The virtue of excellence
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The Two Income Trap says the following:
While family income has increased a great deal in real terms in the last 40 years, so have expenses, leaving the average family marginally worse off. Why?
2IT response: Expenses rising faster than income in real terms. Details:
75 percent higher [income]However, Todd notes that this explanation cheats MASSIVELY. Only by careful obfuscation do you get the number 25%...in reality, if you measure tax expeditures the way you measure any of the other factors, it looks more like this:
mortgages (up 76 percent), cars (up 52 percent), taxes (up 25 percent), and health insurance (up 74 percent)
tax expenditures rose 140%So with increases in income, many big expeditures (mortgage, health insurance) kept up with increases in income (not that surprising...we should see education on that list too). However, taxation increased by 140%...which cancelled out all the gains for the average family. Government=parasites. Had they paid the same amount in taxes (a lower percentage rather than a higher percentage), in the last few years, rather than having exactly the same disposable income as a 1970s family (about 17k), they'd have done better than a 2/3 increase in standard of living, (about 29K) . Even a flat tax RATE would leave extra on the table, increasing the average family's discretionary income by about 1/4 (about 22K).
The key point, again.
Incomes are up 75% on the average family in 40 years.
Government taxation is up 140% on the average family in 40 years.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
As to Falkenstein's argument...I, somewhat unusually have substantial quibbles.
I find this a very wise course of action for leaders, because the last thing they want to do is get mired in a debate where their opinion is analyzed just like any other.Absolutely. Status maintenance trumps truthiness / predictiveness.
Another interesting point brought out by this line of reasoning is that judgement has a higher chance of being correct than the reasoning.Truth-based epistemology. Mostly silly. reasoning isn't correct. It is at best helpful.
Given any big debate has two sides (eg, raise or lower taxes to increase welfare), you have only a 50% chance of being correct.You have a substantially lower than 50% chance of being correct/predictive. there's usually at least a half-dozen answers that haven't been thought of yet that are all orthogonal to the current answers in play.
Similar effects hold in Portugal.
Do the anti-Flynn effect people believe that malnutrition and disease affect height MORE than they affect IQ...because musculature is a more sensitive-to-disturbance system than is the brain?
Supposing that on average, the people of 1820 were 2stdv shorter, and 2stdv (probably more) less intelligent...how does ANYONE hold the position that economic freedom is only beneficial to smart folks? The 1820s were America's boom...full of stupid people...and we were exploding economically...just like every other British (or ex-British) colony with a laissez faire government has.
For economic growth:
Economic system -- Laissez Faire + Culture of property rights matters FAR MORE than HBD/Population Factors.
- Robin Hanson is brilliant in explaining the Schizoid nature of public opinion.
- McArdle on Health Care: Time>>$
- Wilkinson snarks mightily at Mark Bittman. Eric Crampton is worried.
- 48 famous folks on School.
- Sumner goes all medieval on redistributionists. He claims that not only is it insane, it's impossible. Required Reading.
He must have read about the People's State of San Francisco's recent
For example, if you want to smoke crack, I don’t really care. However I’d like people to be able to discriminate aggressively against crack-smokers. In a hypothetical world in which property rights were very strong and strongly enforced, smoking crack and sundry other things would effectively be illegal. They’d also be policed a lot better than they currently are. A lot of things that are currently legal would also probably be effectively illegal.
A truly free world would be a highly-discriminatory and highly-judgmental world.
Regardless, I think that Foseti's opinion flies in the face of observed reality.
Less/no government interference results in economic growth. Economic growth results in rich people. Rich people have different ethics than poor people. One of the ethics that rich people tend to have that poor people don't is the trader/forager ethic of cooperation and tolerance. I'd far sooner expect reactionary/HBD intolerance to be effectively illegal in a free/rich world than to expect that smoking crack would be (effectively) illegal. Wealth changes things.
Basic rule: he who trades THE MOST wins.
If there are 3 players playing: Al, Bob, and Chuck...
Al makes 2 trades with Bob, and Bob makes 4 trades with Chuck...
Since trades only happen when both players benefit from the trade, that works out to
Al getting 2 extra benefits, Chuck having 4 extra benefits, and Bob having 6...
In a game where a little difference frequently wins...Bob wins.
True in real life too.
Wealth has 2 components:
2. Comparative advantage/Trade
He who trades the most (all beneficial trades) and penalizes innovation the least wins.
