Monday, February 20, 2017

President's Day Weekend

So we had a 3 day weekend this weekend! President's Day!
On Friday night Amy was still stuck in a deposition, so Raylan and I went out for a father-son dinner at La Posada.  The place was lively, the waitresses doted on Raylan, and we got a table near the coin operated stuffed animal claw-grab machine, which was perpetually manned by three small girls with an endless supply of change.  All of this, coupled with chicken nuggets, made for a very exciting experience for The Boy (who had to overcome the initial disappointment of finding out that pancakes are not on the dinner menu).  I ate tasty chicken enchiladas.

"Dad, one more chicken nugget, and then I'm gonna get me a stuffed bear with
that mechanical claw.  It looks easy."

We got home, got Raylan a bath, and put him to bed.
In the morning, Amy was bummed that she had missed La Posada, and Raylan was bummed that he hadn't gotten their pancakes, so we went back for breakfast.

"Mom, I'm having the weirdest sensation where it feels like you just\
did something and then you're doing it again."

After breakfast I think we just played at the house.  The weather was nice.  Amy went for a run, and I exercised after.
Later, Amy went over to Chad and Mary's new house to watch Truett while they ran back to their old place to grab some stuff.

Cassidy stands guard by the crazy coupe. 

Later on Saturday afternoon we went up to the Pinthouse Pizza on Burnet to meet up with Tommy and Kellie for Tommy's birthday.  Chad and Mary were also there with Truett, and Shelly and Kit were there along with Kellie's brother and some of their other friends.  It was fun!
Raylan got squirmy, so we didn't stay super long.  It was fun, though.  I wish we could have hung out longer.

On Sunday we went grocery shopping and ran errands.  I hung up a new mailbox that Amy got for us.  It looks cool!

Here's our cool new mailbox.  And Raylan trying to climb aboard
a very wary Cassidy.

Raylan took a long nap on Sunday.  In the evening Amy went out with Shelly and Emily.  It sounds like she had a really good time.

We had Monday off for President's Day.
It rained pretty hard overnight and into the early morning.
When it quit raining we went for some walks.
Mom and Dad came down in the afternoon and watched Raylan for a while.  Amy went running, and I went to see John Wick: Chapter 2.
Keanu Reeves shoots a whole lot of people in that movie.
It's violent, but the choreography of the fight scenes is really cool, if you're into that sort of thing.  It's also got a sort of interesting, stylized feel to it, with its depiction of a complicated, colorful, well developed criminal underworld.  The different kind of mobsters and hit men almost evoked feelings of the different gangs in The Warriors, especially given the protagonist's mission to simply reach his target with an entire criminal underworld seeking to do him in.
Anyway, it was fun.


Western Trails is still feeling the Valetine's Day spirit!

After the movie we all hung out for a while.  Then Mom and Dad left and we ate some delicious pozole that Amy had made.  Very good.


After dinner we watched Edwardian Farm.  
Then I wrote a blog post.  And I'm still writing it.
Weird....

Have a good week!










Monday, February 13, 2017

Amy Turns 30! Truett Turns 2!

Hey! Hope everyone had a good week and weekend.  It was sort of a big week in our house!
Amy turned 30 on Tuesday.
My family came over to our house on Tuesday night, and my mom made a spaghetti dinner for us and a birthday cake for Amy.
It was really nice.  At some point Raylan noticed the birthday cake, freaked out, and charged at it while making a tortured, frantic cry of, "CAKE!!!!" Before running across the room and burying his fingers in it.  We aren't even sure how he's so aware of cake, but apparently he's quite fond of it.

Gathered round the sandbox to discuss the week's events.

"What?  It's someone's birthday?"

"I'm not that good at counting yet.  But that's 30 candles, right?"

"Uncle Ryan, deciding whether to become a jedi knight or a sith lord-
that's, like, a serious choice.  You don't want to just rush right
into a decision like that..."
On Saturday Amy and Shelly helped host a birthday party for Truett, Mary and Chad's son and one of Raylan's oldest friends (they go way back, although Truett has since moved to a different school).
The party was at Ramsey Park.  It was a lot of fun.  We had some picnic tables next to a really nice playground, and the weather was nice.  Amy and Shelly did a great job.
The kids had fruit cups and little organic cheese crackers and juice pouches, and Truett had a chocolate cake with little construction site toys on it along with a big construction truck balloon.
The adults had breakfast tacos and coffee.

Ted, Hannah, Chad, Mary, Heather, Amy, Lizzie, Raylan, Megan, and Truett.

Raylan, Amy, Mary, Heather, Otto, and Truett.

a bunch of people with Katerina and Logan in the middle



"The cake!  Please, for the love of God, Mom, the cake!"

"Shelly, I'm not sure you should really put on a construction hat unless
you're serious about helping me build stuff."



Happy birthday, Truett!!!
On Saturday afternoon we went out to my parents' house.  Our family friend, Barb, was in town, and she and Ryan apparently spent hours making a pasty dinner before the rest of us showed up.
(Pasties, for those who don't know, are a sort of meat pie that were/are really popular in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I think they sort of came in with the mining community and the Scandinavian immigrants who settled up in that part of the country.  I grew up eating them on visits to my grandparents' house, and my grandmother would sometimes make them at our house when she came to visit).
So the pasties are sort of a family tradition, in a way.  Since Mom never really got all that into making pasties, Barb's visit was a chance for Ryan to try to quickly learn how to carry on the pasty tradition.
Also, I ordered a carrot cake birthday cake from Russell's Bakery for Amy, so we picked that up on the way over there.


Pasty makin'!

Raylan tries out the pasties.  And decides that he primarily likes eating
plain ketchup.

Anyway, it was a nice dinner.  The food was great, and it was nice to see Barb and hang out with the family (Susan and Uncle Donald were there, too, and Juan stopped by for a pasty).

On Sunday we mostly did chores and hung out around the house.
I went to the grocery store, took care of some laundry, and took Raylan to the park.

Normally Raylan and I don't like to be photographed in our Sunday
lounge wear.

Amy made some really good fish tacos on Sunday.
I had a short band practice with just Reed and I.

And that was pretty much the weekend.
It was fun, but it went by quickly!

Hope everyone is having a good week.









Monday, February 06, 2017

Update

Hey! How's everyone?  Raylan and I are both getting over colds, but other from that we're pretty good!
Our weekend was busy, but fun.

Friday night we stayed home and watched Lone Star, a sort of Texas border town film noir directed by John Sayles from 1996.  It stars Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Elizabeth Pena, and a young Matthew McConaughey.  I'd seen it before, but had forgotten most of it.  
Good movie.  
Tight plot.  Good acting.
We enjoyed it.  We had recently watched Hell or High Water.   
Lone Star was better.
Saturday we got up and went for breakfast at Central Market.  We also picked up a few snacks for...
"Hello?  Hello?  Is your refrigerator running?"
Play date party!
Amy invited a few work friends over on Saturday morning for a toddler play date party!
So at our house we had Heather and Toby with Otto, Megan with Lizzie, and Katerina with Logan.
Everyone had a good time.
The weather was kind of cool and a little misty, so the kids mostly played inside with toys.  They went outside for a little bit, though, to play on Raylan's fort.

Toddler chaos with Hotwheels and trucks and cars and blocks and...

