« August 2018 | Main | October 2018 »

September 24, 2018

A Fall into Texas Wines

Fall arrived on time. With low temps, and gray skies, we spent the weekend with friends at their ranch in Fredericksburg.

tesla wine country tour texas 

We had a designated driver and a comfortable Tesla X to haul us around.


Southold Farm + Cellar is well off the beaten path. Sited high up on a ridge, they have a long distance view in every direction.  

southold farm cellar winery fredericksburg tx wines 

We had the member's tasting in the Cellar at Kuhlman

caveman selfie at huhlman wine fredericksburg tx 

kuhlman winery fredericksburg tx tasting wine 

The real treat at Kuhlman is the food/wine pairing. They know how to set things up so the wine has a complimentary food companion.  

huhlman wines texas food and wine pairing summer 2018 

Becker! Kat and I have talked about visiting this winery since we first moved here from CA so many years ago.

becker winery fredericksburg tx  

I can definitely recommend a stop at Becker.  

becker winery saddle jockey  

What's up with this guy?  There was a giant field of flowers at Becker.

floral field becker winery texas flowers  


growler keg Co2 neipa homebrew  

Our friend Dave has his home brew rig up and running. He made a delicious NEIPA and brought some in his fancy growler for us to taste.  

neipa home brew 

lukenbach tx theme park  

We'd never been to Luckenbach. It's sort of a Country and Western theme venue more than an actual town. I can't get on board with their food/beverage program. It was one to check off the list.  

September 17, 2018

Steep Cats and how to keep your art secure...

steep cats austin haam day st elmo brewing

I love HAAM Benefit Day. It's a great cause, and a great opportunity to see live music. We took the kids to St Elmo Brewing, enjoyed a nice dinner from Soursop while we enjoyed the music from Steep Cats (above) and A Tiger Lilly . 

a tiger lily haam benefit day st elmo brewing lilly  

members rooftop party jones contemporary austin 

The Fall Member's rooftop party was a nice event. 


jones contemporary art center austin 

They must have been short on security for the event. They secured the art to heavy items that appear to be sourced from a household garage.

art loss prevention at the jones contemporary art center austin 

Ok, I'm teasing a bit. We did not speak to the curator or read the artist's statement of the impetus to strapping the sculptures to automotive tires or a plain white refrigerator. The piece below seems like a trip hazard. 

trip hazard jones contemporary art center austin personal injury attorney playground  

The last time I saw a floor mat with one corner flipped up like that, Stewart Guss said to me "Paul, it's dumb stuff like this, is how I make money" then he used his foot to fix the floor mat.  

deiviled eggs at caroline austin spg 

It's become a regular pattern, we go to Caroline after the Member's party. Fancy deviled eggs are also a theme we've pursued. I now have a list, ranking the eggs about town. I may share that at a later time.  

peche happy hour mac and cheese with duck confit austin  

Peche' Sunday Happy Hour! While so much has changed in Austin, we were happy to find this has not. Half price food items and $5 fancy cocktails all night on Sunday. The Mac and Cheese with Duck Confit was really good. The kids also enjoyed the French Onion Soup. It used to be their favorite. With a few more experiences, they now say the FOS in Quebec is better. But that makes total sense and the FOS at Peche' is still pretty good (and half price on Sunday!). 

monsoon season in austin 2018 

Rain, Rain, Rain.... so much wet.  

wild mushrooms austin  

Wild mushrooms are popping up all over the yard with all this moisture.  


A bad satellite cable install ten years back, before we cut the cord, has me up and down a ladder with a caulk gun.  


While I'm up there, I also performed the annual tree trim. I don't like heights. But it has to be done.  

pinthouse pizza brewery 

To calm my nerves.... PHP had a nice release this week. Unfortunately the batch was so small, no growler fills.  

hazy juicy ipa austin texas tx pinthouse lamar 

Delicious juicy and hazy DIPA.  

price per square foot west lake hills 78746 sq ft eanes

CMoore forwarded me a list of most expensive suburbs to live in the US, West Lake Hills was on there. The only suburb on the list that was more expensive than WLH was near San Francisco. I wasn't that surprised, but this upward pricing trend has us concerned. I laugh when people tell me "you must love the low cost of living you have here in Texas". I got on Zillow and did a quick search in the neighborhood. I found a new listing, ON OUR STREET that is $959 per sq ft! When the kids are all out of Westlake High School, I'd like to be some place more central.

austin condo thorton 78704 

We stop by the occasional Open House in Central Austin. This was one was nice enough, in a GREAT location asking $699k for around 1700 sq ft ($400 per sq ft).  It's one of four condos on a nice enough lot at 2110 Thornton (walking distance to ABGB).

shower bath wet room trend 2018 

What I really like, is this trend of having the tub and shower in a wet room.  

deviled eggs 78746 

We had some friends over for smoked chicken and deviled eggs (which came first? chicken/egg?). It was a big night, but we still made it to the gym the next morning.

