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August 31, 2009

pre-mixed margarita throw down


meet the judges, or tasting panel if you will. 

AMH house margarita

I have been perfecting my margarita mix for jug application.  mostly for camping trips.

about 8 oz of my last batch will be transported to Kansas next weekend where a local margarita pre-mix candidate resides. tasting panel will make notes and advise if either mix has room for improvement.  not really sure the judges will come to any real conclusion, but a nice gig they got out of this deal.

sour cherry margarita sunrise

our pre mix transport team recently spent a few weeks back in greece.  they returned with a passion for home made liqueor.  above we can see some of their sour cherry liqueor resting at the bottom of the margarita.

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cedar slaughter season is here again

oak that was liberated from the oppressive cedar trees

the heat has finally declined; this is the hottest summer on record.  we made a trip to our ranch-ette in wimberley.  the land is plagued with cedar trees that were strangling some very nice oaks.  we could see that last year's effort did result in healthier oaks despite the heat and drought.

chain saw failure caused a delay in taking down some of the larger cedars, but there was plenty of small ones that were trying to get in around the oaks that we could knock down manually.  we got a good work out.

parched and hungry, we went to Ino'z brew and chew on cypress creek, downtown wimberley.

Inoz margarita pitcher

food was good but we found the margaritas too sweet.  I'd rather see a smaller pitcher of higher quality.

these two made out under the table.

people refer to these lizards as chameleon, but they are not a true chameleon.  they are plentiful around here and this one was behind me trying to catch flies.  I was wearing a green shirt so it adjusted.

same lizard, moments later.

wimberley town square is filled with lots of galleries and shops.  we walked around for a while just browsing.

we found that one of the restaurants we used to eat at regularly is for sale and no longer open for business


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flow rate test float #1 (rbi to deep eddy)

our goal: to float along in the current and not get out at the southern tip of red bud island.  evaluate rate of travel and find a good exit point. 


the equipment: a life preserver to be worn diaper style, small insulated cooler of beer riding in an infant life preserver, koozie

not shown are my large whacky noodle that doubles as a koozie, my water proof camera that was strapped to a waterproof box containing my iphone and a my bank card.

red bud island party people

a quick shot of one of the several camps of people who go to the island to relax.

we caught the current under the red bud trail bridge.  it only takes about five minutes to pass the island, then the river (ladybird lake) widens and slows considerably.

a little over an hour of floating and we could see mopac.  pic below is the direction back to red bud island, which was no longer visible.

emerging from the water like babes

we found a public dock at deep eddy pool was a good place to get out.  after 1.5 hrs of floating in the water, walking on land seemed surreal and we were freezing.  first, we got harrassed by this gaggle of geese.  then, this woman ran past us screaming with a male in hot pursuit...

tickle attack

it was a tickle attack.

we made our way to mangia pizza and called our women folk.  they brought the kids so we could all feast on pizza.  we agreed not to judge mangia pizza until we've tried the chicago stuffed pizza they are famous for.    (funny, the young couple seated behind in the pic above were visiting from Houston.  we used some of their extra chairs.  the waiter had explained to them that he can't split checks when they requested the bill; waiter had assumed they were with us!  realizing the waiter's mistake, the young couple from houston tried to make a quick exit.  I got our check as there were walking out the door and told the waiter, "we didn't have any chicken wings".  BUSTED!  they had to pay for their meal)

happiness prevails.  I believe we attained our goal.  we now know it takes about 90 minutes from getting in at the north point of RBI to getting to mangia pizza.  deep eddy cabaret would be another suitable dry off location but they only accept cash and not really kid friendly. 


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August 28, 2009

the baby sleeps while product is transported

 this has been one hell of a week in a string of stressful weeks.  I'm involved in a real estate transaction that oscilates between "YAY WE ARE CLOSING" and "uh-oh, we hit a major snag".  it looks like the last snag has been worked out today.  hoo-ray for that.

and my glass mosaic tile import-resell buisness has had a few big sales and the product arrived on time, after customs caused me yet another delay and charged me for them to inspect my product.  customs did agree it was a beautiful product... 

people often ask me how can I get so much done WHILE caring for a 1.5 yo toddler.

some days he can be very cooperative.

this new tile is a clear glass mixed with stone, the pieces are thick and nearly little cubes.

amh gs33 glass mosaic tile

$13 a sq ft.  would work great as a shower surround or a backsplash.

 Highlands Inn mug no more

I've enjoyed coffee from my HIGHLAND'S INN mug (carmel by the sea, ca) for nearly 15 years.  those days are gone. 

amh vegetarian gyoza

a pic from a week back of gyoza being produced in our kitchen.

