Parker Lane Kicked My Ass – Twice!

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So this is the route I ran today. I’m trying to make Fridays my long run days. Plus I just like picking up the hike and bike trail. But I had no clue I went that far! The first part was nice. The trail was pretty much deserted. I did encounter a man with his car parked just off the trail (I don’t know how he got his car on the trail) with no pants on. He had underwear on thankfully.

Other than that I was having a nice time tooling around the lake. It’s really pretty this time of year. Looking at the apartment complexes on the south bank they’re demolishing for condos. Noticing that UT is building a business school off of Riverside. Then I got to Parker. I wanted to run up parker because there’s lots of interesting architecture, unlike Pleasant Valley my normal haunt that is all apartment complexes. I made it all the way up to Woodland running, but I had to stop and walk. It was too much. Something about hitting the flat bit after the climb made me even more tired. I crossed woodland and started running again. Passed a house that looked fairly similar to ours. Same brick. Same beams. It was smaller and had fewer windows though.

After crossing Oltorf I made it all the way up to my friend Erin’s apartment complex before having to walk again. It was so steep there that I passed a kid who was having to walk his bicycle. I had a pleasant run through Mable Davis and then came on home. All in all, a nice run.

Oh. And it appears I ran 8.5 miles. I didn’t think I’d gone that far. I think the map would be more impressive if you could tell that my starting point is only a quarter of a mile from 71.


Julie awarded me a cool blogging award. That’s awesome. Actually she awarded it to me yesterday and I’m just now getting around to posting on it. So, I’ve been thinking about who to spotlight. I’ve been told that the thing people find most entertaining about my blog is the sheer randomness. And my spelling mistakes. So in that tradition here are my top 5 :

Austin Real Estate Blog

I have no clue why I’m so fascinated by real estate information. It’s goofy. But these guys slice and dice MLS data like seasoned statisticians. Fascinating for the arm chair realtor.

Cabinet of Wonders

Just go look. It’s always interesting over there. I can’t categorize or summarize. You’ll just learn something.

French Laundry at Home

The best cooking site I’ve found. The pictures are amazing and somehow the food always gets related to real life in creative ways.

M1EK’s Bake-Sale of Bile

More Austin new urbanism ranting. Frankly you need more ranting in your life, especially from a fellow Austin bus rider. Sign up for the RSS feed.

Daddy Types

This is my daddy technology/vintage toys/youtube video source. I can’t read most Daddy Blog’s because they’re too damn saccharine. Greg has a great sarcasm/seriousness mix.

So that’s it for me. Enjoy!

I know I’m enjoying the new paint on the front of the house.

I also was putting away our Christmas decorations in the attic last night (and swearing at Julie under my breath), when I put my foot through the bottom stair. Thankfully it was the bottom stair. There are definitely downsides to owning 40 year old houses.

Hopefully there were no mangled homonyms in this post.

so tired

So, I’ll admit, I wasn’t really paying attention when Julie said she wanted to get the outside of our house painted over the Christmas holidays. I always want to play video games over the Christmas Holidays, but Julie’s got plans. So I wasn’t really paying attention. It’s been a busy season. We moved into a house. Moved at work. Had 3 Christmases. I had other things on my mind. Until Thursday that is. When in preparation for painting we rented a pressure washer and I washed the house. I was freezing, wet and realizing that we were in way over our heads. I voiced my concerns to Julie, but she noted that I had blasted paint off of large sections of our house and there was no turning back now.

The reason I hesitated is that I severely underestimated the size and architectural complexity of the size of our house. When I look at it I always think of the houses they built in the seventies that are like it. Only the ones they built in the seventies have all the architectural detail simplified, and the size of the house cut by 400 square feet. When I was pressure washing I realized there was a massive amount of trim to paint. It doesn’t look it, but our house has almost as much detailed trim as some sort of New England Gingerbread jobbie. There are beams everywhere. Criss-crossing. Coming out from the house. There are probably over 40 on the front of the house. I am not exaggerating. And these aren’t 1970s, “think about the earth” crossbeams. They’re 4x16s I think. Simply massive. You would have to special order these beams today and they would cost you a fortune.

So I was feeling like we might have a problem. Then we got to home depot and purchased 20 gallons of paint. Which should have been another red flag. It takes us a weekend to paint 3 gallons of paint and we’re going to paint 20?

