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May 26, 2015

MDW 2015, Cedar chops and the flooding of the Blanco

Memorial Day Weekend 2015: I was granted a "Fire Safety Zone" permit to remove trees from around the home. I wasted no time chopping cedar trees, and liberating oak trees. 

fire safety zone west lake hills

oak tree liberated from cedars west lake hills texas 

The skinny oak was nearly suffocated by cedars and a large vine. The vine tangled it all together. It was a big job getting it all down.  

west lake hills modhouse 

We had hired a tree service a couple years back. $1500 dollars later, I started to maintain the trees myself. It's no joke. I spend hours each week during the Spring just trimming. It will take me weeks just to haul away the cedar we've cleared. The rain doesn't help. It's now all slippery and heavier.  

austin rain of may 2015 


And the rain causes everything to grow even faster. I just finished trimming the grass, and it's about time to start over. I can only manage a section each day, usually takes three days to complete.

BUT MOSTLY, this will be the weekend remembered for all the flooding. The Blanco river swelled to a recorde level. The bridge we use to access our property down there was washed away. Not sure if/when we will be able to go down and check to see if our cabin is ok.  


May 18, 2015

Spring cleaning, ends justify the means?

Living in a home tends to build up. Crap gets deposited everywhere. Piles form, dust bunnies hide behind them... it's cumulative and it reaches a breaking point. We used to have regular events at the home. Cocktail or school parties where we invited a whole bunch of people over. That forced us to pick the stuff up regularly. Maybe we need to rekindle the event hosting habit so we keep on top of it... Or hire a maid.


We spent the WHOLE weekend cleaning, sorting, throwing away, scrubbing... oh let's not forget the bickering and arguing that goes along with the process. BUT, we came out the other end with a clean(er) home and no black eyes.

SO, while we had it all cleaned up, I took some pics. Fun to see how they compare to the pics taken in 2008, when the home was still fresh and new. 2008 CLEAN HOME PICS HERE 

modern cantilevered stairs 


austin mod house  






austin modhouse 


eames shell rockers herman miller  


kitchen dining  


apple green martini cesarstone 


trends ideas magazine kitchen edition 

We also compared the NOW pics from past pro shots used in magazine articles, TRENDS  

#2 son was SHOCKED to see the Magazine with pics of our home, "HOW CAN OUR HOME BE IN THIS MAGAZINE!!" He carefully studied each image with disbelief.  

and the Apartment Therapy Tour 

OK, it wasn't ALL bickering and cleaning, we celebrated our clean house by not dirtying the kitchen, and went to WINFLO for Sunday Night Two for One Pizza night.

winflo austin patio 

winflo cocktails 

 Winflo qualified for the "no gaming at the table" rule; Reservations, Cloth Napkins, and Water Poured from a vessel not being a Plastic Pitcher. #2 son pouted briefly, but quickly improved his mood as soon as pizza was served. Let it be known that on that Sunday, he was a well behaved little man.

two for one pizza at winflow sunday and monday after 5 

The Pizza was really good. It's Two for the price of One Sunday and Monday after 5 PM. They also have Happy Hour (reduced price drinks and apps) from 3-6:30. Monday just got a little Happier! 

winflo pizza austin 


May 11, 2015

Robert Therrien at the Contemporary

We attended the member's opening reception at The Contemporary Austin for the Robert Therrien exhibit.

I had seen the postcard sent out for the event, it was a picture of some old metal folding chairs in what appeared to be a storage room. I wasn't necessarily impressed, but I assumed the curator had found something redeeming worthy of the space.

robert therrien artist austin contemporary  

Imagine my surprise when I found the chairs to be this size! There was nothing in the original picture to give them scale. I had to laugh at the prank they pulled on me.  

robert therrien austin contemporary museum of art 

robert therrien austin art museum contemporary  

robert therrien art austin contemporary 

robert therrien artist contemporary art austin 

contemporary art austin  

There was an interactive station where Kat made an arrangement from a selection of objects. 

kat austin artist 

paul art doofus 

I played around with shapes and colors (above). And we certainly enjoyed the catered food buffet and open bars on the rooftop.  


The sun even made a brief appearance.  

the contemporary austin art museum roofop susnset 

Red GF juice, club soda and Tito's with a squish of lime, and ray of sun. 

May 04, 2015

Beer Portraiture... Staropramen (Prague)

the best picture I took this week, was a portrait of a Czech beer...

staropramen czech beer pague porter's ale house gastropub austin  

We continued our tradition of Sunday eve family HH at Porter Ale House and Gastropub. 

beer cheese fondue porter ale house austin gastropub happy hour 

Kat ordered "one of everything" from the HH menu (5-7 on Sunday). The chicken wings were the only low point. They had great flavor and looked beautiful, but were way over salted. Everybody loves the beer cheese fondue (above) and their sliders (below).

porter ale house gastropub happy hour slider austin 

beer portraiture porter ale house austin 

... and their beer really knows how to smile for the camera.

burning down the wimberley house BRR 

I spent the better part of the weekend down at the place near Wimberley. I burned off the last of the wood scraps and loaded my utility trailer with the scrap metals.  

HCMS Orchestra Rachel Horvitz trophy 

I had the pleasure to chaperone a trip with the HCMS Orchestra. First stop, a competition where they took top honors and picked up three trophies. Mrs. Horvitz was pleased, they got the BIG ONE.

We celebrated with a trip to Six Flags. 

HCMS Orchestra Six Flags 

I accompanied these young gentlemen around the park. Mostly I watched their bags, prizes, lollipops etc. while they enjoyed thrill rides. They only forgot about me waiting with their bags once...

golliath six flags fiesta san antonio 

They did manage to get me on Goliath (above)... that was enough thrill for me.  

Saturday morning, Kat said "How about we do a beer butt chicken tonight!". I dismissed the idea, noting that I normally brine the bird over night. Then I decided to put in a better effort to please my wife, I got up and ran to the store and had a bird in brine by 7:30 AM! 

smoked beer butt chicken 

Brined for six hours and smoked for about five, it came out perfect. Not salty, super moist and flavorful. The internal temp never exceeded 181, the meat was pink from smoke but fully cooked and tender  

smoked beer butt chicken 

at least I can still make the foods...