Category Archives: Austin

See “Close Assault 1944” this Veteran’s Day Weekend

Assault 44

(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum related posts) – This coming Monday is Veterans Day in the US. In celebration, the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin, TX will present “Close Assault 1944”. The Museum will be open 10 AM until 4PM both Saturday and Sunday.

Come and visit the Museum and enjoy the reenactment presented by the Museum volunteers. The Museum is always FREE and open to the public on Tuesday thru Sundays.


Mabry Monster M*A*S*H & Jeepers Creepers Rally is Tomorrow!


(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum posts) – I’m a member of the Museum foundation and have been volunteering as a docent since July of 2019 at the Texas Military Forces Museum. I’ll be there helping tomorrow afternoon and hope to see some friends there too.

This is a fundraiser for the Texas Military Forces Museum foundation:

The day begins at Noon with the Jeepers Creepers Rally on the Camp Mabry parade field – come see Jeeps of all styles and vintages from around Central Texas and select your favorite to receive the People’s Choice Award. There will be vendors and music, funnel cakes, and Covert Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram will be showing off the new Jeep Gladiator! The Jeepers Creepers Rally is FREE to the public and any Jeep enthusiast who’d like to show off their wheels, though donations are greatly appreciated! If you’d like to register for award consideration, please go to and complete the registration form.

At 5 p.m., move just across the street to the Texas Military Forces Museum grounds for an evening of live music from bands Granville Automatic and Sterling Country, DJ Rick Giles spinning vintage tunes, beer tent, custom cocktails, food trucks, vendors, souvenir event t-shirts and more at the Mabry Monster M*A*S*H! Come dressed as your favorite M*A*S*H character or their zombie equivalent and enter the costume contest! Tickets may be purchased at the gate.

$15 for rally participants
$10 for TMD personnel with I.D.
All ticket purchases include a collectible dog tag and two beers!



USA, Texas, Austin – Tyson’s Tacos


(See my other Food related posts) – After working Austin Museum ay at the Texas Military Forces Museum my wife picked me up and we decided to try a local taco place that a friend of hers had recommended. Tyson’s Tacos is located at 4905 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX.

We shared the $11.99 ‘3 Taco Plate’ – This came with rice and beans and our choice of three tacos. We picked two Tasty Basterd (Surf and Turf, Shrimp and Fajita with Sriracha and Cheese) and a Chicken Fajita (sauteed onion and bell pepper). All on corn tortillas. They were very good. Tyson’s has also earned a 4/5 rating on Yelp and 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor. Tyson’s has an extensive menu with over two dozen different taco choices as well as provisions for creating your own concoction.

All tables are outdoors, but most are undercover with fans. It was comfortable there yesterday afternoon. One of the very nice things about Tyson’s is that it is open 24/7.

This location is a few miles from home for us so we won’t be dropping in too often. It is though certainly a place we will return to.

If you are in northern Austin and feel hungry, Tysons might just be the answer regardless of the time or day.

See my other Food & Location posts


Autonomous Vehicle Pilot Begins at Austin Airport

(See my other Robot related posts) – I saw today in the Community Impact News that a driverless shuttle program has begun a pilot evaluation at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The Easy Mile EZ10 driverless shuttle provides service between the Terminal building and the rental car and ground transportation areas.

The EZ10 shuttle is an all-electric vehicle which was launched in 2015. The vendor claims that the EZ10 is the “most deployed driverless shuttle in the world.” Each shuttle can seat 6, with additional standing room for up to 15 passengers and operates in all weather conditions and will run up to 16 hours on a charge. While the shuttle is autonomous, an AUS attendant will be present to assist travelers and for safety purposes during the pilot phase.

Texas Military Forces Museum – Hands-on​ History Night 2019


(See my other Texas Military Forces Museum related posts) – Last Saturday I worked my first “Hands-on History” night at the Texas Military Forces Museum as a docent. I was really impressed by both the attendance and the wide array of weapons and equipment on display.


Tables were set up and manned by volunteer reenactors from various periods of Texas Military history.


Periods represented included: Texas Revolution, Civil War, World War I, World War II (German and US), Korea and Vietnam/Contemporary.


volunteer reenactors at each of the tables demonstrated the equipment and provided the visitors with details of how it was used.


Nearly 600 visitors explored the museum and were able to climb into several of the vehicles that are normally just on display.


The big hit of the night was the Sherman Tank. The line to climb inside filled quickly and during the peak of the evening was near an hour wait. Everyone was able to take their turn inside well before the evening ended.


I enjoyed the 5+ hours I spent helping visitors to the museum. After experiencing a “Hands-on History” night for myself, I am going to encourage a lot of my friends to take part next year. Many people are surprised to find this 45,000 sq. ft. free museum in the heart of Austin.

If you are interested in history, visit the Museum website to see when the next event takes place. The Museum is free (adults do need to show ID to enter Camp Mabry) and open Tuesday thru Sunday 10AM to 4PM. The living historians (reenactors) will present their Close Assault 1944 living history program on Veterans Day weekend in November.

If you are interested in the WWII era of history, you may find these three pages of interest. 

The  World War II Sources” page is a constantly growing collection of more than 330 links to museums, memorials, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and other sources with information on the World War II-era in history.

The “World War II Timeline” page expands almost daily and shows events leading up to WWII, as well as during the war. Events are broken down into the Pacific and European Theaters by date.

The “About WWII” page is a collection of links to posts that I have made over the years that are relevant to WWII.

