Monday, March 27, 2017


Howdy!  Things have been going pretty well over at our place, all in all.
On Thursday afternoon Mom picked up Raylan from daycare and he spent the night at their house.  Seems like he enjoyed himself.  Amy and I went out for dinner at Azul Tequila.
Friday night Raylan was back!  He's been going through a little bit of a cold or something, which has him sneezing and coughing a bit, although his mood still seems pretty good.

"Oh hi!"

On Saturday morning we went to visit our friends Libby and Jordan and their son, Rowan, over at their new house.  Rowan must be headed toward being six months old or so at this point, and we haven't seen him since shortly after he was born.  He's a really cute kid.  He's very alert, smiles and interacts quite a bit, and really holds his head and body up to look around.  It was good to see him.
Their new house was also really cool.  It's an older home over on the East Side that they've just remodeled, and they did a really incredible job with it.
As Amy said, it looks like something out of Southern Living or some other design magazine.  Really a cool place.
Also, Jordan gave me a couple of his homebrew beers.  I already tried the milk stout, and it was really good.

"Hugging?  Hugging.  Hug Cassidy."
After visiting Libby, Jordan, and Rowan we went to Home Depot, but Raylan wasn't really feeling it by that point.  (It takes some of the ambiguity out of figuring out why your kid is upset when they can keep yelling at you, "Go play?!")
We got like one quick item and then fled.
Mom and Dad stopped by to drop some stuff off for a bridal shower that Amy was going to help host, so we saw them for a few minutes.
We lunched and Raylan napped and we exercised.
In the afternoon we did our grocery shopping for our weekly stuff and bridal shower supplies.  We took care of some chores and errands.
Afterward we played in the yard and hung out on our new front yard deck.  I drank Jordan's milk stout (thanks, Jordan!), Amy had something or other (maybe some tea and some michelada), and Raylan's was crystal light in a sippy cup (which we normally don't give him).  Wild times on Tejas Trail!

"Raylan play!"
I've said it before, but spring time is the best time in Austin
On Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast at La Posada.  Afterward we went to The Natural Gardener out on Old Bee Caves Road.  We had a good time wandering around and checking the place out.  It's a really cool gardening center.  They, of course, have tons of cool plants and yard art, but also a few fountains and even some goats and chickens.  We'd gone out there to look for a few native plants that might have a decent chance of surviving in our yard.  We came back with several plants and some seeds, and Amy and Raylan went right to work getting them put into pots.
"You gotta name?  Cause I'm tempted to call you Nugget..."

"Helping?  Helping."
Cassidy keeps watch to make sure the homestead isn't attacked by

Sunday afternoon Amy headed off to attend/host the bridal shower for her friends from work.  It sounded like she had a pretty good time.
I had been trying to come up with plans and schemes to keep Raylan entertained in Amy's absence.  As it turned out, he took a really long nap and was asleep for a good part of the time that she was gone.
When he got up we ran over to the mall to run an errand, but it ended up being a really quick trip.

I got home and went to band practice a little while later.  Eric didn't make it, but the rest of us were there.  We sounded pretty good, I thought.
I got home a little late, and we ate Central Market dinners and then went to bed not too much later.
It was a good weekend, but busy!

Monday, March 20, 2017

SXSW 2017; Birthday

Well, I just got done with a really fun (and tiring) week of Jean visit, SXSW, and birthday celebration.
Jean got here on Saturday evening.  We had a nice visit with her during the week, and she got to spend some good time with Raylan (and she was good enough to help out with some child care for us while he was on Spring Break).

Feeding the toddlers is sort of like feeding the pigeons. Except noisier.  And
more dangerous. 
I also got to take some time off this week to do some South by Southwest stuff.
The weather was pretty nice, so I rode my bike around a lot.  I started it on Wednesday, catching a couple of bands after work.

