Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekend

Hey!  Hope everyone had a nice Easter Weekend!  We did!
On Thursday night we had dinner with Ryan and Jamie at our house.  They came over and we picked up some Thai food and ate some dessert bars from Central Market.  It was Jamie's birthday the next day, so it was good to get a chance to hang out with her!  Ryan and Jamie got to visit with Raylan a bit before he went to bed, and then the remaining four of us had dinner and got a chance to catch up.  It was good!  Seems like it had been a while since we got together.
Friday night I don't know that we did a whole lot.  I had a long day at work.  I think we just relaxed and watched an episode of The Man in the High Castle (we like it, but still haven't worked our way through season 1).
On Saturday we ran some errands.  Amy made it to a workout class that she's taking with some friends.  Mandy had us over to hang out with the Sensats and Kim (y Miles) and Donna Rene.  She made some chicken tacos and the kids got to play while the rest of us got to visit.  It was good to see everyone!  Raylan enjoys watching Wilson and Miles run around.  He laughs and smiles, but he also gets a little intimidated and clingy around the bigger kids.  He had fun, though.

"You're kidding me?  You mean to tell me that ladies' faces
don't just come in all of these colors?"
Sunday was Easter.  We got up and went to church with my mom and dad out at Triumphant Love, the Lutheran church that they attend up on Great Hills Trail.  It was a nice service.  Raylan was pretty well behaved and happy, so that was good.  It was nice to go.

(obligatory post East service pic)
After church Mom and Dad had us over to their house for lunch.  We ate some food, took Raylan to the park, and then got a chance to catch up with Mom and Dad while Raylan took a nap.
It was nice!
Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Easter swangin'

On the way home from Mom and Dad's house we stopped off and tried to take some pictures of Raylan in the bluebonnets.  If you live in Central Texas and you have a toddler, I'm pretty sure that you're required by law to attempt to take a picture of them sitting in bluebonnets at least once a year.
Raylan was not super into it.  He's usually a very smiley kid,  but for some reason he was sort of bewildered and confused by the whole bluebonnet experience. 
The important thing is that we gave it the ol' college try!

"I don't get it."

"Mom, how is this fun for me?"

"Seriously, guys, this is the last one I'm doing.  Okay?"
So that was pretty much our Easter!  Hope everyone else had a nice one.  Thanks to Mom and Dad for letting us stop by, and thanks to Ryan and Jamie for hanging out at our place so Raylan could get to sleep!
Hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, March 21, 2016

SXSW;B-Day Update

Howdy! Happy Spring! I love Springtime!  Spring is great in Austin! 
We just wrapped up a week of Spring Break, South by Southwest, and my birthday!
It was a fun week!
Amy worked for the majority of it, but she took Friday afternoon off, and we had a really nice weekend together.
I have some vacation days accrued, so I took some of them off to enjoy some music during SXSW and just get some time away from the office.
On Wednesday and Thursday I took my bike and headed downtown to hear what I could hear.  As usual, I pretty much headed downtown at noon, and headed home at when the sun started to set.

On Wednesday I saw:
The Kickback at The Gingerman
Andrew Watt at Brew Exchange
Karma Killers at Brew Exchange
Band of Heathens at Dogwood
Jon Dee Graham at Dogwood
Jeff Crosby at Dogwood

On Thursday I saw:
Johnny 8 Track at Guero's
Luther Dickinson & The Cooperators at SX San Jose
Eve and the Exiles at the Continental Club
The Accidentals at Snack Bar
Denny Freeman at Lucy's
Shinyribs at Lucy's

Karma Killers were a standout.  They were sort of punk rock/funky Clash, but with guys who can sing.  High energy stuff.  I liked them.  The Accidentals were a pretty young band from Traverse City, Michigan (they bemoaned not being old enough to hang out in some of the bars where they play), but they were really good musicians.  They played violins and violas, had good harmonies, and one of their members was wearing a Neil Gaiman: American Gods shirt.
Of course, Shinyribs were predictably great.  The crowd, packed into the small space at Lucy's, got really into them.  They're always so good.

