Select Page

We enjoyed a wonderful edition Friday.

  • After revisiting the Super Bowl, early conversation covered exercise, diet, health and fitness, and running as folks shared personal routines, histories, and aspirations.
  • Several of us discussed Austin artists and record labels and revisited the economics of.
  • We caught up on recent shows and venues. I mentioned I’d like to catch something at the 04 Center (both Dewy and Jeff had good stories and info), and I updated folks about the great Alamo Drafthouse S Lamar renovation and an excellent dinner at El Raval (former Barlata spot) before seeing American Fiction.
  • During recent conversations with the Regulars on how to best boost Austin creators, I’ve recognized I personally tend to focus most on musicians, a bit less on filmmakers or podcasters, and far less on comedians or chefs, for instance, so it’s nice to hit El Raval and then read up a bit on Laila Bazahm. (And I experienced the edge of El Raval neighborhood back in the day without issue when my brother studied abroad in Spain for a year. We ranged La Rambla a couple nights during our Barcelona stop.)
  • After talking about S Lamar in depth, we ventured to other neighborhoods like Allendale, Crestview, and more, and we talked for a while about walkability and its impact on both personal fitness and a vibrant city life.
  • Lamar Romero joined us and shared updates on Hire Dragons, a great idea well positioned, having originated from within Austin’s rich CPG and tech ecosystems and well animated by nearly a decade of relentless execution and advance.
more at YouTube
  • Ricardo told a tale about his early days acting. As it happens, that’s his face (uncredited and uncompensated) on the Costco apron in Idiocracy. Ha.
not the actor, the face on the apron
Here’s sharp-dressed-man Ricardo Friday.
  • A crew clustered up to revisit manufacturing in Austin, Central Texas, Texas-wide, Northern Mexico and more. There is a lot going on here, and some of the Regulars are working on big things.
  • That discussion also veered into The Travels of A T-shirt In A Global Economy, a book I recommend for its portrayal of how countries compete best by threading private enterprise, policy, research, and more. This book’s Texas Tech story is particularly compelling in this regard.
  • Several folks shared recent impressions and experiences leveraging AI and LLMs, especially the recent OpenAI Sora announcement. (And see here for video created from the prompt “Photorealistic closeup video of two pirate ships battling each other as they sail inside a cup of coffee.”)
  • Meanwhile, I have yet to find a single Regular who owns a Vision Pro, which is surprising. Google Glass showed up immediately back then, and we have at least one Cybertruck driver among us already.
  • We had the honor and pleasure of hanging out again with Hank Alrich. Do read this profile by Brad Buchholz in The Statesman. I especially appreciate how the piece depicts Hank as leading the Armadillo in concert with his principles and a decidedly hippie ethos while also asserting and demonstrating that such a vision could be smoothly compatible with responsible citizenship and entrepreneurship. Refusing to accept such false dichotomies (e.g. art versus commerce) is admirable and an important exemplar.
  • Hank also shared this good news about Austin FC and the Armadillo. Good for Hank, Eddie, and crew. (p.s. Read Eddie’s book, and hopefully Hank will write his own as well.)
  • I asked Hank if he was in the joint on the famous Thanksgiving night featuring Doug Sahm and The Grateful Dead, and it turns out Hank joined in with his guitar on the finale, Leon Russell and “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” as a downpour pounded the roof. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Just imagine that day.
Hank among other Regulars
  • Hank also shared other stories about his experiences as a musician at The Armadillo, and let’s say that one or two reminded me of Dock Ellis’ famous no-hitter.
Regular Jeffrey Brown helped produce this documentary

I managed to experience all the above, and I had to depart much earlier than usual. At least five people showed up just as I was leaving, and a couple texted me on arrival after I was gone. It happens, which is why it’s nice there’s always next Friday.

See y’all next week. Go get ’em till then.