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January 31, 2008

project of the week

it's good to be getting things done.

mom is back to help.  here she is applying stain to a giant and heavy walnut plywood panel.

in wall speakers

painted and aluminum trim applied.

there are several reasons for this drop down box.

#1 this brings the light fixture down to 30 inches above the dining table.  the dining area is now a bit more intimate and defined.

#2 sound abatement, we have had a real problem with sound traveling from the kitchen to the master suite.  a person in the kitchen could whisper and be heard in the master suite.  I have some acoustic panels that are made from 100% recycled paper on order.  they should go on the sides next week.  already we have noted an improvement.  it is especially apparent while eating at the table.  casual conversation used to boom and echo.  now, not so much.  my mom got a call on her cell phone last night while we were eating.  she turned to the side and faced the living room and we could really hear how much louder she became. 

#3 the in wall speakers rock!  we've had the stereo (for playing music) on the second floor landing but the echo situation has just caused any music played to become annoying.  I've moved the stereo system to the media room (it's a separate system from the home theater) and fished wire through the ceiling over the kitchen.

so tuesday I had just finished connecting the speaker wires to the stereo receiver and ran to pick my daughter up from school.  often I catch the first few minutes of FRESH AIR and miss the rest of the show or sit in the car to listen.  no more!  terry's guests were mick jones (clash/big audio dynamite) and tony james (generation X/sigue sigue sputnik).  I was able to listen to the show while I made dinner and my son and my mom watched star wars III in the media room.  HOORAY for aging punk rockers and making dinner! 

some action shots of last weeks project 


next week I'll be working in the media room.  we recently did an equipment upgrade that had a trickle down effect.  prompted by the acquisition of some magnepan speakers. 

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January 28, 2008

here, there, around town

I'm working on the next project.  hope to have this complete by the weekend.

some friends from silicon valley spent the weekend here at austinmodhouse.  they are currently living in FW but considering a move to austin.   we looked at properties in the eanes school district and found a nice selection of options ranging from 300 to 500k.

however, I get a bit annoyed when some builder describes their latest project as "modern architecture" and what I see is more of a hodge podge half hearted effort to mask what is really an odd variety of what I'd call southwestern.  a few splashes of color on an exterior wall mixed in with hand painted mexican sinks and distressed pine stair treads....  I get the idea that many flippers/builders realize that there are people looking for modernist style homes.  but they don't seem to put much effort into creating a cohesive package.


 I do LOVE these condos (they like to call them lofts) that are in the soco area, near guero's and MARS.  if I were single, had a large disposable income and didn't mind being tightly packaged, I'd be all over these.  I'm sure they aren't cheap.

we hit a few of the local weekend stops, guero's taco bar.


sunday morning kid's show at ruta maya

they had a percusionist and passed out various things to shake, whack and rattle.

they roast their own coffee beans and the boys got a look at the process.



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January 21, 2008

books trickling up from the garage

so here it is.

I made a bookshelf and display device.  three boxes suspended from three poles.

and to continue my fascination of how light penetrates and interplays with the house, we see how the ceiling is illuminated by sun reflected from the koi pond.

we had the brown family from Louisiana over this weekend.  spent sunday morning at hippie church.

then the afternoon was passed at the home of some friends who just moved to westlake hills.  I was able to assist them as their buyer's agent.  the new home has a million dollar view, so the house was free.  you can see that they are bmw folks as well.

the weather was just beautiful.   troy and melissa brown enjoying beverages on the deck over looking wild basin nature preserve.

relaxing while waiting for the sun to set.

even the kitchen has a fantastic view.  three sides of the house are mostly glass as the view is the dominant feature.

jenny the german exchange student demonstrated how they observe the setting of the sun back at home.


troy demonstrated a traditional american dance used on such occasions. 

this move is called the water sprinkler.

after the cultural exchange we resumed kitchen activities and surfed the internet on all the iphones that happen to be laying around over there.   

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January 14, 2008

finishing eichler and marvin's house

looks like something is in the works up there.  more on this later.

primed and painted the steel, and stained the wood.

marvin didn't care for the fumes.  

airstream is enjoying it's new location at our wimberley acreage.  

anybody want 2 acres of flat land close to downtown wimberley?  $18.5k per acre.  we're planning to subdivide our land. 

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January 07, 2008

pushin' rocks, diggin' holes, and movin' dirt

this spot between the house and garage has been one of a few eyesore left on the lot.  it was a pile of cedar and scrap materials leftover from construction.  it's now been cleaned up and the dirt is full of little plants we hope to spring up in the spring.  kat worked very hard on this and I'm sure it's going to be great.  we have several giant piles of cedar sticks that are from the land clearing.  they have finally turned into a nice mulch.  it's just not easy scooping it up and relocating it.

in the evening we had a fire to get rid of some cedar scrap that was removed from the hole 

our outdoor fire pit is a recycled stainless steel washer drum  


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January 04, 2008

started 08 in the dog house

hope your new years was better than mine

I spent new years eve making this dog house.  they need a divider or he will kick her out of the bed in the middle of the night.  usually by giving her a nice chomp on her hind quarters.  they took to the new home immediately

also started on the kitty condo for the front entry.  but we've not seen cheez the cat since 2007.

both pieces still require the iron to be painted and wood sealed.  both have black granite tops that were recycled from a home renovation.

iphones are pretty cool.  but then all the sudden you find yourself checking and answering email no matter where you are.  one minute you are at happy hour, the next minute is spent hunting and pecking on a device the size of a candy bar.

happy hour at mars 

it seems even santa has gone green.  she got an electric atv for xmas


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