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September 30, 2013

Shinyribs, The Life you Love photo party, Taylor Muse, and Tony Redman

it was another good week for live music in austin. 

HAAM benefit day had live music supporting health assistance to local musicians, I caught some shows at the Whole Foods flagship store. 

derailers live at whole foods for HAAM day

the Derailers

shinyribs kevin russell whole foods haam day


shinyribs whole foods austin haam

shinyribs austin whole foods haam day

shinyribs austin whole foods haam benefit day


we attended a party hosted by The Life You Love Photography

Pink avocado catering

delicious snacks provided by Pink Avocado Catering

Taylor Muse Quiet Company acoustic set

acoustic set by Taylor Muse of Quiet Company

live you love photography le photo booth

we stepped into the Le Photo Booth

tony redman at cherrywood coffeehouse austin

and #1 son played some guitar with Tony Redman and friends at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse.


September 23, 2013

Fall Weather Festivities: Oktoberfest and Seedling Food Truck

we finally got a decent rain that was followed up by wonderful fall like weather; cooler temps!

texas white trash asian girl

took my white trash bride to the local (food) trailer park; Midway.

seedling food truck austin midway tx westlake

we sourced dinner from our friend’s/neighbor’s food truck, the seedling

seedling food truck westlake austin

the food was delicious and easy on the wallet.  we fed the family for under $40 (including tip).  we especially loved the duck croquettes. 

midway food trailer court park westlake austin

I had quit the trendy food truck scene.  I was tired of eating off tables that had bird crap on them, eating off paper plates using bendy plastic forks and drinking my wine out of a cheap cup.  so I planned ahead. 

midway food trailer park austin westlake seedling royal fig

I had packed a table cloth, nice stemware, real plates and silverware.  we even brought candles and glowsticks for the kids.  the whole area is fenced in with a really nice playscape for the kids.  it was a great way to spend the evening.  the kids got to run free while we enjoyed nice food and wine under the stars.

Sunday Eve:

austin W hotel fall 2013

Kat had been a bit chilly the night before at Midway, so she was happy to bust out the fall weather sweater the next evening. 

fall weather sweater austin tx trace w hotel

yes, that should keep you protected from the elements.  and fit right in with the locals, on tatooine.

oktoberfest beer flights and pairing trace w austin

Trace (restaurant at the W Hotel Austin) is having an Oktoberfest offering. 

belgian beer flight pairing oktoberfest trace w hotel

they have two flights, a Belgian, and a Local.  each beer was paired with a meat.  it was fun and pretty good.  I highly recommend you try it while it's offered (now till oct 6th).

steak tartare trace w hotel austin

we also sampled their steak tartare. 

it wasn't all play.  in fact, we (kat and I) put in some long hard hours in the yard.  we got a yard of gardening soil and topped off the garden boxes. 

hill country garden soil mix natural gardener westlake austin tx

Kat: what are you planning to do with that Swiss Chard?

Paul: I didn't put that Swiss Chard in the cart, I thought YOU did.

we went to Natural Gardender and bought some more plants and accidentally hijacked somebody elses cart, already loaded with their plant selections.  it wasn't until we were half way home that we figured out there were extra plants on the receipt.  we were anxious to get home and unpack the trunk to see what we had.  mostly herbs, we found some new places to put them.  I hope the random stranger selections work out.  sorry to whoever lost their cart to us. 

west lake hills garden tx

we also added a new planter box where my wood smoker used to be.  the city of west lake hills no longer allows wood fires outdoors due to the extreme risk of wildfire. 

west lake hills yardwork labor

I have been clearing the overgrown brush and scrub.  the real hard work is removing the invasive japanese ferns.  the process requires a lot of pick axe use and hours of back breaking tugging and pulling.  but we can now see all the way across our lot!

glowstick light painting

the daughter and I played around with light painting. 

glowstick light painting


September 18, 2013

Peter Hook (of New Order) and the Light.

we saw New Order this summer, without Peter Hook.  The set is now complete, Peter Hook played the Belmont last night. 

Peter Hook New Order Austin TX belmont


they played the Movement album, and the Power, Corruption & Lies album, with a few other songs for the encore.  Oh, Peter also performed in his own opening band, The Slaves of Venus.  they played for a total of nearly three hours. 

peter hook and the light movement austin


Peter Hook new order power corruption and lies austin tx 2013


peter hook & the light austin texas 2013 belmont

and it was a good show.  the crowd was enthusiastic, you could see this pleased Mr. Hook.  I know there are those that don't appreciate his vocals, but he did well for the movement album.  his voice may not be a great match for the PC&L album, but I was glad he did it and I won't criticize the man for it.   

peter hook austin texas belmont frost bank building

peter hook of new order tour 2013 austin tx


peter hook viking 1 bass new order live austin tx

that's some good rockin' for a tuesday night in austin texas.  the frost bank building also played a supporting role.  we call it "the artichoke building".  it was the tallest building in austin when we moved here, not so much today. 

