Saturday, January 26, 2008

Luckenbach, Texas - Friday 1/26/2008 Continued

It's more than a song, but less than a bustling berg. Still, I thought it deserved it's own special blog entry. It takes a little doing to find Luckenbach, Texas because the road signs keep being stolnen by tourists and enthusiasts. The only hint I can give you is not to be fooled by the Luckenbach-Cain City Road. You would think one end or the other would end up in Luckenbach, but you would be wrong.

The web site I linked to above has a lot of history of the town and the area. Seems like there's been a general store or dance hall there since 1849. The dance hall's still in use. The famous song was recorded in 1973.

This little bar is in the back of the building in the first picture. The room is mabye 18'x18' and that big wood stove felt very good on this cool and rainy day. We listened to the man with the guitar play 5-6 songs. I had my first Shiner Bock, which is a tasty locally brewed amber beer.

My brother and sister-in-law are big fans of local products, and rightly so. Music, peaches, pecans, beer, wildflowers, game meats, etc.

Texas is world reknowned for being cattle country. I would just like to say that to me it seems as much like cat country. There are lots of fat sleek confident cats everywhere we go.

This one led us across the bridge behind the main collection of buildings at Luckenbach.

Looking back toward the bar and dance hall. We had the place almost to ourselves. I liked that a lot. Rainy Friday afternoon.

Joe says this is quintessentially Texan. Yup.

Later they took me to Clear Springs Seafood for dinner. Great. Now I have another place that I am always going to long to eat in again. We started with jalapeno stingers... Peppers stuffed with crab and shrimp and lightly breaded. You really cannot imagine how good these things are.

I also had oysters and shrimp. Best fried oysters since South Carolina. Very light breading and not oily at all. I'm impressed! I'd be addicted if I had half a chance.

Texas Hill Country - Friday 1/25/2008

The wall my brother built on their property in the Canyon Lake area. All natural stone. A lot of it was taken from the Guadalupe River after the 2005 flood. Making good use of what was debris! He's terracing the hillside lot.

One of the things I really like about this area is that they use a lot of native stone in building. I guess that's partly the strong German influence. Most of the houses, especially the older ones, have big porches on them. There are also a lot of tin roofs. Very distinctive and durable, too.

The view from approximately where the house will be built. It's a misty to rainy day, so we're not seeing the other layers of hills beyond.

The main building at Becker Winery. We went in for a tasting and left with bottles. It helps that they're so friendly and it's the middle of the day and you get a little warm and relaxed about the prices.

Cats to go at Wildseed Farms. There were cats all over this place. When we went to get a table near the fire for our lunch of soup, there was a one-eared marmalade cat sleeping on one of the chairs. We let him have the table.

Texas, Here I Come - Thursday 1/24/2008

I can't help it. I still get a huge kick out of rising from a rainy day into a sunny one. Pilots must feel like gods when they do this!

We actually drove through early morning snow on the drive down to the airport this morning. But all my flights went very well. Yay.

I was whisked from the San Antonio airport to the "crooked house" as my brother and sister-in-law call the Liberty Bar. What a great restaurant. What a croooked house. Just to give you an idea, our appetizer was warm goat cheese with a spicy Mexcan sugar sauce eaten with slices of thick bread with grill marks on it. Mmm.

The same window from outside. The floors are uneven and the walls are all canted, so you feel a bit like you're at sea when you walk through this place.

I asked the bartender about the place. She said that the place is rumored to have been a brothel at some time in it's long history. She wasn't sure when it was built, but it was a flood in 1821 that rose to it's second floor and warped it.

I love that this building's in such good use!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rainy Wednesday - 1/23/2008

Today was my workday, so I drove down early of course. Went to Starbucks and wrote a little and took the time to read the L.A. Times.

Crows in a tree on Evergreen Street.

Do you see why I'm laughing?

I park in front of or behind this car most workdays. The license plate frame proudly states that this Nissan Altima is "Superior -- Believe It."

Ah, if faith only made it so.

My Echo doesn't have any blue tape around the windows to keep out the all I'm sayin'.

Lunch With Mags - Tuesday 1/22/2008

Mags knows where to get good eats! India Sweets & Spices on Los Feliz Boulevard in Atwater Village. Yum! It's a kind of an Indian deli attached to the shop.

Afterward, I watched Mags teach at Taking the Reins. What an amazing program. And she's an inspiring teacher. So inspiring that it looks like I'm going to join her during the next session, in a couple of months. (!!)

On the way home, just as I was listening to a story on KPCC about how people having been hanging Ron Paul banners from freeway overpasses and how big the fines are for that, I saw this woman making her own statement as we crawled across the San Fernando Valley on the 5 northbound.

I guess I can't complain too much about her, since I was taking a photograph at the time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Be Good or the Duck Gets It - Monday 1/21/2008

Dodger's been out so much lately, because I've been home so much, that his usual diversions just aren't diverting enough. He has developed a mad curiosity about what might be lurking inside the kitchen cupboards.

It's a no-no for him to go into them. There are soaps and other toxic stuff under the sink and most of the cupboards are interconnected once a little guy gets in there.

I'm not really torturing the duck here. He's hung up because then he swings back and forth and that makes a great toy.

Yeah, right.

Dodger's not buying it, either.

Speaking of the strike. According to United Hollywood, informal talks began again yesterday.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's My Bird in a Box - Sunday 1/20/2008

Well, actually, it's my bird emerging from a box.

He was completely inside this Kleenex box on the kitchen counter with just his tail feathers peeking out and he didn't want to leave it when I wanted to go to the living room. So I carried him out here crouched inside.

As soon as I found my camera, he came out like Godzilla rising from the sewers of Tokyo.