BGE smoked chicken 5 hours 

padre the hermit crab fresh fruit buffet 

Padre' continues to enjoy life. He has a healthy diet of fresh fruit and vegetables provided by Kat.  

fall red sky sunset west lake hills tx 78746

and that was another busy week... 

September 10, 2018

5 MPH Bumper and the Hideaway Kitchen and Bar

porsche 944 austin tx glacier blue

The early 80's introduced the 5 MPH bumper standard. These bumpers were designed to take a whack at 5 MPH and result in no damage to the vehicle. A pair of shocks or struts is fitted between the bumper and the car body. The problem is that once compressed, they often stay that way. I spent a short amount of time, in the drizzly rain, replacing a compressed shock with a good (used $40) unit. The bumper is once again straight. This was my huge achievement from this past week. We have a complicated school schedule this year that has most of my days cut up into small bits.  

salt and pepper tofu and shrimp 

Our other achievement this week, Salt and Pepper Shrimp/Tofu. The shrimp was delicious. We were skeptical that silken tofu would stand up to the process. It usually falls apart just being removed from the package. We did an experiment, we made three different Salt and Pepper Tofu. We used silken, medium, and firm tofu. The process involves using paper towels and weights to remove moisture. We also learned that fancy dinner plates don't make the best weight. Sure, they are nice and heavy. But once the tofu releases moisture, and compresses, it sort of deforms. The once level stack of fancy dinner plates used for weights may have leaned, and slid off the counter. It's good to learn these sort of things early on.

The end result was that silken was in fact the correct tofu. They were all delicious due to the large amount of garlic, jalapeno and scallion that was applied.  

rain defeats drought in Austin TX Sept 2018 

Our regularly scheduled drought situation is being relieved with lots of rain. Temperatures are down to a nice level. We were glad to see the heat wave break. We spent most of the week with no A/C upstairs. A $2700 compressor replacement has us back in the conditioned air and a new ten year warranty! Funny how the old compressor lasted eleven years....  

lake austin ales hazy juicy ipa

We attended a launch event for Lake Austin Ales. They are promising to focus on that hazy and juicy IPA we have learned to love in New England/North East (NEIPA). The Double Juicy (DIPA on the right) was pretty good. I was not a fan of the Juicy IPA (left). But I expect they will quickly improve their method/recipe. It's a great time to be alive.  

hideaway happy hour austin  

Our Sunday ritual includes an afternoon trip to Costco. We get food for the week and kids lunch items etc. I like to conclude that Costco trip with a beverage stop. We started this routine when we found the Whole Foods next door to Costco has a fun craft beer bar in it. But then I expressed my preference for the Electric Jellyfish, so we started going to PHP after Costco. We still like to try new places. I'd read that the Hideaway had a great happy hour, seven days a week 4-7. It was a short drive with no traffic on a Sunday afternoon. The location is a bit hidden.

hideaway kitchen and bar happy hour austin 

The drinks are fancy and the bar food is half price.  

electric jellyfish ipa hazy juicy austin pinthouse pizza s lamar 

Electric Jellyfish is still my favorite local IPA.  

September 03, 2018

Popo visits Austin and my iPhone is red...

We switched mobile phone service providers. Kat and I got new 8 Plus iPhones as well. I got a shiny red one. It has half the memory of my 7 Plus... but it's RED! 

RED iPhone 8plus

Kat's Mom came to visit for a few days. We got her out to sample the local foods and social scene.  

78746 west lake hills tx  

We attended a Surprise birthday party and wine tasting for a friend here in the neighborhood.  



The upstairs A/C compressor is out at home. We enjoyed soaking up the cool air down in the basement, in the wine room.  


The mullet headed caveman dude kept jumping into the pics with the pretty girls.  

caveman with mullet photobombs pretty girls 

Haha, very funny.  

mullet headed caveman  

It was quite a surprise.  


wimberley blanco river rapids estates

The stairs for leading down to the river park at our place in Wimberley have been replaced. Such a huge improvement.  

blanco river sept 2018

The Blanco River is a bit low. But it was good to have a soak and let the boys play in the water.


Kat has a cousin that lives in San Antonio. They drove up for dinner.  

sushi chef Jorge at Chinatown Westlake 78746 

We introduced Popo to Chef Jorge, and Gregory at Chinatown.  


We feasted upon sushi... 


and more sushi... 


followed by even more sushi! 

austin hike and bike trail lake 

The most important feature of any phone, is the camera. So far, I'm happy.  


I took Popo on a 3.5 mile hike around Ladybird Lake.  




austin pecan tree

Popo was quite impressed with the pecan trees all along the trail. She told me that when she first came to America, they saw an apple tree. There were apples on the ground around it. It was shocking to them as apples were very expensive in Taiwan. Now, she has found pecans all over the ground in Austin.