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  1. #1
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    What's living in Texas like?

    I'm 26, single, working a private security job at a medical facility in SW Ohio (Cincinnati). I'm getting burnt out looking for law enforcement positions in this area, and it seems like the departments are always laying people off even after landing a job. It's not uncommon to have 3k applicants applying for a department that just announced 10 open positions.

    Anyhow, I was in uniform standing in line at a grocery store a week ago and struck up a conversation with a guy behind me. He said he had just moved home, but was a Dallas Police officer for a few years and loved it. Said they were always hiring, good job and all but had some familiy issues to attend to and didn't care for the heat.

    So I'm looking into it, and it seems like every city I'm looking at is currently accepting applications (Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc). What's the deal, are y'all handing out free BBQ or something? Cincinnati dropped 2% population between the 2010 and 2012 census, but cities in Texas are jumping 3-8%.

    I guess I have an idea of what it's like to live in Texas... Lots of red meat, scorching sunshine (like "Good, The Bad, The Ugly" kind of weather), rattlesnakes everywhere, the movie "Twister", and so-on and so-forth. I'm just curious how it would compare on the surface to living in Cincinnati, or Indianapolis, Columbus, Lexington, Louisville, or any other modest 100-300k population city in the midwest.

    I've heard Austin is "hip" and the pay looks ridiculously tempting for the PD, but also that the housing is a bit higher. A few people I've spoke to at work say they love the Dallas/ Fort Worth area, but won't really explain it past "It's awesome, it's like full of rich people" (except one gay guy who said no one was nice to him there).

    -Mountain bike trails are a factor, just for the sole purpose of what kind of terrain I'm looking at
    -Cost of living/Tax rates
    -Single looking to mingle... Cincy has lots of festivals, lots to do, but what's the social scene like
    -Housing
    -Climate... I've heard it's hot, but all the 90-100 degree days in SW Ohio with 90% humidity already feel like death. Much worse with a bullet resistant vest and duty belt. And black uniform. Surrounded by pavement.

  2. #2
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    I am a Midwesterner, from Chicago. Moved down here 20 years ago and would never go back. The biking is good, you can ride year 'round and there are no state income taxes. Now, with that being said, there is no state income tax so expect that infrastructure will reflect that.

    I lived in Houston and would rather return to the snow of Chicago than go back to Houston. I live in Austin now and plan to die here. Just not soon.

    Biking info on Texas can be found on my site.
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  3. #3
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    I am moving to Austin from Columbus. In terms of weather, much warmer and very humid compared to Ohio. However, no freaking snow and cold weather. People are great in Austin, tons of stuff to do, traffic sucks, housing prices going up, and oh by the way.....great freaking trails. compared to what you have in Cincinnati, you will not be disappointed in Austin trails I have three trail systems in last week, and equally impressed with all three. Many many more trails to hit.
    Just looking for a ride!
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  5. #5
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    The heat compares to Camp Spicher or Kirkuk ABF, Iraq. In other words one can survive it--vest and all.

    Rattlesnakes are there but really I've only happened upon several in hundreds of mtb rides.

    The racing scene for MTB is very healthy here. The road cycling is good too. Almost a century ride somewhere every weekend.

    Housing mid 100s for 2200-2400 sq ft--at least in Killeen/Ft Hood area...you may be looking at slightly more in Austin/DFW. This is a BASIC thrown together by cheap labor homes but nice. Just know that the fences they use will blow down the 1st time the wind gusts over 20.

    Not into the social scene but there is Ausin a huge Universiy meaning girls

    Just remember Waco is wacky and Austin is weird and nobody really cares for Texas A&M that much (although Lake Bryan MTB trails are ok) and you'll do fine here.

    IMHO cost of living in Texas= bang for the buck. And salary here=more than lots of other metro areas.

