Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Guatemala!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support this past year. We've really needed them!

December

December has been one of our most challenging months so far. At the beginning of the month I had to leave the country and go to Mexico because of a problem with immigration. Then two weeks ago Yuli came down with appendicitis and needed an emergency operation. We're happy that she's now recovering well. We've celebrated Christmas and the New Year with a bunch of visitors in our house and with Yuli's family. And Yuli and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last week!
But the hardest thing this month has been the loss of a dear friendship. Elias, who has been with us the past two years, left us three weeks ago. He made some new friends with coworkers this year that have been very harmful and he has wandered away from God. Yesterday he returned to stay with us in order to celebrate the New Year, and I ask you to please pray for our conversations today and pray for our heart. We really miss him and greatly miss our friendship, but most of all we're saddened by his choices. Please pray that God would work on his heart! And please pray that he would return to live with us again.

New Ministry Opportunity for 2014

We're very excited about 2014 and the big things in store for this year!
For the past few years we've been visiting a family with kids that lived at the orphanage for a while. And we've been praying about how to best help the kids. They were sent to the orphanage because of alcoholism and abandonment, and the family is also really poor. Celia really captured our hearts and she graduated from 6th grade last year. They live very remote, and there aren't any schools for her to continue further. Her older sister Estela graduated a year ago and is in the same situation. So we're going to open a girls home!
A small two-bedroom house just down the street from us has become available to rent. Our hope and prayer is to use it for a girls home and create an environment where girls like Estela and Celia can continue to study and break free from poverty, but also to grow into women of God. One of the saddest things to see here is the incredible number of pregnant young girls. Guatemala leads Latin America in the number of teens pregnancies. Many of these girls' friends have already gotten pregnant since finishing 6th grade.
Our vision is a home where the girls can remain connected to their families while having a refuge with us to learn, develop and mature into women. The school year starts later this month, and Christian school that Yuli and I have worked at is looking for scholarships for the girls. There are so many details still remaining that we have to work through! Please pray for us during this exciting and challenging new project.


Our wonderfully happy and energetic little girl
Celebrating Christmas with Jennifer, Edwin & Benjamin
Celebrating 4 years of marriage with my two wonderful girls
Estella & Celia (in the middle in black and pink) with their family

Thank you so much for your support and prayers for Yuli, myself and the ministry. Thank you for enabling us to serve in Guatemala!
Brent & Yuliza

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Bucket List

My biggest item on my bucket list is to visit every, yes every single Presidential Library Museum. Thus far I have been to three. Jimmy Carter (D) in Atlanta, GA; Dwight Eisenhower (R) in Abilene, KS and Lyndon Johnson (D) in Austin, TX.  Eager to find the funds and get to the rest of them. This blog will showcase some of the pictures and a writeup about  each of them. In the meantime I would love to hear what's on your bucket list. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lifesize Barbara Jordon Statue (Airport)

Photo Coming Soon!!!

3600 Presidential Blvd (Austin-Bergstrom International Airport --- Baggage Claim level)

The first, life sized statue of the late Barbara Jordan resides in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Created by California artist Bruce Wolfe, the bronze sculpture depicts Jordan seated, in deep thought, with her finger tips pressed together; her glasses and a book placed in her lap.

The life-size sculpture is the first major, public piece in the country to honor Jordan and it is a landmark for all who visit the Barbara Jordan Terminal, named in her honor.

City of Austin Aviation Department officials unveiled the statue in November 2002.





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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms

Recently the city of Austin held their annual Free Museum Day. This year the wife and I journeyed to Pioneer Farms, as it is known locally. Officially known as the Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms.


photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:
this historic site along Walnut Creek, at the edge of the famous blacklands prairie, originally was home to Native Tonkawa Indians. In the fall of 1844, Texas Ranger Lt. James O. Rice, an Original Austin settler, laid claim to 1,280 acres at the northward crossing of the creek - including the site of pioneer farms.

Eight years later, Frederick and Harriet Bachman Jourdan settled on a portion of that acreage with eight children, eventually amassing a 2,000-acre farm.

Outlaws and marauders menaced the first settlers, many of whom, like the Jourdans, migrated from eastern states. Beginning in the 1850s, immigrants from Germany amd other European countries settled in the areaand founded Dessau, Pfluggerville and other towns. After the Civil War, freedman farmed around the sprinkle community nearby.  For a time in the 1870s, the Chisholm Trail traversed the area.

 In 1956, the Jourdan grandchildren, Laura and Eugene Giles, donated the core of their ancestors' property to the heritage society of Austin for a park to honor early-day settlers. Dedicated in 1975, the museum  now features an architecturally diverse collection of historic buildings, including some of the oldest extant in Texas. Most were moved here to prevent their demolition and ensure their preservation for future generations.


photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1994 by Austin Landmarks
Greg Valdespino plays the banjo
on the porch at Pioneer Farm.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh



Handicapped Accessibility:
According to the staff and volunteers at the park generally all the buildings except one have ramps. However, the day we were there the ramps had been removed because a film crew was filming the soon to be released indie film "A Relative Stranger."
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Location:
What do you think about this attraction?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Newsboy Statue

This statue used to set outside the offices of the Texas Press Association. However, it was vandalized by some unthinking person(s). After it was repaired, the statue was moved inside to protect it from further vandalism.

Photo Coming Soon!


Handicap Accessibility:
There are steps that leads from the sidewalk to the offices where this statue is located. As of the time being I have not found a handicapped entrance, but will ask when I return to photograph the newly repaired statue.

Location:
Texas Press Association
718 West 5th Street
Austin, TX 78701-2783
moved inside Texas Press Association Offices in downtown Austin.
Phone: (512) 477-6755

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell was part of  a 54-acre tract  of land owned by F. M. Covert, Sr.  A pioneer Austin businessman. Negotiations to give the summit of Mt. Bonnell, to be known as Covert Park, to the people of Travis County began in 1934 but was concluded by the remaining members of the Covert family in honor of their father  on June 2, 1939. Covert Park at Mt. Bonnell provides a fabulous view of the Colorado River valley and the city of Austin skyline.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
Rising 775 feet above sea level, this limestone height was named for George W. Bonnell, who came to Texas with others to fight for Texas independence, 1836. Was commissioner of Indian Affairs in Republic of Texas under president Sam Houston. Moved in 1839 to Austin; there published the "Texas Sentinel", 1840. Member Texan-Santa Fe expedition, 1841. Was captured but released in time to join Mier expedition, 1842. Was killed in camp on Rio Grande, Dec, 26, 1842. Frontiersman W.A.A. "Bigfoot" Wallace killed an indian he met face to face while crossing a narrow ledge 50 feet above river, 1839. He also took refuge in a Mount Bonnell cave to recover from "flux", but was missing so long his sweetheart eloped. In the mid-1800s Mormons built a mill on the Colorado river at foot of Mount Bonnell. Mill was destroyed by flood and the Mormons moved on west. Mount Bonnell was site of picnics and outings in 1850s and 1860s. As it is today. Legend has it that an excursion to the place in the1850s inspired the popular song "Wait for the Wagon and We'll All Take a Ride". As a stunt in 1898, Miss Hazel Keyes slid down a cable stretched from the top of Mount Bonnell to south bank of then Lake McDonald below.
Texas State Historical Marker
photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Erected:
1969
picturesque view from Mount Bonnell
of the Pennybacker Bridge (on 360)
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
Depends on the mobility issue. If you can't climb the steps (like my wife), there is a hiking trail to the far right of the park base. As you can see in the pictures below, if you are able to use crutches you can barely make it pass the locked access gate. However, if you are in a wheelchair, there is no way for you to access the park at all. That said, even if you get to the top of this access area, you will not be able to make on to the top of the Mount, due to the uneven step like trail from that point on.
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Pat Surbaugh at Mt. Bonnell
Photo by Kevin Surbaugh



Photo by Kevin Surbaugh

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Location:
3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd.
Austin, TX 78731
GPS:
N 30 19.270 W 097 46.297
What do you think about this attraction?

Friday, September 6, 2013

The 3rd Annual International Music Festival

This weekend is the Third Annual International Music Festival. I have not been to the first or second ones, so I am kind curious about this one.  But, lets face it everyone likes music, so to have a festival that showcases music from around the world (a complete list of the music at this years festival).
When:
September 7 & 8, 2013
Noon-7p.m.

Admission:
Free
Handicapped Accessibility:
Yes

Website:
www.texasmusicmuseum.org/

Location:
George Washington Carver
Museum and Cultural Events Center
1165 Angelina Street
Austin, TX 78702


Have you been to this festival in the past? We would love to hear your comments about the festival.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Texas in the Civil War — Federal Forces

 Texas in the Civil War — Federal Forces 2210 West 35th Street (30° 18.577′ N, 97° 45.634′ W.)

Inscription: When Texas joined the Confederacy in 1861, some men disagreed. Mainly these were from foreign countries or the north, or did not uphold states’ rights. Some of them left here and joined northern army units. Others joined federal forces near home. A 1st Texas Cavalry (Union), made up of 310 men in 8 companies, was organized by a Texan, Col. E.J. Davis, across the Rio Grande, in Mexico. Nucleus of 2nd Texas Cavalry (Union) was formed in New Orleans, adding men in Louisiana and Mexico until it had 4 companies. They merged 1864 into 1st Texas Volunteer Cavalry (Union). Individual Texas prisoners of war obtained freedom by becoming “galvanized Yankees” – men coating over their old opinions with blue uniforms. These fought Indians on frontiers, not old Confederate comrades. However, Texans in the Federal Army sometimes were in battle against old neighbors, or even their own relatives, in Red River campaigns in Louisiana, on the coast, and in south and west Texas. On each side by turns were enlisted the partisan Rangers of A.J. Vidal – deserting the Confederates in 1863, the Federals and the war itself in 1864. Federal soldiers from Texas were a small minority because 90,000 Texans fought for the Confederacy.
Erected: 1965

Thursday, August 29, 2013

12th Annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival


About:
The Out of Bounds Comedy Festival is a seven-day live performance festival that showcases some of the best in improv, sketch, and stand-up comedy from all over the country and arround the world (for that matter). Now in its twelfth year, the festival will host over 500 performers in 120 shows over the 7 days leading up to Labor Day.

