Sunday, March 25, 2007


I'll be the first to admit, I've traded some of the uniqueness of the beach cities for suburban comfort and affordablity. I can't imagine a chain of national anything that has not set up shop here in Round Rock. You can basically sample any franchise opportunity you might think of investing in.

But that's not necessarily Austin. "Keep Austin Weird" is the city's motto. Round Rock's is "Purpose, Passion, Prosperity". The latter sounds like something announced after a corporate reorganization. I hardly believe we're ever going to hear "Keep IBM Weird".

Every city has it's local treasures. I believe you can still be a unique and local even with more then one location. I'm in love with Alamo Drafthouse. The concept behind this local theater chain is eating dinner and drinking while watching a movie at the same time. You may scratch your head, but this concept works amazingly well. Along with first run cinema, several unique theme nights are on the calender. Check it out at

I ate at Thundercloud Subs today after Baxter went to the park. The location on Lake Austin Blvd is in an old house, not a strip mall. The other night friends took me out to Amy's Ice Cream down by the UT campus. It was as eclectic and unique as I expected being near the UT campus. As we headed home, we passed a Cold Stone Creamery that had closed it's doors. It was sad to see a franchise business close as I'm sure someone had high hopes for it and they are usually owned by small business people.

But the old adage rings true. Location, location, location.

We have one open in Round Rock.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Just Thinking About The Weather

For the past seven years, weather was something I pretty much ignored. Weather wise, Los Angeles was pretty much like Groundhog's Day. Everyday was the same. Well not here.

It's now the tail end of planting season. As you can see by previous posts, I'm keeping true to my word that I WILL do something about that backyard. March and early April are the planting seasons in Austin. While some might groan at the overcast and rain, it sure beats digging through limestone when it's 100 degrees and sunny!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Arbor Birthday

The tree is the thing this year. Many thanks to my parents who bought me two and to my friends Mike and Toby who bought me one as well. Let's see if they help me plant it. (I hope you're reading this Toby) Today Eric and I planted the Bradford Pear and Elm tree my parents gave me. Jen acted as water girl and dog/child herder. My friend Mark stopped by for a photo opportunity with the new trees.

At the end of the day we all headed out to Driftwood to go to Salt Lick for dinner. Some of the best BBQ I've had in Texas so far. Come visit me and I'll take you.

Best of all? Of course, Chocolate Ice Cream Cake to end the day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Erin Go San Antonio

It's St. Patrick's Day which is always a good excuse for a parade. Today Jen, Eric, Brady and I went to San Antonio to go see the Alamo. They came in town for my birthday weekend. The weather was perfect and a great way to show them Texas in the spring. Our special guest this trip was Flat Stanley who's headed back to my friend's niece's home in Pennsylvania.

Enjoy the pics from today's trip!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Worthless Feeling

So far I've been sitting on the sidelines just taking it all in. The second sale of Chrysler is coming and it's not going to be pretty.

Bob Eaton knew what was happening back in the mid to late 90's. He knew Chrysler could not stand on it's own. Nothing has changed and today matters are much worse. There is far to much competition in the US market and lower cost producers were going to eat Chrysler for lunch, if not the entire US based auto industry. Chrysler could not go it alone.

Chrysler's portfolio has only one significant player, the mini-van. They do it very well, but it's a market who's importance is waning. Cross-over's are the new mini-vans, and Chrysler has the half-baked Pacifica. Jack Welch once said that if you're not number one or two, get out of the game. Chrysler is clearly number three, if not four these days in every market segment.

If Chrysler and it's portfolio folded, would you miss it? Some one may buy the fabled Jeep brand. But even that these days has been watered down by "front wheel drive" based products. Not very Jeep and they would shed their underpinnings on the Rubicon Trail before the ride was over.
Editor's Note, I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4x4.

It's recently been published that Chrysler is worth approximately $5 Billion. You may say "Wow" to that, but hold your breath. Ford sold 90 percent of Aston Martin this week for about $850 Million. Ford's share is worth $77 million making it worth near a $1 Billion dollars. What's the significance of all this?

Last year Aston Martin sold about 7000 cars, making them worth about $145,000 per car, close to their transaction price. Chrysler made approximately 2.7 million vehicles. Their value? About $185.00 per car.

Say goodbye to Chrysler.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'll Fix You

Hiding under my desk doesn't help. You're a black dog on white carpet.

Tomorrow Baxter is being neutered. He has his appointment at the Austin Animal Trustees at 7:30 AM. If you adopt a dog at the Town Lake Animal Shelter by law you must fix the dog within 30 days. While not one to break the law (usually), it's just the right thing to do.

On occasion I run into people who don't fix their dogs and question why I would do so. For me it's pretty simple. Out in the wild the process of natural selection and the food chain takes care of overpopulation. Dogs are now domesticated animals, they are kept in the house/yard and sleep in your room. Hardly the call of the wild.

Every year thousands of unwanted dogs are euthanized. While not entirely preventable, it can be better managed. Spay or neuter your pet if you don't plan on breeding it. You and your pet will be much happier.

Only $30.00 at Austin Animal Trustees. The price is right.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Same Old Lines

Some people dread overcast days. For anyone who has to wax a car, particularly a black one, we find these days very welcome. Mother Nature obliged this weekend and provided me such a gift.

The Mustang is back, what we thought was a engine rebuild turned out to be an airflow sensor. I was so happy I had to pull her out of the garage and wax the 'stang up.

It dawned on me I have been waxing the same car for about 26 years now. I've only owned this Mustang for about 2 years, but my Mom's first Fox body Mustang came to the Jordan's in about 1982ish I think. It was a white hatchback with red interior and the straight 3.3L six. She still has a Mustang today, red thank you.

Ford introduced the Fox Mustang in the fall of 1978 and it lasted until Spring of 1993. That's a 14 year run with the same body panels. The front and rear fascias had changed during that time, but the lines of the car remained the same. That's a hard run to beat these days.

So here's ole familiar, all shined up.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Water Dogged

I've always wanted a water dog. All my previous pets have been snow dogs, Max the St. Bernard and Bart the Malamute (well mostly). Put a snow dog near the water and they freak out. Baxter the Lab mix, loves the water. I discovered this the other day when I was washing the car and he kept jumping on the stream of water.

So today I took him to Red Bud Isle here in Austin. It's an island at the beginning of Town Lake. The island is mostly a dog park and for a water dog this is heaven.

As I approached the shore it was all go with Baxter. No coaxing, he just jumped right in.

That's my boy.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Play Date

Baxter had his first play date today. My friend Dax brough over his Black Lab, Gracie. All went well, Baxter is exhausted but it was good to wear him out so I could get some work done in peace.