Karma Killers

Band of Heathens

Jon Dee Graham

Luther Dickinson & The Cooperators

Eve and the Exiles

The Accidentals


So Wednesday and Thursday involved a lot of music.  Saw some by myself, but also met up with Mark, an old friend who is a defense attorney.  He has an office down near West 6th Street, so we drank a couple of beers there between shows on Wednesday.  He was also on South Congress some of the time when I was hanging out over there, so I ran into him there as well.
It was fun.  I like seeing daytime shows during SXSW.
On Thursday morning I went to see 10 Cloverfield Lane.  It was a good movie.  The three main actors in the film, John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and John Gallagher, Jr., all put in excellent performances.  Goodman, in particular, did an amazing job.  The polite veneer over the constant menace was both recognizable and really scary. 
The movie has a lot of twists and turns.  Sort of Hitchcock meets The Twilight Zone
I really enjoyed it.
On Friday Amy took the afternoon off.  We went to lunch at Hyde Park and then went to see Zootopia.  I really enjoyed that movie, too- probably on about the same level at 10 Cloverfield Lane, but for entirely different reasons.  Zootopia is a clever, witty, well-conceived and well-executed movie about a bunch of evolved animals who live together in a big city.  Where once the species used to prey upon each other, they now live in harmony- at least until a series of crimes begins to threaten their society.
The whole thing is a big, not-so-subtle metaphor for race relations, but the plot delivers more nuance and subtlety within that metaphor than I expected to get out of a cartoon animal movie.
Plus, it has extremely imaginative world building, and it's really, really funny.
I recommend it!

So we both enjoyed the movie.

On Saturday we met up with friends (and friends/family Ryan and Jamie) at Pinthouse Pizza for some beers and food in celebration of my belated 43rd birthday.  It was really fun!  Friends came from work, from my band, from Amy's office, from Amy's former office, and just old friends that I know from around town.  It was really good to catch up with people that I hadn't seen in a long time, and it was fun to get to catch up with work friends in an environment where we weren't squeezing conversations in between job duties.

Travis County Attorney's Office Crew:
Bill, James, Me, Robert
John, Ruben

(a few of Amy's co-workers/friends of ours)

Amy and I

So that was Saturday.  I spent a long time at Pinthouse Pizza.  I got there before 1:00 and was there until like 7:00 or something.
Mom and Dad had Raylan for the day, so thanks to them for giving us the chance to catch up with friends while not having to wrangle our kiddo.  It was nice to see a bunch of people at once since it's harder to get out these days.

On Sunday we ate breakfast and went grocery shopping.  Amy went to an exercise class with friends while I had a good time hanging out with Raylan.  I even managed to feed him lunch and get him to eat some actual, solid food!  Raylan was 11 months old on Sunday.  Amy and I spent some time hanging out with him in the yard, and we snapped a few photos...

(How big is Raylan?
Apparently he is "sooooo big!")

("Dad, you are killing me with the camera.")

("No.  Seriously.  I'm taking that thing away from you...")
On Sunday evening I went to band practice.  Felt good.  We rocked it out.  Frank didn't make it because he was Spring Breakin' too hard.
Amy made a really tasty Thai spring roll dish Sunday night.  Very good.
And that was the weekend and the week.  It was really nice.

Hope you guys are enjoying your spring!

Monday, March 14, 2016


Hey! How are you guys? Anyone? Anyone? Our weekend had a rough patch or two, but ended up being pretty decent.
On Friday I came down with a stomach bug.  Raylan caught it earlier in the week, and then I caught it from Raylan.  I had planned on taking Friday afternoon off from work, anyway, because President Obama was in town to give a SXSW Interactive keynote address (on the interaction between government and technology).  Mayor Adler had issued a public warning that the traffic would be snarled up downtown due to SXSW and the road closures for the President's motorcade.  We were all encouraged to work from home or take some time off.
Well, Raylan's stomach bug helped turn my half day into a whole day off.
I felt pretty bad.  Thanks to Amy for unexpectedly and gracefully dealing with an active Raylan and a sick Steanso.

We watched some of the live broadcast of Obama's talk.  He said some fairly thoughtful things about the need to get more talented people from the tech field involved in government work (it might not be as lucrative to help educate low income children as it is to design the next Angry Birds, but it might be more important) and about the need to balance digital privacy with safety concerns (it's probably not realistic to create digital devices that are completely impregnable to the government because they will be used, eventually, by our various enemies- BUT we can severely restrict access to secure devices both through a very limited set of digital "keys" and through judicial oversight). 
Anyway, I thought his talk was well reasoned.
We also got some fairly serious rain on Friday.

