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How to Live in Austin, Texas

Yesterday I spent all day putting my new solar panel on the RV. Two weeks ago I got the panel in the mail and I called Crestview RV (a local RV place in Austin) to get it installed. They said it would be about $200, but that they were backed up and it would have to be left there for two weeks. I told them I couldn't go without it that long, so he made an appointment for two weeks later and said to come first thing in the morning.

Those of you who know me know that I hate waking up early.

Still, I want my solar power so I woke up early yesterday and my fantastic sister, Kelsey, drove me 15 miles to bring it in. When I got there they told me they were backed up and I would need to leave it there for two weeks. Forget it. I'll do it myself.

The Farmington Canyon Story, where the moral is to slow down and wear your seatbelt

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Farmington Canyon, Utah, around 10 years ago.

One of the first semi-serious girlfriends I ever had - let's call her Alice - had a really wonderful family, and we all got along famously.

They were work-hard, play-hard, really good people. They were Catholic, and there's sort of a Catholic solidarity in Utah, especially out in the suburbs.

Utah is overwhelmingly of the Mormon religion, and most non-Mormons feel stifled by it.

Now, as I get older, I come to appreciate the Mormon religion more. They're big believers in family, self-discipline, good habits, service, hard work and lots of reflection. But some of the rules are rather stifling to non-Mormons - no drinking, no smoking, no caffeine, no R-rated movies. Also, they're incredibly warm and friendly people, but at least in Utah, there's an undercurrent of being wary about associating too closely with non-Mormons outside of trying to convert them.

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