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Well, until August of this year, I had spent the last 10 years living in Texas. I'm usually very quick to point out that I'm not from Texas, I just lived there. I'd been in Dallas for just about 5 years, spending 4 of those years working for Texas Instruments, and more recently for Digital Pilot. Actually, I lived in a suburb called Carrollton but it's still considered part of the Dallas "Metroplex" area.

I'll confess that it was quite the risk living in Dallas and not liking the Dallas Cowboys. Mention that in the wrong crowd and you can get seriously hurt. But since this was the only city I've lived in with professional sports, I can't vouch that it'd be different anywhere else. Of course, the Dallas Cowboys are "America's team" so I guess I'll be the outcast no matter where I go...

Dallas is a little high-strung. The zoning for selling alcohol is downright bizarre. Some parts of town can sell anything. Some can only sell beer and wine, and some can't sell anything. Also, some parts of town require you to buy a "Unicard" before you're allowed to drink. Some clubs won't take Unicards and make you fork over more money for their card. It's all a very sad anachronism that really should just be done away with. I'm kinda glad I was able to "escape" ;)

Before I moved to Dallas, I was at The University of Texas in Austin. Austin is much more laid back. No silly zoning laws about beer. Lots of tie-dye, hippies, tattoos, and open-minded people. In my opinion, it was a great place to go to college. Lots of great clubs, book stores, music stores, parks and green belts, etc. Austin has a strong environmentalist faction so some of the great natural resources there may last for a little while longer. Few sensations compare to diving into chilly Barton Springs on a sweltering August day. There are two popular bumper stickers I like: "...On Earth as it is in Austin", and "If ya gotta live in Texas, ...."

My parents moved to Austin when I decided to attend college there. They now live in Round Rock, a small town just north of Austin. It's just enough off the beaten path although lately there's been widespread developing going on all around the area. It's somewhat sad to see the native strands of trees getting mowed down for cookie-cutter neighborhoods.

During the summer of 1990, I worked for DuPont in Beaumont, Texas. That was miserable. Beaumont is right on the coast, just across the state line from Lousiana. It was typically 100 degrees or more during the day topped off with close to 100 percent humidity. Even that might have been tolerable if DuPont hadn't required us to wear ear plugs, safety goggles, hard hat, steel-toed shoes, and a fireproof jumpsuit any time we left the building. Better than a sauna for making you sweat.

Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Amarillo, Lubbock, etc, etc.
I've been to all of them and wouldn't want to live in any of 'em. Either too hot, too flat, too conservative, too crowded, too empty, etc. I'll pass. I decided only to list the places I'd lived in Texas, not every place I've ever been to... I live in Vancouver, Washington now, and let's just say that it doesn't have much in common with any of these Texas towns.. which is possibly a good thing! ;)

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