Wednesday, September 24, 2008

another one off the list

I am not sure why but I love state capitol buildings.  I love buildings in general but old ones with arches and rotundas just take my breath away.  While visiting my sister, we took a trip to Richmond to visit the Virginia State Capitol.  Designed by Thomas Jefferson and the place where democracy was first established, history just filtered out of this beautiful French based structure.  With its yellow interior walls and landmark confederate roots, I wanted to just sit and bask in its southern glory.

I may not have a real list but I could probably start one.  
  • Columbia, SC
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Columbus, OH
  • Austin, TX
  • Nashville, TN
  • Charleston, WV
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Lexington, KY (only from the outside as it was closed when I went to visit)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the bats under congress avenue bridge

It sounds really gross but the Congress Avenue bridge, which spans the Colorado River (not The Colorado River but a smaller one), is host to the largest urban bat colony in the United States.  Just a few blocks from my apartment, I took a walk on one of the cooler nights in the past month to get a glimpse of these bats, which emerge at or around dusk to hunt for their insect food.  I tried to watch them earlier in August at the BatFest 2008 but it was on the First Street bridge and too far away to see them fly away as night approached.  While this impromptu visit did not garner the results I wanted (see this picture) I did see them silently fluttering under the bridge, thousands of them on the hunt.  Honestly, I was a bit scared and worried about the 'ew' factor but it is a matter of pride, this daily event of Austin.  I will go again so that I can witness that impressive swarm.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike heads toward Austin

The coast has evacuated and though Austin will probably only catch the edge, Ike has caused some major upheaval in the past few days. Football games have been rearranged, Austinites are talking about tying down furniture, and we are praying that we do not get the winds but only the much, much needed rain. From a superior site,, here is a current satellite of Ike making its way toward Houston.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Moribito and Naruto Shippūden movie

I have a quite a bit of anime on my plate these days.  Between adult swim, netflix, netflix watch now, anime tv channel, scifi animonday and host of other places to watch, keeping up can be a bear.  Of all of these, one almost escaped my notice and I am glad that it did not.  Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit is currently running on adult swim's Saturday night lineup and the last episode that aired made me fall in love with it.  Several fight scenes ensued that were amazingly directed and the story was set up so well that I was completely enraptured.  The butt kicking female fighting hero has pledged to save the spirit possessing hidden strength finding prince in a beautifully animated series.  It is the first anime in a while, save for Naruto, which leaves me wanting more.

Speaking of Naruto, the new Naruto Shippūden movie trailer has been blasted at the beginning of the new episodes and boy does it look great.  Enjoy.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

a capital living

I have lived in five state capitals so far in my life.  By lived, I mean either with my family, in school, or renting and earning wages.  Interestingly, I have only lived six different places and the one which is not a state capital is the one where I was born and lived only little more than a year.  Of the other five, all of them were a place where there was no professional football, basketball, or hockey team, though one of the places now has a hockey team and that same one developed a professional soccer team while I was inhabiting.  Of them, two of them are above 700,000 population and the other three were about 350,000 or less.  I have visited each of their capitol buildings, driven amongst their landscapes and as such, have gotten lost on their crowded highways.

Maybe it is because I have moved into its center or maybe because I have had the time and the ability to enjoy its atmosphere but Austin is by far the most enjoyable capital that I have lived. Its lazy culture and lively music make it a contradiction yet comfortable in the state where it resides. Its state capitol, one of my life's little pleasures, is the best in the country and epitomizes the unofficial state motto by being larger than our nation's capitol. I see the changes planned for this city and look forward to watching it persist and better itself. There is so much to do, you can not do it all and there is so much for your general enjoyment that it makes you wonder why anyone would criticize about anything, besides the weather of course.  While I do not participate in its politics or understand its drive for being the biggest or most independent, the city has captured me with its romantic Texan history and landscapes.  I will never be a Texan and have no desire to become one but I feel more settled than I have in some time and that is a comforting thought.