September 16, 2013

we were SWAYed (for the most part), and The Brass House Jazz Club

started our week with a Yelp Elite party at the Brass House.

brass house austin jazz club

the room is nice and sound was good.  it's a great place to enjoy some live jazz.

sushi was provided by Piranha, it was enjoyed and appreciated.

live jazz music brass house austin Danielle Reich

the jazz was provided by Danielle Reich.

deji edison dancing at brass house

it's texas, so I can wear my white shoes past labor day (I say white shoes are ok till mid october in central tx).  I like my white shoes SO much, I selected my colorful clowish costume to compliment.  of course Kat looked fanatastic.  the fact is, we'd spent all day working in the yard.  cleaned our selves up and went out for a date. 

abgb austin beer garden brewing industry pilz

we checked out a new brew-pub, ABGB (austin beer garden brewing) 

skyping over beers

kat had her weekly skype with her mom while she sampled a few of their hoppy liquids. 

then we went to SWAY.  the place is popular so we went early and got seated right away.  they've gotten a lot of great press and often listed as one of the best new restaurants in the country. 

sway austin

we had great service.  he was trying to remain positive as the cork for the sparkling wine refused to depart from its bottle orifice. 

prince edward island oysters sway austin thai

the cold water oysters from Prince Edward island were good.  each oyster is smothered in extremely flavorfull toppings.  in the end, the toppings really overpowered the oyster and it had little to contribute.  at $48 for the dozen, I can't say I'd order them again.

fried whole snapper thai at sway austin

we LOVED the open kitchen seating.  we witnessed many live lobsters come to their end.  the whole fried snapper was a popular dish and was sold out by 8 PM.  the aroma of it all was amazing. 

fried whole fish at sway austin thai

jungle curry thai sway austin

Jungle curry (above) and Son-In-Law were the highlight of the meal.  I'd definitely go back for those. 

September 09, 2013

That moscow mule has a kick!

moscow mule copper cup


we finally got some use from our copper Moscow Mule mugs.  we did a taste test using the traditional ginger beer against ginger syrup and soda water.  the real ginger beer was MUCH better and ended up being about the same sugar/carb content.  if your goal is to reduce the sugar/carb load of your moscow mule, I'd suggest 2 oz of ginger beer (Main or Gosling's are good brands) and 2 oz of lime infused soda water.  this would bring your sugar/carb amount to 5g.  I tell you this so you can avoid drinking several before dinner in the name of experimentation.  YES!  that mule does have a kick! 

turnbull winery black label wine 2005 vs 2008 cabernet

another dinner had us opening up the 2005 Turnbull black label.  a friend brought a 2008 Turnbull Cabernet to compare.  That cabernet is usually one of our favorite wines.  but next to the black label it did not stand out as much.  I'm glad we got that settled.  I made braised lamb shanks to go with our Turnbull wines.

braised lamb shanks

brasied lamb shanks and quinoa


September 02, 2013

just a hole in the ground

it takes one whole day to drive to the canyon.  (500 miles).  but we made it on time, by 8PM.

palo duro canyon

the view from the park road down from the entrance. 

palo duro canyon park rd 5 switchback

the drive down into the hole.

airstream setup

everybody lends a hand at the camp site

airstream salad prep station

blueberry pancake mixer

the next morning... we did a quick bike ride around the camp loop.

palo duro bike

palo duro canyon kids

we have an established camping schedule, do the hard/challengine hikes before lunch (before it gets hot) and easy stuff in the afternoon.  I proposed a few hikes on the map, but kat chose an easy one.  it was easy, it was short and I don't even have any pics worth showing.  I was a bit annoyed.  kat said she was planning to do the BIG hike in the afternoon.  I was a bit skeptical, but said I'd try if she would.  she chose the mountain bike trail.

105 degree canyon bike trail

yeah, it says "104".  and yeah, she doesn't really ride a mountain bike and has no real trail experience.  I said "this is a bad idea".  but we pushed onward.

city bike on the mountain bike trail

and pushed she did.  mostly pushed instead of rode her bike.  it didn't really work on those trails.

pushing the city bike up the mountain trail

I'd ride ahead and wait in some shady spot.

I admit defeat

"I admit defeat" she said after about 20 minutes.  I pledged to drive around and the park, in the A/C.

palo duro canyon rock garden

I spotted these rocks not too far off the road.  we climbed up the canyon to get a closer look.

rock shelter

total and complete asshole guy

the next morning:  we had an early breakfast and took the kids to see the old cave and the rock garden trail.  they loved it. 

palo duro canyon cave

the cave

palo duro canyon cave

He's at the age where he wants to climb on all the rocks. 

palo duro canyon old cave

palo duro canyon schuster

down one side of the canyon, and up the other. 

palo duro canyon boys

palo duro rock garden

so we left the canyon a day early.  the mid day temps were too hot to enjoy the outdoors and our camp site had many flies.  I figured we could come back a day early, and have a mini staycation in austin.

cooper's barbecue:

cooper's barbeque bbq llano tx

We decided to try some of the other famous bbq places to compare to the Franklin brisket.  so we I drove for almost 7 hours from palo duro canyon to llano for dinner at cooper's.

cooper's ribs llan coopers

we all agreed, the brisket was NOWHERE near as good as Franklin.  and the ribs were also less impressive.  #1 son did vouch for their onions.  he LOVES raw onions.  he stacked a slices of jalapeno sausage, onion and a bit of sauce for the perfect bite. 

he loves to eat raw onions

my labor day staycation idea was a failure.  I'd tried to drag the wife out for a nice lunch at sway, but we couldn't play nice.  I sort of painted myself into a corner.  I interrupted the wife while she was reading on her iphone.  she was annoyed and I apologized.  my apology only made things worse, I didn't realize that I shouldn't do so because that just makes her look bad. 

turns out that is my MO, make her look bad by saying I'm sorry (I’m a real jerk that way).  and there I found myself, unable to apologize for apologizing too much, and both of us upset.  we ended up with lunch at an empty food trailer court.  we ate outdoors in 97 degrees temps, nobody else was around.  the food trailer guys even closed after they served us and waved goodbye as we sat there sweating.  should've just stayed in that big hole up in palo duro instead of digging myself an apology hole back in austin.  sometimes, you just can't escape your destiny.