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    I grew up in Salem Ohio, lived north of Chicago for a couple years after college, and now live outside of Fort Worth. I am never goin back, the heat ain't too bad, it is humid as hell the end of May into early June, then it quits rainin and turns too a dry heat. There are more XC mountain bike trails in the DFW metromess than I have seen in any one area. People around here are pretty friendly and outgoing mostly, much better than Illinois. I have only seen a couple of rattlers in 13 years, lots of Copperheads though, and a few Cottonmouths. We get a lot of Rat snakes around the house, and I don't mind them as long as they stay outside.

    If you don't get that seatpost unstuck from the Monocog, bring it by the house with six pack of good beer and we'll braze a new seat tube in.

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    I moved from Ohio to Texas in 1970. For the first 4 years I lived in Mesquite and then Terrell. From there I moved to Houston in search of warmer weather; mission accomplished. I only go back to Ohio to visit family. The biking scene is very active with MTB and road activities almost every weekend even in the "winter". While Houston has 2 seasons (summer and spring) north of here gets a strong dose of winter. I remember the ice storms when I lived in Mesquite. In Houston it gets to freezing two or three times a winter.

    I did notice the Harris County Sheriff Department is hiring. They are the largest one in Texas, third largest in the country.

    The only snakes I see are roadkill but I do not go offroad much.

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  8. #8
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    Yeah welcome to Texas just don't bring your liberal politics that f*cked up the state your escaping from.

    I've lived my entire life in Houston Texas and you could not PAY ME to move or live in Austin yes it sucks that bad.

    San Antonio is great and so is the DFW area if you have to live in a metropolitan area and no matter what the haters say you can't beat Houston if you want to make a good living and have a low cost of living PERIOD.

    As far as mtb/cycling goes you can look at a regional trail map at MountainbikeTx.com DWF, San Antonio have great places to ride off road Houston not so much unfortunately unless you want to drive an hour or so outta town.

    If you don't have to be tied down to a large city but don't want to be in the sticks the Tyler/Longview area is nice and so is the Woodlands and College Staton. If you must live in central Texas and NOT in Austin...New Braunfels, Georgetown are good choices.

  9. #9
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    What's living in Texas like?

    There are quite a few liberals here in Austin. And some freaks. Stay on the outside of town and should be safe. Did I say the traffic sucks
    Just looking for a ride!
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    I live in Georgetown but work in Austin and have to second the traffic sucking comment. There's too many people moving here right now. The transportation infrastructure won't be able to support the amount of people soon.

    Houston sucks for the most part, especially being a single guy unless you're looking for the fattest chicks the state has to offer.

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    Born and raised just outside Dallas (Grand Prairie to be exact), and I read it here and I echo the sentiment.... you could not PAY ME to leave this state. I have visited many places and I am always happy to come back home. As for mountain biking, the Dallas/Ft Worth area has a lot of trails that are well maintained by folks in DORBA, FWMBA and various trail runners. Our trails are definitely XC with a few pieces of Texas style downhill (not long but some die hard fans keep it alive).

    I, personally, help maintain Cedar Hill State Park and claim the DORBA trail there as my "home." I grew up riding from my mom's house to the trail head on the weekends (almost 13 miles by road exactly), ride the trail all day and head home just in time to beat sundown.

    As much as us Texans are proud of our state and claim it is the best (it is, don't kid yourself!), we only top that argument when it comes to our parts of Texas. The areas of Texas are very different. From the "northern" plains of the Dallas/Ft Worth area to the hill country around Austin/San Antonio to those enjoying the humidity of the Coastal Plains in Houston, we are all very proud of where we call home. We can all list the reasons why city X in Texas is better than city Z, but it really comes down to what we know and love.

    FWIW, in my landscape business, I have had a LONG time customer that moved here long ago from Ohio and hates even going back there to visit family.

    No state income tax, not bad property tax (on houses only, not cars), a state government that isn't terrible (not without their faults) and a higher concentration of "nice" people.... Texas has open arms to welcome you, just don't ***** about us once you are here. ;-)
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  12. #12
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    Oh yeah... if you are in North Central Texas (Dallas/Ft Worth), the city shuts down about once a year when we get a winter storm.... we do NOT get snow here.... we get thick layers of ice that nobody (not even northerners who think they can) should drive on, so we collectively stay home and chill out.
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  13. #13
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    Houston sucks. I grew up there and left when I was 18. I moved back two years ago for a job. That was enough. I got out and moved back west.

