Monday, June 25, 2007

Mid-day At The Oasis

As I continue to explore Austin, I'm more and more drawn to the water. I guess it's due to the rising temperatures, but nonetheless there's more to it then just staying cool and splashing around. Yesterday was a great day to hang out by the lake as it was not too warm to be outside.

An Austin staple is The Oasis. It's perched on the the side of the cliffs that boarder Lake Travis. I was warned by my friend Mike that the food and service was unremarkable, and I can't say we were proved wrong. You come to hang out with friends, drink beer and enjoy the view. You can't really screw up beer that comes in a bottle, so it's best to plan on making it out for a few drinks rather then a special meal.

And the view was amazing. Here are some pics from where we were sat on the upper deck. Unfortunately the place was hit by lighting last year and is in the process of being rebuilt, so seating can be limited. It's first come first served, so you have to keep your eye out for a good table before you commit to sitting down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Decked Out

Phew! It's hot here. Enough of that.. I did take advantage of a beautiful overcast morning to start and finish a much needed home improvement project.

There is a very nice deck off my back porch that I enjoy hanging out on, and so does Baxter. Unfortunately the stain had just about worn off of it. I've been TRYING to get out there and re-stain it but it keeps raining! I think we've hit a clear patch so this morning I got up at 6:00 am and headed out there before it became too warm.

It's done. I was surprised how fast staining is. It seems like painting takes forever. Certainly the brush is lighter and that made things pretty easy.

Now I need to keep Baxter off of it for 24 hours. Not so easy.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Highly Unorganized

Craigslist Redesign

There was a big hub-bub this week in the business journals about E-Bay reaching it's mid-point of maturity. Mostly I think it was people whining about the stock returns. I have no investment in E-Bay or that sector, so I'm not really paying attention.

But as a front end user, I'm highly addicted. It's like porn for car people. Anything you want, it's there. My Mustang was mostly built from E-Bay auctions. Parts came from the US and Canada and mostly from won auctions. Like many of us though, I'm bored and over the auction concept. While E-Bay has branched out with new ways to buy, I'm still not convinced any more. I really am not much for waiting and the "shill" bidder problem keeps you from getting real bargains for the most part.

The antithesis of E-Bay is Craigslist and I'm just as addicted. Not nearly as pretty and mostly counter-culture to the corporate style of E-bay and It's pages are plain and searches are simple. You want a car, you go to the "cars+trucks" tab and the latest listings are posted. When you look at listings, they are listed simply by time of posting. Not dollar value or manufacturer. I'm in love with the simple randomness of it all. It's simply who's ever next and you can't buy your way to the top. (Uh, yes on E-bay you can.) Craigslist is the great equalizer and you can even find a Rolls Royce on there from time to time.

Every retailer has it's time. Craigslist may be bought out, fade away or solider on as is. Craigslist can be like life, you never know what's next.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


For someone who has moved a bit over the years, you would think that change doesn't bother me. Well for those of you keeping in touch with me, I've done my darndest to make it easy for you. My cell phone number is six years old and my e-mail address is about ten.

I've hung in there with my AOL e-mail for you, but the time has come to rid myself of AOL. AOL works fine for PC's but I'm a Mac person and they never got along. AOL also did not like my wireless home network. I hung in there for you, but it's time to go. My good friend who worked for AOL said they will never upgrade for MAC as apparently we don't use AOL.

If you didn't receive the update e-mail, going forward my e-mail provider will be Yahoo. They will have the privilege of hosting my instant messenger too.

Hopefully Yahoo will be around for at least another ten years. I can't say the same for AOL.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Coupe de Gras

E24 in an M6 version

2008 Audi A5

It's been a long time coming.

One of my all-time favorite cars is BMW's E24 6-Series that was produced from 1977 to 1989. (Yes that was the day where a car's life cycle lasted more then five years.) It's replacement was the dismal failure E31 8 series from 1989 to 1999 whose production totaled only 30,000 units. By comparison the E24 production run was 86,000 units.

The E24 was a work of art when introduced. I mean really a work of art. It was actually displayed in museums, such as the MoMA in NYC. It was the definition of a big sports coupe. It had a beautiful lines, a long hood, bright greenhouse, and short deck. It had the aggressive nimble look of a shark, thus it's nickname "The Shark".

The E31 was big, heavy and aggressive. More like a wild boar then a shark. Hardly the spiritual successor to an icon. It was massive, heavy, and powered by an 8 cylinder engine as well as the available 12 cylinder. The E24 was only available in a 6 cylinder as it was only 3800 lbs at the end of production. The 6-series moniker was reintroduced in 2003 under the E63 platform, but it also has never recaptured the spirit of the original E24 and resembles a pregnant toad.

The spirit is not dead, but it's found a new home. Audi has brought back the mid-sized coupe it once abandoned and called it the A5. A true successor to the E24 if there was one. It's light, stylish and aggressive looking. The underpinnings are from a mid-size sedan, the same as the original E24. Sad to see it's not from BMW, but a beautiful coupe is a beautiful coupe.

Hat's off to Audi. Pulling one over on BMW is a coup in itself.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Picture This

Every few weeks I help my old lunch buddy kill some time on his LONG commute from Moorpark to Santa Monica. While chatting today he kept filled me in on the latest Edmunds news and all that is going on his life back in California.

Brad is a mild mannered product manager by day and amateur photographer on the off time. As cars are my hobby, photography is his. I've put a link to his website in my blog here so you can see his work. Check it out and if you're in the Los Angeles area and need some pictures taken, be sure to look him up.

Oh, and we both have black Mustang GT's. That picture is his on Route 66. No wonder we're friends..

Brad's Pictures

Thursday, June 07, 2007


What a day. Baxter woke up with a lame paw and my vet was open at 6:50 am to see him. The advantage of having a country vet I guess. He'll apparently was bit by something and had a swollen paw. After a shot of cortisone he was good to go and the he's walking fine.

One of the largest water parks in the country is located about 45 minutes from Austin. It's called Schlitterbahn which I believe translates to water route. There is a lot of German ancestry here. It's known for the "Master Blaster" which takes you through tubes and you actually go up and down. It's a roller coaster on water. Tons of fun.

Mid-week is the best day to go, so my workout partner and bud Vernon joined me for the day. It was a lot of fun and well worth the trip. Many thanks to my friend Richard and his dog Kelso who watched Baxter for me. We had a blast. Yes if you read the signs in the pictures, you cannot bring a handgun into the park. This is Texas....

After three weeks of rain, it's a bit odd to head to a water park. But it's a great way to beat the heat. Now it' time to mow the lawn..

Monday, June 04, 2007

Texas Cooldown

Well it finally broke 90 degrees here this weekend. Not much you can do when it's that hot outside but grab some beer and ride on the river. With 5,000 new friends joining you.

It's a floating party. This year there has been so much rain that the Guadalupe River is running to high and too fast. Ironically last year's annual tubing trip put on by my friend Coby was moved to the Comal Spring because of the lack of water. So again, I find myself drifting down the Comal for the opposite reason. It's a lazy two hour float from put-in to finish. My friend Toby and his friend Brian joined me this trip.

It's a cool lazy way to spend the day, and certainly beats sitting in the A/C.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Just A Little Fresher

Not much to report, but I have freshened up the blog a bit. You'll notice my mug shot and a improved link section.

Be sure to check out Jon's blog. He posts far more times then I do, and when you need a bit of beach life check to see what he's up to. I have the links as well to my page and the other Edmunds properties, and All the car information you'll ever need is there.

I'll post more links when they come up. Enjoy!