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September 29, 2014

Modern MCM style console stereo with Bluetooth

I used to make things... I'm getting back into the production habit. The first thing out of my shop...

Remember when listening to music was an activity? before mp3, and smartphones, and ipods... when you'd rush home from the record store with a new album to listen to it. to actually sit down, and listen to it beginning to end, looking at the album art and reading the lyrics or liner notes. JUST enjoying the music...

The family stereo was once a functional piece of furniture. I've always admired the 50's era (MCM) of console stereos. I have collected a few Telefunken brand console stereos, they have a beautiful form to go along with functionality. They serve that single activity, the pleasure of listening to music. But they were also good to look at.

So I made my own version....

superfunken console stereo austin 

The base is steel because nobody likes it when those wooden feet get wobbly. The blue tolex wrapped box at the bottom contains a punchy subwoofer. It makes no direct contact with the cabinet to help isolate phono rumble.

turntable console  

the middle section houses a turntable (phonograph) while the analog receiver, Bluetooth adapter and subwoofer amplifier live in the space between. I also included a USB plug so you can charge your smartphone.

modern vintage stereo console 

custom bluetooth adapter 

I made the Bluetooth adapter. Constructed from solid walnut with some vintage formica and aluminum, it's roughly the size of a deck of cards.  

superfunken telefunken console stereo 

Oh, and I'm really happy with the way it sounds.  

vintage stereo furniture 

The cabinet is made from three quarter inch hardwood ply and a lot of solid walnut.

Contact me if you'd like a listen...


just one more portrait for the literature class....

the daughter is finalizing her self image for the her literature class... I think it has to do with symbolism... I just take the pics. 

here is the final product that incorporates elements of her interests of music and art. 



and when she was done with that assignment, she made cinnamon rolls for her family... such a good girl.


Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza and the Jester King

about 20 minutes west of Austin, and you'll find some of that Hill Country magic, out in a field in the middle of nowhere... 

We grabbed a quick pizza (or two) at Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza

schuster family austin 


texas hill country kids run wild in the field 

a bunch of pole barns out in a field allows for ample room for kids to run and play. Kids were pitching washers, throwing balls, chasing each other, some girls were dancing...  temps were in the high 60's and it was a great evening to be outside.  

stanley's farmhouse pizza austin  

The pizza was really good. no complaints. Garlic knots were good too.  

jester king brewery austin  

then we walked to the next barn to find The Jester King

jester king and stanley's farmhouse pizza austin 

jester king tasting room and taps 

jester king austin sour beer  

We'd gone out to sample their new apricot sour beer (King Aurelian Lure ) that has been aged in oak casks and uses wild hill country yeasts... you just won't find any regular beers at the Jester King, they're all special in some way.  

Porter Ale House beer cheese fondue

porter ale house austin

We've been to Porter Ale House a couple times, brunch and dinner. It's an easy sort of place that doesn't require a great deal of thought. of course we all want to go there and they have something for everybody, easy and simple.

porter ale house beer cheese fondue 

The beer cheese fondue was a quick way to make the kids happy.  

porter ale house gastropub austin  

porter ale house gastropub austin fish and chips 

The Fish n Chips ($17) may not be cheap, but they sure are good. The bulb injector is filled with sour beer (instead of the traditional malt vinegar). It was fun and delicious.   

Veuve Clicquot Mail Truck at NO VA Austin

veuve clicqout austin no va 

When the pretty girls at the table next to you ask "would you like a glass of our Veuve Cliquot?", the correct response would be "YES! and THANK YOU!" 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin no va 

and then we joined the party with our new friends.  

veuve clicquot mail truck delivery austin no va 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin  

veuve clicquot mail truck austin no va 

it wasn't all just sitting around sipping fancy French Champagne, we participated in a sporting event as well, giant Veuve Jinga. 

veuve clicquot mail truck jinga austin 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin 

veuve clicquot mail truck party austin

OK. mostly it was all about the Veuve Clicquot and all the fabulous orange accoutrements. 

veuve clicquot no va 

I warned Kat of my intentions to leave with one of the orange buckets... if you don't ask, the answer is always "NO". 

veuve clicquot mail truck austin champagne bucket orange 

BINGO! I asked and there it is.  