So I decided that we had to try a paint sprayer. No way we were getting that much paint on there. So I tried the paint sprayer. It worked fantastically for about 5 minutes at which point it started seizing. I went over the directions again and in fine print it was noted that you shouldn’t paint at a greater that 45 degree angle off of center. Which was pretty much everything I had to paint. So I cleaned out the sprayer.

Then I tried it again the next morning. And it seized up. And we bought a 12 foot stepladder. Because I wasn’t going to be able to paint the house on a 16 foot extension ladder. Without dying. And we rented a paint sprayer from Home Depot. Which worked great pointing up at the trim, but applied paint at roughly a gallon per minute. Which was far too much. You squeezed the trigger from five feet away and you had so much paint it was dripping. We called home depot and they couldn’t help me. They seemed to think that was normal. So I had to clean another paint sprayer. And at this point we’ve got about 10 feet of trim painted, and so we just hop to it by hand. And Julie got most of the back finished, and I finished most of one side.

Then yesterday my Dad came over and helped, and we finished about 2/3rds of the front. Yes. 3 people. 2/3rds of one side of a houses’s trim. Trim. Not actual walls. Just trim. Today we finally finished our first coat on all the trim around 3:30. We managed to get a second coat on the trim on the back, and 1/2 of the front (although the easy half of the front, the part that doesn’t require a 12 foot ladder).

So hopefully tomorrow we’re going to get some color at least on the back. And we might cheat and just put a second coat on the parts of the front that will impact us putting color up there.

But good grief, this has been a massive job. We’ve already put on 7 gallons of paint. And we’ve painted the trim. It hurts to rinse the paint out of my hair. It hurts to hoist this beer. We’re hoping that by the time I go back to work we’ll have the front and back done. And we’ll finish the sides this weekend. We hope…

I need to pay better attention.

I love my neighborhood.

So I realize I have posted almost nothing about my new house and neighborhood. We love it here.

I’ve been working from home because my work still hasn’t figured out how to get me into work. I sold my car shortly before they decided to move and then they picked the one location they were looking at that wasn’t accessible by bus. “No problem,” they said, “we’ll find a way to get you there.” They haven’t yet, but I’m not in a rush. It’s wonderful being at home every day. The view out the windows is fantastic, and I like being able to give Stella a hug whenever I want. Plus I’m much more productive without a commute. I have no problem adding the 30 minutes to an hour that I would normally commute on to my work day. It’s nice.

We’ve realized that this neighborhood is full of cool people. Everyone is friendly and actually talks to each other. It’s quite a change. I’ve found out one of the bloggers I read lives in this neighborhood as does the respected artistic director of a local theater.

This week we’ve mostly been Christmas shopping and making quick trips to Ikea to finish up our house. We had to pickup a dining table and chairs for our new dining room. We ended up choosing this table and these chairs:

The chairs are actually office chairs, but they look great. You can’t get as many under the table, but we’ve figured out a way to get 10 settings at it anyway. Of course we had to test out the chairs at Ikea which meant I had to carry a chair from the office area over to the dining room area, which of course is the furthest distance possible from one Ikea’s “short cuts”. I was waiting for a comment from the employees in Kitchen design, but they didn’t give me any guff.

Other than that we’ve been settling in. Last night we went to a neighborhood watch meeting and learned more about our neighbors. How to call in about suspicious characters in the neighborhood. Good stuff.

At lunch this afternoon I went running. There’s a hike and bike trail just across from where Santa Monica dead ends into Burleson. I jumped off and found myself on Pleasant Valley just a couple of minutes later. I ran all the way up to Riverside and Pleasant Valley before having to turn back (Julie asked me to be back by 1:30).

All in all we love it here. The neighborhood has some rough sides, but all in all it’s really cool.

I’m currently working in the backyard, watching Stella. Julie’s gone to get her haircut. It’s in the mid-seventies and this my view:

Stella looking for the march hare

turning blue

Just wanted to key in people who don’t read as many politics blogs as I do. Dan Barrett just won a house seat runoff in Fort Worth last night. This narrows the difference in the state house to 79-71. Democrats have been winning in districts deliberately redrawn by Tom Delay to prevent them from winning.

