January 25, 2019: Nico’s Cocina

Friday. What a busy week it has been. I was up late reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the girls last night, so only got maybe five hours of sleep. I had to be up after seven because we had an eight o’clock train to catch from Trinity Mills to get downtown for an early morning meeting.

Paul and I rushed out the door at twelve minutes to eight and made it just in time to get across the tracks and buy our tickets to get downtown as our Green Line DART train pulled up Perfect timing, not a moment wasted.

As always, an easy ride down. We got off at St. Paul station and walked in the windy cold to Pacific to look for Stupid Good Coffee where we are having our meeting this morning as the person that we are meeting was coming from the Sheraton Hotel just across the block.

We ended up arriving half an hour early, so had plenty of time to get coffees and hang out. Ended up hanging out with some guys who were talking about art and travel for about half an hour. The coffee was really excellent. I had two cups of cappuccino. Been a while since I’ve had really excellent espresso in the US, even thought we regularly hang out with a barista.

Our meeting started at nine thirty and probably ran for an hour. It seemed to go really well. Hopefully some work will come of it. It sounded like it probably would.

A chilly walk back to our train and found that we had fourteen minutes to wait before the Green Line would pick us up. We ran into Original Italian Pizzeria while we waited and Paul got a slice of pepperoni and I got a slice of stuffed veggie pizza. We ate there, it was quite good. And filling. One slice was enough for me.

Got the train back to Trinity Mills. It was roughly noon when we got back. A busy and productive morning.

Thankfully today was pretty slow in the office. Everyone was doing fine when I got home and I didn’t have to do very much catch up from having been out for half of the day. All went very smoothly.

We did some afternoon reading of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Luciana asked more about where slavery happened because we are at the part where we have to explain why Ol’ Jim had run away and she wanted to know if only Missouri and done things like that and I had to explain that no, lots of states had allowed slaves. And then she sheepishly asked if Texas had been one of them and got very upset and was crying and said that she didn’t want to be from Texas anymore, because the rest of her family were from New York. It was very sad for her.

This evening, we had dinner with the Collaos. They came out our way and we met up at Nico’s Cocina which is right around the corner from the house, on the corner of Josey and Frankford. We have been seeing this place for a long time, it is not new, and is ridiculously close to the house. We almost never go to that plaza, though, and it is in a location that we rarely think about and being in the corner of the plaza we always thought that it was just a tiny little place. In reality it is really big and even has a banquet center and a playground out back! The plaza that it is in is mostly serving the local Mexican community with a local taco place, meat market, bakery, and so forth.

Dinner was great. Dominica was able to get a spinach and mushroom quesadilla that did not make her sick, as nearly everything does. And I got an all bean chimchanga which was excellent. Luciana loved her cheese quesadilla. And Liesl really enjoyed and enormous bowl of seafood soup and bread. A major success and a great find, such a nice restaurant just around the corner. It is unfortunate that we had not made it hear earlier.

The girls were so happy to be hanging out with their friends. It has been a couple of months since they had a chance to spend time together. The four of them were having so much fun hanging out together at dinner, and then went outside to play in the playground for a while even though it was so cold. They were the only ones out there, obviously. Way too cold for normal kids. But our kids are hardy New Yorkers and think nothing of the cold, even without wearing jackets. And Bolivia is quite cold as well. None of the kids noticed the cold at all.

It took a lot to pry the kids apart and get back home. So handy going home when we are within an easy walk! I have walked to this restaurant, without going in, many times and the girls often walk up to it or past it on our Poke-walks. It sits right on the Greenway. I am sure that we will be going back there.

The kids are going to try to get together at one house or the other this week. They need some time to just hang out together.

I really need to push us to spend more time “eating on our block.” There are at least three taco places within walking distance that we have not tried and I recently discovered a pupusa place and a great looking sub chain nearby on Trinity Mills. And there is a good looking Thai place on our block, too. And two Vietnamese places! So much that we never explore. I feel pretty silly not having been to all of them.

This evening Liesl and Luciana and I watched a little of Full House on Hulu. But then Garrett got online and wanted to video game with Luciana. Liesl and I then switched to Family Matters and watched that together for a few hours until it was time for bed. Dominica watched with us a bit, but went to bed at least an hour before we did.

Finally managed to get the kids off to bed at half past midnight.

January 24, 2019: MIDMRKT Dallas

Thursday. Our second day in a row of busy conference activities. Today we get to stay in Dallas, though, thankfully. So I could not sleep in, too much to do. I got up and showered, then worked for a few hours. Nothing major going on, just needed a little bit of time to make sure that I was keeping up with all of my usual work since I was going to be out of the office all day, again.

