Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Update

Okay.  This is gonna be sort of short.  Probably not our best weekend of all time.

Amy has had the flu and has been feeling pretty awful.
I hung out with her and we hid out at home.  I tried to help out (only a modicum of success).
I did a couple of bike rides.  On Saturday I had the closest call that I've had yet on my bike in terms of near collisions with cars.  Some clown in a pickup truck came flying out of a parking lot on South Congress as I was riding down the street in a bike lane.  I had to swerve and brake really hard, and I ended up on the concrete.  The driver of the truck had to squeal his brakes in order to stop (he must've been really flying through that parking lot).  He raced away as I was clambering back to my feet.
I braked so hard that I popped a spoke.  Again.
Grrr.....

Anyway, the weekend was quiet.  Amy rested a lot.  I felt really bad for her.  She seems to be on the mend now, though.

We watched several episodes of Game of Thrones.  I'm still enjoying the series quite a bit, but I'm wondering how they're going to pull this show off over the long haul.  The series of books is still being written, and there are supposed to be seven of them in all.  The show is already pretty complicated, and we're not even through season 2.
Anyway, Amy and I are both enjoying it right now.

Anyway, there's not a lot to say about this weekend.
Feel better, Amy!!!! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Mission of College

(The usual caveats about a meandering Steanso opinion piece apply.  Skip it if you don't have an interest in a healthy dose of "you know what they oughtta do!")

There was a piece by Frank Bruni in the New York Times last Sunday which talked about the ongoing debate in Texas over what the mission of the University of Texas, and by extension the Texas public university system in general, should actually be.  There has been a bit of an ongoing standoff recently between the University of Texas Board of Regents (all appointed by Governor Rick Perry) and university president Bill Powers.  The conflict reflects different visions for the school.  One involves a less expensive, vocation-oriented university where research is more goal oriented and pragmatic, with funding driven by graduation rates.  The competing model is more traditional, allowing for more studies in the liberal arts, humanities, and other areas that aren't directly linked to vocational training.  This model also allows for more open ended, purely investigative research that doesn't necessarily promise to deliver a short term economic payoff (but which may end up ultimately leading to knowledge that provides substantial long term benefits).

Like Bruni, I'm sort of conflicted about the whole situation.  At a time when the economy has been struggling and when there are increasing demands to keep our workforce educated and trained (one of the best ways to keep our standard of living up in a global economy), it makes sense to have a greater focus on a trained workforce.  I also recognize that college tuition has become extremely expensive and that education costs are increasingly out of control.    Students who graduate with degrees that don't reliably translate into a career often find themselves strapped with awful amounts of education debt and few immediate choices in terms of being able to pay it down.

I think that a greater focus on job readiness and the creation of a more skilled workforce is almost certainly a good thing, both for most students and for the country. 

On the other hand, I don't think that the focus on the pragmatic should come at the cost of a near exclusion of liberal arts and humanities classes that lend themselves to higher level critical thinking skills and a better educated populace. 
In the interest of full disclosure, I attended a small, liberal arts university and received an undergraduate degree in philosophy.  I completed coursework for minors (which I never declared) in sociology (mostly criminology), psychology, and speech/rhetoric. 
My classes during my undergraduate studies seemed to have only the slightest bearing on any profession or career that I might pursue as an adult (at the time my career aspirations sort of vacillated between philosophy professor, rock star, bar owner, or maybe attorney- but not a "boring kind" of attorney).
In short, I gravitated toward things that interested me, but without any sort of overarching career path or model to guide me.  In the end, although my classes weren't all directly relevant to my future career, I don't feel like I wasted my time or my money.

As a 4o year old attorney, I've ended up working as a criminal prosecutor who specializes in cases with mentally ill people.

Its become almost a cliche for some of the people in these arguments about education to say that the jobs awaiting today's students haven't even been invented yet.
If I look back to the time when I was in college, this was literally true.
There were attorneys, of course, and prosecutors, but there wasn't a focus on mental illness in the criminal justice system.  The idea of trying to incorporating a greater understanding of mental illness into the justice system was just that when I was in college- an idea.  The first specialized prosecutor for mental illness in Travis County appeared about two years before I got the gig.

