Sunday, September 30, 2018


Hi!So, following our return from da beach, we had a busy week and a busy weekend.

We had a great time at the beach, and there were some adjustments to be made as we tried to resume our normal lives...

We're still at the beach, Mom!  Bury me in the sand!!
But home is a lot of fun, too.  On Wednesday night we went out for Indian food, and then stopped at a nearby Halloween store.

But is it believable, Dad?  Will people really believe that I'm a dog?
Friday we went out for dinner.
On Saturday morning we got up, and I went to the annual NAMI Walk (raising money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness).  We got rained on, but it was a nice event.
Meanwhile, Amy took Raylan to the doctor to get his flu shot.  I guess he was pretty good, because afterward she took him to Mt. Playmore.  (I was sweaty and rain soaked from the NAMI Walk and went home to shower and change clothes)

Raylan, still pretending that this is the best thing to do at Mt. Playmore
Saturday afternoon the Longhorns played Kansas State.  We had a really strong first half, while K-State looked terrible.  At half time K-State switched quarterbacks, and they came out swinging in the second half.  We won the game, but I felt like we were lucky to have survived it.  If the Wildcats hadn't dug themselves into such a deep hole in the first half, we woulda lost that game.
Next week is OU, and they've been looking really good.
I'm a little nervous.

Saturday night we went to see The Decemberists at Bass Concert Hall.  Frank, Amy, and I went.
It was a good show!  We had a good time.
I've seen the Decemberists before at ACL Fest and at Stubbs.
The first half of the show everyone remained seated because we were at Bass, and people generally sit for things at Bass.  Sometime like halfway through, people started standing up (and dancing), and it felt a little less formal and more like a "proper rock and roll show" (to quote Collin Meloy).

You know who loooves to have his picture taken?  Frank!!

The Decemberists

The Mariner's Revenge Song, giant inflatable whale, exploding confetti
On Sunday morning we got up, and I got us some breakfast tacos, and then I went to pick up Raylan from Mom and Dad before they headed off to church. 
We took Raylan to the park, and he ran himself ragged.
We came home and Amy exercised while I showered and fed Raylan and then I went for a bike ride.

view of downtown from Parmer Events Center

view of downtown from the Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge 
I got home shortly after Raylan got up from his nap.  We did some Halloween decorating.
Amy made sausage spinach pasta for dinner.  It was really good.

And then the weekend was over!  Too fast!

I hope you had a good one!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

South Padre

Hi!  We just got back from a family vacation to South Padre.  We had a really nice time.
It was a nice, relaxed trip.  South Padre is relatively quiet during the off season.
Raylan did really well on the drive down (he watched shows and played games on his tablet, mostly).
The beaches were nice, and not crowded at all.
We stayed at the Bridgeport Condominiums, and our place worked great.

We got to South Padre on Thursday.  We hit the beach that afternoon after arriving.

Enjoying the sea shore

Da beach
Raylan with lifeguard Amy

Stayin' hydrated

Raylan and me

wave watchin'

evening on the balcony


sunset on the bay
On Friday we spent the morning at the beach as well.
up to his neck in fun!!

our spot on the beach in front of the condo

more beach
In the afternoon, after lunch and nap, I took Raylan to the pool while Amy worked out.  We had a lot of fun swimming.
Friday night we went out to dinner at Blackbeard's, a seafood place.  Dinner was good.

On Saturday we ate breakfast at Manuel's in Port Isabel.  Good breakfast tacos.  Afterward, we once again spent the morning at the beach.  The weather was nice.

us on vacay!

Amy wonders what our kid is doing

After the beach we went to Sea Turtle, Inc., which is a sea turtle rescue center on South Padre.

Raylan watches Allison, the sea turtle, as she swims with her prosthetic

a new view of an aquarium

Raylan meets Fred, the loggerhead turtle

Amy and Fred

Raylan and Dad ponder turtle sizes
It rained a bit on Saturday afternoon.  The rain mostly fell while Raylan was napping, and was also fortuitously timed to give me a chance to watch some of the UT-TCU game (we won!  we won!!).

We went to dinner at Gabriella's, a pretty good Italian place near our condo.

Dinner with the fam
After dinner we did some swimming pool swimming.  The sun set while we were at the pool.  It was nice.  The Bridgeport has a nice pool, including a kid pool and a hot tub.

