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April 27, 2015

Deep Thought and the ill fated Eeyore's Birthday

Each year we attend Eeyore's Birthday, we pledge to make a better effort regarding costumes for the next. I had the date in my iPhone calendar for months. We got together as a family and agreed on a theme, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. We each portrayed a character and I was in charge of props and costume parts.

As the day came near, #2 son was full of excitement. He was talking all about it after school, asking questions about Eeyore. "Where does he live when he is not at the park?... It's weird that he has the same birthday as (#1 son's friend)... " etc. 

But things didn't go according to plan. #1 son was to play the part of Ford Prefect. He had a schedule conflict and he spent the day celebrating one of his best friends birthdays instead of a fictional donkey.  The rest of us forged ahead.

Arthur Dent:

arthur dent hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy costume 

Marvin (the paranoid android) and Deep Thought (computer) :

marvin the paranoid android and deep thought computer hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy costume 


Trillian Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy  

Zaphod Beeblebrox: 

zaphod beebelbrox costume eeyore's birthday austin 

We made the trek to the park, enjoyed the Best Wurst, then the daughter hit us with the next blow... she had no intention of participating in the costume contest with us.

#2 son went ahead and participated in the kid's costume contest, although I don't think the judges had any idea who Arthur Dent was. The real strength in our plan had been the volume of characters we had brought to the table. Individually, we were not so impressive.

arthur dent don't panic hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy costume 

eeyore's birthday aurthur dent 2015 

arthur dent towel 

and about as soon as the kid's costume contest concluded, #2 son became defiant and disobeyed his mother in a very disrespectful way. She was NOT happy. Things sort of devolved from there. I recall I issued my usual diplomatic line of "I don't want to argue about it. I'll go which ever way you like" when somebody started taking my picture (I did have two heads and costuming is the biggest part of Eeyore's). She snapped a photo and asked me "WHO are you having an argument with? YOUR OTHER HEAD?! HA HA". It was then I saw Kat walking away... and so I removed my extra head and we left the park, I still had $10 of beer tickets in my pocket. I took a quick video of Deep Thought before I disassembled it, the answer is still 42.


Shortly after arriving back home, I got a message from a friend. They had a few growlers, did we want to come over to play.... YES. Yes we did (#2 son and I). Kat stayed home to nap.

Later that afternoon, we met with friends at Strange Land Brewery, up the street from home, I took my Disco Gnome. 

disco gnome at strange land brewing westlake austin 


kids at the strange land brewery 

friends at Strange Land Brewery Austin Westlake  

I like their Ploughshare (Saison) beer. After a few of those I suggested "HEY you guys have airplanes, why haven't we flown to New Orleans for dinner yet? Isn't that the sort of thing you do if you own your own plane?" But of course we all know, Kat doesn't like flying and has a strict no small planes rule. I thought dinner at Galatoire's sounded like a good idea.... 


Kat was feeling better after a nap. 


Computer Graphics at Westlake and Dog Tag at Eanes Elementary

Documenting some recent school events.

The Daughter has developed an interest in art. She displayed some of her Digital Graphics in the Westlake High School Library. Westlake was recently ranked fourth best open enrollment High School in the country, part of the reason we moved where and when we did was to get our kids into this district. It's working for us so far.

westlake high school austin digital graphics  

I helped with the photo for this one (above). I asked her to select two of her favorites to share here (below)

westlake high school digital graphics k. schuster 


westlake high school digital graphics austin k. schuster 


#2 son received a "Dog Tag Award" for Integrity (doing the right thing even when nobody is looking). He is not sure what he did, but we were all happy for his accomplishment.

Eanes Elementary dog tag ceremony 2015 

He also had a Shel Silverstein poetry performance with his class.

eanes poetry 

April 20, 2015

SoLa Social Club Launch party and Abuelo's Prize winner

There's a new beer garden on South Lamar, behind East Side Kings, the SoLa Social Club.

SoLa social club

The beer was free for the launch party. It was a hot summer (like) afternoon and free beer seemed a good fit. 

sola social club patio summer 2015 

88 outside, the shade was sought,  

natty boh austin national bohemian beer sola social club 

sola social club austin 

dj protoge austin sola social club 

check out this guy, taking a picture of the DJ... some people will take pics of anything... 

Sunday Evening Family meal on the patio, Abuelo's. 

family skype gon gon and po po 

Technology is amazing. We can see her parents while calling them via Skype instead of the weekly phone call. You can actually see them in the picture, on her phone. We all get to see each other while we are out and about. So social, such technological. 

It was a perfect evening for eating outside.  

abuelo's VIP contest winner

Back on National Margarita day, Abuelo's had a twitter photo contest. I told Kat, "I think I have a good chance to win", I did. The picture I tweeted below. 

national margarita day abuelo's winner 

abuelo's austin HH 

another great week at AMH.  

