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May 28, 2013

RIO rooftop pool and bar, going "FULL DOUCHE"

we were dropping some friends off at their car after our fun at the W.  They'd parked near RIO, they were having a grand opening party.  we'd resigned to not go... but we saw the line was down the street with people trying to get in, and we could hear the music pumping.... we decided to just see what happens IF we can get it.  it was also decided that IF we can get in, we have to go in like we own it.  it was said we needed to go into "FULL DOUCHE mode".

We did not go to the back of the line.  the whole group of us went straight to the front.  there was a guy in a dark suit with a device in his ear guarding a red velvet rope.  I informed him that we were on the VIP list, I offered him my Sam's club card as proof.  He looked at my discount club membership and shook his head, NO.  I pointed to my picture and said, "see, it's me".  he laughed, but did not unhook that rope for us.  I said "wait just a minute", I dug around in my wallet, produced my Library card.  he looked it, smiled, and said no.  I motioned for him to wait, I figured I'd try my Driver's Lic next, I had nothing to loose.  around then, a $20 came from behind and was put on top of my DL.  the doorman smiled and said, "ah yes, you are on the list".  FULL DOUCHE was in full effect. 

RIO rooftop pool bar

they have a small pool on the rooftop and several private cabanas.  they also offer "bottle service".

it was packed, yet we managed to find a nice sectional sofa with table.  we were informed that we could not get bottle service or keep our table/sofa without reservations.  it was a this point that I heard "I make more money in one minute, than you do all year!  I want this table and a bottle of Cristal, you need to make it happen"  the bottle service manager was a bit upset, and let me know she had been insulted, but she was going to accommodate us.  things got a bit wild then. 

Cristal Champagne bottle service RIO austin rooftop bar pool

the delivery of our bottle service and our own private hostess. 

douchey guy with cristal bottle service

and I danced, I don't like hip-hop, or rap music, but I went with the flow.  I put my hands in the air... FULL DOUCHE!

douchebag of austin

I high-fived strangers. I moved in new, and possibly inappropriate ways...

rio rooftop pool bar girls

I made new friends.  one of them asked me, "who is that lady taking our picture?"  I said, "THAT'S MY WIFE  SHE'S THE BEST!! (I'd started yelling at people again)".  they stopped dancing, looked at me with a scornful curiosity, and soon said bye.  I guess they were nice girls after all.  I was too douchey for them.

full moon on RIO rooftop bar pool

kat sipped water from her champagne glass, under that the bright moon light, late at night, next to the rooftop pool at RIO.  she was the designated driver, and official documentarian. 

that cristal champagne was GOOD!  but at $1k for bottle service, I don't think I can get used to the lifestyle.  it was fun to be somebody else for an evening, but it's not really my style.  and thanks to the wife for driving home, and all the pics/video of the alternate, even douchier, me. 


Living Room Live at the W hotel Austin, The Sessions

The Sessions has a monthly show at the Living Room bar at the W Hotel Austin.

Taylor Baker Sessions Living Room Austin W hotel

Taylor Baker (above) opened.

Baker Family:

Baker Family Living Room Sessions W hotel Austin

I liked their sound and they put on a good show.  it was heavy on percussion and they played a keg as a drum. 

Baker Family (band) Austin

baker family band austin texas

baker family band austin panda rat head

you know the show is going well when the band is feeling confident enough to put on a rat head and start sniffing around the stage rodent style, or is that a panda?

baker family band w hotel austin panda head

Baker Family band austin sessions

bluetooth my boom-box

when we built our home in West Lake Hills, I made a portable stereo box to use with my ipod (predates iphone) as a portable stereo to use during construction.  I based it on a high end (altec lansing) multi media speaker with a big/heavy sub and two sattelite speakers, it had remote control and I even put some lighting in it.  it all closed up for easy transport. 

I recently found the mini-stereo plug was shorting out.  I was going to have to take it apart to replace the cord.  and the old 30-pin ipod connector was no longer compatible with the lightning cable of the latest generation of iphone/ipad.  so I upgraded my box to bluetooth!

old 30 pin iphone dock

old 30 pin dock

blutooth stereo adapter

new blutooth stereo adapter.

homemade portable blutooth stereo

there is the box, the blutooth works well.  the only problem is, I used to know exactly where my phone was, at the end of the wire.  now I know it's near, but because it's wireless I'm not always sure exactly where. 

May 27, 2013

Blanco River Rapids- the flash flood of change

I attended the annual HOA meeting for our place in wimberley.  The main reason we have an HOA is to share expense and management of the private road and river park.  As often is the case, there is a certain amount of annual grievance airing and personality conflicts that get exposed.  then, we all go back to our own corners and wait to do it all again next year.  I keep my head down, even when my name is mentioned, with a public request for inquiry.  I don't care to discuss or defend myself in front of all the neighbors.  I'm more inclined to agree "yeah!  what IS the deal with those Schuster people?  I don't trust them! we should DO something!"

And, it appears that the HOA will be moving in a direction where we are going to share more opinions.  There will soon be some standards that will eventually make their way into the rules, regarding fence heights etc..  the idea is to clear up gray areas that have caused some problems between neighbors.  there were a few that requested to ban "bright colors" or "homes that are at the forefront of architecture (or something like that)".  those type of rules are not easily defined or enforced.  those are matters of personal taste and opinion not easily dictated upon others.

as the meeting ended, the river came up and swallowed the road.  was it a sign about the changes to come?  my man Moses would've said so, maybe it was a warning?

two videos below, flash flood on may 25th, and the same spot a couple weeks ago.  the neighborhood has one road in/out and it was under water.  everybody was stuck out there, opinions and all.  neighbors.


tire swing wimberley

at the request of #2 son, we got some rope and made a tire swing.

friendly deer wimberley

this friendly deer was very interested in me.  it kept coming closer, and closer, looking right at me.  somebody must be hand feeding the deer.

May 20, 2013

rouquefort bread pudding.... a slice of stinky cheese heaven

an annual event, I make brasied lamb shanks before summer heat arrives.  we were a little late this year, but didn't let the tradition slide. 

lamb shanks for brasing

I braise them for 3-4 hours in a full bottle of red wine and a very rich chicken stock.  I give them a crust of polenta, cinnamon, curry and other spices before the braising.  there is also one banana and a bnuch of herbs from our garden in the mix...  prep time is about 20 mins, before it spends the day in the oven. 

braised lamb shanks

kat made strawberry sorbet.

fresh strawberries for sorbet

homemade strawberry sorbet

the exciting portion of our feast, (mostly exciting to me) was the ROQUEFORT BREAD PUDDING!  it turned out just how I'd hoped. 

roquefort bread pudding

braised lamb shank with roquefort bread pudding and swiss chard

I loved dragging that bread pudding through the gravy and washing it down with some Italian wines.  situations like these are best shared with food/wine loving friends.

italian wine tasting westlake austin west lake hills


Kat and I tackled some technical upgrades the next morning, firmware updates to A/V equipment and DSLR.  as more technology filters into commonn devices, I can see we will need to perform an update/firmware upgrade on other household devices.  (the future) "sorry, you can't brush your teeth yet, I have to finish the firmware update on your brush".   

we went for a walk over on the east side of Austin, east 6th street Viva Streets day.

east austin walking tour

we found a hipster styled merry go round at East Austin Pedal Pushers, where art and cycling get down together. 

east austin pedal pusher merry go round

viva streets austin east austin pedal pusher

little hipster powered merry go round austin

kat and I enjoyed some free Modello at Papi Tino's Cantina

papi tino's cantino courtyard

#1 son found a piano there.  he just walked straight up to it, and started playing. 

piano at papi tino's east austin 6th street

several people enjoying mexican food and margaritas stopped and stared.  people came in to see the young man who was now playing for a whole restaurant.  strangers stood with their smart phones, taking video of him.  he just played and played until we told him to stop, nearly 30 minutes. 

kids at the bar, papi tino's austin

marched along with the Minor Mishap

hi hat giant soft pretzel

enjoyed some giant pretzels at Hi Hat Public House.

girls in a hanging hoop east austin

we watched some girls hanging out in a giant hanging hoop.... yeah, it was pretty good for a sunday stroll through east austin. 


