Northwest Austin Kickball League

A photo posted by AroundAustin (@snasta) on

A little known fact, Texas is home to one of the biggest youth kickball organization in the nation, Little Miss Kickball. Founded in 1970 by Shirley Boyd in South Texas as recreational after school program, Little Miss Kickball has grown into 18 leagues in 7 Texas Cities.

Northwest Austin Kickball (a.k.a NWA) a sports league for young women based in Austin, Texas. NWA, a member of the Little Miss Kickball League, has long been one of the premier sports leagues for girls and young ladies – not only in Austin, but across South-Central Texas. Founded in 1978, they have grown into one of the largest, most successful kickball leagues in the state, frequently competing for the State Championship crown each July.

NWA’s fields are located at 3701 Far West Boulevard in Northwest Austin, on the grounds of Murchison Middle School. The fields are immediately adjacent to the Murchison Community Pool at Far West Boulevard and Hart Lane.

Kayak on Lady Bird Lake to get the best downtown view

Canoeing on Lake AustinThe water level in Lake Travis is so low right now that it is hard to go sailing or boating. Town Lake….I mean Lady Bird Lake, on the other hand, is a constant level lake with delightfully cool water.   I’ve been curious about the kayaks and canoes on the lake so I decided to head down to the Rowing Dock to rent a kayak and get out on the lake on Labor Day.

It was so busy that we had to circle twice to get parking.  However, the folks at the dock were efficient.  Soon as we turned over our license and $15 (cash or check please) at the dock they got us in a kayak built for two.  We headed to the “ritzy” part of town paralleling Stratford and gawked at the mansion.   I’ve been to a party or two at those mansions but the view from the water side is amazing.   Turning the kayak around at Red Bud Isle (lots of dogs playing in the water) we decided to cross under the Mopac bridge…it is LOUD under there.  A short way down you get a spectacular view of downtown.  I definitely need to bring my camera next time.   We did manage to see turtles basking in the sun and a couple of herons catching there dinner.

All in all a nice way to spend the afternoon.  Kayak rentals on Lady Bird Lake are offered by

Rowing Dock
2418 Stratford Dr
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 459-0999

Texas Rowing Center
1541 West Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 467-7799

Zilker Park Boat Rentals
2100 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 478-3852

Fiesta Bowl 2009 – Texas Longhorns vs. Ohio State

Thanks to a good friend getting me great tickets I got to go to the Fiesta Bowl.  It was a truly awesome game.

The first half was a defensive struggle from both teams, and the second half was when the game became really exciting. The 3rd quarter belonged to the Longhorns as they took the lead and seamed to be taking over the game completely.

The stadium erupted when Colt McCoy threw the winning touchdown pass to Cosby with 16 seconds left; the applause was thunderous when Ohio State’s quarterback was sacked.

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Austin based Spocal launches Spocal March Madness was invited to the sneak preview party for, the sports calendar site during SXSW Interactive Festival–thanks for the beer and muchies guys.  It’s a cool new website that lets sports fan add the schedule of their favorite teams to their own calendar–no more peering at the fine print in your local newspaper to figure out when the Longhorns are playing.

Today they anounced special functionality in conjunction with March Madness.  At you can see the March Madness game bracket and download the schedule to your calendar by clicking on the iCal link next to each game.  Cool!

By creating an account at the Spocal website, you can choose to follow any of your favorite sports teams and be notified when their game schedule changes. “The idea for the website came to me when I got tired of entering games into my calendar by hand,” said Deep Nasta, Spocal founder. “I thought it would be a huge time saver for me if I received an email message notifying me of playoff schedules and game time changes, and I could download those changes into my calendar as well.”

The website is still in the “sneak peek” stage but what a great concept from well known two local entrepreneurs–Deep Nasta and Brian Menell.

