The Austin Steamers

backups to go watch The Austin Steamers play at The White Horse (a self described honky tonk here in Austin).  The banjo player Joe Sundell and I went to the Fulbright School of Public Affairs together in 2000 (the camp even made it into the Christian Science Monitor that year).  Anyway, they play a really enjoyable style of bluegrass.  The guy next to Megan at the bar indicated he just walked in as he was walking home from work and was really pleased.  It’s good tunes, and you should check them out.  Anyway, we took a few pictures in our short time there.  Here are a few of my favorites, and you can find the entire short set here.







Our Dear Senna

Last Formula One driver to die during a race in 1994.  His death struck a chord for safety improvements in Formula One.  Also, he’s the namesake of our dog and mascot.


Senna is our dedicated companion.  Our fur kid.  We ‘rescued’ Senna from the Austin Animal Center.  He only had to spend a day or two in the shelter before we saw his cool, calm demeanor and house trained behaviors awaiting a kind family.  Needless to say, we didn’t have to think very hard, and took him home that very day.

p1260487870-6Since then,  Senna has not left our side (well, except for our trip to Marfa, but we had him well taken care of during our adventure out there, and plan on taking him eventually).  We love our pup, and we hope he loves us.  It also helps he can’t run away from the camera so we get lots of pictures of him.  He’s a wonderful subject.


Go west, young man. – Horace Greeley

When Mr. Greeley made that statement in 1850 in Hints toward Reforms, I could not imagine he would expect a day when men and women would pile into a Japanese made sedan, drive 80 miles per hour along well maintained roads to a high mountain desert town to enjoy a nice weekend of photography, shopping at unique stores, and art viewing.  No, I don’t think Horace was expecting that one, even with the bold expectations of the Manifest Destiny.


See, Marfa isn’t just a place, it is a unique view into both the death and rebirth of rural America.  Marfa’s a place where cattle still roam the high grasslands and art is made (and found).  Where all the grocery stores are still independent, and the only chains in town are the Dollar General and a couple Stripes fuel stations.  In this corner of the most remote portions of Texas, one finds a small town thriving on beauty.


There is a beauty in desolation.  A beauty in truly dark skies, where the stars are big and bright  One finds this in a town like Marfa, or its sister high desert towns – Alpine, Fort Davis.  These towns are beautiful jewels and markers of a time long gone to many of us, within reach of our cars from our urban existence.  This high desert, where it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter, leaves you ready to never quite ready to return to the world of traffic jams and ‘big’ living in the ‘big’ city.  You never know, you might find that in a small town too.