Posts Tagged ‘austin’

habitat for humanity

June 3, 2009

This past weekend, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity. I had always wanted to do it, but just never took the initiative (story of my life) to do it. Anyway, when Kristine brought it up, it seemed like as good a time as any to start. This particular project was a construction project, and it was more of a remodeling of a deteriorating house. The day’s tasks were basically to put up new siding on the wall (made out of a cement/wood mix) and also to paint. Kristine went with the painting group, while I went with the siding group. I have to say overall the experience was pretty awesome. Sure, it was in some pretty intense Austin summer heat, but I got to meet great people, most notably the self-named “A-Team of Siding,” which included Me, Chong, and Tara. I got to play with a bunch of tools that I have never used before, like the Nail Gun, Cement Shear, Chalk Line and Combo Square. :-P It was like a little boy in a toy shop. I’d love to be involved in another project in the future that is a completely construction of a house from the ground up, instead of just a remodeling project. I’d like to see how a house is constructed.

A Team of Siding

austin to el paso

August 13, 2008

@ Van Horn

Well, the 8 hour drive was not as tough as I expected, this being the furthest I’ve ever driven in a day. Leaving Austin was probably the saddest and toughest things I’ve ever done in my life. There’s just so much of my life there, and finally leaving led to an overwhelming flow of emotions. Just outside of Austin, I intended to stop by Fredericksburg, but a quick drive through the town changed my mind. I’m not sure why, I just wasn’t in the mood, but I did see a whole lot of peaches. Reminded me of the song by Presidents of the United States of America. The long trip through the Hill Country and Big Bend regions of Texas was exhilarating. Thank god for 80mph speed limits! The scenery was breathtaking, especially around the Van Horn area. There were isolated thunderstorms with incredibly strong gusts of wind, that made it hard to see, but certainly more exciting. You could see the storms up ahead while you prepared yourself to drive through them. The whole experience made you feel so helpless to the sheer force of nature, and that by itself was worth the price of admission. Here are the trip stats for leg 2. 

Distance: 564.1 miles
Average Speed: 75.1 mph
Moving Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 58 minutes
Average Mileage: 26.7 mpg (blame the lower mileage on the higher speed limit :-X)

austin

August 11, 2008

UT Tower

You know, after living in Austin for 6 years, there are still a ton of things I haven’t done. Although the city isn’t huge, there is still definitely a ton of stuff to do. I finally went up to the top of the UT Tower, for the 7pm tour. I wish I had tried for the 8pm tour so I could see the sunset and also see the city lights. But nonetheless, being up there with the breeze and recognizing all the shortcuts I took through campus was very nostalgic and relaxing. I have also ever been to South Congress (SOCO) at night. It was always the daytime that I went, and it was cool to me then, but man the place transforms at night. I had no idea it was going to be so packed. It was like a completely different city. Other things I did included visiting the Barsana Dham hindu temple, Dave & Busters, The Domain, Mt. Bonnell, canoeing on Town Lake, Schlitterbahn, Blazer Tag, and Spider House. Most of these were revisits of old favorites, but the temple was new. It was on the way to Salt Lick BBQ. I got to meet up with some friends for the last time. Overall, it just wasn’t enough time, naturally. Austin will always hold a special place in my heart, and I have a feeling I will return to the city one day.

Places I ate: Which Wich, La Feria, Salt Lick BBQ, Ichiban, Oma’s Kitchen

road trip!: houston to austin

August 8, 2008

So begins my road trip out west. I am moving to California, although the exact city is still uncertain. This trip, which includes stops in El Paso, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, will hopefully reveal to me where I’m meant to be, for now. It’s just that I’ve found myself in kind of a rut this past year, and a change like this will do me good. I will also be using this blog as a travel journal of sorts, so check back here to get updates, hopefully. First stop, is of course, Austin. So my first leg of the journey was Houston to Austin. Here are some quick stats:

Distance: 175 miles
Average Speed: 63.5 mph
Moving Time: 2 hours 45 minutes 
Total Time: 2 hours 56 minutes
Average Mileage: 26.9 mpg

Austin details later…

porsche ride’n’drive

April 15, 2008

Cayenne GTS

I attended a Porsche Ride & Drive event at the Driveway racetrack. Basically, it was an event to allow people to test out the newly released Porsche Cayenne GTS. I first drove the SUV for 3 laps, with a race instructor by my side, giving me tips on when to accelerate, when to brake, what line to follow, etc. It might as well be a car, because this SUV handles like a dream. Then I switched seats and he drove full out for 3 laps. That’s when I realized how lame of a driver I was. Although it felt like I was pushing the GTS to it’s limits, I think I ended up going at 1/3 of the limit. After that I was able to sit in for 3 hot laps each on the Cayman S and the Carrera S, and realized just what that extra $$$ (compared to the Boxster) translates to: balls to the wall adrenaline rushing euphoria, which can be experienced in the Boxster as well, except in these cars, you feel like you might die any second.

home slice pizza

April 4, 2008

Home Slice Pizza

Home Slice Pizza

If you’re ever in the Austin area, and you want to try some really good NY style pizza, head over to Home Slice Pizza on 1415 South Congress. I’ve actually tried pizza in NY, so I’m not sure if it lives up to those standards, but it sure lives up to mine. The crust is oh so crispy and thin, yet bendable. You can dine-in to order a whole “pie” or you can order from the side window by the slice. I ordered by the slice since the dining-in option was almost a 45 minute wait (!). There was a nice patio out back where I think they sometimes have live music. There’s also a great cupcake place a block down called Hey Cupcake! which is also highly recommended. Order the Red Velvet. Mmmm….

spider house coffee

March 26, 2008

Spider House

So I’ve lived in Austin for almost 7 years (!), and never been to Spider House… until now. This is of course mostly due to the fact that I don’t really drink coffee. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s that I never really had the necessity for it like other people. Coffee and caffeine in general has very minimal effects on me, so I failed to see the benefits of drinking it, unless I was auditioning for a role to be an asian pirate (à la Chow Yun Fat) and purposely wanted realistic looking yellow teeth. I would of course have to drink coffee until I reached the age of the above mentioned semi-well-known-asian-actor without brushing my teeth. Speaking of coffee, I do have to say that I really like McDonald’s “new” iced coffee for no explicable reason whatsoever. I’m sure the lower cost psychologically affects my taste preference towards it.