« November 2008 | Main | January 2009 »

December 22, 2008

prize winning rubber sushi

prize winning rubber sushi 

we had an austinmodhouse karaoke festivus party.  we gave out rubber sushi to the two top scores for the evening.  Joy and Sarah are the proud owners of a set of made in japan sushi erasers.

the kids had the room first.

stephen in karaoke glory.

barbara and "I got you Babe"

the dude in his illuminated jacket working the Blue Monday (new order)


art gallery girls

these two found my daughter's art work for sale.  they purchased THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX and SOMETIMES, COLOR EQUALS JOY.

she tried to purchase one of mine but I refused all offers.  austinmodhouse architect Mark Meyer found the scale between the pint and the protagonist to be off.  Mark is an architect and if he has the scale wrong in his drawings, there might be some unsatisfied customers.  not so in art.  I stand by my work.  I justified the scale by noting that most bars serve a pint in a 14 oz glass, so that drawing might just be a protest to my missing 2 oz x pints consumed.... it might add up.

late night karaoke kids

another wave of kid karaoke.  at one point there was a room full of kids SCREAMING "WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT! NO! WE AIN'T GONNA TAKE IT, WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT, ANY MOOOOOOORE!"  I saw parents become uneasy as the future rebellion is now firmly seated. 

the party went on till 2am.  a cold front moved in and we ended the night with a nice fire in the screen room.

everybody (including baby) slept a good solid sleep.  I woke up feeling better than I had in weeks!  it was a festivus miracle.  I let kat sleep in while I built a fire, made biscuits and coffee.  the dude scores some points!

their enthusiasm is still dedicated to iphone games.

happy boy

healing properties of coffee

medicinal coffee

we watched I am legend in the afternoonWe thought it was a sci-fi, turned out it was quite the zombie moive.  It was effective on a 100 inch screen via bluray player.  the new sealed 15" 350 watt sub really flexed it's muscle.  I witnessed kat JUMP and I felt the back wall of the media room deflect a good quarter inch from one HUGE thump when a zombie lunged at the hero.  as the movie ended the sun started to set.  it had all seemed SO real.  it was a bit unsettling for us to consider going out into the dark.  we managed.  we were glad the kids didn't see the movie.  I think they would have voted to boycott our evening plans.

a.d. stenger

we went to some friends house for caroling in the cul de sac.  they live in an AD Stenger they just renovated.

daughter found some friends and they sang around this tree.

all the singing over the past two days had made our throats a bit parched, maudie's helped us out.  kat enjoyed a huge bowl of tortilla soup made just the way she likes it; clear chicken broth and not too salty.

the little dude seems to have noticed his styrofoam cup does not have as much bling as a shiny stainless steel shaker.


[ Yahoo! ] options

December 19, 2008

Christmas blues

After dinner the Dude dressed up like an elf and went bar hopping with a bunch of men and women dressed like santa claus.

Later I saw the dude uploaded some pictures on his facebook with Hollie and a pitcher of beer - one of them is cute, the other dangerous.

I got bored, so I took the Dude's real camera and left the house.


I got as far as the driveway. Nice views, our driveway has. The Dude surprised me the other day, I came home from work and the horsetail planter was lined with beautiful blue LED lights and the windows on the front door were tinted in blue.


The tree in the middle of the driveway was also decorated with blue LED lights. The lights created a nice path in our front yard, which was otherwise very dark.

the dude had a...

As I was messing with the Dude's computer, he came back with stories of naughty dancing elves. Good times.

Naughty santa girls

[ Yahoo! ] options

December 15, 2008

a grinch, a festivus, a nutcracker and a facebook

sock monkey shock

he found a sock monkey in his lap.  my mom made one for each of the kids.  the next morning I found one had been gutted by marvin.  I collected the parts and mom made him a patch complete with a red heart to remember his surgery.

mom left to spend the holidays with my sister in nebraska.  the kids opened their gifts from her before she left.  she got them this star wars vault that has been a big hit.  at every flip of a page he says "AWESOME!"

mom and baby feeding the koi.

the school put on a fantastic holiday show this year.  #1 son was a snow flake.

daughter's fourth grade teacher dressed up as a who from their production of HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS

the Grinch in the act of stealing.

paparazzi caught her backstage.

fifth grade issued us an Elvis Holiday song.

