July 2009 Archives


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In it's day, this amazing industrial deco building on the Norfolk Naval Air station probably employed hundreds working on things for the navy. Today, three or four projects churn on, segregated from one another in locked rooms with AC units blasting cold air on the servers and those of us that are plotting their courses. The third floor of the rusting hulk is off limits with lead and asbestos awaiting abatement, and the afternoon storms flood the bathrooms and stairwells. Who says high-tech is glamorous work in gleaming towers?
At one point my only escort ran out of the room to the toilet, only to find me outside the door of the room waiting for him to come back. "You could have stayed in there," he said. Nein, danke. I'm not risking blacklisting from DoD projects by getting busted in a secure area unattended. Stupid rules.
Rumor has it Michelle Obama is going to be on the base tomorrow for a visit for a returning fleet. We'll see if I can get away from the frigid server closet for that.
Even this guy's contribution to global warming wasn't able to fend off the darkness that covered the land and drench us innocent townsfolk. 30 minutes into the show, after introduction of all the townspeople, and the mentioning of how "darkness and evil" had come to the land by virtue of the dark night being there, the impending doom of a stormy weather forecast for the region unleashed a storm of massive proportions right above the arena. The producers couldn't have planned it any better, how this massive gulley-washer drenched us all in a matter of minutes. The rain from Franz's poncho ran down my legs, and he and I lasted about 40 seconds of it, laughing like fools at the fact that all of us were sitting under a firehose while the performers tried to carry on through it all. Lightning, hail, wind... it would have been terrifying at home, but in this crowd, it seemed a matter of pride for many of them to be glued to their seats, seeming to say.. "We're holding out for it, you'd better deliver a show!| Our small party got wrenched apart in the hustle to find some cover, but we reassembled after the storm had past, and eventually all made it back intact to the train station for the long, cold, wet trek back to civilization. Casualites included the cell phone and camera of one in our party, some soaked cigarettes, and Stefan's pride, as he was soaked to the bone and wound up in a train station bathroom, wringing out his clothes so he looked dry enough for a taxi ride home. We're going to try to bring the rain to Austin on our return this week.
We had an amazing tour of all the highway works projects in Southern Germany this week.. from Munich to Ulm to Freiburg to Heidelberg to Würzburg and back. And more often than not, this was our view. I swear they're taking over the world.


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Gärtnerplatz has a beautiful garden in the summer. Chaz was admiring the garden when he found the one weed growing above all the others. We're not sure if it was deliberately planted, or if he's just an accident. We saw others photographing him, so I think his days are numbered in any case.

After the CSD Parade...

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CSD München is about finished, and while we looked for the prettiest drags around, but they were otherwise occupied.. we settled for these. It was a fun scene in the cool sunshine.


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Chaz's garden out front just withers under the midday sun, but as soon as the shade comes around, they perk right back up. Its hard not to think of it metaphorically, given the twists and turns we've been navigating. The Sunday after my birthday was the first time I read a financial advice column, and saw that I had been moved into the category of advice for the 40-55 year old group. I should be less aggressive with my finances, said the columnist. Hmph. Typing in 40 into the treadmill at the gym wasn't that bad, but being moved into another demographic stings. After reading that, my legs were a bit heavier, and my back a bit achier. Dang it.

Tonight we're packing and organizing to take a couple weeks vacation back in Munich. While they're having a warm summer, it's a bit milder than the heat here. House-sitters are in place to care for things and watch the plants continue to fight against the drought and heat.

I've got a job to come back to with the company, despite a rough second quarter, but Chaz isn't so lucky. He's on the hunt for his next position already, and I'm sure we'll spend a bit of time here and there doing some distance job-hunting. The wire makes that a bit easier, but it's a extra bit of mental weight to lug around.

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