Monday, October 28, 2013

A few thoughts on costumes

My boys are heavy into Minecraft these days, and they both wanted to dress as Minecraft characters for Halloween.  Unfortunately, we realized that both the big, boxy cardboard head and the giant pixelated pickaxe we planned to make were not allowed at school.  (No masks and no weapons, respectively.)  Even though the pickaxe really is just a mining tool, I'm ok with it being forbidden if it means there will be no knife-wielding Chucky dolls or knife-glove wearing Freddy Kruegers (also known occasionally as Chalkie and Freddy Cooter, respectively) at school on Thursday.

Anyway, a lovely friend of mine came to the rescue by letting us rummage through her costume box, and we came up with fine alternatives.

In other news, this family is hilarious and amazing.  Diamond face cream!  Mrs. Featherbottom!  Pirate baby!  There's just so much awesome here, especially because the family appears to be at a Mormon Halloween party.  You don't expect to run into one Tobias Funke - much less six of them - at trunk-or-treat.  And I love these Wayne's World babies too.

Some of you know that I had a Princess Leia costume years before Liz Lemon made it cool.One year, Matt and I were trying to figure out last minute costumes for a Halloween party.  I suggested Han and Leia, but he assured me that he had his own costume covered.
He took some big cotton balls and stretched them out and taped them to his head.  He's EYEBROWS GUY.  Yep.  Eyebrows guy.  I believe he's related to Crazy Pickle Arm Man.  And yes, I searched for the Adam Sandler clip, to no avail.  Curse you, NBC, and your insistence on copyright protection.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Rather tall cowboy with all his clothes burned off at 10:31."

We're just back from the Texas State Fair in Dallas, and I'm happy to report that Big Tex is back.  We first went to the fair in 2011, and he looked like this:
Then last year, an electrical malfunction caused a fire that burned Big Tex down to his skeleton.  You can watch a 22 minute documentary about the rebuilding here. (The quote I used as the title of this post is from the emergency dispatch recordings.)

Within a year, the fair had a new Big Tex built and installed, and we saw him last weekend.  The boys were very happy to see him restored to his former glory, and his presence was all throughout the fair.

Here's the main view, taken from the Fletcher's corny dog stand, with the Cotton Bowl and ferris wheel in the background.
 Here's a kid's Lego rendition of the fateful day.
 Naturally, this year's butter sculpture features Big Tex in repose, cuddling with some toddlers.
 Awesome Lego portrait.
 And the rear view, because, why not?
 There is an exhibit of Big Tex stuff in the museum area.
And finally, I adore this picture, which I found on that same Dalls Morning News photo blog linked above.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I didn't know that

I've learned a couple new things recently, or more accurately, I've had things clarified that I kinda sorta knew already.  I thought I'd pass them along.

This weekend Austin got like 6 inches of rain in several hours.  While I knew that one storm could not end our years-long drought, I figured it helped significantly.  Then Matt explained to me that the rain has to fall upstream of Lake Travis in order for us to be able to capture and use it.  Oh, yeah.  That makes sense, doesn't it?

Here is how the Lower Colorado River Authority describes it on their website:

"The weekend’s heaviest rain fell in the Austin area near Barton Creek, which empties into Lady Bird Lake downstream of Lake Travis. The water is flowing down the Colorado River toward Matagorda Bay."

"The weekend rains have increased combined storage in lakes Travis and Buchanan about 17,500 acre-feet from 8 a.m. Saturday through 11 a.m. today and is continuing to rise. Lake Travis has risen about 2 feet and is expected to continue to rise slowly. Lake Buchanan has risen about a tenth of a foot. The combined storage of lakes Travis and Buchanan is now 34 percent of capacity, up from 33 percent on Saturday. "

So our water storage is up one percentage point.  Keep praying for rain, people.

Item number two you probably saw floating around on facebook yesterday; I know a lot of my friends posted it.  I knew that Columbus didn't actually "discover" America, but I had no idea just how crappy his story really is.

Sorry to be sort of a downer on both fronts.  But at least the grass is green, right?