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We had a house in the northwest part of baking hot Austin, Texas.  A wonderful, if getting overpopulated, small city. 

For people who have a picture in their mind of Texas being nothing but tumbleweeds and oil derricks, think of Austin as "a nice city surrounded by Texas." The Austin360 and Austin CitySearch sites have great info on what's going on here and the local KXAN TV station has a site with frequent local news updates.

It's a great place to be if you're in the technology industries as there are companies such as Dell, IBM, Motorola, AMD, Compaq, National Instruments and Tivoli are here, plus hundreds of medium and small operations.  Well maybe not so great since the great .com meltdown of 2000/2001 but there are still jobs for those with skills in demand.

The food is great, my favourite is Chuy's Tex-Mex.  Chuy's was recently in the news as the place where President Bush's daughter Jenna was questioned by the Police for trying to buy alcohol while under age with an ID that wasn't hers.  This is after a similar incident earlier that month where she was caught drinking alcohol by two Austin undercover officers.  A couple of things that cross my mind: 1) Duh!  She's one of the most famous teenagers in the country now, and her face should be very familiar, especially in Austin.  2) Where are the Secret Service agents while she's up at the bar buying alcohol?  They were certainly there when the police showed up. 

I was the treasurer for the neighbourhood swim team, the Hurricanes, but I had to resign when I moved to Germany.

Jim Spencer lives in my neighbourhood.  He won best weatherman in the United States last year and we had the company of his dog Clint for a day after he escaped..

It is generally extremely hot from April to November, but we do get some light freezes in the Austin metro area a couple of times a year.  Febrary 9, 2003 was a very rare day as you can see:

We also get an occasional ice storm due to cold air from the north hitting warm, moist air from the south. Austin was virtually shut down for a week in January 2007.  The highway department was unprepared, the airport ran out of de-icing solution and there were hundreds of accidents because people around here just don't know how to drive.3