October 14, 2014

Fall fun and project catch up continues

The Fall is a busy time for school festivals.

We went to Mustang Mania at Eanes Elementary for #2 son. It's sort of like what we called "Field Day" with all sorts of games and sporting contests.

mustang mania 2014 eanes elementary isd





Project backorder: I'm trying to keep on top of general stuff that just needs doing... Kat prioritized a list of the things she would like done around the house and I'm knocking it off. Some things can't be planned for, like the heavy rain that flooded our koi pump and filtration box... that has been a time sucker. I expect to have the new pump plumbed in this week and the box now has flood prevention measures in place.  


We did set up a scarecrow. Although it seems to be scaring us more than crows. I often find myself startled by the figure standing at the edge of the driveway.  

structall sip planter box recycle 

We still have some old Structall SIP panel scraps from when the house was built. I used some to make a long planter box for Kat at the far end of the garage. Check that one off the list! 

October 07, 2014

ACL day 3, Jenny Lewis, Replacements and Pearl Jam

Once again, we arrived in the afternoon, just in time for Jenny Lewis

jenny lewis acl austin 2014 

jenny lewis austin city limits 2014 

jenny lewis austin city limits festival 2014 acl 

acl crowds day three 2014 austin ciy limits festival 

the replaceents acl 2014 

Then we claimed some real estate near the sound board and closed the night with The Replacements and Pearl Jam.

it was an enjoyable ACL, no drama..  no really exciting moments, but not too much hassle.

I think my favorite parts of ACL 2014 involved the meals we enjoyed with family and friends before/after the event. Most notably, we stumbled on a "reverse Happy Hour" at Chinatown. Toby (French trained sushi chef) entertained us with conversation and specialized (off menu) sushi. Gregg (the manager) kept coming over to ensure we were "happy" with offers of discounted food and drinks. 

chinatown westlake sushi happy hour  

We enjoyed the post-ACL Happy Hour two nights in a row.

We also enjoyed pre-ACL lunches at Takoba and Porter Ale House

ACL 2014 Day 2, Broken Bells are better with BIG BALLS

acl day two 2014

we arrived in the afternoon, to avoid the sun and heat. We spent some time in the craft beer tent, I listened to the Avett Brothers from the distance, Scott talked OU football to anybody that would listen/participate, the game was on in there.

acl crowds 2014 

people were packed tightly, making everything more complicated than it should be. Food lines were unreasonable, bathroom lines were long, but not impossible.

acl crowds austin city limits festival 2014 week one day two 

getting across the park was not easy...

Broken Bells: 

broken bells acl 2014 

The sun went down and the air got cool... Broken Bells came on and they sounded good. Not a high energy show with a lot of spontaneity, but it was nice.   

broken bells 2014 austin city limits festival 

broken bells acl  

and if your showmanship is a B game level... release the balls! 

broken bells with big balls austin city limits festival acl 2014 


The crowd reacted positively to giant inflatable, glowing balls of various sizes...  like little kids again, we delighted in whacking the orbs and sending them into flight.   

broken bells balls acl 2014 

broken bells balls 2014 acl 

October 06, 2014

ACL Festival day One

This was the first time I'd ever been at the Festival for the very first (opening) act. This year had a local choir kicking of the festival. I knew that Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian would be joining the Barton Hills Choir kids to sing a few of his songs.

stuart murdoch acl bhc 

stuart murrdoch belle ans sebastian austin barton hills choir acl 2014 

They're not our kids, but we still felt so happy for all of them to have such an awesome experience.

acl craft beer tent 2014 

acl day one friday is the best no crowds 

FRIDAY! look at all that space! This really is the golden time when the lines for food and bathroom are both short and crossing the park has fewer obstacles. 

st. vincent acl 2014 

St. Vincent was a good show. I love her quirky-jerky robot moves and all the emotional freak-outs. She took to the audience and traded her guitar for a flag (there were many people with giant flags on poles). She thrashed about, waving the Colorado flag back and forth over the crowd, I don't think the pole survived. Then she was drug back to the stage where she collapsed and cried. good fun but the bass was a bit punishing from our location. We had earplugs and that really helped when a good third of the people in front of us fled while plugging their ears with their fingers. 

st. vincent acl crowd 2014 

hipster with a hand puppet at acl belle and sebastian 

people watching is always good entertainment between performances.  

belle and sebastian austin city limits festival 2014 acl 

Belle and Sebastian 

belle & sebastian acl 2014 

stuart murdoch belle and sebastian acl crowd 2014 

Stuart picked some dancers from the audience to join them on stage.  

belle and sebastian austin city limits festival 2014 acl dancers 

not shown, Jimmy Cliff was also pretty good.  

We comfortably managed to catch four shows and it was good.  


Garage (bar) Austin

There are a few "secret bars" around Austin. We made the effort to find Garage. It's actually in a parking garage and if you weren't looking for it... You likely wouldn't ever know it was in there.

french 75 at garag bar austin tx 

garage bar austin tx  

french 75 austin tx garage bar  

The French 75 was really good 

fancy craft cocktails at garage bar austin

this drink may look harmless and delicate with its flower carefully positioned at the top... NOT the case. You might find yourself handing off the car keys to the wife after enjoying one of these, KA-POW! 

