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October 25, 2010

work hard, play hard (eat good)



I finally got the rest of the siding up on the bathroom.  next move is the tool closet that goes on the back side.  it will be less of a construction zone once we get the tools and supplies out of the cabins.

concrete pour day 3 of 3: 

22 80lb bags of quickrete

usually, I haul the 80 lb bags while the wife mixes. then I pour and we repeat.  pour day seems to inspire moans and groans from the wife and kids, so I took the final pour myself.  broke it up into two days.  hauled the bags through the woods one day, mixed and poured the next.

done!  it feels good to have it complete.  that was 4,160 lb of quickrete hauled in on my shoulder.  but now we have a finished floor in the screened in room.  just in time for mild temps that make cabin life tolerable.

 wimberley off grid supervisor

eichler supervised on mix/pour day.  she was such a good girl.

 behind the scenes cyclist shoot

after years of dieting, my dad fell in love with his cycle.  now he has to eat more to offset the weight loss from excercise, proving once again it's less about what you eat and more of what you do.  he recently rode 65 miles for his 65th b-day.  had a photo shoot while he was in town.  above is BTS (behind the scenes) .  final portraits can be seen on my photo site:


All that work was offset by just a bit of play....

some friends hosted a party to celebrate the completion of their green home


if you look beyond the pretty girl, downtown view!

walking the plank

you know I don't like heights...  this cantilever walk out was way up there.  not very relaxing for me. 

odd duck farm to market chefs

took dad to the odd duck farm to market trailer.  the odd duck chefs hard at work.  it was a 45 minute wait for trailer food.

but gourdough's stole the hearts of the people.

devouring the gourdoughs desert

some 2007 bonny doon bien nacido syrah helped wash it all down.

leaning pear gumbo

some of the best gumbo I ever had was found at the leaning pear in wimberley.

wimberley pie company

dad was issuing a his list of favorite pie houses across the country and we just happened to be driving by the WPC so....  I'd never stopped as I'm not really into pies, so I thought.

he was so delighted to find the elusive rhubarb-strawberry pie he had been lamenting.  some place in w. des moines (poppin fresh pies) had left a mark in his memory with their rhubarb-sb pie.

strawberry rhubarb pie from WPC

he couldn't wait to dig in.  it was good, no, it was REALLY GOOD!  so good in fact, that I was dispatched by the wife just a few days later to try and get another.  on the 2nd visit they were sold out of the rhubarb-SB so we tried two other pies, good, but not as good as the rhubarb-strawberry.

sandi salad from la condesa

we have found ourselves with a batch of groupon/living social deals that are set to expire this week.  requesting assistance from my mom to watch the kids, we have a schedule of good eats this week.  last nights offering was from la condesa.  the salad above featured watermelon, feta, fresh basil and chili slices, toasted pumpkin seeds and white balsamic/agave syrup vinaigrette.  GOOD!  also notable was the three day mole' with duck breast and duck leg confit.  it is very dark in there, kat used her iphone as the light source while I captured pics w/ my iphone (no flash)

la condesa three day mole duck confit


October 18, 2010

no pencil pushing callus on these fingers

my father used to show me his finger and say "see this callus, that's from pushing a pencil all day!  it's the only callus on these hands!"  it made no sense to me.  I thought he was complaining about all that pencil pushing.  I think his point was something about getting a good education or you will end up with a laborious job.  turns out I like physical labor and I hate sitting behind a desk all day; pushing pencils or clicking keys.  I once worked the same 9-5/m-f desk job for two years and that was enough for me. 

heavy stuff

we did concrete pour two of three, bought 17 bags and had 4 to spare.  the screen room is really starting to feel like another room and not so much part of the outdoors.  I really need to get crackin' on the doors so we can lock the joint up when we leave.

