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July 26, 2010

your on the scene correspendent, BP gulf spill

with all the news coverage of the BP disaster, we felt it was our obligation to do an investigative field visit to report first hand, the beach conditions along the gulf of mexico, or at least the south padre island section of gulf of mexico...

6 hours in the tow vehicle

this is how you keep kids occupied for nearly seven hours in the tow vehicle.  I just noticed #1 son has a nintendo ds (blue) in one hand and his itouch (red) in the other...  I'm not sure how that works but he doesn't bug me with questions so I don't bother him with any.

bridge to south padre island

crossing the bay to get to the island.

island girl

set up the airstream.  she enjoys the mister hang from the zip-dee awning.

bean bag toss baby target

we played bean-bag toss.  #2 son decided he would lay over the target board...  it became a game of whack the baby.

kat took the older two kids on a sea safari and dolphin watch.

sea safari and dolphin watch SPI

dropped a net and pulled up some stuff for inspection, then released it.  they did see dolphins but didn't get any pics.

land lover

meanwhile back in the 1968 airstream...

airstream nap

we had nice nap.

clutter in the overlander

with five people living in a small space, clutter can creep up fast.  I am devising a plan for future airstream excursions.  it involves actually putting the food items in the large pantry instead of all over the counters.  I think that is a reasonable start.  and I will try to keep my shoes under control.

gulf of mexico from south padre island

the beaches just north of town were less populated.  no oil there.

base camp, gulf of mexico

operations HQ, some core samples were taken by digging down into the sand.

gulf of mexico worker takes a nap

HQ also made for a nice nap space.

happy hour at padre island brewing co

we had intended to go to SPI for the daughter's birthday, but rescheduled for better weather (hurricane alex).  she had chosen her favorite restaurant for the birthday meal, the padre island brewing co.  she LOVES their beer bread and we don't complain about their wheat beer.

beer bread from padre island brewing company

her beer bread smothered in real butter.

spi skull shirt

pool hall kids

kat found a pool table upstairs and taught the kids how to play.

smores at the koa

they had smores back at the koa.

sunset SPI bayside

beautiful sunset, pic taken from iphone 3gs

archie comics

we did not know that one of the kids favorite parts of going to SPI was stopping at the blue marlin grocery store.  they sell betty & veronic/archie comics at the check out.  they had been looking fwd to going back to stock up.  I noticed archie comics has an iphone app so I loaded that on her iphone.  she was happy to find the app has a store locator and she now knows where to get her archie comics in austin as well.

beach baby

beach boys SPI

taking water samples.  no oil.

spi boogie board

exploratory holes were dug

dug more holes, still no sign of BP oil.

pier 19 palapa bar

happy hour at pier 19.

port aransas oysters

oysters on the half shell from port aransas, did not taste of crude.

soil sample along gulf of mexico beach

in the hole

bratwurst oil spill on the beach

we may have spilled a bit of bratwurst oil on the beach... grilling our lunch.   we love this little grill we got for $20.  we also use it at home since it is so efficient. 

July 13, 2010

what REALLY happens at those Elite parties

maybe you have heard the rumors, the excess consumption and debauchery that happens at those "elite" parties.  the piles of caviar, the beautiful women and their exotic dances, an endless stream of beverages and food...  OK the truth is, there was no caviar and the lines for the free drinks and food were not short. 

people arrive on time (all at once) when free drinks and food are involved, especially when it is a yelp elite party and everybody has the same thing on their mind, food and drinks.  or I guess the proper order would be drinks then food.  the good people from graham's texas tea helped abate the heat and line frustration by distributing drinks to those already in line and streamlining the process.

crispin hard cider

crispin hard cider also provided the means to beat the heat.  no shortage of pretty yelp girls.

phara's provided the venue and food.

belly dancing at phara's

janet mahalia provided the entertainment while jonathan garza snapped a few pics.

belly dancing at phara's

janet mahalia


July 12, 2010

thinking inside the box (la boite)

 la boite'

just returned from a nice snack at the box, or la boite if you like saying the box in french.  designed by austin modhouse architect mark meyer.  coffees, pastries served from a repurposed ISO shipping container. 

