Sunday, May 6, 2018

Glimpse of Spring in North Texas

Dormant lawns turned green. New leafs take over the tree branches. Birds chirp and make calls ...
Spring has arrived.

We have had a pretty normal spring. 

There are many water fowls in the the area's ponds and creeks - Egrets are most eye catching. Ducks are the second - due to their numbers and the adorable ducklings.  Yesterday evening we walked around the pond behind Davis library, and we saw a line of tiny ducklings swimming in the pond very close to the shore, a mommy duck was on shore. One by one the ducklings walked to their mom and surrounded her in the twilight.

Being normal in N Texas Spring means rapid changing weather, thunder storms, Hails and Tornadoes. We had severe weather a few weeks ago, and hails rained down, making loud noise upon hitting roofs and windows.

Change of colors of trees, grasses and plants in Spring might be the most mundane happening in the nature.  It brings hope and expectation, uplifts my spirit. It is amazing to me.

An egret at Russell Creek

Oak Point Prairie 

A family of duck 

Duck family at Dusk at the pond behind Davis Library

Hails rained down in my backyard
Hails in my backyard were not too big to cause severe damage

Hails in my backyard

A heavily trimmed tree in my front yard

full of life
right after "hair cut"

Saturday, May 5, 2018

On the Road - Offshore Technology Conference at Houston

Three colleagues and I went to the Offshore Technology Conference from Monday to Wednesday this week. I made a more relaxing schedule for the long distance road trip: drive to Houston Monday afternoon, full day conference on Tuesday including making a presentation on a paper I coauthored with 2 of the colleagues, and then 2 more hours at the conference Wednesday morning, and drive back to Dallas before lunch. This helped us avoid all the rush hours and made the trip so much less stressful.

On the way to Houston we stopped at Sam Houston statue near Huntsville Texas, and walked on the ground of the statue for the first time for all of us, despite the fact that we passed by the statue many times before. The statue is 67 foot tall and stand on top of a 10 foot base. Reading the inscription, we know a bit him and Texas history that he was the president of Texas Republic, Governor of Texas and U.S senator.

Monday night we went to Stockyard BBQ, a casual country eatery, for dinner. Each of ordered 3 meat platter. It was a lot for a meal! It was a good dinner.

Tuesday morning's traffic to NRG stadium, where the conference was, was surprisingly light! Parking lot (Yellow lot) was nearly empty!  We stayed at our sessions for the full day. Our presentation was second in the afternoon session, it was well attended.

Before we left, we visited the booth of a former colleague's startup at OTC. It was interesting to learn how he got started and how to get venture capital.

We decided to go to Goode Seafood for dinner Tuesday evening based on Google review.  My colleagues, each ordered 2 lb crawfish, I, on the other hand, selected a lighter dinner  - catfish fillet and avocado. I also ordered appetizer  Campechana Extra (shrimp & crab) as a treat to the group. An interesting episode: an old gentleman sitting at next table was having crawfish as well, he came to our table to teach us how to take the crawfish tails out efficiently.  Great food, nice conversation! We enjoyed the dinner very much.