Raylan and Logan enjoy the "toddler buffet"

"Yup.  This is how it's s'posed to be, Dad.
Yup."
Lizzie hangs out with her mom, and Raylan
seizes a chance to grab more food

Logan insists that I try a delicious cracker
Amy "enjoying" the toddler madness (she actually really did)
On Saturday afternoon Mom and Dad picked up Raylan so he could spend the night at their house. Amy and I had a nice dinner Saturday night at Cypress Grill.  At home, we watched Superbad.
It's a pretty funny flick (although definitely not safe for the kiddos.  Or appropriate for my mom and dad.  Okay- basically it's only funny if you can conjure the sense of humor of a high school kid.  An immature, dirty minded high school kid.)
On Sunday we ran errands and went to the gym.
In the afternoon we went over to my folks' house to pick up Raylan.  We picked up some pizza on the way over there, and we ate dinner with them at their house.
It was a nice evening.


"This monster truck is more or less the sort of thing that
 I expect to have by age 16, Mom.  This thing is a hybrid, right?"

When we got home we put Raylan to bed, and I watched the second half of the Superbowl.  I guess the media is hyping that game as a triumph by the Patriots, but from where I was sitting it looked like the most epic choke of all time by Atlanta.  They were just nonexistent in the second half of that game.  I have no idea how they got 28 points in the first half.  Or how they even got to the Superbowl in the first place.  They looked terrible.  I guess they just had a complete mental breakdown, because apparently they were really good during the season.
Well, the only football I've seen them play this year was the second half of the Superbowl, and they showed no signs of life.
The whole thing didn't exactly make me feel like tuning in to watch the NFL again next year.

Then this morning was back to school for Raylan and back to work for us.

"So what'd you guys do this weekend?"

Good weekend!  Gone too fast!
Have a good week!











Sunday, January 29, 2017

Update

Hi!  Hope everyone is doing okay!  Our weekend was pretty good.
Friday night I think we sort of laid low.  I picked up dinner for us.  I got some tacos from Torchy's, and picked up dinner from Crepe Crazy for Amy.  Because Amy is, in fact, crepe crazy.
Saturday morning we went out for breakfast.
Then we took Raylan to the park and played with him.   We ran errands in there, somewhere, and Amy went for like a 4 mile run.  I plodded along on the elliptical.
Our newest house project has been a new fence.  We put up a privacy fence in the back, and a cattle panel fence in the front.  We like it!  It sort of changes the feel of the house a bit, and it sort of simultaneously makes the front yard feel more private (and useful for wrangling kids and dogs) while at the same time keeping it open to the neighborhood.
I wanna get a chair so I can sit out there with Raylan and Cassidy and play guitar while they run around.

Our new fence, mid construction, with Amy doing
her best Vanna White impersonation
On Saturday we also went to Target and ran a couple other errands.  We went to Half Price Books, and I bought a cheap copy of Animal Farm.  I was gonna buy 1984, but the guy at the store said they couldn't keep it in stock, and he heard that even Amazon was running out of copies.  I guess Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer have everyone thinking the same thing.
Raylan got a haircut.  He sat on Amy's lap and played the Hungry Caterpillar game on her phone, and was shockingly well behaved.

On Saturday night I went to a plate party at the Flying Saucer for my friend, Bill.  Apparently if you join the beer club at the Flying Saucer and drink 200 different beers (no more than 3 on any given visit) you get a plate on the wall with your name on it and a little party where they give you- you guessed it- beer!
It was a fun time!  Thanks to Amy for watching Raylan so I could go out.
A few of Bill's friends came out, including my friend from work, John, and his wife, Sally.
It was good to hang out, catch up, and drink some excellent beers.

Bill gave a toast to celebrate the fact that he is
really, really good at drinking beer
Discretion being the better part of valor, I ended up leaving my car at The Triangle and riding the bus home from the bar.  I tried to just hang out and eat a late Tex-Mex dinner at Maudie's to let the beer wear off, but it didn't work.  They have some strong ales at the Flying Saucer.  
It's late, dark, and cold while I'm waiting for the bus.
But I'm still smiling.
Because beer.
On Sunday, we still didn't have any groceries in the house for breakfast since we didn't make it to the store Saturday, and we had to get my car, anyway, so we went out for breakfast for the second time in one weekend.  Hooray!
After breakfast we went to the grocery store.

