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Friday, April 30, 2010

This is it. This is the last post on Changes in's policies won't let me publish to this page anymore. So, I'm going to have to tear my site apart and re-build it before I can blog again. Not really excited about doing that so, it may be a while.

Don't forget to check out my concert calendar here:

See ya' later.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So, I got some answers to my questions on Friday so, here they are:

1. Scott agreed to add a secondary filter on the AC unit. Also, I found a coupon on American Air's website for $500 but, he agreed to add a UV light inside the AC unit that kills bacteria and mold instead.
2. Scott is using 2 14" flex tubes so 20" was more than enough. So we cut it back to 15" X 22"
3. Scott agreed to put the return at the top of the stairs, turning the grate 90 degrees so it can be closed.
4. Scott said the unit in the attic was 110.
5. The chase will have 14" circular ducts will be the supply and return down the chase for the first floor
6. The AC unit that's being installed can't use 2 thermostats but, Scott suggested that we use a remote sensor that averages the two areas
7. The AC unit will be above my bedroom door oriented with the intake facing east
8. The utilities on the AC unit will be on the service side, which is facing north
9. The ducts will be replaced and the grate for the front upstairs bedroom since the room is slightly larger

Here is what we completed by Sunday night at 10:30

1. We did not add a 20 amp breaker. Will utilize the breaker from the original unit and pull out the wire to the original AC closet.
2. The 220 volt plug in the side yard is not active, so we'll rewire it from the breaker that supplies the old condenser unit.
3. Gas line up the wall is installed but the splice from the main and the line all the way to the AC unit in the upper attic remain to be installed.
4. The lines are drawn on the garage wall and it's ready to be cut out. Might even do it before I go to bed tonight...
5. No decking was installed in the garage attic
6. The upper attic void was opened this morning to allow the gas pipe and the electrical wire. I opened the entrance to the void by cutting the 2"X4" away. If I had not cut it, I would not have been able to get the gas pipe into position. Unfortunately, I messed up the walls in both bedrooms and will need to repair and re-texture the walls at a later date
7. Did not clean the void for screw tips and protrusions. Will do tomorrow or Wednesday.
8. Cory opened 15" at the back of the closet for the supply and return from the AC
9. Cory outlined where the scuttle will be but, since it was late we didn't cut the sheetrock. Also, we might need some more 2"X4"s to make the rough opening. Also the Werner ladder was $260 at Lowes. I'll need to find a cheaper solution.
10. I removed Matt's AC duct and taped it off. I left mine since I'll be in the room until the AC guys come on Wednesday.
11. Bought the plywood for decking the upper attic but, we didn't have the table saw here. So, tomorrow I'll take the sheets up to Cory's shop and get them cut and installed.
12. We also bought the plywood for the platform ($25) from Lowes but, we need to cut the scuttle out and rough it before we can put it up into the attic.
13. The overflow drip line has not been installed
14. The main AC condensation line has not been installed either. Might just get them to use the existing for the time being.

Here's what we completed on Monday:

1. Cory cut out scuttle above the landing and rough out
2. Eric cut away drywall in garage (#4)
3. We bought some more plywood and had it pre-cut into decking for upper attic
4. Bought j-boxes for wiring up a spare plug and a light in the attic including a new 20 amp breaker

What needs to happen tonight:
1. Deck attic with plywood and move supports that are in the way
2. Add the platform for the AC
3. Run wire from breaker box to the platform and wire up the light and extra plug
4. Install the pipes to get the gas line to the platform in the upper attic and splice in the pipes to the main gas line.
5. Throw a couple of sheets of plywood in the garage attic and screw down
6. Clean up the void to ease the install.

What we need to do on Wednesday:
1. Re-purpose the breaker for the existing condenser (outside unit) and pull out the existing cable (if we can find it)

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm getting my 15 year old AC system ripped out and replaced with an efficient 18 SEER unit.

Of course, with any project like this, I require a job that's above and beyond the standard AC contractor job. Cory (my brother) and I have spent the last week deciding on how this whole project is going to go down. So, we wrote a few lists.

The owner / operator (Scott Russo) of American Air is coming by on Friday, so we have a few questions:

1. Can we add a filter that's attached to the AC unit on the return? We're looking for a cheap-o backup filter that will come after the filters at the return grills (upstairs and downstairs)
2. We are leaving 20" at back of "new closet" that we cut open a the back of the stairs. Is this enough room?
3. Can we put the return at top of stairs (not on the landing, over the stairs)?
4. Is the attic unit 220 volt? (want to know how to wire the unit)
5. We will remove the duct that goes up into the chase to the second floor. Will you bring ducts to replace it? Will you be using flex for the downstairs ducts and the downstairs return? What size (since Cory and I believe the big return should be upstairs).
6. Can the unit utilize two thermostats?
7. How will the unit be oriented in the attic?
8. Where will the utilities (gas, electric) terminate in the upper attic?
9. We will remove all of the existing ducts in the upper attic so they will have to re-duct the two upstairs bedrooms and add a vent into the bathroom. Will you make sure to bring ducts to do this?