    Austin and Dallas are far nicer than Houston. There are some really cool people in Houston, especially inside the loop, but there are also many closed-minded individuals who have never left Houston and are oblivious to their own ignorance.

    Decisions made in Houston are motivated by money. Houston cares little for parks and will gladly plow and grade natural habitat to put in a parking lot. I say this somewhat tongue in cheek, but if you love to drink and like to get fat, Houston is awesome.

  14. #14
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    Living in Austin is very nice.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight511 View Post
    As much as us Texans are proud of our state and claim it is the best (it is, don't kid yourself!), we only top that argument when it comes to our parts of Texas. The areas of Texas are very different. From the "northern" plains of the Dallas/Ft Worth area to the hill country around Austin/San Antonio to those enjoying the humidity of the Coastal Plains in Houston, we are all very proud of where we call home. We can all list the reasons why city X in Texas is better than city Z, but it really comes down to what we know and love.

    No state income tax, not bad property tax (on houses only, not cars), a state government that isn't terrible (not without their faults) and a higher concentration of "nice" people.... Texas has open arms to welcome you, just don't ***** about us once you are here. ;-)
    Ha! You nailed it!

    Life long Texan. Born in Lubbock, moved to Central Texas when I was 4...been here since (Temple/Belton area...between Waco & Austin). I've been all over the country & world...and when I go, I can't wait to get back. No matter our differences, we all seem to get along pretty well...even with Yankees.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Living in Austin is very nice.
    There is a real good reason why this is a hot seller in Houston...


  17. #17
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    Cause you have a lot of fat people?

    Houston is Hate Town.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMS View Post

    Houston is Hate Town.
    Can you elaborate on your final point, please?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    There is a real good reason why this is a hot seller in Houston...

    That picture was probably taken an your local neighborhood Applebee's.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Can you elaborate on your final point, please?
    Closed-mindedness breeds hate.

  21. #21
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    You'll hate it. Stay where you are. There is nothing to see here. The girls are fat, the men will punch your face.
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  22. #22
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    Re: What's living in Texas like?

    Quote Originally Posted by baconismidog View Post
    You'll hate it. Stay where you are. There is nothing to see here. The girls are fat, the men will punch your face.
    This.
    Scott Genius 910 tricked out as much as I could without getting a divorce

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000 View Post
    Can you elaborate on your final point, please?
    All my friends from Houston call it "Hate Town", cause they all hate everywhere else in Texas. Mind you, these are a bunch of middle aged, Punk rock, dirty skateboarders...but good guys still.

    Houston's cool...it's a never ending strip center of humidity overload.
    I'm having more FUN than anybody!

  24. #24
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    I have lived in Houston and Austin. I prefer Austin by a longshot. People in Houston seemed nice on the surface, but when it came to hanging out, they are a much more closed society. Austin is much more welcoming to people moving here (I have heard 80% of the people in Austin were not from here...interestingly most are supposedly from Houston and Dallas. ). San Antonio has a good biking scene as well.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  25. #25
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    I'm a native Houstonian and don't see the issues you guys have experienced. Maybe I just hang out with good folks don't bother with the trash and snobs of the city. Houston (and surrounding areas) is growing exponentially.
    Obese people? Sure. That's everywhere. Our food scene is pretty expansive as well, no pun intended.
    You looking for fit women? They are plentiful as well.
    BTW, if you have any law enforcement questions, feel free to PM me. I'm with Houston.

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    each city in texas has its own character. Houston has the best international food, close to the gulf but is a lot more humid. flat. Can get hit by hurricanes.

