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March 30, 2009

chip chip chip toss toss chip chip chip

saturday morning had me at the tool rental center.  reclaimed my old friend, the big wood chipper.  kat and I worked for about 4 hours and made sure our arms got all chewed up by the cedars we fed to our machine.  then it was play time.

went to a school fund raiser hosted by some friends.  very nice home by acclaimed bercy-chen architects.  the yard had been converted to host a massive washer tossing tournament.  they had twelve games going on at the same time. 

the dude taking a pitch.  I had one practice round where I got it in the hole.  I was unable to recreate that toss when we played for points.

I found the keg

sunday was back to chipping and chain sawing.  nice plume of pollution there dude.

industrial wood chipper broke but I was able to fix it.  highlight of my day!

about nine hours of constant chipping produced a mountain of mulch

evil kenevil moves on his rocking cycle. 

tiny dude turned one.  daughter made him a cupcake that he completely enjoyed.



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March 24, 2009

mr awful falafel

falafel night has become a favorite here.  the craze started when I made a cube falafels (not balls).  the kids then wanted to make their own shape falafels.  so I stepped it up a notch.

I got the cookie cutters out

falafel heart

the heart shape worked really well.

little falafel woman

the falafel woman came out ok, but took a lot more work than the hearts and stars.

amh baby eating falafel

likes to eat falafel, he does.

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March 22, 2009

sxsw 09 third day

started the day at guero's taco bar.  there was a stage outside but we enjoyed the margaritas inside.

the bird and the bee

there was a stage at the Hotel San Jose.  We enjoyed a fun set by The Bird and The Bee.  it would have been even better if the girls put as much effort into playing instruments as they do synchronizing movements.  they were fun and they get today's AMH baby doll dress award (formerly known as the pizzicatto five award).  they have some fun videos on the ole U-tuber

the south by san jose stage featured green power.

we got free beer (after buying a $5 pint glass) at the 512 brewing company


live music by Danny Fast Fingers

after all that... we were bloated and decided a nice quiet evening at home with friends would be a welcome change of pace.

#1 son and I cleaned the pool, adjusted the chemistry and he enjoyed the first swim of 2009


kids are still enjoying the disassembly of the antique calculator

more spring has sprung pics

red yucca is flowering

this tree we relocated is flowering, horray!  we were afraid it might be dead.

this gives an idea of the height on the century plant flower that has shot up.

she was happy to read her highlights magazine while he made "Chalk World".  he explained that the homes in his Chalk World were modern "because modern homes often have flat tops"



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March 21, 2009

sxsw day two

we needed food to get started.  we found ourselves at kenichi

brianna was our server.  she was good to us.

kat had the sxsw roll

I hear blue eye shadow is coming back.

best wurst again

kat found her best wurst

stumbled on a fun girl band drawing a crowd in the street

Frisbee was pretty good


this band from great brittain was trying hard. 


heypenny from nashville was great fun. 


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March 20, 2009

SXSW day one

free blue moon

we had our first stop at paradise, saw Aimee Allen.  we were actually offered free drinks to enjoy the show.  it was a win-win situation as aimee put on a good effort, nice performance.

6th street is blocked off and already filling up with people at 1pm.

then we made our way to the beauty bar.  they had bands from the bay area all day.  I also got a great salmon and tapioca spring roll from koriente right next door.  we caught Sholi, The Union Trade and The Morning Benders

the dude had a beauty bar PBR

this is quaff, another crazy japanese band.  they get the official sigue sigue sputnik award from the AMH SXSW correspondent team.

kat likes tap dancers

best wurst on 6th

a highlight of any trip to 6th street for kat is finding the best wurst cart.  I can agree, that is the best wurst I ever had!

chuggin monkey

we landed at the chuggin monkey, another red gorilla stage event (no sxsw wrist band required)

breaking laces from brooklyn put on a good show.

I love how the drummer is looking out the window while a passing pedestrian is peeping in and chowing down on street food.

rachel sierra sang like she had came half way across the country to do so, which she did; from LA.

we ended day one at 6-ish.  it was just a sampling.  the amount of music offered is mind boggling.  over 1900 bands are here to play and many of those bands will play four or more shows while they are here.  we had hoped to catch the pains of being pure of heart but the line was down the street, partly because daniel johnston was scheduled to play after them.  they (pains of being pure at heart) are playing nine shows for sxsw so I may still have a slim chance to stumble upon them.  it was strage to see some big stages with NOBODY attending the show going on.  yes, a band would be up there playing to nobody.  this is why some venues have taken to offering free beer.  even mediocre bands sound better with beer.  so far, we haven't suffered a bit.

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March 19, 2009

spring break 2009, south padre island

it was cold when we arrived.  had a drink to celebrate my birthday.

did a birthday jig

see larger image, click here  she spent all her time just wandering and finding crabs, sea slugs, jelly fish and shells

it was cold on day two.

sea turtle rescue center

we had a nice charcoal grill heater and sea food feast most every night.

days three and four saw warm temps and blue skies

lunch at the wanna wanna

he took on these two kids.  the two kids with squirt guns eventually gave up.

the squirt guns were no match to #1 son's sand glob tossing

he gave this kid one final blow as he gave up.



oysters on the half shell

I have a new slim point and shoot camera that does hi-def video (720p) and has this panorama mode where it stitches the pictures in camera

click here to see the three dudes at the south padre brewing company.  erika gave us great service and the food and beers were good as well.

sunset as seen from our site at the KOA

kat gave me a funny look when I suggested the chaos might be fun.

these girls gave me a free beer!

my advice to #1 son, learn to play volleyball




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March 11, 2009

using the pool cover to harvest rain, band exchanges music for valid email addy

austinmodhouse rain barrel

during the cool house tour, I was challenged by a lady who did not believe I could use my pool cover to harvest rain water.  I tried to explain that I did not have all the pieces on site to do so, yet.  today, I DO!  this rain water barrel will  be fed by a hose that is connected to the pump that drains water off the pool cover (pool cover pump is required by code).  HA!  that rain water will supply the new gardening boxes.

cacti blooms galore.  love the crushed glass planting medium.

there is a certain alure, when a plant that is so prickly and poky, blooms in such a delicate manner.... I'll not draw any more connecting lines.  just leave it at that.

we have one out front bu the mailbox that has produced a century plant like phalic bloom that has shot up twelve feet in about a weeks time.  we had relocated that plant from the ditch behind our old house before we listed it for sale.  it must be excited about it's change in venue.


 chad wadsworth and kingair

we hosted a photo shoot here.  our 68 overlander was the prop.  kingair was the band and chad wadsworth the photographer.  I mostly drank their beer.  what a good time, musicians and photogrpahers... 

chad wadsworth was the photographer

their new cd is available for download from their web site http://kingairmusic.com/

the price, a valid email addy

also some of the pics from the photo shoot can be found on their site.  the ones seen here are from my iphone and were uploaded to my facebook page.  we often wonder if FB will replace blogging.  I don't think so.  my FB page is more like real time, what am I doing now.  usually fed by crappy iphone pics.  this blog is week in review and usually offers better (I hope) pics.




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March 09, 2009

home harvested chili salsa recipe

these small red chili peppers grow wild here at amh.  they are super picante and delicious.  the kids have learned the hard way that gloves are required for harvesting.  you do not want to touch one of these and then get your fingers any where near your face.

tomatilla, jalapeno, red onion, garlic to go into a hot iron skillet, if using fresh tomato include those as well.

martini glass chilling area

chill the martini glasses with crushed ice


juice two limes and one clementine (or small orange) into shaker of ice cubes.

put the indredients under the salamander till they have lots of carmelization and tomatilla are bubbly.

introduce the fresh juice to two bucket sized shot glasses of 100% agave teguila, one shot of orange tripple sec type liquer (I really like bouchant napolean), I use only ONE shot of margarita mix (jose quervo) and a small spurt of organic agave syrup.  the margarita mix can be deleted depending on the sweetness of your limes.  btw, if your tequila is not 100% agave, what is it?