mr grumpy

#1 son was extremely grumpy.  probably low blood sugar.

delicious macaroons at la boite

take note of the ones that look like ice cream sandwiches, more on those in a minute.

french sandwich girl

food and lavender lemonade did improve their dispositions.  the sandwiches were really good!  I also enjoyed an iced latte.  you can just barely make out mark's head behind the daughter.  also ran into another friend who just happened to be stopping by for a coffee, good times and good people.

yelp report in the works

using the Yelp form I'd made for them to organize their opinions and facts.

fingers in the fan

kids love fans.  went back to the counter and got a round of sweets.  I don't eat a lot of sugary items but the macaroons...  they are something special indeed!

stop the presses, these here macaroons at la boite have it goin' on!

after I had one taste, everything came to a halt.  this was one of the best things I've eaten in a good while!  and I eat some good food too.

supremely satisfied

there is something magical about the perfect combination of gooey and crunch, chocolate and pistachio or the caramel....  both are worth making a special stop any time you find yourself in the 78704 (south austin)

no more mr. grumpy

his bad mood was no match for a taste of that macaroon.

return of zoysia

all the rain has resurrected our zoysia

kay-so the kitty

bmw 2002tii fjord blue 1973

I have been pulling my hair finishing a few upgrades on the 73 2002tii, new carpet, new front seats and installed bilstein HD rear shocks.  driving and looking better than it ever has.  took it to terry sayther to sort the last few minor mechanical issues and to get that a/c blowing cold.

I had no paying photo gigs this past week.  so I made the kids step into the light.

girl guitar, daisy rock

she was in the middle of guitar practice.

fan boy

he LOVES the beauty dish light. 

portrait, west lake-austin

me enjoying a flight of malbec at the grove

we don't visit the grove enough.  this neighborhood wine bar and restaurant has really matured and honed their skills.  evolved into that comfortable neighborhood option we'd always been looking for.  great food and very affordable flights of wine.  I was enjoying the malbec flight before a trip to see The Black and White Years at One World Theatre. 

my grandmother always said "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".  so I have elected to not go into detail of the live music show up the street from us here on the westbank.  will not mention "douchebaginess" and will say that the black and white years did play well. 


July 05, 2010

some moles get whacked at the tropical storm-less pizza buffet

 for her birthday, since we did not go to south padre island (hurricane alex), she chose gatti-town.  she wanted the pizza buffet, especially the dessert pizza, and to whack some moles.

whacking the red mole

somebody had told them you get more points when you whack the red mole.  not sure I buy that one.

mole whacking prize

mole whacking award.

all play and no hurricane alex

since we avoided the hurricane, we hosted some hooligans from shreveport for the holiday weekend.

happy at paggi

met up with a few friends for saturday happy hour at paggi house

daniel johnston frog girl

love the daniel johnston shirt, keeping the local flavor alive.

kids at paggi house

about an hour before our scheduled meet up at paggi house, she accidentally cut her foot.  a quick trip to the emergency room and several stitches later, she still wanted to go, the show must go on.  I had to carry her but she never complained once.  the dr had asked her to put her pain at level 1-10, she had trouble answering and after some coaching she agreed to level two or three.  we realized she is quite fortunate to have no idea what levels 5-10 would be like.

drink timer

somebody was very intrigued by the list of specialty cocktails offered at half price during happy hour.  7 PM concludes happy hour, he applied his timer to his thirst and curiosity.  started at the top of the list and ordered a new one every fifteen minutes in an attempt to maximize the sampling.

french 75

pinkie out drink (french 75)

pinkie out for the french 75

broken glass

a small sacrifice was made.

for the fourth of july we spent some time under the bridge under red bud trail, on the island.

shreveport hooligans

red bud island bridge (under)

we carried her down.  she didn't want to miss out on the red bud island twinkies and ding-dong free for all.

cold water in lady bird johnson lake

cold water!

fetch at red bud island dog park

we played fetch with this friendly doggie.

keeping the foot up and dry.

poem on a dog biscuit

"I wrote a poem on a dog biscuit, and your dog refused to look at it"

fourth of july