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January 31, 2011

just another bertil fridhagen resurrection


 bertil fridhagen rib chair 1962

we had reupholstered our dining room chairs about 4 years ago.  we used fabric. 

Bodafors furniture made in sweden

the chairs were designed by Bertil Fridhagen 

manufactured in Sweden (1962) by Bodafors

mcm upholstery

the fabric upholstery has lost the battle against kids and their spills.  it looked as old as the chairs.

original sweedish plywood!

the original Swedish plywood tells the tale of staple holes from past reupholster jobs.  this time I used my pneumatic stapler.


the bright white vinyl will wipe clean the next time orange juice is spilled.  at $3 a yard it was also a good fit with the budget.

and for the lady guests of AMH...

schlage commercial lock

we now have a locking bathroom door!  although the locking door is offset by the lack of toilet.  hoping it will be back for the weekend.

I was in a movie:

black august the movie

about six years ago I rented my 1967 ford econoline van out to a movie production co.  they also offered me a small non-speaking part in the movie.  I was a cop.  I was surprised the movie was released on DVD.  last I heard, they had run out of $ and owed a bunch of people.  I did have to go reclaim my van when they never sent the second rental payment.  months later I started getting notices from the city of SF regarding unpaid parking tickets they had acquired in my van.  I did have a rental agreement to get out of the parking tickets.  thanks to the magic of netflix, I was able to see the movie. 

look out, I'm a cop with a gun!!

yet another trip to Rio's on the east side:

multi-tasking gamer

I noticed she was working TWO electronic devices at once!  the daughter was enjoying the free wi-fi to watch youtube tutorials on her itouch/phone for the game she was playing on the Ninetndo.

chacaca pour

I'd observed the servers there mixing and shaking the caipirinhas enough I figured it was time I took control.  mixed and shook them myself.  I don't need no stinkin' shake weight.  Rio's provides the set-ups, pour a healthy bit of chacaca and insert your own stylin' shake moves.

close to the heart shake

close to the heart shake

over the shoulder shake

over the shoulder shake... and enjoy!


they also gave us some live oak hefewizen

empanada smile

she LOVED the sweet potato and mascarpone empanadas.  we had two orders.

more hello foot

this week: cheap sink faucet replacement

you get what you pay for

I bought these faucets off ebay for about $20 each.  they have not held up well and I'm about to put my plumbing hat on and swap them out.  this will be the third set of faucets in the master bath.  the sinks also took us three tries before we got it right.

January 24, 2011

check out my 9" third member

I just got back from a scrap yard run to san antonio.  picked up a 9" rear axle for the van.  I'm planning to install a motor with MUCH more HP and torque that the current 170 offers and I need a strong rear end that won't buckle under the load.

early ford econoline 9" rearend

the ford 9 inch rear end (9" third member as it's often called) is usually the top choice for hot rodders for all makes of muscle cars.  that is about the most exciting thing that happened this past week... and really since it happened today....  last week was a complete snoozer.

 how/why?  it seems I've given up on telling people what to do over here.  we can talk about and agree to rules, but when it comes to actually following them...  and if I assume the role of enforcer then mutiny starts to stir.  so a ship w/o a captain does a lot of drifting.  people stay in bed much of the day and there hasn't been any musical practicing in weeks (although the instructor still comes and is curious as to why there has been no improvement).  spelling lists from school go unstudied.  nobody plans any fun family activities or outings.  it is cold outside so I don't get to work on my projects.  I end up watching #1 son play video games, watching the clock... waiting, for?... spring?  maybe that will see a change in the pace of life.  maybe we are hibernating.

to complicate things even more, we quit meat for a while and also mid week wine/beer etc.  the byproduct of this is, less fancy food meals.  for me, food and wine are partners.  if we have a really nice meal lined up, we select a nice wine pairing.  so, I prepare less exciting meals and we easily skip the wine.

ok, now that I've bored myself to tears and if you can still bear to read along with all this moping, we did happen to find something interesting in bee cave.  we'd ran to use a gift card at lowe's when my bathroom sink drain broke.  it was cold, dreary and after noon so we stopped at the new maudie's tex-mex.  now the food there is quite predictable and good, but I loved the interior and general design of the place.  maudie's bee cave colors and shapes were so fun and whimsical that it was not easy to maintain the sulking and boredom.  mexican martinis helped too (it was the weekend!)

maudie's tex-mex bee cave

there you have it

gaming 10+ hrs a day

my two wallets keep my spine aligned

two working wallets maintain my spine balance.

bee cave hill country view

nice hill country view from their patio.

I escorted #1 son to a birthday party at one of those indoor gym places.  he worked a weeks worth of calories off in 90 minutes.

frick and frack

 happy birthday

summit lake '06 napa zinfandel

we enjoyed some summit lake 2006 napa zinfandel.  our friend matt volunteers there to be near his favorite things.  he even got to sleep in a tent next to the fermentation tanks.

the ergonomics project:

#1 son needed a project for school.  the ONLY thing he can use his brain for is video games so we did a study of how ergonomics can help improve game scores.  four subjects played GT5 using the same car and track and four varying situations of discomfort or sensible arrangements.  he recorded the best lap times for each situation.

gran turismo 5 ergonomics test, discomfort

driving laying down and sideways.

eames ergonomics in gt5

the fastest lap times were achieved using the eames LCW and the steering wheel strapped down so it doesn't move all over the place upon hard cornering.