Amy and Raylan.  Raylan was excited about his first chance to go
night swimming

The next day we got up, piled in the car, and went home!

Rylan seemed to really like the beach.  He liked playing in the waves, collecting shells, and building sand castles.


We had a really good trip.  It was great to have a chance to get away from everything and enjoy some family time together.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Hello!  How is everyone?
Well, our weekend involved a decent amount of rain.
Work's been busy...

Laura, Dan, and Pedro work the docket in Court 4.
I'm honestly not sure where Saturday went.  I know that Amy took Raylan to the park while I went to the gym, and they got caught in a rainstorm walking home.  Raylan and Amy both eventually took naps.

Saturday night was the UT - USC game.  Texas won!!!!  Well, USC wasn't very good this year, so it might not have been quite the triumph that it might have been in some past years, but UT didn't have any major meltdowns or mental errors.  They played a pretty solid game, so that was really nice to see.  My only real complaint was that the UT running game was terrible, but that seemed mostly due to lackluster play calling, so hopefully that can be fixed through some better coaching strategy.
Anyway, it was a fun game to watch.  Raylan even watched some of the game with me.  He was initially bothered by the tackling, telling me that people aren't supposed to hit and push people like that.  We had a talk about how they wear pads and helmets and about how the referees try to make sure people don't get hurt.  He sort of got into it after a while.  He wanted to see the men try to run down the field while the other men chased them.
On Sunday we got up in the morning and went out to breakfast.

Mom, I'm not gonna be ready to eat breakfast until we get all of this
stuff washed.
Later we went to Target.

Cart lizard.
Later, Amy went for a run while Raylan and I played with Transformers and monster trucks.

The power of "The Claws"!!
I doe my bike to the gym.  

Sunday night I had band practice.  Reed, Frank, Jim, and I were there.  We sounded pretty good and had fun.

And that was pretty much the weekend.  Not super eventful, but nice.

Sunday, September 09, 2018


Hey!  How is everybody?
We had a sort of long 4 day week (there was a bit of stress about whether we were getting a foster child placement last week, but it didn't ultimately work out), but a nice weekend.

On Friday night I went to a docket for the attorneys, judges, social workers, and doctors who work on the Travis County mental health dockets.  It was fun!  It had been a number of years since we did something like that. We had happy hour at a place called Fixe.
Mallory, Brooke, Kathryn, and Bill, closing out the happy hour at Fixe

Angelica, Kathryn, me, Jeff, Suzanne, Brooke, Krista, and Jill outside
of Fixe
After the happy hour a group of us wandered over from 5th Street to 4th Street to a gay dance club called Rain.  Jeff and Mallory led the charge to go over there, and we all charged right along with them.  We got there at like 9:30, which is apparently way too early in the evening for a place like Rain (it took a while to fill up).
Anyway, we hung out and had drinks, there were some predictably ridiculous dance moves, and then I stumbled into an Uber to get home (I couldn't get my RideAustin app to work).
It was the latest night I'd had in a while.  Had a bit of a headache the next morning...

Our gang dances while I consider how I ended up in a gay dance club
that doesn't even serve craft beer 
On Saturday morning we went out for breakfast.  Afterward Shelly, Kit, and baby Spencer came over.  It was a little overcast out, but we still put the kiddos in the baby pool.  
It was good to see them and hang out.  Spencer is a cute kid.

Spencer eyes the hose.  Raylan encourages Amy to turn it on.
Saturday night my parents had a 90th birthday party for Uncle Donald.  It was fun.  Susan was obviously there along with her friend, Lindsey, and Donna (a cousin on Donald and Susan's side) with her husband, Steve.  My parents also invited the Leihs and the Neelys (who have gotten to know Donald well at gatherings over the years).  
Raylan loves a party, of course, and he had a blast.

Raylan figures out the party blower!

UT football game (we beat Tulsa!) and Donald opening cards

A pretty lady being harassed by some ne'er-do-well

Aunt Jamie and Uncle Ryan receive a lesson on magna-tile construction

Raylan was briefly posing for a nice picture with Uncle Donald.
As usual, that moment passed before I got my camera ready... 

(from left) Judy, Lindsey, Don, Uncle Donald, and Donna
We got home Saturday night, and I watched the end of the UT game.  I was, of course, happy we beat Tulsa, but they are a very mediocre team from a small school, and we still struggled for our win.  We have some big games coming up, and I'm a little scared.