Picture from the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival Website
When:
Going on now, Tuesday, Aug 27 - Monday, Sep 2 (Labor day), 2013

Handicapped Accessibility:
Most venues have been updated to meet ADA requirements.

Website
:
Out of Bounds Comedy

Admission:
$89-$120

Location:
Various locations

What do you think about this attraction?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Austin High School Rio Grande Campus

photo by Kevin Surbaugh




Inscription:
In Edwin Waller’s 1839 plan for the City of Austin, two blocks were set aside for schools at Rio Grande and 12th Street, then called College Avenue. The Austin School Board in 1881 authorized the use of existing school facilities on the south block to house the primary grades 1-4, grammar school classes 5-7, and high school grades 8-11. Due to increased enrollment, the school board in 1916 built the John T. Allan Junior High School on the north block.

In 1925 the Austin High School was moved to this location from a campus on the corner of Trinity and 9th, where the junior high was relocated. Additions to the complex here were completed later to accommodate the larger student body.

The late 1920s was a time of increased student involvement for Austin High. During those years the Red Jackets girls organization and the Red Dragon Drama Club were formed and the student newspaper, the Austin Maroon, began publication. In the 1930s, the nearby House Park Athletic Fields were developed. The school name was changed to Stephen F. Austin in 1953.

Used for high school classes until 1975. This site was later part of the Austin Community College system.


photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1981
Handicapped Accessibility:
somewhat, although the marker is placed pretty high up on the pole. People i wheelchairs could find it is also a tight squeeze between the pole (that holds the marker) and the periodical platform (as seen in the picture above).
Location:
Rio Grande St and W 12th St.
1212 Rio Grande Street
Austin, Texas

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Anniversary

Three years ago today I married the most beautiful woman in the world, and immediately started our four day trek to move to Austin.  The video of that day is below.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Austin High School John T. Allan Campus


Inscription:
An ornate, red brick building at this site served as the first structure in town built for the public high school, founded in 1881. Construction of the facility was hastened when classrooms in the former temporary State Capitol at 11th and Congress were destroyed by fire. Completed in 1900 from the plans of Burt McDonald and James Reily, "Old Red" featured a domed rotunda, as the school grew additions were made to the original structure.

Under the supervision of principal James E. Pearce. 1895-1918 and superintendent A.N. McCallum, 1903-42, Austin High School developed a quality academic program. Renovations included the John T. Allan manual training center and one of the earliest domestic arts (home economics) departments in the nation.

The buildings here could no longer accommodate the growing Austin High School by 1925 and plans were made to utilize the larger junior high campus at the corner of 12th and Rio Grande. The switch was made during the Thanksgivings Holidays of that year and "old red" became the John T. Allan Junior High School. Classes were held at this site until 1956, when the complex was destroyed by fire.

Erected:
1981

Handicapped Accessibility:
somewhat, there is no handicapped parking along the street and no curb cuts. The closest access to the sidewalk would be between 9th street and the church building. The marker is near the sidewalk.

Location:
 First Baptist Church
901 Trinity St
Austin TX 78701

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What do think about this attraction?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Moontowers

Hiding in plain sight around the downtown Austin area, these 165-foot industrial artifacts could be considered a marvel. Even an outdoor museum. They are collectively listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, in all of the United States, only Austin has surviving examples of this type of lighting system that was once popular in many American cities during the late 1800s. Only seventeen of the original towers are scattered around "old" Austin - with the greatest concentration being around the Capitol. Surprisingly, only two have been lost to automobile mishaps.
The pictures below were taken at 12th and Rio Grande. 
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
This is one of 17 that remain out of 31 towers erected 1894-95 and in continuous use since. Their carbon arc lights then illuminated the entire city. Now mercury vapor lamps provide beacons for many miles on roads and airway, from dusk to dawn. Austin is said to be unique in this dramatic method of lighting.



Erected:
??   by Austin Landmarks

Handicapped Accessibility:

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location(s):


In 1976 as of 2010 Location
1 Active Active Zilker Park
2 Active Active Monroe and S. 1st
3 Active Active Leland St. and Eastside Dr.
4 Active Active Canterbury and Lynn
6 Active Active W. 9th and Guadalupe
7 Active Active E. 11th and Lydia
8 Active Active Pennsylvania Ave. and Leona St.
9 Active Active E. 13th and Coleto
10 Active Active MLK and Chicon
11 Active Active W. 12th and Blanco
12 Active Active W. 12th and Rio Grande
13 Active Active W. 15th and San Antonio
14 Active Active W. 22nd and Nueces
15 Active Active W. 41st and Speedway
16 Active Active West 4th and Nueces
17 Active Active E. 11th and Trinity
18 Active Gone East 6th and Medina
19 Active Gone E. 23rd and Red River
20 Active Gone E. 2nd and Neches
21 Active Gone W. 6th and Westlynn
22 Active Gone City Park (Emma Long Metropolitan Park)
23 Gone Gone E. 16th and Brazos
24 Gone Gone E. 20th (or E. 21st) and Longfellow
25 Gone Gone MLK (was 19th) and Lavaca
26 Gone Gone E. 14th and Sabine
27 Gone Gone Dean Keeton St. and Whitis Ave.
28 Gone Gone E. 5th and Brazos
29 Gone Gone 29th St. and Lamar Blvd.
30 Gone Gone W. 6th St. and Lamar Blvd
31 Gone Gone North end of Granite Dam
32 Gone Gone East 1st and Waller
33 Gone Gone E. Cesar Chavez and Trinity

According to Wikipedia there has been two (2) towers that have been destroyed in traffic accidents, two (2) that have been blown down by tornadoes, and six that have been victims of rust and old age.


