Friday, May 29, 2009

SA Pics

I'm too tired to blog all the San Antonio fun but you can click on the awesome picture below to see the photo set since pictures are worth so many words. We had a great time.

Texas-sized Margarita

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We're in SA!

And I'm typing on the tiny netbook keyboard...

  • super cute hotel with Barcelona theme! We have a suite and had sangria at the Ramblas bar last night before bed.
  • we had dinner on the River Walk and did some fun people watching.
  • today is more river walking and we're going to visit the Alamo so we can finally be official Texans.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cooking Out

Yesterday we used the side burner on the grill to boil up a huge vat of oil, something we didn't want to do in the house, and it worked really well. We made cream cheese wontons, tempura shrimp, and tofu triangles. After some testing, we found that dipping the tofu in the tempura batter was the best way to go. I also made egg drop soup that turned out well. We went overboard and had too much food but it was a lot of fun and good experimentation.

Homemade wontons

Cream Cheese Wontons

Austin and sous chef Stinky

Austin & Stinky

Frying the Tofu

Frying Tofu

The Feast

The Feast

Cat in a Lawn Chair

Lazy kitteh

Saturday, May 23, 2009

CR Spells Relief

CR = credit = I passed statistics! I have more research courses to take but nothing like this hardcore quantitative stuff, I'm a qualitative person anyway. Huge, huge relief to have that out of the way, it was a real struggle.

I lost track of what day it was after Tuesday (stats final) and spent my days lazing on the couch, reading for fun (what a concept) and running errands that had been put off during the end of the semester. Now Austin has a three day weekend and just a two day work week next week since he has some time off for our trip to San Antonio. I hope he loses track of the days too.

We are enjoying a low key Saturday and will be meeting another couple for pizza and beer at one of the dives that adds to the "Keep Austin Weird" slogan. After that, we're considering braving the hell that is Whole Foods on a Saturday, a holiday weekend no less, and picking up some delicious grill-ables and sides. An evening on the patio sounds perfect.

As for the rest of the weekend, we are playing it by ear. We'll probably attempt to make some candles since we have all the supplies and do a few things around the house. I think we might also do some reading, cooking, lounging, and maybe watch a movie. Oh, and our very favorite activity, Looking At Our Cat (yeah, it's come to that now...).


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Internets!

I finally finished up the first phase of my home wiring project last weekend. The goal was to create a central point for all data wiring as well as get some of the heat producing equipment out of the office before summer gets here.


  • Netgear GS108 8-port gigabit switch
  • 2wire 2701HG-E DSL modem
  • 24-port patch panel
  • Linux file & media server

The server is primarily for hosting video files for my Tivo using the pyTivo software package. It shows up in the Tivo "Now Playing" list just like another folder and I can browse through all of my stored movies and TV shows.

The network is all Cat5e. I was going to use Cat6 but decided that the extra cost and physical constraints (bend radius, outside cable diameter) were more trouble than it was worth.

The video cable is all quad shielded RG6 with compression fittings. I went with white so that I could easily tell the new coax runs apart from the old stuff up in the ceiling. It's not UV safe, but there is only one feed line from the box outside into the garage that is exposed to the elements and I have black cable out there.

I ordered the cable spools and most of the hardware from Monoprice. They have great prices and cheap shipping on all kinds of network and A/V wiring. Check there first if you ever need to buy HDMI cables. The backing board, PVC, and assorted screws are all from the local Home Depot.

Demarcation point
Cable runs
24-port patch panel

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stunning Gift

The mailman showed up at the door while I was reading for pleasure following my stats final and he dropped off what turned out to be an anniversary gift from my parents. Apparently my dad found this piece in Appleton, WI (coincidentally where A & I got engaged) and somehow managed to pack it up safely and get it all the way down to Aus-town for us. It is about two feet long and just incredible, the photo doesn't do it justice. We can't wait to find the perfect home for it and hang it up so we can enjoy it every day. Thanks, M & D!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quick Update

I'm in the midst of studying for finals and finalizing the grades for my two sections of classes. Here is what's been happening chez nous in random order:

  • We decided to take a little trip to San Antonio (about 90 minutes away from us) for our wedding anniversary. We got a nice deal to stay here and are going to enjoy the Riverwalk, the Alamo, the restaurants and shops, rooftop pool- mostly we just want a low-key time to relax and it's looking promising. Anyone been to SeaWorld? We're considering it...
  • I am NOT going to Mexico because the University canceled the trip due to the swine flu. I'm really bummed, it was going to be such a cool experience, but hopefully I can take part next summer. Also, we now have a great back yard, patio and grill so I'll make the most of sticking around here.
  • We having been getting together with another couple that we really like and we're going to hang out again this weekend for pizza and beer (wine for me?). They know lots of cool places downtown so it's been a nice excuse for us to escape the boring 'burbs.
  • This weekend, Austin is going to install an Ikea cabinet above the toilet in the master bath, like a real cabinet, not just a wall hanging cheapie thing. Then he is going to install an under-cabinet radio so I can finally dispose of the boom box that I currently use; it was my first CD player boom box (circa 1991) and has a wire hanger for an antenna. I cannot get ready in the morning without my dose of NPR so it will be great to have a sleek little radio that I won't trip over anymore.
  • We got the ice cream maker out of our shed and are freezing it so we can experiment with some sorbets this weekend, it's been unseasonably warm lately (90s).
  • We booked our tickets for MSP to come back in September for Paul and Erin's wedding. The nice thing is that we'll see a lot of my family and Austin's friends at the wedding then we'll also get to see his parents while we're in town, even if it's a short visit.
Ok, enough blogging, time for me to hit the stats book again. That exam will be done as of noon next Tuesday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boudoir Lite

Turns out our night sweats weren't necessarily the result of stress. As Texas newbs, we realized that, even with central air, light bedding is a must. Ikea to the rescue! Here's our new summer (read: February thru October) crazy red and pink spriral-y duvet and shams.



More Flowers

I'm official done with classes but still busy with student exams and other finals stuff. I have a lot of studying in front of me for that pesky stats final but I am feeling relief. I mowed the lawn today and shot some photos of more things that are popping up in our yard.


Yellow Flowers


Rogue Roses

Rogue Roses

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weekend Update

I can't keep track of the days anymore but we had a good weekend. Some highlights:

  • Austin pwned the lawnmower and it works like a charm now. We finally got our lawn mowed and it looks pretty decent. Yay for small engine repair!
  • We bought some candle making gear and are going to try our hand at the craft. What's next, soap making and scrapbooking?
  • We found the BEST Tandoori spice ever at Target "The Art of Spice" powder in a like packet in the spice aisle. Delish, we keep putting it on everything.
  • Austin forced me to watch The Godfather and I thought it was alright. I find it amusing that he says my preferred flicks are about talking and relationships but nothing happened however, same thing in this film! (and he admitted as much) We'll see what the next Required Viewing for Kiki is but I'm off the hook for, oh, six months now.
  • I am in the midst of hellacious finals but keeping my head above water. Still waiting to hear if the Mexico trip is on or canceled; it would be nice to know since I am supposed to leave in under four weeks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Showers and Flowers

It's been raining quite a bit lately and more things continue to grow in our yard, welcome or otherwise. Here's a sampling.

We finally found out the huge, gorgeous bushes in the backyard are oleanders.



More stuff growing in our yard:

Geraniums so intense they look like they're glowing:


Blooming shoots coming out of a spiky shrub: