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October 31, 2011

I smell spookiness in the air, pt 1

#1 son wanted to visit a haunted house, I said I'd make it happen.  so we went to the house of torment.  he assured me he could not be frightened. 

house of torment austin ghoul 

this ghoul snuck up behind him in line, he never saw it coming!

austin house of torment monster

he didn't jump squeal or cry.  he said "hello mr monster"

house of torment austin pirate

the haunted house tour was about 30 minutes long.  the obvious creatures jumping out of the darkness and gory scenes.  the only time he seemed remotely scared was when I picked him up to use as a human shield against a spooky monster that attacked us from behind. 


we attended the yelp "open party".  as usual, lots of swag (free promotional stuff) a big food buffet, free Lonestar and free eristoff vodka drinks 

 yelp elite austin zombie thriller party

 elysium yelp party covergirl band 80's

there was a burlesque crew between the 80's music and the evening peaked when they played "thriller" complete with dancers. 

yelp austin thriller open party 2011 halloween

lots of dancing and moving around going on.

yelp austin zombie

late night kimchi burrito at chi'lantro food truck austin

and our favorite way to close an evening of downtown fun, chi'lantro korean chicken burrito with extra spicy kimchi and runny egg.

blanco river barn

mom and I took the two boys down for a little work at our blanco river place down in wimberley.  #2 son wanted to help.

I flipped the door handle and lock so we can now lock the place up from the inside.  I reworked the frame with some scrap wood so it now closes securely.  I had found the door standing open when I arrived. 

blanco paint for the blanco river barn

mom stuck to our intended task, applying some white primer paint. 

but the real treat for making the trip down is....  the blanco river itself.  we took the dogs down so they can have a look at their future playground.

eichler the boxer looks at the blanco river


fall 2011 fischer wimberley texas blanco river

maple tree fall colors on the blanco river fischer wimberley tx

blanco river boy fall wimberley fischer tx

and we had yet another eanes elementary fall fiesta/carnival:

human slot machine eanes carnival fiesta

this was our seventh year attending this event, and I have seven more in my future.  HALF WAY!

volunteer at the eanes elementary carnival fiesta

I volunteered to work a booth this year.  it wasn't bad. 

masked avenger at eanes elementary

photo assistant

#2 son acted as photo assistant while I set up the lighting for some halloween-ish photos

horse-manning austin mod house amh haloween photography

austin horse-manning photography paul schuster

austin horse-manning photography

headless horseman austin

austin father and son fall 2011


#2 son is growing up to be a decent person, the terrible twos are starting to fade, yet persistent.



October 24, 2011

break me off a piece of that rainbow

hcms horwitz orchestra eanes

daughter and the hill country middle school orchestra, directed by rachel horwitz had their first performance of the year.  they sounded great!

afin austin sushi

had a good meal at afin japanese modern tapas joint, great happy hour deal too!

afin japanese tapas pork belly austin

kat loved the pork belly confit, the portion was HUGE.  some of the other "tapas" were hit and miss.  they all looked great.

edible rainbow chunks!

another notable edible this week would be these chunks of rainbow, 100% delicious. 

catherine small bay6 east preview

attended a preview party for EAST (east austin studio tour) with our friends over at Bay6

daughter in the studio of catherine small, really liked her work

EAST austin studio tour preview party at bay6

is Baird pointing at my shoes?  or sebastian's shoes?

twilight trio

music was provided by the Twilight Trio

paul schuster and wife kat

I DID return to pump it up,  this is the first of these parties that #2 son has attended.  I accept that I will be returning to PIU and blazer tag or the zoo for the next six years or so. 

pump it up party

he freaked out a bit, thought I had left.  but he quickly got into the groove and even mastered the big slides.

pump it up austin

 pump it up slide fun 

#1 son was all too happy to tag along.  he fit right in with the preschool crowd.

chocolate cupcake mustached

chocolate cupake mustachio

ice cream sandwish mustache

orchestra fall festival pizza social ended with an ice cream mustachio.

bok choi boy

#1 son took the bok choi boi pic using my camera at the request of #2 son

October 18, 2011

drag racing at 1:64 scale

one great thing about living in austin, if you grow up, it's your own damn fault. 

every once in a while, people get together to race cars, at 1:64 scale.  and maybe enjoy some pub grub and proper beers at the dog and duck pub.

austin diecast drags!

austin diecast drags

vintage van diecast representative

vintage vans were represented by carl

diecast drag race 1:64 austin

starting line, diecast racing austin

carl let kat have access to some of the cars he wasn't racing.  she did some test runs to pick two.  then they entered the grid for competetive runs.


