Monday, February 01, 2016


The weekend was pretty good! On Friday night we had dinner, and then Amy went over to her friend Heather's house to hang out with friends (I think they ended up watching a movie). I stayed home with Raylan (well, he was pretty much asleep the whole time).  I watched the first episode of the new X-Files miniseries. 
It was okay, but not it didn't really blow me away.  I mean, it was a passable X-Files episode, but it wasn't really outstanding, which ended up raising the question of why someone would resurrect a cancelled show after decades if they didn't have a really great script burning a hole in their pocket.
Anyway, I watched the first episode streaming through the on-demand service since I missed the live broadcast, which does not allow you to fast forward (it forces you to watch the commercials).  Then I got halfway through the next episode before accidentally starting the thing over when I hit the wrong button on my remote.  At that point I threw in the towel because I didn't want to watch the entire episode again from the beginning (no fast forward).  Instead, I watched Fury Road on HBO.  If Amy was going to hang out with her friends on Friday night, I would hang out with my homies, Immortan Joe, Imperator Furiosa, and Max.
On Saturday we got up, ate some breakfast tacos, and went on a walk to the park.  I went grocery shopping, and we took care of a couple of other chores.  I went to the gym. 
The weather was ridiculously nice, and thanks to the warm weather blowing in from the south, there wasn't even much cedar pollen in the air.  We opened to windows and spent a lot of time outside.
Saturday night we ate chicken chipotle sloppy joes that Amy had been cooking in the crockpot all day (yum!), and we watched Silicon Valley after Amy was in bed.
We're really enjoying that show.  It's really funny and never takes itself seriously, even though it definitely has some points to make about the tech world and its culture.

"Give me the signal when she's not looking, and I'll make a run for it."

"This grass is okay, but you know what would be really great?
If some ridiculous man would pick me up and carry me around on his should-"


(Raylan sports his international look)

(Cassidy- aging guard dog of Tejas Trail)
On Sunday I drove over and got us some bagels from Wholy Bagel for breakfast.  The place has been there forever, but Amy read about it recently on some web site and insisted that we try it out.  Good bagels!!  They have more of a legit New York style to them than some of the other bagels in town (harder on the outside and chewier in the middle).
We walked Raylan again and took him to the park.
Ryan and Jamie came over for lunch and we walked over to Central Markey with them.  The weather was nice, so we sat outside.  It felt really good to see them and catch up.  It had been a few weeks, given Raylan's various illnesses and whatnot.
We both exercised and took care of a few chores.
In the evening I went to band practice.  All five of us were there.
I ended up playing bass for the whole practice.  I got to finally use the new bass amp that Amy got me for Christmas.  It's a Fender Rumble 200, and it worked well.  It's got a good sound, the volume hung in there with the full band, and it's lightweight and easy to carry.  Thanks, Amy!
It was fun to play bass again.  I'm a better bass played than guitar player, I think, despite having played guitar for many years (I'll never be a very good lead guitar player- rhythm guitar is really the best I ever pull off).  Also, I'm pretty much incapable of singing while playing bass, so when I play bass I focus on just playing my instrument- which probably makes me better at it.
Anyway, it was a fun practice. 
We played songs that we haven't played in a long time, but after all of these years we're pretty good at falling back into our old grooves.  Jim ended up playing keyboard, and he sounded good.
And that was pretty much the weekend!

Hope all of you Austinites are enjoying this weird, mid-winter spring!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Hey!  So this weekend was a little better than last one.  Raylan has remained sick all week, but the doctor says this sort of respiratory virus thing takes a while to work itself out.  So... we've been trying to keep the kid happy and comfortable.  My mom regularly helps out with Raylan, but she really went the extra mile this week, taking care of him during work every day while he was home from daycare!  Thanks so much, Mom! (and Dad, who helped out, too!).
Amy and I have each been sick as well.  So- long week.
This weekend seemed a little better.  We pretty much laid low, but we got out for a few walks.  Amy and I got some exercise.  I went to the grocery store.
And Amy and I watched Thor on Saturday night.  It's a fun movie.  We both enjoyed it.
Sunday morning we made it down the street for a quick breakfast at Central Market.
On Sunday afternoon Peggy and Rick Magsig, old family friends who were in town visiting my parents, stopped by to see Raylan.  It was a short visit, but it was really nice to see them.  They brought some fun Star Wars themed bath toys.  For Raylan.  Or for me.  Maybe they're for me.
Sunday evening I went over to Reed's house for band practice.  We got a wire crossed somewhere, though, and practice had actually been cancelled.
I had my gear, though, and Reed had some free time, so we turned it into a rehearsal for the world's most under appreciated side project band- Wastewood.  We had fun and sounded okay!
And that was more or less the weekend.  In between the aforementioned events there was nose wiping, feeding, diaper changing, rocking, singing, playing, and book reading.  The usual.
Raylan seems like he is slowly getting better.  
Hope everyone has a nice week!

"Walk?  Did you say walk?"

Raylan seems unsure about the wormhole simulator
that Mom has has placed in his room

After anguishing internal debate and risk-beneift analysis,
Rylan cautiously approaches the event horizon

Threshold crossed!