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August 24, 2009

rush back to school, wide

school started today. 

back to school 2009 

the two older kids got up and out the door without a single snag.  realizing that my summer project time was running out, I had a mad rush to finish my mailbox project.  the two older kids helped me watch the baby when they were home.  now, just the toddler and me....  can't really spend my morning working outdoors.

stainless steel side

one side and top are from a single piece of stainless steel, the other side is polygal.  the back is a piece of lexan with a solar powered LED (should illuminate when it is dark out).  the threshold is reclaimed black granite bullnose.

polygal side

mailbox bondage

suspended it from a ladder to seat in 300 lb of concrete.  I welded a bunch of steel pieces to the bottom to sink into and grab the concrete base.  so the mailbox appears to just sit on top of the footing.

take a walk on the wide side.  using the wide angle 10-22mm lens affords new views.  several extreme wide angles featured in this post.

1972 bmw 2002S

we are about to break a record for 100+ degree days, also in the middle of a historic drought!

a seldom seen rear/side view of austinmodhouse

happy hour at doc's backyard

enjoyed happy hour with friends at Doc's Backyard 

some micheladas and a margarita.  I liked the tomato based michelada but the one that imitated a margarita just made me want the real thing, which I did get.

dim sum sunday at shanghai

enjoyed a traditional sunday dim sum at shanghai.

shanghai austin dim sum

new mailbox for austinmodhouse

kat spent the better part of the day landscaping the area between the mailbox and driveway.  it was 104 degrees.  our succulents love the sun and heat, they are multiplying fast.  she is able to thin our current succulent garden to landscape other areas and still have plants left to give to friends.

early porsche 911 ass

I could look at that rear end all day long.  hope to get those leaky cam seals replaced some day...

I was glad to see snakey still lives around our koi pond.  at one time he seemed so tame, we could get close and he seldom retreated to his shelter.  he'd spend all day just resting there, looking at us looking at him.  but, ever since my daughter caught him, a snakey sighting has been a rare occurrence.  he ran off soon as he saw me.

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August 19, 2009

a few food and people pics

I had been missing my DSLR and that waterproof camera may be sturdy, it was lacking in other areas.  I got my new DSLR.  I used to be a nikon guy, and for a while I was a sony alpha guy and now I have myself a canon.  I am using an eos, not a full frame sensor but so far I am happy with the results.  I had pledged to replace that cheap kit lens that came w/ my sony, but never did.  this time, I ordered body and lens seperate.  this is the first few pics!

went to FINO for my mom's birthday.  we found the manager enjoying his daily shift meal on the patio.  he recognized us and appologized for sitting at our table; we always sit at the same table.  he laughed and moved over one table and offered up birthday wishes.  they always treat us well there. 


click to see the figs larger

FINO pranw


check out the detail on the Espelette pepper resting on the edge of the plate.


below is a zoom in on kat's glass of prosecco.

sparkling wine

jalisco sour at FINO

they have the best cocktails in town, I loved this Jalisco Sour.



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August 18, 2009

climb in the morning, soak after lunch, how we do garner


 zen rock stack rio frio


salmon on the grill

every meal turned out great.

teardrop trailer and airstream at garner

mom loves her VW TDI and now it makes a great tow vehicle for her vintage teardrop trailer.  it weighs in around 500 LB.

we typically hike after breakfast.  these are not your paved and flat city park trails, loose gravel and steep elevations encourage a real effort.

garner rope swing

the kids LOVED this rope swing near our camp site.

the daughter, kat and myself each took a good leap off this rock.

shadow of the narrarator

kat cleans up the park

kat cleaned up the trails and the river.

we started down by the river.

if you've heard me talk about how clear the water is at garner, I likely explained that the water is so clear you can count your toes when in water that is up to your shoulders.  here is the visual proof, except my toes are in shoes.

I know we should not take bottles to the river, but we ran out of cans and had worked up a thirst.

half over, half under water shot.

rio frio fish pic

school of fish

the daughter was excited to have taken the pic above, school of fish.

stone heart

water on the lens makes interesting effect on rock heart pic.

kat's river clean up

she had collected far more plastic water bottles and aluminum cans than we could possibly carry.  then she found this old back pack to help haul the trash out.

robot shirt reward

she also found a perfectly good T-shirt with a cool robot on it!  a reward for cleaning up other people's trash.

johnson city

stopped for lunch in Johnson City on the way home.