"Mom, I'd like you to let me out of this chair so I can introduce myself
to some of the people here..."
Other from that, it was mostly a lot of goofing around.
I went to the gym and Amy went for another run.

Sunday Fun Day.

Sunday night I had band practice with Reed, Frank, and Jim.  It was good.  Felt good, and we sounded alright for a bunch of guys with an intermittent practice schedule.
I came home and ate some tasty tortellini soup that Amy had made.  Yum!

That was pretty much the weekend!

Have a good week!









Sunday, January 22, 2017

Update

Hi!  I hope everyone had a good weekend!
Ours was pretty good.
Last Thursday we got to go see a play!  Mom and Dad took Raylan for the night, and we went to see Let the Right One In.  It was fun!
Let the Right One In was a play about a young boy and his first childhood romance- with a young girl who turns out to be a vampire.  The play was put on by the Nation Theatre of Scotland.  It was based upon the movie of the same name.  It was good.  Scary and poignant and sometimes funny.
We enjoyed it.
We also went out to dinner before the show with Shelly and Kit at the Salty Sow.  It was a good restaurant.  We had a really good time.  Nice evening.

Pre-play selfie


Spooky set.
Mom and Dad took Raylan overnight on Thursday and had him on Friday as well.  Predictably, it seemed like he had a good time.  He got to go to the aquarium, which apparently he really enjoyed.

Raylan under the sea.
On Saturday we got up and I took Raylan with me to the grocery store so Amy could get some stuff done for work.
After our trip to the store, I rode my bike downtown to check out the Women's March.  Amy was a little wary about bringing Raylan to it and a little wary about finding parking downtown on her own, so, perhaps slightly strangely, in the end I represented our family while Amy stayed home with kiddo.
I had heard a bunch of women at work and in our neighborhood talking about going to the march, and these weren't necessarily the kind of people who show up to protests and marches at the drop of a hat, so I felt like something potentially unusual might be in the making.
And it was.  The march was huge.
I've previously shown up for a number of protests and events downtown (against the Iraq War, supporting Wendy Davis, anti-Trump, for tighter gun control, etc.), but this was by far the biggest political protest event that I've seen in Austin.  The newspaper put the numbers at 50,000, but I honestly would be surprised if there weren't even more people than that (I kept trying to compare the crowd size to the 100,000 people I've seen at DKR stadium for UT football games, and I would have put the march crowd at closer to 3/4 or 4/5 of the stadium than 1/2).
Anyway, it was a lot of people, and they were loud and enthusiastic.
People weren't just anti-Trump (although that was certainly a theme).  They were also simply for women's rights, for human rights, for equal pay, for women's health care, and in favor of leadership which respects and understands their interests.
I know that it's easy to dismiss protests and marches, saying that they don't effect real change, and while it's true that no one is going to pass a bill or create a law simply on the basis of a march, I do tend to think that protests and marches inspire people and generate a lot of energy.  The trick is to harness that energy, refocus it, and redirect it into something that creates concrete results.  I believe this can happen. We've seen this happen.  We have a memorial to M.L.K. in Washington, D.C., which stands as a testament to the power of a leader who never held a political office or a military rank.
Laws were passed and political leaders ultimately were compelled to comply with a mandate that he helped to create through moral leadership of the citizenry.
Sometimes political will precedes official action.  Sometimes it precipitates it.
Would I have rather seen this sort of energy before the election?  Sure.  But honestly, I think a lot of people never took Trump seriously enough to realize what he represented.  His election might end up as a wake up call for progressives.  This is by no means a sure thing.  But it's definitely possible.
As I've told a number of people- Trump, himself, wasn't actually the shocking thing about this election.  What came as a shock was the fact that there were enough people in this country who were willing to vote for the man to put him into office.  I think a lot of progressives sleepwalked their way through the election believing that there was no way that someone with the character and disposition of Trump could ever get voted into the presidency.
The real slap in the face came from finding out that the nation was willing to elect a guy who had run a reprehensible campaign and who had been engaging in extremely shady business practices and personal conduct for decades. (And I don't think is necessarily even a partisan position- many notable conservatives also refused to endorse Trump).  Many people never imagined that a Trump win was possible prior to the election.
Well we know better now, and, sadly, we know our country a little better now.
Hopefully this realization will generate action.