However, liberals have traditionally fretted a great deal about the imagined political cost of messing with the institutional rigmarole meant to trick us into thinking our payroll taxes are squirreled away safely in some vault somewhere awaiting our retirement.
There is one issue, and one issue ONLY in the debt limit/solvency question.
RATES NOT STATES.
Change the retirement age eligibility for enrolling in SS/Medicare to 85% of average lifespan, adjusted annually, and the solvency issue vanishes.
Change the automatic-benefits inflation index (forgot what it's called) to the lower number, and the solvency issue vanishes.
Upgrade growth rates using simple, well-known, Texas/Singapore/Hong Kong tactics (low regulation, low taxes), and the solvency issue vanishes.
It's all rates, all the time. Why is ANYONE talking about programs, unless they're all rhetoric all the time, or they're morons. The only thing that matters is cutting the rate at which the programs increase expenditures.
Monday, July 25, 2011
The key is figuring out whether events are independent or not. If they are – like coins or flipping cards – then nothing is ever “due,” and wagering like something is “due” is a really bad idea.Cards and flipping coins are obvious to see this on, but there’s lots of real life applications.Aretae:
If you’ve been having a run of probability coming down favorably to you, it doesn’t mean “bad luck” is due. If you’ve been having a run of bad probability, it doesn’t change the chances of a good outcome.
The reason people do this is because they're sane. In real situations where we don't have obviously independent events...the business of finding 6 or 10 heads in a row is evidence in favor of cheating, or of the coin not being as random as you'd thought.
You need to Bayesian update on your probability of independence...and the danger of THINKING something is a random, independent process, when really it's somehow dependent or non-random is in general higher than the belief that something is not random while it is.
Evolution, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that it is in the best interests of genetic propagation for women to be fairly well shielded from the crass machinations of their own lust drives, in a way that men are not.
Evolution in its infinite wisdom has decided that it is in the best interests of genetic propagation for humans to be fairly well shielded from the crass machinations of their own drives.
Don't they have an index for information like that?
Saturday, July 23, 2011
1. What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property is first an active government intervention into the market regarding non-rivalrous ideas.
Second, IP is a raft of different, related topics. Copyright is distinct from Patents, and also from Trademarks. Indeed, we may well need separate analyses of all 3 in order to understand them well.
Patents: A government creates a central repository of claims to having invented and first used a technology, and anyone who then uses a technology may sue to either collect royalties from, or prevent the use of a technology by others.
Copyright: A government prohibits most forms of duplication of an artistic work without the express consent of the author.
Trademarks: A government takes over the business of enforcing sourcing identification. If I want to buy an opinion from Foseti...the government will punish anyone delivering counterfeit opinions while claiming to be Foseti.
2. What arguments exist for the support of Intellectual Property?
There are basically 2:
A. Moral: Intellectual Property deserves protection. It's like physical property.
B. Practical: Intellectual Property is useful for encouraging the production of ideas.
Taking them one at a time.
A. Bollocks! IP is almost nothing like physical property...and furthermore it doesn't deserve government protection.
Physical property rights rest morally 3 notions: scarcity, abundance, and value-added.
- Scarcity -- If I take your chair, then you don't have one.
- Abundance -- If I find a natural resource and claim ownership...the moral validity of my claim is predicated on the ability of other folks to find similar resources.
- Value-added -- My ownership of a farm is morally based on my adding value to the resource. If I find a patch of wildflowers...ownership is fishy. If I weed them, and breed them for years...I have a much stronger ownership claim.
- Scarcity doesn't apply in the case of IP. If I use it, you can too.
- Abundance doesn't apply either. Two people discovering the same thing has no abundance. (Alexander Graham Bell submitted his telephone patent HOURS before Elisha Gray)
- Value-added? I'm uncertain of the applicability here.
What else do we have as a possible ethical reasoning? A general sense of propriety of ownership. However, I'd even like to suggest that this notion is far weaker than one might think.
What types of activities ought be owned? Jokes? Song? Clothing Designs? Math Proofs? Computer Programs? Genes? Short stories? Chemicals? machine designs? Furniture Designs? Paintings? All of which are discovery/creation processes, and in the United States, some are protected, and some are not. Can one make sense of which should be protected and which shouldn't? What makes a short story protectable, while a song is barely protected, and a Joke not at all. What makes it right that an Ikea chair non-copyrightable, while a poster is? The case is weak that one can find a difference...which leads me to suppose that the law is the difference, not the ethics.
