Sunday, March 18, 2018


Howdy!  I'm 45!  FORTY FIVE!!
Dear lord.
Well, it feels pretty good, I guess.  Big ol' knock on wood, but life is treating me pretty well.  I've got a great family, great friends, a rewarding job, and a nice life.
I'm not trying to brag or even humblebrag because, as I've gotten older I've realized that a lot of success and happiness that I have derives from good luck and the support of others (plus, we're all just one turn of bad fortune away from things getting a lot harder in a hurry).  At the same time, I want to recognize and enjoy things when they're good.
So, although people usually complain about getting older, I feel like I'd be jinxing myself to do that when I have so many things to be grateful for.
Much love to all my family and friends, especially Amy, Raylan, Dad, Mom, Ryan, and Jamie.

So, for my birthday this year, I took a little time off work to go see some SXSW music.  I took Thursday afternoon and all of Friday.
I heard some good  music.  I accidentally ran into The Accidentals again.  They're from Traverse City, Michigan.  Last year I saw them play a little acoustic set in the corner of the Snack Bar on South Congress.  This year they were playing a showcase on a stage on the Whole Foods rooftop.  Their career seems to be on the right trajectory.  I like their music.  I'm happy for them.
Mt. Joy were also very good.
I enjoyed The Valery Trails, an Australian band that was playing at Guero's.  They were older guys who were playing some pretty loud rock that the lighthearted, day drinking, SXSW audience might not have been entirely comfrotable with, but as a member of the Mono Ensemble, I liked their music and felt a certain camaraderie with their plight.

Folk Family Revival at Dogwood

The Accidentals at Whole Foods

Tap danging on a bass drum with Kolars at Whole Foods

Panorama shot from Whole food roof during SXSW

Cut Worms 

Belcurve at Guero's

Caroline Rose at SX San Jose

Mt. Joy

The Valery Trails at Guero's
As usual, I went out during the day to see music during SXSW, but returned home as the sun was going down.
I went out for dinner with Amy and Raylan.  Afterward we went to Amy's and got some ice cream. Raylan was extremely excited about getting ice cream.

post-ice cream selfie.  Can you guess what flavor Raylan had?
On Saturday we played with Raylan in the morning.  My mom and our family friend, Barb (who was in town and visiting my parents), came by around noon so Raylan could spend the night with his grandparents.
Saturday evening I had a little meet up with friends at Pinthouse Pizza.  I had a really nice time.  I drank beer, ate some pizza pie, and got to talk to friends (from work, Amy's work, the band, etc.) and family (hi, Ryan and Jamie!).  I wish I would have taken a few more pictures, but I was having fun talking, and I just didn't think about it.  But I had a lot of fun!  Amy had a good time, too.
Thanks to everyone for coming out!

This serious conversation between Spencer and Kit was the one time
I thought to reach for my camera during my b-day gathering
Sunday morning we had breakfast and ran an errand or two.  Mom, Dad, and Barb dropped Raylan off after church.
Sunday evening I had band practice at Reed's house.  It was just Frank, Reed, and I.  Practice was pretty fun, and I think we sounded okay for a three piece without a bass.

Below are some pictures of Mono E practice on the weekend of my 45th!

Weirdly, on the way home there was a bombing in Reed's neighborhood (Travis Country).  Austin has been in the national news in recent weeks as someone has bombed three different locations on the east side of town.  The first three victims were minorities, so there was some feat that these attacks were hate crimes.  This recent attack was on the west side of town, though, and it sounds like the victims of these most recent attacks were white, (two young men in their 20s- both seriously injured, but not fatally).
At any rate, I left Reed's house right before 8:30 (I think I sent a text to Amy at about 8:26), and the bombing happened about a block off of Republic of Texas (the road leaving Reed's neighborhood) at about 8:30 (the first call to police was at 8:42).  So Frank and I were trucking our way out of Reed's neighborhood right near the explosion site very close to the time that it happened.  Apparently the explosion was caused by a tripwire attached to a device on the side of the road.
Like I said, as I get older I appreciate the good things in my life, at least in part, because I realize how quickly things can potentially become... not good.

Anyway, I hope that everyone stays safe.  Have a good week!

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