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Things to Do In Austin In May

Diverse, fun and infused with culture, Austin is the capital of Texas and home to a prosperous community and a wide variety of culture, from the world class cuisine in the many fine restaurants, the growing population of infamous tech companies, the summer festivals and creative atmosphere, to the magnificent country music in what is also referred to as the Live music capital of the world (although Nashville, Athens, and other cities might have some arguing of that point).

Here are some great things to do when you visit Austin: 

  1. Austin City Limits

I grew up seeing acts including Willie Nelson, Little Feat, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, George Strait, REM, and everyone who was anyone play at Austin City Limits. The same is true today. It’s like playing at the Grand Ole Opry, but open to acts that today include the Arctic Monkeys, Lumineers, Alabama Shakes, Bon Iver, and this year Robert Plant even played. I put this as number on on my Austin list. If you never come back, you have to do this. Even if you’re a vegetarian (‘cause yup, #2 is eat BBQ).

You should also check out the Paramount theatre. But not until you’ve seen a show at Austin City Limits.

  1. Enjoy some of the best BBQ food in the world

Smokey Denmark’s, Valentinas Tex Mex, Lamberts and Rollin Smoke  BBQ; Austin is overflowing with amazing restaurants serving the most succulent meats, steaks, ribs and barbecue delights. While the town may be synonymous with live music, this is certainly the case when it comes to food and in particular, barbecued food. You would be hard pushed to find a better selection of barbecue restaurants anywhere in the US, or the world for that matter.

Freedman’s, Blacks and Kerlin all have an incredible menu on offer although they can also be a little expensive depending on your budget. However, if you make it to Ruby’s BBQ in the early evening, you can join the many students taking advantage of special promotions.

  1. Vegetarian

If you’re a vegetarian, go to Veggie Heaven instead

  1. Sample the infamous Austin nightlife

Often referred to as the “Live music capital of the world”, a night out on 6th Street in Austin is simply unforgettable and little wonder given how there are more than 150 live music venues offering a sublime mix of blues, jazz, rock, hip-hop and more. Some of the most famous of these venues are Club DeVille and The Mowhawk, while the Continental Club is renowned for being the birthplace of the music venue scene. And then there are the traditional dance halls where visitors can learn Texas Two Step, the Broken Spoke is arguably the most popular dance hall in Texas. Regardless of your interest, when you visit Texas in May, there will be no end of amazing experiences to sample after dark.

  1. Have food and nightlife

And for a fusion food/nightlife moment, check out the calendar for Stubbs and see if there’s a show you’d like gorge yourself by: http://www.stubbsaustin.com.

  1. Explore the attractions in Zilker Park

Across the river in Austin, an enormous park is waiting to be explored, where you can hike, swim, climb of follow on of the many trails through stunning scenery. Zilker Park offers a quick escape from the bustling city and it is not only a leafy or scenic place to enjoy, but also home to several attractions including the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum, the Botanical Gardens and a Nature and Science Center which gives you the opportunity to unearth some dinosaur fossils.

  1. Take a cultural tour of the State Capitol

Restored in the 1980’s, the State Capitol is a prime example of the many cultural buildings still standing in Austin today. Originally opened to the public in 1888, the unusual pink color gives the architecture a unique identity and the exterior makes for an awe inspiring sight.

Visitors can take a fascinating tour of the interior of the building which includes the original hall chamber and the governor’s receiving room, while a self guided brochure will explain the background of each monument or room, and most of the grounds are also open for the public to explore.

  1. Get your hike on at Lady Bird Lake

Bike, hike, or just take a picnic to a beautiful spot, that is sure to delight. How much more Texas do you get when Longhorn Dam makes Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin? Apparently, the former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson was integral to the creation of this lake, and so it was later named after her. It’s like many lakes throughout downtown areas of major cities, with the addition that teams from the University of Texas can be seen here pretty much year round. I’ve seen people fishing here and while there are obviously polluted lakes around cities, this isn’t one of them. I might swim in it, but I certainly wouldn’t eat fish out of it. And if you happen to be there wen there are fireworks, it’s seriously amaze amaze amazing.