Law school, of course, was the predominant educational tool for my current career.  My law degree taught me the law and the basics of legal practice.
But, looking back on things, my undergraduate studies also played a substantial role in laying the groundwork for my current job.  They certainly didn't consist of any sort of formalized training, but they sort of put me on a path.
My philosophy degree included studies in analytical reasoning and ethics.  Any attorney who's had to dissect the validity of various legal arguments and test the strength of an opponent's logic has, consciously or subconsciously, applied some of the same skills used by philosophy students to examine various philosophical theories.  Classes on ethics were good training in how to recognize appropriate ethical principles and apply them objectively and dispassionately (and about why they probably ought to be applied objectively).
My criminology classes in the sociology department did a good job of highlighting some of the realities behind crime and separating them from public perception.  I learned that the media, in their effort to present viewers with shocking and morbidly fascinating stories, often creates a distorted view of crime and its impact on society (e.g., for drug crimes, low income minorities are apprehended and prosecuted at an exponentially higher rate than whites, who commit those crimes at the same rates;  people are far more likely to be victimized by an act of violence or sexual assault that's perpetrated by someone that they know as opposed to a stranger;  white collar criminals steal much, much more money than common burglars or thieves, but are prosecuted far less frequently and receive lower sentences; if you're going to die as the result of a crime, it's more likely to be DWI than homicide; etc.).  Sociology was far more interesting than I expected it to be.
My rhetoric classes were all about persuasive discourse, and, well, that's what I spend a lot of my time doing now (or trying to do).  I'm not saying that studying Cicero and Caesar imbued me with their abilities, but at least it got me thinking about persuasive speaking and writing, and it made me realize that the power to influence opinion has been recognized as a really important skill throughout history.  It also drove home some common characteristics and themes that great orators have employed throughout history.  Good stuff to check out if your job will one day involve debating with defense attorneys, judges, and occasionally jurors.
And, of course, having some basic psychology classes helped me to understand a little bit about some of the disorders, conditions, and symptoms that I see every day on my docket.  I gained a foundational understanding of not only various mental illnesses, but of the way that health care providers diagnose, assess, and treat mental illness.  Obviously I wasn't really learning any sort of clinical stuff, but my psychology classes at least gave me a framework that I would later use as I learned more about mental health in my current job.  As I've said before- I don't pretend in any way to be a clinician, but at the same time, my current position requires me to be able to carry on a coherent, intelligent discussion when they're talking about defendants who are living with mental illness and behavioral health issues.
So....
Just by way of example, I get a case and evaluate it using some knowledge that I gained from my psychology classes (hopefully having some understanding of what schizophrenia is colors my decision if a person's behavior is reflecting some of his symptomology).  Criminology comes in helpful as just a bit of background when evaluating cases (e.g., an assault is not made less serious by way of the fact that it occurred between family members- even if they later wish the case would go away.  If I give a defendant a better deal just because his lawyer says he's a good kid who's in college, I'm sort of contributing to a trend in which higher income people get a different result from the justice system than lower income defendants).  I use my law degree to see if I can prove a case and to analyze legal arguments.  I use my philosophy and rhetoric degrees to argue with/persuade/cajole defense attorneys and judges.

So these are the most direct effects of my liberal arts philosophy degree, which most people might assume has no "practical" value.  I think they were useful.  I had no idea that these classes would have some degree of helpfulness in any future career when I took them.  They were just part of the person that I became. Maybe I migrated toward a field which involved some of the same subjects that interested me in college.  Maybe the interests that I developed in college as a result of these classes helped lead me to my current job.
Either way, I think my liberal arts degree was important to both my development as a person and to my future career.

I still think that there's some validity to the argument that we need more pragmatism in education.  Students should be more strongly encouraged to graduate, and to do so in a reasonable amount of time.  Teenage students who are entering college frequently don't recognize the long term impact of their loans, and they could use a bit of pressure in terms of getting their degrees completed on time.  It probably wouldn't hurt to require students to take some career-oriented, practical classes.

But leave some room for the liberal arts and the humanities.  The world is a changing, evolving place (and I don't just mean in terms of technology).  Various fields of study are finding new ways to overlap with one another all of the time.  It may sound like an eggheaded concept, but there's legitimate, practical value to be gained by letting students learn more about the world around them and having them gravitate toward subject areas that spark their interest.  A broad knowledge base and strong critical thinking skills will give students the flexibility to navigate a perpetually shifting professional landscape.