Austin Way Magazine at Benji's Cantina Rooftop.

Bejni's Cantina Rooftop

Austin Way Magazine invited me to attend a party at Benji's Cantina to honor donors to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. 

benji's cantina austin 

I was really happy with the quality of the food. The vegan food was delicious, as were the animal parts served.  

benji's cantina austin w. 6th 

benji's cantina rooftop bar austin 

Open bar doesn't hurt either.  

Austin way magazine the list party 

benji's cantina buffet 

Kat often asks "How did you get invited to this party?". I'm not exactly sure. So I asked her, "Did we donate money to this charity?". She thought for a minute... mulling over the dozen or so checks she writes to various organizations and concluded we DID contribute... the food and drinks tasted even better.

#austinwaylist #cafb10x10 

FINO Grand Finale

One of the first places we visited regularly when we moved to Austin has closed, FINO.

We stopped by twice during their final week.

FINO Austin 

FINO austin bar mixology 

Many of Austin's best bartenders came from this creative bar.

FINO ice crusher austin 

Ice is not crushed by machine, it's bagged and violently beaten with a wooden mallet.

FINO Austin closed CHEF 

FINO patio austin  

We have enjoyed so many great evenings on this patio. For a while, we had a regular table. The manager knew us and always made sure we got our table at the end. We once happened upon the manager enjoying his shift meal at our table, he shared "I feel so guilty, I 'm sitting at YOUR table. It doesn't feel right".

He changed careers and we slowly stopped visiting...  

dancing at FINO patio austin 

fino austin  

#2 son danced on the patio for their last ever HH, similar to #1 son in 2008 (below)


2007 Fino 

Back in 2007 (above), #1 son got his head stuck in the railing on the patio. It wasn't funny at the time. His head has grown and no longer fits between the rails. (pic below is 2015)

fino patio head stuck 

one last round of Tapas...

FINO amuse bouche 

Amuse Bouche, gift of the chef.

Fino anchovie stuffed fried olives and pork pinchitos 

Fried goat cheese balls with red onion and honey 

easily one of her favorite foods anywhere, the Fried Goat Cheese balls drizzled with Honey and Red Onion.

(2015 pic above, 2008 below)

FINO Austin 2008 

FINO 2009 Austin 

There I am in 2009... enjoying the beverages of FINO.  

FINO Sunset austin 

#2 son and Kat from 2009 on the FINO patio. 

FINO Kat 2009 

FINO shishito peppers Austin

FINO is the restaurant that introduced Kat to her beloved Shishito peppers. 

and this is the end, the last family picture at FINO... 

schuster family at FINO Austin 


When one door closes, another opens. We anticipate their new restaurant that will be closer to our home, Cantine 

We paid our last tab at FINO and made it to a friends house for a feral hog roast... Life goes on. 

wild basin sunset west lake hills tx 78746 

smoked venison sausage 

I loved the smoked venison sausage.

electrical storm april 2015 westlake 

The sky was bright with lightening.  

I LOVE electrical storms. I loved the hail. I don't think Kat enjoys severe weather the same way I do.  

Austin Fashion Week 2015 Red Stella

We attended a fashion show at Red Stella

AFW Red Stella Party  

The salon was PACKED! Drinks provided by Tito's. 

Red Stella Austin Fashion Week

red stella and a flock of seagulls  

Half the fun of attending a Fashion event is the people watching, the other people who came to watch and be seen. Do you remember the 80's? It's a trick question because nobody remembers a lot about the 80"s, but we appreciated this Flock Of Seagulls makeup tribute.

and I ran, I ran so far away, I couldn't get a away A Flock Of Seagulls 

Some of the reactions from the audience were as interesting as the show.

what the what? 

She's not convinced about the look... 

red stella austin greyhound fashion week 


The greyhounds were elegant and well behaved.  

red stella austin  

once bitten at red stella austin 



red stella austin fashion week 

red stella austin fashion week 

red stella afw 2015 

paul schuster 

Kat played the silent auction game, I turned the camera on us while we waited the auctions to close. I think we won one, but they haven't contacted me...  

mirror red stella party austin 


All the bidding, Fashion and Greyhounds made us a bit hungry... stopped by to See Jorge at Chinatown on the way home. A delicious habit.  

chinatown westlake sushi chef jorge and kap 

uni sushi at chinatown westlake bee caves rd 

sushi specials at chinatown westlake 


April 13, 2015

Lamby and the revolving HH game.

