Dave's Travel Journal

A vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking. - Earl Wilson


Houston, Texas


It's been a rather uneventful drive across the country . . . except of course for the 18 wheeler semi tire blow out in front of us at 70 mph. But I'm sure that happens to most people.

We met some new friends in Houston, Texas. It was about an eight hour's drive from Laurel, Mississippi. They were kind enough to put us up in their spare room with adjoining bath but, in addition to that, took us out to a great Italian restaurant. I tried to grab the tab and was wrestling with the waiter on the ground for it when Ruth tapped me on the shoulder and said that perhaps I was going too far. Not. We did have the waiter tossing a coin for who would pay but we lost to that too.

The meal included snapper with stuffed shrimp and pasta.

After the meal I stayed up until 11:30 p.m. comparing notes with our new friend on the best software tools he uses to learn Chinese. He's been at it for over 11 years and even uses a tutor from China. Through Skype he receives 20 classes a month. Wow! Dedication. And I thought I was a serious student.

I had a chance to meet his tutor over Skype and she was great. As we talked she wrote on a big blackboard behind her. To explain the sentences she'd spin around and write the Chinese characters on the board and explain the parts of the sentences to me, often adding parentheses around supplemental words. What a great way to learn.

The Skype class was sent through his fancy networked computer and blasted onto a 42" screen, not a TV monitor mind you, but a 42" computer screen. The images were as sharp as one taken from my Nikkor lens. Wow. This was a setup to envy.

Of course, I was visiting a technical guy that used to work for Bechtel and shared in naming the first home computer, the IBM Personal Computer now called PC, and in designing the tractor that pulls rockets out onto the Houston launch pad.

But yeah, other than that, not much has happened since we left Atlanta.

...dave
Some say the glass is half empty, others say it's half full, but I say: "Are you gonna drink that?"

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