We need people with vocational training, but we also need people with the talents to recognize where, when, and how to apply technical talent.

I'm going to stop because I think this is devolving into a bit of a ramble, but...

Don't turn our universities into factories for computer programmers, engineers, and accountants. 
We need those people, but we also need students to have a wider perspective and a greater curiosity about how the world works. 
They'll make good employees and good citizens.  


   


Monday, April 22, 2013

Update; Bill Carter; Patricia Vonne with Infidels

Howdy!
So, pretty nice weekend.
My folks have jetted off to Kenya on a mission trip to work at a clinic where they test eyesight and fit people for eyeglasses.  Amy and I had pizza with them on Wednesday night at Homeslice, and they left on Thursday.  I hope they're doing okay.  I've been a little more concerned about them on this trip than usual because of some unrest in Kenya that has occurred in the run up to recent elections and in their wake.  At any rate, the mission trips are important to them, so I hope everything goes off without a hitch, and they come back safe and sound.
Thursday night I joined Amy and some of her friends form work at The Cloak Room for a happy hour after work.  I hadn't been to that place in like a decade.  It's still small, dark, cramped, and full of character, but it's a lot less smokey now than it was in days past.  Still chock full of politicos, though.  Funny place.  Definitely an Austin landmark.
Friday night Amy made a good chicken dish, and we watched Game of Thrones.
On Saturday we got up and Amy made some eggs for breakfast and we went to the store.  We came home, took the dog for a walk, and tried to go for a bike ride, but I figured out that I had popped a spoke on my back wheel when I had been out riding earlier in the week.  This discovery was a bummer because it sort of derailed our bike ride.  Amy went to the gym, and I took my wheel in to the shop s they could replace the spoke and true the wheel (which is where they balance the tension in all of the spokes to keep the wheel in balance).
I got home and pulled my old La Jolla Cruiser out of the garage.  I took it for a ride over to Strange Brew to see and afternoon show by Bill Carter.  I didn't know much about Carter before heading over there.   I just wanted to see some music and Strange Brew was in easy riding distance on my bike, so I Googled him for a quick minute.  He sounded good on the video, so I went to check him out.


Bill Carter was really good.  He's written songs that have been played by everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Waylon Jennings, and his usual backing band, The Blame, has had a rotating lineup that has, over time, included members ranging from Charlie Sexton to Billy Gibbons to Chris Layton to Brian Setzer to Johnny Depp.  So Bill Barter, while not really known to me, is sort of a big deal.  He has a really good voice, performs with the skill and confidence of a seasoned veteran, and his songs are really good.  His performance impressed me enough for me to start looking him up on my iPhone, and once I started figuring out more about his career, that same performance impressed me enough to make me put my phone away and pay more attention to what the man was doing.

Like I said, good songs, strong performance, and a cool voice.  All in a half empty listening room at Strange Brew on a Saturday afternoon.  But the crowd was enthusiastic, Carter played well,  and he told some good stories.  The show felt intimate and kind of special.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. Seemed like he enjoyed it, too.  Definitely want to see him again.

I rode my bike home and hung out with Amy for a while.  She made a Thai dish called larb for dinner.  I had never had it before.  It was tasty.  It had spicy ground chicken over lettuce in a sort of salad type deal.  It was good.  I think it involved fish sauce?
Saturday night I went back to Strange Brew with Amy.  We went to see Patricia Vonne with a band called Infidels.  Now back when I was in college, in the early through mid nineties, we used to go listen to a local balled that was also called Infidels.  They used to play at various bars on St. Mary's Street in San Antonio and at Tycoon Flats, the beer and burger joint that was just a few blocks from our house.  Hearing that Patricia band was playing with Infidels, I looked up the band online.  "What are the odds?", I thought.  It was almost 20 years later, and Infidels is a cool enough name that surely some other band has picked it up, especially if this older band is now defunct.
But on this amateur Youtube video that I found, it sorta looked like the same guys.  The sound isn't flawless, but here they are playing Bob Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee"....



