Monday, August 05, 2013


Howdy!  Hope everyone is doing okay.

The weather was hot this weekend in Austin.  I'm determined not to let the heat keep me inside all summer, but it's a bit of a challenge.

On Friday Amy and I raced home after work, changed into our bathing suits, and went to Barton Springs.  It was really pleasant.  The sun isn't quite as intense in the early evening, and the crowds started thinning out shortly after we got there.
After we got home and showered up we ate some pasta for dinner and watched Orange is the New Black.  We're really enjoying that show.  For those who aren't familiar with it, it's a Netflix original series about a relatively affluent woman in her thirties who gets sent to federal prison after being convicted on charges related to drug smuggling (she had a lesbian fling with a woman after college, and her girlfriend asked her to carry some drug money during a trip to Europe).
Orange is funny, sometimes poignant, and occasionally intense.  They've been doing a great job of developing characters within the dysfunctional little community of a women's minimum security prison.  It's a well written show, and it's based (not sure how closely) on a memoir by Piper Kerman about her own experiences while serving out a prison sentence.
Anyway, I'd recommend the show.  It took me two episodes to really come to appreciate it, but I'm liking it now.

On Saturday we ran errands and did chores.  I hadn't been on my bike for a while, so I did some riding around South Austin.  I was a little out of shape on the bike, and it was hot out there, but I managed to get in enough miles to chalk it up as a semi- legitimate workout.  I've found a new route around South Austin that lets me put in 12 miles or a little more and still wind my way back to my doorstep, so that's pretty cool (I don't really like having to put my bike into my car to drive places in order to go for a ride).
Saturday night Amy and I went downtown to meet up with some friends, Adam and Katie, for a few drinks.  We went to Midnight Cowboy, which I had heard about from several other people, but never actually visited.  It's a bar located in a space which formerly housed a massage parlour, and it has a sort of speakeasy theme.  The bar isn't clearly marked, and you ring a buzzer under the name "Harry Craddock" (a famous bartender from the U.S. who fled to England during Prohibition) in order for them to buzz you in.  The place specializes in upscale cocktails, and it has a cool, quiet ambiance, which is sort of unexpected down in the hustle and bustle of 6th Street.
We had a round of drinks there, and then headed over to Firehouse Lounge for another drink or two.
We had a really good time!  It was good to hang out with Adam and Katie and hear about their new house and their trip to Europe and Katie's adventures with the military industrial complex. (For real! Missile defense systems.  I kid you not.)  We'll have to do it again in the not so distant future.

On Sunday we got up and went out for breakfast.  We went to the grocery store.
I went for another bike ride.  A pretty long one.  I just decided to ride north through town, and then catch a bus headed back home when I couldn't handle the heat anymore.  It ended up being a good ride.
The bike that I ride is sort of weird.  I've talked about it before.  It's a mountain bike, but I've put commuter tires on it.  It's probably heavier than a road bike, and I'm not sure that the gears are set in just the same way that they would be for something designed for the open road.  All of this is to say that I think you end up working harder to go fewer miles on my bike than you would on a typical, light frame, skinny wheeled road bike.  My bike is good for me because I'm big, and I think I need a more rugged frame to carry someone my size.  So I tend to feel like I'm doing more work over fewer miles than a person on a road bike would do.  That's okay, though.  As long as I'm getting exercise and making my way around the city, I'm pretty happy.  Also, I can ride my bike on a few trails, sidewalks, and other bumpy surfaces upon which true road bikes would not dare to tread.
Sunday afternoon I had band practice with Reed and Eric.  We sounded pretty good.  I need to get my old Peavey amp repaired so we can have a backup amp for vocals.  We were playing with a three man lineup, and I played bass.  That sort of thing is good for me because with fewer people in the mix I could really hear exactly what I was playing.  With less people there's a different balance in terms of keeping things interesting, but not overdoing it.

Last night we watched another episode of The Bridge.  I like that show, too, although it's darker than Orange is the New Black.  It makes good use of its setting.  El Paso, we're reminded, is sort of unique in its status as such a large, metropolitan area lying right along the border.  Ciudad Juarez, just across in Mexico, is also a large city, but truly seems a world apart.  It's nearly a war zone, with its high rate of violence and various poverty-stricken neighborhoods, as compared to El Paso, which has one of the lowest crime rates for a city of its size in the U.S..
Anyway, The Bridge is a well crafted mystery with some interesting characters.  It's a kind of classic crime mystery with a different twist.  I'm still hooked.

And that was the weekend.  It was nice. 
Amy did some cross stitching and a pretty cool zentangle! 

Good mix of entertaining and relaxing.
I gotta keep riding my bike.  Can't let the summer heat beat me!!


Anonymous said...

The high temp today here in Marquette will be in the low to mid 70's. Many bike and walking trails too. Only problem - they turn into cross country skiing or snow mobile trails beginning in November and lasting to April!


J.S. said...

Enjoy the weather while you can. Back here in Texas we're starting to broil...