Here are the parts that the installers won't do so, this will have to be pre-install work for Cory and Eric to do over the weekend:

1. Electrical line from small panel (adding a 20amp breaker to the secondary panel) to garage attic and up to upper attic (#12 3 wire)
2. Verify side yard plug is 220 volts and active and confirm it's on one breaker (label it), if not, FIX IT!
3. Run gas line from garage attic to upper attic (measure pipe length to the wall and up through void)
4. Open up strip of sheet rock for copper tubing that stops 4" down from the ceiling  and goes all the way to the floor (this sucks because I just had the sheet rock in the garage repaired and painted)
5. (Optional) rip 4X8X.5 sheets of plywood in half for walking in garage attic (22 feet across)
6. Check opening of void between the upstairs bedrooms for opening into upper attic and open up if necessary. Don't forget to remove more 2"X4" and make the opening to the void wider at the bottom. Note: This will be the main "highway" for the gas line, freon lines, condensation drip tubing and electric for the new placement of the AC.
7. Clean  the void for screw tips and protrusions (don't want to get our hands all scraped up screws in the back of the patch that was done in the corner of my current bedroom)
8. Open back ~21" of 'new closet' to create a chase (and box out the rest for the floor of the new closet)
9. Open scuttle to upper attic (box out the rough opening) - 25" X 30" minimum: use a Werner "Televator"
10. Remove all ducts and registers from upper attic (show where register should go in the bathroom)
11. Rip 4' X 8' sheets of cheap plywood for upper attic decking (so they are at least 2' wide)
12. Create 4' X 8' platform (3/4") up on 3 2"X4"s on end, leaving it loose for the installers to orient
13. Run an overflow drip line above front door
14. Run the AC condensation line down to pecan tree roots (down void) - to eave in the corner, so it goes into the rain barrel

Day of instructions for installers

1. Instruct installer to use open strip up to the ridge then up the void NOTE: Water heater is going here. Clearing out the void will happen before the install.
2. Make return and downstairs air at the BACK of the closet
3. Use 2 round ducts down the chase to the downstairs (back 21" of the closet) and bring them all the way to the floor on the first level. (supply does not have to be as long)
4. Drop thermostat wire down chase for side of main hallway

So that's it. It's going to be one hell of a weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My brother an I built modular workstations in my garage last night. I'm in desperate need of cleaning out my garage to make it ready for my 240 Z to come home. I left it at Crushproof over a year ago and they stopped working on it after the roll cage and gas tank were installed. I assumed that they would call me when they had an opening to start doing the bodywork. At the same time, I was hoping that they wouldn't call me for a while because I didn't have the cash to pay for the work at the time (and they don't take credit). So, I get an e-mail (through myspace) from Lux that says the property manager is going to start towning cars from their property on the 21st (SUNDAY!).

I gave him a call to reassure him that I would pick it up before Sunday and he said he would call me back. I'm a little paranoid though. From the irritation in his voice, it sounds like he may want to charge me for storing the car in his garage for a year.

Either way, I'm under pressure to have a place to put the car since the car can't be left outside.

As long as I'm at it, I may as well tear the car down to a rolling chasis this weekend and get it prepared for body work. The workstations that Cory and I put together last nigth should make storing all of the parts very easy. I also cleared out most of the things that don't belong in the garage and should be stored in an attic. Unfortunately I have no access to either of them because because all four of my attics don't have openings (except in the garage but, it's a little skuttle and the attic is not decked for storage).

This weekend will be interesting. I may try and get some contractors scheduled to do some projects I have stated for the beinning of this year including, a new water hearter and a new air conditioning system.

Hey blogger, where did the spell check go?


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

So, I've been posting on Blogger through their FTP interface. Apparently, using FTP makes up about .05% of bloggers, since most use the free "" addresses. So, Blogger is killing off FTP, which means I'm going to have to re-build my website to continue using Blogger starting the 25th of March. Not looking forward to it but, it will give me a chance to overhaul this site. Let's see what happens in the next few months.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I looked up from my work this morning to see one of my co-workers standing at my cube entrance. He said "I think there's a riff happening today". I'm not very concerned with losing my job this early in the year since I'm a contractor and I've heard that I'm good until March. So, I was immediately curious about who was being let go. Sadly, it was someone very close to me and Connie. He had helped me when I was drifting between organization (at the end of a previous contract) AND provided Connie with a position here at my office as well.

It was a co-worker who I had come to rely on as mentor, a sounding board, a protector, and an manager (even though that wasn't reflected in his title). I am very lucky to know him and have offered him as much help as I can on finding a new position.

I don't see the real reasoning behind the lay-off, as we are hiring in our organization. I'm sure it won't be clear to me for a while as the organisational change hasn't been officially communicated.

It has been a sad day but, I'm certain that he will find a better job out there. I wish him luck.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I realized recently that I only drink when I'm around other people who drink. So, since my sister is pregnant (sorry if this is the first you're hearing of it), I don't drink much at the house. So as a result, my beer fridge has not been re-fueled recently. Not much reason to keep it stocked while I'm only drinking occasionally at the casa.

Speaking of beer, I have over 50 beers that I made that need to be emptied. Mostly I need to get them empty to re-fill them. Perhaps it's time to have a have a beer drinkin' shin-dig? Well, either way, I'll brew up 5 gallons this weekend. Now, who to name it after?