My claim...there is no MORAL case for either patents or copyright. Trademark is more difficult. I've recently been shifting against it. Trademark is a way for government to take over the trust function in a market...and unsurprisingly, I'm not thrilled with a government taking over market functions.
The effectiveness question I'll leave for another post.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Patience/Ability to Delay Gratification >> Self-Efficacy > IQ & Conscientiousness
I was talking about the singularity with a ph.d. psychologist who'd just discovered the concept last night...and I brought up my opinions on Patience > IQ. Her line is that Patience >> IQ is as settled as that IQ is real. And she directed me to this guy, among the most respected psychologists in the world...who says:
The ability to delay gratification at age four is twice as good a predictor of later SAT scores as IQ.
[Sen] starts out with the following example.Falkenstein's response , interpreted:
Take three kids and a flute. Anne says the flute should be given to her because she is the only one who knows how to play it. Bob says the flute should be handed to him as he is so poor he has no toys to play with. Carla says the flute is hers because she made it.
Sen argues that who gets the flute depends on your philosophy of justice. Bob, the poorest, will have the support of the economic egalitarian. The libertarian would opt for Carla. The utilitarian will argue for Anne because she will get the maximum pleasure, as she can actually play the instrument. Sen states there are no institutional arrangements that can help us resolve this dispute in a universally accepted just manner.
WRONG QUESTION!!! How do you get more flutes? Or how do you get the flute in the first place? Choose C.
Entertaining: I forgot what century we lived in
AGW: The dog that didn't bark
Minimum Wage impact: Demand Curves really do slope down
Federal Workers: Adverse Selection
Statist Tricks: Taking Markets Hostage *very important to remember
non-computer gaming: Games
Add to reader, if you haven't already.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Here's Cato Unbound for the month:
Gardner & Tetlock -- We suck at prediction, and so do the experts.
Robin Hanson -- Does anyone care that we suck at prediction?
John Cochrane -- The EMH says we must suck at prediction . Economics is right again.
BBdM -- Experts do suck at prediction. I don't. Here's how.
First, Brin commented on Heinlein and Guns, which prompted an excellent, well-reasoned response post from Eric Raymond, largely making Brin sound silly.
Then, Brin today posted also about assorted things, generally (as is his wont) pointing out that the conservatives are not, in general, the good guys ™. But in reading Brin's work...I can't help but wonder that he doesn't seem to understand the entire field of public choice economics.
In summary, Brin's argument over the last several years is pretty simple. Historically, who has screwed the people the most? Rich folks who could get away with it or Bureaucrats? In the west, the answer has clearly been rich folks. Why are libertarians so focused on bureaucratic issues, where folks are trying to help, while ignoring the rich folks who've been screwing the rest of the people for 5000 years?
Brin errs, though, in misunderstanding government. We have rather ample evidence that what happens in Real Life is that governments are quickly captured by the folks they are supposed to be regulating, and become (primarily) agents of the rich, disguised by do-gooders, against the poor and middle classes. And as far as I've been able to tell, Brin has no inkling of that.
Aside: As far as I've been able to tell, though, worldwide, the answer to who's screwed the most folks is Bureaucrats. China and Japan were choked for 2-4000 years on the strength of bad bureaucracy...and the evils of stagnation there are both worse than the evils of the Europeans, and the biggest danger facing the world today. Had China less controllable water, (thus preventing central control of the key resource, and thus spawning multiple states) we'd likely have had the modern age of technology 500-2000 years earlier...and we'd all be speaking Chinese.
Very hard to excerpt...and very well said, with lots of linkage.
Summary: Working for bosses sucks, and we all know it. And an awful lot of us are willing to pay a lot (Read: make less money than someone else would offer...often a lot less money) in order to not have a boss. Satisficing comes up...Autonomy FTW. RTWT.
Disclaimer: I'm ~39, and I've worked in an environment with a supervisor who had some idea of what I was doing for precisely 3 years and 4 weeks. The rest of the time I was volunteering, self-employed, or effectively self-employed. FWIW, both of my parents were self-employed for most of their working lives, and many of my aunts and uncles as well. It's not like I'm a great spokesman for the great american daily grind.
Policies are determined by vote or by leader, rather than by structural forces in the system, mostly economic.
