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February 25, 2010

snow day and the new tile arrives

snow day austin feb 2010

we had a rare snow event in austin, texas


while the back yard received a blanket of snow, the back wall of glass transformed the house into a special weather viewing apparatus.

eichler did not appreciate the show so much.  she sort of sulked.


he said snow was too cold to build a snow man.


her guitar skills continue to improve and both older kids are learning piano as well.

I received a new batch of the tile product I sell on ebay (seller id austinmodhouse).  the blend on the right above has stone mixed in with the glass (the cream colored rectangles are stone).  I really like these but my taste has often proven too personal for volume sales.  the most popular tile I sell is this , not my favorite but I guess it is neutral and brown enough for the mass market.   


February 22, 2010

down for maintenance (common cold)

not much going on due to feeling less than 100%.

however, we had temps in the mid 70's yesterday and it did not suck one little bit.  opened the pool and decided to just drain it and start over.  hoping for a swim in april.

texas spring weather in february

the baby had attacked the red couch and chair in the upstairs living room with pen and marker.  we were happy that it came off with a little elbow grease.  this set was purchased on sale for this reason.  not exactlty heirloom quality furniture but it is serving its purpose.

pretzel party round three, they were good.  but not as good as attempt #2. 

pretzel mania

we are still mastering the technique.  we just need to nail down the variables.

she will some day fill my shoes

the future AMH photographer using her camera.

fifth grade cotillion of 2010 is complete.  she is growing up at an alarming rate.  I am thankful that her #1 interest remains pokemon.  she does love the dancing as well.

they got the kids from her school to do a group pose.

boys being boys.


February 16, 2010

day three, highland parade

sunday morning bloody marys at the future Deli-tini.  if you have been to shreveport, you likely had at least one meal at george's grill, deli tini is the invention of george's daughter.  it was great to see so many old friends and find sandwiches named to honor them.

round man

like the "round man" sandwich

on to the highland parade...

roads closed and the scooter gang hit the streets.

bill and pablo

we enjoyed a great mardi gras party at bill's house.


bill's gumbo was good!

deli tini champagne!

our friend milea (deli tini) had sent us off with several bottles of champagne.  THANKS!

this float not only throws beads, but they have a grill on board and throw hot dogs as well.

moon pie

we came home with several plush toys.

it was cold outside, paige had gone in and found a warm place for a quick nap.

shiny stuff



day two, 14 hours of space #83

it was a bit chilly, the chopping and burning of a pallet got things warmed up at space #83.  we started setting up around 9 AM.

vodka in gelatin form

natalie (jello-shot girl) came by with a few hundred of these...

mardi gras jello shots

your humble narrator

they closed the street down at 3:30.  this is when the tension starts to mount.

fun with silly string


DJ Powlcat

DJ Powlcat was pounding out the beats from his hybrid vintage stereo/ipod soundsystem.  the people who occupy spaces 80, 81, 84 and 85 have given up on expectations of a calm and quiet event.  they either join in or sit back.  the momentum of space 83 can't be derailed at this point.

as the sun starts to set, people start to pour in from all directions.

then it gets dark, the sound system is at maximum

dj powlcat

the pic above was inspired by all I've managed to learn by reading another blog, the strobist and I have posted it in a larger version to my photography site

starting to get crowded and just a bit rowdy.

the smaller kids are put up on custom made devices to increase their bead catching ability

after about 30 minutes into the parade, he said "get me down, I think I have enough beads".  we went and warmed up by the fire

most everybody clears out soon as the parade is over.  but as we were among the first to arrive along the parade route, we are always the last to leave.

we usually stay until the police come by and tell us to pack it up and move it out, but they sent the fire department this year.  they arrived with a hose.

that was some column of steam.

the firemen were a bit confused.  I don't think they expected us to be so festive about them extinguishing our fire.



mardi gras day one, highland masq ball

kermit kiss

some times, you have to kiss a few frogs (our friend matthew)

the tradition of throwing and catching trinkets runs deep in mardi gras

good food too!

root beer shots

the band was awesome!


kenny wayne shepherd rocked the guitar (sorry for lack of focus)


February 08, 2010

hey kids! time for the chicken dog circus show!

chickendog circus

the two older kids had friends over for their birthday party.  the daughter's birthday is during the summer when her friends are often out of town and unavailable.  she has been using her 1/2 birthday combo party format to have both their parties at once.

#1 son said his favorite part was when he was part of the chicken dog circus show.

