Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lunch Report: Timbo's and Pearl Brewery Farmer's Market...

We met friends Saturday morning at the Pearl Brewery Farmer's Market to walk around, enjoy the friendly atmosphere, grab some coffee at Local, and even take a short lap along the River Walk to see Carlos Cortez' Grotto.  In spite of driving through some heavy rain between Lytle and San Antonio, the morning was spectacular with very much appreciated cool breezes to keep us from melting in the sun.
Before lunch, a few pictures of the Farmers Market in case you still haven't made it down.  This was a nice little band performing some fun songs that had little kids and a few adults dancing in the street.
The market itself is geared toward folks looking to buy organic foods.  Lots of hipsters, lots of people with well behaved dogs, and lots of things to see if you enjoy people watching.
Local Coffee is a favorite of my son and though I'm just a regular coffee drinker, I can tell you it was more than a step above what you get at your convenience store.  Quick service, dapper baristas and no more expensive than Starbucks.
The section of RiverWalk near the Pearl is a great walk with lots of nice views.  Under the Newell Street bridge is The Grotto.  Just go see it and look.  Pretty cool.
Lots of cute birds and such inhabit the area and they have done a remarkable job with the landscaping.  It is all good.
We had to rest my knees for a minute in front of La Gloria before walking across the market to Timbo's.
So the story behind Timbo's is that he started working at Little Hipp's just out of high school and made his way from barback to manager before the place closed in 2002.  With all that experience, Timbo went into business for himself and brought with him a lot of the spirit and menu from Little Hipp's, and you are up to date.
This is one that has been on our to-do list for years, but frankly, timing was just never good.  Today, we were at the Pearl and parked directly across the street so there was no more excuses.
Inside, we loved the place.  It's that old atmosphere you'd find if you were out on the road and came upon an old ice house or roadside burger place.  And there is beer!
The bacon cheeseburger I got featured really good bacon, the kind that holds together on the burger then crumbles, almost melts in your mouth. 
The burger patties themselves seemed to be of the frozen variety, but grilled up right and complimentary of a well dressed burger.  Buns were soft and fresh, and grilled as you would expect.
When served, they give you the standard lettuce, onions and pickles on the burger and make mustard, mayo and ketchup available on the side.  The chilled mayo containers are perfect for mixing up a little dipping sauce for the tots and fries.
For our table of five, we got a large basket mixed with tots and fries.  Honestly, just go with the tots.  The fries are bad, but nobody likes fries when tots are available.

Overall we had a good experience with Timbo's.  It's one of those places that I'd be happy to enjoy again if I'm in the area.  We got there at noon when they opened and honestly, I was surprised at the lack of other customers (one couple came in during the full hour we were there), especially given the traffic at the Farmer's Market just across the street.  On the other hand, I'm guessing that the majority of the people who attend the organic food farmers market aren't the Timbo's type.

Mark another one off our list of places to visit!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Still Here, Just Busy...

I got an e-mail from a concerned reader who saw that I had not posted in a while so I thought I better take a moment to jot down a few notes, lest the remaining handful of you think something is wrong.  Honestly, I've just been busy - lots of work, lots of activity and that just equates to less time posting pictures of lunch and the cute deer that wander around here. But thanks for asking.

In no particular order, the following are a bunch of different things I've been doing to keep myself entertained.

When we first moved out here, I had made up my mind that I would not wait a long time before getting to know neighbors or participating in our HOA activities.  And in fact, we know all of our immediate neighbors, have phone numbers, e-mails and are friends on FaceBook, which really allows everyone to keep up on one another.  It is funny how if there is a strange vehicle driving slowly by (which happens a lot since people are looking to buy land), the whole street goes on alert.

The other thing we did was start attending the association meetings each month.  Disappointing in that, we were usually the only ones to attend, though, who really goes to HOA meetings, anyway?  Well, long story short, after joining the board last year, I took over as president, not because I wanted to but because nobody else was willing to do it.  Believe me, there is nothing prestigious or exciting about it, and frankly, the people who are on the board with me are all wanting the same thing I want - maintain the property values of the neighborhood and avoid having to raise the fees every year.

When I was just a member of the board, there was very little to do.  There is only one meeting a month, and after that, really nothing.  Being the president changed everything.  As the point of contact for the property management company, I get e-mails almost daily, and sometimes, a dozen e-mails needing some sort of approval or wanting to address a problem.  Certainly not a full time job, but the pace is much closer to what it was when I was on the board in my old association.

The real down side is the lack of communication from other members.  We live in an e-mail world, and honestly, between my cell phone and computer, I check my e-mail 10 times a day if not more.  But even then, if you only check your e-mail every few days, wouldn't it make sense to respond to e-mails asking for your input?  So my new tactic is that I add words like, "No replies are assumed to be consent" and things like that.  Anyway, that's one thing that has kept me busy.