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August 10, 2009

that cold cold spring water and bit of shawarma

eames chair base

the gorilla glue we have used to mount her herman miller eames shell chair to the base keeps failing.  she loves her chair and requested a prompt repair.  this time we used a 2-ton two part epoxy glue.  she filed off the old gorilla glue for maximum adhesion.

eames shell chair by herman miller repair

we used a watermelon to weigh it down while the glue set up.  melon was retained for shaking later on in the weekend.

creek hike

we had friends come in from shreveport for the weekend.  took off from the north pt of red bud island and did the usual hike up stream.  troy had a footwear failure and had to turn back (water shoes are a must for this trip).  it took us over an hr to find him.

tom miller dam


we got in the current where the water spills out from the dam.

water rescue training

we found a water rescue training operation where we got in.  they had life vests and helmets.  I had a wacky noodle with a few modelo especial shoved in the ends.

beer brunch

the next morning we got troy some water shoes.  we were meeting the girls at barton springs.  we stopped in at a local brew pub and picked up some sliders for brunch

barton springs pool


that water is cold!


take your breath away cold!

Izzoz taco trailer on south first

we are not disappointed by the tacos at izzoz

homemade ice cream

bonny doon cigare volante

went to phara's for dinner.  it is BYOB so we made a few selections from the cellar.

phara doing her belly dance routine

good food and belly dancing too.


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August 04, 2009

paving my way to the pool


as you can see, I did keep up my pledge to make at least two pavers per day.  yesterday I made the LAST one.  a few hours later I went out to enjoy being done when I found a FOOT PRINT.  I am not talking a cute mark on the surface, somebody stepped right in the middle of a freshly poured paver and just moved on.  #1 son later confessed.  I would not have been nearly as annoyed if he had come to tell me when he had done it.  instead I found it hours later after it was set up and too late to fix.  anyhow, I'm done!

before (june 2008)

the pic above was taken june 2008, shows the pre paver path..  now I need to start nursing that zoysia back to green.


I find kay-so spends a lot of time lounging on them.


I applied Flor to the stair treads.  another project complete.  sorry for the crappy pics, hoping for a new DSLR come September-ish (already sold the old DSLR).  have been ebaying and craigslisting to raise camera $.  I think my iphone takes better pics than this waterproof olympus.  but hey!  if we flood the planet and we all become amphibious, I've got my kick ass underwater camera.

look for our kitchen to be featured in a future issue of Trends magazine.  I proof read the copy this morning.

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August 02, 2009

more cowbell and no heat at the RBI friday float


my trusty kodak point and shoot died.  the lens would not retract.  it took great pics and video.  I had purchased it back in november, but sam's took it back and told me go pick out another camera.  this time, I opted for a waterproof, shock resistant device from olympus.  the under water pics look great, but the flash feature severely over exposes most every shot and low light shots are craptastic as well.  but, for beach, kayaking and for a swim excursions...  it should not break as easily.  still, I might return it as well.

quiet company at beerland

Quiet Company put on a great show at beerland this past thursday, free too. 

I shot a small video clip of the show (click here), the audio portion of the clip is horrible (new camera), actual sound at the show was good.

red bud creek trek

friday afternoon included an impulsive trip to lady bird lake, red bud island.  no kayaks this time, we swam and floated.  took off from the northern tip of the island (this is upstream of all the dog turds from the leash free dog park).  we swam up stream and made our way up a creek and found a big lagoon at the dam.

underneath the red bud trail (low water crossing).  this is where we caught the current for a quick float.  we are planning a trip where we will push off from this location and get out at the congress street bridge and celebrate the riding of the river by a visit to guero's.

we then floated all the way down to the southern tip of red bud island and walked back on land.

school of rock at antone's

daughter's band, MORE COWBELL finished school of rock and had their performance at Antone's.  this year's band was a hodge podge of personalities and talent.

MORE COWBELL, don't fear the reaper

they managed to pull it together and they got to rock out with DON'T FEAR THE REAPER.

muddy waters

we went to the annual muddy slip and slide fest hosted by our friends at crestview doors and erwinhouse


had a great brunch at La Condesa.  kat will strongly recommend the pozole with berkshire pork belly and I can get behind the cochinita pibil tacos AND the huevos chilangos (with house made wild boar chorizo!).  really, everything we've had here is great and their interior is one of my favorite.

cedar door mexican martini

we closed out saturday night with some friends celebrating a birthday.  the deck at the cedar door is like a typhoon of wind and mist.  although it was really around 100 degrees outside, it was chilly on that deck and we had to turn the mist down.  cedar door claims to have been the birth place of the mexican martini, but I hear trudy's is also making a similar claim.  I don't care so much about the the origin, long as they keep mixing them up.  I do feel like the cedar door version is heavy on the mix (syrup) and not as pure as the others I frequent around town that feature real fresh lime juice from actual limes.

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