The city of Austin has placed usage counters on 20 of the city’s urban trails. The counters are able to differentiate between bikes and pedestrians. #19 at the south end of the Mobility Bridges and #20 at the beginning of the southern extension of the Violet Crown Trail are especially interesting for Southwest Austin.
The Mobility Bridge counter should see a considerable uptick when (if?) the city gets the south Mopac connector trails in place to the Industrial Oaks area. I had a chance to speak to city’s Urban Trails Program Manager recently about this. At least a portion of that connection will be via the YBC Trail.
The Violet Crown trail counter (#20) is at the northern end of lengthy run of new trail to the south including a new bridge en route to the Veloway.
Temporary End to the VCT
Austin currently has 32 breweries (um, plus or minus, what time is it?) within the city limits. Reaching beyond the city limits, there are well over a dozen more. Even though cities like Portland have far more, “beer tourism” has become a thing. And, because bikes and beers are also a thing, touring breweries by bike is a natural result.
In Austin, there are three commercial bike tour companies offering brewery tours. Austin Bike Tours and Rentals has a “Texas Craft Beer Tour” focusing on the central city. Mike’s Bikes offers a “Brews Cruise Sunset Tour“. And, Bike and Brew ATX focuses solely on brewery tours with four different tours around town and the Hill Country.
Taking a city bike tour is always a good idea, beer or not. And, if you like finding your own way, BeenThereBikeTours has a self-guided tour of the Eastside beer scene.
If you’d like to plot your own course, here’s our current map of breweries, including all breweries in the city limits along with some select locations further out:
If you’d like a rundown on each brewery, check out Eater Austin’s Guide
Today is my third, and last, last day working for IBM. The first time, in 1999, the Austin card assembly plant was divested to Solectron. Coincidentally, we were moving to Florida and I ended up back at IBM in field technical support. In 2010, IBM laid off most of my group, for dubious reasons. A year later (after months of false starts), I was rehired with the promise of “getting everything back”. You can imagine what happened with that promise, but that is another story.
And today marks the closing of another divestiture of the Retail Store division to Toshiba, and my last, last day. I couldn’t be happier about it.
Back on March 1st, I was notified that I was being laid off from IBM after 26 years. I’ve survived many, many layoffs over the years and figured that sales technical support had to be nearly bulletproof and impossible to outsource overseas. I was right on the outsourcing but wrong on the bullet resistance — they took out 60% of us for no apparent reason evidently because this division’s ratios were different than that division’s ratios.
But that’s not why I’m mad. Disappointed, perhaps, but not mad about being laid off.
Here’s why I’m mad:
- IBM took the opportunity to keep five weeks of my severance pay by strictly interpreting a re-hire date. I had documentation (anticipating this from 11 years ago!) showing that a few months away from IBM due to a divestiture was supposed to be erased. I appealed, to no avail. “We can’t make an exception, then everyone would want one.” Hard to argue with people who don’t know the definition of an exception.
- For the same reason as #1, they only provided 6 months of Cobra subsidy instead of 12.
- As part of the glorious “Resource Action” documentation, you receive encouragement to use the job posting system to find another position within the company. Which I did, successfully. Or not, it seems that just because the job is posted, you want it, and the manager wants you….not enough. No hiring from the “RA” list was allowed within the division.
- It has taken three months and countless phone calls, tree-killing mailings, notarizations and other delays to receive my Personal Pension Account balance. I knew what I wanted on day 1 and the “Employee Services Center” (operated by Fidelity Investments) could have easily clicked twice and transferred my balance to my 401K (also operated by, um, Fidelity Investments). I wonder who is using my capital whilst I wait?
- My second Project 365 had to go on hold for 57 days while I sorted out my options and truth from fiction.
For BackAmp Research, only #5 has any relevance. I guess there are going to a few less travel photos.
Austin photog Annie Ray makes the cover of the XLent this week. She shot this photo of yours truly.