Marble Falls pumpkin patch- Sweet Berry Farm (and Texas Granite)

sweet berry farms marble falls tx

I went with #2 son and his classmates to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, TX 

sweet berry farm pumpkin patch and corn maze 

Pumpkin games and corn maze fun...  

sweet berry farm marble falls texas 

austin texas pumpkin patch sweet berry farms 

pumpkin patch games austin marble falls 

They were busy planting strawberries for the pick your own harvest next spring. Maybe we'll go back and pick some? or, I'll just buy a tub from the store and keep life simple and predictable. 

Marble Falls Texas Granite:

texas granite marble falls tx 

On the drive back to Austin through Marble Falls, we stopped to look at where they take giant slices out of the Texas Hill Country so you can have granite counter tops. 

texas granite marble falls 

texas pink granite marble falls tx 

You can just about see where the pink-ish examples match the local stone... where the hill has a big gap in it now... 

granite of north america 

This display indicates different granite harvested all over North America. Each slab was labeled where it came from. They also had flags representing each of the granite producing states and Canada.   

September 29, 2014

Modern MCM style console stereo with Bluetooth

I used to make things... I'm getting back into the production habit. The first thing out of my shop...

Remember when listening to music was an activity? before mp3, and smartphones, and ipods... when you'd rush home from the record store with a new album to listen to it. to actually sit down, and listen to it beginning to end, looking at the album art and reading the lyrics or liner notes. JUST enjoying the music...

The family stereo was once a functional piece of furniture. I've always admired the 50's era (MCM) of console stereos. I have collected a few Telefunken brand console stereos, they have a beautiful form to go along with functionality. They serve that single activity, the pleasure of listening to music. But they were also good to look at.

So I made my own version....

superfunken console stereo austin 

The base is steel because nobody likes it when those wooden feet get wobbly. The blue tolex wrapped box at the bottom contains a punchy subwoofer. It makes no direct contact with the cabinet to help isolate phono rumble.

turntable console  

the middle section houses a turntable (phonograph) while the analog receiver, Bluetooth adapter and subwoofer amplifier live in the space between. I also included a USB plug so you can charge your smartphone.

modern vintage stereo console 

custom bluetooth adapter 

I made the Bluetooth adapter. Constructed from solid walnut with some vintage formica and aluminum, it's roughly the size of a deck of cards.  

superfunken telefunken console stereo 

Oh, and I'm really happy with the way it sounds.  

vintage stereo furniture 

The cabinet is made from three quarter inch hardwood ply and a lot of solid walnut.

Contact me if you'd like a listen...


just one more portrait for the literature class....

the daughter is finalizing her self image for the her literature class... I think it has to do with symbolism... I just take the pics. 

here is the final product that incorporates elements of her interests of music and art. 



and when she was done with that assignment, she made cinnamon rolls for her family... such a good girl.


Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza and the Jester King

about 20 minutes west of Austin, and you'll find some of that Hill Country magic, out in a field in the middle of nowhere... 

We grabbed a quick pizza (or two) at Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza

schuster family austin 


texas hill country kids run wild in the field 

a bunch of pole barns out in a field allows for ample room for kids to run and play. Kids were pitching washers, throwing balls, chasing each other, some girls were dancing...  temps were in the high 60's and it was a great evening to be outside.  

stanley's farmhouse pizza austin  

The pizza was really good. no complaints. Garlic knots were good too.  

jester king brewery austin  

then we walked to the next barn to find The Jester King

jester king and stanley's farmhouse pizza austin 

jester king tasting room and taps 

jester king austin sour beer  

We'd gone out to sample their new apricot sour beer (King Aurelian Lure ) that has been aged in oak casks and uses wild hill country yeasts... you just won't find any regular beers at the Jester King, they're all special in some way.  

Porter Ale House beer cheese fondue

porter ale house austin

We've been to Porter Ale House a couple times, brunch and dinner. It's an easy sort of place that doesn't require a great deal of thought. of course we all want to go there and they have something for everybody, easy and simple.

porter ale house beer cheese fondue 

The beer cheese fondue was a quick way to make the kids happy.  

porter ale house gastropub austin  

porter ale house gastropub austin fish and chips 

The Fish n Chips ($17) may not be cheap, but they sure are good. The bulb injector is filled with sour beer (instead of the traditional malt vinegar). It was fun and delicious.   

Veuve Clicquot Mail Truck at NO VA Austin

veuve clicqout austin no va 

When the pretty girls at the table next to you ask "would you like a glass of our Veuve Cliquot?", the correct response would be "YES! and THANK YOU!" 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin no va 

and then we joined the party with our new friends.  

veuve clicquot mail truck delivery austin no va 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin  

veuve clicquot mail truck austin no va 

it wasn't all just sitting around sipping fancy French Champagne, we participated in a sporting event as well, giant Veuve Jinga. 

veuve clicquot mail truck jinga austin 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin 

veuve clicquot mail truck party austin

OK. mostly it was all about the Veuve Clicquot and all the fabulous orange accoutrements. 

veuve clicquot no va 

I warned Kat of my intentions to leave with one of the orange buckets... if you don't ask, the answer is always "NO". 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin champagne bucket orange 

BINGO! I asked and there it is.  

I don't ALWAYS drink French Champagne, but when I do, I drink the one with bubbles in it. Thank you Veuve Clicquot and NO VA


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