheese, randomly.

* IRC reunion (part 1 of 2)

Earlier this month, prompted by college friend Dwayne, I headed up to BG for an IRC reunion! My goodness, how super it was. The IRC was a school-only chat which essentially existed from 1991-ish to about 2000. Many of my school friends I first met using it. We coincidentally met the same day the summer school kids were graduating, but by the time we visited campus in the afternoon most of the school was peaceful and empty.
We started off meeting at near-campus place Pollyeyes, a small but popular pizza eatery which, ironically, I myself didn't have any strong memories of from my school times. Some other people were coming in from far away - organizer Dwayne flew in from California! - and arrived later. After that we headed over to local long-running coffee-and-bookstore Grounds for Thought.

* IRC reunion (part 2 of 2)

Originally planning to attend were Dwayne (IRC nickname : Hound), Bruce (Spoons), Kendra (RisingSun), Sharon (Burk), Mandi (Emerald), Amanda (Earthangel) and me. At the last minute my friend John rearranged his schedule, and he and I carpooled up. We were surprised by three 'bonus' guests as well, who did not announce via online they were attending : Amy (Princess), Randy (Scarecrow) and Colleen (Veronica)! How super was that. Amusingly, Colleen was objectively in Grounds for Thought anyway, and essentially just walked over.
After coffee and chatting, most of us (Sharon had to head off - she was visiting family as well) walked around campus. I showed people the computer lab that was named after me - something I usually don't mention, but fun and appropriate given that we all met via computers.
It was great seeing everybody - a real fun reunion!

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : finding a half-dozen new flavors of salt water taffy at a local candy store, for which I myself have never tried (including stout beer and basked Alaska!). that game Animal Crossing will be having a mobile app coming out this autumn - hopefully fun!. being able to sleep in many days of the week. friendly neighbors. gold beets being in season.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
Jul 29th, 2016 - 09:08 pm - Hours of operation
art nouveau
Good evening Lj readers,

how are things? Here they have been supervisory.

Here is the XTV of the day :

* From the desk of Geoff

Things have been well here. Earlier on this month (July) I decided to surprise my parents and swing by the Dayton area on a day off from work. As I got closer, I called both my mom's and dad's cell phones, of which indeed no one answered. Assuming they were out, I drove elsewhere then came back later. It turns out they were just in the backyard pool! How about that.
When driving nearby, I visited my old elementary school (Valley), to which I attended 1st - 5th grade (6th grade was elsewhere). Although during the summer (and a weekend at that), the school was actually open! They were cleaning it. So I was finally able to get some pictures of the inside. Of course, everything looked smaller now that I was older, heh. I had been taking pictures of the various schools to which I attended whilst younger, and can now cross this one off of my list.

* Ohio State fair, 2016

This past Wednesday, I fortunately had off from work and was able to attend the opening day of this year's fair with my friend Brian. After a voluntary hiatus from last year (due to Avian bird flu precautions), the bird exhibits from last year had returned. I saw my 'usual' things - the competition hens and turkeys, the butterfly greenhouse, the bird 'house' (with 2... 2 whole birds in it! A heron and an owl. Panting. Seriously. Nicely, the bird did have water nearby), some artwork and various vendors.
I picked up some new salt water taffy flavors, none of which I have tried yet - cupcake, candy corn and rum (yes, rum-flavored salt water taffy). As is "tradition", I rode the sky ride back to the main entrance again, and we headed off. A warm day! I brought 3 bottles of water and drank 2 (I gave one to Brian). Fun times!

* Exile (part 1 of 2)

The outside of Exile, a local gay bar in Columbus.

* Exile (part 2 of 2)

Next weekend (August 6th) will be the last week for this local gay bar, a 'muscle / leather'-themed business (which of course anyone could visit) created from essentially a converted house. With no door person and... looser regulations, shall we say, it was a bar from an earlier time. People made out in the restrooms. There was a nice, large, fenced in backyard with benches and the occasional in-a-barrel or camp fire going (, weather appropriate).
The back upstairs part held a t-shirt / underwear / 'gear' store, a subset of local business Torso. My old roomie Graham used to buy his poppers here occasionally.
I myself would normally only visit if someone else wanted to go, but the informal-ness of it all was a nice touch. Best wishes, E!

* The Chintz Room

Also closing soon is The Chintz Room, a clever concept from once-local restaurant businesswoman Elizabeth Lessner (recently moved to... Oklahoma, I want to say). Recreating the cafes once present in the original historic Lazarus shopping center (in whose building, the eatery was!), the entrance featured a circular-turn door and - at one point - recipes from the menus of the older cafes (celery dressing, sour cream cheesecake). I was able to eat there once or twice, and indeed they did have a small collection of 'original material' from the stores over the years (mannequins, antiques etc). I've always had a similar idea ; to 'rescue' foods from old restaurants and bring them back elsewhere.

* Misc. other

Some other small things, for which I am thankful : friendly neighbors. green tea. A blessed childhood. Secretary Clinton, getting a nomination! 'shaking up' my routine a bit.

Okay. Have a good night!

Take care,
* Geoff
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