Monthly Archives: October 2009

Disc Golf 10/31/2009


Jon and I played at Old Settler’s Park today. It was beautiful out. Although the ground was still damp out from the previous rain. And, unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my towel with me. Sigh.

Loose dog

A loose dog interrupted us on hole 11. He didn’t stop to greet us and just kept running. I wonder what his goal was.


We ate at Juniors Grill in downtown Round Rock. Which was not bad. They even cooked their burger medium rare for me.

Carousel Lounge

Carousel Lounge

One of my gaming buddies, Mike P., had a performance at a bar. So I skipped game night and went down to watch him play the guitar with his brother. This is in a rather seedy part of town. But I guess you take what opportunities are given to you.

According to this, the title of the show was “Dan Coyle, solo acoustic & another band.” Apparently another musician was visiting Austin and booked this night to play. He then posted something on Craigslist for other performers to join him. Two others did (Mike was one of them). Since we were only interested in Mike, we arrived a little late. The bar was almost empty. Only a few tables were occupied. But what really surprised me was that one of my yoga teachers, Sapphire Bell was playing! I didn’t even suspect her other side since she never played, sang, or even talked about it during the yoga class. I did find a video of her playing in 2004, so you can get an idea of what she sounded like. She was pretty good! And she even has a CD out.

Mike was good and had one amusing song about his younger brother…

Disc Golf 10/24/2009

Construction on Brushy Creek 9

It seems that there is some construction going on at Brushy Creek. And it is getting awfully close to the disc golf course…


And, with the recent rains, there is finally water on the course! At least in the creek beds. Which makes it all the more challenging!

New Canon camera

Canon EOS 7D

Well, I broke down and bought a replacement camera to my Canon EOS 20D. Normally, the series naming convention is x0D. And the latest in the series is the 50D. However, it seems Canon has introduced a new line of cameras that fits between the 50D and the 1D Mark III. The Canon 7D.

This also got me in the mood of inputting all of my camera related purchases into an XML document. And, out of curiosity, I totaled it all up. Sesh, I have spent more than a luxury vehicle…

Austin Skyline #1
Austin Skyline #2

One of the first places I went to take pictures with it was downtown on Ladybird Lake along Auditorium Shores. It’s such a shame, but I don’t get down here very often. And I have never taken pictures of this famous skyline. The bridge is South 1st Street and I am south of the river.

Game Day 10/21/2009

Game #1

Last Train To Wensleydale

We played a new Wallace game that I received recently. It is another train-themed game. This time, about delivering cheese (and stone and passengers). The interesting mechanic in this game is the fact that you pay for your links every round. So you need to sell off your links to one of the two major train corporations. Which will cause you to inch your way across the map. You bid for token with different abilities. These will be used to buy engines for a round, build in certain spots, and sell your train tracks back. So you need to be able to get a variety in order to do what you plan.

I definitely want to try this game again.

Black Beans redux

Black Beans

With a new method of cooking beans, I needed to raise them up a level. One of the things that I like about Rudy’s beans is the extra flavor they add to a bowl of plain, frozen vegetables. So I decided to try adding some meat to the picture. And I went with an unknown meat as well: two and a half pounds of ox tails. I knew that I need to braise the beef to turn the tough connective tissue, collagen, into gelatin. Since I was already cooking the beans in a low oven, I had the perfect environment to braise.

The first step was to brown the meat in a dutch oven. I then poured water half way up the meat, covered the pot, and put it into a 250 degree oven for two hours and forty-five minutes. After that, I added the rinsed beans and placed them back into the oven for an hour and a half. Then removed them and placed them in the refrigerator to cool down.

The first thing that I noticed after removing them from the refrigerator, was that there no condensation on the top of the container. I first that that the layer of fat might have been responsible. But when I scraped off the solidified fat, I noticed that the rest of the liquid was jelly-like. Apparently, there was no free water to condense.

For the next time, I am going to try a vegetarian version. I would add apples for the pectin, a little bit of molasses, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, and chipotle.

Disc Golf 10/17/2009

Good throw hole 3

We played at Wilco today. The original plan was Old Settler’s Park, but we didn’t know that the 2009 Outlaw Trail Cycling Tour was going on today and that the entire park would be closed. Fortunately, Wilco is close.

I also had a good first throw on hole 3. For some reason, this is a hard throw for me around a large wall of brush.

Poker Dominion

After the round, we ate at Fuddruckers. Nick brought his three metal briefcases of poker chips with him which was actually the game of Dominion.

Florida Trip ’09

It’s been far too long since I have visited the family. So I coordinated a good time a couple of month ago and hoped that no hurricanes would show up then. Which none did! In fact, I escaped some cold and rainy weather in Austin while South Florida was warm and sunny.

I was supposed to fly out on the 6th of October, but fate intervened. I had just got into my car and started the trip down to the airport when I received an automated call from American Airlines informing me that my flight had been canceled. So I pulled over into a parking lot and called AA. Since I was on the last flight to WPB, I had no choice but to schedule for the next day. And, thankfully, Super Shuttle rescheduled with no charge as well.

Dodge Challenger

Since I was vacationing, during my birthday, I decided to splurge in the car rental. I picked the “large” version of the car on the web. And, when I arrived, the agent talked me into the Dodge Challenger. Which looks awesome. It is definitely a homage to the 70’s muscle car. However, I did not like how the car handled or drove. It is a really large car. It feels like you are driving a super-sized Cadillac. The handling is not tight and the acceleration was weak. But I was still glad that I tried it out…

I spent my vacation visiting family and friends, going to the beach, and eating at Cuban restaurants.

Mom and Billy
Me and Mom

My Mom got a new dog.

Dad and Mary
three dogs

My Dad has five dogs now. Good luck trying to get them all into the same frame. Two are new and, sadly, one has inoperable cancer.


My grandma is still going strong. Although I suspect that she trades off height for vigor.

Me and Aunt Jill

So is my Aunt Jill.

Me, Sean, and Bunny

I was happy to see Sean again and finally meet Bunny. Too bad my friends are all spread out over Florida.

Lake Worth Beach

The beach was awesome. Every day was warm and sunny.

I swam a lot. Which is a lot more difficult in the ocean. You have to deal with waves and jellyfish. Which freak me out when I smack into one of them with my arms. Thankfully, they weren’t the stinging kind.

Swimming at South Palm Beach from Mark Hamzy on Vimeo.

I also walked a lot.

Walking on South Palm Beach beach from Mark Hamzy on Vimeo.

Sun salutations

I even did some yoga. How can you resist doing sun salutations during sunrise?

Old house

I drove by my first house. It was completely different. The front is now a wall of ficus bushes. And the siding has changed. Sigh. At least I have my memories…

shoe failure

I did have one piece of equipment failure during the trip. My shoes started to come unglued a while ago. I thought nothing of it until one day during my trip when both soles came off as I was walking.

no wake rainbow

And I took one interesting picture during the sunset when a sign reflected the sun into a rainbow…

Disc Golf 10/09/2009

Disc Golf sign #1
Disc Golf sign #2

It seems someone made a sign for the course at Wilco. And this was the second attempt.

Dragon Fly

I like the use of camouflage for the Dragon Fly.

Mosquito bite

The mosquitoes were out today. Man, that thing was full of my blood!

Hole 12

I got one birdie on hole 12.


Sadly, a lot of trees have dies around here. And now they are food for fungus…


And ants are still around here as well. I like how there was a line of ant-hills that led towards the basket.