Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out of the Fog

Owing to both a welcome batch of pre-SXSW writing assignments and an unwelcome kid sickness, I've been mired in blog silence all week. There's plenty to write about, but no time to write.

Alex's 1st birthday weekend was a lot of fun until his bronchitis morphed into a feverish ear infection. Most of my undershirts are now specked with tell-tale pink amoxicillin stains. The boy hasn't been himself all week, but I think he's slowly emerging from the fog.

As long as the supermarket grocery circulars go out on time, Fave Five Food Deals will return next week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday, Alex!

A year ago at this time, Kate and I were slowly walking up and down our street in the chilly drizzle as contractions were becoming more and more frequent. The baby boy we'd nicknamed "Nubbin" wouldn't emerge until close to midnight, but he did manage to be born on February 19th, which puts him one day closer to 21.

Alex is a strapping 1-year-old today. The baby features are slowly but surely giving way to those of a little boy. Even so, he'll always be our baby.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tired Old Dogs

This week, I found out I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot. When this tissue gets inflamed, your heel really lets you know about it in a bad way.

The first line of treatment for plantar fasciitis is foot exercises that get the plantar fascia stretched before you get out of bed to take your first step. From there, it's on to more expensive shoes with better arch support, insoles, heel cups and whatever else might do the trick.

In the grand scheme of things, plantar fasciitis is hardly the worst thing that could happen to a body of my vintage. It still pisses me off, though. Anything that threatens my ability to take a daily health walk is threatening my ability to stay sane and fight the belly tire.

Most of all, it's a minor-but-irrefutable reminder of critical parts wearing down that pops up every time I take a step.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fave Five Food Deals - 2/16/11

As a bulwark against rising food prices, here are five Austin supermarket deals that clock in at a buck or under.

1. Navel oranges, Rio Red grapefruit or mangos, .49/lb. at Sprouts (through 2/23/11)

2. Anjou pears, .77/lb. at H-E-B (through 2/22/11)

3. Organic Braeburn or Fuji apples, .99/lb. at Sprouts (through 2/23/11)

4. Broccoli crowns or cauliflower, .88/lb. at Sun Harvest (through 2/23/11)

5. Split chicken breasts, $1/lb. at H-E-B (through 2/22/11)

H-E-B thinks so highly of its store brand these days that they're willing to give it away. This week, they offer you a free box of H-E-B Frosted Shredded Wheat with the purchase of Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats and/or a free loaf of H-E-B Bake Shop 100% Whole Wheat Bread with the purchase of Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Fave Five Food Deals - 2/9/11

There's nothing sexier than that special someone who'll whisper the week's hottest weekly supermarket deals in your ear. Here are the sweetest next-to-nothings we could find for Valentine's Day.

1. Boneless ribeye steak, $4.97/lb. or coldwater lobster tails, $4.97/ea. at H-E-B (through 2/15/11)

2. Organic broccoli or cauliflower, .88/lb. at Sunflower (through 2/16/11)

3. Navel oranges or cantaloupes, 3 lbs. for $1 at Sun Harvest (through 2/16/11)

4. Organic Cameo apples (word up!), .88/lb. at Sprouts (through 2/16/11)

5. H-E-B Pure Cane Sugar Soft Drinks, 12-pack, $1.99* (through 2/15/11)

*with in-store coupon

Also at H-E-B this week, buy a 100- to 160-pack of H-E-B Baby diapers and get a free Cosco umbrella stroller with an in-store coupon. I can't vouch for Cosco strollers, but we've had pretty good luck with H-E-B Baby diapers. And they've got Clifford the Big Red Dog on 'em!

Austin supermarket links (directs to weekly ads where available):
El Rancho Supermercado
Natural Grocers
Sunflower Farmers Market
Sprouts Farmers Market
Sun Harvest
Wheatsville Food Co-Op
Whole Foods Market

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Texas Airports Add International Flights

Texas will finally get a nonstop flight to Australia this May when Qantas starts flying between Dallas/Fort Worth and Sydney four times weekly. Qantas is OneWorld partners with American, so the latter airline’s fortress hub at DFW should provide plenty of connecting traffic. This is a big shot in the arm to DFW’s relatively new International Terminal, which continues to lag behind Houston in terms of drawing new international flights.

Whenever Boeing gets around to delivering the 787, Continental/United plans to start nonstop service between Houston Bush Intercontinental and Auckland, New Zealand. Between that and Continental/United’s Houston-Lagos nonstop scheduled to launch in November, Houston will join Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg as one of only four airports in the world with scheduled nonstop passenger air service to all six inhabited continents so long as you count the region of Australasia as a pseudo-continent.

Meanwhile, here in Austin, our international passenger service continues to be anemic. We’re barely able to sustain service to Cancun on an ongoing basis.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

How to Make Out

In the wake of Junior Senior's demise following their compelling but largely unheralded 2007 sophomore album, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo (Rykodisc), vocalist Jesper Mortensen migrated from his native Denmark to New York and started Make Out with Leah Hennessey, who just so happens to be David Johansen's step-daughter.

Here's a little herky-jerk bubblegum punk blast called "What U Doing Later" from their debut EP, How To, due Feb. 22 (via PopMatters).

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Warm Up with a Hot Bowl of Huey

Apathy Trend, the electrified version of a 90s-era Austin music zine by the same name that could usually be found near the front door of Sound Exchange, posted a short Q&A with the New Drugs today. Many thanks to Chuck Trend for the virtual ink.

We're revving up the Huey Lewis love machine again this Saturday at Ruta Maya alongside Boosy Cray, Serious Tracers and Ichi Ni San Shi, three fine local bands who still play songs they wrote themselves. Doors open at 8 and the good times start rolling at 9.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Fave Five Food Deals - 2/2/11

If you can stand the frigid wind chill, there are plenty of pre-Super Bowl deals to be had at Austin supermarkets this week.

1. Chicken sausage (all varieties), $1.99/lb. at Sunflower (through 2/9/11)

2. Haas avocados or beefsteak tomatoes, .49/lb. at Sunflower (through 2/9/11)

3. Rio red grapefruit, .25/ea. at Sprouts (through 2/9/11)

4. Small navel oranges, 10 for $1 at H-E-B (through 2/8/11)

5. Cuties clementine mandarins, 3 lb. bag, $3.99 at Sun Harvest (through 2/9/11)

This Friday at Randall's, get select varieties of Nabisco snack crackers for just 99 cents (limit 2 with Remarkable card). If you like Triscuits, this is an even better deal than Hill Country Fare Woven Wheats (which always taste a little stale compared to the real thing).

Austin supermarket links (directs to weekly ads where available):
El Rancho Supermercado
Natural Grocers
Sunflower Farmers Market
Sprouts Farmers Market
Sun Harvest
Wheatsville Food Co-Op
Whole Foods Market