    Austin is pretty dry, somewhat pretentious and more expensive. Hills (300-400ft elevation climbs). Best trails in texas (except big bend)

    Dallas has a huge amount of sprawl and is pretty materialistic. Flat. slightly colder weather in the winter, gets hit by more storms.

    San antonio is more blue collar same hill country as austin.

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    I think the difference might be that you are a native. Those of us that moved there did not have a similar experience. Also, I would say that Houston is much more conservative than Austin. So if you are on that end of the spectrum you'd also have an easier time fitting in.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by drboudreaux View Post
    Closed-mindedness breeds hate.
    liberalism is a mental disorder

  29. #29
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    I love you guys... only proving my point.
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  30. #30
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    Re: What's living in Texas like?

    People actually mountain bike in the Dallas area? I have just spent three of the last 5 weeks in the Dallas, Irving' Addison area and I don't think I saw a hill over 20 feet tall for a hundred mile radius. I even asked the girl working at a frozen yogurt shop what on earth people living in the DFW area do for outdoor recreation. As far as I can tell there is no trail running, no camping, no hiking.... And it's kind of hard to mountain bike without any mountains.

  31. #31
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    DORBA would be your best place to check out Dallas biking. From what I understand there is biking in Dallas but you won't get much climbing and you will probably have to drive a little more to get to the trails.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

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    Mountains = NO
    Trails = LOTS
    I live south of Fort Worth, we call it the doorstep to the hill country. Cedar Hill to the northeast 45 mins. Glen Rose, Cleburne, Waco, then on south about 2 hours from Austin's trails and the mighty fine Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet!

    LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. #33
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    I have visited Houston dozens of times and seen a lot of it because my wife is from Houston. Other than visiting family, I can't wait to get out of that place. Flat, hot, crowded, humid, wasteland of strip malls and boredom. if people find these things compelling enough to stay there, I can see why people who live just about anywhere else don't get along with them.

    I lived in San Antonio for seven years and I really think it's a great place. Good trails around the city, the downtown area is a lot of fun to wander around, good food, etc. it's close to Austin and a few other cities that have interesting stuff to do. it's cheaper to live there than Austin and has most of the "hip" things that Austin has. if you really need a fix of music and hippie stuff, you can drive an hour to Austin.

    however, I am moving to Austin in a few weeks. although my main reason is to be closer to family, I admit to being just giddy over proximity to organic food co-ops, a steady parade of good music, bike lanes, dog parks, bars, accessible public transport, and all that modern lefty stuff for which Austin is infamous. I have wanted to live there since I saw bmx pros shredding the city in Road Fools 1 circa 1996 and it's finally happening.

    the summers are really, really hot. drink lots of water, y'all.

  34. #34
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    Just move somewhere near the hill country. Best bet for the best variety of trails Texas has to offer. You cant go wrong with the likes of Reveille Peak Ranch, Flat Rock Ranch, Government Canyon and many more. San Antonio And Austin you have everything from fast flowy to the technical in areas.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody!

    I get along with everybody, I'm a libertarian/anarchist at heart haha

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    Born in Houston, lived in Dallas for two years now living in Austin. Austin is BY FAR the best city in Texas to live in. Especially if you are a music lover. Bike trails here blow DFW and Houston away, I won't even go ride the trails in Houston anymore, they're pathetic compared to anywhere else. Houston is a dirty flat boring city. I have love for it since I was born there and grew up there but Austin blows it away. There is a reason why Austin is the fastest growing city in America... because people love living here.
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    Dude going off your must have bullet list Austin is perfect. Epic MTB trails everywhere. Single women everywhere! Good career jobs can be had in one day of looking. Housing is a pretty good bang for your buck. They have festivals and events going on every weekend downtown. Im fact they have one this weekend campaigning to host the Summer X games next year. The climate is hot but much dryer than OH. 98 degree day is not that bad once you get the hang of it. Its much better than 92 with 99% humidity! I live in San Antonio area and its nice but your looking for Austin.
    San Antonio still has a ton of stuff to do but not like Austin does. I find myself driving up there on a regular basis. Living in Texas will extend your life span greatly because you can't help but go outside and Play. Plus you will actually have money to do it! Move you will not turn back.
    Also you wanna go riding when you get here PM some of us. Oh make sure you have a 29er bike. You will get really good at rocks quick!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxshep View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody!

