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November 28, 2016

Turkey Surprise!

My brother surprised us by showing up on Thanksgiving day. Kat and I were working in the yard when he just casually walked up and started chatting. It took me a minute to realize what had just happened. He is currently stationed at Fort Bragg (North Carolina).  

We hid him so he could surprise my Mom when she came over. I caught the moment.  

thanksgiving surprise soldier comes home 

fried turkey drop 2016 

The turkey was dropped in the hot oil. 

fried turkey success of 2016 Austin

The turkey came out all golden brown. We were proud of ourselves.  

fried whole turkey 2016 west lake hills 

Kat carves the turkey 

It was a good meal.  

jester king spon release 

I drug my family to the Jester King Friday morning. I needed to get some Spon for a friend... 

Jester King Spon 1 

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza at Jester King 

We also enjoyed some Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza while there.

Then, the rest of the holiday weekend was devoted to knocking out my brother's Texas To-Do list: 

takoba austin michelada 

My Dad came down to spend the day with us. First item on the list was Micheladas from Takoba 



matt's knockout martini austin mexican martini 

The final list item was a Mexican Martini from Matt's el Rancho, along with Pecan Smoked Brisket Flautas.

And then he flew back to base.   

November 21, 2016

Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ Austin 2016

I managed to get a last minute press pass to Cochon 555. This is a pork lovers dream come true. We were unprepared for the abundance of delicious food (and beverage) that was laid out for us on the beautiful lawn of the Four Seasons. Truly amazing, it would be a bargain at the $100 ticket price.

cocon 555 austin four seasons hotel 

paul schuster of austin texas and hardwick vt 

don julio cochon 555 

Don Julio provided top shelf margaritas. 

grilled oysters cochon 555 austin

The grilled oysters were so good.  

barlata cochon 555 austin

fire pit at four seasons cochon 555 austin tx 2016 

pig head cochon 555 austin 2016 

smirnoff mule  

pork at cochon 555 austin lonesome dove 

cochon 555 Austin 2016 Four Seasons 

Pork rinds with mole.  

pop up butcher salt and thyme cochon 555 austin 

Pop-up butcher shop by Salt & Thyme.  

We were there for a over an hour. We had so much delicious food and drink. We didn't even get to the wineries that were there. I would definitely go again next year, with a better game plan to get more out of it. We hit a wall pretty quickly yesterday. The event was four hours long and did include a dessert course (not pictured). 


November 16, 2016

Drambuie Cocktail Competition

It was a fairly usual Monday, but the evening was different. We had the opportunity to help judge a Drambuie Cocktail Competition, winner receiving an all expenses paid trip to Scotland!

#drambuie cocktail Austin 

#drambuie cocktail classic

firehouse pub austin speakeasy 

Tacy Rowland #drambuie flip austin bartender 

Congratulations to Tacy Rowland of The Roosevelt Room. She will be heading to Scotland! 

tacy rowland and chilled magzine #drambuie cocktail  

tacy rowland #drambuie flip  



November 14, 2016

Mid November, EAST and Angers (FR) with devices.

There is so much happening this time of year in Austin.

Brooklyn Lager hosted a party at the Mohawk, Lee Fields and the Expressions were the main act.   

lee fields and the expressions mohawk brooklyn brewing

East Austin Studio tour has started, we enjoyed the Chris Maresh Jazz Trio at #459 for Rose Saenz 

Chris Maresh Jazz Trio Austin  

design studio mark meyer austin  

The architect we hired for this house had a party, goats were grilled and bands played. The band below doesn't have a name yet, but they are "Open For Suggestions".

open for suggestion (band) austin tx 

They might be influenced by Guided by Voices and Superchunk (from what I can gather). I liked them and hope they continue.

Austin has a sister city in France, Angers (pronounced ON-jzay)

Cherry Plum from Angers played for us.  The good people of Angers also sent one of their French Chef over to make us some special pizza at ABGB,

Cherry Plum from Angers France in Austin TX


More than twenty five years ago, I noticed a friends mother had a Gameboy in her car. She went on to tell me all about her high scores. I found this funny. She said, "Just you wait Paul! One day, YOU will have some sort of device when you find yourself needing something to do, like waiting in the pick up line at school..." I found that idea funny as well, that'd I'd have kids and I'd be the one that spent my time shuffling them around... Oh how right she was. 

Now nearly everybody has a smart phone. It can be a great tool and has so many options for killing extra time. The problem now, they have become SO interesting, they are no longer reserved for empty or bored moments. They are now something that has to be served, and often it receives attention at the expense of people and events in the real world.

I'm reminded of the movie, The Matrix. Where humans are slaves to an electronic world where their reality is entirely digitized. It seems each year, we are choosing to spend more time in the digital world, and less attention in the real world. Games, Videos, and Text on phones are demanding more and more time. It can be called multi-tasking, but a brain can only offer a partial attention while it's also doing another task at the same time. These tools are starting to make me feel lonely and it often makes the user irritable, not happy. When does the machine serving us, become us serving the machine?   


November 07, 2016

Eanes Fall Carnival 2016, #12 for me....

I've been coming to this school carnival for TWELVE YEARS. TWO MORE TO GO!

Eanes Elementary Carnival 2016 



monkey bar are too short Eanes 

What happened to the monkey bars? they don't work any more... 

A chicken dancing the Chicken Dance, at Wurstfest 2016

Wearing the lederhosen and dirndl are part of our German cultural trip to Wurstfest.

kids in german costume at wurstfest

We also enoy the carnival rides, the sausage on a stick (the daughter and I really enjoyed the Bratwurst), and the beer was enjoyed by the parents. We did have a designated driver, my mom doesn't like beer. Then there is also the music. Where you have music, you often have dancing. If it's a German Oktoberfest sort of polka music... they will likely play the Chicken Dance. I came prepared this year.  

Chicken dancing the Chicken Dance:

chicken dance wurstfest 2016

chicken dancing the chicken dance wurst fest  

chicken dance okotberfest wurstfest 2016  

beer pitcher tower wurstfest  

Kat contributed our two pitchers to the giant empty pitcher tower we found in Wursthalle.  

November 01, 2016

Portal Gun still works, Halloween 2016

portal gun prop portal costume halloween 2016


#2 son is still using the Portal Gun I made him. He thinks he can get one more use from it.  

working portal gun  

The Portal Gun seems to be working well.  

real portal gun 



It was another warm Halloween. We managed to get some good Trick/Treat action in, and the traditional dinner with friends.