and kat was on a winning streak.  you can see above, she was hooked. 

competetive game face diecast drag racing

dog and duck pub diecast drag austin

you can see the two pics above, and the one below, the competetive stance and intense concentration.

diecast 1:64 vw thing is competetive drag race car

carl ended second overall and kat came in third but everybody had a good time.

 classic 50's rear end styling

of course there were lots of cool 1:1 scale cars as well.  love that classic 50's rear style (above).  you could easily mistake the car below as classic american design from the 50's, it's actually a volvo 122S, and this guy installed air bags in his.  I was highly amused when he pulled up and I saw it drop the ground.  good stuff!

air bagged rat-rod volvo 122s

October 17, 2011

mostly, I lumberjacked... falcon dcw and class party

I spent the week hauling dead wood from the back of the acre, out to the street.  a lot of it is from when the lot was cleared for construction... and there is a lot of it.  the brush pile is now much larger than the excursion.

dead wood pile west lake hills

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK, I sleep all night and I work all day"
I previously mentioned that I'd found a DCW, or a 1964 Ford Falcon Deluxe Club Wagon.  kat regularly notes that she likes window vans, not cargo vans (like my orange van).  and then one day... I was killing time on the internet while I waited for the school bus... and I found a pretty rare window van.  the ford falcon deluxe club wagon has all sorts of unique bits and pieces, like chrome bumpers, side trim and special interior bits.  I ran down to san antonio, negotiated with the seller (via interpreter), made a deal and brought it home. 

ford falcom deluxe club wagon
falcon dcw interior
utility trailer tacos in SA:
and we made a SECOND trip to san antonio to pick up a utility trailer.  now that I have all this dead wood pulled from the back of the property, I need to haul it away.  and if we have to go to san antonio, we might as well have some tacos al pastor....
la gloria's ice house san antonio
I wish I could tell you they were as good as the first time I had them there, but consistency problems seem to plague this place.  some had almost no meat and the tortillas did not taste as fresh...  but we still love la gloria's.  the tamal de dia was fantastic, a chicken mole' tamale!
la gloria's icehouse chips and salsa
tres leches la gloria's ice house 
I encouraged the kids to order a dessert, I let it be known that it would be in exchange for more lumberjacking labor from them.  they enjoyed tres leches and they did work it off.  the two older kids put in three hours of hard work each, hauling sticks from the back of the property to the front.  I was real proud of them. 
full goods pearl brewery san antonio herbfest 
herbfest san antonio
we love that area down there around the old pearl brewery.  they were having a "herb fest" and a farmer's market with a live band.  we walked around and agreed to buy some herb, but then #2 son threw a fit and I had to carry him all the way back to the truck, kicking and screaming.
pearl brewery chandelier
really cool light fixture made from pearl brewry assembly line parts
as a parent of three kids, I have grown weary from all the school functions, emails, and especially Pump-it-up birthday parties.  #2 son is not old enough that I can just drop him off at a pump it up birthday party.  I end up spending the two hours watching kids jump, collide, cry, eat cake/sugar and go jump and collide all over again. 
kat unpacks his backpack, she gave me the bad news, Pump It Up birthday party, saturday.  I'm the parent that takes care of this sort of crap, and I'm a punctual person. I was stressed when I was running late and managed to leave my iphone at home. I really needed that map feature to find that PIU place.  we arrived late to find out the party is NEXT saturday, we never recorded the actual date (ugh).  relieved that I wasn't late and didn't have to spend my next two hours watching the chaos unfold, I went home.  I knew I only had 24 hours till sunday's school function, a class party for #1 son.
but this party was not like the others....  this party was as much for parents as for kids.  they provided pizza for all and wine for the adults while the kids ran and played...
austin pizza 
double chinned wino slob
stags' leap wine
and when somebody noted all the white wine was gone, I jumped in to help.  I dug deep into the ice chest and pulled up a bottle of stags' leap!  HOORAY!  well, I felt such gratitude that when I got home I volunteered to help with the school carnival.  see how good juice can cure grumpiness. 

 travis county landfill
utility trailer in action.  made my first load to the county landfill.  I admit we have a lot of stuff around the property that needs to be hauled off.  I'm going to be making weekly deposits. 
drawing of orange vintage econoline van by ray pena
it's great to have talented friends.  the drawing of my orange 1965 econoline van is by ray pena

October 11, 2011

we needed the rain, climb baldy and then we can adjust the plan...

we knew there was a good chance of rain.  but we went ahead with our regular october trip to garner. 

craft time in the airstream overlander

the interior space of the airstream is very useful when the weather outside is not so great.  the kids had some halloween craft fun.