I don't ALWAYS drink French Champagne, but when I do, I drink the one with bubbles in it. Thank you Veuve Clicquot and NO VA

September 18, 2014

Balvenie Rare Craft Collection and Master Tasting

We were invited to view a curated exhibit of hand crafted items, and participate in a Balvenie Scotch Whisky Master Tasting.

balvenie scotch austin 

balvenie austin tasting  

rob mcgowan and ben olson cabinet balvenie 

vivian beer chair balvenie 

scott baxendale guitar balvenie austin 

balvenie morgan car austin 

dudes on devices 

look at the back left, three dudes on their devices while the lady practices her patience... we've all been there, on both sides of that arrangement. 

balvenie master tasting austin scotch 

balvenie girls austin tasting 

enough of that, we ducked out for a very enjoyable and relaxing dinner at Second. 

second bar+kitchen congress austin 

September 15, 2014

A day in the life, the Daughter

The Daughter had a school assignment for the weekend, a minimum of seven pics of her doing things she likes, or identifies with. I happily put on my photographer hat. We made a list of activities, selected locations and a few different wardrobe changes...

drawing, the artist 

She enjoys drawing, mostly eyes... 


making crepes, 





Violin playing... 

guitar on the deck  

and guitar, 

salmon skewer hibachi

salmon skewer grilling,

singstar karaoke sony ps3 

singstar (karaoke game on PS3) singing...

hitchihiker;s guide w hotel austin library fireplace 

Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy reading by the W Hotel fireplace, and while we were there.... 

trace austin w hotel starwood 


She chose TRACE for a family meal out picture.  And it was good.... 

Arts and crafts, food, and music seem to be what she's all about.... Yeah, that's our daughter.  

More about that dinner. They treated us really well there at TRACE. 

wine poached pear at trace austin  

Poached pear with gold leaf.  

rabbit gnocchi trace austin 

Rabbit Gnocchi 

roasted golden beet salad trace austin w hotel 

Roasted Beet Salad 

seared snapper trace austin w hotel 

Seared Snapper 

trace cheese and meat board charcuterie w hotel austin 

truffle parmasean popcorn dunce cap trace austin 

that WAS popcorn with truffle and parmesan...

$8 parking at the municipal lot

a few other odds and ends...  

fall flowers austin west lake hills 

Kat planted some fall flowers in her garden box out by the street. 

pair of vintage jvc turntables 

We picked up a couple vintage turntables. Both sound good.   


September 08, 2014

Dim Sum in 78746, Chinatown

Chinatown has opened in the old Bistro 88 space. We've enjoyed their dim sum at their other location, but we seldom drive that way. We were excited to find they've opened one up down the street from us.

chinatown restaurant austin dimsum westlake 78746 chinese restaurant 

The outside is still under construction, several improvements to the space will be nice once completed. The boys enjoyed leaping over the new water feature.  

chinatown westlake 78746 austin 

chinatown restaurant west austin 

The interior is fresh and beautiful. There was a short wait for a table at noon on Sunday. Kat is back there admiring the Friday lunch special sign, Crispy Frog legs.

dim sum cart austin chinatown 78746 

This is the cart I always look for, the radish cake! It was a good one too. 

dim sum cart austin 78746 chinatown 

The kids enjoyed the pot stickers.

potstickers chinatown austin westlake 

chinatown restaurant miso sea bass 

The Sea Bass is delicious. 

spicy chicken feed dim sum austin chinese restaurant 

Kat was happy to get the chicken feet, don't judge, they made her happy. I didn't mention the pig's foot she ate last weekend. I'm not sure it means anything, but I'll guess we need to return for lunch on Friday to figure it out.

peking duck sliders dim sum austin 

This cart offered steamed buns with Peking Duck and onions. 

snow pea leaves with oyster sauce 78746 chinatown dim sum 

Snow Pea leaves with oyster sauce (not that thick sludge from a jug that is salty and too sweet, this was good stuff). 

September 02, 2014

Labor Day Dallas 2014

Cashed in some Starwood points and secured a room at aloft downtown. They gave us the BIG room!

aloft dallas 

The daughter had her own private area. She really appreciated that. 

aloft suite dallas 

The boys had their own semi-private living room/bed area, we all appreciated that.  On our third day in the room, #2 son announced "I thought this room was awesome, now it's just... regular". He keeps raising his standards, I can keep up. 


aloft dallas downtown

We had a nice view of the Longhorn of Pioneer Park. 

pioneer park longhorn from aloft

aloft dallas safe 

#1 son was fascinated with the safe. He locked his ipad up whenever we left the room.   

xyz bar aloft dallas 

W XYZ bar. 