 I'm happiest after a day of real work, not that fake work people do at the gym.  I never really got the concept of paying $ to go work off excess energy.  indicates the inefficiency of america where people eat so much they pay good money to go work at something that accomplishes nothing except relieving themselves of that excess energy.  if only they would turn those calories into electricity, think of the power we could harness. 

 hard work deserves reward....

beer line up

we went to fion wine pub in steiner ranch.  steiner ranch is like a giant planned community set amongst the hills.  everything sort of fits and looks the same.  not the austin I am familiar with.  reminds me of orange county ca and the weeds theme song.  fion has this clever beer flight for $5 during happy hour.  pick four beers from their 40+ drafts.


the blanche was our favorite.  the food was also delicious.

other than that, not much going on around here this week.

nothing to see here, move along....

keep it like a secret

my dad is in town and is downstairs right now.  he no longer pushes a pencil, brought his laptop and iphone.  I need to help get him on our wifi.

October 11, 2010

I made my peace with the eagles, acl 2010

 we had bought our 2010 acl tickets early, before they had announced the bands playing.  I was all set to sell them like we did last year.  but my wife...  once she heard the eagles were playing, "#$*% NO! I AM GOING! TO! SEE! THE EAGLES!, we are NOT selling those tickets!"  if she had a song, it would be Hotel California.  she knew how to sing that song before she even spoke any english.  She likes to speak of her days back in Taiwan, she was the singer for a band "thousands of people came to see us play".  That band is where she learned to play drums, guitar and heard Hotel California.  I saw there was no middle of the road here.  we were going to see the eagles.

I remember that I did once buy an eagles album, back when I was in the 7th grade and joined the columbia records club, I got eight tracks.  I recall the eagles, cheap trick and the first album by the cars were the selections that actually got some play.  but eventually I grew to have less interest in the eagles, I was OK with Joe Walsh though... we saw him on late night with david letterman a few years back, I tried to explain to kat who he was, but it didn't seem to interest her.  afterall, he wasn't the eagles...  to me he was the coolest eagle.

bike to acl

one of the biggest hassles about acl is the to/from.  we worked it out this year.  some friends (thanks bill and joy) allowed us to get a bit closer to zilker park by parking our truck in their driveway.  from there we rode bikes.  only once did I forget the bike lock back at home and had to ride up the hill, load the bike, drive home and start over.  roundtrip was less than 30 mins.

acl bike parking

a few other people rode bikes as well.

 kings go forth acl 2010

we stayed for the first half of the Kings Go Forth show.  some good groove.

2000% crop of black keys

this pic of the black keys was taken from a few miles back and about 50k people between us and the stage (distance might be a slight exaggeration).  acl was PACKED with people this year and they all wanted to see the black keys.  we left this show early but it was not an easy exit.  solid walls of people were everywhere.

M.O.F. monsters of folk at acl 2010

the highlight of saturday was the monsters of folk, played for nearly two hrs.

smuggled limes at acl 2010 and lonseome dove beef

the food at acl is not your typical festival/carnival food.  on saturday we got our dinner from the lonesome dove bistro.  at $8 their tenderloin and wild mushroom skewer is a bargain.  with the quality of that meat and portion, I don't see how they can make ends meet.  their truffle mac and cheese was also good.  the fish sandwich from bess was good too.

flaming lips fans are sort of fanatical about the live shows...

wayne in the gerbil ball acl 2010

lips frontman wayne did a brief tour in his space bubble after urging us to not push each other and love one another.  a girl standing near to me explained "when the lips sing yoshimi, it makes me want to hump on everything and anything".  I'm not sure that was what he was talking about, or maybe it was....

flaming lips, wayne on a bear

ahhh, the old bear ride trick.  this was shortly after the band was "born" on stage... emerging from a tunnel of light that had come from the image of a naked dancing girl on the giant LED screen.  not a boring moment at a lips show.

dude overheated

standing for hours, in extremely cramped conditions, in the sun...  this dude wilted and dropped to the ground.  strangers jumped in and offered cold water and after a good sit, he was good as new.... well, maybe not new but he looked as good as he did before he did his weeble/wobble bit.

kat recycling at acl 2010

kat filled three bags with cans and other recyclable materials that people discard on the ground. 

silversun pickups acl 2010

silversun pickups were good


this was from the M.O.F. soundboard, there was soundbleed from other stages.  notice that it is solid people from one stage to the other.  there were two other shows going on during the M.O.F. show

crowded at acl 2010

getting from point A to B was not easy, a constant duck and weave through the crowds of people going every which direction.

kat's recycling reward

kat's reward for her recycling effort.

and in the end, I'll admitt the eagles sounded good and they pulled it off like true professionals.  I was glad we got three days of acl with only a few gripes or complications.  Joe Walsh is still my favorite eagle and kat now recognizes him as an eagle and an individual.


in the end, kat was VERY HAPPY and it was worth all the effort, probably the best acl yet.