What do you think about this attraction?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Texas and the Civil War State Military Board




Inscription:
The only new agency created by the legislature to deal with wartime emergencies. Original members were the Governor, Comptroller and Treasurer. The last two in 1864 were replaced by appointees of the Governor. Purpose was to establish industry and purchase essential military and civilian supplies. Texas was largely dependent on imports for factory goods, so the board had to sustain foreign trade. Despite a federal coastal blockade, this was done through neutral Mexico and by use of swift blockade runners. The board sold and exchanged state bonds, U.S. indemnity bonds and cotton – which had a ready cash and exchange value abroad – for guns, power, copper, lead, hats, hoots, shoes, clothing, cloth, rope, blankets, cotton cards and machinery to start local industry. Agents of the board operated in Mexico and Europe. A percussion cap factory and a state foundry for cannon were built, by contracts, land grants and cash. Private enterprise was aided and encouraged to manufacture rifles, pistols and gunpowder. Lack of funds, poor transportation, competition for cotton and other wartime difficulties hampered effectiveness, but the board did much to make Texas “The storehouse of the Confederacy”


Erected:
1965


Location:
 2210 West 35th Street .
Austin, TX 78703
GPS:
30° 18.577′ N, 97° 45.634′ W.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lilia and Josephine Casis


Inscription:
Josephine (1873-1947) and Lilia (1869-1947) Casis were reared in Jamaica, where their European parents educated them in the classics, languages, and music, before they moved to Texas in 1890. Josephine earned a teaching degree and taught at Austin’s Palm School for 33 years. Lilia pursued graduate studies in Europe and at the University of Texas, where in 1916 she became the first woman full professor. The Casis sisters left their estates to the University of Texas; in 1951 the Austin School District named Casis Elementary school in their honor.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1994
Handicapped Accessibility:
Yes, in fact the handicapped parking and wheelchair access point(s) is right in front of this marker.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
2710 Exposition Boulevard
Austin TX 78703
In the school parking lot by the handicapped parking area.

What do think about this attraction?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Judge Calvin Maples Cureton

Inscription:

Judge Calvin Maples Cureton
September 1, 1874 – April 8, 1940


Born in Bosque County of a noted pioneer family. A legislator (1909-13); first Assistant Attorney General (1913-18); Attorney General (1918-21). As Chief Justice (1921-40) Texas Supreme Court, recorded longest service in court’s first century.

With wife Nora (Morris), built this house in 1928.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1971

Handicapped Accessibility:
No, even though this marker can be see from the public sidewalk, the sidewalk is not accessible, and in some cases non-existent.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh



Location:
1300 Windsor Road
Austin TX 78703

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What do think about this attraction?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The 5th Annual Lights. Camera. Help. Cause-Driven Film Festival (Aug 2013)

Earlier in the year the wife and I attended to Attic Film Festival here in Austin. That was April, now come August it is time for another film festival. This one reportedly is bigger.

When:
August 15 at 6:30pm through August 17 at 11pm
Opening Night - Thursday, August 15 • 6:30pm-9:30pm
Second Night - Friday, August 16 • 6:30pm-9:30pm
Closing Night - Saturday, August 17 • 3:30pm-6:30pm
Awards Party - Saturday, August 17 • 6:30pm-11pm

Website:
lightscamerahelp.org

What:
Lights. Camera. Help.’s uniquely cause-driven Film Festival will kick off on August 15 (2013) at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s (Village Location). This three-day film festival will host dozens of cause-driven films that focus on the good happening in every corner of the world and the organizations that are getting it done. The festival brings together activists, film fans, advocates, nonprofits and filmmakers to show us the beautiful results when causes and films meet.

The Festival’s Program Coordinator, Virginia Hernandez, said “We’re so proud to present this year’s film selections. The quality and variety of submissions we received was truly impressive, and as a result, we were able to cultivate a unique and inspiring program. We are excited to show these works, and even more excited to draw attention to the great causes behind the films.”

Aaron Bramley, co-founder and Executive Director shares his excitement about the closing awards event, stating, “The awards party will be a chance to celebrate those who do good in our community, network with other filmmakers and nonprofit professionals and award prizes to the nonprofits associated with the winning films of the festival. With numerous food and drink sponsors, it’s sure to be a night to remember.”