    I get along with everybody, I'm a libertarian/anarchist at heart haha
    Yet you want to be a cop?

    From the sounds of it then you would probably fit best in Austin. I live an hour away and visit friends there almost every weekend. You can bicycle a lot of places, there is a great music scene, it's a college town so lots of chicks, and people are generally open and sociable.

    My mother got a job outside of Houston and she and my brother hated it. it literally drove my brother to depression so he went to go live with my grandmother off the coast of Delaware, and my mom barely mountain biked the year she was there because the trails sucked that bad. needless to say she left ASAP

    There are a lot of nice places in CenTex to look at without absolutely having to move to Austin because IMO traffic would piss me off that bad. Or maybe live outside of Austin and work in it, a lot of people do that.

    I visited Dallas once and it wasn't that great IMO.

  39. #39
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    Lived in Round Rock and Plfugerville near Austin for a couple of years. Loved Austin, hated I-35 traffic as it's the only interstate through Texas. It's one huge bottleneck through there. Loved it though.

    That being said:

    Do you LOVE fire ants? Damn things are everywhere even in your house. You learn to deal with them, but nasty little buggers. Make one mad and the rest of them come pissed off as hell.

    Do you like Nazi Neighborhood Organizations? tons of those when I lived there. Next door neighbor was harassed all the time for stupid little things.

    Not sure expensive Austin area is now. We were there in 2000 and houses were into the 300,000s. Bought our house for 89,000 and sold it for 118,000 after two years of living there.

    Always loved how you say "rain" or even worse "snow" and all of Texas shuts down. LOL.

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    Bethany brings up a good point....

    HOAs (Home Owner Associations) are the bane of a home owner's existence. They claim to "protect" your home value by enlisting a bunch of lemming leaders and house wives with too much time on their hands to create and "enforce" their rules. The rules are 100% about fitting into whatever mold they see fit. Plenty of good neighborhoods to be had without the hassle of HOAs and all their BS.
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  41. #41
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    What's living in Texas like?

    Grew up in the DFW area for years and I loved it. I'm now in nw Louisiana and I hate it. Can't wait to move back.
    If you're a sports fan:

    DFW has the cowboys, the rangers, the mavericks, and the stars and two minor league baseball teams and several universities with ok football teams

    Houston has the texans, the Astros, and the rockets and several universities

    Austin has one university with decent sports and one minor league baseball.

    Just sayin

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    Re: What's living in Texas like?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMacMan View Post

    Austin has one university with decent sports and one minor league baseball.

    Just sayin
    I don't know if you'd call the #1 overall athletic program I'm the nation "decent".

    But Austin sucks... Don't move there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awshucks View Post
    Yet you want to be a cop?
    Haha yeah, well more specifically a detective... Gotta start somewhere

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    What's living in Texas like?

    Quote Originally Posted by weaverwins View Post
    I don't know if you'd call the #1 overall athletic program I'm the nation "decent".

    But Austin sucks... Don't move there.
    It's all speculative about sports and who's number 1 anyway, but as a long time swc now big 12 conf fan and even bigger sec conf fan, it's a stretch to call TU decent

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    Re: What's living in Texas like?

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMacMan View Post
    It's all speculative about sports and who's number 1 anyway, but as a long time swc now big 12 conf fan and even bigger sec conf fan, it's a stretch to call TU decent
    Oh god you're from that little brother syndrome school
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    apparently Texas is a great place to ask harmless questions sit back to watch them turn into acrimonious debates about politics and sports rivalries.

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    What's living in Texas like?