  1. Hike Some more

Mount Bonnell has a great view and a bit more expansive. Earlier in the summer is way prettier, before the dust makes everything a bit tan/reddish. It’s like Camelback in Phoenix.

  1. Check Out LBJ’s Presidential Library

From Monticello to the Carter Presidential Library, most former presidents have some kind of tribute to their time in office. And these offer a candid snapshot not only to the person who served that role, but also to the world they were in, and how that shaped their candidacy and presidency. LBJ was one of the more interesting presidents, serving in the House of Representatives from 1937-1949, as a US Senator from 1949 to 1961, as Vice President under Kennedy from 1961-1963 and then as President from 1963 to 1969. He served as president during Vietnam, civil rights turmoil, Medicare, immigration reform, reforms to social security, and so much more. But perhaps the most important thing about LBJ that I learned from visiting his library was just how much of a political machine he built, and how he could have run for another term, but had basically lost control of the party by the race in 1968. I love going to these kinds of places!

  1. Breakfast Tacos

Get your Torchy’s breakfast tacos. Seriously, almost as good as the breakfast burritos on that spot on Main Street in Santa Monica that I don’t think has a name. Crazy noms. Speaking of breakfast tacos, Polvos has the best guac in town in my opinion. I realize that might be fighting words for some. But rather than fight about it, I’d prefer to be proven wrong. J

  1. Keep getting your museums on

OK, so the Bullock Texas State History Museum, dozens of museums around the campus at the University of Texas, etc. Like mot capital cities, this one has no shortage of publicly funded places to see political, art (The Blanton Museum of Art), and other museums. Most importantly though, all things Texas. The Harry Ransom Center, and the list goes on and on.

  1. Circuit of the Americas

F1 racing. No need to say more! I think one of only 3 F1 tracks I’ve been to. Fun times and very different from other kinds of racing! And when you’re done, head over to K1 Speed of Austin for some racing of your own!

  1. Festivals in Austin, Texas

As with much of the summer months, Austin is a hive of activity in the month of May (e.g. if you’re there for www.acesconf.com with a large number of festivals taking place. For anyone interested in film, the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival covers a variety of films from the Americas, the Caribbean and even the Iberia Peninsula. Most of these movies are of Latin origin, although some are based on other natives in the regions. The Old Pecan Street Spring Arts Festival is an enormous art festival which is most ideal for families and then the West Austin Studio Tour is a festival of a more general nature, showcasing the creative talent in the are through art galleries and exhibitions. Regardless of which one you choose, the festivals in Texas make for a great time to visit. Of course, there’s www.sxsw.com as well, although I think Aces will be a little more fun. 😉

  1. Karaoke

All college towns (and yes, Austin, I’m lookin’ at you as a college town) have decent to fair karaoke. Never great, never awful. Sing your heart out at Karaoke Underground. I did Public Image Limited. I was sober. OK, no, I did Sex Pistols and wasn’t…

  1. Learn to Two Step

Hit the Broken Stpoke or another bar to see people dancing the night away, the same way they’ve done since the 30s. Cowboy hats, boots, belt buckles, and a disposition that’s the only thing sweeter than the tea in these parts.

  1. Have great coffee

I like Dominican Joe. But like all the coffee shops in all the college towns in all the universes, I really don’t think you can go wrong… For example, Spiderhouse doesn’t have great anything, except peoplewatching.

  1. Foooooootball

I love me some sportsball. Especially football. And few places sport better fans than the University of Texas at Austin. People here bleed Burnt Orange. Not all, but most. This article is more for visiting in the spring (e.g. for Aces), but you know, even if you can’t see a game that time of the year, you can still ask a local “What do you think of Coach Strong?” Even if you don’t know anything about foosball (yes, that’s another pop culture reference), it’s still the right thing to do.

  1. Check out a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse

It’s one of those “Keep Austin Weird” kinda’ places. It’s an amazing theatre, where you can enjoy cult classic movies with a beer. Similar to the State Theater in Athens, Georgia. Big, cheep, usually crappy beer pairs very, very well with movie marathons.

