Thursday, September 28, 2006

Austin fly-by

We are in Austin, Texas, parked behind a strip shopping center off I-35 (map).  This is the very same spot in which I spent a week back in March/April, although the Albertson's has since closed, with a Spirit Halloween Superstore temporarily occupying that space.  We walked over to Rockfish for dinner, where we met some Red Cross volunteers from the Response Maintenance Center.  Earlier in the day, we stopped by there just to check in and say hello, and arranged to meet folks here for dinner.

Last night we were in Houston, parked at the church at which Louise's brother, David, is pastor.  We had a nice dinner with him and his family, and stopped by their house again this morning to drop off Penelope, Louise's motorcycle.  Mexican restrictions on vehicle importation limit us to Odyssey and one other vehicle, and we chose to keep Aquarius, my motorcycle, aboard, since Penelope refuses to start, no doubt due to varnish in the carburetor.  At some point after our Mexican journey, we will need to return to Houston to deal with the starting issue, and either retrieve or sell Penelope (Louise is talking about trading her in on a scooter).

While in Houston I also stopped in to Fry's, to try to find (1) a replacement switch for the leveler, (2) some type of mount for the new GPS, and (3) an external CD drive for re-loading Windows on my old Vaio, which I am selling.  I struck out on all counts.  The switch is the big issue -- I will need to scour the Radio Shacks along our route until I find something that will work.  The GPS is safely screwed down to a block of wood, which will suffice until I find something more permanent.  As for the CD drive, I just gave up and listed the thing on eBay "as is" -- whoever buys it will have to find an external drive to re-load the software.

The last-minute eBay spree, incidentally, is due to the fact that the Mexicans look upon computers coming into the country with some suspicion.   Apparently, the idea of a "personal" computer is inconceivable; we have already been advised to have a "business" explanation for our two personal computers (even though we will be traveling on tourist visas -- no business allowed; go figure).  So the fact that we had not only our two computers aboard, but also three other computers in various states of functioning, was cause for some concern.

I have been meaning to erase these machines and sell them for quite some time, and our impending entry to Mexico was the catalyst for actually doing it.  The same impetus has caused me to list a vintage portable B&W TV that was kicking around my folks' house, and I will also be listing our old digital camera, my Sony Clié, and whatever else I can find to get rid of in the next day or so.  Click here to see all my eBay listings.

Tomorrow we will continue west on US290.

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