Friday, February 20, 2015

Austin Texas

State Capital, Austin Texas

   First let me say these past two weeks have been so busy... So with a sigh of relief I welcome the weekend.

Up until the point where I remember I have to work two 12 hour shifts. What can you do?

But with my complaining aside, I will dive into this post.

   Part of the reason I was so busy is because I had to go to Austin... twice... in the same week... for something I have planned in the future. If all goes well and that pans out, you will surely be seeing the result of that on this blog. Prior to all of this I had only ever been to Austin in passing really. Although these two trips were much the same thing, I took a little time to explore at least a little bit of Austin. I will start in reverse order because what I really want to talk about happened on the first day.

   You thought my complaining was over but it is not. I just have to say that I hate the drive to Austin. I have yet to ever be on IH35 and there not be an accident that backs up traffic for miles and takes over half an hour (on a good day) to get through. That's not a joke. Every single time I drive that ridiculous stretch of tarmac there is an accident. These two trips were no exception to that and so I have dubbed IH-35 the highway to hell.

Dedicated to School Children
   Anyways I went to the state capital on my second trip. I was actually not going to do anything but get what I needed done and then turn around for San Antonio because I had to make it to class the same day. But of course the Highway to Hell, staying true to it's name, made it far longer than it had to be to get to Austin. Knowing I would miss class anyways, I decided to take a look at the state capital.

   I was born in this state and as far as I can remember I have never seen the capital. If I had before it was when I was too young to remember it. (I've been to the Hoover Dam and don't remember that either so it is quite possible.) I figured that is probably not a good thing so I decided to take a walk around the grounds and see what this place is all about. From the minute you lay eyes on the building you can feel the age of such a structure. When you step onto the grounds the place feels old and the building itself feels like a silent and enormous sentinel watching and recording all it sees, remembering all it has seen. This is a feeling I really can't explain and one that I don't think I have felt many times before. Even the Alamo doesn't seem to give that same feeling.

   Right away you are awed by the sheer size of the building and instantly you can't help but notice that buildings are no longer made with this much care and detail. But for all those feelings of awe and respect, all around the grounds there are reminders of just what our history as Texans is all about. Unfortunately that history is mostly bloody. Everywhere you turn you are reminded of the blood that was spilled on Texas soil and the people who died fighting for that soil. It is a sad tale, our history, and it is foolish not to honor those who have payed the ultimate price for what we have.

   But I feel like our history goes much deeper than that. There are monuments depicting this very sentiment but somehow I feel like they are overshadowed by this omnipresent reminder of war and death. It is tragic really, and it makes you wonder if that is all we have to live for. We are taught that Texans are tough and we fought for what we have.

   I wondered, as I walked around admiring the sheer artistic nature of that huge and ever watchful building, how much blood it has seen. How much blood was soaked into the very ground I was walking on for it to be erected? Who died in its honor? It remembers, and it is a testament to every single drop of blood, lost brother, mother, father, husband, child... These very thoughts made me feel the evil that man is capable of invoking with his own two hands.

Perhaps even the same two hands that built such a beautiful and long lasting structure.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

UTSA Goes Medieval

   One thing I find interesting about going to a university is the big mix of stuff that happens on any given day. Different people are into different things and there are so many different people in any one university that sometimes this stuff just seems to spill out into the hallways and courtyards.

   Like this just the other day. Here I am walking to the most boring class I have ever taken and I come across this. On a Monday no less. What are these guys? Vikings? Sorry, I have no real clue about Viking history so if I am wrong please correct me. I should know too, as they had a whole presentation on what they were demonstrating. They seemed to have a lot of knowledge about this stuff because they quickly drew a crowd and everyone was listening intently. Everyone but me however. When I get into my photography mode I kind of stop listening to everything.

   By the way, please forgive any mistakes in the photos, there are a lot. I am quite out of practice after that long hiatus.

   Anyways these guys eventually went at it full force showing different fighting tactics from the period. They were really good at what they did and their weapons hit pretty hard. Although their weapons were blunt, you know they still hurt.
I wonder where they got their armor and weapons and stuff. This stuff was really well put together. They all looked like movie extras.

   Anyways here are some photos of this display. I believe they were students. I would have gotten contact info for them if I could have but I was on my way to a class. If anyone knows who these guys are tell me please so I can give them credit.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Like Starting a Cold Engine

   Hello everyone. Last time you heard from me on this blog I was half dead. I assure you I have not followed the light and I am alive and well. My wounds from my motorcycle accident are basically healed. The plate in my arm is the only thing really giving me issues, I don't know if my left arm will ever be 100% but only time will tell I suppose.

   But that's not what this is about of course. The past is the past and I would really like it to stay that way. However I do feel a small sense of obligation to those of you who read this blog to explain my absence. I was simply far more involved in just healing quickly. I hated being completely useless for so long and all time and energy was invested in regrowing skin, healing bones, and regaining strength.

   In truth I tried to start back up my blogging numerous times before this. I like having a blog. I like writing, sharing my ideas, and helping whenever I can. However, like starting a cold engine, it has taken quite a few tries to actually get to this point where I felt I was ready to actually write a full post worth reading. The funny part is, this post really isn't worth reading except to know what is going on with me. The only thing to gain from this post is that I am back and I plan to continue my weekly blog posts. So if you enjoyed those, there you go.

   I will just keep this one short and give my readers a few updates. As I said before my accident is almost completely behind me. I have started school again, (HELP!) and besides that I don't think much else has changed. I did buy a new oldish lens so for those interested in photography I will be testing that out as soon as it is delivered. I did get a few other toys, I wonder if anyone is interested in any of that stuff? Maybe I'll talk about a few of those for anyone interested in purchasing these things. I don't know we'll see. Guess that's it. Be looking for new posts from me starting next week.

Oh right. If anyone plays World Of Warcraft I started a raiding guild. I got a bit tired of being in hardcore raiding guilds and listening to people yell at each other over 1k DPS differences so I decided to take a step back from that hardcore stuff and just raid Normal difficulty. It is, sadly, very slow going getting a raid team together so if you are interested in helping us out I am playing Alliance on Whisperwind. If you are interested send me a message here or something.