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March 30, 2012

texas wildflowers in the spring, blanco/wimberley/fischer

texas hill country wildflowers wimberley 2012

walking to the blanco river

texas wildflowers 2012 wimberley fischer tx

our private blanco river water park

clear texas blanco river water

blanco river flowing 2012


swimming in the blanco river 2012

blanco river spring 2012 fischer texas tx

blanco river water flow

blanco river rock

blanco river rapids barn


March 29, 2012

an off-grid wimberley cabin story.... the end

we had the idea to buy some land near wimberley several years back.  while hiking around some land for sale, we found this GIANT oak tree.  it was in sad shape, cedar trees were choking it.  we bought the land, saved the tree.

hundred year old oak wimberley  

I started near the tree and slaughtered cedars, also cut a driveway... it was a lot of work with the chainsaw.  we needed a safe place for the kids to play while we played lumberjack. 

giant historic oak tree wimberley texas

I drew up the little screen room below using sketchup. 

screen room cabin plan

(scan of old print) kat approved and I got to work...

wimberley cabin plan sketchup

and at some point, we decided to make solid walls instead of screen...

wimberley off grid cabin hand sketch

one was built and it was good, so we decided that if one was good, two would be better.  kat made the drawing above.  but after we got the pier and beam foundation we decided to make the second cabin longer (no porch).  and then we built a bathroom with composting toilet...and attached a tool shed...  everything worked according to plan, but it was a case of cabin sprawl.  it wasn't a cohesive design.  that, and the lot next door now hosted a mcmansion complete with pool.  and, swimming pool often hosted pool parties with loud thumping dance music...  it was no longer the peaceful country retreat we sought.  in fact, the wimberley city limit had moved and we were now inside city limits.  so we moved out. 

cabin move out day

pics from our last night at the wimberley off grid cabins. 

last night at the off grid cabin wimberley

wimberley off grid cabin at dusk

rewarded ourselves with a trip to the leaning pear. 

leaning pear with bonny doon cigare volant 2007

leaning pear weekend special march 2012

the saturday night special is always good.  an over zealous plate clearer took kat's meal before she was done.  she had taken #2 son to the bathroom and returned to a plateless setting... 

leaning pear wimberley country fried mandera county quail

bandera county quail, chicken fried!

daughter enjoying chicken pot-pie leaning pear wimberley

daughter loved the chicken pot pie and it's puff pastry hat. 

sweets at leaning pear wimberley texas hill country

the best part of the meal came last!  kat said that was the best cheese cake she ever had and I sure loved the spicy ancho chocolate terrine. 

learning to sew middle school teen skills

daughter is enjoying her "teen skills" class at school.  making a bag for her iphone or nintendo 3ds

the stars at night wimberley texas march 2012

the stars are SO bright out there.  we laid on the porch and stared up for a while, for the last time.  we'd seen flyers for a "barn party" that night and we could hear the live band till nearly midnight.  the band sounded good, but just secured our decision to move out to our other wimberley property, that is really out in the country. 

wimberley donut with sprinkles

kids enjoyed sprinkle donuts from wimberley donut company.  the asian family that runs the donut shack took a keen interest in my family. 

we've had to spend a great deal of time on paperwork, contracts and such.  I often say "I didn't marry an attorney so I can read fine print".  we have a routine, she reads, makes notes, scratches out lines etc.  I make my own notes and patiently wait till she says "sign here and initial here..."  example of my contract notes below.

contract doodles paul schuster


wimberley monarch butterfly on texas wildflowers

cabins are sold and we've moved on and out of town. 

my yellow bike, ARW 11 plates, and the iguanas

#2 son had a birthday.  while shopping for a bike for #1 son, #2 son fell in love with a yellow bike.  talked about it non-stop.  so of course we got him the bike for his birthday. 

yellow bike figure 8 tire rack track


birthday brownie at pluckers

birthday candle blow pluckers austin


pluckers brownie austin

AUSTIN RESTAURANT WEEK: eleven plates wine bar

eleven plates wine bar westlake austin

ok, so I'm a cheap bastard and I planned accordingly.  we made reservations for JUST after happy hour, and we showed up a few minutes early (before happy hour ended).  bottles of wine are $11 off for happy hour and there is a full HH menu of $5 cocktails and apps (bargain!!).  the klinker brick zin was a delicious wine that was easy on the budget. 

view from davenport village eleven plates austin westlake wine bar

beautiful hill country and 360 bridge view from their balcony deck.

grilled asparagus salad eleven plates wine westlake austin

salads were huge and really good.