Monday, December 07, 2009

Wasted weekend.... I ended up playing Left for Dead 2 aaaaaall weekend. Thousands of zombies destroyed and nothing to show for it. I hope I don't do that again for a while. I did take a break for Lauren's Ugly Sweater party on Saturday night. Met some cool people, saw some cool people... had a few beers.

This week is going to be busy so, maybe it's good that I took the time off. I'll blog about it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On return from Dallas on Sunday, my sister informed me that she had my birthday presents from my parents and if I behaved this week I would get them on Saturday. Very funny. Then, as almost an afterthought, she mentioned that my cat Eddy had died. Eddy was an undersized kitten that I saved from a feral cat's litter in 1993. For some reason, neither of my parents called me when it happened and Amy was very nonchalant in her delivery of the message.

I can't help but be a bit irritated when I proclaim that I'm bothered by the death of a cat that I considered mine and having my sister telling me that "oh, that wasn't your cat anyway". It's as though the assumptions of how I will feel about a situation is actually how I will feel and when I say different, I'm told "whatever".

I am certainly guilty of misjudgements on the value someone places on an animal or a thing before. Specifically with Amy, who's frog had "red leg" and was prescribed a fairly expensive rounds of injections as a cure. When her frog was paralyzed and seemingly unresponsive, I advised her to allow the frog to die. I quickly realized that my words lacked empathy and apologized. My hope was that Amy would realize the same situation with me and Eddy.

Eddy had a good life with my parents after I moved away in 1998 and he lived a surprisingly long time for an outside cat. I will always remember the times when Eddy began to purr from a good pet that it was soon to be followed by a bite and an escape.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tickets went on sale for ACL for $149 bucks today but, the server was so glutted with requests, I didn't even get to the purchace page. Totally missed out.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Check out my comic-con schedule!

I'm still working the bugs out on the time difference and how it syncs up with my phone. See you in San Diego! (actually, I'm already here).


Saturday, July 18, 2009

I spent a lot of time in the office this week. We're really winning hearts and minds with our efforts. Ah, finally, after 2 and a half years people are finally understanding the benefits that my skillset has to offer. By Friday, going to see a concert was exactly the kind of reward I was looking for. What better concert to go to than one of my favorite local bands, The Mercers. It was a CD release party for their EP, "Hovercraft". Not sure what the title has to do with the collection of songs but, it's a title. I sent out an invite to about 30 people but, nobody responded to the e-mail. Strange. Anyway, Cory showed up at the house after I got home from work. We had dinner with Matt, who went to the bar on River Road for a concert with Nate who came down from Dallas for the show and some campin' and some toobin'. Matt has to work tomorrow... um... today but, he didn't want to have to drive back to Austin too late so, he took a sleeping bag.

Cory and I got down to the concert at The Parish about an hour before The Mercers went on so, we hit the bar next door. Daddie's, I think it was. I chatted up the waitress but, she acted too busy to talk to me. I never know if I'm being entertaining or annoying. Judging from most waitstaff that I've tried it on, I'm about half and half. Once the baseball game was over, the bar cranked the music again. Just in time to go back next door and watch the show.

The Mercers played a few random songs, then the 7 songs from the EP and about 3 more songs. I only recognized Disco Nixon (from the EP) and Un-America from their previous album. About halfway through the set, some chick ran her fingers through the hair on the back of my head but, when I turned around she had either run away or decided to blame the prank on her friend. I kept a smile on and gave her a "yeah, right" nod. I think she was tired of standing behind two 6-footers that were nestled up near the stage. I get that a lot.

Towards the end of the set, I scanned the audience looking for "shorties" and spotted Chris Stutsman who was a friend of Bo's and formerly the drummer of the band former known as Choking Ahogo (now The Mercers). I see him at Peter's and Brian's (and Eric's and Evan's) shows about 90% of the time. He had brought his wife (who's name escaped me then, and continues to elude me). I pointed him out to my brother and he waived them over. Cory, Chris (who is also over 6') and I were now a wall of meat no doubt pissing off the crowd from the stage back to the bar. I'm not as concerned as I used to be. If we hadn't started the show at the front, there would have been a huge gap between the stage and the crowd. I practically did them a service :P.

After the show ended, we headed back down 6th Street, which by now had been cordoned off so drunks can walk into the street without fear of a beat down from the bike cops. Most of the way up the block a group of concerned Christians were carrying signs about sinning and belting out dogma through a megaphone. Damn annoying. Worse still, the signs were condemning "drunkenness", which is kinda the point of 6th Street. Clearly, they missed the *point.

*I'm not asking for commentary on how I shouldn't be annoyed by concerned Christians, so don't bother.

Cory and I finally made it home, cracked open the last Coca-Cola from the fridge and split it into two glasses with Treaty Oak Rum, which made a nice night-cap. We both fell asleep on the couches in front of the TV watching Brendon Frazer in George of the Jungle. This movie is better with your eyes closed by the way. I woke up around... now, and decided to start blogging again. Not sure why but, why fight it? It's fun to do when I have the time and when I get inspired.

I'll try to get in a few words each day this week to cronicle my time in San Diego.

