« December 2008 | Main | February 2009 »

January 26, 2009

girls with guitars, so-so cheese plate and 50's swing dancing.

crappy cheese plate at malaga 

kat and I had another chance to get out this past friday night.  we started with some snacks at malaga.  the dude is so tired of just OK cheese plates.  the calamari was good and the flight of spanish wine was also just OK, but I'm not a big spanish wine consumer so... 


then we went to antone's to catch a neighbor's band; the bluebonnets. 

kathy valentine

it was fun to see kathy valentine work her magic on the guitar.  it looks so easy in the hands of somebody who really knows what they are doing, like ringing a bell.  the guitar is not so easy (for me).  kathy is also in that most famous of all girl band, the go-gos

The first time I went to kathy's house I was struck with a bit of panic.  I noticed the back of her house faces the back of the AMH master bathroom; our bathroom wall is all glass and no curtains.  it'd never bothered me before if anybody could see in there...  but now that I actually knew somebody in one of those houses...  I was relieved to find a lone treetop slightly obscuring the view of my shower and toilet. 

texas giutar women 

after the blubonnets, we caught the texas guitar women

it was another good night in the live music capital of the world.

is this the dude?

kat says that bob schneider looks like the dude, and the guy behind him looks like the dude with his blueblockers on.


we stopped at qua (it was near the valet that had our car).  they have the dance floor that is over an aquarium stocked with live shark and stingray.


we celebrated our ethnicity the next morning by attending the lunar celebration at the asian cultural center.  the lion/dragon dancers were some of the best we've seen.  little dude blockin the blues.

hula in the year of the ox

they had many different hula dances.  photographers love hula girls.  and the pictures from above had led us to the conclusion that we need a new take out camera.  I don't want to lug a dslr around but the small camera we are taking out is just not up to the job.

they got FIRST PLACE at the cotillion 50's swing dance competition.  they got blue ribbons and an eisenhower silver dollar.

these are the other kids that attend cotillion from her school.

[ Yahoo! ] options

January 19, 2009

sushi and sake to me

50's porch glider

another item we picked up at the city wide garage sale last weekend.

for over a year we'd been looking for a 50's porch glider for better seating on the south facing master balcony.  I sanded, metal etched, primed, painted and replaced the hardware (nuts/bolts). 

we have a nice view!  it's going to be great to get more use of that space.


we had moved the sectional in the media room back against the wall for additional room for the punk rock karaoke holiday party.  the rear surround speakers that hung ON the wall became cumbersome in this arrangement.  I have replaced them with JBL in-wall speakers; old speaker on left, new on right.

the screens and frames were painted to match and it looks really clean.  I can't say it's an audio upgrade, especially since most soundtracks are 5.1 and the rear surrounds are for 7.1. 

things have not gone well with our airstream.  the front end seperation is proving costly to repair.  while we do have very solid flooring, it was not the case where the wood went under the body/wall sections.

you can see about 1/2 inch of the edge of plywood was rotted.  we have little choice but to have the plywood subfloor replaced.  we have reservations to go to south padre island in the spring so...  I need to deliver a bucket of money to our airstream service center and just hope this is the end of our overlander blues.

sushi sake

my brother and his new bride returned from Japan and posted some pics.  this had a profound affect on the dude.  I had a sudden desire to consume sushi while pouring quantities of sake and kirin down the pie hole.  it also resurrected my wanderlust.  I used to travel a lot and now that we are anchored here in austin with work and school schedules...  I am working on getting all our passports renewed.  no way we can make it to asia or europe soon, but we can fly to mexico (mayan riviera) for $80 each way from austin. 

I made my way to the asian food market and got my food/beverage fix.


I made sushi, sashimi, edamame, shitake, sake, udon along with fermented bean curd.... all good stuffs.

udon noodlism

kat loves noodles.

bottle cap collection

#1 son collects beer bottle caps.  at times, I have viewed this as trash hoarding.  but, they do get them out and look at them every blue moon.  they even stack them up like playing with real toys.  I did enjoy sitting with him as we admired the tiny graphic designs that represent the different brands.  notice the star/starburst motif above.  not so different from stamp collecting.  when he notices a new cap featured at the top of some variety in the frigerator he anxiously urges me to hurry up and consume the malty beverage so he can add the cap to his collection.  some times he'll try to entice me after breakfast, "don't you want to drink a beer now, doesn't that sound delicious?"

bottle cap stack

we estimate her stack above has about 180 caps.  this is usually about the maximum height of the stacking before they crash and I make them clean them all up.

compost bin

got a new compost bin ($37!).  we had just been piling it up and it was a regular buffet for racoon and opossum.  the new bin locks closed.

cedar alien abduction

kat and I relocated some trees that had been planted too close to the house.  a sad looking cedar that was close to the house had to be sacrificed in the process, it too had been damaged by snow/ice/hail/tornado/hurricane/tsunami/drought/flood/gamma rays...  it had to go.  our oak trees are really starting to benefit.  view above is looking west from the green roof/deck at the far end of the house (opposite end as master balcony above)

amh sunset as seen from iphone

sunset pic via iphone was manipulated by camera bag app.  thanks to photographer chad wadsworth for showing me this tool that takes what are often flat over exposed iphone pics and converts them into something much more interesting.

[ Yahoo! ] options

January 12, 2009

almost eames chair and, dude, where's my gnome?

it has been a quiet week, back to work, back to school, just the baby and I here at the AMH. 

Friday night kat and I went to check out a new wine bar, house wine.  the short review is: wine mark up is very low. the cheese portions are HUGE but it was quantity over quality/selection.  very casual and not pretentious.  I wish we had something like this in west lake hills but it's still just five miles away.  but the greatest part of our time there was running into people we know.  we never had a dull moment as it was like going home.  we certainly feel at home in austin. 

then we went to a photography exhibit at IF+D

DJ Chicken George was laying down a nice groove for us (as seen behind the dude).  we ran into friends at IF+D and we even picked a "kitten of discontent grab bag" where we scored some nice home accessories from Kikkerland (you can see the "everybody makes mistakes grab bag" on the table.  funny stuff)

after the IF+D event, we realized we were already downtown and paid for valet parking, might as well make the most of it.  we found our way to Truluck's.  kat learned that the mesh wrapped around the lemon is not a package for opening.  the friendly server said "sweetheart, christmas is over, that's not a present for you, it's to catch the seeds".  I learned that fish ribs are good eating.  it looks like somebody seated near kat enjoyed a flight of bubbley. 


saturday morning we raced to the city wide garage sale, the good stuff is scooped up quick.  I found this nice condition eames like lounge chair for $150!  it's ok to have a knock off vintage lounge chair.  there is now a facebook page where you can be proud to own an eamesish chair.

kelly's hip haven

the seller of the eamesish chair had also sold us the bullet planter we already enjoy at AMH, kelly from Hip Haven

eames arm shell chair

we went back on day two and got a great deal on two eames (the real thing, made by herman miller) arm shell chairs and a few other pieces we've been looking for.  vendors slash prices on day two so they don't have to pack it back up.


apparently, Hans der gnome is being held hostage...

han der no-more gnome

dude sucks a hubcap

I gave the new hubcap a test drive.

kat likes milk

kat likes milk...

[ Yahoo! ] options

January 05, 2009

end of a year with a first night

Austin has a family friendly New Years event, Austin First Night

austin congress bridge bat

downtown is ripe with fun things for kids and adults.  a lot of it features the creative community that thrives in austin.

the parade differs from big professionally made floats powered by gas powered engines.  it's mostly all human powered.

there were chinese dragon dancers, indians, nicarauguan folk singers, roller girl, librarian, girls rock camp, environmentalist, belly dancers, mardi gras indians, scottish bag pipers... all parade marchers.  it really is for everybody.  there was not a lot of candy but they did hand out oranges.

even sci-fi folks

ghouls too!

pong, the band, austin

the parade closer was this praying mantis that featured the band PONG rockin down congress ave.  we didn't realize that the parade ended at a party where PONG played and they burned a 34 ft wooden clock where people had written their resolutions. 

we paid $10 to park downtown so we decided we better get our $ worth.  we stopped at Cru for a quick snack.  they don't usually offer hot chocolate but the chef made an exception for us.

hot chocolate boy

we then went to a party but went home around 10 pm.  typically we don't stay out on amateur night.  in bed by 11, woke up and it was 2009.

the baby is quite mobile so we need contaiment.

the austinmodhouse stairs of death are now gated off from the infant population.

austinmodhouse at night

used my bogen tripod to get some long exposures while the blue led lights are on.

kat and I went to party that was overflowing with glamorous women.  I met erin ivey before she played a nice set of songs for us.  she is the pretty girl in the nice dress, I'm the fat guy with goofy grin (explanation of crappy iphone pic, I guess I forgot I had a real camera in my pocket)

erin ivey



[ Yahoo! ] options

return to the scene of the crime (high school)

the road to shreveport. 

casino camping

since we had our crazy dogs with us and our friends home is dog-free, we camped at diamond jack's casino RV lot.  we also picked up another e39 some where between cleburne and shreveport.

not good.  this is an indication of front end seperation.

cervezas at oyster bar

"CHEERS!" at The Oyster Bar

things are much calmer now that each kids has their own nintendo DS lite.  it's like kiddie suspended animation.

she's getting good use of the hat she got for xmas.


that is milk in her hand.




the kids had their nintedos on tag mode so they could send each other messages (even though they are sitting next to each other).  they were suprised to get a message from some other girl sitting somewhere in the restaurant who was also playing on her nintendo.  they found her, parents waved and then we had a fifth nintendo wielding child at our table.  that is elementary level online social networking in action.

no trip to shreveport would feel complete without a stop at superior grill.

preparing for winter hibernation/abstinence


the dude did attend his high school facebook mini-reunion.  he suspected he wouldn't recognize or remember most of them so he took his own posse along.

CMoore giving the cocktail the dipstick test.

the dude met some girls who said they were part of his graduating high school class.

hampster head

the red river ran behind our RV camp site.  we took marvin for a walk along the muddy bank.

the front end seperation became worse.  I could see the front of the airstream hopping off the frame.  it looked like a pac-man.  I stopped at a walmart near palestine and bought a drill and convinced them to let me run extension cords from the garden center.  I managed to get some bolts and screws in to help, but not fix the problem.  I bought some tin snips to cut away the banana wrap that had started to drag in the road.  we made it home using the slow and steady method. 

airstream travel sunset

we limped home. 

[ Yahoo! ] options

christmas 08

went to my father's house christmas eve.

it's a k-9 paradise there.  chicken jerky for breakfast and kitchen counters make nice doggie observation decks.

kings of the hill

gratuitous bar dog ass shot

blue moon stache

grandpa's blue moon mustache

dogs and nintendo, everybody happy.

dec 25th, time to open presents.

kat has been missing this place back in baltimore that serves margaritas out of hubcaps, nacho mamma's.  she loves that concept so I got her a hubcap of her own.

nice back lighting.

blues blocked

block the blues!


baby's first christmas

cajun fried turkey

the look on kat's face says it all.  this year's cajun fried turkey was among the best ever.  kat waits all year for this treat.

on the road again

we hit the road on the 26th.  we had plans to get together with friends in shreveport. also, people I went to high school with recently made contact via facebook and decided to have a mini-reunion.  the dude decided he could go have a look at 'em.

[ Yahoo! ] options