IP law in it's current state doesn't exist because folks got voted in who care about IP law, or because the voters care about IP law, or because the voters like the IP laws we're moving towards. IP law in it's current state...just like all other laws (+/- 3%) exists because the already rich and powerful are able to push public policy by writing the details of the laws in their favor.
Who gets elected doesn't matter.
What voters you've got mostly doesn't matter.
The structure of the system matters...and the structure of the system benefits entrenched interests at the benefit of the populace. The solution has NOTHING to do with what groups you have, and NOTHING to do with what formal system of government you have. It has everything to do with (a) existing economic power, and (b) how much power the government has to shift economic power...and the economic power ALWAYS shifts to whatever extent the government has power to move it in the direction of the entrenched interests.
Aside: Occasionally, but not very often, violence can make a difference. Then the already rich make a deal with the violent, and the violent get some power at the expense of everyone else, while the rich keep all their power.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
- Consequentialism -- The results (preferably ALL the results) define the goodness of the action. (Officer: "Are there any jews in this house?" "No"). Note: This category includes both egoist approaches and utilitarian approaches. The only difference is which goal.
- Deontology -- Whether you followed the rules defines the goodness of the action (Don't push the fat guy in front of a train, even to save 5 others, who would have been killed)
- Virtue-ethics -- Actions are relevant to goodness only insofar as they explain what kind of person you are. (The question isn't whether you won or lost the battle...it's whether you were courageous).
It is also important to call out the distinction between two other questions in ethics:
- How do people actually respond ethically? -- This is Jon Haidt's stuff that I like so much. If you look at how people actually respond ethically, you'd do pretty well to model on 6 axes...harm/care, justice/fairness, purity/sanctity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and liberty/freedom. I'd argue that most of the rest of the rest of ethical disputes come when these axes push in different directions. For instance, sometimes/often fairness/justice pushes against ingroup/loyalty.
- How would be better for people to respond? What ethical system would be net-best for folks. I'm personally a huge fan of David Schmidtz here.
My current thought on the meta-side is that ethics is very simply evolution's way of dodging our conscious mind's feebleness, and building in effective long term strategy. Game theory says that tit-for-two-tats is the appropriate strategy in indefinite duration iterative games with noise (What we really see). Turns out vampire bats play tit-for-two-tats or something very close as well. Justice/fairness and harm/care are awful close to a built-in over-ride for our short-term thinking grey muscles to say--"Yo, Bozo, Be nice"...it's better in the long run.
Similarly, in single-play game theory, it's most effective to defect. Hence...one needs a different strategy for dealing with outgroup folks that one won't be playing with forever. Purity/Sanctity Ingroup/Loyalty and Authority/Respect are about defining the boundaries between ingroup and outgroup.
Finally...intra-group competition may be the single biggest driving factor in top food-chain pack-predator evolution (humans)...and so preserving space for the self to act is essential, which should lead to a built-in liberty/freedom issue.
Summary: Evolution built ethics to make human beings play smart long-term game theory instead of playing stupid short-term game theory, which is all the power their little grey noodles have in them. IF you think you're smarter than evolution...you can screw yourself and several others pretty badly by testing the proposition and finding out you're wrong. Otherwise... behave ethically.
Aside: It seems as if the human ethical position is highly sensitive to power. When in a position of power, folks' ethical opinions change dramatically. This fits my hypothesis positing a game-theoretic evolutionary substitute for the natural human lack of long-term thinking.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The core left libertarian claim is that referencing either
(a) what we've got now, or
(b) what we've had historically
as a FREE market is insane.
What would modern corporations be without...
state granted limited immunity.
state granted intellectual property laws.
state privileges around tax status
What would the railroads have been without insanely large land grants from the government?
The LL claim is: Not much the same. The entire structure of modern business is fundamentally and deeply a creature of government...NOT an oppositional force.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
In the real world...there are 3 categories of people:
- People I count as part of my group.
- People I count as not part of my group.
- People who are generally dangerous to others, regardless group affiliation.
Problem -- the kids shows I've been watching encourage folks to believe that there is a clear line between 1&2 vs. 3, instead of the real way things work, which is that by believing strongly in good vs. evil in groups...we are reinforcing 1 vs. 2, ingroup/outgroup thinking, rather than multiple perspective thinking, with the assumption that me and my ingroup has very little (important) going for it (as compared to other groups) besides its being "my" group.