Amy, bemused and bewildered, watched as I dug through my CD collection to find a copy of one of their albums that I had bought back in the college days.  I found the CD and tucked it into the pocket of my hoodie as we rolled out the door to go to the show.
(Patricia Vonne with Infidels)
And sure enough, it ended up being the same band!  Apparently Michael Martin, the lead singer of Infidels, had struck up some sort of friendship with Patricia Vonne after playing some shows in Austin a few years back.  Not only did it turn out to be the same band, but they actually played a number of songs off the CD (from 1994) that I had in my pocket (on the CD the band name is True Infidels because I guess they got into come sort of copyright/trademark dispute with another band that was trying to use the same name).  I got Michael Martin to sign a copy of my 19 year old True Infidels CD, and he seemed both amazed and bewildered that someone had held onto that album for that long.  I've actually listened to it quite a bit over the years, though, because I always thought that it had some really strong songs.
(Patricia Vonne's other band)
Anyway, it was a good show.  Infidels sounded good!  Patricia Vonne played a set with them, and then she played a set of her own material with a different guitarist/singer (who, according to the internets, is also apparently her husband- Robert LaRoche) and a violin player (who was also good- I didn't catch his name, but apparently he's getting ready to go on tour with the BoDeans).  Amy and I both really enjoyed both shows.
So that was Saturday.

On Sunday we got up and had breakfast at Central Market.  We ran a couple of errands, and then I worked out.  We walked Cassidy and then walked Mandy's dog, Darla (who is younger and a little better equipped for longer walks).  We went to Academy and bought a new umbrella for our porch.  We looked at hammocks.  We didn't find the perfect one.
In the afternoon Amy made some egg salad and I practiced my mandolin in the back yard.  Beautiful spring weather.  Everything is so green.
In the evening we had a Mono Ensemble practice in anticipation of our upcoming May 10th gig.  Hope some of y'all can make it out for that! 
Practice was good.  We've got a new song or two in the works for the next show.
In the evening we ate egg salad and leftover larb for dinner, and we did some reading.
That was about it!
It was a very nice weekend.  Went by too fast, as usual.

Have a good week!  Hope eveything is friendly and peaceful in Kenya!
 
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Update

The weekend was bueno!  I hope everyone else had a good weekend, too!
Friday night we went out for dinner at Cypress Grill.  The food was good, we sat outside, and it was a very nice evening.  I like that place.  I like Cajun food, and it's a nice little neighborhood restaurant.
We also started Season 2 of Game of Thrones Friday night. 
On Saturday we got up and went grocery shopping and ran a few errands.  We did laundry, and Amy sold some stuff on eBay.  I went to the UPS store with Amy, and learned that one of the employees is a huge fan of the band RUSH and possibly the president of its Austin fan club.  I left her my email address so I could join the fan club, but she never wrote me back... 
The weather was nice, and I went for a long bike ride.  I took my bike downtown on the bus, and then rode through downtown and into East Austin.
It was pretty cool.  I don't know East Austin super well, and when I've been over there, I've always been in a car.  I rode through the neighborhoods and down East 6th and by the ACC Eastview Campus and by Booker T. Washington Terrace and past 12th and Chicon.  I rode by Christo Rey Catholic Church and up Webberville Road, past Gourmand's, where there were a couple of dozen bikes out front.
East Austin is in an interesting state of transition.
Historically it's had a larger minority population than the rest of the city with probably somewhat lower incomes than a lot of other areas.  Some of the houses and streets have been well maintained and cared for, while others have been a little more neglected.
More recently, the area has been undergoing a lot of gentrification as younger, urban, white folks have been moving in.  The East Austin area close to downtown has been seen by many as a good opportunity to buy a home in an area that's easily accessible to downtown, but where the housing costs have been rising a little more gradually (at least relatively) than in other parts of the city.
Consequently, new houses and home renovations have been sort of sprinkling the east side, with lofts springing up alongside new restaurants, bars, cafes, etc.
Riding around, I couldn't help wonder about whether the more traditional minority communities would end up relocating out of these neighborhoods, especially as home values rise along with accompanying property taxes.
Also, for the new, younger, hipper population who've moved in over on the east side, I couldn't help but wonder if they'll eventually become a victim of their own in success in changing the place.  Now that the neighborhoods are looking more and more inviting, rent costs, taxes, and property values are bound to sharply increase.  Right now the central East Side has a bit of bohemian flair to it.  It's probably attracting a fair number of artists and creative types who are trying to do make a blue collar living (service industry and the like) while pursuing other careers and interests. 
I hope that some of that feeling can be maintained.
Right now there's an interesting balance between the more traditional population and the new one. 
(once it's all mcmansions, you will
see fewer zombie outbreak response vehicles
in East Austin)
Tattooed hipsters (gotta love 'em) rode their fixed gear bikes past Christo Rey as the largely Hispanic congregation gathered on the front steps with their dogs for some kind of afternoon event.
The neighborhood just has an interesting character at this moment in Austin history.  I have a feeling it might not be long, though, before software execs are throwing up mcmansions and parking their Porsches in the driveways.
Which will drive up taxes and expenses.  Which might make the neighborhood less interesting.