On Sunday it was raining.  We got up and decided to take Raylan to an indoor playground.  There's a new one in Oak Hill called Epic Fun.
Epic.  Fun.
Once we learned the name, honestly, I'm not sure we had any choice about whether to go.

Amy and Raylan load balls into a cannon so Raylan can shoot them
at other kids.  Shooting things is part of what constitutes EPIC FUN!

Having watched his father drive in Austin traffic for years,
Raylan had an innate understanding of how bumper cars worked.

Raylan, driving the bumper car with his feet!!!
(including going backward by pulling on the levers with his toes)

serious about mini bowling
So Raylan did a lot of cool stuff at Epic Fun.  In addition to the mini bowling, bumper cars, and indoor playground, they also had a thing called TimeFreak, where the kids run around a room smashing down buttons as they light up on the walls.  It has cool sound effects.  Raylan enjoyed it.

In the afternoon Amy went to the gym and Raylan took a nap.

It rained pretty much all day on Sunday.  Raylan did some playing and watched some Paw Patrol.

And I think that was pretty much it!  Amy made some good tortilla soup for dinner.  
We had no band practice because Reed and Frank were both out.

We had a nice weekend.

I hope that everyone has a good week!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Labor Day Weekend

Hello!  We had a pretty nice Labor Day weekend.Mom and Dad got back into town late on Wednesday night.  It sounds like they had a good European trip.
On Friday Raylan spent the day and the night with them.  He was really happy to have Grandma and Papa back.
Friday night I went out and had a couple of beers with my friends James and Robert.  We went to Lavaca St. Bar, and just hung out.  They're both at the DA's office now, so I don't see them that often, and it was good to catch up.
On Saturday UT had their first game of the season against Maryland.
Ryan and Jamie came over, and Mom and Dad brought Raylan back to the house and then hung out for the game.    Amy made queso and coleslaw, and we grilled hotdogs and some asparagus (guess which one I ate).  Ryan and Jamie brought hummus and pita chips and olives, and Mom and Dad brought a veggie tray and some fruit.

A halftime game of hide and seek with Uncle Ryan.

Jamie and Raylan hammock it up
The game ended... poorly.  If there was any improvement in UT's game over the off season, they didn't really show it on Saturday.  When crunch time came at the end of the game, and UT had a chance to make successful plays for the win, they choked and made critical errors.  We can still have a bit of hope that this Maryland game was a fluke- a chance to examine mistakes and fine tune the team after early season mistakes.  The problem is that the whole game felt a lot like what we saw last year.  And last year didn't go very well.
Annnyway, it was fun to hang out with the family.  The game had an hour and a half rain delay, so we didn't all even make it to the end (Mom, Dad, Ryan, and Jamie took off, and I watched the 4th quarter solo).

On Sunday we got up and went out to breakfast.  Afterward we went to Dick Nichols Park.  We did the mile trail around the outside of the park, with Raylan riding his bike most of the way.  Afterward Raylan played on the splash pad to cool off.  He didn't have extra clothes, so he wore his underwear.

Not to be outdone by the older kids, Raylan scales a tree in his undies.

I've got no idea how that little girl got wet. 
Splash pad button?  What splash pad button?!
After the park we went home.  Raylan got a bath and ate lunch.  I went over and fed Mandy's dogs because she was out of town.  

Gage (the visiting boxer) and Darla
Sunday night I had band practice with Reed and Frank.  We sounded pretty good and had fun.
Later that night I stayed up too late watching Wind River.  It was pretty good.  It had been a while since I watched a thriller like that.  It had one of the most intense gunfight scenes that I had seen in a long  time.

On Monday, Labor Day, I got up and went to the gym.  Then Amy went to the gym, and I took Raylan shopping.  We got a few Halloween decorations, and I bought him a toy truck at Target.  I let him pick some stuff out, and I think he got tired walking around At Home (the old Garden Ridge, which is gigantic) and Target.
At home we had lunch outside with Amy.

Labor Day pizza party on the patio
Raylan and I both napped a bit in the afternoon.  It started to rain a bit after we got up.  We played inside and watched some shows.
Amy made some really good meatballs with a red pepper sauce for dinner along with a cucumber salad.  Very good.
And that was the weekend!

I hope everyone has a good week.  
I hope the Longhorns find a way to turn things around!