Hopefully, I'll be overhauling my site soon so I can post more pictures and incorporate other social-media crap-ola on the front page. Until then, enjoy more of the same.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Adam had to work today and my original intent was to explore the city on foot. I woke up a little late, and I didn't do any research on Vancouver so I decided to wait until noon and go to lunch with Adam. In the mean time I hung out on the couch and organized my pictures from the day before and posted a blog.
When noon came around, we decided to have sushi (again!) and damn Vancouver has totally spoiled me on sushi. The restaurant we went to had giant, crazy-good hunks of salmon, soft buttery-consistency tuna tataki (with a smoky dipping sauce), and something called a paradise roll (which it was). They get some really fresh seafood there and you can actually taste the difference. I have not had such good sushi in any restaurant in Texas regardless of price. Simply amazing.
So, Adam moved his 1:00 meeting back, so we now had time to hit up the dog park again, this time with Kayla and Bini who Adam’s ex-girlfriend Kim dropped off that morning since she was going on a bike ride the following day. Both dogs are crazy for fetch but, so well trained that Adam easily got them to pose for a picture with the objects of their obsessions just inches away from them.
After the dog park, Adam finished / blew-off his office work and we met up with Mike with the intent to hit up the Pitch and Putt at Stanley park. On the way, we drove by the Gastown Steam Powered Clock which was tooting out the old familiar grandfather clock tune as we drove by it. When we finally collected Mike and got to the Pitch and Putt, there was a long line so; we went for wings at a bar down the street. Mike is one of Adam’s long time friends and his wife, Angie (also Adam’s friend) came to Houston and met a few people a when Adam was living there. I’m not sure that I was one of them.
Afterwards, we headed over Lion’s Gate bridge and up to North Vancouver (strangely, a different city than East Vancouver, and Vancouver proper) to look at a house that Mike and his wife were planning on buying. They currently live inches from Stanley Park in a near-basement condo that they have since outgrown. The place they looked at was really great, with decks, a basement (that they would rent out), a sunken living room, landscaping everywhere and a cool set of planting boxes for gardening.
Since Angie does not care much for gardening, it would most likely get overgrown and the garden would be re-purposed for a back yard. It reminds me of all of the houses that my family and I moved into over the years. Tearing things out, making them our own. It also made me think about looking around for another property in Austin, just to look for now, I guess.
As the sun was setting, we climbed up to a “romantic” vantage point overlooking Vancouver. Though, when the sun was up, it was more majestic / awe inspiring. Adam had ridden up on a bike ride up this incline before where his group had a non-confrontational run-in with a black bear. It was a good day for a ride and there were plenty of motorcycle riders tearing up the side of the mountain. Damn I look good in this picture.Anyway, we headed back into town to meet up with Mike, Angie, and her brother and sister. It was her sister's birthday, so we celebrated on Granville Island at the Cat's Social Club which was previously "The Cat's Meow". Somehow it caused too much confusion with people searching for pet stores on Granville Island. The food bar food was fair, and I didn't get to know Angie, and her brother and sister all that well because the bar had the music cranked up, so I couldn't hear anything. I drank many local beers and Adam and I made an early night of it. Another great day in Vancouver!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I flew from Austin to Phoenix. While waiting for my flight, I picked up a pair of earplugs at a gift shop while looking for stupid chotchkies to give to my friends. I tend to do that when I travel. I guess Arizona wasn't interesting enough. I realized too late that I could go to the duty-free shop and pick up some alcohol for cheap. In retrospect, it would have been taxed at the border in customs since I was already bringing a case of beer into Canada for Adam. I set him up with 12 St. Arnold's Spring Bocks and 12 Christmas Ales.

When I landed and finally worked my way through customs, Adam was waiting for me on the other side. Still the same smile, I wonder if will ever age. He still has the same red Ford truck that he bought in Houston back in 2002 but, now it has a camper shell and his Water Tiger logo emblazoned across the doors. He's doing fairly well, even in a down economy.
We stopped for Döners served in a pita on the way back to his place for a late lunch. Good stuff. I met his dog Kayla, who was riding in the back of the truck, patiently waiting to go to the dog park. So, we dropped off my stuff and took her down to Renfrew park. Adam used a Chuckit to throw the ball for miles and would have it back in mere seconds. Kayla is THAT fast! She somehow never got tired, either.
Afterwards, we went for sushi and Adam introduced me to Lululemon, a sort of super-comfortable yoga wear that the women that originate from a hip neighborhood in Vancouver. We sat in the window of the sushi joint watching women wearing Lululemon stroll by. Quite enjoyable.

After Sushi, we went to a community center / church to see Mike Doughty play. The venue was similiar the Cactus cafe in size (no more than 200 people or so) but the acoustics were more church like, due to the high celings. The show wasn't a complete sell out but, Mike has a pretty decent fan community in Vancouver. The concert started a little late because Mike, Scrap and crew (one guy) showed up late. Fortunately, it took them no time to set up and pass out the "question jar". During the performance, Scrap and Mike pull questions written by the audience and answer them. I asked "Did you grow the beard BECAUSE you were coming to Canada, or did it just automatically appear when you crossed the border", which got a pretty good laugh from the crowd. Mike said that he was clean shaven in Washington and continued on to the next song. Around the second song or so, two of Adam's friends, who he had not seen since High School showed up to watch the show. After the show, Mike was selling copies of a CD called "busking"; a recording of a concert held in the subway tunnel between the 3 train and the F train on 14th street in NYC. He even signed every copy that he sold.
After the show, Kat, Adam, Jaime, and I went over a block and had a few beers at a local bar.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I am SO EXCITED to see NIN and Jane's Addiction tonight with Russ. I've never seen Trent in concert before but, I have seen Jane's Addiction many times at too-many-Lollapaloozas in Dallas.