72 hour short rib eleven plates and wine austin

72 hour short rib was enjoyed by the wife

roasted arctic char eleven plates wine austin westlake

I loved the roasted arctic char.

elevel plates and wine westlake austin

some leftover sxsw 2012 pics I found on the other camera...

the iguanas sxsw 2012 austin

I recall when the daughter was 10 days old or so, we took her to see the iguanas.  but she doesn't remember.... so we caught a refresher course.

the iguanas sxsw 2012 sxsj

the iguanas at sxsj (south by san jose),  but what the kids really needed was food.  so we went to Mrs P's Electric Cock...

mrs P's electric cock

the chicken sliders were good, real good.  but the wait was way too long and they were out of many things on the menu (no waffles, no mac-n-cheese). 

dan mangan 2012 sxsw austin

returned to the san jose parking lot stage and caught a nice set from dan mangan.

happy dancing hippy lady sxsw dan mangan 2012 austin


March 26, 2012

spring on the blanco and coldplay at 255 BPM

too busy to post pics. moving out of cabins and into blanco river barn this week. took a moment to enjoy spring on the river (above). #1 son demonstrated how he can play clocks by coldplay at 255 beats per minute; fastest setting on his metronome (below)

March 19, 2012

Blade Studios bus tour and local private studio school trip

blade studios mobile recording tour bus sxsw 2012

our friends from Blade Studios came back with their big tour bus/mobile recording studio.  while here for sxsw 2012 they recorded sessions from citizen cope, suzanna choffel, holly winter, honky, lance lopez, josh bell, little children...

kat on guitar blade studios sxsw 2012

we found an assistant on the bus when we arrived.  we were informed brady was gone, we had sent message that we'd be stopping by so we decided to wait.  then zach (assistant) had to run and we were left on the bus.  we had two hours before our next appointment so we killed time playing with a guitar laying on the sofa.  I even sang a song, "BRAAY-DEE!  where are you BRAAY-DEE" (played to the tune of galaxie 500: tugboat).  then scott rushed on the bus (to see who he'd heard was left in charge).  scott said "brady IS on the bus!"  we were confused.  scott then pulled back a curtain to reveal a sound asleep brady blade.  he'd just come back from europe, playing with melissa ethridge, he hadn't heard a word of my awful falsetto singing.  we were a bit embarrassed all the same. 

scott crompton blade studios mobile recording bus sxsw 2012 austin

scott crompton noodled on his guitar. 

brady blade mobile recording studio sxsw 2012

jet-lagged and all, brady is always quick to issue that big smile of his. 

scott crompton on guitar blade studios sxsw 2012 tour bus mobile recording

andy vandette on bass guitar masterdisk chief engineer

Andy Vandette from Masterdisk on the bass guitar

brady blade and kat schuster mobile recording studio tour bus sxsw 2012

#1 son had some time in a local private studio for a class project:

austin private studio trip eanes elementary ocean show

eanes elementary ocean show recording

mixing board eanes wright's class ocean show studio recording

tarrytown private recording studio

private recording studio austin eanes elementary wright's class ocean show

knobs galore at austin private recording studio eanes wright's class

eanes ocean show recording studio wright's class 2012

laura wright eanes ocean show recording studio 2012


New Build (members of LCD soundsystem + hot chip) at urban outfitters and Midnight Cowboy modelling/cocktail lounge

I will NOT forget ear plugs for sxsw next year.  ears still bleeding from this show. 

NEW BUILD (members from LCD soundsystem and hot chip)

new build sxsw 2012 urban outfitters party lcd soundsystem  

"new build" sxsw 2012 urban outfitters (lcd soundsystem hot chip)

I often say, "if your band's drummer sucks, your band is gonna suck too".  now I can add, if one awesome percussionist is good, three will surely kick ass!" 