"No, for real.  I went through a wormhole."

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Well, to be honest, this hasn't really been our best week or weekend. We were supposed to go to Arizona to visit Amy's family over the MLK Day weekend, but first Amy's family came down with some sickness out in Arizona, and then Raylan developed a fever the day before we were supposed to head out.
To make a long story short, the trip got cancelled (well, rescheduled), and we've been at the doctor with Raylan twice in the last 4 days.  He has some sort of respiratory virus, though, so there's not much they can do.
Annnnd, of course, I've now got a respiratory virus as well.
Amy seems somewhat resistant to these respiratory bugs (knock on wood), but, sadly, Raylan seems to have inherited my immune system. 
So we're all a little tired.  We've been spending a lot of time trying to keep the kiddo comfortable and distracting him from the fact that he doesn't feel very well.
I don't really have much other news...

We finally got around to watching Avengers: Age of Ultron.  It was fun, but really fast and sort of silly.  It seemed like they tried to squeeze too much into it.  Also, there's nothing like a sick baby to remind you that your movie has a long runtime.

Hope everyone else is doing okay!

("Today, this hamper is my favorite thing.")

(Taking after his old man, Raylan is dazzled by the beer selection
during a quick trip to Central Market)

Monday, January 11, 2016


Our weekend was pretty good, but it just went by way too fast. After getting all of the stuff done that you need to get done, it seems like there's rarely enough time to get all of the stuff done that you want to get done.
So we got grocery shopping done, trips to the store done, dog food bought, each of us got exercise, a haircut, etc., etc.  All of that plus laundry and Raylan wrangling and cooking (tortilla soup for us and baby food for Raylan) and cleaning and other odds and ends.  Pretty domestic stuff, but the time went by. 
We also got to see Ryan and Jamie for lunch over the weekend.  We went to Kerbey Lane CafĂ©, and got to hear about Ryan's job and Matt and Nicole's house.  They got to see Raylan, and Raylan got to see them.  It was good to get a chance to hang out.
On Sunday I went to band practice and, for the first time in a long time, all five of us were there.  It was good to see all of the guys and make some music.  We sounded pretty good, given that it had been a while since we all played together.

("So I hear that monkeys cling to their mothers, like,
24 hours a day!")
Go to your blog list
("Snuck up on you AGAIN!  Hahahaha!!!")

Anyway, that was our weekend.  It was good, but it just went by very fast.

P.S.- on a side note, David Bowie died today.  Very sad.  He just released a new album, Blackstar, and I had downloaded it off Spotify this weekend, and spent part of Saturday night listening to it.  Gonna miss Bowie.  He had a truly great, original sound.

Monday, January 04, 2016

A New Year- Happy 2016!

Our New Year's celebration has been low key, but good.
On New Year's Eve we ended up being in bed shortly after 10:00 p.m.
We had a couple of friends who asked us why we didn't just get a babysitter and go out, but the truth is that watching Raylan in the evenings is the easy part.  The harder part is when he gets upset and needs to be rocked back to sleep at 3:30 or 4:00, or when he's decided to get up and start his day at 5:30.  So we stayed in, laid in bed, and watched Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin in Times Square until we fell asleep.  I woke up around midnight when the firecrackers went off in our neighborhood, but then promptly rolled over and went back to sleep.
Raylan actually shocked us by sleeping in until past 7:00, which was awesome, but then he woke up with a bloody mouth, which was less cool.  It seems like he bumped his frenulum (patch of skin between the lip and the gum), which our daycare folks had warned us bleeds easily in kids his age.  So, as is often the case, our blissful moment of peace was punctuated with a brief moment of terror.
But he smiled the whole time, and the bleeding quickly stopped. 

(There's no sadder sight for a bass and/or rhythm guitarist
father to see than the slow development of his son into a drummer)

Once we got the bleeding baby under control, Amy made some really tasty migas for our first meal of 2016.  They were really good, and I hope she makes them again sometime!  Love you, Amy!

(so far so good in 2016!)

On New Year's Day we took care of some chores and did a little straightening.  We also stopped by Mandy's house to eat some black-eyed peas and cabbage with her and her family.  It was fun to get a chance to see Justin, Charissa, Lucas, Leia, TJ, Kellie, Marigold, Josephine, and Ellen!  Such a fun family!  Kim and Miles had also stopped by, so we got to hang out with them, too.  Raylan loved watching the bigger kids play.
On Saturday I went grocery shopping.
In the late afternoon Jean and Greg and Scott arrived from Arizona.  Amy is buying a new (used) car from her grandparents (a Mazda5), so they very graciously drove it to us and came out for a visit.
And we've been having a very nice visit!  Amy made a delicious lasagna the first night, and Scott spent the night with us (Jean and Greg are at a hotel this trip).