The annual braised lamb shank and Turnbull wine dinner.

brasied lamb shank dinner 2015

The Stilton (blue cheese) bread pudding turned out well, the salad was OK, the Brussels sprouts were unremarkable but the lamb... was delicious. It's a laborious dish that I started the day before. I braised it for two hours at 200 and another three hours at 325.

It's also fortuitous that I casually mentioned there is a banana in the braising process that ends up in the gravy. One of our guests has a banana allergy. It would be rude to poison a guest. Nobody died and we enjoyed a few bottles of Turnbull along with a nice fire. Likely the last fire till Fall.

stilton bread pudding blue cheese  

HH updates: 

little barrel and brown happy hour austin gravlox deviled eggs

Kat and I ran a few errands Saturday afternoon and stopped off at Little Barrel & Brown. They have a daily Happy Hour (including Saturday and all night on Sunday!) The Gravlax  Deviled Eggs were good, as well as the Kale Caesar Salad. I was really excited about the Duck Confit Sloppy Joe sliders, But, the sloppy joe sauce overpowered whatever the duck confit was supposed to add to the dish. I wouldn't order them again. Still, a nice comfortable place with great service and good food.

family night at strange land brewery austin west lake hills texas 

The kids had burgers from Hat Creek burger company and ate them in the tasting room of our neighborhood brewery, Strange Land.  Kegs don't make for great stools. 

yelp austin party at the contemporary tom sachs  

This was our THIRD party at the Contemporary while the Tom Sachs exhibit was there. Yelp hosted us with open bar and free food. Things just didn't feel right so we left early. 

We stepped over to Backspace. 

peroni draft at backspace austin 

The universe has a balance to it. While we had just discovered a new place that has a great weekend HH on weekends, we found that Backspace has discontinued theirs completely.

I tired to smile... I tried really hard. I sympathized with my kids, I often argue with them as I instruct "smile, smile bigger" and they get frustrated and come back at me with "I AM SMILING!" 

sort of smile  

I really felt like I was smiling... 

This was like my third or fourth attempt (above). I decided I need to go BIG but Kat wasn't looking. She was just smiling naturally.  

smile at the backspace austin 

whipped lardo bruschetta 

The Whipped Lardo with Citrus Wedge Bruschetta was really good at Backspace

April 06, 2015

Garner State Park, Easter 2015

uvalde county texas hwy 83 garner

We made it to Garner in about three hours. It was a pretty drive and the GPS took us the mostly flat route (good MPG) 

garner state park airstream  

Setup is fairly routine for us now. It took us less than fifteen minutes with (most) everybody helping.  

la barbecue brisket schmidt family austin bee cave 

Lunch the next day had us comparing La Barbecue (almost Franklin) to Schmidt Family (bee cave, tx). You can see the La Barbecue (bottom piece) is cut differently and it was much more tender.  The La Barbecue was a bit salty, where the Schmidt seemed to be under salted and a bit tough. 

We should note that the Schmidt Family BBQ ribs were excellent. Go to La Barbecue for brisket (if you can't get Franklin) and get ribs from Schmidt.  

garner rio frio clear water 2015 

The Rio Frio still runs crystal clear. 

rio frio garner state park uvalde county tx 

boton terrier marvin rio frio  

rio frio garner state park texas 


marvin the sad android boston terrier garner state park rio frio 

rock stick rio frio 

He calls this game "rock stick". 

rio frio rock stick 

old horse creek trail garner state park  

Kat and I went on an afternoon hike up the mountain.  

blood orange margarita premix 

Happy Hour at the camp! I premixed blood orange margaritas (above). 

big red soda  

He really liked the Big Red. Kat had brought it home from a SXSW party.  


the cold, drizzly, grey weather was rolling in behind them.  

canadian candle swedish torch log 

We enjoyed the last bit of warmth and sunshine to be found that weekend. The Canadian Candle/Swedish Torch was fun to try. It did burn for hours and hours, but didn't really put out much heat.  

canadian candle swedish torch log garner state park 

canadian candle swedish torch log works 

easter bunny garner state park 2015 

Easter bunny rode by and threw candy at the kids. 

easter bunny candy garner state park 2015 

campfire cheese and crackers garner april 2015 

Mostly, we spent the whole day around the fire.  

roasting marshmallows by the fire garner 

glow stick art garner light painting 

glow stick light painting art by night.  

garner light painting glow sticks 

easter egg hunt garner state park 2015 

 Easter Sunday and our camp was scattered with colorful eggs. GO! 

garner state park egg hunt easter 2015 

easter egg hunt 2015 

They got a nice haul of chocolate and Golden Dollar coins.   

1964 airstream overlander garner state park 2015 ford excursion powerstroke 

G'Bye Garner. Next time I'll remember to pack warm clothes. If the sun fails again I want to be prepared.