 "new build" sxsw lcd soundsystem hot chip 2012 urban outfitters

"new build" sxsw 2012 (lcd soundsystem + hot chip members)

new build sxsw urban outfitters lcd sound system hot chip

"new build" sxsw (lcd soundsystem hot chip) urban outfitters

I love that moment, when the band realizes the show is going well.  the sounds is good, they are playing well together, the crowd is responding and we are all creating a great memory together.  it’s great to see a band that seems to enjoy performing to a live audience. 

New Build sxsw 2012 urban outfitters back lot

then we headed downtown for some drinks and eats.

kat enjoying her vintage top she got from the yelp sxsw party. 

mango margarita at garrido's

had some apps at garrido's then we had reserveations with friends at a new cocktail bar...


alley behind midnight cowboy modelling oriental massage

this place is not easy to find.  they did remove the "Midnight Cowboy MODELLING oriental massage" sign.  the long lived brothel was finally shut down.  and some quick thinkers turned it into an upscale cocktail lounge and kept the same name.  this lounge is by reservation only, and there is no real bar.  just a few booths and a private room.  entry is gained after finding the unmarked door and ringing a buzzer. 

private booth at midnight cowby

we had the private room.

midnight cowboy cocktail 6th street austin

the place is only 11 ft wide.  looks like they only have 8 booths (four on each side) and the one private room.

red light service at midnight cowboy modelling massage austin texas cocktail lounge

we had a curtain for privacy, and a switch that illuminated a red light to indicate when we needed service.

table side cocktail service at midnight cowboy austin

some of the drinks are mixed (performed) table side via this rolling bar cart and mixologist. 

cocktails at midnight cowboy austin 6ths street

the room itself is dark (also very very humid and muggy)

iphone as modelling light at midnight cowboy austin portrait

the oriental massage and girls are gone, but we brought our own oriental models.  we entertained ourself with photography and using an iphone flashlight app as the light source. 

iphone portrait light at midnight cowboy cocktail lounge austin 6th street

it was after ten when we jumped back onto sixth street.  I've never seen it so packed and lively!

sixth street drummer dancer girl sxsw 2012 st pattrick's day austin

best wurst on sixth street sxsw austin 2012

and kat found her best wurst cart. 

best wurst sxsw 6th street austin

and this band set up in the middle of 6th street.  they had a HUGE marimba... laser light show over the street...  it was wild. 

street musicians on sixth street 6th st austin texas sxsw

6th street sixth austin sxsw 2012


March 18, 2012

Urban Outfitters sxsw 2012, best coast, spectrals, choir of young believers, eleanor friederberger, dustin wong,

 safety guy with hero hd cam urban outfitters sxsw 2012 party

we spent three days at the urban outfitters party, we even took the kids.  easy parking, not too crowded, good bands, free stuff and free beer with a great sale on clothes going on...  it was a good time.  I don't recall what this guy was saying, but his HD helmet cam and safety gear made me assume I should toss him over the crowd, but kat talked me out of it.


best coast austin sxsw 2012 urban outfitters

best coast sxsw austin 2012 urban outfitters party


best coast sxsw austin urban outfitters 2012

best coast sxsw austin 2012 urban outfitters

best coast sxsw 2012 austin urban outfitters

best coast guitar pedal array sxsw 2012

drummer best coast sxsw 2012 urban outfitters austin


spectrals sxsw austin 2012 urban outfitters

spectrals sxsw urban outfitters 2012 audience of hipsters


dustin wong sxsw urban outfitters 2012 austin


choirs of young believers sxsw austin urban outfitters 2012

choirs of young believers sxsw 2012

Eleanor Friederberger (of the fiery furnaces)

Eleanor Friederberger

eleanor friederberger sxsw 2012 urban outfitters austin

urban outfitters austin french bulldog pillow

kat found some good stuff from the urban outfitters clearance racks while the kids played. 


amuse-bouche asti austin

gift from the chef

pei mussels at asti austin

mussels were perfect, kat demonstrating correct mussel extraction technique below (using mussel shell)

how to eat mussels at asti austin

linguine with clams at asti austin italian bistro food

they split the linguine with clams for us, it was good.  and I got a tiramisu for my birthday, thanks!