I had plans to climb mount baldy, I was not afraid of getting wet.  I stopped at the visitor center to get a trail map, they asked what I was planing to hike.  they tried to talk me out of my hike, went on about slippery rocks and steep this and danger that and danger....  blah blah blah. 

kat had recently noted that our place on the blanco river is just as nice as where we often soak in the rio frio, we may not go to garner 2x a year now that we have a closer blanco option.  I figured this may be my last chance to climb her (baldy that is).

climbing mount baldy garner

mount baldy hike garner

yep, that is a sheer drop behind the wife.  it made my knees knock being that close to the edge.  I don't like heights but I still wanted to get to the top.

climbing baldy makes my knees wobbley

tip top of mt baldy garner state park

we made it!

top of mount baldy garner

panoramic from top of mount baldy

(big it)  we stopped for a break and enjoy the view.  the wind was strong there near the edge of top.

rio frio from mount baldy

texas hill country

baldy garner

from rio frio looking up at mount baldy.  we made it down without breaking an ankle.

after lunch, we walked down the the river (rio frio)

clear water of the rio frio

the water was clear, and cold.  but the wind and cooler temps had us back at the camp in a short time.

river baby

river baby LOVES the river.  he would've stayed all day if we let him.

rio frio

msw motorspeed west santa clara

puppy portrait

(big it up for the puppy)

LP camp fire marshmallow roast

the burn ban does allow LP fueled fires, kids appreciated that. 

bluray movie in the airstream overlander

adults played under the zipdee while kids watched bluray movies inside the airstream.

 right around 9 PM, the sky opened up and it DUMPED water on everything.  I felt bad for the tent campers.  we were warm and dry inside the airstream.  the weather had no real chance of improving.  we went home a day early.  once we got home, we found a notice from the city.  they had found Hsin-Hsin's wall and wanted it gone, we had ten days from when the letter was mailed.  if not removed we would face a $2k fine PER DAY. 

so we spent the last day of the vacation hauling stick from the back of the lot, to the street. 

west lake hills dead wood removal

#1 son protested and cried "this was supposed to be a FUN day!"  but when the city sends out a letter like that, fun and games come to a screeching halt. 

same engine in the old van 1965 vintage econoline van

the 1965 econoline van spent four months at the mechanic, I had a nice replacement engine and transmission for them to install.  they finally admitted that they were not going to get around to the job... I asked if they could at least rebuild the carb and tune-up the engine in there, they never did that either.  I drove it back home in the same condition I took it to them. 

October 03, 2011

fall has arrived, I dropped the top e30 style

perfect fall weather austin e30 convertible top down

the PERFECT weather that we usually enjoy fall and spring (and sometimes winter) has returned to austin.  I dropped the top on the e30 and it was big fun.

austin mod house wide angle from e30 bmw

the e30 has proven itself to be one of the more reliable and efficient members of the stable. 

had a few friends over for some wine and cheese. 

blanco river wimberley fall 2011

(big it!)

we made it back to wimberley to enjoy our private blanco river access.  kat was able to join us this week.  it was nice!

 hill country middle school student burdened with homework

the daughter didn't get full enjoyment, "I can't really relax when I know I still have so much homework to do". 

blanco river surprise

kat surprised me as I rearranged a few rocks.

blanco river fall color wimberley cypress and maple trees

(more of the bigging it up)

there are a few maple trees starting to show fall colors, the cypress trees are starting to turn golden.  we also found some palmetto growing along the river.

boy with finger in nose

he thought he was funny, shoving his finger in his nose when I tried to take his pic....  yes , I will save this and show it to him when he is 21 (as my dad will surely suggest).

gorgonzola proscuitto honey pizza 

we had a japanese beer tasting, kirin ichiban reserve against sapporo reserve.  both winners!  and I made a pizza that turned out great.  gorgonzoloa, asiago, proscioutto with oven roasted garlic and onion, rosemary and drizzled with honey. 

balcones park austin drought

explored balcones city park, normally a waterfall comes down over all those rocks...  drought!

red barn cabin wimberley

started cleaning out kat's barn.  need to get a trailer to start making a weekly dump run.

falcon dcw van econoline

I found a falcon deluxe club wagon (econoline window van)