austin, tx — Everything you have seen on King of the Hill is true. Maybe not true of Austin, but take a ten minute trip outside the city and you’re in Hank Hill land. Driving down the two-lane highway are stores that sell “deer hides” right next to large bags of “deer corn” both used for the sport of hunting. From the number of these retail centers, there is a lot of that going on in the heart of Texas. Propane tanks and pick-up trucks abound.

The state isn’t all gun toting, deer hiding, corn eating people as is the case with the peaceful village of Horseshoe Bay, where the first, fifth, and ninth top rated golf courses in the Texas reside. It is also the home of my gracious in-laws, the Gustafsons. I spent the night in the new home they designed and built. After a long trip it was nice to relax in the quiet hills of west Texas.

Back in Austin I headed to the SXSW, registered, grabbed my goodies bag (the Skittles Breath Mints were interesting, kinda), and headed to the third floor to attend the session hosted by 37signals.

Ernest Kim and Jason Fried, from 37signals, began the session with a nice bit on the Dewy decimal system in same vein of humor as the Delicious Dish skit from Saturday Night Live. The point of the Simplicity in Interface Design, the Game Show was to point out different problems encountered with design. The event ended with Q&A that turned into a discussion about the pros & cons of using icon vs. icons with text. Neither side won.

Afterwards I met Jeffery Zeldman, the kind man who called Airbag a “lovely site”, and he is as nice in person as he is online. I’m really looking forward to his Independents Day session tomorrow morning.

Tonight, I am totally offline. Despite my many efforts and several phone calls to Pacbell tech support (ha!) I am not able to connect. So tomorrow I will try to find the Starbucks that has wireless connections, buy an iced-latte and post this entry.