tiramisu birthday cake asti austin


hey marseilles, sxsw yelp backyard blowout 2012 austin texas

we had a LOT of fun at the yelp sxsw party. 

hey marseilles was greatly enjoyed.  we bought some merch from them.. even picked up a 7" vinyl.

hey marseilles sxsw 2012


hey marseilles yelp sxsw austin


yes, cory DID grab a hula hoop and get at it in front of the band.  I laughed!

hey marseilles


hey marseilles


hey marseilles


the big sleep yelp sxsw austin 2012

the big sleep

open bar yelp sxsw 2012 austin

they had vitamins in every possible flavor.  no lines for beverages!  you know we took advantage.

st germain yelp sxsw 2012 backyard blowout

the st germain w/ grapefruit and mint was good!

hair styling at yelp sxsw party 2012

after a few drinks, people thought it'd be fun to get some new hair color (like green)

yelp sxsw party 2012 butterfly bar

we'd been there a few weeks back, we explained that the buttefly wings are available for test drive... and they got passed around and I took pics... 

yelp sxsw party butterfly bar

hi how are you yelp sxsw butterfly bar party 2012 backyard blowout


yelp butterfly bar sxsw party austin 2012 hi how are you shirt daniel johnston

free drinks open bar yelp sxsw enchanted rock vodka

more enchanted vodka cocktails? sure, why not!

hula hooping at yelp sxsw 2012 backyard blowout

get it cory and alicia.

vortex yelp sxsw 2012 vintage clothing pop-up store

hunter.gather.style had a fabulous pop-up store.  they were a bit stressed b/c their credit card machine was iphone based. iphones usually are worthless for sxsw.  can't get a signal.  kat found some good stuff and we made them a "cash offer".  they took us up on the opportunity. 

haddington's austin texas

we went to haddington's after the yelp party. 

after a day at the yelp party, we had more

haddington's austin deviled eggs

the deviled eggs were really good.

venison tartare haddinton's austin

venison tartare

duck meatloaf with cherry bbq sauce and pistachio pesto, haddington's austin tx

the duck meatloaf with cherry bbq sauce and pistachio pesto was REALLY good. 

shaved ham and fig haddington's

shaved ham with fig (I think that was it)

March 13, 2012

sxsw 2012 day two , heartless bastards, motopony, apache relay, big sam's funky nation

gsd&m industry party

GSD&M Industry party SXSW 2012.  it doesn't get much better than this!  friends, open bar pouring the good stuff, free taco dinner and some up and coming bands that gave great performances. 

paul schuster sxsw gsd&m

if your band is planning to come to SXSW, make sure you come ready to give your best.  the other bands surely will.  these guys really issued a top notch effort. 


motopony singer sxsw 2012 gsd&m

motopony sxsw 2012

guitar motopony sxsw 2012

tombourine man motopony sxsw 2012

motopony hillbilly keyboard guitar sxsw 2012

motopony drummer sxsw 2012 gsd&m


2012 sxsw the apache relay singer violin gsd&m


the apache relay sxsw 2012 singer gsd&m


heartless bastards

hearltess bastards sxsw 2012 gsd&m

heartless bastards austin sxsw 2012

HEARTLESS BASTARDS guitar 2012 sxsw gsd&m

heartless bastards girl sxsw 2012

heartless bastards austin sxsw 2012

heartless bastards singer sxsw austin 2012

heartless bastards guitarist pedal board sxsw 2012 austin

we were up against the stage.  I like to watch the personalities within the bands, and how they solve problems.  the bass player for heartless bastards turned to the guitar player, "I'm all out of whiskey".  guitar player smiled, "it's OK.  you can have some of mine"  whiskey problem solved, the show went on. 

heartless bastards austin sxsw 2012 vocals

heartless bastards sxsw gsd&m industry party

heartless bastards austin sxsw 2012

we made many new friends too:

gsd&m industry party 2012 sxsw

iphone photographer sxsw 2012 gsd&m industry party

scratch and sniff GA sticker sxsw 2012

I saw this girl was not wearing much, dancing and appered to be a bit tipsy...  next thing I know she was all over me.  it was like I was the test dummy at a TSA training facility.  she told me the GA sticker was "scratch and sniff".  she said a bunch of other things that I will not relay, to keep it slightly safe for work.  I did mention "ya know, my wife is right there..."  it was about then that my wife had started to take photos of my sticky situation. 

