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April 27, 2008

eeyore's 2008, leslie and my 3 wangs

I finally got the ceiling panels painted in the carport and screen porch.  I'm trying to knock out some of the big projects before late june.


three generations of Wang.  kat walked her mom around our place in wimberley.  this is near a giant oak cluster towards the back.

pass the baby

we had a men's (my father, uncle ralph, #1 son and myself)  trip to cooper's bbq in llano.

you often hear about bringing the outdoors in.  this is more like bringing the indoors out; watching HDTV outside.

we often watch birds while eating breakfast.  the kids were so engaged in a red cardinal out there that they stayed after their bowls were empty and turned their chairs toward the nature show.

went to eeyore's birthday party.  Hsin-hsin and #2 son got to meet leslie

this poodle grabbed their attention longer than eeyore did, poor eeyore.

many fairies, some dark and some not so dark.


many jugglers and kids on unicycles

eeyore's friend tigger using her cell phone.

marijuana man

we enjoyed locally produced live oak hefe weizen  and real ale brewing co. fireman's #4 there was also this odd smell in the air, sort of like somebody was bbq'ing a skunk.  reminded me of my glaucoma medicine.

the drum circle was a force of it's own.  the thumping and clanging could be heard from a great distance.  I liked the fry pan and wrench technique. 

you tube is full of crunchy hippy happiness videos


kids enjoying the creek along pease park 

the things you find when you look down. 


we had a BIG thunderstorm and some hail roll through early this morning.  I saw two humpback whales in the clouds just before they cleared.  this is the view from our master bathroom. 


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April 20, 2008

the new tile is here and visitors from napa

I received a new order of tile.  I had many requests for "masculine" or "warm colors"

I'm happy with the selections

see that cusoms delayed my product and charged me for their service.

very cool stainless steel tile!

glass tile (hand was included to show size difference)

this glass tile really makes a bold statement.   

I have some tiles that mix glass with stone (marble).

I sell the tile through a retail location in the design district IF+D 

just because it was friday.  his school had a jump house, petting zoo, pony rides and a train set up in the parking lot.

while we were in the design district, we stopped in DWR 

#1 son was smitten by yasuko, my brother's GF he brought out to audtion for the family.  we gave him/her two thumbs up.

even when on vacation he still had duties as restaurant owner/manager.  in the pic above he is on the phone placing his wine order for his restaurant back in napa. 

tacos al pastor

smoking the good stuff

another opportunity for you to come up with your own caption.  reminds me of a cake decoration.

we're running out of places to put this.

OK, everybody look at the wine.

these are feet.  notice how they all have the same number of toes.

hey!  they have furniture.  now where will jenny the german exchange student do her sunset cartwheels? 

pass the baby.

more looking at wine.

the whole family came out that day.

after leaving the grove wine bar we had one of those austin moments.  we stopped at the new HEB store on the way home.  the cashier noticed that my brother, yasuko and I all had on black shirts.  he inquired, "are you guys on the way to a Cure concert?"  

we had no idea what he was talking about and I was a little confused since I do in fact have eight tickets to see the Cure this June.  he pointed out the black clothes and broke into song "show me, show me, show me how you do that trick, the one that makes me scream..." 

and he wasn't just sort of singing, he was fully antimated and sang the whole time as he scanned our groceries.   back in baltimore, the cashiers couldn't even muster up a greeting or a "thank you".


mom is all moved into her townhome.  we went on a hike along the trail that runs outside her back door.

we made a round about trip to the airport.

I was excited to have my brother and yasuko here so I could have somebody to drink wine with (she's currently working at mondavi)  turns out they get plenty of wine in napa and they wanted margaritas, chips and salsa.  those are the areas where the rest of the country is clearly lacking.

boarding a plane is easier if you shed the sobriety. 

 last night we attended a gallery opening for our friend; artist Sharon Kyle Kuhn

I was a bit bummed that I forgot my camera.   

art, food, wine, friends and even a great band played at the event!  you know I was happy.

music provided by the mediums  they really were great.


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April 13, 2008

hsin-hsin's great twig wall of austin and gnome pilgrims

kat's mother is staying with us and was getting bored.  she started to knock down all the dead cedar branches and we were concerned that thinning of the forest would make the area more transparent.  we don't want to see into the neighbor's yard and we certainly don't want them to get a gander at us, our back walls are mostly glass.

so, she created this giant wall near the back of the property line, just before the chain link fence.  this wall is around five ft tall, two ft deep and thirty ft feet in length.

she's been spending hours a day out there pulling, dragging and lots of kicking.  she can do a kung-fu kick almost to the height of her own shoulders.  those branches had to pay. 


(photo courtesy of sarah laborde) 

I took her over to casa laborde for a crawfish boil.  she displayed great skill as she could hula hoop WHILE eating corn on the cob.  I can't even hula hoop and I'm not that great at corn on the cob.

I also attended a nice wedding shower for steve and cecile.  hans dare ga-nome observed from his side of the ravine.

yesterday was a big celebration for the 50th anniversary of Eanes Independent school district.

the new HEB store up the street provided this box with stickers that can be rewarded for prizes.

I informed number one son that when you find a human in a fur suit it is acceptable to sneak behind and tug the tail.  we did just that.  I was scolded by my wife for setting a bad example...?  maybe it's just a cultrual difference.  

westlake high school had some remote control robots.  number one son took to piloting the robot like a duck to water.

he also went down the slide.  principal cathy miller keeping control of the gate (right side).

PILGRIMAGE TO HANS DARE GA-NOME:  I got a call yesterday afternoon "there are people over at the gnome right now!  OH MY GOD, THEY HAVE REMOVED THE SPOT LIGHT!!!"  I got the play by play as we were very anxious to see what was going to happen to Hans Dare Ga-Nome.  they inspected everything very cautiously and eventually put the spot light back exactly where it had been.  then they started to take pictures with him!  below is a 200x zoom pic of these gnome pilgrims taking a pic.


photo courtesy http://melindamccoy.com/ 


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April 10, 2008

green roof revisited, sort of

the guys from shelter design and construction came back and built us a platform/deck/island on what was to be our green roof.  we'd found that it was proving problematic to grow grass on the whole surface and still be able to use it.  so we opted for an island surrounded by green roof.

the colbond green roof material is finally unwrapped.  (we have an extra roll if anybody is interested)

we got this sucker to carry up a bunch of soil media

the thing about cutting your own hair is that you can't quite get the back straight.  it's never been a concern since I can't see it anyhow.  then somebody goes and takes a pic... ehh, I still don't care.  I didn't have to pay anybody for the crappy hair cut.  OK, back to the house stuff.  quit looking at the back of my head.

dirty work

we laid out a variety of ground cover and sedum in the full sun areas.  we'll have to see how it works out.

the local airstream dealer convinced me to let them sell our 1970 safari for us.  I normally take care of this sort of thing myself but time is limited and they get a lot of traffic through there.  often people find that the new airstream they want is $50-80k so a used one doesn't look so bad, and they can finance the sale at the dealer.

it was hard for me to leave it there.  I put a lot of work into it and we had many good times in it.  sure, we have a replacement that is slightly larger for our slightly larger family.  but as I speak today, the replacement is still a POS that will require a hundred+ hours of work to get up to working condition.  all the while we are talking daily about summer trips we would like to take.  

#3 is doing well.  has gained weight and grown 1.5 inches.

my mother in-law is here for a month to keep my wife company, help around the house and hold the baby.

we've been blessed by friends and family who have come together to make sure we have everything we need.  we've had two cribs driven in from hundreds of miles away, gift baskets with clothes, diapers and blankets, packages in the mail from my cousin and the swing featured above.

the bed above was purchased for cheez the cat who was likely eaten up by coyotes.  it's made a nice baby bed.

my mom has purchased a townhouse that is ON the greenbelt.  the pic above is taken from the living room.  there is a trail right on the other side of that oak and a nice swimmin' hole just 100 yards hike down.

the traditional bubbles to rid the space from any evil spirits.

friends brought over a nice bottle of champagne.




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April 04, 2008

thirty seven

I heard our orange gnome friend; Hans dare ga-nome, did no become illuminated last night.

 it was very overcast and his lighting is 100% solar powered.  the sun is shining now so I must go over to observe his status tonight, and we do get thirsty while observing Hans dare ga-nome from the balcony across the ravine.

over here at austinmodhouse we were pleased to get our latest electric bill.  when is the last time you heard somebody say that?  THIRTY SEVEN DOLLARS!  it seems our high r value construction along with mild temps and a 6 kw PV system is all working in our favor.  that also involves two computers running an average of 12 hrs daily. 

 UPDATE:  we had plenty of sun and the solar light did come on and brighten up our evening.

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