Friday, June 02, 2006

Lubbock TX

Why am I in Lubbock TX?

I'm here for a family reunion of sorts, although it is most decidedly not a family reunion. Two of my aunts and uncles, one from Dallas, and the other from southern Georgia, are having their 50th wedding anniversary this June. Their kids decided to thrown them a party-to-beat-all-parties.

First, they sent them to a mountain resort for a few days in New Mexico. To follow that up, they've been sent here to Lubbock, to a very nice hotel to stay for three nights and enjoy two parties - one each day. Friday is the family BBQ at one of their churches. Saturday is a formal ball at the hotel.

The "kids" (my cousins - six in number plus spouses for a total of 11 - with 17 children between them) decided to invite everyone in the family - plus the personal friends of each family. It turns out that most of my cousins and all of my aunts and uncles except for perhaps 2, are present.

One of my aunts is in the Islands north of Scottland visiting distant family at the moment and I don't think she'll be here.

To put it all together, I'll have cousins from Georgia, Texas, California, and more (I don't even know where yet) many of whom I've never met, and the rest whom I haven't seen since I was 11 or in some cases in my early 20s.

Last night I got acquainted with my cousin Tim and his family. He has two boys and a girl age 9 who is blond and and about the same size as Xenia. I showed them photos of my family and Libby swears that Xenia has her nose. So, it goes, there is a "family nose" shared by my daughter and he second cousin. :)

I also met his brother Peter and his sister Sonya for the first time. They each have families, some here and some on their way. 10 kids between them.

So, it turns out that my daughter, who has been distraught that she has no cousins, actually has 17 second cousins - and at least two of them (Libby and one other) are little girls aproximately the same age as Xenia. Xenia was very pleased to hear about this - but of course, sad that she isn't here.

It turns out that the kids in Texas and Georgia are out of school already. They start school in August, however, so there's that.

Well, I'm going to go for now. I expect some family will be down for breakfast sometime soon. I'm currently in the hotel lobby, a vast indoor courtyard wiht exotic shrubbery, fountains, a stream and pond - eating breakfast at the deluxe Continental Breakfast bar.


Basil - Kevin
A Comparison of U.S. Cities

As many of you know, latesly I've had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. Mostly because of work, but also a couple of personal trips (such as my current visit to Lubock TX.)

I've noticed interesting differences in place that I've been,and I think sometimes these differences tell tales of the cultural attitudes in each place. Read on and you'll see...

Seattle -vs -Dallas:
I've noticed several differences between the way things are at Sea-Tac -vs- Dallas:

There are soldiers everywhere. How can I tell? Well, they are wearing plain clothes, but they all have the same hair-cut and they are hauling around mounds of military issue duffle-bags.

There are soldiers everywhere. How can I tell? They are in uniform - desert fatigue, with standard issue combat boots, and a little patch on their left lapel with things like "PVT FST CLS JENSON" and that sort of thing on them.

What do I derive from this?
Option 1:
In Seattle the soldiers are afraid to appear in uniform because they might be mugged by protesters?
Option 2:
(I hope more likely) In Seattle the soldiers were inbound and in Dallas outbound.

The airport intercom:
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are having some technical difficulties with flight 2454. Please stand by for further information." Sometime later: "Ladies and gentlemen, if you are on flight 2454, please be advised that that flight has moved over to terminal B 64. You will begin boarding in 15 minutes at B 64."

The airport intercom:
"Those of you who are on the flight to Lubbock. We've got problems with the aircraft right now, so that flight will most likely be delayed a few minutes." Sometime later: "About that flight to Lubbock. Folks, they can't get the aircraft fixed right away, so they've given us another aircraft right over at terminal B 64. So, you folks will need to board over at B 64. That's the 11:30 flight to Lubbock. Thank you!"

This difference really fascintates me. Dallas is a much bigger airport, but from what I understand much more efficiently run that Seattle, in spite of the fact that the airport personnel are less formal. In Seattle, on the other hand, while we are (demon?) possessed with a nagging sense of "Everything must by orderly and politically correct" - they are much more formal over the innercom - they only say the flight number (not even mentioning the city name, and so you have to dig out your boarding pass and check it even if it isn't the same city.)

Well, well, more differences to come...

(and more soon on the family get-together...)


Thursday, June 01, 2006


Kevin Basil
in Dallas

Here I am zipping along in the skytram at the Dallas airport where I spent several hours yesterday.



Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Keval Basilbald the Hoary

Well, Keval Basilbald the Hoary is off to the great Republic of Texas.

I've never been to Texas before, and I decided to set out in such a manner as to discover what they do there when confronted with a Viking!

It shall be interesting to see.

A special thanks goes out to our little friend Naomi, who gave me a Viking beard.

I'll try to report as often as I can on how life is down in the Republic of Texas.