milf cougar sxsw clevage scratch and sniff gsd&m sxsw 2012

then we hit sixth street for some street food. 

funky chicken 6th street austin sxsw 2012

we saw a new street food vendor down on 6th street.  skewers with chicken and white bread, grilled then drizzled with a variety of sauces. 

funky chicken food vendor sxsw austin 2012

happy kat and her funky chicken sxsw 2012 6th street

kat saw them and had to have one.  then,...

funky chicken 6th street is asian chick magnet

an asian girl ran over, very excited.  "where did you get THAT?!"  you like asian chicks?  get a chicken bread skewer kabob thing and they will come running. 

Downtown New Orleans party at Lucky Lounge:


lucky lounge sxsw new orleans business district party

we cleared the guest list but the lucky lounge was PACKED by the time we arrived. 

big sam's funky nation sxsw austin 2012 new orleans brass funk band

no drinks here sticker lucky lounge

big sam's funky nation sxsw 2012 lucky lounge

big sam's funky nation sxsw lucky lounge 2012

I love that the bass player was using his iphone to take pics of the show during the show. 

big sam's funky nation sxsw 2012 lucky lounge

hostess laswanda and big sam

laswanda green sxsw

jump in the picture sxsw 2012 5th street lucky lounge

I love it when random people jump into the background of pics.  I didn't even notice them when I took the photo.  and here their friendly faces are, smiling at me the morning after.  




March 12, 2012

yelp mobile lounge sxsw launch party at violet crown social club

yelp sxsw 2012

sxsw 2012 is happening NOW.  we really enjoyed the yelp mobile lounge launch party.  so much delicious food and beverages and other swag to be had.  if only the rest of sxsw was this easy and great... 

yelp sxsw mobile lounge launch party 2012 violet crown social club

and free food/drinks always mix well with friends

hotel tonight airstream sxsw 2012 

we took a short walk and stumbled upon other free drink parties... enjoyed events from trover and hotel tonight.

seedling truck by roal fig catering

got a snack from our neighbors at royal fig catering and their seedling truck.

east side trailer park eatery sxsw 2012 austin

kat loved the shiitake soup and I really liked the pork belly sliders.  I could probably be a full time vegetarian, if it weren't for bacon/pork belly.... yum.

seedling food truck by royal fig catering austin

notice the stack of free drink tickets and other loot!

sxsw 2012 party double chin dude and hot asian wife

sangri-la sxsw 2012 lone star

went to shangri la and redeemed some free drink tickets.  we still have some left.... it's gonna be a good week. 

GOCHUJANG SO-HOT salmon on the hibachi, in the screen room

so hot gochujahg

we love this stuff.  it's korean fermented hot pepper paste.  I mix it with orange juice and brown sugar, marinate salmon for about an hour and then grill. 

screen room dining and grilling

weather is cool but nice.  ate dinner in the screen room with a nice fire and hibachi going as well.

so hot salmon

kat was so excited.  this is her favorite way to make the salmon.

gochujang salmon grill hibachi

everybody, including kids, got to grill their own salmon.

gochujang salmon grill hibachi

korean so hot pepper paste marinated salmon on the hibachi austin

kids grilling salmon

#2 son also enjoyed the cook yourself hibachi salmon fun.

family hibachi night

they used their iphones as a timer for when it should be flipped.  about a minute per side, four sides.

perfectly grilled salmon medium rare

it comes out so tender and a bit sweet and spicy.

omg so good grilled so-hot salmon

kat kept repeating, "IT'S SO GOOD, OMG, I LOVE IT! IT'S SO GOOD!, OMG....."  we laughed and I asked her (sarastic) "kat, how is it?".  she couldn't help herself from starting it all over again, "OMG, IT'S SO GOOD!, I LOVE IT!, OMG...." 

pastries from the culinary institue of america san antonio CIA

kat and I had made a quick run down (in the pouring rain) to san antonio.  we scored 400+ sq ft of cork flooring for under $200 to use at the wimberley cabin/barn.  while were there, we stopped at the cove and the CIA cafe.  surprised everybody with sweet treats.  they were GOOD.  also a ten year old tawny port was enjoyed by the fire. 