October 08, 2010

austin city limits, longest running music tv show

what a great way to start austin city limits music festival weekend, a live taping at the acl television studio with the sonic youth.  acl first aired from studio 6a back in 1976, and next month they will vacate that space to fancier digs downtown austin, change is hard.  we were glad to be able to attend one the last shows from historic studio 6a on the UT campus.

sonic youth at studio 6a austin city limits

sonic youth!  they opened with schizophrenia, from their 1987 release sister. 

kim gordon playing guitar with a file

kim gordon applying a file to her guitar strings

thurston moore

so good to see that 50+ yo thurston moore can still rock and kim gordon can still work the mini skirt too.  I was slightly disappointed they did not play anything off their goo album.  I can so clearly remember the afternoon when I first heard goo.  my brit friend darren, powlcat and I were finishing a pitcher of Bass Ale at DC space (e street washington dc) and the bartender was playing something that caught my attention, she explained that the new sonic youth cd was awesome and I did agree.  ah 1990....

before the show...  I had spent nearly three hours in line to get those tickets, I was well thirsted and hungry.  kat walked from work and met me at crave for sushi happy hour (their thai food is better than their sushi but the $2.75 kirin ichiban make up for any shortcomings)

crave sushi happy hour on the ut drag

met some friends at the hole in the wall.

hole in the wall, ut drag

the wife and I

earlier in the week, after I was gone all day on a wild goose chase, we regrouped at the grove and I'm gonna say that their cheese plate gives paggi house a run for the $, except that there is no happy hour at the grove so comparing a $15 cheese tray to a $7 (paggi happy hour price) is not really fair.  but fun to keep trying.

the grove westlake cheese tray

October 04, 2010

garner state park 2010, maiden voyage for 64 overlander "andy"

 electrical repair

just a few days before our scheduled camping trip in our new ('64) airstream, we lost power.  I called in a professional electrician to chase down the short.  although temps were mild enough that we really didn't need a/c, but lights and music are a staple of our camping experience.

we left later than usual, but we didn't think it would be a problem.


racing to the camp before it got completely dark...  but then we arrived to find the parking lot full of people waiting to check in.  we ended up waiting THREE hours before we were assigned a space.  luckily we had the airstream and kat was able to cook up some dinner and put the kids down to sleep there in the parking lot.  when they woke up the next morning we were at our space and all set up. 

andy, the 1964 airstream overlander

we got a great space too, #455 and 457 are close to the frio rio and good for two families camping together.

mountain goat wife

we managed to get one good hike in, kat proved her mountain goat like ability to get up that rugged trail while carrying the baby.

crystal cave, garner

but the highlight to a garner trip is playing in the rio frio.  that is the clearest water I've ever seen, spring fed.

frio rio fun


rio frio ring #455

cantalouparita premix

we found cantaloupe on sale for 49 cents each, juiced a melon and made melon margarita premix.  they were good.  we might have enjoyed a french 75s as well. 


it was a party complete with lights and dancing.

some more fun in the frio before taking off to head home.

rio frio baby

our garmin GPS is set on fastest route.  it seems to take us on some extreme back roads.  I love the variety, but when towing a 3500 lb trailer...  we'd probably get home a lot sooner if we set it for highway travel.  we went up and over and around some extreme grades and canyons.  our ears popped often as we went up and down, the going was slow, lots of 20 mph driving and we only got 12 mpg.

texting while driving, or taking pics while driving

kat took a pic of me taking a pic while driving....  the iphone pic below.

20 mph and 12 mpg