I had to shave my head this morning, so I had to allow some time for that. At a quarter after eleven, Paul and I drove down to Dallas proper to go to Top Golf on Park Lane where we are supposed to be meeting for another security conference that starts at noon.

The conference went well today, it was a local MIDMRKT CIO Forum event. Today it was @Risk Technology presenting. Their CEO and founder gave an impassioned presentation on his background, why the company was formed, and what their visual and approach is to cyber security.

We got a lot of good information and met some good people and got to see some friends. It was a good day for us. Paul spent some time playing golf, as well. I declined to play, but did hang out in the golf area. We stayed until nearly four, then drove back to the office.

I put in probably four more hours of working. The shop ran pretty smoothly with me out this week. I’m very happy with how well they have been handling it. Especially as Maggie is out all week dealing with being a translator for the pope!

Dinner this evening was farfalle with vodka sauce. Dominica and I watched a couple episodes of The Orville which I am caught up on, but she is still just starting. She got to see episodes three and four this evening which are where the show really transitions from being goofy into being a really serious drama tackling issues way beyond the scope that the Star Trek franchise is willing to deal with.

Dominica went to bed early. I did a few more hours of SGL writing, some customer tickets, NodeBB work, etc.

Tomorrow morning Paul and I have an early meeting downtown Dallas. We are going to take the train to make it easier. So we will be out of the office all morning and I need to be up quite early so that we can get moving. That’s three exhausting days in a row. This week is intense.

January 23, 2019: Houston Security Event

Wednesday. My morning started at five thirty. Way too early for me, I did not want to get up at all. But I left myself only enough time to jump out of bed, quickly hit the shower, get dressed and get out the door with Paul to get on the road. Our goal time was to leave by six and we were in the truck driving by five after (and it wasn’t me that we were waiting on.) In reality we could have been as late as seven and still been early and even if we had left at eight we might have made the entire event. But with such a long drive we did not want to take any risks and waste the day.

We arrived in Houston so early, around nine thirty. We parked and walked around for a while trying to figure out how to get into the Toyota Center. It turns out that you have to go into the parking garage, go up three floors then the only entrance to the Toyota Center is by way of a sky way that takes you there. Not a hard system, if you know about it. But there isn’t anything, anywhere that tells you about this. Even talking to staff at the Toyota Center does not get you that information. It was so confusing and wasted so much time. We got a lot of walking in today.

Once we figured out how to get in, we still had more than an hour to kill. And the place was locked up. It was only ten. We were directed several blocks away to the Hilton Houston where there was a Starbucks in the farthest point of the hotel. My feet were hurting from all of the walking just getting the day started.

We got coffee and hung out for an hour in the Hilton. At least it gave me time to catch up on MangoLassi, emails, office chat, etc.

We were able to get into the event just after eleven. Registration was not officially until eleven thirty, but there was someone there and we were the first two in to the event. It was good that we were early, we were able to have several good conversations before most people arrived.

The event went pretty well and turned out to be well worth the trip. But it was certainly a very long day. We left in the late afternoon. Got back to the truck and immediately set out for Dallas to get as far ahead of the rush hour traffic as possible. We were right on the front wave of it and it is so much worse than what we get in Dallas.

Our drive back to Dallas was fine. I grabbed some Taco Bell on the way up.

We got back between eight and nine. We were pretty tired. Paul pretty much went straight to bed. I went to be office and worked for a while, an entire day out of the office is pretty much impossible for me. Although I did work from my cell phone for the entire day and that actually proved to be quite effective. It is amazing how much I am able to get done effectively that way when I have to.

Tomorrow morning I don’t have a rush, but I do have a local event that Paul and I are attending around none that I have to prepare for.

January 22, 2019: Short Week

Tuesday. Today is really my only normal work day for this entire week. Somehow I have managed to have conferences and meetings all week. So today is a lot of office time so that I am ready for traveling first thing in the morning tomorrow.

I ended up only having to run one interview today. And that interview went so well that we made her an offer on the spot and she accepted. So that makes the rest of my week a little easier, no more interviews to have to do.

This evening is league night for Paul. So I stayed home with the kids while Paul and Dominica went to the pool hall. Just a quiet night at home with the kids. We mostly watching Family Matters which is still Liesl’s favourite “currently being watched” sitcom.

January 21, 2019: The Grices Return to Houston

MLK Day, Monday. The Grices were still here this morning, but left to drive back down to Houston shortly after we all got up. They have a long drive, things to do, and they need to get rested up and ready for school tomorrow.

I worked all day, but it was a nice, light day. Our customers seem to be working at around half capacity or something. We had very little going on. It was nice.

This evening we got to check out a tapas place called Soho in Addison. Just for snacks to see how the place is. Got some goat cheese balls, pomme frite, fried ravioli. It was quite good.

Dinner was grilled cheese and tomato soup. Yum.