We'll probably go out after the concert since I'm not going to work the next day. I'm finally going to get to see Star Trek on Wednesday (also with Russ) at the Village at 12:30. It's going to be a fun week!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome friends to post number 500 in the life-blog of Eric Thompson (also calls himself Alien-e but, only on the internet). This weekend was my first meeting with my partners at Past / Futures Records. We spoke briefly about my planned PA setup in my backyard (Che knows sound) and then discussed secret company business. I was hoping to record the meeting and publish it on the website in some sort of Music Industry Weekly podcast (motha-fucca!) but, the connection to Che was fer-shit caus, he was skyping in from his cell phone in a van somewhere in Massachusetts. We are meeting again tomorrow to talk about the upcoming Strange Attractors concert on Wednesday (at Emo's) since they are one of our two upcoming releases. I think they have already looked at the demo vinyl but, it might be cool to bring it along.

Over the weekend I spent some time working on the house. Amy and I did yard work all morning and I follwed that up with a trip to the gym. I figured, I didn't need to hit the weights after the eliptical machine since, I planned on finishing working day in the yard digging in the dirt. Cory and I re-cut the border trench around the planting beds but, we ran out of time before we could install the border. The next day, we finally put some effort into the bathroom. There were plenty of things we didn't account for, and we ended up wasting a bit of time an energy but, we learned a few things and should have much more success next time we find the time to work on it.

Now, this morning I dropped off my car today at Jeff's Autobody on Lamar. They had done some work for me previously when I scraped the hell out of my Z and I was really satisfied with the results. That was an out of pocket expense and was a fairly reasonable price, considering the result was non-. Fortunately, this damage was caused by someone else and was completely covered on my policy. Here is the "before" picture. I'll post the "after" when I get back from Canada. Oh! I'm also going to Canada to see Mike Doughty and my HP comrad Adam Scheuer. I am excited to see Canadians in their natural habitat. I will take many pictures and write in my internet journal (ijer = blog).
Happy 500 everybody!


Friday, May 08, 2009

In the past two weeks I've listened to the prototypes pressings of Past / Futures Records, got my car damaged, saw The Mercers, Jason Isbell, Whole Wheat Bread, MC Chris, and Flight of the Concords. I've been super busy for the last couple of weeks, and the next weeks I'll be just as busy. I'm going to see Louis C.K. tonight, NIN and Jane's Addiction on Tuesday, then Mike Doughty in Vancouver. The week after, I'll go see Cowboy Mouth and (the band that Past / Future Records is producing on Vinyl) The Strange Attractors. I am stoked!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I have been fighting a cold all weekend and I'm amazed at how much I did. I worked out almost every day, went bachelor partying with Scott Smith and his crew (Friday and Saturday) AND I volunteered for the MS150. If you rode the MS150 you might have seen me at the entrance to rest stop #5 (the one where you had to get off your bike and walk across a field). I was snapping flags like a mad. One biker even called me "The Crazy Flag Guy"!

I got a bit dehydrated from a hard morning of flagging so I polished off a bottle of water and followed it up with some Sweet Leaf Honey Mint Tea. I'd had it before and didn't like it because the liquid in the bottle was simply a mint delivery system. Overpowering mint hit my stomach in a strange way adding waves of nausea to my dehydrated sickness . The result? Well, I felt much better seconds after "the event", if you know what I mean.

On Monday (still sick, mind you), I got home at 4:30 and went straight to the gym with Matt. 30 minutes of running, 40 minutes of weights and a follow up of ab stabbing crunches. When I got home, Cory shows up and we install the shelves for the symbiote station and I start on loading the newly installed shelves with tools. Then I re-racked 10 gallons of Oktoberfest and dropped the temperature in the lagering fridge for the 5 to 6 month wait to keg and serve.

I woke up this morning feeling much better but, I'm not %100 yet, so I may take it easy tonight. Maybe put up a wall of tile in the bathroom, if Cory drops by around 5:00.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

At Rick's birthday, Ruthie suggested that we go the Third Annual GI Joe Stop Motion Film Festival so, Ruthie, Josh, Rick and MasterBAD (sorry, can't remember his name) Mariah, Cory and I bought tickets.

Before the show Mariah invited Cory and I out to dinner and we decided to eat at Clay Pot. Cory and I got there early and ordered a beer. When the guy asked if we wanted to start a tab, I said "Cash... I'll pay in Thunder-Cash" (I was thinking of Thunder Cats at the time). Then the guy next to me said "Did you just say Thunder-Cash?". I turned to look at him and he added "Do you work at Thunder Cloud?" I told him, I did say Thunder-Cash, but did not work at Thunder Cloud. Turns out, he worked there and we had a short chat about how annoying their ad campaigns were.