CIA pastries by the fire

he approved!

little cabin in the woods, blanco

little red cabin on the blanco

I've been working on a porch for kat's red barn.  I needed extra hands to get it up, vehicle problems, weather problems and schedule problems...  it finally worked out. 

barn porch build

tried to use the big circ saw but my power inverter is not sufficient.  at least we got it up. 

blanco river low water crossing wimberley fischer tx

getting to the barn and cabin requires driving to the end of a long private dirt road.  we've had a lot of rain recently.  the blanco is flowing but the road is in very bad condition.

water flowing in the blanco river 2012

dirt road potholes and erosion wimberley tx

schooner of franzeskaner gourmand's east austin

we went to gourmand's for domingo's 50th birthday.  he looks pretty good for 50, must be the preservatives and vitamins. 

free wifi at gourmand's austin east side

kids enjoyed the wifi

gourmand's ping pong east side austin

domingo and son played some ping-pong.

doming leija 50th birthday

25 years I've known Domingo...  wow. 

March 05, 2012

austin monthly music issue party and butterfly bar

 Austin Monthly magazine hosted their annual music issue party at Emo's east


wire tree austin band

bass player wire tree austin band

iphone photographer girl wire tree austin band


dana falconberry austin monthly music party emo's east 2012


dana falconberry austin monthly magazine music issue party

dana falconberry austin texas singer songwriter folk pop

dana falconberry austin monthly music issue 2012 party



marmalakes indie power-pop band austin

marmalakes drummer animal


marmalakes drummer austin

marmalakes austin emo's east

marmalakes bass

there were several other great bands playing later, but we decided to get home at a reasonable hour.

and in other news...

takoba pisco sour austin east side

we also enjoyed some eats and cocktails at Takoba, pisco sour shown above with ceviche in the background.

butterfly bar austin east side behind vortex theater

we went to the buttefly bar (behind vortex theater) on the east side.  cozy and fun place.  kat made good use of the butterfly wings, and passed them on.

the dude and his butterfly wings at the bar

these two were fun.  reminded me a bit of myself, before marriage and kids and house... 

austin modhouse equisetum horse tail planter box project

we finished up the equisetum/horse tail planter box. 

go fly a kite in zilker park, festival 2012

under mopac on a stroller holding a kite 

a hungry family on the move.  the weather was perfect for a day at the park, flying kites.  so everybody did.  the festival is from 11 to sunset, we had no firm time to get there.  kat was working on her landscaping project, I figured we'd go to the park when she was ready to quit that.  but her plan was to keep working until I told her to stop...  she worked until she got real hungry... waiting for me to tell her when to stop.  and so it went. 

zilker park kite festival 2012

after walking for a long time, we arrived at the park.  we were not surprised, it's like this every year.

zilker park kite festival

trying to find your friends in this sea of kites, kite pilots and picnic spreads, dogs, hippies...  so many people that text messages or phone were not working.  but we managed to find our group.  it was a kite festival miracle.

stephen and his shark kite on a fishing pole

stephen always catches his shark via fishing pole.  otherwise we'd have never found them.

bee kite zilker march 2012

our bee kite takes flight zilker park austin

quickly ate our chipotle burritos and got our kite assembled.  this is the first year I bought us a real kite.  we usually get a cheap plastic kite that is more of a single use kite. 

happy kite pilot

and it was the first year #2 son had a firm grasp on this kite flying gig.

heb shirt kite flying boy austin zilker park

and the new kite was a success!

happy kite flying boy zilker park festival austin

all the string was out.  the bee was a good flyer.

relaxing zilker park kite picnic

the older two kids relaxed.

high flying bee kite austin tx zilker park

kite boy

kite string tangles and traps zilker park festival

the real hazards are from other kites.  there is always a good chance that the picnic or our heads will be dive bombed by a stray kite.  and tangles are a constant battle. 

enjoying a rootbeer in the stroller

he rewarded himself with a weinhard's rootbeer

sean got his big bird kite up and quickly reached the end of his string.

kite stuck in tree zilker park kite festival 2012

the trees are decorated with kite failures by afternoon. 

our bee kite survived!