New Job Announcement!

Announcement Time!

To the very perceptive, you may have noticed my gallivanting around town has been a little more frequent over the last few weeks. That’s because I’ve been enjoying a bit of funemployment! I left my job at National Instruments in late October after 4.5 years when I came across an incredible opportunity. Beginning this coming Monday I’ll be joining the team at the big blue lowercase f!

Don’t worry, I’ll be working out of Facebook’s downtown Austin office, so I’ll still be able to gallivant around Austin. As for my role, I’m joining an awesome team that works on a huge suite of internal applications used by other Facebook employees. And while my three weeks of downtime have been amazing, especially hanging out with the little man, I’m extremely excited to get started! Check out the sweet onesie they sent Wes.


PS – I hope you LIKE my conscious effort to avoid any Facebook-related puns during this post.

Austin Food and Wine Alliance Wine + Swine

The Austin Food and Wine Alliance is “dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community…”  At the 2nd Annual Wine & Swine they certainly made everyone aware of all things pork with 18 chefs flexing their culinary muscles.  At least half of them had whole hogs spit-roasted overnight while others worked pork into tacos, soups, and desserts.  As if that wasn’t worth the entry fee, I was generously given a free media pass that included an invitation to a VIP party.  We bought a ticket for Ev, put on our stretchy pants, had a small breakfast, and were on our way!  (Warning: several whole-roasted pigs appear in photos below)

Welcome to Wine and Swine

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The Humidity Scale

It’s mid-October. It’s Austin, Texas. It’s humid. I’m not trying to say it isn’t humid elsewhere. I am definitely saying it’s humid here. But how humid is it really? Sure, I can say “93%” (which is what it was this morning), but what we need is a real way –an objective way– to describe the humidity. So instead of arbitrary numbers (shut up, scientists!) I submit to you, the A Mike’s Life humidity scale.

Note: This only applies when the humidity becomes noticeable. No one cares about humidity on a beautiful Fall day when the air is crisp and you’re wearing your LL Bean vest.

Snorkelfest aka Straw-sucker – You walk outside and feel like you’re breathing through a straw. It”s noticeable enough that you’re uncomfortable but not bad enough to use as an excuse to stay inside.

Bat Face – You step out the door and WHAM! You just got in the face with a baseball bat. It’s unavoidable. You can’t duck, sidestep, or avoid it in any way. You just have to take it and like it.

Bus Stop – More severe than getting hit with a baseball bat, this is similar to getting hit by a bus. Like a Greyhound. In the face. Look both ways all you want;

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you’re still getting hit by the bus.

Swimming Pool – Perhaps not as overtly violent, the swimming pool level of humidity is the most dangerous. Much like the snorkel / straw, you feel like you’re underwater, but without the benefit of any air at all. At this point you should just go back to bed.

I apologize for the technical terminology used in this post, but I have standards to maintain and expect my readers to keep up. Any other ratings I may have missed? I considered the Gut Punch as another intermediate level.


p>Happy Breathing.

Burger Way of Life

Summer.  The season of burn bans, watering restrictions, mosquitoes, sunburns, drought, heat stroke grilling.  And nothing says “grilling” more than burgers.  If you disagree, well you can just leave.  However, for as much as I love grilling burgers, we don’t do it often enough.  So when we invited friends over for a good ol’ fashioned cookout, it was little more than a formality to discuss what we’d cook.

Because burgers happen only every once in a while, we go big*.  That means cutting no corners.

To the meat grinder!  

I grabbed some steaks at Central Market (a pound of chuck and a pound of sirloin), butchered them like a pro, and got the grinder ready for the carnage to come.  It’s one of the easier things you can do, but I wouldn’t recommend inviting any vegetarian friends over to parttake in the fun.

*We’re already home, so “go big or go home” only leaves us one option anyway.

At this point I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.  I’ll say that the burgers, topped with hatch chiles, were a big hit and devoured by all.  The process takes more time for sure, but no question it’s worth it.  It’s just the burger way of life.

Preparing for battle.

The aftermath.

Taking shape.

The result.