Friends, Family, Vacation

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It’s good to have friends. Ambulance Driver rearranged his work schedule to drive me from Dallas to Austin. Which is part of why I haven’t posted in a few days. The reason for going to Austin was to meet with my wife and daughter. Our daughter moved to Austin just about four years ago. So, we decided to tack on a vacation after I went to the NRAAM. The result was that I just didn’t have time to write the posts I’ve had in mind. More on that later.

Back to friends. One of the highlights of going to the NRAAM is seeing friends that live in other parts of the country. Dallas was especially good since bloggers Lawdog, Old NFO, Phlegm Fatale, and Better and Better, all live in Texas. I don’t get to see any of them enough, so look forward to the opportunities. I didn’t track the number of times I was asked when we’re moving to Texas, but it was more than one. There are reasons with which I won’t bore my readers.

Oh, I was remiss in not originally noting that OldNFO gifted me with a copy of his latest Gray Man novel, “Twilight”. Which was good since I finished “Partners” while waiting for my long delayed flight to Dallas. Yes, this is an unabashed plug for a friend’s books.

I also ran into Weer’d Beard who I haven’t seen in a while. Then there was this character. Who doesn’t blog much anymore, but managed to elevate himself from a crazy blogger to a respectable member of the gun publication industry.

Plus I got to make a new friend, Annette Evans, competitive shooter, instructor, and writer. I bought a copy of her book “The Dry Fire Primer” and intend to incorporate her information into my training routine. A very impressive and engaging young lady. The book is well worth buying and reading. If you Facebook, you can find her at “Beauty Behind the Blast”.

Lots of eating went on as well, but that’s what friends do when they get together. Lots of stories were swapped, but I won’t say too much about those because they were stories among friends and not blog posts. Interestingly, there was a discussion of a book full of stories that probably were better off not told. Of course those stories can be told if you’re retired, or anonymous, or in some cases, if the statute of limitations has passed.

The time to depart Dallas came all too early. As stated Ambulance Driver rearranged his schedule in order to drive me down to Austin, but that meant an early Sunday departure. After more eating and lie swappingearnest and serious discussion.

The ride to Austin was uneventful, which considering what I-35 looks like, was good.

Once in Austin, I picked up the rental car and went to the daughter’s apartment. Big doings there as we were going to have dinner with her new boyfriend. I was given a list of permissible topics (no politics, no interrogations about his “intentions”). I had been informed that he is a gun owner, hunter, and is “building a rifle.” All of which were permissible, but we never got around to discussing.

One of my missions was to try to fix the HVAC fan in my daughter’s car. Not having a working blower motor is a bad thing in the Austin heat. Ahhh, the Austin heat. Which baked the last of winter out of my increasingly aging bones.

The fan mission was a success. It took me about half an hour to take out the old one and install the new one. Ahhh, cool air!

The other mission was installing a new car stereo, with back up camera, in her car. I’ve been doing stereo and two way radio installations since the mid 1970s, so this was not particularly new territory. The new wrinkle was a gizmo that retains the factory clock controls, and another one that retains the functionality of the steering wheel controls. I did all of the pre wiring at home on my work bench, which was a very wise decision. Still, there was some trepidation on my part as I had to figure out which tools I needed to bring with me and had little margin for error.

Everything was pretty easy, with no more than the normal number of “oh shit” moments as parts fell into places where they didn’t belong. Nothing broke, everything worked on the first try. I only had to make two auto parts store runs for connectors, wire, and good electrical tape. The stuff I brought with me wouldn’t stick in the heat of Austin, probably due to age.

I also had Dad time while my daughter helped me with the work. I like Dad time and don’t get enough of it since she lives 2,000 miles away.

Oh, the boyfriend. He’s a nice guy. I expect I’ll get to see him again, but I’m still not sure how serious they are. I’ll know when I know, I guess.

Since my daughter is gainfully employed, Mrs. EMS Artifact and spent the days vacationing. One day we drove up to Marble Falls and looked at the town, houses, neighborhoods, and the Blue Bonnet Cafe. The food was good, the staff friendly, and the pie delicious. House prices are not through the roof (yet)

Another day we wen to the Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry in Austin. A very well done museum with a lot of interesting artifacts in a compact space. Being a former fashion design teacher, Mrs. EMS Artifact was estimating how much time it would have taken to hand cut and sew the uniforms from the early days of the the Texas Republic. She also pointed out the reproductions because machine stitching looks completely different than hand stitching. When not doing that, she was asking me intelligent questions about various military artifacts. After almost 40 years of marriage, she still surprises me on an almost daily basis with her comments and questions about things in which I never expected her to have any interest. She asked me to explain how a muzzle loading cannon was loaded, fired, and then hauled back into position to be fired again.

We spent another day in Dripping Springs and Bee Cave, again checking things out. Bee Cave is very nice, but very, very expensive. Dripping Springs is getting there, but there are still a few bargains left. This is not one of them. I’m not making light of this, it’s fortunate that no one was killed or injured. Still, the on line listing we saw made no mention of the fire. Nice house, just about a year old when struck by lightning and gutted by fire. Essentially the lot is for sale, although it has improvements, a driveway, and a pad upon which to build.

Thursday came all too soon and it was time to head home. We went to the airport at the appointed time, dropped off the rental car, and headed to the terminal. We prepared to board the plane when there was a slight problem. One of the Flight Attendants was missing. As always, they apologized for the delay, but said that they had no idea where she was or why she wasn’t there.

Great.

After about half and hour, they announced that they had found her. She had overslept and would be along in 15-20 minutes.

Bull shit. If she was sleeping behind the counter at the gate, she couldn’t be there in 15-20 minutes. Mrs. EMS Artifact marched up to the counter area and asked about a voucher for our trouble. The lady behind the counter said that they didn’t do that unless the delay was going to be three hours or more.

Fifteen minutes later, they announced that everyone on the flight would get a voucher.

We took off about two hours later than scheduled, vouchers in hand. At this rate, the airline might want to consider paying me to fly on the competition.

We finally got home late on Thursday, opened the mail, cleaned the litter boxes, fed the cats, an collapsed into bed. I’ve been catching up on work like activities and other things since and finally sat down to compose this tonight.

I’ll continue reporting on the NRAAM tomorrow. The speeches, the protests, more guns, are all on the menu.

 

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.