I rode my bike around the east side and then back through downtown and up through the UT campus to about 30th Street.  Then I rode home.
Saturday night Amy made pesto chicken pasta salad, which was very good and tasted sort of summerish.
That evening we went to a birthday party for my brother over at his house.  It was nice!  I saw a number of people that I hadn't seen in a while, and it was good to catch up.  Also, of course, it was good to get a chance to hang out a bit with Ryan and celebrate the ol' three eight with him while drinking a couple of beers.
On Sunday we got up and went out for breakfast tacos.  We did a little shopping.  In the afternoon I went for another bike ride.  Amy went for a run.  When I got back from my ride I pedaled my bike around the neighborhood with her while she ran.
I did a little food prep for some crockpot jambalaya that I was making on Monday, and Amy made a few cookies with some dough that we had in the freezer. 
Afterward I played some mandolin in the back yard while Amy did some reading.That evening Amy made some chicken enchiladas.
We relaxed that night and watched some more Game of Thrones.  A couple of people at work told me that they didn't care for Season 2 as much, but I'm still enjoying it quite a bit.
Amy have been talking a bit about Game of Thrones as metaphor, and the meaning behind some of it.  The show keeps hinting around about some sort of possible invasion from the uncharted regions to the north ("Winter is coming") which sound like they might make all of the more traditional wars and political maneuvering moot.  Is it a metaphor for climate change?  Maybe.  Not sure.
Anyway, it's a good show.  We've been enjoying it.  Amy has been reading the second book almost in sequence with our viewing of the show.
So that was our weekend!  Hope everyone else had a good one.   

Monday, April 08, 2013

Update

Hey!
Well, the weekend was nice.  It went by too fast, but I guess that's the sign of a weekend well lived.
I don't actually remember what we did on Friday.  I think we just relaxed.  Amy got home a little late.  I had made some chicken tacos in the crockpot, and we had those for dinner.
Saturday Amy got up in the morning and went to the hair salon to do hair stuff.  I did some laundry and played Max Payne 3 on my Xbox. 
This new Max Payne game is pretty good.  It actually has a decent story in which our damaged, ex-cop hero ends up working security for a very wealthy family down in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The plot is fairly engaging (it deals with a kidnapping), the artwork is well-rendered, and the dialogue would hold its own against a fair number of modern day, noir-style movies.  The developers actually took pains to develop Max as more than just a player interface.  Max is a wreck of a human being (he drinks too much and spends more than a little time wallowing in self pity), but he's got a dark, dry sense of humor, and, of course, he never gives up (unless, of course, the person playing the game gives up).
I'm liking the game.  I need to find more time to work my way through it.

On Saturday we went to the grocery store.  After we got home, Amy and I went on a bike ride.  It was a beautiful day and a nice ride.  Amy pedals up hills much faster than me.  She doesn't ride as much as me, but she's in very good shape.  The slow hill climbing thing is a little discouraging for me since I spend a fair amount of time on my bike, but the bike book that Jean bought for me (Just Ride by Grant Petersen) warns that heavier riders will be slower going up hills, and it encourages bigger riders to just get up those inclines and not be discouraged by slow hill climbs.  I'm taking that advice to heart.  I figure getting a person my size up a hill at any speed is good exercise. 
(my dad ought to be driving this
car during retirement)
Anyway, we had a nice ride.  Very nice day.
Saturday night we went to Curra's and had some Mexican food.  It was really good.  The place was hopping because there was a classic car/hot rod show going on over on South Congress, a few blocks from the restaurant.  It was fun to see the restaurant buzzing with the people from the car rally along with the normal Saturday night hubbub.

When we got home on Saturday night we watched Safety Not Guaranteed on Netflix.  It was a pretty good movie.  It was funny and a little touching.   Without being too heavy handed, it had some interesting themes the passage of time and the relationship between time and  regret and opportunity.  I liked the movie.  Better than average, I'd say.