Change the World

This is almost five years old now. The address was given in May of 2014 at the University of Texas Austin Commencement and published to YouTube that same month. My son sent me the link to this impressive speech.

These are the remarks by US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven a 1977 graduate of UT and the commander of U.S.Special Operations Command. He challenges the graduates to Change the World and relates aspects of his SEAL training to how we should approach the challenges of life.

It is five years old but is very much still appropriate. I encourage you to take the 20 minutes and listen to the talk.

Central Texas IEEE Life Members Visit ATX Hackerspace


IEEELocations – The Austin chapter of the IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Central Texas Section Life Members group (IEEE members who are at least 65 years old and who have been an active member of IEEE for at least 35 years) met last night at the ATX Hackerspace.

What is ATX Hackerspace? Per their website they are:

We are a collaborative industrial workshop full of people who love to learn and make things! ATX Hackerspace can be found at 9701 Dessau Road, Building 3, Suite 304, Austin TX 78754

We have over 8,000 square feet of space that is perfect for artists, designers, engineers, makers and hackers, fabbers, scientists, musicians, seminars and workshops, co-working, and a ton of other stuff. We’re the perfect place for any project that needs space, involves loud or messy equipment (woodworking, soldering, welding, painting), power (we have 120V, 240V, and 3-phase power), tools that are too expensive or large for your own workshop ( see our laser cutters, CNC mills, and 3D printers ) or meeting with collaborators.

More importantly, we are an established and ever-growing community. Imagine what we can do when we combine our skills, knowledge, ideas, tools, and materials… or see for yourself at our next Open House, every Tuesday evening from 6-10pm.

We’re hackers (thoroughly defined here), which means we create things and we put things together in new and innovative ways. ATX Hackerspace is dedicated to encouraging and promoting technical, scientific, and artistic skills through projects, collaboration, and education by all legal means.

After a brief meeting, we were led on a tour of the ATX Hackerspace facility.


The first stop was the room with their 3D printers. Unfortunately, some of the folks taking the tour blocked the larger printer in this photo. It is located against the back wall to the right. Smaller printers are on the table to my right out of the photo.


In addition to the 3D printers, they have a small electronics lab space.

They have two relatively large laser cutters.

Their largest ‘maker space’ is their wood shop. Not shown is their welding area and car shop. The auto area is near the yellow box in the larger of the images above. The welding area is behind the red-curtained portion of the space.

ATX Hackerspace has a number of tools available. You can see the complete list of their tools-resources.

For a $75 fee with 24/7 access to the building, this looks like an inexpensive and well-tooled facility to take your projects from design to reality.

See my other articles about Food & Locations


Are You Ready for the Moxi Robot During Your Next Hospital Stay?

Robots – I came across the article “Moxi Prototype from Diligent Robotics Starts Helping Out in Hospitals” this morning. The Moxi is a robot from Diligent Robotics. Moxi is being piloted it right now. As they say about Moxi on the company website:

Moxi is a friendly AI healthcare robot that serves as a vital supporting member of healthcare professional teams by conducting the team’s non-patient facing logistical tasks, so the staff has more time to focus on patient care. 

We were inspired to create Moxi to help support clinical staff members in hospitals with their fast paced and demanding roles. Clinical staff balance patient care with massive loads of manual logistical responsibilities, such as fetching and restocking supplies or setting up patient rooms for new admissions. With an extra hand from Moxi, who autonomously completes those manual logistical tasks end-to-end without assistance, clinical staff focus on what they want to do and what they, as caring human beings, are best at: direct patient care.

So don’t look for Moxi to perform your next operation. It is there to help bring items from storage to patient rooms. Those non-medical, logistical tasks.


This is Diligent Robotics second iteration of the product, they previously had Poli. I have to say that part of what caught my eye with this article was 1) the fact that the CEO and co-founder Andrea Thomaz is also a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. I am an EE alumnus of UT Austin. And 2) that the company is based in Austin, TX, where my home is.

Part of what impressed me about this robot was how many off-the-shelf component parts they have used to assemble the new Moxi. That says to me that the robotics industry is beginning mature, and more robots will be appearing soon among us. Certainly having robots freeing people from the mundane logistics tasks will allow more focus on patient care.

On the other side of this advancement in tech is the potential displacement of staff that such robots will cause. However, with the costs of health care constantly increasing, finding ways of reducing costs is inevitable.

I will be very curious to hear how the pilots of Moxi go.

Remembering D-Day 2018

WWII – WWII Timeline – It is that time of year again when I make an effort to see some of the movies that depict D-Day, June 6, 1944 or that period in history. I watched “Darkest Hour” recently on the long flight home from Singapore. Not D-Day but certainly an interesting look at the war. I will watch “The Longest Day“,  “Saving Private Ryan” and the “Band of Brothers” series over the next couple of weeks.

74 years have past since D-Day and a shrinking number are left today that experienced it. I’m surprised as how many of today’s youth do not even understand the significance of June 6 or December 7.

I am glad to see the film, “Dunkirk” come out last year. I think that there are WWII period films in production that will depict the Battle of Britain and one with Tom Hanks as a destroyer Captain. With 2019 being the 75th anniversary, I suspect we will see a lot more in the media looking back at this important date in our history.

I have an interest in history, particular of that period. I had hoped to visit the “National World War II Museum” in New Orleans again this year, but that has now been delayed. I have been there twice now but I am ready to visit again. They have done a superb job of telling the story of both the European and Pacific Theaters in World War II.

Locally in Austin, Texas there is the Texas State Military Forces Museum that covers that period in history as well, though it is not nearly as large.