Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday



In January things were now slow at work.

I started to decline some projects suggested by the new managers that I felt were doomed to failure.

I knew this was the beginning of the end of my job, but I'd had enough unworkable projects in my life!





I flew to Tucson in mid-April to visit Mom and Dad who were staying in the desert for a month.

We visited the ASARCO open-pit copper mine, toured the last remaining Titan missile silo.

We saw the famous Air Force "boneyard" where they store excess aircraft and chop B-52s into pieces with a giant guillotine.









Mom and Dad got a ride on Air Force One.





Saguaro National Monument was very interesting,

and I was surprised by the pictographs on a nearby hill.




The environment at work became stranger throughout March and April.

The company had always been a quiet place with open doors. It was startling to walk down the hall and glimpse red-faced people yelling at each other behind closed doors.


When I returned to work from Tucson, things had blown up. The CEO told everyone the CFO had quit, but the CFO denied it!


By late May, the (ex?)-CFO had filed a $10 million lawsuit against the CEO.

The new CEO had offered me the CFO spot when buying the company, so I feel lucky to have avoided this legal mess!


In May I celebrated my 47th birthday party in the condo clubhouse.

I enjoyed the 4th of July Fireworks downtown.



In mid-July the gravity meter company VP terminated my employment contract effective mid-August.

He seemed very nervous and had trouble speaking; I suggested he get a drink of water.

I spent a few weeks cleaning up projects at work, and flew to Jamaica, headed for Carnival in Cuba.





I flew to Oregon to visit Mom and Dad and attend Willamette University class of 1974 25th reunion.

The first night of the reunion, I entered a room with about 40 people and didn't see any of my college friends. This was going to be really boring.

However, looking at name tags, it turned out I knew everyone! I just didn't recognize them!!

Mom and Dad and I also had a beautiful day driving along the coast, watching whales spout, climbing Yaquina Head lighthouse, checking out the sea-lions in Newport Harbor, and visiting Indian casinos.

I was in Salem for Dad's birthday, September 29, which we celebrated with some neighbors.


I then flew to Fairbanks, Alaska and visited the Geophysical Institute.

Doug, a friend from grad school days in Utah, is now a professor there.

Leaving Fairbanks, I drove a giant loop down towards Anchorage and back through the Alaska Range.

Visiting John Seibert in Wasilla, we went for a flight in his Cessna towards Mount McKinley, and then stopped in Anchorage for brunch!







The road from Anchorage to Fairbanks





Back in Austin, I cleaned out my office at work, turned in the keys, and re-packed my bags for a month in Brazil.

On the return to USA, I stopped over in New York, saw two plays and the world trade center, etc.


Back in Texas, I went to the annual geophysicists meeting in Houston, where I took a two-day refresher course in gravity/magnetic methods.

I had to explain to many friends about my job ending, and to answer the ubiquitous "what will you do now?".

Most assumed I was joking when I said early retirement!





I returned to Texas in early December. I improved my home office and my old jeep CJ-7 is running again.

Building a K7-500 Athlon computer system from components was an education. Now I am set up with slide scanner and CD-RW to start writing travel stories.


A quick trip to Dallas for Wendi & Fernando's wedding gets Fernando into the travel log this year.


Although I had Christmas alone, I did join friends downtown for the "A2K" Millennium party, which set a record as the largest public event ever in Austin, with over 250,000 people in the streets.













Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday