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October 30, 2008

is black the new green?

heard the doorbell yesterday.  a guy in a truck claimed to be finishing a road project nearby and had an extra truck of blacktop and offered a price on our driveway.  kat has always wanted an asphault driveway, she has a birthday approaching so I called her to decide.  of course she wanted it.  one hour later a crew arrived and got to work.  she came home to supervise the realization of her dream. 

up a tree

my daughter is usually the first up.  she prepares the table for breakfast and she found a racoon was up in the tree just outside kitchen/dining area.  marvin must have been up for hours keeping guard. 

marvin was trembling with excitement and the cool weather.  eichler didn't care about the racoon and she was sleeping in her box.  the racoon eventually climbed to the tip of a branch and was near getting on the roof.  marvin moved his guard post to inside while I got a pole and poked at the racoon.  eventually the racoon jumped/fell and ran into the woods.  poor marvin was so tired he didn't even notice.  I went back down to find him still looking up the tree.

I've started the polish job on the airstream.  stripping and rough cut polish took about three hours.  I estimate I am almost 1/20th of the way done!

tomato soup can patch

a previous owner thought it would be great to patch old antenna holes with things like soup can lids and I don't know what that thing on the left is.  almost looks like a circle of masonite with a chrome plug in it.  I've not yet figured out what I will replace these with.

early happy birthday kat!  I'll admit the new surface is easier to walk on (I have slipped and fallen on the old drive), this will keep the house cleaner and shouldn't wash away like the decomposed granite.  still, something unsettling about all that tar, what is the carbon footprint of an asphault driveway?

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October 29, 2008

my liver aches and the family expands again

my brother and his fiance' arrived from napa a week ago today.  we got started right away.

matt's el ranch mexican martini time

matt's el rancho lunch

la fonda san miguel

appetizers and watermelon margaritas at la fonda san miguel

browns in town

joy division at amh

troy: "love, love will tear us apart, again" on the PS3 sing star (fancy karaoke)

at the rehearsal

great rehearsal dinner at thistle cafe

rocket science cabernet

rocket sicence in the groom's room

we tried to talk them out of catering their own reception.  he owns a successful restaurant in napa (bleaux magnolia) and she works at mondavi so... they just couldn't see paying somebody to do something they can do themselves, I can understand that.  I have the same thought process about my hair.

fancy salad maker attire

has a salad ever been made in a dress so fancy?

reception was here at AustinModHouse

daughter played a song on guitar

the bride even decorated the cake herself

golden oink

a 24 kt skinned piglet from if+d made a fun gift.


what traditional western wedding would be complete without lucha libre mask dancing?  her parents had flown in from japan for the event.  apparently, we forgot to rehearse the lucha libre portion of the ceremony.  they looked a bit puzzled. 

the reception got a bit wild after that.  the sing star/karaoke became a group event.  I'm sure many of the neighbors enjoyed a group of adults singing "and I ra-an, I raan so far away, I just ran" at the top of their lungs. 

I don't have many pics from the wedding itself as most of my family was up there, including myself.  kat held the baby.  and I'll leave off some of the later reception pics as they are NSFW.

hippie church at maria's taco xpress

celebrations continued into hippie church the next day.

gothic fairy

somebody had their dark fairy godmother tag along

dude approved

my son has learned how to find and use the photo function on the iphone.  he's not a bad iphotographer.

apply to big thirst

we were still thirsty after hippie church, went to pluckers to get plucked up and insert fire in the hole wings as thirst motivation.

last swim of 08

then back to AMH for what is likely that last pool use of the year.

my iphone wallpaper

somebody stopped at HEB to get some supplies.

groom mixes it up

he made some margaritas

wine favors

they had shipped a case of exceptional wines from napa.  special bottles had been provided from several wine makers.  in the pic above, I believe we are about to enjoy an unblended wine that is normally part of a caymus wine.

sunset at amh

things got late and the sun did it's magic once again.  we enjoyed a nice fire on the screen porch as the temps dipped.

and the next day we enjoyed lunch at hula hut complete with thai fajitas and cazatinis.  then I removed my liver and put it on a shelf.

grandpa and baby


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October 19, 2008

ace of cakes with a touch of the zing and zang

austinmodhouse pumpkin

I started on this year's jackolantern.

