Just in time for my first attempt to run the Houston Half-Marathon, an adventure in the making. Bottom line: I did not beat my PR but I did finish in under two hours, not bad considering the weather (results are here).
The Lead Up (driving the Texas triangle is not the best warm up). After training for most of the summer, including my first ever 100 mile month (hey, I’m a late starter into this running thing), the week before the run found me driving the Texas triangle for work. Wednesday – Houston to DFW. Friday – DFW to San Antonio. Saturday – San Antonio to Houston. Driving is not the best activity to keep your legs relaxed and loose, but you gotta do what you gotta do. The other challenge was that my running buddy Bert had “kiddies interruptus” and could not run with me. Bert was big on motivational techniques like telling me he was going to put lipstick on me if I started walking (which I am sure that he didn’t mean as an insult to all those female runners that habitually blow by us). So I was going to need to motivate myself by the thought of a couple of cold ones at the finish line.
The Course (I preordered a path in the shade). (more…)
How do you continue a series that has ended, without making it droll, repetitive, unimaginative? (See the twelfth SF Signal podcast for a discussion on series that have gone on too long).
You simply follow history, as with Rick Riordan’s new series The Heroes of Olympus, the follow-up to his excellent Percy Jackson series). The Percy Jackson series has the Greek Gods of Olympus being challenged by the Titans they dethroned long ago. This new series combines Roman mythology with another set of ancients (no spoilers) set on revenge against the gods, following the stories of mythology again. This book, like the first series, not only provides a great family read (we will all pass this book around) but really invests the reader into the tales of mythology in a greatly entertaining way.
The first book, The Lost Hero, starts where the Percy Jackson series ended, with Rachael Dare making her first prophecy:
Seven half-bloods shall answer the call.
To storm or fire, the world must fall
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.
The Lost Hero opens with Jason, Leo and Piper, three misfits at a camp for wayward kids who are obviously (if you read the first series) demi-gods. But Jason has no memory of anything before that moment. (more…)
For the fifth year in a row, I’ll be attending the Trinity University Alumni book signing on the beautiful campus in San Antonio. The event is Saturday, October 23 at 11 am.
The Alumni Book signing is in the Dicke/Smith Foyer of the Ruth Taylor Fine Arts Center Lobby, and once again I will be sharing a table with Robert Flynn (mainly because he buys me beer, but also because he has an excellent new novel titled Jade: Outlaw out on Kindle, a follow-up to his Silver Spur award winner Echoes of Glory). The Trinity Bookstore will have copies of my novels Software by the Kilo and Dusk Before the Dawn as well as the collection of stories written for my mom and dad entitled Voices in my Head.
For those of you with adventuresome streaks (and yes, Lou, this means you) we will adjourn afterward to the Bulverde Chili Cook-off where a friend of ours is judging. Then, thanks to a gauntlet thrown down by running buddy Bert, I’ll drive back to Houston for the Houston Half-Marathon.
Books, chili and beer. Any questions? The obvious question everybody seems to ask (making me echo Ryan in the classic “what about me?” query) is whether or not my lovely wife will be attending. Sadly, if that is why you are considering coming, you should abandon all hope, as she is representing us at our son’s college’s parents weekend.
Hope to see you in SA.
A History of the French Legation in Texas by Kenneth Hafertepe answers at least the second question, describing “the oldest remaining structure in Austin”, starting with the building of the Legation in 1840 and 1841, when Austin was a year old. This is the 4th book in TSHA’s (Texas State Historical Association) Fred Rider Cotten Popular History Series (list of the series here). Early in the book, he explains what a Legation is:
Today all nations send ambassadors to each other and set up embassies, but in the nineteenth century, only the great powers sent and received ambassadors. In dealing with lesser states a great power like France would send and receive a minister, who operate a legation. Fledgling states – like Texas – were entitled to a legation, but without a minister. Instead, an officer of lower rank was left in charge – a charge d’affaires. (more…)