The featured, closing night film this year will be Brasslands, a story of the world’s largest trumpet competition in a tiny, Serbian village. The competition is teeming with Serbian trumpet champions and Roma gypsies, and, this year, an unlikely brass band from New York City. The festivities and competition that commences is a testament to the transcendent nature of music. This documentary film shows that despite vast political, racial and ethnic divides, people can gather to dance, to enjoy music and to celebrate life. The screening will include a panel discussion and audience Q&A with the directors, a group of filmmakers from Meerkat Media Collective.

On Friday night, after the feature “When I Rise”  there will be a discussion with the director of that film, Mat Hames. When I rise is a feature-length documentary about Barbara Smith Conrad, a gifted University of Texas music student who finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera.


Lights. Camera. Help. is a nonprofit organization that enables others to create significant positive change through film.  More information is available at their website listed above.



Tickets:
$70 - all three nights of the festival (includes dinner and a drink each night/ also admission to the awards party on Saturday night)
$25 - Thursday Night Only
$25 - Friday Nigh Only
$30 - Saturday Night Only
$20 - Saturday night awards party only

Handicapped Accessibility:
Alamo Drafthouse is generally handicapped accessible, with very few exceptions.

Location:
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Village
2700 W Anderson Lane
Austin, TX ‎

Don't be shy, comment and tell us what you think about this event?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Eanes-Marshall Ranch

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
Alexander Eanes (1806-1888) moved to Texas from Mississippi in 1845 and acquired this ranch by 1857. In 1873 he sold the property to his brother, Robert Eanes (1805-1895), who had moved to the area following the Civil War. A log cabin built on the Eanes ranch was the first Eanes school, and the community also assumed the Eanes name. Robert Eanes sold the ranch to his son-in-law, Hudson Boatner Marshall (1862-1951) in 1883. Marshall dismantled the ranch house and moved it to a site adjacent to the nearby creek.
Erected:
1986
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
somewhat, depending on the mobility issue you are dealing with. Wheelchairs may have trouble accessing this marker.

Location:
near 941 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX, just outside the Capital of Texas Highway entrance of the Saint John Neuman Catholic Church.

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What do think about this attraction?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Austin is 4th Hardest Working City in the USA

Hey Austin! Have you heard the news?  I just received a tweet from KXAN  a few minutes ago about the news. Austin has made another "Top 10 List." This time the "Hardest Working Cities" list. Austin is number four (4) on the list. Out of the top 10, five (5) of them are in Texas. Below is the complete list of the top 10 hardest working cities in America.

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Arlington, TX
  3. Fort Worth, TX
  4. Austin, TX
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. San Francisco, CA
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Virginia Beach, VA
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Houston, TX
So what factors into the decision of these cities making the list?

Average hours worked per week
 According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers in Houston are putting in more time than the rest of us. Resident of the Texas city averaged 37.6 hours of work each week. Coming in second was a three way tie between Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas, each with 37 hours. This is likely because the data collected was for the metro area.
Movoto Blog
Unemployment rate
Here the lower the unemployment the better. Seattle came up with lowest unemployment rate at just 4%.
Commute time
The longest commute was Chicago, and this survey factored in the average commute time according to the U.S. census.
Employed workers per household
Again using the Census Bureau they looked at how many people in each household are working.
Hours volunteered per year
Some people put in extra hours for various causes that are important to them in addition to their work hours.
Lack of sleep
Are people staying up late zipping emails back and forth with colleagues? In other words, are they losing sleep burning the midnight oil?
Cost of living
Here they looked at the cost of living in each city and figured that those with higher costs would mean that people would have to work harder just to survive.
So there you have it. The top 10 hardest working cities and how they figured the list.

What do think about this attraction?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Beautiful Scenic Overlook on 360

A must see attraction in Austin is the Scenic Overlook on Highway 360 (Capital of Texas Highway). This scenic vista can be found as you drive north on 360, just after the entrance to the Wild Basin Preserve.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Among the things that you can see from this scenic viewpoint is the Texas State Capital, University of Texas Tower, and a number of other tall buildings that sit high on the downtown horizon.
photo by an unknown visitor at the site

Handicapped Accessibility:
Yes, the wife had no problem moving around the Overlook.

Location:
There is no exact address for this attraction, however it is 2.3 miles south of the Pennybacker Bridge at an approximate address (according to the GPS) of  1673 N. Capital of Texas Highway. The nearest intersection is Hwy 360-Loop North and Westlake. Just north of the Wild Basin preserve entrance.

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What do think about this attraction?


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Friday, July 19, 2013

King-Von Rosenberg House

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
In 1916, the heirs of Gov. Elisha Pease established the Enfield Realty and Home Building Company and began dividing the Pease estate into what would become Austin's Enfield neighborhood. Six years later, Belmont Belle Graham, a cousin to the Pease heirs, and her husband, Florian Bibb King, built their home at this site. Nina Electa and Frederick Charles Von Rosenberg bought the house in 1928, and the property remained in their family until 1988. The historic home exhibits influences of the Prairie School and Renaissance Revival styles, with a porte cochere, composite columns, triumverate windows, decorative ironwork and a wide overhanging hipped roof.
Erected:
2004 (currently Missing)
Handicapped Accessibility:
unsure
Location:
1500 Lorrain Street
Austin TX 78703

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What do think about this attraction?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Austin High School


Inscription:
Tax supported, locally controlled secondary education began in Austin in 1881 with the establishment of a high school department in the city school district. Plans for implementing the program were developed under the leadership of school board President A.P. Wooldridge and Superintendent John B. Winn.

