I had to travel to San Antonio for a meeting Monday morning of the federal BRAC commission. Rather than overnight in San Antonio - with which I am totally unfamiliar - I stayed at the Sands Motel in Austin.
I'm much more familiar with Austin than SA - I go there four or five times a year now these days - and the Sands is right behind where Howard Waldrop lives.
I left around 11 a.m. Sunday and checked into the Sands about 4:45 p.m. By 5, I was over at Howard's. We bullshat a while and then went out for burgers and coffee.
Howard is an old pro and had some really funny and enlightening anecdotes. For example, I didn't know Neal Barrett, Jr. helped prevent WWIII from breaking out back in 1957.
I left for SA at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning and was there in plenty of time for the meeting which started at 8:30 a.m. I was back on the road before 10 a.m.
I had to stop and gas up on the way back to Austin, and since I stopped in San Marcos I went over to the university where Jayme Blaschke works. Missed, him, though, he was out on his lunch break. I ate at a local Chinese restaurant and gassed up the car.
Near the gas station I saw there was a Half Price Books, so I sauntered in. Hit the jackpot! I found six good books I could use, and bought them under $8.
Two were of Heinlein novels from the '80s I don't have, "Friday" and "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls". I also got the brilliant collection "City" by Clifford Simak, another great collection - "The Book of Poul Anderson, and "Tom Paine Maru" by L. Neil Smith.
The last book was a science fiction textbook from the 1970s by Harcourt Brace.
I was back home by about 6:30 p.m. Looking forward to Conestoga next weekend.