Gimme a kiss.

Keeto at about 8 months.

Keeto is about 8 months old.  His flight feathers are in and he has mastered flying.  He loves to sit on his perch in the window, which is about 2 feet away from a hummingbird feeder.   When the hummingbirds fly up to the feeder, I don’t know who is more freaked out, the hummingbirds or Keeto.   He also will fly between Monte and I when we are all sitting down to watch TV.   He seems to be pretty house-trained.   Good thing. …and he loves to give kisses.

Today is day 2 of an absolutely beautiful weekend.   Monte has headed to the lake,  and I am working.   Ok.  Well.  I will be as soon as I post this.

We are looking forward to a fun evening at the One World Theatre.   For Christmas, I gave monte tickets for 2 for the Diane Schuur concert this evening.   I made him humongous paper tickets for the gift.  The real tix are actually at will-call.   But we’re bringing the home-made tickets with us to see if they’ll let us in with them anyway 🙂

Great seats.

Oh, and Happy Earth Day!

Wonderful weekend.

Elvis sighting.

We started out this evening with dinner at Z-Tejas downtown with the visiting Three.   Frozen mango marg and a salad for me.   Delicious!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday night… a trifecta of fun.

Walking to our car after dinner, we stopped by a statue store to take some pics.  Ran into the King.   Then we headed over to Lori’s to play a few rounds of a game that Denyse told us about… called Telepictionary.  It goes roughly like this… each person writes a sentence at the top of a piece of paper.  Then they pass it to the right and the next person draws their interpretation of the sentence.  That person folds over the sentence, so the next person can only see their drawing.  And the next person then must write a sentence that captures what their interpretation of the drawing is.  Then this person folds over the drawing and passes the paper to the next person, who can only see the sentence that they wrote from the previous drawing.  This goes on for several more passes.   We had 7 people playing tonight.  When the paper makes its way back to the person who wrote the original sentence at the top of the page, the round is over.

It’s funny to compare the original sentence to the last one on the page.  The shot below is of one my sentences after having made it around the table.

You get the idea.

I love a good party.

Retirement crown.

We had a fun time at Lori’s Friday night.  Tonight we threw a party to celebrate Monte’s retirement.  It was a blast.  I wish every day was a Saturday, with a party  🙂

Monte got a lot of funny gifts:   a double-barreled beer helmet, retiree t-shirt, this lovely retirement crown, wine & champers, a giant inflatable tentacle (yep), to name a few.  The retirement crown was given to him by another friend named Lori, who retired last week herself.   She wore this at her party.   We will pass it on to the next retiree, who will pass it on to the next person that retires, and so on…until all our friends are dead… speaking of which… one gift was a funny little picture book for adults called All my friends are dead.  You can read part of it online here.

Tomorrow… clean up the party and finalize my tax return…

Friday night lights.

Homeward.

Today is Friday the 13th.  It passed without incident.

After work we headed over to Lori & Dave’s house – several friends of ours make an annual visit to Austin, and it’s always a big party when they get here.  Lots of laughs…and lots of mob dancing to 80’s tunes.   🙂

The car in the center of the picture was what I was trying to get a shot of… an old timey volvo or something.  Didn’t turn out, but I like it anyway.

Goodnight!

Beer me, Marge.

Rover's neon.

I love that it’s getting dark later these days.  I can get more things done after work.  But it does tend to make the days longer.

Tonight it was 8:30 by the time we both sat down and and starting thinking about what to do for dinner.  So, we decided to pop out for a quick, late, bite.  We ended up at our local pub, BB Rover’s.

BB Rover’s is a great bar.   Good food.  Nice patio outside.  Tons of beer.  They have over 300 beers from all over the world to choose from every night.   They have a tradition at BBs – once a patron has tried 100 different beers, their name goes up on the 100 Beer Club wall of fame.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to drink all 100 of them in one night.  🙂  To help keep track, they have a form that you can use to check off different beers as you drink them.

We’ve been going to BBs for a long time…over 16 years.  We have friends that have made it to the wall of fame.  But, I can never seem to make progress towards the 100 milestone.   Oh, I’ve tried.   I just dug up my old scorecard.  I have 23 different beers checked off, so far.  But, try as I might, I usually just end up ordering a Stella on draft.  I guess I know what I like.   Maybe I’ll give it another go.   It could happen.