Next time someone says that Texas will never be a Democrat majority state again, remind them that we’re awfully close.

you can’t spell xmas without x

So we talked about the origin of the word Xmas in church a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share. Apparently Xmas as a substitute for Christmas is religious, from wikipedia (search:Xmas):

The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “XP” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021 AD. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ), used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as , is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.[1]

All you atheists are on notice to come up with a new way to mock the birth of the Christ child.

But hopefully you’ve learned something. I like to learn things. I guess this is why I have no desire to buy this new product from the people who brought you “The War on Christmas” – Brawndo.

feelin’ blue

Sorry I haven’t written much lately. As my blog pen pals you deserve better.

But the move took a lot out of me, and we didn’t have internet for a while. And what Internet we did have was a blistering 386kbps. Apparently they’ve upped it to the super speedy 768 kbps. Which technically means at the very least we need a discount. Cause their 786kbps service costs $5 less a month than what we’re paying.

But I’m feeling blue cause today is my last day working downtown. I’m then going to be moving to the hole of humanity that is office space off of 360. If you like views of hills studded with ugly architechture, then it’s the place for you! Also if you like to drive up and down 20 mile highways with no cross streets! Thrill to accidents that back up traffic for hours!

And this office is the exact same location that DMi was when I started. Even down to the same floor. Granted they own the 2/3 of the floor that Digital Motorworks did not own at the time, so I’m not in the exact same office. But I get to use the same bathroom which I think is close enough. I can take the stairs down for a smoke if I wanted. And still smoked.

I don’t really want to go back to where I’ve been.

And I have to finish the Automat tonight/early tomorrow morning. This is first draft number 8. I’ll probably be better tomorrow afternoon. Speaking of the Automat. Be sure to Join us under the Oak for the reading of my new play, won’t you? You know you want to check out our super-cool mid-century modern ranch:

Fresh off the success of Little Murders, Loaded Gun Theory presents a reading of our next production, The Automat, a NEW play by LGT resident playwright, Timothy Thomas. The show won’t be performed until February 29th-March 16th at the Dougherty Arts Center, but you can get a sneak peek at the script in December!

Loaded Gun Theory is having a fundraiser to read The Automat and raise funds for its production. Admission is by donation and we’ll be selling baked goods,

javascript countdown

Figured I should put up my ultra-hackey code for posterity. I found lots of javascript day countdown timers, but none that did hours. I’ve put the code below. Just change the 5 variables at the beginning to what you need. Javascript counts January as the zero month so subtract one from your month (the example below is 12-6-2007 at 10:00 am):

putin’s a problem

So while Bush was spending today arguing why he should be allowed to bomb Iran even though they’re honoring all their nuclear commitments and are generally behaving themselves pretty well. Putin followed through on some promises and started moving a permanent naval presence into the Mediterranean. And by Mediterranean can we point out that they’re hanging out around Syria? Oh, and in case you missed it they’re also flying long range bomber patrols. You know, within range that they could launch nuclear missiles at the United States.

But keep freaking out about Osama Bin Laden kiddos. If he’s lucky he can kill a whole 3000 people at a time. So he’s about 2% as effective as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. They might have even improved the technology of what can be transported in those bombers since the 1940s, but I’m no military expert.

Good thing Putin’s a “good guy”. Better pray that’s true.


Ah, a great quote from Joe Biden after Bush’s spectacular waffling about Iran today. You really should read some transcripts if you haven’t. It’s spectacular. You start to get the feeling that Bush may not be dumb. There may actually be absolutely no communication going on between the white house and the white house staff and the entire government at large. Here’s Biden’s quote:

“I refuse to believe that. If that’s true, he has the most incompetent staff in modern American history, and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.”

Oh, and the reason why the president is right and the new intelligence is wrong is because we still need to do due diligence to make sure the new intelligence is right. And by right we mean, why the new intelligence is not supporting the president’s facts.

I can accept the fact that Iran might have stopped their nuclear policies because of Bush’s constant insistence that he was going to bomb them, and I guess this could pass for a type of diplomacy. And maybe he can trot this out every third speech to make sure they’re behaving themselves. But c’mon, lets move on. There are bigger threats out there.

bust ’em up!

I’m so tired of AT&T. Why do we have to put up with monopolies? It just blows my mind. We broke them up because they provided horrible service, and now they’re almost completely back together again. And Wikipedia cites the Center for Responsive Politics when it says that AT&T is the second largest political contributer in the US since 1990.