#1 son made a video to explain his findings...


and one last look at my nine inch rear end.

my nine inch third member

January 17, 2011

knee deep in koi crap

marin beach cruiser

put kat's old bike on craigslist and the old mini mac on ebay.  out with the old now that we've brought in the new.

knee deep in koi turds

the drain pipe for the upper koi pond is clogged.  I tried using the air compressor to clear it up, and managed to make a fish turd explosion.  very likely that spring will have me replumbing all this and recoating the ponds as the lower one requires constant refills (must have a leak)

 so we had some sushi from imperia...

sushi at imperia

more sushi

then we met some friends at the W living room lounge for a birthday celebration.

kat at the W austin

birthday girl

birthday girl (above)


the secret bar area is RED as RED can be

birthday party at the W living room lounge

January 09, 2011

tiger shark nostalgia

twenty some years worth of crap

the black thing on the left is my current wallet.  I bought it for $5 from limited express for men more than twenty years ago in dallas.  I used my employee discount on top of a severely discounted price.  the exterior is made from tiger shark hide, that stuff is tough.  the inside cow leather has failed to control the ever increasing amount of plastic, paper and cardboard I store in there. 

the black thing on the right is also a tiger shark hide and was purchased by a friend using the his employee discount 20+ years ago.  he quit using his in the late 80's and just donated it to me when he saw I was still using mine in a state of semi-failure. 

I've removed more than twenty years of misc memorabilia from the old wallet.  the collection included laundry tickets from tulum mexico, a wad of money from the czech republic along with the address for the room I've twice rented in prauge (praha), the classified ad for the space I rented when I lived in germantown philadelphia, a ticket to a "show" at the moulin rouge in amsterdam, a small pearl I found in an oyster I was eating, an old address for a friend who had washed the dishes at the hooters I worked in ( he now lives in santa barbara and runs a really cool gearhead web site) 

maybe I will fill one with nostalgia and the other with driver's lic and atm cards, balance out the spine and all.


rio's caipirinha shaker of east austin

had some brazilian food at rio's and this happy guy hand shook our capirihanas

it was free week down on red river so we took the daughter to an all ages show at the mohawk.



January 03, 2011

luck and prosperity for 2011

 how about some serene images to reflect on the past year...

koi pond austin west lake hills

the colorful koi schooling around their fountain

 a lone winter persimon

kat's last persimon clings to a leafless tree branch as winter chill grips the air


ok, enough of the peace and serenity crap...  that year is gone and we have more stuff to do in 2011.  first, some more eating around town pics.

the word on the street is that jack allen's kitchen (previously the Y bar in oak hill) has one of the best happy hour deals in town.  we had to check it out.

jack allen's kitchen happy hour

all the appetizers are half price for happy hour, seven days a week.  fed the whole family for around $13 of food.  the artichoke and blue crab gratin was good.

peppertini cocktail jack allen's

$1 off cocktails, the peppertini was good, mexican martini too.

jack allen's red fries

the real prize was their red chili fries with lime juice and garlic aioli.  this is not diet food.

bee caves rd fireworks stand new years eve 2010-11

we usually go to first night austin for new years eve, but it was cancelled this year.  so we decided we'd stay home and do the firework bit.

french 75 rocket fuel

traditionally we don't do the NY'rs eve champagne drinkfest.  but those international champagne cocktails get me all fired up!  we fueled ourselves up with french 75s, and I played with the recipe to create french 77 and french 82.5 and a few others. 

homemade gyoza!

hand made gyoza too!

crab feast

we had a crab feast.

sparkler fun

kids enjoyed the sparklers.

fireworks west lake hills austin tx

fountain fireworks for jumping evel knievil style

we had several fountains.  your humble french 75-82.5 fueled jack-ass photographer/narrator leaped OVER the flaming fountain.  the next day #1 son said "it was the coolest thing I ever saw when you jumped that fountain!".  makes my heart melt...

new years day black eye peas

I was not 100% the next morning, kat must not have gotten as international as I did, she was 100%, sharp and well rested.  

I went ahead with the traditional black eyed peas and cabbage (peas are prosperity/luck and cabbage represents money).  they were yummy!  my dad had brought us the sausage from West, Tx.  czech community.  

new years day traditional cabbage

then we loaded up the truck and went to wimberley,

texas hills that is.... swimmin' holes and music stars

off-grid dog blanket

had to take the dogs as their invisible fence is STILL not fixed.  invisible fence doesn't want to stand behind their product and their concern for our dogs safety seems to have withered since the salesperson closed the deal. 

(UPDATE 1-9-11 after taking the collars into invisible fence and later the controller for a circuit board replacment, it still didn't work.  we broke down and agreed to pay the $90 fee to have them come check out the system.  they discovered their installer had incorrectly spliced a wire when we paid them to install it three years ago.  there was no charge for the repair)

breakfast camp fire at the off grid cabin

breakfast fire

oak tree bike rack wimberley

kat is loving her bike.  she has never really taken to cycling but now she can't seem to get enough.  wimberley is great for riding.  the steep hills and narrow twisty roads around austinmodhouse are a bit dangerous to go far.

zombie baby will eat your brains

zombie baby!