Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An excuse posing as an update

Yeah, yeah. I know. I haven't put much up since my brilliant coffee post.

I'm going to use my hand as an excuse for that, even though it really isn't all that bad. I now have a feeling, more often than not, in my little finger, and the half of my ring finger that was numb isn't quite as numb as it was. But, my elbow (where they operated on) usually feels like I've been stabbed with an ice pick. And, every now and then, my hand decides that the sensation that it is going to send to my brain is "just got run through a hydraulic press". So, the good news is that I am, slowly but surely, getting feeling back. The bad news is, I'm getting feeling back, but, I'm getting about six months worth of damaged nerve feeling back. I'm not sure which is more important to me, right now....

Anyway, one of these days, I'm actually going to put up one of a couple of posts that have been banging the inside of my head, just begging to get out. If y'all want, you can tell which one you'd like to see first. They are, in no particular order:

Truths that must be realized.
Why theocracy is better than democracy.
A defense of fundamentalism.

Until then, I'll just give you a quick comparison/contrast of Texas and Wisconsin. It will be short, but, these are things that I have noticed, since I moved to the great Republic of Texas.

Texas is better because:

60 degrees is considered chilly.
50 degrees is considered cold.
90 degree temperatures in the middle of October don't even get commented on by the locals.
50% humidity is considered "muggy".
Locals reacted with horror at the thought of snow on Halloween.
Locals weren't too keen on the idea of rain on Halloween.
Locals were pretty sure they didn't like the idea of sub-70 degree temperatures on Halloween.
People will actually let you in, when you are trying to merge onto the highway.
You are looked at like a weirdo if you do NOT talk to the person behind the counter.
What-A-Burger.
Gas stations went to "pre-pay only" when gas prices hit $2.60 per gallon.
No state income tax.
7.5% sales tax.
Only two areas of Texas: Texas, and Austin. Wisconsin has no less than FOUR different areas, and people from each area don't trust the people from the other areas.

Wisconsin is better because:

Unified Department of Transportation offices. In Wisconsin, you don't have to go to two different buildings, or even offices, to get your car title AND driver's license changed over. You can do it at ONE counter, and even have a handy-dandy computer thingy at the entryway to tell you what forms you need to fill out for each.

Unified county services. I was here for three months, before I finally asked what the heck a "constable" was. Imagine my surprise when I found out they just serve court papers...a function county deputies do, in Wisconsin.

Better roads. Strangely, because Texas weather is so nice to roads, they don't repair them as often. A road has to get pretty darn bad before they do any repairs on it, down here. In Wisconsin, they just assume the road needs to be repaired after about three years, and actually get around to it, after around five. I have seen a road, in Travis County, where they just put up a "rough road" sign, rather than do any repairs to it. (Parmer Road, east of I-35, in case anyone was wondering)

Actual, life sized deer. I've seen the whitetail deer down here, and locals don't believe me when I tell them that a whitetail can look a 6ft man in the eye, in Wisconsin. Down here, in this area at least, they are slightly larger than dogs. Most of the ones you see on the side of the road barely go past your knee.

Water, water, everywhere. I have been down here for almost five months, and have yet to see a lake. I've seen a couple of rivers, but, I had to drive quite a ways to see them. I've seen about 8 creeks, though. They are small right now, but, when it rains, they'll flood a street. Didn't believe it, until I saw it. They actually have signs up, on certain roads, telling you not to take that road after a hard rain. Not is so many words, but, the locals seem to know the meaning of the signs.

Country living. I moved to the Austin area because I'm a cityboy, but, I'm a WISCONSIN city boy. Austin is a bit too large for me...at about 600,000 people. That's the size of Milwaukee, WI. And Austin is a "small" city, for Texas. Round Rock, where I live, would be one of the Top 15 largest cities in Wisconsin, at 60,000 plus change people. And it's a suburb of Austin. I liked being able to be anywhere in Madison, and drive 30 minutes, in any direction, and be in farmland. Much harder to do here.

Lest one think, from looking at my list, that I actually MISS Wisconsin...perish the thought. I moved here because the weather is warmer, and, other than Austin, the state is pretty conservative. The things I like about Wisconsin are things that would make Texas a slightly better place, not things that would actually change Texas to Wisconsin.

If one lives in either Milwaukee, WI, or Madison, WI, and likes the town, but, ain't too fond of the weather, Austin, TX is the place for you. You'll fit right in, and will have almost no culture shock, or acclimation time.

Conversely, if you live in the Austin area, and actually LIKE Austin, but, would like to see snow more than once a decade, Milwaukee or Madison would be great places for you to live. And you will have the same experience as the reverse move.

Anyway, that's all I have. I had to put something up, lest my blog start pouting from neglect.

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country