Scenes from a raft-up.

Rock flower.

We headed to the lake today to raft-up with Marty & Sue on Caribbean Hug, Lori, Dave & Jake on Camelot, and Mike and Kathy on Soul Healer.  Julie joined us for the night, and Laura dropped by for a couple hours, too.

I paddled the kayak to shore to tie a stern line and saw these pretty little weeds growing in the rocks on the shore.

One view of Arky @ night

Mike had a pair of military grade night vision goggles, which everyone passed around for a while.  This is a shot I took through the goggles. Just thought it looked cool.

And, finally, this is a shot off the stern, of the last moments of dusk.

..and another shot of Arky at night.

A good time was had by all.

Pizza and Pils.


My niece is moving to Austin to attend grad school at UT.  She and her brother drove down from Seattle, and arrived on Friday.   We’ve enjoyed visiting with them for the last few days.  Tonight we drove down to South Congress to meet them for dinner, and afterwards watched the bats fly out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

We enjoyed an ATX double header:  Home Slice Pizza and Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap Pils.  Yum!

Sunset eclipse.

Part of a sunset.

Today a solar eclipse occurred right as the sun was setting.  Farther west in the US, the entire eclipse would be visible.  But, in Austin it started about 45 minutes before sunset, and by the time the sun was to set, it would only be about 50% eclipsed.

A few weeks ago, monte ordered #14 welder’s glass so that we could view it safely.  We scoped out a high enough perch that would allow us to see the sun for the longest time before it slipped below the horizon.

We decided on the Iguana Grill above Lake Travis.  The view was pretty great.  A bunch of friends joined us to watch it occur.  This is a shot right before the it slipped away.

Weekend raft-up.

Calling all riff-raff.

We headed to the lake yesterday to raft-up overnight in Arkansas Bend cove with Marty & Sue, and Joe.  It was really pleasant out.  Overcast yesterday, but nice breezes.  This is a shot from yesterday of the windsocks on Joe’s backstay on Prelude.  It got into the 60’s last night.  Refreshingly chilly.  It will be hot again soon enough.

We made quite the fleet.  2 sloops, 1 catboat, 2 kayaks, a rubber dinghy and a stand-up paddle board.

Today, we kayaked and sup-ed around the cove, and then headed back early in the afternoon to prepare for Monday.  Today was much sunnier, blue skies with big clouds, and a nice breeze for the sail home.

my kayak.

Surfdancing.

I love this pic.

When I got my Mac, I realized that it could only open the windows filesystem on my old USB backup drive in read-only mode.  Not great for doing backups.  I’ll need to reformat it to use it.  But I’ve been procrastinating, because i’m going to have to sort through what’s on there to see what to keep and what to get rid of.  So this week I took the first step – I copied most of what was on the backup drive to my mac to prepare to reformat the USB drive.

Consequently, the next time I opened Picasa, it found ALL the photos that I had just copied and loaded them into its library, which took a while.  But, once it finished, it makes for very easy viewing of many years of pictures.  So, I’ve been spending a lot of time this morning browsing through photos I’ve taken that I haven’t looked at for years.

When I got to this one I thought I’d share it with you.   This is a photo that I took when my sister, Colleen, and her son, Jacob, were visiting about 4 years ago.  We drove down to Port Aransas for the weekend, and stayed a place right on the Gulf-side of the beach.   This is a picture of Colleen and Jacob jumping together in the surf.   I used some piece of software, can’t remember what, to create a water-color effect — oh, and I edited out the oil rig on the horizon :(.  I later printed this and framed it for her.

I guess it’s kind of appropriate, too, because this is Mother’s Day weekend, and she’s a great mom.

I have to smile every time I look at this pic.

Street legal.


It’s usually the little things that matter most.  Monte may be retired, but he is not idle.  Today he signed up for car duty.  He took one of the cars to the shop to get new wheels, and some brake issue fixed.  Then he took that car to get inspected.  Then washed it.  THEN took my car to get inspected,  put the new license plates and reg sticker on, and washed IT as well.  I think the last time my car had current inspection AND registration stickers at the same time AND clean, too, was probably the day I bought it 15 years ago!

What a nice thing!  THANK YOU sweetie!  🙂

Walk with me.

Not my walking shoes.

I had a long day of meetings today.  Tomorrow evening I fly back home – always the best part of a business trip.

I didn’t take my camera with me this morning, so by the time I got back to the hotel it was dark, I was tired, had little material to work with, and was searching for inspiration for a blog post.  During my daily catch-up on blogs I read a post on the wordpress blog itself from last week.  It was an announcement for the 2nd annual WorldWide WordPress 5K, on Sunday, April 29th.  The WWWP5K is a virtual 5K, originally conceived by the employees at Automattic, the company behind WordPress, to get their geographically-dispersed fellow employees to run or walk a 5K “together,” each in their own locations.  They invited the entire blogging community to join them and to blog about it.   Last year I did.   And I plan to again this year.

Thanks WordPress for a fun idea, and for providing me with the inspiration for a photo for today.  I didn’t bring my running shoes on this trip, so these will have to do.

Mark your calendars, and walk with me!

Tuesday. Tax day. Traveling. And a troll.

Troll doll.

At the party, over the weekend, several little kids were there… all about 2 years old.  Monte brought out a box of toy trains and track that they played with at the picnic table on the patio.  I think these were toys that he had as a kid.  In the box was an old troll doll. Remember these guys?    I couldn’t resist….

To those fellow-procrastinators out there…. get those tax returns in today!

I’m off to New York for the week.  Ta-ta!

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

Good Saturday.

Yet another volunteer

Today was beautiful.  Hit Home Depot.   Worked outside in the yard.  Got my new flowers planted.  Fertilized the lawn out back and watered it in.  Hoping a lawn will spring up any day now.  Dug out a dead yaupon holly and replaced it with a new one.  Grocery shopping.  Filled the bird feeders.  Some indoor cleaning.  Reversed the ceiling fans – it’s officially spring now.   (In case you were wondering:  counter-clockwise for summer, clockwise for winter, as you look at the fan from below).  Some work-work.  Cooked a couple of yummy steaks.  Watched Darjeeling Limited with Monte.  Fell asleep on the couch.  Just yer average Saturday.  Waiting for the Easter bunny to show.

If you build it, they will come.

Bewick wren egg in nest.

Exactly 4 months ago today I posted a picture of a birdhouse I had just made.   The sides are hinged and open to reveal clear plastic walls inside the birdhouse – a “peek-a-boo” birdhouse.

The birdhouse sat on the table next to the couch for a long time, because Keeto liked to perch on it while we were all sitting in the gameroom.  But I finally hung it up outside about 6 weeks ago.

Well, I couldn’t help myself, so I finally peeked inside and saw a nest and an egg!  My friend Doray said it could be a bewick wren, when I described the momma bird to her that has been keeping watch in the birdhouse and nearby.   I looked it up online and sure enough, i think it is a bewick wren.  Just one egg, though.   But, I’m so excited to see a birdie in residence.

I was also happy to see mom come back to the birdhouse afterwards.  I’ll leave them in peace now and resist the urge to take another look.

Mom returns.