    Quote Originally Posted by weaverwins View Post
    Oh god you're from that little brother syndrome school
    Sorta kinda. I have close family ties to TAMU and I love to tell him aggie jokes

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    apparently Texas is a great place to ask harmless questions sit back to watch them turn into acrimonious debates about politics and sports rivalries.
    There's no acrimony here. All I did was point out that DFW and Houston have more to offer sports wise to the op(assuming he's a sports fan) than Austin does

  48. #48
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    Its funny that everyone in texas except aggies hate the aggies. Good school but aggies suck.
    2013 Ibis Mojo HD Special Blend with dropper post, hope/stans wheelset and hope x2/m4 brakes

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxshep View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody!
    Have you considered working in the private sector?

    If I was 26yr old single and looking to make a bunch of money no better place than the oil field. With the Eagle Ford Shale and Pearsall Shale natural gas fracking (see map below) it's a gold mine for those wanting to make a LOT of money as in six figures money.

    "As of March 2012 Texas had listed nearly 6,000 oil and gas fracking wells on FracFocus, an industry fracking disclosure site. The Texas list was by far the most of any state in the country" (source)

    We are talking truck drivers with a clean CDL and that can pass a drug test are making $70K starting pay. Companies are having job fairs all the time and hiring on the spot and some with hiring bonus of $10K.

    In my line of business I travel all over Texas and have seen the oil boom within the last six years and it's not slowing down. It's not all roughneck or grunt work. I personally know a few folks that have quit college or working as a diesel mechanic to work in the oil fields making more money than they even thought possible with their own company F250 truck and expense account, housing allowance and per diem and making $100K+ a year.

    Yeah the downsides are you'll mainly be in the middle of nowhere Texas for a few weeks at a time but most places have a two week on two week off or some variant of that so you can enjoy your time off spending money, chasing tail and riding or whatever.





    You have to do what others won't. To achieve what others don't.

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    Ive lived in Austin for 2 years now. Before that, I lived in Fort Worth for 2 years. (Before that, I lived in Denver, Chicago, and originally from Oklahoma). Its hot everywhere here for long periods of time. 2 summers ago, we had almost 100 days of over 100 degrees. it was just hot for like 5 straight months and didnt let up until October.

    Also, people here are really proud of being from Texas for some reason. Its kind of indoctrinated in them from birth. I dont really get it. Austin is a cool city to live in, but the rest of the state is not anything special. and Id much rather live in Denver than Austin.

    State income tax is 0, but property taxes are pretty high. the governments gotta make their money somehow. My thoughts on the main cities below:

    DFW - massive and sprawling. Traffic is a mess for different reasons. Dallas is a mess because there are so many damn people. FW is a mess because their highways havent been expanded in a long time (820 and I-35 are 2 lanes each way right thru the heart of town which is absolutely ridiculous). Pretty much everything is at least a 20 minute drive from where you live. You will spend a TON of time in your car. Tons of chain restaurants and strip malls although some good places can certainly be found. the mountain biking is actually not too bad to be honest but nothing super technical or crazy. its mainly XC riding save for a couple spots (Big Cedar and small parts of northshore). Honestly, I didnt like living in the metroplex and am really glad i dont have to go back.

    Austin - not so massive as DFW or Houston. I like it pretty well but i live north of Braker and my office is 3 miles north of that, so I dont have to deal with traffic too often. traffic is bad, but IMO, it is really only bad for 7-10 miles, whereas traffic in DFW is just pervasive everywhere.

    great Mexican/BBQ restaurants and bars and very laidback feel everywhere. less douchey uppity 25 year olds than Dallas, but more douchey hipster 25 year olds. i guess i prefer hipsters a little more than 25 year old frat guys. affordable real estate, but its going up quickly and you probably cant afford to buy a place really close in. pretty much any house south of 2222 is gonna be $350K and up

    mountain biking in Austin is the best in TX. i dont think its even close. rocky, decent amounts of elevation (for TX) change and technical challenges.

    Houston - ive never met anyone who actually likes Houston. ive only been there a few times. it didnt seem awful, but didnt seem much different from Dallas. lots of concrete and tons of humidity.

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