grand finale

principal acosta and our friend matt manroe.  matt had a lot to do with the success of the event and he made it clear that this level of art at eanes was possible by charitable contributions, not government funds.  the dude's eyes got all soggy and his wallet parted as the bills leapt into the collection bucket.  thanks to everybody who contributed (including our wine social we hosted last week) as it was a great show.

snow in austin 2008

we've had snow this year!

pv panels with snow in austin

PV array covered in a white blanket.

kat's firm's work party had great food, great fun and was held in an amazing home.  I didn't want to be responsible for lugging a big DSLR around so not many pics and the ones that don't look so good below are from my iphone)

rockabilly santa man

I had friends in town from San Francisco.  We landed at a rockabilly Festivus party.

festivous 2008

I took the guys to Guero's where richard enjoyed this margarita so much he had to get a good look at it. 

went to a holiday gnome observance party.

kat took the daughter to see the nutcracker by the austin ballet.  she brought her new nutcracker home.  her brother (#1 son) promptly set out to play with  it.  he broke it immediately.  there is some irony in there if you know the story of the nutcracker.  it was a minor damage and I have glue fixing it now.

and the Austin Mod House (AMH) now has a facebook page as a public figure.  it makes my brain hurt if I think about it too hard...  so this blog documents our house and our lives in it, and the facebook page is there to ...  well, here it is


[ Yahoo! ] options

December 08, 2008

three wise gnomes and another minor tragedy.

darth vader gloves

the last time we set off for a gnome maintenance trip he suffered an injury.  we were prepared this time, long sleeve shirt, pants and darth vader gloves.

that spot just above her head was our destination.  hans der gnome is over there but he no longer glows through the night and is not visible during the day.


it is a real climb up the other side.

we huffed and puffed our way up. 

sun bleached gnome gathering

I found the solar light needed a repair and gnomes were all sun bleached.

we took a moment to catch our breath and look back to where we had come from.

a brief announcement

a brief announcement was made

oranging up hans the gnome

I applied a fresh coat of orange.

he worked on the manger.  it is the christmas season.

this was a triumph, making a note here, huge success.  we had a beverage with our gnome friends. 

three wise gnomes nativity set in place and I mcgyvered the solar spot back into working order by combining parts from two different lights.  also bumped it's two 600 mah nimh batteries to newer 1200 mah ones.

#1 son slid down the ravine and landed at the bottom on the return trip.

neosporin and ice cream fixed him up good.

now we clearly see hans and his nativity gnomes.  I didn't stay till after sunset to see the glow, but I got word that he was ON!  I'll get pics for next weeks blog entry of his night time illumination.

[ Yahoo! ] options

wine and food at the AMH

amh hosts

we hosted a school social here this past weekend.  a fund raising event.  the theme of our social was wine and food.  both were in great supply.

joy scored high on the singstar.  I later found out she has some experience; lead singer for the band King Air.

as it seems to have become a regular happening here at AMH to get our guests on the karaoke (ps3 singstar)...  it was funny to see how polarizing karaoke is.  about half the guests didn't care to get near the media room while this foolishness was happening.  and I recall that when kat wanted to buy the singstar game I held the same attitude.  I told her "you can buy that for yourself, but it's just for you as I surely won't use it".  well, now that we have joy division and new order, the ramones and the buzzcocks on there...

misc weekend pics to follow:

java bean medicine 

while we were in the bay area kat had commented that we don't have any good breakfast places in austin.  I noted that it's not necessarily a lack of, but more the fact that we don't go out for breakfast any more.  so sunday morning we got our morning coffee/medicine at magnolia cafe while my mom had all three kids at her house (thanks mom!)

kat enjoyed the juevos rancheros and I can confirm that the three alarm breakfast taco is indeed spicy enough.  we approved of breakfast there.

then, kat and my mom went shopping.  the kids and I went on our gnome nativity expedition.  kat called later and asked us to meet them at the cedar door.  I'd last been there when I was tagging along with brady blade, trying to find his next gig.

I found the girls enjoying mexican martinis

#2 son has a taste for limes as well.