I move my roasted items into a small sauce pan and add just a bit of water.  this is where we add the home harvested red chili peppers.  bring to boil.

shake it like a polaroid picture

shake vigorously

immersion blender.  this is where I also add some tomatos, I used canned this time but fresh will work too if they are on hand.  add a bunch of fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice; I used half a lime. 

mexican martini 

dump crushed ice, and replace it with the refreshing beverage..

salt to taste, I like to make sure I get salt all over the place in the process.



austinmodhouse enchiladas

I made cheese enchiladas for dinner.  this is a favorite of the kid's.  right up there with pizza and hot and sour soup.


we are finally done with the concrete trash can pad.  now I need to make a small fence to obscure the view.


 things are blooming everywhere. 

green roof

plants on the green roof/deck are really starting to take off.  it took us a good year to figure out what can live up there with minimal soil, water and full sun.

he is anxious to learn to use chop sticks


he found these two broken remote control cars at the thrift store.  using puppy dog eyes, he asked "can we buy these for my baby brother to play with".  his mother melted and gave him the go ahead.  he also explained to a little old lady how he only wanted them for his baby brother, "oh, that gave me chills" said the little old lady as her eyes looked like they were going to leak.  I told her "he's working you!" 

soon as we got home, he announced "it's time to play BLOCKBUSTER!!!"  he took those cars all over the yard and house, throwing them down stairs. crashing them into each other, crash and smash.  I took a few pics and he responded, "it's good you are getting these pictures.  some day I will show my brother what happened to his cars".  kat realized she'd been had by his smooth talk.

boxes are filled with dirt, plants and seeds.

us AMH boys are taking a vintage calculator apart.

bay6 gallery

caroline wright

kat and I with our favorite cello playing, yoga instructing artist, caroline wright

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March 02, 2009

kites that don't fly and open that bottle

I'll start off with a few house projects as that is what spawned this blog 

 the bosch DW made more noise than it is supposed to.  normally, you can't hear when they are working.  the gap above was to blame.  I got to be carpenter and fix it.

all quiet now

we've been hearing a lot of positive things about square foot gardening.  I am making some planter boxes to give it a stab.

pouring a concrete pad to park the trash and recycling cans.  I'm sure the neighbors will appreciate it when we no longer park them in plain view.

kite festival

friends from school let us borrow a kite.  there was hardly any wind.  a good amount of running was good enough to make it work for the kids.

fly boy

I was feeling springy.  orange alligator loafers seemed appropriate to me.

boys are different from girls.  his sister never tried to impress a classmate by showing how she could hit a metal pole without expressing pain.

crane style

hollie and holly being nice to the dude.

I keep running into this dude in the porta-potty.  do they put mirrors in porta potties where you live?

an errant koi flopped out and marvin alerted me.  had to get in the lower pool to fish him out.  it was 87 outside so I won't complain.

found her backpack was weighted down with rocks.  she can name each one.  love all things science, she does.

went to the austin zoo

all rescue animals.  what kind of idiot would actually try to make a tiger a pet


we like goats

this goat seemed to like me.  I didn't even have any food.  just wanted me to pet it.  we talked about liberating it and letting it run free at our wimberley ranch, but we don't have fencing and goat wrangling is frowned upon.

goat kiss

got some sugar

amh dance

this is how we dance at the austinmodhouse. pants down and crazy!

open that bottle night 2009

this past saturday night was Open That Bottle Night

turnbull chicks

I found some turnbull wine we'd been cellaring for years.  an 01 merlot and 03 viognier from their oakville estate grapes.





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