First rainbow for Raylan

On Saturday we got up and did some chores.  I was still moving kind of slow and feeling weird, but felt much, much better than Friday.  We went for some walks and got out a bit.  We even went over to Central Market.  It felt good to get out of the house.
In the afternoon I put a pantry shelf cabinet together.  We put it in the laundry room to give ourselves some more storage.  Our little house doesn't actually have a pantry closet, so kitchen storage space is always an issue, but hopefully this will help.

("I can see myself in the phone, again, Dad!")

On Saturday night Amy watched Mad Max: Fury Road with me on HBO.  Well, she watched most of it.  During some of the more intense moments she was peeking out from behind a pillow.
But, she watched enough to get the general gist.  I'm not sure it was entirely up her alley.  But she didn't complain, and she tried it out.  I love my wife.
On Sunday we went to breakfast.  Amy was feeling sort of worn down afterward, so I took Raylan with me to the grocery store while Amy caught up on some much needed caregiver rest.
Afterward we went to the park.  The weather had turned really nice.  Raylan loved being outside, and we had fun being outside with him.

Later we took turns working out and Raylan wrangling.  We ate some lunch.

("Dad, I like this weather.  Please keep it always like this.")
In the evening I went to band practice.  Somehow while I was gone, Amy managed to make a Mexican casserole while simultaneously taking care of  our kid.
And it was good!  We both enjoyed it when I got home.
And that was the weekend.
It was good when I wasn't sick!

The Davis/Sinex clan is in California right now, going to Disneyland.  Hope you guys are having fun!  We want to see pictures!!

Happy Spring Break/SXSW/St. Patrick's Day to everyone!!!  Hope it's a great week!!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Update; Mom's Big B-Day

Hey! How is everyone?
Springing into spring?
We had a pretty nice weekend.  On Friday night we watched Bridesmaids.  That movie is really funny.  I like to think of myself as having a somewhat intelligent sense of humor, buttttt... the food poisoning scene in the bridal shop gets me every time.  Plus, this movie still has one of Melissa McCarthy's funniest roles.
On Saturday we got up and ate some bagels.  We took turns exercising and Raylan wrangling, and then I went out and ran some errands while Amy went to Otto's first birthday party (arranged by her friend Heather).  The weather was nice, and it sounds like Amy and Raylan both had a good time.

(when you've got a Raylan in the house, it helps to have
an apron to wear when you're getting ready to go out)

Friday was Mom's 70th birthday.  Mom's not a huge fan of birthday celebrations, but, nevertheless, I called and talked to her on Friday, and then the whole family went out to dinner at Fonda San Miguel on Saturday.
We had a really nice time!  The restaurant was nice, and it was good to see everyone.  Ryan, Jamie, Susan, Ciara, Uncle Donald, and Mom and Dad were there along with Amy and me.
Mom seemed to enjoy herself, and she sort of moved around during dinner, getting a chance to talk to all of us.  I didn't really get a chance to talk to Ryan and Jamie much or Uncle Donald, but I still had a good time.  Very nice evening.

(Ryan gets the Mom and Dad b-day shot...)

Shelly and Kit were nice enough to babysit for us on Saturday night.  Apparently Raylan pretty much slept right through (which was lucky for them, since he was teething and a little cranky before going down).  We chatted with them for a few minutes when we got home and, afterwards, went to bed.

On Sunday we got up and went to Kerbey Lane with Raylan for breakfast.  We had a nice meal.
Afterwards we went to the grocery store.  Raylan seems to sort of have fun riding around at the grocery store. 
I worked out and ran some errands afterward. 
The day started out cloudy, but eventually got sunny.  We took Raylan to the park and went on a couple of walks.  Raylan took a couple of long naps.
(Did I mention that Raylan somehow lost his voice this weekend?  He seems otherwise healthy, but he's sort of horse, so he spent the weekend emitting squeaks and croaks instead of his usual shouts and roars.  I suppose I'm not supposed to think that it's funny.  But he seems okay.  And it makes me laugh.)

(Never look a 10 month old directly in the eye.
They will charge.)

(Springtime walk!)

("It turns out I like the playground!")
And that was pretty much the weekend.  Amy made a really tasty chicken/pepper/rice dish last night.  Very good! 
Happy birthday, Mom!
I love you very much!