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June 15th, 2019

Chickening Out

Had an insomnia moment at 2 am Texas time, which was showing as midnight on the tablet. Checked the settings, and it was set to get the time from the network and it was connected to the hotel net. But buried in the clock widget settings was a time zone hard-coded to LA, changed it to Chicago. Now it shows the right time.

Need to find a better clock widget.

Back to sleep after turning off the noisy aircon unit, because it was cooling off outside and 76F was fine with me. Next thing I knew it was 10 am.

Nearly killed myself in the shower. The last cleaning left a slippery residue, I slipped all over the place and managed to land sitting. Took the rest of the shower holding onto the bar. As I got out I noticed the anti-slip mat curled up behind the tissue holder across the room. Housekeeping FAIL.

Checked with the front desk, their shuttle only takes people around a 6 mile radius, and he had no affordable ways to get downtown.

Too chicken to drive, I emailed David, then walked around a bit looking for lunch, and sat outside taking pix of thunderheads. The storm only dropped a few bits of rain, did not see lightning but heard far off thunder.

Went next door where there were supposed to be restaurants, but all I found was a vegan Indian place, a pastry shop and a lot of offices. Across the street the signs for Thai massage and Teriyaki Madness drew me, but the latter doesn't exist and the former is now Good Girl Grill, a Szechuan place.

Next door was an amazing Mediterranean restaurant. Kind of a middle eastern Panda Express. Grab a tray, flatware, napkins and go down the line picking out sides and main dishes, which the helpers behind the food put on a plate for you and give you hints. I chose Greek salad, fruit cup, shawarma and baklava. And a soft drink. And waited for one guy ahead of me to discuss every possible combination of items with the cashier. The sides were great but the meat was dry and tasted horrible.

Found a table, set up my tablet on the plastic stand, read some more of a pretty good free Kindle novel, The Clouds of Venus by Jeff Tanyard.

Back to the hotel, saw that David had called, called him back and he volunteered to pick me up and bring me to his place. So that happened in about an hour.

Chatted with him and his wife Bui, who has an amazing garden complete with a waterfall and lily pond. And all kinds of herbs and citrus trees. David is working with a programmer to create a Thai-English dictionary app. I've had one for years, but he said his has far more examples of using the words in context, and more variations for many words.

They took me to dinner at a small but packed place called Singapore Cafe, where the menu was a mix of Thai and Malaysian food, and some Chinese too. Yummy stuff.

Back to their house, Bui made a mix called Milk Tea, for me to sample - she bought it thinking it was Thai tea, and wanted a second opinion. It was close, but not as good as the DeDe tea packets, which I showed her on Amazon.

David drove me home with a stop at the cafe - he had left something behind.

Back at the hotel, the room had not been made up, my fault for not being out of it early enough.

Bui did not know about Nancie, so when I got the laptop set up I sent Nancie's  two best Thai cookbooks to them via Amazon.

Plans for tomorrow:
Drive to NASA. Got simple directions from David, which Google says were the long way. The rental car has toll tags, so I can take the toll road much of the way and cut off half the distance.
Find a Starbucks and buy a Houston mug. and maybe a Texas one.
If I get back in time, I'm invited to dinner again.

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