In our travels to the Caribbean, I’ve found some local lagers that I like:  Carib (Trinidad & Tobago), Kalik (Bahamas), Hairoun (St. Vincent & the Grenadines).  But they are hard to find in the US, so they haven’t made it to BB’s checklist.   I guess we’ll just have to keep going down to the islands for a cold one of them.

I’ll leave you with this (source unknown):

The Beer Prayer 

Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink.
Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk),
At home as it is in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillage,
As we forgive those who spill against 
us.
And lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers.
For thine is the beer, the bitter, and 
the lager.

Barmen

Eastside eats.

Dinner at Justine's.

Tonight I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate a couple of birthdays.  We picked a place in East Austin for tonight – Justine’s on E 5th – a casual french bistro.  It was my first time here.  The food and wine was delicious.  I recommend the scallops, though the sauce was a tad bit spicy.

The place was crowded and hopping after about 8 o’clock.  And it got very noisy by the time we left about 9:30.  Apparently this is a hot spot hangout for lots of the beautiful people in town. 🙂

It’s starting to get warm these days, but it was still cool enough to sit outside.  In their courtyard they had a huge neon sign of a burlesque dancer that I wish turned out better, but here ’tis.

Ooo-la-la.

Happy Birthday to Irene & Lori!

Big day for us… but could it be even bigger?!

Luck, be a lady tonight!

As of today, Monte is retired!  Big day for us.

Today is also the drawing for the Mega Millions lottery drawing, and the jackpot is up to over $640M!  We usually do not buy lotto tickets, but hey, who can resist?  We can all use a little help.  (or a lot!)

I’ve blurred out the winning numbers above, so that we can continue to live in anonymity as mega-millionaires, after the drawing 🙂  Heh, heh.

Good luck to you and your tix, too!

First raft-up of the year.

Raft-up!

It’s that time of the year.  This weekend was the first raft-up of 2012.  And it was a doozie!  We had 14 boats, 31 people and 2 dogs.  I don’t have a picture of all the boats, but I took this one of 12 of them as we were coming in to tie up, and Joe arrived later.

It took quite a while to walk from one end to the other.   Some of the boats’ lifelines couldn’t open, so it was a gymnastic feat crossing from boat to boat …with one hand free 🙂

Let me see if I can do roll call….left to right, we had Mark & Sarah on Serenade, Gray & Debbie on the blue hulled First, Bartlett’s parents’ Catalina, John & Claudia & 2 others on the brand new Solace, Tasha & Robert and Tony & Michelle (visiting for the weekend!) on Voodoo, Danny & Casey on the Beneteau 31, Rory & Greg on Sapphire, Camden & Terry on MoonRock, Kurt, Wally & Kevin on Dancer, John & Deanna on Caribbean Run, Mike on Allegro, Lori & Dave on Camelot, Monte & me on Cupholder, and last but not least, Joe on Prelude.  Whew!

As much fun as these are, we did have a rare, bad experience on our way to the cove.  Some <expletive> motorhead nearly crashed into us as we were under sail.  Coming within about 5 feet of us, and going about 30 miles an hour.  As they passed, they turned their boat, pushing up a wall of water that dumped into our cockpit, drenching both of us, and pouring water into the cabin, v-berth and lockers below.

Monte immediately got on the cell phone and called LCRA dispatch, gave them a description of the boat and their heading and … they pulled them over.   Goobers.   It could have been very bad.  I guess it’s good that we only got wet.

Anyway, we didn’t let that spoil our evening.

In true B-dock fashion, the party went on into the wee hours.  A good time was had by all.

It’s truly wonderful to have this bunch of people to play with.  Everyone really enjoys being out on the lake together.  We are very lucky.

Bye-bye Winter (and a few other items of miscellany).

pea-knuckle.

We met Doray & Tom at BB Rover’s tonight for dinner and to play a few rounds of pinochle.  The ladies won a tightly contested best-of-three match.

Today is the last day of winter.   Spring will officially be upon us at 12:14 AM local time tomorrow morning.