[ Yahoo! ] options

December 01, 2008

from tur-duck-hen to bul-go-gi


it's been at least 15 years since I bought a record, you might recall real vinyl records that played on a turntable if you were born before the eighties.


mp3 don't come with colors like this.  I was determined to take it straight into the media room and have a full listen, from begining to end.


two 180 gram vinyl discs.  somehow, the effect was dampened as I kept asking the kids to quit screaming and wrestling near the turntable.  but still, I listened to each track in order, just like we used to back in the old days before music was more than just a background soundtrack.

bedtime with shaak tii; thanksgiving eve.

turkey ninja dude ALA-CUISINE!

turkey morning.  I was ready for battle in AMH kitchen stadium.

While I was getting things set up for bird consumption, #1 son was going on about his holiday place mat he made at school.  I was only half listening when I heard him say, "and these are his guns, he's shooting the wings off this ship"

armed and dangerous bird

sure enough, his turkey is armed and guns a blazin'

kat got primal and tortured some oranges with clove and star anise.

her hair had become too much work. 

we found a program that takes donated hair and makes wigs for people who have lost their hair due to illness etc.  their minimum was 11 inches.

the bird was done!  I didn't make a huge spread this year and the birds came frozen.  I'm not a big turkey eater.  we do enjoy a good cajun fried turkey (christmas at my dad's) and one year I brined a big bird that turned out well... we were happy with our birds that came from a box found in the freezer section.


it was actually a tur-duck-hen, a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey and lots of seafood (shrimp and crawfish) rice.

pass the baby

the kids table

we ate out on the screen porch, it was 76 outside.

egg roll makin asian chicks

after the bird was cleared away, the asian girls made egg rolls.  kat said "why is it my egg rolls are short and wide and yours are long and skinny".  let's just leave it at that.

more baby passing.

kid karaoke

we ended the day with karaoke. 

black friday

we'd heard so much about black friday.  we decided it was time we got out and had a look for ourselves.  didn't see any extreme bargains (we made it to the stores by 11), it wasn't crowded, the parking was hassle free.  we stopped at about four stores and that was enough of that crap. 

black friday motivational beverage

we found the best item offered at the shopping center, heffeweizen!

moldy pumpkin

the kids and I like to watch things decay.  kat is seldom without her opinion of "that's gross!".  it's our jack-o-lantern, still near the front door.  but now!  I see a baby pumpkin is making it's way through the carnage.

free samples

they handed us some free samples at sam's.  it is claimed to be healthy and full of antioxidants, it didn't taste so great, needed.... something.

antioxidant martini

ahhh, that's it, much better.  CHEERS, to the health!


keepin' the blues at bay.

FINO has a special saturday happy hour.  they have recreated a select list of cocktails from pre-prohibition days.  it's a great place for us as they are used to us being loud and wreckless on the patio.  I remember the time my son got his head stuck in their second floor railing, what good times we've had there.  they always give us the same table and special attention.  maybe to segregate us from their more sophisticated and less rowdy patrons?

I liked the CORPSE REVIVER #2  and kat's favorite was the BRANDY DAISY

rowdy on the patio

he kept trying to push his limits.  running around the table, doing crazy dances.  he'd stop and pause to wait for us to get upset and make him return to his seat.  we just smiled, magical happy hour on the FINO patio.

then the food started to arrive.  he didn't have to be told to take his seat.  he loves the foccacia and olive oil while my daughter favors the fried goat cheese drizzled with honey and red onion jam.

wild boar riblets!  olives stuffed with anchovie and then fried.

moules et pommes frites

moules et pommes frites were delicious!

he speared a fried olive with a frite and said "I made a tie fighter"

sunday had us continuing our gluttony.  what thanksgiving weekend would be complete without korean bbq?

we cooked our own meat at the table.  I liked the spicy pork Bul Go Gi.  not quite as good as the korean bbq we used to frequent back in baltimore.  there (balto korean joint), the  meat was cooked over a bucket of charcoal and wood chips set into the middle of the table, and sides included fresh sliced chili peppers, sliced raw garlic and some really spicy paste all to be wrapped up in lettuce leaves with the cooked meat. 

I asked a server about lettuce leaves on the way out last night.  she said they have to be requested...  we'll give this place anther try and also request whatever that super spicy sauce was we got addicted to in baltimore.

the sticks

she's got the hang of the chopsticks.

kids art gallery

we rarely go into the kid's bathroom.  when we do, we often discover their "experiments" and other unpleasant finds.  this morning I found an art gallery!  the abstraction at the top is titled SOME TIMES COLOR EQUALS JOY.  I think it's a bargain at fifteen cents.


[ Yahoo! ] options