  1. Buy weird stuffs

So much awesome. Such happy. Stop by the City Wide Garage Sale, Uncommon Objects, Charm School, and Monkies Vintage. And then head to the Cathedral of Junk so you don’t buy too much of it!

The sun rising over the Wells Fargo building in Austin, TX in February 2013

April 24th, 2016

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MacDevOps 2016: f you’re interested in the scripting side of the Apple world and can make it from June 20th to 21st, this might just be the conference for you. At MacDevOps, you’ll see “Speakers from across North America and Europe will be presenting on a number of topics related to Mac administration and deployment.” This would be things like contributing to open source projects, packaging Django web apps to look like native Mac apps, osquery, Munki security, imagr, autopkg, ansible, git, and jenkins. Basically, automating the things: DevOps. And for Macs. Or Appley things. For now.

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And… Lots of fun people will be there. including the convergence of friends from other industries who don’t know that each other know me (nor would they likely care – other than to trade stories about how I made them drink something-or-other), which is kinda’ cool.  Anyway, Mathieu’s awesome. You should check this out.

April 3rd, 2016

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The podcast we’ve started doing for MacAdmins.org is now up on iTunes! Find it here. 

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March 31st, 2016

Posted In: personal, public speaking

When I was speaking at MacADUK, I asked Tom Bridge about starting a podcast. He’s got a great voice, and I thought he’d be a great co-host. Before we were able to get to that when we got home, Adam Codega, independently of the conversation I’d had with Tom, dropped a note on Twitter to see who else might be interested in doing a Podcast. A few people responded that they’d be interested in also jumping in on a new Podcast. Over the next few weeks, decisions were made that the podcast would be hosted as a part of MacAdmins.org, the format, the hosting location, and lots of other really cool stuff. And some of us got together and recorded the first episode. And then, last night, we recorded the second episode just in time to get that into editorial before Episode 1 is released.

And soooooo, episode 1 is out! It includes Tom Bridge, Emil Kausalik, Adam Codega, and myself. We also have an interview with some of the organizers from the Penn State Mac Admins conference, which I wasn’t able to sit in on, but find just fantastic. And Tom did some of the editing. Aaron Lippincott (@dials-Mavis) did a lot of work on the mastering and deserves lots of credit there (he made everyone sound way betterer). And John Kitzmiller did a lot of work on the domain and website and DNS type of stuff, as well as helping with hosting of the podcast assets as well. And Adam’s done a lot of work on the back end linking things together, so a great team effort.

The next episode also features Pepijn Bruienne and Marcus Ransom (who I lovingly decided we should call the He-Man of the Mac Universe) and covers the latest iOS 9.3 release, as well as some information about the Classroom app. So stay tuned for that, but click below to give the episode a listen, or find on iTunes once it appears (and I’ll post a link to that once we can).

Overall, I’m really stoked to get this thing going, and that the group has built a great system for future episodes, that should be sustainable for many, many episodes. I’m also really stoked to be able to get to work with this specific group – I’m a big fan of everyone, and I look forward to many episodes to come! So follow on Twitter at @MacAdmPodcast and feel free to let us know if you’ve done something awesome and we should mention it or interview you!

Episode 1: It Begins

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March 28th, 2016

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment, Network Infrastructure, personal

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When уоu thіnk of State College, thеrе’ѕ a gооd сhаnсе thаt one thіng соmеѕ tо mіnd: MacAdmins. OK, so the rest of the world thinks of Pеnn Stаtе football, but if you’re on this site, you probably think of this wonderful conference, hosted at Penn State. While thе tеаm іѕ a bіg drаw for thе rеgіоn, thеrе are рlеntу оf оthеr grеаt thіngѕ tо dо іn State Cоllеgе and the rеѕt of Cеntrе Cоuntу. I first visited State College when doing a tour of chapter houses for my fraternity, then for a Widespread Panic, then to do work at a couple of  

Thеrе аrе mаnу оutdооrѕ асtіvіtіеѕ іn Cеntrаl Pеnnѕуlvаnіа. Cеntrе Cоuntу has several rесrеаtіоn сеntеrѕ аnd facilities for уеаr-rоund fun, іnсludіng сусlіng, fishing, hiking, саmріng, golf, ісе ѕkаtіng аnd more. Whеthеr уоu lіvе іn Stаtе College, Bеllеfоntе, Boalsburg or Phіlірѕburg, аttеnd Pеnn Stаtе University, оr аrе vіѕіtіng Central Pennsylvania fоr business оr pleasure. 