I think we had our last combo; #1 son/daughter, party.  the daughter only has a few months left in elementary school.  this was change she had been sad about.  they recently had a field trip to experience some of the programs at the middle school and she now seems to be looking forward to it.  her friends suddenly seem much older, and many did wander off while the chickendog circus was happening.  sort of made me sad as even the adults enjoyed the show, but the girls are getting to that age...

sunday:  we stayed home and did the taxes.  must have been some changes in tax law as we paid more this year despite not making more...  kids don't seem to be worth as much to the IRS, that makes me sad too.

kat got back on that pretzel horse.  last week's attempt sucked.  I am guessing her yeast never did proof so the dough never did rise...  all the appeal of a cardboard pretzel.  but these pretzels have changed all that...

poaching pretzels

we dug out an old recipe binder from ten years ago.  HA!  there was the old recipe that we'd perfected before.  these pretzels ROCKED! 

hot pretzels with maille mustard

those mall soft pretzels can suck it!  you bring the beer, we'll make the pretzels (you drive, I'll nah-vigate). 

jump back to friday evening: Blanton B-Scene

girl with hula hoop

the simple things in life, like pretty girls working illuminated hula hoops, never get old.

the blanton's current exhibition: desire, was interesting.  video of nude ballet in water and also video of an octopus slowly forcing itself through a skinny glass tube... 

suzanna choffel

great music by suzanna choffel

suzanna choffel

number two son jumped in to assist on the drums all on his own.

February 05, 2010

I got board, kirei board

the apartment therapy article stirred up interest in our dining room table.

kirei board table at austin modhouse

I made the table myself using kirei board and off the shelf table legs from ikea

legs from ikea

enlarged image

enlarged image

what may appear to be a big thick slab, is not the case.  the board is only 5/8 inch thick and came as one 6x3 board.

kirei table inside corner detail

the corner detail underneath shows how I made a cap by ripping a section from all four sides at a 45 degree angle then turning them around so they make a lip.  I used gorilla (polyester) glue to make it one piece, then I applied wood filler to any voids on the top seams, used a router and sander to make it all smooth. 

kirei table cap

enlarged image

the kirei board part of the table is more like a cap that rests over a plywood platform.


enlarged image

I ripped a redwood 2x4 to create a reinforcing spine for the length of the plywood.  the attachment points for the legs are doubled plywood.

and the kirei cap slides right back on.  it has held up well considering the abuse the kids have issued.  I made this over six years ago, and survived two moves.



lucky 7?

 number #1 son has survived seven years on this planet.  his 7th year meal request was gattitown, (like that other pizza-arcade place but cleaner and gattis pizza is much better).  I already had a full day of running all over town in really nasty weather but we stuck it out and drove to south austin to honor the birthday wish.

salad before pizza.  we try to have a salad with every dinner, not optional. 

after filling up on salad, pizza and desert pizza... time to slaughter some virtual endangered animals.  that monkey asked for it!

gatti-town skee ball

the arcade can teach quick lessons.  he found a few games he INSISTED he had to play.  he assured me that he knew how to play etc.  but a few are just quick losses of $, as was this sucking game... it sucked.  some things are just not as fun as they appear or are what they are advertised to be.

bumper cars

the bumper cars were a big hit, as always.

those moles were a bit too quick for his whac ability.

she got a prize for being the first person to reach 150.

chihuahua prize from gattitown

he did well at this ball slide/horse race.  he ran all around, waving his prize in the air, jumping up and down...  

pokemon emerald

we gave him his birthday present, "it's just what I asked for, pokemon emerald!"

(gameboy cartridge that also works in nintendo ds lite)

then, the daughter and I had to race off across town in the rain to get her to cotillion.  I ended the day with an amazing stress headache, it was great.


February 01, 2010

what sort of therapy? apartment therapy?... happy hour therapy?

we were featured in apartment therapy this past week. 

and had a small celebration at paggi house, and fell in love with a happy hour cheese plate

 cheese plate at paggi house

paggi house has a FANTASTIC happy hour, even on saturday!  the cheese plate above is a bargain at the full price of $14 and at half price for happy hour I almost felt guilty.  but we got over the guilt and ordered a second cheese plate.  six cheeses including an edam, five year aged gouda, maytag blue....  and a chunk of raw honey comb and rhubarb and nuts.... 

saturday happy hr at paggi house

we also enjoyed the mussels with fries (moules frites) and just a few of the cocktails; also half price!  notable favorites from the cocktail menu include the cucumber margarita, blood orange margarita and the french 76.

kid's table at paggi

we had a private tent room and the kids had their own table.  I was proud that nobody threw rocks at cars, not even me.

happy at paggi

happy is the word that comes to mind.

the kids attended a birthday party in the coaches box at UT yesterday, and I stood out in the 36 degree temps waiting for them.  sort of ironic as we had just learned that UT has decided to close the cactus cafe.  hard for music fans to understand such a move, austin, the live music capital of the world is being burdened by huge TV screens (my latest pet peave is restaurants that don't offer tv-less seating areas).  more sports and less live music is an alarming trend to me. 

pretzel mania

the cold weather caused an old memory of mine to resurface.  ten years ago, when we lived in baltimore, we had toyed with making our own pretzels.  I recall we got pretty good at it.  cold days are great for staying in and baking.  also poached some salmon and roasted fingerling potatoes.  had a nice meal while watching the new star trek movie.  fun.


we were fortunate to have tickets to see yo la tengo at antone's this past friday. it was sold out but we managed a decent view....