Austin High School opened in September 1881 with an enrollment of 31 girls and 17 boys. Classes were first held on the third floor of the west Austin school building at the corner of 11th and Rio Grande. Due to continued growth, classes were later moved to the First Baptist Church building, the temporary State Capitol, and the Smith Opera House. In 1900 the first high school building was completed at Trinity and 9th. When the enrollment outgrew the facilities there, the high school was moved to the campus of John T. Allan Junior High School on Rio Grande. Austin High was moved again in 1975, following the completion of a new complex at this site.

For over a century, Austin High School has been a leader in the development of innovative educational programs and has maintained a record of academic excellence that reflects the community’s concern for the quality of education in Austin
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1981
Handicapped Accessibility:
Yes, the marker is located on the wall near the main entrance.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
1715 W Cesar Chavez St
Austin TX 78701

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What do think about this attraction?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Daniel H. Caswell House


Inscription:
Daniel H. Caswell came to Austin from Nashville, Tennessee, about 1895. He purchased a cotton oil manufacturing company, bought and sold cotton, and in 1899 built a cotton gin. When completed for his family in 1900, this house was located in the far northwest corner of the city. The Caswell House, which exhibits influences of Late Victorian, Colonial Revival, and Chateauesque styles, features a corner turret and porches supported on rusticated piers.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
1984
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
No, the marker itself is on the porch at the top of the steps.

Location:
On Porch
1404 West Avenue
Austin TX 78701

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What do think about this attraction?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Birthday Thoughts


Thank you everyone for reading my blog on the many things to see and do around Austin. As a lover of history, there is one thing I am disappointed in. That being the the things and places that are lost forever.For my birthday today (July 13), my son and his girlfriend gave me a book entitled, "Lost Austin (Images of America (Arcadia Publishing))," depicting many of the places that we have lost in Austin. From landmarks, neighborhoods to institutions to various businesses they are all regrettably lost forever. The book even has images of places that are endangered.  I can't wait to dive into this book with more focus.
Just from thumbing through the book I can tell there is a lot of interesting information about this the greatest city on the planet. It certainly looks like a book that every history buff (especially those that love Austin) should have on their bookshelf.
For my birthday will enjoy free coupons from some national chains, like the free Denny's Grand Slam, Free small ice cream cup (with Crushin's)  and the buy 1 get 1 bogo offer from DQ's blizzard club. I have also received deals from Ihop (Free Rutti Tutti) and others. Besides all that we will still be exploring the city.
Last night the wife and I even went to Chick-fil-a and free meals for dressing up in our homemade cow costumes. What a deal!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Ten Family Friendly Things to do in Austin

Since I moved to Austin almost three years ago (August 2010) I have been asked what there is to do. In fact last year, I was asked to write an article for Dayton Moms, listing my top five favorites. However, with more then 300 historical markers, hundreds of museums, landmarks, murals, nearly 100 statues and dozens of parks. Then there are dozens of festivals through out the year. Looking at the all the annual events it seems that there is one almost every weekend. Throw in all the concerts at literally dozens of venues there is something for everyone,  there is a lot to see and do. As a lover of history, I prefer the historical stuff. So I thought, I should revisit the subject on this site and expand it to the top ten.   So what are the top ten things to see and do in the great city of Austin, Texas? Well here is what is on my list.
  1. Texas State Capitol
    Completed in 1888, it is the main attraction of the 22-acre capital complex. Tours are free and usually 45 minutes long, starting every 15 minutes Mon-Fri 8:30-4:30, Saturday, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm, Sunday, Noon - 3:30 pm. Capitol tours are conducted daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter.
  2.  Attic Film Festival
    This Christian film festival is my favorite. My wife and first found out about TAFF last year. Since we didn’t have the money for tickets we signed up to be volunteers, which allowed us to put in a few hours selling tickets at the door after which we were able to attend the rest of the festival free. We even got to meet Micheal Landon Jr. The event is held every spring. 2TourAustin was a 2013 sponsor of this event.
  3. Congress Avenue Bridge Bats
    Every night from Mid-March through October hundreds of people line the Congress Avenue bridge to watch as an estimated 1.5 million free-tail Mexican bats emerge from under the bridge at sunset. This is a great way to spend an evening and its free. All though if you drive, you may have to pay to be able to park legally.Of course for $10/adult ($8/senior and $5/kid) you can hop on a bat watching cruise about 30 minutes before sunset.  The wife and I still need to make it down to see the bats.
  4. Lyndon B. Johnson Museum
    This is a great museum. It was actually the first museum my wife and I visited after moving here. My personal bucket list includes visiting all 14 presidential library/museum.
  5. SXSW
    SXSW is probably the biggest and best known of the annual events in town. The event is known for it’s music, film and interactive programs each year. The wife and I attended the interactive portion of the 2013 festival.
  6. Trail of Lights
    Every December the Christmas Tree in Zilker Park is lit along with a “trail of lights.” Over all it is said to contain over 1 million lights. It is truly something to see. Although, it is not friendly, in terms of parking for the handicapped.
  7. ACL Fest
    Come October, it is time for another big name annual festival. That being the ACL Festival. Everyone knows about the venue Austin City Limits (ACL) from the program on public television, but they also have a huge music festival in Zilker Park. In 2013 the festival will be expanding from one weekend (three days) to two weekends.
  8. Barton Springs Pool
    The pool is an artesian spring-fed swimming hole in Zilker Park that is a constant 68 degrees. Open daily 5am-10pm although it is closed Thursdays between 9am-7pm.
  9. Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
    Located downtown is more then a museum it is also Austin’s premier IMAX Theater. The museum portion tells Texas’ story through exhibits that take up three floors.
  10. Formula 1
    On November 16-18, 2012  Formula 1 racing is arrived in the United States. The first American home of this international race (from Circuit of the Americas) is expected to bring an estimated 300,000 fans to the city. The 2013 race is scheduled for