2006 US Open, New York City

Got to fly Jet Blue for the first time out of Austin to Boston for  a recent East Coast swing.  I’ve always liked Southwest Airlines for domestic flights but I might have a new favorite airline.  Plenty of legroom, efficient check-in, assigned seats, DirectTV and satellite radio at every seat (it truly helps pass the time).  Heck even the snacks were decent (choice of 3-4 snacks instead of just peanuts).  If you have a chance to try them–Highly Recommended.

The highlight of this trip was getting to go to the 2006 US Open (Ticketcity got me hooked up).  The US Open is a quick subway trip from Midtown Manhattan (thanks to AMEX we got to stay 2 blocks from Broadway).  The Open is a blast.  Compared to going to a UT football game it is an intimate stage–only 23,000 in Arthur Ashe stadium, and the outside courts are like watching a match at a neigborhood tennis court (well OK the guys and gals playing there make the average club player look like they’re playing 1/2 speed).  You do run into major tennis stars on the grounds of the tennis center–Jimmy Connors was signing autographs and having his picture taken the day we went.  Cool trip and highly recommended if you’re a tennis fan.

Pictures are at:

Pictures of the extended trip are at:

This was also the first trip that we used Priceline.  We sure lucked out.  Got 2 hotels that were $200 on Expedia/Travelocity for $99.  If you’re a geek and in Boston/Cambridge you need to try out Hotel MIT.  It basically is a Radisson hotel with geeky decorations like Robots in the lobby, circuit boards for lamps, pictures of famous scientists in the rooms.  The throw on the bed was filled with equations–been too long since engineering school I could only identify about half of them.

Round and Round you go — Austin Veloway

Spring is here…time to get out of the gym and do some real exercise.  One of my favorite places in Austin to go rollerblading is the Veloway.  I’ve had some memorable fast runs on this trail–and some spectacular crashes.  It is also a decent place to test out the road bike or take kids biking since there are no cars to get in the way. 

The Veloway is a 3.1 mile loop set aside exclusively for bicycling and rollerblading set in Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park.  It’s a wide, one-way trail through generally rolling hills except for one short steep incline (especially if you’re on blades).  The trail is usually open from dawn to dusk.  To get there take Mo-Pac (1) south past Slaughter about 1/4 mile and turn left (you’ll see a sign for the Veloway). It’s located near the Wildflower Research Center.

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Congratulations to the National Championship Football Team

We stopped by after dinner at Manuel’s to take a few pictures of the Tower with the Big #1 on it and we were amazed that campus was crowded with hundreds of fans taking pictures of the tower…dad with their kids, students, indeed entire families all posing in front of the tower.  Was a really cool atmosphere.  It was nice seeing the tower lit up for the second time in a year for a national championship.  Let’s hope that the basketball teams and the men’s baseball team gives reason to light the tower again in 2006.

Looking to play a little Tennis

After ten years I decided to pick up a tennis racquet and play the game again.  Practicing by hitting against the ball machine and taking a few weekly clinics at Caswell only get you so far.  I’d lost touch with all my old tennis buddies–time to find new people to play with.  A friend of mine recommended John Kitchen’s tennis ladder.  A quick search led me to Austin Tennis Net.  This is a cool website where you sign up, state whether you want to play singles, doubles, or mixed doubles and what level you want to play at.  When the next round starts, you get two matches and can play them at any tennis court.  Win or lose enter the scores back at the website.  So far it has been a lot of fun even though I’ve been beaten 6-2, 6-0 both times.  Shaking of the rust and getting back into match shape is a lot harder than I thought.

Need a Ticket? Call

My mother’s never been to a football game. Ever! I needed to trade in my two tickets for four so she could go see her first football game (yes I know it’s just Rice but what the heck). I called and Austin owned business (1-800-SOLD-OUT) and a few minutes later they’d traded my two tickets for four. is owned by my good friend Randy Cohen–an Austinite. He’s managed to get tickets for all types of events from Longhorn sports, local concerts, Broadway and Las Vegas shows, and even international events like the World Cup. Best part is you can go pick up your tickets at Dobie Mall instead of worrying about whether a ticket broker will mail you the tickets or not.

Another cool Austin business.

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