aloft dallas pool 

We spent the hot late afternoons cooling at the pool. 

aloft dallas pool 

aloft dallas pool party walk on water 

aloft dallas water walker pool 

perot museum dallas 

We had a better plan for the Perot Museum this trip, buy the early tickets and be there to line up before they open the gate.   

perot museum lab experince 

#1 son did some lab experiments.   

human computer mind meld perot museum 

Kat had a mindmeld with a computer and used her brain to launch Ping-Pong balls. 

state and allen brunch dallas 

State and Allen was a good spot to get together with friends for a liquid lunch (the burger and silver bowl salad were also good) 

yelp dallas wanderlust party 

We attended Yelp Dallas Wanderlust party. Many free food offerings and open bars with minimal lines all over the place. They even had a lounge for us elite members where we could find a quiet place to relax and collect our gift bags. THANKS Yelp Dallas. 

yelp dallas wanderlust 

Kat took another mixology lesson at the party. 

yelp dallas wanderlust bombay sapphire gin 

yelp dallas wanderlust 

The Yelp Dallas Wanderlust party was an evening offering samples of culture from all over the world (60 vendors) ...  all sorts of ethnic food, drinks, musicians and dance groups to entertain us. They even had a mime!  

yelp dallas 2014 

after a group of Indian Bollywood style dancers finished, I asked Kat "why are there no white-people or American dance groups, I don't think white people have a real dance (not counting that Irish river-dance, I'm sick of that). Kat thought for a minute and provided a good answer: Cheerleaders! That is the American dance troupe.  or quite possibly break-dancing... that's what they need next year, break dancers.  

1,500 people did RSVP to the event. they had four huge rooms filled with fun for everyone. Thanks Yelp Dallas.  


katy trail dallas 

We hiked Katy Trail and it was nice.   

katry trail turtle creek dallas 

dallas mueum of art dma 

DMA- Dallas Museum of Art has free General Admission and a whole slew of fun things for kids.  

dma mosaic 

#2 son said "I have an idea for a picture" regarding the giant mosaic (above). 

dma children's area 

dma soundscape 

#1 son mixing sounds to match the art. 

dma kid's art station 

#2 son made some art, an Army Guy. 

hybrid art at the dma 

lark on park dallas beggar's banquet 

We ate at both Meddlesome Moth and Lark on the Park.  I later learned they are from the same owner. I can vouch for these places.   

dessert at lark on the park dallas 

chartreuse vep lark on park dallas 

We noticed a V.E.P. version of Chartreuse ($45 a glass) at Lark on the Park. I'm not a fan of the green herbal stuff (tastes like freshly mowed lawn and cilantro/coriander). BUT, we were intrigued as to why it was so expensive. Our waiter said the bar manager LOVES to talk about Chartreuse and sent him over. He came with the bottle and two small glasses, poured us each a taste.

chartreusse vep dallas lark on the park 

I puckered my face after the first sip (it's like regular chartreuse with more fennel, and stronger!). Matt (bar manager) explained, "once you get used to it, it's really good." The direct line between my brain and mouth had no buffer and blurted out "that sounds what somebody would say while trying to talk their partner into trying a### se#". Well, Matt just about fell over and Kat just about fell out of her seat. She was so embarrassed, she bought a glass of it. My punishment involved walking back to the car to add an extra hour to the meter, and I had to drink some of the V.E.P.   

chartreuse vep lark on the park dallas

You learn pretty quickly to hold your breath and close your eyes as you bring the glass towards your face. 

paul schuster dallas 2014 

It all ended well.  

lark on the park dallas 

Then we took a stroll around Klyde Warren Park. At nearly 10 PM it was still filled with people enjoying the park: people playing chess, kids on the playgrounds and fountains, people enjoying the free reading material provided by the Dallas Morning News... it was nice.   

klyde warren park dallas 

klyde warren park dallas playground 

#1 son at the top. 

klyde warren park dallas 

dallas at night from klyde warren park 2014

#2 son chose this as his favorite building. (above) 

dallas big eye sculpture nasher 

The Eye. 

brunch cbd provision eye 

We had brunch with my Dad at CBD Provisions. Their croissant is as good as those I enjoyed in Quebec! Migas were also pretty good.  

west, tx czech stop kolaches 

We stopped at West, TX Czech Stop for Kolaches on the way home. Too many other people had the same idea. We survived and the kolaches are still the best I've ever had.  

kolaches i35 west, tx czech stop