Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day; Update

We had a good weekend, but it was pretty busy, and once again, it felt pretty short.
On Thursday night we had dinner with Jamie.  Ryan was still on a work trip to Helsinki, Finland (crazy, right?), so on Friday we picked Jamie up and took her to Thai Passion for dinner.  We had a really nice time.  Jamie had her brother, Doug, in town with her after Ryan left, so we got to catch up a little bit and hear about what they had been up to.

Saturday we went shopping and did some chores and took care of a lot of stuff.  We got a little yard work done.  We each got in a little workout, and then Amy and I watched the second half of the England-Italy World Cup match in the afternoon.   
Saturday evening we had out friends Shelly and Kit over to play Settler's of Catan.  Amy made some queso, and Shelly brought brownies.  We had a really fun time hanging out with them.  We've owned Settlers of Catan for a while now, but this was our first time to actually play it.  Maybe it was because we were figuring the game out or whatever (we were also just talking a lot), but it took like 3 hours to play, when the description on the box tells you the game is supposed to take about an hour.  I think we finally got it down, though, by the end.  We need to play again soon before I forget whatever limited amount of strategy I had managed to glean by the end of the game.
Anyway, we had a really good time.

On Sunday we walked over to Central Market for breakfast.   Amy bought a few grocery items for cooking.  Sunday afternoon we did some chores, and I went for a bike ride.  After the bike ride and a couple of chores, I had a rest in the new hammock that Amy bought for the house.  Even though it was a little warm out, the combination of the breeze and the shade made for a very pleasant experience.  I actually fell asleep for a little bit.

Post bike ride hammock selfie
Sunday evening my family dropped by for a Father's Day cookout.  It was really nice to have everyone over.  Ryan was freshly back from Finland, so we weren't sure whether he and Jamie would make it.  It was a pleasant surprise to have them! 
We had chicken and chicken-veggie kabobs (Amy has a tasty Asian marinade for the kabobs) and macaroni salad and regular salad and fruit and a sort of pickled cucumber sort of dish.  The food was all very good.  For dessert, Amy made German chocolate brownies that were also very excellent.
It was a really nice way to spend Father's Day.  Good to have the family together and have a chance to catch up with everyone.
It seemed like Dad had a good time.  I hope he did.  He definitely deserved a nice Father's Day.

And that's about it!
Hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, June 09, 2014


Quick rundown of the weekend.  On Friday night we ate a quick dinner and headed over to Zilker Park to catch the Austin Civic Orchestra's free summer concert.  Their theme was "That '70s Show", and they played a lot of music from... the 1970's.  Tunes included The Star Wars theme, "Pinball Wizard" by The Who, "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas, selections from Jesus Christ Superstar, Abba songs from Mama Mia, a Led Zeppelin medley, and some Barry Manilow songs.  It was a fun evening.  Our friend Laura plays clarinet in the orchestra, so she initially got us started on going to see the civic orchestra, but now we just go because they're fun.  This is our second time to attend the free summer concert (plus we've been to other performances), and it's really pleasant to sit on the grass, listen to music and watch kids break out plastic lightsabers and launch into battle once the Star Wars theme begins (they also seem to really enjoy dancing to Abba's "Dancing Queen", but who doesn't?).

(see Laura in there playing clarinet?)
On Saturday we exercised and then headed over to Barton Springs.  Initially we were a little grumbly when we got there.  The back parking lot was closed, and when we got into the springs, they had almost three quarters of the grassy areas closed off to work on the lawn.  The admission was free, though (probably due to the inconveniences), and once we found ourselves a spot and plopped down, we had a nice time relaxing in the sun and enjoying the water.  We fled before it got too crowded, and we had a nice time.
(Me?!  Excited about summer?  Mayyybe...)
So we had a good time at the pool, and then we went home and ate sandwiches and went to the store and ran errands.  Amy made some sort of pineapple frozen thing in the ice cream maker which was really good (not really ice cream, not really frozen yogurt, so I'm not sure what to call it.  A little icier than creamy).
Saturday night we went to a birthday party for our friend, Jason.  We met some new people and played Cards Against Humanity (which, as Amy, the tactician, pointed out, is really more of an activity than a game).  I drank a couple of beers.  Pleasant evening.
Sunday we got up and went to Curra's for breakfast (hooray for migas!).  We had some thoughts of going swimming again on Sunday, but it was sort of rainy and muggy and cloudy.  Despite the weird weather, we got some chores done around the house and ran some errands.  Eventually I went for bike ride, which was okay, but not great because of aforementioned humidity.
For dinner, Amy made mushroom spinach enchiladas with tomatillo sauce.  (I really like them and had asked her to make them, and she did, and it was awesome).
After dinner we watched Game of Thrones.  Big battle at The Wall.  Pretty cool, but all of the other plotlines on the show (and there are a lot of them) were put on hold for this battle.  Still, we got snow giants and oversized mammoths, and that was pretty darn cool.

Okay, that was it.
Nice weekend.
Hope everyone else has been doing well.
My brother, Ryan, is in Finland this week on a work trip.  Very cool for him.  My mom's parents were Finnish, so he's making the trip to the homeland.  Someday I'd like to see it.  Hope he has a good time.

Have a good week!!

Monday, June 02, 2014


The weekend was good, but it went by so very, very fast.

On Friday we just sort of relaxed.  We watched some a British movie called In the Loop, which was pretty good.  It was basically a sort of comedy about a bunch of politicians in the lead up to the Iraq War.  We watched the beginning of the movie on Thursday, and I wasn't really feeling it.  I was a little tired, and the characters seemed a little ridiculous.  On Friday night, though, once we were more than half an hour in, I started to realize that the whole movie was a biting satire of the political process which led up to the quagmire of the Iraq War.  I started to enjoy the movie a lot more.  Maybe I was just in a better mood and not quite as tired.  I don't know.
Anyway, good flick.  Funny performances.  I'm looking forward to having Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor Who.  I hope they can find some writers to put together some decent scripts for him.
We also watched an episode of Cowboy Bebop.  Amy recently watched Princess Mononoke, so I guess she was still a little hungry for some more anime.  I've seen most of the Cowboy Bebop episodes before, but it's been a long time, so I didn't remember them that well.  Anyway, we enjoyed it.

On Saturday we went to the grocery store, ran some errands, and did some chores.  It was a little bit hot and muggy out, but I went for a bike ride, anyway.  The ride was a little tough, but I felt good afterwards.
Saturday night we went over to a birthday party for Matt over at Matt and Nicole's house.
We had a good time!  They had lots of good food, the company was entertaining and pleasant, and it was nice to finally get a chance to see Matt and Nicole's house.  We'd been hearing about it for some time.

(Matt contemplates the flickering candles atop the edible
symbol of his own mortality- a delicious carrot cake)

(a heapin' helpin' of liquor infused 'splainin')
On Sunday I went to church with Amy.  After church I sat in on a meeting of the Central Presbyterian Green Team.  The Green Team, headed up by our friend Jessie, is trying to plan and implement ways to make the Central Presbyterian congregation more environmentally conscious.  I know that Amy and Jessie are both excited about the group's potential, so it'll be fun to see how it shapes up.  On Sunday afternoon we went to Walmart for some trash cans (wheeee!) and had lunch and got some exercise.  Sunday evening I went to band practice over at Reed's house.  We had a nice rehearsal, even though I think we all agreed that we were a little tired.
Sunday night Amy made really delicious chicken tikka masala.  Really excellent.
After I did the dishes I did a little bit of stuff for work, and we went to bed.

That was it.  Pretty good weekend, but too short.  Hope you guys had a good one!