Saturday, October 08, 2005

What's Been Happening Lately?

CIMG1747There's been a lot going on over the last few weeks and we've been too tired, sick, or busy to report it. Three weekends ago now we went to the Austin City Limits festival, which was interesting. This first picture is Julie and Dada in the "Austin Kiddie Limits" tent, enjoying the Gibson "petting zoo".

The festival was fun but it was really, really hot. On Friday the high was only about 102 or so. We survived and got to see some great acts. Julie and Dada went home about 6:00 that night and I came back and stayed through Lyle Lovett's set. I ended up having to take the city bus home, which actually worked really well (turns out you can catch the #3 Burnett, which comes within two blocks of our house, from very close to the festival).

CIMG1755As seen in this picture from Friday, Dada really enjoyed the music--we're rocking out to Steve Earle.

On Saturday the high was about 105 and the dust had started to get pretty bad in the park. At that point we hadn't had rain in weeks and the park grounds were very dry. With 60 000 or so people milling around, the dust started coming up. We were really tired--we hadn't appreciated just how draining Friday had been. By about 5:00 we knew we were done and started working our way out of the park, which required several stages, including a stop for food and water before the final push out and to the shuttle buses (thank goodness for shuttle buses--Julie had parked in the garage that is right where the buses let you out, hoo-ray).

CIMG1819During all this Dada was great--she got a little upset when we ran out of milk for her to drink, but otherwise she had a great time. Both days she napped in the sling during a particularly happening set. It still amazes me how she will just nod off like throwing a switch.

On Sunday we said "No freakin' way" and decided that we would go to Deep Eddy pool after Dada's nap (we always take the dogs to the dog park on Sunday mornings). We went to the pool, from which we could just hear the music at the festival, and sat in the shallow water while Dada splashed around. We were thinking to ourselves "wow, while our lower bodies are comfortable, we're still really hot". It wasn't until the next day that we learned that the official high on Sunday as 107! Yow. So glad we didn't try to go to the fest. Apparently the dust was really really bad on Sunday too, so go us.

Monday I had to go to Washington, D.C. for the week (doing a project with the Government Printing Office), which was nice for me: weather was perfect--cool and clear. We got out of the GPO early enough Tue and Wed that I was able to hit the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. Peggy came up from Houston to stay with Julie and Dada. By all accounts they had a great time.

Last weekend we tried to take it easy. It was still hot so we went back to Deep Eddy pool--Dada really enjoys it and it's easy fun for us.

Now the weather has turned--daytime high yesterday was 55--brrr. So this weekend I think we'll just hunker in. Maybe I can convince Julie to make one of her wonderful stews....

House Progress: Painting

They've started painting the house. In this picture you can see the light green color for the siding and the currently-used dark burgundy they've put on the trim. We think that the burgundy is darker than was speced and we've asked the builder to do a sample that is a couple of shades lighter. This picture shows the dark trim color a bit more clearly:


The electricians and plumbers have been busting their humps on the inside. We ran into a problem in that the builder didn't put in big enough conduits from the console between the living and dining areas and the wall, so we had to relocate a couple of switches. CIMG1914There may still be a problem with the A/V wiring as it's not clear if the conduit that's there can accomdate the wires for the projector and the speaker. If it can't, we'll have no choice but to connect the console the to ceiling in order to provide cable conduit.

I have possibly gone a bit nuts on the home theater stuff but once you're into it it kind of snowballs. The setup will be a projector (Sony VPL-HS51) projecting onto the wall of the console and in-wall 5.1 surround speakers. This should give us a pretty nice home theater setup, although we may have an issue with making it dark enough--we'll just have to see. The Sony projector is supposed to be very bright and it won't be anywhere near the limit of its "throw distance" so I'm not too worried. Plus, we'll mostly be using this for video games and movies--we expect to do most of our workaday TV watching on the screened porch.

We're at the point where the builder and contractors are always asking us to make decisions: where should the cable wires go? What kind of light fixtures? Where will the speakers be? Cup or cone? Soup or salad? It's nerve wracking.

Julie has been working with an interior designer to select interior colors and fixtures. I think we're doing a pretty good job of keeping things within budget (thank goodness for Ikea).

According to the builder, the project is still within 1% of the construction estimate.

He said yesterday that his current estimate for completion is March 1, 2006.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Back with a Backpack

Originally uploaded by drmacro.
I was in D.C. this last week for work but I had a little time to hit the Air and Space Museum, where I got Dada this little airplane backback. She loves it. It was very cute--as soon as she put it on she headed for the door to the garage like she was going to leave for work--when I leave for work most mornings I'm wearing my computer backback.

Here's the rear view: