Austin, 2008

I attended NI week in Austin, TX. Basically, National Instruments (NI) puts on an annual event where people can showcase what they have been doing with NI products. I was mostly going to get a feel for what things are done with LabVIEW.

Rather than fly, or even drive directly there, I took a round-about way to Austin to insure that I got a few more counties. I left Sunday morning and drove to the Texas border along I-40. I needed the counties south of Amarillo, so I exited and drove on the next federal highway down from I-40 and picked those up, then continued to I-40 long enough to pick up US-287, which goes southeast and picks up a ton of counties.

Just southwest of Amarillo, I did see an impressive dust devil.

I continued down US-287, making a few small detours to pick up new counties. Collingsworth, TX was especially hard to find, as the road to it was unmarked. I spent the night in Wichita Falls, TX.

The next morning, I looped around through Archer, Jack, Clay and Montague counties. These counties bring back great memories of the 2003 storm chase. Anyway, I planned to meet Matt for lunch in Dallas, so I didn’t stay long in any one county.

Matt met me at a BBQ restaurant somewhere on the east side of Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He seems to be enjoying his first day of work, so all was well. After lunch I headed through Dallas towards Austin.

Once again, I can’t be trusted to take a direct route. I wanted to try to find the Waco Davidian Memorial, but had no luck. Afterwards, I veered west and picked up a few counties out there before arriving at my hotel in Austin.

NI week was fun, though the puns could have not been worse: NI week block (diagram) party and Love Hz: RF devices. I found parking not too far from the event (and it was free), so I just parked there and attended sessions all day. I did take a few photos while walking around town one morning.

The sessions on Thursday ended in the early afternoon, so I went for a drive to Elgin, TX. I picked up a few new counties, but more importantly, Grandma lived in Elgin until she was 10. I snapped a few photos and spoke to the representatives at the Historial Society to try to figure out where she lived. I didn’t have any luck this year, but maybe I will next time, as I know more now than I did standing in the office.

Friday, I began the trek back to Socorro. I picked up all but two counties I drove through on this trip, so I figured that wasn’t too bad at all. I did take a photo of some high clouds along the way:

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