Sоmе оf thеm, like thе All-Stаtе Museum оr thе Pеnn Stаtе Creamery аrе wеll known. Hоwеvеr, оthеrѕ mіght bе a bіt оf a ѕurрrіѕе fоr еvеn thе mоѕt knowledgable оf residents аnd аlumnі. Hеrе аrе ѕоmе the thіngѕ уоu can dо whеn vіѕіtіng State College, Pеnnѕуlvаnіа In Lаtе Junе: 

Bars

One of the great things about a college town in the summer is that there are less kids around. There are still enough to realize that, yes, you’re old. But there are way less drunken brawls, less underage barfing in the bathrooms, and maybe arguably a more mature time (unless I’m there). There are some pretty good bars along College, E Beaver, and E Calder (right off campus). Start at Phyrst, and find your way around the circuit to The Tavern, Brewery, and Shandygaff! Not a bad few blocks if you just want to have a drink, move on to another bar, and repeat. Love this scene, it’s like Athens, Georgia, where I went to college (so I would).

Drink Crаft Beer 

Aѕ a соllеgе town, уоu might thіnk that State Cоllеgе іѕ full оf сhеар bееr. And you certainly have lots of access to cheap alcohol. Hоwеvеr, thеrе аrе ѕоmе really grеаt сrаft bееrѕ that are mаdе right іn Cеntrе Cоuntу. 

Rоbіn Hооd Brewing Cоmраnу brеwѕ out of thе Hоmе D Pіzzеrіа іn Bеllеfоntе, but аlѕо sells thеіr bееr оut оf thе Home D lосаtіоn іn State Cоllеgе. While уоu саn’t tоur thе brewery, if уоu’rе lucky, уоu might ѕее thе brеwеrѕ аt wоrk bеhіnd thе lаrgе glаѕѕ wіndоwѕ іn the bаr. 

If you’re іn the mood fоr сrаft bееr, Ottо’ѕ Brеwеrу and Hарру Vаllеу Brеwіng Cоmраnу аlѕо put out some great beers. 

Eаt Authеntіс Cаjun Fооd 

Not everyone drinks. But everyone eats. Authentic Cаjun fооd in thе mіddlе оf Pennsylvania mіght seem оdd, but аt Spats Cаfе on thе еdgе оf downtown Stаtе College, you саn hаvе just thаt. Chеf/Ownеr Dukе Gаѕtіgеr learned hоw to cook Cаjun fооd whіlе lіvіng іn Lоuіѕіаnа and brought his tаlеntѕ bасk tо Cеntrаl Pеnnѕуlvаnіа. Sраtѕ Cаfе іѕ dеfіnіtеlу a unіԛuе аnd delicious dining option іn dоwntоwn State Cоllеgе. 

Explore Wоrld-Clаѕѕ Art 

On thе campus оf Pеnn Stаtе’ѕ саmрuѕ is the Pаlmеr Museum оf Art. Thіѕ frее-аdmіѕѕіоn muѕеum оffеrѕ a ѕmаll, but fаntаѕtіс collection оf аrt rаngіng from Asian сеrаmісѕ tо modern American раіntіngѕ. 

Thе museum doesn’t fееl at аll lіkе a typical соllеgе muѕеum, аnd іnѕtеаd fееlѕ mоrе lіkе ѕоmеthіng уоu’d expect іn a large city. Of course, thе hіgh ԛuаlіtу оf the ріесеѕ оn dіѕрlау hеlр maintain thіѕ fееlіng. Thіѕ is dеfіnіtеlу a fantastic dеѕtіnаtіоn for anyone lооkіng for a lіttlе сulturе. 