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Have you seen that FB is really taking over for Craig's List when it come to buying and selling stuff?  We've joined several online garage sale type groups local to the area.  We got rid of a treadmill, a grill, and a bunch of other little odds and ends that you might have a garage sale for, but with this, there is no sitting out in the hot sun to do it.  Eva has also purchased a few things and last week when she wanted to rent a bounce castle, we found a local person right away and that worked out well.

So this ties into a little project I've been working on.  As many of you know, I have had an ongoing project for about 7 years to scan in old photos.  Well, I also have these old home videos that I have been trying to get moved to the computer.  The VHS tapes I took care of buy buying one of those VCR's that has the DVD recorder on it.  But, I also had two different types of video cameras, one a 8mm type and another in the MiniDV format.  The problem is, I don;t have those cheap cameras anymore but I still have the tapes!
A long while back, I purchased this piece of crap from a pawn shop for $35.  The reason is, people on E-Bay know that people are trying to find these and they want $75-$150 for something that you don't know will work or not.  Well, my $35 was wasted and pawn shops never give you money back on electronics.
Several weeks ago, I found this beauty in perfect condition.  It is a Sony AF8 system complete with case, manuals, 2 batteries and all the original parts.  And it works.  I paid $10 and it more than made up for the $35 I lost at the pawn shop.  Bottom line, I've got my 8mm tapes taken care of and hell, I may just sell this baby for $100.  Or I may keep it because I love it.
My next dilemma:  The MiniDV which look like this.  I put an add on some of the local FB garage sale pages and basically, the people who have these don't want to sell them, but instead want me to help them convert their videos!
 A lady who lives nearby is looking to see if we can work a trade where I use her camera to convert my tapes, then I lend her my Dazzle (which lets you connect the AV cables to your USB) so she can do hers.  We'll see how that works out.

Oh, and speaking of those online groups, there is one called La Pulga de San Antonio which is actually really funny.   I suspect a lot of the items for sale are stolen, which is not funny, but some of the comments that people leave just crack me up.  One lady created much drama when she accused a person who came to her house to get free clothing items of stealing her husband Air Jordans from the back porch.  It got really West Side rather quickly when the accused lady jumped in and started defending herself.  Eventually, the two ladies worked out their dispute, but not before much folly was made by the people leaving various comments and pictures and such.  Good times.

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Our air conditioning situation.  So with the completion of the Man Cave, we really hadn't put it through its paces in terms of having more than Eva and I sitting out there watching a movie.  A week or two ago, we had a big party for my daughter and she invited quite a few folks over for a cookout, the aforementioned bounce castle, and such.  Well, naturally, some folks gravitated to the Man Cave to do some Karaoke. 

What I found as the afternoon dragged on was that, with the constant opening and closing of the door for people to go in, grab beers or sodas and leave, the air conditioner was just not keeping up.  I knew this would be a problem, to be honest.  What I really wanted was to have a company come in and install a small central unit, but that was cost prohibitive.  And, it just so happened that we had a window unit sitting in a box in the shed.

Well yesterday, we were at Lowe's and based upon the recommendations of other folks who have them, we bought one of those roll around units.  And honestly, right now, we are thinking about taking it back.  All the reviews say that this thing can cool down a room really quickly, but last night we installed it and let it go for a few hours and it never got below 78, and really, stayed closer to 80.  That is unsatisfactory.

We seriously insulated the hell out of the Man Cave, so it shouldn't be that the room is too hot.  But who knows.  I'm open to suggestions.
Oh, and speaking of the party.  This was a birthday cake our friend Shannon made for the event.  Roxanne always loved the Little Mermaid, so this was a real treat for a 26 year-old.

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I should post something about food, right?  Yesterday we were out running errands and happened to be over on Bandera stopping in at a few garden centers there.  Anyway, we thought, we ought to go eat at Beef O'Brady's since they opened one on Bandera, and we liked it when we went to ones in Brandon and Panama City Beach.

Well, I guess not.  Looks like the one here in San Antonio didn't make it because it was gone.  The sign on the street is still there, but the restaurant was gone.

Instead, we slipped in to Babe's in Helotes.  I wouldn't say Babe's is my favorite, but they certainly are a reliable choice every once in a while.  I like the basket of mixed onion rings and fries.
Eva had the chili cheeseburger and I had the bacon cheeseburger.  It hit the spot! 

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The other day I was mowing the yard, minding my own buisness, then the next thing you know...
This happens.  Yikes!  Turns out that I need to replace the bearings in the front wheels.  In the mean time, I put the wheel back on, got a new clip from the hardware store and was back in action before too long.

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 My son bought tickets for us to go see one of the Spurs playoff games against the Clippers Blazers at the AT&T center.  Since he paid for the tickets, I paid for parking, snacks and beer.  I'm not sure which of us got the better end of the deal.  Seriously, $9.50 for a beer?  
It really was a good time - the crowd is great and the energy that you just don't see on TV is pretty exciting.  
But all in all, I think that basketball is a game much better viewed on TV in front of the big screen.  In fact, that's our plan for tonight.  

Hopefully this catches you up if you were missing out on what's happening out here.  More when I get a chance!