May 13, 2013

F.A.Y.M (For All You Mothers)- Contigo

flowers contigo austin

we took the mothers to the Blanton to catch the alumni exhibit before it closed. 

claude monet blanton museum of art UT austin texas

blanton alumni exhibit 50th anniversary

contigo austin

then we went to the far east side to Contigo.  we really loved contigo, just wish it wasn't such a drive for us.  it's not that it's a great distance, it's that there are no major roads that run from where we live to that area.  it's not a bad drive from the blanton. 

contigo craft cocktails

we sampled a few of their craft cocktails with some apps.  kat really enjoyed the oxe tongue slider, I'll confirm it was tasty! 

popcorn at contigo austin

#2 son loved the popcorn with spices and sugar.

live oak hefeweizen

Live Oak Hefeweizen!  the waitress dropped a pint glass off for the daughter...  this is the second time in a few weeks that some place has attempted to serve her...  "take that away... SHE'S THIRTEEN!" was my response.

contigo austin smoked shitake mushrooms

these smoked shitake mushrooms were LOVED BY ALL!

arrow through the head

#2 son loves to watch mythbusters.  then he saw an image of Adam Savage with an "arrow through the head".  this was cause for concern for the little dude. 

I was trying to explain how the trick works, then I figured I'd pull up an image to show him.  found one up on amazon and it was only around $3.  so I ordered one (prime two day shipping).

I figured for $3, we can just demonstrate. 

it arrived and he said, "I'm SO EXCITED about my arrow through the head!".  he couldn't wait to show all his friends at school, as we drove away.  he waved goodbye through an open car window, with his arrow through the head.  his pre-k friends frozen in awe, wearing confused looks on their faces and jaws dropped. 

arrow through the head trick

child miner

let the kids go into Harbor Freight with you, and they just might find a mini pick axe.  He's been helping us dig down to try and repair a leaky pool pipe that was burried under concrete....  thanks mr pool installer dumb ass.

eleven plates and wine scallops austin westlake texas

neighborhood restaurant and wine bar had an offer on living social; for $30 you get a three course meal for two AND a $20 gift certificate.  the meal normally costs $60, and it's a good value at full price.  two apps, two main courses and two desserts.  if you deduct the $20 gift card, the final cost was only $10.  so cheap we felt guilty.  those diver scallops are always delicious. 

our guilt was compounded by the fact that we arrived early for our reservation, they'd offered half price bottles of wine from 4-6.  so we got a nice nebbiolo (at half price).  I love eleven plates and wine. 

eleven plates and wine half price bottles saturday 4-6 austin westlake

May 06, 2013

my shiny elephants, or glitterphants

had a relaxing trip down to wimberley for Market Days.  got some kettle corn and bratwurst...  had no real plan or agenda.  felt like a vacation.

wimberley market days

wimberley market days kettle corn

brewsters pizza and brewpub wimberley

we had no place to be, so we stopped for a pizza and a beer at brewsters prewpub.  the kids remembered the pugs next door at middleton's brewing co...  so we stopped in to pet the pugs.

pugs at middleton's brewpub wimberley

middleton brewing company wimberley

and enjoyed a wedge of cheese and a belgian beer.

lizard in a bucket wimberley

found a lizard in a bucket back at our wimberley cabin.

blanco river spring 2013 fischer wimberley texas

had a relaxing afternoon down along the river.

kids on a rock in the blanco river wimberley texas

duct tape art and wallets

older two kids made duct tape wallets, pillows and art.

duct tape art


spring time fire pit wimberley texas 2013

quickly cooled down enough to enjoy some time around the fire.  we even played charades.  kat said "why is it we never do this back at our other home?  why is that?"

grilled salmon and mushroom broth

#1 son LOVES to grill mushrooms. 