Rainey Street during SX.  You gotta love Austin in the springtime.
Also had a beer along the way.
The view from Craft Pride.
Cycling homeward, going across the I-35 sidewalk
I saw some pretty good music.
The surprisingly original Lemon Twigs

Digging the alt country vibe of The Tender Things

The Grahams put on a high energy, hard driving show with their
uptempo folk rock
And Shinyribs kept the sounds of southern soul alive with tracks from their
new album and a live radio broadcast on Sun Radio
Please get us into the Shinyribs show, Kevin Russell!  You're our only hope!
And somewhere between all of those live music acts I managed to fit in a screening of Logan.  Pretty good flick, albeit a bit of a downer.  Still, it breathed some reality into the characters of Wolverine and Professor X.  It's hard to say too much about it without giving too much away.
I think it sort of did for Wolverine, though, what Dark Knight Returns once accomplished for Batman. It sort of gave viewers at least one possible, very plausible version of where the whole Wolverine story might ultimately wind up.
I think the movie did a good job of telling that sort of story, which is saying a lot because there have been many tales told with that character over time.
Anyway, I enjoyed it and thought that it was well executed.

Friday night I got together with family and friends at Pinthouse Pizza to celebrate my birthday.  Mom and Dad took Raylan to their house.  Amy, Reed, Mandy, Donna Rene, Ryan, and Jamie came out, as well as some work friends- James (and Allison), Robert (and Laura), and Greg.
We had a good time catching up and eating pizza and drinking beer.
At some point, however, some bagpipers showed up and got really, really loud (they even had a drum)  They made it hard to talk.  Or think.  Or fight off a migraine.
Here's the thing.  Bagpipers aren't Irish.  They're Scottish.  Always in the St. Patty's parades and stuff, though....
Oh well.  We had fun!

Amy looooves bagpipers!!!
Ryan, Jamie, Mandy, Amy, Reed, me, and Reed.
By Saturday we were settling back into our weekend routine.  We got errands done and did some shopping and took Raylan out for breakfast.  We even planted a few potted plants and took Raylan to see all of the plants and fountains at The Great Outdoors.  Amy also got a chocolate cake, and, predictably, Raylan went nuts for it.

Raylan kicking back in his race car shopping cart.  Which makes him yawn.

Sunday afternoon we visited Chad, Mary, and Truett in their new house.  Raylan and Truett had a blast running around together.

Truett schools Raylan in bouncing technique

And that was about it.
Amy got me an XBox One for my birthday, and I literally fell asleep last night trying to play one of the Halo games that came with it.  It's a fun gift.  Thanks, Amy!

And I think that about covers it!
Thanks to everyone who helped make my birthday week so nice!  It was really enjoyable.  Felt like a mini vacation.

Here's the list of bands that I tried to keep in my phone while I was out wandering SXSW 2017.  I really liked The Tender Things.  Looking for an album by them

Here ya go:

continental club- Magia Negra
4:00 San Jose - Allison crutchfield

Gingerman- Matt Kivel
Dogwood- Vitera, Dave Scher
The big moon- San Jose 
The lemon twigs- San Jose
The drums- San Jose 
Outlaw ritual- street.  So.  congress

The Tender Things- SX San Jose
Valley Queen- San Jose
The Grahams- continental
Deslondes- San Jose 
Shiny ribs- El Mercado

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Update; Raylan's Baptism

Hi! We're headed into Spring Break, South by Southwest, and St. Patrick's Day here in Austin! This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.Anyway, last week we got a small front yard deck installed at our house. It's just a little deck in the front yard, but hopefully it will prove to be a nice spot to sit and talk, play guitar, or watch the neighbors walk by. We're happy with it.
The Hop a Long Lounge gets even loungier.

On Saturday Jean came into town for her spring visit.  She got in Saturday evening, so before she got here, we ran around during the day doing some errands and taking care of some chores.

On Sunday Raylan was baptized at Triumphant Love, the Lutheran church that Mom and Dad attend.  The service was very nice.  Pastor Steve was also very nice, both talking with us beforehand and skillfully getting through the service with an active toddler.
Ryan and Jamie came out, along with Mom, Dad, Susan, Jean, and our family friend, Judy.
Raylan sort of "helped" with his own baptism, trying to put water on his own head.

Sunday, after church, we took Raylan home, took him for a walk, fed him lunch, and got him a nap. We all got a chance to exercise.
In the evening Mom and Dad and Susan came over to celebrate the baptism and visit with us.  We ate pizza and drank wine.  My folks and Susan got some nice little baptism gifts for Raylan, and Mom brought a cake from Corner Bakery.    It was pretty casual, but very nice.  

