I’ve often thought about moving to a shiny preassembled boom-town – Charlotte, NC, Anytown, AZ, but most of all, Austin, TX.  What would make me want to live in an oven for 7 months/year?  Free babysitting via Zach/Asia’s Aunt and Grandfather!  All that changed on January 1, 2009.  Here’s how it went down:

Have you ever watched the Dog Whisperer?  None of that dog psychology amounts to much in my book, but I do love when that dog dude “walks” his dogs by taking them on a bike-ride.  Those mutts get one exhausting workout!  And so, Zach and I took our canine for a celebratory New Year’s bike-ride in Austin, TX.  Zach, having never experienced the joys of riding bikes on a flat landscape was quick to ditch me.  No biggie.  The rendezvous point was a park at the end of the trail.  It’s not like I wouldn’t be able to find him.  Thus I took a longer route in hopes of surprising the boy.  As the park came into view, I was forced to slow down in order to cross a stream.  Scanning the horizon, Zach was nowhere to be seen.  In a mild panic, I began to call for him.  Just then, fool dog spotted a potential mate, and was off to the races.  This caused the leash and my bike chain to have a mix-up.  Down I went.  As I called for Zach while untangling the chain/leash, doggie upped the ante by crapping several feet from a white-trash family frolicking in the stream.  Out for a holiday stroll, another family appeared.  As they walked by, the dad looked at me, shook his head, and said to his kids, “Humph.  Too much going on.”  It was at that moment that I decided to live out the remainder of my days in Pittsburgh.