So as you can see there is a very diverse range of things to see and do. Trying to narrow everything down to ten is very hard to do. No matter what you like Austin has it for you. All of which helps make Austin the fastest growing and best American city ever in my book.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bastille Day Celebration

CELEBRATE THE STORMING OF THE BASTILLE with ALLIANCE FRANCAISE D’AUSTIN live music from RUMBULLION and DANIELLE REICH band. . Bastille Day Celebration is fast approaching.
photo from ALLIANCE FRANCAISE D’AUSTIN
According to an email from the ALLIANCE FRANCAISE D’AUSTIN everyone should bring their dancing shoes!  According to the same email there will be plenty of other activities and games including, Pétanque contests, jugglers, caricature artist, face painting, marionettes, balloon twisting. Not to mention Scrumptious French food and pastries like Croque-monsieur, merguez, cheese, Pan-bagnats, pâté sandwiches, frites, macaroon, eclairs café chocolate, chouquettes, babas au rhum, millefeuilles, handcrafted frozen pops, and of course plenty of French wine and kegs of beer!
Don't forget to bring a chair or a blanket.

photo from ALLIANCE FRANCAISE D’AUSTIN












When:
Saturday, July 13th
Time:
6pm - 10pm
Where:
French Legation Museum
802 San Marcos St
Austin, TX




Handicapped Accessibility:
I have not been to the museum yet, so I am not sure how accessible it is. I am sure though they have made some modifications since former President Reagan signed the Americans with Disabilities Act back in the 80's.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Local Restaurant: Big Daddy's

The wife and I recently attended a meeting at Big Daddy's on Research Blvd, so we decided that a review of another local restaurant was in order. The fact that we got a burger again this time was simply because of the ease of splitting it between the two of us, over the other entries that Big Daddy's serves.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Rating:

Burger Patties 9
Unlike some other places this burger was nice, thick and meaty. Of course it was also half a pound. That is one thing that I love, being able to taste the meat. )

Bun 7
What can I say about the bun? It was very good as well. The bun was a brioche (wikipedia: a pastry akin to a highly enriched bread of French origin, whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is "light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs"  It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust, frequently accentuated by an egg wash applied after proofing).  I was a little skeptical at first, when I seen the bun type in the menu, but this picky eater enjoyed it.

Quality 8
I would say the quality was excellent. Near perfection.



Garnish 8
The only garnish we got on our burger was ketchup and lettuce, though the wife did have some tomato on her half. The standard garnish or their burger is lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. The lettuce we were served was very fresh and crisp. Like it had been picked from the garden that very day. The wife felt the same about her tomato.

Fries 7
Fresh cut fries were good and tasty. Nice size to bite into and actually taste the potatoes. They weren't the best potatoes, but at least you can taste the potatoes. Cut like regular fries, they has the taste and feel of steak fries.

Atmosphere 7
Great pleasant atmosphere. A family friendly atmosphere vibe when were there at 3:30 PM on a Saturday afternoon. But with more then 10 TV's, including a big screen, all tuned to various sporting events, it could easily become a sports bar at night.


Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc) 9
Entrance and parking lot looked good, as did the dinning area. The restroom looked cleaned as well. It appeared someone was staying on top of things.

Other  9
Very accessible, with nice smooth threshold. The only tricky spot for a person in a wheel chair would be the double entrance at the entry way. I could see someone that was wheelchair bound getting sandwiched between those two doors. That being the case is the only reason this category didn't get a perfect 10.

Price  8
Burger/Sandwich (with fries) $7.45
Soda $2.25 (a little overpriced for me).
Glass of Water $0 (the wife had water)

Overall rating: 8 out of 10

Friday, July 5, 2013

Johnson Smokehouse

Perhaps Austin's best kept secret is the Austin landmark known as the Johnson Smokehouse.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Inscription:
Charles Johnson was a native of Sweden who settled in Austin in 1854. In 1858 he built his main residence near Deep Eddy along the Colorado River, which presently is the American Legion. The Johnson Ranch, consisting of 124 acres, was procured in 1867, and was located on the south side of Capital of Texas Highway where this historical marker is presently located. In 1899 the temporary Capital burned and the tin from the roof was brought to build the Johnson family barn and smokehouse. The original ranch house fell into ruins, but the smokehouse was painstakingly catalogued, stone by stone, disassembled and restored to its original state during recent recent development of the Johnson land. This structure is one of the few remaining auxiliary building components from its time and depicts the trials that a period family endured to merely preserve its daily sustenance.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Erected:
??
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
Not very.

