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Texas Jeff

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  1. Travis County now out. I'm down 17% after being up 90% two years ago. It must be nice to be a county appraiser and just throw random numbers at the wall for a living.
  2. McCallum talk not going away... Here's the latest presentation showing what they are planning (starts around slide 12).
  3. Austin ISD offers at least three ways to get college credit, maybe more. Most are free or cheap and cover the basics for a kid's first year or two of college. Students can take AP classes, and then take the AP test, and maybe get credit if a college offers credit. Austin ISD provides the AP teachers and the class, and the student signs up for the test. The test is $98, but economically disadvantaged kids pay around $21. Students can take ACC dual-credit classes, where the student is enrolled at ACC and high school in the same class. Most of the "ACC" teachers for this are actually Austin ISD high school teachers with the credentials to teach at ACC. The student ends up with high school credit and ACC credit, and the ACC credit can usually transfer elsewhere. I think public schools in Texas are required to accept the credit. Students can take UT On-Ramps classes, where the student is enrolled at UT and the school. UT provides the curriculum. The student ends up with UT credit. It's like ACC dual credit but the kid earns UT class credit using UT content. The district has a number of "early college" high schools, which are mostly the schools with the highest percentage of low economic students. At these schools, students can earn an associate's degree from ACC while still in high school, leaving them with just two years left to complete a degree. Eastside Memorial is across the street from an ACC campus. I think ACC classes are already free for kids in high school, but I can't remember for sure. There's no reason why an Austin ISD student can't knock out most of their freshman year and a big chunk of their sophomore year at almost no cost. The district also has a fire academy, cooking schools, nursing training and bunch of other CTE stuff for kids that are not college bound.
  4. I was near the Georgia border for the last eclipse. Getting to a spot was easy. After it was over, we had about ten minutes before gridlock started. Waze saved us and it routed us some very weird ways, but we kept moving. I had planned a three hour buffer at the Atlanta airport and I ended up walking right on the plane when I got to the gate, but I made it. So when it’s over, get moving as soon as you can, get as far as you can before the rush and have a plan. Or … just be prepared to wait.
  5. I'm sure you know this but I wanted to remind everyone that the way the school gets money is to have students in class. The school has to pay for the teacher, the building, the admin, the custodians ... everyone who keeps the school open. If you miss five class days to go to Hawaii, the school does not make revenue for those days to pay everyone who works there. Each family taking a few days off across the district adds up to a ton of lost revenue. Lots of us donate to our schools above and beyond what is asked, but if you are going to go on vacation and miss school, you might consider asking them what their daily revenue per student is and cutting them a check, just to make up for not being there.
  6. Nobody and I mean nobody wanted Steve Adler in charge.
  7. Well, you can "eyeball" it if you wish... I was surprised with the amount of glare from the sun during the 2017 eclipse, and how dark it didn't get. More like dim. It was tough to tell exactly when it was safe to look, or when the sun was going to suddenly come back. The app gives you some kind of assurance that you are in totality. I waited until the app said I could look, counted to ten, then looked without glasses. I put my glasses back on about ten seconds before the app said it was over. I am paranoid about retina damage, especially for kids who will need their retinas a lot longer than I will.
  8. Consider getting an eclipse app for your phone and practicing beforehand. I just re-downloaded Solar Eclipse Timer that I used in 2017. It's not free but it's not that much: https://www.solareclipsetimer.com/ It uses your GPS location to calculate exactly when the eclipse is starting and stopping and plays some recorded messages during the eclipse to remind you when to look around. I'm not associated with the person developing this app, it's just the one I picked. It's nice to have something to tell you when exactly the eclipse is at 100%, and when it's over.
  9. We used More Than A Teacher in Westlake over a summer and it worked well for us. They have a few locations and they also do some prep classes on campuses. The most useful part of their program was being able to sit for unlimited practice tests. I'm not sure if they still do this or not. We my kids did it, once you had paid the tuition, you could sign up for as many practice tests as you wanted. Simulated "real world" conditions helped my kids get used to the timing and pacing.
  10. In the video, it looks like the ship had a bunch of lights turn off for maybe 30 seconds or so about a minute before impact. Almost like they lost power, then got it back.
  11. A marching snare drum. Anytime the rest of the entire marching band is not playing. STFU snares, everyone else is trying to be social.
  12. I think the census folks take an American Community Survey every year, which is like a light census using sampling rather than a full enumeration. I got one once and sent it in.
  13. That’s part of the path between their office and Rudy’s. Expect police saturation.
  14. Dome the lake. Could get a little sweaty in there…
  15. There is one switch on the center console that you should learn how to use. It switches the car between Econ, Normal, and Sport modes. Econ will save you some gas ... but ... alternatively ... Normal and Sport will make the car more fun to drive.
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