Mom, Jean, and Susan have a chat.


And that was the weekend.  It went by really fast, but it was good.
Have a great week!

Monday, March 06, 2017


Hi!  Our weekend went pretty well.
On Friday night we went to dinner at La Posada.  It was fun to get out and have a relaxing dinner after a busy week.

The dramatic removal of the bib is how Raylan now signals that
his meal has come to an end.

Saturday was rainy.  It was Mom's birthday, but she was in Houston visiting friends.  So we were left to our own devices.
We ran some errands and went to the mall.
Amy bought a new suit (which looks nice on her).

It would be terrible if these two cars were to somehow
get into a collision.

"Well, yes, I have some advice on selecting business
attire, Mother.  It's funny you should ask..."

In the afternoon, after Raylan's nap, we went to Costco.  
Saturday night Amy and I watched The Expanse.  We've been enjoying it.  It's a science fiction show which deals with conflict between Earth, Mars, and "belters" who live in the asteroid belt, providing mineral resources for the planets, but struggling to acquire sufficient water, air, and food.
Anyway, it's a good show.  Most of the sci-fi shows that I watch involve faster than light travel and galaxy hopping protagonists, thereby moving them closertot the team of fantasy than anything based on an actual understanding of current science.  The Expanse takes place in a time that uses technology which is much closer to what we currently have available, and it still makes for really engaging, compelling television.

On Sunday we got up and went out for breakfast at La Familia.  It was pretty good, but La Posada is better.

"I've seen the food that you've already given me.  But I'm curious
about a couple of items that I see over there..."

After breakfast we went grocery shopping and took Raylan for a walk.  
In the afternoon we took Raylan to the park over by Ryan and Jamie's house.  Jamie joined us at the park, and later we saw Ryan at their house (he'd been at work, but got home before we took off).
We ate dinner, and that was about it for the weekend (there was some work on unclogging a sink, but I'll spare you the details).

"Uncle Ryan, when you've studied fans the way that I have,
you come to realize that air conditioners have some
of the best fans around.  Which is why we need to check out
this air conditioner.  Together."

Adorable?  Or terrifying?

Hope you guys have a good week!

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Hey!  How's everybody?

We had a pretty good weekend.  Kind of low key, but good.

"I make these look good."
On Saturday morning we went to Kerbey Lane for breakfast.
Afterward we took Raylan to the zoo.  It was a nice morning- sunny and a little cool.  The animals were up and about.

"Dad, now that we have a fence around our yard, we could raise some
of these guys, right?  Right, Dad?!"

"Once I was the ruler of a vast savanna.  Now small, human boys,
 smelling tantalizingly of pancakes and strawberries, feel free to yell at me
without fear of reprisal..." 

"Okay, I'm gonna feed you now, but you gotta let me ride you
later, okay?"

"Here's a treat.  For helping that Little Blue Truck out of the mud."

"I don't know about you guys, but I'm a little worn out."
Saturday at lunch time Amy went over to watch Truett while Mary and Chad completed some more tasks to finish the move into their new house.  Raylan slept and I worked out.  Later, she exercised, and I took Raylan for a walk.

Sunday morning we got up and all went to the grocery store together.  Sadly, we were unable to acquire one of the coveted racing car shopping carts.  Maybe next time...

Later in the morning I took Raylan to his music class.  It was fun.  The class take place in a dance studio full of mirrors, so Raylan seemed a little distracted with the possibility of just running around while looking in the mirrors.  He participated in some of the stuff, though, and we had a good time.

"I'm stepping up my springtime look this year, Dad.  New shades."
On Sunday afternoon I got an oil change and ran an errand or two.
In the evening, Frank came over and we had a two man, acoustic band practice.  It was good.  I think we sounded decent, given the fact that we don't usually play that way.

After dinner, Amy made some tasty soup (I'm not sure what you call it, but it had paprika and sausage in it).

And that was the weekend, pretty much.

It went by quickly.  I hope you guys had a good one.

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 Valentine'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.

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.