The show was good. Not a very good blog today... sorry.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday was an all Z car day. I started working on the brakes at 9:00 A.M. in the shade of my Magnolia tree and finished at 6:30 attaching the freshly painted rocker panel. Car's in great shape, now it just needs a wash.

I cooled off by going to the Rollerderby and having a few beers with Matt while we watched Man vs. Food.

Thanks for the proper "Big Shot" title bump Duffy. So, what cha' got for me?

...I have people?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Got a lot of things done today though, nothing got done on my backyard or house. Perhaps tomorrow. At any rate, I started going to the gym again today. Hope it sticks. I met Brian Lindley at Home Slice Pizza (will do a review for and became a partial owner in a record producing business. To end the day, I killed hundreds of zombies in Left 4 Dead and got a few achievements.

Not a bad day. What will Sunday bring?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Started my day watching The Pixies from a DVD I was given for Christmas. Then Matt and I went to the Gym. I'm planning on going to Independance Brewery later today but, first. I'm going to meet Brian to discuss the record producing business over a Pizza at The Parlor. Should be a good day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yesterday was the first official music / media day of South By South West (SXSW). It started for me at 2:00 when my sister dropped me off on East 6th Street and I walked over to Ms Bea's to see Todd Patrick (toddp) and his first show of the day. Todd was hugged and acknowledged by almost everyone that walked by as he bought me a beer and we talked at the bar. I was introduced as "my friend from High School" which was pretty funny. Todd and I had fallen out of touch recently. Even last year he was so on-edge and busy (two camera crews were following him around to make documentaries) that we barely had time to talk. It was very different this year. I'll see more of him today and through the rest of the week.

At 2:30, I headed over the Radio Room and waited in line to see Heartless Bastards but, the line never moved. I realized that were playing on the outside stage so, I ditched the line and walked around the alleyway. Sure enough, I could hear (and almost see) the band playing. Other Musicians (like Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears) were loading equipment into the venue through the rear entrance. I was approached by a British guy who asked me if he could enter. I guess I looked kind-of bouncer-ish with my height and yellow SXSW wristband. I told him that I ditched the line in the front to come back here and I was just going to stand here and enjoy the show. We both eventually darted into the crowd through the rear entrance (sorry line people). I met up with him a little later and he slipped me promo-card that his promoter said he should be passing out. Turns out he was James Harries and he has a show coming up on Saturday. I listened to his music on mySpace and I liked it.

I was hoping to catch Horse Feathers at Club DeVille but, they had just finished their set. I talked with a hot bartender who recognized my shirt. Afterwards, I headed back to the Radio Room and caught Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears which as a GREAT show. It was about this time that my Twitter to Facebook APP started to annoy a few people.
I knew Mariah was on her way in to pick up her wristband and Meiko was going to be playing on the day stage at the Austin Convention Center, so I headed that way. I met up with Mariah in line and gave her a beer. We met back up at the day stage, listened to Meiko, then headed down to 2nd to get our Pure Volume badges. The line was long and smelled of unwashed hipster. Once inside the Pure Volume venue, we grabbed free Kirin Beers and wandered back to the smokers lounge in the back and people watched.

Mariah and I rounded headed over to see Ladyhawk at Stubb's where, once again, we got into the VIP area. I'm really getting used to getting the royal treatment. No doubt next time I go to Stubb's I'll end up with the rest of the commoners and stare longingly at the VIP area to the right of the stage.
The next stop was Beerland where Born to Lose nearly blew my earplugs out of my head. I walked in front of a huge PA and could feel the my hair vibrate to the beat. Intense! After that, we both called it a night and Mariah drove me home. (official) Day one, complete.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I ditched work early yesterday because I was having a bit of car trouble. Two mornings in a row, I get out of the car and smell something burning. I suspected that it was my clutch. Maybe I didn't have it fully engaged when I climb the hill up to my office in the morning?

After meeting up with Russ and the Austin Convention Center and buying a SXSW wristband with his presenter badge (thanks Russ!) I drove straight to the dealership and asked them what the issue could be.

The technician said he would take a look at it so, I signed a work order and sat down in the lobby with my work laptop. Just after I finished a spreadsheet for work, the person who got me to sign the work order came in and told me I needed a brake job. I asked how much. She said $900. I politely said "OK, I'll be doing that one myself". I could see out into the work bay and saw my car on the lift with the wheels removed, which made me suspect that "looking" at my car was a pay-for service. So, I asked if I owed anything. Once she finished up the paperwork, I was told that it would be $90 (over $100 after tax) for the labor to "look" at the problem.

I went ahead and purchased the brake pads from the parts department for over $300.00, intent on going home and installing them. I was still concerned with the $90 "look at" fee when I went to the register and asked the lady at the register why I was charged. The lady at the register was very sympathetic. She asked the service person again who once again re-assured me that it was a labor cost and I had to pay.

So, $400+ later, I make it home with two small boxes and a diagnosis. I have all the equipment to do the brake job, so I got home, changed clothes and set to work. The first thing I realized was, my jack doesn't fit under the 350Z. So, I went to pick up a low profile floor jack (more mile on a rotor that sticks). I went to look for the key to my wheel locks and could not find it. I couldn't think of a time from when I first got the car that I took the wheels off so, I can't imagine where it would be if it wasn't in the car. I called the dealership and they assured me that they didn't even use it. So, I was stuck.