Location:
near 1500 S. Capital of Texas Highway Austin, TX (at the intersection of Heights Drive and Capital of Texas Highway as you drive south on Capital of Texas highway (Highway 360). Hidden behind some bushes, it can be easily missed, even for those paying close attention.

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Kevin Surbaugh also submitted this site to HMDB.org, which will be published at a future date.
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Matthews School



Inscription:
In 1916, the Austin School District built three elementary schools, including two identical ones: Metz on the east side of town and Mathews on the west. Architect Dennis R. Walsh designed both schools, but only Mathews remains in use. Named for Dr. William J. Mathews, a physician and original school board member, the building has several additions, including a 1930s renovation by the firm of Giesecke and Harris. The central façade remains intact, with symmetrical composition reflecting a simplified classical style. Features include squared brick pilasters and a pedimented entry.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Erected:
2006

Handicapped Accessibility:
This side of the school was not accessible in any way. Making it hard for any person with a mobility issue to view the historical marker. However, the mural of the bus is on the retaining wall by the public sidewalk and thus is accessible.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Location:
906 W Lynn St
Austin TX 78703

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Monday, July 1, 2013

TMI Castle

Overlooking Austin, Texas, from the west, the former Texas Military Institute (TMI) building known locally as "The Castle" is still the most impressive structure near South Lamar. Surrounded by mansions and trendy corrugated steel shopping centers, it represents a time in Austin's history when anything west of Shoal Creek was considered "out of town."

Currently owned and occupied by real estate developers the Castle's beginnings read like a modern tale of city-sponsored incentives to reel in big employers. The city of Austin courted the Bastrop Military Institute with a building fund of $10,000 in gold. The city leaders successfully enticed them to relocate to the hilltop off Blanco Street in 1870, where the school was renamed the Texas Military Institute.

The 32-acre campus opened in 1872 with accommodations for 400 students of literature, the sciences, and military arts. Students paid $375 per academic year for tuition, board, and fees, according to the Texas State Historical Association. All the boys were required to live on campus.

The main building's unique Gothic architecture made it the dominant structure in the area. The hilltop it graces was dubbed "Castle Hill" in its honor. Many local businesses have found it convenient to adopt the name, including the Castle Hill Cafe.

The TMI closed in 1880, and from 1880-1884. The Castle stood empty. Then, from 1884 to 1887, it was home to Jacob Bickler's Texas German and English Academy, according to the historical marker on site. Not only is the building a beautiful example of architecture, it is an Austin Historical Landmark, and also the oldest existing college building in Texas, according to the Old West Austin Neighborhood Association.
The property is private and not open to the public.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh


Inscription:
Founded in 1868 in Bastrop, the Texas Military Institute moved to Austin in 1870. The same year, this Victorian “Castle” was built to serve as headquarters for the young men’s preparatory school. Prominently sited on top of a hill in view of the Capitol, the structure was owned by the Texas Military Institute until the school formally closed in 1880. From 1884 until 1887, the TMI Castle was the site of Jacob Bickler’s Texas German and English Academy.
Erected:
1962
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Handicapped Accessibility:
The Castle can be seen from your vehicle. Due to the security  gates, access to see the marker itself is limited. The marker is inaccessible as the Castle is the private office is behind security gates.

Location:
1111 W. 11th St
Austin, TX 78703

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

We Have moved

KevinView.com has moved and can now be found at http://wisdomsteps101.net/wp/
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My name is Kevin, and that's what I think. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Fourth of July Concert and Fireworks

Wow! I can't believe it is almost time once again for the Fourth of July.  But, it is though. In fact the day we celebrate our nations independence from the British is next week. That means here in Austin it is time for the 37th annual Austin Symphony's July 4th Concert and Fireworks.
The Orchestra will kick off their free concert at 8:30 PM on July 4th and the Fireworks will commence at 9:30 PM, ending at 10 PM.
Photo by Victor Ovalle, Austin Parks and Recreation

On July 4th, more than 100,000 people gather at Auditorium Shores for the largest Independence Day celebration in Austin. The Austin Symphony will be under the apt baton of ASO Music Director Peter Bay. The Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks features patriotic music and the ever-popular 1812 Overture and spectacular fireworks over Lady Bird Lake.
- Austin Symphony
According to the events website concessions will be available at the event. Attendees are encouraged to come early bringing a blanket and/or lawn chairs. Perhaps with a picnic and enjoy the patriotic music of the Austin Symphony. However, please remember no alcohol or class containers are allowed in the park.
When:
July 4th, 2013
8:30 PM

Admission:
Free

Conductor:
Peter Bay

Handicapped Accessibility:
It is a public park and is somewhat accessible. However, must remember it is a grassy area and therefore may be more difficult to navigate for some mobility issues.

Location:
Auditorium Shores at The Long Center
800 W Riverside Dr
Austin, TX

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