Tour A Cаvеrn Bу Boat 

There are plenty of caverns іn Pеnnѕуlvаnіа, but thеrе’ѕ оnlу оnе that уоu can tоur by boat. Located in Centre Hаll, Penn’s Cave offers fantastic tours of this beautiful, water-filled cavern. Bоаt tоurѕ trаvеl thrоugh thе саvе аnd stop at a variety оf іntеrеѕtіng rock fоrmаtіоnѕ. 

Along the way, the guіdе tells аbоut the саvе’ѕ hіѕtоrу аnd thrоwѕ іn a few vеrу соrnу jоkеѕ. Thаnkѕ for some engineering wоrk dоnе іn the early 20th century, tоurѕ actually go оutѕіdе thе cave at іtѕ end аnd іntо the man-made Lake Nіttаnее, bеfоrе rеturnіng bасk іntо thе саvе on the way bасk tо thе mаіn entrance. 

The еxреrіеnсе оf trаvеlіng thrоugh a саvе in a bоаt іѕ one thаt you can’t gеt аnуwhеrе еlѕе еаѕt оf thе Mіѕѕіѕѕіррі River, ѕо іt’ѕ wеll-wоrth checking оut! 

Sее Chrіѕtорhеr Cоlumbuѕ’ Sеа Chеѕt 

Of all thе surprising thіngѕ оn this list, thіѕ one mіght be the mоѕt ѕhосkіng. Lосаtеd іn Bоаlѕburg, thе Columbus Chapel аnd Boal Mansion is home tо ѕоmе of the mоѕt рrісеlеѕѕ artifacts іn аll оf Pennsylvania. Inѕіdе thе twо mаіn buіldіngѕ hеrе are Chrіѕtорhеr Cоlumbuѕ’ Sеа Chеѕt, Crusade relics that are said tо bе frоm Jеѕuѕ’ cross, a lосk оf Napoleon’s hаіr, аnd muсh, muсh more. The truth оf thіѕ place іѕ ԛuіtе ѕtrаngеr than fісtіоn. 

Yоu can also buy frеѕh hаnd made раѕtа аt Fаѕtа & Rаvіоlі аnd fulfіll all уоur glutеn frее needs аt Gооd Sееd Bаkіng Cоmраnу. Alѕо, hеаr lіvе сlаѕѕісаl muѕіс wіth 2 lосаl оrсhеѕtrаѕ, 3-5 Unіvеrѕіtу orchestras, and thе Penn’s Wооdѕ Summеr Fеѕtіvаl orchestra. 

So many things. Rock climbing at Stone Valley, get a show on at State Theater,

March 24th, 2016

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I don’t know why, but I decided to put this article up on Medium. Experimenting with different stuffs. Hope you enjoy.

People who were kids in the 80’s often reminisce and declare the fact that there are no longer any good cartoons these days. They say this with a look of nostalgia always on their faces as they watch modern cartoons (often with the kids). The 1980’s was a period where animated cartoons were just beginning to gain popularity — the rise of the Saturday morning cartoon. And unlike today’s animated offering, they were filled with deep, rich content that parents were comfortable with. Not to say that the cartoons these days are not classics too. But people who came of age in the 80s will politely disagree.

The 80s was filled with ingenious content and captivating screenwriting when it came to animations. Here are some of the top animated cartoons from the 80s:

  • Robotech: My favorite of them all. When Robotech came out on DVD, it was the first TV series I ever bought. With airplanes that turned into robots, giant battleships that flew through space, and young adults who were always in trouble when not remarkable pilots, so many clichés, portrayed perfectly!

Read more on Medium!

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March 20th, 2016

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House Of Cards Debuted on Netflix in 2013, and was immediately a fan-favorite, capturing audiences instantly due to its high-drama situations, scandal, lying, cheating, the sheer power of the characters, the wonderful acting, and everything in between. Chances are, House Of Cards appeals so much to people in the U.S. because it’s a dramatized version of our own politics; politics that especially this election season seem completely foreign to most Americans. It feels somewhat like a peek behind closed doors, even though it’s fiction. …Or is it?

Read More On Medium, here.

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March 18th, 2016

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March 15th, 2016

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Thanks to Mr. Worley for dropping this into HipChat on Friday! <3

March 13th, 2016

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January 11th, 2016

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