Amy and Lauren already went down to Woodrow's, and I was planning on meeting Melissa and seeing a show at New Guild Co-Op organized by my friend Todd Patrick (aka todd p) so, I decided to take the bus. I got down to the venue just in time to get a text from Melissa saying she was going to stay in for the night. I did get to see Branch Davidians and Air Waves but, Todd must have been over at Ms Bea's finishing up the show there.

Branch Davidians was intense and raw and Air Waves had some really infectious baselines. Both were really loud because the room was so small (bring earplugs people). I bought a 6 pack of Bud Light but, could only get through 3 of them so, I gave the last three to some college kids who were debating who would have to go on a beer run before the next band showed up.

I got on the bus again and met up with Lauren and Amy coming back from Opal Divine's on their way to Fadó. The door was only letting people in as people left and they were charging $10 cover. So we went next door to Péché hoping they had food. The kitchen was closed, so we made due with a gin and tonic and some kind of Effin vodka drink that Lauren recommended and went home after.

Will my SXSW week get better? I hope so.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thanks for helping me diagnose this, Jared. Once I figure it out, I'll post the link as part of my homepage. Does this one work?

That sucks. I thought I had this figured out. I'll put in a ticket to my domain host. Thanks Jared.

Ok, just go here instead:

I'm headed to Ms. Bea's on the East Side of 6th tonight if you would like to join me.

Could someone give me some feedback? Check out and tell me if you can see all of the events that I have planned for this week (SXSW shows and all). I think it's working but, I can't see if it is because the firewall at the office is kinda' crazy.

Also! Don't make plans for Saturday at 11:30. It's BBQ time with Matt Mellinger (my on-again, off-again roommate). I will send out the e-mail today so, watch your in-box.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend update. Well, and update on my weekend, anyway. I got home from work and relaxed while Mariah drove her way up to my house. We were going to see Cut Copy at Stubb's. I brought along a folding chair for Mariah, since she has been having some knee trouble recently. When we got to the entrance, the C3 presents guy told us we couldn't bring a chair in. Mariah informed him of her condition and he said, "talk to James over there, he'll put you in the VIP area". So we did, and he did. We got into VIP area in a sold-out show!

The first band Matt and Kim were really fun. I haven't seen a drummer smile that much since watching Taylor Hawkins drum for the Foo Fighters at ACL last year. It was crazy being so close and not having an army of people crushing you into the barriers. Truthfully, I enjoy the heat and energy you feel from being in a crowd but, it was pretty nice to sit down while while both bands rocked us out. Maybe I'm getting old...

The headliner Cut Copy had a real synth-pop appeal. It's a real treat to listen to a band that just now has enough material to play live. As an avid listener, you won't be disappointed when they don't play the track you liked the most off the new album. This is especially the case at Stubb's, since noise ordinances force bands off the stage at 11:00 (thanks to the nearby condos which Stubb's pre-dates).

Mariah! I was wrong. You sent out an e-mail to me on February 28th about Cut Copy, so I had plenty of time to listen to their music before the concert. Sorry.

Saturday morning brought me to Walnut Creek where I mountain biked from 10:20 to almost noon. Again, I was elected leader, since I had been to the park more than most of the people there. The guys following me were strong riders so, I pushed myself hard. Too hard at some points but, I only gassed out badly one time. I texted Tobin and Jared but, I found out the message didn't leave my outbox when I got back to the car. Turns out Jared was out of town and, Tobin was focusing on a video editing project, so it was all right that the message never got to them.

That afternoon I went to Staple! the Independent Media Expo where I met a whole host of artists (only half as many as I was hoping to, because of time constraints) from which I bought a moderately sized stack of comics. It was fun learning about their different projects. I saw a few artists that I wish I'd had time to talk with for a bit like Chris Onstad, and Stan Sakai. I even saw Scott Kurtz and Chris Straub walking around the Exhibitor's hall but, since they were there as attendees I didn't want to bother them.

Man, I really wanted to buy some original art from Stan while I was there, as it was the one thing that I regretted not buying last year at Comic-Con. Walked out of Staple! with regrets too, I guess. I'll see Stan again at Comic-Con this year, so I'll make it a point to get something cool from him in July.

I did get to sit front row at Stan's Q and A session which was amazing. I brought in my Usagi Yojimbo Cardboard Standee which would have been impossible to lug to San Diego this year. I tried to lean it up against the stage and the MC (who was going to pass the mike for questions) said that he would be walking in this space and it might get kicked. So he suggested that I put it up on the stage. When Stan saw it, he asked me if I wanted him to sign it. I said "YES!", and as the MC brought it up to him, I said he could stand it up next to him during the Q and A session. As he signed it, he said "Wow, this one's been used", which was obvious from the few bends in the cardboard and some sun bleaching.

I tried to find a picture from a blog or something of the event, since I didn't snap one from where I was sitting. From my angle, there was a microphone covering Stan's face.