Anyway, time will tell whether the Women's March was a moment or a movement, but it was definitely something to see.





On Saturday afternoon we took Raylan over to Doc's.  He played on the playground and ran around and generally had a good time.  The place, especially the playground, was packed with kids.  At one point Raylan got away from Amy and me and went running off between some big kids who were on the swings.
Some lady ended up dramatically diving to the ground to try to stop him.
I was a little mortified, but scooped up Raylan and thanked her.
Deciding at this point that the playground was a little overcrowded and crazy, we fled!

"I like this restaurant, Mom.  I like the decor."
On Saturday night I think we took it easy.  Amy made some really good pasta with sausage.

On Sunday we got up and went out for Mexican breakfast at La Posada.
Afterwards, I installed a curtain rod for out new sliding door, and Amy hung up some curtains.
Amy put Raylan in the jog stroller and went jogging for 4 miles. (Ironwoman!)
I went to the gym.
Raylan took a nap sort of late.  We played outside a bit.

"Slave?  Oh, slave?!?!  Lift me, please."
Later I went to Reed's house for band practice.  It was just the two of us, but we had a good time. Reed's birthday was Friday, so it was good to get a chance to hang out with him a bit and do some rocking.

And that was it!  That was the weekend!
It was good.  It went by way too fast.

Hope everyone has a good week.











Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MLK Day Weekend Update

Hey! How are ya?
So this weekend was a three day weekend, due to the MLK Day holiday and the fact that Amy and I are both guv'ment lawyahs.
The weekend, had some good points, but maybe it wasn't our overall best weekend ever.
Part of this was because Amy came down with some sort of flu/fever thing on Saturday.  She wasn't feeling great Friday night, and by Saturday she had a fever.
I think this was on Thursday night.  Amy helps Raylan make
breakfast for dinner
We had pretty rainy weather over the weekend, too, so Amy wasn't feeling great, and we were trapped in the house with a very busy toddler.
Raylan was pretty good, though.
Friday night, prior to Amy getting sick, we went to La Posada and ate dinner.
Then I took Raylan with me to the grocery store and to run errands on Saturday morning.
We played with his Hot Wheels a lot over the weekend, and generally read lots of books and played with lots of his stuff.
On Sunday we went out to breakfast at Kerbey Lane.  Raylan was really excited about the pancakes. Amy was excited to get out of the house.
Sunday we went over to my parents house in the afternoon.  Mom made chili, and Dad read Raylan books.  We watched the Packers beat the Cowboys.  When you've pretty much only been watching college football, the NFL seems insanely fast paced.
Anyway, it was nice to hang out with them, as always.
On Monday we also had the day off for the MLK holiday.
In the morning we went over to the park in Ryan and Jamie's neighborhood.  Raylan played on the playground, and we got to see Ryan (Jamie had just gotten back from dialysis and was resting).  They have a nice little neighborhood park.  We played there until it started raining again.
So that was mostly the weekend!
We squeezed in a few walks, and Raylan played on his fort a little bit, but the weather was pretty gloomy and wet.

"Launch me!!!!"

"You gotta savor each bite, Dad."

Gonna keep it short because I'm busy and there's not too much to report, anyway.  Amy seems to be on the upswing.  Fingers crossed!

Have a great week!





Thursday, January 12, 2017

Addendum

So on January 2, the day after New Year's Day, Amy and I both got the day off from work.  I mostly mention this because we went down and walked on the board walk at Lady Bird Lake with Raylan, and I took some photos, but forgot to post them.  The weather was nice and we had fun!