(Raylan and Scott discover a common affinity for trucks)

(getting prepped for meal time)

On Sunday Greg and I went to see the newest Star Wars flick at the Westgate theater by my house.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had added reclining chairs and reserved seating at this theater since the last time I had been there. 
Jean and Amy took Scott and Raylan to the Thinkery.  Amy gave it sort of mixed reviews.  I still want to try it out.
In the evening we went out to my parents' house in Steiner Ranch.  My folks (well, mostly my mom) made a really nice dinner for us with brisket, chicken, salad, baked potatoes, green beans, and biscuits.  She made brownies for dessert.
We had a really nice time hanging out and catching up.

(cutthroat game of Mexican Train)
This morning I got up and went to breakfast at Kerbey Lane with Amy's family before heading to work.
Very nice way to start off the week.  Thanks, Jean and Greg!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a nice, safe New Year's Eve, and we wish everyone a great 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

Hey, guys!  Hope everyone had a good Christmas!
Ours was pretty good!  Mostly...

This was, of course, Raylan's first Christmas.  At a little over 8 months, he's a little young to understand what the holiday is all about, but the family sure got excited about having Raylan in attendance.  And you know what Raylan is not too young to appreciate?  Attention!!  He loves it!!
He loves smiles and laughs and play time.
He is also learning to love a variety of toys, and since some of those showed up this holiday season, he was excited about that.

As to the less fun part of our Christmas adventure, Raylan got sick starting Monday night the week of Christmas.  He got a fever, which the doctor determined was from another ear infection.  He got antibiotics, but they took a couple of days to work.  On Christmas Eve we found ourselves hustling across town to make it to the doctor's office (our second trip of the week) before they closed for the Christmas holiday.
We'd had grand plans to attend Christmas Eve church with my family and then host them over at our house for snacks and drinks afterward, but instead we ended up hunkered down at home by ourselves, letting Raylan rest and recover.  My family really helped us out, though.  Thanks to Jamie and Ryan for taking over the Christmas Eve hosting duties at the last minute, and thanks to my dad and Dick (Jamie's dad) for bringing us a couple of plates of food over at our house on Christmas Eve.
Interesting to note that somewhere in there Raylan learned to crawl on all fours instead of just dragging himself around the house.  Sickness or not, he suddenly picked up a lot of speed...

Christmas Day went a little better.  Raylan's fever had dropped, and he was in a much better mood.
We got up and had a nice time eating breakfast and opening some presents at our house before heading over to my folks' place in the afternoon. 

(This is amazing!!  We should do this every day!)

My Mom and Dad did a really nice job of hosting a very nice Christmas Day get together.  They made a dinner with both turkey (for sure) and prime rib (I think), and lots of other food and goodies.
We opened more presents, and we had a good time hanging out and catching up with people.  In attendance were Mom, Dad, Ryan, Jamie, Dick, Susan, Ciara, Uncle Donald, and family friend, Juan Diaz.  Amy and I, grateful to be out of our own house after being a little housebound with a sick kiddo all week, hung out a little while after everyone else had left just to quietly decompress and talk with Mom and Dad (Raylan was asleep by that point).

(Dad, I still live with you and Mom, though, right?)

(official "Raylan's first Christmas" family photo)

(a mysterious, beautiful woman in Christmas socks,
entertaining some baby) 

(whole lotta Christmas)

(Susan shows Raylan how to open your mouth really wide)

(Raylan gets some aunt and uncle time)

(Back Row:  Me and Ryan
Middle Row:  Dad, Mom, Amy with Raylan, Ciara, and Susan
Front Row: Dick and Uncle Donald
Picture taken by Juan Diaz)

On the Saturday after Christmas Mom and Dad were good enough to come down to our house in the afternoon for a little while and watch Raylan.  Amy and I went to the gym, ran to Target to do a few errands, and ate some Thai food.  It was nice to get out and about a bit.  We really appreciated the time off.
On Sunday I went to the grocery store and ran a couple of errands.  In the evening we had Leslie (one of the women who works at Raylan's daycare) come babysit, and we went to see the new Star Wars movie (i.e., Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens).  I really enjoyed the movie.  Amy less so.
Her main complaint, which has validity, was that there were too many plotlines and scenes in the movie that were extremely derivative of episodes 4 through 6 (spoilers-the orphan in a desert, the hunted droid carrying crucial data, the crazy bar scene, the father confronting his son on a catwalk bridge, the threat and vulnerability of a new Death Star, etc. End spoilers).
Personally, although I could see her point, I saw a lot of the things that she saw as repetitive as expanding on themes from those prior movies.  Undoubtedly, though, Abrams cashed in quite a few nostalgia chips to make this film.  In order to have successful follow up movies, he's going to have to find a way to wander into more dangerous territory- more creative and farther afield of the earlier films.
All in all, though, I thought the characters and dialogue were so much better than in episodes 1 through 3 that I could pretty much overlook the repetition of plot points.  The prequels, after all, had a markedly different plot structure than the original movies- and they sucked.
This movie put some joy and some fun back into Star Wars, and I think that's what everyone was desperate for.  I really enjoyed it.

(Amy with the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader from Aliens
in the lobby of the Slaughter Lane Alamo Drafthouse)
And that was pretty much our Christmas holiday.
Hope everyone had a nice one!
Cheers!  Be safe out there as we approach New Year's!!