Sunday we went out for breakfast at Central Market.  We went to Target.  I went on another bike ride and stopped in to visit Ryan and Jamie.  Amy figured out how eBay works while I was gone, and now I'm pretty sure she's gonna start selling off my stuff when I'm not looking.
We had a good band practice Sunday evening with four of the five members of the band in attendance.
Amy made some delicious chicken tacos with poblano peppers for dinner.
At some point during the day I sat outside and played some mandolin (my folks got me a mandolin for my birthday, and I've been having a silly amount of fun with that thing- my neighbors probably think a clan of hillbillies have moved in next door).
Sunday night we watched the seaon 1 finale for Homeland.  That show is weird.  I don't totally love it, and yet I find it compelling.  I guess I don't really love the characters, but I still really want to see how the story plays out.  I'm not sure why, but I just have sort of mixed feelings about the show.  I know that I just don't buy the fact that Al Qaeda managed to turn the only two American POWs that they had just because these soldiers witnessed a drone strike where civilians were killed.  Going two for two in "turning" American soldiers into traitors because of something like that sounds a little far fetched (especially when at least one of them had a very nice family to return to and protect).  I think every American soldier who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan knows that our military inflicts a lot of collateral damage casualties among the civilian population.  Anyway, the fact that I care enough about the show to even have mixed feelings about it probably says something for it. 
Those Homeland folks definitely do a good job of keeping me hooked.

So that was our weekend.  Peaceful, nice, and quick.
I hope everyone else is off to a good start with their week!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Update

Well, it's been a pretty busy week, so this update is a little late.  Hope you'll bear with me.
The weekend was okay.
Friday night I had a happy hour with the people from work at Opa on South Lamar.  It's relatively close to my house, and I'm not sure why I never tried it out sooner.
It's a nice place- coffeehouse and a decent beer and wine selection.  My only real complaint was that most of the beers were bottled, with only two on tap, but that's a kind of petty complaint.  It's a nice place with a small courtyard out front with some nice outdoor seating.
It was cool to get together and spend some time with work friends in a non work setting.
Later on Friday night Reed came by and we watched a video of a Who concert from 1975 that was filmed at the Summit in Houston.  Cool stuff.  Keith Moon is almost a cliche now in terms of being famous for his frenetic, powerful drumming, but watching that man play live is just a sight to behold.  Maybe it's just because I work the mental health docket now, but I'd swear that you can almost see some kind of clinical mania going on in that guy.  Lots of people will probably quickly point out that he was using lots of drugs, but lots of rock stars have performed while on drugs over the years, and very few of them vibrated at the almost superhuman frequency that you see in Keith Moon.  To even develop his drumming style- a series of hard hitting, endless drum fills that are exhausting even to watch- a person would have to possess a level of energy that would inspire them to not only want to keep the beat, but attack the drumset on almost every song.  Drugs might make a person have a night here and there when they really played with more energy than usual, but Keith Moon's powerful, fast, controlled drumming was just the way that he played time after time.
I've watched a lot of bands over the years, and Keith Moon is still something really unique.

Anyway, Saturday I ran errands and went for a pretty long bike ride.  Saturday night I watched Cabin in the Woods.  Cabin in the Woods came out a while back, so most people who would be interested in that sort of flick have probably already seen it.  If you like horror movies, though, and you haven't seen it, I recommend it.  It's not completely flawless, but it manages to be funny and scary and, as reported, it does a good job of stepping outside of the usual horror movie tropes while still incorporating the things that make people like horror movies in the first place.  It's got some mystery to it (admirably, the movie doesn't really overexplain itself), and it's a fun ride.  I've heard some people say that it's not really a horror movie, and I sort of have to disagree a bit.  If you're averse to violence and scariness in your movies, you probably still want to steer clear of it.  If you like being scared a bit, though, check it out.

Sunday was Easter.  I went to church with my family, and afterwards we had a nice dinner at my parents' house.  They did a really nice job of entertaining.  Dad was on the tail end of a cold, so he gets bonus points for making it through the whole thing.  It was a fairly traditional Easter for the Steans family.  Nice to spend time with everyone.

And that was pretty much the weeknd!  Hope everyone is doing okay!