mushroom broth

I suggested he drain some of that au jus.  he did and drank it from a cup, said it was delicious. 

yard art elephants wimberley texas

I came into some elephants... they were tables.  I wasn't sure if I should just throw them away, burn them.... what?  then I remembered my old gnome, Hans dare Ga-nome.  Hans was later abducted, some people painted him up to look like spock, and last I saw he was on a plane, then he was in mexico...  I have no idea where he is now. 

glitter silver elephant yard art

so I planted my elephants in my own yard down in wimberley, applied silver paint and glitter, and stuck some solar powered landscape spotlights on them.  I'll have to report back next time we spend the night. 

afw austin fashion week runway show

it's Austin Fashion Week.  we watched some models strutting their stuffs on the runway, and the boys did their own show as well. 

afw austin fashion week runway show

austin fashion week 2013

#1 son and his music:  people often ask how long we require the kids to practice their music.  the truth was that we didn't have any set time.  I did request that certain songs be played.  the result of this was that they learned to play really really fast.  #1 son could race through his music practice in just a few minutes.  that sort of explained his motivation to play at 250 BPM. 

he was racing through his piano and guitar so he could play minecraft on the computer, while skyping his friend (also playin minecraft with him).

I came up with a better solution, the music and computer times have to be matched.  practice guitar for 30 minutes, and get 30 minutes of computer time.  it's great to see (hear) his tone has improved and the timing of the songs is down to an enjoyable pace...  I recorded him practicing guitar, and also performing a song that was written by #2 son, it's titled Flying Rat and Mouse.


chasing the girls around the park, then some yo la tengo

I got up early to chaperone a school orchestra field trip.  first stop was a competeition (video at the bottom) and then to six flags san antonio.   

six flags field trip

it was sunny, windy and the girls move fast.  I'd managed to get a few hours sleep the night before (walk the moon show)

whack a mole win a pokemon

the girls were more interested in pokemon than rollercoasters. 

pokemon plush toys at six flags san antonio

I insisted we apply rules of math, no more than two players at a time so we can control $ spent with increasing chances of winning.  if a group of kids ran up and started playing, I urged them to step back and keep the $ in the pocket.  my plan worked and everybody got a pokemon w/o loosing all their $.  a few moles were whacked in the process. 

ferris wheel six flags san antonio


the only ride the daughter wants to get on...

father and daughter ferris wheel ride

and I was happy to ride with her.  I checked all my girls back on to the bus, and we raced back to austin.  I had tickets to see Yo La Tengo. 

killdeer brian austin

ran into my sxsw live music friend. 

yo la tengo mohawk austin 2013

yo la tengo were their own opening band.  played two sets.  first set was calm and relaxing, just a few noise inspired freak outs for the second show.... 

yo la tengo austin mohawk 2013

the last time we saw a show at the mohawk, it was crowded, and there were just a few smokers.  but we were crammed right next to them. 

this time, we arrived early and sought space on the balcony expecting less of a crowd.  then the band requested no smoking on the floor....  so smokers came up to our level or ran over to just beneath us and blew the smoke up at us...  we finally gave up and missed the last bit of the show.

I really wish they'd come up with a better solution.  90% of the people don't smoke.  we had to come home and shower, put our ash tray smelling jackets out on the deck to air out over night...  they should have a smoking area with exhaust. 

Walk The Moon at the Absolut X party

absolut x party masquerade austin

we attended a party hosted by ABSOLUT.  they provided everything, including masks, cocktails, food, music and art.  not bad!

absolut x maquerade party austin

absolut x party austin

cruz ortiz screenprint abosulut x party austin

local artist Cruz Ortiz offered screen printing.  kat got one shirt and a tote bag printed up. 

cruz ortiz absolut x party austin

walk the moon absolut x party austin

Walk the Moon played. 

walk the moon absolut x party austin

walk the moon

walk the moon (band) absolut x vodka party


walk the moon absolut x party austin


walk the moon bass absolut x party

walk the moon rickenbacker bass absolut x party

absolut vodka warhol party austin

thank you absolut