Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

Neal Barrett, Jr., RIP

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Dang. Just heard that Neal Barrett, Jr. has died. One of the great Texas Gonzo writers with an impressive body of work.

He will be missed.

Condolences to his widow Ruth, his family and friends.

Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Well, no need to torment myself watching the UT/OU game, I thought. No chance the Longhorns win playing the way they have this year, I thought.

Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

The only sure thing about this UT team is that they’ll do the opposite of what I expect them to.

New defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has completely turned that unit around. And Mack Brown just might keep his job.

When You’ve lost Earl Campbell…

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Legendary running back Earl Campbell says that it’s time for Mack Brown to step down.

“Nobody likes to get fired or leave a job, but things happen,” Campbell said. “I’d go on record and say ‘yes I think it’s time….[it's] very hard because Coach Brown is a very good man,” Campbell said. “I just hope he doesn’t stay…he’s done some great things. The program, he brought it back, and we don’t need it to get run down where somebody has to start all over again.”

So how many years of grace does winning a National Championship give you? At Auburn, they fired Gene Chizik two years after winning a national championship (which also happened to be their first). That seems more than a little injudicious. Tennessee gave Phil Fulmer ten years after winning a National Championship. (And neither’s successor has set the world on fire.)

I was not among those calling Mack brown to resign when the team went 5-7 in 2010. Knee-jerk reactions to transient adversity are seldom warranted. But Brown has had several years to right the ship of one of the most institutionally powerful teams in Division 1 football, and has not managed to do so. Ultimately, Alamo and Holiday bowl wins are not enough for a man getting paid $5 million a year.

Maybe it’s time for a change.

Shoegaze Sunday: The Telewire’s “Feels Like Fire”

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Another Austin Shoegaze band (“band” in this case evidently being one guy, Stephen Thurman) shows up. “Feels Like Fire” sounds like Shoegaze by way of psychadelia with a little Devo thrown in for good measure.

Restaurant Review: July 27, 2013: Prima Pizza Pasta

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

(Here’s a restaurant review in route to its place on http://www.sdclog.net/.)

Prima Pizza Pasta
6001 W Parmer Ln (the same corner as the HEB)
258-5700

Once upon a time, this space was a CiCi’s pizza. And it closed. How hard can it be to make a profit at a pizza place when your primary ingredient is cardboard?

So I was somewhat skeptical when new pizza place went in there. Though situated at a semi-major intersection at Parmer and McNeil, it’s as far as you can get from the center’s anchor store (HEB) and still be in the same center. So how good could their chances be?

After more than a year: So far, so good. It really helps when you serve excellent pizza.

Things started off right with the garlic cheese bread, which was excellent; a fellow diner said it was better than that served at Reale’s, which is high praise indeed. Also good were the free rolls. (Alas, the calimari remains nothing to write home about.)

The pizza itself remains excellent, an exemplary example of the new York style soft thin-crust pizza; I’d have to compare it back-to-back with Reale’s to see which I prefer. In fact, I like the pizza so much that I frequently pick up a slice or two on Fridays. At some point I also want to try some of the non-pizza dishes, which have received a fair amount of praise from fellow diners. And the service from our waitress was also excellent, with many an preemptive soft-drink refill.

If you like pizza and live anywhere north, you should definitely make an effort to check out Prima. So far they seem to have remained undiscovered, and have plenty of uncrowded seating to enjoy some delicious Italian food.

Classical Allusions: Thermostat Edition

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Actual discussion with female co-worker:

Her: It’s so cold!
Me: (Looking at handy digital thermostat above my desk) It’s a balmy 73.4 degrees.
Her: I keep my apartment at 79.
Me: There’s just no pleasing those of you who hail from the realms of Tartarus.

Shoegazer Sunday: Experimental Aircraft’s “Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace”

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Austin’s own Experimental Aircraft are another band in the shoegaze/psychedelia/post-rock netherworld.

“Meet Me on Echo Echo Terrace” is from their album Third Transmission off Graveface records, run by Ryan Graveface of Dreamend and Black Moth Super Rainbow.

One caveat: They seem to have the same video (or variations thereof) for all the songs on this album.

Spectacular Sunset

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Austin had a spectacular sunset tonight, and I happened to catch a picture of it behind the capitol.

Uncropped:

Cropped:

if I hadn’t been driving, and had something other than an old iPhone, I could have gotten even more spectacular shots…

Shoegazer Sunday: The Asteroid Shop’s “Destroyer”

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Austin’s own The Asteroid Shop presents “Destroyer,” a video full of stop-motion plastic dinosaur goodness.

I may have to catch one of their live shows one of these days…

This Is My Shocked Face

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Whenever the topic of performance enhancing drugs come up, I’ve always half-seriously said that my working assumption is that all professional athletes are doping, a position that renders me immune to disappointment when someone tests positive for a PED

However, looking at the Wikipedia entry for “Doping at the Tour de France,” it appears that my supposition is in fact pretty much correct, at least for cycling. In particular, not only did every winner between 1991 and 2007 test positive at one point or another, but in 2006, every top 10 finisher was either caught doping, admitted doping, or accused of doping. And the very earliest races were soaked in alcohol, ether, strychnine and cocaine.

Was it Jon Stewart who said “The first sign that Lance Armstrong was doping when he won the Tour de France? He won the Tour de France!”