amh wine party

Friday night had us at the eanes mustang mixer.  a fund raising event for the school where the adults get to drink and spend $ on future partying.  the austinmodhouse wine party sold out early in the evening. 

the dude and his bottles

the dude drank some beer and won a bottle of wild horse at the wine toss game  (applause!).  he spent a good bit of time lost in thought, staring blissfuly at the stars.young jedi

their passion for star wars has only increased with time.

jedi moves

stand back, he's practicing his jedi moves again.


we found r2d2 at their halloween party on saturday.



little fang.  kat made him some chinese teething bread sticks.  I think they'd be great w/ brie and fig.

ace of jedi cakes

cake contest for the school carnival.  her secret ingredient...?

zing zang

shaak ti

my daughter has developed a strong interest in the lesser known jedi, she really likes shaak ti

eanes carnival tickets

they were so excited about this years carnival.  turned out we had TOO MANY tickets.  we had to leave at a certain time because kat had to fly to boston for business.  we found we still had many tix left even after we hit the bake sale and bought bags of cookies.  we ended up buying chips (they ran out of hot dogs) that the kids can pack for school lunches.

kids in a box

a highlight of every fiesta (carnival) is the maze.  a group of sadistic dads fill the gym with appliance free cardboard boxes joined with duct tape.  the freak out factor is high.  we've experienced our own kids getting lost and finally emerging in a state of hysteria and panic. 

this year, they were prepared.  my daughter covered one eye with a bandana an hour before attempting the maze, a trick she learned from mythbuster's pirate myths episode.  #1 son took a hand crank LED flashlight with him.  they both enjoyed this year's maze without anxiety.

eanes catbox cake

this cake really stood out from the others in the contest.  I think that is crumbled muffins or cornbread in the bottom resembling kitty litter.  the tootsie rolls were manipulated to resemble cat turds.  and if you were unclear of what they were attempting, they included a cutout image of a cat taking a dump.  I hope these people signed up for the AMH wine party!   

blue ribbon


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October 16, 2008

that is just bananas!

I received a call from the school nurse yesterday, "your son's stomach is not feeling well and he's a bit warm.  I can keep him here in my office until he gets worse and stuff starts to come out, or you can come pick him up".

me: what is his temperature?

nurse: 98.2

me: 98.2 is a fever?

nurse: kids usually run in the 97s in the morning

me: (not pointing out that 9.82 is REALLY close to the 97s) OK, I'll come get him.

once I get there I see he has puppy dog eyes.  then he informed me we had to go back to his classroom to get his lunch box.  he took the stairs two at a time, ran, hopped, skipped and jumped all the while.  on the way to the office I asked, "are you sure your stomach hurts".  "yes, it does.  but I think I will feel better after playing some video games". 

he got in the car and devoured his lunch; a chili con carne quesadilla.  we got home and he went straight to his room.  played on the computer for a few hours and announced, "I'm all better, I'm not sick any more".

one of two things happened.  I've been had, OR video games really do cure stomach aches!  OK that is just bananas.

austinmodhouse bananas

our banana tree is flowering and we are gonna have bananas!

found I had some pics from this year's garner trip on the iphone.

garner state park oct 2008

going in crystal cave.

crystal cave


looking out from crystal cave.

kids hard at work.

happy kat

a happy relaxed kat holding her baby.

1968 overlander at night

the end

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October 13, 2008

orange at garner

we LOVE Garner State park.  we have our 1968 overlander fully operational and had it fitted with a giant bright orange awning.  we've had a few reactions that imply that the color is related to some football team.  in actuality, it fits into our color scheme (walnut, white, lime green and orange) and we wanted a bright awning.  all the green options were more of a hunter green.

we color coordinated with our overlander for the first adventure.

team orange

 a few years ago, we met some folks who were full timers in a 1958 flying cloud.  they also had a bright orange awning. 

green bumbo

he loved camping. 

kids had lots of space and friends to chase.

kat kept saying "I LOVE this airstream".  the kitchen works well and we have more than enough storage.  there is a large pantry and everybody has their own closet space.

kids played late into the night.

nana was trying to clean the table when he reached out and grabbed on to her.  he was so happy about his catch.


how much is too much?  clearly, I have no idea.  we got a used projector and some screen cloth.  draped the screen over the side of the truck and had instant outdoor theatre.  had a bunch of kids from the campground come over for movies on two nights.  also screened the great pumpkin.

we took enough food for a week.  spent a good bit of time just sitting around and snacking.

we did get a chance to hike and get in the rio frio.  didn't take the camera but things were just as beautiful as they were two years ago.  those pics are HERE

some of their new friends

we came home through hill country, hunt, kerrville and fredericksburg.  less stress than driving on 35 and the evil 410 around san antonio.

taking pictures as we drive

scenery was lost on them.  they have a thing for Tom and Jerry videos.

I love road pictures.  I had at least one hand on the wheel.



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October 06, 2008

levitating orange sofa

levitating orange sofa

sofa is not really levitating, I didn't rotate the pic.  I had taken some measurments for the bedroom area in our 1968 airstream overlander.  I browsed target web site and found this convertible sofa at 50% off.  the color was right and the measurments seemed like it was custom made for the space.  what a stroke of luck!  I found some reviews that said the legs were junk.  that didn't bother me since I had to make a custom base anyhow.

kat in her sunday woodowrking clothes

kat helping with the carpentry

jump ahead to the finished product.  the sofa is mounted on to heavy duty drawer sliders.  it works wonderfully. 

she was a bit nervous before her performance yesterday.  we don't make it a regular practice to let the kids have soda, but I saw she needed a quick sugar boost.

her instructor; Tony, gave her the motion that they were on next.

the crowd was assembled.

fortune cookie prize

she did a great version of FORTUNE COOKIE PRIZE

we might get around to uploading the video of her version (original version linked above).  she has instructed me that she does NOT want to be on youtube.

she did enjoy performing.  we had had a thai food feast to celebrate.


a small gourmet restaurant (whisk) has opened up on the corner near us.  this guy has been entertaining traffic. 

little gamers

the young gamers feeding their habit.  they have discovered there are many free games to download from the iphone app store.  this is trying to get breakfast going and the kids off the games.  #1 son loves the golf game.  it involves selecting a club, aiming and then swinging the iphone to make the stroke.  I have seen my phone go flying across the room once and he also whacked a waiter in mid swing once.  not sure that is such a good idea; iphone golf.

making creme brulee


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October 03, 2008

Vampiresa mujer and the teardrop table



still awaiting our airstream to finish up at the service center.  since we sold our teardrop trailer to partially fund the new airstream, I made a teardrop UNO game table to go inside the airstream.

teardrop table

I polished a vintage herman miller aluminum group base designed by charles and ray eames and made the top myself with scrap left over from other projects.

(I see the current version has slightly different legs, I prefer the original)

big head

I know I've written on how much we enjoy $1.99 fish taco monday night.  we have expanded on this outing to make it there before 7pm and also partake of the free happy hour food buffet!  I know, it seems too good to be true.  I assure you it is all true; free food, $2 pints and $1.99 fish tacos big enough to choke a horse.

#1 son has decided he doesn't like fish tacos.  so we get a $2 happy hour priced Fireman's #4 (beer) and then get him tamales and taquitos from the free buffet.  EVERYBODY HAPPY! 

end result is that we are getting more food AND quality locally brewed beer and still being extremely frugal. 

we surely did enjoy jonathan richman at the parish this past wednesday night.  he started at about 9 pm so us school night parents were able to stay for the whole show and still find ourselvs in bed with lights out before 11 pm. (sorry the pic above is so bad, iphone camera feature not so good at finding correct exposure in low/mixed lighting situations)

the crowd was respectful and appreciative while also being enthusiastic.  he did honor a request to play vampire girl from his old 70's band THE MODERN LOVERS.  jonathan required that the audience sing along "c'mon, it was YOU GUYS that asked for the song"  at the end he had a great deal of applause and that prompted him to expand on the theme, "if you liked that so much in english, you should hear how it sounds different in spanish!".   he repeated entire the song in spanish.  I was not familiar with the song but we had a good laugh ,at the line, "she cooked beans, she cooked rice, she took a ritual sacrifice."  I laughed at both the english and spanish version.

he also gave us two versions of the lovers are here and they are full of sweat.  one in english and the second in french. 

he closed the evening with the LEONARD COHEN song "here it is"

he's using those teeth to enjoy pizza crust.  he's wearing a onesie we purchased for the daughter when we were in playa de carmen to celebrate her 1st birthday.  she wore it till she was about 2 yo.  he's 6 months and it fits him perfectly.

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