Directly after Staple! I went down the street to see Watchmen with Bo, Cory and Betty at the Highland Galaxy theater (because they have DLP projectors). The movie was great, even for a fan of the comic book. Sure, there were compromises in the translation and edits due to time constraints but, this has to be the best comic to movie translation since Sin City. To be fair, I haven't read the comic since 1991 so I could be missing the most irritating changes. I thought the treatment of Rorschach and the selection of actor (and Jackie Haley's performance) was absolutely spot-on. It was particularly cool to see the slightest details replicated from the graphic novel, such as the broken passant on the shoulder of Rorschach's trench coat.

Sunday morning was a little later than I had hoped since an extra hour had slipped away from me during the night. I started the day in the planning on spending the morning back yard, putting in the edging around the planting beds. When I got out there, I found the back yard covered in leaves, so Amy and I worked until noon raking, mowing (and catching) and sucking up leaves. Ended up with 6 or 7 bags to put out on the curb on Wednesday. Hope it doesn't rain.

Once that work was done, I dug a trench for 40 feet of the edging to go into. I should be able to dedicate a few more hours to that work this week before Amy and I go to the Nursery on Thursday morning and pick up the plants that are missing from the layout that I paid for towards the end of last year. While I'm in Chicago this weekend, Amy should have time to put the plants in place and see if the arrangement looks good.

Cory dropped by and gave me a HUGE assist on the upstairs bathroom. We exchanged ideas on the tile and got started on moving the switches and outlet that were installed too low and would interfere with the wainscoting that was planned afterwards. This re-enforced the point "plan, then execute otherwise... re-work". Thanks for the help Cory! Now the upstairs bathroom is a little closer to done AND a little less dangerous.

Now it's Monday.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Aww snap! I'm on Verizon.

Great! Now I'm getting phone solicitation in Spanish. Maybe I really should start that "complaint-blog".

How many calls have you received talking about "extending your car's warranty"? These companies are selling insurance and know nothing about you or your car. It's nice that they give you an option to get removed from their call list (enter 2 if you would like to be removed) but, it costs minutes to listen to all of their options. Frankly, I object to being called in the first place. I'm a bit of a compulsive about answering my phone so I always get stuck listening to these stupid recordings.

At any rate, I recommend going to and (if you live in Texas) and register your phone number.

It also occurs to me, when you go to anyone's voicemail the explanation of what options you have to leave a voicemail takes an extremely long time (...if you would like to page this person press...). Who does that anyway? I think it takes so long because it costs minutes to listen to this dissertation. I'm putting that on blast! We're being nickle and dime'd to death people!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I set and spiked a paper cup into my trashcan and it hit the rim, bounced up higher than the top of the desk, spinning the as it flew and dropped right into the center of the can. So awesome, I almost gave myself an high-five. Instead, I blogged about it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As you can see, the walls are now installed in my upstairs bathroom. Cory and I worked from 4:30 to 9:30 cutting fiber-rock down to size and covering up all the gaps. Cory did the shower cubbies himself, and helped me size and fit all the remaining pieces. The next step (for Cory anyway) is wiring. which will be a bitch. The switches in the bathroom are a nexus for some 10 or 12 wires. Until that's done, I will be planning out the tile. I'm feeling pretty good right now, like I really accomplished something. I even put the tools away on the back porch that were out there for the past month. Tomorrow, I'll put away all tools on the landing (leaving only the pile of slate tiles) and put the fiber rock scraps up on craigslist.

In other news, I just switched my BlackBerry curve out for a BlackBerry Storm (the touch screen one). I havn't completely moved in to it yet but, when I do I'll write up a review.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 13, 2009

Sadly Jared, I have the same problem with my cash and shirts. They must always face the same way.

Amy and I went out to see a few shows last night. We first went to Flipnotics to see Matt the Electrician and Southpaw Jones. They play a really great (and interactive) show every week on Thursday. At the show, Amy thumbed through a copy of the Austin Chronicle and stopped on a report titled Alleged Bike Thief Nabbed.

Turns out, the "Alledged Bike Thief" was James Clayton, a guy that friended my sister on Facebook before she moved down to Austin. When Amy finally moved into town, she went out on a few dates with the guy. So, James was (according to the report) in possession of more than $60,000 worth of Mountain Bikes, Street Bikes and other parts. Amy says that she broke it off with him because he only talked about two things: biking and himself. I joked with Amy that he broke it off with her because her bike was too sucky to steal.

The second show was at The Parlor with a new band called Rainbow Dragon but, we could only stay for a few songs. The drummer for Rainbow Dragon is none other than Chris Stutsman, formerly the drummer for Choking Ahogo, and former co-worker with Bo Sheffield at Digital Motorworks (which is how I started listening to Choking Ahogo in the first place). The music was great, and loud! The band even offered earplugs to the audience before the concert.

While in the bathroom at the Parlor, I noticed a playbill that said Madeline is going to be playing on the 14th of May right at that venue for SXSW. Madeline is a recent favorite of mine, since I downloaded this track from Paste.

I'm going to spend the weekend in Houston, catching up with my Houston friends. I'm hoping that everyone will meet me at St. Arnold's at 1:00 on Saturday for some beer drinkin' and some catching up. I have a box of 6 pack carriers to return to the Brewery. I also must remember to buy a Spring Bock singlet for bike riding and a keg of Spring Bock to bring back to Austin. Also, I really like Spring Bock.


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