Just for the record, I want to replace all the "Austin City Limit" signs with this:

Austin is full, go away!

When we moved here, 15 years ago, traffic seemed bad, but not overly so. Today, rush-hour starts at 1AM and runs to midnight! The nut-cases in the Texas Legislature decided to build this gigantic toll road around Austin that was supposed to fix the traffic problem we call the I-35 parking lot, the biggest parking lot in Texas, that runs for about 30 miles across downtown Austin. Big surprise! That did not work! The truckers who were supposed to avoid the mess in downtown Austin said phooey to the ridiculous tolls, and kept on trucking through town. They still said phooey when they lowered the tolls to the same fee they charge cars. So the parking lot is still in full operation!

That toll road is mostly empty. I have driven on it twice, just to experience what we call the "supersonic highway". The speed limit on that thing is 85 miles per hour from Austin all the way to I-10 just outside of San Antonio. (It costs about $15.00 in tolls, plus who know knows how much extra in gas, since your mileage goes in the toilet at that speed! (I was amused to see a guy on a BMW motorcycle go past me like I was standing still, and I was going the speed limit in my new Tacoma!)

Add to that the fact that over 114 people move to Austin EVERY DAY, and you can see what the problem is. We cannot get anywhere it seems, at more than about 20 miles-per hour. What a mess.

Fortunately, space aliens are helping.

Getting older in Austin

Part of the new building campaign in Austin is to put either a Walgreens or a CVS on every corner in town. I just know that is so older folks can get their prescriptions filled easily. What is surprising, is part of that campaign includes building a 24 hour emergency care facility of some sort in between those prescription places.

Across the street from these new care facilities are brand new "Luxury Apartment" complexes that I know is where we all are supposed to move as the need for a big house starts to fade. Shoot, if things keep on going this way, you will be able to walk from your apartment, to the care center, then to Walgreens and back in 10 minutes. How convenient.

Some folks already do that, as I see people using motorized wheelchairs doing just that on my morning saunter to work (which takes about an hour to go 11 miles!)

Space Aliens

So, what about the space aliens? Texas has a ton of big electric signs scattered along the main roads, supposedly used to tell you such useful things as "Travel time to get to 183 (about 3 miles away) 20 minutes" and so forth. When they are not being used for those messages, we have another entire kind of message:

Missing Elderly
Blue Buick
License xyz-123
Anywhere, Texas

It seems that elderly folks are always disappearing in Texas, usually from small towns we never heard of. I know exactly where they are going. The Space Aliens are abducting them while they are wandering around in their Buicks, remembering what it was like driving places before they moved to Austin so they could walk to those important new places in their lives!

All of this makes me nervous about living here as I get older. Oh well, I always wanted to get into space, maybe I will make it after all, if I can find an old Buick somewhere.

(Why older people seem to drive Buicks is another story!)

On the Medical Front

This week, I get a new face, or at least the start on one. We went to Houston a couple of weeks ago to visit with Dr. Yu, my Plastic Surgeon, who will be my new face stylist. His plan is to remove excess tissue below my left (missing) eye, and tweak my mouth so I do not slobber so much. Such fun.

We will be going over there after my class ends on Tuesday night, and will go through the paper mill and doctor's visits on Wednesday. Then Thursday, probably before anyone is even awake, I will be back in surgery for what is supposed to be a short procedure. They said we could go home after that, but we are going to stay over another night, just in case.

I am supposed to heal for two weeks before the artificial eye folks will start their work. Since all of that happens over the Christmas break, we have no idea when anything will happen, but I am done with teaching from Dev 14 until Jan 20, so hopefully, there will be time for the Hollywood Special Effects team to do their magic.

If not, I am going to hunt down Silly Putty and a cat's eye marble and see what that really looks like!

More Prayers

Our new friends from North Austin, who are going through almost the same things we are going through will be doing more surgery after the new year, and it seems several others we know are having issues with their health as well. We all appreciate being on your prayer lists, and we all know that is really helping. Thanks to all, and we wish you a happy time getting ready for Thanksgiving. Just be sure to avoid all the Christmas sales, which began around July 4, as I recall!