I have a couple of unrelated other shots I wanted to post…  one is of a deer that has taken to laying outside the guest bedroom window.  He’s got an injured foreleg, and has been back here a couple of times.   This shot is from the bedroom window.  He’s only inches away.  Forgive the crummy shot through the solar screen on the window.  You get the idea.

Oh deer!

And this is a shot of a bunch of Texas Mountain Laurel seeds that I harvested from a bush growing in the greenbelt when we were there on Saturday afternoon.  I looked online to learn how to prepare the seeds for germination.  These seeds are from last season, they are hard and red and have shrunk a bit.  Conventional wisdom says to knick them and then soak them till they swell a bit, and then plant them about an inch deep.  The little dimples on the seeds in the picture below are where I cut through the shell of the seed.  The seeds soaked for about 8 hours, so they are plumped up a bit from when I knicked them.   I’ve got these guys in pots in the back room now so that I can tend them.  I hope they take!  We want to plant a bunch of mountain laurels along the back fence line.  I’ll let you know how they turn out…  FYI these are supposed to be poisonous, so if you try this at home… don’t eat them  🙂

Texas Mountain Laurel seeds.

There is rain in the forecast…it’s been slow getting here.  But as I type this post, there’s a big red line just moving into our area.   I’ll have to sign off now to watch the weather channel (my favorite).

Good night!

SizzlyGIF.

Hot water.

I made crepes for breakfast.  Always delicious!  As I was getting the pan ready, I flicked water into it to see if it was at the right temperature.  As the water danced and sizzled, I thought I would try to capture some of that later in a picture.

So after breakfast I set up my camera on a tripod next to the stovetop and gave it a try.  The water was moving too fast for my little camera to get a good shot.  I tried several different things.   I have an ISO 3200 setting, so I tried that and was able to capture a few clearer images.  I had quite a bit of water in the pan by this time, but it still looked cool.

A single image didn’t show much, so I looked on the web for a tool to create animated GIFs quickly and found Picasion.com.  It is a web-based tool that will upload up to 10 images, convert them to a GIF, and then give you the URL to the resulting file.   The animation above is the result.

So.  There ya go.  A creative way to waste a half hour or so.  🙂

Well, it wasn’t completely wasted.  Now I know how to display animated gifs on my wordpress.com-hosted blog.  The trick was to upload and insert it into my post without scaling it down, not display it at less than full size.   So, before I created the gif, I reduced the size of the images to make each one smaller.  Then I made the gif.  Then uploaded and attached it.  Voila.

Releasing my inner artiste.

A Sheila original (sort of).

Tonight Sue & I went to an art studio called Painting with a Twist.  They hold a painting class every night where everyone in the studio paints the same picture.   Oh, and you can bring your own wine and snacks to help get the creative juices flowing (that’s the twist part).  You can choose which session you want to attend by checking out their calendar and signing up ahead of time.  They have studios in many cities, check out their main website if you’re interested.  Tonight’s piece is called Moonlit Cherry Blossoms.

I know friends that have tried it, but this was my first time.  It was FUN!  The pic above is one I took of my painting after I got it home.  I look forward to trying this again.

Look out people, ARTIST COMIN’ THROUGH!!  😀

Mo’ Willy.

Number 6.

Today we walked 9 holes at Morris-Williams Golf Course.  I’ve been looking forward to golfing with my sweetie since vacation started.  The rain put a damper on that for a bit, but today was beautiful with temps in the 60’s.

This is a shot of the Number 6 hole, taken from the Number 5 green.   The rain we’ve had the last few weeks have greened things up a bit.  You can just barely see the UT Tower – the one building visible on the horizon.

I really enjoy Morris-Williams.  I am still quite the novice golfer, but this is the course that I know best – by far.   The tee-to-green distance of the first 9 holes is about a mile and a half.  So I figure we walked 2 or so miles.  Though the way I hit today, it might have been more like 3-4 miles.   🙂   And, on this course, every hole seems to be uphill.   But no matter, it was really nice to be out there.

I did not lose any balls in the out of bounds or in the water hazards.  I did, however, hit several trees that popped out of nowhere.   Oh well.   Maybe one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to play at least once a quarter in 2012.  We’ll see….