2203 Euclid Ave.

Austin, Texas 78704

December, 2005

 

Greetings Earthlings,

 

Another year . . . will be good to see 2006.  It seems many we know have had ill health or general unpleasantness this year.  While not directly touched, we had siblings near New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and in Houston during Hurricane Rita.  They survived, though with discomfort.  Austin took in over 5,000 evacuees, many of them with serious long-term problems.  Social service providers are still wondering how they will be incorporated into our community.  Holly was involved with some emergency relief efforts shortly after they arrived, and is currently working on a research project to interview evacuees and document their impact on social services in Austin.

 

Probably the biggest news for us is Matt's new job at the University of Texas.  He is really thrilled to be able to focus his energy on the ACL2 theorem prover, including research, development, and assisting users.  It isn't a stretch to say that he's going to get paid to do his hobby.  He figures he has been lucky to have worked at AMD for over 6 years, but the new position will be more fun and should leave more time for other things.

 

Holly received funding for her first principal investigator project this year (meaning she's the boss), a big step in research land.  She and a colleague researched service needs of domestic violence survivors for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  She also taught a research course, continued doing training and providing consultation on worker wellness, and wrote articles in her areas of interest.

 

We've had some changes in our social lives.  We have to report the demise of the political salon we started after the war on Iraq began.  Few of us seemed able to sustain enthusiasm for discussing politics at length, possibly mirroring the mood of the country as a whole, so we ended the salon. We also stopped playing for contra dances for the time being.  Holly's resulting neck pain just took all the fun out of it, and we were happy to free up the time.   On the other hand, Holly continues in a meditation support group she joined last year, which has perhaps taken some of the edge off Holly's anxiety and tendency to worry.

 

We took various trips to Seattle, Tucson, Louisiana, and California for conferences and to visit friends and family.  We also spent two weeks in England in late summer.  Matt was there for a conference and collaborative research and we both drank tea and lolled about reading.  We had a great time.  By design and by luck, we each read a book we found there called “How to Be Idle” and took it as a sort of spiritual guide.

 

It's always great to hear from people we know from past lives in different places.  Just so we can maintain our good ACLU-loving, left-wing pinko, tree-hugging status, we wish you a happy Christmas/Hannukah/solstice/Kwaanza/New Year/commercial holiday.

 

 

Holly and Matt