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Month: November 2011

Austin: Week Four or So

Our new neighborhood, Brentwood, has a neighborhood mailing list. It’s awesome. Very friendly, lots of informal freecycling, requests for notaries, that kind of thing. Discussions of suspicious activity. It’s the back of the fence stuff you used to see all over the U.S., just on Yahoo groups.

For the last week or so, there’d been this ongoing duck saga. “Duck sighted in our front yard.” “Duck seen waddling down Woodrow.” “Oh, thank you so much! That’s our daughter’s duck!” “Duck crossing Justin.” So on.

On Thanksgiving, Susan and I went out for a walk down Woodrow up to Anderson, which is a pleasant mile or so there and the same back. When we were almost there, we passed… a teenager looking somewhat glumly at a duck. The duck looked like it was ready to run. “Hey,” I said, “It’s the duck!”

She looked at us with the sad eyes of a teenager who’s going to be That Kid With The Duck for a good while. “Yeah. It’s our duck, we finally found it. Mom got another duck to try and lure it back, but that didn’t work, but she’s on her way over.” So we moseyed onward, and when we passed her on the way home her mom was there with a duck cage. The end of the duck story. There wasn’t a post about it, perhaps because she convinced her mom to pass on further duck-related anecdotes.

Susan pointed out that while Somerville’s got a nice neighborhood feel to it, it’s unlikely that the duck would have lasted a week. I mean, it’s Thanksgiving. Someone would have eaten it. “Whattya want? It’s a duck in the street, it’s nobody’s duck… c’mon, it’s Thanksgivin’, we’re hungry. Duck’s tasty.” Probably true.

Austin’s still cool. It’s a good area for walking, so we’re walking more. The food is still insanely tasty. (Noble Pig: yum. Elevation Burger: quite good.) We should get our bookshelves next week. All is well.

Upcoming Shows

Noted for my own reference:

11/20: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at One World Theater
12/9: Dave Alvin at the Continental Club
2/4: Los Lobos at One World Theater (opposite OwlCon, hm)
2/29: Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner at Emo’s East (on sale 11/18)
3/2: Solas at UT Performing Arts Center

Austin: Week One

We have been in Austin a week and a half. In that time I have started my new job, we’ve found a house to rent, we opened a bank account, saw two movies, caught De Danann (or at least Frankie Gavin and a band, there’s some dispute there), and I’ve eaten more Mexican food than I have in the last five years. So that’s all good.

This is a neat city. The brown is not bothering me; I had years to get used to brown nature in the Bay Area. It’s a bit browner here, drought and all, but that’s life. I had forgotten a lot of little differences that come with living in the middle of the country. There’s more elbow room for the houses, and the spaces between neighborhoods. The city has room to breathe, which I like a lot.

On Saturday, I was reminded of some important tricks that come with living in a serious college football town. Namely, why are you going near downtown and trying to eat on a Saturday during football season, you idiot? Right.

The local indie bookstore is pretty good. On the grand scheme of things, it’s not quite Kepler’s or Tattered Cover, but it’s good. Little less literary than the Harvard Book Store, but better as a generalist store. I liked it. Dragon’s Lair is a superb gaming store. Plenty of places to still check out, too.

The food is great and we’ve barely dipped into it. We picked up a couple of local food guides at BookPeople. Nom nom nom. We’ve also barely touched the music; got to get more serious about that. I suppose we’ve been pretty busy, you know, finding banks and houses and all that fun stuff. The real estate market is as frenetic as we’d heard; the place we wound up in went on the market the day before we saw it, we put in an offer immediately, we were the second people to look at it, and it had two backup offers if ours hadn’t gone through.

My job rocks. Good people, tough challenges, but that’s what satisfies me. I’m quite happy there.

Happy times.

Streaming VIDEO_TS?

Oh mighty Internet: is there a preferred solution for streaming VIDEO_TS directories? Boxee does it but support is rumored to be flaky. Plex maybe does it? I can handle more or less any platform although OS X or Linux are more desirable.