Here it stands:
The terms "Truth" and "knowledge" are inexcusably, and irreperably vague, and should thus be abandoned in serious intellectual discourse. As a side effect...this would have the effect of making a lot of fuzzy thinking crap made explicit.
Nominally "knowledge is true, justified belief". But truth, in the prior definition is harder. Whereas philosophically, one can argue justification from either coherence or correspondence (to reality), true is defined as a correspondence to reality. Unfortunately, if you're a map/territory mental models guy (like I am), or you take seriously ANY of the serious epistemologists from Pythagoras forward...you can't get to reality. In
If you can't get to the underlying reality, then the notion of knowledge (justified true belief) must either jump out of epistemology and ASSUME access to the true...or else it must give up on truth per se, and move exclusively to a justification basis for belief. Knowledge as properly understood is an epistemologically invalid construct!
How do you deal with justified belief? Unfortunately for most methods, without access to the true, you don't have access to certainty as anything more than an emotion either. Instead...ALL propositions (2+2=4 included) are (a) probabilistic, and (b) either interpretable as (1) prediction statements, or (2) models that support prediction statements, or (3) something else.
Humans evolved from Apes should be understood to mean that if you include in your model the assumption that Humans evolved from Apes, ceteris paribus, your predictions about human biology will be better than if you assume otherwise. Modern Medicine bears this out beautifully.
2+2=4 means that under normal conditions, 2 objects near 2 other objects will be counted as 4 objects. If those objects are dissimilar, and some are food and others are hungry critters, this might not be true over time...but basically it predicts behavior in the real world.
"God exists" does not seem to fall into category 1 or 2. It predicts nothing. Furthermore, it does not give me a model that predicts anything (identifiable by my senses). Hence...it's a something else, and not relevant to the justified belief category.
Robin Hanson is, in my opinion, the most interesting person writing on the web today, mostly because he has become passionately interested in why people are not (apparently) very interested in the quality of predictions around 1 + 2, and also in what categories of (3) exist, and to what purposes.
Unsurprisingly, as an educator (my main interest), this stuff is highly relevant to what I do on a daily basis.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Korean Fusion is yummy stuff. Pita Bread, Korean BBQ (Golbi?), and Kimchi (Mild American Kimchi) make for a tasty semi-sandwich. Fried (battered?) plantains with chimichurri sauce was excellent.
Good overarching conversation, spanning epistemology, ethics, HBD, food, Chicago, Transformers, and a few other topics in a long hour.
I think we were both in agreement that the anti-immigrationists (him) and the pro-immigrationists are mostly talking past one another.
The pro-immigrationists are for Jose trading his lawnmowing work for my $, and his $ for lodging and food...and are highly offended by busybodies trying to get in the way of his trading with me and his landlord.
The anti-immigrationists are opposed to American Andy having to pay for Jose, or his effects, when Jose crashes his car, or has 6 children.
Furthermore, the anti-immigrationists are opposed to the incremental changes in our culture produced by Jose (and family)....and especially by large numbers of Joses.
As is normal, very few folks are willing to acknowledge both sides of the issue.
I suggested that if these are really the issues, we should simply abolish legal immigration, illegal immigration-enforcement, and land-citizenship. Thus Jose gets to trade lawnmowing with whomever he wants, Andy doesn't have to pay for Jose, and Jose doesn't get to vote, nor do his kids. I remain in favor of a net-taxes paid requirement for citizenship...or more specifically for voting privileges.
If Eddie Engineer is the only engineer willing to come to your town and work make your machines work...Eddie has as much power as he wants to use. If Vernon Villain comes to town with his gun, he may seem to have more power than Eddie. However, that's only true if Vernon is the only guy in town with a gun. If there are more guns than just Vernon's, then the others will protect Eddie as being important for their self-interest.
How much power a given entity has (Water company, Bank, Military) is roughly exclusively determined by how scarce their abilities are. If there's only one water source in town, whoever controls it has a lot of power...and control is frequently trumped by violence, thus making it appear that violence is the key. However, if there are 3, 4, or 20 water sources in town...it becomes awful hard even for violence to make a difference in water control. Without real scarcity, violence doesn't win. Similarly...if there are 20 different armed militias in town... only the insane ones are shooting anyone...and they're likely to be eliminated. Rather, no single group has any real power, because there's no scarcity.
In real life, through the study of recent economic history, most scarcity is not scarcity of physical resources, but rather scarcity of mental resources. Can you find someone who can solve the problem you have? How many folks can (in my case) effectively teach your team of programmers how to use web services in Java (Practice: easy, Theory: less so). How many folks can effectively lead a team of programmers to create something useful in a reasonable period of time. (Not enough). What other choices do you have than finding such a person? (Not too many.)
The scarcity angle, though, brings up a real issue for political analysis. The issue is: where is the scarcity.
Claim #1: Generating Scarcity is the political goal of all businesses. If you can generate scarcity, you win...and if you can't you lose...and almost the only way to generate long term scarcity is through government intervention. Alternatively, you can monoplolize scarce resources (brains) but it's a leaky job, and it ends up sending all of your profits to the scarce resources.
Claim #2: Political power is itself allocated itself according to scarcity. Hence, in the modern wealthy world of general lack of scarcity...the idea of concentrating political power is between kinda tricky and impossible. Monarchism wishes are silly.
Claim #3: Given how much scarcity is generated in the political world, one has to assume that power is FAR more concentrated than we currently want to believe. Power is exercised to generate large scarcity.
Claim #4: Larger polities (USA vs. Denmark or Swiss Canton) are currently only fictionally democratic. Scarcity of Access. The ability to influence policy is not meaningfully democratic in any sense, nor can it be, given widely varying opinions.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
- Robin Hanson: Morality Porn
- Tyler Cowen: Government + Growth
- Will Wilkinson: Negative Mexican immigration?
- Tim B. Lee: How Patents Work
- David Henderson sideswipes a huge, underused libertarian argument: Yes, there may be "market failure" here, but why do you expect government action in the real world to make it better rather than worse?
- Steve Horowitz: Q: Why Free Markets? A: To protect the poor from the rich and powerful.
In that time, I've barely been able to eat 1 meal a day. Feels like a good solid meal of baby back ribs, sausage, and fatty brisket fills me up for like 30 hours. Maybe the heat contributes as well, but geez. It's a lot of fullness for only medium amounts of food.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
- Tuesday: Visit an old friend in Houston, and cook for family. LOTS of inlaws. Father in law made BBQ ribs, sausage, chicken. I made Mustard potato salad without onions, Aretae Greens, Deviled eggs, Eclairs, and Aretae's special Jalepeno Bacon wraps.
- Wednesday: Wake + drive through Luling + Lockhart to Austin (Best BBQ in the world is down that way)...missed Borepatch and the lovely and talented Mrs. by about 20 minutes. Met Austin friends for a bit, Drove north to North Dallas. More BBQ. Gosh, when it's 300 degrees out, and I'm eating BBQ once a day, I really don't eat anything else. Just the meat. I feel full for about 30 hours after eating it.
- Thursday: Wife hung with friends in N. Dallas, I drove all over Dallas visiting other friends. Headed north towards Oklahoma City, and the 5yo got sick -- fever, sore throat. UPDATE: Did I mention that it was 109F/43C @ 6pm?
- Friday: Goal -- St. Louis.
Monday, July 4, 2011
- Wednesday -- Left at 3pm, arrived at midnight in Laughlin, NV. Good ribs in Tehachapi, CA for dinner. Red House BBQ. Texan-approved.
- Thursday -- visited family in Bullhead City, AZ , visited the Grand Canyon, slept in Flagstaff. Wow, Grand Canyon out-did Zion as most beautiful places I've seen as an adult.
- Friday -- Drove and drove and drove. Dinner in Albuquerque, at a place my son found on TV. Great southwest burger...decent food otherwise. Spent the night in Amarillo, TX
- Saturday -- BLunch at another very good burger joint. Drove a reasonable amount...had dinner with friends in North Dallas, and then drove on towards Houston.
- Sunday -- Woke up, drove to Houston. Bought Smokey Mo's BBQ on the way. Best BBQ sauce anywhere, which makes the chopped beef fabulous...and the ribs were excellent this time. Family day. Also stopped at some of the best ice cream in the country.
- Monday -- Chuy's Tex Mex for lunch. The restaurant that defines crazy Austin Tex-Mex. Drove from Houston to College Station to meet some branches of the family, and eat their homemade BBQ. Then back. More ice cream to help the kids sleep. And the little one is still chowin' on BBQ from yesterday.
Tomorrow is mellow, but the 6th, I go through Austin on a BBQ pilgrimage, and then North to Chicago by the 10th.